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Op-ed: Where's the WoW in CotH?
#1
Spoiler'd introduction if you only want to read the essay itself.

Spoiler:
At first I was considering posting this in the ongoing "Inactivity as of late" thread, but eventually I found myself typing out something too long and too divergent from the nature of the current discussion there, which at the moment seems to be centered on problems in the community: the ineptitude of various DMs and GMs, the exclusiveness of cliques and guilds, the ossification of the lore following WotLK, and so forth. While all these undoubtedly contribute to the so-called "stagnation" of CotH that has apparently occurred as of late, in my view the greater problem here lies elsewhere.

First, please allow me to introduce myself, as to date there appears to be some confusion in-game as to who I am on the forums and vice versa. I am Werewolf, but many of you will recognize me better by the name of my main character in-game: Aloredra, the crazy Old God-worshipping night elf. I joined CotH just over one month ago. I am a peon who will be applying for gruntship as soon as I complete and submit Aloredra's profile. In fact, I joined CotH so recently that this current level of activity which you are all calling a "stagnation" is, to me, simply normal—that is to say, I’ve only known this server one way, and that’s the way it is now. As such, my outlook on CotH is fundamentally a little different than many of you veterans’ outlooks: I don’t know CotH’s history, so I might be saying things that you guys have already tried and hashed out in years past—but at the same time, my view is untainted by your history; I am unbiased insofar that I have no previous experiences here on which to bias myself. I have literally nothing upon which to look back, and so my vision is fixated strictly forward. Please keep all this in mind as you read this op-ed.

Put simply, I ask you all: where is the WoW in CotH?

Let’s face it—WoW, traditionally, has been a winning model. More lately, within the last three years or so, players have grown upset with the direction of the lore, talent system, “dumbing down” of the mechanics, and so forth—but before then (WotLK and earlier) it maintained immense popularity, and to this day its worldwide player base is, by anyone’s standards, massive.

Why is this? What drives players to keep playing WoW for years on end? What makes WoW so addictive?

The answer is actually not unique to WoW, although WoW is definitely an exemplar of it: it is the progression, the development of one’s own character. When you start WoW, you are as pathetic and as worthless as the dust on Thrall’s left bootstrap. After leaving your isolated starting area, you migrate on foot to your capital city and are suddenly immersed in an ocean of endgame players. They circle above your head riding on dragons, boasting fancy titles and shiny, glowing gear. And more than anything else you are envious of them—you aspire to one day be accomplished heroes like they are, to ride on your own dragon and brandish a sword as big as your body and to stare down at a n00b peon just like you and feel smug at how far you’ve come. And so you find yourself staring up a long slope, the radiant beacon of fame and excellence glimmering in the distance at its summit—and your aspiration and envy compel you to ascend, gluing you to the grind no matter how monotonous it is.

Thus it is the slope itself, the gradient between insignificant and excellent, that gives your character purpose. Your thirst for the rewards farther up the slope and the satisfaction of looking back down upon what you have transcended all motivate you to keep climbing year after year. This is the defining element of WoW.

But CotH is not a world of slopes; it is a flat world, a world of equals. The administration has consciously endeavored to keep everything level, both in terms of materials—by providing all players with immediate, free, and unlimited access to all gears, pets, mounts, abilities, etc.—and in terms of status—by establishing the ground rule that all characters are intrinsically of equal strength, which is to say that a character created one second ago can, with good luck, defeat a character created one year ago. Thus, while the server is based firmly in WoW’s lore, any semblance of WoW as a game is absent here, since the slope—the defining element of WoW—has been removed.

Their reasoning for doing this is both understandable and respectable: these policies maximize the ability of a new player or character to “jump right into things,” so to speak. No one can ever be denied access to an event, guild, or quest because they are too weak, and by the same token no one can achieve so much power as to be untouchable.

But as the server stands now, it is so perfectly flat that we lose any sense of upwardness—we lose sight of a long-term purpose. Bulldozing the slope to greatness does indeed liberate players from the pain of weakness and of envy, but what does it liberate them unto? They find themselves on an infinite horizontal stretch: looking forward, they see no objectives toward which to orient themselves; looking backward, they see no signs of how far they have come. They roleplay a character until they get bored of it or until it dies too many times, then they retire it and start again with another character—after all, there is no penalty; the new character is, for all intents and purposes, just as powerful as the old one. For contrast, in WoW, the slope makes you invested in your characters—you can choose to start over, but you’ll be back at level 1, at the bottom of the slope, with no money or abilities, the speck of dust on Thrall’s left bootstrap. Not such a simple choice to make!

Eventually, therefore, the CotH system as it stands now fails to retain our interest. We find other things to do in life—other things with more purpose to which we may commit ourselves—and pursue those instead. The population recedes, and the community stagnates.

Earlier in the “Inactivity as of late” thread something similar to this topic was touched upon for a few posts but then quickly passed by. During the brief discussion, @Delta said the following:

(10-21-2013, 05:42 PM)Delta Wrote: Restrictions to create the illusion of a sense of achievement do not appeal to me at all. There are places where such is the norm, and I'd much sooner not see CotH go down that road. There is nothing stopping you from working towards your own IC goals through personal and public storylines. You don't really need mechanics to limit you, you can do that just fine yourself if that's the sort of progress you want to make. If you get fun outta that, fantastic! Job well done. No one else is imposed upon, nor must they be.

My point with this op-ed is to show you all that it is NOT the restrictions that create the illusion of achievement, but rather the absence of restrictions that create the illusion of freedom. The sense of achievement that the slope creates is in fact very real and not illusory at all, as it gives players and their characters their drive and purpose. Removing the slope might appear at first to bestow freedom to all, as no one is forced to make any sort of ascent, but in reality it merely traps us in a different way; without a slope to ascend, we perpetually wander directionless and without commitment. And yes, Delta, while we certainly can pretend we’re climbing a slope through IC storylines, without any sort of concrete mechanics behind it, our “pretend” slope is for all intents and purposes meaningless, as everyone knows that in reality we are all eternal equals. Thus, Delta, I think you have it backwards: the slope that we create for ourselves is the illusory one, whereas the slope WoW creates is tangible and motivating.

So what is the solution, then? Surely the opposite extreme—playing CotH exactly like retail WoW—is not the answer. After all, many people (myself included) come here to CotH to get away from retail WoW. My argument, therefore, is that we must find the middle path, the balance between the unforgiving steepness of retail WoW’s slope and the near-utter absence of CotH’s slope.

I say “near-utter absence” for a reason. I recognize that there are some minor elements of progression in place here right now: peons can become grunts; gruntship lets you play nobles and CMCs; grunts can build trust in the community and become forum helpers (etc.); and so forth. But these alone, clearly, are insufficient. I noticed from the wiki and forum archives that in the past there was a prestige system here that involved lengthy, rigorous training and granted unique weapons/gears/IC powers. I noticed also that there was once a token system that encouraged people to grind gold (gold, at the moment, has practically no purpose in-game other than to buy gear with actual stats…which nobody actually needs since no one actually fights anything outside of emotes and dice rolls). Both of these ideas sound good to me in concept, though obviously in practice they must have grown clunky and unmanageable considering they have since been abolished. Perhaps these systems or something like them could be reintroduced in a more manageable format, building off the wisdom of hindsight.

Point being, I feel we must integrate some form of “climb” or “grind” into CotH to construct an actual, tangible slope for us to ascend. We must create an environment wherein players can focus on roleplaying more than—but not entirely instead of—climbing.

In short, we must put a little more WoW back into CotH.
_____________________________________

Needs moar slopes imo
Needs moar archaeology imo
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#2
What made WoW popular for so long is the same thing that makes Farmville popular. The successful application of Skinner's Research.

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#3
While I do agree with a lot of the points brought up, I guess I'll speak my piece.

Yes. I do incredibly enjoy your comparison to the "grind" to a slope, and you use this metaphor constantly through the op-ed to explain that CotH, basically, lacks said slope. I will not say you are wrong, but I will give you a different way to look at it.

When we, as characters, begin on CotH, we could be comparable to dirt on Thrall's left bootstrap. Even though each character, aged high or low as they will, is equal, we are equal in lowness when our creation comes. Only through activity, the masses of CotH meeting your character and embracing them (in RP of course), do you feel you begin to climb this "slope". Truly there are no rewards, but the climbing of the slope comes in a much different fashion.

When you go out and RP a character, and you do it well, what would people say? "You're a good RPer, who are you on the forums?" or "Can I have your Skype?" and so forth. We ascend this slope by becoming known, socially (IC and OOC). When everybody knows who you are and everybody wishes to RP with you, you've essentially climbed the slope. This is a constant challenge due to new members and people you've never met, so it's surely enough to entice attention for a while.

And if this isn't enough of a "slope", then explain story-lines. You are a character. Through a short, or long, chain of events including yourself and an unlimited number of other characters, you complete an achievement or do something that isn't usually done. Through these story-lines, you conquer something and become a more well-defined, rewarded character. Can that not also be seen as a slope, the nearly-never-ending stream of story-lines that can further your character, even going as far as including IC guild involvements?

TL;DR: CotH may actually have some slopes, you just may want to look at it a different way.

As I started with; I do agree with many parts of this op-ed, but here's my opinion as well.
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#4
Roleplay's pretend, yup. The tales we write for our characters are stories, and there is nothing tangible to show for having told them, 'cept for the logs, if you keep those. I never said it wasn't an illusion, just that I didn't really like the idea of restrictions or mechanics overbearingly involved in the process. I continue to uphold that view, though I recognise the draw of certain restrictions; for instance the profile system, to some extent. The limitations it imposes are beneficial in some ways.

The purposes of most struggles, real or imagined, tends to be achieving some sort of goal, even if it's simply to enjoy the sometimes arduous journey. How we go about achieving these goals is the important part, and what constitutes the meat of any story or system. That is the stage where personal preferences enter into it, in my opinion. All mechanics, like WoW? All story, like a book? A little of both? Should we really enforce either to any extent?

You've read a bit about the prestige system, and it's something a lot of folks are at least peripherally familiar with, so I'll use it as an example. Let's say that, back then, you intended to have a character undergo training to become a Warden. You drafted up a plan of action and submited it to the GMs. It underwent a process of examination, and if they felt that everything checked out, you began writing a storyline detailing the character's progression and training. At the completion of this storyline, and not before, you were free to play the newly-established Warden. It came with several boons such as roll bonuses, unique in-game items, the green light to use class-specific abilities, model changes, and more.

On top of that, the approval process was rigorous, restricted, and open only twice during very short windows of time since I joined the server. That bred rarity, which means that the approved prestiges were few in number and coveted. And yet, very little of that was what made them memorable to me. The stories surrounding them hold that honour. I interacted with almost every prestige character out there at some point, and more important than what each and every one of them was, was what they did. How they did it. Oh, and reading the training posts! If anything, I would bring those back again if only to squeeze that level of creativity out of people again... But I recognise that not everyone wants to, or has the time for it, so it's simply an option if you desire to do that.

The sparkles were a nice touch, and they may have been the most enticing part for some people, but they were never really required. They were sometimes a point of contention, in fact. Mention roll bonuses, and folks start frothing even now. The bureaucratic aspect of processing a prestige application was never really necessary beyond ensuring that delicate concepts weren't misportrayed. People still write training posts, even though it's not required. The things I loved about prestiges are things that we can now accomplish with far greater freedom and at our own pace.

I don't dismiss the benefits of represented progression at all. I play games too, and I know it's nice to accomplish things in them--particularly stuff other people haven't yet, or can't. How can CotH represent that? I'm not really sure, and it's not something I have looked for before, as such. Revised systems may indeed help some folks find their motivation, but as much as possible, I'd prefer them not to impose overly on the liberties we have.
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#5
You got busy after I went to bed last night! Good to see a post, hadn't expected such a long one so that's even better. Finally some peon colors around here with thoughts and intentions as I repeat, us grunts tend to be stuck in our old ways with old thoughts and nostalgia tinted glasses. (Apply to yourself as you see fit.) I'm agreeing with most of what you wrote out (once again) as I've always felt like the mechanical side was needed for the game. The quests, the gold, the items, and so on, but alas, people disagreed.

As far as the prestige system goes, the idea of progression I had nothing against. It was the idea that because of prestiges, people were able to one-hand your character through a set of full plate with nothing more then a nail file. Back then we also had arguments running on how death wasn't always the answer, and characters died left and right (where as we now only got a handful every few months. That's how I recall at least.) which wasn't putting the system in a positive light for me. But it gave something to aspire for, which is something that we lack on CotH currently; I'd be fine with the idea of returning the 'prestige' system in a sense of it actually being a title. Don't give people roll bonusses, don't enforce one's strength over one who isn't -- Instead, give people access to gear normally unobtainable (and in a way, restrict more 'epic' looking gear.) to fit the RP of the character, model changes or class specific abilities are fine as well. Make them look bad-ass, so that people who encounter them ICly actually get an idea of "Man, that person looks inspiring/terrifying. Wonder what they've been up to?". To me, there's plenty of gear in the database and it'll require some tinkering with a measurement rod I wouldn't really know how to produce in sense of epic/unepic, but I'd rather see prestiges add to the character visually/personality-wise then power-wise. (Personality is probably happening, visually.. not so much.)

As far as the token system goes, it was a nice touch but I always assumed the GM's got so many tokens that they could rebuild GMI out of it in a single week. We did however gain a system that allowed you to level your character up from the forums to 50 after buying a token, skipping the need for GM help unless gear related. Wouldn't mind seeing it back.

Tl;Dr, Put WoW back into CotH.
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#6
Something to keep in mind, as I've always understood is, is that with the new Cataclysm stuff we've got, -a lot- of stuff just doesn't work. Mobs don't show up, you can't loot them, mobs do no damage or tons of damage, quests don't work, etc. etc. If that's what you're getting at when saying 'Put WoW back in CotH" then that's really out of even Kretol's hands. And if OP also means to put 'gear' in as in people using stats in RP and using the /duel mechanic to settle confrontations, then I'm going to have to strongly disagree with that ever being implemented. Me, personally, I really don't like WoW's gameplay all that much. I like some aspects, but PvP is not one of them and if I had to actually PvP using in-game gear and mechanics to say 'my character is strong' then I guess I'd be playing a lot of weak characters because I would never consent to /duels.

I may be misunderstanding, but I would rather keep 'WoW' out of CotH. I come here for the RP and community, I'd rather keep WoW as a game out of it. Hell, sometimes I'd much prefer to keep Blizzard out of it. >.>
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FROG, STOP FLIPPING TABLES. YOU'RE MAKING A MESS.

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#7
WoW's gameplay is one of its worst aspects. I care for little other than the setting. If I wanted a grind, I would pay money for retail.

Progression systems are largely a means of getting you addicted anyway. WHAT NEW THING WILL I GET IF I KEEP DOING THIS. I personally don't need that to actually go out and write.

I just don't have much time to hop on CotH and stumble upon other roleplayers that my writing meshes well with.
Quote:[8:53AM] Cassius: Xigo is the best guy ever. he doesn't afraid of anything.
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#8
I'll point this out, in terms of progression and scale for roleplay in CotH. This is my opinion, to note. I'm not calling you out or anything, just sharing my view.


Even on Retail, I never ran into anyone who had personally gone through the main storylines of the expansions. I never saw anyone who had ran into Onxyia's Lair, nor did I meet anyone who personally smacked the Lich King or any other lore npc in the face with their Broadsword of Facesmiting.

Curiously enough, on a second thought back there was a surprising amount of self-policing there. If someone made radical claims on the power scale most people would just eyeroll it and have their character either not believe it, or... just outright ignore them.

(10-22-2013, 10:26 PM)Werewolf Wrote: But CotH is not a world of slopes; it is a flat world, a world of equals. The administration has consciously endeavored to keep everything level, both in terms of materials—by providing all players with immediate, free, and unlimited access to all gears, pets, mounts, abilities, etc.—and in terms of status—by establishing the ground rule that all characters are intrinsically of equal strength, which is to say that a character created one second ago can, with good luck, defeat a character created one year ago. Thus, while the server is based firmly in WoW’s lore, any semblance of WoW as a game is absent here, since the slope—the defining element of WoW—has been removed.

To this degree, the only thing relevant from retail [and thus WoW, if we're segregating that from CotH proper] is the progression of levels, which -did- impact how people treated one another in roleplay. A character who was level 80 was typically taken as stronger than any below. Which one could argue is a bad thing, since you're letting an arbitrary number affect roleplay. But in terms of level 80s, things were... again, much on a level playing field. Everyone considered themselves top tier in combat [and sometimes this was aggressively annoying]. The only kind of discrepency was in class, where -most- of the time priests would indeed agree that a paladin could school them in an armwrestle.

The point I'm getting at is that aside from some players (who were typically mistreated by the community), for the most part retail RP took place on a level playing field as well. The exception were villains and other such 'story' characters. In terms of longer lasting vs newer characters, one you were level 80 how could you tell how long you had been around? Unless you're specifically going out of your way to show off now unobtainable items, at least.


Basically what I'm trying to say is that in terms of how our community handles power, we're actually not as far away from retail as we act. Most communities will self-regulate, and most will try to be evenly 'fair' in doing so. I could get into other similarities between the two, but I think I've touched on the main points of my disagreement. Personally I just have the opinion that even in retail interest in roleplay may be not as large as it was previously. That could easily be me regarding my initial years of WoW rp with rose tinted glasses however, and I'd willingly accept that as the reason. On my recent return and stay on WRA at least though there was a lot less going on.
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#9
(10-23-2013, 02:42 AM)Valicor Wrote: While I do agree with a lot of the points brought up, I guess I'll speak my piece.

I encourage you all to challenge me on this work. If I didn't want or expect people to disagree with me, I would not have posted it.

Quote:[w/ various snips to keep things shorter]
We ascend this slope by becoming known, socially (IC and OOC). When everybody knows who you are and everybody wishes to RP with you, you've essentially climbed the slope.

And if this isn't enough of a "slope", then explain story-lines. You are a character. Through a short, or long, chain of events including yourself and an unlimited number of other characters, you complete an achievement or do something that isn't usually done...Can that not also be seen as a slope[?]

TL;DR: CotH may actually have some slopes, you just may want to look at it a different way.

As I mentioned, CotH certainly has some slopes in place as it stands now, particularly on a social level as you mentioned (i.e. gaining "community rep" as some people like to say). But I point to the current stagnation of the server as it is now and say that the slopes currently in place are insufficient; as simple as it sounds for people to "look at it a different way," in practice too many people have lost the motivation to proceed. I propose that more concrete, material slopes be implemented to supplement, but not replace or detract from, the social and/or imagined slopes. This would allow CotH to appeal to and retain the interest of a significantly wider audience.

Now, don't get me wrong--perhaps the administration doesn't want to open this server to a wider audience. Perhaps this community is meant to have an outlook like yours; perhaps it is the brass's goal for us all to cherish and be motivated by the less tangible slopes as much as you are, and perhaps they have constructed this environment to cultivate that particular set of values alone. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, I say they have done an excellent job already. The consequence that naturally comes with such a policy, though, is that the community remains small and tight as it is now--which is to say, if the administration wants to construct this server to be geared toward one particular attitude, then we must all accept that our roleplaying community will be forever limited to people of this one attitude (newer players in particular would rather just go roleplay somewhere else than change their attitude to match the CotH gestalt).

We must accept, in that case, that CotH is meant to be small and that this "stagnation" as we currently call it is in fact simply the administration's vision proceeding to its fullest realization.

(10-23-2013, 05:06 AM)Piken Wrote: Something to keep in mind, as I've always understood is, is that with the new Cataclysm stuff we've got, -a lot- of stuff just doesn't work. And if OP also means to put 'gear' in as in people using stats in RP and using the /duel mechanic to settle confrontations, then I'm going to have to strongly disagree with that ever being implemented.

Over my month here, one of the things I've done is spent a lot of time during low-population hours exploring just how much of WoW works and how much doesn't. You are correct that there are many crippling bugs in the game itself that would prevent us from doing any formal gameplay.

But this does not mean that an in-game system cannot be implemented. As with tokens in the past (on a conceptual level, anyway), the administration can create new mechanics that make certain core gameplay elements (like gold-grinding) profitable again, thereby putting a little bit of WoW back into the game and giving us a concrete reason to become more adherent to our characters and more committed to CotH. And as long as the rewards from such systems remain on the level of "neat perks, but nothing too important," then a roleplayer uninterested in participating in the system at all would not be at any disadvantage.


(10-23-2013, 06:28 AM)Xigo Wrote: WoW's gameplay is one of its worst aspects. I care for little other than the setting. If I wanted a grind, I would pay money for retail.

Progression systems are largely a means of getting you addicted anyway. WHAT NEW THING WILL I GET IF I KEEP DOING THIS. I personally don't need that to actually go out and write.

Yes, progression systems are indeed a means of getting you addicted--they retain your interest, that's the point. :p

But more power to you, then, for enjoying writing for its own sake. I wholly respect that, and as you can see by my verbosity in this thread, I share in that passion myself. But again, if the administration expects everyone here to think like this, and if they design this server to cater only to this school of thought, that is to the people who extract full value out of immaterial slopes, then we must all accept the fact that this current smallness of our community is not an anomaly but rather merely the natural, predictable fruition of the current system.
_____________________________________

Needs moar slopes imo
Needs moar archaeology imo
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#10
Personally I've always viewed Coth as a place to write, not come and grind. Grinding has never appealed to me. And it feels more like a distraction for actual rp. I was not drawn here to play WoW, but to write. I left a private server that was -perfect- for WoW playing and pvp. But I wanted to rp. So I came here to do just that. I don't want to use ingame mechanics ever. I lag way to much to deal with that. I'm adherent to my characters because I love to rp them, I love their stories, not because they have 650+ level raid gear and 20,000 gold riding along on a dragon.
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#11
As someone who DOES like playing WoW as a game despite the grind, I must stand against using OOC/InGame mechanics as a driving force. We did that with IC gold- what did it amount to? Doing dailies for money... isn't that exactly what we do for OOC gold? It didn't foster RP, it was just a chore to do.

If we put the WoW back into CotH, it should be through fostered storylines and roleplay- not arbitrary mechanics.
Your stories will always remain...
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#12
Regarding IC gold; It had to be grinded because people weren't exchanging it among themselves. They spend it, but had no opportunity to earn it back ICly, as such quests had to be done, to funnel more coins into the endless void. Every now and then an auction popped up, insane amounts of gold were thrown at it, and the auctioneer afterwards waltzed off because his/her job was done as the event concluded. So that gold never got back into the circle, and that gold had to be grinded once again through a quest.

And on a personal note; Retail being grindy nowadays? That's a laugh. You spend about thirty minutes per zone, don't do half of the quests there before being able to move onto the next. Money comes easily with the auction house. You -can- choose to grind through dungeons or do all the quests in an area, but if you mix your style up a little, its a breeze. (PvE dungeons and such, PvE quests, PvP and so on.)

I stand by the idea that we broke WoW's formula and are trying to focus too hard on a factor that is in-game, but it wasn't designed at. RP. We are all here for that, we all want to RP, yet it doesn't flourish on its own. Need them mechanics' Parts of them at least. (Feel free to disagree really, I'm expecting it. =P )

Edit; To add to that mechanics a bit. Either mechanics we've put in place (Tokens, prestiges, new ones which all in all, we are discussing.) , or mechanics we've previously removed (Free gear, gold, mounts, etc.).
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#13
(10-23-2013, 07:38 AM)Rigley Wrote: To this degree, the only thing relevant from retail [and thus WoW, if we're segregating that from CotH proper] is the progression of levels, which -did- impact how people treated one another in roleplay. A character who was level 80 was typically taken as stronger than any below. Which one could argue is a bad thing, since you're letting an arbitrary number affect roleplay.

See, that's just it--the number isn't arbitrary. That 80 is reflective of the time and effort you put into your character's development, of your ascension up the slope. It immediately distinguishes you and elevates you from a newbie who is level 1. You feel committed to that level 80--you can't simply retire it on a whim unless you're prepared to start at the bottom of the pile again. And the other players who are level 1 look at you as a level 80 and envy you and your power, and thus they find direction and purpose.

Quote:But in terms of level 80s, things were... again, much on a level playing field.

And rightfully so. But the important part is that they had to work to get to that level playing field. On CotH, you don't have to work to get there; you just make a character and badaboom, you're as rich and powerful as everyone else. Thus, here on CotH, that level playing field becomes depreciated and meaningless. And this, I feel, is what leads people to eventually lose motivation.

Now, does this mean we should put leveling back into CotH? In my opinion, not necessarily, as I will describe in a bit.

(10-23-2013, 08:25 AM)CappnRob Wrote: As someone who DOES like playing WoW as a game despite the grind, I must stand against using OOC/InGame mechanics as a driving force. We did that with IC gold- what did it amount to? Doing dailies for money... isn't that exactly what we do for OOC gold? It didn't foster RP, it was just a chore to do.

If we put the WoW back into CotH, it should be through fostered storylines and roleplay- not arbitrary mechanics.

My point is that the chores (the grind, the climb, whatever you want to call it) are vitally important. They create the sense of accomplishment and betterment--both within yourself and relative to others--that keeps people glued to their characters and to the game.

Now, CappnRob, I agree with you that putting more slope into CotH doesn't necessarily mean falling back entirely to ingame mechanics like farming gold, gaining levels, and so forth (though these would certainly do the job if they had to). In this regard my opinion is similar to but perhaps slightly different than that of @Psychyn . Putting a slope into the game through roleplaying, such as like what the prestige system apparently used to be before it became unmanageable, is just as acceptable.

But the slope must be tangible in some way in order for it to be truly motivating. Whether that tangibility comes from some form of in-game reward (a title, some gear, whatever) or from some out-of-game reward (like a prestige class) doesn't ultimately make any difference as long as the player who has achieved the reward is respected as better in some way than a character who hasn't.

This is the WoW formula at its core; this is what motivates people to be active, and this is what invests us in our characters (and discourages us from retiring them on a whim).
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Needs moar slopes imo
Needs moar archaeology imo
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#14
A slope may be good, yes, but it must be born from RP and storytelling, not OOC busywork.
Your stories will always remain...
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#15
(10-23-2013, 12:01 PM)CappnRob Wrote: A slope may be good, yes, but it must be born from RP and storytelling, not OOC busywork.

Then, ultimately, we are in agreement, but for any future readers I just want to clarify myself on this matter one last time: as CotH stands now, there are no slopes being born from anything--neither OOC busywork nor RP and storytelling. I believe an IC slope, as long as it leads to tangible "betterness" in some form, will be just as effective if not even more effective than busywork (this was, after all, the driving concept behind the prestige system).

But if our goal is to maintain a larger, more active player base, then there must be some form of slope, however steep or shallow. The current system of perfect flatness and perpetual equality cannot stay.

I am eager to see if and how CotH will evolve in the coming months.
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Needs moar slopes imo
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