re: Hard mode soccer04/12/2010
Reading Gev’s post here, I think that the analogy is very apt. I am a big fan of relating WoW to team sports, as there is team work and cooperation involved in end game content.
Some of the comments decry the choice of analogy, saying that it isn’t equivalent, as there is no new content unlocked at higher levels of play in soccer, but this really isn’t true. One of the reasons why some college sports programs are better than others is that the facilities are so much better. There is a major difference between playing on an open field with sticks marking the goal posts and playing on an Olympic field. The higher you progress in a sport the bigger the rewards (money, fame, etc), the more complications there are to deal with (crowds, more stringent rules, bigger penalties for failure) and the more difficult the playing is. If that isn’t -exactly- like raiding in WoW, I don’t know what is.
One of the commentors on the post suggested the idea of skiing as a better analogy and I think that’s an excellent one. All skiers pay the same amount to access the slopes, but you have to pass certain skill checks to gain access to the most difficult runs. You have to first start on the bunny slopes and work your way up. What Blizzard has decided to do is to make the black rated slopes easier so that more people can use them. People without the skills to really ski runs of that level gain the illusion of being able to. Yes, more people will be able to use those slopes, but the loss of challenge to those already on that rank is great. It is similar to the “dumbing down” factor in U.S. public education that has been occurring in some ways. (Another topic, of course, but an equal comparison in my mind.)
Why have I been thinking about all this? Because I am -bored.- I am utterly bored with raiding in ways that I never was in TBC. It is not helped by the fact that healing has this odd combination of mind-numbing redundancy (“Everyone is doing their job well, time for my rotation”) and break-neck stress (“arg, everything is going to pot, I need to heal like a mad thing and pop all my cooldowns and arrrrg!!!”). My raiding group is stuck right now due to a terrible run of DCs on every single fight and by human error. It is very hard to stay focused and in a dedicated mind-set when you see people making the same mistakes over and over again. Plus, I heal 25 mans on my paladin. Healadin healing is more boring than any other healer, I kid you not.
Recently, I’ve been having to literally force myself to log on. Even PvP is becoming a teeth-grinding experience, what with the flood of people from the new random battleground feature. By all means, join in the fun, but please at least ask around to find out what you should be doing and for gods’ sakes make yourself the blue quality PvP gear. (Arcane mages excluded, of course. Man, anything involving wizards makes me want to cry sometimes!) I am certainly not a PvP hero, just look at my arena rating! But it makes me want to bang my head against my desk when I enter a WSG and the majority of our side are on defense in our flag room.
So yes, accessibility has very much been on my mind as of late. Specifically, where is the line where a game becomes -too- accessable and the quality drops because of it? I’m sure I have no idea of the answer, but it makes for interesting thinking.