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My Take On How To Fix WoW

There’s a lot of complaining about WoW in general lately. I myself have complained quite a bit about recent changes. Just a few of the complaints have been about the dumbing down of raiding, forthcoming pally changes, and a banning incident that happened recently which is only further supported by the recent suspension of Exodus for the Yogg exploit.

But you know what? I don’t care. I just don’t care anymore. I know I can’t fix it. I know I can’t change it. But here’s my take on how I think they could fix WoW.

The State of WoW

It’s my opinion that WoW is broken. I think if you approach any player that has played since Vanilla or even BC they will have the same opinion if not the exact same view of what’s broken. Those players who may have started playing just before or after Wrath came out might be blissfully unaware of any problems with the game because to them there are no problems. The experiences they are having are completely new and as a result are exactly the way they are supposed to be.

Here is my current list of issues with WoW:

  • Leveling
  • Class Changes
  • Content
  • Progression

Leveling

Let’s start at the beginning. We all have to level a toon at some point. Most of us want to level at least one alt, if not more, to understand other classes or just for something different to do. Some think that the problem with leveling is the massive amount of time it takes to get from 1 to 80, because let’s face it there are precious few people that actually want to spend the next 6 months leveling another toon while playing their mains. But I think the larger problem is with the Old World quests.

The Old World quests are monotonous, repetitive, and often have you spending more time traveling than actually questing. Whenever I level an alt now, I skip every single quest that takes me to another zone. It makes absolutely no sense to spend 30 minutes traveling for a quest turn in that will reward me the same experience as doing another quest or even farming mobs for 5 minutes.

Blizzard’s answer to this problem has been to reduce the level requirements for mounts and heirloom items. These are both good solutions in my opinion, but still doesn’t address the main problem. Leveling is tedious and boring for those of us that have already done it. The new player wanting to experience everything will have fun, but for those of us used to localized questing as in Northrend, and to a lesser degree in Outland, Old World questing sucks!

As Blizzard is not willing to devote resources in fixing Old World questing and insists on patching it with heirloom items, experience nerfs, and nerfing mount requirements I think they should probably just go all the way and provide the option to roll any class at 40 if they choose.

Why not 55 like DKs? I think leveling is important in teaching a player the basics of their toons and DKs had the added fortune of learning their abilities piece meal as they quested rather than having all level 55 abilities just dumped on them. Backing down the level to 40 would assist in giving the player more time to learn their toons, besides with the heirloom shoulders, and the forthcoming 2nd heirloom item, getting to 80 will still be fairly easy.

Class Changes

The holy paladin class changes regarding crit and mp5 have me fairly upset. Do we have a limitless supply of mana? If we’re careful, yes. Does it need to be changed? Probably. But don’t change the way I do things! Adjust my stats, adjust my gear, etc. Don’t give me a bunch of mp5 gear that’s useless and nerf my Illumination all at the same time! Adjust my Intellect, adjust my crit bonuses, adjust my output, not my input!

My biggest complaint is “Bring the player, not the class”. I think what’s happened here is too much homogenization. Maybe I’m the only pally out there that doesn’t want to be good at raid healing, but I like that I’m specialized. I also like the fact that when I do have to raid heal (i.e. when things go bad) and I can pull it off, it’s a measure of my skill and a little bit of luck if I can make things happen! 🙂

Besides I also look forward to being specialized in raid healing with my shammy and priest and where’s the fun in that if my pally can compete with raid healing? This also ties in to my complaint with leveling alts. The lack of specialization doesn’t give me a lot of reason to level alts. If Class A can do what Class B does, just with different spell names, then what’s the point?

I’m not saying it isn’t nice to have pallies be a little more diverse, but I don’t want to be able to compete on even the tiniest of levels when it comes to group healing.

My solution? Go back to specializations, but change the encounters such that more than one specialization can successfully compete. Don’t do things like require Replenishment for raids and then give it to multiple classes! It doesn’t work properly. Each class handles mana differently. Give them the ability to manage their own mana. Shadow priests with replen was just an added bonus and should have been kept that way.

Content

I didn’t get to see all of the BC raids. I started roughly 6 months after BC was released. Did I miss a lot? I think so, but I still had the time of my life! Why? One reason was because of the available content.

BC saw us with Karazahn, Gruul’s, Mag’s, SSC, TK, and Hyjal. Although somewhat ignorant of the original raids, I believe all of those may have been part of the initial relase and I’m at work so I can’t look it up right now. I believe Black Temple was released later as were Zul’Aman and Sunwell. Regardless there was more content at release than with Wrath. More to experience, less boredom.

Now one might argue that we have 10s and 25s now. Well I haven’t experienced 25man Ulduar, but every 10 and 25 I have experienced is THE EXACT SAME THING!!! There’s nothing different except the boss’ health. And it didn’t even scale well as Naxx25 was easier than Naxx10.

It seems to me we’ve sacrified the quantity of content for the quality. Wrath raids are beautiful! Ulduar is impressive to say the least! But I’d trade a lot of it in for a couple more raids. Which leads me to the number one problem I have with WoW to date…

Progression

Ding! I’m now 80! What to do? Start gearing up I guess.

/craft a couple of epics
/run a couple of heroics

Screw it, I wanna take a peak at Naxx! Anyone wanna go?

/assemble 10 man raid

Holy shit this is easy!!! Forget heroics! Let’s go in here all the time!

Sound familiar? In BC we hit 70, crafted a couple of items, leveled rep, bought keys to run heroics, ran attunement quests to get keys to raid, all while we wiped and cried about how hard each step of the way was. But it was fun! I’ll never forget the night I finally got Murmur down! Pally healing that fight was a bitch! I earned that Champion of the Naaru title! I sweat blood and tears for it! To this day I’m proud to have that title.

Champion of the Frozen Wastes? Couldn’t give a rat’s ass! Displayed it for like two days and switched.

Progression. Fix progression. It’s too late to go back now, but for future reference make us work for heroics. Make us work to raid. Then make us work to keep raiding.

In the two years I’ve been playing the best thing I ever thought Blizzard did was to nerf all BC raids one month before the release of Wrath. Hyjal was still challenging, but I got to see it pre- and post-nerf. I just got to see more post-nerf.

Release a raid. Make it harder than weasling your way out of being caught cheating on national TV. Wait until the next raid you release and nerf it for others to follow. Make us still work at the nerfed raids. We don’t need to be in the raids the hardcore guilds are in at the same time. I personally don’t want be among the first. I’m content to get in there eventually. Give the achievements and titles to those who complete the raids pre-nerf. They can gloat and feel all special because no one pays attention to them 5 seconds after they got it anyway. In a month 90% of all players won’t even remember the name of the guild Exoskellywhatchamawhosits that got the Yogg achievement with the exploit.

My Take

I know I’m not smart enough to fix WoW. But I do know what I liked about it and what I currently don’t like about it. If I could fix only one thing it would be the progression. It’s what kept me going and what keeps me away now. It’s what motivates me to level alts for end-game because what’s the end-game without a little challenge. I don’t want epics handed to just be handed to me. I don’t necessarily want to struggle like I do with my main, but I don’t want it easy either.

Last night was our guild’s 2nd night to go back in and get Hodir. I so wanted to be a part of it! But I got home late and it wasn’t to be. Sadly, I didn’t even miss it. I don’t know if they got Hodir down, but I do know that I wanted to be a part of that first kill. So it saddens me that I’ve reached a point where I’m not sure I’d care if I ever logged in again.

Maybe I’ve changed. Maybe I’m looking for something new. Maybe I just want to spend more time with the family. I don’t know. But I do know that without a feeling of progression like we had in BC, WoW just isn’t the game for me anymore.

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8 Responses

  1. I wouldn’t say WOW is broken. People have been saying its broken since before the game came out (I know, I was there) Its still just as popular as ever. Personally, I think its a blast. I especially like the fact that I’ll be able to down Arthas before I’m level 90. I don’t need there to be 2 – 3 entire raids that I haven’t seen and probably won’t ever see in order to feel like there is progression.

    I loved classic WOW, I loved BC, and I’m loving Wrath. The game changes, but its still a ton of fun.

    I think the problem with Holy Paladins wasn’t that they were specialized, but that the specialization made them too powerful and the encounters not fun. It was almost impossible for Blizzard to kill the tank without hitting him for 3/4 of his health every hit because the Holy Paladin would just spam Holy Light the entire fight. It made it harder to design good encounters, made hard modes too easy, and made Holy Paladins boring. IMO, the Healadin changes will be great for the game.

  2. “In BC we hit 70, crafted a couple of items, leveled rep, bought keys to run heroics, ran attunement quests to get keys to raid, all while we wiped and cried about how hard each step of the way was. But it was fun!”

    But that wasn’t “fun” for everyone. I know plenty of people that detested the grind that was “entry-level” raiding.

    Now, I wouldn’t mind returning to some questlines to become attuned for heroics instead of just having to be 80. Like for Magister’s Terrace, you had to complete it at least once on regular before running it heroic.

  3. I just returned to WoW after a several month long break (I’ve played since day 1) and I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for some good friends still playing I probably wouldn’t have renewed.

    Here’s my thoughts: (Wall of text warning!)

    Leveling
    Scrap it. Keep the max at 80 and let players start new toons 20 levels lower than their current max. I’m leveling a 48 shadow priest currently and I know where everything is, all the quest givers, all the quest items, instance encounters, etc…. It’s very annoying. When they release new content they can give us new and/or expanded faction rep grinds and maybe class factions (different warrior or shadow priest faction for example) that would unlock new talent trees.

    Class changes
    This is the big issue for me. My first toon was a warrior. I leveled him to 60 and was my guilds main tank. BC was released and all the sudden i’m not wanted in any group. Everything I could do another class can now do better. I understand things need tweaking now and then but not total overhauls.

    Content
    Another biggie. Part of what makes leveling a huge pain now is that you’re doing it in territory that is irrelevent. I did a quest yesterday where an npc mentioned Ragnaros….Who Cares?! I’m never going to see Rag again…why do I want to do these quests? Blizz needs to integrate new content into the old, not replace it.

    Progression
    For me this goes along with content. I’ve only done a couple levels in Northrend so far….are the Aldors or Scryers even there? I’d be way more interested in grinding rep if I thought it would carry over to expansions. Raids – Raids used to be epic, make them that way again. At lvl 60 the hardcore guilds had AQ40 and Naxx, the casuals had ZG, AQ20, Onyxia, etc… It worked.

    Can I add another?

    PVP
    I’ve been playing a lot of EvE Online lately. When you pvp there you are (in many cases) fighting for actual control of territory. It affects where you live, where you can travel, you’re income, etc.. In other words, it matters who wins or loses. I realize WoW could never have something that hardcore but it would be nice to have something really worth fighting for.

    There’s my .02 worth!

  4. You mentioned a lot of problems which a lot of people in my environment are complaining every day.
    – Heroics are to easy. Something goes terribly wrong when green equiped people can handle them with good healer and tank.
    – Epics are now available for jumping into the air.

    In my opinion Blizzards worst failure is designing content for people which actually played wow for almost one or two month. Instead of educating the people, encouraging them to learn and handle the class, they make it easier to accomplish anything

  5. @Celton – I’ve loved pally healing. I never thought it boring. As for healadins being a little OP, I would agree, but my complaint is don’t change the way I heal, just nerf the crap out of my mana pool and crit. I admit I’m not smart enough to see the entire picture or even figure it out, but moving from crit to mp5 as a way to compensate just seems wrong!

    @Syrana – I’m sure a lot of people don’t find rep grinds fun. For the most part I don’t either, but rep grinds have gotten much easier in Wrath with tabards. I guess my point was more about hitting 80, taking a few steps to get into raiding rather than “Oh hey I’m 80! Anyone wanna do Naxx25?” The group I did Naxx10 with was primarily in blues and greens the first time and we downed 3 of the 4 Spider Wing bosses which just seems wrong.

    @Talarion – Heroics are too easy. I think some are just right, but even HoL isn’t as hard as some of the ones we had in BC. I do like that they’re shorter though. And I actually don’t have a problem with readily available epics. I remember lots of crying about badge gear in BC and I didn’t think it was that big a problem. It didn’t enable me to see Sunwell.

  6. If your guild is still working on Hodir (hard mode or otherwise), it would seem like there is plenty of challenging content for you in WoW right now.

    Leveling isn’t too bad if you use Jame’s Guide. There’s even an addon version so you don’t have to alt-tab out. It still takes quite a long time, but he threads in the long distance quests so you do them when you are traveling somewhere else anyways.

  7. I posted this (or something similar) on Spinks’s page:

    I think Arthas should live. I think you should get a raid, beat Arthas as much as you can and get him to maybe 75% health. At that point he laughs, does something (insert “you were fighting my image” or “this was just a distraction” or “something else retarded”), and leaves through a portal. Chest appears, you get loot, everyone is (mostly) happy.

    Next Xpack- Arthas’s portal opened to Azeroth. The whole world is ruined. Cities are gone. Civilization is replaced by sparce refugee camps. All alts start at lvl60 in Outland, as it’s the only place that’s “safe” or “whole.” The entire world is replaced by elite undead. Notice the word elite.

    The expansion is a world-event. You think Arthas could beat king bigswords with punk zombies? Every mob is an Elite lvlXX with a buff. 1 person attacking it gives it no buff. 2 people attacking gives it +5% damage/health (etc). Entire servers need to work together to “conquer” parts of the world. Once you conquer X areas around a major city, the server is allowed to enter that city as a raid instance (normal thing- 10 or 25 man) with the guards/leader as the undead bosses. Every month the server resets (or not, depending on how freakishly hard it is).

    This means the hardcore raider has to team up with the noob. IF they’re going to survive, the hardcore must teach him or die with him. The final fight could be Arthas riding an undead Onyxia (or Deathwing).

    Seriously, the whole event would be incredible. It would also cure quite a bit of burnout. There wouldn’t even need to be quests. The quest is- make the undead GTFO. I’m not even sure balance would be a problem. So a rogue can kill a lvlXX elite and a warlock can’t. Your point? L2teamup.

    You know it’d be cool 🙂

  8. I agree that old world questing SUCKS! The quest rewards are poorly itemized and normally outshined by “of the bear/eagle” gear from the AH. Triple the XP given in instances IMO. Dungeons at lower levels are a lot of fun and it would make it much more appealing to get a group if the amount of xp earned during a dungeon was more than you got solo questing (which it currently isn’t even close to).

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