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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

My Thoughts on Cataclysm - Part 1

Posted by Teala Friday January 21 2011 at 2:40PM
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So you are wondering what I can say about Blizzards new expansion that hasn’t all ready been said, or written, in countless articles, reviews, blogs, and forums all over the Internet -and elsewhere - then clearly you do not know me. The real question is...does anything I have to say really matter? Actually I think it does and it is worth getting out there. To many reviews and articles just touch the tip of the iceberg and do not really go into to much detail about the “good” and the “bad” and rarely will you ever find a review or article that is willing to dish the dirt on things that are really, really...bad. I tend to do this - I mean dish the dirt. See as a blogger, I can say what I feel. That means I am not beholding to anyone. Nobody pays me to write, and therefore I can write what I feel, give my opinion, and not have to answer to an editor or game company. If I think something is “bad” I can just tell you, “...in my opinion, this is bad.” In the same instance I can also tell you, “...this is good!” I have nothing to lose nor to gain by misleading or lying about my game experience. All I can do is write what I know. When it comes to Blizzards new expansion Cataclysm for their game, World of Warcraft, --- I have lots to talk about!

Forget all the crap anyone else has told you...erase it from your mind. Seriously. It is crap. Sure they told you about the new zones, and some of the cool new quest, and how Blizzard rebuilt some of the older zones(city of Orgrimmar is rebuilt as well), - but did they also tell you all the pros, and cons of this to the game in general that this expansion added? Did they tell you that in one single expansion Blizzard may have re-written the book on, “How Not to Make an Expansion.”, while at the same time write the book on “How to Make an Expansion.” --- doubtful --- but I am.

Right now you are saying...”wait...what?” How can they do both Kristi? Well dear reader, read on, and I’ll tell you how. It will be a long, boring, monotonous, and tedious read...laced with the occasional funny quip, and or exciting incite into a games expansion that makes swimming naked in a pool of flesh eating piranha’s, that haven’t been fed in days, seem like fun! Oh yes...and more! Much more!

Game...the very word is well known around the world, and by most it means something that entails having “fun”. Well, depending on what definition you read, it might say, “something a person partakes of for “entertainment” --- same thing, just worded differently. Funny thing about the word “game” and Blizzard’s new expansion is --- they rarely walk hand in hand. In fact I’d say just a couple of Blizzards game designers actually know what the word means...the rest are totally clueless, and I bet the number that make up the “rest” --- numbers into the hundreds! It must, after having experienced their new expansion - the word “game”, or the word "fun" for that matter, were probably rarely said or heard in the halls, and rooms at Blizzards offices.

Seriously!(I know the word seriously is way over used - but OMG! - OK, that is way over used as well...but - seriously - OMG!) What the frak was Blizzard thinking?! Did someone write the word “game” and “fun" on a chalk board(I understand they do not use chalk boards - they use dry-erase boards according to a Blue poster on the main forums - so I stand corrected!)--- dry-erase board at Blizzard, and then mark a line through them, and tell the game designers, “Forget these words ever existed. Today we’re re-defining these words. From now on the words “game” and “fun" should be synonymous with, tedious, boring, repetitive, frustrating, and aggravating.” Thank the Gods of gaming that a couple of Blizzards designers ignored this idiots advice.

No really...if it weren’t for a handful of cool, and creative people, at Blizzard, that know what the words “game” and “fun" actually mean - the whole expansion would have no doubt used the re-defined words. I am not kidding. I know...how can I be so very negative? Right. I mean I have been defined as a “WoW fangirl” so many times. I’ve even been accused of being a shill for Blizzard, and yet...::sigh:: yes...I am sorry, if it were not for a few cool things, and my friends that currently play - I’d have canceled my account with this expansion.

“Does it really suck that bad Kristi? Look at all the reviews, and articles and blogs, and what not that have said otherwise...they all give Blizzard kudos for this expansion, and call it the best expansion ever and in some cases the best expansion ever seen in an MMORPG - EVER! Surely you are a jaded gamer, and that is why you are saying what you are saying right?”

::sigh:: I wish that were the case...but for once it is not. I am so disappointed with the direction Blizzard has gone with this expansion that I have decided to let my subscription end when it comes up for renewal if Blizzard doesn’t fix what they broke, and rework some aspects of their game - because quite frankly - WoW is no longer “fun”.  Now let me explain why.  Let the review begin.

Fast and straight to the point. New zones...only one is worth a damn in my opinion --- Uldum. The others are littered with more of the same BS quest from previous expansions and the original game. Whom ever did the quest in Vashj’ir should be removed from making quest ever again. By the time I got done with the first area in Vashj’ir all I wanted to know was “how many” --- seriously. How many of X must I kill and or how many of X must I gather. The whole zone is like this. 150 quest mostly made up of kill and gather quest and then there are the infamous fed-X quest. I ran one toon completely through this zone and refuse to do it with any other because it is so utterly boring. There is only so many kill quest, and gather quest, a player can endure before they are ready to start pulling their own teeth --- because that would be more fun!

Then...then you find out that the whole zone is bugged. Quest the 150 quest that is required to get the achievement...forget it. Try as I might I cannot get past 139 quest. I have done all I could find. I killed things looking for potential quest drops people have mentioned.  Turns out through a ticket to a GM that I had all ready completed said quest lines.  All the GM could tell me was that there were 150 quest in the zone and GM's are not allowed to tell players what quest they still need to do. ::sigh:: I have 20,000 Leagues Achievement...yet I have not done the required numbered, according to the GM, to achieve the Sinking in Vashj’ir achievement.  Oh and yeah...I did do all the pick-up quest. Turns out some of the quest did not register toward my achievement.  Did the GM fix this?  No.  I’m still sitting on 139 quest. So yeah...I am a little annoyed that due to Blizzard’s snafu I cannot complete the zone and get the achievement.

Which brings me to questing in the new zones in general. They are all very linear and designed strictly to get you from one area of a zone to another. You cannot deviate from the path because there is no where else to go...there is X number of quest, and if one is broken, or you abandon one ---- well that’s it --- you’re done with that zone...you cannot progress any further.  Had that happen to me in of all places Uldum.  My favorite new zone. There I was trying to finish out the Ramkahen quest line when one of the quest I was on failed to work properly. Took a week before I got a response from a GM and it turns out many had experienced the same issue. They finally got it working and I was able to finish out the quest line. The problem is...that is the quest line. There is no other quest in the zone other than the Harrison Jones quest line.  So if you have a broken quest - that’s it until a GM can get it fixed.  Unfortunately that is how it is in many of the new zones.  All of them have a given set of quest and those quest are all connected via one huge linear path.  No room to explore off the beaten path to find side quest at all.  It’s not like Northrend from WotLK x-pac where there was room to explore and grab pick-up quest.  So that is one thing about the new x-pac that really annoys me --- the linear nature of the whole experience.  It takes the term riding rails to a whole new level.

As for the revamped areas and the new quest. There are plenty of side quest...but again the new revamped areas quest, and such seem to be laid out in a way to rush a player through a zone and get them to the next one. No real room to explore and find pick-up/side quest. Just follow the scripted, linear hard coded path and that is it. Some will say this is good. I disagree. It removes the fun of exploration. No longer is it fun to dive into every nook and cranny. Why? Because there is nothing there.

Phasing is nothing new, we saw it in Northrend. What is bad however is that the new and old zones are heavily laced with it. This is good, it is cool that as players finish a zone they can see the difference their character made by defeating the baddies in that area and save the day. It is bad because Blizzard did not implement a way for players to get together after the fact. What I am saying is. If you have completed a zone out, and have all ready “phased” there is no way for you to go back and help a guildy with that zone. It is all phased for you and the guildy is seeing the zone as it was before the change.

This also means that if you happen to play on a PvP server, players are at the mercy of phasing mechanics and gankers who take advantage of it. I guess Blizzard did not think phasing through all the way before taking it live. It is sad that such an awesome story telling tool is broken in such a manner that it is more of an isolation device than a tool to tell a story. It isolates players from one another. Guild mates cannot go back and help other guild members in phased areas and that means that if a guild member is being chain ganked by a high level toon - to bad. You cannot go there to help them. Blizzard needs to make it so guild mates can phase back to assist others in the quild or just a player that may need help completing a quest.

Another thing about phasing. If you do not run quest in the new zone you do not unlock any of the NPC vendors or flight paths. Some of the vendors are actually tide to quest lines. Like the Earthen Ring Quartermaster, the Therazene Quatermaster, the Dragonmaw Quartermaster all tied into quest lines and unless you do quest up to the point where you can unlock them - you do not have access to them. We saw this in Wrath of the Lich King, but not to the extent that we see now. Because at least in Lich King we had access to NPC vendors and what not - that is not the case in Cataclsym.

Wheeew...and I am just getting started. Let’s move on to the new profession Archeology. I for one thought cool this sounds really fun. Then I did it. What a boring, tedious waste of time. Seriously, there is maybe 3 or 4 things worth getting the rest is useless junk. Vial of the Sands is the only thing that is actually worth getting and that has a .1% drop rate. What does that mean for your average player? It means forget ever seeing it. Why? Just get your archeology up to 525 and then “let’s talk”. Talk about how many useless pieces of junk you assembled...oh you say you assembled 250+ fossil artifacts, and 100 Night Elf pieces...good for you! Yep, that’s archeology in a nutshell. Find fragments, assemble fragments, vendor junk. It literally produces nothing useful. It takes a good 35+ hours of “in game time” to get to 525 and then it takes even longer to get some of the higher end pieces that are worth anything like the “Ring of the Boy Emperor”. Sure some of the things are useful and are “bound to your account”, so you can use them over multiple toons, but those things that are useful are so few and hard to get that it makes archeology one of the most boring and tedious; and so not rewarding professions ever seen in a game. Don’t believe me. Do it. Then as I said...let’s talk!

Speaking of professions...how screwed up can Blizzard be to add 75 levels to existing professions and not include hardly any pieces of PvE gear recipes? I’ll tell you how screwed up. Instead of PvE gear, Blizzard in all their wisdom put in mostly PvP gear...even the top tier stuff you buy from vendors in the Twilight Highlands mostly has PvP gear! There is just a handful of PvE pieces and most of that is garbage because better stuff can be gotten from running normal dungeons! Not heroic or raids...just normal dungeons. How frakked up is that?

Professions should have scaled with Cataclsym and they didn’t. Take “Flask of Endless Mana” for instance. The flask could be used over and over again and had the same cooldown as a normal potion of flask. That meant that a player with this flask didn’t have to keep making more flask or buy new ones. They could just use the same flask again and again. Very cool! That was an awesome addition to alchemy in the last expansion. Many a healer and caster trained up alchemy to make use of it. Then comes Cataclsym. Instead of scaling it, what did Blizzard do? They actually nerfed it! Yes, they nerfed it, and made it less effective than it was in WotLK. In my opinion that is just plain stupid and made all the effort one put into alchemy seem like a punch in the stomach. Same goes for many of the professions. Instead of scaling some things Blizzard either nerfed or made the item useless in Cataclsym. You’re no doubt wondering if Blizzard replaced that cool flask with anything useful. Nope. They gave us a potion of mythical mana that gives the user 10k mana. Now take into consideration that 10k mana is the equivalent of two spells worth of mana for a healer, and you can see that the new potion is a joke at best considering that most healers spells cost upwards of 3k mana, and many of a healers main spells cost 5k+!  So that mythical mana potion isn’t so mythical now is it.

There are so many little things like this that makes a player want to question Blizzards developers in person to get answers to these and other questions and just ask “Why did you do this?” and “Why did you do that?” in Cataclsym. The whole expansion is littered with wreckage of poorly implemented game play and mechanics.

Ugh...am I a little annoyed by Blizzards lack of foresight - oh...just a weee bit. But it gets worse before it gets better.

Dungeons in Cataclsym. What can I say? OK I’ll say it, they suck. Plain and simple they are unispired pieces of garbage that lack any real enjoyment when you run them. Once again we’re given craptastic dungeons filled with static MOBs only now there are more of them! Joy! Like Grim Batol. Who designed this? Seriously. Is that really the best you can do? Just fill a place with static groups of MOB’s and then squeeze them in to spaces where they are literally stacked a stones throw away from one another and call that a well made dungeon. Hell you couldn’t even come up with new MOB abilities - you had to rehash WotLK attacks and give them your new bosses...which by the way are not new...just more rehashed bosses from previous expansions.

Where is my Halls of Reflection or Pit of Saron? Halls of Reflection was actually a good dungeon - especially toward the end. There was a huge sense of urgency and impending doom with it as you made your way along the cliff face. We see nothing like this in Cataclsym. At least in HoR it had some excitement and built that excitement as you made your way through it. In Cataclsym dungeons it is all about getting through tons of static piles of MOB’s. Anyone for Deadmines? What a joke. Just as bad as Grim Batol. Just add more packs of MOB’s that hit harder, then add bosses that just hit harder, and toss in a few adds to make things more screwed up. Don’t actually try to do something different. Play it safe and just regurgitate the same-old, same-old.

That’s the least of the new dungeons problems though. No the new dungeons have a more sinister underlying problem.

Back in WotLK Blizzard introduced a new tool. This tool would allow players to find other players across servers and then allow them to run dungeons. It was the Look For Dungeon tool - LFD for short. It was praised by many players --- me included. I loved it. It allowed for smaller guilds to fill out their ranks when they didn’t have enough people on. It was a blessing. It worked really well in WotLK and it was casual player friendly.

Then came Cataclsym and its newer type of dungeons. Dungeons that are more difficult and less forgiving than their “facerolling" counterparts in WotLK and players became too complacent in their ease. Dungeons that actually require players to go back to their roots of their classes and learn about things like crowd control, kiting, and aggro mitigation. It also meant players would have to learn such terms as situational awareness, and dynamic group interaction. The new dungeons really do require people to be able to play their classes to their fullest...that is until you are very well geared. As the lead designer said in his blog recently...”once you are geared, the dungeons become much easier..” or something to that effect. Why did Blizzard’s lead designer need to even write a blog about the difficulty of Cataclsym’s dungeons? Well, simply said, the level of complaints and concerns voiced by players on the main forums and other gaming outlets became a very common topic - dungeons in Cataclsym are hard and very difficult to complete.

That’s not exactly true though. As someone that has done them all using various classes from tanks, to dps, to healers.

It's not that the dungeons are hard, they are not, in fact some are down right silly easy, like Vortex and Shadowfang Keep. Nope, it is not that they are hard - they are “over tuned” and “tuned” for players in better gear that know how to play their classes. Read on.

See, Blizzard introduced the LFD system to alleviate a huge issue of people trying to find others to play with in dungeons. As I said, the LFD tool was a blessing for smaller guilds. It allowed small guilds to fill their ranks with pick-up players. This worked well in WotLK and players loved it. Now that system is coming back to bite us, and Blizzard, in the butt, and here is why.

The single biggest problem that nobody is really addressing is the fact that Blizzard over tuned their dungeons. Yes, and read this what I am about to write....Blizzard tuned the heroic dungeons for people with "better than average gear" that means 346 and up. Anything less than that and you'll be struggling to heal heroics, tank heroics, or dps heroics ---- “with one caveat” --- that is, “if people know what they are doing”...and that is where this all falls apart.

Blizzard not only tuned these dungeons for players in good gear, but they expect that all players know their class and how to play them. Great...fine...but that is not we the users of this game encounter in PUG's(pick-up groups) and Blizzard didn't think past that.

No they didn't. See PUG's are made up off all kinds of players that may not all have great gear, and not all play their classes at "raid" level experience, and that is what Blizzard expects.

Sorry...that is not ever going to happen. The lead designer is delusional if he thinks that is ever going to happen. I said a month ago that when the average player finally hits heroics the real proverbial doo-doo would hit the fan and it is. That is why you have long waits in queues. People found out about the dungeons and now you have fewer tanks and even fewer healers.

Blizzards response to all this. Learn to play. Get better gear. Well you can't learn to play if people are kicking players left and right from groups, and or PUGs are not finishing dungeons because people get frustrated and leave. You can't get good gear for the same reason. It is a vicious cycle(forget player crafted entry level gear - it doesn’t exist). On top of that Blizzard feels that healers need nerfed - more -(patch 4.0.6) as if things were not difficult enough for people trying to play their game via "PUG's". Blizzard created this tool for that very reason so that small guild’s could get pick-up players to fill their ranks and for players whose guild members may not all play at the same time. This has nothing to do with the large guild’s that have all the tools like vent, and a lot of players to disseminate information between one another easily via guild websites, and what not. No, this is about your average player, and the LFD system - that a vast majority of players make use of.

Blizzard created this atmosphere. The only people anyone should be pointing fingers at is the people that made this mess, and those people work for Blizzard. They created this mess by making previous dungeons faceroll events and then over tuning Cataclsym dungeons to the point that your "average" player must become a raid level experienced player in order to finish out a basic heroic. It takes hours of playing a toon to get that good. Most of WoW's players are "casual" - casual in that they do not care to see the inside of a raid...all they wish to do is maybe do a few dungeons a week, some farming of mats and maybe a little crafting. Is it any wonder that on such websites as MMORPG.com and Massively and on the official forums that so many players are complaining about the level of difficulty that they encounter in the new dungeons? No it isn't...simply put, and I will say this again, and again, Blizzard "over tuned" their dungeons, and the average player has to now dedicate even more time, and effort to(moreso than ever before), to get to be able to participate in some of the end game content.

I am sorry, but your average player does not live in Azeroth. They have real lives and real responsibilities. They may also not have a large guild with which to work with.


What Blizzard needs to do is fix itemization first and foremost. The very fact that there is so little tanking and healing gear available even at entry level dungeons is sad to say the least. How many post have we seen posted about the lack of healing and tanking gear? Too many.

Also, remove some of the packs of MOB’s that litter every stinking dungeon(with the exception of Vortex Pentacle and City of Tol’Vir). Grim Batol is the worst offender, next is Stonecore. And why is one of your best dungeons so long, I’m talking Halls of Origination. One of the only cool dungeons and yet I hate it. Not because of the stupid number of mini-boss fights or the fact that the bosses use the same-old, same-old combat mechanics we’ve seen so many times before...no...that is not it. It is because everything is so stinking spread out, and there are just too many...too many main bosses!

It takes to much time to do that dungeon. It is a mini-raid. Not a dungeon. We’re all ready seeing people skip the last three main bosses and go right to Rajh. Why? Because it is to stinking long! People do more than just play WoW you know Blizzard!

Blizzard needs to stop balancing classes with a sledgehammer and try play testing those heroics with the stats, and gear the average player would have instead of all 346 ilevel and with players that know all the fights. The best testing is being done on live right now as I type this. Those average players in "just barely" proper ilevel gear and struggling to even finish a normal dungeon let alone a heroic. That is why when they are done and have not finished that dungeon come here to these forums and other forums across the Internet to complain that "tanks" suck, "healers" suck, "DPS'ers" are all stupid. It is actually none of those, it is that Blizzard "over tuned" their dungeons to the point of sillyness.

I mean come on - one-shot kill game mechanics!  Who actually at Blizzard thought that this would make dungeons fun?

Nobody is asking for easy. We just wish to be able to at least have a fighting chance to finish a dungeon without having to stress out on every stinking pull. Not all players, play this game at the same level, some will never be raid level players - Blizzard seems to have forgotten this.

::sigh:: I am just getting started on this review. I said in a previous entry that I would do a thorough review of Cataclsym and I meant it. It will take more than one or two articles to do a thorough review. There is just to much going on in this expansion to cover it all at once. There is some cool things that Blizzard did...I know...you’re shocked that I could say that after reading what I just wrote, but I will point out some of the cool things that Blizzard did in this expansion...you’ll just have to wait a bit for it.

As I also said, Blizzard rewrote the book on “How to Make an Expansion” and at the same time they also wrote the book on “How Not to Make and Expansion”. It takes time to tell you all the good and the bad when it comes to an MMORPG.  These games are huge in scope and World of Warcraft is the biggest.  With that said,...tune in next time --- same bat channel for more of my Cataclsym review. 

My Thoughts on Cataclysm -- part 2  <<<< clicky

Mystik86 writes:

As a tank in mainly 333 gear and a couple of 346s and 2 epics I still have major difficulties in some heroics, usually due to either lack of healing or my own fumbles. I've been tanking since the good old days of 10-man UBRS, MC and Onyxia and am now having to sit there like an asshat and die several times before I can complete a heroic dungeon or end up ditching because of a lack of skill.

I don't mind bad players, I invite them to come and learn, but it's near fucking impossible with the over-tuned dungeons like you mentioned. I've actually stopped playing as of last week and am preparing to sell my account to just be done with it all.

Sat Jan 22 2011 5:31AM Report
jadiusmax writes:

Teala, i'm going to try and be very respectful here but this has been the most thoughless critique i think i've ever read.  I cant figure out if your just not thinking about what your saying, or you really just want Bliz to hand you end game on a silver platter.  Now, let me preface, i kinda hate Bliz.  Personally i think they outbalance classes just to get people interested in their class again rather than have good content to keep people playing.  I think for the money they make it is rediculous that they dont make good changes quickly, and why in the world is their website down for soo long.  But, come on you make no sense.

Bliz is a game of repetition, you gotta know that going in.  With that being said lets think about your comment on halls of origination.   You said it's too darn long.  But they give you the option of doing the last 3 extra bosses or not.  You think it's too long, just go kil Rajh and be done with it.  You want the extra rep then do the bosses....this isnt rocket science. 

Grim Batol...i dont know if your just doing it wrong or not..but you know when you do your dragon run if you blow up the right stuff then all those mobs are almost dead...try picking the right targets next time. 

Talking about good and bad players...your seriously gonna say that learning your class is too much to ask?? What does that mean really..what your basically asking is for rogues to know to sap, mages to sheep, banishers to banish, etc.  yeah that's a whole lot for bliz to ask..

Bosses: yeah there's more than 1 per dungeon..but who says you have to kill them all anyway?  If your so casual that you dont have time to complete a full dungeon then just enjoy the boss you get down.  You can get to a boss or 2 within a fairly short amount of time.  If you want more than that then spend the time..again pretty simple.

Finally..which part of the interface forces you to que heroic anyway?  Maybe i missed something..but for those people who want to be casual and just have some fun killin stuff i thought there were regular dungeons..a crap ton of them infact to run...If you dont have dungeon que'ing ablitiy i would suggest opening a GM ticket and figuring that out. 

regular=casual, heroic=experienced casual, raiding=hardishcore, world first raiding=hardcore.  it's not too hard to figure out.

In closing..there's soooo much to hate blizzard for i dont know why in the world this is the stuff you focus on...

Sat Jan 22 2011 9:58PM Report
aurick writes:

I understand where you're coming from, jadiusmaxx but the problem that the author described is accurate.  And so is yours.  

Heroic dungeons are exactly that:  heroic.  They're SUPPOSED to be a challenge.  It's reasonable to expect people to have mastered their class and gotten really great gear in order to run them.  BUT, as the author stated a significant number of players don't have the kind of time needed to reach the kind of expertise that heroics demand.

This wouldn't be a problem, except for a couple facts:

  1. WotLK trained players to think that skill doesn't really matter.  Even with heroics.  So the changeover to Cataclysm can be pretty jarring.
  2. Cataclysm introduces a few new treadmills such as guild XP, guild reputation, etc. that virtually require you to run heroics. 
  3. What else is there to do at end game?  Really?
So basically, the game throws out all these carrots and other ways of funneling you into heroics, then beats you over the head for not being good enough.  That's a problem.
 
In guild groups, it's not so bad because you're used to working together and have an idea of what to expect.  Thankfully, there are bonuses for being in guild groups.  But that at the same time punishes the people who don't want or don't like large guilds, and so can't find those guild groups very often.
Sun Jan 23 2011 2:13AM Report
Robert_S4 writes:

I read through all of it and I must say I completely agree with you Teala.

People can come on in here and disagree all they want, fact is Blizzard doesn't care about casual people, though they should.

There are merely 3 normal instances worth doing at 85, itemization sucks bad. There should be a full set of normal instances.

There is too little content to be honest, they have not put enough work into cap lvl in Cataclysm. What do most people do when they reach cap lvl? They go into instances.

As it is now you have 3 normals worth doing, then it's onto heroics, if you're not a raider then go ahead and buzz off. Keep grinding them heroics and have "fun" is what Blizzard is telling them.

If heroics are too difficult, keep grinding the 3 normal instances and have "fun".

Because it's not about the hardcore people anymore, they need to realize this, WoW had become a casual arena, then Blizzard did a 180.

They opened WoW to the masses to bring in more subscriptions and now they are closing it up.

I couldn't care less about the first tier of the earlier expansions also being hard, They need to advance through time and do things differently, learn from how things have turned out.

I started playing WoW in may 2005, Classic. Played through BC, LK, and now Cataclysm.

I have 3 characters at 85 and all other classes at 83 or higher. Because that's what I've been doing when there is a lack of things to do, alt, make and play alts.

Why are there almost no entry lvl crafted gear? Why only ilvl 346 or 359 epics?

I had all crafting professions in-game at 450 ready when Cataclysm came. Boy was it a big disappointment profession wise.

In early beta, the ilvl 346 stuff was epic and ilvl 359, they changed that throughout beta, but they did not lessen the material cost. Pretty darn stupid to say the least.

Because they don't think of ilvl 333 as good enough, when you get up there and start doing heroics, for most "common" people, it's just way too tough for the gear they have.

That's no fun, and MMORPG's, games in general should be about >FUN<.

WoW  5 man instances need to have 3 grades of difficulty, simple as that, and normals should have a complete layout at cap lvl of all instances for that expansion in the first tier, not just 3 instances worth doing.

I have to admit I'm not disappointed though, I went into Cataclysm having no expectations at all, and I'm glad I did just that :)

Sun Jan 23 2011 7:57AM Report
NeokiNaomi writes:

I really enjoyed reading this article Kristi, I'm blown away now at the MMO market, and blizzards take on their monopoly of it.  I have a habbit of quiting and coming back for expansions, maxing out my feral druid to the best gear possible, then quitting again. Which is what I did, except this time... It only took 2 weeks.  I dunno about any other gamer, but that is serious lack of entertainment.  Granted I played my warrior through uldum again just to do the harrison jones quests again because I enjoyed killing my fatherlands most notorious horrid history criminals. But I dunno, I really hope blizzard finds a better nack for things in their new MMO or at least a better perspective on what Group finder will put together for players.

I was REALLY sick and tired of not ever once being able to finish a herioc unless it was with buddies. And when they weren't online? What then? Go play another toon? Farm profs? It's  not a choice that should be made for me I feel. Anywho, til then I will keep playing the chinese remade planetside Marswar... lol even that has a more complex strategized entertainment model than WoW.

*wave & hugs*

Sun Jan 23 2011 6:57PM Report
sn_fr writes:

Intersting review Kristi.

I used to be a GL on wow a while back, and got fed up with the repetition over the years.

Still have friends playing wow, but can't understand why.

With this review i know that i won't even go and try since it just seems having turned out exactly the way i expected.

 

I'll continue my search the the "new game".

Sun Jan 23 2011 9:55PM Report
Gormok writes:

I have to agree with this article, after playing for a few weeks hitting 85 and getting my gear up to iL333, i found the game to be completely boring. I found that Uldum was the only zone i liked as well.

I didnt like any of the new instances, they just didnt seem fun at all to me. I did all of them once and didnt look at them again, but i did decide to give it a try on herioc.

I was thinking of crafting me some higher iL gear only to find that all the crafted gear was pvp gear, so that idea went out the window. I have played WoW since beta all the way thur WoTLK up until now, and i have to say that Cata is the worst expac imo.

Its just not any fun and feels like it was just thrown together, maybe GC and his team wasnt ready to takeover the helm from the previous dev team. Curse you Tigole for going to work on the new Bliz mmo.

Mon Jan 24 2011 1:59AM Report
bdew writes:

Interesting post, i don't agree 100% on all your points but it was a good read.

I mostly disagree about the zones, the old redone zones (atleast those that i've played) were stelar, i don't mind loosing a bit of freedom in exchange for great storyteling and a feeling of progression through the zone.

The new zones - I reaaaly loved Hyjal, Uldum and Highlands. Deepholme was meh. Vashjir is the most horrible and uninspired piece of crap wow has ever seen.

Crafting - i mostly agree, PVE entry-level gear is MIA, Archeology is the second worst horrible and uninspired piece of crap wow has ever seen, Alchemy is lacking.

Dungeons - i like the layout and boss mechanics mostly but they are overtuned, overfilled with repetitive trash (honestly i would have thrown out 90% of the trash packs), too focused on CC and overly waaay to long.

Mon Jan 24 2011 6:29AM Report
bdew writes:

Oh yeah and another thing really irritating me - guild progression for smaller guilds...

At first they were like "Now you can choose to raid with 10 people without loosing anything, we want players to choose the playstyle that suits them and not punish them if they want to play with close friends instead of  20+ strangers".

But then guild progression came..  "Oh BTW, we are adding a weekly cap so if you have less than 26 active, level 85, characters in your guild every day - SCREW YOU you don't deserve getting the guild perks no mather how hardcore or dedicated you are."

Mon Jan 24 2011 6:39AM Report
SteamRanger writes:

Kristi, you hit the nail on the head so many times in this blog, it's a wonder it has one left! Anyone but me remember how Blizzard initially said that if people raced to Level Cap, that that was their problem? How times have changed, much like the frog in the gradually heated water. I wonder how many Blizzard man hours  were spent trying to find ways to keep people playing after reaching maximum level. Once Vivendi got a taste of all the money WoW made, quality took a back seat to player retention.

Mon Jan 24 2011 10:20AM Report
Banegrivm writes:

That's what I call the hammer hitting the nail on the head.

WoW is the worst "role playing game" that I've ever played in my life.

A lesson is to be learned here. Never hire people to develop a "role playing game" that are ubers, which is exactly what Blizzard did. They hired ex EQ uber guild leaders as their developers and gave them the reigns.

The inmates now run the asylum. 

I'll be glad to see ToR when it comes out. At least Bioware is a company that's run by people that understand role playing in the vein of role playing games. Few companies "get that" nowadays sadly. 

Mon Jan 24 2011 1:45PM Report
Teala writes:

Just a quick thank you to all those that responded to my recent post.   I'll be adding part II this Friday so I hope you stop in and catch the second half.   It'll cover some other annoying aspects and some of the good I actually found in Cataclysm.  

Mon Jan 24 2011 2:10PM Report
theAsna writes:

I played WoW classic up to some point during TBC. I enjoyed more doing the 5-man dungeons than everything else (including CC, focusing and prioritizing targets, etc.). Back then people even didn't really care that much if you were going for a more individual gear setup, but still suitable for a certain specializations.

I considered coming back for cataclysim. But, well, I'm rather interesting in other people's experiences so far. Especially because of things like 'item level' and dungeon finder.

...curiosly reading available reviews...

Mon Jan 24 2011 2:49PM Report
kjempff writes:

I only lasted a few hours before I was bored to death with the handholding. When I try to give it a chance I suddenly get the urge to do something else, so I use WoW as a chat client at the moment.

Some friends say dungeons are not bad (and finally challanging again) and the levelling/questing part just needs to be done to get to the fun. The fun part is a handful of instances, hardly worthy to be called an expansion.

Flying everywhere just makes everything even more boring, and makes you feel out of touch with the environment and map.

I kindda like Phasing as a storytelling tool, but it also makes it more linear so ..

Love how they sneaked in a great upgrade to the graphics engine (and you thought it was a complete bashind session huh?).

Mon Jan 24 2011 8:40PM Report
leomaxwell4 writes:

id just like to say thank you Teala for the review, i have quit wow for quite some time now for various reasons, and have been curious if the expansion would bring anything that would make me want to come back. from reading your review i am releaved that i do not have to spend 15$ myself just to quit all over again, i commend blizzard for trying to take a diffrent approach with revamped areas rather than just add and add, but the content has never been much the problem for me but the mechanichs and various other non-story related things. seeing what has happened to the game from your review i would be more disapointed than ever with the state of the game and i would be better off waiting for better new from wow or blizzard before considering returning at all. again thank you for the review and i will try to keep an eye out for your pros review on cat if you already havent writen it.

Mon Jan 24 2011 10:50PM Report
Unlight writes:

I'm certainly one of those people that would have taken you for a WoW fangirl.  But for that reason, your comments hold far more weight than any of the so-called "professional" reviews out there.  I wouldn't have expected Blizzard to have dropped the ball so thoroughly, even though I wasn't expecting Cat to be anything spectacular.  Perhaps it's true that the suits really have whipped the talent into submission over there.  A shame.  I really wanted to see what a post-WoW Blizzard would be capable of making some day.  I'm not so curious anymore.

Wed Jan 26 2011 5:26PM Report
Digna writes:

I normally enjoy your posts Teala but this one seemed more of a rant. And a painfully long one. I don't particularly care for Cata. Played it. Ended sub. I tend to agree with your 'points' but overall the post seemed better suited to a 2 or perhaps 3 part essay over time. Then when I looked back, I realized this was Part 1? How much more can be said? Hope the next one is better.

Take care.

Wed Jan 26 2011 6:15PM Report
Wizardry writes:

Long read,so i forgot a lot of it,but i can comment on a few.

First of all,i think it has been rather obvious that Wow from day 1 has NEVER changed,it is a boring quest treadmill.

The opinion i got was that Teala ONLY got miffed at this boring design,becuase she couldn't find that 150 quests,if she had of found them,i think she would ne singing praisses like most fanbois/girl.

Bugged quest lines? most definitley,and to boot the ones i encountered,so happened to be the best quests,so that made everything bleak in comparison.

Dungeons are never exciting,they are far more linear than the real world,they are bait as Raiding is,developers know how people drool over Raiding and Dungeons,they put it in there just because they know it sells,no matter how crap it is.

The ONLY reason people do Raids or Dungeons,is becuase they know there is some phat loot waiting.

Yes i have been saying it for a long time,MOST are misusing the word "FUN",they seem to be using it more as a defensive word to accentuate why they play the game they do.

The word FUN and sub numbers are the most common defensive arguments people like to use when they have nothing exciting to really say about their game.Boring and fed ex quests are no way FUN,that is just ridiculous,even worse is you can get them in any game.

What i found in Wow ,was about every 7th  quest was just a goto next npc and Blizzard thought that would be worthy of experience,sad really.To me that is a slap in the face to think i need hand outs to play a game,i guess insult is more the proper term to use.

Bottom line is Cata changed nothing,Wow was/is/going to be a questing treadmill,in otherwords boring.Then you the rest that think they are really gaming becuase they are Raiding one mob with 5 million hit points.Blizzard has learned nothing about expansions or game design,they can literally make anything and the masses will buy it,they are not going to quit Wow just yet.

Wed Jan 26 2011 10:53PM Report
Shazknee writes:

Great blog, and I agree with most of it.

 

The issue is players pointing fingers at eachother, even saw one comment here saying:

 

"Talking about good and bad players...your seriously gonna say that learning your class is too much to ask?? What does that mean really..what your basically asking is for rogues to know to sap, mages to sheep, banishers to banish, etc.  yeah that's a whole lot for bliz to ask.."

 

This is really a stance that is making players have a go at eachother, you need to realise that not everyone see a game as something they need to "learn" to a level where you'll take a degree in doing heroics.

 

I've personally played WoW since release, and this is it tbh, I Raided... alot through Vanilla and TBC, but as funny as it seems I went "casual" during wotlk since we decided to get a kid and I got promoted at work and obvsiouly focused even more on it.

 

Wotlk was really a good expansion if you werent a die hard raider, yes the HC's were undertoned, but dungeons like HoR were spot on when it comes to difficulty, the required gear level matched very well.

 

A friend of mine I've known since vanilla did his first heroic a week ago, and were amazed at how they missed the mark on tuning them, his words on the hc were "it's like doing MC for the 117th time" he havent logged on ever since.

 

 

I could go on about it, Cata is a terrible expansion, the few good ideas (or stolen ones) doesnt make up for their weird 180 stance, they make leveling alot more casual friendly and the leveling dungeons are faceroll, and then people hit 85 and need to spend time getting used to a playstyle that werent needed for 85 levels?

 

Also the changes on tanks and healers, I'm not sure why they focused on theese 2 roles, they are the most yelled at roles in PuG's..

 

It's fine that they looked at the crazy healing in wotlk and AoE tanking, but they should have fixed it right after wotlk shipped, and not let 2 years pass with faceroll and then tell people to l2p.

 

Imo, they could have tuned hc dungeons just a lil bit harder than wotlk dungeons, reduced warrior aoe tanking abit and slightly nerf healing, AND increase the difficulty for DPS to do their job, it's just retarded, the easiest job in dungeons are.... still easy, dodge anything that looks suspecius and slam your 3-4 buttons.

 

And the linear grind, god what were they thinking? it's like sitting on a rollercoaster, they could have least have added an autopilot for the quests, 1st time was "ah neat" 2nd time and everything after that is just repeating till death.

 

at least the old world gave you alot of options to choose where and how you wanted to level, even wotlk did to some extent, but this is just silly.

 

 

It seems obvious that every decent dev got moved to the new project, but this excuse of an expansion is really an insult to players who didnt join within the last few years.

 

Just looking at the "new" boss names says it all, Onyxia and Nef.... I've killed both so many times that their names should have been erased all over the internet.

 

Pls release swtor asap ><

Thu Jan 27 2011 1:12PM Report
drake_hound writes:

The problem is nothing you say can impress me .

But maybe it will impress Blizzard , I been down this road in TBC and WOTLK , warned them the mess they are doing with cata.

They didn´t listen , neither do they have intention to listen .

Infact the biggest feedback they gotten is from swtor forums about there own freaking game .

Where the biggest fan can even see that it isn´t working .

The whole issue L2P has been stretch too much , there is a difference in L2P as a pro , L2P as a wanabee .

Wanabee is all thats going to be left in WoW .

Veteran gamers are tired , and without those gamers .

You cannot have FUN heroics , cause those wanabee have to do the boosting for the noobs .

Sorry I kept it very rundemental and very ignorant writting style.

But thats allright if people want to read they will read .

If people want to ignore they will ignore .

Nothing new on the horizon anyway .

Sat Jan 29 2011 3:48PM Report
Mothanos writes:

Agreed with most people here.

 

WoW Cataclysm was my last stop after a 5 or  6 years sub,

Community taken over by 12 year old kids.

WoW's PvP balance was never this bad...

Guild reputation ? i was in a guild for 3 years now i need to gain guild reputation after all the work i and quality time i invested ? gfto :)

 

20 to 30 min queue for a random BG and get 40 honor while 1 piece of gear is 2200/2500 honor....

I had 5 pvp alts, go farm them boy see you in 2 years, if you still live ofc, as the random pvp bg's are a total fail as teamwork i non exsistend in random bg's.

 

I can continue for hours how repetitive dungouns became, same old bg, sucky looking armor sets etc etc...

 

Cata hs turned me away from wow, i already gave up on wotlk, but Cata is to much fail to have even a little bit of fun.

 

 

Mon Feb 07 2011 8:12AM Report
Iselin writes:

Good article Kristi. I couldn't agree with you more about the idiocy of expecting heroic cata dungeons to work with the LFD system.

Over the years I have become somewhat imune to the PUG rage quits (usually by tanks or healers) that have always been part of WOW. But the cata heroic pug level of frustration kicked this up so many notches that I just couldn't stand it any more. All the drama made running pug heroics a very risky proposition and just not fun at all.

Sometimes I get a feeling that there are two opposite factions at Blizzard and that to appease both those who consider gameplay eliteness an integral part of their manhood (or womanhood I guess) were given the task of designing cata heroics.

Then the ones who play the game with one eye while watching TV with the other were given the task of babying everyone in the 1-85 grind... The run to the next questhub takes more than 3 minutes? No worries, have a new flightpath!

The game 1-85 heroic now has a schizo feel to it where your hand is held untill the point where they tell you with a smirk that now you're on your own and good luck with heroics... actually, come to think of it,  it reminds me of our school system where you succeed by being good at memorizing things only to find out later on that what you really need to be good at is applying what you know, not just remembering it.

My 85 Lock and 85 Pally tank are firmly parked while I play other games and do other things...so sad...too bad.

Wed Feb 16 2011 4:52PM Report
Boraxe writes:
Thank you for writing this. Great post! I used to lvl as a holy priest and had a blast with it. Now with cata  they were nerfed so bad I had to go shadow for leveling. I didn't realize this was a sign of bad things to come. Tanks and dps apparently didn't read up on their classes either. My first reg dungeon run the pally pulled an entire group of mobs when he died he did not understand why I couldn't I keep him up. If I remember right a lot of healers were in that same boat of getting kicked because they couldn't keep up with the damage with no cc. Or if they needed mana after every pull they got kicked for that too.
 
The tanks in the cata expansion have been known to queue up with PVP gear on to fool the numbers or had dps gear on or dps spec'd. Pfft ...but I should know my class right? Gee I thought knowing ones class went for everyone.
 
Cata was just a cluster of horribleness lumped on the shoulders of the healers. It shocked me when a blue posted something to the effect asking the players how they used the discipline spec on a priest. Well if blizzard doesn't know how to use the spec, what do they expect from us? So much for the whole know your class thing. What did blizzard do? Nerf the bubble which is the main part of the talent tree for that spec. Great move, huh.
 
 
Tue Mar 29 2011 1:38AM Report
Teala writes:

Boraxe, is the bubble nerf still going to go through in patch 4.1?

Tue Mar 29 2011 9:27AM Report
69Cuda writes: I played my resto drood to 85 oh...took like 2 days to hit 85. I worked the new healing model until I had it down and started heroics. heroics weren't "hard" per se but they were an utter hassle and bitch fest in general so after about 3 of them I stopped running them as a helaer and went righ tinto raiding. 3 weeks later had an I level of 354 and was staring at nef and just simply quit the game. I have been a "Raider" since 2005. The nutjob raid till you die type up til about a year ago (you can only raid so many years) I think you hit alot of things right on in your review. For me I think I am just utterly burned out on the hamster wheel model gear grind. You learn the dance, collect the gear and do it again, and again, and again, and again , and again, and again, and again, and sghfisuyghfeihghdkfgh and then you quit lol. Wed May 25 2011 10:58PM Report

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