The determination? The persistence? The patience? And all those other awesome, POSITIVE qualities that MOST other pets bring out in a pet collector? They mean NOTHING when it comes to certain RNG based holiday pets. Instead it's all left up to chance.
In all fairness, some players may find this type of random system "fun" and "exciting", but many members of the pet collecting community do not. Can there be no compromise? Where is our small slice of the fun-pie?
Yes, it's time for that angry tree macro.
Originally one of the arguments FOR the RNG, limited-time, limited attempts, single-source, Bind on Pick Up holiday companions was rarity. 'Keep it rare!' Blizzard said. But as of late, I have to question this mentality. If rarity were a truly desired model, why bring back vintage pets and make them available now?
Cue the Clockwork Rocket Bot! This pet was originally a 100% drop from under the holiday tree in 2007. It soon became unobtainable, and therefore a VERY rare pet. Yet what are many collectors finding in their Stolen Presents this year? Yes, the original Clockwork Rocket Bot.
Is this a bad thing? In my opinion no, as it gives newer players a chance at this neat older and rare pet. For some, though, it's a tad annoying especially if the 'Keep it rare!' mentality is taken into consideration. Rare, you say? Then isn't making it available again counterproductive?
So go ahead and throw the "rarity" reason out the window, because if that were a true model Blizzard wanted to maintain, they really shouldn't be teasing us with older companions that we thought would never be available again. I'm not against the idea of things being rare, but please keep it consistent, Blizzard. Either maintain the rarity mentality or toss it out completely. This back and forth business is highly distressing!
Another possible reason FOR the RNG, limited-time, limited attempts, single-source, Bind on Pick Up holiday companions is time inflation. As EmberDione eloquently put it: "In MMOs, it is all about keeping the player playing and thus paying." I have to agree with her, though, that this mentality of RNG = more time invested often produces the opposite intended effect.
Humans are creatures that crave instant-gratification. We're constantly on the go and need/want things sooner rather than later. We've evolved from the "work hard and profit" mentality. I mean, there's a phone-app for just about EVERYTHING. Why? Because it's what people crave and desire to make their lives more convenient and efficient. Blizzard's very own creation knows what it's all about: "Time is money, friend!" To deviate from this mentality is to drive consumers away. Time is the new currency, and for many players if it's not now, it's never.
Isn't this why Blizzard has been opening up content for a wider audience? Can't find the time to farm Valor Points every day? That's fine because we'll now award you for your efforts all in one day if you please! Can't commit to a consistent raiding schedule but wish to see end content? No problem, we have a WHOLE NEW separate tier of content for you.
Blizzard has openly stated that they do not wish to force players into a pigeon hole and drive them to "have to" do anything. Yet this RNG, limited-time, limited attempts, single-source, Bind on Pick Up holiday companion that will supposedly increase player play time is forcing players to continue to subscribe or resubscribe during certain times of the year. All for the HOPE of obtaining a specific pet. Doesn't this, again, sound counterproductive? We don't want you to have to do this, but oh btw, our current system is set up so that you have to. Contradiction, much?
That being said, the majority of pet collectors are more than willing to spend every waking hour (if possible) hunting for that elusive vanity pet. Except... we CAN'T during specific in-game events due to seasonal constraints. This would be an entirely different situation if it were possible to obtain the pets during any time of the year, but this is not the case with these holiday pets. Imagine the frustration of going not one but two or even more years of trying and hoping and wishing but coming up empty handed. This is enough discouragement to drive away even hardcore collectors. So how is this increasing invested play time...?
And last but not least, another obvious reason that the RNG factor still persists for these limited-time, limited attempts, single-source, Bind on Pick Up holiday companions: SOME players find randomness fun. What about those who do not? Where is the compromise? Where is the balance? So only a portion of the collecting community will get to enjoy each seasonal event while the rest will just have to suck it up?
I do acknowledge and applaud Blizzard for taking steps to ease the stress on those that do not find the RNG factor appealing in the more recent holiday updates. Pets that were once highly sought after can now be bought, are BoE, or have additional sources for acquisition. But there are still those few that persist under the RNG umbrella, and it's those few that are raining on people's parade and causing the most heartache and anxiety. The nature of these pets is taking the fun out of the game, which is probably not helping WoW's ever-dropping subscription numbers.
There are many different solutions and compromises for these RNG, limited-time, limited attempts, single-source, Bind on Pick Up holiday companions. Some of which are:
- higher overall droprateAnd the latest one that I've thought of: end of holiday compensation.
- increased droprate over time
- multiple source for acquisition
- sold from a vendor
Naturally, Blizzard doesn't want to just hand these pets out like candy, right? Ok, well many collectors will agree that we are willing to work for our food...er pets. It's been made clear that Blizzard does have the code and tech to track dailies completed, as seen with the many achievements that require a certain number of dailies done in a row or just in general.
What if an internal tracking system was implemented that monitored a collector's progress throughout the holiday season. A player that completes say, for example, the You're a Mean One... daily quest a sufficient number of times will receive Lumpy either in the mail or from under the holiday tree at THE END of the in-game event IF they did not receive the pet through the reward from the daily. Those that DID receive Lumpy through the Stolen Present... well, they get Lumpy. That's pretty fair though, right? RNG played a factor, yet determination and effort also played a part. In this way, collectors maintain some sense of control over the situation but are still rolling the dice as Blizzard wants everyone to.
I concede that even under this system, some players will still not receive a pet due to time constraints and bad luck in general. But unless Blizzard is willing to make holiday pets 100% available to ALL players, there's just no way to please everyone in every way possible. However, I really do think a compromise needs to be made between those that do find RNG a fun mechanic and those that do not agree.
Whew. Well that was this year's long winded post, and I know some will not agree. But after reading so many disappointing comments and general dislike for this current holiday system, I felt the need to say something even if it falls on deaf ears.
In the end, even IF I manage to strike it rich and find my desired toon in posession of Lumpy, I will still not feel the "fun" and joy that was intended for this in-game event. Why? Collector's guilt to put it bluntly. How can I enjoy a companion when I know many others who are putting forth the SAME amount of time (and possibly even more) into finding this pet may not be as fortunate? The answer is that I cannot. The pet will simply serve as another reminder of how the fun was killed for many pet collectors. And unfortunately for some players, the fun can't be resurrected and another collector gives up the good hunt.
SAVE THE FUN - FIND A BETTER WAY!