Forced Content Segregation
Like many of you, I read the recent hot fix patch notes from Blizzard that included a change resulting in severely reduced experience for Northrend mob kills @ level 80 and above. Now at the time I did not really think much of it, but after dinging 80 on a new alt this week while in the middle of the Ice Crown quest line, I saw my XP reduced somewhere in the range of 80%… really Blizzard?
It is bad enough that the developers severely nerfed the Goblin/Worgen starting area quest/mob experience in an effort to “force” us to see the new content at length, but now they want to stop people dead in their tracks during Northrend content? Yeah we get it Blizzard; you are proud of your new content. Yeah we get it; you want us to see it and see it NOW. Do you really think people are going to miss or skip over it? What purpose is served by nerfing the 77-80 content (along with all of Northrend) other than to kill the desire of those that were enjoying the quest lines and lore and wanted to complete them before moving on to Cataclysm content?
Some of us… dare I say the majority of us players are not in a hell bent race to level or are trying to game the system along the way. Heck I am not even sure how leaving the experience rate alone would allow one to game the system since the rewards and experience are clearly better in Cataclysm. Was there something unbalancing with finishing Northrend quests that you felt compelled to reduce mob experience to around 200 per kill when we were getting over 1200? Would some level 84’s gain some advantage by face rolling Northrend over cataclysm content?
I think not. Everyone will see the Cataclysm content… ad nauseum. Blizzard does not need to put us on rails like this.
I recently got into a heated “internet debate” over this issue with some very myopic but probably well meaning players who could not understand that some players such as myself can and do enjoy the lore but also want to be compensated for the time; lore and a desire to advance your character are not mutually exclusive. Yet despite this many players love to beat the “if you love the lore, why care about the experience?” drum which as stated is very narrow minded.
First Blizzard makes the quests incredibly enjoyable then adds a hot fix that kills any desire to finish those same quests, in effect telling me “hey forget that old Northrend crap, come quick, look at our new stuff!”. This unwanted and restrictive change only served to break my “suspension of disbelief” along with my desire to enjoy the story/lore and instead kicked me in the teeth with that “min/maxer” attitude lurking in all of us that said, abandon this whole quest line and get 10x more experience in Hyjal or Vash’jir. That is the very attitude you are supposed to be fighting against Blizzard and I have no idea how this could be justified.
At the end of the day, I have proven that the experience in Northrend, despite the lower mob health and even the inclusion of Cataclysm gear still nets you far less experience than if you went straight into the Cataclysm content. While I understand Blizzard’s desire to move us into their new content, I should not be forced down a specific path if there exists no game breaking or unbalancing reason to do so.
Unfortunately this is becoming a pattern with Blizzard. For unknown reasons the developers tend to narrow options in a number of ways and have for years, examples of which I have written about on these very pages. If I want to level to 81 in Northrend, why would you care if it is NOT the most optimal or profitable path? Players love choices; the choice of how to level, what to look like, customization, what gear to wear… removing these options simply serves no positive impact.