Thursday, August 18, 2011

The End Is Near

With the news that the last raid of Cataclysm is coming with the next big patch and knowing that means the next expansion will not be that far behind I was overjoyed.

I had such high hopes for cataclysm.  I looked forward to so much and was really let down on all counts.  I can't blame blizzard for that, that is actually human nature.

When you look forward to something so much and have such high hopes for it you create a sense of how great things will be.  You over inflate it in your mind so when it finally arrives, no matter how good it might actually be, you feel let down. 

This is exactly what happened to me with cataclysm.  I expected so much that no matter what happened the game had no chance in hell of living up to my expectations.

While I know it is my own overestimation that is the main reason I have come to hate this expansion I am not going to cut blizzard any slack what so ever.  It could have been better, a lot better.  It might never have lived up to my expectations but it sure as hell could have been better.

As I said to someone in guild last night about what sums up cataclysm in a nice simple package is the heroic dungeons.

When we where all rocking our 329 item level or faking our way into heroics and not actually having a 329 item level the heroics where hard.  In some cases they where brutal.  I honestly do not believe that some things would have ever been done if everyone was in 329 gear and you did not have a favorable group make up with the appropriate CC options.

The dungeons where fantastic.  I loved them.  They took two hours to clear, they took communication, they took planning, they where indeed a task to be completed that would take an actual effort from everyone that was there.

The dungeons where fantastic.  The start up for cataclysm was exciting so far when it came to dungeons but soon something happened.

We all geared up some, we all started getting to 340 item level, then 350 item level, then 360 item level and instead of blowing through dungeons like they where old hat you would still occasionally get into a wipe fest here and there.  You would occasionally get into a 2 hour adventure again.

Doing the same dungeons over and over and doing them with people that where just learning them now made those once fantastic dungeons general annoyances.

It happened quick too.  Joy to annoyance took maybe two weeks, three max.

I did not mind working my way through a dungeon and learning my way on what to do.  I did not even mind helping other learn.  In time however, it got to the point where I was sick of doing them.  I was sick of people that didn't know what to do when there.  I earned my way through.  I fought in groups where everyone had the bare minimum item level and we did it. 

How the hell can I get in a group now with everyone over 350 item level all enchanted and gemmed and after the nerfs and they still wipe?  We did them all at 329, some people faking to get there, with no gems, no enchants, no luck of the draw buff, and before they nerfed the hell out of them. 

How the hell do we continue to wipe in dungeons 9 months after the game was released with all the added things we have now?

That sums up the cataclysm expansion.  When it was new it was exciting.  As soon as I did a dungeon even as few as 5 or 6 times I was ready to start rolling thought them and would still get stuck with groups where it would take two hours.  At least I was not like a friend that actually stayed through a four hour ordeal in deadmines.

Cataclysm went sour fast.  Really fast.  The heroics summed it up perfect.  Great fun being hard while learning them but once they where just another cog in the grind they became annoying as sin because you now had to learn with other people. 

How many times does someone need to have a wipefest before they paid their dues?  How many times will someone be so totally oblivious to the mechanics of a fight even after it has been explained to them over and over?  How many times will someone that could not fight their way out of a paper bag be allowed to do their 2K DPS in a heroic?  How many times do we have to wipe because someone is behind the learning curve?

Unless blizzard is capable of keeping these people out of heroics they needed to keep the heroics easy.  If you are going to allow any retard to queue up you have to make the content so any retard can do it.  Simple as that.  When you had to hand make groups it was fine to have a challenge.  When you group me with anyone you want to group me with, please, leave the challenge out of it, thank you very much.

It was not just dungeons, it was everything.  Everything seemed good at first.  Everything got boring fast.

I really think that Blizzard has heard the complaints of the masses and I do believe they are going to do something about it in the next expansion.

What I expect from the new expansion is as follows, based on the failures of this expansion.

1) New areas that are actually new areas.
- Lets face it, hyjal and twilight highlands just blend in their areas because they look exactly like them. Not exactly a new area sort of feeling.  Deepholm was okay but it would have fit better in BC than it does in cataclysm.  It feels like a BC zone they forgot to add in BC.  Vash was horrible in every sense of the word.  Underwater seemed like an interesting idea but the amount of people that actually like questing there you can count on one hand.  Uldum is the only area I liked and even if I liked it, lets face facts.  It is the same as tanaris with some egyptian buildings, not exactly new and exciting is it?

2) Open Questing.
- I think they will stay with their retarded linear questing but I also think they will allow a lot more freedom outside of that.  They will use one central quest line to lead you from one place to another in an effort to tell the story but they will no longer require you to do all five quests before the linear one will let you continue.  The linear one will let you continue instantly and it will be your choice of which of the five filler quests that are there that you want to take.

3) Normal Mode.
- A normal DM, SFK, ZA and ZG would have been nice.  Sure I know there are normals of DM and SFK but get real here, those normals are nothing like the 85 versions.  All dungeons should have a normal and a heroic version.  In a world where Blizzard loves to cheese content by giving us recycled content why not have 2 versions of the same dungeon.

4) Idiot Proof Randoms.
- If they learned anything this expansion it is that most of their player base is barely functional.  They will not put any idiot checks into randoms this time because this expansion found way to many idiots while checking for them.

5) PuG Friendly Raids.
- They will make sure that raids are bigger, 12 bosses at least, and that the first 4 are puggable at the very least.  4 easy bosses in one single raid that could be pugged on even the last place progression server will be something they make sure they do this time around.  Expect to see a few tank and spanks coming next expansion.

6) No Gear Checks.
- Not talking about the gear you are wearing, I am talking about the gear you are playing with.  There are way to make gear checks for your computer and your internet connection in this expansion.  While I might have a decent computer with a stable connection not everyone does and we all have experienced, or seen people experience a lag spike just at the wrong moment and a wipe follows. 

One of the biggest draws of WoW is that you do not need a mega computer to play it.  The graphics are basic and simple and you could easily play it with an iffy connection on an eight year old computer.  Or you used to be able to do that before this expansion.  I think blizzard will make an effort to take into mind that a great deal of their player base is playing this because it is what their computer can handle and they will not challenge that as much as they did this expansion.

There are a few things I personally would love to see next expansion.
1) 10 and 25s on different lock outs again.
2) More big raids, screw this three small raid BS.
3) Ease down the stat inflation.
4) New areas that are new and not just more reused art.
5) New mobs, not more reskins on old mobs.
6) Anything new.  There are lots of great ideas out there, heck, check out my PvE battlegrounds for something that might be a nice addition.

With all that said I think the next expansion will be horrible if I take this expansion as a marker.  We wanted something harder.  We hoped and prayed for some sort of challenge.  Blizzard swung the pendulum and the difficultly level became too much for many players.  They will swing it back the other way and judging from their history of over doing everything they will swing it back way to far to the point of brain dead, boring as sin, no challenge content.  Kind of like how they made leveling already.

All in all I expect very little from the next expansion.  Perhaps if I keep my hopes down really low I will end up liking it.  Having high hopes for this expansion did not help this one any.

One thing is for sure.  The next expansion is already a success in one area, it will not be this expansion and that is a plus.

Thank god the end is near.  Just wish it came sooner.


  1. One of the biggest problems I found with DM, SFK, and the Zulroics was the fact that players couldn't learn the mechanics on normal mode like they (usually) would for the other dungeons. The Zuls were supposed to be a step above, okay, sure. But for the DM and SFK fights? Many players had absolutely no idea about the mechanics. And when the only way to learn is to try (and get hurt, fail, etc), quite often that was met with abuse from exasperated players who couldn't understand why they didn't know to get close to avoid bullet barrage, or whatever.

    And the freaking Reaper controls are STILL awful if you get DPS who just haven't done it before. No fault of theirs! But it's a lot of individual responsibility for a Heroic, considering it's not just their own survival at stake but the difference between a wipe and kill.

  2. This expansion has not been all that cleverly done in regards to dungeons and raids in my never humble opinion. The difficulty factor I could live with, even though I had to relearn to heal with my holy priest. There simply wasn't enough variety to entice me to run the heroics often enough to accumulate the needed valor to keep buying all the best gear. In other words, as I told Grumpy, I play this game to have fun and feeling like I am obligated to work at gaining gear is well outside my definition of fun. Even so, I have managed to keep both my holy and shadow priests geared well enough to take part in raids and to carry my own weight. Three to six more instances to run for heroics would have been nice and likely would have introduced enough variety that I would find guild groups to run them. As it stands, two or three runs a week is about all I can stand to do. Even with that limited amount of runs, I find myself about sick to death of nearly all the runs in regards to the content of 'em. How someone can stand to do a full seven weekly runs for valor is beyond my understanding of fun.

  3. "6) Anything new. There are lots of great ideas out there, heck, check out my PvE battlegrounds for something that might be a nice addition."
    This plz.
    There was nothing new in this expansion. It felt so much like more of the same for me.
    Although I disagree with some of your requests in this post (I love the smaller raids, don't really mind the stat inflation), I must agree with this one. And yes, plz enough with recycled content.