Wednesday Reset – Skeletons, Role Playing and Immersion

I’ve trawled through the gripefest to discover whats been pissing people off this week and boy, do we have some good-uns.

 

bring back skeletons

With Classic around the proverbial corner, this one certainly caught my attention.

This post was simple in its request, leave player skeletons on the ground for longer so that if there is an absolute shitshow going down somewhere, the aftermath is visible for longer creating that feeling of unease for anyone else who happens to wander upon the scene.

There were many comments from people who didn’t even realise that the skeletons disappear quickly nowadays.
I certainly hadn’t realised that they disappeared quickly even though I distinctly remember skeletons littering the Isle of Giants for ages when there were 60 people trying to kill fucking Oondasta.
Running back from the grave yard definitely gave the ‘oh fuck’ when you looked at it all.

wpid-Oondasta2.jpeg

The support for skeletons was vast, many described the dread that they felt when they came across some open land with a fair smattering of skeletons. There was no telling if the battle was over. No telling if there was someone still lurking around and if they were friend or foe. It made questing dangerous without it being an actual battle 24/7. It created communities forming to drive back the opposition, people actually used Local Defence!

Out of curiosity, I had a look how long it took for a skeleton to disappear. I threw myself off my mount at decent height and watched myself doing my best Air Dancer impression on the way down…

falling hunter

At the seven minute mark I was wondering if the skeleton was ever going to disappear… at the 12 minute mark, I started kinda getting bored of watching if I’m honest so I googled the answer.
It turns out that in BfA your skeleton despawns after hours of being there.
Now, I’m not sure if that is ‘quick’? Are we just quite immune to dying at this point that we just don’t really see our skeletons and therefore think they don’t last as long as they actually?

What might be more to the point is that now, skeletons have a cap, once that is hit, the oldest ones in the zone will start to disappear as new ones are made. Whereas back in the day, there was no cap, so you could have a literal carpet of skeletons that completely masks the terrain underneath. This might be the memories that are coming back, not that they took forever to despawn as technically, they still do now. It was the memory of the sheer number of them.
Classic needs skeletons that all stick around, that is for sure!

 


sharding issues

Now this is a topic I can get behind.

The gist of the conversation started by using the weather as a stark reminder that people in the same guild were being sharded separately from each other, even on the same realm. One person could see that it was drizzling in Stormsong Valley, one person said it was actually showing a torrential downpour and another said that it was sunny.

The point by the OP was that the sharding was limiting immersion in the world be separating people out into different versions of the world that were not concurrent. Meaning that people in guilds or even at time friends could not see each other but what they could see was different for each person and at that point, you might as well be on different realms.

Now, some had r/whoosh moments where they completely missed the point. They believed that the OP just needed to find a guild where people talked or maybe they should just join a community. This did derail the conversation somewhat but there were some who were trying to steer the ship in the direction it was supposed to be going.

While the weather highlights a big issue that we are not all playing the same ‘game’ and despite being in the same guild, we are not all standing in the same capital city, the biggest example of the issue comes with PvP.

ganking loss

Ok, so I liked the char name and the point they had. The sharding means that your own characters don’t end up in the same shard.

This is especially frustrating when you’re being ganked and you try and practice Blizzards PvP harassment rectification, which is just kill ’em back. You log your main and then they’re not there, theres no one there… Go back on your original char and then you’re being ganked again. It makes it night on impossible to get your revenge unless you jump through a load of hoops and have people willing to hold those hoops up for you.
Before Blizz changes it up to only allow you to cross over shards if you were in the same zone as the group leader, I remember there was two of us hanging around in Darkshire protecting some lowbies (like lvl 20-30) from the lvl 110’s who were jut one shotting them and their quest givers.
Yet when we engaged them, they just sharded out, reappearing quickly before going away again, biding their time until we had given up and left.

Once upon a time I remember two 40 man raids running/flying away from Ogrimmar to Thunder Bluff after we had just offed the leader. We were chased down relentlessly. I could turn my camera around and there they were… no matter what zones we went into. You start shit, don’t think you can just fade out of existence and lololol your way out of it. You had to be prepared to pay the price if you fucked up because you couldn’t escape that easily. That was real WPvP. That was communities working together to track down perps who had fucked up the Trade District, even if it meant following them all the way down to Booty Bay. That was Local Defence being used to call for help and help arriving (usually with friends).

Immersion in an MMO is the feeling that it is a Massively Multiplayer game. It’s not just about chatting in a guild about random stuff although that is a part of it. It’s feeling that there is a group around you of friends, acquaintances and also enemies that you have history with. You learn who you can overcome in battle and who you need to try and avoid. You can hear pleas from people who are being attacked and know that a crusade of sorts can be organised quickly to come and help.

Immersion for me, and those on the forums, doesn’t involve separating people out so that everyone’s game in a Massively Multiplayer world is slightly different, despite being stood in the same place.

 


cross faction rp

This one is obviously an old one but with everything that has been going on between the factions, I think it is a really relevant one even though I don’t actually role play in game.

There was an addon that allowed role players who consented to have their chats translated so that the opposite faction could understand them. If you wanted to chat shit to the other side during a massive organised WPvP battle (like they do in the cinematics!) then you could. You want to make a dastardly deal with a Forsaken Rogue to take out your rival? You could. The RP potential was huge and really embraced the tense cross faction communication that was being shown to us by the story lines all the way from the end of MoP. Yet come 8.1 Blizzard had blocked it, no one appears to have been banned for it but they stopped the addon from working anymore.

What makes it hard to understand as to why it was needing to be apparently stopped was that we were starting to move away from all out throat slashing on sight to trying to outsmart each other via a battle of wit. The pen is mightier than the sword and Varians dialogue with Vol’jin showed this. It was words that could start wars or put them on hold. With Legion, working together was drilled into us so much that we were pushed into forgetting we were Horde and Alliance and that we were actually our class. All hunters worked together, all Rogues, all Priests etc… regardless of faction. Our followers were from both sides. We could communicate with them all apart from each other.
All the faction big-wigs can communicate to each other and the player can understand and communicate with the opposing faction leaders! Yet the footman (us) are dumb when communicating across ranks.

Some did crow that it was against ToS. This explanation is dubious in itself considering that there are certain classes that can communicate across faction already. Demon Hunters and Pandaran can already talk to each other regardless the faction. Void and Blood Elves can talk cross faction and race. At this point though, the issue of cross faction talk however seems to have been eradicated in the ToU by the amalgamation of everything in a generic EULA. Whereas it was in the limitations of use that you cannot communicate cross faction, this has now gone, focusing more on advertising, e-sports and gold selling scams.
The only think it could be is that Blizzard no longer see cross faction communications as inherently game breaking or destructive behaviour but it was just the addon and how it was needing to be coded that resulted in the addon being patched against rather than banning the concept in itself.

This was partially supported by the addition of the Elixer of Tongues which was introduced the 14th Dec 2018 Hotfixes.

elixer

This allows cross faction talk at a price. The potion itself is 30g (reduction with Kirin Tor rep levels) and for true communication you both need to purchase one, otherwise it’s a case of you can understand them but they cant understand you and vice-versa.

It’s sold by Fizzi Liversapper in Broken Shore Dalaran, which also poses the problem of how you get one if your RP story isn’t about going to that area.

Lizzi

I guess you could ask someone to bring you back a gift of it or send someone on a trade mission, but expect them to be gone for a few days? (I don’t RP so I’m not sure if twenty minutes to get there and back is viable for RP?

This does leave another question though. If talking between factions is not a ToU breaking offence anymore as it is not included in the EULA. And on the basis that Blizzard have quite happily added in races that can between themselves talk between faction and more crucially, they have implemented a race that can talk to another one across faction, why are they not lifting the language barrier between everyone?
There could be an option to only be able to understand Alliance languages if you wanted to if preserving the heritage of the game is your jam, much like if you don’t like flying, you can opt to not fly. This universal translator (which we bloody picked up enough of in Draenor!) could be automatically switched off in Battlegrounds and Arenas.
Although, I remember ending up in Silvershard Mine in Pandaria and we were up against another Alliance team, what I will admit to is that I can’t remember if we could understand them… If we couldn’t then the tech is there to scramble and unscramble speech, if we could understand them, then the issue of knowing the enemy plans due to careless /say clearly isn’t of a major concern.

While the issue of the addon being rendered broken is a pain in the arse for role players, and the Elixir going some way towards helping (even if costly in the long run for some people who actually RP, if they can’t justify fucking off and farming gold for an hour) the implication of cross faction talking is big for the wider community too. We have been fed a lifetime of cross faction communication by our leaders, we have been told we have a strained relationship with the other faction  but a relationship nonetheless. With the cross faction play going on in BfA there really doesn’t seem like a better time to just open it up for those who want to toggle it on.

 

 

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