Wrapping up the Cataclysm, in more ways than one.

We are merely four days away. Four days away from Faux China. From Pandas, and level 90, and a lot of flying serpents. Cataclysm was good. And it was bad. But I’ll remember it, for a lot of reasons…

The Good:

  • Tier 11 was fun stuff. Varied. Multifaceted. A lot of thought went into it. Some of the fights were deeply challenging. AF didn’t get that far before Firelands. But that’s okay, because we still got quite pushed. 8/10, would murder again.
  • I had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with a really interesting batch of people, via Glyph Vendor and the Blizzard Tanking forum. Those crazies have really rounded out my experience, taught me a ton, and helped make me into a better tank in a great many ways. If the people are bleh, the content is infinitely less fun. I daresay that the people I’ve met have really helped the content shine.
  • I feel like I’ve become a better tank, and a better player overall. I’m taking risks and getting messy. I think I have at least a few more days of /played left in me.
  • There were mounts, and they were awesome. Look, I’m not going out of my way or anything, but if you want to put a sweet flaming ground mount in my path, I’m not going to turn it down. I will probably even take a bunch of screenshots of Esco on it and make it my desktop wallpaper for a while. >.>
  • I did get to finish a fair bit of heroic content during my time off, thanks in large part to Ðemolition and his crew of fine folks over at Ruined of Proudmoore (see Esco’s recent acquisitions, a Savior of Azeroth title and a Life-Binder’s Handmaiden, at the bottom of the page.)

The Bad:

  • Dragon Soul was lackluster. Okay to start, but after many months, it really wore me down. And it was a slow tier for me. I stopped raiding full-time in May, and was still pretty bored with it by the time I got my Savior title two nights ago. It is the same, and yet totally opposite of what happened in Wrath. ICC limped across the finish line too, but more than anything, I think that was because it was out for about 20 years before Cataclysm. Had it only been around for a few months, I think people would have hated it less by the end. Wrath started with a bit of a whimper though, with revamped Naxx as its centerpiece. It was new to me, and yet it wasn’t. So many of the mechanics had been used in other ways during BC since not a lot of people experienced them when Naxx was fresh.
  • I hate LFR, you guys. There, I said it. I hate it. It’s a mediocre-at-best idea in theory, but beyond that…it wore out the content that much faster since raiders were compelled to see it to gear faster (and in the case of certain pieces, so that they would see gear at all), and it was depressing and neutered. It was seriously undertuned so that idiots who have no business in raids could feel good. But those people really didn’t have any business in there either. The greatest fail fests in LFR were Ultraxion and Madness of Deathwing. The former was hard because pressing a button not to die was apparently insanely difficult. The latter was hard because switching targets is for sissies (a problem that plagued Spine as well). I’m a elitist. I’m going to go ahead and spoil that for you if you didn’t know. I believe that in order to be successful in a game, you have to be able to work within the mechanics. If fire is on the ground, you have to know to move. You have to know what your buttons do. You have to know what your opponent can do. If you cannot do these things and you cannot (or will not) learn, certain aspects of that game are simply closed to you, and that is the end of it. Ignoring or AoEing blistering tentacles causes a stacking damage debuff on your raid that quickly overwhelms the healers and kills everyone. You have to kill them, single target. That’s right, you can’t just DPS your way to victory, in part because of the damage, and in part because if you don’t understand mechanics, you probably also don’t understand your class, and your sweet 20k DPS just isn’t going to be enough, amazing as it is.
  • As an offshoot to LFR hate, I despise the LFR Hero that it spawned. You know, that person who is convinced of their own awesomeness thanks to multiple kills of castrated, broken-spirited bulls. Here is the true issue, the encouragement from Blizz for people to feel as though they have truly achieved something because they were able to live through neutered content. No, you couldn’t get a title from it, but you really should have been able to. It wouldn’t be very flattering, though. I’m not sure if I’d want to wander around with Escorducarla, Survivor of Other People and Their Glaring Incompetence over my head. *sigh* Alright, I’m moving on from this subject. But I have no doubt I will be back.

Looking Ahead…

At around midnight on September 20th, after 2 years in Anduins Fist and nearly 5 years on Aggramar-US, Escorducarla officially became Co-GM of Cinnamon Challenge of Proudmoore-US. We are building this thing from the ground up…and I’m probably going to spend a lot of time talking about that. Because holy moly, just doing a write-up on the loot system…

Until next time!

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~ by Esco on September 21, 2012.

One Response to “Wrapping up the Cataclysm, in more ways than one.”

  1. The main issue with LFR, in my opinion, is the same one that plagues most of WoW- 99% of the game is the exact same difficulty, so you never need to improve.

    Imagine if this were the case in another game– if every Mario level was just as easy as the first, no one would play it. If every puzzle in a Zelda game involved the same solution, then you’d quit after the second dungeon. MMOs tend to get a free pass on this, because apparently they’re not supposed to challenge you outside of the endgame.

    Worse yet, because you can deal and survive more damage at higher levels, it creates the illusion that you’re getting better, which leads people to think that they’re much more competent than they actually are.

    This doesn’t mean that most people are arrogant about it (in fact, very few are), but it means that they don’t even consider that they might be doing things very, very wrong. To continue off of the Mario analogy, if you can easily beat every level, you’ll think that you’re really good at the game.

    This is a difficult issue to fix. Content needs to be designed to slowly ramp up from 1-90 so that people are encouraged to optimize their performance, and that takes a LOT of development time. Other games, such as DDO, took this approach from the start, but at this point, WoW has so much content that it would be prohibitively time-consuming to retrofit it all.

    And even if they did address the problem, there’d be major implications for the people that are already at endgame. We saw what happened when you throw unskilled players into challenging content with the Cataclysm launch heroics. Furthermore, even with a proper ramp-up, not everyone wants that kind of challenging play for whatever reason, so Blizzard might still lose subscribers.

    No easy answer, unfortunately.

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