Archive for the “Mists of Pandaria” Category

I finally hit 86 last night.  Hot damn, I’m a speed demon at this levelling stuff.

Reflections:

– There is such a thing as too much cut scene, damn it. 

– I have difficulty figuring out why the hell I should care about any of this crap.  OK, so academically, I get the story line.  Emotionally, I am not engaged at all.  And all the cut scenes in the world won’t fix that problem.  Make me give a shit about these quests, damn it!  And stop making me run errands for panda children!

– I might have lied a little.  I was a little interested in finding Anduin.  I was a little invested in that (although he’s not a little boy!  When the hell did we decide to change him from a child to a young man?  Where the hell is my in between?  Now that would have been a cut scene worth watching.  Anduin’s first day at high school… or however the hell they get educated.  Anduin awkwardly hitting on someone inappropriate like Jaina.  Anduin popping his cherry (the non graphic porno version, because that would be kinds creepy).  Anduin having to wear braces… I don’t know, where were the awkward teenage years?  The years I am sure most geeks can sympathise with?)  Of course, all the in between may have happened in that cursed expansion that I avoided like the plague.  Urgh.

– Pandas are getting old already.  Especially the way they speak.  I’m bored with Pandas, Blizzard.  At level 86.  This is not promising.

– I kinda regret not being able to level at the same time as everyone else.  That may have actually motivated me.

– The way the quests are staggered around the zone is annoying as well, and seems to have no actual flow.  I like my story to be linear if it isn’t going to be interesting.

 

Oh well, onward and upward to 87!  Which will be even slower, by the way things appear.  Oh well.

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And, of course, got immediately caught up in the wonderful world of pet battles.  As in, I spent 2 hours doing pet battles, and 1 hour actually levelling.  Or something like that.

Admittedly, progress was slow… either the map has been rearranged dramatically (doubtful) or I have just forgotten where everything is.

I also got distracted by the horseman… which we failed, because most of the people gathered there thought it would be more fun to carry on like idiots and swear at each other instead of doing the actual event.

I had some trouble getting into the quests, which has made levelling look really unappealing.  It feels like there is far too much ‘Kill Ten Rats’ going on, and not enough meaningful story development.  Although that could just be me.  I was also rather frustrated at how clunky my Warlock felt to play.  I’m hoping I get over that in time, once I get myself used to a new rotation (yes, it takes me a while… I know, I know).  Things were dying easily enough, and I only died to my own stupidity (sure Sar, you can definitely pull 20 mobs and live… that’s plausible!)  But it just felt… slow.  And clunky.  And yuck.

I forgot how much it sucks being so far behind everyone else in the guild as well.  I really haven’t had time to play lately, and I can’t help the fact that I am busy, but it is so frustrating.  Levelling is, of course, the only solution to this problem… it’s just the getting in and doing it.  I really hate levelling.  So much. 

Although, if I could level through my pets, I’d be pretty happy.

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So, the new talent system for Mists of Pandaria has been announced, and I, as always, am considerably underwhelmed.

One of the things I liked about WoW talent trees is the sheer amount of stuff that was in there.  Other games have always left me feeling a little let down at the lack of options I have for specialising my character.  I like to be able to play with talents, to see what different things I can make my character do through making different choices.  I want to be able to make my character that little bit different from everyone else… if I’m not really keen on the whole cookie cutter idea.

The argument for the new system is that it will give us more choice.  We apparently will have a wider range of options, and there won’t be a ‘cookie cutter spec’ any more.  Honestly, I find that very difficult to believe.  We all know balance is almost impossible to achieve – the likelihood of every talent on each tier being perfectly equal and balanced is almost non-existent.  We will still have cookie cutter specs – they’ll just be a damn sight easier to remember.

If anything, this seems to be another move towards (you all know I’m going to say it, so head off now if you don’t want to hear it!) dumbing down the game.  Let’s all make it easier by giving people less options!  People won’t be so intimidated if we don’t have big talent trees!  I think that ultimately, it will back fire.  Having less choice means the ones you do have to make are all the more important.  Not to mention easier to laugh at and ridicule. 

I think it will also be interesting to see what effect this has on specialisations, particularly for DPS classes.  Will it dilute the differences between specialisations, or will it make them more prominent?  For this to work, I think Blizzard really have to aim for the latter.  It could just be me, but I feel that there is a lack of class identity, and a lack of specialisation identity.  I know a lot of this happened for ‘good reason’ – I find it difficult to argue with the ‘bring the player, not the class’ philosophy.  However, it definitely came at a cost of identity.

Each tier has three talents, and each of these talents are apparently going to be similar in their focus.  While this will make balance easier, I think it will make the system bloody boring.  Which DPS increase talent is going to be marginally better than the other two?  Oh yay, that’ll be so exciting for us to figure out!  Which is better suited to this fight?  Awesome, that’s going to be massive amounts of fun in raids – “Now for the five minute interval before each boss where everyone changes their talents –again”  Respeccing, re-glyphing… it’s going to be the biggest time waste since some guy got paid to work on Mage design. 

Mists of Pandaria is the first expansion where I have been left totally unexcited.  Not a single thing has appealed to me at this point. Pandaren do seem kinda silly to me, but perhaps that’s just me being a fantasy snob.  I can’t really see the need for another class – Blizzard appear to have enough difficulty balancing the ones they already have.  The changes to talents have ruined one of my favourite things about WoW, and that is really disappointing for me personally.  MoP (is this the worst acronym ever?) feels like a massive amount of filler, and I am just not keen on the whole idea.  Will it cause me to leave the game (again) come expansion time?  Probably.  If I can get my way with other things outside the game in my life, most definitely.  Is it annoying enough for me to have a huge hissy fit right now?  Nope.  I’ll have this minor one, and that’ll be that.

So, really… Dude, Where’s My Talents?

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