Monday, 30 September 2013

Timeless Melody

Timeless Isle, are we still visiting it on a daily or weekly basis? WoW Insider asked the question as a breakfast topic over the weekend and the figures are shown below at the time of writing.

Are you still participating on the Timeless Isle?
I'm still farming it every day. Must. Have. Coins.
1092 (20.9%)
Not as much as I used to, but I'll still camp some rares.
1675 (32.1%)
I just do the weekly quest for the valor points.
1081 (20.7%)
I'm done with the Timeless Isle.
1371 (26.3%)

To be quite honest the choice of answers was not very well thought through for instance, "Not as much as I used to, but I'll still camp some rares." - 32%  answered yes which in my opinion is just madness to visit for Rare bashing.

The answers should have been more like this

  1. Farming every day for Rep
  2. Occasional visit whilst waiting for LFR or Raid to start
  3. Doing Daily/Weekly quests for Valor
  4. I have bled the island of loot and coins and dislike the disorganised chaos, and will never return.
I have run all my max level characters through the starter quests and I have 3 characters running the dailies for valor and coins, and I get a small amount of rep at the same time.

The daily quests are kill 20 Elites and answer a stupid lore question (no rush we will wait until you can answer one). The weekly is kill 5 Rares and obtain 50 Epoch Stones.

If you go every day and kill 20 Elites, you will automatically complete the weeklies in 4 or 5 visits.
What is the point of obtaining the 50 Epoch stones on a Tuesday or Wednesday and having nothing to do for the rest of the week.

I have noticed that after 3 weeks the Celestials are rotting away. They might as well appear on reset day and then take the rest of the week off. The Grumpy Elf pointed out that people are complaining about getting upgrades because they are essentially PvP pieces. WoW's complexity means that it is difficult to keep ahead of all the changes, and not everyone uses news sites or fan blogs, but it easy enough to compare gear and see if it is an upgrade or not.

I am still playing the Burden of Eternity lottery and winning, with an average of 30,000 coins converting to 1 Burden, which is better than the suggested 1 in every 100 keys.

100 keys X 500 coins = 1 Burden of Eternity (several armour drops and 15-20,000 coins) or 50,000 (guaranteed Burden of Eternity).

The sample figures are low but I think it is still worth the risk, and besides it give me an extra chance to get iLevel 496 trinkets of which I am still about 5 missing.

Going through the comments from WoW Insider I noticed this one:

"The biggest flaw with the Timeless Isle (are you listening, Blizzard?) is that you can see all the sights and sounds on your first trip to the island. Given the nature of the island, from a lore perspective, it should really reconfigure itself from day to day or week to week, constantly offering different sets of challenges and content."

Oddly enough this echoes the post from the Godmother who has been faffing around the subject for a few days now:

This is not sarcasm or abuse directed at Blizzard. Your Island of Free Things is lovely, but I for one would like to return to having some structure and direction in my life. I'm sorry I said that Dailies were boring and repetitive, and this proves the point that you don't know what you have until it's gone.

Could we go back to 5.2 now, please?

It would appear that some people like a bit of order in their lives and not the freedom of creating your own adventures. It is pretty telling that I have stuck to the small number of Dailies and Weeklies on the Isle to maintain my own interest.

I have always stated that Blizzard like to swing wildly between opposing views.

"Everybody hates dailies" Blizzards response ok we will give you new content with no dailies and some weeklies.

The complaints going through this expansion are not so clear cut, or are they in black and white, in summary it looks more like this.

5.0, 5 new levels, one new class and one new race. End game is Rep based, with small amounts of valour awarded for doing dailies.

  1. I have to do dailies to earn Valor and Rep, Valor is useless without Rep and vice versa.
  2. The gear is stuck behind Rep vendors so I have to do all the rep dailies and there is no shortcut to the exercise.
  3. Two of the reps are stuck behind another rep grind
  4. Can you stop giving us dailies.
5.1 offered more dailies but they had a good story running through with normal Scenarios and solo scenarios.

  1. This is a good mix of storytelling and dailies, but I am still a little jaded from all the dailies from 5.0
5.2 Blizzard offer more dailies along with closed content and solo scenarios plus and Island full of Dinosaurs.

  1. Blizzard we like this zone but we are now on our 3 patch with more dailies, can we take a break
5.3 Only content provided is a little story telling and a weekly.

  1. Blizzard you taking the piss, we said no dailies, so you give us weeklies is this a joke?
5.4 Blizzard give the world a free form Island with some dailies, some weeklies and some exploration. In addition because we have been so mean so far to alts and dual specs, you can have an Island full of loot.

  1. Overload, I don't know what I am doing anymore, Blizzard please can you give me structure back
What everyone failed to realise at Blizzard is that 5.1 and 5.2 are the correct ways to provide dailies. The problem was the amount of pain endured for the first 3-4 months with 5.0. This is the burnout zone, and we need to have various ways to gain rep not just from dailies, and don't like the idea that all the gear and recipes are hidden behind rep, we don't want to feel that content is mandatory. Rep should not be per character or it should be easy alternatively it can long and grindy but it is account bound.  Guess what, we can even have a mixture of different types of rep grinds.

The Timeless Isle is a counter balance to all that went wrong leading up to this point in the expansion. It is not a future indication of how expansions will be done in the future, it is just making sure that we have no excuse for not taking down Garrosh Hellscream.


  1. Actually, I quite like that answer #2 that most people picked, I picked that one myself. At this point I don't find much value in farming mobs for coins and solo rep farming is ... ridiculous comes to mind. I mostly just hang around until the bigger rares are coming up, then I kill them, because they offer a huge coins/lessers per time spent and have an increased chance of dropping Burdens, I believe, which still have some value for my toons. The other reason to camp rares is for achievement hunters, I don't fit into that category but I know people who do.

    I got tired of the 5.2 dailies at around the 1 month point to the point where I only did them when I "needed" to and felt like doing them (needed lesser tokens, VP, rep, etc). The island is going to face a similar fate for me at about the same point...

    Blizzard's mistake, I think, is that they're going for most-or-little solutions (not quite all-or-nothing, but close). 5.0 was about dailies/rep/VP... everything was tied back to dailies, if you had no dailies to do for a faction, you were done.

    5.2 was mostly about dailies/rep/VP... but had some rares you could kill for useful things to supplement the daily income (and for me, eventually replace it).

    5.3 was entirely about grinding mobs and "world" content... kill many mobs, or kill commanders, or protect caravans, or all of the above... fully undirected.

    5.4 is a better version of 5.3... it's a bit more directed without being directed. It's still very much in the open grinding mode, though.

    My perfect solution isn't to marry grinding with dailies, you'd just end up with too many people who think they have to do both. What I'd like to see is something similar to what we saw in 5.2 with the daily "PvE vs PvP" choice. In 5.4, I'd be more interested in a "Daily vs Weekly" model. The problem with dailies in an area like TI (or any area when the content is popular, really) is that you have too much competition for a specific type of mob/object. It's incredibly annoying for me. It's better once things settle down but usually at that point you're lagging behind or the content is no longer as useful. The problem with grinding is that some folks need direction in their gameplay.

    I'd like to see a choice... let those who would prefer to do a set of dailies and then STOP, do dailies. They'd get little/no benefit from grinding. Let those who would prefer to just kill random mobs for benefit to do so but don't give them access to the dailies. Splitting the focus this way should make the dailies less annoying since some players will farm elsewhere. Dailies would be more efficient but would cap. Weeklies would be less efficient but would reward the time-rich who are interested in grinding out max benefit.

    Of course, this could be a horrible idea due to all kinds of counter-arguments that I haven't thought of... but I think it'd work better than anything else we've seen recently.

  2. I think each patch they tested something different. Now is the time to tie them all together and get it right.

    5.0 was the rep from hell that you needed rep to get they rep so you could get the rep and you earned valor by doing it but could not spend it unless you had the previously mentioned rep.

    5.1 was story driven dailies that would give you a couple of weeks, if done every day, of content and tell a story and get you to exalted at the same time.

    5.2 our first island experiment. One with some dailies, some solo scenarios for story telling purposes and the first dabbling into free roaming content with rare hunting that offered valor. All this with another little island that we could grind on, for those that liked to grind, for cosmetic goodies.

    5.3 gave us the weekly quest with a huge chunk of valor. Awesome for fast capping those already geared characters, a little to brutal for those that needed the gear that came for it, but still a slightly different approach.

    5.4 gave us another new island with weekly quests and dailies quests, not a lot of each and more rares and items to collect than you can shake a stick at. With some other small events around the island and some treasures to find. Some one time, some weekly.

    Now, if blizzard had half the brain they like to pretend they have, they would take all the data from their 5 different experiments and add them together for the next expansion.

    Some daily hubs for reputation for gear and patterns, but story driven, so by the time you finish the story to get the rep. Make them hubs no more than 3-5 quests per day and have them offer chunks of reputation, not nibbles.

    Also add some gather 10 for rep quests and some kill these mobs for rep options, so those that wish to speed things up have a viable option and do not feel "forced" to do the dailies.

    Some weekly quests that require gathering of some sort. Something you can do over the course of the week because it is all around the world, like the new island (but all the new zones), and not something that restricts you to one area like the barrens where there is nothing to do but that one thing.

    Some scenarios along the way to introduce you to new factions and give you their history. When you reach new levels of reputation you can do a new solo scenario for them and get some piece of gear and a unique challenge along with some more reputation and a valor boost.

    Rares all over the world, like there were at release, but have them all drop coins and drop valor. Make them worth killing even when they have lost their "new shine". I still go do my rounds on the island to kill all the thunder rares for a nice valor boost but looking at /who there is a reason they are always up, because I am the only person there.

    That is something they really need to work on. Tie content to the expansion, not the patch. Let all content remain relevant by when a new patch comes out add new rewards to the stuff that was already released.


    1. Add all the little things they learned to make all the content worth while. Say for instance the battle of the brew guy, if it were in jade forest. You are flying over, you see it is happening, you stop, help, get yourself 25 valor and the chance at a rare pet. Even if you did not need the pet, because it offers some valor and something you can sell, it becomes content that has life, not content that is just for this patch only.

      Blizzard gets so involved in making content that is meant for this patch and this patch only, they need to start to design content that can be used for longer than the patch it was released for.

      What if all the thunder isle solo scenarios were weekly, and after you have done them you can go back and do them once a week for 25 valor and a arcane trove. Or how about when we were doing the lotus dailies and we had those quests are levels of reputation that sent us on battles, if they were solo scenarios we would still have them in game and they can offer some valor each week as well as a treasure of the vale.

      If they used everything they learned, all at once, it would not make each new bit of content seem like it is "this or nothing". Give the content life, make it last for more than one patch, make it last an expansion, and designed to move forward, not take one step at a time.

      The big keys here are loss the "this or nothing" attitude and make all content have life and not do this now, then do this and forget that because this is new.