View from the Road: The WoW Cataclysm Cometh

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I'll be pouring alms for Poor old Blanchy. So many bags....

Actually for the most part I have to give a great deal of kudos because going back and basically changing everything in the pre-Burning Crusade block of content is a fairly big deal. It'd be like having Gustave Eiffle knock down his tower and say, "Screw it, I'm doing it better!"

I do feel a sliver of regret- some of my favorite quests were from the original game, but really this is all content that's been accessible for almost 5 years now. There's a fair bit I won't miss.

I await Cata with equal parts dread and hope. In the meantime, we'd best set about reveling in the beauty of the old world, for we shan't have it forever.

Hm... I wonder if my friend still has an account open.

I remember exploring the world with my friends lvl 70 character. At the time that was the cap.

The world is huge and beautiful. I find the gameplay a bit boring (personal preference, don't flame), but I loved exploring.

If I can, I may go through one more time.

Heh, a couple of days ago I saw the screenshots too and let me tell you, I felt exactly the same. Strange thing is, I haven't played the game in two years. But I was there at the very beginning, as nooby as they come. The world was great back then, everything was new, out there to explore. And so I did with my human rogue, I visited all possible locations there were even the opposing faction cities. Never really got into raiding and doing dungeons over and over and over again, mostly the reason why I quit. But a friend bought the expansion and used my account to play which gave me a chance to explore even more and thus grow even more attached. Now, there's probably no chance I'll be playing the game but at 4 in the morning when I first saw the screenshots I couldn't help but whip out the WoW OST and listen to some ambient sounds from the all too familiar areas I explored all those years ago.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who got so goddamn sentimental and nostalgic over a MMORPG.

P.S. Anyone here who played WoW when it first came out? If so, how do you like it now? Was it as awesome to you as it was to me when most of everybody had no idea what to do in the game, the whole point of playing wasn't just to beat the next raid several billion times to get that handkerchief of ultramighty destruction rayz which is dropped by some 100-foot monster but to, I don't know, just play.

While I am glad to see zones get a radical change like Felwood, Thousand Needles, Stranglethorn Vale and the Plaguelands and seeing the Trolls finally get a real starting zone and capital city (friggin' Zalazane...), I will admit missing some of the other zones.

Also, why not both?

Yep, I was pretty sad to see WoW reborn as... well... the same old WoW. Really, what's changed? The game mechanics are still the same, the players are still the same, everything that made WoW, WoW is still there.

Had they expanded to improve the nuts and bolts of the core mechanics of the game, then I could get excited, but WoW is 5 years old now. This is ancient in computer years. Technology has surpassed it by leaps and bounds and with that so has a lot of game play mechanics, but they just re-release the same game they had before with a new facade to sucker the die-hard addicts into playing it for another 5 years.

Better not drink the free Kool Aid they'll likely pass out in the future!

I'm more excited about Trolls gettin' something going for them for once, they seemed a little ignored in the grande scheme of things.

Definately looking forward to the changes though, I really can't wait for the Hoarde Vs Alliance to kick off again.
It all sounds promising.

Ps. FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU Barrens.

Goblin PvP.. this should be hilarious

Ive been playing for about a year now and maybe have not become attached to any one place, but I like the idea of redoing the old areas. Makes me want to get the explorers achievement again. Going around and seeing whats changed sounds awesome.

Chaya:
Heh, a couple of days ago I saw the screenshots too and let me tell you, I felt exactly the same. Strange thing is, I haven't played the game in two years. But I was there at the very beginning, as nooby as they come. The world was great back then, everything was new, out there to explore. And so I did with my human rogue, I visited all possible locations there were even the opposing faction cities. Never really got into raiding and doing dungeons over and over and over again, mostly the reason why I quit. But a friend bought the expansion and used my account to play which gave me a chance to explore even more and thus grow even more attached. Now, there's probably no chance I'll be playing the game but at 4 in the morning when I first saw the screenshots I couldn't help but whip out the WoW OST and listen to some ambient sounds from the all too familiar areas I explored all those years ago.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who got so goddamn sentimental and nostalgic over a MMORPG.

P.S. Anyone here who played WoW when it first came out? If so, how do you like it now? Was it as awesome to you as it was to me when most of everybody had no idea what to do in the game, the whole point of playing wasn't just to beat the next raid several billion times to get that handkerchief of ultramighty destruction rayz which is dropped by some 100-foot monster but to, I don't know, just play.

I've been playing since January after launch, and I like it for different reasons now. I miss the sense of exploring, the sense of "ooh, what's over that hill," of seeing locations on my map like Uldaman and Blackrock Mountain and being genuinely excited to get to go there.

I think the game is much BETTER now; I don't ever want to relive the darkest days of my addiction (Around BWL/AQ40) when I would stay at the office until 4 AM to raid and grind and do dungeons. It's more accessible, it lets me see the great content without having to sign my life away. The new content is fantastic, it's imaginative, it gives me options that I never had before. It may be easier to the hardcore, but I think that's a fair tradeoff.

But at the same time, I do miss the wonder. Part of that is the game being nailed down to a science on the playerbase's part - there's no need to wonder how much information on Thottbot is correct because it's all there on WoWwiki and WoWhead.

I like the game just as much now; I think it's better now, but sometimes I'd like to forget everything I know about WoW and just start all over again as a noob. IF that answers your question.

Lerxst:
Yep, I was pretty sad to see WoW reborn as... well... the same old WoW. Really, what's changed? The game mechanics are still the same, the players are still the same, everything that made WoW, WoW is still there.

Had they expanded to improve the nuts and bolts of the core mechanics of the game, then I could get excited, but WoW is 5 years old now. This is ancient in computer years. Technology has surpassed it by leaps and bounds and with that so has a lot of game play mechanics, but they just re-release the same game they had before with a new facade to sucker the die-hard addicts into playing it for another 5 years.

Better not drink the free Kool Aid they'll likely pass out in the future!

I really don't think you're giving them enough credit. Obviously they can't overhaul and completely redo the internal nuts and bolts of the game. Not only would that piss off a lot of the players who know what to expect, but technically it'd probably also screw with people who play it on older machines/netbooks. New mechanics are for a new game, not an expansion to an existing one.

But at the same time, they HAVE added new stuff within the confines of what they have. The addition of phasing zones was absolutely brilliant, for one - and Cata is going to be adding (as an example) a lot of new movement-based abilities like Heroic Leap.

It's not a revolution, but it's a gradual evolution and refinement. I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for that you could reasonably do in an expansion, not a WoW 2.

Oh yes, I'm sure we'll all shed many a tear as we lament the zones that will be lost in the approaching cosmetic cataclysm. How could we forget such fond memories we shared with The Barrens?

[1.General] Legolassssxxxx: chuck norris would so beat superman
[1.General] Pwnstar: omg wtf gnome in xroads ganked me ffs so op
[Robwarrior]: kn u run me thru wc?

The general sense of wonder and awe I first felt exploring the huge recreation of Azeroth was gradually eroded once I discovered that unlike me, most players were just out to kill shit, farm items and gank noobs, and unfortunately that's what will personally stick in my mind. Anyone who had a more emotionally rewarding experience with WoW than I, I'm very jealous of you. I'll never get those damn hours of my life back.

Launch servers for Vanilla WoW and each expansion. Problem solved.

Won't all the changes be phased off? If an account doesn't own Cataclysm, is it going to be implemented in the changes too? It doesn't really make sense if EVERYTHING changes.

Rhino of Steel:
To celebrate the change of Azeroth, I'm going for Loremaster on a second character once I get him to 80 so that I can experience all the zones again. Should allow me to better appreciate all the alterations once Cataclysm rolls around.

I never managed to get Loremaster. I got Loremaster for Northrend and (I think) Outlands, but never for Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms. Is it still a case of just talking to everybody trying to find quests, or is there now an option to show quests you've out-levelled? If there is, I'm going to have to re-open my sub.

EDIT: Managed to ind out there is. Damn Bliz for trying to get me addicted again!

As someone who no longer plays WoW, but enjoyed every last second of it after having played it to death for 4 years (Many rare mounts, 2 legendaries, All reputations at Exalted barring the Darkmoone fair, Loremaster completed, all raids completed up to the release of 3.3, when I finally left), I think that the change is for the best, but I also feel that it's a big waste; all of the "Old World" being removed is a true shame, players will want to go have a little looksie and poke around the place, see some of the old story that the game had; this would all be best done by placing it as, for lack of a much better term, an instance, in the caverns of time. Allowing players to "travel through time" and see Azeroth as it was before the Cataclysm. However considering how the "instancing" system works I'm not sure if it'd be easy to do, but it's most definetly something that should be done.

I'm another member of the Loremaster club, and I too have mixed feelings about the changes. I'm certainly looking forward to exploring the newly verdant Desolace (the current version is just so bleak) and I'm liking some of the changes like the Talondeep tunnel in Stonetalon being excavated for a proper road between Ashenvale and Stonetalon. And I'm totally stoked for the Troll village. It felt silly to have the prisoner in the DK starting area reminiscing to my Troll DK about how we'd slain Zalazane together, and then being able to go to Sen'Jin Village later and do that very quest =P

But having spent a lot of time traversing Azeroth on various different steeds, I'm sure I'm going to be buffeted often with nostalgia for the old versions of places that will be growing in the expansion, like Bloodvenom Post and Zoram'gar Outpost. And yes, even the Barrens.

I must say - the news of Cataclysm was one of the things that finally persuaded me that it was time to give up on WoW.

I'd far rather play in Old Azeroth (as I'm sure it'll come to be known when they release half of it through CoT) than play much of the new content. Sure, the graphics are better - but it's just totally samey. Same kinda quests. Same grindy dailies. The same 'dont stand in stuff' dungeons. [yes, yes - I'm exaggurating - but you get the point]

Nope. I'm grateful for Cataclysm.

Here's hoping that Bioware can really deliver the 'story-driven' MMO then promise with TOR.

Lauren Admire:
At least they're keeping the best part of the Shimmering Flats: the racing!

Boat racing? In MY Shimmering Flats? Damn I need to see that!

I plan to wander around the continents on my trusty War Tiger during the Summer holidays. Hopefully I'll get the Seeker/Explorer titles along the way if I have time, so that when the old world kicks the bucket, I'll toast it with Darkmoon Special Reserve.

Looks like TS Eliot got it wrong; the world is gonna end with a bang, not a whimper, and I'll be riding the bomb with joy.

This may get me to finally play this game for more then five minutes.

John Funk:
and Cata is going to be adding (as an example) a lot of new movement-based abilities like Heroic Leap.

I hope it turns out better than it did in the Wrath beta. You know.. when you couldn't aim it or anything. I think I tried to jump to a bridge in Howling Fjord, hit the side of it, fell to my death, and declared it the worst idea ever. Apparently they agreed with me.

I just think we're going to see more of the "moves your character all over the place" crap that's already annoying. There is nothing fun or challenging about staring at the top of your character's head because you have to tank something with your back to the wall because of knockback. It's just annoying.

As for the shaman versus rogue thing .. the safe assumption is that the totem quests will continue to suck as much as possible. Time is money, friend.

Wiezzen:
Launch servers for Vanilla WoW and each expansion. Problem solved.

They won't even fully separate PVP and PVE mechanics. So... good luck with that. And I don't think there are THAT many people that want to go back to running AQ40.

I just looked at the screenshots (And it took about 2 hours) and they are beautiful. At least, compared to the old worlds. I'm glad that they're taking time to improve content that no-one would ever visit otherwise.

Wiezzen:
Launch servers for Vanilla WoW and each expansion. Problem solved.

Until the people realize that there will be absolutely no new content to those servers.
So after their first 3 months of Molten Core farming, the servers might not hold the appeal any more as they do now.

And, yes, I will shed a tear to watch my favourite zones forever changed in the wake of the mighty Deathwing!

John Funk:

ryuke2009:
hey funk, whats your take on the whole 10mans and 25mans sharing a lockout and dropping the same loots now? personally i think its a great way to prevent burning out and quitting / taking a break from the game.

I think it's a great idea in concept, though I'm wary of some potential issues. Now, if only 20 people continue to the continuation of my guild's 25-man run, we can run two 10-mans. What will we do in this situation where we're all locked into one raid and have no alternatives?

That said, I think that the current state where people are encouraged to run the same instance twice every week isn't the best one.

What did people do in TBC? because that was kinda the issue in TBC.

MY guild back then usually split into two groups for Kara on one of the raid nights, and it was up to those two groups to schedule another night to finish it if they couldn't do it in a night.

I think a lot of players currently want to raid everything that is available, and its burning a lot of people out.
With the new system you can actually run "everything" because there isnt a difference.

I shed a tiny little tear when I saw the pics of the new murloc and kobold models. They look awesome but they will never be the same :(

Party on kobolds, party on...

I can sort of understand this albeit from a different game. Sometime while I had a two year break from FFXI they added in an option in every old zone called "Field of Valor" which basically changed every affected zone because people basically stopped leveling in groups for a fair amount of the game.

Also with the addition of Level Syncing people basically stick to the same 5-6 places from lvs 1-75 now rather than changing areas every ~4 levels. So theres basically a ton of players now who have max level jobs but haven't explored much of the game which is rather sad.

"Change, my life has changed, change, and it'll never be the same"

I am having mixed feelings, being an old WoW player would certainly sadden me to no end to see the beauty I've been accostumed to gone, I also feel excited what the new Expansion Pack will over to new and old players alike.

I hope they don't mess it up.

It will be dramatic, that's for sure.

I'm not in game right now, though I likely will be back for the expansion. Being an RPer and all, I'll be tossing all the conflicted emotions from watching the world change onto the shoulders of my poor draenei shaman and letting her deal with it. As if she's not emotionally troubled enough already.

Bring it on. If it works, it'll be glorious.

All that matters is:

In the new Barrens, where is Mankrik's wife going to be? Is someone finally going to bury her?

Wiezzen:
Launch servers for Vanilla WoW and each expansion. Problem solved.

And a new problem solved. You want Blizzard to make new content for Vanilla WoW diehards? No? Then watch the same people grow burned out after they realize that there is nothing coming and they can keep running bwl and mc over and over again.

Houmand:
Won't all the changes be phased off? If an account doesn't own Cataclysm, is it going to be implemented in the changes too? It doesn't really make sense if EVERYTHING changes.

Yes, everything is changing, whether you own Cataclysm or not. And honestly, I think it's for the best. Would you really rather Blizzard charge people for an improved experience?

Lawyer105:
I must say - the news of Cataclysm was one of the things that finally persuaded me that it was time to give up on WoW.

I'd far rather play in Old Azeroth (as I'm sure it'll come to be known when they release half of it through CoT) than play much of the new content. Sure, the graphics are better - but it's just totally samey. Same kinda quests. Same grindy dailies. The same 'dont stand in stuff' dungeons. [yes, yes - I'm exaggurating - but you get the point]

Nope. I'm grateful for Cataclysm.

Here's hoping that Bioware can really deliver the 'story-driven' MMO then promise with TOR.

...I'm sorry, do you really think the quests/dungeons NOW are more "samey" than original WoW? Really? :/

The content now is heads and shoulders above Classic.

My recommendation on character/class: split the difference and roll a Goblin Shaman and a Worgen Rogue.

John Funk:

...I'm sorry, do you really think the quests/dungeons NOW are more "samey" than original WoW? Really? :/
The content now is heads and shoulders above Classic.

Yes. Yes I do. Largely because they seem to have decreased the drop-rates on 'necessary' items (in as much as anything in a virtual world can be called necessary), and setting up dailies that require running said dungeons over and over again.

In Classic, you ran a dungeon 4-6 times (that would be my guess at an average - I certainly didn't exceed that except on my favourites). And that seemed to be a reasonable sort of number.

But from BC onwards, there have been a reduced number of dungeons, and an increased need to run them repeatedly. Often because there wasn't much else to do. You could grind dungeons, you could grind dailies, you could grind materials for the next raid, or you could grind honour in PvP. Yay.

Even after 2 years in Classic, I spent more time in Azeroth exploring, even during TBC and WotLK than I did in Outlands or Northrend. Because there was so much more to do and see there.

Perhaps any individual dungeon is better developed than the Classic ones. I can't argue with that. But when you've reached 25+ runs, it's way more samey than the 5-odd runs of a Classic dungeon.

John Funk:

I've been playing since January after launch, and I like it for different reasons now. I miss the sense of exploring, the sense of "ooh, what's over that hill," of seeing locations on my map like Uldaman and Blackrock Mountain and being genuinely excited to get to go there.

I think the game is much BETTER now; I don't ever want to relive the darkest days of my addiction (Around BWL/AQ40) when I would stay at the office until 4 AM to raid and grind and do dungeons. It's more accessible, it lets me see the great content without having to sign my life away. The new content is fantastic, it's imaginative, it gives me options that I never had before. It may be easier to the hardcore, but I think that's a fair tradeoff.

But at the same time, I do miss the wonder. Part of that is the game being nailed down to a science on the playerbase's part - there's no need to wonder how much information on Thottbot is correct because it's all there on WoWwiki and WoWhead.

I like the game just as much now; I think it's better now, but sometimes I'd like to forget everything I know about WoW and just start all over again as a noob. IF that answers your question.

Yeah, it does answer my question. And proves that there's more to the game. Blizzard did create a magical world and there are maybe only a few things that will come close to what it was like playing it for the first time. Try this however, relive the early days when you play the new expansion. Forget about everything and just hop on a horse and go exploring.

Lawyer105:

John Funk:

...I'm sorry, do you really think the quests/dungeons NOW are more "samey" than original WoW? Really? :/
The content now is heads and shoulders above Classic.

Yes. Yes I do. Largely because they seem to have decreased the drop-rates on 'necessary' items (in as much as anything in a virtual world can be called necessary), and setting up dailies that require running said dungeons over and over again.

In Classic, you ran a dungeon 4-6 times (that would be my guess at an average - I certainly didn't exceed that except on my favourites). And that seemed to be a reasonable sort of number.

But from BC onwards, there have been a reduced number of dungeons, and an increased need to run them repeatedly. Often because there wasn't much else to do. You could grind dungeons, you could grind dailies, you could grind materials for the next raid, or you could grind honour in PvP. Yay.

Even after 2 years in Classic, I spent more time in Azeroth exploring, even during TBC and WotLK than I did in Outlands or Northrend. Because there was so much more to do and see there.

Perhaps any individual dungeon is better developed than the Classic ones. I can't argue with that. But when you've reached 25+ runs, it's way more samey than the 5-odd runs of a Classic dungeon.

Er...

...I really don't get how you can say that there are fewer dungeons in BC and WotLK and less stuff to do than there were in Classic.

In Classic, all you did was run Scholo, Stratholme, UBRS, or DM until your eyes bled, if you weren't in a raiding guild. It was that, or do the same two (later three) BGs over and over again in pursuit of a horrible PvP ladder system, where you would get pwned by raiders who had the best gear in the game. What did you do other than that? You grinded out mats or rare drops because you had nothing else to do.

I don't know about you, but I ran all of those dungeons WAAAAAAY more than anything I've ever done in BC or WotLK. Well, maybe not WotLK since they're so quick these days, but if you weren't a raider, that content was all there was to do.

In BC, not only did you have Shattered Halls, all the TK dungeons, CoT Black Morass, Shadow Labyrinth, Steam Vaults, but you had all the heroics. You also had Kara - available from launch, and still the most popular raid in the game when WotLK hit (as the equivalent of UBRS) - and later ZA.

In WotLK, you have Halls of Lightning, Oculus, Utgarde Pinnacle, Gundrak, and the three ICC 5mans - and then all the heroic versions of those. You have 10man raids, you have more BGs than ever, you have Wintergrasp, you have arenas.

If you aren't in a massive raid guild these days you have so many more options than you ever did pre-BC, and all of the content is better.

There's nothing wrong with fond reminiscence or rose-tinted nostalgia - that's the point of the column I wrote in the first place - but objectively, there's so much more to do now.

John Funk:
Snip for brevity

Perhaps you just played a great deal more than I did. I was only JUST getting my two 60's into end-game raiding when TBC came out. And yet, spending no extra time playing, I was still into end-game raiding within a few months of release.

The presence of more dungeons doesn't actually make a difference if nobody's running those dungeons. I've always hated getting boosted through, because you never actually get to experience that dungeon. And it's pretty hard to argue that the first 2/3 tiers of a dungeon zone got ANY significant traffic once the level-rush had passed through. In many cases, the first time I got to see many of the dungeon was in the Heroic mode - and even then, the only ones that got regularly run where the daily heroics.

I don't understand how you say a heroic dungeon is different from a normal one. It's the same dungeon. Perhaps there's one additional boss. Each pull has 2/3 more adds. Whatever. But it's the same dungeon.

I don't agree with you. Sorry. But that's no reason to argue about the fact that WoW Classic was awesome and is going to be missed.

Lawyer105:

John Funk:
Snip for brevity

Perhaps you just played a great deal more than I did. I was only JUST getting my two 60's into end-game raiding when TBC came out. And yet, spending no extra time playing, I was still into end-game raiding within a few months of release.

The presence of more dungeons doesn't actually make a difference if nobody's running those dungeons. I've always hated getting boosted through, because you never actually get to experience that dungeon. And it's pretty hard to argue that the first 2/3 tiers of a dungeon zone got ANY significant traffic once the level-rush had passed through. In many cases, the first time I got to see many of the dungeon was in the Heroic mode - and even then, the only ones that got regularly run where the daily heroics.

I don't understand how you say a heroic dungeon is different from a normal one. It's the same dungeon. Perhaps there's one additional boss. Each pull has 2/3 more adds. Whatever. But it's the same dungeon.

I don't agree with you. Sorry. But that's no reason to argue about the fact that WoW Classic was awesome and is going to be missed.

You're right, Heroic dungeons aren't different from their normal counterparts - but the fact remains that Heroic Nexus is still an option at level 80, whereas most people weren't going back to SM or ZFK at 60 unless it was to run a guildie through.

WoW Classic was great in its way. It's just better now.

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