Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Proposed Vendor Changes from Blizzcon

I do not like it, Sam I am,
I do not like this new Vendor Plan...

The Proposed Change:
In a quote at IGN:

Another will be made to items available from vendors, helping add to the overall game. Blizzard doesn't really enjoy the current system in place, where players can buy a batch of items and wait for the respawn to occur at a predetermined time and buy some more. What they're aiming to do is tweak things to where blue and purple recipes show up with a given vendor to add a surprise when the given item pops up. This is system is shooting to be totally random, so players cant really hang around the vendor or show up at a given time to buy a recipe, making it that much more difficult to camp and be the first to buy the item, but it's sounding like that there's a lot of potential for players to turn these rare items into a monopoly on the auction house, so we'll have to wait and see how Blizzard pulls this initiative off.

From WoW Insider's Professions and Items Live Blog:

Vendors: camping vendors for limited quantity items isn't fun. We're not going to really do that anymore.
Vendors are going to have this new awesome list of loot: blue loot, purple loot -- it will show up rarely but it is shared across all of them. So when you go to a vendor, there could just be some awesome item on there, just waiting to be bought.
It will be random enough so that you won't be able to guess. (applause)

The Vendor Game:
So why don't I like this change? For reasons such as these Commercial Breaks:

(* That joke still cracks me up.)

You see, I enjoyed conquering this part of the game through a different kind of skill: research. I would find special NPCs through something like Thottbot like this:

Select a Zone then click to find the "Vendors:"

Then one by one, check out each vendor to see if he/she had a "limited supply" of a good recipe and then, if it was a vendor I could get to safely (Frost Oil was always a pain), buy it for self or for resale:

There was already a certain degree of randomness to it because of the respawn time. (i.e. Once something with a limited supply ran out, you had to wait for it to respawn which could be hours or days, I never knew. The comments on Thottbot are filled with players who felt cheated when they got to the vendor and found he's out of stock.)

This Player's Experience:
I had a good time with this mini-game. Yes, I sold either the recipe or its progeny for a reasonable profit - that was the fun. I never really ran into players' camping a vendor, but then I wasn't really after much of the really hard to get stuff. So perhaps my experience wasn't representative. But I will still mourn a bit for this fond little part of the game if/when it goes.

Note to self - Next MMO - find a game where I can participate more in the economy.

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