As I work on finals and find time to play Cataclysm and other games that I am behind on, I’ve also been working on reading through my blog roll. There were nearly 400 posts that I had missed in my month of writing and I’ve been working slowly at it for around 14 days now. This has led to several topics that I want to cover:
The first topic is Warhammer 40k Onlines two factions. Many around the net have cried for it to be at least three factions, and many of them want even more than that. Would it be pretty cool to have three factions? Sure, it could be cool. Would it be cool to have more? Not even a little bit. The game could be amazing, but based on how the industry has been going it’s not going to see WoW numbers. The more factions you have in a game, the fewer people playing each of those factions. That means longer wait times for dungeons, pvp, less player interaction and an abandoned looking world.
Even three factions is pushing it. Sure, Dark Age of Camelot did it and by all accounts it was fun, but could that success be seen again? You might say “of course!” but look at WoW and it’s clones. Just because a game emulates the features of something that came before it and succeeded, doesn’t mean it’s going to succeed on it’s own. That’s not to say it couldn’t, but I’m personally glad that they went with two factions. I already play games that friends play but I’m unable to play with them because of two factions, or servers, or whatever. Not to mention the more I’ve played games designed for a PVP crowd the more I realize it’s the PVE that drives them, if they succeed at all. I think designing a game, a AAA game, for PVP is a folly that will only end in pain and layoffs. Smaller budgeted games can get away with it better I think. I mean, it probably cost Adventurine a few hundred thousand to design the art assets for DarkFall, and another $50 to program the actual ‘content’ like all six quests. (Of course I’m being silly here, there are plenty of good points about DarkFall, this just feeds into my next subject.)
Next I was going to comment on several on Syncaine’s posts, mainly those bashing World of Warcraft and it’s Cataclysm expansion, but honestly I don’t see the point. Here is an entire post from Syncaine:
For some, it will take longer to download an expansion than to reach it’s level cap.
That is most impressive for 25 months, hundreds of devs, and millions of dollars later.
Lowering the bar (of accessibility!) yet again.
That’s not the only post he made about Cataclysm, and most of them are as ignorant and angry as this one. It’s gotten to the point that I finally just removed him from my blog roll. While I enjoy his unique incites into DarkFall, he rants about WoW like a spoilt child, or a drunken scorned lover who’s just found his ex’s MySpace page. He spews hate for something he truly doesn’t understand just because he personally didn’t like what the game used to be, or what he assumes it is based on conjecture and what people around him tell him about it. That’s all I have to say about Syncaine at this point, I just won’t pay any attention anymore, it’s not worth it.
The last thing I wanted to talk about was Cataclysm and some of the interesting things I’ve noted so far. First of all I’d like to say that anyone looking at Cataclysm like it’s only 5 levels of content is in a sad state. That’s not to say that they are playing the game wrong, just that I feel sorry for them. I paid $40 for the expansion and so far I’ve logged around 15 hours just getting two different races to level 20. I experienced in that time moments that really made me gasp out loud, moments with plot twists that got me excited to see what would happen. I’ve done quests that I think surpass anything found in an MMO up until that point. Some of that is because I am a lore nut, and with all the changes I can’t seem to stop stumbling across massive updates that shock me. Anyway, even if I stopped here I;’m still getting far more for my dollar than those who bought Call of Duty: Black Ops for $60 and a 5 hour campaign.
I’ve got one character to level 40 so far. An Undead Hunter who is just finishing Western Plaguelands, which need a new name. One of the changes I am really happy with is the updated low level armor skins. Now you no longer look like a court jester as you level if you just use quest gear. If you count on drops and purchased AH items you’re still going to look silly I imagine.
On the other end of a spectrum I have a character who is almost level 81. The levels aren’t taking as long as I would have liked, but it’s not so fast that I feel like it’s cheap. Sadly the area I am questing in is entirely underwater, and while they’ve done a much better job of underwater levels than some other games (I hate you Ninja Turtles!) it’s still not very fun to relearn the game, having to now pay attention to a full 360 degree circle. Add onto that the fact that their spawning seems to be off, as I’ll kill a mob and immediately have it and it’s friend spawn ontop of the body. It can be really frustrating.
I’m looking forward to getting in some of the harder dungeons though. As a tank I’m excited to see CC make a resurgence, and having my wife play a healer means that if a DPS doesn’t want to CC, he’s getting the boot and we’ll instantly have another. I’m also looking forward to some level 85 PVP and getting my first set of Cataclysm gear which will probably be the introduction PVP set, assuming there is one this go round.
See you all around, whether it be in World of Warcraft or one of the twenty other MMOs I’ve been checking out.