Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
 
Towards a token reward system

After some difficulties your group finally did it: The last boss of the heroic dungeon is dead. With the previous bosses just having dropped blue gear, you'll finally get an epic reward. Hmmm, it's plate with +int and +spellpower bonus. There is no paladin in your group. Disenchant, and get a shard which isn't even worth much any more nowadays. Fortunately this was the daily heroic, so you also get 2 Emblem of Triumph, and you picked up Emblems of Conquest and maybe some stone keeper's shards as well if your faction controls Wintergrasp. Sure, the handful of tokens you get from one run won't buy you anything yet. But ultimately the gear you will be able to buy with the tokens is even better than the potential epic loot drop. To the point that even people who couldn't possibly find a gear upgrade in a heroic dungeon are still doing heroics for the tokens. Is World of Warcraft moving towards a reward system which is more and more dominated by tokens? And is that the reward system of MMORPGs of the future?

Epic loot drops are a bit like a lottery, and many people like lottery systems like that. Oh joy, the tanking trinket in Trial of Champions normal dropped! But the other side of the coin is the frustration of the guy who does toc normal ten times and never gets the trinket. The vendor sale value of an epic nobody needs is just a few gold pieces, the auction house values of a shard if you have a disenchanter not much better, and so there is a huge gap between getting a bad drop, or a useful epic, which if you compare it to the price of BoE epics on the AH can easily be worth a thousand gold or more. So without tokens, a heroic run is either rewarded by less money than you would have gotten doing dailies in the same time, or something extremely useful. That appeals to the gambler in us, but can be extremely frustrating if we have a bad streak.

Epic loot tables also influence who wants to go where. Trial of Champions on normal potentially giving that extremely good tanking trinket means that this is the one dungeon for which you can easily find a tank. But not necessarily a healer, because there isn't an equally attractive piece of healing gear on the loot tables. Meanwhile the healers are queueing up in front of a another heroic, where the healing gear is to be found, but can find no tank, because the place gives no tanking gear.

Add tokens to the mix, and things are looking up. Getting a group together for the daily heroic is a lot easier than for anywhere else, because of the guaranteed reward. And as everyone can spend his tokens on whatever gear he needs, everybody is equally interested. You can even use your tokens to buy gear for your off-spec, without the holy priest getting into discussions with the mage on whether the priest is allowed to roll for dps cloth for his shadow spec.

As the latest WoW patches showed, tokens can also revive content that was threatened with becoming redundant. In vanilla WoW, once you had the gear from Molten Core, there was absolutely no reason to still run 5-man dungeons. Today doing 5-man heroics is still a very big part of the WoW endgame, even for people who will find no gear upgrade on the heroics loot tables any more. That also involves more mixing between raiders and non-raiders, which can be a good thing. Instead of being stuck with one particular slice of content, the one which is just easy enough to yield loot upgrades for you, players in the end game now have a good reason to go back to 5-man content, which is a lot easier to get going outside typical raid times.

So the question now is, will loot drops become less and less important, until they completely disappear in some future WoW expansion or next-generation MMORPG? Will we arrive at a situation where ninja-looting and DKP systems became a thing of the past, because everybody just gets some tokens for the boss kill? Or is the gambling aspect of epic loot drops a necessary attraction for the end game?
Comments:
The thing with tokens is that they force grinding. You know exactly how many times you will need to run a daily heroic to get enough badges to buy whichever item you want.

It's an absolute killer for people with less time. I am finding this now that I'm busy with RL stuff, I don't have time to grind X instances. It won't matter too much to me, I can skip the triumph gear for now, but random loot meant that you always had the chance of getting something useful even if you only had time for a single run.

With tokens, you know you have no chance.

They could address this by letting the end boss drop random amounts of tokens. It's a bit dull but leaves the possibility that you could get lucky on your single run.
 
One potential pitfall is that tokens are a somewhat of a blunt instrument when balancing risk versus reward. If the difference between a hard instance and an easy instance is just the amount of tokens, it will be more worthwhile to do the easy instance several times. Why run after the carrot on a stick when there's a carrot field nearby?-)
 
You know exactly how many times you will need to run a daily heroic to get enough badges to buy whichever item you want. It's an absolute killer for people with less time.

Sorry, but statistically you need to run the heroic with the 10% drop chance exactly as often as you need to run the heroic which gives 3 out of the 30 tokens you need, 10 times. Yes, with the 10% drop chance you can get lucky and find the item on your first run. But you could also do the dungeon 20 times and still not find it.

Overall the number of heroic runs required is just the same, and in the individual case the random loot drop can be a bigger killer for the unlucky player. With tokens not only do you know you need exactly 10 runs, but you also have the choice of doing 10 different dungeons instead of the same one 10 times.
 
Tobold,

you speak again out of my heart. I like the token system so much more. I am usually extremly unlucky and that lucks needs to be involved does not make much sense for me.

I like even the fact that I am able to decide which part of my equip I would like to exchange, since I have lot of possibilities. I can opt for the new T9 or update some urgent items, like where I sill have ilvl200 epics.

At the moment I am really satisfiedd with the current situation. The mix of loot and tokes seems a great solution for the loot drama.
Which is even more random for a core PUG'er that has no access to a safeline like DKP system.

Only token would look to me a little bit odd at the moment, but for sure worth considering.
 
Tobold, I can see the benefits of tokens but I think they are dumbing down the fun of instances. Killing the big bad boss for a couple of smarties is pretty dull. Nothing beats getting the worlds most epic sword ever, in a dungeon, with your friends (or even a pug, if you have to), w00t! Handing in 100 tokens to a vendor... somewhere, barely feels epic, even if the item is.

I think WOW should reduce the reliance on tokens and make the loot tables smart, not random. Bosses should always drop loot that is useful for at least one member of the party, at the very least.

I know Blizzard won't do this, because it would reduce the re-playability of instances. Quite simply you'd get to a point where you would run out of things to to, run out of content to play.

A few months back my wife kept running Nexus heroic, over and over and over. More times than I think I have ever run any instance. When I asked her why, she told me that it was an easy heroic and it had a higher number of bosses, therefore it was easy to farm tokens.... not my idea of fun, but I don't love my wife any less lol
 
At this point the WoW instance design seeks to accommodate all three 'loot disbursement’ methods (and more) at the same time:
- You get the random loot table drops
- You get emblems
- Some bosses drop tokens

Additionally, some tokens can be bought for badges, and you get Stone Shards too if your faction controls WG. Add to that the various crafted BOE items and BOE raid drops that can be farmed or bought for gold.

Gearing up is easy in WoW, though it is a grind no matter how you slice it.
 
Loot drops are exciting, in a sense, but I have two words to describe why I prefer tokens in a general sense. Spellpower plate. Here you have an item that is used by exactly 1/30 of the possible character specs in the game, but it seems to drop more often than that would warrant. Also, totems, idols, and sigils have similar problems.

Moving to a more token oriented system helps to reduce the number of fringe items that have to drop from bosses. Nothing is more annoying than pushing your limits as a raid and then ending up with nothing that anyone can use.
 
Well, I must say I like the alternative of "intelligent" loot tables: Overall there are more items on the loot table, but only those that people can actually use ever drop. Even probabilities could change with group composition, so if there are 4 plate wearers and 1 cloth wearer, 80% of drops are plate, and 20% are cloth. The drops could include "off-spec", so tanks could find dps plate for example, but in a group with a death knight and a warrior no spellpower plate would drop.
 
The "surprise" element of random loot table drops does add to the game experience IMO. It can be a bit annoying with very rare loot (e.g. high level instance caster weapons), thou this again makes the few drops even more appreciated.

A system that relies purely on tokens sounds quite boring. Bascially everyone would just farm tokens and purchase BiS items.

IMO Blizzard handles the situation quite smart with their current system. They have "best of both world" approach:
a) random loot table drops
b) tier tokens useable by multiple classes
c) emblem tokens to gear up certain slots over time in case your upgrade never dropped via a) or b)
 
Or is the gambling aspect of epic loot drops a necessary attraction for the end game?

I'm reminded of a Futurama episode.

Narrator: You are entering the realm which is unusual. Maybe it's magic or contains some kind of monster. The second one. Prepare to enter... The Scary Door. Please send a man 'round back and pick up Clyde Smith, a professional gambler who's about to have an unfortunate accident.
Clyde Smith: [Smith is run over by a car, then awakes in a casino. He plays the slot machine and wins] Ha-ha-ha! A casino where I'm winning? That car must've killed me. I must be in heaven!
[wins again]
Clyde Smith: A casino where I always win. That's boring. I must really be... in HELL!
 
I have been a fan of the token system since its inseption. There is nothing more frustrating than going into instance after instance and not even getting closer to an upgrade. Now, you have a chance to upgrade through badges and even rep gains giving more reason to keep coming back.

As far as a "smart" loot table, the only instance I really feel it's necessary for is VoA. If you happen to have any class voids in your group, it seems like there is a 100% drop rate on a tier piece for that class. Since every single piece has a 10% chance to be usefull to any given player, it would be nice if we could limit the not even potentially useful drops.
 
Some amount of randomness is definitely necessary for fun. At this point, no one's actually running the heroics for the drops, only for the emblems. And it feels like work.
 
I really hate luck-based drops. I'm currently in the process of completing the "A mountain of mounts"-achievement, which means that I have to farm several luckbased mounts and its really horrible. I'm exalted with Argent Dawn on at least 4 different characters by running Stratholme, yet I haven't seen the skeleton-mount drop even once. At the moment I do this instance about 10 times a day for weeks without luck. Same thing with Trial of the Champion heroic, I have done this instance every day since it was released without missing a single id, but I haven't been able to get my cloak yet.

I feel like those random things have been a part of the recipe since the old days of pen and paper and nobody has ever critically evaluated them again. Would it be so difficult to balance the mount thing out by giving out invisible buffs and debuffs that stack and improve your "luck-factor" when you tried to get something and were unlucky or decrease your luck-factor if you got something?
Like.. each time I do Stratholme I get +1% Strat-Mount-Luck and after about 100 runs I am nearly guaranteed to get it. And after I got I get 100 stacks of Bad Luck making it really unlikely to get any other luck-based mount until I worked them off?

As it is now I played this game for over 5 years and have never gotten any luck-based mount, but I know several guys who got about 5-6 of them from Anzu to the Blue Protodrake.
 
I've seen both sides of it. My first 6 months of raiding in vanilla wow I got no upgrades because nothing ever dropped I could use. But tokens are boring. Luck based drops are like a raffle. Everyone gets that excited air like a kid unwrapping a xmas present. Grinding out tokens is a gauranteed way to get your gear but takes all element of surprise and chance completly out of the game.

I think having both is a wise thing. When players have bad luck and don't see drops they still get rewarded. But the chance of that surprise upgrade keeps things a bit more exciting.


I hope MMO's don't go to a mathmatical formulaic run x instances x times to gaurantee x reward for every single reward in game. That would be a painfully grindy mess.
 
I think tokens should be used for drops that "everyone" will want that are hard to replace elsewhere ... things like BiS trinkets or rings is a good example.

But I wouldn't want everything off tokens, as people said all that ends up getting run are the Nexuses and Gundraks of the world since they yield the most badges/hour.

"Smart" loot tables, while clever on paper, wouldn't work well in practice in my opinion. It very much goes against the "bring the player not the class" mantra, and abuse will be rampant. And really, if you're literally handed the items just for showing up, why even subscribe except for your guild/PM chat windows. The existing badge system basically is "smart loot" anyway.

Blizzard's current way is pretty balanced, with room to tweak a couple of things.
 
I think WoW will go more and more towards token systems. Sadly they're doing that because it's easier than fixing their otherwise broken normal loot system.

They COULD implement a system that would look at group composition when an instance is spawned and itemize the bosses according to the group (i.e., no plate users, no plate drops). Further, they could exclude drops that are already equipped and can't be used by anyone else (one plate user, already wearing the plate chest, plate chest won't drop). They could, but they won't, because it would require a fair amount of work and the token system is easier and "better" since it encourages grinding, and grinding = more sub time.

They could also just itemize the frigging dungeons better. Good healing loot being in one dungeon and good tanking loot being in another is idiotic design. Every dungeon should over something good for every class, otherwise you limit the ability to form groups for that dungeon.
 
I like the combination of both systems. A purely badge/token-based system exposes the grind too much by making the calculation transparent: "I have to run N heroics to get enough badges to buy my next BIS item." It also feels too much like real-life work, where my pay is largely constant on a day-to-day basis.

Statistically, it would be the same to grind tokens as to get a percentage drop, but the latter makes it more "fun" because of the risk. When I'm looking for something fun to do, I can work towards N% of my next item (through rep or badges) or gamble on a 1/P chance of getting a special trinket that only drops in a particular dungeon. I don't gamble in real life, but I like a bit of it (just a bit) in WoW.
 
Tokens are just another currency. It's not that far removed from just giving everyone in the raid gold; they just have to use tokens at different vendors. As such, it definitely feels a bit more mundane and "workish", but it also feels like you actually got something out of a run. The lottery system has the potential to be way more grindy and repetitive simply because you can hit a bad string in the RNG. Yes, you can get lucky, but on balance, the psychological effects of "I actually made progress this run" means more to me than "I might get something great this time".

As a casual player, I am far more inclined to like the system where any session I manage to work into my schedule gives me *something* more than a shot at a jackpot.

Adaptive loot tables are a good alternative. There is definitely a psychological shift when you get a *thing* rather than just more money or an alternate currency. If nothing else, *things* can even be more useful as they are deconstructed into raw materials that might sell for more than the original item would have. (Which is a curious reversal of the value and utility measurements of currency vs. *things*.)

It would also be interesting to combine the two. Adaptive loot tables *and* tokens.
 
At the risk of sounding too easily pleased, I actually like the system the way it is.

Tokens are an incentive for my well-geared raiding friends to run heroics with my just-turned 80 alts as I gear them up. And alts are a fact of life now so I'm sure I'm not the only one who benefits from this. Even with well-geared toons it is almost like a personal DKP system (oooh now there is an interesting thought...) that makes pugs a little more bearable.

And even though I might be lynched for suggesting it, the addition of even more very rare, non-essential items and pets can only add to the thrill of replaying instances. Yes, yes, I know, but you don't have to grind them. Why do people feel the need (or entitlement, even) to have access to every item in the game?
 
I would prefer a smart loot system that also has tokens for those that don't get any drops.
 
"random loot meant that you always had the chance of getting something useful even if you only had time for a single run"
 
This post got me thinking about different ways to do loot drops.

Why do we even have specific stats on pieces of gear? Why can't a mob simply drop an item that has and item level and a slot? Everyone would be able to roll on it equally and the stats would conform to your character once you equip it. This would get rid of the useless gear that drops, because every piece could potentially go to every member.

I guess the main problem I see with this is that it would take less time to gear up, and that goes against the subscription model of MMOs. Just thought I'd throw it out there as an alternative model for loot drops.
 
"I feel like those random things have been a part of the recipe since the old days of pen and paper and nobody has ever critically evaluated them again"

Well the pen & paper games _have_ evaluated them again. D&D4 for example doesn't give out fixed loot in adventures, it gives out parcels of an approximate value, and the DM picks out items that the party can use. DMs are encouraged to listen in on what players talk about wanting, or ask them directly (or indirectly).

In WoW terms, items only drop for class and talent trees that can use them. Only for secondary trees if the players have activated them recently. And magically it reads their tells to folks and can see what they really want :-)

Going full circle D&D4 also steals the disenchanting idea from WoW (and simplifies it) and lets you make new items out of old items. You need to scrap about 4x the value of what you want to create, and it takes time (hand-waved non-play time, so you don't get bored by it, but you can't do it between 2 fights), and you can only make items "of and below" your level, while you can find items up to 2 levels past yours.

The upside AND downside is you won't end up with a ring of water breathing unless you are going to need one soon. The upside is no wasted loot. The downside is it spoils the surprise. The other downside is it is unlikely you will have a water breathing ring the DM didn't think you would need, but you can find a way to make it VERY useful.


...

As far as WoW goes, I think smarter loot tables (for BOP items) would be nice. Limit drops to items that the classes that are present can use. Better yet if it is weighted towards talent trees that are active or secondary (i.e. only rarely drop spell power plate if the only pally who is present is ret...it might inspire them to start an off-off-set; never drop spellpower plate if there are no pallys).

Because WoW doesn't really know what is an upgrade or not (ilevel doesn't tell the whole story) I wouldn't bias it towards upgrades.

Think about it like the LK drop quests, they quietly increase the drop rate so you never get totally screwed by the RNG. They could do a similar thing with dungeon loot.

It is harder because it isn't as clear what is wanted, but more importantly it might be less desirable because it would shorten the amount of time particular content holds an upgrade. The trick is finding the sweet spot between making that content "last" and making getting an upgrade so unlikely that folks give up.
 
Throughout all of BC I never saw the t4 pally helm token drop from Prince. It was always Hunter, Mage, Warlock...ugh. Devilshark Cape drops one month before WOTLK. Then I finally got Figurine of the Colossus one week before wrath comes out. I've only seen Moroes Pocket Watch drop once and lost it to a resto druid. And only seen Mongoose drop twice and on one run lost it to a priest while I was on my alt enchanter. That's just to name a few of the items that still irk me to this day because of RNG reward loot tables.

It's just terrible to see items dropping from the loot table which no one in your raid or party can use and has to be d/e'd or sold to vendors. I am in total favor for a token reward system. My time and effort shouldn't be rewarded with total reliance on randomness. Not only that, once new content comes along all those items I've been putting so much time into getting, has now become less valuable compared to the latest greatest epics from XYZ.
 
Tokens are great way to calm the fustration of loosing a good drop. With that said, it is not nearly as exciting or fun to save up weeks worth of tokens for one
piece of gear.

To put it into percpective, this weekend I purchased my ilvl 226 helm that I've been saving for since the patch. It wasn't much of
an upgrade because running H ToC got me an ilvl 219 helm. However I really wanted the bad ass looking warlock t8, and there was not much else I could spend the badges on so I got the helm. I was happy to have finally got the helm, but there was no excitiment about it.

Late this weekend I ran naxx 25. The Four Hourmen dropped Damnation: Epic ilvl 213 statt. My warlock is only a few weeks into being level 80 and naxx 25 was his first raid. I rolled 80 and I won. I was happy, and excited, and way more eudorphines were released because this was something spontaneous, something I couldn't gaurentee I would get.

If I had to run naxx 25 10 times to get the staff it wouldn't be as fun. Random drops are fun and exciting because sometimes you get something really good and you didn't expect it. I got the black heart on my tank on my first normal ToC run...same thing super exciting.

Tokens = Boring, un-fustrating, predictable.

Drops = exciting, risky, possibly fustrating.
 
I'm a casual player who is trying to get back into it after most of the Summer off. There are too damn many different kinds of tokens! It takes so much time to figure out what I need for what gear, where to buy it, where to farm it. Whatever happened to gold and loot?

To make matters worse, I'm now trying PvP and that's another stupid token system.

I'm not sure I have the attention span at this point. I'm hoping that Gevlon is right and that gear really matters minimally.
 
I'm all for random drop, along with badge systems working in parallel like Blizzard does now..

The problem is what you can buy with the badges. Tokens should be used to buy useful stuff: gems, recipes, glyphs, mats, maybe some oddball pieces of gear, are all possibilities. But the badge items must not supercede the boss drops, as is the case now. Once that happens, it becomes all about the badges and that's what makes it less fun and 'grindy'.


Basically, if a players' primary objective when doing a run is to get the badges, then the system is failing. Badges should be a nice side benefit, nothing more. You didn't get the drop you wanted off the boss, but hey you get some badges at least.
 
Today doing 5-man heroics is still a very big part of the WoW endgame...


Couldn't disagree more. Heroics were silly easy the moment you turned 80 and serve zero purpose (unless you find em fun...) in WotLK end-game.
 
Right now, "token" gear fills a niche in WoW or stepping stone in gear progression.

This is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that VERY few "token" items are Best-In-Slot (BiS) items. Even the tier pieces have better non-set counterparts.

So if "tokens" aren't there to provide the very best equipment, what is the purpose?

The purpose is to get a "near"-grade item that helps players fill in the gap until they can get a BiS item.

In other words, the intent is to provide a method for active players to fill in the gaps rather than being the actual mechanism for "getting" good gear.

It offsets or complements the loot drops, it's not intended to replace them.

For an active raider, that means maybe 1 or 2 pieces of token loot and the rest of it is from loot drops.

Token loot is "good" but not "great" gear. Casuals who don't raid much don't have access or visibility to the "great" gear, so the "good" stuff seems incredible to them. The more experienced players know that it's not BiS and it's really just a fill-in until the better loot drops for them.
 
"I was happy, and excited, and way more eudorphines were released because this was something spontaneous"

This. I forsaw this happening way back when such a system was inroduced in WoW, and saw my fears continue to become a reality in ZG then AQ then Naxx and live on in TBC and of course Wrath. I never really dreamed it would get to the point it has (except in my nightmares). I thought for sure by now the cries of outrage would have stopped the forward momentum towards a system totally dominated by dozens of different types of "tokens" as rewards instead of real actual jaw-dropping pulse-pounding high-fiving your virtual buds crying-tears-of-joy-that I finally GOT-it LOOT.

I was wrong.
 
I think as long as getting new gear means you can't just run a dungeon once, but have to spend time re-doing it, tokens are definitely a system that will be used in the future, not just by WoW, but other online games as well.

I can't see random loot drops going away, however, as it takes away that feeling of "immediate reward" that Blizzard has said is important to WoW, at the very least. Even if the gear ends up being worthless, there is still a moment of anticipation when you click on the corpse.

Tokens are a good way to, as you said, revive dead content. Unfortunately, that content now kind of has a terrible unlife. Seriously, the LAST thing I want to do is go through Halls of Stone, or whichever place AGAIN. I just don't have the stomach to tromp through those places.

While I see the necessity of doing it to help new players / players with less time catch up in terms of where most people are raiding now, its a great idea. But if you've already geared up in that content, having to go through it again just to stay current is less than thrilling. Add to the fact that most of the drops ARE useless now, and it really starts to make the "grinding" feeling come through a little too much.

Still, I think tokens are here to stay, just hopefully not as the ONLY way to get gear.
 
The token system only works good right now because most of the wow population that is going to run 5 man and above content has already geared through it.

If there was no gear ever to be gained from the content then the only instances that would be run would be the one that gave you the most tokens for your time.

You also discount the drops that everyone wants but that are not gear that blizzard has wisely used to keep some content from becoming obsolete. I am talking about mounts that can drop from several raids/instances or the unique bag from sarth, etc.

So I guess to sum it up, right now I cannot think of a system that would be token only based that I would enjoy as much as I currently enjoy the content of WOW.
 
Tokens are so much better than drops it isn't funny. What most people forget is that its very, very easy for your endgame guild to dissolve. If its based on drops and DKP, you can find you just wasted six months of your life for nothing, and you need to find another guild and climb back up the guild ladder to earn a shot at them again.

FFXI had horror stories of people taking years to get single pieces, due to drop rate and player demand: the warlock's tabard from dynamis was notorious for this, because every shell had a lot of red mage mains lotting on a small number of drops. A token system is something all the players have been asking to be added for some time.
 
I certainly hope so. I've always been appalled at the concept of DKP and merit based loot arrangements.

In fact, I'm of the belief that all quest rewards should offer tokens as an option, raid, solo, or otherwise.

= # # =
 
I'm very unlucky with drops that I need (my tankadin had to go to AN like 10 times to get the essence, 10 times to UP to get the sword (funnily I got the blue drake the first time I went there ...), at least 10 times to get Lokens trinket and now 34 times to ToC normal mode for the heart - 8% dropchance my ass). Also I have 4 80s, and 4 in the 70s and it would be impossible to gear them all up with that kind of lootluck. But with emblems it only becomes a matter of time - where I don't depend on that one drop but if it drops the better (read: less frustrating, still happy when an item drops).

Downside:
Organized raids don't go to Naxx anymore so you have to PuG it (just to get that last upgrade from Kel) and you have to deal with 32k tanks that never tanked before, t8/9 geared players with an average iLevel of 219 that fail on Heigan/Thaddius ... HARD [like half the raid dies on the first wave/switch), and suddenly 4H is a showstopper again.
 
I think tokens are great if you already enjoy doing the things that offers them.

If I'm progressing through a dungeon and happen to get tokens that's icing. But if I'm running a dungeon just to get the tokens I won't enjoy it for very long.

I haven't really got many upgrades while going through Ulduar. I heard you could get tokens by running heroics. But I don't run heroics anymore, so the idea of doing it over and over for tokens isn't appealing.

Many of us have been burned by not getting certain loot we've pined over. Or we know someone who has. So the idea of a token reward seems to fix that. But I have a feeling further down the road more people will realize they are on a token farming treadmill.
 
It's basically like leveling up via Quests rather than the old school dungeon grinds. It's a good idea at first and until people get burnt out on it it's fine, but you need to give the player both systems... not just one.
 
Just another mechanic to make WoW more of a place where all mobs are just graphical representations of possible rewards for killing them. This system is akin to tickets obtained from playing games at an arcade that you turn in for a prize, as if there weren't already enough reasons to label WoW as a theme park styled game.

Great for increasing reusability of content, but overall bad for the realism of the WoW universe.
 
Great for increasing reusability of content, but overall bad for the realism of the WoW universe.
Because it's so much more realistic that an enemy may or may not actually have the sword he just used to hit me. Or that the worm I just killed happened to have a breastplate, two sets of gloves and a staff. Let's just say that WoW or any other high fantasy game is not exactly a pinnacle of realism.
 
Either give me intelligent loot tables that dynamically tailor the drops to the party, or tokens. Otherwise it's a crapshoot, and if I want to play against a random number generator I'll pick a game where I can roll the dice more frequently.

Loot tables are my main issue with PvE MMOs.
 
I think that I like the current situation as is.
For me it's almost perfect balance between knowing that I will upgrade some things from tokens and excitement from random drops.

Notice also that Blizzard moved many unpopular drops to the token system like idols, librams, some trinkets etc. It makes the gearing easier/better for me, just because I don't have to hunt a specific drop that is 10 times better than everything else possible (and without it I'd feel gimped, like Idol of Mutilation for example).

Also I think that Blizzard shifted from Heroism/Valor to Conquest/Triumph at the perfect moment to make many casual people playing.
Oh, and for me that shift resulted in Glory of the Hero finally being done (earlier noone in my guild including me was interested in doing this) :)
 
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