Patch 3.3 excitement

You can see it on the official forums. People are getting more excited about the patch, and anticipating it’s arrival to live. There was another flurry of questions on the forums yesterday asking if it was going to go live today, to which the CMs again answered in the negative. This despite word on the 20th that the patch was at least a month away, which would place the patch out on the 15th. Give or take.

For me, the patch will get here when it gets here. Though I am looking forward to it, I remain troubled by the change to the need/greed rolling mechanism that will enable players to also roll for disenchanting if there is an enchanter in the group. Players will be limited to what they can roll need on, as the new mechanism will enforce a set of rules that allows you to only roll need on specific types of armor that you can use. For instance, a plate wearing DPS could roll need on plate DPS gear, but not plate Spell gear. And could not roll need on mail or leather gear. Need rolls will still take precedence over greed rolls. And the third option — disenchanting — will auto DE the item for whomever wins it. I’m absolutely philosophically opposed to this change. It’s the first change in the history of the game that enables other players to directly access profession skills I leveled up on my character.

There is a huge amount of debate on the official forums about these changes, and most of it surrounding the enchanting change. Not surprisingly most non-enchanters are fully supportive of it, and most enchanters are totally against it. I leveled enchanting on two of my characters, and have been considering leveling it on my Paladin just to be able to DE items for myself.

As I’ve mentioned on various forum threads, this issue is really about consent, choices, and consequences. First and foremost there is an consent issue with the enchanting change. Now, a player must consent to have his skills used by other group members. Group members either roll need/greed on items and take their chances at winning them, or typically an enchanter will roll greed on all items with everyone else passing unless someone actually needs it. That person would typically roll need. The enchanter would then typically DE the items and pass out the shards at the end. If the enchanter doesn’t wish to do that for the group, then everyone is left with the option to simply need/greed the item. A lot of complaining seems to revolve around a minority of enchanters that roll need on everything, or who attain all the items in a dungeon when the group is expecting them to be DE’d and passed out, but who then runs off with the goods. A ninja is a ninja, and that is entirely another discussion. So I won’t cover it here now. Again, the issue is about consent. If an enchanter agrees to DE materials he is consenting to use his profession skills for the benefit of the group. If he refuses to perform that service, he withholds his consent. Group members always have the option to roll need on any item, regardless of whether or not an enchanter agrees to DE items for the group, which is the opposite side of the “enchanter stealing all the loot” coin. In this case that party member is not giving his consent to the enchanter to DE the item, and is not giving his consent to the group to enforce it.

Permeating the entire debate is also the issue of choices and consequences. Every player has a choice to make when they consider what professions to obtain for character. Typically a player will determine what professions best suit that character for money making purposes, or which professions give them the best advantages. In any case, the player can only choose two professions and Blizzard has been adamant that they had no plans to enable players to obtain a third (or more) professions on the same character. They’ve said on multiple occasions that WoW is an MMO, and that they wish to promote interdependence on the players. Which of course means there are consequences for ones decisions in the matter. If you choose to take Mining and Engineering for example, you can mine and make money through the sale of minerals, but you couldn’t prospect that ore for gems directly, and engineering really offers you no combat advantages inside a raid environment. Those are the consequences you choose to accept when you make them decision.

Yet in this unique instance Blizzard is removing the consequences of player decision making, and granting access to the enchanter’s skills to other party members without that enchanters consent. Of course, as many people have pointed out, the enchanter always has the option to roll greed on an item instead, which removes the ability for anyone at that point (except the enchanter of course) to get the item through the DE process. Yet we know how social pressure works. Enchanters that do this will be ostracized, and that also is something I vehemently disagree with. Blizzard is knowingly placing players in that situation and it is going to lead inevitably to forum drama as people are called out for it there too.

Others ask how this is any different from asking an enchanter to DE items for, as is often done now. The answer of course comes back to consent again. An enchanter has to agree to do it for someone, and this is simply not something that is greatly wide-spread. People that do not want to level up an enchanter to DE items for themselves end up vendoring items instead. It’s the exception that finds an enchanter to DE items. Which of course leads into the sale of enchanting materials. The new system is going to introduce wide-spread competition in the enchanting market place. Which I maintain as completely unfair. Especially as no other profession is being treated to the same intrusion. Miners are not being forced to have to roll against other party members for the ore they mine. Jewelcrafters aren’t being asked to roll against other party members for prospecting ore. Skinners aren’t being asked to roll against other party members for the leather and furs they skin. And engineers aren’t being asked to roll against other party members for the de-engineered items they get. As Blizzard has pointed out, in there are very few mines in instances compared to item drops, yet it’s the principle that is of importance here, not the quantity.

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