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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Large Content Patch To Precede Upcoming WoW Expansion 159

Blizzard has announced they will be releasing a sizable patch to prepare for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion to World of Warcraft. The patch, similar to one they released prior to the first expansion, will include the new profession (Inscription), new talents for each class, and two new arenas. The patch will be up on the Public Test Realm "soon," according to a Blizzard rep, but it will require significant testing before reaching the live servers. Blizzard developers Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack gave a related interview recently to Videogamer in which they mentioned that a graphical reboot for World of Warcraft "may never be necessary." We've been following the development of Wrath of the Lich King for a while now.
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Large Content Patch To Precede Upcoming WoW Expansion

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  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by craenor ( 623901 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @05:19PM (#24770675) Homepage

    I stopped playing WOW about a year ago. It was the same thing over and over. Push number, wait for bar to fill, push another number, wait for bar, then loot. Rebuff, and start again. To me, this expansion means nothing. I would be curious to hear if this expansion will cause any players that have left to actually rejoin.

    So instead, for entertainment, you read news about WoW and discuss it online. I might have to try that when the server's down or I'm at work...oh wait.

  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by __aanonl8035 ( 54911 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @05:21PM (#24770701)

    >> I would be curious to hear if this expansion will cause any players that have left to actually rejoin.

    Yeah. Because, hopefully, all the old friends I use to hang out with, or at least some of them, will re sign up as well. The fun in the game for me was tackling new challenges with friends.

    Now, granted, the game is really geared towards leveling up and acquired virtual items so that you are better than someone else. Eventually, people get bored when they approach a certain level. I imagine though, that the expansion will draw in some of those people as well. There will be new points to gain, new digital icons to acquire.

  • Re:In Other News: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy ( 734116 ) <> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @05:31PM (#24770811) Homepage
    That's not really true in a client-server environment. They can update almost all aspects of the game, and either change regardless of the client, or require the client update for the game to continue to work.
  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anachragnome ( 1008495 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @05:57PM (#24771051)

    Mixed feelings about WoW.

    While I agree with you regarding the artistic merit of WoW ("stunning" was the word I found myself using a lot)and the storyline(very immersive), I have to agree with the parent poster. I found the repetitiveness of faction grinding, material acquisition, etc., very annoying. I found myself doing the same thing over and over just to do something different. Also, as a regular highend raider, I found that I had to obligate myself, in order to keep raiding, to times that were not really available for gaming. It was, in effect, effecting other non-gaming aspects of my life. I felt locked into the game. This realization was what made me decide to cancel my account. I do miss it, but I am glad to have no more obligation to the game.

    The thing I liked about it the most was large-scale cooperation of many players, many good friends. But eventually, the repetition outweighed the benefits.

    I reactivated my Ultima Online accounts (I have two) and now I can play wherever and whenever I want(I can take a brand new character into the hardest dungeon in the game, if I choose, but would probably not last long). I have zero obligation to do something in the game I do not want to, in order to be allowed access to other content. It is a very NON-linear game, as opposed to WoW being very linear, in that you have to do certain things, many times, in order to experience certain content. Sure, Ultima Online has repetition. But it not required.

    To this day, and after trying most of the MMOs that have come out since UO, I have YET to find a game that gives me the freedom Ultima Online does.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @06:02PM (#24771097) Homepage Journal

    After how successful the NEW GAME Preview Weekend was and how exciting it was playing a new game with new classes and new areas, I think it's hubris for them to think that they aren't going to lose a lot of their player base. I know my household will have two accounts cancelled, and I know of about 10+ friends who are going to play as well. I don't know if they will cancel their WOW accounts but they won't be logged in.

    I think the hardcore and casual PvP'ers will be playing NEW GAME soon after launch if not at launch. The RvR in the preview was fantastic and just like what everyone has always wanted in WOW. It exists in every zone in NEW GAME or you can do scenarios (battlegrounds). There aren't just 4 battlegrounds to play in and you can queue any where at any time and return to where you were when done. It's also possible to get gear without having to rely on a raid. And when you PvP you get XP.

    Blizzard is going to try to implement some world PvP in with the expansion but it will probably be too little too late for the fans of PvP. Don't get me wrong, it won't kill WOW by any means, WOW will continue positive growth for a while until there is a contender in Asia, where the bulk of their user accounts exist. But NEW GAME will make them stop and think about their direction. They might finally relent and merge many of their low-population servers. Maybe they'll drop their insane e-sport fetish that they've had for the last couple years and put more RPG into their MMO Arena Game.

  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @06:41PM (#24771693)

    Are you really getting to freely experience content if you're so under-prepared (read: must be Grand Master in several skills plus equipment) that the mobs take you out shortly after walking through the door? Or if some player goon squad does the same?

    Don't get me wrong - UO was great. Still is in many ways. But I'm thinking your field over there isn't as green as you think it is. :)

  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @06:46PM (#24771755) Journal

    You know, if there's one category of people I find mildly amusing, it's the "meh, I played Game X for two years, and thus I have enough experience to say exactly how utterly boring and pointless it is." In fact, only slightly less amusing than the "I played Game X for two years, and then decided it sucks, it's horrible, and only idiots like it." (Admittedly, the OP isn't in the latter category, but you can find plenty of those around.)

    Including, yes, such "commentary" as that on Sluggy Freelance.

    Here's a thought: If a game held your attention past the, say, 10 to 50 hours an offline game would (with PC ones tending to be the former, and console RPGs... well, at least _used_ to me more toward the latter), then maybe there's _some_ merit in it. If it even kept you there for the "free" month, even playing it at a casual pace, you already saw more content than in 2-3 full price CRPGs nowadays.

    There must be _something_ that you must have found interesting or enjoyable there, unless you're trying to tell me that you (and him) are self-hating idiots who punished yourselves for months by doing stuff that was repetitive and boring all along. Obviously not because you were enjoying it, but just, you know, to feel miserable one more month and pay for the privilege.

    You're not retarded, are you? I'm guessing you aren't.

    Or maybe it's that you'd eventually get bored of anything else, and any other game. Nobody has infinite content, at least until someone invents an AI GM who can pass the Turing test. And nobody has an infinite team of developers, with an infinite total imagination, so each quest and each monster is truly unique. Even then, debatably it's not possible, since there's a finite number of actions and story types that make any sense.

    It applies to any other game too. Eventually if you play enough Starcraft or CounterStrike or Oblivion or whatever, guess what? It's starting to repeat itself. Eventually you've seen all maps (or map pieces for games with randomly generated maps), used all weapons, tried all spells, done all quests (if applicable), and that's it. End of the line. It gets repetitive from there. Even before that, exactly in how many ways can you headshot someone in CS or swing a sword at a monster in Oblivion, before it's doing the same things again? Even with a different skin and model on that monster, you're still swinging the same damned sword in the exact same arc, and doing the same block-then-counterattack sequence again. How many times you can zerg rush someone in Starcraft before it's essentially like being an automaton executing the same script over and over again?

    At some point it's just time to give up and move on. For some people it's sooner, for others later. But when it stops being entertaining, just move on.

    But realize that it's not the game that suddenly qualifies as being sucky, it's just "you". And I'm not saying that in a bad way. It's "you", in as much as you've seen it all, got bored, are no longer interested in it. Fine. Move on.

    You didn't suddenly get a revelation about how bad the game is, you just got a revelation about where _your_ limits are. Congrats.

    And please lose the preaching. It may look like you just discovered how boring and pointless the game is, and maybe that it's your duty to enlighten others about it. But you only discovered that it just became boring to _you_. I.e., that you're got a human after all. It's not much of an enlightenment to bestow upon anyone else. We were already suspecting that you were human.

  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @06:54PM (#24771857) Journal

    Color me exceptional as well. I play these MMOs until I've reached the top level and seen all of the content, then move to the next one. If I'm going to waste any energy trying to be more successful than my neighbor, it's going to be in real life.

  • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @07:37PM (#24772463)
    I don't think you should assume it's either side's fault. I knew a girl who felt like she got dumped for WoW, but I also knew her boyfriend, and knew perfectly well that it had nothing to do with WoW: that was just his escape from the fact that he was in a relationship with a girl who was utterly crazy. If you only looked on the surface, you would say, "That bastard ignored and then dumped his girlfriend for WoW!", but you'd be wrong. It was merely a symptom of the fact that their relationship was toast... if it wouldn't have been WoW, it would've been something else.
  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anachragnome ( 1008495 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @08:42PM (#24773299)

    There is a difference between choosing to go somewhere unprepared (Ultima Online)and not being able to go there until you ARE prepared (WoW).

    Ultima Online left that decision up to the players, not the developers. Example? Try taking your Level 13 WoW Toon into Sunwell for that fat loot. Not possible because the developers choose to make it so.

    In Ultima Online, you CAN take an underdeveloped character into such a place, but only if you had numerous friends there to protect you. Far more logical and REALISTIC. But more importantly, from my perspective, to be able to make that decision myself.

    Another aspect is that a player with really good actual SKILL at playing UO can get into places with very little preparation or ingame skills. In other words, that "unprepared" character CAN go into such dangerous places IN THE HANDS OF A HIGHLY SKILLED PLAYER. As such, very skilled players are rewarded with even more freedom. I remember getting my ass handed to me by butt-naked Mages simply because they out-classed me skill-wise. They didn't need the gear. Skill was enough. Granted, that has changed somewhat, but not entirely.

    Try taking a butt-naked lvl 70 into Alterac Valley. I assure you that you will not last long regardless of skill.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @09:28PM (#24773745)

    Those who play on a PvP realm, get what they deserve....

  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joelwyland ( 984685 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @09:29PM (#24773755)

    Your comments about him being irrelevent are trollish - he does have experience with the product, and decided for himself.

    The problem here is that TFA is about an upcoming content expansion to WoW. The people who play WoW are getting some more neat things to experience. He doesn't play the game anymore, he clearly doesn't like it, so this announcement of new content doesn't affect him at all. Yet, he wants announce that he's "meh" about the release of new content in a game that he doesn't play. So who the hell cares if he's not excited about the release of new content. He's not going to experience it because he doesn't play the game... and therefore, his feelings on the expansion are completely irrelevant.

  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @03:27AM (#24775955) Journal

    You find it contradictory that people who played game for 2 years would say it is boring, but than again people who played for 2 days you would say that they havent played enough to make a judgment.

    Now that's another funny category: the people who feel that their own tastes are the gold standard, and are qualified to tell everyone else what they should like.

    Some people like Pepsi, some people like Coke, and some people don't like either. Would you presume to tell them what their taste should be like? Some people like chinese food, some don't. Some people like things very spicy (a couple of coleague are real big fans of extra-hot chili sauce), some of us like it milder. Most people around here seem to be into dry wines, me, I like my wine sweet. Would you presume to tell me that there's something wrong with my tongue? And then there's stuff like favourite colours or clothes. Now there's some variability. Etc.

    Then, pray tell, what kind of confusion of mind would drive someone to a conclusion like, basically, "if 10 million people love WoW, and I don't, then I'm right and they're all idiots and need to be enlightened about how boring their favourite game is"?

    Again, maybe it isn't WoW, it's "you". It doesn't match _your_ subjective taste. Maybe you're not much into MMOs. Maybe there's something else about it you don't like. But realize that it doesn't say much about anyone else. It's ok. It's not some personal failure or anything. You don't have to fit in with some group or anything. But the same applies viceversa too.

    But again, it might be... _polite_ to lose the preaching. You're not the golden standard in game tastes, nor the yardstick by which humanity is measured. It's entirely possible that someone else loves what you hated, and don't need your enlightenment at all.

  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Thursday August 28, 2008 @06:31AM (#24776913)

    I remember some of the first MUDs I was on. Gear was important, but what was even more important was making sure skills, from the basic heal spells of a cleric, to a thief's pick lock skill were up to par. If they weren't, soloing and grouping were difficult, even with the best gear available.

    What I'd like to see in newer MMOs would be something like EQ1's AA system, where even if your gear is absolute crap, if you have the AA points from grinding, you can hold your own on raids and such. The closest to this in WoW are faction grinds.

    With WoW, pretty much any PvP encounter is a gear check. Skill plays virtually zero part in the game. You level to 70, get flattened in the BGs repeatedly until you get enough gear with res on it so you get flattened less and less. Then, you head to the arenas, where you try to at least a few wins for your weekly point income, and hope your personal arena rating doesn't sink too low.

  • by Khurath ( 1132397 ) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @07:24PM (#24787087)

    Way back when, I played the hell out of Warcraft. The original one, Orcs & Humans, where you had to left-click twice to do anything and could only select four units at a time. Still a great time, as are War2, War2x, War3, and War3x. I fell in love with the universe at some point, probably the point where I realized that sheep exploded when you clicked on them too much. There was a bizarre personality that other games seemed to lack, and it was all entwined with wonderfully polished gameplay.

    I've dabbled a bit in WoW, but am not sure I'm keen enough on it to play it all the way to see the end. With that in mind, what I'd like to know from somebody who's played lots of WoW is where the hell the story goes after this.

    War3x set up a few major antagonists for the series' future. Arthas and Illidan were the major baddies, along with some minor baddies like Kael'thas' Blood Elves and Vashj's Naga. The latter two, to my limited knowledge, can already be killed in WoW. The Burning Crusade allows you to kill Illidan and now Wrath of the Lich King will go up to freakin' Arthas himself as a boss.

    I'm admittedly a bit bitter that I feel like huge chunks of story are being told in a game that I don't really enjoy that much, but I can get over that. What I'm more curious about is who, if anyone, they're setting up for a theoretical War4 (and gods help them if there isn't a War4!). The WoW people are about to kill off the last major antagonist that I'm familiar with, so who's going to step up next? Or is it just going to go back to Alliance v. Horde (which is apparently now the Forsaken too)? Another demonic invasion, assuming you guys haven't already worked your way up the Burning Legion's chain of command? Inquiring minds want to know!

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!