Monday, March 21, 2011

Rating Cataclysm - 3 Months Later

After initial release I posted about how much I disliked the expansion.  I had done everything I wanted to do and it has been 3 months since.  Some say time will change things and it still might.  With 4.1.0 looming I feel it is close enough to put a final judgment on Cataclysm and rate things.  All things will be on a scale of 1 - 10, 1 being horrible, 10 being fantastic.

1 - Questing fills in our first part as a 1 with astounding certainty.  If it were possible to give less then a 1 I probably would have.  The only reason it would even get as high as a 1 is because there are a few, very few, good little quest lines.
Linear questing is horrible.  If you move to another area and forget to leave something in your quest log and want to go back later, well, good luck if you have a bad memory and no add ons to tell you what you are missing.  You could spend hours trying to find where you left off.  Quests themselves where rather lackluster, even the ones that were supposed to be the exciting storyline ones that forced us into the linear questing.

2 - Phasing was a good idea handled horribly. They only get a 2 because there are a few places it does not seem to effect things.
You would think they got the clue with the mess they made of the summoning stone outside of ICC where people could be phased from each other.  Nope, they did not get the idea.  There are dozens of places you can be standing next to someone in the same group and not see them.

How about being in the same phase as them and still not being able to see them.  Yes, it happens.  When questing together with someone you can be on the same quest and still not see them.  Lets not even get into the fact that phasing makes people with gathering professions cry.

5 - Not great but not about to make me want to club a baby seal or anything.
There are some zones you go to and say instantly, I love the music in this area or I hate the music in this area.  Both of those are good responses.  You actually noticed the music and the music impacted you enough to either love or hate it.  There is no music in Cataclysm that is even good enough to form an opinion about.  So it goes by basically unnoticed.

Zones / Feel and Design:
1 - If only a 0 could be given I would.  Concept would get an 8 really but the feel and design was so horrible a 1 is being kind.
The place gave me a headache and I am not the only one.  While I have met some people that seem to love it most people hate it and when leveling alts they avoid it completely or only open it so they can get to the port to go to the earthen ring quartermaster.
Mount Hyjal:
4 - Nothing special, nothing stunning, nothing new.
It went from to much going on to when finished a nearly empty zone.  Great for gathering, a waste for a game.  The area seemed cluttered and as if it were thrown together to make a quest line and not thrown together to make a good area.  Some spots of it just seem to not fit the area.
6 - It is the missing zone from BC content.  Good, but nothing new.
For a self contained zone it was designed nicely.  You move around the circle while questing.  Being it is a self contained zone the feel that you are moving around in a circle is not as horrible as it is in other zones.  Anyone that actually looks at how things feel will realize that the zone is a BC zone right down to rocks floating in the air. Even with that said, the feel of the zone was still good even if recycled.
8 - Tanaris on steroids with some egyptian stuff thrown in for appearance.
Kind of like how Hyjal and Twilight Highlands where extensions of the areas around them Uldum was too.  Uldum however got it right.  It followed the flow of sand, sand and more sand that is what that area is but it added enough to be unique.  The best designed zone of the expansion.  Unlike other zone that seemed to have things in them that did not fit everything seemed to fit perfectly in Uldum.  The only thing that kept it from getting a 9 or even a 10 was the cut scenes when questing.  Cut scenes are nice, cut scenes every few quests for no reason are not.
Twilight Highlands:
4 - Wetlands with higher level mobs.  Nothing more, nothing less.
The zone felt as if it where always there.  Nothing new to offer.  While most fits the landscape nicely some areas of it just seemed out of place as if you look at it and think, why the hell is this in the middle of lush greenlands?  The worst zone in the game when it comes to phasing gone bad.  If the out of place areas where not there then TH could have easily been a 7 but with so much out of place in the area it can't be overlooked.

2 - You call that a grind?
Just get factions to friendly, pop on a tabard and you will be exalted without even trying.  Where is the feel of earning things?
2 - You call that a grind?
The linear questing means as long as you follow the line all the way out you will get the loremaster achievement for the area.  Remember when you needed to work to find the missing quests?  No more.  You can't miss them.  For extra credit, or is it discredit, you get achievements for doing things during the quest line that you had to do anyway to continue.  Why get an achievement for doing something you can't avoid doing?  Aren't questing achievements supposed to be for going out of your way to do things?
2 - You call that a grind?
You do not even need to try to level professions.  Use whatever you get while leveling on your profession and you will be max level for any profession.  There is no "working on leveling my profession" because there is no work involved.  There are no hard points that you will get stuck at.  Like everything else in the grind it was just given to you.  Talk about welfare.  There are no grinds in Cataclysm, it is Welfarelysm.  Lets just give people everything for doing nothing.
1 - Phasing is a nightmare.
Spending 1 hour in twilight highlands trying to get some jasmine and only ending up with 24 of them is reason enough to hate phasing.  My second herbalist that I leveled I did no quests there except to open the port.  That one can gather just fine.  Kind of sucks that I was penalized for finishing all the quests by not being able to gather in the zone.

2 or 8 - Depends on what their intention was really.
1 or 7 - Depends on what their intention was really.
Normal - Heroic Comparison:
0 - Yes, I had to go lower then 1 here.  It is dreadfully horrible.  It is beyond horrible.  It is the reason why 90% of the people in the game still are not heroic geared.  Whoever designed this deserves to be taken out back and given 40 lashes from every single player that plays the game.
Normals are stupid easy.  You can run through them with your eyes closed never even worrying about mechanics.  Even the deadly mechanics might leave you with no more than a scratch in normals.  If they where intended to be that easy then that is where the 8 comes in.  They did their job, they are actually easier than Wrath heroics.  As a normal they should be.  If they where supposed to be a stepping stone to heroics then they are a 2 because they do not fill that job well.

Heroics are stupid hard.  If you came from normals that is.  This is where their design flaw was.  Coming from a normal where the deadly mechanic would mildly hurt you, it kills you here.  Talk about stepping things up.  Where is the learning curve here?  If you wanted people to think something could kill them then have it almost kill them in normal as well.  Do not teach them it hurts but it won't kill you and then change it on them.  Heroics where meant to be harder this expansion and I found them amazingly fun, so that is where they get a 7.  Coming from the normals that did not teach anyone anything because they where so easy and stepping into this is why they get a 1.  You still can not pug heroics 70% of the time.  Guild runs, 30 minute runs, pug, 2 hours of wiping.

They need to make normals harder or make heroics easier.  The gap between the two is a joke.  No one goes from the the little league at 10 years old to the world series.  There are steps in between.  Normals are a 10 year old in little league.  Heroics are the world series.  Whats missing here?  How about 10 more years of experience between the two, minor leagues, pro leagues, etc.

People kept telling me 2 weeks into the expansion that the only reason I am complaining is because I pushed so much and did everything so quick.  They said if I let people catch up I will notice that Cataclysm is better then I originally thought.  3 months after, it is worse.  There is still nothing to do, there are still fail pugs, you still can't pug BH, most people are still not even heroic geared, if anything time has just proved my point.  Cataclysm is a bust.

Here is to hoping that 4.1.0 will bring us something to make this game fun again.

Until then I will level more characters through BC and LK content.  That is where the fun is.  Level 1-60 is horrible now too, thanks Cataclysm.  When my last remaining character that is in BC makes it to end game I am done with leveling more.  I can not put myself through linear questing in the old world.  I'll keep making DKs, start at 55, get to BC as soon as I can, level through there and Wrath and then stop and go make another DK.  BC and Wrath are the only two areas worth playing in any more.

My other alts that are still too low for BC I log in, do dungeons to level, log out when rested is gone.  I never even leave the city any more.  No need to, the questing is horrible.  I used to love questing.  I really miss it.

That has to be the number one reason I hate Cataclysm.  I used to love leveling new characters and they destroyed that.  Why waste an entire expansion destroying the best part of the game?  They should have left 1-60 alone and gave us more 80-85 and maybe the game would have been better.  Actually not maybe, absolutely the game would have been better.

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