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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 2

Posted by Teala Friday January 28 2011 at 12:54PM
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“What...?

No answer came from the others that remained.

“No seriously --- you can’t all seriously believe that that tank was any good. He couldn’t hold aggro. He never even tried to mark targets. He didn’t give the hunter a chance to CC or allow the mage to polymorph - he just rushed into packs of MOB’s. We’ve wiped how many times? He was a bad tank. This is not WotLK anymore. This is Cataclysm. People have to learn. He was wasting all our time. If I was wrong to vote kick him, than why did all you agree to do it?”

One by one the others blinked out. The healer stood alone in entrance. She cursed under her breath, and then, like the others she ported out of the dungeon.

Well that was fun. Not! Wasted another hour and a half of my play time. Frak...it is 10pm. Bed time. ::sigh:: Main menu. Exit game.

Cataclysm dungeons make even baby Jesus cry. Oh wait...we’ve been here before. This is suppose to be part 2 of my Cataclysm review. Sorry that I started it on the wrong foot. On to part two of my Cataclysm review.

So as I said in part 1, Blizzard rewrote the book on “How to Make an Expansion”, and “How not to Make an Expansion”, with Cataclysm. So many reviews, and articles give nothing but kudos to Blizzard saying that Cataclysm is the best expansion ever --- and I mean ever(and not just for WoW but all MMORPG’s! ::shakes her head:: really? ) , but these people that are saying this are not looking at the forest. “Wise man say, that in order to see the forest one must first step out from behind the tree.” I dunno which wise man said this, maybe it was Mr. Miyagi --- but it is true. To many reviewers, writers, and players of these games forget to step out from behind the tree, and it seems moreso than ever in regard to Blizzard’s expansion --- many are standing with their nose firmly planted against the bark of the tree directly in front of them. How do I know this? Take my hand young grasshopper, and follow me as we walk through that forest. I will teach to how to see that forest.

First step out from behind the tree. Second, take off those stupid rose tinted sun glasses, they are so 1980‘s. Third...stop squinting! Open your eyes! See...you won’t go blind...look at all the trees!!!!!!!!!

What is the first tree in the forest you see when you do finally finally step out from behind that tree? You’ll see that the forest is the same forest we’ve been walking through since November of 2004. Nothing has really changed. Just more of the same only more. Sure they remade Orgrimmar and added a few new zones, re-designed character classes, and added some new fluff and a new coat of paint to a few things, like the water in the game - but underneath; it is still WoW. But the saddest thing is that they didn’t think about the people that would be walking through that forest, and the things they would encounter. They seemed to have forgotten to remember that there would be people walking through that forest.

Look at this.

How cool is this? In one of the new areas they give you this awesome new underwater mount --- a seahorse. It is so very cool. It allows for you to travel underwater at awesome speeds. Considering how big of zone Vashj’ir is, this is a must have! Now, step out from behind that seahorse tree...look beyond it. Yeah...you see it too. You’re level 80 and you have this cool new underwater mount and in your minds eye you envision riding that mount in other places in Azeroth - right? Forget it. That cool new mount is only for Vashj’ir. I guess the developers thought that giving players an underwater mount that could be used in all the waters, seas, and oceans was to OP(over powered) and would allow them to skip content. ::rolls her eyes:: Why else would they disallow the seahorses use beyond the boundaries of Vashj’ir. I mean clearly a level 80+ would WTFPWN questing all the underwater quest the game has to offer if they could ride a seahorse in all of Azeroth.

Wait! Be careful where you walk now. We’re getting into a part of the forest where you might be hurt. Look...awesome...it is festival time and with festivals comes achievements! Yeah! Oh wait...be careful, that is a level 85 elite guard! Yeah...see we’re suppose to go into Alliance territory and talk to that elder. Yeah that particular elder to get the Lunar Festival achievement is in a starter zone in Darnassus.

Frak! They saw us.

Run back to your corpse. Sorry about that. Ever since Blizzard added the elite guards, going anywhere near Alliance held cities, and places, you are going to be killed, and oh yeah...I am sorry I should have told you to take off your armor. Here, let me pay for that repair bill. Yes, I know it is stupid. But you see, people said that Blizzard needed to do something about ganking in the game. So Blizzard added level 85 elite guards to all the Alliance and Horde faction held areas like Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and what not. Doesn’t matter that you, as a level 85, cannot out right attack anyone “not” flagged for PvP in those areas - Blizzard decided to just place elite guards all over the place and call it good. No they didn’t think about what it means to players who are trying to do achievements.

Speaking of achievements, did you talk to the elder in Wintergrasp? No. Why not? Oh yeah, I know...sucks doesn’t it? You cannot get into Wintergrasp Fortress because ever since Blizzard changed the rules regarding battlegrounds like Wintergrasp our side has not been able to take it back. They insist that the battlegrounds team be balanced and made it so that both sides must have equal number of combatants - a 1:1 ratio. So if only one member of the Alliance queues for Wintergrasp...well than only one member of the Horde will get in. On our server where the Horde dominate the Alliance players just don’t care to play Wintergrasp so I know where you are coming from - it sucks...it really does. The imbalance between Horde and Alliance is like 20:1 on our server. Blizzard does nothing to fix this. In fact they still allow for people on our server to switch factions freely. Yeah...that means many Alliance players switch to Horde and that just makes things worse. This is not only the case on yours and the server I play on, it is happening on many others as well. To bad Blizzard doesn’t really doesn’t care - otherwise they would actively be trying to fix this, but they are not.

Yeah, I know. When Cataclysm released, that same system of BG ratios also effects Tol Barad. Good luck getting into that new battleground. I gave up trying. I have never been there. There is just not enough Alliance members queuing up to allow the Horde players that wish to participate in Tol Barad a chance to get in. Even if you do manage to get in I understand the new BG is a mess anyways. The way Blizzard set it up sounds like a nightmare based on the amount of flack the are catching about it on the official forums.

Let’s walk to this part of the forest.

So how is that blacksmithing profession coming along? Cool you made skill level 525, any cool things you can make? Wow...that is cool. A level 359 weapon. Awesome. How about armor, any armor that is awesome. Yeah...I know what you’re saying. Tailoring and Leather Working is the same. Just a couple of pieces of PvE gear, all the rest is PvP gear. I mean we play on PvP servers, so being able to make PvP gear is cool. But what about the PvE players or players that play on PvP servers that like to PvE as well...I guess it sucks to be them. They’ll have to get their gear by running randoms, grinding rep or J/V points.

LOL! Yeah...I know it is ironic isn’t it. Blizzard over-tuned their dungeons so grinding for gear in randoms is a crap shoot at best. I mean since Blizzard insist on not balancing their game with any kind of risk vs reward type mechanism. I mean normal dungeons are almost as bad as heroic ones. On top of that the time it takes to get into one. 25 minutes on your server, you say. You should be in my server group. It can take up to 40 minutes to get into a heroic! If I am lucky and get a good PUG group we can run a heroic with no wipes, but that rarely happens so it takes upwards of an hour and half to run a dungeon. Even with guildies, running HHoO, still takes a good hour! Running HHoO with a PUG it normally takes 2 or more --- that is for a stupid 5-man dungeon! Yeah...I know. Kinda makes grinding dungeons for PvE gear more of a pain. I stopped trying to run more than one a day. I just run with guildies to do my one daily and that is it.

Oh wow...I know, flying in the old zones is cool. Finally we can fly in Kalimdor! That is so cool. I know...flying in some zones is a pain --- Ashenvale comes to mind, because Blizzard in their infinite wisdom put some kind of flying cap in some of the zones, and doesn’t allow flying in other old zones all together. Why? I dunno...maybe they thought level 85‘s would skip content in the starter zones or that we'd see just how ugly the tops of the trees in Ashenvale really are.

Yep, over there...that is the part of the forest that covers the new profession Archeology. It really sucks though. The whole thing seems to have been just slapped together and no real forethought was put into it. I’ve talked about that all ready and I am tired of talking about it. Let’s move on.  What...Blizzard says they are fixing it - how?  Really!  Are you serious.  That is how they intend to make it less boring, by making the junk you find via Archeology worth more at vendors.  Yep...that'll make it less boring.   ::shakes her head::

Speaking of professions again, how do you like herbalism? Really...they nerfed the amount of nodes that spawn again? Why? Wasn’t it hard enough to find some herbs all ready? You don’t even bother with it any more. Yeah, I would do the same. Taking two hours to get a single stack of Twilight Jasmine would really cut into ones play time.

Enough with this part of the forest...it is like Ashenvale, burned to the ground.

Cool let's walk a little further into the forest.  See this part.   This use to be Dalaran.   Now it is nothing but a ghost town. It use to be a very busy and fun place to hang out with other players.   We could even freely mingle with the Alliance side and have fun poking fun at one another and or even duel with one another in the sewers.   It was very fun.    Then Blizzard said, we're removing the portals to all the different zones.   Players asked why.   Blizzard's response.   We want players to spread out and to get re-aquainted with the old zones.    What did this mean?   Well let's look at this new part of the forest.   The removed the portals from not only Dalaran, but from Shattrath as well.   What effect did this have?   It moved Alliance back to Stormwind and Horde back to Orgrimmar.   In fact, before the portal changes,  I would say that people were more spread out than they are currently after the release of Cataclysm.   Why?  Because we had fast travel to all the given major cities.    Now we have to take the airships.   This gets tiring.   It forces people to waste time waiting on the airships.  It has itself become yet another tedious time sink and on top of that it has made the two capitols the main cities and turned all the others to ghost towns - even moreso than before when we had the portals to/from Dalaran and Shattrath.   It seems Blizzard didn't care to actually spread people out.  All they really wished to do was create another stupid time-sink.  They could easily fix this.  All they would need to do is create portals from all the major cities to the other cities.   Leave the airships in for those that care to use them or to get from say Orgrimmar to Grom Gulch, as we do now, but as it is the other cities are pretty much useless.  No reason to visit them when everything you need is in the capitol cities.

::sigh::

How do you like that new talent tree? Yeah...kinda fooled me at first as well. I was like really excited about the how Blizzard took the old system and stream lined it. I thought wow, if we take the new stat system, with the new talent tree, and the new ability to reforge items we could really make some diverse characters. Boy was I mistaken. I thought our classes were cookie cutter before Cataclysm, but Blizzard sure proved me wrong. I never thought I would say this, but Blizzard pulled an SOE NGE on us and maybe a handful even saw it coming. See, even I am guilty of not listening to the wise men once in awhile. I had to step out from behind the tree and take off the rose tinted glasses, too - in this case. Now more than ever there is very little diversity in classes. If my Survival Hunter does not follow a certain build she is guaranteed to be full of fail. Same goes for my healer, my DK Blood Tank and my Troll Shaman. You learned that as well huh. I know, I know...many of us got excited about this new system...but in the end it really is sad that Blizzard followed in the footsteps of SOE. What’s worse is Blizzard claimed this would help them balance the classes better, and yet, all we’ve been seeing since the launch of this expansion is one change after another to classes, and the balancing just goes on, and on, and on. It’s like eating from Forest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know from day to day what your character may play like because Blizzard is constantly making changes to the content of the basic ways our characters play.

Where too from here...because to be honest, I dunno...I am sick of Blizzards new forest. It is full of WTF content and BS. Walking through their forest is no longer fun. It’s like every other step you encounter a new deadfall or rotting tree because Blizzard failed to take any time to look at it beyond the fact that it is more than just a tree. It is what helped make WoW’s forest better than the other forest. If all the trees are not healthy, than whatever is effecting them has an impact on the rest of the forest. It didn’t always use to be this way. Now however.

I know...I know, Blizzard did a great job reworking the starter zones. The new quest are fresh and engrossing at times. It really is amazing to see all the reworked zones. The Barrens, Needles, Stonetalon - just to name a few, shows that Blizzard still has some people working there that know what they are doing. Some of the quest in the new zones are fun as well like the Harrison Jones quest lines in Uldum or the quest in Hyjal that takes an old 2D game called “Joust” and makes it a 3D version. Those are healthy trees in the forest. The phasing they did to some of the zones is awesome...if it weren’t for the fact that they didn’t really think about the ramifications of what phasing would do to general game play. See, the problem is, there is just so few of them and they only go so far. It is the end game that matters most, and I am afraid that this time around Blizzard didn’t really use good forest management, or judgment, or put any real thought into some of the things they did. I’ve only showed you just a small part of their forest. There is so much more. Just walk through it and if you take off those rose tinted glasses and really open your eyes...you’ll see the forest I see and that forest no longer looks lush and inviting...it looks burned, dead, or overgrown with Kudzu.

You know Blizzard has said repeatedly that they wished to make WoW more challenging. I am all for that. Make the game more challenging, but while you’re at it, remember to keep it fun! You forgot to do that. All that new end game content is not fun! It is not challenging. It is a tedious, boring, and a huge monotonous time-sink --- ad nauseam.  We’ve been there before, we’ve done that all ready, and the difference this time around is you didn’t even try to do anything different - sure you planted a few new trees, but you neglected the rest, and some of the new trees you did plant in your forest were all ready infested with a disease...that disease is called - “same-old, same-old”.

I stepped out from behind the tree finally, and took off my rose tinted glasses. Maybe more people should do this, too.

ArcheusCross writes:

Sounds like you need to play minecraft. :P Try it and play it a bit. Then send me a pm and ill show ya the mp server i play on.

Fri Jan 28 2011 3:23PM Report
NeokiNaomi writes:

Haha I like the addition of that Twilight Jasmine node... I spent a good 15 minutes trying to figure out ANY possible way to get that... hot dropping from flight form flying by to get it.. reforming etc... Ya... I had fun leveling up with the uldum and deepholm quests, some were really fun. After maxing out though.. bleh. Oh well hopefully smedley doesn't screw around and actually releases Planetside 2 as scheduled just so some of us can actually breathe again, aside from that it's Deux Ex / Warband / Earthrise for me to hold me over. Caio!

Fri Jan 28 2011 4:18PM Report
Teala writes:

"hot drop" - tried that as well...lol!

I miss playing PS with the outfit - booyah!  4475th Rangers!.   I just hope that SOE doesn't screw up the new PS and neglect it the way they did the old PS.

Fri Jan 28 2011 4:44PM Report
Robert_S4 writes:

I'm still wondering about how you were able to be so spot on. Your opinion regarding this expansion is near exact as my own. Everyone else seems to be in to it, no matter who I talk to about it, I end up being the whiner.

I'ts quite odd. I suppose people have gotten used to just accepting whatever crap are tossed at them.

I flew 3 whole rounds around Twilight Highlands earlier today and only managed to find 1 node, mining that is. I'll admit I went on for a good while and found a bunch, but this isn't how it should be.

Also, herbing yeah, the twilight jasmine node count / and or respawn has been completely busted.

Anyhow, spot on, I completely agree with both article 1 and 2.

Though I'd like to add my personal opinion that I think induvidual rewarding is the future for MMO gaming.

Take WoW for example, everything, every single thing except the point system and honor is contested.

Where you have to fight and claw to get anything and everything, as a person starting to get a little bit up there agewise, this has gotten pretty darn old.

I enjoyed the read on both part 1 and 2 though.

Too bad that we can't do anything with the state of the game.

As far as I see it, the problem WoW's developers has is:

Either things are way up there, if they get nerfed, they are at rock bottom, there is no middle ground anymore, it's top or bottom balance wise, no matter what it is, and it sucks.

Sat Jan 29 2011 3:06PM Report
shadyjames writes:

So I guess my decision to quit wow back in sept '10 before cata rolled out, was a good one? Lots of my friends still play and i don't see them anymore, it's kinda sad. But maybe they will step out from behind that tree as you put it :) Good review

Tue Feb 01 2011 11:10AM Report
WalterWhite writes:

I really looked forward to Cataclysm but little did I know that it would ultimately make me quit the game.

My old guild has started to lose many of it's membes as they have all decided to quit and many of their decisions why are mirrored in the OP.

As a casual player ie, I like to have a couple of hours playtime in the evening after work and have spent some quality time with the kids ect. I no longer have time to enjoy the game as just one heroic dungeon will take up all my alloted playtime and leave me fealing frustrated and annoyed without the dungeon being completed more times than actually reaching the end.

I'll wait for SWToR to come out I think and wave goodbye to Azeroth once and for all. Till then i'll pay some attention to my PS3 which has been neglected for some time.

Tue Feb 01 2011 11:40AM Report
Ciccero writes:

A lot of people do nothing but complain about Pugging and Cata. Plain and simple WOW has had a revamp with  cata and you have to know how to play your class or you will be pissed all of the time. Pugging and expecting everyone else to know how to play is delusional. I tank and I have a nice macro which includes a " If this bothers you,gfto and back into that 2 hour queue". Reroll a tank,then fill your own niche. I see a lot of people complaining about tanks and they dont play one " Oh, its not my style, oh I love this class already,I dont have time" blah blah.

It is funny how so many people are moaning about the chages with Cata....that force people to be intelligent players. You have all gotten lazy,do not remember WOW back when there were no expansions or are just too rolled over with Blizzard making the game TOO EASY then throwing in a change up for Instancing.

Yes, boo hoo...the games not a Hello Kitty cake walk in pugs any more. Revamp your view is my take on it. People complain about the silly things,things they see in 1 light.

Where you gonna go if you quit WOW ? Rift...heh, Warhammer on steroids is what rift is. Has little capacity to hold the interests of the WOW crowd for more than a month. Then you will be dancing across the pages,looking for that FIX and you won't find it. Then you will be jaded,kicking yourself in the butt and go back to WOW...but it will have changed. Nothing will be the same after that, you will complain more,issue threats about quitting, toy with the cancel screen on your account page and all the while because you could not adapt to a feature change :)

How do I make these predictions from the hip ? I did it, I am there and I know exactly why. Unlike you, I had no issue with the dungeons. If there was an idiot, KICK and press on. No, my problem was the hate,anger, the kids and adults who use WOW as thier venue for acting out, picking on people, racial harassment,sexual harassment, jsut plain old HATE......I could not find a way around it. I could turn off all my chat,then I may as well be playing a console game. Blizzard,hell, no one, polices their games at a certain point. So, here I am,wondering what will eventually come out that I find fun and reflecting on the 3 other games I have tried, all of the Hateful kids/adults I have seen cluttering up the world wide channels in those and realizing I may just be done with gaming. Now, you need to reflect and decide just how bad is your issue. If you can deal with the angry people, the mean people, the ugly people, then I see no reason you cannot adapt or reroll and resolve your issues.

Per nodes, you really think adjusting the X/Y on a node is a critical thing ? You surely havent played WOW since it's release,else you would reaize it took them YEARS to correct grammar issues in quests....YEARS....

Have fun

Wed Feb 02 2011 5:17AM Report
MurlockDance writes:

I actually went back to WoW to check out Cata myself. I started out fresh as a goblin Shaman, putting my Warlock back on the shelf (since Blizz seems to love to boost locks then nerf them). There are things I like and things I don't. This is a very mixed bag.

I'm glad they've toned down the speed of combat and brought in the need for cc again, but I don't like the removal of AoE at the same time because I don't like it when they remove entire playstyles from a game. It seems like many class talent trees are pretty worthless now, with quite a few having junk talents you still have to put points in.

I find the reworked areas are pretty cool in some ways, but in other ways I don't see why they had to be completely redone so that they're more on rails now. Blizzard could have added more level 85 content to the game and just redone the areas that people hardly ever went into, like Azshara. They could have spent time updating some of the quest rewards in the Vanilla areas and left most of them as was, like Tanaris.

I guess I agree but also disagree with Teala. I'm really 50/50 about this expac.

Wed Feb 02 2011 3:18PM Report
linksys2 writes:

WoW endgame was all about PvE raid or PvP and nothing will change, dont like it ? wrong game for you sorry

and no, dungeons are not overtunned, as a tank i find every dungeon very easy unless i catch with 3 baddie dps but thats what kick is for

and yet again the "no time to learn how to play properly" excuse, seriously takes 10 min to watch an youtube vid about quick guide they are everywhere or read a class guide from some forum

Wed Feb 02 2011 10:41PM Report
KamiKazeTG writes:

@linksys2, it's sad watching an addict that has failed to complete step 1.

 

@Teala, spot on for the most part...as usual.

Sat Apr 16 2011 2:04PM Report
Vaultar writes:

I really do empathise with u for the majority of the article and I am sure the majority feels the same way.

Until I got to this part.  "But from what I have seen, read and experienced lately, with the new titles that are soon to be unleashed, I can honestly say that in my opinion this genre is stagnating and is not getting better, or improving, or bringing something totally new to the table - it is, like this blog entry - going nowhere."

I understand it is ur opinion and totally respect that. However, have u seen the direction GW2 is taking? ArenaNet is pretty much innovating on all fronts with its upcoming title be it combat, dynamic events, instancing to tell story, breaking holy trinity, art department and cinematics, underwater combat and exploration etc etc

The best part is, these features and mechanics do not just sound well and good on paper. The media and many people that came to events like PAX East, PAX West and Comic-Con have tried the demo booths first hand and there is nothing but praises flowing from their experience with the game when they realise that all these features that sound so good on paper actually translate pretty much 1 to 1  when it comes to actually PLAYING the game.

ArenaNet is fulfilling on all their promises and that is very rare to see from mmo developers who strive to innovate on their mmo project in one way or the other.

I could have also used SW:TOR as an example, but in my opinion, GW2 shows far more promise in terms of innovation across all departments of an mmo game and is the best example to use for my argument. Ok ok, I will be honest and say that I've chosen GW2 also because this is the only game I am truly looking forward to.

To conclude, even though the mmo genre is currently stagnating, it will finally get the rejuvenation it needs with a few upcoming titles most notably GW2.

Fri Jul 22 2011 10:52PM Report

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