Friday, November 14, 2008

Crash course

I started reading World of Matticus just a few weeks ago, and already I have gained a huge amount of information about priestly raiding and guilds from this site. Incredible how someone have the stamina and will to pour out all the information in such a beautifully concise format.

As I'm also following Matticus' Twitter, I have been very much following his thoughts about this and that and all I can say is that I like his way of thinking about the game and all, even though he has commented here in my blog that he wants to rip the content and raid it to the fullest. Which contradicts my view of playing the content and stories to the full.

When I wrote him a personal email (through their contact form at the site), I didn't expect the kind of response my mail got. Sydera, one of the three regulars writing in there, took my main question and wrote a full blog entry of it, answering the question very nicely. I would say that the post serves as a crash course to the newcomer on how to become raider fast. Even though my initial concern was about the lack of skill of the power levelling newcomer at the raid level, the post covered that very neatly.

However, the concept of passing the story and content in the void parts of the game (Old World and Outlands) left me cold. I'm having too much fun on my own and on my own pace, even though I'm severely missing the company and grouping for instances with a steady group. The guild I'm currently in is dying, and this has been going on for some time now. I think the Wrath killed most of the alt-garages because there is now something more important to do with the level capped toons.

There is no way to enter the Old World instances anymore, except very severely overgeared and overlevelled. No-one wants to take the effort to even visit the sites anymore and the same is happening to the content in Outlands. It's not about Blizzard neglecting the content, but the players putting more effort on the capping and level cap raiding. I'm actually putting more of the blame on the player base for trying to achieve the cap as if that was the main achievement of the game.

I'm seeing the Achievement system as a starter for activating the whole content. It would be nice to see the raid instances in one form or another, and the only way to activate the capped people to visit the 'old instances' is to generate incentives to do so. Achievements are one way. Variable difficulty and loot tables would be another.

Never the less, I'm following the pace I'm feeling comfortable and I hope to see new players who do the same. The World of Warcraft is such a huge and beautifull place to explore that it's such a shame to see it go to waste by power levelling through it all.

Stay tuned for more on the subject. ;P


Sydera said...

I think that one of the reasons new players skip old content is that the game has changed and evolved so much that an older instance--like Gnomeregan for example--is much less fun than those of newer design. Blizzard has actually been putting in a lot of work, and the content has evolved to be more manageable.

It's not that great to be left in the middle of an enormous dungeon with tons of trash mobs and hardly any bosses. The newer winged, multi-boss dungeons are, empirically, a big improvement. I think the reason almost everyone runs Scarlet Monastery--and skips Mauraudon--on the way to 60 has to do with instance design. The irony, in that case, is that I think Maraudon is newer, but it was sort of the last hurrah of that endless dungeon crawl style.

Just look at the difference between Tempest Keep, released early in BC, and Serpentshrine Cavern, released later. SSC, the newer model, has less trash clear time between bosses and more possible shortcuts or alternate orders. There's development in the design.

I'd have to say, having run the Classic 5 mans to death (though not the Classic raids, except UBRS, ZG, and part of MC), it's not actually worth the time you'd put in at that level--not to me anyway.

Of the Classic dungeons, the ones I like are:
Scarlet Monastery

That's sort of a short list.

Unknown said...

New players skip the old content because their friends -and media overall- puts over emphasis on the newest content. That's my honest opinion. Of course the old content is designed differently and there are inherent differences in the instance designs, but that doesn't mean necessarily that the content itself is 'bad'.

I have seen the instances up to Sunken Temple, so I have no comparison on the 'old' and 'new' content. But I'm darned to learn it by visiting them all.

The newcomers to the game have to skip the content in Old World and in the future in Outlands, too, because there will be no-one doing them anymore. There is no reasonable way for a casual player to form a party to go for a dungeon crawl in Maraudon or scream through Zul'Farrak (which has a wonderfull scripted slaughter at the end...), because there is no one willing to do that anymore.

Deadmines were a disappointment to me after playing Wailing Caverns several times with my Horde toons back when.It's so linear and moving from one pull to another. Wailing Caverns has better feel to it, I like that a lot more because you have to take care with what you're doing.You cannot get an Alliance based party for it anymore, because 'it's too far and too difficult to get to'. That's an explanation I've gotten myself.

Perhaps the problem is in me, really. I'm playing WoW too much as the old Pen and Paper RPG, wanting to see and experience the stories and places instead of trying to rush to the cap to 'win' the game. It's a friggen MMO, there is no 'you win'-button nor ending!

If even 10% of the new accounts coming to the game are newcomers to the game monthly, then that amount of players is something to consider. After all, the instances are the original tutorial to group dynamics and 'holy trinity' in a raid party. Now it's replaced by PUGging till you faint.

A grind is a grind is a grind. What's new? There is the possibility to advance through 'growing up' the instances, but it's generally neglected by the players.

Of course there are those who came to the game at launch and I can understand that they don't want to set their eyes on the old content. But that shouldn't be the reason for the newcomers to shun it.

Sorry for the rant, had to blow some steam. Thanks for the response, Stacey!

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