Two Points Of View: Should The Secret World Change?

A really fascinating discussion came up earlier this week, as longtime MMO blogger Syp “finished” The Secret World.

He wrote a great piece looking at his time with the game, and thinking about things he would change if he was Game Director For A Day – which is interesting reading on its own.

But then Roawn Blaze, another longtime Secret World blogger, picked up on his post, and wrote a fascinating counterpost looking at each of Syp’s suggestions from his own perspective.

Have your own ideas on what you’d do with The Secret World? Or just interested to see some great game design discussion?

Read on:

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How We Learned To Love WoW’s Changes

Happy New Year, one and all!

It’s safe to say that in the 8 years (!) I’ve been playing MMORPGs, we’ve seen a lot of changes – but the last few years may have seen the most dramatic, and controversial, changes of all, particularly for WoW.

From LF* to quest difficulty to the Daily Quest Revolution, the game’s changed almost beyond recognition.

And so, today we have four bloggers each looking at how the game’s changed, and how – and if – they’re coping with it:

  • Big Bear Butt thinks that the new mass of Daily Quests is massive paradigm shift we need to adjust to, not a small change“I think the core gameplay in World of Warcraft is now being built around daily quests, and if you’re still stuck thinking of dailies as something we will someday get past, good morning Mr Phelps it’s time for your 6:00 AM wakeup call.”
  • Tzufit offers a series of tips on how best to cope with LFR if it’s a part of the game you don’t love“I would say that I have been lucky to have relatively few bad experiences in LFR since this expansion was released, but I truly believe that it’s more than just luck.”
  • Redbeard explains how he managed to stop stressing about newer classes being hugely overpowered“Unless your toon is being picked on by the OP ones, is this really that much of a problem that it requires a Dev to get out the nerfbat? “
  • And The Grumpy Elf asks whether WoW in 2013 is a game any newbie would enjoy“The leveling speed is way too fast that it would never allow people to get in touch with the characters, to get a real feel for how they play. “

Talking of changes – the Melting Pot’s going through a couple too. I’ll write more about that next week!

What do you think? Has WoW changed beyond recognition?

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Will WoW’s “quality of life” drive go too far?

Blizzard seem to have been on a simplicity drive for a while now, as most players will know. Goodbye to needing multiple reagents for the Simple Campfire. Goodbye to Cooking and Fishing quests to level those professions up. Goodbye to complex stats, manual dungeons and raids, and so on.

But they’re not done yet – indeed, in the recent class questionaires they were asking for more ideas about quality of life changes they could implement. Nils has been thinking about the subject himself, as a lover of both quality and life, and has some suggestions – one might even call them modest proposals (non-WoW link) – about some improvements they could consider

“5) When I die, I have to run back to my corpse. But why? There’s no challenge in that. No gameplay! Please just let me instantly choose a respawn location in a 100m radius of my corpse. Thanks.

6) I can stay underwater for about 10 minutes. But yesterday I had to leave the computer and died. I think this is inherently unfair. Please remove the breathing bar!

7) What gameplay is there in falling damage? None. So, just remove it. I am not supposed to fall a hundred meters anyway and if I do, it’s just annoying to die.”

Nils is, of course, engaged in a fun game of reducto ad absurdem. However, given the current fervour the WoW development team seem to have to demolish anything that isn’t immediately “fun”, I’m not sure he’s wrong. I’m a bit of an old WoW fogey when it comes to “crunchy bits” that make the game world feel more interesting even at the cost of inconvenience – don’t get me started on the removal of the obligatory cooking quests – but nonetheless I’m seeing a pretty broad agreement these days that the “make it faster and more fun” train may be heading for a crevasse.

At the same time, it’s clearly not the case that quality of life improvements are a bad thing per se. (Wow, I’m Latin-heavy on this one.) I don’t know anyone who particularly mourns the first generation of Meeting Stone, for example (function – pretty much bugger all of any use) as opposed to the actually-useful group-summon ones. The difficult point is clearly to determine where to draw the line. And Nils’ piece does an excellent job of showing how hard that is – moving from semi-reasonable suggestions (I can see the “make every merchant a repairer” one getting some traction) to the truly ridiculous (“dump WSAD and just teleport me to the AH. kthnxbai.”)

What do you think about our WoW “Quality of Life”? Do you think we need more Quality?

Article source: http://nilsmmoblog.blogspot.com . Thanks!

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Your one-stop post for all specs and classes in WoW Patch 4.3

Ok, I have had a busy week. And I’m about ready to collapse.

Why? Well, usually when a big patch comes out we at the Melting Pot do a roundup of guides for each class and spec. And frankly, it’s a bit of a nightmare. Some are better than others. Some guides are outdated, or hard to read, or about a million words long (Elitist Jerks, I’m looking at you). And for some poor specs, there just isn’t anything, no matter how hard we scour.

So this week I’ve had a rather ambitious project. To write up a Quick Start guide for each and every spec in the game, updated to Patch 4.2.

And I’m extremely proud, and rather exhausted, to say I’ve now achieved it.

Tanks

Healers

DPS

These guides aren’t meant to be detailed discussions a la Elitist Jerks – they include links at the end to more detailed guides as I found them. But they’re meant to be a quick start go get you up and running after the patch, or after a spec change, or with a new character.

Obviously, there are going to be typos, mistakes, and so on. I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know about those in the comments for each article if you find them!

If you think these are useful guides, please do share them via links, blogs, Twitter and so on!

Ok, enjoy! I’m going to go collapse now.

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Patch 4.2 – aargh, where to start?

Short and sweet, this one. Patch 4.2 has dropped, and there’s lots to do – quite a bit of it rather confusing.

You want the epics, the new recipes, the new quests? Then what you’re probably really looking for – I know it’s what I was looking for this morning – is a guide. And Tree Bark Jacket’s come through with the goods:

Get started on your daily quests to get level 365 gear NPCs opened ASAP.If you haven’t already, you need to do all of the Hyjal quests up to Aessina’s Miracle. This kick-starts the phasing that you need to start your Firelands dailies.

The rewards for completing these dailies are Marks of the World Tree, but are not used to buy the rewards themselves. Instead, they are used to open up more quests, NPC fortifications, landscape changes, and eventually the reward NPCs who will sell you epics for gold. For more info on how this works, visit the official WoW blog or Wowhead’s 4.2 guide. Get these dailies done and dusted for today, so you are moving towards opening the reward NPCs as soon as you can.

It’s complete and covered everything I wanted to know – so go, read, learn, and 4.2.

_Quote taken from Tree Bark Jacket’s original post.

Find Tree Bark Jacket’s homepage at http://treebarkjacket.com/_

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Patch 4.2 changes for… Rogues, (Prot and Retri) Paladins, (Feral and Balance)Druids, Warlocks, Death Knights and Mages

With World of Warcraft’s Patch 4.2 looming over us like a tsunami made of pure raid nerf (yes, I’m still a little bitter), it’s time for a great big massive, whopping round-up post. So if you want to know what’s going to happen to your Rogue, Warlock, DK, Mage, Paladin, or Druid, read on!

(AS you can see, we haven’t completed the full set yet. If you know of any guides to class changes, particularly for classes we’ve missed, that we haven’t featured, please do comment below!)

Here goes.

  • Rogues are getting a bunch of buffsbut how significant are they? Top Rosters answers.
  • It’s all change for Druids, with everything including a flaming cat. No, literally, it’s on fire. WoW Insider’s Chase Hasbrouck explains the Feral Druid changes, whilst Grey Matter’s all over the Boomkin alterations.
  • Warlocks aren’t getting as many changes as other classes, apparently, but what they are getting, Skim ‘Locks has coverage of.
  • DKs are seeing some fairly major changes that I know Johnnie’s bouncing up and down about – Daniel Whitcomb at WoW Insider has the analysis, which looks pretty complex.
  • Retridins are seeing some pretty significant buffs, particularly to AOE – about time – and Retpallie’s got the goods there. Meanwhile, tankadins are getting messed around all over the place – Mark Walsh at WoW Insider has a fairly detailed summary.
  • Finally, Mages are also getting a quick going-over, and also a chance to get into a big fight with the rest of their guildies over the caster legendary – Christian Belt’s Arcane Brilliance (at WoW Insider, again) has the goods.So there you go! Again, if you know of a guide to the 4.2 changes for Holydins, resto druids, Priests, Shammies, Warriors or Hunters, let me know below!
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What’s Wrong With WoW?

And now for something a little more gritty. No, we’re not talking about the latest super-real cops show or whatever they call them (no, there hasn’t been a Mordor. Points for anyone getting that). Ionomonkey’s turned into a stately sleuth and has quietly, professionally, rounded up the clues to look at what’s wrong with WoW.

He starts off with an introduction to the case: the fact that a lot of players, bloggers included, are a bit disillusioned with Cataclysm and don’t mind saying so. Thing is, Ionomonkey says, no-one quite knows what it is they’re miffled about.

…no one can exactly tell you what. The game is suffering from a strange disease and we don’t know what it is. We see the victims, friends, family, bloggers, guild members who are quitting WoW after only a month and a half of Cataclysm. The disease appeared with the release of Cataclysm yet  if you ask any of them what’s wrong they will tell you that they love Cataclysm.

So Ionomonkey’s put his detective hat on … and that’s what makes his article. When was the last time we had a good old fashioned mystery being solved in the MMOsphere, somewhere between House and Poirot style? He examines three main clues, all of which are things that’ve happened to WoW since the Shattering or so.

They’re all things us WoW players talk about a lot too, sometimes in a hush-hush way – after all, who’s sure how safe it is to talk to someone of a different type of guild about guild changes – sometimes in a racuous way that lets everyone know what we think. And at the end of his examinations, Ionomonkey’s conclusion about WoW’s ‘disease’ is both simple and spot on.

What do you think – is there something wrong with WoW – what? Or is it fine and working as intended?

_Quote taken directly from Ionomonkey’s post

You can find Screaming Monkeys’ homepage here_

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Maintenance Mondays: Site Changes And Opinions On Hosting

It’s a while since I’ve done a maintenance Monday post. There haven’t been many gremlins recently and there aren’t now, but there have been some changes … and we need your opinions, too.

So first, the news. You might (or might not if you’re viewing via a feedreader) have noticed that we had an overhaul on the layout about a week ago. MMO Melting Pot is now a clean n’ simple two column layout – thanks for the suggestions for it on the last Fortnightly Feedback, folks. Which was far more than a fortnight ago, now. Anyway, we’re pleased with the site’s look but we’re not done yet! I’ll be overhauling the blogroll, categorising it all with a table of contents for easy navigation. We’ve also rewritten the about box on the left and the actual about page itself, where you can see some snazzy testimonials from lovely peeps who’ve said nice things about us. And last but not least, the new toolbar at the bottom of the page has a few helpful buttons like the one to get you back to the top of the page, the one that provides you a random post if you’re browsing around, and the one that gives you our twitter feed. Oh, and there are games too. Go play with it.

Now to the bit I’m hoping you’ll give your thoughts on. I’ve seen a lot of people around the blogsophere and twitter talk about move blogs recently and also about web hosting. We’re looking at our web hosting at the moment too, so it got me thinking: you guys might be good folks to ask about it. So for example, what web hosting do you use? Are you happy with it or are you thinking of moving? Or what blogging platform do you use? Are you thinking of moving to another blog service or even getting your own corner on the web? How’s the customer service on your web host or blogging platform? How stable is it? And well, how cost effective?

That’s a lot of questions, right? Well, to get you started… here’s a poll with one of the questions picked out. And cookies, but shush, Johnnie and Hugh don’t know I’ve broken out the party rings.

[poll id=”9″]

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One Stop Shop For General Changes In Patch 4.0.1

The Cataclysm’s on its way for World of Warcraft and its advance guard patch 4.0.1 is about to drop on us with some of the bigger game-changers. Quite possibly tomorrow, or Wednesday for us Europeans.

Given it’s going to change the game as we know it now, you need to be armed and ready for it, and the blogosphere’s full of people trying to help you. It’s my job to tell you where to find them. So if you need 4.0.1 general argh what the nitwibble is going on help this is your one-stop-resource, and will be constantly updated anytime I hear of something new that should go on it.

I’ll be posting a seperate one-stop-shop for class resources as well, so keep your eyes peeled for it. …no, locks, not literally peeled

Changes to existing features

  • 4.0.1 badge currency conversions – Elkagorasa the Casual has a concise guide to how the old badge currency will be converted into the new currency.
  • Flexible raid locks – If you don’t know about not being locked into a raid on zoning in and other tidbits after 4.0.1 drops, this is your raid lock workings primer from WoWinsider. It’s fairly neat and concise, and they include relevant blue poster statements for anyone who wants more info.
  • Gem conversions – Angelya over at Revive and rejuvenate has a solid guide on what your current Wrath of the Lich King gems will become when you log in to 4.0.1, and what the new gems will mean in terms of stats.
  • Redesigning ui in 4.0.1 – WoWPhiles is taking the opportunity to suggest some addons for a fresh looking 4.0.1 UI. Some interesting choices, and hopefully pointing out some that will still work after 4.0.1.
  • Changes to glyphs – like the raid-lock primer above, WoWInsider’s got a post summarising the changes to how glyphs work. You might find it saves you some confusing glyph surprises later this week.

Levelling post 4.0.1 patch

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  • Levelling observations 4.0 – Blessing of Kings is taking a look at how classes are changing at low levels – real soon now – and how that plays out in levelling. Of course, we’re not going to see how low level characters interact with the new quests which will arrive with Cataclysm itself, but this is a good roundup of how low level characters will play after talents and such change this week.
  • Levelling as a druidLissanna is taking a practical look specifically at druids and how their new talent and ability setup, come 4.0.1, will affect them levelling out in the big pre-Cataclysm sundered world. Her guide has something for all specs (except bear), and mostly focuses on abilities you’ll be using and suggested talent builds. (Edit: Restokin.com seems to be having occasionalproblems this evening. Try googling specifically for it, that seems to work).

Have I missed anything? No seriously, I suspect there are probably things changing this week which I’ve not mentioned, and resources for them. If you’ve seen these resources, ping them to me at the contact form above, twitter or the comments section. Same goes for the class resource list which will go up very soon. Reward for submitting extra links is a cookie, and the definte knowledge that other people will probably appreciate the heads up.

Although I might have to eat the cookie for you if it doesn’t fit down the router.

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Deuwowlity: Report Of Cata Changes From Deep Undercover

So, change, then. Cataclysm’s bringing it, and we all know it. Details about what’s going to happen to our beloved world are hard to avoid. I know I practically trip up on ’em as soon as fall out of bed of a morning. But what if there are more changes we don’t know about? Gronthe over at Deuwowlity has the scoop on the unsung side of Cataclysm via his contact Mistermiss Insider.

He’s looking at – or should I say his contact is reporting on – some of the more well known changes, like travel, mana regeneration and interpreting stat changes. Though the idea of having player-government officials like Vice Trolls running around on our servers takes the biscuit.

Perhaps it’s out of fear of retribution (not Paladins, because let’s be honest, who’s afraid of those pansies?), perhaps out of an inability to express themselves, there are some Cataclysm changes that have not hit any of the boards or notes to the public. But thanks to my inside insider, who shall be named Mistermiss Insider, there are some changes fast approaching that we all need to be keenly aware of. The following is a list of some, not all of the remarkable changes to Cataclysm.

Gronthe’s post is a light hearted look at the silly side of what’s coming in Cataclysm, and a gentle tongue-in-cheek prod at the way we’re all hot on the heels at a twitch in the Catcalysm news bush. It brought a grin to my face – it only gets better the more you read, as if he really let his silly side go as he kept writing.

**What about you – are you aiming to up your Flower Power or get a pre order in for your very own Mana Hat? Or have you ‘heard’ other changes, and can now spill the beans?

**

_Quote taken directly from Gronthe’s post

Gronthe’s Deuwowlity homepage is here_

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