[Retail][Grinds] Exploit Early, Exploit Often

So the Dreamwardens reputation has been hotfixed (at least?) twice today, both times addressing the infinitely farmable reputation from seeds. First it was fixed to not be unintuitive (this buffed rep gains drastically), in that the 100/100 cache actually gave the most rep finally. Then it got hotfixed again just now to massively reduce the chance to get rep.

This is not the first time something like this has happened, even just within this one expansion. Dirt and Artisan’s Consortium are the easy examples where people who abused oversights early got an absolutely enormous head start over everybody else.
We saw the same thing with Zskarn in Aberrus, where the fight was cheesable early on, and then when that got fixed people in guilds that are used to having information available had to learn a fight that had no videos/logs available to copy from.

Please stop it. If you notice an oversight, that’s unfortunate, but don’t punish the people who didn’t abuse it by keeping them behind. I’m not saying to punish the ones who did abuse the oversight (NOT BUG), but doing the inverse of that is definitely not it either.
Don’t kneejerk fix it. Leave it as it is, even if it might not feel good (you want the game to be played how you envisioned it, I get it). Come up with a good solution before sending it. It’s an awful player experience to always be worried you need to do everything now in case it gets nerfed to be slower/less efficient.

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Can’t agree more on this - also the way they fixed it will make it hard for rare seeds and epic seeds to get 100/100 contribution if others can’t provide the seed themselves since no one is coming by to spent resources then.

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Going to add this in here after the recent explanation why it was limited. I think there is a lot you could improve when designing content and a zone to make them long-lasting and fulfill a playtime matrix.

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It’s been a little bit of a frustrating theme over this expansion that finding ways of grinding various reps this expansion (and I’m pretty sure every time, these were discovered on the PTR and weren’t exactly secrets) has been slapped down for people who couldn’t do it early. It feels bad and you need to look at how you design the reps to begin with and nip these things in the bud during the Beta/PTR if it’s an issue, or leave them alone. I personally don’t mind short-term grinds with a definitive endgoal, as long as it doesn’t take the complete piss.

Also, I’ve heard that apparently you can faction change, which resets the campaign quests for Chapter 3 and 4, you can then replay those quests and gain more rep tokens from the quest rewards. I can’t verify if that’s 100% true but if so that should probably be fixed.

On a slight sidenote, although it is feedback that is probably irrelevant considering warbands in 11.0 will make rep/renown etc account wide entirely, but the 100% rep bonus at Renown 10 has created very bizarre incentives to play through content first on alts before then switching to a main to do it all over again. In retrospect, it could’ve been better to delay this 100% rep reward for a week. This still allows it to fulfill the intention: To help alts boost their rep to be closer to your main, but would’ve stopped this strange situation where it’s ‘better’ to play your alt rather than your main first.

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Or just enable it for everybody until Renown 20 in the mid-season patch (10.0.5, 10.1.5, 10.2.5 etc). Basically not for the paragon boxes, but mostly to let returning/new players catch up. It doesn’t need to be there day 1 of the patch, because yeah you just end up with this super exciting gameplay pattern of everybody getting an alt (ideally human to save time) to renown 10, then discarding it just so their main gets the rep boost.

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Yeah the amount of people (some that i knew sadly.) that were forming groups in the group finder to farm these was concerning to say the least. I dont understand why people feel the need to do this.

It’s new content and there’s no reason to do anything else this week, so might as well.

I really have never liked the “exploit early often” thing because I dislike exploits in general,

BUT
I dont understand why reps keep getting changed after release to be less fun

rep gaint methods that are okay in my opinion:
-Kill normal mobs in an area
-rep turn in items from mobs (think scryers/aldor)
-rep turn in items from world (netherwing, tiller farmer reps)
-finish all quests related to a faction (Lorewalkers)
-rep tabards
-rep companion, (garrison bodyguards)
-rep tokens from rares (MoP style)
-static questchain with daily lockout (Aqir hatchling)
-repeatable quests (blue question mark type)

rep methods that just straight up arent fun as the main method but are fine as additional methods that probably help you a bit a long the way if one of the fun methods is an option:
-world quests
-weekly quests
-daily quests (kirin tor offensive style)
-rep from rare kills with a lockout (basically post MoP rares)
-rep from in game events (Ember court) (honestly this one would be fine without the lockout)

its not a perfect split of timelock out and non time lockout types, but its close
I think the reason for this is, its much more fun to spend a few hours hanging out with other farming folks killing mobs or farming for rep items etc, than it is to login and spend 10 minutes traveling to kill a mob once every day for a month,

BUT I understand the need for timegating rep progress,
but if we are going to time gate it, please do it by putting temporary caps on max rep levels
for example
“For the first 2 weeks after the patch friendly is max, then increases a rep level each weekly reset”

This would be so much more fun for rep, its similar to how the questchain in zerith mortis was time gated by chapter each week, it also makes catching up more tolerable if you get busy and can’t play for a week, or if you are playing the content 2 expansions later and the time gating isnt really needed anymore.

The issue itself is that Blizzard leans a bit too hard on lockout content as the only type of way to get rep. Let people grind rep if they want, make it take longer time but be uncapped. And those that want to do it effectively, they could just do the WQs+weekly+story for a few weeks and don’t touch mob/item grinds.

Strongly disagree with this part. I think it’s very important to have both lockout-based (of varying lengths) based sources of rep and infinitely farmable ones. The very important thing, which I believe Blizzard has acknowledged earlier this expansion regarding Dirt/Hunts but then missed the mark on this patch with Seeds, is that the ones with the lockout should be noticeably more time efficient.

You should have the option of grinding it out, but it should not be so efficient that you just grind for a day and then you’re done. At that point the time efficiency argument goes out the window because the grind is efficient enough already. It has to be balanced properly against the total required rep and how much the lockout sources give.

This acts as a natural catchup/equalizer mechanism, allowing people with less WoW time to still stay at least somewhat on pace with people who can sit down and grind the less efficient lockoutless sources for hours and hours. It also somewhat disincentivizes most players from doing the mindless grind option, because even if they have the time they can make a decision on whether time efficiency or getting it earlier in “calendar days” matters more to them.

I actually think the current version of Seeds (250-500 rep per Seed for the first 5 per week, then 5 after that) hits the mark in this regard pretty well. The way we got there was just not good.

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I think it’s quite easy, if Blizzard makes the rest of the content interesting and worth logging in for, they don’t have to worry about some sweats grinding the rep in a week or even less.

In general, I think always being able to grind rep in whatever way is a good thing, it gives the players a choice to either do it with weekly stuff or just mindlessly grind by killing mobs. The developers need to give us the responsibility back that we run out of content granted there is enough content, but this gating of rep is not fun for anyone.

But then you cap out or cap out earlier than intended and then sit there and complain there’s no content for you to do. I don’t get people.

That would be a fine take if they didn’t complain a month later that they have nothing to do. You kinda did everything they had for you in a month in a week.

That’s why they should split /preserve content in general and have small regular updates (every few weeks something new comes in a current patch zone) besides those big patch updates that introduce a zone. This way you create content that stays fresh - the current philosophy always ends the way → finish rep and quest > zone done → nothing to do a whole patch.

The Problem is not the Rep it’s how zones and content are designed these days - Playing Open World WoW feels currently playing a Single player game that you finish out in a few hours days and Rep is nothing that compensate the lack of content (a reputation is never a good way of content in my PoV since you can hunt for the end which means end of content). A MMO should stay fresh for the duration of the patch, and this is only achieved with regular updates to it, aka. having live service development.

The current patch philosophy just doesn’t stand the test of time in terms of things to do - if you’re not raid or do dungeons, the world gets shallow pretty fast.

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They could pace themselves a little better? there’s no reason why anyone needs to hit the gear score cap or the renown cap a week into a patch (I have friends who are trying, No I am not kidding). Some folks out here pretending they play for Method, I don’t envy the devs truly. Also the game right now is the friendliest it’s ever been for Alts.

The point I am trying to make is, I am not sure how you balance the content pace for everyone at the same time. At some point someone is always going to be upset.

I can see this, and I think that kind of sucks. So you think there should be more world content for people who don’t raid or do M+?

I say yes to this, and Blizzard evidently agrees since they’re introducing “Delves” within The War Within.

If you play alts that may be true, but for those of us that don’t enjoy playing an alt it is not the case they run dry on content. The Problem with Renown here is the power locked behind the rep, that’s why folks (including myself) want to get to renown 18 asap. since it will get you ahead in progression.

Having Regular Updates to a zone is the answer that satisfies everyone - gatekeeping is bad and always will be, esp. in the current iteration it has been done to this really fun grind activity (I enjoyed it a lot, and it reminded me of the rare farms / wrathion rep farm during launch)

Edit:

Yes - more regular updates to the world, and not just to big patches or 0.5 ones. - It may be a bad example, but I think games like League of Legends do a pretty good job by having regular updates to the game which keep them refreshing (can’t compare balance update to content updates in WoW I know, but it kinda reflects where the problem lays in my PoV). The current Open World is designed in a way that has an end to it. In BFA and even Legion you had a system that let you engage with the open world (Heart of Azeroth / Artifact Weapon) more often - while it was a bad way of doing, it was miles better in terms of player engagement. There were no artificial barriers that prevented you from playing and enjoying the content. Gatekeeping is usually the consequence of content that is designed to not last long enough by itself.

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I don’t think it’s possible for them to keep up with a player’s pace right now with content. But I do agree that gatekeeping with time is bad. I do have a question though, how would you stop people from finishing everything at an ungodly pace without some kind of invisible barrier? And then these very same people complain that they have nothing to do when even they themselves know they played the game for 16 hours a day? Zero judgements from me people can do and play as much as they want but they can’t expect content to come out to fit their pace. There are people who play the game 1-2 hours everyday if you keep adding more and more content all the time wouldn’t that overwhelm them?

Or do you want them to add like more activities with no real gear progression etc? Just stuff to do?

Basically this. There doesn’t need to be power bound to it - or design it in a way that those who envy power get there on their pace, but still having content to look forward to every few weeks / month. I usually don’t engage a lot with open world content besides patch starts, but it would be the case if there would be something to do. My main critic was mainly focused on it being even bad for those that do enjoy open world content as the way it is currently. Also, there could be a sense of minor story progression tied to those small updates (just an example: how the Vale of Eternal Blossom changed).

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