Before I start, I want to be clear that I’ve been around the WoW block a few times. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for over five years. I have lived through Burning Crusade and Wrath and a good deal of Vanilla. I have been a beta tester for both Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm. I’ve been “that scrub” in T0 gear and, on the flip side, I’ve gotten my ICC 25m drake.
With the exception of Real ID and the proposed use of real names on the forums and such, I have really never been so disappointed with the state of the game. And Real ID has very little to do with the game; that’s an aspect of the WoW community.
This time, I am disappointed with the game content and the game mechanics. I’m not talking about the kinds of mechanics like how Aspect of the Fox lets hunters use Cobra Shot or Steady Shot while moving. I’m talking about how some parts of the game actually work.
1) The Level Cap
On Kurn, I am currently, as I write this, level 84 and 34%. Or, about 7 bars in to level 84, judging by the standard UI. I have played quite a bit in the last couple of days, although I have slept and ate and done a variety of other things normal human beings do.
Am I pushing myself to level? Yes.
I’m on pace with how I normally do in an expansion. The first day or so after launch, I’m 2 or 3 levels into the new cap. The same thing happened this time around. Only this time, I was more than halfway through the available levels. Never mind that 84-85 consists of more than 9 million experience (it does!) – numerically, I felt like I was more than halfway there. That means that the last couple of levels — most of 83 and ALL of 84 — are going to drag. And 84 is definitely dragging. 9.1 million experience is daunting after what, 5 or 6 million? Not like 77-80 didn’t drag, not like 67-70 didn’t drag and not like 57-60 didn’t drag. But it’s going to feel even worse because the drag is compacted into two levels instead of three, and 84 is going to be hell.
Not only that, but I’m replacing gear at an alarming rate on Kurn. Not just the 251-264 mix I had going in, but the new gear. I’ve been through three bows in the last two days. Three chest pieces. Two helms. Three pairs of bracers.
What on earth is this? I know that the gear has to scale higher and faster than it ever has before, but it feels like I get one item and I’m proud and pleased and then two hours later, it’s replaced. I’d kind of like the chance to hold on to a piece of gear for a week or so before I upgrade it, you know?
2) Guild Achievements/Experience/Reputation
Guild Achievements do not add to Guild Experience. Guild Experience has a cap per day (which supposedly increases the higher level your guild is?). Guild Reputation has a WEEKLY cap.
Let us discuss this.
a) Guild Achievements do not add to Guild Experience, which means that Guild Achievements (like most personal achievements) are basically useless. Have you looked at some of these achievements? If we’re not going to get something out of it, why do it? That’s not really my own perspective; I’m happy to do crazy things for no reward but the thrill. But let’s be serious.
You Don’t Have an Eternity – Guild Edition – 6-minute Malygos. The Eye of the Eternity is, hands-down, the T7 raid instance people hated. Naxx was long, but had a ton of bosses. Obsidian Sanctum was short, but could be easy or challenging. Malygos? Boring and a vehicle fight, in part. Who in their right mind would go back with some guildies to get this achievement as a guild? (Okay, yes, some people liked it, but my experience says most did not.) It isn’t even your own achievement, so if the guild disbands, you have nothing but your memories.
Where is the motivation if it doesn’t help you get to the next guild level? If I can’t sell these things as something that actively benefits the guild an helps the guild level, what’s the point?
These were shown to us on beta as being part of the guild levelling experience. I know, I know. It was beta. Things change. If I’d known they’d remove guild achievement experience, I would had given feedback for XP to be returned.
b) Guild Experience is capped at a ridiculous amount. Well, ridiculous for me and my guild. Your mileage may vary. I think it was two hours into the launch day when we capped out for the day. It was 3 hours into Day 2 when we were capped out for that day. I understand that they don’t want to discriminate against smaller, less active guilds, but these are guild levels and guild rewards. Shouldn’t the bigger ones and more active ones at least have an advantage there because it IS very difficult to herd a lot of people? I can see the argument both ways, but MAN, it’s ridiculous to spend more than 20 hours a day doing things that ought to count towards guild experience and be limited by a cap.
c) Guild Reputation is currently capped at a weekly limit. Now I admit, I see the point here. If you can grind to exalted with your guild in no time, then there’s no real disincentive to leave your guild. All these guild rewards are supposed to prevent you from guild hopping. I get that.
But, for the love of pete, could they PLEASE give us a standard amount? Some people in my guild are capped for the week at 896 into Friendly. I’m at 2656. Someone else is 4000+ into Friendly. What are these random numbers? Help us understand, Blizzard. We don’t get it and it’s not overly obvious.
Further, many achievements don’t count until people are at a certain rep with the guild. So Tia and her eleventy-one exalted reps won’t count for United Nations until she reaches that cap. My 525 Skinning won’t count for Working as a Team until I’m honored with my own guild. (That said, I think the GM should automatically be exalted. :P Okay, not really, but that’s irksome.)
So having a weekly cap — not just a daily cap, but a weekly cap — on guild rep is just obnoxious. I’d rather not have guild rep at all, to be honest.
3) Swing, Batter, Batter, Batter, Suh-wing!
The nerf bat has been swung and it has completely trivialized things like normal Blackrock Caverns and Throne of the Tides. Stonecore is super easy compared to the various iterations I’ve seen and while the stars and final boss in Vortex Pinnacle were tricky (we ended up zerging the first set of stars, it was hilarious), these mechanics were overcome pretty quickly.
Seriously, no need for CC in BRC or TotT. You can still charge in, pull everything and AOE it all down. Ridiculous. Ludicrous. I am SO unimpressed. I’ve only used CC so far in Vortex Pinnacle on 5-pulls where there are a couple of healers and that’s … boring, really. I’m actually fairly unhappy with the dungeon situation. This leads me to believe that one of two things will happen.
a) These facerollingly easy dungeons lead to facerollingly easy heroics, leading to more disappointment from me. I believe this is where we’re going to end up. Some of my guildies who are 85 are LFGing heroic dungeons and are having moderate success.
b) These facerollingly easy dungeons lead to brutal heroics, leading to everyone in the world sobbing about how Blizzard sucks, at which point they will almost certainly be nerfed.
I’m of the mind that not every dungeon has to be like heroic Shadow Labyrinth or heroic Shattered Halls or heroic Arcatraz or heroic Halls of Reflection. Similarly, I’m of the mind that dungeons don’t need to be as easy as regular Violet Hold.
What I’d like:
– Normal dungeons about the same level of difficulty as heroic Forge of Souls. Basically straight-forward, a couple of tricky pulls, but something you can whip through when you know the fights.
– Heroic dungeons at about a level of difficult just a notch above of heroic Halls of Reflection — without any of the exploits. No standing around the corner in the alcoves, no running BEHIND the Lich King on the path. You know — how it was intended to be run.
Honestly, I thought we were going to get this. I spent enough time on Beta to know that instances were no longer trivial.
And yet now, they are.
What gives? What is up with that?
These are all reasons I am disappointed. These are all reasons I’m not thrilled.
I do like some stuff. I still love Uldum. I still love professions, even if I was only at 475 when someone on our realm got realm first 525 skinning.
I love that my guild officers are banding together and farming our asses off to help the guild by maxing our professions. This isn’t something we’re requiring of the guild, although they should feel free to help out, but the officers are doing everything they can for each other’s professions so that the guildies don’t get ruined at the AH. We’re dropping in all our greens (crafted or looted) for our guild enchanter. Blues are being sold for right now while they’re going for insane amounts of cash. All ore any officer mines goes to the bank — Fog, our JC, is through Obsidium and on to Elementium. Our BS is just about done with Obsidium and will move on to Elementium and we’ll move Fog back to Obsidium. All cloth is being dropped into the bank for Majik, our tailor. Toga maxed out Alchemy with a bit of help, but mostly on his own and then farmed a crapton of herbs for Maj and Inscription. I’m using guild-acquired Volatiles for my LW (509!) and basically, things are going swimmingly!
We also have some people helping us out with dropping in greens and stuff and trading gems and the like. I’m really, REALLY pleased with the level of cooperation and lack of selfishness displayed by the officers and the guild in general.
So I’m disappointed with a few things. I won’t quit or anything, but I’m not thrilled with a few aspects. We’ll see how things change. That’s really the beauty of a game like WoW — nothing is forever. And in this case, I hope that’s applicable.