The Patch

April 3, 2006

After a full week of playing with the changes in patch 1.10, I feel that little has changed in the game. At least there aren’t any changes to the game that I find beneficial.

One of the first things I noticed was the prices of many things skyrocketed literally overnight. The cost of an arcanite bar at the auction house has been consistently averaging 23-24 gold per bard for several weeks. Last Tuesday, the same bar of arcanite was nearly 50 gold.
Stonescale eels quadrupled in price to 4 gold apiece and stonescale oil is selling for 40 gold a stack. The same stack of 5 was about 15 gold before the patch.

I havent worked any of the new quests for armor upgrades, but I have been told they are expensive and not easy to do. Not that they are particularly difficult, but that they are tedious. My game friends have been grumbling almost non-stop about the quests themselves and the strong, mostly negative impact they have had on the economy.

Elixir of Superior Defense was no bargain at 13 gold for 5 pots, but at 40 gold they are bordering on ridiculous. Likewise, the cost of arcanite makes many of the items that call for arcanite bars in the recipe absolutely unattainable. When I had my Invulnerable Mail chest piece made, the cost of arcanite bars was 640 gold. Those bars would cost over 1200 gold today. Which means that the chest piece I had made for 750 gold including labor would not cost over $1,600 gold to have crafted.

So it seems that the cure is worse than the disease. In creating quests to help more casual players achieve improved equipment, Blizzard had driven demand for the materials in those quests through the roof. This not only means that these quests are expensive to pursue, they may be beyond the means of many casual players. Beyond that, those same players will be able to afford fewer items at the auction house, further limiting the gear they might have access to.

Which leaves me wondering if anyone on the Blizzard development team understands anything about casual players, let alone have a clue about how to make the game more engaging for them.


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