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Role Playing (Games)

More Lich King Details, Apologies For Burning Crusade? 165

Posted by Zonk
from the because-we've-all-been-deeply-offended dept.
1up is hosting content from the most recent edition of Games For Windows magazine. The front page of that august publication features the grimacing face of Arthas, poster boy for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion to World of Warcraft. The article inside has a bunch of new details on the game update, as well as a lengthy discussion with Blizzard's Chris Metzen on the first WoW expansion, Burning Crusade. Some of Metzen's comments along those lines are a bit surprising: "'It had a lot of high-concept ideas, high-concept environments,' he says, calling to mind the psychedelic mushrooms of Zangarmarsh, the tragic majesty of Tempest Keep, 'but other than some really nice moments, there was nothing really personal about it.'"
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More Lich King Details, Apologies For Burning Crusade?

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  • august? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:05PM (#20815277)
    The front page of that august publication features the grimacing face of Arthas...

    File this under "old news." We're already in October, Zonk. Sheesh... : p
  • by Protonk (599901) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:07PM (#20815313) Homepage
    Too bad, I liked Zangarmarsh. Much more fun to lvl there than Terrokar Forest or HFP. Even blade's edge and Nagrand seemed to be a little uninspired. The first zone i liked after Zangarmarsh was Netherstorm.
    • although Terrokar wasn't that bad.
    • by Kris_J (10111) *
      I agree. I really enjoyed Zangarmarsh and happily played my (herbalist) druid through it without getting frustrated and feeling a great need to switch to an alt for some fun. The quest density was amazing; Just fill your log to the brim and kill anything and it counts. And those Sporegaar dudes are so cute.
    • by fractoid (1076465)
      Zangarmarsh was OK, Hellfire had some nifty tricks early on (bombing run anyone?) but in the end was just Badlands 2.0, Nagrand was OK but for gods sake, enough with the "kill 30 raptors" and "bring me 25 raptor wangs" quests! Blade's Edge was just far too painful to get around without a flying mount, I guess the quests there are meant to be done for gold for your epic flying mount. At least they showed a small amount more variety.
    • by tsm_sf (545316)
      I thought Nagrand was beautiful. Nice to have a well-lighted open environment in a video game instead of the usual son-of-Id toestubbers. The sky reminds me of a Wyeth, and the floating 'islands' are a nice touch.
    • by shalla (642644)
      I hated Zangarmarsh and found it rather boring and somewhat depressing. If you weren't an herbalist or druid, there was nothing to do there but kill naga and bog lords. Zzzzzzzz. Thanks for the useless rep.

      I thought Hellfire had a much more interesting mix of quests, as did Netherstorm, and the quests in Blade's Edge and Shadowmoon required more cooperation and less boring grinding.
  • Not an apology (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tridus (79566) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:18PM (#20815451) Homepage
    What a silly title. Its not an apology. Metzen's said that they wound up not liking how Illidan was just off in the Black Temple, and he doesn't really matter throughout most of the content.

    They want a more personal experience in Lich King, in the sense that Arthas will be more in your face. Think Pathaelon the Calculator, who you keep running into as you level in BC. They want Arthas to be more visible and more interesting, rather then off in the background most of the time.

    I view it as a good thing. They learned a lot from BC, and that should make for a better expansion this time.
    • Re:Not an apology (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KevMar (471257) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:36PM (#20815709) Homepage Journal
      It dont matter much to me. I just auto accept every quest then look up the cords in thottbot or wowhead. run to those cords, do quest, run back. Never even read the story. Just collect the loots/xp/gold and on to the next yellow question mark.

      I'm sure some people will eat it up. I'm just not one of them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Knara (9377)

        I do similar, except I read the story bits. The WoW content people write pretty good quest stories, so I like to read them and get an impression of what's going on in-character.

      • Re:Not an apology (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:55PM (#20815959)
        That's why they make it work both ways. They have all the story stuff in there, because some people get really in to it. They enjoy the lore of the world. However, they don't force you to sit through it if you are one of those for whom the fun is in the doing, not the reason behind it. Good overall design that way.
        • Re:Not an apology (Score:4, Insightful)

          by StikyPad (445176) on Monday October 01, 2007 @05:55PM (#20816669) Homepage
          Hmm.. so it comes down to large numbers of people either running around mindlessly, or running around pretending there's a higher purpose behind it. Sounds like something else I've heard of... ah, right.. life! Funny "escapes", RPGs.
          • by ultranova (717540)

            Hmm.. so it comes down to large numbers of people either running around mindlessly, or running around pretending there's a higher purpose behind it. Sounds like something else I've heard of... ah, right.. life! Funny "escapes", RPGs.

            If people ran around more, summertime would be more aesthetically pleasing. But instead they drive around in cars, polluting the environment and collecting fat. Not that I should speak, sitting down writing this message instead of being at the gym, but still...

            Do your civi

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by geekoid (135745)
            You run around breaking into peoples home, kill them, then take their body parts and loots?
            oh, right, Homeland security.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kidbro (80868)

        I just auto accept every quest then look up the cords in thottbot or wowhead. run to those cords, do quest, run back.

        Fascinating. With a few rare exceptions, I find that it's usually faster to just read the damn quest descriptions (which generally tell you exactly where to go) than to head off to thottbot for coordinates.
        Yes, really.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SilentOneNCW (943611)

        It dont matter much to me. I just auto accept every quest then look up the cords in thottbot or wowhead. run to those cords, do quest, run back. Never even read the story. Just collect the loots/xp/gold and on to the next yellow question mark.

        Then why do you even play the game?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Das Modell (969371)
          Uh... why wouldn't he be playing? WoW isn't an adventure game. You spend almost all of your time fighting and collecting loot.
    • by Funkcikle (630170)

      Think Pathaelon the Calculator, who you keep running into as you level in BC.

      That's an excellent point - every time I was doing a quest in which Pathaelon popped up and turned up to be the antagonist behind the scenes, I'd think "Not YOU again! You bloody troublemaker! Some day I am going to hunt you down in the Mechanar and farm you silly".

      Some kind of incidental music that goes "Dun dun DUUUUUN!" every time Arthas pops up twiddling his moustache would be good too. "Where is the rent? I must have the

    • by Kingrames (858416)
      From the very first line of the actual article:
      "We're still playing far too much of The Burning Crusade -- but, for some reason, Blizzard vice president of creative development Chris Metzen seems to be apologizing for it."

      hence the word apology. If you'd read the first sentence, you'd probably have read just as much as the submitter, since that's the only place where there's an apology, but you'd have at least read some of it.
  • by EggMan2000 (308859) * on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:22PM (#20815499) Homepage Journal
    It's funny how Blizz seems to lament BC as if they made too many mistakes. I do appreciate that experience with the first big expansion gave them a lot of lessons learned to apply to this latest expansion.

    My main bone of contention though is that the 1-70 grind is not getting much attention. Do they feel that all of that is throw-away? I understand adding new content to the end game to keep fanatics engaged. My guild is just finishing TK and getting ready for Black Temple so the timing is perfect to keep them all interested in future content. But what about adding new players, and expanding offerings for players that are new?
    • by Admiral Justin (628358) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:30PM (#20815621) Homepage Journal
      Patch 2.3 *the one coming to a PTR near you in about 24 hours* has:

      Level 20-60 Quest EXP has been increased, while EXP to Level has been decreased
      • by Knara (9377)

        So essentially, they're making changes so that the "middle" level grind is shorter.

        • Why make the low-level grind any shorter? It already takes good players less than a day to get to level 20...and just over an hour to get to level 10.
          • by Knara (9377)

            I agree. Even by going all the given quests, getting to 10 is easy, and 20 is harder only if you get bored easily or have to pee. Nothing particularly interesting gameplay-wise happens between 20-60, sadly. Sure you "get stuff" and improve abilities, but most of the time it's quest-quest-grindgrind-run-from-bored-70's-that-need-to-get-their-stupid-asses-in-a-raiding-guild-instead-of-ganking-in-stv-quest-quest

        • The middle grind is where all the shameful content is - the early zones received massive amounts of polish (particularly the expansion ones) and the 60+ zones are already tuned to a pretty exacting degree (and filled with a much better overall structure). In the middle you have a lot of zones which just aren't as well put together as the early and late zones, so Blizz has apparently decided to hurry everyone through that so they can focus on the "good" content.
          • by Kris_J (10111) *
            One of the things I've noticed about the "middle levels" is that if you're not careful about moving around zones you can end up with all orange and red quests. My first character basically had to grind green mobs for a couple of levels around the high 40s because I missed a couple of entire zones and the quests there were grey by the time I found them. By simply upping the XP you get and reducing the XP per level Blizzard are saving themselves from ever having to add any more quests from 20-60. They don'
          • by fractoid (1076465)
            Not only that, but there are deliberate cockblocks to levelling every 10 levels or so between about 35 and 60. I generally find 36-39, 46-49 to be horrible because there are no real quest hubs, you either grind or you spend 90% of your time running around trying to find quests. They did this because during development, they wanted to eke out the 'last little bit' before level cap (which started at 40, then went to 50, then 55, then 60, afaik).

            If they're doing something to speed up the levelling doldrums t
      • Typical. I just hit 61 last night and now they're doing that....
        • by Knara (9377)
          My main is smack in the middle, so I'm a happy Drae for that.
        • by Kris_J (10111) *
          The 20-60 news hit my guild's forums a few days back. I've been working on a hunter I'd got up to 40-something and a Shaman at 20-something, but I've parked both and been working on my 60-something since the news.

          I'm going to have a lot of fun burning my alts through the levels once the change comes out.
      • Well then that confirms it, breeze thought the middle leveling grind and get to 70/80. That could make it more fun, you would spend a lot less time in specific zones, and get to experience fresh content as you progress. There's a lot to see and do at the lower levels, and I suppose there is a point that if you are new, it's *all* new to you anyway. It's those of us that re-roll that get more frustrated grinding up.
        • by Knara (9377)

          DAoC, in its later revisions, introduced the ability for people who had max-level characters to start another character at an advanced level, in order to avoid the low-mid-level grinding (which was pretty bad in that game at times). This was done partially for the reason you mention, and partially to increase the diversity of character types for PvP (which was much better in DAoC than WoW, if you ask me). Since some character classes are also, obviously, harder/more tedious to level, and since DAoC has so

          • by fotbr (855184)
            While I'd love that ability in WoW, the argument is "then people won't know how to play their new characters effectively, and raiding / instances will suck".

            I say, what does it matter, when people buy characters or buy leveling services, have a high-level alt, and STILL don't know how to play.
            • by Knara (9377)

              While I'd love that ability in WoW, the argument is "then people won't know how to play their new characters effectively, and raiding / instances will suck".

              I say, what does it matter, when people buy characters or buy leveling services, have a high-level alt, and STILL don't know how to play.
              Not only that, but if they don't know how to play their new characters effectively, then I guess they'll just have to learn, won't they? I don't really see the problem with that.
            • Handing someone a lv 20 char will not change whether he knows how to play by the time he's 70. There's plenty of time 'til then. If he can't learn in 50 levels, he can't learn in 70 either.

              I'd rather fear rushing people through the levels 20-60, that's where you learn to play in a group. Until 20, you're mostly on your own anyway, and play style is vastly different solo vs. team.
              • by fotbr (855184)
                Hell, you can get to the mid 60s (at least) without grouping with anyone if you don't care about running instances.

                At least for horde, if you have a high level toon to get gold and gear, you can get an alt from 1-20 in a couple of weekends, and still have time for real life. If you don't care about real life, you can do it in a single weekend -- its boring as hell, but at least it moves quickly.

                If it were up to me, you'd always be able to create alternate characters at the same level as your highest charac
            • by tbannist (230135)
              There are far too many people who levelled their characters on their own who don't know how to play. True story: There was a level 60 druid in my guild who didn't know that druids had an aquatic or bear form. He never did the quests for them (and no, I have it on good authority from the people who leveled with him that the character wasn't bought or power-levelled).
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by RalphSleigh (899929)
        They should leave the previous XP level at it is, but rebalance much of the pre TBC endgame content to fit in before the players hit 58. Places like Winterspring and The Plaguelands are dead now, they should balance it so these areas have more use before players hit 58 and head to the Outlands. I suspect the same will happen for the current TBC endgame areas when this new expansion is released.
        • I agree that those zones are dead. I have a lvl 70 TBC Shaman and am only keyed for BWL. The only time I ever stepped into BRD was to run a guildie "twink" through. So much of that lvl 50-60 content has been thrown away.

          I think they should actually re-tune those zones and quest lines to be post 60 content so that it's used. Put some rare spawns in there, give us a reason to go to WPL, Winterspring, and EPL. (I know that Nax is turning into the first lvl 80 instance)

      • In other words, we'll get to see even more people at lv 70 who don't have the foggiest clue how to play. Just effing great.
    • My main bone of contention though is that the 1-70 grind is not getting much attention. Do they feel that all of that is throw-away?

      All I know is I've got lots of level 4 to 29 characters and somehow the grind makes me not push hard to make them higher level.

      It would help if they more clearly marked group quests.

      For example, if I have to go into a physically constrained mine, in oh say, the Barrens, to get an elite level 25 surrounded by 10 level 20-24 warriors bound to aggro me, that's a Group Quest - not
      • by Knara (9377)

        I do believe that at least the Cosmos addon will mark quests with a "g" as known group quests.

      • The one clearly added in your quest log? With the little "Suggested players : X" in the description log?

        Granted, they haven't gotten around to doing every single Elite-Mob-Bearing quest yet but it's there.
        • Yeah, frequently not (selected) for quests involving high-aggro situations (like Murlocs) and highly-constricted environments like caves where just attacking one brings ten down on you.

          Seriously, most of us waste a lot of time before we clue in it's a Group quest they didn't mark as "Group".
          • by afidel (530433)
            I hate to sound like an elitist ass, but get some skills. While I might occasionally die doing murlocs I completed all relevant quests two levels before recommended with both my mage and my hunter. My tanks types didn't do murlocs as they did those levels elsewhere to stave off boredom, but I don't think you should have a problem with proper pulling techniques. I don't play WoW anymore due to boredom, so perhaps they made the murlocs super strong post BC launch?
            • Look, now that I know they are group quests, they're no prob.

              But they aren't labelled as such. It's fine for my hunter or rogue to do them.

              And pulling inside caves doesn't work well for warriors.
        • Though sometimes you wonder. I had a group quest (suggested: 4), only to find out that 2 would've been plenty (if one is a Warrior and the other one a Priest).
    • by brkello (642429)
      Players that are new don't need new content. There is plenty of content at the lower levels for them to go through. It is only boring if you are leveling many characters to 70. I don't see the complaint for a new player though...they have all that content that we had (plus more beginner zones).

      Really, you want to keep the people playing so you need to please the end game people. They are the ones that have played the longest and invested the most. The early game content (while dated) is still quite go
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Knara (9377)

        Was just talking about this with someone else. The original WoW noob zones could really use some fine tuning, as there's some situations where you run out of quests for your level and have to old-fashioned grind to get back up to speed. Plus the chaining of quests isn't all that well developed.

        The Blood Elf and Draenei 1-20 quest chains, though, are extremely well developed not only with regards to keeping you stocked with appropriately leveled quests (and making those quests seem interesting and immersi

        • The Dranei 1-20 quest line is amazing. The whole town meeting and applauding you is a really nice touch. It keeps the quests from feeling so static.
        • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday October 01, 2007 @05:53PM (#20816649) Homepage Journal
          Yeah, you can try to level 30-46 without going into Stranglethorn Vale but it's damn near impossible. The other areas of the game (Desolace, Arathi highlands, etc) have nowhere near the same quest density that STV does. And 46-58 are a rut of their own with quests forcing you to travel halfway across the world to complete them and if you don't want to play that game you're pretty much stuck grinding. Once you get out to the outland at 58 you're back in nice, focussed quests again. Although it does seem to be possible to run out of them before you hit 70. Anyway, some new pre-60 zones around the world would be nice to take up a lot of that slack.

          Also, I don't get the impression a lot of people are running the old 60 uber-epic quests anymore. Not much point when you're just going to be replacing those Tier 1 and 2 epics with greens as soon as you get to the outland. If that's true, they could just make those dungeons challenging for 70 (or 80) level characters in groups of 5-10 and add some incentives to go back in there. There's no point in letting those dungeons go to waste.

          It'd also be nice if they could add incentives to play classes that are needed. It's generally priests and tank guys but I bet they could come up with a dynamic way to encourage class creation of any class that's out of balance at any given time. Possibly give them better starting gear or a boost to the professions they choose or something along those lines. If the current state of affairs is going to continue for healers and tanks, lowering the respec cost caps for those professions would definitely be a nice gesture (If a priest is going to HAVE to respec for solo questing it should either cost a lot less or he should get some free ones every week.)

          • by Chris Burke (6130)
            Also, I don't get the impression a lot of people are running the old 60 uber-epic quests anymore. Not much point when you're just going to be replacing those Tier 1 and 2 epics with greens as soon as you get to the outland. If that's true, they could just make those dungeons challenging for 70 (or 80) level characters in groups of 5-10 and add some incentives to go back in there. There's no point in letting those dungeons go to waste.

            When the concept was announced, this is what I thought "heroic mode" dung
            • by ildon (413912)
              Respec costs existed originally to give meaning to the talent choices you made. It used to take a lot of effort to get the 100g to respec twice weekly. Now you can get it in 30 minutes doing daily quests once a week. It was obviously a conscious decision for them not to increase the max respec value with the expansion.

              So yeah, now it is more of a gold sink, although the cost of changing still makes people think about their talent choices more thoroughly, I think. It's just not as restrictive.

              Ideally, player
          • by ildon (413912)
            Run out before 70? I hit 70 with 3/4 of Shadowmoon, half of Blade's Edge, and all of Netherstorm's quests undone. In fact, I financed my epic flying mount simply by completing all the quests I had left. If anything I felt the leveling curve was too generous. I was completing a lot of quests after they had turned green, without doing any kind of grinding and only what I consider a "normal" amount of instance runs (1-3 times each, usually closer to 1).
        • While I agree with a few pre-10 zones, where you really have to find & do every single quest if you do not want to resort to grinding, after that I usually have the problem of deciding which quests I really, really have to do before I level past them. I've abandoned a lot of quests which turned grey on me before I knew.

          And with some I was quite glad they did. There are some quests where you have to wonder how to do them with a few classes. When a mage or priest faces a twisted tunnel, he knows he's not
    • They are going to rework the 20-60 leveling a bit to streamline it.

      Personally, I think that's all they need. There's plenty to do for lower level characters, the only problem is that for someone who's new to the game the higher levels, and thus the ability to play with their friends, can seem very far away. So allegedly they are going to quicken the pace of the lower levels some, so that 80 isn't so far away.
    • It is probably worth mentioning that Dustwallow Marsh is due to get a rebuild in a coming patch before WotLK, with a new goblin town and a lot of the questing redone, with the stated intention of improving the 35-45 area. (Well, that's what I remember off the top of my head anyway).
  • by MLS100 (1073958) on Monday October 01, 2007 @05:47PM (#20816591)
    Every expansion will mean less new players because the investment required to 'catch up' to the rest of the game is growing at a rapid pace. Slowly the rate of old players losing interest will outpace the rate of new players. As the server populations drop, the effect will become even more drastic, since the less people that are playing, the less fun the game becomes for the leftover population (less people in guild, tougher to find people for pick up groups, tougher to find quality replacements for quitting guild members).

    I give WoW another one or two expansions before work begins on a new MMO incarnation. Whether it be WoW II or otherwise.
    • by Shados (741919) on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:09PM (#20816767)
      The problem with every MMO out there is that while they always start looking at others trying not to repeat the same mistakes, and initially they often succeed, is that they all fall in the same trap eventually, that is, focusing on "End Game". Most people who get hooked to an MMO, get hooked on the way, not at the end with the so called hardcores running high level events. The -vocal- majority is all there, so if you look at forums, etc, it feels like its all what people want... and its how all MMOs eventually get ruinned.

      As you said, the investment to "catch up" become huge, competition becomes fierce, the amount of cheaters go up (to try and catch up), and its just a downward spiral. While its easier to say than do, MMO devs (not just WoW) need to stop thinking that the end game, "long term" players are their main customers. At any given moment, they indeed are, but for the continual longevity of the game, its not these people that will fuel it, its the constant supply of "newbies", so to speak. People rediscovering the trip from level 1.

      The games should make it interesting to continually start over, that way new players and old are closer together, mix better, etc. Originally FFXI had that decently, making players continually start back up, mixing up with the new, it was quite the experience. Then somewhere along the line they got caught by the vocal majority and down it went. Its not to say that adding content at the end isn't a good idea: people who are attached to some characters will continue paying longer, but it shouldn't be the main concern like it is in 99% of long lasting MMOs out there.
      • by BandoMcHando (85123) on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:45PM (#20817143)

        Well, in some ways I second this, I'd love to see some new content lower down the levelling ladder, as the old instances and quests can get a little boring after having run through them a lot of times, and they never quite have the same magic redoing them on an alt as they did when you first when in and everything was new and mysterious, but you do need to consider that of the subscribing playerbase, quite a large proportion is at the endgame stage, ok, maybe not Black Temple/Mount Hyjal/etc, but a large proportion are level 70. (Census details [warcraftrealms.com])

        I'd actually quite like to see some more stuff to do around the karazhan level, for those who aren't really interested in the 25-man stuff, or who can't commit to the time/organisation required. Zul'Aman could be quite good for this, but we shall have to see how it turns out.

        • by Shados (741919)
          I understand this, but I'm not talking of WoW specifically. I'm talking about MMO design in general. Most MMOs start in a way that is NOT based on end game (obviously), and its how they get popular. Then a bunch of extremely vocal "end gamers" then end up being the turning point of the game, and since they are vocal, and the rest are not, the game ends up shifted about them... I did not play WoW, but I spent several thousand of hours playing just about every other MMOs out there, and it always ends the same
          • by j0nb0y (107699)
            world of warcraft has a ton of content suitable for casual play.

            Tons of 5 man dungeons, once you get through them, you can then do them on heroic. No need for a larger group.

            Battlegrounds. Hop into a battleground anytime, the battles are usually over in less than 30 minutes.

            Arena. You do need a regular group for these, but the regular group can be as small as two people. Not difficult for casuals to access. The matching system will try to match you against similarly rated groups, so while you may get b
            • by Shados (741919)

              As far as the "keep adding onto the endgame" trap, WoW hasn't at all fallen into this trap. Why? With each expansion, they are not adding onto the previous endgame content. They are obsoleting the previous endgame content, and adding a completely new endgame. With a new level cap of 80, all that 1337 level 70 gear the hard core raiders worked so hard for will be obsolete. They will level their characters to 80 and start working on getting new 1337 level 80 gear

              Which is exactly like 90% of other MMOs out t

              • by fractoid (1076465)

                Which is exactly like 90% of other MMOs out there, and what I meant :)

                I believe that the problem he was referring to is not that as the game gets older and expansions come out, newcomers have more levels to get through before hitting 'endgame'. It's more what we have between expansion packs. For instance, heroic dungeons are meant to help players gear up for 10-man raids, but the 'bubble' of raiding players has passed heroic dungeons and it's now impossible to get a run on my server. Same thing with Kara - high end guilds can only get new players by poaching them from up-and

            • by fractoid (1076465)

              Tons of 5 man dungeons, once you get through them fifteen to twenty times, you can then do them on heroic.

              Fixed that for you. The rep grind to get into heroic dungeons is a pain in the ass if you didn't farm the lower level dungeons as you levelled up, and even then you're running for rep long after you've got all the loot you need. And this is set to get worse:

              "When is a game more than a game?" says Metzen. "When it's making you feel creepy or elated or heroic -- it's not just a mechanical experience of clicking and looting and killing and raiding. We want to provide as much context and fiction and psychology as possible, at least the first time -- you'll probably roll this dungeon 80 times -- but the first time was a hoot!"

              <rantmode>Why the hell would they ever believe that running the same dungeon 80 times is fun? It's not. NOT FUN. NOT BLOODY FUN! Hell, I probably ran UBRS a total of 30-40 times between all my lvl 60 pre-expansion characters, and that was way too

              • by cluke (30394)
                The way I see MMO gameplay, it's all about testing your gear and skill's improvements over time. To do this, you need a basline to judge against. So, typical people DO run the same dungeon again and again, if only to judge how much 'better' they are getting by how much easier they can get through the same content. I play WoW, but am starting to get a little bored of it, for these very reasons - I'm not sure it's a decent use of my gaming time when typically I can get so much more out of a single player RPG
        • by Kjella (173770)
          quite a large proportion is at the endgame stage, ok, maybe not Black Temple/Mount Hyjal/etc, but a large proportion are level 70.

          It's rather hard to read from the graph since you have many small bars compared to one huge, but if you filter for level 70-70 you see it's a little over 2mio out of 6.2mio players or 1/3rd that's at level 70. That means that 2/3rds is *not* at level 70, though I suppose it might be more important to make sure players don't "dead end" than just making general improvements.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CyberKender (135686)
      I understand that the v2.3 patch is going to change the leveling from 20-60, speeding it up somehow. While I understand the need for this from the point of view of people who've already made it past 60, it's rather sad that it will mean that all of the raid content below 60 will be even more abandoned than it is now. It would be nice if they came up with some way to make it worthwhile to still do BWL/MC/ZG/AQ/Naxx/etc.
      • by Kris_J (10111) *
        From what my guild's high-level (purpled) tanks tell me, the first thing that would need to be done would be to reduce the durability hit simply from being the tank. I'm told that an epicced-out level 70 tank, even if they don't die, will get a repair bill higher than the amount they make from being on the run.

        This fact alone seems to be more than enough to make the old-skool raid instances into ghost towns.
        • That's an issue. Why do you think it's so terribly hard to find a tank willing to join a PUG? They got a good chance to come out with less than they went in with if it fails.

          My guess is that the idea was that raids are a financial risk for all classes. Where priests need to buy good drinks and mana pots and rogues need to buy goodies for their poisons. But with mages being water fountains and teas pretty much losing all their meaning by lv 60, those "problems" don't exist for any other class.
    • They should start everyone at 60, but that would obsolete everything before the first expansion, so they'd have to rebalance those areas. That would be pretty fun, because it would be great to have an actual reason to run something like LBRS or UBRS or Naxxramas even after you are into the 60-80 zone.

      A better solution is to just focus on the content and challenge (strategy, tactics, etc.) instead of: expansion = current level + 10. If it's always about level, new players don't want to play, and old p

    • by rpillala (583965)

      Blizzard has had open postings [blizzard.com] for people to work on "next-generation" MMO development for some time now. Since they certainly can't think of World of Warcraft as "next-generation," I think you're right. Personally I'm hoping for a Diablo game.

    • EQ2 had a nice idea for that problem, called "mentoring", where you could artificially lower your level to the person you "mentor" for the time you are with him. In reality, while it does help people who have a high level friend, it's still not really a replacement for "normal" teammates, since, well, no matter how much bonus XP you hand to that lv 70, he won't care. He doesn't need XP, he needs items.

      I can see two ways how you can get people to play with new low level players. First, make something like th
    • by RogueyWon (735973)
      While I don't entirely agree with your analysis of the reasons, you've just described the life-cycle of pretty much every popular MMO ever made.

      Phase 1: shiny new MMO comes out, marketinggoes into overdrive, solid number of initial sales, rampant teething troubles in many cases, complaints that players are paying to beta test the game.

      Phase 2: population grows solidly, as much through word of mouth now as marketing. Server issues tend to stabilise and the worst of the bugs are fixed. This is probably the mo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dghcasp (459766)

      Every expansion will mean less new players because the investment required to 'catch up' to the rest of the game is growing at a rapid pace.

      I disagree - "catching up" is really only for people who want to "race to 70" so they can raid. For everyone else, more expansions mean more content to explore and more playtime until you "hit the brick wall at 70."

      In reality, it's only a small percent of people who raid. Most of us can't afford the time investment. Personally, I'd get v. bored doing the same ins

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