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Role Playing (Games)

World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King Officially Announced 314

An anonymous reader writes "Wrath of the Lich King is official! BlizzCon is in full swing, and celebrants there are already enjoying the Northrend-themed imagery. For a look at what's going on, Joystiq has a liveblog of the opening ceremony up. Games For Windows magazine, meanwhile, will feature WLK its next cover. The post on the 1up site has a number of details on the next expansion, including the introduction of the Death Knight, the first new class since WOW's launch 'World of WarCraft's first Hero Class is a plate-wearing tank/DPS hybrid that works a little something like this: When players hit level 80, they'll be able to embark on a quest (similar in difficulty to the Warlock's epic mount quest, back before the level cap was raised to 70) that unlocks the ability to create a Death Knight character. The Death Knight starts at a high level (somewhere around 60 or 70, though Blizzard isn't certain yet), so you won't have to grind your way back up all over again. It's intended as an alternative, advanced class for end-game use only.'."
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World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King Officially Announced

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  • So more grind... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Number13 ( 641387 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:28PM (#20105767)
    The old EQ Skinner Box model strikes again. Every year or so, release an expansion that completely invalids any progress made in the last expansion. Problem is, it works as a money making venture, so other games follow the same suit rather than attempting to create games where content is for fun rather than for grind.
  • by Metasquares ( 555685 ) <> on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:31PM (#20105815) Homepage
    In the long run, however, it tends to kill the game.
  • by shakingbrave ( 1136495 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:33PM (#20105863)
    /sigh You do realize that the best geared guilds progress the fastest in the next expansion because they're the best geared for it. Granted they're going to upgrade their gear as they go, but they start with a significant advantage. So how is that "invalidating any progress" they made? If anything WoW is better than any other MMO I've played (EQ blaaah) for the sheer fact that they update content/balance/etc the game so much. And they do a bunch of it for "free" as well (read: you don't have to buy another expansion), they've released some monster patches. And also, creating a class that starts at lvl 60 or 70 is taking away the grind and adding to the fun, so I don't get that remark either???
  • Levelling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:40PM (#20105967)
    Reminds me of geocentrism. Works for a while but the exceptions and problems build until it's over complex and unwieldy.
  • Re:Casual gamers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:44PM (#20106033) Journal
    I don't think it means that really. I think what it's actually for is for people like you (and me) who get to 80 and go, "Well great! Now what the fuck do I do?" Now there is an answer: "Switch to death knight (or whatever the frilly alliance equivalent will end up being), and then level back up to 80!" Leveling is always rife with solo content, so you'd have the fun of switching your class, and doing some more solo play, rather than the eternal instance/raid grind.

    Of course, if you're a quest-a-holic this could be an issue because if you've done all the quests, you might have to grind your way back to 80 and that would suck.
  • by toleraen ( 831634 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:48PM (#20106089)
    The players that raid 40+ hours a week, that progress the fastest, tend to make up a very low % of the population. Most people haven't made it all the way through the last expansion, so any work they made towards getting to "the end" becomes moot, because they'll have to start all over again on the new, improved, better loot content. For people with not that much time, it sucks.

    It goes the other way too, with people who did raid 40+ hours a week, only to find their full suit of level 60 purples get shown up by BC green loot you can find at the AH for 10G.
  • Mid Level Content (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Idylwyld ( 324288 ) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .raahea.> on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:50PM (#20106103)
    WTF? So we got new early game and end game content in BC which was great. But where's the love for the mid levellers?

    And what's up with an "unlockable" end game class? Too lazy to balance the new class all the way through?
  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @03:55PM (#20106185)
    Again with the focus on End game and a 10 level rise. Not only will it now take months for the average gamer to reach endgame, they'll have to deal with the broken level 70 content as well as the broken level 60 content. I'm sure lots of people who started from scratch will remember the 'fun' of spending 500g leveling craft from 290-300 so you can then craft BC stuff, have class quests which require trying to find people willing to spend 4 hours in an instance with obsolete goods. With people leveling 60-70 post 2nd expansion they'll probably have all the fun of rep grinding as well as the empty instances they need to complete. Blizzard focus on endgame and ignore everything else. WoW is crying out for an anti-DPS class that can take out rogues and mages and have a strong focus on debuffs (spell breakers perhaps) but the devs are too lazy to balance level 1-70 content for a new class. Instead they're going the easy route and making endgame only classes
  • by MLS100 ( 1073958 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @04:43PM (#20106885)
    I think that is kind of what they're aiming for:

    Reset the hardcore people and give them another unattainable goal to strive for while the coders are hard at work on the next expansion.

    Meanwhile the softcore players who haven't completed all the endgame stuff in the last expansion are given a chance to attain items of comparable power with a small commitment (new expansion green in AH for 10g that shows up last expansion epics).

    This effectively allows the casual player to begin tackling higher content without having to raid for mass hours and gives the hardcore people uber items to strive for. The success of this strategy is dependent on balancing a few key items:

    1. Timing, hardcores can't get bored at the top but need time at top to feel good about their achievements.
    2. Commitment shift, new players need to be able to 'catch up' with where the majority of players are with a lesser commitment. Forcing new players through mass grinding in order to win the privilege to play with their friends is not a good way to keep them.
    3. Balance of focus, ideally you would move the raiders up to the new raiding tier of content and make the old raiding content accessible to the casuals.

    MLS, WoW refugee since 1.10
  • Re:Casual gamers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archimonde ( 668883 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @05:10PM (#20107217) Homepage
    Uh, yeah, I guess some people complain about the leveling "grind", but really WoW has one of the nicest leveling phases, replete with quests and things to do to fit a variety of playstyles.

    What are you talking about? Are we playing the same game*? Leveling is the most boring part of the game period. Sure, leveling your first character can be fun, but with every other character you end up doing the same boring quests, killing the same monsters etc. And what play styles? There is only one play style when leveling. Grinding by killing monsters. Endless fun.

    "The grind" that everyone complains about is the one you do after reaching the level cap.

    Yes and no. The grind is omnipresent before and after level 70. No one can deny that.

    Or remember when you got to go farm for cloth so that other people could get to run a raid instance? That's what people complain about.

    They kinda complain about that but not as much 1-70 grind. It is horrible. But well, people complain about everything in WoW (many of those complaints do have merit though), but saying that leveling is great (as in fun) part of the game is like saying that working on the assembly line is the most interesting job in the world.

    The leveling "grind" is great for casuals.

    Yes it is a grind, and yes it the worst part of WoW.

    * I did quit, before I ruined my life.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @05:11PM (#20107237) Homepage
    No, players don't learn. Hint: You're never ever going to be that überhero with all maxed skills and equipment unless you grind like crazy. And a little while after that, we'll release a new expansion with new levels, new equipment which you'll have to continue to grind if you want to stay on top. It's the pot of gold that keeps moving away as you approach it, like the frigging rainbow. And the players say "Thank you, may I have another please?" because Blizzard recently announced they were up to NINE million subscribers, which either means they have a) high turnover and tens of millions have tried it or b) they keep coming back for more, and I believe in b).

    I have two friends that are pretty much the archetypes of WoW. One is a father of one (soon two), very relaxed about it all and playing it because he's having a good time. He'll do just fine. The other... well, he seems to want to "win" Wow, grinding away like crazy. You should almost think having a mega-character in WoW was some sort of investment, when you talk to him. Perhaps if you sold your account you'd get a pittance, but more likely he'll just keep it until it's no longer worth much - an expansion later and it won't be. I know hobbies don't need to be "productive", but something is wrong when you talk about it as if it were and it isn't. I mean, one thing is if you're a craftsman and make items - real, permanent and durable. Another is whatever you crafted in WoW which is a collection of pixels that'll be obsolete and worthless in a while, and meaningless if you quit WoW.
  • Re:Casual gamers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @05:19PM (#20107367) Homepage
    That's funny, I found leveling to be lots of fun. Mostly because while yes you are killing lots of monsters (duh i wouldn't be playing a combat-based rpg if that wasn't what I wanted to do) it comes in the form of quests where you go after -different- monsters, or you have to infiltrate some hideout to find a specific named monster, or if you can find a group you can go level in instances.

    If you can't see any difference between grinding and any form of gameplay that involves killing monsters, then it doesn't matter if we are playing the same game, you just aren't playing the right one, and i don't know why you ever thought this was the game for you.

    I mean you're really comparing the wide variety of environments and tasks you're asked to do to level from 1-70, to the non-stop months-after-months killing of the exact same Cultist Camps in Silithus? And you're even saying leveling is worse? I really can't fathom.

    They kinda complain about that but not as much 1-70 grind.

    BS to that. What do most casuals do when they hit 70? Roll another character. Because at least when you're leveling you're seeing the scenery change and actually gaining things at an appreciable rate.

    Yes it is a grind, and yes it the worst part of WoW.

    * I did quit, before I ruined my life.

    Good for you. The question is, what made you think you'd ever like the game in the first place? It's clearly not your playstyle in any way shape or form.
  • by Stalus ( 646102 ) on Friday August 03, 2007 @05:28PM (#20107487)
    So stop giving them your cash. I recently quit because the game had changed from entertainment to merely being a way to occupy my time. But, as long as people keep paying them, there's no incentive for them to change.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2007 @08:05PM (#20109043)
    yeah like fetch quests or kill 10 whatevers
  • by Domini ( 103836 ) <> on Friday August 03, 2007 @09:32PM (#20109739) Journal
    I remember all the cool dungeons, the paced Strat UD, the sprawling and details BRD, the interesting and varied UBRS, the cool ZG and not to mention Scholo, AQ20, AQ40, BWL and Naxx.

    Then came the BC expansion just as I was about to at least finish these dungeons and everyone ran onto the new higher level green BC gear and I could not get people to run these old instances anymore (and who could blame them... it was too easy and the items were lame for BC players)

    All of these instances were basically rendered useless... there is no point in them other than a brief popping into them during the brief 59-61 period.

    I am a late-game content player, but I still love the grind and questing... the grind and questing has not been affected by this and is still fun.

    Now comes a new expansion which is basically going to render all these lvl 70 dungeons useless JUST as we (our guild) barely finished Kara. Not even started on any of the serious dungeons because we were not ready.

    So now I must pay because they are *replacing* a lot of content with new content? (Sure they do add a little as well...) It does not seem fair. And not paying and staying at lvl 70 until I can finish Kara lvl 70 is not an option because there will be no-one else to play along with.

    Yea, perhaps it's time to have a look at Lord of the Rings Online... or go back to playing Diablo II.

  • by UglyTool ( 768385 ) <> on Saturday August 04, 2007 @09:55AM (#20112843) Homepage
    Why the *fuck* should I have to pay real money to be able to be competetive with others playing a GAME? I started playing WoW in February of this year, and have raised a character to the point where I can be competetive in PvP. I pay real money to play the game, and I cannot, for the life of me, see how it can be okay to have to pay more money to compete with others who have only been playing longer. Fuck that.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.