View from the Road: The Big Goodbye

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View from the Road: The Big Goodbye

What if the Cataclysm came to your favorite game?

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I'd love it.

For example, Saint's Row 1 and 2.

Same city. Different layout. The two years changed a lot. A few familiar locations in the old areas, with a ton of new stuff. Even added a few districts and a bunch of islands.

Also, reroll, Funk. REROLL!

I wouldn't mind if it was a different game(like a sequel) or if they let me go back and play the same maps, but deleting them because they are bored with them would piss me off a bit.

If Cataclysm came to my favourite game...honestly...it wouldn't make that big of an impact on me.

Oh sure, at the start finding out how everything changed would be pretty cool I imagine, and that's why I said once before that I do plan to perhaps take one more 2-month card for WoW to see how the world's changed with Cata.

But you know what? I have become 100% sure that after that 2 months I won't have any wish to continue. Because WotLK pretty much let me know, that as much as the cosmetic changes might come to WoW, the underlying thing that would make endgame truly interesting for me will not - the gameplay.

Yeah it'd be hard to change it with an expansion and heck, it'd be risky. But...honestly the fact that not much will change gameplay-wise is half the reason why I decided to break away from the game (the other half being due to certain realizations about the 'social' nature of MMOs in general and the politics that go along with it).

in MMOG Terms, EverQuest made major changesto its world several times, and LOTRO has chenged between vastly seperated points in the timeline. And Unless WoO somehow changes the fact that most of its players are the same adolescent douchbags that play Online FPS games and spend all their time trying to be more annoying than the rest of their guild, who cares?

I'm not a big fan of major changes to formulas I liked in games, but sometimes the change is for the better. It's hard to lose a habit, in our eyes the 'old times' will always seem better. On the other hand there are games that still refuse changing like the SRW series, running for almost 20 years and its still damn good. It's a luxury not many players have, to enjoy the same game they love for so many years, with only minor changes. Maybe my personal cataclysm is yet to come...

As a dedicated LOTRO player.. and one who isn't as tied to the word of Lore as many are, I would love to play that changed LOTRO game. :)

Don't have time to write a long reply, but isn't this exactly what Final Fantasy VI does?

I dont know what to think about it, I, wouldnt like too much change, a choice between, but, not an absolute

Bah! the Team Fortress 2 analogy isn't a very good one. Learning maps in shooters of any kind, even those with strong RPG elements, is a matter of minutes for most, and never more than an hour. You adapt, you enjoy the challenge of seeing maps in a different light for a few minutes and you've got yourself a new go-to strategy ready to roll.

The only people this is a concern for are people who can say "WoW is a lifestyle" without any of the shame that should accompany that statement. Yes, if you've spent hours and hours and hours "living" in a place, only to come home and find your furniture rearranged, you'll be pissed. But if you're so attached to Azeroth that a redesign sets off your obsessive compulsive side, than maybe its time to switch games for a little while, or try something else for a couple weeks. Come back with some fresh eyes and it won't seem so scary. It'll just be what it is, new content for you to grind through.

I remember back in the day when runescape changed to runescape 2.
(which is now just known as runescape)

The change was too vast for me, and led to me (and all my friends) quitting.

I missed out on the opportunity to put my account in classic for good and whilst I ultimately came back to the game, appreciating all the changes, but it never had that original charm.

But that change was much larger then catyclsm is, they reinvented the game from the ground up. Everything you knew was changed, combat, graphics, skills all comepletely different.
Without it though, the game would probably have died.

Hmmm, well to be honest the idea of Cataclysm doesn't really resonate with me that heavily. To me it seems like they ran out of things they could do that people would be interested in so decided to take the D&D approach of having a Cataclysm so they can re-tread all the same stuff. The "Time Of Troubles", "Threat From The Sea", and other events between editions of the games, and the excuse to why they can re-sell yet another "changed" version of a popular locale like "Waterdeep".

Oh, I'll probably play it, but I'm not as psyched up as a lot of other people seem to be, and the truth is, that touching down on the edges of it might be the end of WoW for me. There are some issues with burn out, time that I can spend on gaming, repetition, and of course the simple fact that as far as I'm concerned defeating "Arthas" was the end of the game. The point at which the story should end instead of being dragged out (like many popular works of fiction) for a quick buck. I'm one of those who feels that despite WoW's success they should have some class, and do what nobody else has done: turn off the game while it's still successful and riding high in the minds of the majority of fans. That way instead of something like "Cataclysm" (which seems conceptually half-baked to me) if they decide to actually launch a "WoW 2" down the road there will be an eager fan base for it. In the mean time, they could launch another MMORPG project (like they seem to have been implying for a while) without having to compete with themselves.

Of course this will never happen, because in the end it's all about wringing every possible dime out of the franchise in as short a time as possible. Even if one argues that by ending WoW on a high note, they could make even more money in the ultra-long term, that has nothing to do with the desire for the people running the show to line their pockets with a few extra million right now.

Such are my thoughts. IMO Blizzard should have embraced the "keep them wanting more" mentality.

As someone currently in the beta and having played through about 3 or 4 areas I had done a dozen times over in vanilla WoW I don't think its so fair to call Cataclysm a change as much as it is a continuation. Previous story lines have been expanded on, continued and made far far more epic.

I don't think your LoTR example really applies because Cata to WoW isn't so much much like rewriting that Sauron won but its more like what happened after Sauron assuming no story was written after that one (I'm unaware of any of the lore written after LoTR I'm just using it as an example).

Personally if a developer could look me in the proverbial eye and tell me that their expansion will be Cata quality in that it expands on whats happened but is still easily accessible to new players and enjoyable to play I'm quite sure they'd have my cash. I try to limit my gushing when it comes to anything I enthusiastically enjoy so I don't set unrealistic expectations of who I'm talking to but I really can't say enough about how awesome it is to not have to question why the 30 past goretusks I just killed were somehow alive before I reached them without livers.

Imagine if Valve suddenly decided that it would be giving a huge destructive overhaul to the Team Fortress 2 maps that people have been growing fond of since 2007.

Imagine if Team Fortress suddenly included tons of extra powerful weapons that you can only obtain through scoring achievements, resulting in thousands of people achievement-whoring on special cheating servers, leaving the few players who want no part of that in the dust.

Oh wait, that did happen. And I stopped playing it then.

To be fair, I hear they have improved a lot on things since that afwul change. But the current system is still horrible.

I couldn't disagree more with the article. The static nature of game worlds is what is most irritating about them, your lack of impact over even a realistic time scale is nil. That always jars the most.

Now if only I was a WoW player.

Dom Kebbell:
I couldn't disagree more with the article. The static nature of game worlds is what is most irritating about them, your lack of impact over even a realistic time scale is nil. That always jars the most.

Now if only I was a WoW player.

I was never trying to argue the change is a bad thing. I'm psyched as hell for it.

But it does make me feel strange sometimes.

I'm nervous as hell for Cata, there's this one nagging feeling and that's.

What if I don't like it?

It's a valid question all WoW players will be asking themselves, it's an incredibly bold move of Blizzard to not only redo the maps but to destroy them too.
Things aren't getting bigger, they're getting torn down.

Time will certainly tell.

I'm somewhat interested in cataclysm. I have never actually made it to the end game - the closest I ever got was to level 75 before all my friends jumped ship and there no longer seemed to be a reason to play. The grind up until the end was a lonely experience, filled with a handful of noobs like myself and awesomely equipped characters that verterans had rerolled. It was always a bit frustrating when someone would ask "what is your main" when I was playing as a level 30 or 40 rogue and I'd tell them the truth: that this WAS my main. I think I encountered perhaps a dozen other players questing through Azeroth - it wasn't until the outlands that I finally saw other players regularly and that took several honest to god days of my life to reach.

With the expansion, perhaps the trek to the end would be less tiresome, less irritating and actually feel like a multiplayer game and not a terrible, terrible single player RPG.

John Funk can't decide if he wants to check out the new max-level content or reroll to see how everything else changed.

I quit WoW over a year ago after having tasted the satisfaction of several world top-10 kills in BT and Sunwell and concluding, after conquering Naxx in a single day and completing all hardmore 25 man achievements in Ulduar, that Wotlk did not satisfy me. But if I decided to go back, I'd definitely reroll. I'd want to see the lava-ridden Barrens from a leveler's perspective and share the fun of exploration on a fresh server, not fly over them once. Then I'd probably quit again of course, since I've had enough of Ragnaros to last me a lifetime.

Given that I hate online play this would mean that my current games would have to suddenly become apocalptic, more like the GTA example than any others.

And I think it would be awesome beyond words.

There's something I find fascinatingly morbidly beautiful about games like Fallout 3, or [PROTOTYPE], in the way they portray the familiar as changed. (Not that I would recognise Washington DC or New York that well being British, but even for me the cultural osmosis of the White House gave me an interesting experience visiting it in Fallout 3, and a similar effect with Times Square in [PROTOTYPE])

I can imagine running around Saints Row, or the Mass Effect universe, or Hogwarts, and everything was busted all to hell, and I would think it was the coolest thing I had ever played. A lot of my earliest gaming experiences instilled in me a belief that the apocalypse is the only fitting conclusion to your final battles against evil. Final Fantasy uses it a lot, Mass Effect seems to be leaning this way, HP ends with Hogwarts in near ruins, Lef5 4 Dead, Halo, Batman, even Tomb Raider to an extent ended this way, with you fighting in a near literal version of Hell.

So for me, I like to think that the apocalypse is always waiting just round the corner, the final trick for the villain to pull, the final fight I have to go through, and it's only right that it's the biggest challenge of all.

To have an entire game where Lara Croft explored a desolate and lonely Britain ravaged by the thralls and the shadow monster from the latest three games would be so incredibly powerful to me, and I would love to see that image realised someday.

Seems this expansion pack is invoking very emotional feelings for some players. I must say, Blizzard all warned us but the warning seemed to be reserved decades away. Now the time is actually here, people start contemplating and voicing their opinions about it.

I have faith that Blizzard will pull this one off. I also believe they are aiming to attract new players or capture back their old userbase. I might give it a go, just to see what happened and feel a shock in my heart, jump for joy and sadness when I memorize some places yet everything's gone.

I am now very, very glad that I never got into WoW. There's nothing in WoW, story-wise, that couldn't have been told, or simulated, in Warcraft 3. Your camera angles and changing of buttons don't fool me, Blizzard!

WHERE'S WARCRAFT 4 WHEN YOU NEED IT........

Or just a 'Use Map Settings' version of Wow on a WC3 map...which will probably happen now that everyone's realizing they'll kinda miss the old stuff.

I am generally opposed to burning down my house on the belief that I couldn't even remember all the things that I'd miss.

John Funk:
Imagine if Valve suddenly decided that it would be giving a huge destructive overhaul to the Team Fortress 2 maps that people have been growing fond of since 2007. The sniper balconies in 2fort? Gone. The chokepoints and nooks for sentry guns in Badwater Basin? Yanked 'em right out.

As a TF2 player, destroying both 2fort and Badwater would hardly be a bad thing... Hell, I'd ask you lump in Dustbowl, Goldrush and hats in the "to be nuked out of existence" list and it would be the best patch TF2 ever had.

Annnnnnnyways... Even though I don't play WoW, and actually quite dislike the game for the boring grindfest that it is, I've been following the cataclysm "events" rather closely as it's concept is very intriguing. Most MMOs focus on continuously updating (and generally raising) the end-game, which usually lasts about a week, at most, to be fully explored, ultimately accomplishing nothing but creating a bigger gap between new and old players. Cataclysm is the first of it's kind. Not only is it adding some end-game content (pretty much mandatory at this point), but, more importantly, it's rebuilding everything before it. Truly "hardcore" players will inevitably reroll, and be forced to relearn the whole PVE side of the game... It's basically making old players new again. It's beautiful.

That said, there is a certain level of melancholy in the disappearance of a world you've spent hours, days, some even years, exploring. It's suddenly not there anymore, and all that's left is the memories.

To loosely quote Neon Genesis Evangelion: "Through the pain of sacramental death shall they find the joys of rebirth!"

Caliostro:

John Funk:
Imagine if Valve suddenly decided that it would be giving a huge destructive overhaul to the Team Fortress 2 maps that people have been growing fond of since 2007. The sniper balconies in 2fort? Gone. The chokepoints and nooks for sentry guns in Badwater Basin? Yanked 'em right out.

As a TF2 player, destroying both 2fort and Badwater would hardly be a bad thing... Hell, I'd ask you lump in Dustbowl, Goldrush and hats in the "to be nuked out of existence" list and it would be the best patch TF2 ever had.

Yeah, but then Valve's entire fanbase would cry and moan, and Valve being the developer that listens to its community, would probably cancel said update, or if it did go through with it, they'd add many other things.

Still, I would love to see 2fort either taken away completely, or changed so it doesn't turn games into stalemates for thirty minutes every. fucking. time.

*ahem*
More on topic: I can certainty understand why people would find it weird. I don't play, or really like World of Warcraft that much, but I do love the world and how big it is. A friend once let me use his (then) level 70 character just so I could explore everything. I didn't want to have to grind up for months just to see everything.

But yeah, I can see why this is such a big thing. Its like if Bad Company 2 went all Unreal Tournament on us.

I played WoW for 4+ years and although I quit a while ago I'm looking forward to the changes in Cataclysm. I'm actually thinking of signing back up and rolling a new character just to experience a whole new WoW. IMHO, what Blizzard is doing is much better than creating, say, WoW 2. Now, older players will be able to keep the characters they've worked so hard on for so many years, while still being able to explore all-new content, instead of starting over in a whole new game.

I was a big Shadowbane pvper.

It's gone now.

But oh the memories are forever. /lesigh Being in WoW seeing someone trash talk in trade and knowing there's no way I could stalk them for days, catch them alone. Then 9 pals and I would jump them, kill them, take their stuff and told them if they complained we'd bane their home city and raze it to the polygon dirt. But it can't happen. I have to use /ignore and then go take out my frustration killing a gnome in gear that only tells me he eats and wanks while mindlessly hitting 2 2 2 2 and then maybe 3.

The end is sad, but things must move on.

Gaming needs more Cataclysms. I'm still wondering if this Cataclysm will be enough for me to reactivate my WoW account. The more I hear the more I wonder if we are getting a re-skinned variant of the same thing. Time will tell.

As with Cataclysm, much has already been lost with each WoW expansion, namely the end game content of the prior version was lost with each new expansion, and with quick levelling the early game content has fallen by the wayside lately as well. Burning Crusade worked because what was added was greater than what was lost, especially because a lot of new players were just coming on around that time. Wrath of the Lich King though--not so much, and that is where the sense of bland repetition became overwhelming and I had to stop.

I think it's great they're re-working Azeroth in a way... But I do agree with you. Although I don't play WoW anymore and most likely won't ever again, it's been part of my life in one way or another for the past 4 or 5 years.

I loved exploring Azeroth, all the easter eggs and incomplete areas. My former best friend and I spent hours just walking around finding things we weren't supposed to. We spent a whole afternoon trying to get into Hyjal, even though it had been patched by then. Azshara was one of my favourite zones because it just seemed so unexplored. I figured out a million ways to get to the Ironforge Airport even after they kept patching it. I loved exploring and finding these glitches. I didn't exploit them, I just enjoyed exploring.

Now come flying mounts. So everything is pretty much gone as far as getting to lesser known places goes. Sure, there will be mountaintop hideouts, but it won't have the same sense of accomplishment as wall-walking for half a kilometer does, or stumbling on a random hill that takes you above Searing Gorge to a second, lesser Searing Gorge.

Just my two cents. It's sad to see it go, but still cool to see it reworked instead of staying in stasis.

Fearzone:
Gaming needs more Cataclysms. I'm still wondering if this Cataclysm will be enough for me to reactivate my WoW account. The more I hear the more I wonder if we are getting a re-skinned variant of the same thing. Time will tell.

As with Cataclysm, much has already been lost with each WoW expansion, namely the end game content of the prior version was lost with each new expansion, and with quick levelling the early game content has fallen by the wayside lately as well. Burning Crusade worked because what was added was greater than what was lost, especially because a lot of new players were just coming on around that time. Wrath of the Lich King though--not so much, and that is where the sense of bland repetition became overwhelming and I had to stop.

^this

My fear: I'll buy the expansion and pay for a month of service. It will take hours to load the game and all of the immediate patches. So I'll start playing, I'll roll a new Tauran pally and play for a few days. When I get to level 20, I'll walk out of the starting area, then someone will fly down and gank me. So I'll take my ghost back to my body. Where the level 85 human death knight that ganked me will be fighting a level 85 Tauran pally.

I think they will do some amazing things with cataclysm that will ultimately be pointless. People will still be running past it to get the armor that is currently most shiny. That said I'm probably going to log on after I get home tonight.

Hah! Nooks to wait for my cloak to recharge? Screw that, I use the cloak and dagger, bitches!

But seriously, interesting article there and I would be saddened for this to happen to other games. but despite this, I can see it would be for the better.

EVE Online has added nothing game changing?

Clearly you haven't been playing attention lately.

Imagine your precious WOW map.

Now copy it, paste it somewhere far away, make it then add rare, randomly spawning teleporters that last for as little as 16 hours at a time. On both sides.

In this new world are wonderful things that are impossible to get anywhere else. You can make a metaphorical army of sharks with frickin' laser beams with this stuff.

Then populate this new world with evil things that want to kick your ass.

Then take away your minimap, your world map, and reduce your vision to about 20 feet around you unless you have special equipment.

Then allow players with said special equipment to turn invisible.

Then allow PVP.

This is just one expansion. One. Free. Provided to all players free of charge.

Giving your world new names is much less of a change than giving players the ability to create armies of sharks with frickin' laser beams, mate.

To pick a somewhat larger-than-normal nit, to say that EvE Online has only added graphics and engine updates over the course of its entire life is pretty ignorant. Practically every major patch to EvE has done what Cataclysm is doing to WoW.

Also, what that guy said.

Its nice to have a big change. In a RP server on NWN I played, at one point, the main city got attacked, destroyed, and occupied by very evil cultists, and it really changed everything. (not to the expansion scale, but this was a small knit server) and until the DMs wussed out, it was pretty cool, especcially since it was a time where my devious plans could start to bear fruit. But then they decided "nah...it sucks, lets pretend it never happened". Lame.

versoth:
EVE Online has added nothing game changing?

Clearly you haven't been playing attention lately.

Imagine your precious WOW map.

Now copy it, paste it somewhere far away, make it then add rare, randomly spawning teleporters that last for as little as 16 hours at a time. On both sides.

In this new world are wonderful things that are impossible to get anywhere else. You can make a metaphorical army of sharks with frickin' laser beams with this stuff.

Then populate this new world with evil things that want to kick your ass.

Then take away your minimap, your world map, and reduce your vision to about 20 feet around you unless you have special equipment.

Then allow players with said special equipment to turn invisible.

Then allow PVP.

This is just one expansion. One. Free. Provided to all players free of charge.

Giving your world new names is much less of a change than giving players the ability to create armies of sharks with frickin' laser beams, mate.

That is... pretty much an average expansion to an MMOG, yes. It adds a ton of new stuff.

Did it go back and destroy all of your old planets and stations?

Anyone can *add* to a game. This is changing what already exists, permanently.

Are you kidding? I'd be glad if they took out the sniper posts in 2fort, those things are shit!

Anyways, back on topic. I get what you're saying, even though I don't play MMO's. Tweaks are a good thing, but total change to a steady world might alienate some players, mostly the hardcore, but maybe the casual MMO fan as well.

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