Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Call to Arms: More Details

mmo-champion has a couple more details about the call to arms feature coming in 4.1:
- Call to Arms for more than one role can be active at a time.
- If everything seems balanced, there isn't any Call to Arms.
having more than one role being "called to arms" at any given time is definitely good news. somewhat. again, it's likely healers and tanks will be the least represented the majority of the time which will leave DPS out, but at least players may get a choice between healing or tanking (IF both roles are being called upon at the same time).

the second detail is a bit troubling, especially as a pet collector. the entire goal of this new system is to attempt to balance out the random dungeon finder roles, which would result in the shortening of queue times, yes?

so in the event that the call to arms feature is successful (i'm not saying there's a guarantee that it will be, there's no certainty that it will even work as intended), and soon there will be very few times when any role is ever called upon, what of the new pets on the satchel of exotic mysteries' loot table? (that is, IF any are even added to the new system's reward. currently, there is no official confirmation that a new pet has been added to the call to arms loot table.) will they just sit and go unobtainable due to the lack of any roles being called to arms?

unless there is another way of obtaining any of the new pets added to the call to arms goodie bag, players will pretty much have no chance of acquiring it. so while the PVE community will be satisfied if this system works out well, the collecting community will be cut off from an item.

this only adds to the sentiment that new pets should not be added to the satchel of exotic mysteries loot table, UNLESS there is another source for said pet(s). sources such as: quest rewards, zone/mob drops, vendors, etc. adding a new pet to the call to arms reward and making the satchel the sole and only source has the potential to upset many and reward no one.

of course this is all "worst case scenario" talk, but as a long-time player and observer of world of warcraft trends, there are often times when "worst case scenario" situations can arise due to random and/or overlooked details. (can anyone even fathom the number of hotfixes applied to the game over the lifetime of this game?)

i also must echo some of my fellow companion collectors' opinion that reputation-required pets should not be added to the satchel loot table. or players must still earn the reputation to be able to use said rep companion at least. however, i'm not as concerned about this as the new pets issue stated above.

much like the old engineering pets that were once bind on pick up, it is apparent that reputation pets may also be subjected to change, which in some cases is not an entirely bad thing. it's frustrating and demoralizing (especially for older players), i agree, but at the same time blizzard isn't removing the pet completely or the opportunity to acquire the tiny sporebat using the original method. as far as i can tell, they are merely adding another source for said pet.

do i think the reputation to learn the tiny sporebat, regardless of how it's obtained, should still be a prerequisite? absolutely. it seems pretty backwards to have one version of the pet require exalted while another doesn't. then again, i can understand why blizzard would be unwilling to subject players (especially newer ones) to that type of situation where they get an item but can't even use it unless they undergo the reputation grind. (although with how easy/quickly reputation gain is these days, it shouldn't be that huge of a concern to blizzard. even new players could easily reach exalted with sporeggar pretty fast. that's just imo.)

again, easiest solution/compromise is in the same vein as the new pets issue: just don't do it. don't add new pets and don't add pets that require a certain reputation with a faction to the call to arms reward. only add currently existing pets that have another source so players can choose to opt out of either farming/grinding or utilizing the new dungeon feature.

there are many still highly sought after companion pets that are not new, that already have a primary source for acquisition, and would be suitable candidates as a rare drop from the satchel of exotic mysteries. there's really no need to add anything new to give players an incentive to queue up as a certain role for the random dungeon finder. blizzard just needs to take a look at the existing list and take their pick.

it's entirely up to blizzard, though, and unless they are merely pulling ideas out of a hat, i'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing.

bottom line for me so far is that this system initially feels very shaky, unfavorable to many groups of players, and has the potential to be either very helpful or very hurtful. i will have to wait and experience it for myself once 4.1 is released before i can formulate a more solidified response.

some details i'd love to find out that will help me sort out my feelings about the call to arms feature are: which pets have the possibility to drop from the satchel? will there be any new pets? and what is the overall droprate on the pets?

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