Goodbye WoW...for now

Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

(I posted this on my blog, but I figured I might as well put it here, too!)

I’ve been playing a bunch of WoW lately, but my experiences are replaying the usual cycle I go through with every expansion. I start out, level a couple of characters to the max, have a good time running dungeons, then get bored at the endgame. To its credit, Pandaria has kept me interested in my max-level characters far longer than any expansion ever has; there’s a really good variety of things to do when you hit 90.

Still, I’m a tank, and almost every activity I do in the game is targeted towards tanking or finding better tanking gear. Either I’m actually running dungeons or working on rep grinds to get more valor/unlock better gear to buy. I realize that there are a lot of people who enjoy pet battles or PVP or fishing or gaming the auction house or scenarios or whatever, and I think it’s great that Blizzard has managed to incorporate so many alternative ways of playing their game, but none of them have really wound up sticking with me the way that tanking has. My two 90’s are a prot paladin and a brewmaster monk, and I’ve been working on getting a bear druid and my old prot warrior up to the cap, as well. I do one thing in this game, and I like to think I do it well.

Obviously I’ve never been one to make clean UIs.

Which is why it’s too bad that they recently announced that there won’t be any more five-man dungeons in Mists, but at least that announcement has made me feel less guilty about cutting my WoW habit until the next expansion comes out.

I’m not sure I can adequately explain why I enjoy tanking five-mans so much. (For those who don’t play WoW, each five-person dungeon has a tank, who controls the monsters and takes as much of the damage as he possibly can, a healer, who heals everyone in the group, and three DPS, who are responsible for killing everything that you come across.) The bulk of the psychological draw is probably that it’s the ultimate position of authority in the game, in that the tank bears the brunt of the responsibility for achieving the goals of the group. You can limp along with poor DPS, and even a bad healer can be supplemented with self-heals and potions and the like, but a bad tank will often make a dungeon run uncompletable unless the rest of the group composition can compensate for that lack of skill.

I pride myself on not being a bad tank, though, and judging by the comments I get from pick-up groups, I’d wager that I’m on the upper end of the skill scale. Healers enjoy the fact that I pop cooldowns to make their job easier, and DPS appreciate that I keep the pace up and don’t waste my time in guild chat during runs. It’s an oddly parental kind of experience, in that you work with a partner (the healer) to try and get your hyperactive kids (the DPS) through a 20-minute dungeon without any of them getting burned by fire or eaten by an angry ghost.

Maybe don’t stand in that fire, y’all?

Another aspect of tanking that I enjoy is that it lets me be kind of a dick without any major repercussions. I should restate that: I can take revenge on the dicks that populate any given multiplayer game by one-upping them and immediately dropping group, forcing them to wait around for another tank to queue up, which can take a while even at max level. It’s the WoW equivalent of angrily hanging up one of those old rotary phones that hung on the wall of the house of anyone who grew up in the 80s: a forceful, emphatic, and entirely pleasing (to me) retort to bad behavior. If you want to be a dick, you can expect me to put you in the time out box.

To be clear, I don’t really mind bad players, and there are plenty of those as well. We’re talking things like melee DPS who always attack enemies from the front, despite the fact that I take more damage when they do so (thanks to the game’s odd parrying system) and that they do less damage than they would if they attacked the mob from behind. Or players who don’t stack up in the middle for the Sha of Doubt or know how to line-of-sight the group of nine mini-foes during the last fight in Stormstout Brewery, or who’ve run the Scarlet Halls a dozen times and still can’t get away from Harlan’s whirlwind attack. (Which, to be fair, kills more players by far than any other heroic attack that I can think of.)

STACK UP JUST STACK UP ON ME IT’S NOT THAT HARD

It’s easy to understand why there are so many bad players in WoW’s endgame: the leveling experience, especially via dungeons, has been made so easy that you can run most content on autopilot without any serious risk of death. The health of every monster in every dungeon between level 20 and 85 should be tripled, just to give some kind of illusion of challenge, and there definitely needs to be more opportunities to emphasize strategic thinking in dungeons before Pandaria. Maybe throw a few mobs into each dungeon that can automatically heal every nearby mob to full, forcing you to CC or target them before taking out anyone else. (The Temple Adepts in Vortex Pinnacle wind up causing wipes, just because no one ever seems to want to interrupt or attack them first.) Or put in a monster or two that can cleave attack for massive damage on anyone who isn’t tanking it, forcing melee DPS to attack from behind or die. Anything to encourage a moment of strategizing rather than blindly running from enemy to enemy for 20 minutes.

Still, if inefficient players bug me, they don’t bug me nearly as much as assholes do, and there are a number of assholes in WoW (although not as many as I would say exist in LoL/DOTA2 or console versions of Call of Duty, from what I’ve heard about those communities). Assholes in WoW are made when players both outgear the challenge in front of them and are obsessed with moving as quickly as possible through a dungeon. They’ll yell at you if you stop to compare your gear with an item that just dropped, will pull extra monsters back onto the group (which makes both the tank and the healer’s job more difficult), and generally just throw hissy-fits and try to kick people if someone needs to take a moment to do anything other than pressing relentlessly forward. True assholery is luckily fairly rare, but it does pop up once in a while.

My answer to the asshole conundrum is usually to just ask politely for them to not do whatever’s making them an asshole, and then drop from the group immediately if they cease to do it. The wait time for tanks to get into dungeons is basically instantaneous, and I’m happy to just log out while the dungeon deserter debuff wears off. I wield the power of the dungeon-drop without much discernment, and I’m sure more than a few innocent victims of it have added me to their /ignore list, but in the end, my guiding principle in gaming is to not put up with being frustrated by assholes.

Epic but stressful.

Even for all their problems, a well-done dungeon run is really fun, although they do get repetitive after a while. But Blizzard’s new emphasis on getting everyone into Raid Finder groups is a bit off-putting to me. If a competent group in a dungeon makes for a nice little pas de cinq, LFR runs are rarely more organized than your average mosh pit, with a far greater chance of people yelling “GO GO GO” at you as a tank. LFR groups have 25 players, but only two tanks, with something like five healers and 18 DPS to round out the group. The end result of that is that your actions as a tank are significantly more important to the survival of the raid than that of any other player. (It’s not uncommon for some DPS players to simply hang back and cast a couple spells at each boss, doing the minimum required to get loot without doing so poorly that they get kicked.)

So tanking raids isn’t exactly a fun proposition for me, especially when faced with the prospect of learning new raids and tanking them for the first time. I can watch videos and read up on each encounter as much as I like, but it’s still challenging the first time, and it’s useful to sit and whisper with my fellow tank before each encounter, discussing strategies and the like. That’s actually one of the fun aspects of the LFR gig. Listening to people rage at you in raid chat for taking your time to do things right? Not so much. I haven’t enjoyed many of my half-dozen experiences in the LFR system thus far, needless to say; if I give it another whirl I’ll probably just flip off raid chat entirely.

It’s possible that LFR will eventually wind up keeping me in the game, but it’s unlikely. It’s seems more stressful than fun, I don’t think I’ve gotten a single piece of gear from any of my runs, and it generally seems to be a system designed for people to yell at tanks. It’s supposedly a way to emphasize storylines more than are actually possible in five-mans, but I can’t say that I’ve really picked up on any plotlines in LFRs beyond “standing in fire hurts and the bad guys are supposed to die.” I’m sure taking down Garrosh will be a pretty epic experience, so maybe I’ll come resub for that, but as of April 8th my subscription is expiring.

Still, as said, Blizz deserves a lot of credit for catering to an incredibly wide array of gameplay tastes in WoW. There’s something for everyone; it’s just a shame that my something is going to be given short shrift for the next 18 months until the next expansion comes out.

Staff
#1 Posted by Kaiserreich (681 posts) -

Yay Rorie!

#2 Edited by Aegon (5377 posts) -

@kaiserreich said:

Yay Rorie!

Also, lol at the clusterfuck in all of these screenshots.

#3 Posted by SSully (4118 posts) -

Great Blog post, as usual, Rorie. WoW continues to be a game that I feel would be immensely satisfying to play, but I just never took the dive. I even went far enough to try the trial, and while I enjoyed it, I just couldn't take the full plunge with it. Regardless it is really interesting reading about it and kind of relate to it with how I play Diablo 3. Maybe I will finally take the MMO plunge with whatever blizzard is cooking up next...

#4 Posted by fishmicmuffin (1041 posts) -

I quit WoW at the end of December. I was having some fun PvPing, but because I had started later than everyone else I was woefully undergeared so it wasn't as much fun. LFR also wasn't very enjoyable for reasons similar to what you posted. The new expansion was fun for a while, but the game just doesn't grab me like it did back in vanilla.

#5 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1831 posts) -

As a former tank in World of Warcraft, I completely feel you. I got tired of just running the same content over and over and over again, only rarely getting anything that was actually decent for me, and putting up with the constant verbal abuse because EVERYTHING that went wrong had to be my fault. It was especially aggravating at launch, running things like Scholomance and UBRS(back when you could do it with ten people!), tanking the whole thing, doing a great job, and losing out on my piece of Valor to some DPS paladin that wanted it. Ugh. UGH.

I fell out in BC because I did not have time for raiding, came back for Wrath, played that for a few months, stopped, came back for Cataclysm, got tired of being yelled at for just trying to run dungeons and I haven't even touched Mists of Pandaria. I just don't think I have the heart for World of Warcraft anymore. It's such a different animal than the one I fell in love with years and years ago.

#6 Posted by Shaka999 (447 posts) -

Yay Rorie!

I'm gonna be honest I didn't even realize it was Rorie until I read the post. But yay Rorie! How've you been? You know you should really come to Gi-*shot*

#7 Edited by Rorie (2545 posts) -

As a former tank in World of Warcraft, I completely feel you. I got tired of just running the same content over and over and over again, only rarely getting anything that was actually decent for me, and putting up with the constant verbal abuse because EVERYTHING that went wrong had to be my fault. It was especially aggravating at launch, running things like Scholomance and UBRS(back when you could do it with ten people!), tanking the whole thing, doing a great job, and losing out on my piece of Valor to some DPS paladin that wanted it. Ugh. UGH.

I fell out in BC because I did not have time for raiding, came back for Wrath, played that for a few months, stopped, came back for Cataclysm, got tired of being yelled at for just trying to run dungeons and I haven't even touched Mists of Pandaria. I just don't think I have the heart for World of Warcraft anymore. It's such a different animal than the one I fell in love with years and years ago.

Mists does a lot of stuff right, thankfully, although the epic frustration that is DPS rolling on tank gear still persists, at least in heroics. Thankfully you get past all that gear pretty quickly so that it doesn't matter much, and in LFR everyone has a separate roll, so you don't have to worry about it. (Thank god.)

I recommend Mists if you like WoW, but it's a shame that they're running with nine dungeons and calling it a day. I bet that three more dungeons would satisfy a broader group of players than more raid tiers would.

Staff
#8 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@shaka999 said:

@kaiserreich said:

Yay Rorie!

I'm gonna be honest I didn't even realize it was Rorie until I read the post. But yay Rorie! How've you been? You know you should really come to Gi-*shot*

I was on the Starcraft II stream the day it came out! I'm around every once in a while.

Staff
#9 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

I've done all three roles. I must say that I also enjoyed tanking the most. Especially if it was mainly a friend/guild run because you knew how each person played and it was just a treat.

I really wish that Blizz would've gone to a 3 person instance design with 30-45 minute duration. And all the one shot shot bs boss crap was too much.

#10 Posted by Daveyo520 (6651 posts) -

I am glad I a lack of money back when I played. The whole not being able to pay for a subscription helped me never get too into it.

#11 Posted by laserbolts (5310 posts) -

Jesus tanks have 600k health these days? I used to roll a prot warrior until near the end of wrath and I just had to stop or else I would probably die. I cant help but think that Blizz has made the numbers way too big. What are people critting for currently? Fuck wow is so good I have to stop thinking about it. Worst addiction I ever had and I smoked for 6 years.

#12 Posted by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

As someone who plays a healer I also feel some of the pain. When bad things happen the tanks and healers often take the brunt of the rage when often it is a shared blame. Modern encounter design does have a silver lining: A lot of call-respond events where it doesn't matter where the tank is or who the healer is healing where if the person is the target of some effect and they need to respond and fail to do it they die and it doesn't matter what anyone else can do. The down side of this style of encounter is that 1 player can ruin the run for 9 or 24 pretty quickly.

And that leads to a side topic: I personally believe that LFR has partially broken both 10 and 25 raiding where 25 raiding was kind of broken already. Especially for DPS, a lot of players get to see the content in a very low stress, low risk environment through the LFR queue. You can get players to stumble through it and come out feeling pretty good about what you've done even though it required very little coordination. On the other hand, 10 is still very demanding in time and resources which leads to stress while 25 is that plus lack of other incentives.

I really dread what is going to happen during the summer which is traditionally the time when server population drop off.

#13 Posted by TooWalrus (13130 posts) -

I love WoW.

I spent the most time playing during my senior year in high school back in 2008. I'm a tank too, though I'm a Warrior named Fasteddie. God damn I loved that game- I think I had more fun raiding Gruul's Lair, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern, Zul'Aman etc. than just about any other game I've ever played. My guild was amazing, too, I'd stay up all night just talking with them in Vent.

But then I graduated, got a job, started college, and just didn't have as much time for it. WotLK came out and changed everything, my guild ended up breaking up, and I just didn't particularly care for the viking-themed expansion or Death Knight class. Anyway, I ended up quitting the game and began the same cycle Rorie did. I'd play each expansion, hit the level cap, raid a little, then quit again. I just don't have the time to play it as seriously as I want to- especially if I want to play other games. Even though Mists looks just fuckin' great, I know it's never going to be the same to me as it once was. It's just nostalgia talking.

My little brother just finished his senior year in high school, and guess what he's way into. World of Warcraft. He plays it borderline obsessively- I watch him raid sometimes, I still listen to The Instance, and after seeing and hearing about everything they've added and changed, I'm convinced that WoW is better now than it's ever been- even if I can't be into it anymore. Sometimes I miss it... Hell, I'll probably pick it up at some point just to level a Panda, but I'll probably never be main-tanking end-game raids again- and that's OK.

#14 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

Jesus tanks have 600k health these days? I used to roll a prot warrior until near the end of wrath and I just had to stop or else I would probably die. I cant help but think that Blizz has made the numbers way too big. What are people critting for currently? Fuck wow is so good I have to stop thinking about it. Worst addiction I ever had and I smoked for 6 years.

Well, number inflation is just part of the whole MMO deal. Eventually they'll just lop off the last digit from everything and we'll be back to 60k health. I bet they'll do that with the next expansion rather than have everyone start hitting for a million damage with each crit.

Staff
#15 Posted by TooWalrus (13130 posts) -

While we're talking about unrealistic job placings, maybe you should just go work for Blizzard? I'm sure Mr. Bob Colayco would put in a good word for you. I miss that guy, I wonder what he's up to.

...yes, I realize how ridiculous the sentence "Just go work for Blizzard" is. I just wanted to talk to Rorie :-(

#16 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@extomar said:

As someone who plays a healer I also feel some of the pain. When bad things happen the tanks and healers often take the brunt of the rage when often it is a shared blame. Modern encounter design does have a silver lining: A lot of call-respond events where it doesn't matter where the tank is or who the healer is healing where if the person is the target of some effect and they need to respond and fail to do it they die and it doesn't matter what anyone else can do. The down side of this style of encounter is that 1 player can ruin the run for 9 or 24 pretty quickly.

And that leads to a side topic: I personally believe that LFR has partially broken both 10 and 25 raiding where 25 raiding was kind of broken already. Especially for DPS, a lot of players get to see the content in a very low stress, low risk environment through the LFR queue. You can get players to stumble through it and come out feeling pretty good about what you've done even though it required very little coordination. On the other hand, 10 is still very demanding in time and resources which leads to stress while 25 is that plus lack of other incentives.

I really dread what is going to happen during the summer which is traditionally the time when server population drop off.

Yep, there are a decent number of "get the hell away from everyone or you'll kill a bunch of people" type effects in the LFRs that I've run in Mists. Good players (or at least players with DBM) will actually react appropriately, but every once in a while you'll see people just acting like idiots.

Heck, each time I've tried Elegon in an LFR we wind up losing ten players when the floor drops out. Automatic wipe follows after that. I swear that people just don't know what the heck they're doing in these things.

Staff
#17 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5182 posts) -

@rorie: 5 man tanking is by far the most difficult role in WoW since oh about 6 years ago (M'uru MT was of a comparable challenge level, as a warrior), and while it has gotten easier over time it's still a lot of fun to pull half an instance and hold aggro on every individual mob; though I suppose a bit more braindead to do so with a prot paladin. Shame they never made anything close to as good or immersive as BRD or Karazhan again, but Oculus wasn't half bad in Wrath; the last time I played.

#18 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

While we're talking about unrealistic job placings, maybe you should just go work for Blizzard? I'm sure Mr. Bob Colayco would put in a good word for you. I miss that guy, I wonder what he's up to.

...yes, I realize how ridiculous the sentence "Just go work for Blizzard" is. I just wanted to talk to Rorie :-(

I think I've actually worked with three different people who now work at Blizzard in various guises. Sounds like a fun gig but I'm not sure I want to head back to Irvine just yet. We'll see!

Staff
#19 Edited by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@rorie: 5 man tanking is by far the most difficult role in WoW since oh about 6 years ago (M'uru MT was of a comparable challenge level, as a warrior), and while it has gotten easier over time it's still a lot of fun to pull half an instance and hold aggro on every individual mob; though I suppose a bit more braindead to do so with a prot paladin. Shame they never made anything close to as good or immersive as BRD or Karazhan again, but Oculus wasn't half bad in Wrath; the last time I played.

It's interesting to go from a prot pally to a brewmaster monk. The monk does a LOT more damage, but requires a lot more button presses to stay alive in a dungeon. It's more challenging but a lot more fun. Prot pally is super easy. Looking forward to getting my druid to 90; so far most dungeon runs are basically just hitting Thrash, Maul, and Swipe over and over again. Maybe it'll get more complicated when I hit heroics.

Staff
#20 Posted by ThunderSlash (1513 posts) -

I can't seem to get into MMOs even though they seem like right up my alley (heavy focus on number crunching and character builds).

Oh and since you did that impressions article of Dark Souls for Giant Bomb, did you ever get around to finishing the game?

Online
#21 Posted by takayamasama (438 posts) -

@rorie As a pure DPS class (Hunter), I'd like to thank you for your time as a Tank, I can't imagine how fun some of the other players in WoW made that. It's something I could never do (more so now that I see your screenshots XD )

It is a shame they aren't doing more 5 mans in Mists, but on one hand I am kinda glad they aren't. My one big complaint with Cata was that as soon as the End Time 5 mans came out, no one ever wanted to do BoT or BWD again, since the new 5 man gear was the best you could get pre- Dragon Soul. With their current plan, they will at least keep life in the original Mists raids, which I see as a good thing. It was a shame seeing an Expansions content patch making it's launch stuff completely obsolete.

#22 Posted by Tennmuerti (7957 posts) -
  1. Wooot Rorie !!!
  2. Good god that UI mess.
  3. I will not succumb to temptations, I will not succumb to temptations, I will not succumb to temptations. Amen.

Man I had some great memories as a Blood DK tank in Wrath :( Especially when at the time people looked down on blood as a leveling spec only for scrubs, while I was busy proving them wrong having both a blood dps and a blood tank dual spec and doing great in both roles.

It is indeed a great feeling of accomplishment when you succeed leading raids yourself, it's a powertrip. Tho doing so with a pug raid, that sounds like a pure, distilled nightmare scenario. Pug heroics were bad enough before i left, I can't even imagine a 25 strong pug, i think I would rather shoot myself first

#23 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

I can't seem to get into MMOs even though they seem like right up my alley (heavy focus on number crunching and character builds).

Oh and since you did that impressions article of Dark Souls for Giant Bomb, did you ever get around to finishing the game?

I never did, alas. Smough and Ornstein pretty much wiped most of my enthusiasm for the game right out. The same thing happened with the huge tank battle in the middle of Valkyria Chronicles; I actually managed to beat that fight, but after a dozen tries at it I was too annoyed with the game to go on. Maybe I'll give Dark Souls another whirl on the PC.

Staff
#24 Edited by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@tennmuerti said:
  1. Wooot Rorie !!!
  2. Good god that UI mess.
  3. I will not succumb to temptations, I will not succumb to temptations, I will not succumb to temptations. Amen.

Man I had some great memories as a Blood DK tank in Wrath :( Especially when at the time people looked down on blood as a leveling spec only for scrubs, while I was busy proving them wrong having both a blood dps and a blood tank dual spec and doing great in both roles.

It is indeed a great feeling of accomplishment when you succeed leading raids yourself, it's a powertrip. Tho doing so with a pug raid, that sounds like a pure, distilled nightmare scenario. Pug heroics were bad enough before i left, I can't even imagine a 25 strong pug, i think I would rather shoot myself first

I've tried my best to level a Death Knight tank, but something about the resource management for that class feels so awkward to me that I just gave up.

@takayamasama Yeah, I get where they're coming from with the whole "no more five-mans" thing, but I think they're ignoring the fact that everything in this game is emphatically temporal. If a few new five-mans obviate the earliest LFR content of the expansion, then so be it, in my opinion. That content doesn't vanish, after all, and I'm sure there'll still be LFR groups running it. I just want three more dungeons...in the absence of that, I'm probably just going to unsubscribe until the next expansion comes along.

Staff
#25 Posted by Aegon (5377 posts) -

@rorie said:

@thunderslash said:

I can't seem to get into MMOs even though they seem like right up my alley (heavy focus on number crunching and character builds).

Oh and since you did that impressions article of Dark Souls for Giant Bomb, did you ever get around to finishing the game?

I never did, alas. Smough and Ornstein pretty much wiped most of my enthusiasm for the game right out. The same thing happened with the huge tank battle in the middle of Valkyria Chronicles; I actually managed to beat that fight, but after a dozen tries at it I was too annoyed with the game to go on. Maybe I'll give Dark Souls another whirl on the PC.

Bah, you should probably continue Valkyria Chronicles as well.

#26 Edited by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@aegon said:

@rorie said:

@thunderslash said:

I can't seem to get into MMOs even though they seem like right up my alley (heavy focus on number crunching and character builds).

Oh and since you did that impressions article of Dark Souls for Giant Bomb, did you ever get around to finishing the game?

I never did, alas. Smough and Ornstein pretty much wiped most of my enthusiasm for the game right out. The same thing happened with the huge tank battle in the middle of Valkyria Chronicles; I actually managed to beat that fight, but after a dozen tries at it I was too annoyed with the game to go on. Maybe I'll give Dark Souls another whirl on the PC.

Bah, you should probably continue Valkyria Chronicles as well.

Trust me, there's a very long list of games that I need to finish. I have a bad habit lately of getting halfway through things and not completing them. When my WoW subscription is up I hope to get back to some of them.

Staff
#27 Posted by Winternet (8002 posts) -

Those screenshots are bananas.

#28 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

Those screenshots are bananas.

Yeah, if I had more time I'd make a better UI for myself, but as it is I usually just use a few basic UI mods and deal with the clutter. I've never been a perfectionist when it comes to my layout.

Staff
#29 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@ssully said:

Great Blog post, as usual, Rorie. WoW continues to be a game that I feel would be immensely satisfying to play, but I just never took the dive. I even went far enough to try the trial, and while I enjoyed it, I just couldn't take the full plunge with it. Regardless it is really interesting reading about it and kind of relate to it with how I play Diablo 3. Maybe I will finally take the MMO plunge with whatever blizzard is cooking up next...

Yeah, I'm curious as to what they do next. They've been ramping up their content pipeline with Mists, so I wonder if they've allocated more quest designers to it or are simply being less ambitious with their plans. We'll see! I hope they announce Titan at Blizzcon. WoW was announced four years before it even came out, so here's hoping they get their next big thing out sooner rather than later.

Staff
#30 Edited by Winternet (8002 posts) -

@rorie: And now for something completely different (well, it's not that different, I guess), what's your take on MOBAs? Any interest in playing/currently playing the Dota 2s and LoLs of this world?

#31 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@rorie: And now for something completely different (well, it's not that different, I guess), what's your take on MOBAs? Any interest in playing/currently playing the Dota 2s and LoLs of this world?

No, not really. I'm pretty bad at competitive RTS games, and MOBAs in general seem to require a fairly extensive amount of research to be good at them. Plus the stories I hear about the communities in most MOBAs doesn't exactly make me want to hop aboard them. I'm really not a big multiplayer gamer in general; I'm pretty happy sticking to games that allow me to proceed at my own pace.

Staff
#32 Posted by Winternet (8002 posts) -

@rorie: I feel you. I rarely play any multiplayer games and I although I really like RTS games, I never got into the controlling a hero unit / a small bunch of dudes RTS games. That said, one day I decided that I should try this Dota 2 thingy that I had on my Steam Library. No research, no checking guides or youtube videos, I played a bit over 30 hours in a week and I had tons of fun. Although if you really want to take the most of it and plan on being quite good overall at it, Dota 2 asks a lot from the player. But in my case, I only wanted to check it out and have fun and that was exactly what I got from it.

I doubt that I am a natural genius, so I guess the matchmaking is pretty good, since I never felt that I was truly behind skill-wise to the rest of the players that I was teaming up with or facing against. And after the initial, hum, let's say 12/15 hours, I was ranking high on my matches and I was feeling that I was a key player for my team.

Regarding the community, despite hearing similar stories, I had no bad experiences in those 30 hours, even in those initial 12 hours that I was just learning the ropes and brute-forcing my way to learn how to play the game. I do play in the European servers though, so maybe it's the Americans that are all a bunch of jerks. Also I encountered a lot of Russian, so they could be just typing the most terrible things, but I did not understand any of it.

#33 Posted by StrikeALight (1112 posts) -

Rorie!

I kinda missed the whole dealio with WOW. I was a big Everquest and FFXI player back in the day, so perhaps I was just burnt out by that point. But ten million people (still?) can't be wrong.

And its scary to think that Blizzard have to deliver it all over again with, with Titan.

#34 Edited by mylifeforAiur (3481 posts) -

Rorie! Missed you, buddy. You have to post more often. ;)

#35 Edited by YoThatLimp (1877 posts) -

@rorie said:

@winternet said:

@rorie: And now for something completely different (well, it's not that different, I guess), what's your take on MOBAs? Any interest in playing/currently playing the Dota 2s and LoLs of this world?

No, not really. I'm pretty bad at competitive RTS games, and MOBAs in general seem to require a fairly extensive amount of research to be good at them. Plus the stories I hear about the communities in most MOBAs doesn't exactly make me want to hop aboard them. I'm really not a big multiplayer gamer in general; I'm pretty happy sticking to games that allow me to proceed at my own pace.

Hey man, great write up, as always.

The MOBA community is way more annoying then any gaming community I have seen. Everyone expects you to be on your shit the second you play any pub games. I really don't like being called shitty things for the next 30 minutes while I casually play a game while everyone in the game is lvl 1.

i have never played an MMO, you kind of make me want to though. All of my friends have moved on, so I feel like a solo existence in the game would be kind of not satisfying for me.

Oh, and I have no idea what is happening in those screenshots.

#36 Edited by fox01313 (5061 posts) -

Great piece Rorie, fun dungeon runs are always good. Been curious to see how WoW has changed after stopping playing it after Wrath of the Lich King came out. Been trying a lot of other MMOs lately (been happy with Guild Wars2 lately). I can agree with this too on what Rorie wrote of how WoW & Diablo3 get in late game to where you need so many specific items/skills that it takes away from the fun which resulted in the impression I got from many of the jerks in the game who were very antagonistic to everyone.

#37 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5182 posts) -

@rorie: Ah, monk sounds like it would be more up my alley. The problem with Druids has always been in having every role they still have a comparable number of abilities to other classes and thus inherently have less abilities to use per role. Of course conversely you wouldn't want to make stance management super complex or you'd wind up with something like the Swordmaster in Warhammer Online that almost no one played as a result of its difficulty relative to other tanking classes. Fortunately feral druid off tanks are consistently the most chill dudes in raids and generally quite humorous to talk with.

Are there any stand out 5 man instances from the past 2 expansions that really interested you? Or is it just same old 3-4 bosses 20-30 minute instances without that much variance? Scarlet Monastery was neat back when it was unique; making every instance into SM was a terrible idea though; even respecting the initial challenge of BC heroics (and the longstanding difficulty of Durnholde and Mana Tombs up until Zul'Aman pretty much).

#38 Edited by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

I don't think 5 man tanking is that difficult because the modern Dungeon-5 is pretty forgiving. It is kind of why they actually fun compared to Raid-10 or Raid-25. But tanking itself is still a stressful role even in this kind of relaxing situation because the tank is still responsible for setting the pace.

If there is an example of the symptomatic issues with WoW is the tanking role. Tanking is critically important to encounter design yet does not "stack" (ie. you don't get anything more from a fight that requires one tank by adding a second or third), requires more effort to perform this role, and gets the same level of rewards other roles. But the moment they try to address this "risk vs reward" imbalance, a majority of the players who aren't tanks will resent or worse flip out that someone else is getting extra for running through the same content. I don't know how to address this at the moment but the net effect is that it slowly grinds down tanks (and to a lesser extent healers). The game needs players to take on a stressful role while getting rewarded the same as anyone else.

To be clear, I think Mists is their best content yet. The best Dungeon-5 content yet because of the diverse settings and boss events (one involves fighting a monkey which can be defeated by rolling kegs of beer into it) and importantly these instances have stories woven into them. Mists also features some of the best daily and scenario setup yet where 5.1 with opened Operation Shieldwall/Domination Offensive which revealed itself in stages that made players who usually hated dailies stick with it just to see what happened next.

Raid fights are also the best they've been but I can't help but believe that LFR and the shift in callout-response style engagement is ruining any hope for 25 raid let alone starting kill 10. I can't count how many times my raid team has had to substitute in someone who couldn't make it where we ask "Do you know this fight?" and their response is "I've seen it on LFR" but fail to realize that their performance let alone their mistakes aren't all that critical compared to Normal.

In Rorie's bottom picture, the MV Guardian event features effects from each of the "dogs" that can be ignored or dealt with on LFR but are destructive or lethal on Normal let alone Heroic. Seeing someone who has only ever seen the fight in LFR go into this fight on Normal and die in the first minute when the Jasper Chains chain them to another player while standing in an Amethyst Pool and then a Cobalt Mine goes off makes me groan. Players in LFR blissfully ignore this stuff in LFR now drop dead where it didn't matter what the tanks where doing nor could the healers even try to save them.

#39 Posted by RedRoach (1174 posts) -

@laserbolts: As a rogue my hardest hitting ability is hitting for around 350k and rogues are more about lots of attack then hard hitting ones., dps in raids is anywhere from 60-120k these days. Blizz basically said they're waiting until the numbers are such a problem that most players agree a number crunch needs to happen, or else they'd have a bunch of people complaining.

I'm loving Mists right now. There's a lot of things to do outside of dungeons and raids which is a nice change of pace from Cataclysm. Having a farm, daily quests and pet battles are nice distractions that I don't pour a lot of time into but give me things to do after a valor cap. A big part of it also has to do with my raid team. If it weren't for all the friends I've made I probably would've fallen off and done the routine of playing the first month of every new patch. LFR is definitely a pain, I feel for the tanks. I'd suggest you join a guild and try to get a pre made group going. even if you only get 10 or 11 people it can make things go a lot smoother when you're learning. And now that 5.2 is out the old lfr's drop way more gear.

I'm also really liking the new content system with smaller patches in between all the raids, around the time I finished up with 5.0 dailies they added 5.1, and now it happened with 5.2. i really enjoy all the little things they have now. The farm, the Brawlers guild is a ton of fun to work through, the new solo scenario that is all about collecting as much loot as possible while avoiding traps.

@rorie Have you thought about trying challenge mode dungeons? It sounds like those would be right up your alley if you could find a group for it. It doesnt give you new gear but you get some prestigious transmog stuff.

#40 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@redroach: Transmog runs are another thing I've never been too interested in, and unfortunately my guild is a bit too sparsely populated to seriously give challenge runs a try. I would hate to try and do them with pug groups, too...

@extomar: Yeah, I really like Mists overall, and I think a lot of the dungeon and raid design is really good. Just wish there was more of the content that I really liked rather than the stuff I don't have much use for!

@fredchuckdave: I enjoy my druid tank precisely because they don't have that many abilities to use. I'm sure I could get through most dungeons by just using the same three abilities over and over again. The monk tanks require a lot of micromanagement to stay alive, though, as they're built to get a lot of crits which they then turn into avoidance via skills. It's complicated!

My favorite dungeons from the last few expansions are probably the three ICC five-mans that came out at the end of Wrath. Dunno why; probably because of all the welfare epics that they dropped, even on normal difficulty. They were challenging to play (at least at first) and fit in well with the theme of the patch, even putting you up against the Lich King at the end of them.

@fox01313: I honestly think the game has never been better. I just wish I was more into stuff like LFR and pet battles; I'd probably keep my subscription if I were!

@yothatlimp: WoW is well worth playing even as a solo player; they've made grouping up and finding guilds pretty easy now. Far easier than it was in the beginning. You might like it, who knows!

@mylifeforaiur: Thanks! Yeah, I need to write more. When I try to sit down and write a blog post it always winds up being super-long, though.

@strikealight: I have a feeling that even Blizzard knows that WoW was lightning in a bottle, and I doubt they expect Titan to get anywhere near WoW's max subscriber levels. I have a feeling that Activision/Blizzard's stockholders are going to be super bitchy about it being smaller than WoW, though.

@winternet: Yeah, another issue of mine is that I've never really been a huge PVP player, though. I find it pretty stressful. I like PVE more than playing against real people.

Staff
#41 Edited by YoThatLimp (1877 posts) -

@rorie said:

@yothatlimp: WoW is well worth playing even as a solo player; they've made grouping up and finding guilds pretty easy now. Far easier than it was in the beginning. You might like it, who knows!

Is WoW the MMO I should break my MMO cherry on, or is there something better out there? I was thinking about playing some Star Trek MMO just for the theme, but have heard some negative things, you can't really beat free though, I guess.

#42 Edited by Milkman (16484 posts) -

@rorie said:

@yothatlimp: WoW is well worth playing even as a solo player; they've made grouping up and finding guilds pretty easy now. Far easier than it was in the beginning. You might like it, who knows!

Is WoW the MMO I should break my MMO cherry on, or is there something better out there? I was thinking about playing some Star Trek MMO just for the theme, but have heard some negative things, you can't really beat free though, I guess.

If you've never played any kind of MMO before, WoW is definitely the best place to start. It's the game in which every modern MMO is built upon so it's a great introduction into all the different nuances of the genre.

#43 Edited by RedRoach (1174 posts) -

@rorie Blizzard has updated all old raids so that they're all soloable. They removed all abilities that require more then one person to handle. As a tank you could easily solo up to early Wrath content. Even ICC you could do with just 2 or 3 people.

#44 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

I thought that WoW trend ended somewhere in 2008?

#45 Posted by Rorie (2545 posts) -

@redroach: Yeah, I'm aware. I've done a bunch of the old raids with a friend who's a big reputation grinder. Just not very interesting to me; they're such cakewalks as a paladin that they're not very interesting.

@yothatlimp: It's really good. I'd recommend starting with the free version of it, but you can pick up the base game and get pretty far along for relatively cheap. It's just a shame that it's not very challenging until you hit max level, and gold is always tough to come by in any quantity until you have a max level character.

@klei: Still has almost ten million subscribers. League of Legends might have more players and make more money, but WoW's still plenty popular.

Staff
#46 Posted by Milkman (16484 posts) -

So, Blizzard sent me 7 days of free game time in promotion of their new Thunder King whatever patch and so far, after playing for a couple days...I don't know. I'm not really feeling that spark that I once did. So much of the end game content seems to revolve around doing dailies, which is fun for a bit but gets pretty boring after a while. I should hop into some heroics before my game time runs out but since this is the first I've played in a few months, I'm a little nervous to hop right in as a healer without first getting my bearings back.

Maybe after playing on and off for like 8 years or however long it's been, I've just finally become bored of the gameplay. Usually when Blizzard sends me this free game time, I'll get sucked right back in and play for hours on end but I just don't feel that this time around.

#47 Edited by psylah (2161 posts) -

@rorie: I share your sentiment about losing interest at the raiding barrier, putting up with the intolerance of a group of 24 strangers is unbearable.

The entire LF(G/R) system has ruined WoW for me. I had a huge group of friends and guildies on Proudmoore that knew they could rely on me, and that I was a good tank. In LFG or LFR, 8+ years of tanking means nothing to them. There's no one I feel compelled to log in and talk to anymore because there is no longer a need for an interaction when they can queue and go AFK. For an MMO, it's a harrowingly solitary experience.

This leads to my new norm of resubbing for 4-6 months, leveling my horde of tanks, hitting the wall of assholes at LFR, and stopping again, wholly unsatisfied. While it's probably best that I not play year-round, I cannot help but feel the call to tank. It never leaves.

#48 Posted by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

Again, I have to say I like the idea of LFR where if nothing else it makes it easier to gear up off-spec or alts but I do believe it has damaged Raid-25 and Raid-10. What I think Blizzard should do is continue to do LFR but some bosses just aren't in LFR. What I think should have happened with Tier 14 is that there should have been LFR for Mugu'shan Vaults and Heart of Fear but Terrace of Endless Spring LFR should have been opened at the start of Tier 15.

The way the systems are laid out now there is almost no reason to do Heroic MV and barely a reason to Heroic HoF and small reasons to do Heroic Terrace. It also broke the classic "upgrade chain" that leaves no real reason to even put much effort into Normal. This leaves guilds with a people who want to do Normal and Heroic scrounging and begging for players to fill in spaces where others are apathetic because LFR lets anyone see the raids and bosses in a couple of hours over a couple days. Why bother with the stress of building and executing a Normal raid when LFR is just a click away?

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