Blizz has made some pretty stupid or ill thought out decisions over the years. However, the general balance is that they get it right. Usually I’m very nice about it all, I look at both sides and say “well that might not be what I wanted but fair enough”. However, I was really excited when they wrote that Proving Grounds snippet. The potential for such a feature was incredible, it was something that I thought would be fantastic in so many ways. I wrote about what I’d like Proving Grounds to be in this post.
When the Brawler’s Guild was announced as being in patch 5.1 I was thrilled. The Proving Grounds concept hadn’t made it into launch so I thought it might have been dropped, but here it was clearly under development. I was really pleased. When I learnt more details about it, details that didn’t match what I’d hoped I was a little disappointed that the scope of the feature was so small. I was also greatly concerned about the implementation and the queue system. The queue system being you go and ask this npc to queue you, and only one person per sever on each faction can have a go at any one time. My server is medium population and I was worried that it would take hours to get a turn, what about high pop servers? I tried not to think about this and hoped with all my might that it would get fixed before launch. Well the fix they’ve put in, is more of a stupid idea than the queue system.
What’s been announced so far is the BMAH will sell invitations to players, those players can then invite other people. However, the BMAH works on a bidding system with the bids able to go up to 1 million gold. We don’t know how many, or how often, these invitations will go on the BMAH. It’s also not clear how many people a player, with one of these invites, can invite. The problem is instantly obvious. The rich will buy the invitations, and then they’ll turn around and make that money back by selling invites to other people. So the rich will get richer and exploit those with less gold. True the price will go down the more players have the ability to invite, however for mutual benefit the price is likely to stay high for some time. Also, given that there’s a Realm First achievement now attached, players will have even more incentive to lock as many other players out as possible.
This is the most asinine decision I think blizz has made. It’s possible I feel as strongly as I do because this feature was what I was looking forward to the most in Mists, something that I’ve wanted for a long time. However, I just can’t see the sense in it. I don’t usually write posts like this but I’m upset so I’m just venting slightly. I give blizz the benefit of the doubt with everything, but I really can’t see how this benefits the players (aside from the super rich) at all.
Gate content behind rep grinds, or rare drops, if you must. Don’t use players to gate it against other players. Remove the stupid queue system and instance it, remove the stupid idea of invites and have people quest their way inside. Make it about what you do, not about how much gold you have. Basically if you don’t play the AH seriously you’re not going to have enough gold. In the comments of various news sites I’m reading suggestions that guilds club together to put up the gold to buy an invite. There isn’t any other form of content in the game that requires a huge gold payment. You pay nominal fees for things like Pet Battles, a little more for the luxury of fast flight. You don’t have to pay a ton of gold before you can enter a raid, or a battleground or anything else. It’s stupid blizz, please don’t do it.