Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Game Feature vs Barrier to Fun

Interesting post over on Doom's blog advocating the functionality to store more than one talent build so that you can respec easily but still incur the respec cost. I pretty much crap myself every time I respec, I'm sitting there alt-tabbing between WoW and some form of online talent builder, desperately trying not to misclick. Add to that the factor of your instance/raid/arena group impatiently tapping its foot as you fiddle and you have a surefire way to throw away 50g. So of course I wholeheartedly agree with Doom's suggestion, and it got me to thinking, what does it take to make the devs realise that their precious 'feature' is actually just a royal pain in the arse for everyone else? I mean, this is supposed to be a game right? Fun, right? So why in the name of heaven do I have to jump through hoops to get to the fun?

Another case in point: gear sets. On my druid, I have:

  • PvE Tanking set
  • PvE Kitty set
  • PvE Healing set
  • PvP Healing set

And don't even get me started on my warrior:

  • Raid tanking set
  • 5 x resistance sets
  • Grinding tanking set (stacking shield block)
  • Dual wield DPS set
  • 2H DPS set
  • PvP sets? Lol, bigger bank plix!

Now, I use Itemrack, which is a godsend, but (and it's a big but), it only works for the gear I have in my bags. Why why why why why don't we have some kind of wardrobe interface for gear sets, instead of all that stuff taking up valuable bag space? Yeah I know it's not quite realistic carrying eight sets of gear around all the time, and swapping between them in less than a second, but it all boils back down to that feature vs fun thing again. Besides which, we play in a world where the dead walk and cows can speak for god's sake, so forgive me if I don't buy the 'reality' card.

Let me elaborate a little. My warrior, Varakkys (no prizes for guessing who my main is here), usually wears his full tanking gear, and carries his DPS and block gear with him, taking up 1.5 bags. He's fully eighteen-slotted up, four inventory bags and all seven bank slots. Six of the seven bank slots are taken by the other gear sets mentioned above. Now the other day I was called upon to tank heroic Arc, for which I like to take my Shadow Resist set for the first boss. Except that my hearthstone was on cd, which meant a five minute wait for the group while I flew back to Shattrath to collect it. So I have all these tactical options available to me, but actually taking advantage of them initiates a level of inconvenience that just completely detracts from the game. Not to mention the annoyance of continually shifting things around in my bank to make room for new bits and bobs.

Incidentally, why isn't the respec interface built so that we can tinker around and then click a confirm button? It's ridiculous that I have to do that using an external app, then there's still the chance I can bugger it up within WoW.