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How to fix the Censer of Eternal Agony

The Censer of Eternal Agony has been an interesting piece of game design. If you're not aware of just what the Censer is, it's an item purchased on the Timeless Isle for 1,000 Timeless Coins that makes you hostile to all players, including your faction. If you kill players while the Censer is active, you get a currency, Bloody Coins, one per kill, that can be traded for a mount, a pet, and some other items.

So what's the problem? What needs fixing? Well, the Timeless Isle is home to three types of character. First up, you've got the intended audience -- new level 90 characters. They're there for the catch-up gear, the easy boost to ilvl 496. There's an influx of them at the moment, thanks to the boosts. The second group is people who are there for the Celestials. They zone in, grab their kill, and leave. Then, there's the third group -- high-geared players who are there with the specific purpose of using the Censer to kill other players.

That third group is mostly targeting the first group. Entering the Celestial Court with the Censer up will get you some attention from the guards, so the Censer people are roaming the island, in search of low-geared players to kill. Some servers have it worse than others, and before you dismiss it, this problem caused the devs to hotfix the boosted 90 spawn-in to be the Shrine instead of the Timeless Isle.


So, the issue is geared players farming new 90s, often even those of their own faction. While PvP on a PvP server is just fine, ganking new 90s in groups 80 or more item levels above them isn't exactly something that should be rewarded with a mount and a pet.

"But there's a debuff when you're killed!" I hear you cry. Yes, there is, but the players farming coins don't care. The debuff has issues -- it's not reset by a fresh kill, so you have 10 minutes of not awarding a coin to your killer, but if they kill you once every minute for that ten minutes, the debuff is not extended. Furthermore, it's not really visible or obvious to your attacker -- even if you have someone playing fair, going one on one, it's hard to tell if a player has the debuff.

What do I think should be changed? The debuff should be far more obvious, for one. You can see in the header image that the Censer makes you red and glowy, maybe the debuff should make you green and glowy, or something along those lines, different from the Pirate one at least. And the debuff should make you immune to damage from Censer-ed players. This allows you to be killed, once, then allows you to get away, whether you're in 442 gear or 576 gear. Logistically, who knows how hard it'd be to implement. In practice, I think it'd remove an issue from new player content that badly needs fixing.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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