There has been a LOT of discussion around the place about the badge changes. There’s some ranty stuff like what I wrote, there’s some less ranty stuff, and there’s people who have ranted in the complete opposite direction to myself. What can I say, giving away loot in a simpler manner causes lots of emotional babbling!
One comment which I have seen coming up here and there is the argument that the changes allow people who are in, shall we say… less able guilds… to see the content. For guilds who are carrying people doing sub-par DPS, or underperforming in some other role, they now have the opportunity to see new content because they can carry guildies through it.
For some reason people get up in arms when this idea gets thrown around, so I am just going to get this out in the open right here, nice and early:
Some people just suck at WoW.
It’s true. It might not be politically correct, or even NICE to say this, but some people just don’t know how to play the game. Some of them improve with research and practice, others just suck and nothing will fix it. They might be lovely people, great to talk to, but they can’t play the game.
So, some people are saying ‘we have people like this in our guild. They might even be RL friends. Now, I can’t just tell them they suck and not take them on raids, but they hold the rest of us back and we can’t see the content. This new badge gear will help us overcome that.’
That’s just bullshit.
Take a single player game…. I don’t know, Duke Nukem or something. Now, I used to play Duke Nukem a lot as a kid. I was also bloody horrific at it. I couldn’t get past things, I died all the god damn time, I was hopeless. Never been good at shooters, what can I say. However, there was nothing to get me ‘through’ the game. I just had to practice a lot to get past it, or suck it up and admit that I was not ever going to be good at it. No one was going to drop an awesome gun into my hands or anything and say ‘Here you go, now you’ll be fine!" So why do MMORPG’s do this?
Any ‘regular’ game, all the money is made at the purchase point. If the person then sucks at it, well, too bad for them. The developer already has their cash and they are happy. If someone buys WoW and sucks at it and can’t progress, well… they’ll quit. That’s a lot of money lost right there. Blizzard want to keep their subscribers, so they want to make the game accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, it’s slowly killing the fun for those of us who can play.
Euripides claims that WoW is not any easier than it has ever been, it is just that the playerbase is getting more skilled. I have to disagree. The largest indicator of this to me? Hands up who uses crowd control. Come on, there must be someone out there who uses crowd control. In a heroic? In a raid? *looks around* OK, I think there’s a little hand up there in the back corner. That’s it though. CC went the way of the dodo when Wrath came out, along with most situational awareness (seriously? How hard is it to dodge a big black pancake?) Not to mention the fact that I find the game easier, despite having a much more complicated rotation than my ‘lolSBspam’ BC rotation. I have to actually THINK about my rotation and the game is still easier for me!
I have not seen crowd control used in Wrath at all. Oh, sorry…. once or twice in Ulduar. Instances? Nup. Heroics? Hell no! Who needs to crowd control that puppy when the tank can AoE tank, the healer can heal em right through it and the DPS can just mow them down?! I remember pulls that went horribly awry in BC heroics, where someone’s CC failed and you would almost always wipe. Anyone remember chain seducing those mobs in Shadow Labs? Banishing, enslaving AND tanking demons in Mechanar? Having Mages designated solely as chain sheepers on some fights (Lurker, anyone?)… the ability to crowd control effectively in BC was hugely important. Bosses were less forgiving of errors, and you died if you screwed up even marginally. In Wrath, thus far all the content I have seen has been roflstomped fairly comprehensively up to Ulduar, and even partially into Ulduar.
Euripides says that the game being ‘not easy’ is proven by Ensidia taking 204 tries to kill the hardest boss in the game. Let me just think this through…
1. Hardest boss in the game currently. That immediately implies that this is content people SHOULD be butting their heads against. The hardest boss in the game should take a hell of a long time to get down. How long did it take people to down Kil’jaeden?
2. 204 tries. That’s chicken feed, quite frankly. If you raid, think about the number of times you wipe on progression content. If I think back to BC (and I hate to harp on it, but if we are going to say the game is easy, then we need to compare it to something) I remember wiping for weeks on end on Vashj. At about the time I started this blog, my guild was beating our collective heads against the wall on that stupid Medusa looking creature. So, minimum of 8 hours of wipes a week. Weeks on end. I would say that added up to well over 100 wipes. I was easily going through a stack of food at LEAST on a ‘wipe on Vashj’ night.
Now, I don’t blame Blizzard for making the game ‘easy’ and accessible to everyone. At the end of the day, they want to make money, and it’s the best way to do it. However, the minute something more challenging and interesting appears on the horizon, I for one might just jump ship. WoW isn’t a challenge anymore… it’s just far too easy for anyone with a pinch of skill. I for one am tired of wipes feeling more like “Who noobed it up this time?” than “Wow, this is a HARD fight!”
Heroics – Wrath is FAR easier than BC overall
Entry level raid – Naxx is definitely simpler than Kara was. Kara was a nightmare of an entry level raid… Naxx is not much more difficult than a Heroic.
Single Boss raids – I would say Gruul’s Lair is about on par with Malygos, but OS is much easier than Mag’s was. Except for maybe 3 drakes, which is slightly harder, but then, that IS ‘hard mode’.
Next level raiding – Ulduar is a weird mishmash of difficulty levels: I would say that the bosses on average are harder than the easy bosses of TK/SSC (let’s face it, TK was fairly easy overall), but the more difficult bosses of SSC/TK were more difficult than those of Ulduar.
Irrelevant post script: This is my 300th post! Yay!