Apr 3rd 2012 9:03AM For all the so-called improvements in match-making, I've never yet participated in any form of WoW PvP that felt balanced. I suspect these systems work better for high-end PvP players than anybody else. The new expansion comes out, and the harder-core go straight to their PvP jobs and reach some level of play in which they are regularly seeded into epic battles against each other. The rest of us are left in some murkier pairings in which the complete blowout is much more common. And you know this has to be true, considering the constant shenanigans of high level players to try and trick out the match-making systems. I would suspect that sort of thing doesn't really affect hardcore PvPers, just the rabble.
Systems in which players either compete or cooperate in almost every game typically cater to very aggressive play style. You win Monopoly by buying every property you can as fast as possible. A round of Halo combat is usually determined by whoever can reach the rocket launcher first. I was playing Mass Effect 3 online this weekend and quickly determined how you'll never get very satisfactory scores if you equip a sniper rifle and use cover. If you don't have an aggressive streak to begin with in your favorite playstyle, PvP itself was pretty well never meant for you.
And, so help me, the way they tacked on arena in TBC was a farce. Its been some time since major revisions like this but countless exciting abilities that worked perfectly well in PvE were removed or neutered in the name of "PvP balance." Thanks for helping the game suck more!
Mar 13th 2012 4:30PM I dunno. Playing with friends is important, but I came into the game and made a whole new slew of friends who are important to me years later. I met those people by grouping for the harder world quests (and we don't do that anymore) and then by joining groups to run the dungeons a little (and we don't do that anymore) and finally by joining guilds with like-minded purposes. (and jeez, I dunno how anybody goes choosing a guild anymore).
I agree with McCurley's perception that the community has changed, not that the community has gone away. But I'm not sure we could all agree that it has been change for the better. I don't make friends at large anymore. The reputation I tried to develop around my server ("Oh, Merinna. I know her. She's a pretty good healer") isn't worth anything anymore. And there are few things more uncomfortable than bumping into a clique of RL friends and being the odd man out.
Anyway. I don't know that there's anything to be done about it. I can't argue with Neth's points about making more parts of the game more accessible. But I think cheap faction and server transfers, hurt the community as well.
This change in the community (and other things) all make me think more and more that WoW is just no longer the game for me. It seems heartbreaking, considering the good times and good friendships I have had, but the life in Azeroth I enjoyed simply seems to be over.
Feb 5th 2012 9:35PM It was the other way around. The Dragons called it Dragon Soul. And the Rhonin referred to it as the Demon Soul... Even though Rhonin only called it that because that was the name given to the device by history. So, really, this is a wee bit paradoxical O.O
Jan 9th 2012 8:41AM OMG! The Voice Acting? It was terrible! 4.3, listening to Illidan snarl through the whole instance made me glad he was dead. That ridiculous accent Tyrande acquired? Bleah. Thrall, an Orc, lecturing Archbishop "POWAH!" Benedictus about selling out the human race, was ludicrous. Alexstrasza sounded like a cranky old lady.
In part, these characters already had voices who are apparently not available anymore and they thought we wouldn't mind the change. Or else my imagination was doing a much better job supplying that character's voice than whatever overwrought voice actor they found to do the job.
Another aspect of this problem is quite often the hyper-tense voice acting doesn't really match the tension on-screen. And it doesn't complement it either. Take a ride with Aronus (sp? The green dragon who flies us into Hyjal for the first time) and listen to that actor's tremulous with horror take on the lines and contrast that against what appears to be a perfectly lazy fly-over of new territory.
And are the Pandaren NPCs all going to talk with fun manchu voices? You know that's how it's going to go and that we'll all end up hanging our heads in shame over it.
I have to say I'd rather hear considerably less talk in the future.
Oct 29th 2011 7:00AM I agree with Zarhym's general comments here. And I looove his LOTR analogy.
But Blizzard is starting to be obtuse about Alliance development. Why is the Alliance is going to have to lose Theramore in order to start taking the Horde seriously? They didn't notice South Shore? The aggression in Ashenvale slipped everyone's mind? Nobody lives in Gilneas anymore so I guess I can see how they forgot about that. Alliance players have just spent the past year eyeing lost territory and a bunch of racial leaders doing not a damn thing about it. Varian broods around the castle, Mal Stormrage hangs out with Thrall on the top of Hyjal and just stands there, backslapping him.
Another way Blizzard doesn't get this: at the open Q&A panel last weekend, somebody asked Metzen when he was going to write the Alliance back into the fight and Metzen's response was that they are designing a quest series in which players accompany Varian all over the world as he builds up Alliance fervor by doing stuff for other leaders. The last time Alliance was asked to build goodwill so a faction would join the Alliance was in the Twilight Highlands and we had to arrange and plan a wedding. The horde built their alliance with the Dragonmaw by just attacking Alliance outposts all over the same region. So please excuse us, Blizzard, if we're not convinced in the strength of your story here. You already have a poor track record in this regard.
What Alliance players want is the political map of Azeroth redrawn to show that the Alliance can fight back. And they know the only time that's likely to happen is at >the beginning< of an expansion.
If Theramore is destroyed during the lead-in to MoP, Alliance players are pretty sure, no matter what Zarhym's says, that its going to be stuck that way for at least the next two years until another expansion comes out. Yes, we could be surprised about this, but if they couldn't fix the battlements of Stormwind by the end of Patch 4.2, and Orgrimmar still looks like a huge construction zone, then we we are pretty sure that nothing is really going to make up for ANOTHER major territory loss.
Aug 26th 2011 9:49PM For Your Consideration:
Be Healed considers "Why Catacylsm Couldn't Top The Lich King"
Blizzard tried to up the ante on Arthas, but Deathwing wasn't the villain for the job. And really, does the world always have to be in imminent peril?
Please come check it out!
Aug 26th 2011 9:45PM Wait a second: A few years ago, Blizzard made some slight changes to the polygons in a number of character models. Mostly, this was unnoticed, except for the human female faces which acquired a slightly vapid expression as a result. And the playerbase (and WoW Insider) went ballistic about it.
(Not that they weren't right to go ballistic. This slight change was not an improvement from a "looks" point of view)
Even the new-ish druid animal forms were somewhat controversial when they first came out. Every little change like this is bound to cause some uproar in a community as generally grumbly as this one.
But these are the people (or at least an incident) Nethaera were referring to when she suggested tinkering with the models was dire business.
Aug 9th 2011 11:20AM One key point about "mists" in terms of how it's often used. "Mist" is often a concrete noun stand-in for "mystery." Mists hide things and they signal the start of an adventure. Mist appears in a movie to suggest danger lurking out of sight: it's always going to be something like Skull Island, or a velociraptor, or intelligent apes.
But, seeing something draped in mist for us savvy fantasists is basically like sticking a flag on it that says, "Here's the exciting stuff! Explore here!"
"The Mists of Avalon," Stephen King's novel "The Mist," "Gorillas in the Mist," "Red Mist," "Shrine of the Morning Mist," "In the Electric Mist," "Sinbad Beyond the Vale of Mists." Even in Shakespeare's plays, characters are running out into mysterious mists for an adventure like in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" or wondering where Hamlet's father's ghost came from besides "out of the mist."
Never mind that Kvaldir are only associated with the mist because Blizzard was trying to imbue that same sense of mystery and danger that usually comes with mist. Pandarea is a mystery to the rest of Azeroth, thus it comes swathed in mist.
And let me just add that if "Mists of Pandarea" is the next expansion, Pandarea had better be a whole damn continent and not just a handful of new zones like Cataclysm. Blizzard is really falling off in production of new content. A new island here, a new underwater zone there... A few Lost Isles on the side would not feel like an acceptable expansion. No matter how much mist there is.
Jun 28th 2011 7:25AM Some folks noted that no new patch data is being pushed out right now with the servers down, and frankly, I had noticed that the background downloader has not been active this cycle too. Did anybody get any data pushed out early? Is anybody getting new patch data now? Or are some people suffering from broken clients?
Blizzard has said that it's patch day. There's gotta be some new data. Has anybody seen it?
Jun 18th 2011 2:44PM For your consideration:
Following up on recent predictions about the next expansion, "Be Healed" has made a bold prediction of what it will be: Please come and find out more!
This was actually a follow-up to an earlier post that was more speculative and less predictive (is such a thing possible?) but we're still very proud of that one too!