Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Broken Shore and the Obsolescence of Content

Patch 7.3 brought a lot of content with it in the form of a new world with new zones full of collectables, challenges, World Quests, and other overworld content. So far I can say I've been having a blast with Argus and plan to publish a few articles related to its content and features in the future. However, patch 7.3 also brought other changes, including some I completely glossed over; I guess I should've read this article to inform myself beforehand. The changes in question affected Broken Shore and involved the removal of Legionfall Recompense for turning in Legionfall War Supplies and the relocation of the Relinquished gear vendor, who now uses a new currency.

The latter change does not concern me too much since the gear vendor got a substantial upgrade and the obsolescence of Justice Points and their analogues is a typical practice intended to equalize the playing field better when new content releases. However, I wish Blizzard would stop using said analogues that cause an increasing clutter of the currency page and devised a more elegant solution like reverting to the Justice Point system.

The former change is of greater concern and the consequences of it already seem apparent just a few weeks after the release of the patch. In this article, I will describe these consequences and suggest improvements to alleviate the issue. I will then close with my stance on content obsolescence, explaining why the removal of Legionfall Recompense was largely an unnecessary change that exacerbates the effects of content obsolescence.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Thoughts on Some Types of Monetization

Update: As of September 16th, 2017, I've revised the article a couple times to convey my points better.

Monetization in games is a topic I touch upon occasionally. Sometimes it involves a highly critical article on the practices of a company I like and want to see improve. Other times it's in defense of some practice that others criticize. Very often it's because in my many articles that involve discussing gameplay and player retention, monetization happens to get involved. Despite all this I could stand to make my views on some forms of monetization clearer. In this article, I plan to do exactly that by reviewing some types of monetization I've observed in its digital form, specifically describing in what context I consider such monetization acceptable or unacceptable.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Quest to Fix Titanforging

Titanforging has been a hot topic since before Legion even began and a source of much controversy as criticism shifted from broader aspects of content design to specifics like the reward system. While I was late to the party when it came to reviewing that specific feature, but my suggestion was very similar to a suggestion I made to improve the preceding Warforging system. The nature of both suggestions was to allow players to enjoy the benefits of lucky gear upgrades while having the option to upgrade their gear with the Valor currency when they're unlucky.

Since I made this suggestion, I've gotten into many discussions on Titanforging and heard many other suggestions that, while often variations of common ideas, led to me brainstorming improvements to my current suggestion. During this brainstorming process, other information such as the state of Mythic Nighthold raiding was considered to further refine the suggestion. This article will touch on these points followed by my revised suggestion to improve the Titanforging system.

Common Titanforging Suggestions

Aside from some variations of my suggestion that basically ask for a Valor upgrade system in some form, there's a couple other common types of suggestions I see that attempt to address Titanforging. They are as follows:

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Microtransaction Suggestion for WoW

A while ago, when criticizing the pricing practice of Blizzard's (cosmetic) microtransactions in World of Warcraft, I made a vague suggestion to add more microtransactions to the game while also reducing prices. I thought it was a good way to tap into a revenue stream that, while already somewhat successful based on Wowhead Profiler data alone (for example, 30% of the site's profiles have a Celestial Steed), could be made even more successful while being more consumer friendly to boot. More recently, I criticized the pricing practice of the WoW Token and when doing so, I pointed out that the subscription price could've increased but has stayed at the iconic $15 per month (or regional equivalent) since the game launched. I also pointed out that microtransactions could be helping to fund the game since while the subscription price hasn't increased, inflation has almost certainly increased the cost to develop and run the game. In this short article, both of these points converge into what will probably be a rather controversial suggestion for the game, as the article's title should make clear.