Welfare Epics

by Jon on November 1st, 2007

Headless Horseman

So Hallow’s End is over. The trick or treating has unfortunately come to an end but plenty of delicious candy and other treats were looted. I was even able to PUG the Headless Horseman a few times and ended up obtaining some pretty decent loot for myself and MDW (my dear wife <3): The Horseman’s Signet Ring, Witching Band, and some sweet rides (unfortunately no helm or cosmetic pet dropped for me).

Yep, we’re still 5 levels away from even being able to equip this stuff, and from what I can tell, the quality of some of this ridiculously easy-to-obtain gear is roughly on par with Karahzan drops. Apparently this has caused some complaining and backlash on the official forums (surprise). Welfare Epics, as they’re commonly referred to, are threatening the e-peens of many a “hardcore” player. How are they supposed to continue being teh uber elite when Blizzard is literally handing out epics w/ candy?

Let me go off on a tangent for a sec.

Now I love me some purple loot just like the next person, but I don’t let its acquisition dominate my game play. I actually find myself playing to experience the content as opposed to striving to be king of the best-geared. I’ll only run a new dungeon once or twice per character and usually just to make sure I clear it and finish up all the quests.

See I’m also a completitionist, so I strive to achieve as much as possible. I know that this presents a sort of conundrum in that to experience every last bit of content, one will be required to dedicate a significant amount of effort towards gearing up. I’ve never been a member of a raiding guild and so there still remains a lot of content that I have regrettably had to skip over.

I don’t have anything against raiding or the guilds that do, I just want to avoid having my play experience mutate into an obligation. I’ve seen plenty of examples of people that have either completely burnt out on the game and/or had to quit because raiding had turned into a second job, On the flip-side, I’ve also got some good RL friends that enjoy raiding and what it has to offer.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

We have here a game that rewards time just as much as, if not more than skill. So what happens when you reduce the amount of effort that a given reward requires? Does that lessen the reward’s value? If you value something because it’s unique, then yeah, it’s not quite as appealing when everyone else has one. But when you get pissed off because someone else got an epic ring that didn’t require a 10-25-man group and weeks of clearing the same dungeons over and over then maybe you’re playing the wrong game.

PVP rewards are another hot-topic of debate. The arenas and battlegrounds put some nice loot within an otherwise-restricted reach. Someone may not have the time to dedicate all at once to obtaining the flashiest gear, but given enough time and perseverance, one can come out looking like a badass without ever having to step foot in a dungeon.

Patch 2.3 offers a plethora of changes that work toward making the game easier and more accessible by reducing the xp needed to level, dropping fatter loot from dungeon bosses, increasing xp rewards for quests, and even implementing new content for those lulls in your leveling career. But along with these changes comes a slew of complaints from high-brows that believe that all of their hard work is cheapened by making it easier for others to obtain.

I say get over it. I was one of the few that probably maxed out my cooking skill pre-BC, but you didn’t see me QQing when they implemented spice bread (an easy way for anyone to jump-start their cooking skill with minimal financial obligation). Fused Wiring used to make me tons of gold on the AH, but I was still happy when they released a schematic for it.

For those of you crazy devoted enough to grind out the rep needed for your Winterspring kitty-mount, it’s going to get easier for the rest of us. But at least you are old-school, one of the firsts–and in a game where most everything is a clone: from the servers, to the models, to the characters and the loot they wear, being first is really the only unique thing you can hope to accomplish.

From Gear, PVE, PVP, Questing

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