Upon hitting level 90, there are a few choices open to one with regards to how to pass the time, day to day, in between raids.
Unbelievably, it’s easy to hit max level while still having two and a half zones left unexplored. So there’s that. Finish up those zones, tidy up a bit and get the explorer cheev, finish the quests and get the loremaster cheev.
Or, there are many achievements, collections, battle pet activities, and other bits of miscellany to attend to.
Or, there’s dailies.
In Vanilla, Blizz played with the idea of recurring quests such as that goblin in Feralas ((Don’t bother looking, he’s gone.)) and the Winterspring grind ((Not the same one you see these days, kids.)). Most of those could be repeated as many times a day as you wanted. BC brought about the actual idea of Dailies, capital D, but it wasn’t until patch 2.4 (Sunwell) that we saw dailies presented pretty much as we’d see them until MoP was released.
While there were a few must-haves out of that series of dailies (Woodchucker, anyone ((And what the heck, guys, why was it still a flinging chicken when MoP came out?))?), in most cases it was vanity stuff ((the Argent Tournament had the Titans’ own pet and mount collection.)), or marginally better than you could get if you never ever set foot in a Heroic dungeon.
MoP has changed all of that, to the point that dailies are necessary. A lot of your JP and VP gear is tied into dailies, and if you want to perform at your best, you best figure out where your biggest bang is and start grinding it ((In my case, "Kranking Klaxxi.")).
In order to move things along, you pretty much have to max out your rep every day – for those that are only focused on one main, that probably means multiple rep grinds.
The dailies, and their hubs, are pretty familiar to the experienced WoW-head, but the sheer number of them is pretty daunting. Where to start and how do? That’s been a topic of concern for myself and Jasra for a while, since we’re pretty much at the pointy end of the stick.
Before having a good idea of my gear plan, I started out on Halfhill reasoning that everybody loves feasts. I found quickly that getting all the dailies done was pretty hopeless, if I wanted to even log in on another toon, so I scaled back a bit to Yoon’s daily vegetable and currying favor with Jogu. Jogu’s great. Jogu loves carrots. I have carrots. Every now and then he’d ask for wine. I love wine, too. BUT. Aside from a garden full of songbells, this vector doesn’t really add up for a hunter. After careful consideration, I finished up Kun’lai and got krakking on the Klaxxi. ((C wut I did thar)).
This experience has served Jasra well, as she’s skipping all but the minimal Tiller stuff right now, and focusing instead on Golden Lotus, for the tailoring recipes, for starters. I’m afraid everything I’ve heard about those dailies is true. For a squishy like her, it’s horrible, and they seem to bring out the worst in people. I’ve seen few really horrible people on the Klaxxi circuit, but the GL dailies seem to encourage the absolute worst ((I’m looking at you, barrel-gankers.)). There will be much rejoicing when those are done.
All that aside, I’m not going to join the ranks of those that are complaining the most bitterly about being "forced" to do dailies. There is no point to it. With very few exceptions, all the JP and VP gear is outmatched by raid drops, and those exceptions don’t really stand out as any worse than we’ve experienced in the past.
The worse that happens if you don’t do dailies is that you either appear closer to the bottom of the charts until you get geared up the hard way, or your team picks someone over you, someone that didn’t mind the grind enough to stop them from doing them. Boo hoo, it IS a bit of a competition in that case.
What about the hardcore player? Couple of thoughts, here. (a) Hardcore players are going to do it, if it gets an edge. Period. Hardcore players that cop out over dailies, get replaced. Period. And, (b) Hardcore players complain about everything, so who cares?
I haven’t even seen the whole continent yet, so I have very little reason to complain, anyway, and 5.1 is on the horizon so I’m probably months away from being left with the option of "dailies, or nothing at all" ((For the record, I have, like, dozens of other games that I don’t play because of WoW, so is this really a bad thing? I think not.)).
There is an elephant in the room. Those that hate dailies the most hate them for a very specific reason. Dailies are perceived by them as an attempt to stretch out current content in an artificial manner. They feel that time spent working up dailies would be better spent on new content. I personally agree in spirit that new content is better than dailies. I disagree with their assessment of how much effort is required to implement new content over dailies ((We’ll start with artwork. Minimal new artwork is required for dailies. Lots of new artwork is required for new content (that’s kinda what new content is, by the way.). So right there, new content starts out at a disadvantage. And it never really recovers.)). And I think Blizz has done the math, as well, which is why we get dailies in the first place. They have limited art asset generation capacity, and choose to focus it on the next content patch rather than marginally expand the current patch level.
There is a small, but vocal, contingent that will complain bitterly on the forums and claim to speak for all of us. The same applies to bloggers; we certainly don’t have a corner on the concept of analysis. Our reality is no better than the average forum rat’s, even if we manage to come across as less unhinged than the average forum troll ((Usually, but not always.)). We lose sight of the notion that there are few if any reasons for Blizzard to be doing the terrible things they’re accused of.
Blizz has access to one thing that we do not – the raw data showing actual playing habits of all 10M or so users over time. They’re not idiots. If they saw that a majority of players were engaging in xxx playstyle, they’d do what they could to pander to them and make their gaming experience even more enjoyable. And if they see a high correlation between the number of people that set foot in a raid with those that ran ZZZ dailies, then they’ll probably do something, there, too. The problem with statistical analysis in this case is that it takes time to accumulate data ((And I sincerely hope beta data is not included in this.)), find the patterns, define the problem, and then – finally – define a solution, plan its implementation, do eet, and prepare for the next wave of complaints ((Srs, I’m not a cynic.)).
For myself, I am unwilling to marginalize my performance so I’ll run the dailies to get the stuff to make it less painful for my RL. For Jas, we simply must get her geared up, the dailies are the best way to do it outside of Heroics, and off we go. It’s the cost of doing business. The rest of the game makes up for it.