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Nov 30th 2011 2:04PM LK was used too often. DW was used far too infrequently.
LK had a massive story behind him, and we got to see parts of it in Wrath. DW has history, but not a story we have ever accessed or related to.
It's sad that one of the few Deathwing flashbacks we got was in the Yogg-Saron Brain Room -- in Wrath -- and not in Cataclysm. How do they overlook that? It's like they set out saying "let's keep DW saved for later on, it'll be epic" and then as the expansion went on, they found fewer and fewer opportunities to expose us to Deathwing. Neltharion. The Earth Warder. By the time 4.3 hits and we're ending Cataclysm, they're out of options... so they just throw him in as the final encounter and say "here, kill it!"
Imagine if we relieved some of Deathwing's past courtesy of Alexstrasza's memories? Flashbacks, small instanced sequences, whatever. Seeing him before the armor, before the madness. More of that, ala the Matthias Lehrner quests from Wrath. Or, yes, give us more current interactions so we can really get to hate him... but no, they opted not to do any of this, really.
Nov 30th 2011 1:57PM Agreed. Deathwing did 99% of his damage during the opening Cataclysm cinematic. That remaining 1% constitutes his random world-zone fly-bys... and even those are treated more as an Achievement Get! than a threatening moment.
They really, truly should have had him come by and torch a quest hub as part of a storyline. Imagine if you, as a Horde player, began questing in Crossroads and got to know some of the NPCs... and then Deathwing comes and torches the place. Then the remaining quests deal with the aftermath, and can be charged with emotion. Substitute Crossroads for Goldshire on the Alliance side.
It shouldn't be entirely about "every time I see his clawmarks on Stormwind, I get angry..." but instead: "I remember when I went to Lakeshire, and did the quests with the blacksmith, helping him forge that sword of his... and then the sky went dark, and everything caught on fire, and the smithy just melted before my eyes. Melted. I barely made an escape with his wife and kids before the whole house went up in flames. Now the little girl is asking where her father is, and his wife is swearing revenge for her dead husband. Damn you, Deathwing."
When it comes to immersive storytelling and Deathwing, Blizz dropped the ball.
Nov 29th 2011 8:15AM The music got me pumped. The visuals were OK, however nothing particularly custom. It felt very rushed. There's fan-made machinima with more handcrafted work than this.
Compare to the Icecrown Citadel trailer... yeah, THAT was epic. Tirion's custom VO, Terenas' custom VO, plus a lot of staging/cinematic use of in-game art assets... "let them come, Frostmourne hungers!" Phew. Just watched it, and I still get shivers.
Nov 28th 2011 11:07AM What I'm worried about is how will they handle the action bar issue?
Shoehorning a new ability onto someone's bars doesn't work in every situation -- it may end up on Bar 2 or 3, a place normally hidden. How will a player be alerted that a Symbiosis ability has been granted to them? And how will they have quick access to it? Will macros or Power Auras be a requirement?
Something granted by Symbiosis will likely be an ability you'll want to use quickly, or at least tactically... the UI isn't really set up well for this. It can be done, sure, but not elegantly. Sounds like an idea that's awesome on paper and not altogether great in execution.
Nov 19th 2011 12:07PM The Forsaken. They tie back to the Arthas story, which ties back to the Burning Legion. There are plenty of little nuances there, too -- Sylvannas' hatred of Arthas and now how she is becoming much like him, the Arthas/Ner'zhul duality of old, the fact that the Legion created a weapon that quickly became too powerful for them to control, the Wrathgate, the Ashbringer and Tirion, Mal'Ganis and how he worked within the Scarlet Crusade/Onslaught... etc, etc.
Truly, Blizzard's storytelling was at a high point during Wrath. It quickly, sharply, took a downward turn in Cataclysm.
Nov 17th 2011 9:19AM It isn't just "WoW" or "America" -- it's more of a "first world" problem than anything else. Entitlement is a result of having many, many amenities at our fingertips. We get a taste of doing something "easy" and it starts to overtake us. Why go to the grocery store when you can shop online and have it delivered? Don't flip through a newspaper, just read a website -- or have a digest of your favorite stories delivered right to your email. Why go to the music store when you can, again, go online and have it delivered to your door... or even just download it directly. Why mail a letter, send email! Forget cashing a paycheck, use direct deposit!
These are all conveniences, but they subtly lead to wanting *everything* to be more convenient. Add to that the fact that games are traditionally seen as a mix of challenge and fun with a potential for reward... and then the need to keep people subscribed to your MMO... and it is one gigantic snowball effect. To keep people paying, you need to keep them playing, and to do that you need to give them an incentive... and not just a "carrot on a stick" but something they feel they can reasonably achieve. Players are getting better at determining just what is an unreachable goal, again the "carrot on a stick" and they'll more readily say "no thanks" to it.
So I won't say that the reward system(s) in WoW are good or bad... they're a bit of both. In whole, they're good for Blizzard's business. They're bad because they do sort of muddy the game design, what with things like the "Pet Battle System" being put in to keep players entertained -- does a high-fantasy faction-rivalry MMO truly need a Pokemon system?
Nov 14th 2011 3:14PM They really need to consolidate all past expansions into 1 box, and then have the current expansion. Two purchases to get caught up.
Who is buying Wrath and expecting anything more than 10 levels of rapid questing? Maybe they'll get an ICC or Ulduar retro run... or more likely they won't. It's just "necessary" to get to the current stuff (Cataclysm) and hardly worth the retail price.
Nov 9th 2011 9:24AM What I take away from the Blizz response about the layoffs is that "mass" layoffs are a rumor.
They do not deny that layoffs in some form occurred. And quite simply, if a bunch of people have Been Working at Blizzard and are now Not Working at Blizzard, and all this occurred in a day or two's time... a layoff did happen. It's just nothing major.
Nov 7th 2011 12:56PM Giantstalker Shoulders. They're part of the hunter Tier 1 set, found in Molten Core.