Friday, April 13, 2012

Collecting Though Another Activity

Signed up for the Arena Pass. Check!
Found two other pet collectors to form a 3's team. Check!

Now to just wait for the arena servers to come online so we can officially form our team. I have to admit I'm pretty nervous since I'm not a PVP'er in the slightest. I've dabbled in arenas and BGs in the past but it was always limited to a few games at most. It's just not in my blood, I guess? :P

Participating in other areas of the game for a pet is an interesting concept, though. In some cases it works out alright, but in other situations... it turns into a dreaded and despised obstacle. Sometimes I wonder if combining more than one style of gameplay is a good idea, or if it's better to simply leave each to their own.

I think in order to balance it properly, one needs to consider each activity and whether or not they're similar. The more closely related two activities are, the better they mesh. While the fewer similarities two activities share, the less likely they'll be accepted. And then sometimes there are just those wild cards that catch everyone off guard and people either love it or hate it (I'm looking at you archaeology).

Take fishing for a pet, for example. Both fishing and pet collecting are largely individualistic modes of gameplay. There's no dependence or reliance on anyone else other than yourself and your own determination/patience. Plus both are fairly laid back and can be accomplished at one's own pace. Because of these similarities, these two activities seem to fit together well enough. Sure, there are comments here and there about so and so number of casts before finally fishing up a particular pet, but in general, I don't often run across comments that outright condemn fishing for being frustrating and a terrible way to collect a pet.

While on the other hand, let's take PVP'ing for a pet. PVP has less in common with pet collecting, in that it's dependent on teamwork, less static and more dynamic, and one simply can't just step into a battleground or arena and expect to win. (Don't get me wrong, though. Collecting isn't an "insta-win" activity either, but it's much easier to get into than PVP.) Not all collectors hate PVP, but when it comes to collecting a pet through specific tasks that involve PVP, I find there are a lot more negative comments than positive ones. These two activities just don't seem to fit together very well.

But that being said, this isn't always the case. If executed properly and a balance is struck, I think combining two seemingly opposite styles of gameplay could work out.

The Arena Pass is an example of this... sort of. Instead of requiring wins, collectors merely need to participate in a set number of games. Throwing matches just to earn a pet isn't advisable, but at least the pressure to really get into PVP isn't a prerequisite. It's really a delicate combination of the two that seems to work, but it's still not an ideal way to collect a companion for many pet collectors.

Well, to each their own. It's tough to appeal to everyone, and the majority often has minorities within it that will have their own ideas for what's the "best" way. As long as all sides are considered and a compromise and balance can be found, I suppose collecting plus another activity isn't such a bad idea.

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