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.
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.