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Posts with tag change

Editorial: On impractical playstyles and too much change

Adam recently wrote an editorial on why change is an essential part of the MMO experience -- after all, WoW is 10 years old at this point and not changing is more likely to cause problems than shaking things up. Change is what makes the game stay fresh and fun after all of these years and it's a large part of why those of us who are still playing WoW are still playing WoW.

Unfortunately, the flip side of that coin is that change can be taken too far. Change can alienate players who no longer feel attached to the game -- and no need to stick around long enough to relearn how to play something they used to love. It's a fine line to walk between changing enough to keep things new and not changing so much that your audience is pushed away... and it's arguably a line Blizzard crossed when many of the game's mechanics turned upside down in Cataclysm.

Is Blizzard doing the same with the upcoming Warlords of Draenor? With the beta in a constant state of flux, it's hard to tell -- but if we look back on the tumultuous era of Cataclysm, maybe we can learn something about just what these big changes mean for World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Editorial: Change is hard, but not changing is even harder


Warcraft isn't what it used to be. There's been a lot of changes to everything over the past decade. While the base of the game is there in some regards, it's hard to say that the experience of WoW is anything like it was when some of us first picked it up. In 2004 the game was, quite literally, your second life. Now? It can be a casual companion, one that you can come and go from with ease.

This fundamental change doesn't sit well with some people, but with others its something that's allowed the game to keep with their lives after all these years. I fall into that category -- there's no way I'd be able to enjoy the WoW of 2004. I can't farm mats forever, and I can't spend five hours every night raiding. Some days I can only log in and play for 30 minutes, others I can binge for hours and hours. WoW has evolved as my life has evolved, and I love it for that.

Lately there has been a lot of unhappiness in the community. Changes that people don't agree with, things that have happened that make little sense to a lot of people. I'm in that group too -- I don't like everything I've heard out of Blizzard lately. I don't get the change of the capital locations. I don't understand the mass removal of abilities. And even though I'm happy about something like the auction house combination, I don't feel like we have all the answers and it leaves me wanting more details.

But, all that is secondary and needs to be put into some context -- and this context is something that the community needs to come to terms with quickly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The living game and the end of nostalgia

The ends of nostalgia
The downside to being the equivalent of a WoW immortal, having played close to non stop for the entire history of the game, is that you see a lot of things come and go. Guilds, players, friends, raids, dungeons, zones, expansions. It was all new once, and it all eventually isn't new anymore. And as a result, although I have in the past waged wars of words against nostalgia among the WoW playerbase, I can be as guilty of it as anyone.

There are, indeed, a great many things I miss. Some of them I get to see whenever I want, like Blackwing Lair and Un'Goro Crater, others are players who stopped playing, playstyles that are no longer valid (I loved and will always fondly remember the days of fury tanking Stratholme for my guild Eldritch Way over on Kilrogg, then taking the technique into raiding on Azjol-Nerub with Sworn, fury tanking in MC, BWL and AQ before finally speccing prot to tank Naxx) and even places that are just plain gone now. The other day, while doing my weekly scouring of the Barrens I realized that ever since Cataclysm, the zone I remember is gone, baby - Mankrik's wife is buried, and the days where I rolled a horde and leveled it to 60 just so I could attack my own guildmates when they raided the Crossroads are just as buried as she is.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Moviewatch: Change

What's that? You'd like a moody music video with some dark music and a gothy Victorian setting? Miselain can do that. Check out Change (Remix) for all your ready-to-wolf-out growling and brooding moods.

I think this video is so strong thanks to its simple concept. Instead of lavishing it with needless bells and whistles, Miselain kept the camera close to the gothic mood and somber attitude. The video isn't trying to be everything, it's just succeeding at a single thing: an entertaining genre piece. Nice job!

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Mists of Pandaria: 'What has changed?' makes class changes more palatable

Image
One of the sharpest double-edged swords in Blizzard's arsenal is the constant iteration to class and play design that comes with each World of Warcraft expansion. On the one hand, players like innovation and new mechanics and spells to keep their favorite class fresh. On the other hand, players could reject the changes as too severe or too different from the class they originally set out to play, as was the case with Alex Ziebart and myself with paladins in Cataclysm. It's a risky move to change up the core mechanics of a class, and the introduction of the "What's New" window helps streamline this occasionally daunting issue.

New and old players alike will benefit greatly from the "What has changed?" tab. Simply open up your spellbook and click on the last tab at the bottom. You'll be greeted with a new screen giving you the run down on some of the biggest changes to your class coming in Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: When your guild won't recruit

closed sign
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

While WoW continues to bleed subs, guild leaders and officers everywhere are having a tough time recruiting quality players. In this environment, guilds sometimes find themselves in a permanent state of open recruitment. This week, however, we're looking at the opposite problem: a guild that is permanently closed to new players. A concerned officer wants to know what he can do to change this mentality.
Hello Scott,

I hope you had a great holiday season. I am an officer in a small guild of around sixty people... Of the sixty members many are alts or inactive with only a handful of active people (around ten). I came to the guild looking for an escape from the sheer number of people I had to deal with in my last two guilds that had 400+ members.

For a while everything worked just fine, but in the last few weeks some members have began making requests for recruitment. With the small amount of active players being on at odd hours some new members feel a bit alone and put off and end up leaving. We have a strong desire to make a 10 man raid team but don't have enough geared/leveled/interested people. We are just short of the perfect storm needed to raid with our current members so recruitment seems to be the only answer. The issue is that while I may be all for it, the other active players have issues with recruitment.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: I can do what now?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I've been watching the clips of people flying about Eastern Kingdoms. I can hardly wait! It got me to thinking about all the mount changes I've witnessed in the course of my gaming time.

I started towards the end of vanilla. The Burning Crusade had been announced. My daughter was in the beta, actually, and telling me that I needed to get into this game before it "expanded," whatever that meant. So I made my character and started to run everywhere. Dun Morogh, Loch Modan, Elwynn Forest, Redridge, Westfall, Wetlands, Arathi Highlands, Hinterlands, Ashenvale, Desolace, Feralas, Felwood were all done on foot. I knew the route from Nijel's Point to Maraudon to the point that I could hit auto run and be pretty certain I'd make it there without too much trouble, just a few swoops and centaur along the way.

I didn't get my first ram until level 45, as I couldn't afford it. I didn't get my epic ram until level 65 because I couldn't afford it. I was four months into level 70 before getting flying because, yup, couldn't afford it. The joke "When I was your level, I ran everywhere, uphill, both ways, in snow, barefoot ..." is semi-serious.

This isn't about Blizzard's changing the levels for mounts. I have low-level alts, and I absolutely love their having mounts to get to the places my main once ran. This is a post about those things you do even when you don't have to anymore.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast topic: Your favourite patch 3.3.3 change?

You psyched about the latest 3.3.3 changes? In case you need a download mirror, check out our sister site over at Big Download. I'm not looking forward to fixing my addons but I know there will be a few issues with it. For me, there are good number of updates that I'm extremely happy about:
I'm a little disappointed about:
  • The changes to the healing priest tier 10 4 piece bonus. (Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster's Power Word: Shield by 5% and Circle of Healing by 10%.)
But my favourite change of all?
So what's been your favourite change so far in the latest patch?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Officers' Quarters: How to persuade your guild leader


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Every so often I write a post purely for my own convenience, and this is one of them. I get a lot of e-mails week to week all asking the same question: How can I try to change my guild leader's mind? The topics can vary greatly, from loot systems to promotions to guild bank rules to the level of roleplaying the guild enforces.

I want to point all those people in one direction. Now that this column is live, I'll be able to send them here, as a starting point, and offer to answer any follow-up questions they might have.

So without further ado, here is, from my point of view as a guild leader, the best way to persuade yours.

1. Spend time thinking about why he or she instituted the rule or the policy.

Try to put yourself in your guild leader's place and imagine what motivated him or her to do things that way. Is it a matter of convenience or fairness? Is it meant to quell drama? You'll have a much better chance to get your guild leader's attention if you can begin your argument with a statement showing that you understand why they made the original decision. The first thing your GL is going to assume is that you don't understand why, so if you can get past that point, you'll be in better shape to persuade!

2. Spend time thinking about the consequences of changing the policy.

Notice that you have taken no action yet. This is intentional. Many players approach me with knee-jerk reactions to a guild situation they don't like. They try to talk me out of it before even thinking too deeply about why that policy is in place or what would happen if it were changed.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Vanish "change" coming in patch 3.3


Ghostcrawler (who decided to back off the forums, and then decided to back off that decision slightly) is now back on the forums with word of a change that Rogues will probably be intrigued by: he promises, in patch 3.3, a "change" to Vanish. That's about all we get, unfortunately -- some players assume that it's the Vanish fix they've been seeking for so long, but it sounds more to me like a reworking than a straight-out fix, considering that he points out that if Blizzard finds it's too much of a buff to Rogues (is he actually saying that Vanish working as intended is OP?) then they'll nerf it down.

Anyway, as for when we'll get to try it out, GC gives an official "soon (tm)," so look for a fix on a 3.3 PTR near you coming up quick. Hopefully they've come up with a solution that both keeps Rogues happy in terms of using Vanish the way it's intended, and also keeps the ability in line with other classes in the game.

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes

Friday's in-game fixes

Self: "Self, I wonder if there's any more in-game fixes for today."

Self: "I don't know Self, let me go look."

Self looks around.

Self: "Why look at that self, there is!"

It's not weird that I'm talking to myself in a disconnected third person voice, is it? Perhaps all these fixes are getting to my head.

The changes announced late last night are not as prevalent as other days, but are still important none the less. Some of the more interesting fixes for today include:
  • The damage of XT-002 Deconstructor's Gravity Bomb ability has been reduced.
  • The trash mobs before XT-002 Deconstructor have gone through additional changes that should make them a little easier to get through.
  • The Rogue talent Savage Combat should now properly be removed after leaving an arena match.
The full list of changes after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, Bugs, News items

Ammo stacks in 1000, sells in 200

Whoo, boy. When the news came out that ammo was changing big time in the game, Hunters everywhere pretty much praised it -- no longer would we have to worry about carrying around tons of ammo, with one bag slot spent on just one consumable. But since then, things haven't been so peachy. First, we heard that consumable ammunition wasn't going anywhere, and then we noticed that none of the other changes were happening either. Then, ammo stacks were fixed to 1000 in a recent hotfix on the PTR, but now there's a whole other issue: while it stacks in 1000, it still only sells in stacks of 200. Which means you have to buy, and buy, and buy, and buy, and buy just to fill one slot. And what's more, Dresorull says it's not a bug -- we'll likely see this on the live realms.

And as BRK points out, the "1000" stacks aren't even labeled on the PTR yet. He says you can fill your quiver with 28,000 rounds of ammo (of course, you'd have to hit buy 140 times just to do that), but what happened to the quiver changes? Aren't Hunters supposed to get that bag slot back in 3.1 anyway?

It's all very confusing, and this smacks of a missed followthrough: the original Hunter changes as suggested were popular, but we're guessing something came up in their way (either the team was needed on another task, or some flaw in the system as designed kept them from turning consumable ammunition into a permanent item). Either way, we hope this gets fixed -- we know this is the PTR and everything is subject to change, but as it stands, it looks like we're getting a half-finished ammo system when patch 3.1 goes live.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Priests: 2008 the year of change

That year flew by really quick, didn't it? Last year, I remember I was working my way through Tempest Keep (Kael'Thas even). 2008 brought in a complete set of additions and changes for the Priest class across all 3 specs.

So, shall we get down to Priest class changes? Ranked in no particular order, we'll go over a few of the changes and the impact they had on the current game.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Draenei, Blood Elves

Name one thing you'd change about your class

Ghostcrawler is known to recite this line here and there. He mentions often that the purpose of saying such a thing isn't to get them (Blizzard) to change just one thing in a class the next patch, but to get people to zone in on a real problem.

A real problem is something like "Fury Warriors do not have enough survivability and therefore are less effective in terms of spike PvP and PvE damage."

A non real problem is something like "Blizzard hates Shamans and doesn't pay enough attention to them."

So as an exercise this evening let's see what the WoW Insider readers think. Name one thing you would like changed about your class.

As a full time PvE Protection Warrior, I think that we have a problem with obtaining the hit cap and would like to see more +hit gear drop in heroics and 10-man raid instances. I think an inclusion of items that have both +hit and +parry would help solve this wonderfully.

I've also been known to dabble in Holy Paladins once in a while.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Some statistics to be removed from achievement tracking


Over the weekend Thundgot on the EU forums came out and said that the attributes section of the achievements tab will be removed from the game. You can find the attributes section right now by pressing "y" on your keyboard to open up the achievement window, then going to the "Statistics" tab located at the bottom of the window, then the "Character" heading on the left hand side of the window, and finally clicking on the "Attributes" section. Your attributes will look something like the ones above, but much more uber than my priest alt has.

Thundgot makes a point of saying this will improve performance. If you think about it, many of these statistics revolve around "best" or "top" attributes from a character's dataset. Collecting this much information for each character will take a few extra process cycles each time an attribute changes, or each time damage is doled out (since many spells / enchants / procs change these numbers). Multiply this by a few thousand times for a character in a given night (due to potential changes via combat), and then multiply it by around 11 million people playing the game... and you get the picture.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

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