WotLK: the stuff I liked and the stuff I wish they'd done differently.

| Sunday, July 18, 2010
Disclaimer: I am not Klepsacovic. This post is written by Iapetes, which is why it is somewhat sane.

Yeah a lot of people are doing these 'reviews' and most of them are pretty pointless (maybe not so much on blogs, but on forums etc). I don't want to 'rate' WotLK though. Overall I continued to enjoy WoW, etc, there's your rating. What I wanted to do instead was highlight a few things WotLK did really well, and also a few things that it didn't do so great on.

Let's get the bad out of the way first-

1) PvP really took a nosedive, and it didn't have much to do with class balance so much as it was really just this huge mistake blizzard made in trying to make pvp faster paced. There's way too much burst healing and burst damage, which is another way of saying we didn't have enough HP. I really think blizzard should have scaled stamina's value up again, and also they shouldn't have changed the values of resilience.

They were trying to make pvp gear worse for pve, because that was a big complaint from bad players still doing karazhan back in tBC- pvp gear being better than their ez pve epics. Of course, what ended up happening in WotLK is players just switched to pve gear in pvp and it kinda went downhill from there.

2) 5 mans were too easy this expansion. Giving every tank AoE threat and every dps heavy AoE didn't help. These days we just barely use CC and heroics are really much easier than they need to be. Hopefully they get this right in cataclysm.

On that same note, certain raids (lookin at you ToC, and naxx) were too easy on normal difficulty. Normal modes should still provide reasonable challenges as you progress even if you don't do hard modes. Otherwise most of the player-base is going to be bored very quickly. But blizzard seemed to learn their lesson. ICC does a good job of providing a really wide spectrum of challenge, from faceroll (first wing on normal) to whatthefuckisthisthisisfuckingimpossible! (LK heroic).

3) ToC and Malygos. I'm grouping these 2 together because even though they're unrelated problems I think the ideal solution for both involves both. I actually like the concept of ToC. I dont want blizz to do it all the time, but the tournament idea was pretty cool. But it should have been supplemented with a second raid instance at that tier. 6 bosses just isn't enough.

And with Malygos... Malygos' story ended way too early in the expansion. When we were leveling up there were 3 major storylines developing: The Scourge, Ulduar, and Malygos. 2 of the 3 got great endings at the raiding level, very satisfactory. Malygos? Not so much. It was over way too soon, and it wasn't even in a real raid instance. Just a room with one boss.

I really wish they'd saved Malygos for tier 9 and put out a 6 boss raid instance with him, alongside ToC. Also obviously it would have required Oculus Drakes =) =) =)

And that's really it for my major complaints or regrets or whatever. As for things WotLK did really well?

1) Class Balance and Design. Blizzard doesn't get nearly enough credit for this. While there are still specs that are worse than others, the difference is sooo much smaller in pve, and there are sooo many more viable specs in pvp. It makes BC look like a joke in terms of class balance. And then there's just how much more interesting ever class is now. From basic functionality to much more interesting rotations and playstyles... I'll give you 3 examples. Ret Paladins- now no longer slaves to RNG and a boring seal system, now no longer need intellect, now scale properly with all their spells. Warlocks- now CAST MORE THAN SHADOWBOLT. Mages- The Arcane tree is an actual, you know, tree. not just a glorified subspec. This stuff is huge. People forget how much worse classes played in BC.

2) Graphics. Ok, technically art direction more than anything. But zones and instances look 10x better than they did in BC, and armor is a lot more detailed and nuanced as well, so much so that you almost don't notice how awful our old player models look today.

3) I really like the hard mode vs normal mode settings. It's going to be great for letting blizzard build content for 'hardcore' raiders at early tiers, and still lets them provide more casual content at later tiers. Such a huge improvement. Only thing I'd change from the ICC model is letting people switch difficulties without killing LK (or whoever) first, so that you don't learn the fight on normal before trying hard mode.

4) New services and features. Some of this gets some real negative feedback, but I really like most of it. Stuff like character transfers, race changes, LFD and random BGs are all really nice additions to WotLK. You never saw those sorts of additions before WotLK, and I think they've overall added a lot to the game.

Anyway that's pretty much it. I just wanted to highlight some of the ups and downs of WotLK. I think people tend to ignore all the great changes blizzard's implemented, and similarly are probably too hard on their mistakes (pvp health pools aside, wtf blizz!). And I'd be interested in hearing what other people really liked and disliked about this expansion.

Oh yeah and unrelated: Holy Power looks FREAKIN AMAZING. I cannot wait to try it out. Really can't get over how great it sounds.


Gronthe said...

For as many horror stories that have come as a result of the LFD system, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Also dual-spec, that was a great addition that we saw during the Wrath era as well.

Looking at that Holy Power, I just might level my Pali past 20, where he's been at for over a year. Just maybe...

Iapetes said...

I do think the LFD, as with cross server BGs, has caused a certain loss of community on a server. Obviously WoW was pretty different back at 60, but it was by doing a strat run with a guild that I first joined a raiding guild. Funnily enough, that hole's been filled by pug raiding.

But like you said, it's got some great advantages to it as well, and overall was a really nice addition to the game.

Chris said...

The pvp gear looked terrible in lich king. They just changed the color of the armor for the different seasons.

SlikRX said...

I didn't really play pre-WotLK, so I can't comment on that.

But Holy Power?

Fuck that.

If I wanted combo points and that other crap, I would play a rogue. I don't want to have to manage mana AND something else.

Complicated mechanics simply for the sake of complexity is worthless. Especially when we lose utility. (cleanses) and still lack basic PvP abilities (gap closing) ESPECIALLY with the loss of cleanse.

If nothing changes before cata, kiting a Ret will be even easier than it is now.

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