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Starym

Carbot's "This Is World of Warcraft" Nostalgic, Perhaps Too Pessimistic Video

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Carbot has been a very reliable source of some truly very funny videos on pretty much everything Blizzard-related, with his unique style and a clear reverence and knowledge of the content parodied. He even made Blizzard a 30th anniversary video for this year's BlizzConline!

Well, today we have a very different video on our hands, as he tries to show the evolution of WoW throughout the ages, at least from his perspective. It's... a painful one to watch, and in my opinion a little too pessimistic, but you can't deny the talent at play here as it will almost certainly tug at your heartstrings:

While there definitely have been many changes to WoW over the years, and even the ones depicted towards the end of the video aren't that far from the truth, the nostalgic and pretty emotional feelings I get from the video are more about the players leaving, which I would argue is more a factor of, well, time. As old-school, original players (or ones from any period in the game really) change, grow and evolve, it's natural they will move away from the game and come back for shorter stints and so on, which isn't necessarily a factor of the game's state, and so I can't really agree with the ending section there (although I'm not exactly a fan of what's been happening with the monetization aspects either). The fanbase definitely isn't exactly at its most fan-like at the moment, but hopefully that can change, and we can stem the tide of toxicity that's been pretty heavily pushing in on WoW on all fronts.

As for Carbot's video specifically, while I may not agree with the general message, this departure from his normal videos really is a great one, and you have to respect when funny, cartoony figures can pack such a major emotional punch, as regardless of how you may feel about WoW, you will most likely have felt something watching that video.

The video also created a very large redit thread, with players expressing their reaction to it, which you can check out here.

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20 minutes ago, PepperAmmy said:

well..... hes not wrong

I feel like he's conflating two very different thing, aka the players leaving and microtransactions. I'm sure SOME left due to that but I feel the majority is just leaving and coming back in shorter bursts simply due to the game's age. That's what's happening with people I play/played with anyway. And while "microtransactions bad" is a shockingly brave stand to take (I mean no one disagrees on that, literally, some people just accept them as unavoidable), basically blaming them for everything is a little extreme for my taste. Still a great video though! 😄

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This is the first Carbot video I disliked, ever.

The first half is amazing and well done, but the second part, which is supposed to showcase everything that is wrong with 2021 WoW is sometimes straight up wrong, as you boost to level 58, which is not the max in classic, which is 60, nor the max in TBC, which is 70, you still have the complete TBC journey in horrible gear ahead of you: it just lets you play in TBC content right away, very much the equivalent of the Main Storyline Quest skip in FF14, and sometimes mixing two different things as Starym said, I'm not playing much retail right now either because waiting for 9.1 and TBC has just launched, but will be back in force in 9.1.

The same ebb and flow of players could be said for just about any game nowadays, for example Diablo 3 has a huge player spike on season starts and is a ghost town game by the end of them, WoW is basically a seasonal game nowadays because we, as players, have so much choice and good games for cheap, there is no reason to only play WoW every day, all day 🙂

Ah well, controversy generates views and this video is perfectly tailored to hit everyone who has moved on from WoW and validate their decision. Everyone else will be back for 9.1 / during FF14 seasonal downs 😄

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Quoting one of the Reddit replies:

Quote

I'm as disenchanted with current WoW as the next person. Started in BC. Recently unsubbed. But I don't agree the reasons Carbot blames (boosts, store, dungeon queue) are the reasons for WoW's woes.
I'm now playing FFXIV as heavily as I used to play WoW, and it has all of those things in the form of online store, job boosts, story skips, and duty finder. And it's just fine.

But you know what else it has? Variety of content that's just there in case you're looking for something to do: treasure maps, Bozja, Eureka, Squadrons, the Firmament restoration, the Wondrous Tails system, the Faux Hollows system, a challenge log, sightseeing log, the gold saucer, social housing.

And outside of beast tribes, not a daily quest in sight. If you want to go ballsdeep in any of this content, nothing is stopping you aside from the time in your day.

So many eggs in the basket, all systems they've introduced over time and kept. The wheel not reinvented every time. Put the nail there.

This makes a lot more sense. Would rather have WoW be built upon instead of replaced every expansion, so much old content that could still be relevant!

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6 hours ago, Starym said:

I feel like he's conflating two very different thing, aka the players leaving and microtransactions. I'm sure SOME left due to that but I feel the majority is just leaving and coming back in shorter bursts simply due to the game's age. 

Yeah it's oversimplified, maybe because it's just for a short, funny video. So it shows people leaving and then some microtransactions, but it didn't have to connect two of these things. Might have shown some badly designed systems or poor balance as well. Or people leaving, simply because they had no time for these borrowed power systems, but then video would be too long.

Edited by Arcling
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The evidence that it's not the game as much as it is the players is found in the fact that you can play Vanilla today. Like right now.

If the game killed the game then why isn't Classic the shining pillar people act like it is?

I still enjoy both versions personally. Classic/TBC for some nostalgic questing and exploring closer to an RPG experience. Retail for some polished pew pew and engaging combat. *shrug*

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I found the video cute and amusing.  I personally don't see a problem with microtransactions, but I get why some people do.  They're a choice and I choose not to partake in them and don't blame anyone that has.  I personally believe the game has come to the state it has just due to how the game and just time in general has evolved.  It's certainly more complicated than just microtransactions.  WoW isn't shiny and new anymore and the MMO genre certainly isn't as a whole.  There's too much out there to compete with it in all kinds of ways and that doesn't have to be another MMO to do so.

Some of the changes he showed in there have nothing to do with microtransactions, like the "LFG tool", for instance.  In WoW's effort to make things more convenient and accessible, they also slowly took some of the social features away along with the work, excitement and comradery that came with meeting new people and actually playing with them - not judging them by some metric from a third party site, however useful that may be to some players.  The internet itself has also just come to offer so much more information about..  everything than it did when the game released.  This has taken away from the social aspects of having to depend on your friends or your guild who have experienced whatever content already and are willing to help out.  Now it's all mostly just a Google click away.

When viewing or reading most any kind of media or literature it's natural for people to take it in a way that they perceive it and not always the way that it's intended and that's totally cool.  This has lead to a lot of awesome debates and philosophical conversations in our history.   

I think your view on this video is a bit pessimistic though.

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1 hour ago, Lunestro said:

Some of the changes he showed in there have nothing to do with microtransactions, like the "LFG tool", for instance.  In WoW's effort to make things more convenient and accessible, they also slowly took some of the social features away along with the work, excitement and comradery that came with meeting new people and actually playing with them - not judging them by some metric from a third party site, however useful that may be to some players.  The internet itself has also just come to offer so much more information about..  everything than it did when the game released.  This has taken away from the social aspects of having to depend on your friends or your guild who have experienced whatever content already and are willing to help out.  Now it's all mostly just a Google click away.

This is all true, of course, but also down to your own play style.

I personally have not run any LFG (be it dungeons or raid) content for anything other than some renown catchup on alts in literal years now. Why? Simple:

1) Questing is the fastest way to hit level cap, thus dungeon finding is redundant.

2) Once at maximum level, as long as you know the basics of your class (which you can find on our guides here, and it is true that this easy information accessibility is one of the major differences between 17 years ago and today), you can easily directly jump into Mythic 0 dungeons (the easiest, and starting point of the non-matchmade content) for better / equivalent gear than anything you could get in matchmade content, especially considering your item level is likely to suck and disallow entrance into the raid finder.

3) Once geared with Mythic 0 gear, which should take 1-2 resets at most since you will get 2-3 loot drops per dungeon and ~8 dungeons per reset (your experience may vary with each expansion), you are perfectly ready to jump into the current normal, or even heroic raid tier, do rated PvP or start climbing Mythic+ keys. All of which are not matchmade activities.

Thus, the irony of it all is that matchmade activities are the bottom feeding of Retail WoW right now, and only award crap gear which no one should be satisfied with, let alone make these the main thing going on in their day to day gameplay.

Hell, even solo activities reward better gear than matchmade activities nowadays, there is just no need / point to do any of them unless you have absolutely nothing better to do or are incredibly bad at basic social activity - which is why they tend to be silent fests. Everyone else is busy playing with guildies, friends, finding some in game, or using the premade group finder to actually talk with people and form groups for higher end content.

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49 minutes ago, Seksi said:

This is all true, of course, but also down to your own play style.

I personally have not run any LFG (be it dungeons or raid) content for anything other than some renown catchup on alts in literal years now. Why? Simple:

1) Questing is the fastest way to hit level cap, thus dungeon finding is redundant.

2) Once at maximum level, as long as you know the basics of your class (which you can find on our guides here, and it is true that this easy information accessibility is one of the major differences between 17 years ago and today), you can easily directly jump into Mythic 0 dungeons (the easiest, and starting point of the non-matchmade content) for better / equivalent gear than anything you could get in matchmade content, especially considering your item level is likely to suck and disallow entrance into the raid finder.

3) Once geared with Mythic 0 gear, which should take 1-2 resets at most since you will get 2-3 loot drops per dungeon and ~8 dungeons per reset (your experience may vary with each expansion), you are perfectly ready to jump into the current normal, or even heroic raid tier, do rated PvP or start climbing Mythic+ keys. All of which are not matchmade activities.

Thus, the irony of it all is that matchmade activities are the bottom feeding of Retail WoW right now, and only award crap gear which no one should be satisfied with, let alone make these the main thing going on in their day to day gameplay.

Hell, even solo activities reward better gear than matchmade activities nowadays, there is just no need / point to do any of them unless you have absolutely nothing better to do or are incredibly bad at basic social activity - which is why they tend to be silent fests. Everyone else is busy playing with guildies, friends, finding some in game, or using the premade group finder to actually talk with people and form groups for higher end content.

Yeah, in concept I completely agree with you, Seksi.  I'm a Mythics person myself and most of what you said is the way I go about things as well.  That said, my mentioning of the LFG tool wasn't so much as "This is the reason for it!" per se, but more of just another example of what's helped add to some of the social disconnect.  When Mythics were introduced I was pretty excited.  I remember talking to my wife about how they would help to encourage the very social system that had slowly withered away.

As you acknowledged, it's largely a playstyle thing as far as some of the points you made go.  When the LFG tool came out, a great deal of your points may have not been accurate at the time - I honestly can't remember.  Obviously some of the points didn't exist back in LK.  Regardless, I think the "damage" (if you want to view it as such) was done pretty quickly and I think it can be something the game can recover from over time, but I'd argue that the majority (the vocal majority, anyway) are pretty unforgiving, impatient and somewhat entitled.

For what it's worth, my personal "problem" with WoW is that they don't seem offer anything new feature-wise.  Most everything that's added in the game feels like the same stuff with a different coat of paint.  When the game came out, it felt like there were always new features being added here and there.  I'm sure that's nostalgia and rose-tinted glasses talking to a degree, but I haven't felt much "newness" in  the game in a while.  Or if there is something new, it's not a "Game Feature" and just an "Expansion Feature" that gets taken away.  In a lot of ways, it feels like they plan by Expansion Health and not Big Picture, Game Health.

Who knows?  Maybe I'M the one being pessimistic with that perspective XD.

Edited by Lunestro
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5 hours ago, Lunestro said:

I found the video cute and amusing.  I personally don't see a problem with microtransactions, but I get why some people do.  They're a choice and I choose not to partake in them and don't blame anyone that has.  I personally believe the game has come to the state it has just due to how the game and just time in general has evolved.  It's certainly more complicated than just microtransactions.  WoW isn't shiny and new anymore and the MMO genre certainly isn't as a whole.  There's too much out there to compete with it in all kinds of ways and that doesn't have to be another MMO to do so.

Some of the changes he showed in there have nothing to do with microtransactions, like the "LFG tool", for instance.  In WoW's effort to make things more convenient and accessible, they also slowly took some of the social features away along with the work, excitement and comradery that came with meeting new people and actually playing with them - not judging them by some metric from a third party site, however useful that may be to some players.  The internet itself has also just come to offer so much more information about..  everything than it did when the game released.  This has taken away from the social aspects of having to depend on your friends or your guild who have experienced whatever content already and are willing to help out.  Now it's all mostly just a Google click away.

When viewing or reading most any kind of media or literature it's natural for people to take it in a way that they perceive it and not always the way that it's intended and that's totally cool.  This has lead to a lot of awesome debates and philosophical conversations in our history.   

I think your view on this video is a bit pessimistic though.

I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your point, but the ending of the video is pretty explicit with several MTX mentions directly followed by "logging off", so the connection isn't just in my perception. Perhaps his aim was to separate the people leaving as an individual thing and MTX/the perceived deterioration of the game and then the final shot being a result of all of those put together, but that's just not how it comes across. And you can very clearly see that the pessimistic view of "game is now bad/worse/MTX Activision lol" is exactly how the majority of the community is taking it, from the many MANY comments both reddit and especially on our post where I said it MIGHT be too pessimistic.

I genuinely still think it's an amazing video and it brought out some solid emotions in me, I was kind of literally going "please dont go activision bad at the end please dont" and then it did. Now that's a 100% valid opinion (and one which I actually share, Activision IS bad, but I'm just not all-in on Blizzard being bad (yet), but it is a pessimistic one IMO.

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15 minutes ago, Starym said:

I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your point, but the ending of the video is pretty explicit with several MTX mentions directly followed by "logging off", so the connection isn't just in my perception. Perhaps his aim was to separate the people leaving as an individual thing and MTX/the perceived deterioration of the game and then the final shot being a result of all of those put together, but that's just not how it comes across. And you can very clearly see that the pessimistic view of "game is now bad/worse/MTX Activision lol" is exactly how the majority of the community is taking it, from the many MANY comments both reddit and especially on our post where I said it MIGHT be too pessimistic.

I genuinely still think it's an amazing video and it brought out some solid emotions in me, I was kind of literally going "please dont go activision bad at the end please dont" and then it did. Now that's a 100% valid opinion (and one which I actually share, Activision IS bad, but I'm just not all-in on Blizzard being bad (yet), but it is a pessimistic one IMO.

To each their own, Starym.  I don't agree with what you're saying entirely, but it's not required for you to have that opinion yourself.  Good luck and keep doing your thing.

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1 hour ago, Lunestro said:

To each their own, Starym.  I don't agree with what you're saying entirely, but it's not required for you to have that opinion yourself.  Good luck and keep doing your thing.

Hey, ofc, that's my entire point! I was just stating my side of things (and the many people like me), because I feel there's this overwhelming public opinion that ALL players hate WoW now and all are leaving etc. I definitely know many are and some because the game is now bad for them etc, and they're not wrong - if it's bad for them it's bad for them, that CAN'T be wrong! I left during BfA myself, but always knew I'd be back (unless they just did as badly as BfA) and I was.

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I haven't seen this viewpoint represented, and it's what I took personally from the video. I looked a little deeper than just MTX being the thing that was pointed at that ruined the game and the community. If you watch closely, after Wrath hits, during the ensuing montage, LFG and shortly after LFR banners fly around in the background. The first MTX that was mentioned/shown in the video was the Celestial Steed, which was seen by many, many players at the time as a way to "fake" that you'd been in Ulduar (yes, we know it doesn't drop in there, but the perception was to buy a renowned, fantasical, raid-drop equivalent mount and basically "skip" raiding for one). I remember a LOT of players deriding anyone on that mount all the way through Cataclysm, and then, to a lesser extent, deriding people who were on Heart of the Aspects when it was offered in late Cataclysm. You may personally not think that MTX mounts and store items have that much bearing on people quitting the game (especially if you started post-WotLK/Cat), but consider what they actually stand for, on a subconscious psychological level: if you can get the shiniest the game has to offer from the store, why play the game at all? People who enjoy a challenge (and when it released, classic WoW *was* a challenge) will not usually keep playing a game when others can get equal, or at least on-par, rewards without overcoming the same challenge.

So, anyway, back to my point: the first half of the video showcases what made Classic WoW great and, indeed, what built the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft today - the community, the interaction between players, the random encounters that would happen that made the game interesting. By contrast, everything that is shown on the "downward slope" side of the video are things that eliminated the need for players to interact and/or invest time into the game and their character: LFD, LFR, boosting, etc. I find it very odd so much of this discussion is centered around the MTX portion of the video while almost none of it discussed how (accurately) the "conveyer belt" LFD experience in today's WoW is portrayed.

One thing specifically, I'd like to bring mention to is that everyone is assuming the "SKIP TO THE END!" billboard was for a paid service from Blizzard: I took it as the AotC/CE, M+ carry sellers' merchant stand, as that is - in my humble opinion, of course - one of the biggest killers of the community in WoW. (This actually makes sense, as it is off to the side and not the front-and-center stand, since it's not an "official" paid service.) More than LFR or LFD or anything like that, the game radically changed when Blizzard decided to openly allow carry sells for gold. Classic WoW's trade and LFG channels are literally saturated with it. To me, it's absolutely sickening.

Anyways, I think it's perfectly fine to conflate massive changes to the game with people leaving it. That's literally how things work. If a company introduces a change to a game that a lot of older, longtime players don't like, do you really expect them to stick around? Even if that drastically changes how they can or have to play the game to accommodate those new features? I have played WoW since day 1, and even though I'm quite active in Classic BC, I have all but quit retail simply because I don't like how the game has changed. Is it fair of me to conflate the changes Blizzard has made to WoW since the end of MoP with me no longer enjoying the game as much? I believe it is, and I believe it is fair for Carbot to have done so as well, especially considering how many hundreds, if not thousands of players have voiced these things as being reasons for their exodus since WotLK.

Anyways, I hope this didn't come across as rude or ranty, I just felt this was a point of view that wasn't really being heard in this thread.

 

EDIT: P.S. - I've seen a few people say level boosts don't take you to max level. No, right now they don't, but every once in a while, usually during the pre-patch they have. I have a habit of holding onto mine until this happens, that is why I know this. IIRC, during the BfA pre-patch this happened on the tail end of Legion. It might not be the most common thing, or the intended idea, but it has happened. Sorry if this is me being too much of a 'rules lawyer'. XD

 

EDIT #2: Ok, the mount was maybe not intended to be the Celestial Steed, but instead the Ancient Guardian mount, which was even more fake-Ulduar-drop looking, so my point still stands.

Edited by ORCSMASH
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I wonder how many other hobbies people have where they're still playing with the same group of friends after 17 years. To expect that from a single video game, regardless of the changes it may go through over that time, seems...unrealistic.

Edited by MrM
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4 hours ago, ORCSMASH said:

One thing specifically, I'd like to bring mention to is that everyone is assuming the "SKIP TO THE END!" billboard was for a paid service from Blizzard: I took it as the AotC/CE, M+ carry sellers' merchant stand, as that is - in my humble opinion, of course - one of the biggest killers of the community in WoW. (This actually makes sense, as it is off to the side and not the front-and-center stand, since it's not an "official" paid service.) More than LFR or LFD or anything like that, the game radically changed when Blizzard decided to openly allow carry sells for gold. Classic WoW's trade and LFG channels are literally saturated with it. To me, it's absolutely sickening.

Fair points, but on this one specifically, the boosting meta and WoW Token was one of the best things that ever happened in WoW for me and my crew. In old times you would strive to beat the content and once you do, that is it. Time to wait for another raid / expansion to drop and be bored as hell until then. It was also often stressful to ask my parents to pay the hefty WoW sub fee when I had nothing to show for it but having fun in the game with e-friends, occasionally at the expense of studying properly before the exams.

I was also a lot into RTS such as Starcraft Brood War and Warcraft 3, and the pro gamers who managed to convert their hobby into a self-sustaining (or even profitable!) gig were my idols, isn't that just the dream of any gamer teenager?

Enter the WoW Token. You have two sides: the buyer side and seller side.

The buyer side is made out of people that I just cannot understand. They trade valuable real life money for, essentially, skipping ahead on all that makes WoW fun. And for what? Some achievement points that can be obtained later, skipping on the chill of leveling and gear that will become obsolete in a matter of months, if not days when being boosted by the end of a tier. Yet some people do it, and pay incredibly well for it. Even during the Classic > TBC transition people were spending thousands of classic gold (that traded at like 1:700 to retail gold for comparison) to get Naxxramas gear which would become obsolete in a matter of hours. I don't get these people, but they exist.

The seller side is where the fun lies. Once you master a piece of content and start getting bored, you up the stakes by selling carries. This has multiple positive effects on your group's experience: it makes the content harder since you are carrying deadweights, confirming your mastery of the game and extending current content's lifespan. It also allows you to become somewhat of a pro gamer, able to self-sustain WoW's monthly fee and perhaps even make enough to try out other Battle.net games when you inevitably become bored again 🙂

Overall, you can still play like you used to: paying the monthly sub out of your IRL account and focusing on progressing content with like minded people as far as you can. But you can now pay for carries and skip or, more importantly, aim to do them yourself and self-sustain your hobby! Which, if told to the players who were pushing their limits back in the day, would be a dream come true.

Just wanted to give my perspective on this, remember that for each skip and sale sold to someone who is ruining their own experience, you are improving the experience of another person who would otherwise maybe not even have the means to pay to play this game in the long term. Yin and Yang! And plenty of greyscale in the middle for basically 99% of the people reading this 😉 

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16 hours ago, Seksi said:

Once geared with Mythic 0 gear, which should take 1-2 resets at most since you will get 2-3 loot drops per dungeon and ~8 dungeons per reset (your experience may vary with each expansion), you are perfectly ready to jump into the current normal, or even heroic raid tier, do rated PvP or start climbing Mythic+ keys. All of which are not matchmade activities.

I think this expansion kind of screwed "casual" players the most. In BfA I could still somehow hold my own, now there is no way to get even decent gear. Also, class balance is still bad, last expansion I was able to fight for a little, now it's too bursty. For example, paladins and rogues kill me instantly, like they will fire 3-4 skills and the fight is over, it wasn't like this in previous exp and I was casual too. And since I haven't been a raider for years now, also I don't enjoy mythic+ (very few people doing them anyway, so low chances to even get into a group, especially with those stupid invented point systems), getting better gear seems much harder than in BfA, also current balance might be a contributing factor.

Edited by Arcling
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2 hours ago, Seksi said:

Overall, you can still play like you used to: paying the monthly sub out of your IRL account and focusing on progressing content with like minded people as far as you can. But you can now pay for carries and skip or, more importantly, aim to do them yourself and self-sustain your hobby! Which, if told to the players who were pushing their limits back in the day, would be a dream come true.

Well, it's another thing ruined for casuals. This contributed to gold inflation, so unless you are farming a lot, prices on AH can be too high for average player. Of course, gold selling has always been a problem, but this didn't help.

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8 hours ago, Seksi said:

Fair points, but on this one specifically, the boosting meta and WoW Token was one of the best things that ever happened in WoW for me and my crew. In old times you would strive to beat the content and once you do, that is it. Time to wait for another raid / expansion to drop and be bored as hell until then. It was also often stressful to ask my parents to pay the hefty WoW sub fee when I had nothing to show for it but having fun in the game with e-friends, occasionally at the expense of studying properly before the exams.

I was also a lot into RTS such as Starcraft Brood War and Warcraft 3, and the pro gamers who managed to convert their hobby into a self-sustaining (or even profitable!) gig were my idols, isn't that just the dream of any gamer teenager?

Enter the WoW Token. You have two sides: the buyer side and seller side.

The buyer side is made out of people that I just cannot understand. They trade valuable real life money for, essentially, skipping ahead on all that makes WoW fun. And for what? Some achievement points that can be obtained later, skipping on the chill of leveling and gear that will become obsolete in a matter of months, if not days when being boosted by the end of a tier. Yet some people do it, and pay incredibly well for it. Even during the Classic > TBC transition people were spending thousands of classic gold (that traded at like 1:700 to retail gold for comparison) to get Naxxramas gear which would become obsolete in a matter of hours. I don't get these people, but they exist.

The seller side is where the fun lies. Once you master a piece of content and start getting bored, you up the stakes by selling carries. This has multiple positive effects on your group's experience: it makes the content harder since you are carrying deadweights, confirming your mastery of the game and extending current content's lifespan. It also allows you to become somewhat of a pro gamer, able to self-sustain WoW's monthly fee and perhaps even make enough to try out other Battle.net games when you inevitably become bored again 🙂

Overall, you can still play like you used to: paying the monthly sub out of your IRL account and focusing on progressing content with like minded people as far as you can. But you can now pay for carries and skip or, more importantly, aim to do them yourself and self-sustain your hobby! Which, if told to the players who were pushing their limits back in the day, would be a dream come true.

Just wanted to give my perspective on this, remember that for each skip and sale sold to someone who is ruining their own experience, you are improving the experience of another person who would otherwise maybe not even have the means to pay to play this game in the long term. Yin and Yang! And plenty of greyscale in the middle for basically 99% of the people reading this 😉 

You make some good points as well, my friend, however, I'd just like to point out a couple of things. Firstly, I understand your points and they are well-stated, but a major hang-up for me is the FOMO that Blizzard has intentionally cultivated every expansion (actually, every season) since Legion. Now, PvP seasonal mounts/titles are one thing: that's something that's basically been baked into PvP seasons from Day 1 and was the original idea behind it. However, what I can't stand is them making everything in the game this competitive race of 'beat it by X or you don't get Y mount'. To be totally fair on that point, I was even ok with the "exclusive" end of the expansion AotC mounts. But, adding in these things like the +15 M+ mounts for each season, exclusive seasonal non-rated pvp mounts, etc. I just have to ask "Why?" And, sadly, the only reason I can think of is not to make the game more fun or challenging, it's simply a cold, calculated business decision to keep players in WoW as much as humanly possible - or, even more pessimistically, to drive up the sale of WoW tokens for people buying carries into this content. (This ties directly into another issue I'll get into in a couple paragraphs.) For the record, I much, much preferred the challenge mode version to M+. Being able to BiS a toon (which you actually could do in MoP), and then execute each dungeon perfectly for a 1-time big reward (CM armor/weapons/mounts) was a much better system imho than the current treadmill of M+ grinding and having to do each dungeon multiple times to build to and then get +15s timed on all of them just for a reskinned, recolored mount.

Anyways, to continue, from the POV of one those players I mentioned who were like "well, if the prestige of clearing a raid on-level can be bought with someone's pay from 1-2 hours of IRL work, what's the point?", the issue literally is the legitimization of carry selling. It's like you said, you have two options: I could grind for hours and hours and hours to get the gear and the borrowed power du jour to the level I need to, then learn these fights and how to execute them, and then grind the fights for hours with my guild (or PUGs, whatever your bag is) while wiping to figure them out as a group OR I could work a few extra hours every few months and just buy my way to the finish line and I have to say that I agree - that is an issue. It's demoralizing, especially for those "middle ground" guilds who clear AotC (with some difficulty), then clear some Mythic bosses to see this happening. Another issue is that the sales are SO ubiquitous. Dungeon Finder tool? Spammed listings to the point there's more listings for carries than legit groups during many periods of the day. (Especially late at night, which is often the only time I can find to sneak in some M+ - if I can find a legitimate group in the dungeon and range I'm looking for.) Trade chat? Very few servers these days aren't spammed with those constantly, and Trade chat is near-unusable on larger servers like Illidan, etc. because of it. Classic LFG channel? As I stated before, it's so bad on there (even at 3am EST!) that is is also near-unusable for it's original intention. If carry sellers were limited to forum posts (where they could actually be monitored for spamming) or other such similar thing, instead of taking up space that's intended for other communication and/or activities, I think that would go a long way towards fixing the issue.

Another thing that would is by evening out the time investment a bit. If it takes, say, a player 20 hours on average to gear up for a raid, the IRL time investment in regards to wages spent on a carry should not equal less than 10 hours at average wage. I know this might sound harsh, but it goes back to "what's the point if someone can buy a carry by working an hour or two extra a month". The way it is now, it's not really a choice. You have to REALLY want to accomplish a goal in our digital fantasyland to make the choice to not buy a carry - or, in the case of players like yourself, have to maintain the support structure in-game that allows you to clear the content and then sell carries after. I remember, years ago, hearing so very, very often from players who were talking about what makes WoW great variations on the response of "there's no pay to win. It doesn't matter what you do or who you are IRL, in the game we are all equal." You talk about how the WoW token is great b/c it gives people who couldn't afford it otherwise a way to pay their sub, but how is that ok when carries are literally a case of 'can you afford it'? It seems to me that there is a disconnect there, and "legit" carries (or at least the prevalence of them) are not an equal-playing field, who-you-are-outside-Azeroth-doesn't-matter concept.

Continuing on, I'd like to mention here is that I've seen some bring up "well those people who left were probably going to leave anyways". In the words of the Heavy: "Hm. Maybe. Maybe." But we won't know, because they saw how the game was changing, and did not feel it lived up their expectations anymore so they left prematurely. (You can argue that WAS their natural exit point, but from talking to as many ex-WoW players as I have, it's often the change of one or two things that made them leave. If those mechanics hadn't changed or "features" hadn't been added, many of them would have continued playing. I know it's anecdotal, but this is the case with at least two dozen WoW friends that I've made and that have left the game. Actually, I can only think of one off-hand who left for reasons unrelated to game reasons and that was simply because he wanted to spend more time on other games and with his family, which is fair.) I don't know why everyone is so quick to write these folks off, because listening to them could reveal a lot of insight about things we may very well be unknowingly choosing to ignore. The point is, they didn't leave because they planned to, they left out of disappointment, disenfranchisement, and neglect. I know, because I was a CE raider up until SDL and now I'm on that cusp myself. I don't WANT to leave WoW - I love the lore (for the most part), I like the basic mechanics of the game and how it works, and post-BfA the classes feel a lot better in the baseline. But WoW feels more like a p2w mmo these days than a full-featured game I'm paying a sub for.

The second-to-last point I'm going to make is the one I said I'd come back to later. I'm not making any judgments about you or anyone else, but I am making a judgment about how WoW has been developed. As I said, I've played WoW for a long, long time and I do truly love the game. When I have mastered the content, as you put it, that's when I roll up or gear up an alt to play and master the game a different way or - and hear me out - I start going through the incredibly huge backlog of games I have on Steam, etc. I don't know where the mentality of "WoW must have fresh content constantly lest I become bored and angry at the devs" came from (I am not insinuating this is your personal attitude, but I'm sure you've seen it), but it's anathema to making good content and a good game. Good things take time. WoW post-MoP has been rushed and, for the most part, panned quite a bit. (Sidenote: People might have liked Legion because it was fresh ideas, but many of the same things players complained about during BfA were identical or near identical to their sister-systems from Legion.) The thing that absolutely kills me about this is the "take your time, but hurry it up" attitude from the player base. You can't have both. It's just simply not possible. We knew there would come a day when releases would catch up to the development teams working ahead of schedule, but it just seems so hard for a lot of people (both in the playerbase and in the decision making process of WoW development) to accept that it has happened. To make things worse, WoW putting in so. many. collectibles and other "hurry up and get this" items and achievements has directly hindered players being able to invest time into even other Blizzard games. Want to experience the new season of Diablo? Well, if you're playing WoW and want to finish the content before the next patch comes out, you better get a carry in Diablo, cause you won't have time for both. People are free to do what they want, I'm not taking that away from anyone, but to have the attitude that "I'm bored, so I'm going to do something that may have negative effects on this game and it's community while I wait for more content" just doesn't sit right with me. I've taken the extreme boredom that I've felt during SDL and channeled it into writing songs, playing games that I have *LOVED* and should have played years ago (beaten 10 in my Steam library since SDL launched), and checking out the other side of the grass in FFXIV. I'm not saying you personally should, but I'm saying maybe it's ok to be bored with a game and walk away or cut your time in it for a few months between content patches. And, hey, if you REALLY LOVE WoW, it's fine if that's the only game you play 24/7, but I don't think it's fair to warp the game or demand faster content because you pushed it past what the devs planned on. That would be like going to a restaurant, eating the meal you ordered, and then demanding more because the portion they offered at the price you paid didn't fill you up. /shrug. Personally, I like some moderate breaks between content and more-than-enough time in a cycle to finish everything that was put into the game during it. Whereas some complained about the Dragon Soul patch's length, I welcomed it as an opportunity to catch up on old Achievements in WoW and put some time into other games - at the time, I think it was LoL and some console single player titles.

Lastly, I disagree with your stance on carries confirming your mastery of the game. As someone who has been part of Mythic carry-sell groups in the past, we weren't going in with our toons as they were when we first cleared the content. There is usually a couple (or more) weeks of gearing to the point where 10-15 players now equal the DPS/HPS/etc. that 20 did on the early clears. So the 'deadweight' argument doesn't hold much water with me, as we usually told carries "You're going to suicide, just like this, at this time" to get them out of the way so we could clear it. That, to me, doesn't confirm your mastery, it just confirms you had the patience to do it multiple times for the gear you needed to make the run(s) easier and able to sell. Perhaps the solution is to nix the token and just introduce an NPC that allows players to trade in-game gold for game time? In that case, people would have to invest time IN THE GAME whether they wanted to farm gold to buy carries or whether they wanted to clear it legit on their own, without having the option of literally buying their way to the end of the game. That might actually make the AH sizzle a bit more like it used to, as well.

Anyways, I really hope I didn't come across as rude or anything like that here - and sorry this is so long, but that's partially your fault for making me think about this so much! XD Seriously, though, this has been an amazing discussion and you gave me a lot to think about and consider what I really don't like about the current WoW paradigm. This is actually the only forum where I will actually actively participate in discussions because, as I've mentioned in other topics, the IV community is not nearly as toxic as a lot of them and people seem to welcome healthy debate and discussion here - and people seem able and ok with just walking away disagreeing! Which is great!

P.S. - Some Naxx gear is pre-raid BiS for BC, so it's not a given that anything they got was obsolete within hours. Sorry to be a stickler, but it's important to me that is mentioned.

 

TL;DR - I'm not even going to attempt it on this one...

Edited by ORCSMASH
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7 hours ago, MrM said:

I wonder how many other hobbies people have where they're still playing with the same group of friends after 17 years. To expect that from a single video game, regardless of the changes it may go through over that time, seems...unrealistic.

I'm still playing D&D with two people from high school 20 years later and in another campaign with 3 people from college over 15 years later. Musically, I still jam and form bands with people I've known and been playing with for 15-20+ years as well. This is not as uncommon as you may think. Not arguing, just trying to offer a different perspective you may not have considered. 😁

Also, I might add it's a bit unrealistic to think the same video game would still be growing and thriving with full-priced expansions and a subscription 17 years after it's release, but here we are! XD

Edited by ORCSMASH

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3 hours ago, ORCSMASH said:

However, what I can't stand is them making everything in the game this competitive race of 'beat it by X or you don't get Y mount'.

(...)

Anyways, to continue, from the POV of one those players I mentioned who were like "well, if the prestige of clearing a raid on-level can be bought with someone's pay from 1-2 hours of IRL work, what's the point?", the issue literally is the legitimization of carry selling. It's like you said, you have two options: I could grind for hours and hours and hours to get the gear and the borrowed power du jour to the level I need to, then learn these fights and how to execute them, and then grind the fights for hours with my guild (or PUGs, whatever your bag is) while wiping to figure them out as a group OR I could work a few extra hours every few months and just buy my way to the finish line and I have to say that I agree - that is an issue.

(...)

You talk about how the WoW token is great b/c it gives people who couldn't afford it otherwise a way to pay their sub, but how is that ok when carries are literally a case of 'can you afford it'? It seems to me that there is a disconnect there, and "legit" carries (or at least the prevalence of them) are not an equal-playing field, who-you-are-outside-Azeroth-doesn't-matter concept.

(...)

But WoW feels more like a p2w mmo these days than a full-featured game I'm paying a sub for.

(...)

Well, if you're playing WoW and want to finish the content before the next patch comes out, you better get a carry in Diablo, cause you won't have time for both.

(...)

Lastly, I disagree with your stance on carries confirming your mastery of the game. As someone who has been part of Mythic carry-sell groups in the past, we weren't going in with our toons as they were when we first cleared the content. There is usually a couple (or more) weeks of gearing to the point where 10-15 players now equal the DPS/HPS/etc. that 20 did on the early clears. So the 'deadweight' argument doesn't hold much water with me, as we usually told carries "You're going to suicide, just like this, at this time" to get them out of the way so we could clear it. That, to me, doesn't confirm your mastery, it just confirms you had the patience to do it multiple times for the gear you needed to make the run(s) easier and able to sell. Perhaps the solution is to nix the token and just introduce an NPC that allows players to trade in-game gold for game time? In that case, people would have to invest time IN THE GAME whether they wanted to farm gold to buy carries or whether they wanted to clear it legit on their own, without having the option of literally buying their way to the end of the game. That might actually make the AH sizzle a bit more like it used to, as well.

Anyways, I really hope I didn't come across as rude or anything like that here - and sorry this is so long, but that's partially your fault for making me think about this so much! XD Seriously, though, this has been an amazing discussion and you gave me a lot to think about and consider what I really don't like about the current WoW paradigm. This is actually the only forum where I will actually actively participate in discussions because, as I've mentioned in other topics, the IV community is not nearly as toxic as a lot of them and people seem to welcome healthy debate and discussion here - and people seem able and ok with just walking away disagreeing! Which is great!

P.S. - Some Naxx gear is pre-raid BiS for BC, so it's not a given that anything they got was obsolete within hours. Sorry to be a stickler, but it's important to me that is mentioned.

That was the biggest wall of text I have ever seen in this website, think you deserve a prize there hehe 🙂

It is fine to disagree yeah, after reading through every single word you wrote I think that we have a fundamental disconnect on how we approach the game and its challenges. You are in for the "carrot", what matters is the mount, the gear, the reward Blizzard gives out to people who clear the content.

I literally do not care about that. My favorite owned mount? One of the ugliest and plainest looking mounts ever, the Crusader's White Warhorse. Why do I like it so much? Because it is tied to some of my best memories from WoW ever: the full clear of a current raid tier (The Argent Tournament, in Wrath of the Lich King) without anyone dying at all, an extremely difficult group effort, done with Pacifism in Ravencrest EU back in the day which took us months of attempts before finally succeeding.

What I cherish is the journey, the people and the content itself. Clearing Mythic Nathria was a blast, just as previous raids have been. I swapped guild last year and loving my new boys and girls, we got our best world rank ever and cheered each other on even though we are mostly strangers united by our passion for raiding. Also had a lot of fun pushing 2100 rating in PvP for the first time, incentivized by the exceptional strong gear rewards which were useful in progression. Clearing the Maw every day until I had full sockets was often boring but also provided a way to measure the growth of my character daily, and how each upgrade made it easier and easier. I also got to know every nook and cranny of it by the end. Torghast was interesting at first, boring at times but also allowed me to try out different ways to play my character, and in fact my favorite way to go through it nowadays is as a healer spec, even when solo, which is a funny departure from how things usually work in the game. Finally, got my Keystone Master all +15s out of the way midway through the raid progress but after we were done with PvP. Since I had only focused on doing 15s for weekly before, this was a new challenge, and the first time I used Raider.Io ever. Pug life is certainly hard 😅 but my groups mostly made it through, with a lot of clutch plays involved! Oh, and before I forget, completed every covenant campaign over 4 different characters, and still leveling their covenant halls / mission tables / weekly activities today. Highly recommend the Ember Court, actually discovering new things there every week! The Kyrian vehicle brawling arena is also pretty nifty but I haven't unlocked the later half of it yet.

Although all of these things described have achievements, mounts, gear associated with it, that's really not the important part. What was fun was getting there. Putting in the effort and daily grind, making friends to help each other along the way, learning new things as I go.

Anyone who boosted through the game missed on what is fun. They never needed WoW friends, just an IRL job (and it is quite cheap in IRL terms to boost, for sure, as you pointed out) and willingness to spend some of their money in it.

I pity these people, but I do not think they won anything at all, like you seem to believe. Anything they received from being boosted (gear, achievements, mounts) only has value for themselves, and temporary at that. They are not using it to help out their guild or friends, they are not building lasting relationships, they are not building their skills at playing the game.

Next tier, they will have to boost again if they want to not miss out as you put it. And again. And again...until one day they give up because they figure out it meaningless to get the rewards without working for them, as we knew all along.

So, imho, if you and anyone who thinks of "rewards" first and foremost want to have fun with WoW (and MMOs in general) again, the secret is to value the journey and your personal growth, rather than whatever gear / achievements / mounts and so on virtual "trophies" your characters have.

Cheers 🙂

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I don't think I'm going to hit too hard on 9.1...maybe do Heroic Raid progression and do some Keystones but not run after the new keystone achievment revamped.  Like a part of me wants to like Shadowlands and the friends that I've made in WoW to keep me going but I'm not getting that sense of enjoyment and fun fullfillment as I have had in Legion and in BFA.  I am going to play Aion: Classic that is releasing this Wednesday for a bit of nostalgia with some friends of mine that I've met ingame over 10 years ago.  I also plan on playing the new FFXIV expansion once it releases.  But everyone is entitled to their opinion on what drives them into staying and playing WoW.  The video, in a way, does show that but doesn't convene the full emotion of it as a whole to the audience.

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43 minutes ago, Seksi said:

That was the biggest wall of text I have ever seen in this website, think you deserve a prize there hehe 🙂

It is fine to disagree yeah, after reading through every single word you wrote I think that we have a fundamental disconnect on how we approach the game and its challenges. You are in for the "carrot", what matters is the mount, the gear, the reward Blizzard gives out to people who clear the content.

...

This one will be much shorter, I assure you. XD

I will be the first person to admit that, yes, I am a collector. Mounts, pets, toys, transmog. The big four; as much of it as I can get. That said, I'm not going to break myself over content I don't enjoy (i.e. a lot of the SDL content thus far) trying to get every last piece. Now all of that aside, I don't feel your characterization of my goals is correct. I'm actually much more motivated by overcoming challenges with friends and the journey to do so. During progression, I'm the first one to withdraw my roll for an item so that someone else who needs it more can get it. Gear is a means to an end for me. (Until it's farmable, *then* I transmog hunt.) As a matter of fact, my collections are a result of a journey I started years ago with several different in-game friends, as we started farming old raids, etc. in Cataclysm for mounts and Achievements to try to one-up each other. Since then, they've fallen by the wayside for the most part, but every once in a while I find someone that re-ignites one of those collector-rivalries, if only for a few months before I'm rarely seeing them in-game.

However, the problems I mentioned have led to an environment where every guild I've been in since the very, very end of MoP (post-progression SoO Mythic clear-territory here) hasn't had nearly the same kind of cohesiveness or social aspect that I saw before. People started pugging whenever was convenient for them to gear up, rather than doing organized guild runs, for example. And while I did still attain some pretty decent heights post-MoP, including finishing Mythic HFC in the US Top 200, it just wasn't as satisfying because I didn't feel like the people I was playing with were actually a team, if that makes any sense. There are some journeys that worth taking alone, and WoW has had some (like the Mage Tower - one time-sensitive reward structure I was ok with because, like CMs you had *nearly* the entire expansion to finish them), but overall, it's not the type of journey I want to make without people to share it with. =0/ So, I think the real difference between you and I is that I don't feel the journey is worthwhile if I'm having to constantly do it alone or switch who I'm making the journey with and you seem to be fine with doing what you have to do, even solo if need be. (This might be due somewhat in part to my social anxiety, but I digress...)

Now, in turn, yes, the mounts, titles, etc. that people buy their way to *are* going to be outdated the next patch and, like you say, if they want to keep up they either need to l2p or fork over more cash. Even so, it's the strutting and the posturing and the of wearing of those rewards that they didn't earn through any kind of skill or work like they actually did earn them, and I firmly believe that diminishes the efforts of *EVERYONE* - including yourself - who does go through the effort and commits the time to accomplish those goals and legitimately earn those rewards. Those kinds of things used to have some prestige to them - I mean, hell, in classic, even wearing purples in Orgrimmar could turn people's heads, because only the players who committed and learned the game would usually have them. These days, because of the prevalance of p2w communities in WoW, having those titles, mounts, etc. on-level doesn't even make anyone blink anymore. I've even seen dozens, if not hundreds of times players remark "nice sale mount" to a random in a hub or random dungeon, etc. But while the prestige of those items may wear off with the next patch or patches (as we saw with the massive amount of Jaina Water Ele mounts during the waning months of BfA), for that brief glimmer of time there's an amount of pride to be able to say "I have this, because I was part of an awesome team that overcame these challenges". To me, and I'm certain to other players as well, that's somewhat ruined by seeing other players metaphorically saying "I have this because I spent $30US on WoW gold". I'd like to see a return to a paradigm in WoW that when you see someone on that tier's Mythic raid last-boss mount, you knew they had juice. If someone was decked out in full top-tier Arena gear, you knew they could throwdown in the game, and not just throw down their credit card.

Anyways, I promised this would be shorter and I am an orc of my word, so I will close here. I do sincerely hope this gives you a better insight as to where I am coming from psychologically and that you can see I have not come to these conclusions as a snap decision nor just because I'm a "hater". It is well-thought out and I have considered other viewpoints, but it just feels wrong to see that level-playing field upended, even after all these years.

 

Lok'tar Ogar!😁

Edited by ORCSMASH
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      July 21 (Source)
      Classes
      Druid Born Anew’s (Conduit) primary stat bonus reduces to 20 upon the beginning of a new encounter. Developers’ note: The intent of this bonus is to provide a benefit when using resurrections in combat. But it is best to avoid situations where players might feel compelled to min/max something like this before starting a pull. Priest Shadow Shadow Crash’s (Talent) ground visual will now match the area effect. Void Volley ’s (PvP Talent) ground visuals will now match the area effect and has more defined edges. Warrior Arms Fixed an issue where Swift Patrol (Niya Soulbind) caused the auto-attack timer to reset. Creatures and NPCs
      Players now have a 2 second grace period to keep their vision of targets within the area contained by the Soul Chains between the Soul Cages during the Mor’geth encounter. Reduced the number of Prince Renathals in Sinfall. Press F to pay respects. Dungeons and Raids
      Sanctum of Domination Defeating Sylvanas Windrunner on Mythic difficulty will now reward 2 Vengeance’s Reins. Remnant of Ner’zhul Players can no longer cause a second orb to become non-interactable while carrying an Orb of Torment. Plaguefall You must now defeat the first three bosses of the dungeon before the door to Margrave Stradama opens on all difficulties. Developers’ note: The first two bosses of the dungeon were frequently being skipped in lower-difficulty dungeons, typically by groups who were trying to earn Renown much faster than intended. To improve players’ Renown earnings, we’ve also added a chance for Renown to be earned by completing layers in Torghast (see hotfix below). Items and Rewards
      Teleporter Repair Kits should no longer have a Unique count and will now stack to 50. Repaired Riftkeys will also now stack to 50. Developers’ note: Early in development, Teleporter Repair Kits and Repaired Riftkeys were only available from the vendor. Based on player feedback of not knowing if they were worth purchasing, we decided to have them drop occasionally as well. Now that these items dropped and became out of player’s control, we should have removed the unique cap on the Teleporter Repair Kits then. Also, since you have access to purchasing the Teleporter Repair Kits or Repaired Rift Keys, we are disabling them from going to mail if you loot one with a full inventory so they will no longer fill up your mailbox. The item levels of Conduits sold by the Rated PvP vendor have been corrected. Fixed an issue where the Salvaged Fusion Amplifier was not dropping for Marksmanship and Beastmaster Hunters. Quests
      Fixed an issue during “Nal’ragas” that caused internal text to be visible to users of certain nameplate addons. Torghast, Tower of the Damned
      Renown is now a possible reward from Torghast completions, with better chances at Renown coming from higher Torghast difficulties.
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