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Reader Comments (91)

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:07PM JohnD212 said

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Also...less phasing! Can't stand when I'm in an area but can't see friends in the same area because we're in different phases. Just leaves you detached.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:21PM The Ogre said

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@JohnD212

Nah! Phasing is awesome! So great to go the entire 10-20 stretch in Silverpine Forest on a heavily-populated server and see only one other person the entire time! (Sarcasm, FTW!)
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:05PM (Unverified) said

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@The Ogre
When some quests are so badly designed for an MMO that seeing another player is a massive immersion breaker you know there's a problem somewhere.
Happened to me several times while leveling through cata 1-60 zones, the one that comes to mind is the end of the burning steppes questline where you have to assassinate the blackrock orc leaders that went into hiding, when i was coming up to the final target, tension slowly building from working my way through the cave some random paladin runs past me, pulls everything in a 250ft radius, kills the leader near instantly and runs off, leaving me to wait a good 5 minutes for a respawn.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:06PM JuliusSeizure said

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@JohnD212

Or just let parties synch their phase to match one member.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:10PM Miffy said

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Do community managers count as part of the developer? If like the lead game designer said this then I'd listen, but a community guy?

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:17PM hassaun2006 said

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@Miffy i dont know for sure, but i'd hope they get the go-ahead from the higher ups before making statements like this. Still, i'd like to get it from the actual horse's mouth as well.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:07PM Loopy said

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@Miffy Think of community managers as PR people. They don't say anything that isn't official stance of the company (or at least they shouldn't).
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:13PM (Unverified) said

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@Miffy I agree only from the standpoint of how horrible a job Ghostcrawler has done with this game thus leading to them bleeding subs. It's amazing they left him in charge for this long don't they higher ups realize they are losing big time money?

It will be interesting as a GW2 fan to see what they do with this game after i'm safely enjoying my time on my Charr engineer. They really screwed up for my class and my profession in WoW and thus is the two key reasons why i'm leaving the game as soon as D3 comes out and most certainly when GW2 comes out. They two key reasons are hunter, and engineer. They nerfed the hunter class and boosted mages like crazy, last time i checked a bullet from a gun hurt far worse then some nerd waving a harry potter wand at you, and they have never done engineering justice on their game, even as a goblin engineers should have had many many more advantages then they did in WoW. Sad really.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:29PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
That comment is ridiculous and/or stupid on so many levels im not sure where to start.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:20PM Space Cobra said

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I haven't touched Cataclysm and really didn't touch the expansion before that. I probably should be the last person commenting on this, but from what I know, which involves an interest in the story as it progresses and friend's playing, most of their expansions have been about the same, no?

I mean, they do add elements, classes and races, into the whole mix, but the over-riding theme of the expansion deals with a big dungeon and a big enemy.

To me, it is unusual that Blizzard is saying Cataclysm was too tightly linear when it seems all the other expansions have been the same. Again, I warn that this is not a very informed view. Maybe there was some other ways one could defeat the Lich King? Maybe he did not hang out in only one dungeon and you could talk him into surrendering?

I know adding such content is a tight-rope, but hasn't this been the modus operandi of Blizzard for some time? Why are they admitting now that it was a mistake? I am probably missing something, so I am asking for some enlightenment on this.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:27PM Sephirah said

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@Space Cobra

The "linearity" of Cataclysm consisted in the sequence you were forced to do quests: often, to enable quests in a quest hub, you had to finish a lot of quests in the previous one.
So it was not possible, for example, to say "Ok, I already did these quests on my main and didn't enjoy them, I'll skip them and go in the next hub", because in the next village no quest giver would be enabled.

In the previous xpacs was almost always possible to decide where to quest inside a zone, losing eventually only some chain quest.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:33PM The Ogre said

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@Space Cobra "To me, it is unusual that Blizzard is saying Cataclysm was too tightly linear when it seems all the other expansions have been the same. "

No, the linearity is that you mostly get sent to a quest hub, are given a couple quests at the same time for the exact same area on the map, are then given another couple of missions at the hub that go together at another spot on the map. After about 6-8 missions total that way, you get sent to the next hub (with it not being unusual to be sent to an NPC who will ferry you directly there - a little variety might be injected by having that ferry be a rail shooter, such as how you get to the Crossroads now) for another set of missions that go the same way. Once you reach a level that's a multiple of 10 (at least for the old world), you get sent to the next zone. If you're lucky, there might be a choice of zones at that point, but those zones'll be just as linear as the previous ones.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 10:23PM aurickle said

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@Space Cobra
Pre-Cataclysm Azeroth also had a number of quests scattered around the world that you were never sent to. You just stumbled across them by exploration. Now it's changed to where there is absolutely no reason to go anywhere, unless you have a quest directing you to that place.
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Posted: Jan 15th 2012 2:45AM Borick said

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@Space Cobra After Naxx the polish had worn off of the Tigole & Furor team, and they had to start showing some scratch.

Burning Crusade was amazing, but pushed the limits of the fantasy tropes and they still ended it with a raid that most people didn't bother to even look at.

So when Wrath hit, you got the polish guys, the process guys, the storyline guys... and all of them got to move in and push whatever vision had gone before out of the way. It was good, but Wrath was all about process, with Ulduar and the alternative vehicle combat systems brushed under the rug. So much for true innovation, and nevermind dance studios or anything that couldn't be marketed on a trading card or at Blizzcon.

Cataclysm was a trainwreck. I've quit since, but I'm not even sure they ever linked the Burning Crusade starting zones with their new revamped world. I have a feeling the current team doesn't like the Burning Crusade guys all that much.

Going forward there are pandas and pokemon. Fine and dandy for the asian clients, I suppose. Me, I'm pulling up stakes and sticking to the indies until the AAA production studios eat themselves.
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Posted: Jan 15th 2012 6:59PM Chareth Cutestory said

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@The Ogre

And the real issue within that structure is how locked in place the quest progress is.

You start at one quest hub, but the quests at the next hub won't unlock until you've finished the ones from the first hub. This has always been the case with chain quests, but now almost all quests are tied in to a chain, so completing quests in a zone is an all or nothing proposition.

You're always going to be starting quests in a zone that you're too high level for, or leaving a zone early because the remaining quests are too low level. Then, you start the process over again in another zone.

None of it serves storytelling or variety in questing well.

It can be nice to go in to a zone and never feel the "burden" of picking up 15 quests right off the bat, but that burden was what made MMORPGs fun for me-- getting a ton of quests, figuring out where I needed to go to complete them, and plotting a course that would get me through most of them.

Now, I never have to worry about more than 5 quests at a time. Their locations are given to me, and all of them will likely take place in close proximity to one another.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:24PM (Unverified) said

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In other words:

"Hey, our last expansion sucked and players know it. However, we really want to hype our new expansion and say that we've learned from our mistakes (although we made that comment going from WotLK to Cata as well)."



The game is going bye-bye and SW:TOR is now going to take it's place as king of the land.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:49PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

Well if you're talking about linear questing and learning from that, SW:TOR certainly isn't king of anything.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:15PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) HA hardly, SWTOR only has 1.8 mil subs right now, they don't have enough end game content they have bugs that should have been cought in alpha still in the game and they don't immediately support macs which despite every windows nerd's dream is one of the major keys to Blizzard's success in all their games.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 10:00PM Bhima said

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@(Unverified)

Sooo let me get this straight. You think a big portion of blizzard's success is from having a Mac client? I'll agree it definitely helps pad their numbers but lets look at the bigger picture: Macs (NOT including iPhones or iPads) make up roughly 10% of the desktop/laptop marketshare. I would speculate that of the mac users, an even smaller percentage of them game than PC users but lets just say they game on their computers equally. Even saying that, which I highly doubt, they could only have AT MOST 10% of WoW's marketshare or roughly 1 million players. Its a large number, but not that large when compared to the over 10 million players in WoW.
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Posted: Jan 15th 2012 11:18PM (Unverified) said

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@Bhima : Network effects! Maybe only 10% of players play on Mac, but that means in every decent-sized circle of friends, _someone_ will be a Mac user. And if that circle of friends wants to game together, they'll want a game with a Mac version.

Of course, this is all a lot less relevant now than it was in 2004, now that Macs are all Intel-based and most Mac-owning gamers are happy to just run games under Windows on their Mac.
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