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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WoW Roundup: Gold, books, economies, dailies, poop and more

It’s been a busy weekend for WoW blogging, and we’ve got a bumper crop of great posts – so if you want to know about the future of the economy, the verdict on the August Celestials, or the logistics of virtual poo, dive right in:

  • Eric at The Golden Crusade explains why gold’s more important to your WoW experience than may immediately be obvious“Don’t want to grind for gear? Buy some. Don’t want to go to the city to reforge your new gear? If you have the Expedition Yak you just have to get to a place where you can mount up. Want that cool mount that’s tied to a raid achievement? Pay a guild to take you through the raid.”
  • Bravetank’s got a book! Yes, all her WoW humour writings are now available on Kindle
  • The Godmother argues that it may not be possible for Blizzard tofix the economy of low-population servers“Having done some research, I realise that my initial considerations are fairly naive. There are some pretty fundamental game mechanics at play here.”
  • Anne Stickney reviews her experience of the August Celestial reputation grind“Now some may say that I shouldn’t feel entitled to a final payoff, but the problem with that assessment is that given every other reputation grind I had been through so far, it seemed obvious that there would be a payoff.”
  • Crawford posts a fake but very entertaining interview with Herman Brown, Blizzard lead poop designer“World of Warcraft is an incredibly complex game with many intricate game systems and a tremendous amount of background lore. I am in charge of all the poop-related aspects of that.”
  • Matthew Rossi shares the results of his experimentation with a novel Warrior setup – a non-tank spec tank” The real reason for doing this was, it’s crazy fun to tank as arms or fury. Frankly, one of the biggest problems I have tanking is, it doesn’t feel like playing the rest of the game. “
  • And Typhoon Andrew gives his verdict on the whole daily quest thing“Perhaps one day many expansions from now my character can return to Pandaria and visit farmer Yoon, and we’ll laugh as how much of his work I did for him.”

How was your WoW experience this weekend? Were you even playing WoW?

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WoW: The Non-Grind Edition

You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d stumbled on a coffee blog if you’re reading about WoW at the moment – everyone’s talking about the grind. But fear not – there’s much more to WoW than just dailies, as these bloggers pointed out this weekend:

  • Evlyxx is looking for co-consipirators for a very cool cross-realm raiding project: getting the “Herald of the Titans” title, only possible at level 80 with appropriate gear“In reality this means that your armour items must be ilvl 226 (or less) and weapons/off hands must be ilvl 232 (or less). They don’t need to be from Ulduar, although to max the stats Ulduar 25 is the best place to farm gear. “
  • The Ancient Gaming Noob reports that Blizzard have just changed their stance on charging payments after Annual Pass expiry“I went to check my WoW account yesterday, just to make sure that the times and dates hadn’t altered for whatever reason. Everything seemed about the same. However, the cancel button was no longer grayed out. So I clicked it. “
  • Green Armadillo considers his Annual Pass too – was it actually good value, and will Blizzard further innovate with it in the future?” I speculated whether Blizzard would be doing anything to make the base price of the WoW subscription more palatable to people like myself who are open to paying a bit more for uninterrupted access, but not $150/year. Despite the success of the program – over 1.2 million customers took Blizzard up on it – the answer is apparently not. “
  • Tobold is looking at the reputation grind from a slightly different direction – a just-dinged 90 who can’t even spend his Justice Points“I don’t mind there being daily quests in the game, there are probably a lot of people who like them as an endgame activity. But why not make the rewards for dailies to be pets and mounts and other stuff you don’t need to run heroics and raids?”
  • And lastly, Mister Adequate writes a fun post looking at the WoW races that should totally, totally be playable“Naga. The quests in Vash’jir where you are a Naga Battlemaiden are great, because you get to see how cool as heck Naga are. Turns out they’re refined, treat their underlings reasonably, and act with respect and decorum! Also they have that crazy spinny-blade blender move that minces everything.”

How’s your WoWing been this weekend?

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Casual Raid Leading, SWTOR enthusiasm and The Death Of Dailies

It has been a quiet weekend in MMO-land – everyone playing the GW2 beta weekend? However, that just meant that I could give proper attention to some of the great posts that did come out:

  • Shintar at Going Commando is sick of people being negative about SWTOR, which she feels could become a self-fulfilling prophecy” I think that we should focus on the things we enjoy, and just say what we have to say without sounding like we’re constantly apologising for liking the game (or even for not liking certain aspects of the game), as if we expect nasty anti-TOR trolls to jump out of the woodwork even in the comment section of a tiny fan blog. “
  • The Grumpy Elf writes an excellent post talking about the anxieties of the casual raid leader“For the casual raid leader your group make up is not always what is the best class make up for the raid but who are the best players that can be dependable and capable players. If you get stuck with three shaman healers, or too many hunters, or only paladin tanks, you make do.”
  • And Green Armadillo at Player vs Developer asks whether the evolution of MMOs into a Free to Play model is killing the concept of the daily quest“Today’s non-subscription payment models make it that much easier to simply switch to another game after collecting whatever low-hanging daily fruit I’m working on. I’ve started many daily quest chains – WoW’s get more intricate with each patch – but continuing to repeat the content is less attractive when I could be doing something completely new in a different game. “

Enjoyed today’s posts? Please consider sharing them!

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Hot Topic Watch: Attunements, Gear and Dailies

It’s been a week or two of fast-paced discussion and debate in the WoW blogosphere, and as we move into the weekend, that discussion’s still raging. Whether it’s attunements, dailies or gear, here’s the latest pieces of thought on the topics everyone’s talking about:

  • Scott Andrews at WoW Insider takes us down memory lane in the attunements discussion, taking us back to the pure joy – no, wait, I meant anguish – of the Horde Onyxia attunement chain in Vanilla WoW“Thrall sends you on the most dreaded part of the attunement chain: talking to Rexxar. Rexxar was not a static NPC who stood there waiting for players to interact with him. No, Rexxar had stuff to do. He patrolled all the way through Desolace and into parts of the two adjacent zones, Feralas and Stonetalon Peaks.”
  • Ratshag has decided to take pity on those of us who want attunements back – with his Do-It-Yourself guide to attunement simulations“The Karazhan Attunement Experience: Read page 1 of yer novel. Go ta that cave in Southwest Twilight Highlands. Kill everything. Wait fer thems ta re-spawn. Kill them all again. Read the next page…”
  • Bob at Altclysmic weighs in on the “motivation and gear” discussion started by The Grumpy Elf, looking at how Mists of Pandaria will change the way loot motivates us“The new system will allow me to daily my way to the top, the asumption will be that this is an easier way but the reward gathering will be so much slower.”
  • And Spinks at Spinksville writes a lengthy post discussing various elements of Mists of Pandaria to come, including a section to the daily quests of MoP, and how she (unlike other commenters earlier this week) believes they’ll be a good thing“At that point in the game, people just want to log in and do something fun that will progress their character in some way. Assuming dailies are at least as fun as normal quests and that people who like PvE are happy with normal quests, the only issue is whether players get bored and how many dailies you have to do to get whichever reward you are aiming for.”

Any opinions on the dailies, gear or attunements discussion?

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