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World of Warcraft 3.1 Patch Brings Dual-Specs, New Raid

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the and-swimming-bears dept.

Role Playing (Games) 204

On Tuesday Blizzard rolled out the first major content patch for World of Warcraft since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King last November. The 3.1 patch includes the long-awaited dual-specialization feature, which allows players to quickly and easily switch from one set of talent choices to another. Action bars and glyph choices change as well. The patch also includes a new end-game raid dungeon, Ulduar, which expands upon the variable difficulty modes Blizzard has recently experimented with. The instance contains 14 bosses, 10 of which have an optional "hard mode" that players can attempt for better rewards. In addition, the patch contains a host of class balance changes, bug fixes, and UI improvements. You can see the full patch notes at Blizzard's website, and a brief trailer is also available.

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Exams (5, Funny)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | about 5 years ago | (#27582835)

This is certainly going to have an adverse affect on exam scores around the world.

Re:Exams (1, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27583151)

I don't know how to put this without almost certainly burning Karma.... but IMO someone who needs this patch, who respecs often enough that 1000 gold for the "right" to have two specs is actually valuable, not to mention having 1000 gold lying around, ... do you think his exam scores will be affected in any way? Can you spend less than zero time learning?

Re:Exams (5, Informative)

Jack9 (11421) | about 5 years ago | (#27583279)

To start, you net about 700 gold in the level from 70 to 80. If you're careful, much more.

Fundamentally, MMORPGs that use a DIKU archetype system (classes) find an overabundance of damage dealers and few tanks; even fewer healers. It's easy enough to note that leveling up / grinding for money / pvp rank / whatever (DIKU style) you need damage, making the classes capable of tanking/healing even more sparse as they min/max toward the damage specs. This is a nightmare for developers who have to try to balance that system. I'd say dual speccing is useful for just under half the wow population and really makes the non-damage dealing classes much much more attractive as there is now true flexibility, guaranteeing more $$$. From a player perspective, it's a win. From the developer's perspective, it's a win. From the publisher's perspective, it's a win.

Re:Exams (2, Insightful)

adunstan (1409073) | about 5 years ago | (#27583605)

What about for a new player? Someone that would probably get a lot of use out of this. I know that it was hard for me when I joined WoW just as the 2nd expansion was released. Starting as a Priest at level 1 when there is hardly anyone around your level forcing you to solo most of the time and making it almost impossible to find a group for low level raids is not easy.

Having this dual-spec system would make it a lot easier for a low level first time player to solo, especially for the low damage classes. It would mean they could easily switch between for example a healer priest for the rare chances they did get in a group/raid and shadow priest for solo.

I quit WoW when I got to level 65, I started getting bored of having to go days waiting for a decent group for an instance. It very much felt like to me, that Blizzard didn't care about new players, they already have enough regular subscribers to keep them going.

Also, I didn't have 1000g available at the time I quit, so even now, I wouldn't be able to use this.

Re:Exams (3, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 years ago | (#27584259)

1. Getting from 1-80 without instances is not hard at all.
2. Blizzard made it easier to get from 1-60 (I think), by reducing the exp required per level.
3. Instances are a boring way to level up, compared to questing.
4. There's more quests in the game than it takes to get leveled up. For example, you could easily hit level 70 in Outlands after doing Hellfire, Zangarmarsh, Terrokar Forest, Nagrand, and a little bit of Blades Edge Mountains. That leaves the rest of Blades Edge Mountains, Shadowmoon Valley, and Netherstorm to get quests where you got more gold rewards for quests. In Northrend you could hit 80 easily by the time you've done Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Zul'drak, Scholazar Basin, and if you're a bit unlucky a little in Storm Peaks. Either way you'll have most of Storm Peaks and all of Icecrown to get gold from quests.
5. Lv60 and Lv70 raids aren't done frequently. The people that do them frequently either do them with a small elite group of players because they're looking for specific stuff (Elementium Ore from BWL, Bindings from MC), or they do it with high level characters because they don't want to be carrying people.
6. Instances are fine to find, the problem is that some instances are quicker and have better equipment and people generally drift towards those instances. You can almost always find Scarlet Monestary groups horde side, but trying to find a group for Sunken Temple or Blackfathom Depths is near impossible.
7. If you were a low level when BC started there should have been numerous new low level characters, tons of Draenei alliance side and a tons of blood elves horde side. I smell BS there.

Re:Exams (0, Redundant)

adunstan (1409073) | about 5 years ago | (#27584389)

1. Getting from 1-80 without instances is not hard at all.

No, but it is very tedious and time consuming.

2. Blizzard made it easier to get from 1-60 (I think), by reducing the exp required per level.

Yes, they did.

3. Instances are a boring way to level up, compared to questing.

They are a good way to have fun in a group though.

6. Instances are fine to find, the problem is that some instances are quicker and have better equipment and people generally drift towards those instances. You can almost always find Scarlet Monestary groups horde side, but trying to find a group for Sunken Temple or Blackfathom Depths is near impossible.

Sorry, but this just wasn't my experience at all. I almost always gave up looking for groups to BFD, SM, or any of the 55-65 instances.

7. If you were a low level when BC started there should have been numerous new low level characters, tons of Draenei alliance side and a tons of blood elves horde side. I smell BS there.

Not in the server I was in (Dragonblight btw). I didn't particularly find the game difficult to level up, or play. I found it difficult to have fun with a group and found it to mostly be a single player game. Perhaps I was in the wrong server, or wrong side, or got unlucky? All I know is that there weren't many new players around. I did try advertising that I was looking for a guild and did get a few nice messages from some level 70s saying it's nice to have new players for a change (even they notice the lack of newbies) but that their guild was for level 70s only, and wished me good luck with my hunt, managed to try out a few guilds but none were particularly active enough for me.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed the game so if you are getting defensive there is no need. I just felt I could have got more out of it had the group experience been more fulfilling.

Re:Exams (2, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 5 years ago | (#27584979)

I dunno what GP was talking about on the "tons of low level Draenei and Blood Elves running around". I think he though you meant you started just after BC was released, not WotLK. Having said that, it seem like you were on the wrong server. if you decide to give it another shot, try Thorium Brotherhood. We're a fairly old server, but with only a moderate population. On the disadvantage side, our economy kind of sucks on the low end, and gear for low to mid levels is expensive, and we're not great raiders (only a few guild ever finished Black Temple or Sunwell Plateau). On the nice side, most guild are willing to recruit young and help you out with leveling, and lots of people have multiple alts and there's usually groups to be had for low level instances with only moderate effort. I'm leveling a druid right now and she's done a couple 20s-30s instances.

Re:Exams (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 5 years ago | (#27584823)

What about for a new player? Someone that would probably get a lot of use out of this. I know that it was hard for me when I joined WoW just as the 2nd expansion was released. Starting as a Priest at level 1 when there is hardly anyone around your level forcing you to solo most of the time and making it almost impossible to find a group for low level raids is not easy.

Starting out new at level 1, right after an expansion is released, is difficult no matter what. Everyone's playing in the new content, nobody wants to go do any of the old stuff.

Having this dual-spec system would make it a lot easier for a low level first time player to solo, especially for the low damage classes. It would mean they could easily switch between for example a healer priest for the rare chances they did get in a group/raid and shadow priest for solo.

No it wouldn't.

The first several re-specs are dirt cheap compared to this. There's absolutely no reason you'd want to save up the 1,000 gold for dual-specs on a character before you got to the endgame content. And even then I'd argue that it doesn't make sense unless you are actually re-specing fairly often.

I quit WoW when I got to level 65, I started getting bored of having to go days waiting for a decent group for an instance. It very much felt like to me, that Blizzard didn't care about new players, they already have enough regular subscribers to keep them going.

They've dramatically decreased the time and effort it takes to get to the endgame content these days. It is amazingly quick and easy to get to 70 and start playing around out in Northrend. Especially with the whole "recruit a friend" thing. I've seen folks in guildchat get 10 levels in a matter of minutes.

Also, I didn't have 1000g available at the time I quit, so even now, I wouldn't be able to use this.

1000g is nothing. I made that and more without even trying on the way from 60-70. And I again made that and more without even trying on the way from 70-80. Throw in some heroic dungeons, a raid or two, some daily quests... You could have 1000g in less than a week.

Re:Exams (2, Informative)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 5 years ago | (#27584897)

On the other hand "spec" is of almost negligible importance until level 45 or so and only becomes really critical as you approach end game. I have personally healed instances as far as the Scarlet Monastery with a DPS spec Shaman, and I've run with non-spec healers in even early Outland instances. Being the proper spec helps of course, but it's not nearly as big a deal as gear is until later. I remember running Ragefire Chasm (The mini-instance in Orgrimmar for 13-15th levels) once and someone asked me if I was a "speced" healer. I was level 14, I'd spent a grand total of 5 talent points... Does it matter?

(For the uninitiated, you get 1 talent point per level from 10 on in WoW. A level 80 therefore has 71 points to spend. This can make a huge difference to how you play and what you are capable of. Lower level characters have many fewer points and are therefore getting less of an advantage from them, but conversely have greater flexibility because they are less specialized.)

Re:Exams (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 5 years ago | (#27584415)

Shame they needed 4(?) years to understand it.

Now can they do something about FPS. Playing at 20-30FPS on modern hardware ain't fun.

Re:Exams (2, Interesting)

Schadrach (1042952) | about 5 years ago | (#27584927)

The issue I see coming is that the classes who can only act as a damage dealer are also generally the ones with the least powerful buffs/debuffs. When you have to choose between dealing X damage with Y buffs on a character or dealing 0.95*X damage, with Y++ buffs, and the ability to also act as a healer or tank by standing out of combat for 5 seconds, how do you make the classes that lack the flexibility of having the option to tank or heal worthwhile as a choice? WoW had already seen some of that, when looking at census values and doing the math, something like 15% (beyond what would be assumed as an even split of players going to DK) of those playing damage-only classes switched *BEFORE* making switching roles as simple as being out of combat for 5 seconds.

Re:Exams (2, Informative)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | about 5 years ago | (#27583289)

1) 1000g isn't exactly a lot of money any more.
2) The dual spec addition isn't for respec freaks. It's for people that don't like sitting around waiting on a healer or tank for a group, or that want to take their healer or tank out solo to do some dailies and not have it take all damn day to kill something.
3) Some of us aren't total losers, ya know. My GPA for the last two years of grad school is 3.7. I'm not the only person in my classes that plays WoW, either.

Re:Exams (3, Interesting)

thriemus (514728) | about 5 years ago | (#27583457)

I have spent over well over 3000 gold on each of my two lvl 80 chars respeccing from PvE to PvP and vice versa. 1000 gold is nothing in game now. The reason dual spec is nice is this:

PvE - 2 different specs in raid without having to hearth and get summoned back (Sunwell anyone?)

PvE & PvP - People who play both do not need to respec every day now.

This current patch not only addresses the need for new content but is also providing some much needed class balance in abilities.

The reason that we are only getting one new instance is because of the sheer amount of development that Blizzard are now putting into new content. They have to design encounters for 10 & 25 man raids, then within each of those they have to design and balance easy and sometimes multiple levels of difficulty. Think of OS 10 / 25 with 0,1,2,3 drakes alive. There are 8 different ways to killing one boss. I would rather see 1 well designed instance than 3 instances with no real thought put in. With the new hard modes all raiders can see new content, lower guilds can kill bosses but it takes very capable guilds to kill bosses on the hardest mode, giving the best loot.

Sorry, I play WoW, quite a bit, however I play in one of the top 100 guilds in Europe so at least I am a capable no lifer ;P

Re:Exams (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 5 years ago | (#27584181)

I play casually, I am swimming in gold. Gold at 80 is like air. It's hard *not* to make a fortune really quickly.

Re:Exams (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 5 years ago | (#27585361)

The biggest advantage of this is not being pigeon-holed into a specific role during a raid. The game is involved enough that even a specific purpose character can benefit from having specializations for different types of encounters (physical vs magic damage or multi-target vs single-target healing, for example). Having said, the games staff is still an obnoxious collection of sob's. So any entertainment value that the game itself provides is offset too much by the pain that Blizzard staff can cause due to their half-ass arbitrary and capricious decisions on whether certain standard game behaviors violate terms of service. If you add in the fact that the game actively hones addiction (by encouraging daily logins with daily quests and 20 hour cool downs on crafting abilities), you'll quickly realize that no matter what content they create, the game is not worth it.

Re:Exams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27584331)

Not being pedantic here (ok, maybe a little), but

As a verb affect means "to act on" or "to move" (His words affected the crowd so deeply that many wept); affect means "to pretend" or "to assume" (new students affecting a nonchalance they didn't feel). The verb effect means "to bring about, accomplish": Her administration effected radical changes. The noun effect means "result, consequence": the serious effects of the oil spill. The noun affect pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, is a technical term in psychology and psychiatry. Affect is not used as a noun.

from Dictionary.com [reference.com]

I guess you meant "effect", since there is a causation-consequence relation.

Re:Exams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27584483)

This is certainly going to have an adverse affect on exam scores around the world.

I deleted 4 lvl 80 toons and dumped my WOW account two months ago. Nice to have my life back. The time drain that WOW puts on a person is astonishing. The pursuit of gold, gear and epics is a GIANT waste of time. Ultimately what do you get? NADA.

Eh, I already quit (1)

linzeal (197905) | about 5 years ago | (#27582843)

Maybe I am just getting too old but it was becoming more and more a chore to do anything in that game. Dual spec should of been released years ago, the RPG element needs expansion and for fuck's sake fix all the old 60's and 70's end game content so people actually want to play it. 30-40% of the game no one even plays anymore because you can get better gear questing in the 60+ or 70+ zones than doing old end game stuff. In other words heroic difficulty dungeons and raid instances need to have their loot tables redone in respect of the new expansions.

Re:Eh, I already quit (1)

Morlark (814687) | about 5 years ago | (#27583059)

I think you're just getting a bit old. You and me both, actually, I know exactly what you mean, there are some days when I can't even be bothered to log on and do stuff. But saying that, when I look at the game, intellectually I can't deny that actually pretty much everything has become less and less of a chore, quite significantly so, in fact. And they keep making things even easier. I agree with everything else you said though. MMORPGs these days have precious little actual RP of any kind. They've started to make some headway on that, with the new phasing technology and whatnot, I suppose. Hopefully they'll include lots more stuff that does that in the future. And I'd love it if they found a way to make all the old content relevant again too, but they've repeatedly said that they have no intention of doing so, and I can kinda understand why. Certainly, I think that simply bumping up the loot tables of every old instance every time they released a new expansion would be an incredibly bad thing.

Re:Eh, I already quit (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27583827)

There's a simple reason why "refurbishing" the old dungeons would be a really bad idea from the perspective of Blizzard: The fastpass for new players would go away, increasing the time to the top.

Most MMOs fail after a while for a simple reason: Starting anew is pointless. A game that has been around for 2+ years makes a new player uneasy. Should I start? Everyone has 2 years on me, so I'd have to play 2 years to be where they are today. And they'll yet again be 2 years ahead (or only one, if it takes another year to the expansion). Why the heck should I start?

WoW (and some others) solved this by upping the levelcap every so often. The point is that first you have, say, 60 levels. After you reach 60, you can't "level" anymore. You go grind equipment.

Then, a year later, levelcap increase. And along with it you get new equipment, common items (of level 60something) that make the ultrasuperspecialawesomerarestoftherarest raid superoverthetoppowersword you pulled out after months of grinding like your mom's cooking spoon.

Now, no new player will go into that level 60 dungeon. Why should he? The weapon he could get out of there will drop, more likely and maybe even as a better one, from any random trashmob he kicks while heading for a quest.

But it served its mission. The players that were there from the start had something to do 'til levelcap up, they grinded that superawesome...youknowit for months. And new players don't have to do that. They basically get the fastpass past this grinding, thus starting on roughly equal footing.

Starting a new character, or starting the game as a new player altogether, actually makes sense this way!

Grinding and raiding is, essentially, busywork. To keep you playing and paying.

Re:Eh, I already quit (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 5 years ago | (#27584813)

I don't agree at all, if someone goes through a dungeon a second or third time, it could change the overall experience, as a counter is kept (achievements) as to what was done....going into naxxaramas a 20th time, might mean the challenge grows to make it a little tougher each time you go, with better and better drops....or more guaranteed drops?

Re:Eh, I already quit (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27585209)

Then the initial drops would have to be pretty poor to start with, or else the power inflation would soon reach even more ridiculous levels than it already does. In general, you will end up at the same level that you were before the expansion (i.e. at the end of that dungeon geared for lv 60 characters you'll get the superduperawesome stuff that dropped), yet any trashloot "post expansion" would be better. Else you'd have a quite decisive "gap" between level 60 and level 61.

Another thing to take into consideration is what a "level" really is about. Basically a "level" in WoW is characterized by three things: Mana/HP pools, stats and relative level to your opponent.

Mana/HP is straightforward. You get a few points more mana/HP.
The relative level affects e.g. your (and the mobs) chance to hit, to successfully cast a hostile spell, etc.
And stats finally mean you get e.g. +2 int per level.

All of these three effects can be part of the bonus an item gives you. Items give you stats, HP/mana, critchance, and so on.

So items are, essentially, "additional levels". And while this does cause WoW some problems now, it's a completely different matter. You might have noticed it if you happened to have a fully equpped lv70, how easily you could breeze through the quests on your way to 80. You were, essentially, already past level 80 due to your equipment.

The question remains, why I should raid and grind for hours in a lv70 dungeon when I can get the same loot from trashmobs on my quest to level 80? Improving the drops from the 70s dungeons is no option, though, since it would escalate the equipment bonus problems WoW is facing already even further, because you would have to boost the post-70 equipment even more, making it increasingly harder to release expansions while still allowing new players to ever reach the top.

One puff was enough for me (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 years ago | (#27583667)

Finally, I got sick of wondering that World of Warcraft was all about. I downloaded the free trial. It actually ran in Linux under Wine. I was impressed.

That was about all I was impressed with.

The updates took about 10 hours to fully complete, with each new patch leading to yet another. When the game finally started, I was required to "roll" my character. Having absolutely no idea what I was doing, I selected a Bull, and made it a druid, to get in tune with nature.

The game began. My first mission was to fetch a few feathers "the tribe". A fairly standard tutorial. But it proved tedious. You needed 7 feathers which had to be harvested from these bird creatures which you "fought" by clicking on them and waiting for your characters continuous and slow attacks to finally bring them down(Did I mention that it plays like an RTS). The trouble was that when you killed one of these birds it wouldn't necessarily drop one of these feathers, and even when it did, it could have been a ruined feather. The whole process took around a quarter of a hour. Still I assumed, it was just a tutorial. Things must get better later on.

I was wrong.

Mission after mission ensued. Collect 8 hides. Kill five cats. Harvest 8 tooths. Eventually moved on to the second town where new mission could be had. Now I had to collect 9 hides and 8 claws. etc, etc. But I was a patient man. Surely, I thought, after this drudgery is over, I will do something exciting, something that will explain the allure of the title. In the meantime, I competed with other players for the privilege of slaying a few anti-climactic "bosses", again by clicking once on them and waiting, who respawned at lengthy intervals. There were also "skills" to learn, but each needed items to be of use. Items which were only dropped, on occasion, by slow spawing monsters other players were also trying to kill.

Finally after 6 boring hours of pointless mission after pointless mission, I was approaching my goal. I proceeded towards the "capital", ascending slowly up a large basket elevator to a city on a mountain. My expectation peaked. Finally I thought, finally I will get to see what WoW is all about.

I went into the city, and up to the quest giver. The outlook was good. "We need you to fight for the Horde", they said. Finally! But then he went on. "But first we need supplies. We need you to collect 6 of this and 7 of that and..."

But it was too late. I had logged off World of Warcraft, never to return, and the Horde would never get their supplies, at least until the next poor sap came along, willing to waste another 6 hours of their life on pointless and demeaning chores. I went back to other games, and had some fun. To the end of my days I will never understand how people can pay 15 euros a month for the privilege of playing a handyman sim.

On the plus side this comic [penny-arcade.com] makes so much sense to me now.

Re:One puff was enough for me (5, Interesting)

StoatBringer (552938) | about 5 years ago | (#27583757)

It's a shame that in the ten hours you were waiting for it to patch you didn't spend two minutes discovering that there's a lot more to combat than "click once and wait", which is the almost useless whack-it-with-your-crappy-weapon autoattack.

Re:One puff was enough for me (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27585365)

The quests don't really get any more interesting. It's still mostly something that makes you wonder whether the NPCs didn't discover the post boxes yet that fill the various towns. A lot of the quests make you feel like you're in some sort of recruitment program for FedEx.

Re:One puff was enough for me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27584357)

Not to defend the game's legitimate drawbacks (I gave it up a while back as well), but the fact that you wrote that lengthy and smug criticism without even progressing past auto-attack says less about the game's limitations than it does about your predisposition. It's akin to someone judging and dismissing a windowed interface, happily saying they will never understand how someone can use it when there are single-frame CLIs available, when that person never realized that you can click the mouse, not just wiggle the pointer around on the screen for show and use tab to switch fields.

Warcaft has major shortcomings, but you not only didn't approach them, you didn't even step onto the threshold.

Re:One puff was enough for me (3, Insightful)

Zixia (534893) | about 5 years ago | (#27584991)

Rather than fighting other players for spawns you could have teamed-up with them to complete the goal cooperatively, an essential part of what makes the game appealing.

You also make it sound like combat never changes, which suggests you didn't train new abilities as you gained levels. Combat is quite simplistic at lower levels because, as you say, the game is training you. When you progress you get stronger and more diverse abilities that lead to more subtle combinations of attacks.

But, really, don't look at other players as the enemy, but allies to be made for now and for the future.

nerf (1)

sofar (317980) | about 5 years ago | (#27582845)

lots of nerfage, including people not being able to download the patch (look at the forum spam lol) and things like the new instance being totally hung, trade chat completely not working etc etc...

Looks like it's pretty bad. I'm not even complaining about the mana regen nerf for priests which effectively cuts off a big part of their potential.

time to play something else for a bit.

Re:nerf (1)

NOPerative (1011343) | about 5 years ago | (#27582909)

As soon as the severity of the nerfs sets in, I'm predicting that millions are going to quit, and Ghostcrawler is FINALLY going to get canned! The dude might understand character balance somewhat (READ: NOT MUCH), but he sure in the hell doesn't understand human nature. Asking people to drag race with a vette, telling them "that car's too fast, so use this one," and then sticking everyone in 1300cc Volkswagen's with single-barrel carbs isn't going to sit well with most. Guess it's time to purchase some Warhammer stock or something.

Re:nerf (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583127)


I do not think that word means what you think it means. Ghostcrawler understands human nature fine. You're just asking him for the impossible. What's more, because he understands human nature, he knows that it is in the nature of humans to ask for the impossible. So rather than killing himself trying to pull a miracle out of his ass, he merely provides the possible, knowing that people will be content with it. And make no mistake, people will be content with it. Every single patch there has been someone making absolutely absurdly overblown proclamations of the death of the game, and it's all (Ghostcrawler|Tigole|Kalgan)'s fault, and he's sooo gonna get fired, and everyone's gonna quit the game. Well guess what? Every single one of those doomsayers was wrong.

Seriously, what did you think they were going to do? Rebalance every single class at this new inflated level of power? And then rebalance every single boss encounter to take that into account? Even assuming they ignored all non-raid content, I don't even know how long that would take them. And then of course of course you'd have to test these changes and fine tune the numbers, and that alone would take months. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together will have already seen the necessity of an occasional nerf here and there. But yeah, you go run off to your Warhammers, or whatever. I look forward to the day you realise that WoW is king of MMOs for a good reason.

Re:nerf (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583623)

PvE, they have done a decent job at class balance.

PvP, well it's a mess. On top of the food chain are ret paladins, DKs, and rogues. Any non melee don't stand a chance, even with 650+ res. 3.1 only has made this more pronounced, because most ranged classes were handed PvP nerfs, while melee received DPS boosts with talent changes.

If someone is playing cloth caster, they have zero defense now (fear on warlocks and priests breaks really fast), and a ret pally in crap blues can crank out 25k of damage in less than 2 seconds (the GCD) easily in two button presses.

So, WoW PvP is simple. Play a melee class, or repeatedly click a release button due to melee classes able to kill almost anyone with a simple step macro.

The devs just don't seem to understand this, but if you look at what Kalgan, Ghostcrawler, and the other lead class balance devs play as their mains... they are all melee classes. Kalgon has his warrior, etc. Thus, they end up balancing the game in PvP around melee DPS and ensuring melee can stay in hitting range of their targets at all times.

So, as a player, you have three choices. Roll a melee just for PvP action, have something non-melee for PvE, or pull your sub and go to a MMO that actually spends time in balancing class archetypes (melee versus ranged) in PvP.

Players know this. Look at the populations of servers. 50% are melee, most DKs, then pallies, then wars, finally rogues.

Re:nerf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583155)

To paraphrase something I read on the official forums. If Blizzard announced they were cutting the monthly subscription from $15 to $10, the forums would be filled with posts complaining that either:

a) the new price point will lower the barrier to entry too far and bring in more n00bz; or

b) the price has not been reduced far enough, and should be maybe $8 or even $5.

A very vocal contingent have been complaining since WotLK launch that raiding is too easy. Now Blizzard make changes so that healers can actually run out of mana again, and Deathknights can't over-simplify the hardest encounters, thus increasing the difficulty, and now people are complaining about the nerfs.

Re:nerf (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 5 years ago | (#27584467)

As soon as the severity of the nerfs sets in, I'm predicting that millions are going to quit, and Ghostcrawler is FINALLY going to get canned!

Yes, because GC alone decides what happens to the game balance. Methinks you're yet another one of the players who insists on acting like just because he's visible to you, he must be the source of all your problems.

Real News vs. Advernews (5, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | about 5 years ago | (#27582849)

This isn't news. Real news goes like this:

"World of Warcraft introduces variable difficulties to their in game dungeons."

Advernews goes like this:

"WoW patch 3.1 released with 14 new bosses, dual spec, new GUI choices, and game balancing!"

One key difference, Advernews doesn't make sense to anyone outside of the game's target market.

Sorry for the made-up word.

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27582913)

"World of Warcraft introduces variable difficulties to their in game dungeons."

News? "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583003)

You keep using that reference. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (1)

KefabiMe (730997) | about 5 years ago | (#27583111)

I don't think anyone who doesn't already play Warcraft (or tried it and doesn't like it) know what dual-specs or what raids are. This is just so us WoWheads can discuss the patch. "Variable dungeon difficulty" seems more likely to be a line to try to bring new players to the game.

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27585395)

Now, now, don't think the lingo was invented in WoW. It existed long, long before many WoWers learned to read. Or walk.

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583357)

Don't be sorry, that word fits perfectly because it succinctly communicates important meta-data.

Thank you!

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583675)

This is slashdot, nothing makes sense to people outside the target market.

Not news either way (4, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#27583833)

News about patches to a game belong on the game's RSS feed, not a tech news site.

If the latest version comes with new AI so that NPCs happen to tell you about their dreams last night, and how they plan to put them into action today by building putting wheels on a board, adding an engine, and calling this new invention of theirs a "car", then it's worth seeing here.

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (1)

whoda (569082) | about 5 years ago | (#27584779)

LOTRO has had variable difficulty instances for a while now.
I thought they had copied it from WoW, guess it's the other way around.

Re:Real News vs. Advernews (1)

Thaelon (250687) | about 5 years ago | (#27584869)

It's called a slashvertisment around here.

But given that this directly affects - often the majority of - the lives of 11.5 million people, it is actually pretty newsworthy.

I have an old system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27582881)

Does WoW 3.1 run on WfW 3.1?

I already quit! (1)

fatboyslack (634391) | about 5 years ago | (#27582883)

/tar WoW /cast ResistMMORPG

You have a life turned to you.

Seriously while this cleans up some of my old bugbears why I quit I'm still not coming back.

Re:I already quit! (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 5 years ago | (#27582937)

Resisted! :(

Need more hit rating... it's a skull monster!

(edit: screwed up and posted as a reply to base, when it should have been a reply to this. Gah.)

Coming next: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27582895)

World of Warcraft for Workgroups 3.11.

It still looks like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27582915)

Try an MMORPG where things look like actual things. Or better yet, don't, you n00bs.

Re:It still looks like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583047)

Bad troll is bad, but I just have to say I like the look. Tried Oblivion (not MMO, I know) and LotRO and find the graphic style of these games to be very off-putting. Maybe it's the uncanny valley, I'm not sure, but they feel more artificial and less immersive.

WoW looks like a cartoon, and when I fly about on my dragon and shoot fire out of my fingers, and when I'm fully buffed and everything procs and my power level goes over 9000, I feel like I'm in a cartoon too. Good stuff. Everybody loves cartoons.

Re:It still looks like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. (2)

theeddie55 (982783) | about 5 years ago | (#27583693)

When I want things to look like actual things, I'll go outside. That may sound strange to you, but people do go outside you know.

Ulduar (3, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 5 years ago | (#27582933)

I suspect there's quite a lot riding for Blizzard on the quality (and challenge level) of this new raid instance. A lot of people are starting to notice that Blizzard seems to have stripped WoW of development resource to focus on other projects. While the Wrath of the Lich King expansion got a lot of positive press for the "oooh, pretty" factor, the simple fact is that it is desperately short on level 80 content (and with WoW levelling being as fast as it is, most players are level 80).

When the previous expansion, The Burning Crusade, came out, it contained quite a few raid instances. These were, Karazhan (11 bosses), Gruul's Lair (2 bosses), Magtheridon's Lair (1 boss), Serpentshrine Cavern (6 bosses), The Eye (4 bosses) and Mount Hyjal (5 bosses). A few months after release, Black Temple (9 bosses) was added. All of these were brand new encounters. By contrast, with WotLK, we got a recylced instance from before the first expansion and just 3 new bosses in other mini instances. Only now, months after release, are we actually getting a sizeable new instance with a reasonable number of bosses. Instead of developing significant amounts of new content, Blizzard have just had the office temps think up some new Achievements - basically requirements to kill bosses in really silly ways - to act as timesinks.

If these new bosses in Ulduar are the kind of thing that can be breezed through in a week or two, even on easy mode, then I suspect that a lot of players, like me, will be leaving the game. The thought of spending the next 5 months farming Ulduar, as we've just spent 5 months farming the pitiful content that was in the game at release and redoing it in an attempt to get some dumb achievements is not pleasant.

Re:Ulduar (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 5 years ago | (#27582981)

As a wow player, I simply hate it when you make sensible well argued points like this.

Having said that, I stopped playing about 2 months prior to WOTLK. I had about a week of hard playing since then (4 days to level from 70-80) and have sort of been adhoc'ing since then. If I was indeed raiding with my guild still, I would be rather pissed about once again going through Naxx all over again and again. Last time we ran it we had 15 more peeps in there at a time but that aside, nothing much has changed. Sure, it's new to many players, but for those like me, the new expansion is very thin indeed.

This concept of dual spec? Yeah, great now I can play a Survival AND a Beast Master spec on my hunter. Woo. *cough* *crickets* Ohhhh... Thunderfury, I gotta go roll against a warrior!

- Fluffybunny of Proudmoore.

Re:Ulduar (1)

Riceo (702999) | about 5 years ago | (#27583057)

Hmm you're right... This could be the end of the world... of Warcraft. (gonna get a /kick for that.)

Re:Ulduar (1)

Twiztid_Madrox (1474205) | about 5 years ago | (#27583211)

I just finished reading the patch notes, and i must say it appears that they are making this game easyier and easyier to play, Part of the fun in vanilla wow was how hard it was to level as some characters but was paid off once you got to level 60. Not its just a mass race to 80.

I still enjoy playing warcraft but i never got into the whole raiding thing i used to love pvp when it was about 8 hour AV battlegrounds. I still get the most enjoyment in warcraft from leveling characters and chatting with some guild mates but i think i might just cancel my subscription now because of the way blizzard are taking the game.

I can see in the near future blizzard offering a service where if you have 1 level 80 you can pay x to get another level 80 on the same server without having to level him. Just to make it all that much more easyier for the players.

Re:Ulduar (1)

D Ninja (825055) | about 5 years ago | (#27585285)

I just finished reading the patch notes, and i must say it appears that they are making this game easyier and easyier to play, Part of the fun in vanilla wow was how hard it was to level as some characters but was paid off once you got to level 60. Not its just a mass race to 80.

This is *exactly* why I stopped playing. So many people were QQ'ing about things being too hard or too easy or they didn't have enough choices or etc etc etc.

And Blizzard did everything they could to make the game so stinkin' easy that it became boring. I never had to worry that I couldn't complete a quest. I never had to worry that I wouldn't EVENTUALLY get some piece of gear because I just needed to run an instance enough times.

Easy = Boring. Too hard is bad too, but I'd prefer too hard over being so simple, every single character is running around with every single thing accomplished.

Re:Ulduar (1)

dcjester (1247706) | about 5 years ago | (#27583337)

The problem is, when you have 10 million plus players, you have to develop content to please the majority who usually happen to be people who want near instant gratification on completing something. Blizzard has realized this, and so make the game easier with every patch so that those who whine the loudest can get their (insert class name here) leveled out faster so they can "rayd and g3tz teh ub4r geer to pwn" AI mobs that much faster. I quit the game close to one year ago, and the only reason I would go back would be because there is nothing else to play on the market. Thankfully, the MMO market being as it is, I can usually find something else to take my attention away from games like this where FOTM classes run the game. Those who enjoy WoW, by all means, continue doing so. I think though you will get bored eventually with the ease at which you succeed at things. It is comparable to someone starting in AP English, then watching as it gets turned into remedial just because everyone is given the thought that they should be there too.

Re:Ulduar (2, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 5 years ago | (#27583477)

The huge reduction in difficulty level in WotLK has indeed been pretty annoying. Now, I understand that these tier 7 instances are designed to be accessible to new players who've never touched the level 60 or 70 content, and that's fine. Their difficulty as an introductory tier would have been spot on, IF there had been harder tier 8 content in WotLK on the day it shipped. I was never expecting (nor wanting) the retuned Naxxramas to be pitched at Sunwell Plateau level difficulty.

I understand that back in Burning Crusade, they possibly pitched some of the early raid encounters a little bit too hard. Karazhan was quite a steep curve for new level 70s (to say nothing of the fact that it was the only introductory level instance and could only be done 10 man) and Gruul and Magtheridon, before they got nerfed, were completely out of the sights of most players for quite some time. But even had Burning Crusade's Tier 4 content been easier than it was at launch, there would still have been plenty for the more advanced players to do.

I really hate the philosophy which says that every raid player in the game should be able to blitz through any instance, with a few "hard modes" for the same fights thrown in for advanced players. Back when we were working through Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau, just getting to see the next boss was often the biggest reward from defeating the previous one. That's gone now. I'm not sure I want to be playing a game where, once Icecrown Citadel has been released, even the casual guilds have downed Arthas within a fortnight, meaning we then spend the next 9 months trying to kill him while standing on one leg and drinking only the purple fruit juice.

Re:Ulduar (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#27583391)

honestly, the moment I get bored with Ulduar, I'm calling it a day for WoW.
We won't see Icecrown Citadel until Winter and we'll have Ulduar farmed by June, and if Ulduar turns out to be crap, then I'm holding no hope out for Icecrown.

If I want to find out the storyline developments I'll go watch the boss kill on Youtube

Re:Ulduar (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583679)

I'd just like to point out that the original Naxxramas was released a few months before the BC expansion, hence most players never had the chance to try it out. I was in a semi-hardcore guild at the time but we were busy wiping in Ahn'Quiraj and didn't have the time to try out Nax. There were only a few guilds on my server that made any progress at all in Naxxramas.

Re:Ulduar (1)

Zixia (534893) | about 5 years ago | (#27585071)

That's true, but I don't think his point was that Naxxramas wasn't new content to most people and more that it was old content that was tweaked, showing that there was little 80th level content created specifically for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

From that point of view, it may well be that the creative energies have been diverted away from World of Warcraft to different projects and the life of the game may now be quite limited.

Re:Ulduar (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583697)

The Burning Crusade did not ship with SSC, The Eye, or Hyjal. These were all added in later content patches.

Re:Ulduar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27584381)

Wrong. TBC did indeed ship with SSC and The Eye, but the keying requirements were so obnoxious that it took several rounds of nerfs to the entry level raid bosses before people got to actually see them in large numbers.

Mount Hyjal was released in the same patch as Black Temple.

Re:Ulduar (2, Informative)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 5 years ago | (#27584507)

No, all of those were in the game with the expansion launch. It just so happened that people didn't get around to them until later patches.

Re:Ulduar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27583725)

Time will tell. I think that guilds that have can cap Kel in 10 or 25 man Naxx will be able to do 10 man Ulduar or 25 man Ulduar without issue after people learn the basic boss strats. However, there is a difference between doing OS with one drake up to doing OS with all three up. Same with Ulduar. The guilds that can nail the bosses on hard mode will be actually doing something extraordinary.

Not to say that variable difficulty is new with WoW. Everquest 1 has had this since the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion where groups (and raids) could choose between normal or high difficulty missions. Everquest 2 has had some expansions (Splitpaw being the most notable) offering multiple levels as well.

Raiding in WoW has changed over the years. First, they assumed people were going to do large raids with many people, thus the 40 man Molten Core runs. Then, as time progressed and the population base was made out of fewer and fewer hardcore (raid six days a week) players, the best bang for buck was 25 and 10 man raids. Then, in WotLK, the same raid can be done with 25 people or 10. This seems like the best way to go overall. My only wish in WoW is that they allowed all T7 and T7.5 pieces to be purchased with the appropriate emblems, rather than just the pants.

Gearing up in WotLK is admittedly harder than BC. In BC, especially after season 3 of arena fighting, one could gear up a new 70 by running BGs, then purchasing S1 arena gear. This would allow someone to get caught up to guildies who were in Kara, Black Temple, and other places without having to spend a long time running heroics, or being a drag on a raids being undergeared. I do wish this was a viable way to gear up for raiding in WoTLK. Instead, once someone gets 80, they need to run heroics repeatedly in order to get blues, then either be very good at arenas, or find a guild with the capability to run Naxx to be able to obtain epic gear.

Re:Ulduar (1)

destroyer661 (847607) | about 5 years ago | (#27584343)

As someone who played in beta and then on to quit just before release of The Burning Crusade, I have to say how much I hate the fact that nigh 4 years after the game was launched the blizz dev's are finally implementing changes that all of us hardcore raiders proposed in beta and the first months of molten core's launch.

The Burning Crusade made the game terribly easy, and it's gone wayyyy downhill since then. This game has literally become a seething addiction for it's player base since around the time Blackwing Lair came out and blizz has turned to being in the business of trying to give everyone everything they want. Which is a great business model by any means, it keeps the money flow increasing or at very least stagnant. It's grown into such a shitty game. Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute I played from 0-60, and then my time raiding at 60 was awesome as well, but the game has turned into complete shite.

Re:Ulduar (1)

Vohar (1344259) | about 5 years ago | (#27585329)

That's a hell of an opinion on the game's current state for a guy who hasn't even played the game in years.

A lot of people confuse 'ease' with 'less time-consuming.' I like the changes that have been made to the game(in the past few years since you played). It takes less time to get around to actually playing instead of travel time, farming, etc. I work at work. I play games for fun.

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

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Thanks but no thanks (5, Insightful)

quisxt (462797) | about 5 years ago | (#27582993)

Don't get me wrong, it's a fun game, but I'm not an undergraduate in college anymore, and after spending 8+ hours at work sitting on my butt in front of a computer, coming home and sitting on my butt for 4 more hours for a Nax raid or whatever doesn't sound like fun. It just seems like such a waste of time. Gah, I must have grown up a little when I wasn't looking :)

Re:Thanks but no thanks (2, Insightful)

supermank17 (923993) | about 5 years ago | (#27584811)

Isn't it odd how that works? When I was an undergrad (which wasn't all that long ago), I loved video/computer games and would spend as much free time as possible playing them. Now that I'm working on a computer all day, I would much rather go do something outside when I get off work. I actually have more free time now than when I was in school, but I do almost no gaming anymore...

Free time (1)

AlpineR (32307) | about 5 years ago | (#27585143)

The explanation that I've heard for this phenomenon goes like this:

For all the years that you're in school, you're always waiting for something to happen. Waiting for the next exam, waiting to finish the school year, waiting to get a driver's license, waiting to graduate. In that situation it makes sense to have an activity to consume time and get to the next goal sooner.

Once you're out in the real world, time gets much more valuable. You're not waiting for the clock to turn, you're fighting against the clock to get things done as quickly as possible. The main limit to what you can accomplish is how efficiently you spend your time. So you'd probably rather relax and recharge during your free time rather than engage in an activity to make the next work day come as soon as possible.

Re:Free time (1)

virg_mattes (230616) | about 5 years ago | (#27585349)

Of course, it could also be that some people stop liking computer games as they get older. I personally find WoW to be entertaining, and I'd rather spend a few hours playing than watching television. I don't play video games like I did when I was a kid, but that's just because I have less free time and (much more importantly to this discussion) more diverse hobbies. That's a side effect of having access to my own income and transportation more than any idea that "time [got] much more valuable".


Dual-Specs and new RAID? (5, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#27583153)

So now WoW supports dual core specs, but what RAID modes, 0, 1, or 5? Can I buy this new WoW mobo at newegg.com?

Re:Dual-Specs and new RAID? (1)

dcjester (1247706) | about 5 years ago | (#27583315)

I wonder if it can handle SLI finally. I mean, if it can run under RAID, why cant it take use of full video enhancements?

Re:Dual-Specs and new RAID? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#27583419)

I'm still wondering when my microwave can handle SLI....

Re:Dual-Specs and new RAID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27584235)

I'm still wondering when my microwave can handle SLI....

It will 'ding' when it's ready

What happened to my cat? (2, Funny)

EreIamJH (180023) | about 5 years ago | (#27584143)

I logged in after the update to find that me pet had wandered outside (I was at an inn). I whistled and it came back saying that it had lost a bunch of skills.

Is that a bug, or do I just need to get a life?

Re:What happened to my cat? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27584333)

Is that a bug, or do I just need to get a life?

You definitely need to get a life; in the real world, if you don't secure your pet it might wander away and get run over by a bus, never mind forgetting how to roll over or play dead, it will be dead. You got off easy (although it's kind of hard to scratch your epic mount behind the ears.)

Re:What happened to my cat? (1)

Symbolis (1157151) | about 5 years ago | (#27584347)

Talent points(including those for pets, I imagine) were re-funded due to changes in the talent trees.

Re:What happened to my cat? (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 years ago | (#27584651)

They may so many changes to the talent trees that all of your character and pet talents have been undone and the points returned to you. Any abilities you or your pet had been granted by talents are thus gone until you go back in and select a new talen spec again.

How I longed to dual-spec.... (1)

sampson7 (536545) | about 5 years ago | (#27584923)

Honestly, I might still be in thrall to Blizzard if dual-speccing had been available. Why on earth did it take so many years to include this feature?

My holy priest was just painful to play outside of a dungeon. Respeccing cost too much time and the fun quotient diminished. I remember posting long rants on the boards back in the day and getting some BS from the Blizzard reps about how "choices have consequences." I also remember having one point in some worthless first tier disc talent for over a year because I had hit the wrong button and wasn't willing to spend the 100g to respec. Ah, good times. I miss it, on some level. But overall, I think it was probably good for me to quit after 2+ years.

Re:How I longed to dual-spec.... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 5 years ago | (#27585079)

I read the first line of your comment and said to my self this man plays a priest. I was too I feel your pain, I quit playing about 2 months ago myself.

Re:How I longed to dual-spec.... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 5 years ago | (#27585351)

I think you meant 10g. The cost goes down after a while if you don't respec. Also, it never costs more than 50g.

Way to catch up! (2, Insightful)

GreyDuck (192463) | about 5 years ago | (#27585245)

So, you can have a second build for your character now? Way to catch up with City of Heroes, Blizzard!

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