Put this one under “accessible” benefits please.
WoW dev Ghostcrawler is wondering why the meta game in WoW includes (or excludes, depending on who you ask) a large section of the player base, and more or less defines the culture of the game. What’s funny/sad about this is not just that a dev himself can’t see the answer, but other bloggers are missing it as well.
The reason you chase/enforce getting every last % of optimization out of your players is because that’s the only thing separating them. When you have removed all player skill from your game to make it more ‘accessible’, the only thing left as a challenge is number crunching, learning the pattern, and repeating what you just watched on YouTube. And when you in turn tune your game to that assumption, why in the world would you wonder why your players are playing it that way? ESPECIALLY when you (to mask the lack of actual content being added) yourself gave them even ‘better’ tools (achievements, gear score) to sort through the thousands of empty number husks you call players.
There is a reason good Darkfall players don’t obsess over ‘maxing out’, while people who constantly find themselves bleeding on the ground complain about the grind. There is a reason a ‘vet’ can roll a new character and in less than one month put up a PvP video showing how he wrecks ‘vets’ in PvP. It’s also the same reason you will see people with beastly characters still boring themselves to tears grinding out a 4th melee mastery to 100 in order to ‘catch up’. In Darkfall player skill matters, far more than chasing some silly 1% of X, and so the ‘meta’ game is spell combos and group PvP tactics rather than where to spend every last talent point or acquiring this exact gear loadout.
It’s also the reason Twitch in League of Legends, a champion generally considered not ‘top tier’ gets banned in one of the biggest LoL tournaments to date; the guy who could have potentially played him is so skilled with that particular champion that it made sense to ban him. Now if you theorycraft the numbers out, Twitch is not the absolute best champion, and so if LoL was WoW he would have been ‘gearchecked’ out of the match. But like Darkfall, League of Legends is more about player skill than YouTube memorization, and so things like that happen (and often).
So if you want to ‘fix’ this problem in WoW, don’t tweak the talent trees to balance them, you don’t make encounters not gear dependent in a game all about chasing gear, and you don’t add yet another bar to fill up to qualify; you just add player skill into the equation.
Of course, then it might not be as ‘accessible’ to the walking number husks, or the ugly fact that not everyone is a ‘hero’ in terms of player skill will come out. I wonder which direction Bobby will go…
Chuck-o-the-day: Even Switzerland supports Chuck Norris.