Dear Blizzard – Professions July 11, 2012Posted by Ben in Beta, General Whinging, Moar Ranting, Pandaria.
1 comment so far
It’s not too late.
I see what you did with Cooking. Allowing level 85+ characters to power-level the profession with vendor purchaseable items is genius. Making each recipe from this method grant 5 skill points. Genius. No longer will my high-level cook be a character I rarely play. Now every character can make their own foods!
But why not share some of these genius ideas with the other professions.
Not the waiting to level 85 part. Because some of those items we craft on the way up are useful. But why do I have to make so many of them?
I recently switched the second profession on my main from Herbalism to Jewelcrafting. He hadn’t been stopping at herb nodes since early in Cataclysm, and since I have two other characters who are Herb/Alchemy and another Herb/Inscription, a fourth herb gatherer wasn’t that useful.
But as I’m leveling up this new skill from scratch, I’m making a glut of things that are just being turned into dust that I’m offloading on the AH. I realize that if I was crafting along with leveling, I’d be able to use more of it, but frankly you’re always going to be making at least four of every Green/Uncommon-quality item for each one that you equip. How does this make sense? Especially as we approach the point where we will need SIX HUNDRED skill points to reach the maximum?
A while back, Blizzard introduced the ability for profession crafting of some kinds to give multiple skill points, but outside of Inscription it was rarely used. The other professions only benefitted on items that were Blue quality or higher, and those items usually had a so much higher material cost that it isn’t always economical to make those.
So Blizzard. Please. Please make levelling professions nicer. I’m trying to decide what my Pandaren Monk is going to pick as professions, and outside of gathering I don’t know if I want to do this slog again.
Oh, and while you’re at it. Enough with leather scraps.
Making Reputation Last June 5, 2012Posted by Ben in General Whinging, Moar Ranting.
I was super excited when I heard that head and shoulder enchants were no longer going to require reputation.
(Sidebar: Some people seemed to get really upset that head enchants were being removed completely as this somehow made the game “easier.” There was only one enchant that was good for your class/role, so it wasn’t even a choice. It was just a small gold sink. But on the internet, people will complain about anything.)
I like the direction that Blizzard is taking with MoP in trying to set us up with lots of options for play at max-level, and eliminating a mandatory faction grind is a good step. But I think they’re missing out on good potential for reputations as each expansion progresses. Because let’s face it. For most endgame PVE players (even those who are pretty casual), we’re going to max out the reputations eventually just by virtue of running dungeons with our equipped tabards, so why not reward us with something other than an achi for doing it?
Right now if you max out your rep with the Guardians of Hyjal, you have a choice of four ilvl 359 pieces. But only one is useful to you. If you get there while those are still an upgrade for you.
What if that same piece could be upgraded with each patch to an item level that matched what you get from the Raid Finder? The item would never be best in slot, but it’d be a great way for casual players like keep up when the RNG gods are feeling spiteful.
Or what if new cosmetic/vanity items were added with each patch? Anything from mounts to transmoggables. You’re exalted with the druid faction of the expansion, so here’s an item to make your weapon look like a glowy tree branch (in multiple varieties for the different weapon types).
And on my suggestion of Account-wide reputation? If that can’t work, then make the items you purchase from the vendors BoA. Then you only have to do the reputation once, but can give the leg up to your alts on that server.
What do you think?
Mini-Rant: Why are you here? April 3, 2012Posted by Ben in General Whinging, Moar Ranting.
1 comment so far
I was playing around in the Jade Forest today (screenshots, reflections to come later) and found myself reading General chat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “That’s your first mistake! You know that General Chat is always filled with mouth breathers!” And yes, yes it is. But in trying to be a part of the Beta experience, I wanted to have potential feedback of other players about what was going on, and be able to provide assistance to other players as well.
Side-rant: I understand that I consume a large amount of WoW-related news around the internet, and as you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you do as well. But I am flummoxed by the number of people IN THE BETA who are completely unaware of some of the changes that Blizzard announced at Blizz-Con. These aren’t little things like changes to abilities or if you can fly in Pandaria right away (you can’t), but things like HUNTERS NO LONGER EQUIP MELEE WEAPONS! How did you even know the beta had started? (Side-rant over)
- I was in General Chat.
- People were bitching. Like they do.
- And an argument broke out. Like it does.
The argument was about which expansion was the “peak” of WoW. This is a pretty standard conversation I think. Everyone has their favorite stories, raids, etc. If you’re a hardcore raider or like to think of yourself as a special snowflake then you probably preferred Vanilla/BC when there were attunements for raids. And if you are a more casual raider or one of those “bads”, you preferred after patch 3.3 when it became easier to keep up with the current raid content.
But one person took the position that Vanilla was the best and that “the entire game has just kept getting worse.”
In fact, his argument seemed to be that everything since then has been crap.
And I wondered (quietly to myself, because I’m trying these days not to feed the trolls) why he was in the Beta.
Not specifically why his account had been selected and my two bestest WoW friends have not been chosen allowing us to frolic merrily in Panda Land, but why he was in the game at that moment.
He seemingly did not enjoy anything about the game for the past 5 years. So why was he still paying $12-15 a month? Why did he sign up for an Annual Pass that allowed him enter the beta of the next expansion of a game that he doesn’t like?
In the past few weeks, I’ve realized that I’m watching a fair number of shows that I once liked, even though there is very little that I like about them now. Some were guilty pleasures that I watched for the eye candy, or because of a particular storyline. Some were once interesting shows that have sense left the writing to the same group of monkeys that will one day accomplish the complete works of the Bard. Some had gone from plots that were only possible in fantasy TV land, to plots that required me to just accept wholly implausible scenarios.
And yet I was still watching them. Week after week. And I realize why.
These shows that I once liked, just might, one day, return to their former glory. And I don’t want to miss out on it.
There’s really no basis for this hope. How many shows have ever gotten bad and managed to redeem themselves?
Okay, I can think of a few:
- Star Trek: Enterprise – The final season was, by far, the best of the series.
- The West Wing – The beginning of Season 5 when the writing staff completely changed was rough, but by mid-season all was as it should be.
- Glee (bear with me) – The first half of season one was terrific, the second half was all tribute/theme episodes. The second season was full of plot holes you could drive the Death Star through. But the first few episodes of season three were amazing. And then the school musical story arc ended and once again they couldn’t find coherent writing with two hands, a flashlight and a neon sign.
So I think this guy is hoping that maybe this expansion will be the one that fixes all his problems. I’m pretty sure he’s wrong, and I’m pretty sure of this because of something called nostalgia. The farther away from things in the past we get, the more idealized they become. This guy (just like I am with the shows that I used to enjoy watching) might have built up Vanilla to be better in his head than it actually was. And nothing will probably ever reach that level for him.
I’ve decided that at the conclusion of this season, I’m cutting loose all the shows that I no longer enjoy. I can find better uses of my time (like maybe more time in WoW), than sitting on the sofa and surfing the web on my iPad, sort of paying attention to the show, and wondering what I have to snack on in the pantry.
I think this guy (and anyone else who thinks like he does) should follow suit.
*I had intended this to be a mini-rant. I clearly failed at the ‘mini’ part.
My Alt-oholism is being fed… March 29, 2012Posted by Ben in Beta, Moar Ranting, Pandaria.
Damn you, Blizzard…
I already have TWO shamans.
And then you make these?
So now I’m going to be faced with a choice.
Level another shaman, or pay money to race change.
$179.88 March 23, 2012Posted by Stormy in Beta, Moar Ranting.
More than 20 old zones, all completely revamped with over 3,000 new quests, new gear, new achievements and more! Six new zones with completely new stories, quests, achievements and more! New battlegrounds, new raids, transmogrification, void storage, reforging and more! Yours, for the bargain price of $179.88!
…BUT WAIT! There’s more! Simply sign on the dotted line agreeing to pay that $179.88 in the next twelve months and we’ll throw in this shiny new mount! Tyrael’s Charger is a horse, but it’s so much more! Look at the wispy wings, the glorious coloring, the satisfying whinny noise she makes! This can be yours with the World of Warcraft Annual Pass!
…not convinced? THERE’S MORE! With your Annual Pass we’ll give you *FREE* access to Diablo III when it’s released! You’d pay $60 for this at a retail store, and we’re giving it to you FREE FREE FREE!
…BUT WAIT! There’s MORE. This deal is BANANAS! Simply keep up your end of the bargain by paying us $179.88 and we’ll guarantee you access to the beta for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria when it goes live*!
ALL THIS can be yours for $179.88! CALL NOW!
*Mike Morhaime’s exact words. When it goes live.
There’s been a lot of screaming about this today. I didn’t really want to pile on, but since so many people are missing the damn point, well, here goes nothin’.
At this point the people arguing over this beta test fiasco fall into two camps: those who paid $179.88 of hard-earned money expecting to get what they were promised and are righteously pissed off that they haven’t, and people who have snidely and derisively looked down their noses at said people and said “Wait your turn. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Since the people in Camp #2 seem wholly incapable of speaking to the rest of us like adults and instead have resorted to schoolyard insults and “OMG you’re such an idiot if you actually thought that!”, it’s time to break this down.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the World of Warcraft universe since December 2010 you’re familiar with one overarching theme in the criticisms that have been leveled against Cataclysm. There isn’t enough content. What’s there isn’t very compelling, and content isn’t updated fast enough. Guilds ran Firelands for something like six months before Dragon Soul was released, and have been running Dragon Soul since the end of November. The overarching question has been “When are they going to replace this turkey with an actual expansion?” Knowing full well that Mists of Pandaria would not be released until sometime in the summer of 2012 at the earliest, and looking at tanking subscriber numbers, Blizzard Entertainment devised a pretty enticing scheme to convince players not to cancel their subscriptions in the lull between Cataclysm and Mists.
First, those of us who agreed to sign up for the Annual Pass would get a new mount. Who doesn’t love mounts? Second, the lull between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria would be filled with two things: a free copy of Diablo III when it’s released, and access to the beta test of Mists of Pandaria. By most accounts (including the now-infamous pre-ordering offered by Best Buy), Diablo III was supposed to have been released in January, perhaps February. Now we have a tentative release date of May 15, a full four months later than one of Blizzard’s biggest retail partners was told to expect…that is, a full four months that you *should* have been playing Diablo III and were instead running Well of Eternity for the eleventy-sixth time.
The Annual Pass scheme* was designed to do one thing: distract and appease Blizzard customers for a few months with content that was ready for public consumption to drown out the chorus of “You suck and you’re slow and I’m cancelling.” It was designed to head off the freefall of subscriber numbers, which was actually starting to become a subject of conversation in the mass media and in brokerage houses that trade in Acti/Blizz stock.
*I want SO BADLY to call it a scam, but there are laws against that sort of thing
Ahhh, but then the big one: we were told to expect access to the Mists of Pandaria beta. I’ll speak slowly and in small words for this next part, since people apparently think I’m an idiot: to let one million subscribers in to the MoP beta is the equivalent of launching a completely new MMO the size of Rift or Star Wars: The Old Republic. Was it reasonable to expect that all one million of us would be allowed to line up at a starting gate and all go bananas at the same time? No, of course not. We get that. If Warcraft Realms is to be believed, the average population of a WoW server is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000-50,000 toons, which would require the deployment of at least 30 beta servers. We knew this wasn’t going to happen overnight (although, it’s worth noting that as late as Tuesday Blizzard was still saying the beta would begin “soon,” and no one actually found out about the beginning of the beta until the client was actually available and servers were actually up.)
However, there still remains the matter of my $179.88. When a monetary exchange between parties is involved, the matter shifts from being the kind of beta test we’re used to–several different waves, lots of downtime, etc–into a product purchased from a seller. I provided Blizzard Entertainment with $179.88, and so far they’ve responded by giving me…well, jack. OK, I do have my mount…let’s call her Jack.
Let’s say, for example, instead of purchasing access to WoW, D3 and the beta, a salesman had come through my neighborhood selling vacuum cleaners. On March 21st my neighbor’s vacuum cleaner has arrived. God, that thing is loud. But it’s pretty slick–he even wrote a couple blogposts about how cool it was. On March 23rd I contacted the vacuum salesman and asked when I could expect to receive my vacuum. After all, my neighbor has his.
Then a series of nebulously-worded posts promising delivery of said vacuum cleaner “soon,” and an admonishment that just because I paid my $179.88 doesn’t mean I was guaranteed delivery of a vacuum and goshgolly I can be content with your broom for a while longer.
At this point, this fiasco could be fixed with a simple blue post saying, “The Mists of Pandaria beta launched on March 21, 2012. Due to overwhelming demand, we will be granting beta access in a series of six waves beginning on March 21, and we expect all subscribers who have signed up for the Annual Pass to be granted beta access by April 15. We expect the beta to conclude in mid- to late May.” That’s all it would take. I raised this suggestion elsewhere and was told in no uncertain terms that a beta test was a free-for-all with no schedules attached and that to expect any sort of shell of a schedule was naiive of me. Horsepuckey. If that’s really the way things are done, “Oh, we’ll get to it when we get to it,” well, then no wonder it’s taking so long to get content out the door.
Instead, we’re left with a bunch of self-serving jerks who got into the beta and just wish the rest of the plebes would stop their infernal whining, and a chorus of people who paid $179.88 for something and are technically going to get it…eventually…someday…soon. As for me, I have a credit card bill for $179.88 and a horse named Jack.
Four Point Three September 19, 2011Posted by Stormy in Moar Ranting.
Note: I know I said I was writing a set of posts on class feedback. I am. I might. I…well, I don’t know anymore. There may not be a reason for me to write one anymore, given today’s events. In any event, we interrupt that series to bring you a post on today’s current events.
So today was the big day, advertised by Blizzard Community Manager Extraordinaire Zarhym: the day the trickle of information about Patch 4.3 became a gushing firehose. I have a tendency to read all the comments and inevitable QQ on the forums and WoW Insider skeptically. No, the world will not end. No, it will not be as bad as you think it will be. Stop threatening to cancel your subscription, you whiner! But today I can actually say that for the first time in the 25 months I’ve been playing I have actually considered cancelling my subscription.
It started this morning with the announcement about epic gems. I read that and it started my Monday off leaving me absolutely fuming. To be told that my druid and priest’s professions, mining and jewelcrafting, are now utterly useless because an entire tier of gems will be available only to raiders was an absolute kick in the stomach. This shuts off two entire zones of the Warcraft server economy and means that after months of leveling the characters and professions and years of being able to provide materials and gem cuts to my friends, guild and server, I have two worthless profession slots on my characters. It also means that the 90 tokens currently hanging out in my druid’s bags, being saved for 4.3, are worthless. Greg Street made a reference in the TankSpot interview to this maybe still being under consideration. Keep considering, guys, because this sucks.
I logged into the game and we talked a little about the news, and the conversation turned to the RaidFinder. One of my guildies expressed frustration with the kind of folks who populate the DungeonFinder and will inevitably populate the RaidFinder, and said that was why she stuck to leveling an army of alts and Loremasters as her in-game activity. Then it hit me: my priest, my main, hasn’t left Northrend in two weeks except for a couple excursions to Outland. The reason I feel comfortable pursuing Loremaster on my priest and grinding out-of-the-way reputation grinds (I finished the Oracles this morning and have about three days left on the Kalu’ak) is because I am literally finished with all of the things Cataclysm has to offer for non-raiders. I am exalted with all six of the available Cataclysm factions except Avengers of Hyjal. I have completed the Molten Front and Tol Barad grinds. When it comes to available Cataclysm content that isn’t raiding, I am done. Complete. Finished. Did it all.
So I went to work in a miserable mood. It was Monday, it was raining, and Blizzard was raining on my parade. So tonight I get home to the news that Tier 13 gear will not be available to anyone without raiding…period. All of the T13 gear will be available with tokens that drop in raids…period. If I didn’t have a guild depending on me to be their guild master and two other friends I love dearly to whom my sole connection is WoW and that I’d lose if it weren’t for WoW, I would be cancelling my subscription right now.
Gems will not be available to non-raiders. There is no new non-raid content in 4.3. Blizzard is instituting a new system as an avenue for people without a standing guild raid spot to get into easymode raids. And now you’re telling me I can’t even get gear unless I raid. That all adds up to one very, very loud message coming from Irvine today: World of Warcraft is now officially a raiding game. All of the content, gear, and things to do are directly related to raiding. We are listening to one audience: raiders. Be a hardcore raider or get the fuck out.
I may re-examine things when Mists of Pandaria* comes out. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a serious recruiting push and gathering up as many free agent raiders as I can that agree with my guild’s ethos and possibly getting a raiding game off the ground for Sane Asylum when the new expansion comes out and everyone’s reshuffling. I’ve toyed with the idea of passing my guild master responsibilities to someone else and finding a raiding home for my priest in the new expansion. I have a feeling those kinds of opportunities are going to be few and far between given my nausea-inducing distaste for the way raiding guilds are run and the vast majority of raiders. [If I am expected to show up at a certain time three nights a week and spend a certain amount of hours under the direction of a supervisor, who will then go over the logs of my performance the next day and point out my flaws, if I am expected to show up every day with a wealth of knowledge about my class and our raid encounters and be absolutely perfect all the time and be subject to consistent verbal abuse from others who don't understand the fact that gender/sexual orientation/religion/etc. are none of their business and that when interacting with other adults you should conduct yourself accordingly...well, that's a job and you'd better be prepared to compete with my current employer's salary and benefits.]
Until then, I will pursue Loremaster and the Exalted title per my original plan and see how things shake out. Until then, I can’t help but wonder, in the words of the inimitable Ratshag: do the Crab even play WoW?
*I’m hoping if I refer to the new expansion as Mists of Pandaria enough, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On Being a Good Person July 25, 2011Posted by Stormy in Moar Ranting.
Last week there was a bit of a dust-up here in the Azerothian province of Blogistan when Chase Christian of WoW Insider published a guide detailing how to stop your fellow WoW players from completing their Molten Front dailies by ganking and camping them. The blogosphere quickly divided into two camps: those who think the greatest thing one can aspire to in WoW is inconveniencing and upsetting other players, and those of us who think we have a civic duty to be good citizens of Azeroth.
I quicky voiced agreement with MMO Melting Pot‘s Hugh Hancock that Christian’s guide was appalling and in poor taste, and I went so far as to engage Cynwise rather inelegantly (yes, *that* Cynwise…and frankly, given the fact that I knew who Cynwise of Cynwise’s Battlefield Manual was long before I ever started blogging and I have serious respect for the man, it wasn’t one of my finer moments), then let the matter die. Today I got home from a particularly excruciating day at work and decided to slog through MF dailies on at least one toon out of a sense of obligation. One of today’s dailies was the turtle-chucking daily, and as I was standing on top of my first mob of the day killing it so I could get to the turtle directly underneath, I watched as a draenei shaman walked up and grabbed the turtle I was standing directly on top of and walked away…and then did it to me again. I hearthed, dropped all my quests, logged out, and now I’m here.
At this point it’s pretty clear that WoW players can be divided into three distinct groups: decent human beings, people who take the “role-playing” part of MMORPG entirely too seriously, and rapacious fuckwits who derive sick joy out of angering others. But here’s the thing, y’all: you don’t check your humanity at the login screen, and neither do I. Just as you have a responsibility to be a decent human being here on Earth, you have a responsibility to be a decent human being on Azeroth as well.
To the role-players: in response to Cyn’s post there were a number of people who argued that they were proud members of the Alliance/Horde, and it was their civic duty to go out of their way to deny success and gratification to members of the opposite faction at every turn. “It’s war!” they cry. “It’s my duty as a draenei to make sure the Alliance wins the war at all costs, and to ensure crushing defeat for the Horde!” I respect where you’re coming from, really, I do. But ask yourself: are you either a) perhaps a little too immersed in your character, or b) really doing these things because you think it’s funny to annoy and upset others?
To those of you who derive pleasure from the knowledge that you’ve wasted another player’s time by sending them to the graveyard, to those who regularly give deliberately false answers to earnestly-asked questions in Trade and then snicker to yourself, to those of you who call other RDF party members offensive names, to those of you who enjoy PvP because you know you’re getting a reaction out of the player behind the toon you just killed: you are, not to put too fine a point on it, an asshole.
To everyone: again, you don’t check your humanity at the door, and neither do I. You are not playing World of Warcraft with a series of highly-developed AI characters. Every player character you encounter in Azeroth–with the exception of bots–is being controlled by a living, breathing human being. You wouldn’t walk up to a coworker and accuse them of sucking, call them a fag and walk away, so why would you do such a thing in Azeroth? You don’t firebomb your employer’s competitor’s warehouse, so why is it acceptable to go out of your way to ensure your fellow human beings fail at their quests in Azeroth? If I was moving an item on a store shelf to get to the item behind it, you wouldn’t walk up and grab that item and walk away from me, so why would you do it in Azeroth?
TL;DR: Think before you speak/act in Azeroth. You’re not talking to Ipwnulol. You’re talking to John Smith, the person behind Ipwnulol. Act accordingly.
Focusing on the Awesome May 24, 2011Posted by Stormy in General Whinging, Guild Stuff, Moar Ranting, Personal, Tank Girl.
When I first started this blogging thing I promised myself I wasn’t going to be one of those bloggers who just bitch all the time. And then a month or two went by…and I became one of those bloggers who just bitch all the time. And sure, there’s lots to bitch about. People in heroic groups are generally poor excuses for human beings, trade chat generally makes me nauseous, there’s someone walking around on my server with a raiding title she doesn’t deserve…bitch bitch bitch. But that’s boring. Let’s focus on the awesome, shall we?
- Playing a shadow priest is like riding a bike. I pushed my dear raven-haired mistress of shadow magic aside for a month or so while I power-leveled Miss Tank Girl, and yet I can still log over to my priest and pull 15K on a heroic boss fight with my eyes closed. I know it’s because I’m ahead of the average gear curve when I’m in a heroic group (/flex) but it’s so much fun.
- Speaking of shamans, Tank Girl’s breastplate has a small shaman-sized pocket in it, and I find that dungeon runs are much more enjoyable (and less wipe-prone) when I’m in the company of a certain pocket-sized shaman. Add in a floofy restokin or the green fireballs of our resident warlock and I’m a happy camper. The three of us did dungeon runs all day Sunday, and I actually remembered what it’s like to have fun in WoW. I still have yet to convince Rush that yes, he can heal me through a heroic run, but I’m working on it. And speaking of awesome, last night I swallowed my pride and queued up to tank a heroic and got…my nemesis, Vortex Pinnacle. And the run was awesome. The DPS was insane, the healer was a pro, and everyone endured my subpar tanking.
- Guild recruiting is still slow and painful, but we picked up a couple new people this week, so I’m totally over the moon about that. We actually had, y’know, guild chat and stuff. This is my excited face.
- Back when I first saw troll druid flight form I quite nearly had a joygasm at the computer screen, so on Day One I plunked down my $25 to switch Sterrin over to a troll…but it just never quite felt right. The actual troll form isn’t particularly attractive and I never see the bear or the kitty, and I just felt out of place. So this weekend I plunked down another $25 (because I’m just dripping with extra money for these sorts of things, dontchaknow) and returned Sterrin to his Tauren roots. I still have a soft spot for Vol’jin, but once a Tauren, always a Tauren.
- A few weeks ago I mentioned that while I was farming herbs in Storm Peaks I lucked out and managed to get my hunter’s leathery mitts on Skoll and Loque’nahak. Late last night on a whim I decided to go on a hunting expedition and find Arcturis and Gondria. Gondria eluded me, but I haz a bare.
- And finally, The Awesome. This is probably the part of the post that’s going to bring me hate mail, but there it is. I’ve mentioned previously that one of my new hobbies is grinding old school Outland rep on my priest for the giggles (and the money from the netherweave bags…boy howdy). I finished up the Shattered Sun Offensive and started in on Lower City, and finally got myself to honored with Lower City and bought the Auchenai Key (just in time for keys to go away!). Ladies and gents, I have run heroic Sethekk Halls on my army of toons exactly three times. I ran it once for one of the holiday achievements during Winter Veil, and I ran it last week for rep grinding. Then, on Saturday night…
- You may now proceed to throw things at me. I know, I know. Somehow the random number generator decided to throw me some love. I don’t get it either. And although I’m loathe to look a gift horse in the mouth, I gotta say: I find it odd that an epic mount, a very rare drop from a heroic Burning Crusade dungeon, a bird…doesn’t fly. Still, he’s damned sexy.
Anyway, that’s my awesome for the week. What’s yours?
Pandora’s Box May 10, 2011Posted by Stormy in General Whinging, Moar Ranting, Personal, Tank Girl.
Yesterday the lovely and talented Beru of Falling Leaves and Wings put up a post entitled “Is WoW Entering Its Twilight?“, and although I must admit that seeing this topic bandied about on every other blog is starting to grow tiresome, she did indeed get me thinking about the topic that seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. Then, as I logged in to my newly-85 paladin last night to attempt a heroic, I ran smack into the thing that, at least for me, is sucking all the joy out of my time in the game.
What killed WoW? (Well, that’s not really a fair question since it’s not dead, but I’m good at predicting these things *wink*.) What killed WoW was a spectacular failure of expectations that Blizzard created in the last year of Wrath. When the Dungeon Finder first launched I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I thought it would go down in WoW history as the best innovation the game has ever had. And the truth is that with the ridiculously inflated gear levels and the months of experience most players had with the Wrath dungeons, the Dungeon Finder was pretty awesome. On a Monday night after work I could log in, wait ten or fifteen minutes in a queue (or two, if I was on my resto druid) and bust out an Old Kingdom run in less than a half hour, collect my badges and go to bed. There was no danger of failure; every heroic was successful every time, unless someone did something spectacularly stupid. I grew accustomed to letting the game interface find four other people to perform roles I wasn’t able to perform myself, and we won every single time. I got used to it. It was awesome. And with the triumph and frost emblem rewards, I was able to hit 80 on my druid one weekend, spam heroic runs all week, then heal an ICC10 run the following weekend in 4T9…which guaranteed more success.
And we got used to it. I could grab a group of guildies on a Saturday afternoon and chain ten heroics in the space of a few hours, collect 50 triumph emblems, and then go do something else. But somewhere along the way, we came to expect this as the Way Things Should Be. Well, for the most part. In fairness, though there was a large and vocal contingent who hated this system and demanded that dungeons get harder, epic drops become rarer, raids become more prestigious, etc. Then Wrath ended, Cataclysm launched, and Blizzard listened to these folks. My first run in H Deadmines took four hours and I don’t even remember how many wipes. Now, almost every heroic run I jump into (especially the Zul’Agains) is going to include at least a couple of wipes.
But the player base has grown so accustomed to guaranteed success that they’re generally not willing to endure difficulty, wipes, and failure. I got kicked from a random heroic group last night because we wiped once on the third boss of Lost City, a boss that I’d never tanked before on a toon that hit 85 last week. One wipe, and the group had declared our run a failure and kicked me. I logged out demoralized, angry, nearly crying. I spent weeks leveling a paladin from 1 to 85, spent thousands of gold leveling inscription and engineering, spent hundreds of gold on gear, gems, enchants and the like, and now I don’t ever want to log into that character ever again because I’m so disgusted with the state of gameplay. I know I’ll never see the inside of a raid instance on this paladin ever. I know I’ve spoken about this before, but the raiders who left the guild I’m currently GM left because they wanted what they couldn’t get with Sane Asylum’s “everyone can raid” philosophy: guaranteed success all the time. No one wants to take the time to let anyone learn a fight, to put up with less than perfect execution of mechanics on even the first try of a fight, to entertain just for a moment the idea that not everyone is perfect and infallible, and that failure may happen.
The question for me now is this: I have a druid at 85 who needs gear, a warlock at 73, a shadow priest on another server at 72, a mage at 46 and I wanted to level a shaman. But why bother? Why go back and level those characters and get them geared? Why bother beating my priest’s head up against the Zul’Agains for the gear? At least for me, there is no endgame anymore, so why is there an early game?
Pandora’s Box has been opened. Can we put the monster back in the box? I hope so, because it’s that monster that’s killing WoW.