You can’t devalue that which has no value

This quote from Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas infuriates me.

"In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of levelling."


I hate to take one line out of a conversation like this, but this highlights the disingenuous approach that Blizz has taken on the topic of "leveling" zones since they started nerfing everything that wasn’t current content with gay abandon ((Last I looked, it was still legal to use that word in that context, no matter what Rance Priebus tells us.)).

Somewhere near the end of Wrath, they started doing this; reducing the amount of XP required to level; boosting the amount of XP you get from each kill, each quest, each turnin.   Giving huge amounts of XP for digging up ore or picking flowers or skinning beasties. Granting bonus XP from certain holiday items and buffs. Offering items that you could use to bypass entire swathes of leveling zones. Making zones provide so much XP and requiring so little XP to get to the next level that you routinely ran out of green-or-better quests and leave huge bits of the lore untold unless you deliberately chose to stop leveling for a while. You can’t even level in current content and see all the zones without loitering.

All these things have been done to the leveling game, but Blizzard "doesn’t want to devalue the accomplishment of leveling".


Forgive me for being vulgar, but how does a company that has spent the better part of a decade devaluing the accomplishment of leveling get off saying things like this?  The devaluation has already occurred. Leveling, in our current state of affairs, serves one purpose: it gets you to max level. Only people that deliberately want to soak in the lore, or get Achievements, will spend any more time leveling than they have to – and most of those throwbacks aren’t actually leveling per se, but going back and picking up the remaining quests they need for the achievement, completely over-leveling it.

There is no value left to lose.

The only way this gets less annoying for me is if we hear in later press events that what they meant to say was that they were re-valuing the leveling game and didn’t want to cheapen it with cheap L90s.  But somehow, I get the strong feeling that that is not what they meant and that they’re going to blithely continue on as if they have no responsibility for the state of the leveling game now, and that anything that they do with the Boost feature in any way changes that (it doesn’t).


The other little disingenuous nugget of fail in that interview was the assertion that they didn’t want people to have to buy a second game just to get that second boost.  But they’re quite happy to charge you as much as buying the second game would cost you!  More, if WoD isn’t a requirement for the boost – in which case five bucks will get a second game and another free boost. AND it gets worse when you realize that even WoD will deflate in value after the first quarter of release. Aside from the aisles of Wal-Mart, you’ll be able to get the game for probably $40 or less after the first quarter, and that’s a $20 saving on every boost.

Maybe Ghostcrawler left because he saw the writing on the wall.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into this.  But I’m not liking what I’m seeing.


Posted on February 25, 2014, in Blizzard, Broken promises and shattered dreams, The future is scary. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. You know, that was the first thing I thought as well with that line. Good to know I wasn’t the only one…


    • Well, now *I* feel better that somebody else felt the same way about it! I figured it was even odds that somebody’d be hitting me up with WAI U HAET BLIZZ pickets. 🙂


      • So I wonder if they had released this earlier, would the price have been higher? Since the “accomplishment” would have been greater?

        Or if they nerf XP to old content again, do they lower the price? Because now the “accomplishment” is diminished.


  2. What’s been nerfed exactly? It takes less XP to get a level but that’s useful to those who want to level quickly, it has zero impact on those who want to level leisurely. When I want a toon at max level quickly I chase the XP, when I’m leveling a toon casually I finish out zones well into the grey. End-game focused people benefit, those who value leveling as gameplay (that you give it no value doesn’t imply in any way that it HAS no value, if that was the case Blizzard would have sold zero cosmetic hats based on my valuation, obviously that isn’t how these things work) don’t lose a thing. Where’s the issue?

    The $60 boost will be worth $60 to those it’s worth $60 to, just like $25 cosmetic hats are worth $25 to those they’re worth $25 to… blatantly obvious is blatantly obvious.


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