Who is WoW designed for anyway?
Why can’t Blizzard get the classes/abilities balanced?
Then something occurred to me. For something to be balanced (imagine a see-saw), then there needs to be a central point, or axis, around which everything is balanced.
Now I am sure that someone like Tobold could give a much more in depth and well reasoned analysis of game design, and the pro’s and cons’ of balance, but we amateurs have a voice too, so here’s what I think.
WoW is designed around:
- Hardcore endgame raiders
- Theory crafter’s
- Casual players
- Role Players
- Grannies and Grand-kids
- Men & Women
- Horde and Alliance
- Mages and the others
So you see it’s really quite simple for Blizzard to get the balance right because they have 1, or 2 or mmmm many more central axises to design around.
Ok, so it’s not that easy then.
Hardcore endgame raiders
Require extreme challenges, will devote ludicrous amounts of their time and energy and min/max stats – potentially a different mix for each and every fight (swapping specs as required).
Well, tehy craft theory. Theoretically with x,y + z spec and a,b + c rotation you will get the best results assuming you have purple gear and are max level and all other things remain constant. Often they find the loophole in Blizzard design that changes the balance.
Are a mixed bag, and really slice across the entire player base. Thier main distinguishing feature being their (possibly self imposed) play time limitations.
Role playing comes 1st, so if the shiny purple epic doesn’t have the right lore, or doesn’t look as good as the grey vendor trash, then it gets the thumbs down.
Fire the top min/max Mage spec? (alright, just imagine it is). Well FridgeMagnet the Gnome was brought up in the family Iceworks – so his Spec is Frost – and that’s all there is too it.
Or here is another example of skipping abilities in the name of roleplaying from WowInsider: All the World’s a Stage: Sacrificing spells for the story
Spell hit the most important stat in the game – No! Try the PvE usless relience stat. Suddenly stat priorities are all arse-about.
Grannies and Grand-kids
You think they care that Warlocks are OP, that seed of corruption reduces Mages to water carriers? No way, they are still leading Hogger around the farm.
Men & Women
I had to bring sex, I mean gender into it somewhere. Maybe it is an unfair stereotype, so let’s call it masculine and feminine playstyles.
Horde and Alliance
A whole world of differences, racial skills, quests, transport blah blah blah
Mages and the others
OK, Warlocks are OP! Do I care? Well not personally, but everyone seems to have a nemisis. Does it really matter?
So what we find is that Blizzard doesn’t have a central focus to build balance around. Quite likely 95% of the WoW population don’t care.
- What % of the population read the forums?
- What % of the population read the blogs?
- What % of the population write on the forums?
- What % of the population write the blogs?
- What % of the population min/max?
Me thinks that like my little Imp friend says: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Me thinks we should follow in our resident hunter’s footsteps and give Less QQ, More Pew Pew
What if we didn’t know any better?
Constructive feedback and theory crafting is all well and good. Without the detailed theory crafting would we know that Warlocks are OP? If we didn’t have damage meters would we know or care that I am AFK 80% of the time (the only reason a Warlock would be allowed to beat me!).
I think I have as much chance of defining, let alone influencing the WoW game balance as I do of converting the speed limit in our local 40kph school zone to a 110kph freeway.
- Gross generalizations abound in this post – create your own definitions of my samples instead of being concerned about my hurried ones.
- This post was inspired by pewpewlazerz, but in no way is intended as a flame of his comments. To be honest I agree with him, but I just wonder if we pervert the game to our own ends, then wonder why Blizzard hasn’t changed the rules to stop us.
Gnomer and Out!