Where the view is always better.

Making the Environment Work for You

It’s cool when the company you’re doing an internship with has a blog that writes about MMOs and virtual environments. One of the posts on the blog brings up the topic of user-generated content.

An example was how a raid leader used a dead gnome as a placemarker for where the tank should place a boss. I’m sure you all know by now that positioning is always important in raid boss fights. The objective of the tank was not to successfully tank the boss. It was to tank the boss so that it would land directly on top of the dead gnome when the boss is defeated. The raid leader shared that they had no more problems with raid positioning from then on.

If you’ve ever gone deep into the quests in Netherstorm, you might remember [Archmage Vargoth’s Staff]. It summons an image of Archmage Vargoth to complete and take new quests. I’ve never done this before, but an item like this (since it is not destroyed upon completion of the quest chain) can be used to identify critical positioning for raids. It might even help in positioning the raid for a Nightbane or Prince Malchezaar fight.

World of Warcraft provides little to no option for user-generated content, tools that may be necessary to enhance the gameplay. Because of this, people get creative with their environment. I bet you haven’t done musical chairs in Karazhan‘s Banquet Hall. (I haven’t either, but I would love to!) You can also play guild bank checkers and the usual steam tonk wars.

Cynra once told me she used to be a top designer for player houses in Ultima Online. The reason why many people ask for features like player housing and guild banks is to allow for more customization and interaction. It used to be that a guild bank is located on one of the senior members’ bank alts set aside especially for the guild. By adding guild banks, it opens up a whole new system of checks and monitoring to make sure people don’t abuse the authority. Player housing can allow us to brag about and share our spoils with others. (If Blizzard ever decides to implement player housing, I would definitely hire her to decorate my house.)

These things help promote the collaborative environment of an MMO. If this is a vision that Blizzard has for Wrath of the Lich King, I can’t wait to see what open PvP in Lake Wintergrasp is going to be like. Being able to control siege machines and destroy buildings (DotA style?) is a great way to bring about more player interaction and coordination.

How have you made the environment work to enhance your gameplay?

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6 responses

  1. My guild does Musical Chairs every. single. Moroes fight. =D

    2 July 2008 at 13:15

  2. Actually, when learning the post-Twin Emps trash in AQ40 way back when we used Elune Stones (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=21536) to show the raid where we all needed to stack up.

    2 July 2008 at 14:34

  3. We used to get new MC raiders to go look through the crack in the wall coz you can “see ragnaros” after the Geddon fight.

    Of course you can see him… right before you get melted by the lava.

    Kind of a rite of passage for your first MC run. The rest of the raid all had it done to them, and all new to play along when there was a first timer there :P

    2 July 2008 at 22:37

  4. Musical chairs in Karazhan! That one was new to me. I love it when you actually use the freedom that the game still provide us – it’s a stage, an arena where you can do so many things more than just the ordinarey scripted paths we usually step.

    I think we often neglect the freedom we already have – even without the player houses.

    3 July 2008 at 03:29

  5. Smoke flares? Those seem easier to get than a gnome corpse. Easier to carry, too.

    3 July 2008 at 16:07

  6. I nearly missed a Moroes fight once by sitting on the chairs and going “Yum!” at the food. Yells of “L2Trap!” woke me out of my chair-sitting frenzy. We wiped, of course, and I offered to pay everyone 5g for the repairs… which they all took me up on, nasty capitalists that they are.

    I like the Vargoth idea… I often use a flare to tell the tanks where to tank the boss, jump up and down to tell the ranged DPS where to stand, and lay a frost trap if I need a third indicator… far less colourful than I’d like, but it works. Sort of.

    4 July 2008 at 07:10

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