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12-28-2011 @ 3:11PM
I will say that 4.3-and certain aspects of 4.2, namely the Molten Front and most of the fights in Firelands-pretty much saved Cataclysm for me. Up until then, it'd been a total disaster. Every aspect of the end game content was so wrong headed that I sometimes wonder just what Blizzard was thinking. 4.3 features three amazingly fun 5 mans that don't require the stupid amounts of time to clear them that the launch heroics and the Zuls at 4.1's launch did, which tie into a raid of epic scale and scope. We're not crawling through a single series of hallways until we hit a big room with a boss in it, we're going all over the world, battling our way across the spine of a dragon the size of a skyscraper, and then doing nothing less that preventing the destruction of the world. How epic is that?And for those critical of the design of Spine and Madness, here's a thought:Throughout Cata, commenters on the forums and sites such as this were adamant that we couldn't simply defeat Deathwing via your standard raid boss fight. It had to be something different. We had to have the Aspects helping us. Surely we weren't going to be fighting the greatest and most powerful of dragons like we did a lowly boss in Naxxramas?Blizzard listens to us, and gives us a plot where everything we do-from working our way through the five mans to get the Dragon Soul to Wyrmrest, to defending the Aspects as they power it, to weakening Deathwing to the point the Dragon Soul can wound him, to helping the Aspects fight his final maddened form off-remember, on each platform Deathwing is assaulting one of the Aspects, not us-was part of making Deathwing a boss that we didn't fight like other bosses, with the aid of the Aspects, like so many people suggested.And people QQ over it, saying it doesn't feel like we did anything, when that's the fight we wanted.I was just as excited when I killed Deathwing in LFR as I was when I killed Arthas in 10 man ICC. ICC is just a bunch of random bosses thrown in your way. Dragon Soul is a story, built around weakening and defeating Deathwing. I know which raid I like better.
12-28-2011 @ 3:20PM
I hear ya. I do feel sorry for the Devs, they never catch a break....thank you for reminding us how much work they do put in to try to keep us happy.
12-28-2011 @ 3:42PM
12-28-2011 @ 3:37PM
ICC is, to an extent, a bunch of random bosses, I can't argue that. But they are thematically emblematic of the whole expansion. As a character fighting through that, you're finishing the last remnants of the Cult of the Damned, jetpacking through the air fighting the Horde / Alliance, fighting the ultimate representations of plague and cold, destroying the final remaining undead nerubians, and removing the Lich King's ability to raise more undead.Marrowgar, Rotface and Festergut are all fairly generic, and all could have stood to be trimmed (though Marrowgar still works well as an intro). But with all the others, even if most were invented for ICC, I still get what they're meant to be.My character, having survived rivers of liquid plague, cold so unbearable it can kill you with seconds of exposure, and personally come face to face with the Lich King and killed him, feels like she's overcome the impossible.In Dragon Soul, she's stood on a dragon who's proven to be comically bad at his job and spent an hour and a half killing tentacles. All I imagine she's thinking by the end of that is "my arms hurt, and I am so goddamn sick of fighting tentacles."
12-28-2011 @ 4:59PM
Hear Hear indeed Jaq! I have to shake my head at some of the people with rose-colored glasses of nostalgia who say how personal the fight to take down Illidan was. ILLIDAN! The guy that showed up all of 2 times during the entire BC expansion before you finally fought him. As mentioned earlier, it wasn't WoW that hyped up Illidan or Arthas, it was Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne. We took those single player stories with us into WoW's raids, which makes us care about the heroes and villains all the more.So what's the breakdown of the player base reaction to WoW endbosses?BC - Illidan was hardly seen or heard and wasn't even the end boss, we need more face time with the villain!WotLK - Arthas is all over the place and yells empty threats at you, he's a joke of a saturday morning cartoon villain! We need to use the villain more sparingly!Cata - Deathwing wasn't a personal villain, just a giant engine of destruction, we need to be more involved with the villain!Pre MoP - No announced big bad, instead we're dealing with the very personal values of Horde vs. Alliance? Worst end game ever!It's completely impossible to satisfy what the players want because they all want different things. Or they think they know what they want and end up unsatisfied when they get it. Sure, Blizzard's execution of these end bosses and their stories could be better, but that's asking for near perfection, which seems unreasonable when the developers are trying something new with every expansion.Illidan was a recluse because he was a paranoid maniac who was seeking to shore up defenses against Kil'Jaeden's retribution.Arthas was all over the place because he was goading you to walk the same path he did, to prove that his own downfall was inevitable and to then raise you as his ultimate champion.Deathwing was destruction incarnate because all of his previous schemes of dominance had failed, all the pain and rage he was left with meant that only the destruction of the planet itself would satisfy him.The mystery final boss of MoP is supposed to come out of an expansion long reflection on the dynamics of the Horde and Alliance, the very backbone of WoW itself. I can understand what Blizzard is trying to do with each storyline, and while I may wish things were done in different ways, I do appreciate all of the final results - mainly because each successive endgame builds on the previous one.
12-28-2011 @ 5:12PM
Oh, and in response to Kolyarut, I don't see how you can review the encounters in ICC that were "thematically emblematic" of the entire expansion and then dismiss all of Dragon Soul as "fighting tentacles."Morchuk is an enraged elemental - one of the major themes of the expansion.The faceless generals are direct calls to the Old Gods, the driving force behind the Twilight's Hammer and Deathwing's forces.Hagara and friends are the twisted shaman and mages of the Hammer, just like Blackhorn and his buds are the militant arm.Ultraxion is the ultimate Twilight Dragon - He IS the Hour of Twilight.Finally you get 2 fights against Deathwing, one where you bring down the massive dragon that's been scorching Azeroth for over a year, and the final where you prevent a second Cataclysm right where this whole mess started - at the heart of the Maelstrom.It's a very good call-back to all of the antagonistic forces of Cataclysm, especially when you look at it as part of the progression from Black Wing Descent -> Throne of the Four Winds -> Bastion of Twilight -> Firelands -> Dragon Soul. That's much better than WotLK where you had Eye of Eternity, Obsidium Sanctum, and Ulduar as "side" raids from the main storyline. Hell, a lot of players thought Crusader's Colosseum was a waste even though that's explicitly set-up as a prelude to the assault on ICC.
12-28-2011 @ 6:06PM
I really wish people would stop talking about the WoW fanbase like we're meant to be one giant hive mind.'In TBC everyone said they wanted X instead of Y, but in Wrath they gave you X and you said you wanted Y instead of X, make up your mind'10 million players, 10 million opinions. If 1000's of people say one thing and then 1000's of people say the opposite, that does not mean they're being argumentative, or have changed their minds, or just want to moan, the most likely thing is we're talking about two small groups of the millions of people who play this game.
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