Tobold's Blog
Monday, September 26, 2016
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 11

In the previous session the constables of the Royal Homeland Constabulary of Risur managed to save a witness and the evidence from overwhelming forces trying to destroy them. That earned them level 4, which we handled between sessions. I prefer level-ups to just happen, not to play time needed for training, because that frequently clashes with the story timing. So in this session the group interviewed the witness, Dr. Wolfgang von Recklinghausen, and examined the evidence that the dying Nilasa had given him (stolen from the Danoran consulate).

It quickly became clear that the doctor wasn't really involved in what was going on, other than having tried to aid the dying Nilasa and having been passed the evidence she stole. But he had later encountered the shadow man that had given the group some trouble at several occasions, and wounded him with his rapier. That had left a trace of a black oil on his weapon, which he knew to be witchoil. Witchoil is an evil substance able to capture souls of the dying, and when loaded with such souls can be used to fuel dark magic. The constables decided to let the doctor go.

The documents from the Danoran consulate were reports from the Danoran head of security, Julian LeBrix. He had been investigating items disappearing and being smuggled out from factories in Flint which were Danoran-owned. The items were frequently large, for example thick steel plates, and taken together suggested some large construction project, like a battleship. During that investigation Julian also discovered flasks of witchoil hidden in some factories (where industrial accidents produced lots of soul for it to capture). But after reporting that to his superiors, his investigation was shut down. Using the ritual to detect planar energy the constables visited the factories in the report, talked their way in, and found flasks of hidden witchoil.

On their way to the RHC headquarters the constables had already overheard people talking about the skyseer Nevard Sechim planning a public announcement on Dawn Square the next day in the afternoon, telling the population of Flint of the visions he had when he visited Cauldron Hill (with the help of the constables). The next morning, at their status meeting with their boss they didn't mention that they had encountered Gale, the eco-terrorist they were supposed to hunt, but reported on finding the doctor and his evidence. Their boss, Stover Delft also had gotten word of the skyseer's announcement, and asked the group to provide security.

So the group visited Dawn Square the morning before the event, still using their ritual of detect planar energy. That made them find a warehouse with a strong source of energy from the Shadowfell. The source turned out to be a witchoil-powered golem, who attacked the group while a group of technicians in the back of the warehouse was trying to destroy evidence of their activities there. Some group members went and killed the technicians to save some of the evidence, while the others battled the golem. The golem hit hard, but not very precise; but he did spray some witchoil on the people battling him in close combat, which gave a nasty aura that damaged the person touched as well as the people around him. With a group full of close combat specialists that was quite nasty, although they managed to counter it in part with a wall of light from Eldion, the invoker.

After the fight the group discovered that the technicians apparently had modified jaguars (the cats, not the cars) by replacing their hearts with withoil tanks protected by steel plates. But the jaguars were gone already. And in the floor of the warehouse was an iron ring which they could identify as being usable in a ritual to move to the Shadowfell plane. The technicians in the warehouse had been half in the Shadowplane and half in the prime material plane, so one by one they just faded into the Shadowfell. Even the one they had kept alive was gone, so they couldn't interrogate him. With that we ended this session.


Sunday, September 18, 2016
Not very alt-friendly

As I wasn't playing every day, it took me until this weekend to hit the new level cap, 110, in World of Warcraft Legion. Now normally an expansion has about half a dozen zones, and getting to the level cap only takes the quest of about half of them. I basically finished Azsuna and Highmountain, doing all story-line quests there. Which normally would be great to then play an alt through the other half of the zones. But not so in Legion: To unlock world quests you need to be friendly in all zones, and that means playing the story line quests in all zones. Every alt you want to play and use for world quests will then also have to play all story line quests in all zones again. Uggggghhhhh!

As I mentioned previously, you can't use alts to just run missions, as you only get the resources for missions from playing. And without playing a lot, you can't even use your alt for crafting, because the crafting recipes are unlocked by leveling up and doing quests. There is no such thing as an "alt" in Legion, you just can have several main characters if you have endless amounts of time and don't mind the repetition.

I can certainly see why Blizzard would design the game like that. It forces people to play more if they want to use other characters, and more play means more subscription. But it kind of puts a damper on my usual "trade alts" strategy. Anyway, the way auction house prices are now I might be better off with gathering alts than with trade alts. Especially mining, which many people gave up due to it becoming obsolete with a Warlords of Draenor garrison mine, is now a huge money-maker. Felslate sells for 75+ gold on my server. I haven't really found good crafting recipes that make a lot of money, with the materials being so expensive.

Monday, September 12, 2016
Order resources

Last week I was actively playing WoW every day, and started to wonder about order resources: I seemed to earn far more of them than I was spending. Was that how the resource economy was supposed to work?

This week I got at least part of an answer. I am traveling, no PC, just an iPad. And so I'm using the Legion companion app to send my followers out for missions. But those cost resources, and I'm not earning any. I'll probably run out before I get home again. Still not sure if the resource economy is planned that way, but at least there is some balance between earning and spending order resources.

Saturday, September 10, 2016
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 10

In the previous session the constables of the Royal Homeland Constabulary had paid a local crime lord, Lorcan Kell, to hand over an important witness to their case, Dr. Wolfgang von Recklinghausen. As promised, Kell's men led them to the abandoned cave church in which the doctor was hiding, got their friends out who were guarding him, and even kindly disabled the traps in the place. So the group went in, advancing slowly and carefully, until they found the doctor. With some diplomacy they persuaded the doctor that they were real police, because he was afraid of "the monster" coming after him. By his description the monster clearly was the same shadowy man that had caused the group some trouble already, and who had killed Nilasa. The doctor then gave them the documents that the dying Nilasa had entrusted him with, mostly reports of the Danoran security chief Justin Brix about strange things going on in Danoran-owned factories in Flint. The accounts of materials going missing fit with Gale's information from the previous session which had told them that somebody was smuggling material into the parallel shadow realm Bleak Gate and was building something large there, presumably some sort of war machine or ship.

The paladin, who had stayed near the tunnel which was the only obvious way into the church, then noticed that a mage had appeared outside and through magic barred the entrance with steel bars. But a group of people then ran right through those steel bars into the church. They were trapped, and under attack. Well, or they would have been. The player of Aria the sorceress is famous in the group for always being the first one who wants to flee, always looking how to stay behind cover even if that cover is his group mates. So the fight hadn't even started yet when Aria was already climbing up the chimney of the kitchen, looking for a way out. While the others started fighting, Aria got out, tied a rope to a tree upstairs and came back down, their escape route secured.

The people attacking were two rogues, two mages, and the shadow man himself. As the shadow man was insubstantial, he only took half damage from everything. And he had abilities to go into stealth mode in combat, running around not just invisible but completely undetectable. So he got a few good hits in, and so did the rogues. For some reason I was rolling a lot of 20s (and a lot of misses), so the mobs did some serious damage. But then Eldion hit the shadow man with radiant damage, which stopped him from being insubstantial. It also dissolved his shadow skin, revealing raw muscles and flesh of a human without skin. Some hits later the shadow man was bloodied, which triggered an escape ability with teleport he had, and he ran away. The group quickly killed the rogues and intimidated the two wounded mages into surrendering.

Merian then went in the tunnel towards the barred entrance. But outside there were over a dozen more enemies, with the rogues shooting him with their pistols through the bars. So the way through the chimney that Aria had already secured was the obvious way to disappear. They climbed out there and didn't turn back when somebody called into the tunnel for them to negotiate. We ended that session there.

So I didn't get to do the negotiation, where the group would have had the opportunity to trade their lives by handing over the doctor and the documents. Sometimes having an escape artist in the group can save them from having to make difficult decisions.


Thursday, September 08, 2016
World of Warcraft Legion companion app

I'm playing World of Warcraft on my iPad. Well, not the whole game. But the Legion class hall, like the Warlords of Draenor garrison it replaces, has a mini-game in which you send out followers to do missions. As these missions take several hours of real time to complete, that mini-game resembles similar gameplay of some mobile games. And it is best played on a mobile device, because many people due to work and school can't play World of Warcraft every 4 hours for 5 minutes, while on a mobile device that is much more feasible. So Blizzard this week launched the Legion companion app, which allows you to do just that, on Android or iOS devices. The app also allows you to do research in you class hall, hire troops, and apparently there is some world quest feature available at character level 110.

Blizzard apparently has a new approach of adapting World of Warcraft to modern gaming habits. During Warlords of Draenor people asked for an app like that, but only ever got an app where you could manually set timers to remind you when your missions were done. The Legion companion app allows you to actually send followers on missions, complete missions, and the next time you log into the main game the rewards will be in your inventory. Also this week Blizzard introduced a new feature where you can stream your gameplay live onto social networks. Not something I'm personally going to use, but I can see that there is demand for such a feature.

The new app encouraged me to try to at least level my frost mage to level 101 to get access to those missions. Unfortunately that proves to be a rather tedious slog. With polymorph not working on many mobs, and freeze effects breaking immediately, the frost mage is quickly overwhelmed when fighting more than one mob at a time. And in Legion single mobs have become a rarity, most monsters now come in groups and added involuntary pulls are very common. Sometimes I just have to try to kill one mob of a group, blink away and leave combat using invisibility to then come back and deal with the now smaller group before respawn. I was wondering if switching to another spec would improve things, but I already chose the frost artifact and it'll be several levels before I get the next one. I hear people complaining that ranged dps are better than melee dps in Legion group content, but for leveling my fury warrior is far, far better than my mage.

Sunday, September 04, 2016
World of Warcraft Legion

However much I might have enjoyed dungeons and raids in the past, these days I play World of Warcraft as a casual solo player, mostly questing and crafting. And from that point of view I must say that Legion is a very good expansion: The storytelling is much improved, the questing is completely non-linear, and the crafting is better integrated in the leveling gameplay.

On the story side there are now much scenarios, events, and cut scenes amidst the old "kill ten foozles" questing. One big source of that is the stories surrounding your class hall, which replaces the garrison. And while the garrison quests were the same for all characters, which really got onto your nerves after a couple of alts, the class hall story and quest is completely different for each class, which provides much better replayability.

That has been made possible by new technology which automatically adjusts the level of quests and mobs to your level in most of the new zones. Which means that you don't need to look where the level-appropriate content is, you can play anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I mean anywhere (except the one fixed level 110 zone): Even the zones itself aren't linear any more; you can travel around until you find a spot you like, find the local "breadcrumb" quest that leads you to the local quest hub, and start questing. You aren't required to do quest hubs in a particular order any more, although if going out on your own is too scary for you the game will still lead you from one quest hub to the next.

The reason I was traveling around and quested in different zones instead of finishing one is the new crafting system: Most of the recipes are now earned from quests and rare mobs. You can't just sit in front of the AH, buy materials, and craft your way to the top any more. You need to play the questing / leveling game in order to craft. While that might annoy some people, on the plus side the crafted stuff is of better quality. My warrior is wearing the armor he crafted. Even the food buffs are good, I have a recipe for a food that gives 1000% faster out of combat regeneration, which is nice for questing.

Talking of my warrior, I went into Legion with the intention of playing my frost mage as my main. But Blizzard has once again redone all the powers and talents, and reduced the number of buttons you press. For my frost mage that resulted in much less possibility to kite mobs around. Polymorph doesn't work on most monsters any more. And the Legion zones have far more monsters coming at you in groups. So shortly after acquiring my artifact weapon (which included a boss fight I had to read up on after several failed attempts to manage it) I gave up on my frost mage and went back to my usual main, the fury warrior. That turned out to be an excellent idea, because while the frost mage sucks in Legion, the fury warrior has become much better than before. His whirlwind doesn't cost rage any more, so it is "free" (except for the global cooldown), and with the right talents it hits as hard as the single-target abilities. So my fury warrior has become an absolute AOE monster, surviving even large groups of enemies without problem. I haven't tried the other classes / specs yet, but I assume that shadow priests still suck, so maybe I'll play the balance druid after the warrior.

Overall I'm enjoying myself very much in Legion. Having said that, I don't think there is much more than 3 months of content in there, even with alts. I'm not interested in organised group play any more, and the old problem remains that without that the game more or less ends at the level cap. I'm sure there will be some way to grind better gear through daily quests or their equivalent later, but why should I? So right now I'm concentrating on having fun with leveling, and don't plan for the future.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Lost month

I subscribed to World of Warcraft (using a WoW token) earlier this month when the pre-expansion patch hit. It turned out that I didn't use much of that month of subscription. This week I barely ever played, and I'm basically waiting for the expansion proper.

What I did was level a demon hunter from 98 to 100, which was quick. I did the Broken Shore event several times, both Horde and Alliance, and enjoyed the subtle difference in the storytelling. And I did a bunch of invasions to equip my characters with iLevel 700 gear. But with the invasions increasing in frequency that was also rather quickly done, especially since I didn't need full gear for all characters, already having nearly as good gear from playing Warlords of Draenor stuff earlier.

The one activity I barely did was using the invasions to level up characters. I gained like 5 levels on my dwarf hunter in just 3 or 4 invasions, before I realized that all that was doing was killing quest content I wanted to do with him. I had already leveled 5 characters to 100 during WoD, gotten a 6th character to 100 with the level boost that was part of the purchase of the expansion, and the demon hunter made 7 characters at 100. I really don't need more than that, I probably will level only one or two of them further in Legion.

I did do the second and third story part, and enjoyed revisiting Karazhan and Dalaran, but those were rather short episodes. So now I need to wait for the expansion next week. Maybe I resubscribed a bit too early, but then I'm not actually paying for the subscription, so it isn't much of a loss.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Raph called it

In 2007 Raph Koster posted on his blog that there is a universal curve of player numbers over time which all open big virtual worlds follow. This week Bloomberg posted a chart showing Pokemon Go user numbers, and not only are these already declining, but they are declining in the slow fashion that Raph's universal curve suggests.

The reason I tried Pokemon go last month for about 3 days before deleting it for being boring was not that I am a Pokemon fan (sorry, I can't even name all 150 basic Pokemon), but because I recognized Pokemon Go as an "open world MMORPG". Just that the open world was a 1:1 copy of the real world, and thus sometimes has curious access restrictions. It does have the MMORPG network effect, becoming more interesting when more people play it, so it following the MMORPG user number curve is no surprise to me at all.

Note that while the general *shape* of the curve is universal, the time from start to peak isn't. World of Warcraft took a long time to peak (although one needs to mention that the WoW curve is the overlap of the curve of the base game with the curve of the expansions, which prolong longevity), while Pokemon Go peaked after two weeks. For me that "time to peak" is a general measure of how long the game can hold the interest of the players. For very simple games like Pokemon Go the time is rather short. But even for a complex MMORPG the time to peak can be as short as a month, if the game uses a lots of mechanics and features from previous games and is thus perceived by the players as not being all that new.

Blizzard stopped this year of reporting World of Warcraft subscriber numbers. But they are easy enough to predict. In a week or two the subscriptions will be back up to over 10 million, although less high than at the release of Warlords of Draenor. And a bit later the next phase of decline will set in, bringing WoW a year after Legion to less subscribers than a year after WoD. Because somewhere hidden below the quarter to quarter changes from each expansion is Raph's universal curve.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 09

In the previous session the constables of the Royal Homeland Constabulary captured two dragonborn arsonists. This session started the next day, in the morning, with the group assembling in front of the RHC headquarters before their daily status meeting with their boss, Stover Delft. It is the 6th of Summer (in a calendar that just has seasons, not months), and this being a nice day the group is standing outside chatting for a while before going into the office. At this point a sudden breeze rises up and carries a yellow canary towards the group. To their surprise the canary speaks with a women's voice, with a slight Danoran accent.

The voice is the one of Gale, the "eco-terrorist" the group is supposed to pursue. In previous sessions the constables had helped an old skyseer who is a friend of Gale, and had asked him to organize a meeting. Now Gale is offering such a meeting, at the time of the group's convenience, but in her territory, the Cloudwood. The group accepts and plans the meeting for the early afternoon of this same day, starting from the RHC HQ at noon, guided by the canary.

But first they hold the meeting with their boss. They don't tell him about negotiating with Gale, and pretend that they arrested the two arsonists because of a possible connection to her. Gale is suspected to be behind factory arson attacks. Stover Delft is satisfied with their progress and sends them off to interrogate the arsonists. In the possessions of the two dragonborn they find a magical staff, and a portrait of a man with a beard, which they recognize as being Dr. Wolfgang von Recklinghausen. They had already heard about the doctor as being the last person to speak to Nilasa before her death, and having received a bundle of something, possibly documents, from her.

Interrogating the arsonists revealed that they are criminals for hire, but had one repeat customer in Flint, a hooded, shadowy man whom they met only once and who communicates with them via letters now. The group concluded that this was the same man seen shooting Nilasa, and also the same who sicced the phantoms on Cauldron Hill onto them. The factory arsons were ordered by this man, and he also asked the two dragonborn to kill both the Danoran security chief Julian LeBrix and the doctor. Having failed at their latest arson attempt of Heward's factory as well as both assassination attempts, the two dragonborn didn't have any recent communication from their employer. The dragonborn had tracked down the doctor to an old theater in Parity Lake, but that was the headquarters of a local gangster boss, Lorcan Kell, and apparently the doctor was under Kell's protection, so they couldn't get to him. That sounded like a promising path of further investigation, but first they had to meet Gale.

The canary led the group to Cloudwood, to the top of a waterfall. Gale approached them, floating over the water and staying out of melee range. The group had previously agreed among themselves to hear her out instead of directly trying to arrest her, and the situation didn't look promising for an arrest anyway. Gale told them that she had with the help of a fairy friend a few months ago visited the Shadowfell, a parallel plane to the prime material plane, filled with shadow and undead. To her surprise she had detected that large construction work was going on in the Shadowfell version of Flint, somewhere around the area of Cauldron Hill. She has concluded that there was some sort of conspiracy going on, she suspects her enemy the Danorans. Gale believes that the Danorans are somehow bring materials from the prime material plane to the Shadowfell in order to construct some large weapon, maybe a battleship, there. If they could then move that weapon back into real Flint and start firing on the city, that could be a decisive blow in a future war between Risur and Danor.

So Gale believes that she and the constables have a common enemy and offers to help them to inquire further: She gives them a ritual that allows tracing planar energy. As the constables have been in contact with the planar energy of the Shadowfell on Cauldron Hill, the ritual should allow them to find the people involved in the weapon construction. Gale doesn't ask the constables to trust her, a wanted criminal, but to investigate themselves. Although some of the players have doubts about collaborating with a terrorist, they reluctantly agree, because from their previous investigation they do believe some sort of conspiracy going on.

Their first plan is to use the ritual in the vicinity of the theater where they think Doctor von Recklinghausen is hiding, to determine whether dark forces are at work there. While trying to find a secluded spot in an alley behind the theater to cast the ritual, they come upon a woman crying for help. Apparently two thugs have kidnapped the woman's baby and are running away. Against the protests of Merian, who would have preferred to remain inconspicuous, the group runs after the men and into a building.

There they are suddenly blinded by limelight, and find themselves having run onto a stage. In front of them is a curious character looking like a pirate and holding a bundle looking like a swaddled baby. The audience consists of 40 or so thugs, armed with pistols, and Lorcan Kell in a private box above. The audience spurred the constables on to provide a spectacle. Closer examination revealed the "pirate" to be some dupe from the road, totally confused. He dropped the "baby", which was fortunately out of wood, and cried out "Don't kill me! Don't kill me!". The constables decided to play along and chased him into the curtains, putting on a bit of an act with James even playing the piano. Aria considered attacking the audience with a spell, but none of her spells would have caught more than a few of the thugs, and it was clear that they would return fire immediately.

So instead the group addressed Lorcan Kell, and asked him to be allowed to speak to Doctor von Recklinghausen. Kell said that the doctor had paid for his protection, but the money was running out and he was looking for more. He said that he had another offer which he would have taken soon, but offered the constables to overbid that and pay 1,000 gold in exchange for the doctor. He wouldn't budge on the price, but agreed on not only leading the group to the doctor's hiding place, but also removing his guards there so that they could face him with minimal resistance. The group wasn't totally happy about having run into Kell's theater trap and the payment, but agreed anyway. After being led to an abandoned church in a cave in the Nettles, the group paid up and we ended the session there.

This session went rather well. I had been a bit afraid of the two encounters with Gale and Kell, because in both cases the group could have attacked, which would have resulted in no gain and less information for them. As it went they pretty much got all the information that they could have, and are now right on track for the third chapter of the adventure. And maybe they learned that negotiation is sometimes better than combat.


Sunday, August 21, 2016
Choosing my look

For a lot of people playing a MMORPG, the look of their character is very important. So over the years in World of Warcraft systems that let you choose your look were improved. The latest pre-expansion patch again changed the transmogrify screens to give you a huge choice of possible looks based on any gear the system is aware that you ever possessed. You can assemble a look, save it, and apply it for a small fee to your character if his look changed due to gear upgrades. So far, so good.

But two of my characters aren't really profiting from this. One is my shadow priest. Shadow priests used to have the ability to change into and out of shadow form. But now they are permanently in shadow form, and whatever look you choose for them is barely visible in game. Even worse is my balance druid. His talent choices gave him a permanent buff, which like the shadow form makes him half transparent, colored either yellow or blue. But in addition if he wants to adventure, he has to change into moonkin form. So in spite of all those transmogrification options, he looks like a transparent yellow chicken most of the time.

I'm not sure that this is really such a good idea. At the very least these characters should have a display option to turn of the transparency. And ideally they should be able to turn off all look-altering class talents and abilities and appear like they look on the character screen. Otherwise, what good is the transmog system for them?

Thursday, August 18, 2016
Gamergate for president

How do you judge the success of a political or social movement? It used to be that these movements had stated goal and were judged on how successful they were to achieve those goals. But what if the stated goal isn't even true, but just a "beard" to hide a true goal which is too repulsive to be an official mission statement? Gamers already have some experience with this due to the Gamergate affair. The "success" of that movement, as far as there was one, was to keep the conflict in the media every day, and to keep pressure up against political correctness.

One of the major players in the Gamergate saga was the ultra-conservative website Breitbart. And guess who is now the new chief executive of Trump's campaign for president of the USA? That is widely accepted as a sign that Trump will stop to "pivot to the middle" as candidates usually do after fighting primaries at the fringes. Instead the campaign will "let Trump be Trump" and ban political correctness from the campaign.

That makes me wonder if becoming president is actually the goal here. Clinton is leading the statistical forecast based on all available polls by 88% against 12% for Trump. The demographics are very clear, there simply aren't enough angry white men living in the USA to win a general election. Clinton is widely disliked, but Trump is widely feared, even among registered Republicans. Going Gamergate on the US presidential election is extremely unlikely to result in Trump becoming the next president. So why do it?

I do believe that primarily this is an anti-establishment political movement. This goes beyond right vs. left. Of course if he could destroy the Democrat's establishment, Trump would love to do that. But if that goal seems out of reach, he'd be perfectly happy to just destroy the Republican establishment. Even right now the people shaking in their boots whenever there is a new headline about Trump are not in the Democratic party headquarters, but in the Republican one. By saying that the last weeks were not gaffes but the new Trump campaign strategy, he is setting up the Republican party to a world of hurt over the coming months.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Forced PvP

I need to start this post with some bragging. I have been playing Magic the Gathering for over 2 decades in one form or another. While I never was a pro player, I did win local tournaments. I learned all the intricacies of the complicated rules and passed an exam to become a DCI certified judge, and participated in a World Championship as judge for the side events. I know this game *very* well. And in the mobile format on Magic Duels I own all possible cards, I know the competitive decks, and I know how to play them well. All this to say that I don't suck at Magic Duels. Given the relatively casual competition, I can easily crush most players in PvP.

But I don't want to.

For me, whether I am good at it or bad at it is not the deciding factor in PvP, winning isn't all that important to me. The question rather is whether PvP for any reason is more enjoyable than PvE. I can think of some games where that would be the case, e.g. political games like Diplomacy or Junta. But Magic Duels has a quite decent AI playing reasonable decks with good consistency. PvE is a pleasure because you know what level of competency to expect from your opponent, and you can choose 3 levels of AI to tune it to your needs. PvP is far more inconsistent, and you can meet all sorts of players. And PvP allows for some behavior that only humans show, like throwing games at the first sign of difficulty or abandoning a game for real life reasons. It is very rare that a human opponent surprises you with a brilliant move that the AI wouldn't have thought of. So in general PvE is less hassle and more pleasant.

So with that preference for PvE I played Magic Duels since it came out happily until the latest expansion. I play nearly every day, doing the daily quest plus maybe a few more games. But since the latest expansion those daily quests have changed, and at least half of them now require me to do PvP. Okay, I can change one quest per day, so I'm trying to change all PvP quests in the hope of drawing a PvE quest instead. But sometimes that fails and yesterday I had the quest journal full (capacity is only 3 quests) with PvP quests and was forced to do a couple of PvP games to clear it. Opponents bailed out in both cases, one directly after the mulligan he took apparently didn't produce his dream hand.

That annoys me. I don't think games that have a perfectly good PvE part and AI should for some reason force their players into PvP. Yes, some players enjoy PvP, but many people don't. You don't magically make your game more attractive by shoving other player's potential bad behavior into the face of your customers who tried to avoid that. The "added content" that other players provide is a cheap game developers trick that doesn't really work in the long term. Don't force players into PvP!


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