Thursday, March 27, 2008

Instant Honor Calculations and killing the RNG

I didn't have a lot of time to test out the 2.4 patch content last night so me and my friends just played a couple games of Arathi Baisin in the hour we had. I must say that not having diminishing returns on honor was very noticable especially in the way that honor automatically showed up on your PvP tab. It seems that in general that battleground rewards are becoming more and more tangible to players. It used to be that you had to PvP your heart out until the weekly maintenance recalculated the honor rankings. You never really knew if some botter was going to knock you out of achieving the rank you wanted. This made the rewards very nebulous since you never knew what week you were going to get them.

Then Blizzard made the huge improvement of changing battlegrounds to work on a currency system and every day you had a rough estimate on how much closer you were to your reward. That rough estimate did get annoying pretty quickly especially with the increase on diminishing returns after the first week. The amount of times I ended a night with a honor estimate that was no where near what I got the next day was uncountable. Nothing better then logging into the game to find yourself a couple honor short of that upgrade. Now without diminishing returns honor can be calculated right away and no one should ever suffer from that particular problem again.

I really see this as a sign of Blizzard changing the overall reward system in World of Warcraft. The random nature of loot is on its way out and showing your player base their exact progress is in. While loot tables will probably always exist in fantasy based MMOs they can be supplemented with other reward systems to prevent the random number generator from screwing us over and over and over agin. Random dice rolls to determine loot have been in these types of games for too long simply because that's the way it was done in Dungeons and Dragons. With the badge system and automatic honor calculations we have a much better idea of of the time investment required to get the next item. The days of gambling and being slave to the RNG for our rewards are numbered. (couldn't resist)