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Hrothmund's random ramblings.

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Author: Hrothmund

WoW, does it offer anything to people seeking a challenge?

Posted by Hrothmund Friday January 30 2009 at 11:03AM
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WoW has been taking quite a beating from the community here, and one of the most common qualms has been that the game offers very little to experienced veterans seeking challenging game-play experiences. I have to disagree. In my opinion WoW offers the best all around gaming experience of any MMO out there, starting from the extreme casual and user-friendly content to the extremely challenging end-game raiding and single-player achievements.

"What, no way that's bull!" I can already imagine the Vanguard, EVE, and SWG and EQ 'veterans' mubmling out loud. Again, let's take a look at the facts. WoW is a game you can play at the beginner, novice, dedicated and 'hardcore' levels and stil enjoy the game, no matter your play-style or time constraints.

Let's get started with content aimed at novices. When you start the game for the first time, the menus are pretty much self explanatory, making it very simple to log in with your account and create your first character. As you log in, you are greeted with a short animation that scrolls through your starting area while a narrator briefs you with a short history of your race. Once the animation stops and you encounter the default in-game view for the first time, the tooltips, hints and tutorials make it very easy to get acquainted with the user interface, game mechanics and general orientation within the game. In fact, most individuals with some basic IT skills will be working towards completing their first quest in under a minute. So in short, getting started in WoW is extremely clear-cut and suer-firendly.

How does the casual gamer cope with the later content WoW has to offer? Very well, in fact because of the level of difficulty for single player questing and survivability in the appropriate areas for your level, many people find it almost too easy to level up character. Indeed, leveling up should not prove to be difficult for most players, however skill comes into play if you want to level up quickly.  Once you reach level 80, there are a multitude of things to do. You can gear up in instances, work on your faction reputations, focus entirely on PvP or even take a step forwards and try heroic instances and ten man raids. All of the end-game content I feel is extremely accessible to the casual gaming crowd, even the raid instances are accessible due to the toned down difficulty of the early encounters. The only encounter that I could see as a little bit of a stepping stone is Malygos, but in my opinion it is still easier in the ten man version than Magtheridon in TBC, for example.

What about the 'veterans', the 'hardcore' gaming crowd then? Well, the end-game content becomes quite challenging when you start attempting to complete the encounters while fulfilling the requirements for the most demanding of the achievements. Only under 3% of the active player base has completed the hardest accomplishments, although the current end-game content was dubbed as entry level by Blizzard and has been live for two months. Also, if you are into PvP, there are some really great players out there to compete with, just make sure you select the correct battlegroup when joining a realm.

All-in-all to play your character as effectively as possible is not a cakewalk, even in top guilds you will see a difference between the people who put in their full effort, and the loot-mongers who are just along for the ride. To all the MMO veterans out there condemning WoW as a dumbed-down cartoony grindfest, please do some reasearch before giving WoW the cold shoulder. By research I mean trying the game out for yourselves and actually experiencing the end-game content, instead of browsing through the countless anti-wow sites and posts out there and listening to your like-minded friends. You can tell me how easy WoW is after defeating Sartharion with three drakes up in normal difficulty.

 

Bravnik writes:

Ah - I totally disagree. My guild cleared all content 12/1 and didn't do it before then due to LAG and not the content provided. WOTLK is a total joke for anyone wanting a challenge.

Seriously - What exactly is the challenge in pulling every single mob and AOEing them down (trash) and the hardest fight in the game is 10 Man / 3 Drakes for the Achievement.

I mean seriously, if you find the content challenging then you are by means no hardcore player. Hell I quit my raiding guild and have basically stopped playing Wow at this point because I just don't see any reason to continue.

The achievement system is a total joke and put in as busy work if you will. So what if you killed a dragon with 3 drakes up. It's the same dragon with zero drakes. The CONTENT is the same. It's like the difference between normal and heroic 5 mans. You can only do it so many times before you are sick of seeing it.

I did my 3 drakes. Then said screw this. I found my attention span going WAY down hill. I died for stupid reasons as I just didn't care anymore. There was simply no challenge that could hold my attention like SWP did or hell even MH/BT before the nerfs.

I personally found no fun at all in clear Naxx in 5 hours the very first time we tried it. The most challenging thing was dealing with the 1500MS Lag that was there.

Bah - If you think WOW is a Challenge then you really have no clue what a Challenge is my friend. Sorry.
 

Fri Jan 30 2009 11:31AM Report
Hrothmund writes:

Bravnik: My guild has also cleared the whole content, and before yours, may I add. However, you must realise that the reason why the content has been cleared by so many guilds, is the avilability of strategy gudies and videos on the internet. No other MMO has such an active hardcore raiding community. The best of the bunch are drawn to WoW, therein lies the reason why the content is mowed down so quickly.

If you are so strongly opinionated, please point me to a title that provides a stronger end-game raiding challenge, while still retaining a sensible end-game content design. It is easy to spew out that WoW is terribly easy, especially if you have managed to clear all content, but then again, what are the alternatives?

Like I wrote in my blog, Naxxramas, Malygos and Sartharion are the entry level raids in WotLK, just like TK, SSC and Gruul and Magtheridon were in TBC. I daresay completing all of the content while attaining the top achievements is harder than clearing Magtheridon, Gruul or the early bosses of SSC and TK after TBC release. The only reason why SSC and Tk were initially hard to clear, was that Blizzard added in codblock mechanisms to slow progress.

Fri Jan 30 2009 12:09PM Report
sfraden writes:

Wow Combat = Tab(grab target) + CLick +Click +click....  no strategy or skill needed.  Monkey's can do that and even just random clicks can still gain you a win.  Wow Combat is not a challenge as those with the most gear wins.

WoW PvP = Those with most gear wins.  No challenge there.

WoW Raiding = Been there, done that.  a One time event that you have to repeat a LOT of times in exactly the same manner just to get a slight chance on a raid drop.  Only challenging once and thats because you ahve to learn the 'rules' of how to take the instance.  Once you know the raid loses its charm as it never changes and there is no random element.  No challenge either.

WoW content = New places to see once, upgraded gear drops.  Again no challenge there, just more pointless farming for the new uber lootz.

Face it, the game is designed for simple minds to process and is easy mode gameplay.  I grew out of WoW fast.

Fri Jan 30 2009 1:50PM Report
Quizzical writes:

If something takes a long time, then most people won't do it, but that doesn't mean that it is hard.  Probably not very many people have taken a gryphon from Stormwind to Ironforge, and then immediately taken one back from Ironforge to Stormwind (without doing anything in Ironforge).  Probably no one has done that a thousand times.  But that doesn't mean it 's hard to do that a thousand times.

There might theoretically be something genuinely hard at the very high end, though I never saw anything remotely close to that in my time in the game.  However, it would take such an obscene amount of grinding to get a shot at it as to not particularly matter what's there.

Fri Jan 30 2009 2:21PM Report
SXRchosen1 writes:

sfraden: Best Summerization of WoW, you are my new hero. :)

Fri Jan 30 2009 3:27PM Report
Hrothmund writes:

Sfraden: what game offers more challenging PvE raiding at the moment, than let's say OS 10 with 3 drakes or EoE HC?

Fri Jan 30 2009 5:25PM Report
Quizzical writes:

The "challenge" of WoW's raiding is not that the content itself is hard.  It's that you have to get a lot of people to schedule their life around a game and show up at a particular time, and also that you have to spend a ton of time farming for the gear that makes the raid doable.

PvE content does not deserve to be called "hard" in that unqualified sense unless even at the level cap with all of the gear that exists in the game available completely for free, and with as many competent players available as the game allows, it would still be hard to beat it.

Requiring a lot of farming and grinding does not make content hard; it only makes it stupid. 

Fri Jan 30 2009 6:18PM Report
clamsd101 writes:

@Quizzical

For some reason I mentally read your comment with 11 year olds girls voice. Which was funny. That was WOT. Anyway I've always seen grinding as a bad sweetener. Since some people don't care about that it makes it extremely popular. Which I'm okay with. Because that means the company doesn't keel over starcraft 2 and diablo 3.

And on a note becuase I'm not that fond of WoW is that then only challenge I don't feel like I'm important. Crap that's what I should write about. Off to my blog!

Fri Jan 30 2009 7:59PM Report
syllvenwood writes:

I have played Wow and EQ2 both to end game and sorry, but nothing in WoW comes close to the challange of EQ2 raids, or EQ1 for that point. Everyone needs ot be on the ball and the fights are fun and the quests involved proved a rich story WoW has never come close to grasping

Sat Jan 31 2009 4:03AM Report
syllvenwood writes:

And i forgot to add that the difficulty level at level 5 in wow is the same at 25 and 40 and 70 you just have to cast your spell a few more times

Sat Jan 31 2009 4:04AM Report
Hrothmund writes:

syllvenwood:

I trust you have cleared 40-man Naxxramas at level 60, SWP before the nerfs and 10-manned three drakes, since you seem to be such an expert on WoW level of difficulty.

Quizzical: In WotLK Blizzard has introduced measures designed to make gearing up easier, and less of a farm/grind. The same goes for you, since you seem to be knowledgeable about WoW level of difficulty, I trust you have cleared the hardest end-game content?

 

Sat Jan 31 2009 6:59AM Report
NotArkard writes:

Does it offer anything to people seeking a challenge?

Yes, disappointment.

The hardest end-game content was AQ40, 40-man Naxx, WAY back in the day. Hell, even Karazhan was slightly difficult for a bunch of people when BC first came out. Does it offer challenge now, though? The answer is no. At least, not the same challenge other games offer.

Sat Jan 31 2009 8:53AM Report
Quizzical writes:

To assert that a player should have to spend hundreds of hours on farming and grinding before he can assert that he doesn't like farming or grinding is patently absurd.

There might theoretically be something hard eventually, but if you have to spend a huge amount of time doing horrible nuisance stuff in order to occasionally have a bit of fun, that's terrible game design.  It doesn't matter what's at the end of an optional journey if there's so much misery on the way for it to not be worthwhile even if there's something really great at the end.  Especially when it's extremely unlikely that it could be really great at the end; MMORPGs almost invariably get more grinding as you get further in, not less.

Sat Jan 31 2009 9:47AM Report
sfraden writes:

"Sfraden: what game offers more challenging PvE raiding at the moment, than let's say OS 10 with 3 drakes or EoE HC?"

Actually Warhammer Online does.  At least their instances have a random element and mobs can be in different places, have different loot and is much more challenging. But its only a slight improvement over WoW, truly about all the MMO's out there have about the same thing.  The point I make here is that once I have done that OS10 with 3 drakes, why do it again? Its just going to be EXACTLY the same as before and therefore no new challenge.

" In WotLK Blizzard has introduced measures designed to make gearing up easier, and less of a farm/grind."

Yeah, so now you can do the same content faster, and everyone can get the same gear and look the same even faster.  Believe it or not, thats a bad thing as people like to be 'special', when everyone suddenly has the same chance of getting the uber lootz, that special feeling is non-existant.

Sat Jan 31 2009 10:59AM Report
ghogiel writes:

Some people want / need epeen stroking, these people sees themselves (and most importantly: they want other ppl to see them) as unique, special, snowflake, stands out above the rest. I'm glad Blizzard doesn't cater only to these people anymore - yes it's an RPG but in reality: it's an MMO. People want a slice of the end game content - as much as how 'care bear' / 'scrub' you brand them (us - now that I'm one of them)

Elitist jerks (not the website - but the actual elitist jerks) who believe that making contents more accessible (read: easier) as bad are selfish and need to pool their money to float a software company to develop a game of their own niche and leave us alone. Heck, in some instances you people actually needs us scrubs - otherwise whom are you going to stroke your epeen to ?

Sat Jan 31 2009 4:46PM Report
Hrothmund writes:

Quizzical:

You do not need to farm at all to get started with raiding in WotLK.

 

NotArkard:

Having cleared AQ40 and Naxx 40, I still think the hardest encounters in the game were found in SWP, before the change in mechanics of course.

Sun Feb 01 2009 1:52PM Report
Bravnik writes:

I fully understrand the WOTLK is entry level. That's my point, it is SO BORING due to that fact. Hell man, we have pugs that clear all 25 Man Content on my server on a daily basis.

Your OP titles asked a simple question. Does it supply a Challenge. The simple answer is NO it does not. Prior to WOTLK there was ample challenge in the game. MH/BT/SWP were all difficult in their own way and required gearing up to go to. WOTLK as it is now, you can clear the 25m content in Quest Gear for gods sake.

If your so called theory was true friend, then pugs would have cleared MH/BT (Before the nerfs) as well as SWP. Hell Pugs would have cleared BWL/AQ40/Orig Naxx if that was the case. So your Theory is a joke. Pugs clear WOTLK because the content is NOT challenging. It's a joke.

Bliz better do something with the next content patch. They additional raid content better be hard or hell even moderatly hard. As it is now, PVP is a joke, Raiding is a Joke and the only challenging thing on my server is getting home in time before the QUEUEs kill you.

Tue Feb 03 2009 2:36PM Report
Hrothmund writes:

Bravnik:

On Magtheridon EU, PUGS cleared everything BUT SWP. I think there were even some puggish collaboration kills there.

 

In general, yes current WotLK content is easy as hell, but I would still not call 3 Drake Sartharion or 6 minute Malygos not challenging.

Wed Feb 04 2009 6:27AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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