255: A Simpler Cataclysm

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

haha yea i see it, Shadow Word: Pain and Stone Skin (at least i think its stone skin):P

OT: i really enjoyed reading this article and i have to agree, while reading i was picturing the possible talent trees, and tag-team dynamics.

The game has become complicated, with talents, glyphs, gems, the optimum gear, buffs etc.

Late to the party, but there are a couple of things I think it needs to be pointed out:
Somebody said that everyone could see all the content in tBC. This is factually incorrect. The Vials of Eternity attunement questline allowed only 'teh hardcorez' (of which I was one) into Hyjal (and thus BT as well) until they lifted that requirement. Of course, if you had completed the attunement, you got a title: Hand of A'dal, but then everybody got to run BT and MH. And it worked.

Does that sound familiar?

Honestly, there are arguments on both sides of the fence, but you really need to consider that Blizzard isn't in the business of making games that only appeal to a small percentage of the fanbase- if they want to keep the subscriber numbers up, they must appeal to the widest range (and skill levels) of players possible.

Now I understand the disappointment that some of the more competitive types might feel, not being able to flash their <cough> '1337 G34rZ in Dalaran, but isn't that void filled by the server-first titles (if the regular ones aren't cool enough)? I actually think titles are better, because eventually everyone can get gear-- heck, they don't even have to be that good, they can just pay to be carried through a raid (I saw some real terribad rogues with Warglaives), but there are only TWENTY FIVE people who have Death's Demise, Celestial Defender, etc. per realm.

Oh, and to the person who pointed out the paradox of 'Need Gear to Raid; Need to Raid to get Gear', the whole point of the Frost Emblem system is to allow players who can't regularly get raids to gear up. Yes, it's very very slowly (which prevents oversaturation), and yes, the best stuff is still going to be gotten out of Raids, but you can eventually meet the gear requirements.

Which actually brings me to the OT: I am also looking forward to Cataclysm because I've long despised the Min/max attitude where if you play a certain class, you "have" to play a certain spec, and "have" to have certain gear, gems, and enchants, or else your 'a N00blet!' Narrowing the stats will possibly (not for sure) allow for more flexibility. At least, I hope it does.

Plus, it really looks like they're doing just as fantastic a job with the art and the design as they did with Wrath. It should be fun.

Seems like people are just mad the game is changing.... but really the game has come to just copying the person with better gear than you. I think making everybody differ, and utilize their abilities, over their max dps spec will make the game much more interesting. Personally, I feel that WoW has become fairly boring and is in need of a dire change.

I for one am glad the game is taking this uncomplicated direction, if only because it'll cut back on the whole "WoW subscription = No life" stereotype. However, sadly nothing Blizzard does can make the actual people who play the game improve. What I mean by that is, the reason I dropped my subscription in the first place is because of the horrible community that's even worse then Xbox lives.

Hopefully Cataclysm is good enough to bring me back in, I do sort of miss my Orc Hunter.

Some of the problems with the level of synergy characters have in DnD being brought to WoW:

1.) People play classes they enjoy. Each of the ten classes behave very differently, and in a game like WoW, where certain composition is expected in 10 or 25 man raids (2 tanks, 2 healers, 6 DPS on average for 10s, 2-3 tanks, 5-7 healers, and 15-18 DPS for 25s), the only rule for 4e is that you want a minimum of one striker, one controller, one leader, and one defender. Any of the classes in DnD can double up effectively, but in say, five man instances, going with a pair of tanks or healers can be hindering. The same is true of going with four healers or four tanks in a ten. Enrage timers have made fights in WoW exceedingly precise in what they require to be completed. Not only that, but there are only four healing classes and four tanking classes (two classes are also capable of being tanks or healers).

2.) Arena. This is the constant thorn in the side of many PvErs and PvPers alike (especially BG enthusiasts). Arena has greatly modified PvE tactics over time because of certain abilities or talents that were causing immense problems in PvP, but were just fine in PvE. The Fan of Knives nerf for Combat (removing the interrupt effect from Throwing Specialization) was one example of this, FoK interrupt was required for a few fights in Ulduar, which was the highest raid at the time, but the ability for a single rogue to interrupt five people all at once was just too much.

3.) Fight balancing. Fight balancing WILL be modified over time to favor certain combinations of synergistic characters, because their potential for DPS or what have you would otherwise completely trivialize an encounter. This in turn would make it difficult for any other group to succeed, because their maximum potential is very limited. But what do I know, I run with four elemental shaman (currently one of the lowest max potential DPS, if not the lowest) and no rogues. :u

Anyways. I look forward to the Cata changes myself, it'll be nice not having ArPen as a stat anymore. But then, it was a stat that played favorites, and frost/UH DKs, ret paladins, enh shaman, and 2/3rds of hunters were not on that list.

I certainly agree with the sentiment here, complexity is not strategy, making knights move 17 spaces forwards, 3 to the right, then 4 to the left followed by 15 backwards adds nothing to the game. But WoW is not a strategy game and I'm unsure the removal of stats here are the ones you would remove to promote strategy.

Spellcasters for example will retain Spirit, Intellect and Haste as offensive options. Decisions between Spirit and Haste make total sense they affect the speed at which you deal damage or heal versus your longevity. That's a simple tactical choice which adds richness next to decisions to increase your defense. Throw in defensive spells and you've got a nice pattern. But with Intellect affecting total mana AND spell damage you're almost certainly introducing EJ syle formulae bashing. Which is better, 10 intellect or 5 spirit and 5 haste? Their functional effects are nigh identical but one will increase your total effectiveness compared to the other. If they were balanced at all levels then you could play the effects of haste vs spellpower but the coupling of mana to intellect rather than spirit muddies the issue unnecessarily. Ironically the old system was probably less complex, if they had just streamlined the formulae they could have increased clarity without pissing off half the player base.

I wish they would add a thing you could click to make ANY instance in the whole game from Ragefire Chasm all the way to Northrend Heroic, or at least match a level, like lvl 80. Playing old school dungeons that would be hard again like in the old days and yet now drop lvl 80 loot would be fun and bring back memories too. It would also give players a HUGE choice when they want to do dungeons.

I wish they would add a thing you could click to make ANY instance in the whole game from Ragefire Chasm all the way to Northrend Heroic, or at least match a level, like lvl 80. Playing old school dungeons that would be hard again like in the old days and yet now drop lvl 80 loot would be fun and bring back memories too. It would also give players a HUGE choice when they want to do dungeons.

The older dungeons were not hard because of dungeon/monster design. It was all about how they were tuned and how player characters worked. Go into the dungeon finder now and your more than likely to blitz through whatever dungeon you get into from vanilla content because player characters have been tweaked and improved at low levels to make the game less of a pain in the butt to play.

The actual encounters themselves are mostly tank and spanks (All the boss does is whack one target repeatedly) which are boring as hell and have been removed in TBC and Wrath content. The difficulty lied in low player character power and the fact that the trash was bunched together and would run to other packs at low health.

Third page, and this discussion is still strictly about WoW PvE?
I was thinking the moment the word strategy comes in, someone would mention PvP-oriented aspect of the game, or other games.
I guess I'm just playing League of Legends a lot these days, and it makes me really bad how people fall into the trapping of cookie cutter builds.

While it is possible to math out some spreadsheet for the best healing or damage you can do, it becomes impossible in other type of games--like say, one where you cannot outheal all the incoming damage. Suddenly, the paradigm is shifted. Having a tank and a healer doesn't mean you got it made in moba games. It just mean that the tank will live a few seconds longer than normal, which is a few seconds longer than the squishies. I find the prospect that varying your spell timing by 1 sec can be the difference between life and death of the whole team to be very exciting. When the variable becomes so pronounce, more strategy and play style should arise..
and yet if you visit the LoL forums, you have a few "facts" that people live by. "X and Y items are bad", they proclaim. Anyone who think otherwise must be wrong, because there should only be 1 ultimate solution.
Then they come crying every time someone breaks the rule of the system, tried a new build, a new team composition, which destroy the old paradigm.

It's surprising that with all the advancements in the game, and all the new things that you could do, very few actually learned that there is more than 1 way to play a game.

WOW engineered it's downfall by making the game revolve around GEAR more than player SKILL.

IF you want simple stats, look at an older game, for example CS. Sure there's math involved, but you don't need to think about it to play well.

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