Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Drinking Game!

Okay, so, aside from being a reason to drink (and who would need a reason?), this post is also intended to serve as a weak and probably statistically inaccurate way to compare two entirely separate zones based on an entirely made up metric. Yay metrics!

Besides, hey, anything to dull the pain.

Essentially, these are either the cliches or the common flaws that tend to plague zones, breaking up immersion, game flow or just a player’s basic enjoyment. I’ll try to weight things based on their impact on me, but I’ll be honest: This is going to be hilariously unscientific. That said, I might come back and adjust things.

Oh, and 5 Sips = 1 Drink. Why? Because.

1: 1 Sip for every “Kill X Dire Rats” quests.

Honestly, I don’t have too much of a problem with these quests. They just feel like lazy design for the most part, as you’re going to need to kill things, why not make a quest out of them? Nine times out of ten in Cataclysm, though, they’re paired with another quest that you complete while slaughtering the Dire Rats, so they just turn into free EXP and gold. I suppose I understand the reasoning for them, I just want to reward efforts to NOT do these quests. At the end of the day, they’re overused and can break immersion if used poorly (“Why kill only 8 Alliance Spies? Why shouldn’t I kill them all?”).

2: 1 Drink for every “Collect X Dire Rat Tail” quests, if the ‘Dire Rat Tails’ are not 50-100% drops.

Now, these? I hate. HATE. While I can be mollified by the fact that there is at least an attempt to disguise the Kill Quest, these quests do it the wrong way. If you’re not lucky? You’ll have to kill fifty enemies to collect the requisite items. These quests turn simple Kill Quests into mind-numbing slogs where you have to wait for the mobs to respawn. In short, lazy-but-understandable design combined with simply bad design.

That said, if the drop rate is high enough? It’s a well designed kill quest, where instead of just killing things you’re gathering things and, well, need to kill their owners simply as a course of action. I figure that this is the intent of all Kill-Collect quests, its just that low drop rates just cause too much frustration.

3: 1 Sip for every Pop-Culture Reference that’s done well.

Here’s a real distinction: There’s two types of pop culture references, and this is the first version. The Lieutenant Emry at the Twilight Shores is a perfect example: If you get the joke, its a great joke, but it doesn’t REQUIRE you to get the joke to be funny, and it doesn’t break immersion if you don’t.

That said, these can be a bit annoying, especially if they’re overused, and no one’s going to get every single one, hence the drink status. But…

4: 1 Drink for every Pop-Culture Reference done poorly.

These are the real problems when it comes to pop-culture references. If you do it well, the joke works and it works in the setting? Then that’s fine. But if the joke falls flat or the setting doesn’t lend itself to such references? Then it starts getting in the way. If it goes on too long? It can become unbearable.

5: 25 Drinks for Harrison Jones in Uldum

It just seems fair.

6: 1 Drink for Backtracking.

This might be a pet peeve, but if, in the course of questing, you go TO a location for a quest, then return to the quest giver, and then have to return to the same area? It’s wasted time and tends to break game flow. The Zeth’gor quests in Hellfire Peninsula is a good example of this: You need to go in and out of Zeth’gor something like three times, leading to a lot of respawns being killed over and over again. Additional drinks might be called for if there’s a particularly long distance to travel without a mount.

7: 1 Drink for Vehicle Fights after the first in the zone

When it comes to Vehicle Fights, I feel occasionally in the minority. You see, I generally like them, and find them to be a fun way to break the monotony that can sometimes come from leveling.

That said? I can understand that if they become too frequent, they just prevent players from playing their character. This is why they work in some places, such as leveling, but not in others, such as raid or heroic encounters.

8: 1 Sip per encounter of Phasing, 1 Drink if you see it happening

As I said in the introduction, I LOVE phasing. Its a fantastic way to institute story-based change into a game world that has to have a defined state. For a moment, imagine how lacking the Wrathgate event from WotLK would have been if you didn’t see the full aftermath? Or how you could actually see the results of your actions in Icecrown, taking areas controlled by the Scourge and turning their control over to the Argent Crusade or Ebon Blade?

But.

Blizzard has occasionally overused phasing, or used it poorly. Ideally, a phase change should occur after a big beat, something impressive happening. But I remember how in the Firelands where, every day after a certain point, I would be in an entirely different phase from my questing buddy and seeing all the visible NPC’s suddenly disappear when I accepted a new quest.

To be frank, you should NEVER see phasing happen. It should NEVER be something that happens in front of your eyes, especially if all that’s called for is for the game to give you some reason to turn your head (“Go talk to our men outside town while we clean up in here!”).

Alright, this is the last of the pre-review fillers! I’ll probably be updating this post on occasion, and I’ll keep a running count of the drinks taken in each review. Check back next week (I hope) for the first of the actual reviews!

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