Jan 16th 2012 1:35AM Great list, thank you!
However, I was a bit surprised to scroll down and see #1... lore accessibility? I mean, really? So many people have complained about the fact that to fully understand certain parts, they have to buy and read the novels (I think at least Wow Insider-authors has mentioned his dislike of that as well), so many players don't understand big chunks of the story anymore ("Why is Ragnaros back again? What about all the stuff in Uldum? Why did Benedictus turn? Is there an Old God now or isn't there? What about all the time travelling? Was the whole thing about the Aspects planned from the beginning?")
Heck, even with other major developments like what is going on with the Council of the Three Hammers, people often don't quite understand what is going on even though they might be interested in the story, or are confused by how things developed. I have a feeling that a lot of people simply are confused by the how everything played out, or gave up on being interested. I don't think everyone understood fully all the changes in Hyjal, the whole MF-business etc. "You cannot help but become engaged in all of the action; you can't help wondering what's going to happen next. " is a bold statement as I remember a lot of people being totally confused by what is going on.
Yes, I do think I do understand most of it, but I have read a) the novels b) the leader-stories c) KYL incl. the tinfoil hat ones d) the quest texts.
and, even though it's not totally on topic, the over-exposure of Thrall... I think it was in one of the other parts of this article that there was talk again about the "over-exposure of Arthas" in WOTLK, and I feel like that is one of those things that have been mentioned a few times, then repeated a bunch of times in forums and comments, and suddenly is "a truth".
I don't remember who, but one of the WOW insider-editors wrote about that, mentioning how, with Arthas being a main-villain and him taunting us to come get him, it wasn't unreasonable to have him appear several times during a story, but that editor also counted how many times he appears, and it wasn't an insane amount.
This is from memory, so correct me if I'm wrong, but:
1. Howling Fjord - In the "time-travel" quest where you see some Vyrkul history, plus in UP (of course, if you run UP every day to farm points, it is no surprise you see Arthas a lot), and then at Queen Angrboda's place.
2. Borean Tundra - Don't remember
3. Dragonblight - We see Arthas in the WOW III-parts when we help the ghosts of his men find peace, and also see a recap of him finding Frostmourne. Also, the end of the Wrathgate questline
4. Grizzly Hills - He appears at the end of the troll questline which starts here
5. Zul'Drak - See above. Also, at the end of the Betrayer-questline
6. SB - Does he appear there at all?
7. Storm Peaks - or here? I don't remember
8. Icecrown - The fact he appears there several times is not unusual, as it's "his domain". He comes up during the Mathias Lehner quests, and in parts of the Vyrkul-quests, when we fight one of the "quest bosses".
Then, of course, there is HoR and the Culling, plus of course ICC.
Once again, keeping in mind he is the main-villain, and that the story is supposed to make us feel like we are a major-character in that story, and checking out just how many quests we do there and how many other things happen, I never thought it was too much. Of course, that's very subjective, but I feel that a) some of that feeling of over-exposure might be based on people chain-running heroics and b) on the fact that suddenly, some people said it was too much and all of a sudden, it was treated like a fact.
I have leveled 10 chars through NR and I never ever felt like "OMG, Arthas AGAIN?". Once again, that's subjective, but compared to so few appearances by Illidan in TBC, I found that it made sense for Arthas to appear more often, and made me feel all the more immersed in the story, as I felt like I was going for the "big goal", finally closing the story of WCIII after being taunted and manipulated and used by Arthas several times on my way to get there.
Sorry for the wall of text. TL ;DR: 1. #1 - Really? I mean...REALLY?!?
#2 Thrall might be appearing too much, but I dont think it's comparable to Arthas, as I don't think HE appeared too often in Wrath.
Jan 7th 2012 6:32AM I can't comment on the classes you mentioned, but I am playing a Sage, specced deep into the healing tree. I am leveling that way, and based on what companion I use and what I am fighting, yes, the abilities I use change a lot.
And it's FUN to have a choice sometimes. When I fight quest-bosses (basically, tough elites with different abilities) and use my tank-companion, I have to find out quickly whether I have to focus on healing only, have to react to damage spikes etc.
Then, some bosses or mobs require me to cut back on the healing and contribute DPS instead, sometimes from a range (to avoid AOE dmg), sometimes up close, mixing spells and saber-strikes.
Is it complicated? No, but it requires me to react quickly, and adjust to different situations, and that, to me, is fun. It was unusual at first, because neither did I find myself using the same rotation over and over, nor did I find myself only healing or only DPSing.
And I like it, especially when it gets to using different companions for different situations.
There are not many guides, and I know a lot of people seem to be confused, but at least in the case of the Sage, which is my main, I can say that, if you experiment a bit and set up your action bars in a certain way, you can figure out some combinations that work for damage, some for healing (and emergency situtations), but still you will find yourself changing tactics a lot. I dont doubt that other Sages might use a different combination, or maybe some actually use a strict rotation, but so far, I have survived many tough fights, some against really tough odds (Champion level 4-men boss solo, being only one level above him), and so far, it's been challenging as well as a load of fun.
On your operative, with your DPS spells...did the mobs go down? Did you find yourself struggling a lot? What about your friend? Because, if both of your methods work, if the mobs and "quest bosses" go down, then neither of you is doing it wrong IMO. Yes, if he kills a tough mob in half a minute and you take, say, 5 minutes, maybe yours isnt efficient, but I doubt thats the case, so I guess both of you do it right.
Jan 6th 2012 1:55PM Yeah, MisterRik, with your incredibly open-minded and totally not lob-sided analysis, you figured it all out. /sarcasm
I know there is no point anymore in arguing about this, but just as difficult as it seem to be to understand that some people don't go crazy about the idea of playing beer-drinking pandas, it is hard to understand this "if you don't like it, gtfo" attitude.
Is it so hard to accept that some people who have played the game for many years love the more serious, epic, mythical and threatening part of WOW, and that, after expansions based on Illidan, Arthas and Deathwing, an expansion based around beer-drinking Pandas with Bruce Lee emotes, those people might just be disappointed.
Dont hit us with "Awww dude, we always had gnomes too" or some of those other arguments. There are a LOT of people who were ok with the silly aspects of the game, the cute stuff, but now we get "Here is our new expansion. Look, that panda does a roundhouse kick and has a Bruce Lee-type voice. Cool huh?"
Its not about people who get a kick out of feeling epic or whatever. Neither is it only people into rap or WWF or whatever. I think you are missing out on the fact that there are a lot of people who are fascinated by the lore, the darker and more mysterious aspect, and even if Metzen and tinfoil hatters hint at "stay in there, it will become more interesting, I promise", this does not seem very enticing.
So dont pidgeon-hole everyone who dislikes the direction the game is headed, don't go "Aww, we had cute stuff all along", and don't act as if only jerks, little kids and wrestling-fans dislike the Panda-thing. You will find a lot of people who care deeply about the lore (and don't consider an April Fools Joke and a bonus mission in WCIII "they have always been in the lore") are not into this idea.
If you like this turn, if you like the direction, good for you. I won't make judgements about what those that are for it, so accept it that its not only kids, but also lore-fans and those that like WOW for its mysterious and dark side over the silly stuff, which is a nice embellishment, but nothing more to many players.
Dec 5th 2011 12:36PM Moon, thanks. I think being vocal DOES help, but when I tried, there were 4 others trying to be also, among those who kept spamming the raid-chat, and there were 3-4 different versions of the blob-kill-priority =)
Not being used to raiding is one thing, not using the chance to read in the journal or pulling the boss for sh*** and giggles is another, so I hope that eventually, people will take it more seriously. And being more vocal, as you suggested, SHOULD always be tried,you just have to be lucky for people to listen =)
Dec 5th 2011 12:34PM @ Smitten: If it is that easy (I never looked into the details), then no, it isnt fair at all.
@ the original poster: I agree, but the rewards for a questline like that shoudlnt be legendary weapons. Im thinking along the lines of the Quel'Delar questline, which, to me, was pretty fascinating, could be done in a few hours with the LFD tool, and rewarded a cool epic weapon, not a legendary.
Imagine something like that for different classes... a quest line that involved going through some heroics with different, class-based tasks, travelling to different locations like one did a bit in the Quel Delar chain.
However, class quests were removed, and I dont think Blizzard will implement any again other than stuff like the legendary chains (which are class-based, or at least limit it, like the staff being for casters). It requires extra development-time, and so I guess it will remain a thing of the past
Dec 5th 2011 12:24PM Agreed. Molten Front dailies, maybe some stuff from the AH (not mandatory) and the quest rewards and drops from the three new instances will get you there.
Same here, shadow priest, just hit 372 yesterday with some lucky drops and the quest rewards (cloth head- and shoulder-piece, plus the offhand-skull-thing, plus a guildie making me the 1H caster mace a while ago. The latter two were replaced with the staff from Benedictus earlier today).
Ilvl could even be higher if Id farm the instances more, I guess, but by now the priest is able to get into the raid finder even without that
Dec 5th 2011 12:13PM I totally agree that the ilevel is not really a helpful factor when it comes to the raid-finder. Of course it is a good idea to have that minimum ilvl-requirement, but after trying out the raid-finder, and finding a lot of the first impressions about it that I read here confirmed, I can totally see what the difficulty is about the raid-finder: The people you end up.
Sure, you might say thats true for EVERY raid (even non-PUG ones)...if someone doesnt understand the tactics, doesnt do something essential (trigger a boss-mechanic or whatever), or simply lacks the ability to do enough DPS/HPS/TPS, then your item-lvl doesnt help much either.
However, even though Im sure others have had successful runs, what I saw today in the raid-finder was absolutely horrible, and confirmed my expectations regarding how well the idea would work (also, one of the WOW-Insider-bloggers posted about his adventures with the raid finder)
I joined a raid that had just wiped... they were at the third boss (the one that has those colored blobs spawning). I had read a rough summary of the fights before, and when I joined the fight, I used the waiting time (10 ppl had left, so it took a bit for new ones to come in and get to the boss-room) to read the journal to find out more details.
Three people clarified the blob-kill-order. A minute later, people started asking for tacts (theyre not that difficult, but compared to a 5-man, at least having a ROUGH idea how a fight works is a good idea before queueing for a raid):
Six (!) people ran in by themselves and pulled the boss, got one-shotted and delayed the waiting time.
When the fight started, everyone went for the boss, and when the blobs spawned, abotu 5 of the 17 dps went to the right one. The others either ignored the whole thing, or went for the wrong blob...by themselves.
This went on for about an hour, with people constantly leaving/joining, immediately asking for tacts etc.
While I think that the basic idea is GREAT, and I think it makes sense the encounters are a bit nerfed, the "human factor" makes it a mess, and a totally unenjoyable experience for those that would like to use this new system for its intended purpose.
If I was sarcastic, Id recommend a multiple-choice test youd have to fill out before queueing in game, based on the journal (Ex: "WHen the blobs spawn, I a) burn them down in the right order b) leave it to the noobs and yell at them when they fail to do it c) cake?"
I was afraid itd be like this when I read about the idea, and read wow-insiders "first impressions"-post. I know some people were successful, but what I saw was a) horrifying and b) confirming my expectations.
Even if you're ilvl 400, nothing will save you if the people around you queue up, ask for tacts without even using a 10 min wait to read up on them with the journal, and then try to zerg through it.
Dec 5th 2011 2:01AM Unfortunately, that is exactly how I feel about it, and it saddens me.
I dont know if its that the storylines are just becoming too ambitious and complicated, thereby being hard to follow and requiring them to be told in such a messy, confusing way?
Or is it really a change in the Blizz-team, a shift there that required a change in lineup, thereby causing a feeling of "what happened to the storytelling, people?"
Or is Blizz trying to go "OK, for the tinfoil-people, here is a big story which, if you close your eyes a few times in between, does make sense and leaves not too many open strands, and for those that just want the phat lootz, the storyline won't bore you, so we move the explanations to our novels"?
I used to love the storytelling and lore, and I find Cataclysm severely lacking in that area. I did read the novels, I did read a lot of the tinfoil-articles, speculations on the meaning of stuff, and it just feels like everything was hastily put together with hot glue and handed to us.
Benedictus? OK, let's take this totally underdeveloped character and suddenly have him become this double-agent who tries to mess stuff up (I find the "Black Bishop" thing even more confusing than before now, btw). Oh yeah, you should read this novel for more on that, unless you wanna try to read up on it in the middle of a PUG.
Ragnaros? To SO many people, even those that care a bit about the storylines, his appearance doesnt make that much sense. Yeah, the elemental lords are supposed to be involved, but everything felt more like "OK, lets slap some legs on Ragnaros and put him in there...old school, right?"
Moira, Magni etc? Well, if you didnt read the prelude novel, or maybe the faction leader ones, then just forget about IF. A lot of people dont care, but I had several guildies ask me "OK, Magni is dead, I guess... so Moira appeared with her baby, tried to take over IF, and now... what? Variann yelled at her and thats IT?"
Uldum - Yeah, big evil machines that can destroy everything, right?
And I dont even wanna go into the development of Deathwing from an ancient, powerful insane aspect into a flying charred bus with NO character at all for the entirety of this expansion
Dec 4th 2011 12:33PM Link is messed up, btw... both links to Away from Reality lead to the same cartoon, so here is the correct one to "The Gear..."
Dec 4th 2011 12:30PM I did like the newest edition of FDWL. He did point out there is a risk, showing a player in an atrociously mixed set with a troll helm etc, wielding a fish. Of course, the latter isnt possible (or did Blizzard change their stance on "silly" transmogs like that?), but its a good point. However, I find the idea of a warrior with such a crazy set fighting the LK much less unnerving than a raid full of Pandas fighting him, but I guess thats just me.
We WILL see quite a few T2-pallies for sure, even though some of the pallies in progression-guilds will prolly keep displaying their t12 and t13 sets proudly. I have to admit though, t2 is my fave pally-set as well, but I didnt take the time to farm it up yet, and I wish I had kept my original one from way back when