Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Random Thoughts

- Another monday and another week without me playing much.

- I logged on twice this week to raid.

- Did not even log on at all this entire weekend.

- Not even to check mail.

- This is partly burnout and partly blizzard giving me no reason to play.

- Gearing alts, which is something I must admit I love, is not fun any longer.

- I like the building up a character aspect of the game, working toward growing its strength.

- It is why I love (loved) leveling.

- Gearing is no longer a fun part of the game basically because blizzard removed valor gear.

- Being I have to do LFR if I want to gear an alt and LFR is, well, LFR, that means there is no way to gear alts.

- So that alone is reason enough not to play.

- But hearing there is going to be no valor gear next expansion means there is no reason to buy next expansion.

- If I do not like the gearing system now I am not going to suddenly start liking it next expansion.

- At the moment checking out garrisons is the only selling point for next expansion.

- It fits with me enjoying building things, seeing them grow, like I used to with gear as I worked toward something, as in gearing them up with valor.

- LFR is not going to get better, it is going to continue to get worse, and thus my desire to play decreases by the minute.

- Blizzard really screwed the game over with removing valor gear, in my opinion.

- I liked the idea I could do some quests, a few dungeons, maybe a scenario or two here and there, and get a few pieces of gear for alts.

- Then I could bring them in on an alt run and try to fill out their gear.

- Sure, I could still do that now on a lower geared character, but that is not my style.

- Bringing a semi-geared alt with valor gear in I could at least contribute.

- For me that is what matters, even if I could get a complete carry and me contributing would not matter, I still have to try, that is just who I am.

- So I can not hit 90 with 435 gear and bring my alt along, I want to at least gear it a little first.

- So valor gear did that for me.

- Now I have only LFR as a gearing option and it is not a good one.

- It is, without doubt, the worst gearing option that have ever added to the game.

- But that is not what killed warcraft for me.

- Nope, it is not the fact I would rather smash my head into the wall until I was bloody and rendered myself unconscious than use the LFR to gear yet another character that killed warcraft for me lately.

- It is the lack of a coming expansion.

- Not only do we not know when it is coming (on or before december 20th was for their stockholders, not for us, it is not a projected release date), we know little or nothing about it.

- It is not even in beta yet and we should be playing it, the real it, now.

- It should be out already but instead we are still waiting on a beta.

- They spoiled us with faster patches, good patches, and even if they were not great we knew another one was coming in just a few months.

- Mists started off exactly how an expansion should be.

- Mists did it right, warlords fucked it up.

- And now they left us in this stagnation of nothing but SoO and the only thing to do was SoO and the only way to gear was SoO and then there were multiple version of SoO and OMG what were they thinking.

- Did they really think this would hold people over after the awesome job they had done releasing content all expansion?

- Didn't work for me, it lost me.

- And then the few tid bits we have heard about warlords all seems horrible.

- Bad story idea carried out in what seems to be a very uninspired way just to find "something" for us to do because their writers are out of ideas.

- No valor gear meaning we will be forced into the worst part of the game, LFR.

- I'd rather PvP as alliance and lose 30 games in a row than do LFR.

- And the healing changes, while I love the idea of them I do not like the way they are going to carry them out.

- Cast times on everything?

- WTF are you smoking blizzard?

- I need to say this again, do you even play the game?

- They better do a huge change with how they design raids.

- If you think LFR is a nightmare now can you imagine how it will be when none of the healers can cast anything while moving and they are forced to move every 2.3 seconds.

- Fights like tortos could never happen.

- Sure, with a group of elite skilled players having a cast time will not effect them.

- It might actually make the game more challenging and more enjoyable for them.

- That is what makes them elite skilled players, they find a way to make it work, they work on timing and knowing how much time they have between each ability so "if" it targets them they will not need to break a cast.

- That is the reason they are called elite skilled players.

- Go get your average normal mode raider and try tortos with no instant heals, with stupid smart heals, and then tell me the warlords idea of cast times and stupid heals are a good idea.

- I would not even think of raiding with my healers in a world like that and some of them are very good healers.

- One healer, while a complete numbers hog, managed to rank #1 in the world on many fights before she quit.

- Not #1 for her class, #1 healer over all.

- Yes I know healing can not be judged by numbers, but it does show that someone knows that they are doing if they can do it well and not let people die.

- We would under heal just to see if she could do it, she wanted the challenge, she was one of those elite players, used to be in a top 10 guild in the world before she came to us.

- She just wanted to cut down to 2 hour raids instead of 5 hour ones.

- After all the changes and other things she figured, screw it, might as well just not heal any more.

- She quit, not just healing but the game.

- This is someone that loves the game, excels at it, and she quit too.

- So it is not just me and other middle of the pack players this long wait is affecting, it is hurting people higher and lower in the pecking order than me.

- If I love to raid, if I will do anything I need to to get ready, and I would not step into LFR even if I understand I have to do it, how do you think players that are not really raiders like it?

- This is their first step into raiding.

- Not exactly something that will win them over and make the love that aspect of the game.

- If my first experience with raiding was an LFR I would have quit the game the same year I started it.

- It was raiding with a real group of real people talking on voice chat and working as a team to down a big baddie that was awesome.

- It is that group working together toward something that felt epic that made me want to raid.

- There is nothing even remotely resembling "working as a team" in LFR.

- There is nothing even remotely resembling an epic feeling in LFR, unless you want to consider the epic feeling of actually finishing it after 2 hours or waiting and 3 hours or wiping a "good" thing.

- The game has entered a state of waiting.

- And it has entered it in the worst place it has ever been.

- A place when there is nothing to do, even with free (and paid for) 90s.

- What exactly are you going to do with them?

- Go to timeless island and get some gear, kill a couple world bosses, maybe farm timeless coins for weapons.

- Then what?

- LFR?

- No thank you blizzard, I'd rather spend my weekend watching the walking dead marathon.

- Heck, I would rather spend my weekend doing anything that isn't playing WoW.

- Unless of course, if they did the right thing and already had the next expansion out now like it should have been.

- Or at least have the beta out and information flowing on a regular basis.

- But no, they would rather watch their game bleed subscriptions.

- Including ones that have been uninterrupted for many years.

- I would rather warlords be released now, even broken, then have to wait until december.

- Because if I have to wait until december I might not be around to complain about it any longer, but if it was released, even broken, I would still be paying, I would still be playing, and that is all because I would have something to complain about.

- But now, I just do not care.

- If I did, I would be posting more than this one post a week to complain about something.

- Remember, we only complain about things we like, my lack of complaints all week long kind of go to show I just don't like the game any more, at least not at the stage it is in.

- It is losing me.

- I almost decided not to even post this.

- But in the back of my head I keep posting once a week because I keep hoping something will come out to make me care again.

- They are running out of time before this grumpy elf becomes an I don't care elf.

- Cross your fingers for a beta release this week.

- Each week that passes people are canceling their subscriptions.

- The wait can not go on much longer.

- Have a great day.


  1. On the December date, I am going to be a bit poisonous, but I am sure some will say that even that is not a promise, given the wording:

    "Warlords of Draenor is expected to release on or before 12/20/14."

    You see? It is "expected" to release. It's not "we promise it will" release, yadda yadda, so if it won't actually release on that date, there will *still* be no promises broken.

    I don't think Blizzard will miss the December 20 date, but if they do, the above "argument" will be offered seriously and with a straight face, guaranteed.

    Bitterness aside, it is quite sad to see the once great game suffer. Recently, one of my last friends who was still playing WoW for a long, long time, has quit as well. He was mostly into PVE in the last few years. He was very vocal about that on Skype, so I got to know what were his reasons for leaving. His number one reason was nothing surprising - nothing to do in the game on main (he got almost all achievement points - he's got the one with the items on TI, for example - etc). But his number two reason was very similar to what you were saying - nothing to do in the game on ungeared alts, because gearing is so terrible. According to him, LFR has gotten much worse than it was even three months ago, and flex got significantly worse as well. He's in the top guild, but they have closed the content a long time ago, so, with next to nobody playing right now, he queues alone or at most in a party of two. Well, apparently, two guys can't carry twenty three in LFR, and, according to him, these days you can count on something like 10 bodies being practically AFK or being equally useless. Frustrating gearing = nothing to do on alts, and coupled with nothing to do on main for months, that made them unsubscribe.

    I am not sure WoW is going to recover from this mess, quite frankly.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. - Did world bosses on hunter (no loot) and leveled my druid a bit (he's up to 60 now). Guild got back up to lvl 21.

    - Can't really notice much improvement after the Skywall connection. There are just more asshats in trade...

    - I think flying is one of the best things Blizzard ever did to WoW. You really notice it when leveling a new character. Everything is so spread out and the world is overpopulated with annoying mobs that you don't need to kill. Those mount speed increases and then flight really open up the world.

    - As a contrast in ESO, I hardly use my mount unless I'm traveling long distances. ESO is an exploration game though. The zones aren't overflowing with aggressive mobs and you're encouraged to look in all the nooks and crannies (and either things are much closer together or the default run speed is well balanced). WoW, on the other hand, discourages you from getting off the main paths.

    - Flight addresses that a lot in WoW by letting you get off the paths and explore unimpeded.

    - Seems a lot of good things are being taken away in WoW lately; flight and valor are just a couple examples.

    - Blizz has said LFR will be tourist mode in WoD, but I don't know if that will really save it.

    - Making boosted 90s LFR 'ready' was a really dumb move on Blizzard's part. 483 greens with 0 play experience does not make someone LFR-ready. They should have at least required Proving Grounds silver for boosted characters to queue for LFR.

    - I got bronze and silver on my first attempts on my hunter and gold on my second attempt (was just short by a couple of seconds the first time). Anyone who knows how to play their class should easily be able to get silver.

    - Getting silver on my mage or my DK might take a little effort, but it should because I never play those toons and I certainly wouldn't take them into LFR. Hell, I don't even do dungeons on them because I don't think I'm up to par on them (even though they have 496 and 505 iLvLs due to TI and crafted gear).

    - Regarding WoD, I think Blizzard is trying to make too many big changes at once (squish, healing, CC, item pruning, etc) and they are running into problems and that's the reason for the 'delay' or silence or whatever.

    - Anyway, having fun in the ESO early access launch that started yesterday. I took the day off work today to continue. It's still the 'new and shiny', but I'm hoping it keeps me engaged for quite a while.

    1. "I think flying is one of the best things Blizzard ever did to WoW."

      Blizz don't agree with you. The latest posts I've read about it say there will be no flying till 6.1 and they are considering not allowing it at all in Draenor. That would be no flying in the new areas at all, all expansion.

      Seriously what are they smoking? They've said that they are going to make all flying mounts able to walk on the ground, but seriously they are flying mounts? That genie is out of the bottle.

      It's like they can't make up their mind. Some of the 'changes' they make to the game are to make it more convenient, to make it easier. Then they go and say "no flying" and that's a step in the opposite direction.

      Well news flash blizz, people like flying. Do you think they are trying to kill their own game? Or at least downsize it. Perhaps they would prefer a much smaller playerbase or perhaps they are just that out of touch they have no idea. It's crazy.

      I like flying too.

    2. I wonder....

      Could the real reason as to why they're trying to convince us that flying is bad, be that they are so far behind in WoD that keeping all maps ground only until 6.1 (or later) is a time saving issue?

    3. @Shaman and Hunter:

      I doubt it. I am sure the locations they are doing for WoD are flight-ready, all of their new locations have been flight-ready since TBC.

      I think the no flying thing is just one more twist that is there just because they like tinkering with the same things over and over and over. They always say that they iterate and change the same things because they want to make them better, but that's only half the story. The other half is that tinkering with existing things is easy, shaking things up is a cheap way to get plenty of bullet items into the list of changes, it's a cheap way for the devs to pretend that they did some hard work, thought some hard thoughts and made some hard decisions (obviously because they care about the quality, what else, it's always about that).

      There have been no hard thoughts on their part wrt flying, someone just saw the switch and thought it'd be good to flip it, because that's easy to do and easy to undo yet it appears like a big change that has been thought through. The team played ball and so the switch is going to be flipped at the start of WOD. If enough people rage, it will be flipped back, that'd be the second hard decision on the part of the guy who came up with the idea. It's a win-win. For that guy, that is, not for players. And I am not joking, that's how it goes in companies like Blizzard.

  3. "It fits with me enjoying building things, seeing them grow"

    Have you looked at Landmark? I'm not sure how to explain it. It's like Minecraft but with proper graphics. It's just gone into closed beta. You probably won't like it as they are only opening up the beta to those that buy a pack, which given that the game is supposed to be f2p when it launches, well I can imagine what you'd say.

    I saw enough screenshots and videos that I thought it was worth a look. So I bought a pack and personally I don't regret it. It fulfills a long ambition of mine. I'm someone that has tried and failed to use programs like Blender. I've always wanted to build something with proper graphics but never managed it.

    Well the tools are simple but very powerful. You have to gather resources to build with. You make like forges and that which give you recipes to make better picks/axes, so you can farm higher level materials etc. As it's beta and everything will get wiped I confess I didn't want to spend hours gathering mats (I'm a bad beta tester). Instead on my claim I went underground and I carved out a multilevel facility using the delete and heal tools. I did find a couple of bugs to report which made me feel better about my laziness. Within a few hours I had several levels, walls, gaps for windows and doors, stairs etc.

    It was fun and I can't wait for it to go live so I can get going for real without feeling like my time is being wasted. I know, given how I feel, I should have been patient and just waited for launch but I wanted to see what it was like from the inside. Patience is not my strong suit.

    Anyway, I agree with you 110% on LFR, on alts, on everything. I've said a few times that I've already quit so I'm not the best person to look to for encouragement on sticking with it. Blizz really have screwed it up this time. I survived Wrath and Cata gaps because there were things to do in game. It wasn't LFR all the time. I could change it up and play some alts. Also back then I had more achievements to hunt for, there was a steady stream of news about the next expansion to get excited by, and I guess everything was newer and shinier.

    Don't just disappear Grumpy. If you need some time off from posting then that's ok but let us readers know about it :) Also, there's no rule that says you just have to post about Warcraft. What else are you playing? What do you have to say about those games?

  4. No specific responses to the rant in general although indirectly to one part.

    I went into Brawler's Guild for the first time this weekend and, unfortunately, stomped the place... gear is good but it trivialized a lot of the fights. I wish I'd gone in earlier so FYI to anyone who hadn't gone in yet but is thinking about it, do it now... you may hit a gear wall but stop there, get gear, go back later... don't wait until you have the gear first unless you want a much less enjoyable experience.

    I also finally got around to trying and getting the "Doing it Wrong" PG achievement... disc priest doing dps silver. Would have been pretty easy with an interrupt, was an interesting challenge requiring relative perfection without one. Took a while but got it eventually.

    I also decided to give monk healing another try for the first time since the first content tier of MoP... been picking up a lot of off-spec healing gear lately so I had a pretty good set in place overall.

    Skimmed the Icy Veins guide in terms of single-target and AoE rotations, made sure I had all the buttons I needed on my bars, queued up for healing bronze... and got my ass HANDED to me. I don't think I've failed a bronze ever in any spec.

    Did more reading, figured out a couple of things I'd kind of missed the point of originally, went in again... and got it by the barest of margins while running on fumes.

    (note - my gear was "optimized" for i550ish content with the legendary meta and cloak so I was running with minimal spirit and for haste breakpoints... all that went out he window in PGs due to scaling and I lost the meta and cloak so I was definitely not optimally configured for PGs... but since I'm "experienced" I figured I could handle it anyway)

    Silver was my progression content... slowly improving each attempt but having major mana issues and just not doing enough healing throughput.

    Tweaked the indicators on my raid frames and modified my strat a bit, kept improving attempt to attempt and eventually got it. At that point my hps was over double what it was on my successful bronze attempt.

    By the time I quit last night I'd gotten deep into gold but hadn't been able to finish it off yet, I'm hoping to get that done tonight.

    So, let me speak for even the experienced players... there's value in PG silver as a requirement. Anyone who says that PGs don't teach anything either already knows everything and isn't the target market or isn't TRYING to learn. I went from "probably couldn't have kept a 5-man group up" to "should be fine for LFR and might be able to handle normal" in a couple of hours. Isn't that exactly what PGs are supposed to do?

    Once I've done that I'm going to keep working on my mount collection. I'm also going to look up old achievements that I don't have yet and work on those. I'm going to set up my boost toons for when I buy WoD. I'm going to try to find a flex run or two each week to dust off all my alts and start testing them out for possible regular play in WoD. I might try to hook on with a normal raid again. Like with my monk, I'm going to test out new specs to see if any of them are worth keeping around or at least having in my back pocket if necessary.

    ... and if I eventually hit the end of my want-to-do list and I want to keep playing vs taking a break (which is always an option), I can always train pet battles and see what that hype is all about. I collect things in-game and it does bug me a bit that so many pets aren't accessible to me right now.

    1. * meant "fine for flex and might be able to handle normal", not LFR.

    2. Minor update, got PG healing gold on my monk last night... seriously, PGs do work to help you step up your game if you're missing some skills. If you aren't, great, but that doesn't mean there isn't a market for those who do.

  5. Anon, Grumpy's former GL:

    I suspect this will run long.

    Flight or rather the lack of it, is the primary reason only one alt is at 90 currently. I really dislike not being able to fly in panda-land as I level and so despite the fact that leveling on foot there is easier than ever, I intensely dislike doing so. To think on the next expansion, being without flight until the 6.1 patch is really disheartening.

    I do consider that a flaw in the WoD thinking by Blizzard. The notion that flight somehow ruins immersion is surely a faulty one for me. To think of WoW going forward with flight reserved for the old content only or even worse disabled for good in the new content is close to ending my WoW career.

    The story of WoD is not very inspiring to me at all, though I am certain and sure there will be interesting bits and pieces to it. Even so, the notion of taking a timeout on the real story of the war versus the Burning Legion is really odd to me. I can't say that I am enthused about the prospect of that.

    A timeout without flight seems mighty unappealing. Did I mention I dislike not being able to fly in both MoP and WoD. Yes, I know flight is "miraculously" regained at 90 in Pandaria, but with a new expansion that will last only briefly as a playable area, as the no fly rules are extended for WoD. Extended and compounded with a no flight rule up to patch 6.1 at best as far as information available now indicates. Basically it means 15 levels of no flying and longer for the newest content/highest leveling zones.

    The garrison idea seems like it may be interesting. But this will come with a lot of caveats about how it is implemented. Will it be solely for the new expansion, and abandoned in the future? Will it be possible to build a garrison anywhere other than in WoD lands or not? Those questions make the garrison idea a tossup notion. It could have the coin toss land on what a great notion or it could be a black hole of despair.

    Speaking of garrisons, did anyone else notice the Dance Studio was one of the possible buildings mentioned in the pictures released by Blizzard. Small things like that could make garrisons more interesting or not, depending on the implementation and how long term a garrison is meant to be.

    I already know I will be buying the expansion at least once and maybe twice, depending on how badly my initial experience goes. Why? Because I want at least one level 100 character for my own sake, not to raid or farm or anything else really save saying I did it.

    Have no idea how others feel about any of this but for me, I find the storyline unappealing, the main feature "garrisons" iffy at best with potential but serious doubts about the implementation of it, and serious lack of interest in any endgame raiding that blizzard has designed for a long while now.

    Yea, Blizzard has come close to losing my interest as a gaming company. The next expansion is likely going to be the last unless I see a significant change in the company's policy and game design philosophy.

    1. It's funny, I've spent most of my in-game time cursing two things lately... those who pull additional mobs into the Ordos fight &/or just grief folks on TI in general, and those who park large flying mounts on things on the ground.

      I don't think anything will ever change with #1, jerks will be jerks, but #2 is positioned to become much WORSE if we're all grounded, especially since they'll have to allow us to ride our flying mounts on the ground if that happens (and they've already said they will). The last thing I want is to have to deal with additional flying mount traffic on the ground. I tend to ride the smallest possible mounts on the ground for that reason but size is much less of an issue when I fly.

      I'm going to be really annoyed if they do actually go live with that... I want flying to be an option at some point, I don't (particularly) care what it takes to get it... and I'd like to see them take flying mounts off the ground entirely, have them stuck 10' above the ground and force you to dismount if you actually want to reach a mailbox, etc.

      Also, at this point I think Dance Studios has been relegated to inside joke territory whenever it's referenced or mentioned... always struck me as odd that anyone actually wanted that but then, I didn't expect much of a market for tmogging, either.

  6. I did hear about the VP gear being removed. I thought GC or some blue poster say that they were thinking of other ways to get epic raid quality gear. I hope I'm not wrong on this.

    I'm a casual player these days, and I hope that LFR isn't the only way I can gear up some toons. I mean, Blizz wouldn't be that stupid, would they???

    1. Anon, Grumpy's former GL:

      In a short answer, why yes Blizzard could and would be that stupid.

    2. They're planning to remove "VP gear" in terms of being "gear purchased with alternate currency", yes. It doesn't mean that players won't have access to that level of gear outside of raids.

      Even now, in 5.4, we don't have VP gear but I'm not missing it one bit... my toons are gearing up through a combination of world bosses, Burden gear, crafted gear and VERY OCCASIONAL raiding to try and fill out a slot or two (weapons and trinkets, primarily) if it's a toon that I actually want to fully kit out.

      In WoD, I'm expecting gear will come from a combination of raiding (I still think that's where the bulk of the gear, especially the "easy" to get stuff, should come from), bonus rolls from raiding or world bosses (which will be smarter... when you hit a bonus roll you're less likely to get a piece you've already gotten) as well as new 5-mans periodically (or at least once or twice), not sure if those will drop the same as current raid gear but they should be enough TO raid at least and that's all they should be required to drop.

      But to answer the last question, Blizzard wants people to actually play to get gear... and I have a hard time understanding why anyone would disagree with that. It's a video game, not a TCG or anything else where collecting is the ultimate goal. Gear is a tool to kill stuff, not something to accumulate.

    3. I think the issue that most people have with only getting gear through loot rolls is that it is reliant on RNG and that's annoying. Blizzard tried to address this with bonus rolls, but it in an imperfect fix. VP allowed a way to get gear if you put the time in, no RNG. Plus it allowed for a larger variety of activities to go towards earning gear, not just raiding. As many people commented, I also liked the system. But Blizz seems to be going the other way, emphasizing RNG. TI gearing is an example of that approach bleeding into Non-raiding gearing. It's disappointing because RNG is not fun, at least to me.

    4. You probably won't see this at this point but responding anyway. Yeah, RNG is annoying when you don't get what you want and great when you do. All RPG games have a ton of random elements in terms of the loot you get... that's kind of the nature of the beast when it comes to loot, it's what makes you look forward to killing the boss again or opening another chest or whatever paradigm any particular game decides to offer.

      The problem with point gear is that it's relatively trivial to FINISH gearing up. That's bad in an MMO, especially from Blizzard's perspective, especially when you can do it via lower-tier activities. If you can chain-run 5-mans for VP that'll get you better gear for your 3 remaining slots, what's your incentive for running LFR? Blizzard has to make sure to balance interest in content against ease of gear acquisition.

      My only issue with the loss of VP gear is that they did it backwards. They should have minimized or eliminated it earlier but introduced it in their last content patch, I think it would have kept some players in the game longer if they actually had a light at the end of the gearing tunnel vs hoping for RNG to give them the one item they need on a boss who has 8 items that can drop for them (*my priest glares at Immerseus about the dps trinket*).

      I think the combination of bad roll protection plus smarter bonus rolls is better overall. Obviously it won't satisfy the anti-RNG crowd but, frankly, I'm not sure why the hell they're playing an MMO in the first place. That just leads me to believe that people don't actually hate RNG, they just hate not getting what they want as quickly as they want it... 5 year old in the cereal aisle behaviour, more or less. It'd be like someone playing a turn-based strategy game who hates it for all those breaks where the other guy moves and he can't do anything about it while it's happening.

      Besides, we haven't seen the whole picture yet... I'm still hoping like crazy that crafting takes the place of point gear for a more reliable way of gearing up that isn't completely neutered 3 weeks after a patch hits because everyone's making the same 4 pieces of gear to sell and the mats that go into the gear can ONLY be used for that gear. There are so many more annoying decisions that Blizzard has made compared to gear acquisition being largely RNG-based...

  7. stop with the whinging blog posts and just go away if you don't like wow. no one cares

    1. Anon, Grumpy's former GL:

      So if ya don't care, why are you here? I mean seriously, why bother reading that which you don't like? Personally, I find the "whinging blog posts" informative and interesting so obviously the no one part is incorrect. I suspect that others find them interesting also, judging by the number of replies Grumpy's Monday thoughts have generated in the last 3 weeks alone.

    2. Heh, you must be new here - the Grumpy Elf has always been about whinging about WoW. It's his way of showing that he cares. If anything I would say that him not even bothering to complain more than once a week anymore is a worrying sign of diminishing interest!

    3. Content aside, I'd just like to thank everyone in this little thread for all including the g.

  8. As some others, I have quit the game some time ago. Unlike some others, I am not going to come back for WoD the way it is currently developing. But there, of course, *are* ways for Blizzard to get me back to WoW, and in order to be constructive, I am going to put the success criteria out here.

    I will come back to WoW, if they:

    (a) get serious about the lore and get back to the Burning Legion or other themes that actually make sense and are interesting,

    (b) get their shit together and make sure there really is something to do in the game for those who play for one-two hours every day, that means both more content and reasonable pacing of content - MOP did well up until SOO and the gap after it,

    (c) settle on one way to monetize the game, whatever it is - if that's a sub, then there should be no encroachment in the store, if that's a store, there should be no sub, etc.

    If they do this, they will get me back. If they don't, well, their loss.

    1. As an illustration, if there was no WOTLK and they did WOTLK in place of WOD, I'd be back. Same for TBC. Cata wouldn't cut it on the basis of little content. MOP wouldn't cut it on the basis of idiotic lore. Vanilla is hard to reason about.

  9. I apologize in advance, but... has anyone seen Blizzard's April Fools take on female draenei models? If you haven't... don't look at them or be very, very prepared. Really. Save yourself some neurons.

    Again, I apologize for the negativity, but I don't think I have ever seen such a disgusting attempt at humor from a company the size of Blizzard. Jeez...

    1. I loved it so much! I had already read the april fools day patch notes, and still it took me a while to figure out that the new models were a joke.

      I want them to be real! :) more fur!


    2. Well... to each his own, I suppose.

      I find that joke disgusting.

      I am not alone either. Not by far.

      There's this, for example:

      But to each his own.

  10. Read preliminary patch notes for 6.0.

    At first I was in love, because I like big lists like that with lots of detail. Then the list ended and I realized that this was basically "we changed stats" and "we changed spells", with more or less everything apart from details like which spells they cut on which specs new already known at the time of Blizzcon. So, meh.

    The list contains an interesting illustration of the point I have been talking about earlier - that of Blizzard endlessly tinkering with the same things over and over and over basically not because it's so important, but because it's easy. Most adults know the phenomena: when you have an important task which you aren't sure how to approach, and an unimportant task which will still consume some of your time, but which you totally know how to do, the easy task has a good chance of winning, despite being unimportant - that's what Blizzard devs are doing with all this tinkering. So, the illustration:

    Look at "perks" for 91-99. Can you say "a blast from the past"? That's the old talent trees, where talents were basically 1% to this or 2% to that. Blizzard said talents like that were boring and revamped the system some years ago. Well, we now have them again, just without the choice - you don't get to pick what thing to increase.

    Was it worth it? Is the current system better than what we had before? Well, if the effort spent on going this full circle was zero or next to zero, maybe it'd be worth it, but since the total effort was absolutely humongous, it most assuredly wasn't worth it. And the killer is, there's no doubt that after doing a full circle like that, Blizzard will continue messing with this, perhaps starting with allowing you to choose what perk to use, etc. There will be a second circle, and a third circle, and so on.

    And then there's also a removal of profession bonuses. This is even simpler than tinkering - you don't feel like balancing a specific thing, you remove it. Good job, Blizzard. /sarcasm

    All in all, impressions from the preliminary patch notes are as follows: some changes to spells / stats are welcome, some I don't like, it's a pity there's nothing else except changes to spells / stats which have been discussed for like half a year now, and it's a pity the things that haven't been known boil down to cutting more features off the game (profession bonuses).

    1. Well in fairness to Blizzard, their problem is that there is no way to add anything in the way of new spells, so this big list of spell changes was bound to be underwhelming being as it is a bunch of changes and removals with nothing new and interesting. It also explains why the perks are so boring...all they really are is a way to make leveling seem less unrewarding with big gaps in between getting anything new. It is funny that with perks they've set up another unbounded system that will have to be revised down the road. They can't just go on adding 20% damage to everything forever.

      As for profession bonuses though, goodbye and good riddance. I've no idea why they kept those around for as long as they did.

      But all that aside, there does seem to be way too much tinkering in WoD and not nearly enough new, flashy, reason-to-spend-50-bucks type of stuff. It looks like you're basically going to be doing the same kind of thing you do now in a different setting.

    2. Anon, Grumpy's former GL:

      The patch notes had two listed new features: Level-100 Talents and Draenor Perks plus Garrisons.

      Most of the rest of the notes look like an attempt to revise the game system in an effort to make up for previous errors. The Stat Squish being one of the most obvious examples. Personally I favor some of the efforts, such as the Stat Squish, but honestly wish that Blizzard would not have been in a position to need to make such drastic changes.

      The no flight until 6.1 at the earliest (along with needing to be level capped) is a bit overboard in that regards however. Especially as the rumors of no flight at all potentially for the whole expansion have not been refuted to my knowledge. I do hope that is a wrong interpretation of a twitter comment and not an indication of what is in store for WoD.

      There are other ways of handling magic and other skills but with the system Blizzard has in place, there really was not much other choice but to gut the curremt list, trimming it down to a more manageable size.

      I do find it mildly amusing that that the level 100 talents breaks the pattern of the 15 levels. Long ago on this I said that would almost have to occur or otherwise we would go an entire expansion without any new talents unless we got a 15 level expansion.

      Perks does sound a lot like a revival of the old talent trees with no choice in which to take. But the limited description given is not adequate to know for sure on that so a wait and see judgement is probably best at this point.

      I think the problem is that Blizzard makes each expansion like it was the last interpretation of the game they will ever publish. The rules are changed with no regard for what will be needed for the future in the next expansion and the next and the next.

      This holds true with the storyline also to a large extent, at least since the end of WotLK. The company needs to have a single person in charge of long term planning and story telling.

      Someone who can say no to letting stats get out of hand in the first place. Someone who can prevent the company from making drastic errors like revising the talent system in one expansion and then throwing it away in the next for a different system, then breaking the new system in the very next expansion. Someone who can ask why and how does the expansion in hand fit into the overall story, and how does it advance the story.

      Blizzard needs someone like this but the last person to probably come close to having that much influence was Ghostcrawler. Indeed many of these errors were with his full approval judging from the things he said over the years.

      So yes, the patch notes were interesting, an interesting admission of long term planning failure coupled with a loss of sight of the storyline.

      My wife has been talking about ESO. I don't know but I may wind up looking over her shoulder quite a bit if she does decide to buy it...