- Aug. 28, 2012, 6:47 p.m.
This is a cop-out. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I read this from a company that has claimed it believes giving players options to enjoy the game the way they want suddenly saying that options are a bad thing and shouldn't "count".
I think you're taking that out of context. For the players saying "I want something to do after I finish my raid for the week," providing them very optional content (the examples I used were maxing out professions or achievements) isn't something that fits the bill for them. Telling them they can always find something to do if they try hard enough would be fairly considered a cop-out. They want some kind of directed gameplay with a sense of character progression.
Options as a general philosophy are a great thing. We love options and we have tried to provide lots of options for max level players to progress their characters, such as scenarios, challenge modes, Raid Finder and daily quest hubs, in addition to options you've always had, such as dungeons, PvP and professions, and some new types of content that aren't tied to character progression, most obviously pet battles.
we never want players to feel locked in to a character so we are making things account wide!
*locks vp gear behind rep grinds that are not account wide*
That's a tricky balance to strike. At the end of the day, the reason most players make alts is to have additional characters to play. I could just as easily say "I feel locked to my priest because she has so much better gear than my rogue. I should be able to give any gear I pick up to my rogue and I should be able to share valor and conquest points among all my characters." Or you can take it to a silly extreme "I already leveled up one character to 90, so I shouldn't have to do it for a second character." That really isn't that different from saying you don't want to do the level 90 quest content a second time.
As I've said before, we don't think leveling an alt (and by "leveling" in this context I am technically including all of the progression you need to do to max out a character including level 90 content) needs to take as long as leveling your first character, but it should take some amount of time. Maybe we're erring on the side of being too conservative, but it's always easier to make game rules more forgiving than it is to tighten them up. (Players like gaining power and freedom by they hate to lose it.)
For example, a compromise might be that you could buy an item at Exalted level that you could mail to an alt to give them a headstart. Maybe we re-introduce the tabards, but at Exalted level, but have them only work on quests, not dungeons, and make them bind-to-account to help a second character. Maybe it's okay to have factions be shared across accounts the way mounts and achievements are, but currency should only stay on the character who earned them. Or maybe it's the currency that should be BOA and not the factions. (Those are just brainstorming ideas -- not announcements.)