“Dad, I really like baseball. But mostly I like hitting. Can I just hit and not play in the field?”
“Dad, I love playing baseball games, but I don’t like practice. Can I just do the games and skip practice?”
These are both things that my son has said to me during his time playing little league baseball. Its natural for a child, with a limited worldview, to want to focus only on the things that are fun and try to avoid the things that are less fun. As we age, we learn that sometimes you take the bad with the good, and you endure the dull parts in order to reach the enjoyable parts.
We’re a month into MoP now and there have been a wide range of blog and forum posts giving impressions and opinions of the current expansion. Many, if not most, are positive. However, there is definitely an undercurrent in a lot of the criticisms that sound a lot like my son.
“I don’t want to do dailies. I just want to raid and get all my Valor from that.”
“Valor Point gear shouldn’t be tied to reputation. I hate rep grinds.”
“There should be more portals in Pandaria. It takes too long to run and fly everywhere.”
“Bring back tabards so that I can just grind dungeons for my rep.”
All of these posts are essentially the same. They say that the part of the game that the author likes should be emphasized, and the part that they don’t enjoy should be eliminated. By structuring the game that way, Blizzard is slapping them in the face.
This is a little petulant.
“But its a game!” They would say. ”I shouldn’t have to do the parts that I don’t like!” First, I would challenge the assertion that you *have* to do them. Second, in chess do you get to move your queen without moving your pawns? In Monopoly can you just ignore the Go To Jail space because it slows down your real estate purchases? In poker, can you flip through the deck to find the cards you need, because folding isn’t fun? Games have a multitude of facets, some more fun than others.
If the dailies are so tedious, then why do them? A word that is thrown around a lot is “mandatory”. As in, “I hate dailies, but Blizzard has made them mandatory.” If you step back and look objectively, you’ll see that nothing is mandatory.
“But we have to optimize!” the raiders will say. ”How can we jump into heroic modes if we don’t have all of the best possible gear in every slot?”
This, to me, is a matter of patience and being spoiled. Gear flowed so easily in the last expansion. At the end of both Wrath and Cataclysm you could hit the level cap and then get equipped in full epics within a day or two. We’ve been terribly gear-spoiled.
Also, people have no self-control. We see dailies and reputations and say OMG I HAVE TO DO THAT BECAUSE ITS THERE. Rein it in. You’ve probably got two years with this expansion. You can get the reputation to exalted later. Or next year.
Finally, we have lost our patience. For some, the only goal is to get into heroic raids as fast as possible. The leveling and gearing process is seen as just an obstacle, rather than a part of the game itself. They don’t want to repeat the normal raids over and over until they get the drops they need. By gating the epic gear with reputation requirements, Blizzard has forced them to go slowly.
If you don’t want to do dailies for reputation, that’s fine. Gear is readily available through heroic instances, then LFR and then normal mode raids. Get your Justice Point and quest gear, a couple of crafted pieces or scenario rewards, and start queuing for LFR. Do that every week and you’ll be all in epics within a few weeks.
Oh, a few weeks is unacceptably long? If that’s not fast enough for you, then don’t blame Blizzard.