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World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade Review 329

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ahhh-the-crusade-it-burrrrnnnnnssss dept.
It would be hard to argue that World of Warcraft hasn't been a huge success. Not only has it been a financial success in the MMO market, but it has introduced many new people to Massive gaming that might not have otherwise given it a shot. With their first expansion, The Burning Crusade, Blizzard has made huge advances in many areas of the game. Long-standing complaints have been addressed, and the structure of the popular title has been reinforced. The casual players have gotten a large injection of content that is both accessible and enjoyable to someone who doesn't have huge amounts of time to play. At the same time, hardcore players who thirst for new challenges on a daily basis have quite a bit of work ahead of them. This is not to say that The Burning Crusade (BC) doesn't have its pitfalls, but overall I get the feeling that this is closer to what Blizzard's World of Warcraft dream was meant to be. Read on for my opinions of this new round of addiction.
tester data
  • Title: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  • Developer/Publisher: Blizzard / Vivendi
  • System: PC / Mac
  • Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game
  • Score: 4/5 - This game is a wonderful addition to the original World of Warcraft universe and helps to alleviate many of the "problems" that players have been complaining about for a long time. If you are burnt out on the original game, now is a good time to give it another look.
In the beginning Blizzard gave us World of Warcraft. And life was good. Like any shiny new toy, the faults inherent to the game weren't initially obvious. As time wore on, though, players were able to delve into the guts of the game through raiding and excessive amounts of play. After a while the main complaints seemed to fall into two different "camps": those who wanted to see more "hardcore" content and those who wanted to see more "solo" or "casual" content. There were many arguments about how these two groups of people were mutually exclusive and how one or the other was the "obvious" best choice. However, in BC, Blizzard has done an excellent job in making sure that both groups of players have content to shoot for, even if the rewards aren't necessarily all that much better for conquering the raid content.

The first major improvement in the game comes with the extension of the level grind. There is a vast difference in the enjoyment of leveling a character from levels 1-60 and from 60-70. While the amount of experience is relatively comparable, the mechanisms in place make it a completely different animal. With the original game, leveling was thought of as one of the main aspects of the game and designed to take a long time to do with very little continuity or help to speed you along. Instances were designed to be for gear rewards and something you did rarely in between your bouts of leveling. With The Burning Crusade, the quests were designed to make you feel like you were accomplishing smaller tasks within a grand scheme, and they actually helped to develop the plot and a feeling that you were a part of the game rather than just trying to "beat" the game to get a level.

Throughout the questing and overall leveling process, instances in the Burning Crusade were also designed to be a much more integral part of the game for both leveling and gear. The group experience bonus allows a player to still make good progress towards the next level while playing through group content with friends and finding new challenges and boss fights along the way. The quests for every zone eventually start to poke and prod you towards the next level appropriate instance to help players make this decision and help round out the leveling experience. To make the process of instancing even better, Blizzard has grouped the instances in each zone together as "wings" of increasing difficulty within a larger structure that has an overall theme. This allows players to tackle the content in smaller chunks without having to commit large blocks of time just to do an instance. At the end of each group of instances the content culminates in a larger group encounter for raids to tackle once their players have completed a key quest for that particular instance.

While instances may have gotten a large push in the right direction, there are still a couple of major problems that continue to crop up, preventing players from really enjoying the content that is right in front of them. The largest of these problems are instance-breaking bugs. There have been quite a few of them since launch, and while bugs are to be expected, these are taking a long time to fix. Meanwhile the customer service reps in game are doing very little to help the players deal with the bugs beyond telling them it is a known problem and sorry about your luck. Now, I realize that some people are going to try and exploit GM assistance, but there comes a time when you just need to give your customer the benefit of the doubt and help them through any problems that crop up. The other major problem attached to instances comes before you even make it to the instance. If you aren't part of a large guild with resources always at hand, it means you are going to have to try your luck with a pickup group. While the "Looking for Group" interface was a neat addition, I think Blizzard either did too much or too little depending on what they were going for. With a simple global chat channel it was very easy for players just to type what they were looking to do and for others to answer, a quick and easy solution. In fact, most servers have seen a grass roots channel emerge to move back to this functionality. With the introduction of a user interface and automation to the process, they removed the "easy" solution but didn't go far enough with the complex solution. Ultimately, the "best" answer to this problem would be to bring back the chat channel but make the user interface "grab" names and classes from that chat channel into a larger pool of people to draw from, allowing users to use both methods of communication depending on their preference.

One of the main points of skepticism before the release of The Burning Crusade was the number of reputation "grinds" that would be required in order to experience new content. While much of the new content is hidden behind reputation requirements, the new system allows players to gain reputation at an amazingly fast rate making this requirement almost a non-issue. In addition to new content for these new factions the reputation system also unlocks a vast amount of new pearls for the crafting system. This allows different reputation choices to determine which recipes you are able to craft so that each crafter has the ability to obtain unique recipes instead of being a cookie cutter crafter like it was before the expansion.

Despite the fact that the casual consumer has definitely been given quite a bit of content to work their way through, the hardcore player has certainly not been left in the lurch. Raid content is available in spades. The addition of a 'heroic mode' for dungeons allows players to go back and play through previous instances at a higher difficulty level (and for better rewards). This, again, requires that they have put in the time to attain a high enough reputation level with the controlling faction. With each set of instances, there is also a difficult 25-man raid (now that Blizzard has decided to limit their "large" raids to 25 players instead of 40) encounter designed to provide an additional challenge. Beyond these short raids there is also new 10-man content (Karazhan) that allows players to work through a larger dungeon and attain a new armor "set" in addition to the random drops that still occur. Once players have made their way through this 10-man content they can start working towards some of the even larger 25-man content with huge sprawling dungeons promised, eventually culminating in the battle through Mount Hyjal. However, in order to get to this final realization players must wade through a lot of content. In an effort to help players in this goal one player even put together a flow chart of what it is going to take to realize this goal.

The largest problem with the current raid content is that while it requires large amounts of work to get to and complete (as it should), the rewards for actually completing that raid content have all but eviscerated the desire to do the work. Having moved from a "hardcore" raiding style of play to a much more casual approach I was quite pleased at how much I was able to do on a daily basis with my limited time. However, looking back at my previous play style and the rewards that I would be shooting for I realized that there was very little reason for me to aim for those "end game" rewards anymore. The time spent versus rewards earned seems a little imbalanced. I'm sure that a large part of this decision was to try and cater to the larger "casual" player base and stop the hemorrhage of players they were losing to other games. Just the same, if you are going to create content that caters to your hardcore players you should probably create rewards that justify the work they are about to put into it.

While much of the game play and content has been improved greatly the class balance issue is still one that continues to haunt Blizzard. For example, if you are a Rogue and you really want to experience some of the heroic content and smaller raid encounters, you are in for a difficult time finding a group. The same goes for priests if you are really into the competitive player versus player aspect of the game. I am willing to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt on this one since they are probably still evaluating how the new talents and new gear will effect the overall class balance, but changes are definitely needed.

In addition to all of the game play changes, each faction also has a new race, a new homeland, and tons of new starting quests to work through. While information on the new horde race, the Blood-Elf, has been available for quite some time, the new alliance race, the Draenei, has been somewhat of a mystery almost until the release of the beta. Unfortunately, this also shows in the quality of both the quests and the overall feel for each of these races. The homeland and starting quests for the Blood-Elves have a much larger degree of continuity and they lend a feeling of a long time in development while the Draenei feel like a last minute cobble when they couldn't think of anything else. This obviously doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things once you make it to Outland and the new content, but it can have a definite effect on someone just starting the game.

Overall, it seems that Blizzard is definitely listening to their player base, they just need to do a better job of communicating that fact. I realize that it is hard to release information about something if it later gets taken away or changed, but let your GM staff work for you, give the player the benefit of the doubt more often, and admit when something is wrong so that players can avoid the disappointment while it is being fixed.

Despite any pitfalls, The Burning Crusade is an excellent addition to the Warcraft Universe. Blizzard has done an excellent job of catering to many of the different types of players within the game, providing a wide array of enjoyable content. If you are new to the MMO scene or even if you gave up hope before The Burning Crusade hit the streets, now is a great time to get into the game and give it a shot.
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World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade Review

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  • Why review this? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ROBOKATZ (211768) on Friday February 23, 2007 @01:58PM (#18124996)
    Everyone who plays WoW will buy it. If you don't play WoW, you either aren't interested or you would have started by now, or you realized how pointless and boring the game is and have no intention of buying a pointless and boring expansion.
  • by Cheapy (809643) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:05PM (#18125088)
    What about the people who quit WoW, and are intrigued by BC? I don't think anyone would say that those people aren't interested in the reviews.
  • by LochNess (239443) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:05PM (#18125090) Homepage
    While I can see people's point when they complain about the newish LFG tool, I really don't want to go back to the server-wide LFG channel. It was basically global Barrens chat.
  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:10PM (#18125158) Journal
    And the review isn't even very accurate. The casual player gets next to nothing out of this. I am a casual player and bought BC. So far other than two new races I have seen nothing of the expansion. All I hear is the 60+ hard core players in my guild having fun in it.

    BC is 90% content for hard core players.
  • Draenei Cobbled? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by borkus (179118) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:12PM (#18125182) Homepage
    While I've liked both starting areas, I have quite enjoyed the Draenei starting quests. It's true that the architecture in the Blood Elf region is more complex, but that's consistent with the game in my opinion - the Blood Elfs are starting in their recently wrecked city, the Draenei start stranded on a remote island. The starting quests on the Draenei side are quite good - in fact, the "Medal Ceremony" at the end of the final elite quest is very cool. And then there's the Kessell Run. [wowwiki.com]

    However, I can see how someone might prefer the flavor of the Blood Elf starting area to the Draenei area. To me, that difference in flavor shows how much thought Blizzard put into each area.
  • BC = Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vision33r (829872) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:20PM (#18125290)
    So far I think the BC's content is large but short on quality. Lots and tons of new gear but re-colored items with no new graphics. Some new epic gear has some of the wackiest artwork, doesn't have the consistent quality of many pre-BC designs. Most of the quests are way too easy for certain classes, while certain classes are dependent on others to help them grind quests. They have yet to fix class imbalances and looks like it got worst. Some classes have scaled so far ahead of others that they don't even need a party to help grind elite quests. Its a bit unfair there. I say BC was a bit rushed overall, lots of repetitive quest grinds and nothing new to the game, many class specific changes only benefit those classes and Blizzard has remained silent about changes, not giving anyone a shred of hope that they would fix them. Perhaps LOTR Online, here we come?
  • by bugnuts (94678) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:20PM (#18125298) Journal
    The way they could fix this is to put a global chat channel INSIDE the LFG tool, with a timer (2 broadcasts per 30 sec). That'd make it inconvenient to use as a chat channel, and would mostly be seen only by people actually actively looking for a group. The tool is nice, but needs some tweaks. But worse, the inability to chat destroys any usefulness it might have had.
  • by ShentarZ31 (915395) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:23PM (#18125344)
    The philosphy behind "no new classes" is that Blizzard feels that they want to improve the balance of the classes that they currently have. Just by giving the Horde the paladin and giving the Alliance the shaman, they have been able to unlock those classes more. They can develop those classes without having to make one faction vastly more powerful than the other. They are also giving some unloved classes some attention. Why add in new classes to upset a balance when they have improvements that can be implemented to the classes that they currently have? I am sure at some point they may add in a new class or two, but I applaud BLizzard for trying to fix what they have first. I don't see having no new classes to be a flaw at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:25PM (#18125380)
    It's not that hard to get to level 58, and once you do, there is a vast amount of new content for both casual and hardcore players.

    If you're not level 58 yet, there are only two possible reasons: you haven't been playing the game very long, or you keep rolling alts instead of sticking with the same character.

    You are right in one thing. If you're not going to roll a new character of one of the new races, and your current character isn't lvl 58 yet, there's no reason to buy the expansion. In that case, just wait and buy the expansion when you hit 58.

    Even casual players aren't going to take more than a few months to get to level 58.
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:30PM (#18125462)
    I quit WoW and started again after BC came out. They did fix a bunch of stuff:
    • Instances no longer require a 4 hour commitment
    • Casual playing actually has rewards
    • Zones are very well designed and laid out
    • One in ten quests is actually interesting and fun
    However, after I did a quest where I had to kill Hydras for 4 hours in order to get 8 scales or whatever, I realized that it was more of the same crap and the promptly quit the game again.
  • by dave562 (969951) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:53PM (#18125856) Journal
    However, after I did a quest where I had to kill Hydras for 4 hours in order to get 8 scales or whatever, I realized that it was more of the same crap and the promptly quit the game again.

    I started a Blood-Elf for the hell of it and realized after not too long that you can skip any quest that involves killing monsters to collect X number of items. That particular kind of quest has to be the most tedious and absolutely frustrating quest available. I read the interview with the Warhammer Online team and they seem to have gotten it right. In their game, if you go on a quest like that, then EVERY SINGLE MONSTER that you have to kill will drop the item you need to collect. I wish the Blizzard folks would pull their heads out of their asses and do the same thing.

  • by Anguirel (58085) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:56PM (#18125896)
    Or you could, you know, play on a Normal or RP server where you don't need worry about ganking unless you choose to participate in World PvP...
  • time vs skill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906) on Friday February 23, 2007 @02:59PM (#18125936) Homepage
    The largest problem with the current raid content is that while it requires large amounts of work to get to and complete (as it should)

    Why should it? This is why I hate (and do not play) this game. A good game should advance with the player's skill and a little bit of time. World of Warcraft advances the story only with time, time, and more time. You'll pour your life into the game, but you can still suck large amounts of ass at it. The reason that there are countless level 60/70 clueless morons is because the game requires no skill to speak of, only endless amounts of time.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater.gmail@com> on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:28PM (#18126364) Homepage

    I'm equally baffled by the reviewer saying "players must wade through a lot of content." isn't content rather than grind what everyone wants?

    It's the eternal paradox of MMO's - the customers want more content in game, but they don't actually want to encounter the content. All they want is the next level easily and painlessly. (Then when they've gotten to the top of the ladder - they whine because there wasn't enough content.)
     
    Or as was recently posted by a player after a round of particularly ludicrous complaints* on the boards of a game I play: The devs should be praised for listening to us at all - I wouldn't.

    * An object was recently added to the game that pays homage to an eighties cartoon character. One poster complained that this 'desecrated' her childhood memories 'just as if the devs had poured paint on a picture of Jesus'. (I kid you not - I saw it with my own eyes.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:55PM (#18126740)
    I do believe that instance-breaking bugs are the least of blizzard's problems. They spent a considerable amount of effort making the instances in Azeroth robust and a pleasure to play. These instances are no longer being (or very minimally) run. For example, no one would want to run Blackwing Lair anymore because the gear there is on par with level 70 Blues which are EASIER to obtain. MC is completely broken. Naxx is barely hanging on. Level 60 5-Mans are basically done for too since the gear form them is completely inadequate to the uncommon items available from outland.

    Has Blizzard broke half the game by introducing a new half? You decide.
  • by flibuste (523578) on Friday February 23, 2007 @04:00PM (#18126802)

    I have a very different experience from yours with BC. I belong to a guild which itself is part of a guild group, geared toward what people call the "hardcore" instances. Only 1 on 200 people in my guild left since BC, and all the others are enjoying it so much that it's now hard to gather 40 people for a good auld "hardcore" instance.

    There is no "reset the cap to 70 and everything before 61 is gone.". Most items in BC aren't worth replacing the set items found in 60 instances, and such sets help you fly through 60 to 70. It is true though that some 60 quests aren't worth anything now but there are so many othere quests to do. I would actually object that the more generous quest rewards in gold pieces helps preventing being stuck at one thing while you're grinding for cash, making questing and the overall game much more enjoyable.

    The article is also right in the fact that casual people have been more taken care of and will find more enjoyment in playing BC.

    Besides, it looks so preeeetttyyyy

  • by tbannist (230135) on Friday February 23, 2007 @04:54PM (#18127524)
    I'm not sure you fully appreciate the changes in BC for several reasons:

    1) Most players know that set items pre-BC weren't very good in the first place, they are easily replaced by non-set items gained through questing. True, the epic items will mostly be replaced by blue quest items, but they will be replaced. Many of the bonuses on your level 60 gear actually scale downwards as you level. Your "crit rating" becomes less effective as you level up, going from level 60 to level 70 you will loose about 50% of the crit bonus that you had at level 60, for example.

    2) You will never again see a 40 man raid, the new raid content is 25 man raid content and the old stuff offers nothing to justify the time expenditure. The only reason to do the 40 man raid content is curiousity or nostalgia, because even the legendary staff from Naxx pales in comparison to epic level 70 one-handed weapons. There are simply no rewards worth delving into the 40 man content for. Even then, the level 60 content should be so trivialized by level 70 players that you probably won't need more than 10-20 players to complete MC, BWL, AQ40 and Naxx. Heck, it's only a matter of time before someone starts soloing the level 60 raid bosses for fame and kicks.

    3) There are no rewards worth earning from any factiont that you can rep grind outside the Outlands. Almost everything of value is concentrated in the outlands. This means the time invested in grinding those level 60 reputations is now worthless, just as the time invested in earning equipment from Naxx is now pointless, you gear will be superceded by new gear on the way to 70. To some people that will seem justifiable, but the case was that did not happen on your way to level 60 from level 50. If you had the good fortune to have a level 50 epic weapon, you most likely kept it until you replaced with a high-end level 60 blue item, rather than a quest reward from some random level up quest. The only exceptions are the new instances Caverns of Times and Medivh's Tower that are in the "old world".

    That's why everything pre-61 has been rendered pointless. In some ways that's a good thing, someone who just made level 60 before the expansion came out will essentially be on an even footing with someone who started at release and spent almost 2 years at level 60, but in my opinion and that of many others, that's going too far. This is a MMORPG, part of the point is to build up your character, to reduce someone who put 2 years of effort into their character to the same level as someone who put 2 weeks into it, just doesn't sit right.

    Actually, since I played a mage, it was much worse than that for me. Mages received a ton of nerfs for the expansion to force one of the original 2 pure dps classes into the position of doing only average damage. At that point, why play a mage, and since it was obvious that Vivendi doesn't understand how to run or balance their game, why bother playing? Mages in particular are now inferior in every way to warlock character. Less dps, more downtime, less hit points, less pvp viabilitiy, worse AoE. If I was running a hard core raiding guild, I wouldn't take more than 1 mage into a 25 man instance, and the mage would be there solely to buff warlock dps with scorch (and hand out food and water and AB). I played the class, and that would be my recommendation.

    Heck you hardly need any diversity in the game for an ideal raid. You want Druids to tank, and Druids to heal, warlocks to dps, and shadow priests for support dps (2 SP and 3 Warlocks for every dps group), and a few paladins for healing and buffing. The other classes are all hinderances. They lessen the effectiveness of your raid. If you're horde you might want a shaman or a warrior to deal with a fear spamming boss.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:23PM (#18127934) Homepage
    I'll note one additional data point: When you do some of the initial quests, you'll be amazed at the quality of the quest rewards for relatively simple quests. I believe this was an intentional design to bring the "casual" player up to raid quality gear, effectively levelling the playing field. Casuals do not start at much of a disadvantage when they're having T2-quality gear heaped upon them (previously only available in instances such as BWL, where few casual players were able to attend).

    Translation: Get new players and current casual hooked on the new and "powerful" stuff, while making hardcore gamers grind like crazy again to get new cool loot since their current gear is soon commonplace.
  • A few notes... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dr00g911 (531736) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:39PM (#18128220)
    I'm somewhere between a casual & heavy player. I raided a little bit on multiple servers, and burned out with the need to schedule my life around 40-man guild raids. I just can't justify playing for more than 6-7 hours in a week, and I had three lvl 60 characters at the time.

    So, I put the game down as I'd seen everything I wanted to see, and accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish except for the last new pieces of epic purple lewt(TM) in my set.

    Fast forward a year or so, and I bought the expansion, and I found that my needs (being halfway between "raider" and "casual") had been met absolutely perfectly.

    The game is gorgeous, the new questlines and level progression from 60-70 doesn't feel anything like a grind, and the improvements to the game made over the last year as a whole, are astonishing.

    Yeah, you can look at that flowchart about what it takes to get into the final, epic battle at Mt. Hyjal and it looks terrifying. But, with the exception of taking out Lady Vashj and Kael'thelas, you'll be doing all of that anyway while you're progressing through the content.

    That's what people don't realize... you only have to visit each of those instances once (well, twice if you run Heroic versions for the Naaru trials), and you'll be hitting that content anyway as you continue down questlines in your 60s and past 70. The reputations with each faction aren't grinds anymore. You'll get the required rep just following quests and running instances a couple times (as opposed to running, say, ZG 300 times to get exalted so you can actually use the chestpiece you won).

    The point is, there's a TON of stuff to do at level 70 now that doesn't require a raid, and raids are far less painful a proposition than they were in the Molten Core days.

    Contrast that to pre-burning crusade. If you didn't run raids, you were either stuck in UBRS to rinse & repeat for loot, or stuck in 18 hour Alterac Valley BGs for loot.

    Now, I can log in, run any one of 18 new high level, incredibly well-designed instances (requiring boss strategy normally reserved for old 40-man runs) in an hour, run TWO games of Alterac Valley in an hour, and actually make progress in both quests and reputations for the foreseeable future in a couple hours a week.

    That flowchart shows you what it takes to "win"... ie get attuned to everything and raid the 'leet raid. For all but a few of the hardcore, getting there is the fun part. You're not supposed to "win"... because you run out of stuff to do!

    There's a lot to do now post-70 that's a hell of a lot of fun if you don't raid, and there's a TON to do if you raid.

    The best part is: the gear gap is really narrow now. Those who pvp or run dungeons occasionally for their gear won't be horribly outclassed in PvP anymore by people with full Tier 4/5 raided gear. It's a really, really small upgrade, but the raiders are more interested that the name's in purple and they look cool, so everyone wins.

    For those who never got to high levels, the new Dranei and Blood Elf areas are great little alt sandboxes as well. The leveling seems a little faster than it used to be as well.

    Take all that and add in some of the best art direction, game design and polish that you're likely to see in any game, and I think it's a fabulous expansion.
  • by markalanj (60299) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:47PM (#18128326)
    The game is not the problem its people. You have to be responsible and realize that the game is not the real world. My wife and myself both play WOW we group up and play together, my kids play too we WOW as a family. I have spent more with quality time lately with my wife than I used to, sometimes I spend to much time with my C compiler! You still have get up and be an adult and realize that the real world still exists you have to go to work, clean your house and do all the other day to day things. Don't blame the game or the developer. Didn't your momma teach you some self control?
  • by jchenx (267053) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:56PM (#18128460) Journal
    While I don't agree with the bulk of your comments, I do agree that there could be some better quality-control overall with BC. I've run into several quests which were bugged in some way. Anyone encounter Fel Cannons and sand worms that were hidden underground? You can't attack them, but very annoyingly, they can attack you. Yeah, extremely frustrating. There are a couple of other quests which were bugged in various ways, that had to be patched as well.

    As for the "class imbalances", I have to disagree with the bulk of the player base. In every MMO, you will always have people bitch that their particular class being imbalanced, and whine that "so-and-so" class needs to be nerfed. All you need to do is spend some time on the WoW forums to see this. What these posters don't realize is that they represent a tiny percentage of the actual population. Just because they have a particular grudge about something, doesn't mean it's real. Only Blizzard has access to the raw stats and data, to see what is actually occurring in the game. Certainly there are imbalances of some level, which is why tweaking is always occuring. It's just natural, as the players find new ways to use their spells and talents, to maximize their potential (and minimize others). But if you just listen to forum posters and bloggers, they make it seem like the sky is falling.

    One great example is that of the Shaman class. For months, the popular sentiment was that Shamans were overpowered, and they needed to be "nerfed" (tweaked so that they were less powerful). I even joined a guild, entirely made of Shamans, that was called "Nerf Shamans", poking fun at this idea. Nowadays, it's the popular sentiment that Shamans are underpowered and thus need "buffs" (tweaked so they are more powerful). But you know, not all that much has really changed with the class. You can say the same with almost every WoW class, which always seems to go through a cycle of being over-and-under-powered.

  • by SilentChris (452960) on Saturday February 24, 2007 @10:11AM (#18133672) Homepage
    On average it takes a player 15 days (days, not hours) of game time to get from 1-60. It probably takes about 2 additional days to get from 61-70 (not enough data has been collected). While that seems high, if you break it out over weeks since the game started, that's about 3-4 hours a week -- not a huge amount (people easily watch that much TV in a week, or go to a movie or ballgame).

    The running gag is that anyone can get to 70 in Wow. And that's true -- it just takes time. In previous games, you'd hit a glass barrier where grouping and raids would be required to progress. In Wow you can go all the way alone just playing by yourself when you want. That's a major improvement.

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