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WOW GOLD MVP - WoW PVP Guides - The Ceiling Effect

The Ceiling Effect

There is always a ceiling over your head when it comes to WoW’s endgame. That might sound like crazy talk (hey what if I’m outside; there is no ceiling there!) but it’s not. There is always something stopping you from moving up to the next tier of content. This provides the feeling that the game is never “finished” and that you must continue to play, yet you’re unable to access any of the content from the point you’re stuck at.

So players work endlessly trying to overcome whatever ceiling they’ve reached. They knock hard and loud on it trying to bust through, but are unable to for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it’s the gear that they require to advance up to the next level. Sometimes the player’s real life comes into the fray preventing them from having enough time to get something done. Whatever the reason, players sit there staring at a ceiling that they can never bust through and continue to attempt to with little to no chance of success.

A good example would be when you hit level 80. You might be in blues (quest blues), but you’re not able to run heroics or go into any raids. You don’t have the requisite stats to do any damage or heal anyone or keep from being shred apart by the nefarious foes that wait. Other players, stuck at another part of the game, do not want to waste their time dragging around what they consider dead weight. It takes a lot to get past here and a lot of players just reroll characters or do one of many other things to do (collect gold, help lowbies in the guild, work on achievements, etc.)

The time they wasted getting into heroics is now met with a new roof above their heads. You can’t raid without enough time, dedication, experience, and gear. So the cycle repeats. Another endless grind waits those who make it this far. It’s not as simple as doing X and getting there. It’s a grind that many can’t do. Even then, if you get there, you’re going to get stuck at hard modes.

Less than 5% of the raiding guilds out there have Yogg-saron down on 25 man and way fewer than that have advanced past that point. Of course, about 35% of the raiding guilds out there have done Flame Leviathan with one orb up. I imagine that 50% or more have done Naxxramas by now. Now think about how many players want to walk around with gear from encounters that less than a tenth of the raiding community can even attempt.

It’s like a building with multiple floors, each floor bigger than the last, with ceilings above that require a certain amount of strength to break through. Everyone is somewhere in the building. The few that find the elevator to the top can enjoy the view for only so long. Afterwards, they’re met with another extension that makes them have to work through another ceiling. It’s a never ending cycle with lust as the main fire within everyone’s engines.

You might say, “that’s a carrot on the stick right?” but I would say maybe. That proverb doesn’t really cut it because the carrot is always eaten at some point. You do catch it, even if you don’t try for it, because the latest patch always feeds everyone what they want. Did you want to get into Ulduar? Well the latest patch now gives you enough free loot to rush in there and do whatever you wanted to do. Of course, it adds something else at the end to keep you craving more. A new carrot, if you will, is dangled in front of you that you won’t catch until the next patch comes along.

Take patch 3.2 for instance. It gave very, very nice loot from heroic instances now. Loot that is even better than the loot you can get out of Naxxramas. It even gave a new 5 man instance that spewed out free loot. Naxxramas is now phased out, for the most part, except as a loot piñata for badges and cash.

Everyone hoping to get into Ulduar can now walk in and start getting everything from there. After all, at one point one orb Flame Leviathan was only done by 10% or so of the raiding guilds. Everyone running Ulduar and having trouble can now gear up with loot that’s almost comparable to the stuff dropping within Ulduar’s hallowed halls. Finished Ulduar? Now there is Trial of the Champion.

Is this a bad way for the game to run? No, I wouldn’t say so. I mean we all play, don’t we? Sure, some play it for the fun of just playing but I bet loot is still a major motivator for everyone in the endgame. An instance is only fun the first two times around before it becomes work, or at least that’s how I see it.

Perhaps, though, it’s that little bit of magic mojo that other games never steal. They see it and think to themselves how horrible it is to be stuck progression wise. Sitting there within a capital city seeing everyone waltz by with what you want, but can never have. So they try to make their game better by removing that pain. In the end, though, that pain is what drives the human spirit to continue to progress.