Sunday, October 30, 2011

Success From Failure

When it comes to players that did not like Cataclysm (thus far) I am without doubt one of the people that disliked it most.  It is well noted that a vast amount of people had some issues with the game this expansion.  Even the people that praise it are willing to admit there where issues with the expansion as a whole when they say things like, I love Cataclysm but...  I would have liked more raid bosses, or something like that.

There are a few changes the game has made this expansion that are actually very good.  They usually get over looked by the fact that people, love it or hate it, always seem to focus on the things everyone brings up most like content, difficulty, etc.

Reforging is a great tool and most likely the best tool the game has added in a very long time.  I can't tell you the number of times I had to regem and reenchant everything just to get those last few points of hit so I would not miss.  Now I can just reforge.  I wrote about it when the expansion was just new, made a guide and everything to help new players, I loved it off the bat as did many others. 

With all the other stuff in game however something like reforging is easy to forget about because it was done so well and integrated into our normal everyday game play that it already feels like it has been there since the beginning even if we all know it hasn't.

For all the failures of the expansion we also have to look at the bigger picture. 

Like when they said at blizzcom that they where going to try and make quests less linear.  It was one of the things I nearly jumpped up and cheered about while reading it.  It's about time they fixed that error in game design was my opinion.

While it might be easy for me to call linear quest design a failure it has ended up being a minor success in its own right.  By them changing the questing to be so linear they learned something that will benefit us all in future expansions and that is to never do something like that again.

Without failure you will never know what success is.

That is where Cataclysm has really began to shine recently with the announcements of the changes they are making in MoP because of it.  Every wrong turn they might have taken was noticed and hopefully they will not go down that road again.

Having no "stated" main antagonist for the next expansion is one of the things Cataclysm has caused to be corrected.  Because of Cataclysm having a rather boring and entirely uninteresting big baddie they learned it is better to have none then to have one people don't care about.

On a side note, there is a big baddie in MoP, they are just not telling us what it is because they want to build suspense, they want to have the big reveal, they want to make the game exciting and not a game of, new expansion came out so we will just fiddle around for a year and a half while we wait for the person we are really here to kill.

Like I mentioned with questing, which was a fair idea to be honest, they tried it and learned that it did not go over as well in practice as it did on paper.  Same goes for dungeon difficulty, raid difficulty, and non-connected new leveling areas.  They are making adjustments in MoP for all of those being they learned in Cataclysm that their ideas did not quite work out as well as expected when put into practice.

For nearly everything I complained about and others complained about they are addressing the problem with new ideas.  These ideas are all thanks to Cataclysm.  Cataclysm has succeeded in the fact that it showed them that some things just can not work in the game.  While the changes they are about to make might not be good, just like they where not in Cataclysm, at least they are making adjustments and that is a good thing.

All we can hope for is that they do not swing too much in the other direction this time around and create another disaster on the other end of the spectrum.

When they decided to make deathwing come and take chunks out of Azeroth, like in badlands and barrens, they did not expect him to take chunks out of its players base as well.  Deathwing really did damage Azeorth.  Deathwing also make sure that they will not make those same mistakes again.

Any time something goes wrong and you correct it you can achieve success.  Any raider that has wiped and then noticed their error, corrected it, and went on to down the boss can tell you that.  Error, or more importantly, noticing your errors and correcting them, makes the errors a success in their own right.

Blizzard wiped on Cataclysm, but they are making some adjustments and they are giving it another shot.  The failure and the fact they noticed it will lead them to a success.  Sometimes, failure can be a good thing if you learn from it.


  1. I do think it is a fair point to consider how many times Blizzard talks about them "trying new things." As in, they literally have no idea what change X is going to do to the game. Some people would say that is reckless, but I don't feel that you can stand still when you are on top of the mountain.

    And besides, the MMO sphere is a lot better place when someone is willing to just throw things at the wall and see what sticks.

  2. I actually agree to some degree, Azuriel. It's a very interesting question whether WoW should replace or expand. Until now they mostly replaced, and it's hard to argue that it's been a terrible mistake.

    And still I can't avoid imagining all the features we could have today if they hadn't constantly thrown away old content and rather expanded the game.