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Reader Comments (189)

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 5:03PM Zethe said

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@fallwind

Same three specs, one shared "spec" that has 3 skills every 15 levels. You can choose one of the three skills per level set.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 5:16PM Eamil said

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@fallwind

It's hard to say without them talking in-depth about what each talent does but they say they're trying to make various off-spec talents attractive to more than one spec.
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Posted: Oct 23rd 2011 9:39AM JuliusSeizure said

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@fallwind

From what I've seen, the three choices in each tier are conceptually similar, so you might have three different ways to increase your mobility in one tier, three survival cooldowns in the next, three output (damage, healing and threat all in each) boosts in the one after, three crowd control options below that, three group buffs after that, and so on.

Often each will be slightly more in theme for one spec or another, but you can go against type for some more interesting benefits that might work better with your playstyle without sacrificing any real power. Since you pick your spec separately from the talents, you see.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:45PM CZL said

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I'm sorry. I hate to be that guy, but this seems like a rip-off of Guild Wars. It's got challenge missions (challenge mode dungeons), cooperative missions (PVE scenarios), polymock (Pet Battles) and East Asian themes (just like Factions!). It wouldn't surprise me to see players doing all of these to spend reputation points to increase a rep title.

I mean, these ideas are awesome and I'm having fun with them... in Guild Wars. I'm not sure it's worth it for me to resub to WoW for lore-less raids, more gear grinds and panda people, although the new talent trees and Monk mechanics sound interesting.

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:48PM Nenene said

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@CZL
You can tell who Blizzard considers the real threat out of the upcoming batch of MMOs by whose mechanics they're ripping off.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 5:06PM CZL said

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@Nenene

I would agree except they're ripping off Factions and Eye of the North, not GW2, which doesn't even have a list of gameplay features yet, just a few demos and some philosophical dev diaries.

Which isn't to say Blizzard shouldn't steal like bandits from other good games. Blizzard pilfered Games Workshop for the original setting ideas for Warcraft and Starcraft, and that's OK because the end product was really good. I like WoW; I've played it for many years, but this expansion seems more like Cataclysm than Wrath or BC. If they'd quit trying to please fans bitching on blogs (hello, irony!) with needless difficulty tuning and mini games, and concentrate on pumping out awesome quests, dungeons, raids and PVP, WoW would be fine. It doesn't need to be the uber hardcore competitive esports arena. It doesn't need to be about superpowered raid guilds and faction grinds. Those were accidental developments from the main game.

Just make those things worth doing again and we will do them!
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 5:13PM Nenene said

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@CZL
Blizzard tries to please too many groups at once. You just can't have hardcore players and the Farmville crowd in the same game and keep them both happy all the time.

Pick one side to pitch to and stick with it. The middle 'casual' subset will be generally fine with anything.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 5:20PM Irem said

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@CZL
GW2 does indeed have vast amounts of information on features. And it's not theme they're lifting, but a lot of this stuff is a pretty clear response to changes in the MMO landscape (not solely from the direction of GW2). Refocusing on the open world, a class that is very active in play and has no autoattack, being able to switch talents on the fly, adding content that doesn't require dedicated roles, emphasis on choices for endgame content, minigames...all of these are acknowledgments that the tide is turning against the model WoW popularized. They're smart developers, they -know- they need to add things that players can point to and say, "See, WoW has that sort of thing too!" when a friend or forumgoer starts listing off what one of the next-gen MMOs has for features.

The irony is that WoW itself needs to break the "WoW rules" that reportedly informed much of TOR's design in order to continue being successful, and has been heading that way for a while. I have nothing personal against TOR but as someone interested in the industry I have to wonder how that's going to affect them.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 6:10PM Lafajet said

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@Nenene
To be fair, the thing that most seperates SWTOR from WoW is the cinematic storytelling and it might be a bit hard to actually cram that in the game with just an expansion. I'm sure Blizzard most certainly view both GW2 and SWTOR as serious competitors (as they should) but it's getting to the point where their features are a large enough departure from what WoW does that they'll have trouble just lifting mechanics from them and implementing them in WoW. As others have noted, the features seem to be lifted from the original GW games rather then GW2.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 7:17PM Irem said

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@Lafajet
I'm lost as to where the original GW stuff is, honestly. I doubt the theme has anything to do with Factions, and pet battles are pretty clearly a shoutout to Pokemon, not Polymock (which was more like chess anyway).
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 7:52PM Lafajet said

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@Irem
I was thinking more of the new PvE content, but granted I don't know much about it yet, so it might be different enough that it really is different things. My main point was that it doesn't remind me any more of GW2 then it does of SWTOR.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 8:37PM EuchridEucrow said

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@CZL

Here is a pretty decent rundown of some of the top features being put forth by Guild Wars 2. This video is a bit old but is pretty good on getting a general overall idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBC_ig73aMs&list=LLIbDkP6LDrovRypNYxVWPPw&index=4
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 10:19PM Eliot Lefebvre said

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@Irem

"They're smart developers, they -know- they need to add things that players can point to and say, "See, WoW has that sort of thing too!" when a friend or forumgoer starts listing off what one of the next-gen MMOs has for features."

The problem with that is that these new games are designed, from the beginning, to work with these features. Trying to emulate them at the last minute feels clumsy, like bolting a fridge to your computer and claiming that it's a feature. At best, these new systems are going to force existing players to completely re-learn talent trees and how combat works - and considering that last November saw players being asked to re-learn talent trees anyhow, that's a hard sale. You eventually want to stop re-learning classes that you've played and just be able to play.

As for the no auto-attack feature, the two games that I've seen handle that the best, City of Heroes and Star Trek Online, managed the gameplay by not giving you a mandatory auto-attack. Both games do, however, allow you to set an attack or multiple attacks to work identically to an auto-attack. Every other game I've seen either eventually puts in an auto-attack feature or allows you to designate one.

I'm not saying these features are automatic failures. I am saying, however, that knowing a game needs to have a system does not necessarily translate to the game working well with that system without some serious examination of the underlying structure. Considering the state of the game when I stopped playing, I'm rather dubious about that.
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Posted: Oct 22nd 2011 4:03PM Irem said

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@Eliot Lefebvre
All of that is true, but I think mimicing this stuff is mostly aimed at people who -want- to stay with WoW in the first place. They're only going to go and check out another game if the features for that game sound really fantastic compared to WoW's. Even if it doesn't work out that well compared to a game that's made with this stuff in mind, it should accomplish its primary purpose: namely, stopping Blizzard from looking horribly out-of-date and stubborn even to their loyal subscribers. It's basically saying that they realize these kinds of things are going to become industry standard in the next few years, and even making an attempt with an aging game shows the fanbase that the developers are looking forward and willing to change to accommodate new ideas. That will probably be enough to keep the diehard fans from being tempted away, even if it doesn't work out particularly well in a game that hasn't been built that way from the ground up.

People do hate relearning talent trees, but I remember when I was reeeeally into WoW I just sort of accepted that it was part of getting a new expansion.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:46PM Citrus Cloud said

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I want to be the very best

That no one ever was!

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:49PM runzwithsizzorz said

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I don't know what to say. All I know is that I will NOT be staying up till 3AM EDT for the servers to go live with this expansion.

So its going to be $40? Again?

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:49PM (Unverified) said

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Well WoW will now get public quests, not sure how long that type of feature has been done by other MMO yet.

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:50PM Seldra said

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It's good to see the game is making changes, in a lot of ways. While it will possibly alienate the older more "serious" members in the community I say who cares. Many of them are moving to other games anyways and it's always the fresh new blood that keeps this game alive.

And honestly I don't understand why this comes as a surprise to anyone, Pandarens have been part of the WC lore since the start. Go back to the wallpaper archives in the WoW site and you'll see a "Pandaren Express" wallpaper there.

WoW has always been fairly lighthearted and whimsical in aesthetics, gameplay and lore. If Swtor, GW2, and TSW weren't around in the corner, I'd be excited for WoW too.

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 4:51PM JoeH42 said

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Wow, does not sound very good to me. I thought the idea of a Panda Expansion was just a joke. And a Tauren Kung-Fu artist? Really? And what's with the best racials ever being offered to the pandas (except the +15 to cooking one that is as worthless as all the other + to professions unless they start putting in recipes that can only be used by people having more than the possible max.) And while making it so you can change specs quickly is certainly a good idea they're coming across as Johnny Come Latelys behind SWTOR and other MMOs that are already offering that. So good job Blizzard on introducing an expansion that sounds like a joke, has a race with ridiculously good racials compared to others, and introducing a new class that forces players to start a new toon at level 1 and grind through the same content they've done 15 times already. Oh, and apparently the solution to "cookie cutter" talent trees is to significantly limit people's choices, THAT'LL HELP.

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 5:01PM Lenn said

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@JoeH42 And a Tauren Kung-Fu artist? Really?"

You've never been kicked by a cow, have you?
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