Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The cheat button

I’d like you to join me in a simple thought experiment. Imagine a simple change to WOW: each player is given an additional ability, called, simply, Cheat. It’s not bound to any key by default, but it’s there if you want it.  It does one thing – it instantly kills whatever (non-player) mob you are targeting.

Finding a particular encounter too difficult or annoying ? Simply press Cheat and carry on with the rest of the game.

Getting tired and frustrated after banging your head against a particular boss for weeks? Don’t let your raid guild fall apart - just press Cheat and there’s automatically a raid wide vote on whether to kill the boss and move on. A single veto and you carry on as before.

People have been using cheat codes in single player games for ages, to avoid content they dislike. What’s the difference? MMOs aren’t a zero-sum game. By getting the shiny epixx from Mr Bigboss, you aren’t preventing anyone else from getting them. 

As a result, this change wouldn’t affect people who enjoy raiding for the challenge it poses: they can get their fun as before, with the personal satisfaction of knowing they did it the hard way.

The only people who might be bothered are those whose real reason for raiding is to collect status symbols to show off to other players. If everybody gets the Mighty Halberd of Foozlecide (with New, Improved, Shadowfire Animation!), how is anyone to know how insecure and attention-seeking l33t the status-raiders are?

But you aren't one of them, are you?


  1. Ah-hah, I want me a "Mighty Halberd of Foozlecide (with New, Improved, Shadowfire Animation!)" but I want mine to be pink and have Sparkle Animation. Is that ok? Thanks awfully...

    Now Sven, consider me to be using my best schoolmarm voice and telling you off for getting too much unaccustomed sun which is surely what is causing you to be so mischievous!

    Leaving aside, for a moment, the 'moral' acceptability of your button, as I'm sure that you'll be happy to debate about the 'righteous' being 'rewarded' and who decides what 'rewards' are and who decides who's 'earned it' (and because I lack the necessary anatomical parts to be able to effectively flex my e-peen!) can we look at this from a pragmatic, economical PoV?

    Old school raids have been regularly 'nerfed' to ensure they drop less gold (Kara most recently IIRC) as they become a 2-man (class dependent...) farm-able at 85. If you are considering having a cheat button (your words NOT mine ;p) how are you going to deal with phat lootz? If you make everything BoP to try and not saturate the market with epixx it can still be disenchanted. If you make it BoE you will nearly instantly devalue all gear. If you leave bosses dropping x amount of gold they become a bank for those using the button. If you remove the gold drop, you effectively penalise those who are actually killing the damn thing without a button. And I know that the button is a choice for everyone...

    I guess basically, all moral quandaries aside, I'm not sure why you'd bother playing with this button? Surely with (even) less to aim for/ work towards, the game becomes a great deal poorer content-wise and personal satisfaction-wise?

    In summary: I have more of an issue with this than I do about people being able to (legitimately) purchase max level characters (and I'm not a huge fan of that). Hurrumph!

  2. You have a good point about the farming uses for it - I hadn't thought of that. Let's put it on a one hour cooldown, to ensure it's less efficient than doing things the normal way. Alternatively, only allow BOP and token drops when the Cheat button is used, without the option to d/e them.

  3. As I risk making my comments longer than your post please see response here