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Posts with tag dynamics

Scattered Shots: How do you make sense of all the beta hunter changes?

Is the tauren above about to cut off his own head -- or lunge forward to attack? Perhaps he's just feeling confused about upcoming changes to hunters? Would you, too, like to know just what's going to happen to your class? Well, you can rest easy now, because Scattered Shots has all the answers to your most urgent questions.

The short answer is: You don't; at the moment there is no making sense of all the Wrath hunter changes. We find ourselves at the mid-point of Blizzard's mysterious scheme for hunters, right in-between significant changes already in-progress and vague changes which they've promised or the future. We remain uncertain about which ones are going to make it live, which will be changed again, and which will be removed or added later on. Any analysis we do right now (and indeed much of the analysis we've already done) may or may not be completely out of date in a matter of days or weeks, and if your head hurts from all the ups and downs of turbulent beta-zone theorycrafting, rest assured that Scattered Shots feels your pain.

The long answer is: Even though the jigsaw puzzle isn't complete, it's still a pretty neat picture to look at. Today isn't the day for point-for-point talent analyses plus spreadsheets of sting/shot-damage coefficients -- what a headache that would be. No, today is an opportunity to stand back and look at how all this is beginning to fit together, to see how the path our class is trekking through the wilderness of beta-testing ambiguity solves some of our long-standing problems, gives us more of what makes hunters great, and leaves us with several crucial questions mysteriously unanswered.

What follows, ladies and gentauren, are the X-files of hunter beta mysteries, a fuzzy look through the crystal ball into the future of our class, the thrilling buildup to the surprising twist that comes just before the epic climax of the Hunter Saga season finale and leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat, biting on the tip of your fingernails, and gasping for air in the thrall of cliffhanger suspense.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Are we learning the wrong lessons from WoW?

Gamasutra has published a soapbox piece examining what WoW is teaching us about gameplay, and asking whether it's teaching us the right things.

The main points include the much debated "Time over Skill" mindset imbued in the endgame, the push away from self-reliance to group play, and the "You're either with us or against us" guild mentality. Finally, the extensive Terms of Use Agreement and its use in disciplining players is also brought up.

Not all of the lessons learned here are bad--there are real-life echoes of all of these points, and learning to invest substantial amounts of time in a task as well as how to effectively work in a group could be considered positive aspects of WoW. However, these four points are all fairly offputting to casual players, especially when those casual players reach the endgame.

Having played solo for most of 60 levels, suddenly a player learns that they're not going to be able to take part in much of the remaining content without a guild or group. They're competing for places in guilds or raids with those who have invested much more time, and thus have better gear. Bored, they turn to exploring the game world, and suddenly get banned for being in a place they shouldn't have found. Harsh lessons indeed.

Obviously, the "hardcore vs casual" debate has more to it than this; but in terms of the lessons taught by WoW, it seems there are two sides--one for those with lots of time and a popular guild, another for everyone else.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

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