Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You'd think Blizzard learned a lesson...

So, as I'm sure most everyone that logged in yesterday can tell, the "Elemental Invasion" has started. Basically Blizzard flipped the switch and now not only are elementals spawning across all of World of Warcraft's continents (including Outlands...which can I just say makes no sense) the "doomsayers" are also making their presence known.

There are a couple of things to do already and the Invasion has just begun. First there is a time consuming Feat of Strength (FoS), Tripping the Rifts, that requires you to be present at a Fire, Wind, Earth and Water "elemental rift" when they spawn. You complete the Feat of Strength by being close to the rift when it "dies". The only way to destroy a rift is to take out the elementals that spawn from it. As an added bonus to getting the FoS, if you destroy a rift in an level appropriate zone you can pick up a daily (Hammering It Out). Pretty simple. The annoying part is finding the darn rifts! I spent a little over an hour last night and ended up with 2 of the 4 buffs. Believe it or not that's not what the title of this post is about. I can deal with wasting large amounts of time as "filler" content before an expansion..I get it, it's a Feat of Strength no one is holding a gun to my head.

The other half of the fun starts in Orgrimmar (Stormwind for Alliance) with a quest called Prophecies Of Doom. It's a medium sized quest chain that has you run around the city and it's outskirts and the basic idea is, you learn what the doomsayers are all about, you pretend to be a doomsayer to get information, you get the information and use it against the doomsayers and then you go tell on the doomsayers to Garrosh. Here's the problem..

On a server like Mal'Ganis there are literally hundreds and hundreds of people doing this chain of quests at the same time. I wish I had taken some screen shots, but I was too busy zooming into first person view trying to click on a tiny little scroll. There are three scrolls you have to pick up for this first quest and they are situated close to the ground on little "tables" besides doomsayers. Two of the three scrolls were fine, but the third one..no chance. At least 30-40 people on mammoth mounts, and dancing, and using spell effects and whatever else you can use to obscure the view are all standing on top of the scroll. There is actually a guild on Mal'Ganis, Goon Squad (they would probably enjoy that I'm naming them specifically), that purposefully blocked access to the scroll.

The only solution, and the only way to finish the quest was to purchase/create an Lesser/Invisibility Potion which thankfully makes every player disappear similar to when a Mage uses Invisibility. Some people even took the harassment a step further and bought out the entire Invisibility potion market on the AH and started re-posting each potion for 100g each. I quickly bough the mats to create the Lesser version of the potion which no one had touched yet for 5g and crafted two (one for me and one for Kaate [my significant other]). Just the worst of the worst kind of people trying to ruin peoples night. But honestly..while I blame them entirely for displaying that type of behavior, I have to wonder why Blizzard didn't account for it.

Two examples, real quick, of similar harassment that Blizzard had to take action for.

The first was actually recent and dealt with mail boxes. Once the Mammoth mounts, Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C, were introduced to the game people would block mailboxes in major cities by standing on top of them so people couldn't right-click them. So Blizzard added more mailboxes. That was a reasonable solution there probably should have been more in the cities anyway.

Second example was during the release of Sunwell and the Sunwell dailies. All the quest givers had to be raised up onto platforms so people could quickly and easily interact with them without having to hunt through countless other players and their mounts. It was a reasonable and thoughtful solution. Put the NPCs up on platforms that are impossible to stand on as players and no more harassment.

Should have tossed that in a best practices handbook for the developers...me thinks.


  1. At least they've got it right on the T11 vendors! Well least on the Horde side, I don't play Alliance. You can't physically get on top of them, there's an invisible wall stopping you so you can always see the vendors.

  2. Yeah I noticed that a couple days ago.

    Question is - is that going to far? It's embarrassingly non-technical to just throw a giant invisible wall up. They probably should have gone the route they do with the Auction House and Bank NPCs.

    I like it, but people that enjoy their immersion (lol) might not.