Riding the waves of hype emanating from the first face-to-face Blizzcon in four years, World of Warcraft players returned to the game in droves this week for the release of patch 10.2, “Guardians of the Dream.” The rush of new content brings with it a new zone, the highly anticipated Emerald Dream, as well as a new threat, as the great angry fire dragon Fyrakk wants to burn down the new world tree, Amildrassil, to do so. .. something. . It does not matter.

I’m not really at the cutting edge of modernity Wow But what this means for players, logistically, is that there’s a new raid – the 10-25 player dungeon that serves as the main player versus environment challenge for this patch – coming out next week . This also means that the most degenerate players are looking for every advantage they can to clear the new raid as quickly as possible. This time, that means gardening.

Let me explain, as stupidly as possible. With the new patch comes a new faction, with which players can earn “renown” by performing certain activities. Some of these activities are normal. There’s a new campaign, or at least the first three chapters of one. There are side quests, treasure chests, and new rare monsters that all grant Renown. The problem is that players, or at least the more hardcore and high-end players, want a Dreambound Augment Rune.

This item, which unlocks for all your characters once one of them reaches Renown Level 18, gives players a very small improvement in their stats: 86 in their main stat (strength, agility or intelligence), which, on my best equipped character, translates to an improvement of around 0.8%. In other words, it’s minor, but that hasn’t stopped players from trying to find the quickest way to reach Renown Level 18 before the raid releases on November 14. So the solution is to engage with the new Dreamseeds. mechanic.

As players defeat monsters in the new area, they receive seeds that they can plant in patches of land around the area. Anyone can contribute to the growth of a seed, with the goal being to achieve 100% growth after three minutes. Achieving this gives everyone a chest that, among other things like cosmetic upgrades, awards 20 fame points, at least in its first iteration. Leveling up requires 2,500 fame points, and most players will have to go through four to five full levels to get the desired rune in time. Let’s do the math: While you can plant multiple seeds at once while flying the Emerald Dream, it would take about 15 hours of simple gardening, taking into account some additional sources of fame coming next week, to get to 18 before setting foot there. the new raid.

Fifteen hours of mind-numbing work seem imminent Wow players’ alleys, and so, as soon as the patch was released, these players got to work. This caused some problems for Blizzard. Developers have long tried to curb players’ more perverse behavior, a process that has made the game infinitely more user-friendly. This made items easier to acquire, especially equipment, but a side effect was that Blizzard often launched nukes like this to deter players from doing so. It’s a good business philosophy, on paper: not letting players burn out doing mindless tasks like this nonsense, and making sure no item is exclusive to those who have too much of free time, the hope is that the players will stay. engaged and subscribed to Wow for a long time.

Its execution, however, is flawed. So when Blizzard decides to roll out multiple “fixes” to make this task less engaging and less exhausting, it only delays players, not stops them. The first solution was the most fun: early in the patch, getting a seed to 100% growth was actually a real challenge. bad thing, because the biggest reward chest didn’t include fame. (This included additional cosmetic rewards, and some people care about that more than that augment rune, so they’d blast seeds to 100 anyway.) It was a simple, much-needed solution.

The other changes were less straightforward. Players quickly realized that they didn’t need to include a seed at all to gain fame; they could simply use dewdrops to help an existing seed grow, and dewdrops were much easier to grow. This allowed players to simply steal and gain a lot of fame with little investment. Honestly, this would have been fine for me, because it’s still very boring, but Blizzard made it so that players had to include the rarest seeds to get fame. The compensation was that sometimes the big chest could “superbloom” and reach a whopping 40 fame. Wow!

Ultimately, Blizzard opted for what is probably the best solution: it made it so that the first five seeds planted in a given week would grant 250 Renown (with a chance to double up to 500), and subsequent seeds will only yield five. A logical player, like yours truly, just planted five seeds with this new boost and called it a day, but you know where I’m going with this: the most hardcore players haven’t stopped gardening! I hovered around Emerald Dream for 20 minutes while writing this blog and saw groups and groups of people just standing around these seeds, while there were lists of groups doing just that in the The game’s group finder tool. For five miserable renowns!

It’s a losing battle for Blizzard, and it’s been lost many times. As recently as the first patch of Dragonflight, players would kill thousands or even hundreds of thousands of monsters in a crowded basement for the chance to obtain items that would be replaced a week later. In Battle for Azerothplayers abused a new system, island expeditions, to days to achieve tiny power gains. There has always been a subset of Wow players who will do whatever it takes to get as strong as possible as quickly as possible, and no amount of tweaking or tweaking will stop them. The only way Blizzard can do this is simply to remove these systems or detach them from player power. This philosophy was mainly used in Dragonflightwhich allows players to keep multiple characters up to speed without engaging in this type of behavior.

I say mostly, because as soon as something is added that rewards degeneration, players jump at it like excited rabbits. Part of this is because there’s really nothing to do in the game while waiting for the new season to start next week, but I think it goes a bit further. Wow players have always been drawn to grinding, whether for gold or items. In the original version of the game, people would kill monsters for hundreds of hours, hoping to get items that had a 0.1% chance of dropping. It’s just who Wow players are, and Blizzard probably should have seen this coming the second they made gardening a viable, if glacially slow, way to become even a little bit more powerful. I just hope the monsters in the new raid are ready for the 0.8% hotter hell that awaits them.

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