Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wow for Kiddies

Many people have been saying it. I didn't understand at first, but now I really, really do.

Cata is a kids' game.

Well... not all of it. I should really say, parts of Cata are like a kids' game. I stepped into Vash'jir for the first time today with my Level 82 priest (bf and I are levelling in Hyjal so I couldn't go there without him) and found myself in Finding Nemo. Although, I have yet to find Nemo (I have no doubt I will).

I was told to head off on an underwater adventure, where I could magically breathe like a fish and sprint speedily around on the ocean floor. I had to search for treasure, collect gear for the big bad Alliance troops and save my friends from drowning. And I got given a cooooool seahorse to ride around on.

...oh, wait, you thought I was being sarcastic?

Nope! I love it. It's so easy and fun, and I'm constantly giggling with glee at the fun quests I have to do. The XP just keeps coming. I'm progressing fast and getting heaps of greens to gear up with and DE, and did I mention having fun? What more could I want for the first few levels of a new expansion, after being so bored and frustrated with the game for so long?

Challenge, I hear you say! Yes, I want a challenge. But having already levelled my mage to 85, I know that's coming in Twilight Highlands. And after I've been primed not to expect things to come so easily as they did going from 80-83, I'll have heroics and raids to go on to.

Kudos, Blizzard, nice job!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Don't Even Know Where To Begin.

This guy thinks Cata is the worst expansion ever. Not just for Wow, but for all MMOs. Ever.

Have a read of that - and before you scream TROLL!!! let me just say... no kidding. I would call this one of the trolliest trolls in trolling trollness. Trollity.

But, because I like having a vent sometimes, I'm going to gleefully jump right on that bandwagon.

The first point this guy makes is that apparently levels 1-85 are completely devoid of any challenge or intensity. Oh, and apparently mob density has been reduced to almost nothing and they take absolutely no skill to kill.

Okay, well I'm going to have to read a bit further through his post (I'm writing this as I read) to find out whether he has any points that indicate whether he's actually played or not. Levels 1-82, yes, I completely agree. There's absolutely no challenge there (barring playing a healer around levels 20-30). There is a whole lot of fun with the redesigned zones and questing, but no challenge or intensity.

However, around level 82-83, it starts getting hard. When you're questing by yourself you can't just jump in and start killing, you need to start to think a bit. Where am I standing? Are there any other mobs around that could agro onto me? If there are, do I have my sheep/hex/stun up and a pot handy? The respawn rates are very high at the moment - will the mob I just killed respawn on top of me, and if it does am I prepared for it?

Perhaps this is just because I've only played clothies past 80 (although reading through the blogosphere and watching my bf level his druid would beg to differ), but this, I believe, is called a challenge. Finally you need to lift up your face from your keyboard where it had been comfortably rolling and pay attention as you play. And as for intensity, really, that is in the eye of the beholder (player?). If you have mobs repeatedly spawn on top of you, have to throw in a couple of cooldowns, a pot, some lucky kiting, and manage to kill all 5 of them while ending up on about 20 health (yes, that has happened to me, although probably due to my own bad positioning), it is a bit intense (and fun!).

Next: apparently the dungeon finder has completely removed all notion of community and camaraderie from the game. I know this statement comes about a year too late, but I'll respond anyway.

I would agree with this, but only to a certain extent. You no longer need to be in a guild to find a dungeon group, which means you don't have to go to the effort of fitting in and making friends, living through wipes together and learning how the dungeons work. However, in Cataclysm, this notion ends after normal dungeons have been completed and heroics are next on the list.

I can't speak from experience here, as I've only just hit 85 and haven't gotten to any heroics yet, but from what I've heard pug groups from the dungeon finder and even from your own server become almost unbearable from heroics on up. Raids and heroic dungeons require enough skill and coordination that doing them with pugs becomes a lesson in patience. In fact, I hear that if you want to do a heroic via the dungeon finder, you should set aside 2 or 3 hours and be prepared for many corpse runs.

Rather than try and live through that, people are again looking to build on the Wow community and create or join guilds. They are looking to make new friends or reconnect with old ones and tackle dungeons together. This is certainly what I am now looking to do and what many people on my server are also looking to do. And this seems to indicate that it was not the dungeon finder destroying the community at all; rather, it was the widely lamented previous nerf-fest expansion, WotLK. Hmm. I begin to wonder if Mr Wolfshead stopping playing around level 78... or did he ever play Cataclysm at all?

In fact, apparently in order to know that Cataclysm is absolutely terrible, "you don’t need to fall into a sewer to know that it stinks and is full of waste."

Well... when you're completely missing the fact that almost everything you're complaining about (lack of community, lack of difficulty, culture of entitlement) has been addressed and is in the process of being fixed, I think you might actually need to take a deep breath and dive into the "sewer". Perhaps you should actually give it a try before complaining about it? Or at the very least, research a little more extensively!

Overall, I think this is at best, a rather long troll. The poster clearly has no firsthand experience in what he is complaining about and backs nothing up with actual evidence, but has decided to make his opinion known anyway. Well, fair enough, here's my opinion on your opinion, and I very much enjoyed writing it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cata Musings

I haven't really been able to think of a good overall topic for this post so I just thought I'd muse about a few things that have happened to me so far while playing in Cata.

Healer Power in PUGs
I've talked about this before, sort of. If someone is being an idiot in a pug and constantly pulling off the tank (especially if the tank is my bf >:( ) I will eventually stop wasting heals on them. So far my priest is only 76 though, and has been cruising through dungeons. I can practically PoM > Renew > Take A Nap. This brings me to an evil thought.

Healers have all the power in Cata!

In 80+ dungeons, based on what I've heard and what I've experienced on my mage, dps now have equal responsibility for the success of the dungeon. Don't stand in fire, don't hit the sheep/sap, don't pull off the tank, etc. Healers are severely limited in what they can save while still having enough mana to last the fight, so it really makes perfect logical sense to let that stupid lock who thinks he can tank die.

This means you no longer look like an arrogant arse letting the lock die; on the contrary! You've just prevented a wipe.

This, my fellow healers, is what we've been waiting for! Finally, our chance to take our rightful place on the throne of Wow--

Ahem.

Pretend you didn't hear that.

But seriously, I really think this is good for the game. From what I've heard, it really is THAT hard to heal 80+ dungeons. Legitimately, in the course of doing your job and keeping the party as a whole alive, the tanking lock comes last on your heal list. If they die a few times, what better way for them to learn they're doing something wrong? (Other than having a quick word, of course, but you can't do that for everyone.)


Hmm, that went on for longer than I thought it would. Oh well, more musings later then!