Mar 30th 2012 12:35AM Am I wrong for being bothered Blizzard officially giving buffs the checklist treatment? I know as class abilities have become more homogenized since Burning Crusade that players have essentially done this already, and add-ons have further cemented the mentality, but I feel like this is the wrong way for Blizzard to adopt add-on functionality.
Lets examine the stamina buff. The only reason you would ever need more stamina to survive would be in a group content situation: dungeon, raid, pvp. Any minimally competent group would never move forward without having it. So what makes it compelling? Why do we need to press the button? Why not just make it a passive buff from being in a group? Better yet, why not just design the content so that the extra required 10% health isn't necessary?
I think a better idea is to approach buffs like talents. You make a choice, and forego your other options. For example, say you have to choose between attack power and stamina. You make the choice to either hit harder, or have increased surviveability. These choices would become tactical choices rather than just required stat ballooning.
I think the point is that buffs have become an uninteresting method of ballooning stats so that damage and healing numbers can be bigger in raids. But homogenizing class buffs so that almost any group composition can provide all of the buffs in the checklist, and essentially making all buffs mandatory (and meaningless), you might as well just pass them out automatically and save players the effort...
I am sure there are many more possibilities for interesting buff mechanics that could be added to the game, and as many possibilities for playing them against each other so that groups of players have to make play style choices with buffs that individual players are going to be making with talents.
Mar 23rd 2012 9:16AM They should have sent McCurley and Rossi.
Mar 23rd 2012 9:13AM As a web designer / developer, I don't create things as complex as a video game, but even I get geeked out over some of the artwork I create, or some of the functionality I manage to program, and I'm sure I sound like a broken record calling things "cool" too.
And I don't really understand the concern over the game being easy anymore. There is no need for questing content to be particularly difficult because it would just act as a barrier to leveling. Also, the playerbase by and large does not want to spend more than about 30 minutes (at the very most) in a dungeon anymore. We saw how Cataclysm dungeons really put players off and they had to nerf them. The only place for difficulty anymore is in raids and pvp.
LFR (easy mode raids) has been overwhelmingly successful, so much so that many players aren't even pushing for normal modes anymore, much less hard modes. Blizzard is taking a lot of flak from a tiny minority for "making the game too easy", but player response to less demanding content proves that the players are encouraging this design trend. Should Blizzard design the game to be difficult just to spite the people that pay their paychecks, or teach them how to be real gamers (or something)?
I think it's time to let the MMO of the past go, and just focus on simply having a good time. Mists of Pandaria seems to be offering a great variety of ways to do that, and I for one am very excited about it.
Mar 12th 2012 8:48PM One man's opinion incoming...
I think the fundamental change that needs to happen with professions has little to do with what has come before. The problem with professions is that the model of receiving 95% useless fodder for leveling and 5% useful patterns at endgame is frustrating and tired. WoW has been around a long time, and at this point much of it's player-base simply wants to inhabit the world, play the game how they want to play it, and feel rewarded for that. At this point, crafting needs a major overhaul if it is to be seen as anything more than a gold sink that you must pay to be raiding optimal, or have a few toys.
I submit the idea that the crafting system could be overhauled to provide a more dynamic crafting environment, using the mats that are currently available. Instead of training specific recipes, you would learn how to combine the materials at your disposal to achieve different results depending on the combination of materials used. This system could still be min-maxed, meaning it would still be profitable on the AH, but those of us who might want to make crafting a more exploratory experience would still have avenues to make crafting more interesting and enjoyable.
Jan 12th 2012 10:25PM I would buy this to use as a portable console emulator arcade. You could pack a ton of old 8bit and 16bit games, and it's probably just portable enough that it could be considered convenient.
I'm only half kidding. I know it's silly to spend that kind of money just to play old (S)NES games, but since I can't do it conveniently on my iPad, it is somewhat tempting.
Dec 8th 2011 10:30PM @mibu.work1 I don't entirely disagree with what you have said. I do like the new talent system, and I recognize the potential for many complex ability combinations by exploring different mixes of talents. The problem I'm trying to get at is that the game is so focused at the spec level, that no matter what you choose in the current system, you have a very narrow focus of function. As my character gets more powerful, I want to make huge sweeping decisions about my playstyle, such as whether I'm a melee hunter or a ranged hunter. Or an agility based warrior rather than a strength based warrior. Regardless of my personal feeling on this design decision, the playerbase will only continue to be frustrated as long as we have talent systems that have to be re-invented every time a new expansion comes out simply because the amount of points we get, or the interval at which we get our talents, gets awkward.
At least if we made a choice every five levels we would have a balance between making choices often enough to feel consistently engaged, and having choices at a multiple of 5 where we always know a new expansion's level cap will land so it all doesn't have to be re-arranged.
Dec 8th 2011 8:23PM I think what is important to understand about the new talent system is that it is an exercise of game designers working through ideas in public. The fact that you get a new choice every 15 levels, resulting in your last choice happening at level 90- the highest level of MoP - is proof that they still haven't thought much past how the system will work beyond MoP. This system is further proof that they haven't hit upon a class customization/perk/benefit system that will function into future expansions, which will require large work-arounds every expansion. I think this will further frustrate the player-base.
Unfortunately this is the reality we may have to live with in games where every expansion introduces higher level caps that require the development of a new rule set. Games like DnD, which have historically been able to mostly plan for characters to hit a max level and stop progressing in innate abilities, don't suffer from this problem.
I like the direction of the new talent system, but I do wish there were more choices. It seems to me like the more WoW progresses, the more narrowly the playstyles of the classes become focused, when I feel like it should be the opposite. Higher levels of power should open up more varieties of possibility rather than fewer. For example, I see no practical reason why hunters can't make a choice between melee and ranged playstyles at some point, effectively turning one class into two.
Balancing problems are an unconvincing argument to me, as it feels like an excuse to limit possibilities within the game, to limit player choice and creativity. I would gladly give up the expectation of class balance for a greater amount of playstyle variety.
Nov 16th 2011 6:39PM With all of the design discussion happening lately, I think a better question might be which mana-based classes should be moved away from mana. I think mana is one of the areas where Blizzard has gotten away with a certain amount of lazy class design because whether or not it is interesting it functions properly in most circumstances.
Nov 16th 2011 6:18PM After some of the absolutely ridiculous responses to the "Is it time to kill the GCD" column, seeing this here so soon makes me very happy. Rossi wins.
Nov 15th 2011 9:46PM I'm pretty sure some other comments have mentioned this, but I don't think it's necessarily the GCD that is the problem, but auto-attack. I like the global cooldown myself, because it provides for a certain rhythm to controlling my characters that I enjoy. Once I'm in my zone I can almost feel when it's time to hit the next button without having to actually see the GCD on my buttons. But I thoroughly enjoyed playing the monk class at BlizzCon because of that direct relationship between my actions and the character's actions. I definitely think it is time that Blizzard designs auto-attack out of the game.