Monday, July 14, 2008

Aggressive expansionism

I was playing a multiplayer real time strategy game not too long ago (starcraft if you must know) and followed my usual strategy of aggressive expansion. The general idea is to capture significant resources or resource potential early on in the game resulting in a better 'cash flow' and quicker unit output.

In other words by following an aggressive expansion tactic I gain ground 'quicker' than the average player which throughout the game means that I have more resources available and can act accordingly.

Aggressive expansionism isn't new. I've been following similar strategies in many other games such as civilization, dune, master of orion and whatnot but while I was playing I started to wonder to what extend this standard RTS strategy can be applied to WoW.

Now I am not talking multi boxing (playing multiple accounts at the same time) but the nature of wow is that of a game dominated by expansions. Expansions are designed to stay one step ahead of the crowd by providing more powerful, more significant rewards than previous expansions.

Aggressive expansionism would dictate that you should strive to be the first in the ball-game whenever a new expansion hits. Start as high as possible and let your consequent wealth turn the rest of the content into a triviality.

One could argue that this doesn't apply to wow simply because to raid the current high-end instances of sunwell you'll need a team of 25 players that have experienced previous content enough to at least have a certain level of gear.

But aggressive expansionism has nothing to do with the concept of victory. It's about securing obtainable resources that may or may not lead to victory. A standard Kara geared team couldn't possibly finish sunwell but there's no reason that kara team couldn't make repeated runs on the standard 'trash' mobs available in the most high level instances.

Which means that the standard trash-mobs at least up to a potentially unbeatable boss for a 10 man team are in fact obtainable resources and once secured can yield significant reward.

So this means quite simply, if you can get rewards from 'trash mobs' in the highest level instances that are of equal or higher value than the current bosses you are 'farming' (Karazhan in this case) then you could aggressively expand into sunwell, repeatedly run the trash and use the gotten gains to significantly decrease the level of difficulty on content below the trash you're farming.

Very few guilds actually incorporate this as a base strategy. Some will farm sunwell trash next to their regular runs but only a very insignificant portal seem to be aggressive about it.

On that note I also have seen very few people aggressively marketing on the AH. It is very much possible to corner a market segment with enough resources and then dictate the prices of that market segment... material for another post I'd say.

Still, it somewhat surprises me. If you're in a Kara guild and already have the 10 people, then why not go to sunwell and reap the rewards of significant trash mob drops?


Darraxus said...

I think that a group of 10 geared in kara gear would have a bit of a hard time in SW due to the fact that

a) Its the hardest instance in the game

b) It is a 25 man raid.

Captain The First said...

Ah yes... but the thought is to simply pick something like the first 2 trash pulls (ignoring that large ugly robot) or even just the first group of mobs and mow those down repeatedly.

A stack of for example 5-6 mages a decent tank and a few healers should be able to sheep most of what's in the first pull and then burn down the single remaining targets.

Then just leave one of the group sheeped run out and back in and ideally the whole pack will have respawned so you can kill the same group again.

It'd take a bit of practice but it should be very much possible to hit at least the first group in SWP hard and repeatedly.

Those trash drops are nothing to scoff at after all.

It being a 25 man raid is inconsequential at that point, nothing prevents you from going in with 10 or 12 guys and you're not trying to kill bosses you're specifically going after the trash.

LarĂ­sa said...

Interesting idea. I don't think we'll reach Sunwell before the expansion, not the bosses. But going for some trash mobs isn't a bad idea. For a change at least. Would be nice to se the interior of the new instance.

Captain The First said...

Give it a whirl. I am fairly certain it can be done and you will be a lot richer for it.

The trash mob drops are significant enough for you to be able to walk out of there with a decent selection of gems and dare I say a few of the niftiest epic patterns available.

I'd do it myself but I can't find a guild that is willing to listen to a crazed blogger like myself :P.

Val said...

We brought in 20 people who were all geared at least SSC/TK level into Sunwell and wiped on the first robot guy the first attempt. Myself as a Frost Mage with 10k health buffed was 2-shotted before I even attacked the stupid robot ;)

The first trash bits also require a lot of CC, I think we had 5 sheeps and a sleep going, and a heck of a lot of DPS, and all we did was farm the first human group and then leave the instance, let the group reset (by not killing one of its members) and do it again.

People still died :)

But in general yes, the theory is a good one :)

Bluehairmage / Valdesta / WoWGrrl
My Player blog

Captain The First said...

Indeed... 5 mages seem the absolute minimum. I wonder if that robot could be avoided alltogether somehow so you could just focus on trash.

Maybe a universal remote would do the trick hehe.

Glad it works for you and I hope you will make it a regular thing and get richer than you could possibly imagine :P