Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Review: Wrath of the Lich King

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the slaying-pixels-for-fun-and-profit dept.

Role Playing (Games) 545

Since shortly after its release in late 2004, World of Warcraft has held the position of the most popular MMO, quickly outstripping predecessors such as Everquest and Ultima Online, and continuing to hold the lead despite competition from contemporaries and newer offerings, like Warhammer Online. When World of Warcraft's first expansion, The Burning Crusade, was released, it built on an already rich world by using feedback from players and two extra years of design experience to work on condensing the game to focus more on the best parts. Now, with the release of Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard seems to have gotten themselves ahead of the curve; in addition to the many changes intended to remove the "grind" aspect that is so prevalent in this genre, they've gone on to effectively put themselves in the player's shoes and ask, "What would make this more fun? Wouldn't it be cool if..?" Read on for the rest of my thoughts.

  • Title: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
  • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Publisher: Activision Blizzard
  • System: PC
  • Reviewer: Soulskill
  • Score: 9/10

The first thing you'll notice as you set foot on the expansion's new continent, Northrend, is that the art is extremely well done and the vistas are visually impressive. During the first expansion, the primary mode of travel shifted from land-based mounts to much faster flying mounts, and it's clear that the designers of Northrend kept this well in mind. The size and scope of everything has been ratcheted up, from soaring spires and mountains to massive icebergs to spacious valleys and canyons. One of the early zones, Howling Fjord, starts you off looking up at incredibly high cliffs with nothing but a rickety wood-and-chain elevator to help you reach the top. While doing quests at the base of the cliffs, you can't help but wonder, "What's up there?" Later in the zone, you'll find grassy fields and misty forests gradually giving way to snow, ice formations, and new buildings that are a big step up, artistically, from what was seen in the original game, or even the first expansion. The various creatures you encounter are new and more detailed as well. Sleek, aggressive-looking Proto-drakes circle lazily above a burning forest and enormous Storm Giants stomp through the plains, catching unsuspecting adventurers by surprise and leading to more than a few untimely deaths. Fan-favorite Murlocs have undergone a transformation, appearing all the more ready to make a meal of you. Even the seas have gotten more detailed; icebergs look like nothing that could have come out of the original game, and the waters are now teeming with Warcraft-ized orca, hammerheads, and walruses.

Each zone brings a unique art style. Soon after finishing the starting zones, you'll enter Dragonblight, where the skeletons of giant dragons litter the frozen tundra and battles between dragonflights rage overheard. Again, the kinds of things you'll see in Wrath of the Lich King just didn't happen in the original game, and rarely in The Burning Crusade. There are plenty of spots where the design team clearly said, "Ok, let's set this up so the players will just get here and stare at it for five minutes before remembering what they're doing." If you enjoyed exploring earlier parts of the game, Wrath of the Lich King will blow you away. One of the later zones, Storm Peaks, is exactly what it sounds like; a dark, snowy mountain range in which you'll find yourself traveling up and down as much as side to side. The absurdly high mountaintops give the area an epic feel, but Blizzard didn't stop there. Rising up from many peaks are ancient structures, or ruins in some cases. They do wonders for arousing curiosity, and you clearly get the impression that Something Big was here. The northern part of the zone where the dungeons are located is a stronghold for giants, originally built for the Titans, according to Warcraft lore, and it definitely looks the part.

One of the major headlines of Wrath of the Lich King was the introduction of the game's first new class — the Death Knight. Dubbed a "Hero Class," it is only available to players who already have another character at level 55 or higher, but the Death Knight itself starts at level 55, rather than level 1. This is partly due to the class' level of complexity, which is slightly higher than most others, and also to encourage players to try them out by not requiring the time involved to go level up from the very beginning. The Death Knight's resource management system is based on runes and runic power. You start out with six runes available, and using your abilities will consume one or more of them. The runes will then refresh themselves after 10 seconds, giving you the opportunity to use them again. Abilities also generate runic power, which can be used to fuel other spells. Death Knights can wear plate armor, and are intended for use as a "tank" class as well as dealing damage. They use big, two-handed weapons while tanking, rather than a one-hander and a shield, and they're stronger than most against magic. The class was balanced quite well by the extensive beta testing, though minor tuning is still underway to bring each of the three talent trees in line with Blizzard's goals. If you do nothing else in this expansion, it's worth starting a Death Knight and going through the introductory quest line; the story and visual effects are amazing.

Wrath raises the level cap from 70 to 80, so you'll spend most of your time questing and (should you choose) running dungeons for your first few weeks (depending on how much you play, and to what lengths you're willing go for efficiency; the first player to reach level 80 did so only 27 hours after the expansion launched). Gear has effectively been reset again, but not as severely as it was in The Burning Crusade. Powerful level 70 items will last in some cases all the way to level 80, but they should be replaced quickly once you start doing "endgame" activities. Actually getting to 80 isn't a problem; you should make it there with hundreds of quests to spare. Much like the first expansion, Wrath packs quests quite densely throughout most of the zones, so you needn't feel compelled to finish quests that don't interest you or do group quests when you'd rather fly solo (although the rewards for such are often good). The quests themselves are as much a step up from The Burning Crusade as it was over the original game. Many still follow the standard MMO format of "Go slay 10 demonbears," or "Go collect 10 cow eggs," but the quests tell stories, ranging from small and self-contained to grand and overarching. They paint a very clear picture of what's happening in Northrend, and what its inhabitants are doing to fight the Lich King.

In addition to those basic quests, Blizzard did quite a bit to spice things up. One of the most popular quest lines of the first expansion was an arena event in which you and your comrades fought off an increasingly difficult series of enemies. Wrath has three such events, each with its own story and flavor. Bombing runs are back, but they now usually make use of a new vehicle system which lets you hop on a creature or contraption and control its unique selection of abilities. One quest gives you a tank you use to rampage through a field of thickly packed undead, using the buzz-saw on the front to cut down any in your path. Another has you riding on an airborne troop transport, dropping smoke flares by the harpoon launchers of an enemy encampment to protect your allies as they are deployed to fight. One of the more epic quests lets you take control of a massive Storm Giant and use it to take out an even more colossal boss while crushing swarms of skeletons underfoot. Another way Blizzard found to keep things interesting is what they call "phasing" technology. One of the long-standing complaints about the MMO genre is that there is very little permanence to a player's actions. When Player A rescues a princess from an evil wizard's tower, he's very shortly going to turn around and see her back in the tower, waiting for the next player to do the same quest. Either that, or when Player B comes along, the princess is already saved, and he missed out on that content. Blizzard's solution was to implement different "phases" of an otherwise static zone. You'll start out in the beginning phase, during which, for example, a town is under attack. Completing a quest to fight off the attack bumps you into the next phase, where the town is safe and its fighting force is going on the offensive. Now, a player who hadn't done that quest could come from the same place as you, and stand where you're standing, but you and he would see two different things. His town still needs saving, yours doesn't. This is used to great effect in Icecrown, one of the later zones. You get the feeling as you do quests that you're really taking over parts of the zone; towns spring up, one-time battles are fought, and the appearance of the zone at the end is quite different from at the beginning. Another great use of this technology is for an invasion of one of the old capitol cities. You ride to its defense alongside faction leaders, participating in a good balance of plot and action.

The instanced dungeons in Northrend are also a step up over their predecessors. As with the outside world, they've gotten bigger and more impressive, often setting the group's path against an expansive backdrop to make it seem like you have a ton of room, even when you don't. Blizzard whittled down the length of most instances, aiming for a start-to-finish time of roughly an hour. The "trash" mobs between bosses are typically few and varied; the progress made since the original game in that regard is quite evident. You no longer have to worry that hopping into a group with random strangers could turn into a three-hour affair. Blizzard has gone out of their way to create new and interesting boss scenarios as well. An instance called "The Oculus" is a disjointed series of platforms which can only be accessed by flying. After finishing off the first boss, you free a group of NPCs which offer you a choice in Drakes to ride — Red, Yellow or Green — each of which has its own abilities. It behaves like a vehicle; you direct its flight path and choose when to fire off spells, and it carries you from platform to platform where you'll find later bosses. For the last boss in the instance, you actually use the drakes to fight, battling with spells far too powerful for a normal character to control. In another instance, one of the bosses hops on his flying mount and heads outside while you fight your way through a gauntlet of smaller NPCs to reach the end of a hallway. Periodically, he'll drop down and blast one side of the hallway with ice, making an already hectic fight even more dangerous. When you reach the end of the hallway, you'll find harpoon launchers which you use to shoot down his mount and force him to land and fight. One of the instances in The Burning Crusade had a boss which would use mind-control to make your group fight each other for a brief time before resuming the battle as normal. Wrath of the Lich King takes this one step further; the last boss in one of the new instances casts a spell which will dump each player into his own phase and spawn copies of that player's groupmates. The copies then try to kill him. Each player is tasked with killing their own group to survive. As they succeed, they're shunted into other players' phases until they're all back in the original, at which point they re-engage the boss.

Heroic Dungeons return in Wrath, giving players the option of a harder version of an instance that results in better loot. They're tuned better this time around; Blizzard wanted to make the transition from normal dungeons to heroics to raids a smooth one, and they've done a much better job than at the beginning of the first expansion. They've also expanded the "heroic" philosophy to raids as well. Now each raid dungeon has two settings; a "normal" 10-man version, and a "heroic" 25-man version, each tuned appropriately for the size of the group. Wrath launched with four introductory-level raids, and more difficult ones are planned for the next few content patches in the coming months. As we discussed previously, the current raids have been conquered already, but unless you're willing to devote many, many hours to playing the game, reaching the end of the content before more is released won't be an issue for you. Blizzard revisited Naxxramas, a raid instance hailed as the best in the original game, but one that only a few percent of the World of Warcraft population ever got to see. It's now the primary starter raid, tuned to be much more forgiving than it was in 2006, but still able to make unprepared groups struggle. The other raids are quick, involving one boss each, compared to the 15 in Naxxramas. The fight against Malygos is an encounter where Blizzard shows off just how cool they can make a boss fight; if you don't mind spoilers, you can take a look at a video and explanation of the fight from the folks at TankSpot. One of the other raid bosses, Sartharion, lets the players decide how difficult they want the fight to be. Sartharion is a dragon, and in his lair, there are three drake mini-bosses which can be quickly and easily killed beforehand if the raid so chooses. If they aren't killed, they join in the fight when the raid takes on Sartharion himself. You can choose to leave one, two, or all three drakes alive, effectively giving the fight four difficulty settings. The more difficult the encounter, the better loot you'll receive. Very few raids can manage the fight with all drakes alive at this point. Blizzard has stated that we can expect to see more of this type of selective challenge. It allows them to tune the raids such that more people can see and complete them, but still give the more hardcore players something tough to work on.

Blizzard has done a number of other things to make the game more player-friendly. Professions have been revamped in several ways. First, all professions will, in some way, make your character more powerful, either through crafted gear or through passive bonuses. Second, those bonuses are available sooner, so you don't necessarily need to drop thousands of gold grinding out the last few points in order to get that upgrade. Third, recipes are mostly easier to obtain now. The developers have instituted an interesting system for Jewelcrafting in particular: Each day you can do a quest once which will give you a currency token. You can then spend those tokens to purchase many different recipes. This does two things; it guarantees that all of those recipes will be attainable eventually for minimal work, and it lets you choose which ones you want to get first. They've also made other, PvP-related recipes available by simply engaging in PvP. A few still drop in various spots around the world, but they're much less rare than the ones in The Burning Crusade . Others drop at the end of instances, and yet more are made available by increasing reputation with some of the factions scattered around Northrend. Virtually everything you do will make progress toward filling out the profession. Other professions have similar mechanics, but aren't as fleshed-out. Alchemy and the new profession, Inscription, have "discovery" abilities which will allow you to learn new things, but have a lengthy cooldown. As with Jewelcrafting, it's nice that you'll get everything eventually, but in this case you have little control over which "discovered" recipes you learn. Inscription itself is interesting; you essentially enchant your spells and abilities to behave in a slightly different manner. Often you can sacrifice an unimportant aspect of a spell to make it better in another way; for example, one of the Mage glyphs increases the damage on their Frostbolt spell, but removes the slowing effect placed on the target.

Tanking has received a huge make-over in Wrath. No longer is the focus on building threat; it's more about mitigating damage. This removes a lot of the headaches involved in grouping with strangers. Tanks also do quite a bit more damage than they did in the past, making it more fun for people who like to see big numbers. The success of instance groups used to rely almost exclusively on the tank and healer, and while they're still very important, the focus has shifted more to include the damage-dealers. Many fights are significantly easier with better damage output (and some are almost impossible without). It's a welcome change; all members of the group should contribute to its success. Reputation grinds have been made easier as well. Instead of using the method of the first expansion where running dungeons in a particular place increased your reputation with a particular faction, they now use a "championing" system. Wearing the tabard of whichever faction you choose will allow you to gain reputation with that faction regardless of which dungeon you enter. So, you can always run your favorite instance, or do a different one every night while still working toward whatever reward you'd like. That seems to be one of the major themes of Wrath; putting choice back into the players' hands.

PvP has been a bit slow to get started, since many players are still on their way to the level cap. The next arena season is due to start in a couple weeks, after which I'm sure we'll see a round of minor nerfs and buffs to smooth out any issues that arise. Wintergrasp is alive and thriving, however, as the first dedicated world-PvP zone. The concept is simple; one faction controls the central keep while the other tries to break through the walls and capture it. Fighting and scoring kills will increase your rank during a battle, which will allow you to drive increasingly powerful siege vehicles. You can use them to knock down walls, chuck barrels of poison vast distances, or to try to run over enemy players swarming around your wheels. Defenders can man turrets as well. Blizzard has tried to address faction imbalances with a buff called "Tenacity." It essentially makes you more powerful the more your faction is out-manned. In extreme cases, it can turn players into the equivalent of raid bosses — ones that know to take out your healers first. The faction that controls Wintergrasp also has access to a raid dungeon, and the boss inside drops PvP gear. It's a fun, quick way to cap off a victory. One of the things I like best about Wintergrasp is the spacing between the battles. A battle lasts for a maximum of 40 minutes, and when it's over, it's over. A new one won't start for another couple hours, so there's little reason to stick around. The new battleground, Strand of the Ancients, also makes use of vehicles and an attacker/defender relationship. It's definitely a break from the old battlegrounds, but a welcome one. Honor point rewards for both are pretty good — unfortunately, if the costs for PvP gear from the beta are to be believed, the effort involved to build a PvP set will be the last serious grind left in the game.

When Blizzard first announced Wrath of the Lich King, there was speculation about whether it would continue the success of The Burning Crusade or if the World of Warcraft juggernaut would finally begin to run out of steam, as MMOs often do several years into their life. With the early previews and later throughout the beta, we got hints that such was not the case. Now that we've had time to explore the finished version of Wrath (or at least as "finished" as any MMO project ever is) it's clear that the legendary "Blizzard polish" is there, in addition to a great deal of innovation within a single game. They're not just releasing the equivalent of new maps and models and skins — the whole game is evolving into something much more consistent and coherent than the original game. If any company in the MMO game industry could afford to rest on their laurels, it's Blizzard — but they're not. And I already wonder what they'll have in store for the next expansion.

cancel ×

545 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Cheese runner (4, Funny)

weave (48069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035485)

As I camped in the cheese shop waiting for some wine to spawn so I could complete a daily runner quest for the cook in the Dalaran inn, I thought about all the battles I've fought and the thousands who have died from my powerful spells. Wow, can life get any better that this?!

Re:Cheese runner (4, Funny)

jamie (78724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035701)

The mages in Dalaran were teleporting cities back when you were killing Scrawny Rats for coppers. You better smile when you hand them their wine.

Re:Cheese runner (4, Funny)

weave (48069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035873)

The mages in Dalaran were teleporting cities back when you were killing Scrawny Rats for coppers. You better smile when you hand them their wine.

And I have a lower UID than you do!

Ah, er, at least right now I do ... if I don't get banned,

/cower jamie
weave cower's in fear at the sight of jamie

Re:Cheese runner (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036061)

OMG, what have I just witnessed!?

Re:Cheese runner (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036463)

The start of something beautiful (Read: lots of hot, sweaty cybering).

Re:Cheese runner (5, Funny)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036555)

n00b

Re:Cheese runner (5, Funny)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036103)

Still... It being close to X-mas all I can think of now is:

Ding! Wine is spawned!
Ding! Wine is spawned!
I cook in Dalaran and I wear a epic hat.
Would you like some Rhino Dogs with 'dat?

Re:Cheese runner (4, Funny)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037013)

Nice try, but the wine is for the skinning vendor Glowergold, who can't tell a cheese tray from an old shield. Feel free to insult him as you hand him his backwash-laden wine.

Re:Cheese runner (4, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035939)

That quest is one of the only humane in the game. Many of the quests are horrifying if it weren't cartoonish.

You get to torture a prisoner with electricity, throw molotov cocktails at starving trolls, poke young apes with a sharp stick to piss off its mother and many other disturbing things.

It's like they read a report from Amnesty International on Iraq and made quests with them!

D.E.H.T.A. (4, Funny)

weave (48069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036167)

What, you haven't done D.E.H.T.A's little P.I.T.A quests yet?

Loads of fun. You get to kill Nessingwary's people (that you used to pal around with) who are killing rhinos, and then down the road you end up having to kill the rhinos for Fizzcrank's quests!

It's all about the gold!

Re:Cheese runner (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036637)

I'm fond of the daily one in Moa'ki Harbor that involves killing the mother and stealing her kids.

Re:Cheese runner (3, Interesting)

tygt (792974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036963)

If you're talking about the "Planning for the Future" daily, the quickest way I've found to do this, if you can take some damage, is to run through and grab the young without engaging in combat.

With this strategy you avoid fighting (and stray damage will kill the young) and can pick them up while being beat on.

Note that if you attack something, you can't pick up the young again until you go out of combat, but being hit doesn't put you into that state.

Of course none of this changes the fact that you're engaging in some 1930s-type Canadian/Australian-style cultural genocide (taking young from families to raise in a different society), but given a choice between complete genocide (kill them all) versus a cultural shift (teach them not to kill us and live peacefully together), I think the choice is reasonable.

Re:Cheese runner (4, Funny)

papasui (567265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036197)

Only if I was Jack Sparrow and random hot girls showed me their tits on a frequent basis.

Huh? What's all this? (-1, Offtopic)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035575)

I've been too busy grinding my Knight of the Blazing sun in Warhammer Online.

Now if they'd only hurry up and release 1.1

Re:Huh? What's all this? (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035813)

I prefer to grind my knight in a club with lots of hot sweaty girls and booze.

you must have consused slashdot with livejournal (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035613)

nobody cares what you think.

Re:you must have consused slashdot with livejourna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036509)

You must have confused 'consused' with 'confused'. Learn to spell, troll.

My Review (4, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035645)

Here's my mini review: Wrath of the Lich King is superb. It isn't perfect (but nothing is) but it does many things exceptionally well. First and foremost among them is that the player's character actually does change the world. From minor things like helping an outpost get a flightmaster to dealing with major political intrigue with the Forsaken, the player's character has a notable impact on the structure of the world. While the game has it's fair share of "Kill 20 grapplegromets", the addition of the world-changing quest chains is wonderful. Also, each zone has at least one notable story arc of quests that really pulls the character into the lore of the world. Wrath of the Lich King's biggest success, among many things that it does well, is it's character immersion. I give Wrath a 9.5/10.

Re:My Review (0, Offtopic)

xactoguy (555443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035829)

Replying to this to cancel my mod. And yes, I agree with your mini review from what of seen of WoTLK

Re:My Review (3, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036441)

At first I like how it changed the world with the phasing technology. Then I encountered a very glaring problem.

Person A has a quest later in a quest chain to kill Dude X.

Nobody wants to help Person A except a few guildies who haven't even started the chain. Persons B and C want to help A kill X but because of the phasing technology X isn't visible to them and Person A vanishes when entering the area where X is and all they see are mobs from the start of the quest chain.

Getting help to do some group quests has just got a lot more difficult in World of Warcraft for quest chains that involve their phasing technology. Some of these quests require 5 people to complete and all 5 need to be on this step sometimes. You can't just get a few other guys to help you who will do it later.

Re:My Review (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036549)

Unless I'm mistaken, none of the quests in the early stages of those quests are group quests - they can all be completed solo.

Re:My Review (1)

MetalPhalanx (1044938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036763)

Really? I obviously haven't covered all of WotLK yet, but I've made it to 80 and spent a fair bit of time in Icecrown where they make the most use of the phasing and so far haven't ran into any quest chains that were not soloable.

Give me an example please... That way I can make sure my guild can run it in "sets" to avoid this problem.

Re:My Review (1, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036717)

Your review is a little more like a review than the blatant marketing release that slashdot is passing off as a review. At least you have an opinion and acknowledge weaknesses, although I think there are still some big problems in WoW that WoTLK doesn't deal with or contributes further to.

I haven't managed to spend more than 1hr in WoTLK (after having quit WoW for a year). WoW may no longer have a hold on me... but I'm not that impressed. There is a substantial amount of blatant stupidity:

- That flying mount you saved up for (worse, if you bought an epic) - can't use it until 77 or so. Bad call. Opportunity to up the ante here: add flight combat based on class! That would also keep people from short circuiting quests, and be awesome.

- Not a mage? Can't get to Dalaran until 74 (or so, I haven't done it yet). That's right, a major feature cut out for you while you grind. This really serves just to highlight the grind, not remove it.

- More dailies...ugh

- At least as far as tailoring is concerned, in TBC I could at least earn decent epic items without having to set foot in a raid. Thus far, I have not seen it in WoTLK. Given that it's a virtual guarantee I will disable my account as soon as I've done the last 5 man (or maybe before if I can't get my friends to come back) this annoys me. One thing I do like is entering northrend with a lot of epics and slaughtering for a while, that's probably the only reason I really bought the expansion: to use the gear I farmed last time.

- Pretty much the minute logged in I was beat with the old problems that caused my entire guild to quit: "Heroic Nexus LF2M, need tank and 1dps (at least 1300DPS!)". Now I happen to have a tank, a healer and a mage, all were well enough geared for heroics in TBC... but I remember this all too well. Damage meters, people not understanding there are multiple ways to play the game, people unwilling to enter a dungeon that they don't outgear (because they don't understand subtlety)...this basically puts you in a place where you only want to play with friends, and you are at the mercy of trying to get 5 adults across 4 timezones, with wives and kids, to block out 1,2,3 hours to do a dungeon.

To try and grow a guild of like minded people is entirely more frustrating: dungeons come in 5, 10 and 25 and need to be approached with the maximum allowable team (assuming you don't outgear them), as a group with approximately equal gear within what someone defines as reason. The result is a lot of people are left off and get bored with the game. You can't grow a guild of responsible adults, because you can't play the game, have fun, and be responsible at the same time.

Nothing in WoTLK addresses the elitist mentality the game has been designed for. The belief that only the hardcore deserve to be included in higher end dungeons and raids. The best you can do is join a large casual guild, put up with (and play) the politics, and go as far as a mob mentality will allow (usually only 1 or 2 tiers). Plus deal with people who aren't very smart and don't understand the game, but who are what you have to work with. This means damage meters, pvp specs in raids, weird and self-nerfing specs, people fighting over gear, etc.

The game jumped the shark when they lowered group-size cap on Scholo/Blackrock Spire/etc. It was totally devoured in TBC when they started designing dungeons to require very specific group/raid structures similar to EQs "holy trinity" concept (tank, slower,healer). When it was the casual alternative to EQ, it was awesome.

So on the whole, WoTLK deserves 6/10, mostly on account of being pretty, adding new content, and a few other details covered above. It doesn't fix the game it's based on, or change WoW or MMOGs in general. It's just another expansion.

fan favorite whats? (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035663)

Fan-favorite Murlocs have undergone a transformation

Anyone who has played this game more than a few hours knows that Murlocs are not fan favorites. In fact, they are nearly universally detested; Murlocs are one of the most irritating mobs in the game.

Hardly universal. (4, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035745)

"Anyone who has played this game more than a few hours knows that Murlocs are not fan favorites. In fact, they are nearly universally detested; Murlocs are one of the most irritating mobs in the game."

A quick poll of the six friends I generally play WoW with reveals that the most irritating mob in the game is the hyena. Four (including me) are indifferent to murlocs, and two would play them as a character race if they could.

Re:Hardly universal. (1)

weave (48069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035927)

A quick poll of the six friends I generally play WoW with reveals that the most irritating mob in the game is the hyena.

/agreed.

I hate hyenas.

Re:Hardly universal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036029)

I would LOVE to play a Murloc!

I would volunteer to design their whole area.

We could make an undersea city, right in the middle of the world where the big spiral is.. or out near those islands nearby.

We could have evil Murlocs who want to bring back C'Thun

It would be epic!

Re:Hardly universal. (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036617)

/agree x 2

I hate hearing that little trill that the hyenas do when you gain aggro.

Re:Hardly universal. (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036427)

I'd play a murloc. Sure they are annoying to fight because pulling one usually results in pulling half the beach, but they are still just all kinds of neat.
Hell, my wife actually has the murloc sound as the ringtone on her phone.

Re:fan favorite whats? (1)

illeism (953119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036149)

I hate murlocs about 1^-1000000000 of the amount that I hate naga - i hate all naga... let me say it one more time, I HATE FRICK'N NAGA...

P.S. I like the sound the baby murlocs make...

Re:fan favorite whats? (1)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036667)

I second this.

I always considered murlocs to be irritating, but nothing terrible. After doing the murloc quests in Borean Tundra, I actually started to like them...especially the cute little baby murlocs you have to rescue.

Nagas, on the other hand...I hate them more than any other type of mob I've encountered in the game.

Re:fan favorite whats? (3, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036287)

Mrgl mrgl.

Re:fan favorite whats? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036677)

Rargleargleargle!

Go Murlocs! (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036445)

Murlocs are great!

Play the RPG! [newgrounds.com]

Re:fan favorite whats? (1)

Greg01851 (720452) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036791)

you may say that until you have to release the Murloc tadpoles in the "Oh Noes the Tadpoles" quest!

Re:fan favorite whats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036813)

no way if murlocs were that hated, there would not be a toy of them at jinx.

Re:fan favorite whats? (1)

CEHT (164909) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036979)

Murlocs in trade channel is one of the many reasons why I turned off trade channel altogether. They can go on for hours from what I heard.

Re:fan favorite whats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26037171)

The quest where you rescue their tadpoles is one of the most precious quests in the expansion. "Dada? I go home now?"

Unfortunately (4, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035719)

they spent all the time making the game look very very pretty (which, I must admit, it is), and none of it creating anything for any of the professions. There are glaring holes in most of the professions, not to mention the things that have been broken since the launch of the expansion (and let's be fair, in one case, for the last four years), and don't seem to be on the "Fix anytime soon" list.

Glaring holes? (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036041)

"Unfortunately they spent all the time making the game look very very pretty (which, I must admit, it is), and none of it creating anything for any of the professions. There are glaring holes in most of the professions, not to mention the things that have been broken since the launch of the expansion (and let's be fair, in one case, for the last four years), and don't seem to be on the "Fix anytime soon" list."

I may regret asking, but can you elaborate on this claim? I don't see the holes, and the people I know who craft seem to be happy. My main character is an alchemist, and it's been useful throughout.

Re:Glaring holes? (4, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036373)

There are currently 4 cooking recipes missing. They are unobtainable, yet they are required for the Northrend Gourment achievement in which you need to cook 45 of the 46 Northrend recipes. Additionally, you need at least 1 of those recipes to learn 160 recipes for an achievement.

Those are some pretty glaring holes right there, considering they're prerequisites for other things.

Re:Glaring holes? (2, Insightful)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036897)

No, those are not glaring, those are minor.

Glaring would be "there is only one recipe that gets you from 410 to 420 cooking and the mob that drops the ingredient needed for it only exists in one location in the world, one at a time".

Fretting over your achievement e-peen is minor.

Re:Glaring holes? (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036901)

You are wrong. You need to cook 45 out of 50 recipes, 46 of which are possible to learn right now.

No, it won't be easy, specially if you need to use your cooking awards to buy spice and cook raid food, but it is entirely possible. Much more easier, I have to say, than getting the fishing one, where you need to win the weekly tournament (yeah, I've got all the coins already, as have many others).

Also, regarding cooking, those feasts you can cook now are simply wonderful, and worth every moment I spent leveling up my cooking skill. Drop a single feast and boom, all your raid is buffed. It is also worth mentioning that pretty much all the "buff foods" now give a nice (30 or 40) stamina bonus.

Re:Glaring holes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26037073)

There are currently 4 cooking recipes missing. They are unobtainable, yet they are required for the Northrend Gourment achievement in which you need to cook 45 of the 46 Northrend recipes. Additionally, you need at least 1 of those recipes to learn 160 recipes for an achievement.

Those are some pretty glaring holes right there, considering they're prerequisites for other things.

lol, who the hell cooks?

Re:Glaring holes? (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036635)

I can see one hole in leatherworking, which is rather annoying. The set items which I make are usually replaced at a rate faster than they can be used.

For example, early in the new content a leatherworker can create several different leather and mail sets. In order for a character to use all of the pieces of those sets, he needs to be level 74 (Example: Iceborne Helm [wowhead.com] ). By that level, you have probably already spent some time in instances and hopefully won a few gear drops, which replace those set pieces. It's quite possible to be putting together such a set, only to have a piece, which you can't even wear yet, already outclassed by something you picked up off a boss, which you can wear.

It's not that I would want to see the drops get nerfed, but it would be nice for those set items to become usable sooner. Granted, this is not a new problem to WotLK, but it is still a problem which would be nice to see addressed.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036139)

You mean things such as the Discipline and Elemental spec trees for Priests and Shamans, respectively? Ya, there are these holes all over. Enhancement shamans, Holy Priests, others all have major problems.

glaring ambiguity in your post (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036777)

what are the 'glaring holes' in professions ? holes for what ?

the fact that there are now scrolls that enchanters can scribe their enchants into and just put them on ah, instead of peddling their service from trade channel like monkeys and going around trying to enchant people ?

or the fact that gems now actually make considerable difference ?

what ?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036945)

Most of the crafting professions are not finished yet. The max skill level is 450. Most crafting professions don't have recipes/plans/etc. that require 450 yet. They will be added to in the upcoming content patches, along with new raid encounters. I am an alchemist and they have yet to add any quality epic trinkets.

Its called Wrath of the Lich King and you can't yet fight him!

Of all the zones they had to mention, they missed (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035781)

Icecrown. Which is Mordor under ice. Even has an eye, though with the new phase system you do remove it from existence in your copy. Still I got the distinct impression of Mordor from the archietecture. Throw in the cinematic from Wrath Gate quest line and this area just screams Lord of the Rings, but with dragons. The cinematic even does a good Sauron like view from over shoulder view for when the Lich King first appears. Instead of a ring its a sword this time. Still impressive.

The areas are much larger feeling than before, if anything it encourages you to spend time flying through the zones when you can just so you don't miss out on any of it.

The only real problem, no one developer can keep up with players anymore. It simply isn't possible. Players are too organized and will make sacrifices the developers cannot cope with. Instead the game has to be aimed at the casual. However with this expansion and the race to 80 it seems they either expect to have one expansion per year or have a lot of raid content waiting in the wings.

My review (-1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035843)

If you buy it, your head will swell to seven times its normal size. Your girlfriend will leave you and shack up with a rottweiler. The rottweiler will bite you in your swollen head, which will burst, showing your WOW machine with cursed pustulent ichor. The ensuing fire will kill you, the dog, your ex-girlfriend, and an entire troop of golden haired girl scouts trying to sell you cookies. Also, your corpse will posthumously contract cancer of the ass.

Add yet, even knowing this, every last single solitary WOW player on the face of the planet earth has already bought it.

Re:My review (1)

Kukui23 (1416701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036207)

Not me... still on the original.

Re:My review (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036793)

If you buy it, your head will swell to seven times its normal size. Your girlfriend will leave you and shack up with a rottweiler. The rottweiler will bite you in your swollen head, which will burst, showing your WOW machine with cursed pustulent ichor. The ensuing fire will kill you, the dog, your ex-girlfriend, and an entire troop of golden haired girl scouts trying to sell you cookies. Also, your corpse will posthumously contract cancer of the ass.

Add yet, even knowing this, every last single solitary WOW player on the face of the planet earth has already bought it.

But will I make it to 80 before that happens?

I tried WoW this weekend (2, Informative)

BitHive (578094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035883)

Anyone who plays for more than a month is insane. Grind, grind, grind, don't tell me it's not. Even my friends with level 70 accounts just grind all night. And pay for the privilege.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (0, Troll)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035991)

I agree to some extent, but we're talking about people that aren't very discriminating here. MMO's in my view are a lot religions, they attract the mediocre and the superficial. One of the reasons WoW is so popular is because it doesn't require traditional more difficult gaming skills. MMO's are glorified chat interfaces babysitting what amounts to an autonomous robot most of the time.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (4, Insightful)

frostband (970712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036785)

I think people stay in MMOs for the social aspect of it. You made it sound like a bad thing by saying it's a "glorified chat" but really, it's chat where the people have a defined goal or objective. So they can talk about whatever including the game and their objectives in the game. I agree though if the objective is always the same, it can get boring, but that's when talking about different things comes in to play to break the monotony.

I don't play WoW, but I do play other games (TF2, L4D, WAR, ...) with "online friends" and I've been friends with these guys for over a year because we talk to each other in ventrilo about all types of stuff. I would have stopped playing TF2 a long time ago if it wasn't for chatting with these other people.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (4, Insightful)

MetalPhalanx (1044938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037033)

Ummm that is spoken by someone who has either never played, or never played any of the higher end content when it was fresh (as eventually Blizz nerfs the difficulty to allow more casual players to advance).

Let me guess... by "traditional more difficult gaming skills" you mean twitch reaction FPS reflexes. If you don't, then I'm all ears waiting to hear your definition of difficult gaming skills.

Go read up on the boss strategy of say... Heroic Violet Hold or 10-man Naxxramas and then talk about how simple it is. Or better yet, if you can, find a friend that plays, borrow their account, and then watch how fast you get laughed out of the raid. After all, if it's that simple, shouldn't you be able to pick it up in a few minutes?

While WoW is a time sink and does allow a lot for the casual player, there is a fairly large niche for the higher end gamer.

Oh and as far as PvP goes, explain to me how a duel between two classes that can take upwards of two minutes, where positioning is important, using over 20 abilities each (that can't just be spammed, you need to react with those abilities) is simple? How is that any more simple than an FPS game where you have two (or maybe more) weapons with a simple point and click interface?

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (1)

truesaer (135079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037123)

It could be worse, apparently games that require more skill attract the intolerable, the arrogant, and the generally douchey.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26037131)

Slashdot posters in my view are a lot religions, they attract the mediocre and the superficial. One of the reasons Slashdot posting is so popular is because it doesn't require traditional more difficult gaming skills. Slashdot is a glorified chat interface babysitting what amounts to an autonomous robot most of the time.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036031)

The problem with a lot of MMOs is that you need to grind to get anything good (like in life). Otherwise why play if everything is just handed to you? The changes that Blizzard has made makes it easier for casual players (a few hours a week) to get the better stuff. It's still a grind but doesn't require as much as it used to.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (4, Insightful)

ender81b (520454) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036395)

Anyone who plays game X is insane because all you do is hit buttons Y all night long!

Just don't play it if you don't like it.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (2, Insightful)

RocketScientist (15198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036605)

Really? Grind?

Huh.

I've got one level 80 character and I don't remember any grinding. I remember repeating *one* set of daily quests to get a faction, and the rest was doing quests. And while there are some "go kill 10 bears" quests, there are a lot of "take this hippogryph and fly over the besieged town and pick up civilians and bring them back here". Or "here, take this harpoon, go up to this arena that's a thousand feet in the air, and use the harpoon to latch onto another hippogryph, swing up to it, defeat the rider on the hippogryph, and then swing to the next. Oh, and don't fall off it's a long way down."

The depth and breadth of quests and quest types is just amazing. And even the daily quests have a huge variety to them. It's a grind when I have to go kill a thousand mobs. It's not a grind when I have this many choices and I can mix and match them up to keep fresh.

I remember grinding for recipe drops, and those are gone now. There are very few recipes that drop for crafters, and the ones that do aren't necessary nor do they particularly sell well.

I remember grinding for reputation, and that's nearly gone now. I've repeated exactly one set of daily quests, and that's hardly a grind, and I got a really darn cool sword.

I remember grinding for cash way back when, but I finished up level 80 with 2,000 gold earned and sitting in the bank. Sure if I want a mammoth mount I've got some grinding ahead of me, but who has the time for that. My raiding budget is going to be a few hundred gold a week, but raid bosses are dropping huge amounts of money now (140g per boss in Naxxramas, so 14g per peson) which allays a lot of those costs.

Besides expenses (consumables, repairs) all of the stuff that money buys is either cosmetic (new mounts, which have no more speed or abilities than old mounts) or easily replaced by playing the other parts of the game.

They've even made grinding for gear if not an obsolete concept a really flexible one. It's hard to believe in a grind when I can do daily quests, do any of the level 80 instances in either heroic or normal mode, or go do a 10-man raid, or any combination, to get the gear I want.

Yeah, I'm not seeing any grind here really.

mod parent insightful (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036997)

for i second the experience. please mod stuff that give out solid information than ambiguous opinion, up.

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (0, Offtopic)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036607)

I was just watching gameplay footage from Lord of the Rings Online. Combat doesn't seem to have changed an inkling from Everquest -- your party surrounds a single mob, and you all stand around swinging weapons. BIP! Arrg! BOOM! Arrg! BAF! Arrg!

I just started playing Left 4 Dead which puts the excitement back into combat -- if a developer could convert that style of combat to a fantasy MMO, they'd be a lot more fun.

(In fact, I consider Zombie Horde rushes to be similar to Aragorn's taking on the orcs at the end of Fellowship...seemingly overwhelming odds but, dammit, you're a hero!)

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036653)

Yea, but we get to grind while chatting with old friends and making new friends along the way.

Otherwise, I wouldn't need to be online.

Maybe you are looking at it the wrong way...

Re:I tried WoW this weekend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036815)

As an honest question, what MMO would you recommend in it's stead?

WHICH grind ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036839)

if you are still SOMEHOW grinding instead of questing (for whatever godforsaken reason) in Northrend with a level 70 character,

you shouldnt be playing any games. really. you dont have the cognitive power to correctly interface with a game ...

but what you said, which is contrary to EVERY single wow player i have been about and talked with, tells me that you are probably a shill or a fanboi, and dont know zit regarding what you are talking about.

Bought it, renewed and then... (3, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035959)

... I'm not going for a second month. It's nice and all, but there's not enough change for me to feel less burnt out. Maybe in another few months. By then I'm going to have to deal with being very far behind everybody in terms of levels and progress. Bah.

Maybe I should just start a toon in the Hello Kitty MMO.

Re:Bought it, renewed and then... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036033)

Maybe I should just start a toon in the Hello Kitty MMO.

At least there you'll be accepted for wanting to play casually.

Re:Bought it, renewed and then... (4, Funny)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036453)

You seem to have an odd notion of tween girls. Hello kitty is going the most hardcore mmo ever seen on the face of the planet. If your friends list isn't longer then the yellow pages and you don't have every one of the latest nick-nacks to decorate your kitty house you might as well be dead.

Re:Bought it, renewed and then... (2, Informative)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037047)

Try Eve Online. It's space-based, but no level grind at all, and you never fall behind your friends. Skills are time based, you set the skill you want to train, and you learn it, whether you're playing or not. I wish there were a decent fantasy or other non-spaceship game that did the same.

What is the attraction? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036071)

As a non-fan, can I ask WoW fans: what is the attraction? Why do you spend all those hours playing it?

Genuine question BTW.

Re:What is the attraction? (1)

illeism (953119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036229)

Why does anyone do anything for hours on end...

because they enjoy it... simple answer

Re:What is the attraction? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037071)

Yep, that's why I'm at work.

Re:What is the attraction? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036627)

agreed. why pay monthly to do the same quests over and over again? why not read a book or get some exercise.

Because its like (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036889)

LIVING in a book. which, you cant do with books without spending considerable amounts of imagination.

Re:What is the attraction? (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036831)

Do read fiction, watch movies or TV?
If the answer to any of those questions is 'yes', turn the question you asked back around on yourself and find the answer, once you do, you will hopefully understand why I sink several hours a week into WoW.

All entertainment is escapism. You can sit here and pontificate about the "benefits" of your chosen version of it, but in the end it's just escapism. Your version may be escaping into a fake story written on paper, or a fake story played out for you by actors in front of a camera. You might even find your escape from the world in playing a musical instrument. But, unless you are making a living at it, it is still just escapism.

For some reason humans seem to have a need to break away for a while and play. To let their mind relax and just do something because they enjoy doing it. Doing so is beneficial in a lot of ways. What each of us find relaxing and enjoyable varies from person to person, and trying to explain why I like something is about as useful as trying to nail jello to a wall.

I enjoy exploring the world, reading the stories and the social interaction. Why? Fuck me if I know, it's just what I like. Same reason I like blue, I guess.

Re:What is the attraction? (1)

skrolle2 (844387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037039)

If I weren't playing WoW, I'd simply be playing some other computer game, it's just that WoW is a really, really good game.

I've played a lot of RPGs over the years, and WoW is actually better than most single-player ones, and is a MMO on top of that.

I stopped playing over a year ago, but returned now for the expansion. Really, really worth it. Will see how long I'll keep on playing this time. :)

Re:What is the attraction? (1)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037129)

Why watch TV? Why go to movies? Why read books? Why build model cars? Why knit scarves?

I understand your question, and don't sense any hostility or sarcasm, so please know that I'm not trying to attack you or anything :)

What I'm trying to say is that, like any other time-pass or hobby, it's something to do that's entertaining/engaging. I myself play WoW very casually (a couple hours at a time, a few times a week) during time that would otherwise be spent watching reruns, playing Bejeweled, and other brainless "downtime" activities.

A vast majority of people who play MMOs like WoW don't actually play for hours & hours on end...instead, they treat their online games the way others treat playing their Xbox, or playing solitaire, or watching reruns on TV: something entertaining to do between keeping up with responsibilities & relationships.

If you think of WoW less like shooting heroin and more like drinking beer, it becomes more understandable: WoW is not an addictive life-destroyer, it's just a pleasurable activity that most do in moderation. A very small minority, however, go overboard & let it destroy their lives.

Horrible....customer service...on WOTLK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036143)

...so I had a wow-account, at the worldofwarcraft.com site.
...so I played it in 2006, the original, paid for it too.
...so I got a mail from Blizzard to engage in the trial of WOTLK.
...so I entered, and decided I liked the game...

Tried buying it online, but that wasn't possible : I am from Europe. Although it was possible to buy a subscription through PayPal online...

Tried mailing customer service: sent me back 6 (no kidding...) standard replies concerning the fact that I can't play WoW from Europe on US servers - even the fact that I bought the game and played it in the past on the US server was not helping.

So I took my stuff and evacuated to a private server. Blizzard has horrible customer service, and they are going to lose customers over it (or are already experiencing that fact...).

Re:Horrible....customer service...on WOTLK (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036417)

the fact that I can't play WoW from Europe on US servers

Wow, what internet is Blizzard using? I don't think it's the same one we have all learned to love.

Re:Horrible....customer service...on WOTLK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036707)

There are sites that fill this gap, you can buy us or eu versions online from them and play from where ever you want. Blizzard itself however will not sell you a version from another region than the one you are in. Yes it is stupid but I imagine they are trying to reduce the amount of international traffic generated.

My thoughts... (4, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036145)

The game world outside of dungeons is awesome. There's all kinds of quests and activities to get lost in messing around with. I had a goal when this came out and that was to do every quest I could find for the expansion outside of dungeons in the new zones.

After reaching that goal I realize that the dungeons themselves are too simplistic for my taste. Honestly I loved the long quest lines involved with going in and out of old dungeons like BRD, UBRS, etc. Now they feel more like a 5 minute ride at the amusement park. Just not fun anymore.

So yeah, the game world itself in the new continent is really well put together. The dungeons feel not really as involving as the older ones were, almost unfinished because when I'm done with a run I'm like, "That's it???"

Anonymous Coward (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036231)

>As we discussed previously, the current raids have been conquered already, but unless you're willing to devote many, many hours to playing the game, reaching the end of the content before more is released won't be an issue for you.

I beg to differ. My guild is made up of full time job workers, who took time to level up to 80 instead of just staying on 24x7. We set up an appropriate time to do our first raid based on when 25 people would have reached 80...and we're done with everything in the game at this point.

While I agree the expansion has some fantastic art (as always with Blizzard) and various interesting game mechanics much as you describe here, for my group of friends who consider themselves middle-of-the-road in terms of how "hardcore" we are, this expansion is far FAR too easy.

(By "done" I mean we have killed all 25 man and 10 man instances - we did not have time to get around to a second run on Sarth in the more difficult mode, because last week was the first week we raided). We've also killed all the city world bosses. So now there is nothing new for us to do in the game, already. It's very disappointing.

Only one thing to say... (0, Offtopic)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036239)

... WAAAaaaaaaaaGHHH!!!!! :P

Re:Only one thing to say... (1)

Skafian (671879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036397)

Wrong game? There's no Dakka here.

ending the grind is easy!! (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036435)

Kill other players! Ain't no other way baby.!

Re:ending the grind is easy!! (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036881)

Kill other players! Ain't no other way baby.!

And gain experince by doing so.....oh wait Warhammer does that not WOW.

Im an insatiable bastard, and even i have to admit (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036477)

it IS fun.

they really removed the grind shit from the game. they made quests easy, but MANY. quests are so well devised and written in many story backgrounds that merge in a big backdrop. they just make you continue, follow the questline and see more and more. its like an interactive movie in which you can modify your own character and do things your way. but the difference is, there is nothing stopping you from watching this movie undisrupted -> no 'extreme tough' quests that you will need to set up a full fledged group, no annoying long grind quest that will take your attention from the story going on etc.

design ? visuals ? breathtaking.

they have apparently noticed that you dont need to lower yourself down to 'scratch, crappy, punk-cartoonish drawings' level because you dont want to put forth a humongous graphics card requirement -> they went the art route, and designed and made the environments so artful, so pictoresque that you foten stop by to look around. i even loitered around the river that is in between howling fjord and winterspring zones -> considering im half powergamer, it is a feat that a game environment made me do that. another pointer is, the fact that this time i care about the zone names, their geography and remember them -> previously i didnt give a crap, just another zone to go by, i would say.

it is clearly a labor of love. these people sat down and apparently wrote a complete novel for this expansion. wintergrasp is just one of the many zones, and wyrmrest dragon temple and its quests/story is just 1/4th of that zone, but even wyrmrest temple has as many story, action, quests as 2 burning crusade zones combined. vanilla wow ? dipshit, compared to WotLK. tbc now looks like a long torture in distant past.

i've been playing wow for its pvp system for a long time. it has unmatched 40 vs 40 battlegrounds that take only 3 seconds to get in and hop into action. i didnt care about rest of the game, because story was lacking for my taste. but now, im actually going to embark on the instancing/raiding thing, because apparently it HAS become fun this time. hell, azjul-nerub instance, which is an instance you merely pass while leveling from 70 to 80 at level 73, stupefied me. i cant even tell about how it is, it is that out of the ordinary. huge vertical caverns woven by spider webs, giant spiders of various types, stuff going on around you without your intervention or participation -> it feels not only alive but stupefying.

yes. this shit IS good this time. so that even trolls have shut their mouths up in wow forums, and the ones that are there are complaining about its and bits only, like 'vanilla wow content is abandoned now' -> which noone gives a damn about.

get it. play it. its good. even if wow had annoyed you with its shitty story (compared to my kotor taste) and in the huge grind torture in the past 3 years, this expansion will totally redeem all of that, and give lots of smooth flowing gaming fun.

Re:Im an insatiable bastard, and even i have to ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036661)

considering im half powergamer

Is that some sort of "uber-geek, made up from the parts of lesser geeks?"

Re:Im an insatiable bastard, and even i have to ad (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036939)

its a former powergamer, who has played so many games that now looks to other aspects of a game.

but a question does spring to mind - why post anonymous ?

Same old (1, Interesting)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036557)

I've been playing for 3 years now, and it's still basically the same deal. Grind to 80 and then raid.

Don't get me wrong, I love the game, but it's still just a content patch. Sure, new spells, some of the stats and mechanics are different, but it's still the same game. Also, for those saying 'I played wow for a day and it's a big grind', you're missing the whole point of the game. It's meant to be a SOCIAL game. Get to 80 and join a guild, raid for a while, and you'll see what the game is intended to be. The teamwork aspect is pretty cool.

I give WoW 10/10, WotLK 7/10.

Or just wait it out if you like to PvP... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036571)

Darkfall Online will be released January 22nd :)

I couldn't keep up with WOW, too much treadmill stuff, too much time investment to raid, etc... it was fun, I just didn't have the time and besides -- being without a good guild meant I never got the good stuff in raids because it was hard to raid over and over. And getting in good guilds is hard as it is.

PvP for me, Darkfall hopefully will address that. I can pick it up, play, and turn it off. I know it can get more detailed but from what I've read, I don't *have* to be involved to enjoy it, since there's no uber magic lewt that I have to 'raid' for to get. :)

Aw, man... (-1, Troll)

keithburgun (1001684) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036585)

I kinda pictured the Slashdot community as being above this slot machine of a game. =[

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26036665)

If you play the game long enough you'll see some detractors.

Specifically, grinds are not gone. Profession-maxing is harder than ever, and in a few cases you must grind daily quests to get tokens to buy recipes; rather than just learn them or buy them from vendors, you are limited by time AND how much you play.

They also simplified a few faction grinds, but several factions are not grindable (still have to grind 80/heroic instances to gain reputation with them anyway), and one in particular, the Sons of Hodir which give you your new shoulder enchants, are another time-intensive daily grind that takes about a month to cap.

They also introduced a lot of ridiculous gold sinks that weren't necessary given the difficulty of leveling professions and the new benefits associated with crafting skills. There were already dozens of mounts to buy and lots of alts to fund.

While the content itself is very good (far more cohesive and well-executed than the last expansion or even the original game), and the new phasing system is outstanding, the direction of the game is still catering to casuals while offering achievements (think xbox 360) to placate "hardcore" players. While you do spend less time raiding, you don't spend any less time grinding dailies and instances outside of that. Wintergrasp (the new world PvP zone) must be frequently attended-to, which is another big timesink.

It's not quite accurate to say WotLK is a more casual version of WoW; it's more that the game is just much easier. Casual players must still put in the same number of hours as the formerly hardcore raiders in order to get their reputations and gear up to par.

It's also worth noting that the only large raid instance in the expansion was completely re-used from the original WoW; even the tier 7 pieces are slightly remodeled tier 3. The raid content is very disappointing (speaking as someone who's beaten "hard-mode" Sartharion), but the out-of-raid content, daily grinds and faction grinds aside, is outstanding.

Music (4, Interesting)

Khomar (529552) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036727)

I was kind of surprised that there was no mention of the soundtrack for the expansion. From what I have heard, it is absolutely amazing and really adds to the feel of the various zones.

Here are a couple examples:

Totems of the Grizzlemaw [youtube.com]

Arthas, My Son [youtube.com]

Raising the Bar (1)

RocketScientist (15198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036937)

Over the last year, I've played Warhammer: Age of Reckoning and Age of Conan.

I really feel sorry for both of them.

The bar's a bit higher now. The sheer variety of quest types now in WoW is just ludicrous. They put in a medevac quest.

Just mull over that a second. A fantasy MMO with a medevac quest. Fly in, pick up people in a siege zone, and fly them out.

And yes, it was awesome.

Quest lines where they basically give you invincible superpowers just so you can see the lore happen. The implementation of phasing really made me feel like I was part of what was going on and I was changing things in the game.

This is such a huge turnaround for Blizzard, who put all of the big lore-presentation bosses at the back of huge hardcore instances for so long. If you quest up through the game, you'll see Arthas, the Lich King, at least 4 times, and each time he's doing *something* that directly impacts *you*.

The shortfalls, however.

Crafting, except for jewelcrafting, is completely borked. Jewelcrafting has a lot of great self-buffs and very powerful things that can only be used by jewelcrafters. Other professions have very little, and my blacksmith has no reason to level over 415 (out of 450) in that skill.

Wintergrasp (the world pvp zone) needs some help. In order to balance the force, if one side is vastly outnumbered they get a stacking buff to their hit points, damage, and healing to compensate. This really means that the alliance on my server are basically fighting 10-man raid boss-level horde in PvP. It's not fun. They really need to fix the factions so we can temporarily swap to the other side or something. The horde is not much of a horde when they're outnumbered 10-1.

Certain class balance issues are still present, but not extreme. Warlocks are still an extremely fussy class to play, as opposed to other classes that rotate abilities or chain chance-on-hit abilities into combos, Warlocks basically stare at a set of timers and recast spells on a non-fixed rotation. Not fun.

All in all, they far exceeded my high expectations, for everything from content quality to quality of service. The servers haven't been perfect, but they also weren't the utter crapfest they were when Burning Crusade launched.

How bout them abomination chains? (1)

jbacon (1327727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26036953)

This is my one gripe. The new chains that the NPC abominations get that can reach thousands of yards in any direction, and hurl you backward into a group of mobs you've just run though, who then proceed to stomp your face.

I haven't been torn off my flying mount yet, but I figure it's just a matter of time.

better than "The Burning Crusade" (1)

fadir (522518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037009)

Blizzard avoided many mistakes that they made in their first expansion, involved the player much more into the story and added an awesome class.

The death knight quest chain alone is better than any quest chain in the original WoW and TBC - awesome!
Gladly it's not the only cool quest chain and I'm not even Level 80 yet (takes a little longer to go from 55 to 80).

Additionally they upgraded the graphics quite some.

My rating: 9/10

Hrm.... (0, Troll)

$1uck (710826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26037083)

I haven't played an MMORPG in over 6 years (played EQ on a pvp server for about 18 months before getting out with my life intact). A lot of the things listed above as innovative and new were in the original EQ (eg "arena challenges" with increasingly more difficult oponents, zones that were in "phases"). I'm just suprised such things are touted as "new."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?