In today's MMO news there are only two numbers that can make a headline.
WoW is giving us the last major game patch for Wrath of the Lich King. More importantly it is the last major game patch before Cataclysm.
The new Looking for Group/ Dungeon Search Feature will push more players through raid content than ever before. WoW still has its hardcore roots with Heroic and Hard Modes. However, the game is now becoming the very friendly to casual players. Everyone will have a crack at the Lich King it seems like, a fitting end to one of the best MMO Expansions I can think of.
I say that because I was a hardcore WoW player for two straight years. However when Burning Crusade came out, something was lost for me. I was a huge fan of the new zones and thought the game added the expansion without really studying what players wanted. It was simply more of the standard MMO advancement.
I know WoW has copied many other games, but if you take a look at Lich King as an expansion it really did make the game faster and more fun. The quest hubs were positioned better so you could do 4-5 quests at a time rather than just one 1-2 at a time. The zones had character and lets face it, frozen undead vikings are cool. The realm of the Lich King was Mordor in Ice and it was fun. The instances were faster and easy to access and players from hardcore to casual ate it up.
3.3 arrives today adding even more options for players to see all the content in the game. As the MMO landscape changes, WoW is lucky enough to change with it. The question is what will Cataclysm do next year? Will it be a huge mistake liek the NGE was for Star Wars? If there is one thing I know about Blizzard, they test the heck out of stuff before they put it out there.
For now, I know I am looking forward to fighting the Lich King and getting some of the best looking Shaman gear in the game that I have seen for a while. Emblems of Frost are in my future now and I'll have to put the work in like everyone else.
Let's hope the last big patch for WoW before Cataclysm changes the game can deliver, I think it will.