Friday, February 26, 2010

More Barren Chat Please

Have you heard the news? Auction House will be available to you. This time it’s Auction House v.2. Instead of right clicking on the NPC on major cities, you can open up a web browser, from any computer and access the auction house.

I’d love to see how they justify the lore behind this. :D

Kidding aside, this is the most dull development to the game for me. In my opinion, it’s almost counter intuitive to ‘play’ the auction house.

To me, playing WoW is about escapist adventurism. I’m not sure if those words exists, go together or even makes sense but in other word, I bought the game to give me an alternative world where If I can help it, be as removed as possible from this one. And being an auction house tycoon is not in my list of awesome adventure.

Please do not get me wrong, as I am sure I just shit on several thousand auction house ‘goblins’ shoes. Some people like this type of game. There’s a reason the game Monopoly is around for a long time and will still be around for years to come. Auction House buy and sell can become a ‘mini’ game within a game.

But that is NOT why I bought and play the game.

What I wanted to focus on is a deeper question on why the developer is spending some of their resources to develop this particular feature.

If you look at the history of WoW development, Blizz has always put their resources to where it will give them the biggest bang for their buck. Hey, game designer and programmers have families to feed too.

Let’s look at some of the new feature they’ve introduced throughout the year.

The next best thing after slice bread in WoW was the new looking for dungeon. This was a big success and increased their customer satisfaction experience.

With varying success, the same goes for the calendar feature, new questing interface, the dual spec mode and the equipment manager feature that goes along with it. All of these ‘new’ game feature cost them some resources and they’re aware of the payback.

There has got to be a threshold level of demand for Blizz to start develop anything worth their time.

Does this mean that the number of auction house tycoon has exploded throughout the year? Does this mean player spend more time browsing the auction house than raiding or running heroics?

Because if it’s just a misplaced resource management on Blizzard side, this could backfire and flat line real quick.

I for one will be more excited if instead of accessing the auction house, I can access the trade channel chat. Or the barren chat channel. Or any chat channel on a given server. The entertainment value provided by reading some of the funniest comments on those channel far outweigh any auction house feature. Why not extend guild chat to your mobile or IM.

Maybe this time Blizzard picked the wrong bunch for their focus group, or maybe I’m missing the point here.

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