Tuesday, November 3, 2015

WoW Analysis: Bonus Rolls

It's a typical Tuesday in the World of Warcraft. Raids have reset and Kazzak is ready to be farmed for Felblight once again, alongside a chance at some item level 705 gear. After running back a few times because half of the raid died to Fel Breath, the boss is dead and a window pops up, implicitly requesting a token tribute at an extra chance for the loot you didn't get this week. You automatically click to use one of your Seals of Inevitable Fate, knowing you can easily get some more and after a few seconds, another popup window shows, indicating you've earned some gold. The result of this interaction is probably some form of exasperation, but the feature that is taken for granted by so many is perhaps one of the better ideas Blizzard has had in the way of rewarding players. Instead of being highly critical like I am in most of my articles, in this one, I will be reviewing what are generally the positive aspects of the bonus roll system and why it's beneficial to the game.

More Than Just Good Fortune

When bonus rolls were added in Mists of Pandaria, there was much work that needed to be done with them. To purchase bonus roll currency, one generally had to do many daily quests for Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, which contributed to a distaste of the great emphasis on daily quests during the early parts of the expansion. The bonus roll currency could then be used after bosses within the tier associated with the currency to gain an extra chance at earning loot that the boss could drop. The chance of this is unknown but it's far more likely that the consolation prize of gold was earned instead. The initial intent of implementing bonus roll system, besides incentivizing activities such as doing daily quests, was to make the raiding experience more rewarding, especially for 10-man raids where an individual player was much less likely to even have a chance to get equipment they wanted from a boss kill. The system, however, was in a rather primitive state and while some players got lucky, others levied criticism against it over issues such as constantly earning gold from bonus rolls.
The bonus roll pop-up for the current tier as of this writing.
Since then, the system has received some notable quality of life changes that have greatly improved its reliability, and thus its purpose. For example, patch 5.3 added bad luck streak protection, ensuring that players will eventually earn a piece of loot off of a bonus roll if they've constantly been earning gold for the last few rolls. The addition of the Timeless Isle made the farming of Lesser Charms much easier, which resulted in my writing of this article. Warlords of Draenor added further reiteration of the system, allowing players to trade in multiple currencies for tokens (though at the moment, only Apexis Crystals and Honor are reasonable to trade in due to otherwise prohibitive costs).

Final Statements

Ultimately, I think that bonus rolls fulfilling their purpose quite well, even if it does cause frustration from time to time which in itself is reasonable, since bonus rolls shouldn't automatically equate to free loot every time it's used. Aside from the remark I made above on costs for the bonus roll currency itself being poorly balanced, the only other notable issue I have with it at the moment is that the consolation prize is gold, which the WoW economy already has an excess of as discussed in my previous article. It would be more reasonable to award something else related to PvE, such as consumables, as a bonus roll consolation prize.

1 comment:

  1. What in the world. Links to GW2 and Aion gold selling sites?