255: A Simpler Cataclysm

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A Simpler Cataclysm

Blizzard is removing many obscure stats in World of Warcraft with Cataclysm and Jeff Groves is all for it. He explains why simpler mechanics make for more important strategic decisions and, therefore, make games more fun.

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that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!

I couldn't really disagree more.

The game is simple enough as it is; sure some of the maths is complicated, but I enjoy the nuances of getting a perfectly balanced talent tree and tweaking my character to perfection. Having loads of talents to choose from is great, they all subtly impact the way your character plays and allow you to develop some form of personal playing style.

The argument that all the information is there on the internet is rubbish too, because that is the same for every game - they all have walkthroughs - whether you chose to look them up or not is your own business. Don't go changing the game because of the information released about its mechanics...

Further simplification would just reduce the already limited variation between players and produce some homogeneous, boring pool of 10-talent point players who all did exactly the same thing.

The group synergy idea already occurs - though not to such an extent as it used to, and this does need to be changed. Nowadays, every buff in a raid (with a few very minor exceptions) gets applied to everyone, meaning that as long as there is at least one of each class in the raid, you all get buffed. This is, in my opinion, too simple and needs to return to the old system where raid structure and balance actually counted for something.

The game simply needs more content that isn't just a copy/paste of the same grindy repetitious dungeon running, badge hunting fiasco that is going on at the moment - though of course some of that will always remain.

Is it sad that I could identify the UI overlay on the title picture as being a Dwarf Priest's?

I'm not so sure I like the idea of reducing the talent points. After all the work you put in to levelling, particularly from 60+, people'll want something to show for their hard work. If you only got 1 talent point every ten levels, then that would mean 9 levels with no immediate payout. When doing the odd levels (53, 55), the talent points fill the void that training usually fills.

It's the dumbest crap around. As a combat rogue I essentially have 2 choices, gem for agility or for armorPen when I have enough of it (armor Pen gets better as you get more of it up to the cap). A rogue who makes the min/max choice, locks himself into combat (armor pen is not great for mutilate), will get about a 200-300 dps increase. This change doesn't make it easier for casuals it is not preventing them downing bosses (it's been proven time and time again until you get into end of tier heroic raids that your gear doesn't mean crap, well it can but not to the point that if your good enough to down normal that you won't be able to do early tier heroics) or seeing content. It is just taking out a part of the game that I love and wasn't hurting anyone except the whiners who want maximum dps with out doing an hour of research or downloading a spreadsheet. Bad changes are bad =(

Azmael Silverlance:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!

Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.

Richard Allen:

Azmael Silverlance:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!

Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.

Cry me a river :P That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.

I hope the author gets his alpha/beta test key soon.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.

Yup there it is...more stereotypes. Thanks Funk, I was also raiding hardcore in Classic, its wonderful that the casuals/noobs insinuate that if you were a raider you couldn't have a personal life outside WOW. Your just as bad as the non-gamer slandering gamers in the David Wong's Cracked article from yesterday.

Also, "Players worship these guides. But it isn't a strategic decision; it's a math equation that someone else solved for us."... And how is that going to change things the guide will just come out that much sooner. The more I read the article the more I realize the guy has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Changing specs mid battle? Yea because that won't break anything... *tank dies*, dps, "don't worry I have a tank spec, day saved" /facepalm

Richard Allen:

Azmael Silverlance:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!

Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.

Find a guild that is doing Heroic ICC then, because there is nothing easy about Heroic Lich King 25 and if your guild is content to run the easy content week after week, it's their fault for not using the hard mode content thats there.

I like the way WoW plays nowadays. Granted I wasn't around in Vanilla and only joined in BC, but I don't want to have to put the majority of my evenings into WoW to get any sort of enjoyment out of the PvE aspect and access all the content that I'm paying monthly for.

However, by all means change the talent threes but I don't agree with the ideas of providing less talent points. That would hinder versitility, not increase it. Whilst the core talents remain the same at the moment, you have no idea how many different Priest specs I've seen over the past few weeks. Some I wouldn't agree with sure, but a lot of them are incredibly different from mine. Providing less talent points would merely reduce the amount of possible viable specs for a specific role. I think what Blizzard is doing at the moment is the way to go; removing the general stat buff talents and providing their bonuses in the form of a 'mastery' which activates when you put a certain number of points into a specific tree.

John Funk:

Richard Allen:

Azmael Silverlance:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!

Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.

Cry me a river :P That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.

A problem with my guild? That we're too good? FYI we made it hard mode anub 25 man on 8 hours a week. I have a life, I have a girlfriend, and I have a nice paying job where I go out and drink with friends and co-workers every week. So just because you can't seem to find a good group of people to raid with don't cry to me. People will make excuses but when it comes down to it, wow doesn't require a lot of time to be at the top 5% just a good group of people. World first guilds are another story however. Sounds like your the one crying a river it's just there are more baddies then good players so yours tends to drown dev's with you complaining.

I am Spy:

Richard Allen:

Azmael Silverlance:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!

Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.

Find a guild that is doing Heroic ICC then, because there is nothing easy about Heroic Lich King 25 and if your guild is content to run the easy content week after week, it's their fault for not using the hard mode content thats there.

I like the way WoW plays nowadays. Granted I wasn't around in Vanilla and only joined in BC, but I don't want to have to put the majority of my evenings into WoW to get any sort of enjoyment out of the PvE aspect and access all the content that I'm paying monthly for.

However, by all means change the talent threes but I don't agree with the ideas of providing less talent points. That would hinder versitility, not increase it. Whilst the core talents remain the same at the moment, you have no idea how many different Priest specs I've seen over the past few weeks. Some I wouldn't agree with sure, but a lot of them are incredibly different from mine. Providing less talent points would merely reduce the amount of possible viable specs for a specific role. I think what Blizzard is doing at the moment is the way to go; removing the general stat buff talents and providing their bonuses in the form of a 'mastery' which activates when you put a certain number of points into a specific tree.

My point is I'd love to but they don't open up the content and have stated they will continue to gate hard mode for weeks "To make the pace of the game more enjoyable" (paraphrase actually cause I'm not looking on the forums for it =)

tehroc:
I hope the author gets his alpha/beta test key soon.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.

Yup there it is...more stereotypes. Thanks Funk, I was also raiding hardcore in Classic, its wonderful that the casuals/noobs insinuate that if you were a raider you couldn't have a personal life outside WOW. Your just as bad as the non-gamer slandering gamers in the David Wong's Cracked article from yesterday.

Uh, if you wanted to actually progress, you DIDN'T. Farming consumables, being at Kargath/the alliance counterpart half an hour early, staying at Kargath for another half an hour for all the rest of your 40 goddamn people to get on, four-five hour raids (and three-hour Scholo runs to get geared for those raids), running Maraudon over and over again for your AQ40 nature resist gear, being on call 24/7 in case Kazzak or Azuregos or the green dragons spawned.

Richard Allen:
A problem with my guild? That we're too good? FYI we made it hard mode anub 25 man on 8 hours a week. I have a life, I have a girlfriend, and I have a nice paying job where I go out and drink with friends and co-workers every week. So just because you can't seem to find a good group of people to raid with don't cry to me. People will make excuses but when it comes down to it, wow doesn't require a lot of time to be at the top 5% just a good group of people. World first guilds are another story however. Sounds like your the one crying a river it's just there are more baddies then good players so yours tends to drown dev's with you complaining.

Yes, a problem with your guild. You guys are the ones who aren't turning on Hard Modes because you'd apparently rather just blow through easy. The challenge is there, if you aren't trying to get it then you have no right to complain.

I have a good group of people to raid with. We're progressing slowly through ICC because we all have lives and families and can't chain ourselves to a game, but we're progressing. More to the point, it's a very tight-knit family-style guild that I have no desire to leave. Why should I be forced to choose between as welcoming, friendly guild and a HARDCORE RAWRRR YOU NEED 100% RAID ATTENDANCE guild just to progress?

And I'm going to remind both of you; don't be a dick, especially not to staff. Argue respectfully or don't argue at all.

John Funk:

tehroc:
I hope the author gets his alpha/beta test key soon.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.

Yup there it is...more stereotypes. Thanks Funk, I was also raiding hardcore in Classic, its wonderful that the casuals/noobs insinuate that if you were a raider you couldn't have a personal life outside WOW. Your just as bad as the non-gamer slandering gamers in the David Wong's Cracked article from yesterday.

Uh, if you wanted to actually progress, you DIDN'T. Farming consumables, being at Kargath/the alliance counterpart half an hour early, staying at Kargath for another half an hour for all the rest of your 40 goddamn people to get on, four-five hour raids (and three-hour Scholo runs to get geared for those raids), running Maraudon over and over again for your AQ40 nature resist gear, being on call 24/7 in case Kazzak or Azuregos or the green dragons spawned.

Richard Allen:
A problem with my guild? That we're too good? FYI we made it hard mode anub 25 man on 8 hours a week. I have a life, I have a girlfriend, and I have a nice paying job where I go out and drink with friends and co-workers every week. So just because you can't seem to find a good group of people to raid with don't cry to me. People will make excuses but when it comes down to it, wow doesn't require a lot of time to be at the top 5% just a good group of people. World first guilds are another story however. Sounds like your the one crying a river it's just there are more baddies then good players so yours tends to drown dev's with you complaining.

Yes, a problem with your guild. You guys are the ones who aren't turning on Hard Modes because you'd apparently rather just blow through easy. The challenge is there, if you aren't trying to get it then you have no right to complain.

I have a good group of people to raid with. We're progressing slowly through ICC because we all have lives and families and can't chain ourselves to a game, but we're progressing. More to the point, it's a very tight-knit family-style guild that I have no desire to leave. Why should I be forced to choose between as welcoming, friendly guild and a HARDCORE RAWRRR YOU NEED 100% RAID ATTENDANCE guild just to progress?

And I'm going to remind both of you; don't be a dick, especially not to staff. Argue respectfully or don't argue at all.

First, what exactly was disrespectful? My tone after you told me to cry me a river? Yes you were very respectful of a pretty valid view point. And if you take your job so seriously, maybe you should read my post before commenting.

because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night

I do do hard modes, I don't like waiting 6 wks while they milk my sub and gate it.

I say this in the most "respectful" way possible. If you are going to be staff and tell me to cry a river read my post, it makes you look bad as a professional. My entire repsonce was %100 clear that blizzard won't let me turn on hard modes and they have said they will continue to do this.

Richard Allen:

First, what exactly was disrespectful? My tone after you told me to cry me a river? Yes very respectful of a pretty valid view point. And if you take your job so seriously, maybe you should read my post before commenting.

because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night

I do do hard modes, I don't like waiting 6 wks while they milk my sub and gate it.

I say this in the most "respectful" way possible. If you are going to be staff and tell me to cry a river read my post, it makes you look bad as a professional. My entire repsonce was %100 clear that blizzard won't let me turn on hard modes and they have said they will continue to do this.

I thought the :P made it pretty clear that it was a tongue-in-cheek statement, myself.

Gating your hard mode progression? The only "gating" there is that you need to have killed the Lich King to turn it on, unless you mean the general ICC gating that took place when it was released?

Ahhhh, I see what you meant. Apologies, I was reading the "they" in your post as your guild, not Blizzard.

Jesus, are you guys really arguing over gameplay mechanics of WoW? This one of the reasons why I stopped playing, ITS A GODDAMN GAME! I think all of you missed the point the article too...

John Funk:

Richard Allen:

First, what exactly was disrespectful? My tone after you told me to cry me a river? Yes very respectful of a pretty valid view point. And if you take your job so seriously, maybe you should read my post before commenting.

because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night

I do do hard modes, I don't like waiting 6 wks while they milk my sub and gate it.

I say this in the most "respectful" way possible. If you are going to be staff and tell me to cry a river read my post, it makes you look bad as a professional. My entire repsonce was %100 clear that blizzard won't let me turn on hard modes and they have said they will continue to do this.

I thought the :P made it pretty clear that it was a tongue-in-cheek statement, myself.

Gating your hard mode progression? The only "gating" there is that you need to have killed the Lich King to turn it on, unless you mean the general ICC gating that took place when it was released?

Ahhhh, I see what you meant. Apologies, I was reading the "they" in your post as your guild, not Blizzard.

I'm glad we're on good terms and by gating easy mode they by definition are gating progress in hard that was my only point =) Cheers for heated discussions.

Plinglebob:
Is it sad that I could identify the UI overlay on the title picture as being a Dwarf Priest's?

No.. or else i'm sad too :(

Also, I came to the article ready to vent a little, I like picking between mana and spellpower, rather than having them combined..

But as you've explained it in the article, I actually agree, simpler mechanics mean you can focus more on the actual content, as it is, if somebody hadn't told me how much +hit I needed in my raid with a draenei and shadowpriest in the group, i'd have no idea..

However, avoiding deep breath seems pretty common-sense :)

I think what Richard was trying to say is he would really like it if you could start off with the hard mode right off the bay, without having to go through any sort of gating process (i.e. getting to the Lich King in the first place). That would probably make it a lot harder.

Good article, though. I'm not sure if I agree with reducing the amount of talent points, and the simplification of the stats doesn't really affect me all that much since I'm not in a raiding guild and only get into VoAs, PuGs, or the occasional run from a friend's guild if they're lacking someone.

Bring on the Cataclysm!

John Funk:

*snip*

Richard Allen:

*snip*

Am I the only one noticing that Richard is comparing Trial of the Crusader 25-men (even hard mode) to old Molten Core and Blackwing Lair raids? I guess you meant that John, when you mention gather in Kargath-Badlands.

Richard, on vanilla wow you could have done it if you were one of those guys that would always show upo late, no reagents, probably even forgetting to repair and moan on raid chat or teamspeak for a summon, always playing dps so would no need to respec. In that case I believe you.

Otherwise I will have to say john is right. Farming gold for repairs, reagents and using your professions to farm flask reagents (me would be fishing) and dragonscale armor (me would be skinning+leatherworking), go to tyrs Hand, heartglen or silithus farm gold (50g respecs were a lot of money in vanilla wow). It was 4 40-men raids taking 2 to 5 hours each, plus 2 20 men raids, taking 3 to 5 hours each. Plus scholomance runs for reagents, stratholme runs for reputation, Black Rock Depths and Black Rock Spire for fire resistance gear or ingredients, Razorfen Down, Maraudon and Sunken Temple for Nature resistance and finally, Dire Maul for the trinkets and tomes. Oh yeah, and the be on call, in case a world boss shows up. I can not see anybody doing it on vanilla wow with slacking in game to have a life. On the current expansion yes you can. Do a few dailies for gold and buy reagents from AH, not to mention bosses drop nice amount of money. Do a few heroics and you are set to go on raid. Do a couple of raids and a couple of heroics and you get yourself at least a couple of new gear pieces.

I have been there, had and still have a paid job, but no more. Played like 40 to 70 hours per week.

Good read, and there are some games out there that have really complex stat systems, and even when the game is really good, it still makes it hard for a person to simply jump in and have a good time.

Besides this is Blizzard, you really think they are going to screw it up, or not fix it if it doesn't work out?

On a side note anyone else notice how, with gamers, World of Warcraft has become like religion, sex, and politics, where you don't talk about it in polite conversation?

It's strange how people who are in favour of making the game simpler always reference Vanilla WoW, while people who are against it always reference WOTLK.

Personally, I think they had it completely right in TBC. Progression from gear farming wasn't that difficult. You could expect maybe 2 weeks max on a boss until you hit Vashj/Kael (And seriously, while it was a long time effort, who didn't ultimately enjoy downing them). This gave the perfect time to research/learn a boss without making the fights gimickly easy, or dreadfully hard. Those who had time to farm excessively were rewarded, but those who didn't weren't disadvantaged severely by it.

I come from a guild that during this time was not one of the two top hardcore guilds on our server, but was in the best of the guilds below them. We were the third guild into T6 content for our server.

Those who weren't investing a lot of time into raiding, or raided casually, could still see the content once they released the bind on T6 content, and they could still casually see any of the earlier raiding content as the badge gear was released. The part I didn't like about it was the release of such a larger step-up raid instance at the end of it, with Brutalus being such a key gateway fight on gear requirement. Good raiders couldn't even get into that until they'd farmed the shit out of BT.

The biggest mistake I always saw from Vanilla WoW was the immense reliance on a large group of other people. The tuning of the increase in difficulty, meant that any guild that was carrying a significant portion of their raid (in terms of outside prep, or just being retarded), meant that they had to spend SOOOO much longer getting these people geared by farming the same shit over and over. Plus upgrading your raid took waaaaay too long.

The biggest mistake I saw in WOTLK though, was the immense ease at getting gear. Badge gear was way too good for each level. If they'd dropped it back 1 level for each upgrade, I could have seen it working. ie. Once ICC is released: Pugging instances = T8, Got you gear that could attempt T9 instances, which got you gear that could attempt either hardmode T9, or easymode T10. This makes it something to work towards, something to put the time into, so you can see this content.

EDIT: Ohh and another thing. I think they've simplified the wrong things.

The enjoyable part of raiding I found (at least in a healing/raid leader role), was the fact of trying to organise simple abilities against complex boss strategies. Currently it's all a numbers game of "Ohh, do you have enough healing to counter the damage? No. Well you die then." When skills were simpler, such as there being a lot less AoE healing, or it being a lot less effective, it actually made the fights more challenging. Not every class had an AOE attack, not every class had an AOE heal. Sure, this meant sometimes some classes shined, some didn't, but it definately made it a lot more critically interesting in fights where you had to counter specifics, compared to just having "enough". Sure, maybe this means that you can't have an all paladin guild expect to down a heavy AoE damage fight, but it also makes strategising (and Blizzard designing fights) a lot more interesting.

Davrel:
I couldn't really disagree more.

The game is simple enough as it is; sure some of the maths is complicated, but I enjoy the nuances of getting a perfectly balanced talent tree and tweaking my character to perfection. Having loads of talents to choose from is great, they all subtly impact the way your character plays and allow you to develop some form of personal playing style.

The argument that all the information is there on the internet is rubbish too, because that is the same for every game - they all have walkthroughs - whether you chose to look them up or not is your own business. Don't go changing the game because of the information released about its mechanics...

Further simplification would just reduce the already limited variation between players and produce some homogeneous, boring pool of 10-talent point players who all did exactly the same thing.

The group synergy idea already occurs - though not to such an extent as it used to, and this does need to be changed. Nowadays, every buff in a raid (with a few very minor exceptions) gets applied to everyone, meaning that as long as there is at least one of each class in the raid, you all get buffed. This is, in my opinion, too simple and needs to return to the old system where raid structure and balance actually counted for something.

The game simply needs more content that isn't just a copy/paste of the same grindy repetitious dungeon running, badge hunting fiasco that is going on at the moment - though of course some of that will always remain.

Except that even with the current complexity, most raiders use the same "optimal" talent specs and "optimal" gear choices so we end up with everyone doing the same thing even now. There isn't any "tweaking" of your talent specs, gear, or enchantments. You use the optimal builds or go home.

Your points on internet guides are saying what i've been saying for years.

Partly, it's my own hubris, and that I think I'm naturally cleverer than anyone who wrote up these guides, and partly because in different situations, different skills do better effects.

Guild Wars, which is what i'm playing at the moment, has many user made skill templates that you can use, and i've recieved a lot of hostility for trying to do things differently...
despite the fact I slaughter people when I do.

This whole thread is half (probably more) the reason I don't play much anymore. I used to do serious progression raids through most of Vanilla and about half of BC, but as a decent, nice man I can't even bother myself with the amount of butthurt gimme gimme that players exhume.

Now, as for the article? Couldn't hardly be any more spot on, but I suppose that's subjective in relation to what you want from the game to begin with. I'll be back for Cataclysm but there's a more than decent chance I'll be starting completely over from scratch on another server. And if the butthurt persists (and it will) I'll be gone within 3 months. I'm sure I'll enjoy my time there again though.

Jeff, you should try raiding hardcore, wow is so much more fun when you try boses that there aren't any set tactics for. raiding right after the ulduar patch was awesome. new talents and new bosses.

So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.

I do like your idea about class combos though. That's something that could really add some extra spice to standing outside of the fire.

Fantastic article.

It seems much better this way.

An overhaul like this excites me much more than a new Azeroth

Yvl9921:
So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.

I do like your idea about class combos though. That's something that could really add some extra spice to standing outside of the fire.

But wouldn't you like it much more if you'd managed to perfect YOUR balance rather than someone elses?

I think you expect too much of cataclysm.

As long as everyone is doing the same job: kill THAT boss, there will be a "best", or "most efficient" way to do it, and anyone who does anything else will recieve criticism and pressure from the community to change. You can raid as a 71 point frost tree mage, but you would be much worse than a frost mage who took some arcane talents to get torment the weak and a couple other choice things.

I completely agree with making the stat system easier to follow. Do a better job of communicating what 6 intellect, 10 haste, or 8 attack power, will actually mean, and cut stuff you don't need where possible. Like spirit. And do a better job of communicating what they mean in terms of future levels. This is what 10 haste means NOW, this is what 10 haste means when you are still using this axe 2 levels later.

But the talent trees are the ONLY real long term choice you make about your character. Sure, you can change them, but the meaningful choices that will last more than a level are the talents. Gear doesn't last.

So you want lots of those. To involve the player in his character. You WANT him to be sitting there strategizing over what's the "Best" choice next level, or which of these similar hammers will be better for him. That's why rpg's have choices: so that you can get satisfaction from making them.

And everyone would benefit from being involved in the algebra problem. Choosing between the +1 attack and +1 defense badges is a decision anyone can make, and many people can get satisfaction from making. The only real differences are that wow gives you more of these decisions, (71, at last count) which is good, and that the systems are complex enough that some people are intimidated by them, which is bad.

but as long as there are 2 people playing wow, they will debate the "Best" way to do something, and there will be a mathematically "better" way to do it. And if gear score is any indication, the community will structure itself to punish people who don't take this "most efficient" path. Last time I saw a 71 point frost mage trying to run instances, he was pretty defensive, and to be honest, I can see why. It's an incredibly bad spec compared to some very minor changes one could make for killing bosses as a DPS class.

Yvl9921:
So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.

How would simplifying the systems get rid of the metagame? People would still do it, but it would be less about cookbook recipes (how to spec, how to gear) and more about strategy.

Not that I think that this will happen in Cataclysm. People will still be doing "the best build" and gearing for the best stats.

Vitor Goncalves:

John Funk:

*snip*

Richard Allen:

*snip*

Am I the only one noticing that Richard is comparing Trial of the Crusader 25-men (even hard mode) to old Molten Core and Blackwing Lair raids? I guess you meant that John, when you mention gather in Kargath-Badlands.

Richard, on vanilla wow you could have done it if you were one of those guys that would always show upo late, no reagents, probably even forgetting to repair and moan on raid chat or teamspeak for a summon, always playing dps so would no need to respec. In that case I believe you.

Otherwise I will have to say john is right. Farming gold for repairs, reagents and using your professions to farm flask reagents (me would be fishing) and dragonscale armor (me would be skinning+leatherworking), go to tyrs Hand, heartglen or silithus farm gold (50g respecs were a lot of money in vanilla wow). It was 4 40-men raids taking 2 to 5 hours each, plus 2 20 men raids, taking 3 to 5 hours each. Plus scholomance runs for reagents, stratholme runs for reputation, Black Rock Depths and Black Rock Spire for fire resistance gear or ingredients, Razorfen Down, Maraudon and Sunken Temple for Nature resistance and finally, Dire Maul for the trinkets and tomes. Oh yeah, and the be on call, in case a world boss shows up. I can not see anybody doing it on vanilla wow with slacking in game to have a life. On the current expansion yes you can. Do a few dailies for gold and buy reagents from AH, not to mention bosses drop nice amount of money. Do a few heroics and you are set to go on raid. Do a couple of raids and a couple of heroics and you get yourself at least a couple of new gear pieces.

I have been there, had and still have a paid job, but no more. Played like 40 to 70 hours per week.

Yup I agree, I raided in EQ and the grind to raid there made Vanilla WoW look easy, but at that point we're talking about two different things a time requirement compared to removing a portion of the game that has no effect on seeing content and only dumbs it down. I LOVE the new pug/badges system because it makes raiding more accessible and our guild has found many good players who don't necessarily have the time. I have geared a few alts super easy this way but we're talking about removing the complexity from the game so there is almost no differentiation between a rogue who spams the super difficult 3 button rotation and a rogue who learns his class and min/max. I completely understand that wow wouldn't be what it is today without removing some of the stupid grinds of the past, but the game is already accessible to even the worst of players, but they still continue to remove things that are not a barrier to entry. Have you ever heard someone say "I can't raid ICC cause I don't have enough arp"? no but I do have someone ask me (at least once a day while leveling) what Line of sight is after they run in and wipe the group and blame it on me before rage quitting. There is no point to these changes, left unchanged, I could use my crazy difficult math (aka the spreadsheet) to min max and someone who doesn't want to do this can stack their primary stat (agi in this case) and they will have nothing but slightly less dps. Sorry if that was over the place, I'm sneaking this post at the end of my late lunch =)

Excellent arguments. Excellent conclusion. Poor example.

Hidden game rules are the bane of all thinking players.
It's just the changes to WoW may not solve anything and break more stuff.

Also, maybe the right word for the problem isn't "complexity", but "convolution". Complexity is interesting. Simple stuff made complex is not.

I really liked the article and am excited for the new Azeroth but I have one problem with this idea. If I can't trust most PuG groups to move out of the fire, why could I trust them to set me up for anything?

I'm comfortable casually raiding because hardcore raid guilds have members who I would like to force choke for being gigantic losers. I've raided with them before and heard them sound off when someone makes a miniscule mistake. God forbid you cause a wipe. PuG's are the lifeblood of a server. Some folk don't curry to the idea of joining a guild and must raid with random people to progress.

As it is, right now, they can be very difficult to get into(Expectations, that is). While a gearscore of 5.3k isn't difficult to get, some people expect you to be pushing well over 5k dps. With new mechanics such as this setting up, there would be fewer PuG's to get into. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of group synergy(I'm an arcane mage, I love variations on my rotation; Sheeping rocks) but I'm not sure how smoothly it could be implemented(Not to mention the complaints for soloing).

Gemming is pretty straightforward, though. Don't gem for any chance stats(Crit chance) or off-attributes. Don't gem for anything that returns mana or fuel(At the level where you're epic-gemming, you should have a deep enough pool to go for a long time). As a mage, I gem for Haste rating and Spellpower. That's only ever really interrupted by my meta gem which increases my spell power and also reduces my threat output.

Could you imagine how smoothly the arena would run, though? It would be spectacular.

I think making a limited number of talent points, anything under 40 would make players ragequit hardcore.

Well, if they did a complete talent rehaul... there would still be rage.

Screw it. There's going to be rage no matter how you look at it. One gander over some of the threads in the official forums, notably the "Class" section, there is rage about one dumb thing or another.
It's just going to happen.

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