[WoW] World of Resource Management

thorium, is there anything it cant do?

thorium, is there anything it can't do?

Perhaps it is due to coming back from a break but I wonder how I’d never seen WoW as the resource management game that it undoubtedly is before. There’s always an element of resource management in MMOs, but WoW takes this to extremes.

Any time they introduce new content, you could summarise it as “collect token X (which you get by doing activity Y) and use it to purchase item/ reputation Z”. I can’t imagine how confusing this must be for new players when half the resources you collect have been made totally redundant. This gives an impression of the game being more complex than it really is. Yes there’s lots of stuff to do and collect while you level, but much of it is completely pointless now (dark iron ore anyone?). The sheer variety of stuff for people to collect in order to get a character well sorted for endgame does add an extra level to planning alts, though. I think it’s fairly standard for people to play their first character the regular way and just do stuff as it comes, but then try to optimise alt levelling so as to minimise the work needed. I characterise ‘the regular way’ as meaning to organically move through the quests and zones as the game naturally indicates. That means that to optimise you have to do some content out of order; for example, ignoring quests when you would normally pick them up and running higher level instances instead.

Optimising resource management adds a lot of replayability to the game. Jury’s out (with me at least) as to how fun it actually is, but it undoubtedly adds an extra layer of challenge to levelling alts. ie. Can I do this better? I do very much prefer the EVE model with its wider range of choices, many of them based on responding to how other players act in the economy, rather than the WoW on-rails experience of dictating exactly what you need to gather and what you can turn it in for.

It is still quite surprising to me that they’ve turned something that isn’t especially fun into a cornerstone for all of their content. It also contributes to the “same old same old” feel that a lot of people get about the new expansion. Meet the new resource management mini-game, same as the old one, but we’ve renamed the tokens and the reputation grind! It’s not only ridiculous, but also exceptionally lazy. Instead of collecting Primal Water, you can instead collect …. (wait for it) …. Eternal Water! Be still my beating heart! Collecting Primal Water was the absolutely high point for me of TBC and I know we’re all counting the minutes until we can do it again…? No?

Anyway, I resubbed, specced my warrior up the Protection Tree and went off to check the Argent Dawn quests for the Necropolises. I can’t get excited about content I already saw a couple of years back but I trotted off to the Burning Steppes to kill some undead like a good ‘un. It’s a zone I know well because I spent a lot of time mining Thorium there in the past.

Thorium paid for my epic ground mount back in the day so I will always have a soft spot for it. Also it’s bright green and glows (and smokes too, for some strange reason) so you can’t really miss it, plus everyone always wants Thorium because you need it to level half the tradeskills and no one bothers farming it. There are many many more optimal ways to farm cash than running around waiting for ore to respawn but since I was there anyway I grabbed a stack. For old times’ sakes.

I’ll tweak the spec a bit, there’s a couple of talents I can ditch in favour of more damage, but Protection Warriors are pretty hot right now. I was also enjoying the novelty of soloing in my tanking gear. I think Blizzard have really nailed the spec. It feels solid and powerful but not overpowered.