Friday, April 8, 2011

Call to Arms - Clarifications

a clarification post has been made regarding some of the issues brought up about the new call to arms feature (coming in 4.1).

for pet collectors and collectors in general, one point stands out the most:
"The additional reward for completing the Dungeon Finder Call to Arms (called the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries) will be Bind on Account; able to be freely sent to other characters on your account once you receive it."
this will give collectors that play pure DPS classes at least a small chance at the vanity pets, but only if they have and play an alt tank and/or healer. (and if they don't accidentally autoloot the bag's contents before sending it to their desired character, heh.)

it's a small move in a fairer and less stinging direction for companion collectors, but more details about which pets have the potential to be in the satchel of exotic mysteries as well as their droprates need to be announced/looked into. plus there is still the issue of reputation companions. will the pets that normally require a rep grind to purchase or learn still have the reputation prerequisite even if they come from the call to arms satchel?

in any case, i highly urge blizzard to consider not adding new companions to the goodie bag's loot table UNLESS there is another method of acquiring said pet(s) (other than the call to arms reward). placing a new pet in this system and making call to arms the absolute only way to obtain it could be disastrous for everyone.

if blizzard is dead set on adding new and/or "rare" companions to the call to arms satchel, giving players multiple ways in which to obtain these pets will definitely ease the implementation of the system. not only will it empower collectors by giving them a choice (and acknowledging that collecting is a style of gameplay and thus the player should be given some degree of control over their gaming experience), it will provide a compromise for those who may not be eligible for the extra reward. not all players play a tank or healer, have a tank or healer alt, want to try their hand at it, or are qualified to do so.

speaking of being qualified... having more than one way to farm for any call to arms vanity pet may also lessen the surge of unfit tanks/healers queuing up purely for the sake of a chance at the companion reward. let's face it, this system has the potential to cause a lot of grief for pug groups (who are already experiencing a large amount of frustration in this expansion).

it would pain a lot of people to see a player queue in as a tank, only to find that they are actually in DPS gear and have absolutely no idea how to tank the heroic instance. but how else would they be eligible for the vanity pet or mount, right? the end result would be that the entire group may suffer, may fail (not kill any bosses, nevermind the final boss of the dungeon), and no one would benefit from the experience/system.

even now, i've heard of some horror pug groups who have had to deal with players attempting to cheat the dungeon finder system by queuing up as a tank or healer even though they are improperly geared, spec'ed and/or not ready.

oh, but they could learn how to tank and heal! unfortunately, not all pugs are kind, patient, understanding, and willing to teach/coach new tanks and healers, much in the same way that not all players give a damn about whether or not they are carrying their own weight as a tank or healer. to some, the role will simply be the means to an end. does blizzard want to encourage this mindset?

i could argue that being able to queue as an inexperienced tank/healer but with a guildmate or friend may help the learning curve, but blizzard has already announced that they intend the call to arms feature to cater to solo-queuing. so i guess every player for him/herself.

in the end, placing any new pets in the call to arms system PLUS giving players an option to try for the new companion in a different way (such as a rare drop, quest reward, etc.) may give those who are just not ready/fit for a vital five-man role and players who are only doing it for the reward a better way of farming for the pet without negatively impacting or hindering other players' game experience.

it would also ensure that no one is left out. even pure DPS classes and players who just are unwilling to play a healer or tank will have a chance at any new call to arms pet.

but honestly? the easiest and fairest route would probably be adding only currently existing companions to the call to arms loot table, and saving the new and rare pets for situations and features where EVERYONE (regardless of class, role, etc.) can qualify for (without having an adverse effect on others).

1. blizzard, please reconsider placing vanity pets that require a certain reputation to buy or learn on the call to arms loot table.

2. blizzard, please do not add any new vanity pet to the call to arms loot table.

3. if blizzard is determined to add new companions to the call to arms loot table, please don't make it the sole method of obtaining said pet.

4. the BoA goodie bag makes this new feature slightly less unfair.

5. however, this system is still somewhat unfair to pure DPS players as well as those who do not have healer or tank alts or cannot/are unwilling to play one.

6. call to arms has the potential to cause more frustration than help in both the PVE community (failed pug groups due to inexperienced and/or unfit players queuing in as the role that is "called to arms" purely for the sake of a vanity item) as well as the collecting community.

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