Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why "Wrath of the Lich King" is the worst thing to happen to World of Warcraft

  When I started playing World of Warcraft in September 2007 it was a very different game than what it is today. When I started the game is midway through his first expansion set the burning Crusade in his next expansion was announced after the witch King which are so hyped about I bought the collector's edition. It was also the reason I lost interest. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is the single biggest disappointment I've ever gotten from any game this includes sonic heroes which left me, as a fan, feeling violated. Some of the changes were great like the new class abilities or smarter quest design but overall I feel like it harmed the game more than a improved it.

My disappointment started as soon as I reached the level cap. As soon as you do the story completely stops. It was great for blizzard to try to tell a more involved stories within a MMO but there is no ongoing story that I was involved in long-term. Over the course of a year only one zone was changed twice in two separate big patches. The rest of the game world remained static. The war front against the undead stay in place for a year than in one patch jumped straight to their citadel. They also made their namesake villain look stupid and incompetent. Blizzard felt that players didn't see enough of burning Crusade's “big bad” so they decided to make sure that everyone will get to see the Lich King at least once. This sounds great on paper but in practice it plays out more like this:
Player: I just foiled the evil witch King's plans!
Lich king: you just foiled my plans (insert big talk here)
Lich king: I'm going to teleport away now like a pansy
this happens at least once in every zone. And if that isn't enough one patch adds a sort of medieval gladiatorial games and you prepare for them by playfully jousting the enemy in front of their own Mega-fortress. I used to think this guy was a cool villain once.

Blizzard also continue to fail to make player versus player fun. But it never was so I'll just mention that blizzard has been too hasty in balancing emerging strategies often begin a new place styles as soon as they turn up as people whine about them on the forums instead of giving them time to learn how to counter anything. Which brings me to my would hate most about the current state of world or craft.

Wrath of the Lich King is the start also at the start of of blizzard designing World of Warcraft with the absolute lowest common denominator in mind. Most people would tell me this makes sense but its actually the dumbest thing you can do. These people are called “scrubs” or “nobos” by people who actually know how to play the game. These are people who are either too lazy, too ignorant or just too stupid to learn how the game works. And the only reason they continue to play the game is because they view it as something to do and something to do only. For them it's something to do that doesn't make them think of work or to pass the time waiting for Wheel of Fortune. As long as they have to think it's too complicated. The only games that are simple enough for these people are Farmville and Wii sports. (Which are both mindless and terrible I could write a post for each about why they are so boring.)

When I say stupid I really mean it, these people are dumb enough to not understand what “don't stand in the fire” means. Now imagine every read boss design with people like that in mind, doesn't sound like much fun does it? The difficulty curve of Lich King's reading looks something like this:
a read only in size > a piñata > a bigger piñata > Burning Crusade's easiest > slightly easier > slightly harder (than Burning Crusade's easiest) up to kind of hard > another piñata

Unfortunately I don't see anything in the new expansion “cataclysm” to suggest that these mistakes would you be corrected or not repeated.

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