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Posts with tag too-easy

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy
Mark Kern, who left Blizzard way back in 2005 to found Red 5 Studios, is working on a new free to play, sci-fi MMO called Firefall -- and has some less than flattering things to say about the game WoW has become. His top complaint: that MMOs are now too easy. "When was the last time you died in a starter zone?" Kern muses. "Sometimes I look at WoW and think 'what have we done?' I think I know. I think we killed a genre."

The easier content, he argues, means both developers and players focus less on the content in the middle of the game and more on racing to get to the end game -- and by rushing through the game from level 1 to level 90, you miss out on a lot of the game itself. Of course Kern notes that his upcoming MMO has the mix just right -- and that by focusing on the journey instead of the destination, Firefall is a lot more fun.

While we are fans of new games -- and love the art style Firefall has going -- we're less convinced about dying in newbie zones as a gameplay necessity. Time will tell if Kern has the right of things -- Firefall's open beta is starting soon.

Filed under: News items

Exploring Azeroth with quest icons on the map

We've heard this argument before, and every time Blizzard makes a change to help players complete quests more quickly, it comes up again. And with the recent announcement that Blizzard will actually be adding quest targets to the ingame maps (again replicating another function of the popular Questhelper addon), players have again brought up the old argument: is the game too dumbed-down? Originally, when the game began (though I don't know anyone that didn't still use Wowhead to find quest coordinates even back then), you were sent "east" to find a tiny little brown backpack to click on, and in the next patch, not only will you see that brown backpack sparkling with flares as you get close, but you'll have it marked on your map the entire time.

Larisa waxes nostalgic over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, and says that this is just farther down a sliding slope that leads to a ravine where we all just have two spells and need to kill three boars to level to 100. Kinless Chronicles straight out says "Patch 3.2 will play for you" with some funny tongue-in-cheek analysis. But since I do it so much anyway, I'll play the Devil's advocate here: let's face it, we all used the addons and coordinates while leveling up alts, if not even while leveling mains. It's easy to be nostalgic, but I never did like hunting around for that little pixel of brown you had to click on to finish a quest, and if you really do want to stumble around in the dark the old way, just don't look at your map and/or close the minimap down. I've recently played two other console games, Fable 2 and Dead Space, that also offer glowing line navigation straight to your quest targets, and I did feel a sense of exploration in both -- if I wanted to wander off the path, I was welcome to (and usually rewarded for it), while if I just wanted to get to where I was going, I could do that, too.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Blizzard, Quests

Counterpoint: Yes, we should track raiding progression

There's been a lot of hemming and hawing lately about how Wrath is too easy. And there's no question that it is: Ensidia cut through the endgame like an epic dagger through the Vykrul, and any guild that steps into the endgame these days, even with low numbers or cheap gear, finds success. Adam suggested this morning that raiding is so easy these days that we shouldn't bother to track progression, and while Adam is a great writer and a terrific player, I'm here to disagree with his opinion: progression is exactly what the new endgame is all about.

While Karazhan was one of the (if not the) most successful instances ever, it had one big problem: it killed guilds. It murdered progression. It was a roadblock after a roadblock, so much so that it took some guilds months to conquer, if they survived at all. Ten man Naxx obviously doesn't have that problem -- anyone with a little raiding experience who wants to beat bosses in there can do so, and Obsidian Sanctum is just as easy. The problem now, however, is that guilds like Ensidia and guilds who pushed through to Sunwell in the old endgame, are finishing the content already, and wondering what's next? They were 80 two weeks ago, and now, barely a month after the expansion's release, they've toppled every dungeon they can find.

And what's wrong with that? Nothing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Is the Horseman too easy?

Now, a little while ago, Blizzard implemented an Arena points system, where as long as you ran 10 arena matches, you could stock up points and then use them for Arena weapons. So raiders (who didn't PvP much, but wanted the weapons) would save up their points even if they lost, and buy the weapons once they'd saved enough. Arena players, however, cried foul-- they said the Arena weapons had become "welfare epics." So Blizzard required a good Arena rating to buy those weapons.

As of Tuesday, it's Hallow's End in Azeroth, and there is now a Headless Horseman event in Scarlet Monastery's Graveyard. Everyone I know (including me) has run the event multiple times, and Epics are dropping like Hallow's End candy. So here's the question: should Blizzard really be giving out Epics for an event that takes just a few minutes and only a modicum of skill? Aren't these as "welfare epics" as they come? Is the Horseman event too easy to be giving out loot like this?

Now, obviously, the rings and helm that the Horseman drops are hardly the Arena weapons that Blizzard had to put behind a rating. Though they are Epic, they're not that amazing-- one trip through Karazhan could probably replace all of them. But Karazhan is a ten main raid, and this is an event that can be done with as little as three people once every day (and I wouldn't be surprised to see it soloed by some ambitious Paladin before long). Already, three days into the event, my guild was running a 66 Mage in there just to get a "free" epic ring for him to use, four levels from now. Isn't that a bit much?

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

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