RNG and Grinds - The two big problems

90 Human Paladin
3540
Was WoW always a casino game in disguise but I didn't realize it or has it just become that recently?


Always was. Badges/points and shared tokens was a way for Blizzard to lessen the chaos, but not remove it. Maybe it's time to look at fixed-time based gearing solutions rather than these RNG solutions ?
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90 Human Paladin
8235
03/20/2013 07:20 AMPosted by Berith
Was WoW always a casino game in disguise but I didn't realize it or has it just become that recently?


Always was. Badges/points and shared tokens was a way for Blizzard to lessen the chaos, but not remove it. Maybe it's time to look at fixed-time based gearing solutions rather than these RNG solutions ?


As you can see from my title, both are problematic. The problem is not neccessarily RNG or Grinding in general. It's the drop chances of the RNG, and the length of the grinds.

They do these things deliberately. It requires math. Presumably the goal is to drag out people's subscriptions. I'm pointing out that you can only stretch it so thin before people quit.

The alternative version of replay value existed in the past. If I got this Paladin fully geared from Raid Finder in a shorter period of time, I would be all for doing it again as a different class, in a different role, while this character potentially moves on to formal raids. If I had to run this Paladin half as many times, I would spend the other half on another character, which for me would be a lot more fun. But Blizzard has decided to tune it so you get what they want you to get when they want you to get it, if you ever get it at all. And they've pushed it too far.
Edited by Rathlight on 3/20/2013 7:41 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
3540
As you can see from my title, both are problematic. The problem is not neccessarily RNG or Grinding in general. It's the drop chances of the RNG, and the length of the grinds.


I'd rather have long time to gear than chance to gear or not gear. It's not a grind if it's not something that requires repetition.

Let's say I run LFR every week, and I'm guaranteed 0.90 drops a week. A character is 15 gear slots. That means close to 17 weeks to a full gear set, but with constant rewards every week if not skipping 1 week. LFR requires what ? 3-4 hours total per week ?

That's not grinding at all, it keeps me playing for the whole patch, and assures me of a reward for the time I spent in LFR. Right now, I might get geared in 2-3-5 weeks of LFR or not have a full set of close to after this same 17 weeks. That's RNG.

Same could be applied to Heroics/Normals/Dungeons, whatever. Constant rewards for Time and effort based on ... Time and effort. Not every time based solution is "grindy". Grinding is about repetition. Old vanilla Wintersaber, which was hours upon hours of killing 2 types of mobs for low drop rate drops was grinding. Just playing the game and getting rewarded with points for playing, leading up to a full gear set in a "long enough amount of time" is not grinding, it's playing and getting rewarded.
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90 Human Paladin
8235
OP: Here's what I think is going on with you. You've reached level 90. You're doing LFR. LFR is all that you've done. But there's no fun, joy, accomplishment or community in LFR. You queue in hoping to get some gear, and if you don't get gear, you queue again.

There's nothing wrong with RNG, but there is something wrong with playing RNG solely for gear.

No different than gambling. If I play blackjack and the only satisfaction I get is if I come out ahead at the end of the night, blackjack is going to be a very, very unsatisfying game. In fact, I'll hate it, because RNG is up against me. But if I sit at a table with some friends, joke around with the other people around the table, have fun with the dealer ... then I'll enjoy it when I lose, and enjoy a little more when I win.

When the drop rate for an item is sufficiently low, you lose interest in even trying for it.


Tell that to people who farm rare mounts.

When it was easy to get geared to raid and there were more raiding options (separate 10 and 25), people were playing the game like mad, and had multiple well-geared alts. Now people are just losing interest and giving up.


That's a pretty broad generalization. Wrath was the time when I had the most geared toons -- by the time ToC was out, I had a prot warrior geared through Ulduar, with some ToC pieces, this druid geared enough to heal ToC, and a Warlock who I could bring into Uduar to dps ... but I was still raiding two-three nights a week and that's it.


You missed the point. It's not just RNG. It's the combination of RNG and long, slow grinds. If you shoot for a VP item that costs over 2000 VP, that's three (cap) weeks of grinding, and you better max out your VP every week if you want to get there. If you get no drops along the way, which you often won't, who the hell wants to keep playing when the rewards are that slow and time consuming?
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90 Human Paladin
8235
03/20/2013 07:46 AMPosted by Berith
As you can see from my title, both are problematic. The problem is not neccessarily RNG or Grinding in general. It's the drop chances of the RNG, and the length of the grinds.


I'd rather have long time to gear than chance to gear or not gear. It's not a grind if it's not something that requires repetition.

Let's say I run LFR every week, and I'm guaranteed 0.90 drops a week. A character is 15 gear slots. That means close to 17 weeks to a full gear set, but with constant rewards every week if not skipping 1 week. LFR requires what ? 3-4 hours total per week ?

That's not grinding at all, it keeps me playing for the whole patch, and assures me of a reward for the time I spent in LFR. Right now, I might get geared in 2-3-5 weeks of LFR or not have a full set of close to after this same 17 weeks. That's RNG.

Same could be applied to Heroics/Normals/Dungeons, whatever. Constant rewards for Time and effort based on ... Time and effort. Not every time based solution is "grindy". Grinding is about repetition. Old vanilla Wintersaber, which was hours upon hours of killing 2 types of mobs for low drop rate drops was grinding. Just playing the game and getting rewarded with points for playing, leading up to a full gear set in a "long enough amount of time" is not grinding, it's playing and getting rewarded.


Well, you may enjoy long, slow grinds, but I don't. I have a problem with both approaches.
Edited by Rathlight on 3/20/2013 7:56 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
8235
There are valor purchases for both pants and trinkets. Why haven't you bought them? There's also a 493 pvp weapon that can be easily obtained since 5.2 came out, why not buy that?


I haven't grinded enough. Haven't maxed VP every week, haven't unlocked the trinket from 5.1 (which is not good for Ret anyway, because it has Crit). Couldn't bring myself to do it, because of how excruciatingly slow they made it. I'm saving my current VP for the Shado-Pan Assault Trinket, if I keep playing long enough to get it.
Edited by Rathlight on 3/20/2013 8:04 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
3540
Well, you may enjoy long, slow grinds, but I don't. I have a problem with both approaches.


So you just want fast gearing. Then an MMO is not for you sorry, nothing will ever please you.
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90 Human Paladin
3540
I haven't grinded enough. Haven't maxed VP every week


Sorry, I made 195 VP yesterday and didn't grind for 1 second. I just logged on and played as I normally do and the VP just rained on me. If you feel the game is grinding, then it's no longer a game. Quit while you're still happy before it becomes a source of stress in your life.

This is entertainment, if it doesn't entertain you and you keep playing, it's called addiction and that's bad.
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90 Human Paladin
8235
03/20/2013 08:06 AMPosted by Berith
Well, you may enjoy long, slow grinds, but I don't. I have a problem with both approaches.


So you just want fast gearing. Then an MMO is not for you sorry, nothing will ever please you.


It's much more of a grind than it used to be, by design. Sorry bud, but "an MMO is not for you" is a 100% bull**** response.

I absolutely do want faster gearing, and I explained why. The time/reward ratio is an aspect of game balance. Right now it is extremely imbalanced, in ways that it did not used to be, against the player getting gear.

My point is that if Blizzard thinks dragging it out will make people play longer, they have to realize that at some point, dragging it out will make people quit.
Edited by Rathlight on 3/20/2013 8:15 AM PDT
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100 Night Elf Druid
11135
03/20/2013 06:35 AMPosted by Claro


LOL. Sorry, nothing to say but LOL.


=\

You'll have like a 90% + chance to see loot each week in LFR at the current rates - (once all 4 wings are out) - assuming you never once use a charm. What is unreasonable about that? Even after that, and factoring extra rolls from charms, you STILL have VP to fill in anything missing and / or upgrade further.

I mean, am I missing something here?


90% Where did you get that?!?!?!
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100 Night Elf Druid
11135
03/20/2013 07:46 AMPosted by Berith
As you can see from my title, both are problematic. The problem is not neccessarily RNG or Grinding in general. It's the drop chances of the RNG, and the length of the grinds.


I'd rather have long time to gear than chance to gear or not gear. It's not a grind if it's not something that requires repetition.

Let's say I run LFR every week, and I'm guaranteed 0.90 drops a week. A character is 15 gear slots. That means close to 17 weeks to a full gear set, but with constant rewards every week if not skipping 1 week. LFR requires what ? 3-4 hours total per week ?

That's not grinding at all, it keeps me playing for the whole patch, and assures me of a reward for the time I spent in LFR. Right now, I might get geared in 2-3-5 weeks of LFR or not have a full set of close to after this same 17 weeks. That's RNG.

Same could be applied to Heroics/Normals/Dungeons, whatever. Constant rewards for Time and effort based on ... Time and effort. Not every time based solution is "grindy". Grinding is about repetition. Old vanilla Wintersaber, which was hours upon hours of killing 2 types of mobs for low drop rate drops was grinding. Just playing the game and getting rewarded with points for playing, leading up to a full gear set in a "long enough amount of time" is not grinding, it's playing and getting rewarded.


But people go WEEKS without seeing any gear. It's pretty common.

I'm still trying to break 470 on my two mains right now. I do my heroics and collect valor and JP and lower raids with raid bosses. I'm actually trying to farm rep now to buy the VP items. I'm 1 point from 470 on each, so hitting the next tier of raiding. This is with purchasable items too. I'm really curious about htis 90% thing. Where is that from.
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90 Human Paladin
8235
03/20/2013 08:08 AMPosted by Berith
I haven't grinded enough. Haven't maxed VP every week


Sorry, I made 195 VP yesterday and didn't grind for 1 second. I just logged on and played as I normally do and the VP just rained on me. If you feel the game is grinding, then it's no longer a game. Quit while you're still happy before it becomes a source of stress in your life.

This is entertainment, if it doesn't entertain you and you keep playing, it's called addiction and that's bad.


You didn't even read my original post. So, your opinion means just about...nothing.
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Funny, I thought there were so many more things to do.


For the average casual player, playing an hour or 2 a day, with a couple raid nites per week...no, there's not much to do. There's dailies and LFR. Log on, que for LFR, run dailies. Endless, endless dailies. Oh, and since you're in a que, can't group to do anything else. So "Hello, solo play!" The more "so many more things to do" things you do, the further behind the gear curve you get...unless the RNG gods love you. If they don't smile on you, you're left running in place. So what's the point for those people to play?

Dailies...some on my toons on Stormrage, one of most heavily populated Alliance servers. Participation rate on island last time I looked; 27%. That's how popular "World of Dailies" is. People showing up, killing a rare for a key, finding a spawn chest, running the treasure room...and leaving. Even that won't last for long...treasure room is mainly crap. A little gold, some rep tokens for worthless KT rep, elder tokens that are only useful to run the treasure room/T14 loot rolls, and a very rare gear drop if the RNG god smiles on you. Soon to be utterly futile since so few alts are getting geared/played anymore.

This expac, I've only leveled 4 90s, and really only play 2. The rest are still 85 and parked. No time or really the inclination to play them and do more, more, more of the same lame things. I haven't even bothered to level toons with useful profs, like my enchanter and alchemists. Leveled their profs by the miracle of "Discovery" and parked them. Would I like my enchanter to have the wep and wrist enchants? Absolutely...but not badly enough to level him and go through the same lame, tedious rep grind yet again. For most profs, no more chasing down rare drop patterns! Discovery takes care of it! Raid drops? Who cares, when they're actually useful, largely too expensive to make/buy, and besides, blink and they're obsolete.

Is there plenty to do? Absolutely. But the way it's designed now, there is little point to most of it, and even less time, because the grind is no longer truly "optional". Heck, just getting geared well enough to "visit" current content to farm mats, hunt, and tame pets and mounts requires going through the grind.

The Grind is now the game...not something you do for the nifty neat optional luxury stuff. Nat Pagle is probably the only true "optional" grind for purely FUN stuff left.
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90 Human Paladin
3540
03/20/2013 08:10 AMPosted by Rathlight
It's much more of a grind than it used to be, by design.


Sorry, nothing in this game is comparable to the RNG-based grind the Molten Core was. Or killing Prince for 8 months and never getting my Tier 4 helmet token. I just won't empathize or sympathize with you or even agree.
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100 Undead Priest
23905
In talking about the rate of VP acquisition, rather than the cap, I've seen some people talk about how they capped VP the last few weeks without even trying, etc.

I would just say that the VP grind should probably be judged for what it feels like two - three months in rather than 1-2 weeks in. Right at the start of this new patch, I capped VP without even giving it a thought. But the dailies were all new quests to me, as well as the rare-killing on the Isle of Thunder (which I was doing in part to get more Shan'ze stones, which I later learned only drop once a week from rares). I also raid normal mode with my guild, so there was some VP that first week too from that.

It might seem like VP comes easily as this stuff is new. But the dailies get old fast, as does spending time running around the island to try to see rares alive so you can get 15 VP from the book they drop. Pretty soon, it will feel like VP grinding did halfway through the last tier. And that was not fun. I capped for six weeks in the last tier because of the Wrathion legendary quest. It just gets to be a slow, boring grind.
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90 Human Paladin
3540
03/20/2013 09:14 AMPosted by Torvald
It might seem like VP comes easily as this stuff is new.


I've been capping every week since hitting 90, usually at most by Thursday/Friday night. I don't even need to try. If there was no cap, I'd have close to double the VP I've had since hitting 90.
Edited by Berith on 3/20/2013 9:34 AM PDT
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03/20/2013 08:58 AMPosted by Berith
RNG-based grind the Molten Core was. Or killing Prince for 8 months and never getting my Tier 4 helmet token.


Toto...we're not in Vanilla or BC anymore.

I just won't empathize or sympathize with you or even agree.


<shrug> Your empathy, sympathy, and/or agreement, my opinions, and a $1.50 will buy a cup of coffee just about anywhere...
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100 Night Elf Rogue
9915
RNG-based grind the Molten Core was. Or killing Prince for 8 months and never getting my Tier 4 helmet token.


Toto...we're not in Vanilla or BC anymore.


You're still playing the same game though. So... what does that tell you?
Edited by Kiero on 3/20/2013 12:11 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Death Knight
9770
I've been playing WoW for a while now. I've let my account expire a few times since Cataclysm was released. I re-subbed with MoP, but I'm starting to feel like it may happen again soon.

Overall, MoP is a much better expansion than Cataclysm. The gameplay seems to have been given more thought, and there is a lot of varied content to try out. Most of the classes/specs are fun to play. I like Raid Finder as a concept. The farm was a very good idea. The theme/story is very weak, but that's not enough to make me quit.

Having given it some thought, the problem is that I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything when I log into the game. And it comes down to two core aspects of the game design: RNG and Grinds.

Obviously, all of the knee-jerk apologists will jump in with "RNG and Grinds have been part of MMOs forever, blah, blah blah".

The point is not so much that these things exist, as it is how they're tuned. There are numerical values involved. You get (x) amount of rep per daily, dungeon, scenario, raid, etc. and (x) amount of VP. You have an (x%) chance of items dropping. Various rare mobs, chests, etc. have a respawn timer set at (x). The weekly VP cap is set at 1000. The VP cost of items is fixed. The same applies to PvP.

It all amounts to this: doing the same thing over and over again, working towards some reward, or hoping that you get lucky. The grinds have been given a much more elaborate design in MoP. It helps a lot with the problem of repetition. But the bottom line is that no matter how many different dailies and activities you put in, you still have to let players have rewards, and feel like they accomplished something.

When you dangle a reward in front of somebody, there is a point at which you lose them. When the grind to get something is sufficiently long, you feel no satisfaction or accomplishment when you finally get there. You're just glad it's over, and pissed that it took so long, and you hate the game for making you do it.

When the drop rate for an item is sufficiently low, you lose interest in even trying for it.

This lack of rewards is becoming more and more obvious in MoP. They lowered the VP cap, and the rate at which you can accumulate VP. They did not lower the cost of items. The drop rate of Raid Finder is so low that it's about as much fun as playing the lottery. The difference is that buying a lottery ticket takes about 1 minute. Raid Finder can take several hours. It's fun the first time when it's new content. After that you need to be getting something out of it. If the drop rate is not increased, your time is better spent farming VP through more efficient means, and then logging out once you've capped for the week.

Simply put, I'm getting tired of playing WoW for many hours a week and getting next to nothing out of it. The progression rate is excruciatingly slow. I have many alts. I would run them all through the same content if the rewards were much more frequent, and it was easier to get gear. Instead, they sit idle while I try to stick to one character, still making very little progress.

This character has a blue 463 weapon and a blue 463 trinket 6 months into the expansion. I got it to 90 within a few days of release, and have played it consistently. I've killed the Council of Elders in ToT 4 times in the last few days, used Runes every time, for a total of 6 rolls. Nothing. The Blacksmithing items will unlock 3 or 4 weeks after the patch, then it will likely take another several weeks to grind up the ridiculous mats for the crafted weapons. And that's just one example.

I'm just about done with WoW, once again.


Disagree. Everything is flowing fine for me.
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90 Night Elf Death Knight
9770
03/20/2013 11:51 AMPosted by Jamesfisk
RNG-based grind the Molten Core was. Or killing Prince for 8 months and never getting my Tier 4 helmet token.


Toto...we're not in Vanilla or BC anymore.

I just won't empathize or sympathize with you or even agree.


<shrug> Your empathy, sympathy, and/or agreement, my opinions, and a $1.50 will buy a cup of coffee just about anywhere...


Except Starbucks of course. I think $3 will be needed.
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