As you may or may not know I have been putting some of my characters through the ropes over at the argent tournament ground. And whilst the large collection of dailies certainly helped my druid do the jump from 78 to 80 in no time I can't help but say I am a little dissapointed.
It's not so much the concept that bothers me. Basically you go through stages where you collect 'badges' through jousting matches and dailies for your selected faction. Once you collect enough of these 'badges' you become a champion of that faction and can make use of the faction specific vendor. Once you completed a faction you can pick the next faction to pursue championhood with.
All in all the idea of unlocking faction vendors and faction specific rewards really spoke to me. After all, here is something that given time any solo player can do without too much hassle and you get a whole slew of titles while you do it.
There are however a few things on the argent tournament ground that really takes away from the intensity of it all and makes it look like more of a fair than an actual tourney.
1. Enemies don't scale well. Once you have the basic strategy down on how to beat a valiant you can use the same strategy to destroy champions, lieutenants, the black knight and even those pesky commanders out in the scourge fields. In other words, once you beat one you can beat them all.
2. No epic storyline quests (in fact very little non-dailies whatsoever). At the least something along the lines of the wrathgate quest that would take you a while to complete and offer up a nifty cinematic if nothing else. Instead we get nothing except all the factions playing pokeystick in the lich king's backyard. You'd think factions would be a tad more involved in training champions that are supposed to topple the lich king's might.
3. All the faction vendors sell 90% of the same crud. I don't mind unlocking x factions at 5 days each but I'd like it if the vendors were selling things that were more faction specific. A pet and an overprized mount are certainly not going to draw me over the line here (even if the mounts will cost less 'badges' with some patch to come). Implement some 'this faction only' kind of gear, trinkets and whatnot and you'll definitely see some motivation towards doing more than just one or two factions.
4. It doesn't feel like you're contributing anything. Sure they're building a big arena thingie in icecrown even though I can't fathom why you'd build something like that... 'there' ( You could at least pick someplace warm ). But beyond that you're not really feeling the whole 'fuel the war effort' vibe that you'd expect from a place like that. Give us a war on the outskirts of the tourney ground where you can go crazy with different types of vehicles. Gives us quests to seek out the monstrous champions of the lich king all over azeroth (medivh knows the place could use a visit), give us something to make us feel like we're doing something towards the war effort.
5. Players are not motivated to joust players other than to grab a quick achievement. If nothing else you should be able to joust other players and receive something that'll contribute to your overall standing with your faction. Hell, even some reputation at that point would be good but anything to motivate a little bit more player jousting activity.
So all in all I am a little on the fence about the whole argent tournament. There's quite a few things I rather like and the overall concept is a great one but there's just so much more that could've been done to make the tourney as epic as it should be.
Then again the argent tournament was sort of a 'bonus' that came with the whole 3.1. content patch so this is by no means a vicious rant on how terrible it all is (I am still playing it after all) but just thinking of what the tourney could be really puts a damper on the experience.
As it stands I'll settle for an 'somewhat poorly implemented'.
On the bright side: the more frustrating the tourney is the fewer people will be running around with crusader titles which is at least worth something...
So what do you think? Break a lance or would you rather try and fish up a turtle?