Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are You Getting Into The Release Date Hype?

We know that in a week blizzard will be showing the cinematic for warlords and letting us know the release date for the expansion.  What we don't know still is what to expect.  It is all good to speculate, which is what we all do, but we can't say for sure what we will end up getting.  Even people on the beta, while they have had a taste of things to come, are still sort of in that holding zone where they think they know what they have but will it actually be that.

I am having a hard time getting into the hype for the release because I really do not see anything ready for release yet.  That is not because I am not in beta that I do not see it.  I do not mean see in as in actual see it with my eyes.  I mean see it as in seeing what is there to be excited about.

I am having a hard time being excited for the expansion because I don't see anything worthwhile coming from it.  With that said, I am not really all that excited about the cinematic and even less excited about the release date.

Now, if we rewind to 6 months ago I probably would have been extremely excited about the expansion, even one with the lackluster storyline and nearly nothing new to offer to the landscape of the game just because it would have been new content. I was ready to move into something new, have some new content, do something different.

Now after those 6 months have passed and we are still waiting for the expansion I have had time to let the expansion sink in.  It is no longer just "something new" it is something that is long over due and as such my expectations for it because it has taken so long are that much higher.  In that long over due time so much has changed and all of that not only had time to sink in but my dislike for it has had time to fester and move from dislike to actual hate.

I hate the idea that next expansion we will be taking a step back in time and I am not talking about the story line.  I am talking about the game and how we play it.  It is hard when you give people something and they get used to it and then you take it away from them.

There are the cases of we were "mislead" to believe things such as bladespire and karabor would be our home cities and then they were stripped from us and are being replaced by a couple of tiny encampments on the outskirts of a PvP zone that is not even attached to the new world we are supposed to be exploring.

I dislike this for many reasons least of which is the fact I wanted bladespire and karabor as they were mentioned as being our home cities at blizzcon.  Just the detachment from the world is depressing.  To have our central home cities not even connected to the content we will be experiencing has a very blah feeling to it, one that surely was not thought out well by the designers.  Then there is the fact that it is connected to a PvP zone.  What if you are not a PvPer, even if you can come and go as you please and never partake in PvP the fact it is connected to a PvP zone is still a major turn off.

Then there is the aspect of flight.  It was added so long ago, it was updated a few times, once to give us more speed and another to give us flying in the old world, it was changed so it would become a part of our life in game because it was a part of our life in game.  Now it is just stripped from us.  Not for some small amount of time either, it is possible we might never see flight in warlords and that is very saddening.

I bet you would be hard pressed to find anyone that would put up much of a fight if they just went with the system they have used for most expansions, no flying until max level.  It makes sense and it is acceptable.  But no flying at all, ever, and no "expected" date to add it but instead them saying they "might" add it later is really a sticking point for how far back in time we are moving with this expansion.

Taking away something we have had for the better part of eight years for no real reason is a slight to the player base that can not be over looked.  Should flight have never been added?  Perhaps and if it were never added we would never miss it.  But the fact is that it was added and we should be able to keep it.

Just recently, multiple times, while traveling from one place to another I was on my mount, not a flight path, and because of that I actually had a chance to enjoy the game more, not less.

On my lock I passed three rares on the way to timeless island while flying.  I landed, killed, and managed to get a nice lucky streak that saw me get 3 small bags of goods.  I know, it is not much, but it is fun to see you got them and who doesn't love free stuff.

I was on my way to the timeless island another day and a friend said he needed help with the nalak part of the legendary quest line so I just turned around and headed that way instead, something you could never do with a flight path.

Yet another time recently I was flying around collecting herbs, which is a thing of its own because flying makes gathering so much more enjoyable, and someone said horde were attacking stormwind so I landed, hit my hearth, and went through the port to stormwind and defended our useless king because he can't defend himself.  Another thing that I could have never done while on a flight path.

I do not care what anyone says, flying adds way more to the game than it takes away from it.  So big deal, I can fly from a quest giver to the quest objective avoiding mobs.  That is the exact same thing I would do on the ground, try to get from point A to point B with as little interference as possible.  There is a reason people skip those mobs and that is because it is not fun to stop and kill them.  Flying just works so much better for avoiding useless and annoying confrontations.  It helped remove the annoyance factor of having to fight mobs that mean nothing to you.

Those are just some of the cases that show why I am upset there will be no flying.  Sure I will adapt just fine, I remember life on foot and even like the idea that most people will be too lazy to go out without flying which means there will be more out there for me to farm, gather and collect, with less interference, but that does not change the fact the game is moving backwards by removing flying, not forward like it should by adding something new or at the very least letting us keep what we have.

Then there is a very recent addition to the game that we are once again taking a step backwards with in the upcoming expansion.  Cross realm raiding.  Sure you will still be able to group for normal (current flex) and heroic (current normal) but you will no longer be able to group for mythic (current heroic) with people on a different realm.

Why are we taking a huge step backwards?  It makes no sense.  I have fallen in love with cross realm raiding.  I would have never managed to get a heroic garrosh kill without it being no guild on my server is even close to him yet but because I was able to pug heroic (but we will not be able to with mythic next expansion) I was able to fully enjoy the game to the best of my ability.  It is upsetting, completely so, that I will either have to switch servers or not see mythic content next year because blizzard doesn't want to allow cross realm mythic.  Is this way of blizzard saying to me, spend your hard earned real life money and get a server transfer.  I had no problem with it before because I never had the opportunity to raid cross server but now that I have tasted it I like it and I want more of it.  Some might call flex the best addition to raiding for this expansion but I would disagree, cross realm heroic raiding (mythic soon) is the best thing added to raiding this expansion and it is being unceremoniously ripped from us.  Seriously, why the step backwards in development of the game?

Then there is reforging and its removal come the next expansion.  Another step backwards.  Another one of those things that make you wonder why.  They said they were removing reforging because it involved too much math and they did not want people to feel like they needed to look to outside resources.  That seems like a reasonable explanation.  But then they removed hit and expertise as well as removed haste break points so there really was nothing that required any advanced math any longer.  Yet they still removed reforging.  Why?  It made sense if you wanted to remove it for the sake of math, but now that the math no longer matters there is no reason to remove it, not even in the slightest.

Then they decide to add attunements to classes.  Really blizzard, this is a case of adding something to take a step backwards.  Now one stat is so much better for a class and spec but now we have no way to get that stat because you are removing reforging.  Does the left hand even know what the right hand is doing?

Reforging is needed now more than it ever has been.  If I want to play survival the attunement for survival is multi strike so I can get explosive shot to trigger.  This means if I get unlucky and get no drops with multi strike I basically can not play survival at all because its effectiveness is greatly diminished by the absence of multi strike on any of its items.  Hey blizzard, if we ever needed reforging it is now.  But noooooo.  You say I can not play survival unless I get multi strike gear.  I have to play the spec I have the gear for.

It is no longer a matter of me deciding on what I play, you will make the decision for me with the random number generator.  So now I need to count on RNG to give me gear, count on RNG to give me gem slots, count on RNG to give me warfroged, count on RNG to give me tertiary stats AND count on RNG to decide what spec I play if I want to get the most out of my class?  Come on blizzard, too much RNG in this stuff.  Just put reforging back and let us play the specs we want to play.  It is not a math issue any longer.  It is as simple as if multi strike is your best stat, put multi strike on all your gear.  You removed the math problem, now just let us play.  Why all the steps backwards?

It is one step backwards after another.  I guess it makes sense that we will be playing in a world that resides in the past of an alternate universe because we all will be playing in the past with the removal of things that should never have been removed.  We are all taking a step backwards.

What I mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg with why I can not be excited for the coming expansion release date.   As I mentioned, if it were released 6 months ago when I was hungry for something new I might have been a lot more accepting of all the faults, but to make us players wait this long and give us nothing for our dedication to the game is an insult.

We are getting nothing new added to the game.  Even on battle nets page it shows the only feature being added in warlords are the garrisons and while the fact might remain that I am really interested in them and I am looking forward to them there is also the nagging knowledge that all that work, all that effort, all that development will have been for nothing when we move to the next expansion and leave it behind.

An added feature is something that stays in the game.  Pet battles where an added feature.  It was designed to be part of the game from start to end, it continues on expansion to expansion.  The tiller farm is not a feature, it is a mini game, and all the garrisons will be is an expanded farm with a little more interactiveness.  So that means that warlords comes with nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  No new features.  Is this really an expansion or just a cash grab asking us to pay for something that could have been added as a patch 6 months ago?

In the end we will be paying for the privilege of leveling 10 more levels and while I love to level most players seem to hate is, so people will be paying for the privilege to do something they hate?  That and new character model, something that without a shadow of a doubt should not be considered an expansion feature but something they should have added a little here and a little there over the years.  People should not have to pay for blizzard to keep their product current.  Upgrading character models is just general maintenance on their side, it is not a selling point for an expansion.  They should have just added more zones as a patch opening one part of warlords to us one zone at a time as patch content, then added garrisons as a patch, just like they added the argent tournament as a patch.  Everything in warlords is patch content only except for the 10 levels.  How excited waiting for the release date are you so you can know when you get to buy 10 more levels, because that is really all you are buying.

I would have preferred if they just added a few more raid tiers to mists and waited to release an expansion until they had something to give us in an expansion about.  The last thing we needed was a long wait for another filler expansion where they wasted time on useless stuff like cataclysm and one that moves us backwards in terms of game play instead of forwards.

So am I getting into the release date hype?  Nope.  Not at all.

In all truthfulness I would rather play mists for another two years then move into warlords with no flying, no cross realm mythic, no reforging, and no new additions to the game that could not have just as easily been added in a patch.  No, no and no means no thank you blizzard.

I really hope they have something up their sleeves we do not know about otherwise we are in for cataclysm 2.0.

11 comments:

  1. I understand where you are coming from. WoD does seem "feature light". Even some of the features your mention arent actually part of WoD. Like the model upgrades, those will happen whether you buy WoD or not. Every player will get them automatically.

    However, I disagree somewhat with the emphasis you put on features as the main point of an expansion. I think the main point of each expansion are the new zones, new levels, new dungeons and new raids. That is, the new content. Features are just fluff in my mind. I had some fun playing around with battle pets for about 20 minutes, but they weren't the reason I bought Cata. They were just an extra thing that happened to come along with the new zones and continuing story.

    Regarding flight. I think the initial lack of it could be a great thing. If, and this is a big if, we get it back in 6.2 or 6.3 as part of an epic quest chain. Like if they explain it as the Arrakoa have air superiority in Draenor and us players cant bring our flying mounts cause we will be shot out of the sky. Then in a later patch we have to do some quests and run a series of new dungeons to weaken the Arrakoa's stranglehold on the skies, and then after that you unlock draenor flying on your character. This would make flying like it was in BC where not everybody had it, and it was more of a status symbol.

    I would like flying to be an achievement again instead of "rush to max level fast as I can, so I can then come back and quest with flying"

    If they don't introduce flying at all, then I think they really need some kind of "eject" button from a flightpath because as you said, if you take a long flight path it will suck to be stuck on the thing for another 3 minutes if you see something on the ground you really need.

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    1. Zones, dungeons and raids can all be added in patches. But to some extent I do agree, they do seem to be expansion things as we have come to know them. Perhaps I am just anti-expansion now after having to wait so long yet again. We pay a monthly fee, we should just keep getting new content and not have to buy a new box every 2 weeks.

      With that said, expansions are just for a switch in story mode, some levels, and adding new features that require redoing everything. Like pet battles, they were added throughout the entire game. That was a new feature.

      I am all for a quest line to open flying, but it should be 1) as soon as you hit 100 you can do it and 2) account bound. I would not mind spending a month grinding for flight, if need be, but I do not want to do it on all my characters.

      Flight paths need a lot of work. They need to be direct, they need to be faster, and they need to be capable of being ended or their direction changed on the fly if need be. Otherwise, flight, even if slower than a flight path, will always be a better option.

      Model upgrade are the new zone upgrades. The zone upgrades in cataclysm were not needed and if anything ruined the flow of the game. At least models will not do that. But in a year we will be complaining that the reason the expansion is so feature light is because they wasted time on player models which is exactly what we say looking back on cataclysm, it was so lackluster because they wasted time redesigning the old world. The character models are going to do nothing but backfire on them.

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  2. Apparently I'm getting right grumpy about the whole thing.

    Because everyone is assuming the release date HAS to be October 14th because it HAS to be 2 months after announce.

    And Blizz would NEVER make us level fast for the anniversary event [cough MoP Brewfest]

    And I'm just getting frustrated that people have no memory and blind faith that it's going to be perfection even if we are losing [insert whatever here]

    Or maybe I'm just having a bad night, I don't know.

    I've done this dance too many times to count... since Vanilla. And I don't really want to return to the vanilla way of doing things.

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    1. Blizzard would make us level fast, as you mentioned with the brewfest. I remember many people in my guild being really pissed about that. The thing is, did they learn from their mistakes?

      If it comes out in october however, mid october to be exact, that leaves 5 weeks before this comes out to get to 100. I believe that even the most casual of casual players will be level 100 by then and some people, like myself, will probably have 4 or 5 characters at 100 by then. It should not be a problem for most.

      But I would not put it past blizzard to not learn from their mistakes. They keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

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  3. On reforging, I am a hundred percent behind you - with no hit/expertise reforging stops being the mechanical number crunching thing that they suggested it became.

    You largely discussed reforging from the PVE point of view, and I would say that the PVP point of view speaks even more in favor of reforging: I and many others were *routinely* trying out various playstyles, particularly for healers and casters, by reforging / regemming into crit vs haste vs mastery. In PVP, "the right way" to go about stats is defined much less strongly than in PVE, there's more freedom for different playstyles, even - and, perhaps, especially - at high levels. Heck, people routinely go full mastery on a certain spec at the beginning of the season, then go full haste some time after when a particular FOTM goes up, then go balanced after that FOTM falls out of fashion due to another FOTM, etc. And IT. IS. FUN. We will still be able to do it via enchants and gems, but the contribution from reforging was huge.

    I will miss reforging a lot.

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    1. high levels -> high ratings

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    2. I had not even thought about the PvP angle of it but being a PvEer that makes sense. But you are very right. For a PvP player reforging was even more important. In PvE there is a right and a wrong, but for PvP while there is a "best" there is a lot more that has to do with feel and even if haste is not your best stat if it feels better with more, you will want more and reforging helps with that. Thanks for pointing out the PvP angle. More reason they should not have removed reforging.

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  4. The nested announcement idea is a bit humorous (they announced the day on which they when they will be announcing WOD release).

    I'm interested, but trying not to overhype it in my mind.
    Just another video.

    Will be glad to finally have it though.
    --
    Regards,

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    1. There is so little to be excited for that they are trying to create excitement any way they can. I do find it funny that they made a big deal about telling people a date for the day they can get the date for something else. Really stretching it if you ask me.

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  5. Looking at the latest numbers one could say "800 001 people agree with you" :)

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

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    1. That is a fair chuck of people but that would only be 800,001 people are "confirmed" to agree, there probably are quadruple of not more that agree but have not quit. Heck, I have not quit because I still love the game. Doesn't mean I am happy with everything about it however.

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