Jul 21, 2010

My Cataclysm Wish-List…

Hi!  I’m Wyntr — I have a platoon of level-80 toons in World-of-Warcraft.  I’ve been playing this game steadily for the past five years, am active in end-game, and have slowly acquired a sense of proficiency across the available classes, races, and aspects.  I play the game with a programmer’s eye for details and I’ve written one or two mods over the years.  I have a WoW-blog at wowrantz.com where I nitpick (with a programmer’s sense of anal-retentiveness) or praise the work done by Blizzard on this epic piece of software.   I’m absolutely stoked at the invitation to contribute to MMO-Symposium and hope my WoW-based articles find an audience here!

Blizzard is currently upgrading the servers in a concentrated twenty-four-hour window of maintenance to prepare the realms for the release of the new Cataclysm expansion.  This is the third major revision, following Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, for the World of Warcraft since vanilla WoW was first launched.

In this expansion, we’ll see a new level-cap taking our toons up to level-85, new instances and end-game content centered in Azeroth and the sundering of the lands by black dragon aspect known as Deathwing.  Two new races will be introduced: the Worgen for the Alliance, and the Goblins for the Horde, along with their corresponding starting-zones and quest lines.  Also on-tap for the expansion is a re-vamping of the talent-trees, and the addition of new classes to the existing races.  (Tauren Paladins FTW!)

However, as the old saying goes: the devil is in the details.  And, fwiw, I’d like to take a brief moment both as means of introducing myself, and as an outlet to pent-up frustrations, introduce my list of improvements that I’d like to see addressed in the new expansion.  Realistically, I understand that most of these issues are probably way far down on the features list and won’t be addressed anytime soon.  But, in spite of that, let’s gird our loins, hoist a lance, and go tilting at that Blizzard-owned windmill, shall we?

Fix the LFG queue:

Hey Blizzard.  Everyone uses LFG now for instancing and picking-up a daily.   We appreciate the effort you put into the Occulus nerf where you make the rewards commensurate with the effort required.  However, the effort put into the WotLK instances still greatly exceeds the reward when you’re LFG system so badly mis-matches players to the instance.  I’m talking about Halls of Reflection (HoR) and Pit of Sauron (PoS … snicker) specifically.   HoR alone has, and I think I am being generous in my estimate, about a 10% chance of successful completion as an LFG pug.  The LFG systems will put over-geared DPS with an undergeared Tank, or Healer, just about every time with the net result culminating in repeated wipes, rage-quits, and skyrocketing repair bills.  (More on this in a minute…)  Seriously – the LFG system needs a better AI — it has to be able to match players based on their playing ability – not their gearscore, or achievement points, or whatever algorithm you’re using to determine PuG match-ups.  Whatever the algorithm is, it doesn’t work and needs to be fixed.  WoW keeps more statistics than professional baseball — seems to me that at least one of your in-house rocket-scientists should be able to figure out a better mousetrap…

Repair Bills

To me, a purple is a purple is a purple and shouldn’t matter if it’s made of cloth, mail, leather or plate.  It’s the enchanting of the materials that makes it an epic item, not the materials.  As such, the repair of same should be consistent.  Cloth-wearers should pay the same amount of pain for a wipe that the tank does.  The investment in success during a raid should be the same as the investment in failure.  For all classes.  That’s all I gotta say about that.

Crafting

I have maxed-out all the professions across my toons.  And I simply don’t understand the profession system.  It’s damn-near worthless in end-game.  Sure, I can get ICC-recipes…and make a nifty set of shoes for my main and off-spec….then what?   Oh.  Right.  Time to whore myself out in the Trade channel or in the AH.

And why is crafting itself so incapacitated mentally?  Why did it take my blacksmith 70 levels of experience to figure out how to pound metal flat enough to make a decent shield?  And of all the gray-crap-loot I find: broken swords, rusted helmets, etc., how come I’ve not been able to figure out how to melt down this stuff to reclaim and re-cycle base materials?  My tailor can put together some amazing patterns — but stick a pair of scissors in his hands and he can’t figure out how to de-panel a cloak back into a bolt of cloth?  My jewelcrafter has been lugging around a box of tools since level one that’s probably full of points and squeezy-type tools — but he can’t figure out how to pop a gem out of a ring socket?

Crafting needs some serious attention, Blizzard.  Too often I can’t get to the point where the stuff I craft is available to my toon at a useful level.  (You’ve speeded-up leveling, but not crafting…)

Trinkets

I love my alchemists.  They make crap out of more crap but the crap they make is pretty useful.  However, in order to full realize the full potential of their professions, I have to equip a blue-200 trinket to get twice the benefit of any potion that I can make.  What the hell?  My alchemist is a Raiding toon – currently battling the Lich King in ICC, and I still have to have a blue-200 equipped…!?!  Come on… Break the chains, Blizzard…

Mages

Are broken.  Period.  What was once my main has become my least favorite class to play.  Spells take too long to cast – do too little DPS, and tanks have more armor points in their wrists than I do throughout all my gear.  It takes three mages to do the damage output of two warlocks.  If you hate the class that badly, then just put a bullet in their head and get rid of them.  This lingering cancer you’ve infested the class with is just tragic.

Holiday Loot

I took all 11 toons, into whatever that water-logged BC instance was, daily to fight Ahune during the midsummer holiday….I needed that caster staff for a couple toons – but it only dropped twice – once for my Druid who didn’t need it, and once for my DK.  Big, fat, hairy meh.  Please make holiday loot BoA so I can actually use the drop for something other than filling-up a bank slot.

Armory

Where’s the armory for the iPad?  And lol @ charging for access to the AH via the mobile armory…  As if…

Mail

Please let me mail BoA items cross-realm.  Otherwise, don’t call them BoA.  BoR or something more accurate.

Well, that’s pretty much it for my wish list.  I hope I’ve kept it logical and justifiable.  I think my wish-list of action items would enhance gameplay without over-balancing it.  Sure, Blizzard is all obsessing over Pally spells, DK tanking trees, and whatnot.  But it’s the details and daily conveniences that keep the game playable at the daily level.  The devil is in the details, indeed.

1 Comment

  • Nice first post Wyntr. :)

    I hope to see more in future. ;)

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