Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mythic Alt Runs, Attuning Items

I think we got a little far from what I really wanted to discuss with the last post on Mythic Alt Runs. The way I see it, there are three possibilities:
  1. Mythic alt runs are fine, so we don't need to do anything.
  2. Mythic alt runs are unhealthy, but the cure would be worse than the disease.
  3. Mythic alt runs are unhealthy, and need to be fixed.
Personally, I'm leaning towards option 2. I think the alt runs are unhealthy for the game, and hurt the experience of the top guilds. But on the other hand, that's only a very small portion of the audience. Furthermore, those people are known for doing crazy things in pursuit of World Firsts. If they didn't do alt runs, they'd probably be doing something else just as unhealthy.

Previous excesses in the top guilds, like consumable or class stacking, caused issues because it was required for lower tier guilds to do the same thing to beat those fights. In contrast, alt runs just accelerate the process of getting gear. In a couple months, a regular raid will catch up with enough gear. 

As well, any solution to alt runs would end up hitting all the other raiders in the game. This would probably hurt their experience.

I can only see two solutions to alt runs. First, Gevlon suggested that Heroic Mode use Personal Loot. This would stop alt runs for sure. However, many players--including myself--really dislike Personal Loot, especially for guild raids. It's a necessary evil for LFR and pick-up groups, since you can't trust everyone, but not something to be used for true extended content.

Attuning Items

The second solution would be a cap on how many new epics can be equipped in a given time period. For example, imagine that items had three states:
  • Unbound - can be traded to other players
  • Soulbound - cannot be traded to other players
  • Attuned - cannot be traded to other players
Simply getting a Bind-On-Pickup item makes it soulbound. But actually equipping an item "attunes" it. The restriction would be that you can only attune 1 or 2 items a week. Once you've hit your limit, you simply can't equip new items.

There are some advantages to this scheme. You can put in a lot of different ways to get epics, without making a player "need" to do all of them. You could make a rule that the limit only applies to epics, and that gives blue items a slight advantage over epics, which might come in handy when introducing new content such as 5-man dungeons. It generally slows the pace of gear acquisition down, and spreads it out, rather than getting the majority of your items quickly and then waiting for the last few pieces to dribble in.

But it would be a big change. It might be a good change, but it's also not a change that should be done just to stop Mythic alt runs.


  1. "Personally, I'm leaning towards option 2."

    I would agree.

    Your attuned idea would also cause issues if we're trying to gear up a new recruit or someone coming back to the came -- just doing a normal Heroic (or Mythic) clear and that person will get a lot of items because they're not needed. No crazy alt runs involved.

  2. Alt-runs must be stopped because of 3 reasons:
    - it's a horrible PR if all the "good players" are nolifers.
    - It creates an unjumpable rift between topguilds and average raiding guilds. In an average guild you can't gear up an alt that can perform in heroic farms. So even if your main is pretty good, you can't apply to topguilds.
    - seeds the "farming matters only" idea among players, leading to the infamous "I just don't have enough time to get gear" excuse for mechanics failing.

    No cure is worse than stopping this abomination.

    However I have an even better cure: raids are open for 3 hours a day on a server. So no matter how much time you have, you simply can't raid more than 21 hours a week.

  3. I'm leaning toward option 1: Mythic alt runs are fine, so we don't need to do anything.

    Consider how many guilds might be in the running for world firsts. I pluck a figure from the air: maybe 100. These are the really serious guilds who will do anything to improve their odds, including alt run.s How many players is that? Let's say 100 per guild (in reality it will be a lot less, but I'm just making up numbers, remember) - so say 10,000 players might take part in this. I'm afraid I'm too lazy to find some actual numbers, as I don't really care enough.

    Anyway, I'd guess this affects less than one-thousandth of the player base.

    And if you fixed it, what would those players be doing instead? If they are such "nolifers" to use the term that Gevlon's applied to them, they won't stop being nolifers just because you fix this. They'll just find another thing to concentrate on that gives them a 0.1% edge.

  4. Heh, 3 comments, 3 completely different opinions.

    @Balkoth, yes, gearing a new recruit is isomorphic to the Mythic alt runs. It's the exact same mechanics. So pretty much any fix to the alt runs will hit gearing new recruits.

    The only way around that I can see is have the fix be "temporary". For example, HM is set to Personal Loot for the first month only. After that, you can use the other loot methods and funnel loot to specific people, if you so desire.