The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

Tag: Cataclysm

MMO Elitism and You!

ElitistLast week, Wolfshead’s thoughtfully written and nicely crafted article about Why the MMO Industry Needs a Real Cataclysm set me to thinking.  First of all, I don’t have nearly the industry pedigree that he has.  Second of all, he took an idea from mid air and fleshed it out with cogent arguments.  Third, it was thoughtful and passionate.  Good on him.  Let me tell you why he’s wrong.

He’s not wrong for the same reason Tobold says he is in his rebuttal Blizzard and McDonalds.  Tobold’s rebuttal is also well written and uses an analogy that is very apt to rebut the ideas that Wolfshead presented.  Don’t misunderstand, Tobold is right on, but his analysis is different from mine and is largely from the company’s point of view.

I wanted to address this even before Tobold did, but his article got me wanting to post.

Let’s look at this from a player’s point of view first.  Then I’d like to address the evident contempt that is out there for Blizzard from others in the development community.

First Wolfshead starts out with a section called The Farmville Curse.  I couldn’t agree with him more on that point.  Those aren’t “MMOs” and I think I would say that Facebook games in general are pushing the definition of “game” to it’s limits.  I have no argument with him there.

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Big Class Changes to Accompany Cataclysm

In addition to the huge changes coming to the game world, it appears that WoW 4.0 is going to bring some pretty substantial changes to the way the classes work.  I’m going to reference an article that I’ll link from the live blog at Blizzcon’s Class, Items, and Professions Panel today.  Here are the major points…

  • Goblin Racials will be Rocket Jump (20 Yard jump, 2 minute cooldown), 1% increase to attack and casting speed, Pack Hobgoblin (calling a personal servant to run your bank errands every 30 minutes) and +15 to Alchemy.
  • Worgen Racials are Darkflight (sprint, on a cooldown), Reduced duration on curses and diseases, Flayer (bonus to skinning, no need for skinning knife), and of course Worgen form.  You can choose to be human or Worgen out of combat, but in combat you are always Worgen.
  • Soul shards will not take up bag space.  They are reworking the shard mechanic completely, may end up being generated on a cooldown.
  • Summoning demons will no longer take soul shards.
  • Lots of changes to fears and instant casts.
  • Hunters will no longer use mana.  They will have a stat called Focus, which you may remember if you were in the beta.  It’s a similar mechanic to Rogue energy.
  • Ammo may become an item, rather than a consumable.
  • MP5 is probably going away.  Spirit will inherit it’s functionality.  (I’ve always thought it was odd to have both.  Very confusing for a lot of people.)
  • Healers will get “Meditiation-like abilities.”
  • Spell power and attack power are going away completely.
  • Intellect will scale both your mana and your damage.
  • Agility now provides AP for rogues, hunters, shaman, and druids.  “No more plate-wearers stealing your gear”
  • Defense will be gone.
  • Tanks will recieve anti-crit via abilities.
  • Armor penetration will be gone.  (Yay!)
  • Adding a stat called Mastery, which sounds just as confusing.  More on that tomorrow.
  • Haste will speed up casting for casters, and energy/rage/etc. for melee.  No attack speed increase.
  • Block will now mitigate a percentage of the damage.
  • New legendary item, “Shadowmourne”, a 2-handed Axe.  “Obviously a Hunter weapon” they joke.
  • New profession archaeology.  Still a lot to be decided there.  Evidently you will use it to open “Paths of the Titans”.
  • Looks like it will unlock titles, vanity pets, maybe other special abilities.
  • Reforging will allow you to “increase customization of your gear”
  • Making fishing more fun.  They’d almost have to.
  • Planning on making racials more interesting.
  • Trade skills will increase another 75 points, new title: “Illustrious”
  • There will be a caster legendary item in the first WOW:C raid
  • Talk about making Shaman better AE healers, toning down Priest and Druid group healing.

There will be another panel tomorrow.  I’ll keep an eye out and if I see anything interesting, I’ll let you guys know.

Original Live Blog here..

It’s True! It’s a Cataclysm

All of the rumors turned out to be true.

Its a Cataclysm

It's a Cataclysm

Which means they weren’t rumors at all.  That means someone seriously stole Blizzard’s thunder by leaking that information.  We reported it here a few weeks ago, and MMO-Champion took the report to a level of detail that turned out to be very factual.  They claimed that people found this by data mining, and some of that might be true, but it sure looks like they got some inside information.  It’s turned out to be true, almost verbatim.

So what does that mean for WoW players?  In my opinion it creates what has to be the most exciting expansion yet.  But this expansion is certainly not without risk.

When the news broke officially today I was at work without access to the Blizzard web site or this one. Of course, I had to comment so I did what everyone else seems to be doing today and turned to Twitter.  Here is what I said;

We’re all excited about Cataclysm now. What’s the over/under on the date that people will call for “classic” servers?

You know how we are.  And when I say “we” I mean us MMO gamers.  We clamor for something when we like the romantic notion of it, but we don’t necessarily like it when we get it.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this one is going to be a little different.  I do believe that there will be those who long for the “old” Azeroth once it’s gone.  I can totally see Branyanu and I running around somewhere in the old world the last days before the patch hits, soaking it in one last time.  We did that at the end of beta, parking our favorite beta characters up on the top of a mountain as we watched the server click down to the end, never to see them again.  I’m sure that nostalgia will strike again.

But in reality, the old zones have served their purpose, and now lie mostly dormant.  The ones that don’t are often the scene of level 80’s murdering level 30’s.  Maybe in the post-Cataclysmic Azeroth there will be mechanisms that make that harder to do.  If you’ve read this blog for a while you know I’m no fan of Wolf vs. Sheep PVP.   But I digress.  The old zones will now be filled with new scenery, monsters, and challenges.  Blizzard has already said that the monsters are “leveling up” as we speak.  Sounds like they are planning on shaking up the old bestiary too, at least on how tough they are.

I’m not going to report all the new features, you all probably already know them.  If not click the graphic of the new logo above to be taken to the Cataclysm official site.

Are you guys looking forward to this as much as I am?

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