Relevart starts the topic off with posing this:
“I know a few other bloggers have shown interest in the idea of player motivation and I absolutely love the idea of examining the concept of what makes us want to/need to/desire to play.
I thought a neat springboard for such a discussion would be that of the penalty system (or lack thereof, as you might see it) in WoW as well as the recent claims that Blizzard is caving to the casual players’ feeling of entitlement to see and subsequently conquer any and all content, regardless of capability or time.”
I’m not really saying anything for or against, but would like to put forth some different things to consider regarding this topic.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of many penalty systems in place within World of Warcraft. The only ones that came to mind as I read the shared topic were: durability damage, resurrection sickness, and non-rested experience.
Durability damage and resurrection sickness seem to be appropriate penalties when you think about it… you die (or take on damage), something should be lost, right? In some MMOs, this can result in the loss of experience points, money, and items in your inventory. In some single player games, dying can result in needing to start over unless you have an appropriate save game to load back to.
But how much of a penalty is durability damage really? Some people, especially if they are wiping constantly in a dungeon, find it to be a considerable penalty. This can be the deciding factor for some people to call a run or leave a group.
They don’t want to be penalized by having to pay a high repair bill because the group cannot complete the task at hand.
For other people, gold is not anything to be concerned about and repair costs are merely chump change. Or maybe the guild bank will cover the costs. For those people, they are more inclined to keep on fighting until everything they are wearing is broken.
What about resurrection sickness? Why are players penalized for asking the friendly spirit at the graveyard to bring them back to life right there? Again, you are losing something -becoming more vulnerable for a set amount of time- because your character has died. Then, on top of that, you have chosen not to run back to your corpse, reunite, heal up and continue what you were doing.
Then there are things I wonder why they aren’t penalized, such as dishonorable kills. I mean, players are rewarded with honor for honorable kills… Granted, players are not rewarded for dishonorable kills, but they aren’t punished either. The developers seem to have opted for few penalty systems within the game. Mainly, to penalize players for things they participate in that are PvE based, but they don’t penalize players for actions against each other in PvP.
Is really a double-edged sword. Both ends of the spectrum tend to feel entitlement about certain areas of the game whether it be content accessiblity, gear, achievements, titles, etc.
Some say that the hardcore players feel a sense of entitlement to have the game tuned to their liking, to have exclusive rewards for beating the toughest content, and to be looked up to as skillful players.
Some say that the casual players feel a sense of entitlement to have the game be accessible, to be able to achieve everything at some point in time, and to have fun and options throughout the game.
One of the key points that is often brought up in this debate is money. We all pay the same amount of money to play the game. But, while we all pay the same, we don’t all have the same amount of time available to play. Or the same level of skill.
One side says “why should you get ___ or to do ___ just because you can play more than me?”
The other side says “why should you get ___ or to do ___ just because you have limited play time?”
Although I stated at the beginning of this post that I’m not really taking one side or another… but honestly, I have mixed feelings about anyone having a sense of entitlement in this game. In any game. What I see is that the sense of entitlement is not strictly about the gear, titles, or achievement, but about the significance people have come to place upon those things.
There seems to be something about us as a society that makes us want to seek out ways to feel superior to others. That’s usually what entitlement is about: “I deserve X because I’m better/smarter/faster/cooler/richer/prettier/etc. than So&So.”
If my character wears more purple items than yours, does that mean I’m better than you?
If your character wears more purple items than mine, does that mean you’re better than me?
If I’ve played the game longer than you, does that mean I deserve more things in the game than you?
Why am I lucky if I win the roll while someone else was deserving when they won the roll?
I never really experienced the entitlement in my gaming until playing MMOs. Then again, when you are playing a single person game, it’s a lot harder to be constantly comparing yourself to what hundreds, thousands, or millions of other people have completed or gotten.
Let’s think about this – in terms of money paid again – you and I buy the same console game for the same price. We play it on different difficulty levels and put in different amounts of time before we both beat it. (Let’s say, I play it on easy and it takes me 3 weeks to beat it, but you beat it in a week and a half on hard.)
We both had fun playing it and feel a sense of accomplishment for beating it.
Was your completion of the game diminished at all because I finished it eventually, but on an easier level?
Should I not have been able to complete the last 10% of the game simply because I was on the easy level?