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10-28-2011 @ 3:13PM
Cataclysm was far from a failure IMO.The only failure for me was the bizzarre difficulty curve, way too easy and fast leveling to smash'em in the face heroics. There seemed to be very little gradual increase in difficulty like vanilla or BC had. Players could reach end game with little to no real understanding of their class and it's abilities.
10-28-2011 @ 3:39PM
When you're chatting about WoW with a coworker and some complete stranger comes up to you and says "Cataclysm killed that game", you have to wonder.
10-28-2011 @ 4:51PM
Rolly had it spot on - the ease of leveling was rediculous, followed up by a swift kick in the ass from the heroics made the game a headache.Mix that in with gaping holes of itemization since Cata launch (shammys and druids had problems at the start, and plate DPS had no non-tier options in firelands - I'm sure there are other examples) it made the game extremely non-fun at times. I loved raiding, but knowing that I had to go do old heroic content to replace my troll shoulders sucked (Fandral hates warriors tokens and refuses to carry any!).I think the other thing that was not really completed was Archeology - it sucks when you want to work on troll or Tol'vir stuff, and all you can get is a TON of night elf crap, especially when you have no interest in NE artifacts.Leveling + entry to heroics, gear holes, and poorly implemented Arch is the only problems I have with Cata.
10-28-2011 @ 4:52PM
What's missing from that statement, though, is the all important "... for me." "Cataclysm killed that game FOR ME."The transition from Wrath to Cataclysm was very harsh. I don't think there are many people who would argue against this. Personally, I leveled from being a level 80, take on all comers, nothing can kill me tank to a level 85, heroics are rough, I hate people and my gear gear isn't good enough tank in less than a week. That's quite a change in so short a time-frame. (Interestingly, I'd say that Cataclysm seems to have killed my tank for me- though it has allowed me to play my original main again...)Some might say that Blizzard over-corrected for what some people saw as Wrath being too easy. Interestingly, for every person who quit because Cata was too hard, you'll probably find a guy (take TotalBiscuit, for example) who quits because they eventually nerfed it to make it easier. The problem is that people are far too willing to extrapolate their own experience onto everyone else. We actually are all unique snowflakes- we all have different experiences in the game that drive how we see the game in the end.
10-28-2011 @ 4:56PM
Yup. And look at the tension this caused between players. God forbid you were a new player venturing into a Cataclysm heroic: you were likely to be abused, made to feel responsible for every wipe (which may well have been true, since some fights had tricky mechanics for brand new players) and then kicked. How many players were lost after running a few heroics and having that experience.Heroics have to be puggable content, since that is how they are normally done these days. Having a mechanic that kills a player if he stands in fire is okay, as long as he has a chance to get out. We'll pick him up after the fight. Having a mechanic so that the new/distracted/drunk/griefing wipes the group when he stands in the fire is NOT okay for heroics. That just leads to finger-pointing and /kicks.
10-28-2011 @ 5:44PM
Very excellent point, Rolly. In BC, the leveling was significantly slower paced with a couple extra zones left over. Then you ran a bunch of Normal mode dungeons for a while to get your rep up and THEN you smashed face against the Heroic modes. (I'm not sure I've experienced ANY 5-man dungeon as soul-crushing hard as Heroic Shattered Halls was at first. Maybe Heroic Magister's Terrace. Nothing in Cataclysm compares though.)Wrath...well, I'd almost say it didn't have a difficulty curve, but that's not entirely true. It is accurate that normals-at-max was non-existent. Everyone jumped straight into the Heroics, most of which were very easy. There were a few that were more difficult, but not up to the difficulty of BC Heroics. (Oculus in particular was hard due to learning the drakes, not necessarily the tuning itself.) Naxx was also fairly easy, but the difficulty did ramp up some when you got to Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad. When Ulduar hit, difficulty went up quite a bit, but it was still fairly gradual throughout the instance. Normal mode XT was not nearly as hard as Normal mode Mimiron. Or Vezax. Or Yogg. Wow, Yogg. Love that fight.I sort of mourn the loss of Normal mode dungeons that occurred in Wrath. Heroics were initially added as a difficult means of progressing your character without raiding, which was on oft-requested feature in Vanilla. In Wrath they turned into the norm, which gutted their purpose. I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing, because chain running X number of normal mode dungeons only to turn around and do the same dungeons on Heroic before you can consider raiding isn't that great an idea. Too prone to feel grindy and repetitive. I still love me a good challenging 5-man dungeon. Challenge modes may suffice, we'll see how it plays out.Where was I going? Oh yeah. One of Cataclysm's issues (love me the expansion, but it has issues) was that it tried to go back to the BC paradigm of "Heroics are HARD." It lacked BC's element of "go do some normals first" or more accurately, lacked enough normals to do. There was a level of content players were supposed to do before hitting Heroic 5-mans, but it barely exists in Cataclysm. So players jumped into Heroics and got smashed. Understandably, this was not a fun experience. Ultimately, it might be for the best that the "Normal -> Heroic 5-mans" run seems to be permanently dying in Mists. (Developer Q&A yesterday said there will be no normal max level dungeons.) Yet, I can't help but find it amusing that a "Heroic mode dungeon" is an easily clearable dungeon with a random PuG. Correct way to do it? Quite possibly. Amusing in it's oddness? Oh yeah.
10-28-2011 @ 5:59PM
@clundgrenYou very much said it. I tanked a great deal in Wrath, and quit tanking in Cata. At one point, if it weren't for PvP I would have cancelled for lack of anything I COULD DO. (NOT lack of anything TO do, but PuGging as a tank in the new heroics is NOT, VERY MUCH NOT, fun). I have tried, and the people I got were just genuine a--wipes without exception. So I'm left with PvP and levelling alts.I certainly miss tanking, which WAS my favorite part of the game. A guildie (we are not a raiding guild) asked me why I never tank anymore when I was the guild;s best tank in Wrath. That was nice of her, but I wasn't ... I was the most ACTIVE tank though, always ready to run a heroic with anyone that wanted to go. And even with the extra rewards, I don't PuG heroics. (I do tank regs for the guild , but they're way too easy now. A PuG healer asked if they could DPS Throne of Tides because at 200K health I really didn't need a healer and why was I running a reg anyway ...).
10-28-2011 @ 7:30PM
@noel mcleodYou almost described my own situation post Cataclysm, apart from the fact I don't PvP in WoW (and, thus, had nothing to keep me playing).During WotLK, after becoming Loremaster, I turned to tanking PUGs as my source of fun (besides one weekly raid with the guild). A slow week would see me doing 10 hours of PUGs (i.e., 30-50 dungeons runs in the week), and I was always ready to help guildmates with their daily runs or achievements.Cataclysm made me really unwilling to tank PUGs, even regular ones. I don't think the problem itself was the difficulty; instead, it was the fact the LFD would let in players who had no chance, at all, of doing the instance. I really don't understand why Blizzard even lets someone who only have PvP gear, or who don't even have the spec for the role he selected, to queue (and, sincerely, if I ever get back to tanking, I'm considering refusing to move if there is even one player in the PUG without the proper gear or spec for his role).Apart from that, I had a few other misgivings with Cataclysm:- Portals in Shattrath and Dalaran removed. Without them, I flat out refuse to go back to those old continents due to the travel time involved, thus removing the old content from my play options.- I really disliked the quest revamp. While doing the new quests the first time is quite nice, they became too linear, to the point I can't bring myself to level alts anymore. This killed a lot of my enjoyment of the game. Plus, there were too many places where I felt like I wasn't in control of my character; this was most apparent in Uldum.- Archeology. I dislike both random rewards and travel time. Archeology is doing travel time in order to get random rewards.If it was up to me, how I would have "fixed" the game:- LFD with a real spec and gear check, turned on whenever players queued in anything less than a full party, so only players that have the proper (non-PvP, correct for their spec, with at least basic gems and enchants) gear, and the correct spec, are allowed to queue for Heroics without a full group. Plus, some kind of help for when players aren't allowed to queue, telling them exactly what they need to fix.- Integrate into the UI notifications regarding player failures. Something akin to a mix of GTFO, DBM, and Recount, with the collected data kept private for each player, focused on making each individual player keenly aware when he fails. Also, a debriefing after a wipe, telling the player what went wrong (if he stood on bad things, if the boss used something that should have been interrupted, etc), and a score based on his performance.- Better dummies which give players a basic diagnostic of their DPS/HPS (at the very least telling them which content tier their DPS/HPS is good for).- Keep the portals in Shatt and Dal. Perhaps make them phased, so players need to be lv80 (and, perhaps, do a questline) to use them.- Redo Archeology.
10-29-2011 @ 3:47PM
I think what needs to happen is rather than having heroics be a stepping stone into raids, have them be an alternate progression path. Gear up for raids (or heroics) in normals, then have raids and heroics on equal footing gear wise and difficulty wise. Something I particularly enjoyed in Wrath were the 3 ICC 5 mans, the way they all connected together. It felt like a (admitted very easymode) raid for a 5 man team, which is what I would like to see heroics be like, except at raid level challenge.
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