Cataclysm - 7 weeks in

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I don't even know why I’m bothering with this, i know all i'll get is a pile of flames, and that the CM will either not read it, or if they do read it, do nothing with it, but i love this game i and need to get this out. Just some background, i've done the whole WoW spectrum, from casual, to semi core, to hard core raiding, back to casual again.

7 weeks into cata, and I’m done with it. I'm done with a game that has lost its way. I'm done with the LFD tool, and most importantly I’m done with a community that blizzard has lost control over.

Breaking it down then:-

1) The zones. By breaking the zones up, a zone here, a zone there, the game lost a unifying theme. In TBC, it felt like a natural progression as you explored the broken world of Draenor. WOTLK felt like a frozen land, with zones that bled naturally into each other. Cata has none of this. You bounce from one zone to other, with no overarching theme. It was simply a case of here's hyjal, it’s on fire. Here's deepholm, fix the pillar. Blizzard has never seemed short on imagination before, but the zones in cata are all superficial. This didn't seem like an attempt to create a coherent story path, and seemed to be more about fixing holes on the map.

2) 80-85. We've seen the arguments about only getting 'half' an expansion. We were told that the reason for only 5 levels was that the Path of the Titans would be the other side of progression. Instead, that got pulled, and all we got were five short levels. I've reached the top of the tree again, and my powers have increased in what way? 5% extra damage and 6% spell resistance. I don't feel like my character has developed at all. This is a game about character progression, and the level 85 cap comes swiftly.

3) The story. Probably the biggest let down of all. Yes, there were epic moments. The fight with raganoros with Malfurion and Hamaul was amazing as a druid. But take out the epic moments, and it just feels like a Michael bay movie. Yea, it’s unreal on the big screen, but you don't rewatch it. You don't savour it. Instead of the amazing story of WOTLK, where you were personally involved with the LK at every step, you've removed deathwing from the game entirely, apart from one exciting moment in the last zone. You've just re-created illidan, despite the fact that you, as a company, claimed you didn’t like how you handled illidan, you just did it all over again. I simply don't understand why.

4) The mid game (i.e. before the end game). Look, this is a fire storm waiting to happen, but here i go. Whatever you, blizzard, were hoping for from heroics, it is clearly not working for a portion of the gaming base. I'm not getting into good vs. bad players, but the fact remains, i will NOT run another pug again. I've spent up to 3 hours in one dungeon, and for what? 500jp? It’s not a viable return on time. Ironically enough, i geared myself up in this cycle far quicker than i did running the so called easy mode WOTLK dungeons. I'm not saying my gears PERFECT, but all i have left are a few side grades for BIS, and an upgrade to my wrists and trinket. But nothing, NOTHING will convince me as a tank to run another PUG through the LFD. How many healers have done the same? I've done my best in dungeon runs to keep people on an even keel, but the abuse i have witnessed is disgusting, let me repeat that, DISGUSTING. It does not come from so called 'wrath babies'. It comes from those players who claim to be the at the very peak of their playing abilities, destroying people for the slightest mistakes. How many people are you going to lose from the LFD tool, before a tool that GC claims he loves breaks completely? We're already back to pre WOTLK days, or people begging in trade for tanks. Wasnt the LFD tool supposed to fix that?

We need leadership and CLEAR communication on what you want. Instead we get what can only be described as a scorn filled rant, telling people everything is fine, dungeons are hard, and are supposed to be hard, and then a massive fix log of nerfs. For God's sake blizzard, be clear on what you want. Put some people out of their misery.

Even if i did stick it out with the LFD, what’s the reward? 3/5 pieces of tier gear? 90 days plus of dailies to get a gimped set? You couldn't even have created a five piece dungeon set of blue armour that i could have worked for? Instead you give us half a tier set? This is all about return on investment. That’s not an adequate return. This was a perfect chance to re-implement dungeon armour. It would have given a clear reward to raiders giving them sole access to tier sets, and a clear reward to dungeon runners. Instead you just fudged it.
5) The end game. It worries me, it worries me a lot when i see the worlds top guild describe the current raid content as, and i quote 'one big, absolutely brutal grind'. When i imagine fun, the words brutal, and grind don't fit into it. While i appreciate this won't be popular, i remember when i started playing WOTLK, i got into regular server pugs of 25 man naxx. I cut my teeth on that, learning about tanking, learning the ropes. From there, i moved on to a guild that worked hard to be one of the best guilds on the server. We were server third to get our Ironbound drakes, and i felt proud of my role in taking on hc content. There's nothing like that now. There will be never be a pug raid in this patch cycle for the majority of the players. If that is to be the case, then state it.

6) The meta game. Correct me if i am wrong, but MMO, one of the Ms stands for Massively. Yet everything in WoW right now is about reducing the number of people you play with. From the merging of ten man and 25 man raids (dear god...), to the introduction of guild xp for guild groups, you've cut the legs out of the wider community. You're not only encouraging people to stick to their immediate circle, you're rewarding them for it. All you've done is manage to restrict knowledge and experience to ever decreasing circles. My guild could hardly have been the only one whose members would join pug or semi pug 10 man runs on off days. That cannot happen again. As it stands though, you're forcing WoW to become a collection of mini communities, rather than one overarching community.

I'm annoyed, because to me, WOTLK felt like you were on the right track. In terms of story, and mechanics, and feeling like a hero, you had perfect. From the small, to the epic, i was there (until i burnt out a week before our LK kill). A single large, contained epic story.

From a mechanics point of view, you were zoning in on difficulty. ICC had EIGHT, EIGHT difficultly levels. 10 man, 10 man with buff, 10 man hc, 10 man hc with buff, 25 man, 25 man with buff, 25 hc, 25 man hc with buff. If you got one thing wrong, it was that you failed to find a way to properly reward those players at the extreme end of the gaming curve.

Yet cata comes out, and we're back to a binary system. Normal or hard. end of. And don't even think about doing this outside a guild.

Cata has been a massive step backwards. I'll keep my sub open, and drop in from time to time, but as a solid pass time, no, WoW won't be for me. It’s sad that i won't be allowed to have this opinion. Trolls will be on this like sharks in blood filled water, and it will never go beyond this board, because theres no longer a way to express disappointment to the developers, but i had to get this out.

I realise this has been negative, and the CMs want contsructive criticism, but what can i say? The games out now. You've listened to other people, and you want to stay the course. But at the very least, understand that one size does not fill all. And right now, you're coming across as filled with, dare i say it, hubris.
So long as you forget about the piss poor attitude of the blues here and the glaring inbalance of the game, If you treat as a hobby and play for an hour or so a day its not to bad, want to get serious and really enjoy it then you better be prepared for some major frustrations because its crap and getting crapper.
I hate CATA its sucky! They rushed it ! put no thought into it, just wanted the quick profit, even casually playing this game i end up finding myself in fits of rage because simple game mechanics are not even working correct e.g some quests in hyjal are tedious! re-log about 15 times due to bugs .... if i bought a game for my console that made me feel like wow does id be taking it back straight away..... well i certainly wont be buying the next exspansion! Blizz your ship is sinking!
Many contradictions in this not so well written wall of text

In TBC, it felt like a natural progression as you explored the broken world of Draenor

Really, natural progression? Yeah, you go from a devastated red themed Hellfire Peninsula, to the blue swamps of Zangarmarsh, to the brown Blade's Edge Mountains, to the purple Netherstorm, to the black Shadowmoon Valley, to the dark green Terokkar, to the green Nagrand.

I'm only mentioning the colors to show you how each zone has nothing whatsoever to do with the other and there is no natural progression as you move from one to the other. They might as well have been different planets, that would have made more sense.

The whole argument about how Blizzard is forcing people to stay in small groups instead of forming larger communities , because of the introduction of guild XP is not valid AT ALL. Guild XP and perks and stuff, MOTIVATES people to join guilds and create big communities.

You also complain that you cannot raid without being in a guild, after you've obviously said that you prefer large communities being formed within the game, as it's an "MMO". What???

Anyway, if you got tired of the game, just quit and don't make a fuss about it on the forums. Or at least make realistic and valid arguments if you insist on doing so.

*Edit* If you were trolling, good job by the way.
I never thought I would say this, but I miss Wotlk a bit too.

I've run several heroics on my mage with my guild, but I don't see the point doing them anymore, because I'm not going to able to raid, since I relied on PuG-raids in Wotlk already. None guild wants person, who don't want to commit himself for scheduled raid times few times in week.

And I don't have interests to develop my mage with better PvE-gear and it already has complete honor-set + some conquest-items for PvP, its progression has stopped. That means there is pretty much nothing to do with it.

PvP is still fine, although it's boring on mage but as warrior it's nice and I enjoy it. I have run zero Cataclysm-dungeons on this warrior so far, because I don't have objective to aim. Actually PvP is pretty much only thing which improved in my opinion. Beside quests of course.

Northrend was better as zone and continent but the quests weren't as good as Cataclysm ones. I liked the atmosphere which felt like there was ongoing war and serious threat around all the time (Lich King and the Scourge).

Wotlk had its pros and cons. For example raiding available for bigger audience was nice and lore was better. As downside the heroics were too facerolling and they were at farm-status too long.
First of all, those 5 levels we did get are the 5 end-game levels.....there are 60 brand new levels added aswell -> the old vanilla zone overhaul is done in such a way it is worth more then a single expansion, that part has been done beatutifully. I have yet to get to a zone and get the drudgery feeling I had before when I'd level an alt.

Secondly, most people enter heroic are either at or just beyond the iLevel required to enter heroics. This "cap" isn't there to assure victory, but as a minimum iLevel at wich can expect to stand a chance. A nice blue-post was made today on the US forums:

Sadly most people who do join them at 330 ilevel expect heroics to be equally as "hard" as WotLK heroics, or atleast being easy enough to stand in preferbial fire.

Lastly, WotLk and being on the right track for raids......thats comparing a Fiat Panda to a F1 car -> WotLK was piss easy, and required 0 skill, and Cat has the hardest end-game. When even Paragon members say that these end-game raids are the hardest they did, you can safely say that Cat is a bit over the top even. Is this a good thing? Well IMHO this is the first tier of Cat raids.....what will Deathwing then be like? 1 step to much to your left or right and you wipe your whole raid?

Point is, that I'd rather had seen a TBC level raid hardness -> not to hard(cat) not to easy(wotlk/vanilla). Karazhan was the single best entry raid dungeon that was, Molten Core and Naxx were pisstakes, current ones to hard.

PS, Blizzard is indeed filled with "hubris"....and they can be, they designed an MMO that after 6 years is still attracts millions of players and is still seen as best in market. noone else can say that.
You on the other hand should be worried that that kind of language can be the end of your posting rights. You know that contructive feedback is welcome, but you choose to harress the devs......not an all to smart thing to do.
i've played through hyjal, Deepholm, twilight highlands & some of vash'jir and uldum... on 2 characters.

I'd love to level up another character sometime soon but i'll be damned if i have to go through all of those zones again AND grind rep so that i can get access to some 346 gear.

i just log on to do my heroic daily with guildies.
do dailies and other misc stuff on both my Paladin and Shaman.

I really agree with what the OP said about how WoW isn't just one community anymore it is split up into smaller communities which is completely wrong considering this is an MMO.

I actually miss WoTLK days, there was plenty of zones, lots to do REALLY enjoyed the quests and arthas storyline etc but this just gah. it hurts.
21/01/2011 6:38 PMPosted by Wolfiesmíth
So long as you forget about the piss poor attitude of the blues here and the glaring inbalance of the game, If you treat as a hobby and play for an hour or so a day its not to bad, want to get serious and really enjoy it then you better be prepared for some major frustrations because its crap and getting crapper.

I find it hard to play casual, I play in the evenings after work and can't really settle to play properly in case it gets too late. I get my dailies done, and some evenings I might manage one dungeon. I only really accomplish anything at the weekend.
WoTLK lore, TBC instances = perfect expansion.. lets hope the emerald dream is what we are all hoping for...

saying this, harazal, i agree with the majority you are saying there... and this is not the expansion i was hoping for...

21/01/2011 6:36 PMPosted by Harazal
From the merging of ten man and 25 man raids (dear god...)

they havent quite merged it equal to say the least... 6 loots and 90 valor points from a 25 man boss. 2 loots and 75 valor points from a 10 man.. Seems fair?...

to me, make it equal if you are going to make the loot the same.. 5 loots and 75 valor points from a 25 man, and ill be happy.. Its the same ratio then on loot + bosses are the same wherever you kill them.
Totally agree with the OP, very well put ! you should give that fella a job on the dev team imo

I've played this game for 4+ years now and loved it until cataclysm - what a truly suck ass expansion!
The OP is right on the money, and I don't have much to add really. Using huge amounts of ressources on designing content, which will only have value for a small percentage of the playerbase is just nonsens. They already said that they wouldn't do another more-or-less useless raid like Sunwell, but here we go... Personally I thought about quitting for a while, but I won't do that, because I still like the world, my characters and the game way too much. I'll just stick around doing casual stuff and a little bit of gearing, while waiting for the brighter days, which I know will come.
To a lore-lover like me WoW has lost it's attraction.
I'm letting my sub run out and then seeking out something new :D
I'm checking patchnotes every day to decide if I should continue playing or not atm :-/

Every start of a new expansion is a little rough, and thats ok. But everything that happens now is intended and seems to be permanent...
As someone said earlier, Cata is a huge lore let down for me - I want a back story that progresses as I go through the zones, but just "Deathwing is trying to use a gun, he broke the world pillar and is fighting the Life-Binder".

Even though I did like the new 80-85 zones the first time I went through them and there is some awesome quests. That's where they went right with this expansion.

What went wrong was end-game for non-raiders like myself is boring. I've gone to level a low level character because I don't have much time for heroics and I have nothing else to do.

I was really looking forward to Cata too :-(
OP has said everything perfectly.

Only thing I would add concerns the trend towards 'guild up and raid or forever noob' that has become the flavour of Cataclysm. It is high time the game gave up this ridiculous notion that raiding is some exquisite cerebral exercise that only the most dedicated, talented, ambitious players can do and that it deserves to have better rewards than any other endgame activity. Raiding is great for people who like working in big groups, who can commit to regular long play sessions and who can learn to mash keys at the right time. It is not superior to anything else, nor any more demanding, yet the game has fostered (and many players have allowed it to do so) this notion that 'raiding is the pinnacle of excellence'.

It's supposed to be about fun. Fun isn't being bawled out by elitist morons for not being born with knowledge of how every boss works or lucky enough to have the gold to buy top end enchantments. Fun isn't about fixing calendar dates for eight-hour grinding sessions.
Fun is about doing it for the hell of it, going on a whim, getting together, having a laugh, going wrong and finding it funny.

Something has died in this game. WotLK had some flaws, but goddam it was fun and anyone could do it. Cataclysm has essentially said, "fun's over. Now you've got to work for a living."

Christ, I do that in real life.
I see alot of QQing, but not alot of unsubbing.
The last two players in the game...

A: This is rubbish, there used to be loads of people around.
B: I see a lot of QQing, but not a lot of unsubbing.
Wow, such a great counter arguement.
21/01/2011 9:45 PMPosted by Deaddrome
I see alot of QQing, but not alot of unsubbing.

Why do you even need to reply if you have nothing but that to add? Thats just as bad as people going Im quitting! and never do. There is just no need to do it.

Anyways on topic yeh i am bored also got 2 chars to level 85 and go to log on them both and end up just exiting the game, sub is canceled at the moment will maybe come back in 4.1 when there is new stuff.

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