Today we get Patch 4.2 from World of Warcraft. As a WoW player from day one it feels kind of like déjà vu all over again. I raided Molten Core, a lot, in the early years. I remember downing Ragnaros for the first time; it was amazing. Now here we are with another fire based zone and it is 2011. Seven boss fights in an epic raid and all of the trimmings. More daily quests which actualy look to be the gem of the Firelands patch. Loot, gear, flying mounts, but haven’t we seen all of this before?
Let me start by saying that WoW really is a great game. It was Lich King that made me come back and play and I could not put the game down for over a year. When Cataclysm hit, I leveled to 85, then just fell off. The end game content was very rough especially as a healer. It started to look like WoW had lost its luster. Throw in Patch 4.1 and the trolls rise again, which was very rushed and unlike the Blizzard we know and love. I remember raiding Zul ‘Gurub it was cool and the jungle atmosphere was fun. But seeing essentially the same raids and same loot recycled for 4.1 was upsetting. Why would I bother to log in? To fight trolls in the jungle again? I mean it is cool and all but Patch 4.1 came and went and very little was even spoken of.
So here we are in the hot summer of 2011 and Rage in the Firelands comes to our desktops. Once again WoW is recycling ideas to give the raiders something to do. I like the idea of squaring off against Ragnaros again, however the feeling of been there, done that still throbs in my head. Do raiders really raid just for raiding’s sake? Because that is what WoW is starting to feel like.
Take the raids out of it for a second. The Molten Front really seems to be the gem of this patch. Players need to unlock the Mt. Hyjal quest chain in order to start opening up the areas for Molten Front. Once done you can choose individual daily quests to complete in the different areas. These quests unlock even deeper personal storylines for your character and you will get Marks (currency) to buy some top gear. Even though players will be doing individual quests they can still work together. It may just look different from one player to another. With this type of gameplay available WoW is starting to look good again. But I have to ask the question, is this there beginning attempts at adding story into the game… cough Bioware...cough? I really haveto check out Molten Front to get the full idea of how these quests work. It will be interesting to see how players react to these dailies and if it brings a lot of players back to the game.
One thing I wonder about this patch though is will it draw people back from places like RIFT? Do players want to get in the gear grind again to get the top tier? Will they go through endless daily quests just to collect more Marks to get more gear? From a player standpoint it is hard to tell. Gamers do always search out different games, but once they find a new one they really like, it is hard to get them back. I am not sure the 4.1 and 4.2 patches will really be the full answer for WoW. I mean, I laugh when people say WoW is on the brink. It still has more players than most MMOs combined. WoW is not going anywhere anytime soon. The key is what can the developers do to make the game exciting again? We still love you Ragnaros, but I don’t think you are the answer to this all-important question.