Tobold's Blog
Sunday, December 14, 2008
 
Open Sunday Thread

The holidays are approaching fast. I hope you still have the time to leave some comments here, about subjects you'd like to have discussed.
Comments:
Is reaching 80 in Wrath a complete anti-climax? I remember reaching 60 and feeling a sense of completion. Hit 70 and enjoyed it somewhat...

I am now 79 and about to level... the process has been fun to an extent with some novel twists on quests... but it all feels hollow, it was far to easy and haven't need to group once or overcome difficult obstacles at all.

Anyone else feel this way?
 
Actually, I REALLY love wrath and find it hard, at least at the moment, to criticize but...yes. I pretty much hit 80 and kept questing. Said "Ding" in guild chat and moved on.

I think it may be that it may not be that something is wrong, simply that it is the second expansion. Reaching the level cap in classic WAS completition. You reached the end of the road and your wow life was changed forever. When you hit 70 in TBC it was less exciting because you knew the feeling before but also exciting in that it was the first expansion! The first time you could hit the level cap again!

This time it isn't first anything. It is all "been there, done that, carry on". And because the XP needed for each level isn't some crazy exponential growth like it was in TBC, it isn't even like 79-80 took a long time.

I think 399-400 took me as long as 79-80 lol.
 
Tobold are there any MMOs on the horizon you're looking forward to see ? At the moment I can't think of any to be honest. Looks like it will be just wotlk and maybe lotro (when I get tired of wotlk) as a sidegame in the future for me.
 
Given the proposed massive nerfs to hunters in WOW 3.0.8 (e.g 30% reduction in volley damage), I wonder how it is that such massive changes come to be needed. Blizzard are famously good at quality control, yet it was pretty obvious that my hunter was OP compared to my other characters, even DKs. How can something this big slip through testing? I can see how you could be 5% out, but 30%?
 
I dont care about levelling too much and getting to 80 will take a long time for me. Levelling as such just isnt a goal for me when logging in. Also im not 'dedicating' all my gameplay time to just one game. Right now i also have a WAR sub going and regularly log in for a quick session. Both these games have a distinct vibe. In WOW i get the sensation you sometimes get on the freeway: it seems like your the only one observing the speed limit, with everybody else flying by on top speed. For the pure casual, mostly solo/pug oriented player it leads to a somewhat disconnected feeling. WAR otoh seems much more relaxed to me, and suitable for small intense gaming sessions and easy ad hoc grouping; the WAR players in general seem to realize more it is just a game instead of a race or job. As for spending my leisure time, i definitely feel more at home in such an laid back environment.

Eliminating levelling would maybe more automatically lead to such a gaming environment, with less of the race to the cap elements. UO did it once (my first mmo, and maybe as a result i still view this one as the best) why cant it be done again? What is the reasoning for almost all current mmos to be level based? The only thing i can come up with is that its easier to create your world and keep your customers occupied (subcribed) since character progress (and thus the gaming environment) is rigid, from 1 to cap, with a clear finish line. Is there a market for a more open, skill based mmos?
 
@Phantasmagoria

By "skill based", did you mean player skill (with all characters being effectively the same power level) or skill as in "Sword skill: 300, Shield Skill: 290 etc"?
 
I ment the latter Sven, something like the system in UO.
 
Okay, here's a question you might like to answer Tob: Do you think Wrath was an exception to the "it's released when it's ready and when it's ready it's done" ethos that Blizz have used for their other games, as I keep seeing in a lot of places "oh, it was cut just before release...". Also, there are a lot of class changes coming up, so do you think this expansion was rushed slightly due to other MMOs? I mean it's not a spectcularly content-free failure like some other MMO launches, but I can't shake off the feeling that this expac was rushed a bit.
 
Ding! has been on target regarding WotLK: http://www.crispygamer.com/comics/ding/

Might be some good topics to discuss...
 
With regard to Sven's point about the upcoming Hunter nerf I very much believe that Blizzard deliberately uses a bait and switch technique to keep players motivated. For instance Ret Pallies were insanely OP a couple of months ago then nerfed. Druids were OP tanks at the start of TBC then nerfed.

It's a technique to encourage the people who play those classes to perservere and to encourage new people to roll them.

I surmise that they believe this is more effective to maintain subscriber numbers than simply having a balanced game.

Think there's any truth in that Tobold or am I just becoming too cynical in my middle age?
 
Tobold, are you interested or excited about Star Wars: TOR? I have been a big fan of Bioware's RPGs in the past and they have a very good reputation in the RPG industry, arguably a better reputation than Blizzard pre-WOW. I know MMO developments and launches are fraught with risk, but do you think Bioware can pull it of? I hope so!
 
Not sure why people are complaining about the quick leveling (this was a great blessing, we casual can someday raid once we reach 80 in few months). It is not quick, if you have multiple toons to level, and only play 10 hours or less a week. Tell me about a book that doesn't end? Lore has to end so does leveling. Expecting unlimited progressing is like asking WoW to play like Diablo with random loot and random map. Lets move on.
 
About the hunter nerf, Blizzard already knew they were doing too much PvE damage back in beta, but weren't sure to nerf them until things hit live. After all it is beta and not everyone ever runs with the optimal gear (i.e. enchants and gems) and there were also bugs as well so they weren't really sure if everyone else was falling behind. They were hoping to watch things for a little to see if it would even out or not before doing anything. At least hunters aren't being nerfed the same way pallies were via hotfixes. They'll be able to give feedback first on the nerfs on a PTR before any real changes are made =/
 
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