Apr 30th 2011 10:13PM Critical strikes make Arms' world go round — they activate Wrecking Crew, Incite and Battle Trance Mastery; are rewarded by Impale; and drive Deep Wounds. Adjustments to Level 85 stats mean its value levels off at even greater amounts. The math is inarguable: Mastery, even after 4.1, is never worth more than Crit.
Apr 19th 2011 12:28PM Drawing from market segmentation — where the A group represents loyal and active customers; the B group, qualified and likely prospects; the C group, possible prospects; and the D group, unlikely prospects — Blizzard is aiming squarely at Bs, presumably in an effort to leverage brand and crossover appeal. It's sound marketing, and the natural evolution of Battle.net's gathering of all franchises under one umbrella — in the past, Blizzard seemed to rely on Cs through the 10-day trial and recruit-a-friend, almost certainly with mixed results.
This may or may not be in response to suspected losses for World of Warcraft's subscriber base.
On that note, Belghast's derision is unnecessary, but player-side activity data corroborates the general and reasoned perception of Warcraft's activity: after an end-of-expansion lull, log-ins and hours played skyrocketed with Cataclysm's launch, only to begin plummeting at about the same time guild leaders everywhere hit the forums looking for able bodies to keep raids from collapsing. Who here hasn't witnessed significant drop-off? I'm personally enjoying the game (criticisms aside), but the same can't be said for a lot of colleagues; they've voted with their feet.
Are the two related? I don't think we know enough. We'll have to see.
Apr 16th 2011 9:52AM Blizzard doesn't need to replace models — only textures. Considering how many attractive Cataclysm NPCs have been built on vanilla-era wireframes, the work can verifiably be done.
Is it really untoward of players to expect the most important graphics they view in the game to be aged less than nearly seven years? When Blizzard representatives note the work involved, or consider the reaction of players to a new look, I think they miss the point — everybody loves Mario, but Nintendo hasn't confined the character to 8-bit pixels. One reason a guildie cited for exploring Rift was a break from "porn-'stashed humans and ugly night elves," and that general motivation will only grow stronger by the year.
I have no doubt that Blizzard is sincere, with nothing but good intentions for its customers; this stance, though, shows a bit of a disconnect.
Mar 22nd 2011 10:20AM Have you noticed that this thread's criticisms of raid difficulty focus on the human factor of raiding, how players enjoy the company of friends but frustration has endangered those ties — and not a single mention has been made of gear?
If you want "shiny purples" all to yourself for a few months, so be it. Hell, from the sound of things, you need to catch up to mine. But don't accuse others of your own fixation.
Mar 21st 2011 7:36PM These statements always tend to be unnecessary at the same time they're personal.
Blizzard has two difficulty levels to work with and a player base incomparably weighted toward the first of them. No one who's serious about the issue is asking for heroic content to be universally accessible. Besides, most raiders blow through normal 5-mans before focusing on heroics — why can't hard-mode players like yourself expect the same in raiding?
Mar 21st 2011 7:06PM I'm ambivalent on the strengths and weaknesses of linearity.
On one hand, I do miss the impression of a wide world and complex struggle that Northrend gave. The immersion from plumbing quest-lines in Dragonblight and Icecrown was startling — it was labyrinthine, suggesting that a player might have gotten in over his head, and I loved it.
But I also loved Storm Peaks' odyssey, playing out the same for character after character but drawing me in each time.
So I simply think pressure and time compromised Blizzard's ability to present compelling stories this time, especially on a small scale. Even though Twilight Highlands is knotted with quests, it was terribly boring for me, ferried from one two-dimensional quest-giver to the next, charged with another drop quest along a pedestrian landscape.
Raid-instance lore that borders on the parodical (that Nefarian's such a card!) certainly hasn't helped matters, especially when — echoing Pyro — unforgiving, soul-crushing levels of difficulty has halted a large majority of guilds at end bosses.
Two solutions, Blizzard. First, wait until WoW has ended before getting carried away with self-deprecation and in-jokes. Second, make use of the terms "normal" and "heroic."
Mar 2nd 2011 10:01AM In fact, Lheim, almost all gear trades were a wash (or worse) until I hit Uldum — at which point I felt as if the challenges of the past alone weren't enough to keep my character alive.
Jan 25th 2011 11:32AM You're right, Ecwfrk, that such patience and selflessness is rare. More often, a guild's better players become protective of their success — some going so far as to dismiss lesser-skilled members and sell their potential for improvement far short.
Jan 5th 2011 10:27AM This is exactly right. Short of introducing artificial intelligence that reads minds and intuits motives, or any one of the problematic data-driven solutions offered in this thread, the LFD system should be considered a tool for forming groups — not the solution to it.
The lesson here is that social relationships still matter: when players associate regularly, especially in networks on a realm, good and bad behavior are respectively rewarded and punished. Warcraft is an MMO, and the complexity of its team gameplay can't be governed by a system intended for console shooters.
Sportsmanship can be ensured by forming the majority of a group through any one of the methods Cyrus suggests. My guildmates prefer guild runs, but the groups I tank will occasionally pug a single member, and the half-dozen results have been very satisfying.
Jan 3rd 2011 3:03PM I'm convinced this is why Blizzard introduced Lifegiving Seeds.
Regenerating to help your healer can be fun *and* provide comic relief!