Monday, September 21, 2009

So Easy, A Caveman Can Do It!

Or, Why WoW Is Driving Me Away.

I've already stated I have no intention of playing into Cataclysm. My final goal is Icecrown, to see Arthas in all his glory, play until the months before the expansion arrives, when everything is on farm and we are just wiling away time until 4.0, then take my leave. I want to be on top of the world, be the best hunter I am capable of being, know I cannot derive anything more from this game, and exit gracefully. Some of this I will not succeed at - I'm continuously working to better myself as a player, but I have no delusions of being THE BEST HUNTER EVAR, and I know my achievement OCD will never be satisfied - but I have a small ray of hope that I will leave the game happy.

Emphasis on the 'small'.

Honestly, I am not happy with the game. Some may translate my unhappiness to disliking my guild or disliking certain people or my general state of being, but it's not the case at all. I'm very satisfied with my guild, only vaguely annoyed at a myriad of people, and my general state of being, as I stated before, is more apathetic than anything. (Though, as the Boy wondered aloud to me: "Why are you even Arena-ing? You never sound happy when you play it.") I'm playing toward a goal, and little else.

So what's making me fall out of love with WoW? Well, the changes to the hunter class are not helping. The whole mana-to-focus issue does nothing but piss me off (read Lyraat's wonderful post on the subject), everything that was unique or semi-unique to hunters was given to other classes and made even better, and the class has been reduced essentially to the red-headed step-child of the game. Now they want to implement a system that they initially had planned (but not fully!), band-aided their tardiness with mana for the release, tried to fix the mana issues in BC and Wrath, and now they are saying fuck it, and going back to square one. Let's just say I don't have much faith in them at this point.

Then there is the raiding system. Initially, I thought I liked the idea of hard modes. Everyone has access to the bosses, then the progressive guilds get to try the boss in a different method to get better loot, etc. Everyone is happy, right? Well, the burnout comes either way. Before Wrath, the instance just had to be cleared then farmed; guilds bashed their heads on a boss until it fell and couldn't progress beyond that level of boss until they mastered it. Now, guilds bash their heads on multiple bosses' hard modes over and over again, then maybe they give up, or never try. There is no forced progression. Any bosses that don't have a hard mode have another ceiling, a timer (like Algalon) or a wipe count (like H:ToC). Such ceiling prevent the old ways of boss learning (practice practice practice), instead force fast adaptation. One side of me likes this (makes you a better player), but another side of me hates it (pining for the old ways of raiding). The tenacity and coordination it took for a guild to down a difficult boss pre-wrath now translates into successfully downing a boss in Hard Mode, and the farming begins again. The progressive guilds experience the same thing over and over again (but on hard mode!) while the middle-tier guilds clear everything, debate and tentatively poke at the hard modes, wait for the nerfs to maybe down some, but in the end are satisfied with downing the final boss in some fashion. Nothing is forcing them to work - that satisfaction of clearing the instance isn't the same. Besides, what is the end reward for a job well done? OCD points and a new toy mount. Great incentive scheme there, Blizzard. But then again, I'm not playing to better my character now, am I? My reward is a shiny new mount! (I've already ranted my thoughts on welfare epics, and you don't need to hear it again.)

That in a nut shell is my concern for Icecrown Citadel. I want the Arthas fight to be so amazing, another Illidan, another Kael'thas, another Kil'Jaeden, another C'thun, but I am terrified it will be a complete let-down (lolanub). I don't want to start out the fight easy and work my way to hard, I want to face him in his entire might, and I don't want a choice in the matter.

Most likely, I'm not going to get it. Blizzard will satisfy the masses and enable every single casual player the opportunity to down the Lich King, whether it be 10 or 25 man, normal or hard mode. It will probably be some basic strategy, without need of any resist gear, or special tanking ability, or some certain class ability, because that's what this game is now, generalized and homogeneous.

But I have a tiny bit of hope that Blizzard will surprise me, and so I'll keep grinding it out. Maybe, just maybe, I can quit satisfied.

18 comments:

Kordwar said...

"Why are you even Arena-ing? You never sound happy when you play it."

come to think of it, I don't know many people who sound happy during arena. For every match where my partner(s) and I are relaxed there's a few that for lack of a better word "ldsknf[adsknclsn dclskndlgswdzs,xsdinwdfGAAAAAAAAAH"

You face dick comps like prot/holy healer / prot paladin(or warr) and it feels like you're slamming your hands in a car door.

But i digress, I too hope that blizz has some awesome surprises for us in store.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kheldul said...

I know a lot of people in the same boat as you Neg. I've blogged about my 3.3 pessimism enough to scare people away.

I've leveled my Shaman five levels in the last week up to 79. The plan? My subscription runs out in Feb. Get the shaman to 80 and welfare-epic'd. I've always disliked the idea of alts because they take away focus. Now it's much more of a Plan B.

John Thomas "Kooz" Kuczmarski said...

I can relate. I hate the game at the moment, but am still annoyingly addicted to it.

MANY of the changes suck. I dislike the constant upgrades to the game. Makes me feel like why try to get cutting edge stuff when it'll just be lame in a few months with a new patch/upgrade? They should have the game set fixed and no upgrades for many years. Then it'd be fun. I can't stand the game at the moment and many players I encounter are ridiculously annoying and I can't stand listening to /trade or even /local. But despite all that I am still drawn to laying the game. idk why it's ridiculous. I am having a HUGE problem with encountering good groups to do dungeon group quests with. I like solo-ing everything (and can as rogue) but need groups for dungeons occasionally etc.but hate the ppl I group with.

John Thomas "Kooz" Kuczmarski said...

I keep playing b/c I love video games. I had a huge falling out with the guild I started and that feels like it's in shattered. One of my characters I transferred to a pvp realm but he needs mats and enchants from my character on the pve realm. I want to have more than 2 professions on this pvp rogue. The whole game is just completely messed up feels like. I hate the people from the guild I started. I only want to play with very pro, and very ice ppl players. I HATE HATE HATE how I can never get a group with people to do dungeons with and when I do, I always feel like I am walking on eggshells or helping out the group and never getting anything out of it because of the annoying people. Would be best to play with people I liked before some of them left the guild. It feels like a chore and the guild is wrought with drama and we don't have any fucking healer.s I couldn't take it so left roughly 1 month ago. The game just seems wretchedl full of tons of problems when before it was "escape". Now it's something I almost want to escape from.

Anonymous said...

This is a very typical elitist argument that WoW is currently too easy and people who can't/don't spend the same amount of insane effort like I do shouldn't have the same 1337 gears that I have. Please, spare me.

The current raiding system is far superior than the system in the past. Ultra progression guilds of the world can still defeat the near impossible encounters that most of the WoW world will take months to catch up. At the same time, a casual 10 men raid content guild can pace itself and clear the same raid dungeon little by little. No more raid system that the rest of the world is stuck at one particular boss while the five top guilds have already cleared it months ago.

Perhaps there is a middle ground to be had. All raid bosses can be fought in hard mode without clearing the regular mode. So hardcore elitist players such as yourself can experience Arthas at its "full glory" without having to see it dumb down first. For folks who have full time careers and family lives to balance while still enjoy playing a MMO, we like the current system just fine.

Negathle said...

Ah, yes, the typical finger pointing at the "elitists" for wanting to make the game challenging again (all the while hiding behind the anonymity of the internet).

And spare me the career/family bullshit. I know plenty of people who have both, and still raided well in Vanilla. "Each in accordance with his zeal" - if you don't want or don't have the effort, then don't QQ that you can't do it or can't have it. I most likely will never have a 2200 arena rating, but you don't see me crying about the arena "elitists".

You can have WoW, Anon - I only pity you that you never had the privilege of looking up to a character on an Epic Teal Kodo in full T2 and saying "I'm going to work to be him someday."

Ashadori said...

Hi, Anonymous here. I am a fellow MM hunter but just don't typically comment on your blog. So I didn't bother to post with a name. I have no reason to hide behind "the anonymity of the internet".

So why must WoW be a game only for folks who choose to spend every second of their free time to grind and exclude others who play it, enjoy it, but are not OCD about it? The casuals are not looking to have the same gears as the hardcore, but just to see the content through and experience the lore and the storyline. The hardcore can still have their 1337 gears by defeating hard mode. Why is there a need for such pettiness?

Ultimately, your opinions will not sway Blizzard in their design philosophy, which is a good thing. Because this game should appeal to the mass, not just a particular segment of the MMO gamer populous.

Ashadori said...

Oh, and for the record, I was in full T2 as well as full champions PvP gears back in the days of vanilla WoW (as a warrior). Don't presume that I am not a hardcore. I just share your opinion.

Streamer said...

We deserve to have the same gear as the hardcore? Then why be hardcore? If you want to have the same things with less work you sir are a commie, socialist, and and overall meanie against people who slave to get purple pixels.

Negathle said...

I'll take it that last line was a typo.

I'm more aggressive towards people that post under Anon because I consider it cowardly when all you have to do is post a name.

I'm not saying WoW should be a game that is limited to the hard cores. If you reread that middle paragraph, you'll notice that I was for the new raiding system initially. I *wanted* everyone to see content - and I still do. What I don't like about it is that it doesn't encourage progression. People don't have to work for progression anymore - they get to see it all. I'm sorry that my value of working to improve yourself as a player and reaping the rewards afterward, whether it be gear or content, is considered elitist. All I know is that I miss the days of feeling satisfied that I did something challenging when I downed a boss and when I got a key for a new instance. The first time I zoned into Black Temple? Yeah, I was excited. The first time I zoned into Heroic: ToC? Meh, whatever, it's not like it is new or anything.

Ashadori said...

WTB an edit function after posting a comment. Yes, the last line was a typo.

You can absolutely still be able to progress in the current raid system. Sure, the content may not be new, but the gears you obtain afterwards cannot be matched by casual raiders. Although if Blizzard allow hard mode before clearing regular mode, you would get the excitement of zoning into a raid dungeon on hard mode for the first time.

I disagree that the current system does not promote progression. My guild and every progression guild I know on my server are continuing to bang our collective heads on Ulduar hard mode even after we have regular 25 men ToC on farm. Why do we do it when the Ulduar hard mode loots are just marginally or no superior than ToC loots? Because we are doing this in the name of progression and self fulfillment. Blizzard may rectify the repeat content component, but the system is definitely not progression adverse.

Anyways, I have followed your blog for some time now and have enjoyed it very much. I was compelled to post my comments because your opinion surprised me based on my existing perception of you. My intent was not to flame. I am a fan.

Stupid Mage said...

"You can absolutely still be able to progress in the current raid system. Sure, the content may not be new, but the gears you obtain afterwards cannot be matched by casual raiders."

You're missing the point right there my friend.

Anonymous said...

You're totally incorrect on why people "progress" on hard modes. Do you really consider that progression? Progression is unlocking a new boss or encounter, not a prettier piece of loot. I think you're just mad that you're not "hardcore" enough to be on top of progression any longer.

And no, this game should not be for the masses, not everyone should be able to see all of the game. Eventually? Yes, but not right away like it currently is. That has nothing to do with casual vs. hardcore and everything to do with skill.

Anonymous said...

And that was a response to Ashadori or whatever.

Negathle said...

Stupid M and Anon v2 (grrr...) said it. You were just missing the point.

I've already fumed about loot, but the plethora of epics to every rank of player is not a deciding factor of my game pleasure. As others have said before, others getting a specific color of loot does not affect my playing. It may devalue my rewards (because no matter how you define it, more of something decreases its value), but it won't stop me from getting them because I need them to better myself.

But progression, in the original use of the word, opening new content and not just recycling it, is shot. Everyone sees everything now with very very little work. Nothing forces you to do anything new. That is my lament.

Llyrra said...

What Blizzard has done since patch 2.4 (as memory serves) is it's taken the uniqueness out of raiding.

From "All raid members must be attuned or possess a key to enter the instance" to "Only 1 person needs key for their entire raid as of patch X.X.X" to "No attunement required as of patch X.X.X" You no longer need the Mallet of Zul'Farrak to summon Gahz'rilla; no Scepter of Celebras to get to Mauaudon. One of my best memories in WoW was finally get my Kara key--holy shit--I got THE KEY! Let's go!!

Things are coming easier and faster now more than ever. Reaching level cap (80) automatically unlocks all Northrend heroic modes. Whoppie.

Yes, things are more accessible; that's truly great. However, I don't see epic quest lines for attunement (or class quests for items or gear) as a deterrent to seeing end content. People wouldn't quit if those were kept in the game. It was going through all that great stuff to get the even greater stuff that made logging on to run with my guild fun....FUN. It's a game after all. What the hell is everybody's hurry?

It was the journey as much as it was the destination. I think that is the "privilege" that Neg is referring to.

windpaw said...

@Llyrra

I'm a dirty, dirty casual but what you're saying about the lack of attunements and keying since 2.4 really, really rings true. While I'm happy as a casual to get to explore these places as an 80 with a group of guildies interested in nothing more than the experience of seeing the content - losing the entire keying / attunement phase of the process takes too much away.

Getting attuned to MC in the old days was cool - doing the Ony quest was cool - getting that mark on your hand so you could go visit Nefarian was cool. Even those stupid keys that unlocked heroic modes in BC were something. Losing that really takes something away from the overall experience.