Thursday, December 18, 2008

Now that the newness has worn off

In which I rant about everything I don't like about Wrath of the Lich King.

I'm concerned that Wrath is quickly losing it's new-car smell. It's such a shiny, creative place with all those poop quests but where are we? Looking for more poop quests? Lovely!

Getting my druid to 80 was not hard. Heck, the only real challenge has been finding enough time to play with all the holiday & end of the year madness.

I've pushed through to 435 leatherworking and replaced most of her gear already (the value of only having T4-equivalent gear.) I'm so over-geared for some of the stuff we're doing that I'm tempted to stop skilling to 440 because I just don't need those sweet looking epics.

I've done enough quests in Borean Tundra, the Dragonblight, Howling Fjord, & Grizzly Hills to earn each zone's questing achievements. That's half the continent done. Sure, there's a ton of content to go. I've been alternating between Sholazar Basin & Zul'Drak while searching for prime leather-grinding spots. I've been to all the regular instances. The only real challenge has been the last boss in the Oculus. It's a complete gimmick fight using the dragon instead of our own abilities. Our group just wasn't getting the hang of it. More on this later...

There's been some cool stuff along the way like the quest chains in Dragonblight and the Culling of Stratholme instance. Beyond that, it's in danger of becoming monotony.

What's worse is the reports from my friends. Typhia's guild, Edge is "farm clearing" Naxx. QSS is doing very well there as well. Some fellow Bears are reporting being bored and unchallenged by what they are seeing. In other words, the hardcore players are not being challenged. The middle-ground players (like myself) aren't being challenged. Worse yet, it's making us all sloppy players. Why learn to do things the right way when you can just muscle through everything?

The other day, I had a long discussion with Cainam where he pointed out that the place feels like it's a "gamma" release. He's right on the money. Ferals are still being heavily adjusted. DPS warriors are way too powerful with titan grip. Hunters are so OP that I've not been playing mine. I think hunters are in for a rude awakening when the 3.0.8 nerf gets pushed. Content is fun and colorful, but easy. Instead of balancing the game, they rushed it out the door for the holidays. Sure it's "fun." Sure it works. Sure they can fix it on the fly. It's one of the beauties of the ever-changing content of MMO's. But is this really the game they wanted?

Then there's vehicles...

I haven't tried pvp vehicles yet. I'm hoping that I enjoy that more than my other vehicle experiences. Sure, it's different and adds a new dimension to the game. But, really? I worked 80 levels and countless hours to learn my "craft" and now, I'm forced to abandon it to finish a quest or a boss fight? Who here didn't hate Gorefiend? It's the fight where one person can wipe the raid because they simply can't get the hang of a gimmick. I'm not talking about fight intricacy. Shade of Aran was a proper "idiot check." I don't mind facing off against a hard boss or a difficult process. I don't mind the concept of everyone having to pull their own weight. I don't mind wiping. I do mind when the game tosses out a player's effort to learn their class and their role. Places like Oculus are cool looking and add flavor to the game, but bleh, I don't like it.

I'm not saying that vehicles are hard to use. No, once you figure them out & adjusted your UI properly, they are rather easy. But, vehicles tend to be mindless process having little to do with actual skill. I either succeed on a vehicle with ease or I fail on a vehicle without having a clue why. How's that fun?

I get that there's some Heroic content that should be inviting and challenging. I get that there's more content to come. I love what they've done with the look & feel of the game. I even like the changes to tank threat-gen. I like the new swipe! I mostly like AE pulls. I don't like everything being an AE pull. I don't like getting to a boss, just to have it roll over and die. I don't want things to suddenly get harder. I wanted things to progressively get more challenging. When I was level 72 and slept through Ahn'kahet as the tank, there's a problem with the game.

Blizz swung the pendulum to the hard end when they released Burning Crusade and now it's swung to the easy end. Find me a happy middle and soon.

At this point, I'm almost looking forward to the 2 weeks away from home for Christmas vacation. It should make me miss the game and come back with a renewed desire to grind my professions.


Nord said...

I can't say I disagree with anything you've said, but in some ways, Wrath is an altaholic's dream. I posted the other day that I'm already talking about leveling a third toon to 80 (admittedly Avouz is only just short of 75, so that may be premature, but not by a lot.)

The idea that I could re-app to full raider status in QSS with virtually any of my toons is kinda appealing to me. what do they need? Hey, I've got a toon for that. (It may not be my best toon, but given the skill level of the bloggers here and elsewhere, I can't imagine not getting up to speed quick with any class.)

So, who gets to be my #4?

LRNs said...

But I still hold to the old saying "jack of all trades, master of none." If you really want to get back into raiding, it's better to have 1 or 2 "raid-worthy" toons.

While guilds may not be looking for certain classes all the time, they are always looking for good players who know their class.

The volume of stuff I still haven't learned on my mains is nothing in comparison to the amount of stuff I'll never learn on an alt. Very few people I know can suddenly get up to speed on a random alt.

Cainam said...

I see where you are coming from. Personally, I've been waiitng for the rest of the gang to catch up to 80 so we can start looking for more challengign content, be it heroics or undermanning Naxx10 or whatever.

However, I have a thinking here that may account for the problems. When I think about Mage pre-BC most mages only had a couple hundred Spell Damage. When you hit 70 you still had to gear up before you could step into Kara. The green you picked up from quests were not going to cut it and even some of the blues.

But for BC, I'm still wearing most of my T6 raid gear. From old world to BC I needed to increase my spell power 2 to 3 times, just to begin raiding seriously. Now we're clearing content and still have some gear from those level 70 raids. My spell damage is up bu by like maybe 20 or 30%. And combines with all of that my gear is gettign eaten alive by diminishing returns. Great so I have 300 crit no compared to 200 in BC, but that still equates to the same crit chance.

I like that my gear has remained viable, but honestly, i would have been fine if I started to replace it at level 74 or so. Not level 78. It's that jump in gear that I think is missing from wrath.

LRNs said...

@ Cainam - I think I see what you're getting at. It's also the gear issue that may account for how easy things feel. My gear may not have been the best available, but it was still end-game epics. Perhaps I'm just over-powering everything I do.

Nord said...

Somehow I doubt overpowering is the problem. My main, Stofnar, had done no raiding besides those pre-Wrath Kara runs and one PUG Kael'thas. Avouz, my main alt, hadn't even done that much. Both toons are breezing through the Wrath content.

Mardigilian said...

Gotta go with Nord on that. Pomona hadn't done an instance between Ramps and Wrath and she's plowing through just as fast as Mard who had most of the best non-raid plate and a healthy sprinkling of S2 gear. To be fair she doesn't spend as much time gathering (any) and had a couple day head start, but I've been playing Mard more (getting in those levels before Blizz comes after me with a couple zweihandernerfvereine.

But yeah, it all seems pretty easy. And I'm wondering if they've nerfed gear since beta. I remember Typhia telling up we'd be replacing all our gear with NR greens. Well, Pomona's most, if not all of her gear, but Mard's just now starting to replace some of his lower end epic armor. (Trinkets and jewelry went fast, as did weapons when I picked up TG at 71).

I think you're right that Blizz rushed to release, in part for the holiday season, but I think a lot of the rush was a game of chicken with Warhammer. WAR needed to get out before people could say "But I just dropped $40-50 on the WoW XP." Wrath needed get out before WAR could build too much loyalty. End result--and this is second hand info on WAR--both games feel rushed and sloppy. It all looks great, but how much thought are they putting into quest design when the only thing that really changes is the animal the poop came out of.