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Posts with tag vehicle-combat

Breakfast Topic: Great expectations


So as BlizzCon fades further and further from view in the rear window, I'm getting more and more excited and impatient for news of Cataclysm, so much so that I've sort of forgotten to get excited about Patch 3.3. I want Worgen, and new conflicts, and new lore, and a redesigned old world that offers a massive leap forward in the story as things change forever and the Horde and Alliance finally shrug off all pretense of peace and rush headlong into a war that has really never truly ended.

But then I start thinking. The combo I really wanted to play, Worgen Paladin, looks like it won't make it in. It seems like Worgen may not get their own capital city (instead, said city will become a battleground under siege by the Forsaken), which may put a damper on how much their awesome quasi-Victorian scenery and architecture actually features in game. While some zones are getting complete revamps, others are only getting minor tweaks, which makes me fear there may be some zones that still feel out of place and some old lore story lines that still remain unresolved or out of place.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, Worgen

Breakfast Topic: How is vehicle combat treating you?


The other week, I finally took my druid into Ulduar for the first time. The instance has been calling to me for weeks, but my guild has only just started EoE. Having spent all our time prior to 3.1 in Naxx, we've only now got to the point when we're all in enough epics to survive for more than five minutes. So we went in, grabbed vehicles and started downing towers and other random buildings. Then it was time for a meet and greet with one F. Leviathan. Needless to say we didn't just wipe, we crashed and burned, but I found the use of vehicles interesting, even if the controls infuriated me beyond belief.

I've done my time in Wintergrasp and I love it, especially when you can hitch a ride and let someone else do all the shooting (/joke). However I've always found the targeting system a little awkward. The vehicle interface in general feels clunky -- particularly when you're doing certain quests. Wintergrasp is bearable, but boss combat means you have to be more on your toes, especially when it's a team effort between the people driving and those who are unleashing hell upon Flame Leviathan and its minions.

So I'm quite curious to know what you guys think of the use of vehicles in WoW. Do you like the interface? Is there enough variety? How do you find using them in PvE combat in Ulduar? What about Wintergrasp? Do you wish we could have those flying vehicles mentioned way back at the WWI? Drop your comments in the box and cast your vote in our poll below.
What do you think of vehicle-based combat in WoW?
I love it! It really adds a new dimension to the game3228 (29.3%)
I like it but prefer hand-to-hand combat2040 (18.5%)
It's okay for Wintergrasp but not in Ulduar, there's too much going on691 (6.3%)
It would be better if the interface weren't so clunky1955 (17.7%)
I hate it. I want to play my class.2075 (18.8%)
I've not tried any of the vehicle based combat yet477 (4.3%)
There's vehicle combat in the game??558 (5.1%)

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

Blizzard's success with equalizing content

Kinless Chronicles talks about something I think Blizzard has done exceptionally well with the latest expansion: "equalized content." Their story is about taking control of a Blightblood to finish off Drakuru, but there are countless examples of this in Northrend, from the last fight of Drak'theron to the encounter in Eye of Eternity with Malygos. World of Warcraft (and MMOs in general) has always been about levels and gear -- get better gear or level up, and you can cast more spells, swing an axe harder, and move on to more epic encounters. But Blizzard's "equalizing content" means that gear isn't always an issue -- by putting you in control of something else, whether that be a mind-controlled Troll or a siege vehicle, you can have extremely epic encounters without worrying about whether you're powerful enough for them or not. The limiter becomes not gear but skill (and/or the knowledge of how to use those skills).

Obviously they can't do nothing but equalized content, otherwise we're all just playing the same game (and, under pressure from players, they've even moved on to a mix of both, where gear does affect how you play in a vehicle). But Blizzard has really hit on something brilliant with what we're calling "equalized content" here, and used in a balanced way, it can allow players of all kinds of different skill levels to do even more epic things than they'd normally be able to do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

BlizzCast episode 8 released

The 8th episode of BlizzCast, the Blizzard Podcast, rolled out just a short while ago. If the only Blizzard game you're interested in is WoW, you'll probably be disappointed this time around, there's not much World of Warcraft discussion. The information is very, very heavily slanted toward Starcraft II and Diablo III.

The podcast kicks off with their usual Q&A portion. The World of Warcraft questions, answered by Tom Chilton, were aimed at Wintergrasp and the vehicle system (specifically the lack of aerial combat). That's the full extent of the WoW content here. That's all, folks. If WoW is all you care about, that's the end. For those of you that are Blizzard fans in general? Jay Wilson (Diablo III Game Director) and Dustin Browser (Starcraft II Lead Designer) cover the Q&A for their respective games.

The remainder of the podcast is a Diablo III interview with a pair of the game's developers, Julian Love (Lead Technical Artist) and Mike Nicholson (Senior Artist). If you intend to play Diablo III, it's worth a listen. It gives some insight into the developmental process of the game, and that's probably the most interesting part of these podcasts.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard

Ulduar on the Patch 3.1 PTR: The Flame Leviathan

The developers sent us for a bit of a loop today, putting an Ulduar boss up for testing with very little notice immediately after PTR maintenance. Matticus, ever reliable, threw together a quick 10-man raid and welcomed me along to try out the Flame Leviathan. Unfortunately, Michael Sacco (who walked you through Hodir and the Iron Council) wasn't able to go with us this time around. I think he did it on purpose so I couldn't make any jokes about his inability to perform, if you know what I mean.

The Flame Leviathan is the boss (or one of the bosses) that uses siege vehicles in its encounter in the outdoors portion of Ulduar. For the safety of those that do not wish to be spoiled on anything Ulduar related, I'll put all information on the encounter beneath the cut below.

Again, if you do not want to be spoiled, do not click the link below.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

A plea against vehicle combat

Earlier today Blizzard posted a preview of Ulduar, the tier 8 raid coming up in patch 3.1 (which they promise will be on the PTRs "very soon"). Most of it looks really cool - 14 bosses, massive rooms, hard modes. However, there is one topic that Blizzard enthused about that really worries me: vehicle combat.

We've already seen some vehicle-based boss fights in Eregos (the final boss of the Oculus) and on the third phase of the Malygos fight. But Ulduar is, apparently, going to take it one step farther: there will be a vehicle-combat gauntlet leading up to the first boss, Flame Leviathan, and that boss itself will also be a vehicle fight, with players picking among three vehicles (Chopper, Demolisher, and Siege Engine) to command.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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