Multitudes of Smoke

The thoughtful ramblings of a space goat and his alts.

Archive for the ‘Cataclysm’ Category

Let’s Get Squishy

Posted by Smokimus on November 21, 2011

In a recent Developer Blog, Ghost Crawler discussed the issue of item/number inflation.  The problem being that, if things keep going the way they are, the numbers will very soon get to be so large that player stats will get to be ridiculous and particularly dps numbers will get to be so large as their display will take up a good chunk of our screen space.  They suggested two possible solutions “Mega Damage” and “Item Level Squish”.

I would prefer that they do the item level squish.  However, I would prefer they do it in a very specific way.

I want them to provide a steady upward sloping of ilevels in a manner that allows a character to be able to progress from expansion to expansion without the need to have heroic dungeon/raid gear.  By this, I mean that a character should be able to go from Northrend to Mount Hyjal/Vashj’ir as a fresh 80 without ilevel 270-280 gear.  They should be able to go to the new zone of the expansion in the quest gear from the prior expansion.  This flattens the gear curve (reducing the gear inflation from expansion), this makes having raid gear from the prior expansion last a good deal longer (IMO – if you are in full heroic raid gear from the past expansion, you should be able to run heroics at the “end game” of the current expansion.  If you are a heroic raider, you don’t want to trash the gear you worked hard for in the first zone of the new expansion.  Also, you aren’t likely leveling your toon because you enjoy the process.  You are leveling because you want to participate in the new expansion’s raids.  The gear from raiding should be meaningful for much longer than it is currently.), this allows alts that come up later in an expansion to effectively run current leveling content without being smashed in the first few levels while they are gearing up on quest greens.

What say you?

Posted in Cataclysm, Thoughts, World of Warcraft, WOW | Leave a Comment »

Jumble O Thoughts

Posted by Smokimus on June 17, 2010

Wouldn’t that be a great character name?

There has been a lot going on around here. Real life happens. I guess.

Raid Changes

I don’t think the additional rewards conferred upon the 25 man raids in Wrath have been warranted. There I said it. I got that out of the way. Now you know where I’m coming from.

It is certainly the case that it is harder to get 25 people together than it is 10 people. However, it is only harder for 1 person, the raid leader and it is only marginally harder at that. It is not 250% harder. For the 24 other raiders, there is no difference between what they have to do to get ready and what their 10 man raiding counterparts are doing. Everyone still needs to be repaired and have pots and buff food. They need to know not to stand in the goo or to stand in the goo (depending). They need to know how to DPS, heal, or tank depending on their role. These skills don’t change because one group is larger than the other. Sorry, I just don’t think that it is so much more difficult to run in a 25 man raid that it justifies giving such significantly greater rewards to those who do. If 10 mans are at all easier, it is because many people are running them with 25 man gear and are able to brute force their way through them with the higher stats. Thankfully, this is scheduled to change in Cataclysm.

Summer Doldrums

It is abundantly clear that people are slowing down their in-game time. It’s harder to get raiders to show up; RDF queues are getting longer; and some traditionally heavily trafficked farming spots are much less populated than previously. In game, we are experiencing the double whammy of Summer Doldrums and Pre-Expansion Malaise. People just aren’t that in to it right now.

This is completely understandable and I don’t think it represents a failure on the part of any party (Blizzard or the Players). It just is.

Unless you want to level a bunch of alts up to 80 or reach the gold cap or some other character goal, there really isn’t much left to do. We’ve been there and done that. No amount of filler content (see Ruby Sanctum) is going to get people to spend any more time in game at this point. We know that whatever gear or doodads we get now will be obsolete when the expansion comes.

I think Blizzard intended to have Cataclysm done some time ago, clearly however that didn’t happen and it appears as though there is a long way to go before it will come out. While this is a problem, I don’t think it is a failure on their part. A game this big that has been around as long as it has is an incredibly complicated enterprise and every adjustment has an impact on everything else. You are not going to have a bigger change than what is happening to WOW in Cataclysm. The stakes for WOW are incredibly high. If they don’t get it “right” a lot of people will leave and they will leave in a hurry never to come back. Blizzard knows this, so there is going to be an extensive testing period for the expansion and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a release come after Blizzcon. I think Blizz is willing to sacrifice a few months of subscription fees (from some) in order to make Cataclysm better, so that you will want to buy the expansion and re-up your subscription for another year or two when it does come out. I truly hope this is the case and I understand that to some this will seem like wishful thinking.

Have you seen this SWTOR trailer? It looks awesome. I do hope to get into the beta for this when it comes out. A trailer is not a game, however. We’ll see what develops between now and Beta/Release.

Posted in Cataclysm, MMO, Thoughts | Leave a Comment »

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Posted by Smokimus on May 3, 2010

Change of any sort is almost always met with cries of impending doom.  The potential changes to raiding in Cataclysm appear to be no different.

In case you’ve been under a rock, Blizzard is seriously considering the homogenization of 10 and 25 person raids for Cataclysm to the point where the only noticeable difference between them is the number of people in the parties (i.e. 10 or 25 people).  They are even likely to have the raids share the same lock-out.  I think these changes are very positive, but I’m selfish that way (I raid 10s and don’t have the real possibility of raiding end-game 25s).

From various vocal quarters around the WOW community, this homogenization is being met with much indignation.  Many seem resigned to the fact that guilds will break-up over this change.  This may be so. However, what gets confusing is these people will say that they don’t play for the shiny loot.  They just want to play with their friends.  While this is admirable and all, it is confusing because the announced changes aren’t doing anything to prevent them from playing with their friends.  Blizzard isn’t removing 25s, like they did to 40s between Vanilla and BC. Blizzard is just making 10s more equal to 25s.  The complainers, in my mind, while indicating that they don’t play for loot are considering changing their preferred play style as the result of loot changes.  25s aren’t going to be considered “special” any more and they aren’t going to do them because they aren’t “special”.  What about the friends they so desperately want to play with?  How good of friends are they if you don’t want to play with them because you aren’t going to have access to the elite super special pixels of shiny WOW loot?

It seems to me that many who are complaining have some degree of misunderstanding about the situation they are in at this time.  I would argue that the “friends” they have wouldn’t be around now except for the opportunity to get loot, and that they may want to reconsider their definition of friend.  I believe their concern/agitation at this proposed change is the direct result of a light being shown on the truth of their situation.  In their heart of hearts, they know this to be the case.  Those players that they’ve been thinking of as friends are just people who want the shiny special pixels and when those aren’t exclusively available through their elite raiding guild they will go elsewhere without a second thought.  Maybe they recognize this, hence the consternation, but I think they should attempt some introspection about the situation before proclaiming the sky is falling.

The best post I’ve seen on this is from Ava @ Tales of a Priest.  She is in a high-end/elite raiding guild (Dark Nemesis) and is willing to take a wait and see approach.  She’s been there and done that and I think she has a good deal of credibility in this area.

Are 25s harder to organize and keep together? No doubt.  Logistics aside, are 25s harder to complete than the corresponding 10s? No.  I think in many cases it is much harder to consistently achieve in 10s because missing one person from your regular group in 10s is significantly harder to make-up for than missing  one, two or even three  people from a 25s group.  For this reason, I think it is perfectly reasonable to have 10s and 25s share the same loot.

I know your waiting with baited breath, because this post hasn’t gone on long enough, but I will make a future post about what I think Blizzard is hoping to accomplish with this.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(turn and face the strain)

Ch-ch-changes

Don’t want to be a richer man

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(turn and face the strain)

Ch-ch-changes

Just gonna have to be a different man

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time

(David Bowie)

Posted in Cataclysm, MMO, Thoughts | 2 Comments »