Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why does Blizzard hate me so?

I believe that Blizzard has a plan for progression through content. You're supposed to go from Zone A to Zone B, and when the time comes, you run a few instances. You pick up XP and gear along the way, and that keeps you going.

More than once over the past couple of years, I've felt like I got behind the curve. Sometimes, things really click and I can kick out 6 or 8 quests in an evening. Sometimes, I feel like I'm woefully unprepared.

My experience with warrior Caitlinbree in Outland has been rocky. Some weeks I think things are going fine. Often I feel otherwise. I offer some cases in point.

I've bitched before about all the pally gear in the expansion. Yes, it's true they've been left behind by old content, along with the other hybrid class. I'm glad to see them get good stuff and catch up. Hell, I'm a tank, I love healers. However, the amount of decent warrior gear is low. My warrior is wearing pally pants now (oh boy, 5 mana/sec and +20 healing!) cause I can't find anything else.

Blizzard is having trouble creating content that is challenging. I'm disturbed to see randomness as a substitute for tough gameplay tests. An example of this trend is the amazing amount of parrying that mobs from the expansion are doing. While this does make combat more difficult, it also makes it boring. This is a special problem for prot warriors, who don't have DPS or stun solutions available. The constant ding of parry noises grates on my nerves.

I admit that I should run more instances, and that's probably why I'm "behind the curve" right now. I'm level 68, and shouldn't be complaining too much. We all get bitchy when we feel like our class has been left behind.

/whiny bitch


Kindralas said...

Randomness is literally the only challenge a game like this has. If an encounter of any variety has no random element, then it gets quantified, and then farmed. Even with a random element, players will drastically reduce said element, and turn around and farm it anyway.

As the itemization goes, it definitely feels like there's a *lot* of healer plate. I see it all the frigging time. The problem is the same as it is with healing and casting mail, that only one class can effectively use such an item. Because there's only one plate caster and one mail caster in the game, that particular class is either screwed on items (pre-BC), or groups are getting drops that no one can use (post-BC).

Blizzard needs more classes, a complaint I had about the game from the get-go is the lack of variance between players. Having just gotten a level 70, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking of characters I want to play as an alt. Mage, Warlock, Hunter? Already have ranged DPS (Elemental). Priest, Paladin, Druid? Already have healer (Restoration). Rogue, Paladin, Druid, Warrior? Already have melee DPS (Enhancement). So what's the point of leveling an alt? Going through the grind of content I've already done to have a character that does what my current character does.

Jason said...

Y'know, I was thinking just yesterday (shocking!) about the return on an MMO.

Suppose I buy my usual PC RPG. I can probably play that to death in 2-3 months and then pretty much never play it again. There's a limit to how much stuff they can put into the game and, depending on my skill and the time I have, I can access all that stuff in a finite amount of time.

You (and several others) have been playing WoW for what, 2-3 years (on and off, certainly, but "solid playing time" probably encompasses at least 6-12 months for you). Many people have played it more relentlessly than you.

I don't play City of Heroes anymore because I realized how repetitive it is and I got bored with it, all that after having an active account for about 12 months, with multiple characters. I'm not sad, I just realize that even in an MMO, there's a limit to how much you can do -- after that, you're just handing over $15/month. Fortunately, my old PlayStation and PC games don't cost me that when they're sitting in my closet.

Kindralas said...

True, but there are other factors involved.

For example, I have spent 8 days, 14 hours /played on my current WoW character, I have played for appropximately 2 months. 206 hours for 30 + 40 + 40 = $110, 1.8 hours of entertainment per dollar spent.

Final Fantasy XII, I finished in 67 hours and haven't played it since. 50 bucks for the game, or 1.3 hours of entertainment per dollar spent.

If you want to talk about my DAoC days, then you get a massive disparity. Yes, I had two accounts in DAoC a majority of the time, but I also played 6 hours a day for about a year. 6 times 30 is 180, for 30 bucks a month, or 6 hours of gameplay per dollar spent. That's a kind of value you can't get literally anywhere else.

Yes, you consistently have to pay for the privilege of playing the game. But considering that the game is going to provide far more entertainment than a non-MMO, it's not money wasted. The monthly fee is an artificial hurdle to people enjoying a game.

As for the reptitious boredom of City of Heroes, or whatever. Discussing the differences between the "normal" gaming genre and the "MMO" gaming genre is somewhat of a moot point. Either you get it and enjoy it, or you don't. It's like comparing CCG's to "normal" gaming. Either you enjoy the consistently updating environment, the time sink, and the investment, or you don't.

Shocho said...

Playing an MMO is playing a game with other people, which may be a minus for you, but it's a plus for me. Makes the game much less boring.

TheGirard said...

in typical Girard fashion, my only comment is -

less QQ, more pew pew