Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loot on sale


This post comes with an image, for a change. In case you use a reader and can’t see it, I can tell you that it shows a chart with a drastically falling curve.

It’s not the latest subscriptions statistics from Blizzard (although I’m eagerly waiting for Gronthe’s analysis of Blizzard’s upcoming Q2 report).

No. This curve shows how the DKP price for the best-in-slot trinket Dislodged Foreign Object has developed over time in our guild.

The top score was 161 DKP in March. Tuesday night, time had finally come to me to lay my hands on it, after consequently bidding my max DKP for it every time it has dropped the last six months. I was the only bidder this time and got it for 15 DKP, which is our minimum.

I suppose you could call it a bargain. It was also the last major upgrade I can get from ICC normal modes (which is what we’re doing with only 20 people in the raid), so it felt like coming to a closure.

To be a realist, my character progression has more or less come to an end in Wrath. This was how good Larísa became in this expansion and I’m quite pleased to be honest, at least as far as it concerns gear.

When it comes to experiences, I’m still a little sad that I most likely never will come around to even try Mimron on hardmode or Algalon. But I’ll get over it. The gear though is fine. I bet the start in Cataclysm will be smooth and hopefully it will take a couple of levels before I offer this trinket to an NPC for a couple of gold coins after getting a better one as a quest reward.

The twilight phase of WotLK
It feels as if WotLK definitely is closing down now. The DKP prices are falling rapidly since most loot is sharded or goes to off-specs. And the same goes for AH of course, where you can follow the rapidly decreasing interest for saronites. Once we’ll get a set date for the launch of Cataclysm, the drop rate will increase.

Christina wrote in a very thoughtful comment on a post earlier this week about the overall feeling that WoW is in its twilight phase.

“Summer camp has ended. Or four years of college have come and gone and staying a few extra semesters can't extend the good times from freshmen or sophomore.”

She was referring to the game in a bigger sense of course, and it’s possible that she’s right. I’ll wait until Cataclysm though before I’ll come to a verdict. I’m still hopeful about becoming super-excited over WoW again.

But one thing is for sure – dusk has fallen over WotLK. The shadows are tall on the ground; the light is old and weakened. And there are sales going on in every corner, in the few shops that still are open – I have a feeling that many guilds have closed down for this expansion already.

It’s all about emotions
I was happy about my Dislodged Foreign Object. It’s a lovely trinket – I love the name of it as much as the stats. It’s been an object for my desire for a long time and now it’s mine.

But at the same time I can’t deny that the joy of getting it was a little bit cheapened. Getting it for 161 DKP in March after some crazy competitive bidding would have made my pulse go up. Getting it in July for 15 DKP because no one else wanted it doesn’t.

It's not about rationality. It's about emotions. I know someone who frowns at this kind of stuff. But to me the emotions constitute an essential part of the gaming experience - positive as well as negative. Happiness, disappointment, despair, excitement, love and hate. Take it away and the game loses a bit of its luster.

At this point in the expansion you can't really expect to get any huge emotional kick from loot that you basically don't need for your progress (looking at You, ICC buff) and which will be upgraded within a few months.

The loot is on sale. For a good reason.

22 comments:

Tesh said...

Now, if only the game monetization would follow a similar curve. :P

Klepsacovic said...

WoW gets a bit boring when we stop caring about loot. That makes me wonder what we'd do if we weren't on the hamster wheel at all.

Perdissa said...

Yeah, I get what you mean. Over the past month or so, I got 3 of the items I most desired on my main, including Deathbringer's Will, and 2 other 10HM items I had lusted over ever since ICC started up half a year back.

I was elated for a while, to be sure. But actually getting the loot now makes me feel a little empty. Clearly, gear isn't the barrier holding back progression, or what passes for progression in these twilight days. In fact, we have cleared what we had set out to clear in ICC, and gear isn't the barrier holding us back from what we can't clear.

Either way, my point is.. I think I was a lot more excited when I was hoping to win the drop every week than now, when I actually have it. Looking back, I'm actually glad I didn't win the trinket the very first time we downed Saurfang, as the desire to upgrade my gear helped to fuel my enthusiasm week after week.

On the dusk analogy, it got me daydreaming about Azeroth for some reason. And I pictured a world when the Lich King has finally fallen. The world is finally at peace after years of war. Soldiers fighting in the Argent Crusade who have not seen their families in years are finally returning home. Some may not have families to return to, others may have fallen in battle. Some, who have been consumed by vengence all these years, are suddenly lost for purpose.

It is a time of springtime renewal, after the harsh winter brought about by the Lich King. Heroes are finally able to hang up their swords and armour, hang out with friends and relax.. until the next danger threatens Aezeroth again.

Rodolfo said...

Or maybe DKP is broken (and can be gamed) and over time all curves look like the one you posted. Switch to EPGP.

Mycroft said...

Congratulations!

Speaking of emotions, one benefit we gnomes have is just the act of logging in to a gnome character is cause to smile. :)

Xaxziminrax the Second said...

>WoW gets a bit boring when we stop caring about loot.

>But actually getting the loot now makes me feel a little empty.

I don't understand. Can someone write a blog post about these feelings and put it in a simple way?

>one benefit we gnomes have is just the act of logging in to a gnome character is cause to smile. :)

This is what I thought it was all about. The experience, the 'journey.'

Imoh said...

I'm seeing a lot of posts that are talking about how WotLK is winding down, but I'm not feeling it yet, once HLK25 goes down I'll probably feel it but until then I'm just in the end of tier grind. Then again, I'm not lucky enough to be able to say my gear is even close to being finished, we've had the worst luck with caster trinkets imaginable.

Larísa said...

@Tesh: Indeed!

@Klepsacovic: Back to the sandbox, exploring the world you mean? Scary ;) Honestly I think there's plenty of stuff to do in the game, for instance in the terms of roleplaying. But it might take a bit more of effort, imagination and energy than just dealing with scripted encounters...
It isn't black and white of course and I don't know how many times I've stated on this blog that it's not about the loot, it's about the journey... But to be really honest with myself - if you're a raider, even if the loot is NOT the goal, it adds a little bit of excitement and enjoyment. It's not totally uninteresting. That's what I'm trying to say. With the risk of being flamed...

@Perdissa: I think you're onto something there. When you don't actually need those upgrades for your progression - when beating the hardmodes is about execution, doing the dance perfect, and nothing else, a little bit of the motivation for loot upgrades get lost.

I loved your imaginary picture of the twilight over Azeroth. I wish something like that happened. But we all know it never does... The curse of an MMO. We rarely have any impact on the world. I figure we just have to wait for the Cataclysmic events to start. Even though I can't imagine they would lead to for instance ICC closing down since LK is defeated... That would be pretty cool though! And before starting to argue against it - YES I understand that cropping out content that everyone hasn't seen yet is a waste of effort and development resources. It will have to remain a fantasy.

@Rodolfo: I'm actually very pleased with the DKP system we have. I know all systems have their pros and cons, but I think ours works decently well. In this case with a best-in-slot trinket, what the system does is to help to set up a certain order in which people will get this trinket. Everyone can't get it first, for obvious reasons. This time I was the last one to get it, but on the other hand I had other upgrades earlier, since I spent my DKP on those. And now that I get it so cheap this late, it makes sense. I won't use the trinket for that long after all. It's a bit like when they're selling out the summer clothes in the stores to make place for the autumn collection.

@Mycroft: Thanks! And that's true. And being a mage is even better. Mirror image = four gnomes making me smile. And ad to this the ZA trinket which summons 3 miniature gnomes and it's pure awesomeness. An army of gnomes! Just wait until cata when we can get an all-gnomish raid group with the gnome priests. If you have two mages in the group with mirror images... Wow! Lots of smiling there!

@Xaxziminrax the Second: As I tried to say above: It's definitely a LOT about the journey and I'm definitely not the most gear motivated player you've seen around. Far from. And I've stated this so many times. But still a bis-upgrade adds a spark and enjoyment to the game. And it should I think! Character development - making it more powerful in different ways - is one of the game engines in WoW, it's built into the core of the game design I'd say.

@Imoh: If we could gather a 25 man raid and be able to do hardmodes in ICC I'd definitely feel the same as you. But currently we can't. We can get 20 people if we're including out-of-guild friends. It makes the normals slightly more challenging, but it's still... quite a bit the same thing as we've been doing for months. As it is we're much doing it in order to complete the Shadowmorne for the guild. I think we have 10 more shards to go...

Valdu said...

My last big loot moment was winning an epic hat for my Hunter in one of the 'new' Icecrown 5 mans... forgot which one, but think it might have been PoS.

Bad experience with WotLK raiding here....

My raiding experience in Wrath of the Lich King is limited to a single Naxx run in a pseudo PuG, that managed to get as far as that big Abomination guy (forgot his name), but unfortunately I was kicked for constantly dieing in this damned corridor with slimes that march across your path...


I still have bloody nightmares about that 'slime corridor' to this day, and my conclusive failure to cross it. Everyone else in the raid seemed to have no trouble whatsoever, but I just died, and died, and died, and died... time after time after time - enter red paper doll in corner of my screen.

The damned creatures actually seemed to be miles away from me.. but somehow they still killed me, seemingly from a distance via telekinesis.

This basically put me off any kind of raiding for life, in the belief that I'm basically not good enough, and I've never looked back since.

The other thing is that (reading the forums, as you do) the DPS requirements seem to have gone over somewhere past the roof, into the high stratosphere. I've been reading a lot of stuff on the forums about how 'entry level raiders need to pull off a minimum of 10k DPS' - I assume this is pure, unbuffed single target DPS?

I also assume that these guys, as soon as they hit level 80, can effortlessly go up to a target dummy, and just blast out 10k DPS without breaking a sweat.

I've even read posts from people worried that their '10k was too low', with tips from others about how to improve it, as '13-15k is around average' (with the unwritten subtext that this still means you suck - but at least you are trying, and not being carried).

My own, pathetic 2-3k DPS assures me that I'd probably be about as valuable to a raid group as a pork butcher at a vegan's convention.

Not that I've had a bad time during WoTLK, or particularly missed the raiding - nay nay, and thrice nay! Some of the best role playing I've ever had, including a hopeless, heart-broken, one-sided romantic involvement, an allergy to cats, run-ins with several rather inept would-be cultists, and a botched attempt to save a vegetable patch from almost certain destruction, form the backdrop of the last expansion.

.. Oh and I also became pretty good at jousting, and shoving a stick down a wyrm's throat, which is always important.

In any case, I really hope you enjoy your trinkety thing Larisa -not that I have much knowledge of it, but it looks fab. I'm sure you'll get some use out of it, despite the (as you described) relative anticlimax of the accomplishment. I do feel that the loot has an intrinsic value of it's own, regardless of the DKP/winding down issue, whin considered against the fact that a lot of effort was clearly required to get hold of it - coordinating something as complex and 'leet' as doing ICC cannot be easy, and any rewards are surely fully deserved.

antoxa said...

Little strange that you dismissed doing mimi hardmode or algalon. Why not, the mid-expansion lull was always the perfect time to grab your 20 not-currently-slacking people and do some old world content that IS still FUN.
Go ahead and do it :)

Gevlon said...

Want to get Mim hard and Algalon? Then grow that little mage on Agamaggan. They are definitely on my list too!

Larísa said...

@Valdu: why are you linking your name to some damned music site and not to your own blog? You're a brilliant writer. You know you want it!

I definitely missed the RP sides of Wrath and when you put it that way I realize that I really haven't seen the entire expansion, only a tiny little part of it. Sure, I killed every single raid boss apart from Alagalon, not only once, but repetedly. I don't want to think about how many times I completed instances like UP and Occulus. It makes me cringe. But I never saved that vegetable patch and I never had that romantic involvement. I've probably missed out more than I realize. About "shoving a stick down a wyrm's throat", which one was that? The spear quest at sons of Hodir? Because I kept failing at that. Never got the hang of it. Kudos to you in that case.

On the other hand I learned to run through the slime frogger. Don't ask me how, but I suspect that a not too shabby lag situation helped a great deal. And I learned the trick, to aim to run in right behind a slime, and to stop up an wait if necessary. However it WAS an entertaining passage. I remember someone in the guild making a movie, showing officers failing at this. Very popular!

I had far worse problems with the Heigan dance, but finally I learned that step too, at least as long as my connection and fps worked decently well. that was a relief!
Kicking someone for failing at frogger is silly imho. Someone could have shielded you or a lock summoning you over. Not such a big deal.

@Antoxa: I'm dismissing it because I'm a realist. The ones in the guild who was keen on doing this have already done it or aren't with us anymore. The interest among the ones who are still raiding is as far as i can judge too low to get a 10 man group together for it. So unless I by some crazy luck find a pug aiming for this, it isn't likely to happen - regardless of my own interest in it.

@Gevlon: some pep-talk, wanting to make me level faster, heh? Lvl 23 not good enough for Ulduar?
Proably not...

But who knows. No release yet date and for all we know Cata might not come until November. So who knows? Maybe it will be Larísa the imposer who gets this done? I wouldn't rule it out completely, but tbh I don't think it's that likely either. It depends on the time horizon.

Rodolfo said...

@Larisa

EPGP does establish a priority but is not vulnerable to price fixing like a straightforward DKP system.

Check http://www.epgpweb.com/help/system

Anaia said...

I never cared about gear in TBC or Vanilla. Not the way I do now. I hated having T4 shoulders back in the day because they were the ugliest things ever and they screamed Kara when I wanted them to sing Black Temple.

After repeatedly losing the T6 shoulders to much better geared guild mates, and having downed a bottle of red wine, I had a hissy fit over it on vent. That I don't even remember.

The next time the token dropped, there was a long silence on vent and everyone passed. And I felt horrible and was trying to get people to bid on them. Because I really didn't care about gear, I just wanted shoulders that looked nice.

Never go on vent on a red wine trip by the way. I got the T6 shoulders and I was so embarrassed I stayed permanently shape-shifted so noone could see them.

In Wrath, it's not even about gear. It's all about score. Hunters in tank rings with a high ilvl. Ret pallies rolling on cloth and complaing that their dps isn't where it should be.

It's a crazy world. And still, I love it and I continue to play.

Edit: I deleted my above comment to edit for clarity.

Tesh said...

From Perdissa..."In fact, we have cleared what we had set out to clear in ICC, and gear isn't the barrier holding us back from what we can't clear."

To me, that's a good thing. I'd much rather progression be about player skill than running the loot treadmill.

Yeah, I'm probably playing the wrong game. ;)

Valdu said...

Hehe... er... Well, the music is actually my own. I is an unsigned (and frustrated) recording-type-artist, and so I usually link my work within signatures etc. as a force of pure habit. It's the only real representation of myself I currently allow to exist on the net.

I've not done any actual blogging as such, though I've occasionally flirted with the idea. Perhaps a time will come when it seems the right thing to do.

When it comes to putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) My written work mostly consists of fiction and stories; either WoW fan fiction, or completely unrelated fiction; together with the occasional essay thinly disguised as a rant... and (embarrasingly) the wiki in which a lot of of it was hosted has long since gone down the dumper.

This is (I think) like... the third time something like this has happened; which a superstitious or suspicious person might begin to attribute to fate... or the nefarious wiles of The Evil Pots and Pans Robot...

My search for a new none-evaporating and suitable (in terms of ticking every box) place to host my writingz-n-stoof has, thus far, proved futile. But the search continues unabated.

timefortincan said...

Oh, I know. I got http://www.wowhead.com/item=50661 - the Corp'rethar Ceremonial Crown last night for 1dkp - and I would have paid more....

Carra said...

Ah, the DKP wars.

I've spent a long time not bidding on anything. What's the point in bidding on the tier tokens? Two months after release I could just pick them up for minimum DKP.

I'd just blow my DKP on the end BIS cross class items which are rare.

Larísa said...

@Anaia: That’s why I love DKP so much. There just isn’t any reason or room for whining about gear issues. Not even when you’ve had a bottle of wine.

@Valdu: Just so you know: my inn is always open for your writings. If you’d ever like to expand your comments into a blog post or write about something different, just toss me a letter. I’d be happy and honoured to have you appearing as a guest writer.

@Timefortincan: Grats nevertheless!

@Carra: I bid pretty high for the tier tokens for the simple reason that they were huge upgrades and needed at that time – not two months later with an increasing buff. Bad strategy? Maybe. But I got decent gear fairly quickly in ICC.

antoxa said...

ahh well... if only you were horde :|

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