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New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the new-and-shiny dept.

Games 342

ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, was released on Tuesday. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon, as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The patch notes have been posted, and so has a trailer. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, the Lich King a.k.a. Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn — a process that may take several months. The next major patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."

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342 comments

Old (-1, Flamebait)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375142)

So.. basically what EVE has been able to do since release day?
Sure, it's a game that has flaws, but getting everyone in a single universe since day one is probably one of the best thing they ever did.

Re:Old (0)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375164)

There are technical limitations to how many people you can have one 1 server.

How many people can EVE handle in a single instance and how many can WOW?

P.S: Any news about the graphic engine update? Last time I tried WoW (1 year ago) it could only use 10-20% of the 2nd core.

Re:Old (2, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375204)

You don't get it. EVE doesn't have "instances". It's one giant instance. Every player is able to communicate and meet up with every other player at any time.

Re:Old (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375210)

Ok, how many player is EVE hosting?

Re:Old (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375238)

There are about 300,000 subscribers and 45,000 trial accounts. Three days ago there were over 54,000 players online at the same time, which broke their previous record of 45,000 concurrent players earlier this year.

Re:Old (3, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375346)

Chuck a zero on the end of that first number, and change the 3 to at least a 6, then you have WOW. (And that's underestimating their current subscribers.)

Eve would burn to the ground if even half that number tried to use it.

Re:Old (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375550)

And yet you can only communicate with how many other players on WoW? 1000 or something? At least on EVE you can interact with every other EVE player. I really feel this is a huge advantage. I know several people who play WoW and I would like to join them, but since they're all on different servers, I will have to choose one of my friends to play with and ignore the others. That is simply not acceptable and thus WoW fails for me as a platform for interacting with my friends, which seems to be it's main purpose.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375572)

Are you implying that you have over 1000 friends? And you are on slashdot?

Re:Old (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375598)

No, but I don't need to pick my friends based on their preferred server.

Re:Old (5, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375670)

No, I have friends on multiple servers, which means WoW doesn't allow me to interact with them all. Even with two friends this is a problem.

Re:Old (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375686)

As well... how long have various players of EVE been around?

The game has staying power. I can only handle WoW for a month or two at a time.

Amusement Park vs Sandbox

Guess which one gets old fast?

Re:Old (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375914)

As well... how long have various players of EVE been around?

Well, I'm a month or two short of 5 years. (My accounts have been active the whole time, even if I have got sidetracked for a few weeks at a time to play other games)

Re:Old (1, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375974)

> That is simply not acceptable and thus WoW fails for me as a platform for interacting with my friends, which seems to be it's main purpose.

Fail. WoW's main purpose is to be an online RPG. If you want to interact with your friends, you use some crap like Facebook.

Re:Old (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376036)

WoW's main purpose is to be an online RPG. If you want to interact with your friends, you use some crap like a pub.

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Old (0, Flamebait)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376130)

Fail. WoW's main purpose is to be an online RPG.

WoW is not a game because it lacks a basic aspect of a game: you can't lose.

It's a social platform. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Old (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376318)

And if you lose in something like FarCry, you reload a previous save and continue again. How, exactly, is that different from being resurrected in game? A rez is just a way of handling that "ok, I died, time to reload" in a persistent environment where resetting to a previous state isn't possible.

If you want to have an argument against WoW being a game, then you should look more at the fact that there's not really an end goal in the game. Once you've completed all the quests, done all the dungeons, etc., you can still play. You can repeat content. You can try hard modes on content. You can wait until the next content comes out so that you can play through that. But there isn't actually an *endpoint* to the game, which is something that most single player games have.

Re:Old (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376394)

WoW not having a lose condition is not the only reason why it isn't a proper game. You are right about the lack of a win condition either. This is exactly why Far Cry is a game and why WoW is not: altough the resurrection is some what similiar to loading a saved game, you can actually win a game of Far Cry by making it through the story. Same goes with games like Zelda.

I realise there is no single definition of what a game is, but most of the attributes commonly associated with a game are not present in WoW. Things like quests or raids could be called games, but WoW itself is more like a social platform to host these games. Basically, WoW is Facebook.

Re:Old (1)

jaraxle (1707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376226)

And this is something that SoE at least did right. While EQ and EQ2 all have multiple servers per game, same as WoW has, you can easily communicate across servers by appending the server name to the character name when you send a /tell. As well, you can create player-channels cross-server in similar fashion.

In fact, you can even communicate cross-game between EQ and EQ2 by appending the game name in front of the server name. While it's not as easy as EVE, since EVE is one server total, it's still better than nothing. Never mind the fact that their latest game launcher includes a sort of IM client that allows you to talk with friends in-game without being in-game yourself (even includes voice chat for guilds). I really can't believe other multi-server MMO's haven't implemented something like EQ/EQ2's cross-server messaging.

~jaraxle

Re:Old (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376334)

Only in my experience EVE is a massive world where it is damn hard to find and play with anyone on any kind of casual level. maybe if they fix that I'll give it another try.

Re:Old (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375700)

Eve would burn to the ground if even half that number tried to use it.

I wouldn't count on that. In particular, I'd look into how they've managed (with some success) to support what they have.

Eve would've burned to the ground a long time ago if they couldn't scale.

I'm not laying they could become WoW overnight. I'm saying they're at least trying, whereas Blizzard doesn't seem to care.

Re:Old (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376024)

What? You're saying EVE would burn to the ground if 5000 players tried to use it? (half the number on a wow server)

Sorry to tell you this but it's already broken 54k online users, which is ten times what a WoW realm handles.

The EvE vs WoW Debate (1)

lazarus (2879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376252)

As usual the answer is not as straightforward as you might think, and judging by the posts on this thread nobody seems to know how EvE really works.

The "sandbox" aspect of EvE where everyone is in everyone else's universe is not actually one giant "realm" as it were. It is actually thousands of individual servers which control and manage distinct areas of the game world. As you move through the universe you actually move from server to server. There are, of course, central servers which need to understand common aspects of the game such as market and pilot information.

This is an architecture that is not shared by WoW in general. I'm not sure how what Blizzard has released with 3.3 differs from a "battleground" except that a "battlegroup" is a pre-defined entity where in this new instance you have no idea where people are going to come from. To me all this sounds like is a BG without a battlegroup.

So in summary:

  • WoW: Many isolated worlds connected by queued instances.
  • EvE: Distributed single world connected by central database and networking.

So to answer your question, no, EvE would not burn to the ground if even half the number of users tried to use it. But it would require a careful expansion of the known universe to ensure that there was an even distribution of world resources and thus pilots in its space.

Re:Old (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376300)

"As of May 6, 2009, Eve Online has more than 300,000 active subscriptions and 45,000 active trial accounts."

World of Warcraft has over 12,000,000 active subscriptions and hundreds of thousands of active trial accounts.

Re:Old (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375220)

How many can Eve handle in a single zone? Not a heck of a lot, a big fleet battle locks out the entire sector. Eve manages it because it has a huge universe filled with 99.9% empty space that nobody wants to spend time in. You can't go shardless and have the kind of detailed world with a backstory that WOW has. The closest you can have to that is multiple versions and the ability to change between what version you're in ala guild wars.

Re:Old (2, Interesting)

Xveers (1003463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375672)

EVE can handle over one thousand players in a single system/"zone". Places like Jita (THE trade hub of EVE) regularily pass 1300 concurrent active users at one time. In one star system. Admittedly though the vast majority of Jita players are "passing through" or conducting trade and not shooting each other in the face. Star systems out in the areas of space where players create their own empires can have fleet battles that push past 400 people per side, though admittedly there are occurences of heavy lag. In the past (IE one year ago or more) this would be instead extreme lag to the point of killing the node. In the last year however they have implemented heavy server and database optimizations that are pushing the boundary of stable large group combat higher and higher. I wish I could have better references, but I know several battles have been fought that were past 300v300 and were done with a minimum of lag (the reason I remember this is because of the comments wondering WHERE the lag was). CCP devs have also stated that they've just begun major DB optimization and they expect greater improvements to come. Of course, that's them selling their product, but they do recognize it is a major issue, and they ARE working towards correcting it. To turn the question on its head, how many people can a single WOW server handle, in one instance, in one specific zone? All PVPing against each other or providing remote support in one manner or another? Personally I'd be suprised if that number was any higher than what EVE is currently capable of.

Re:Old (1)

jaggeh (1485669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375744)

I too play eve, and have also played wow while training a 90 day skill ;)

I took part in a pvp raid that had roughly 100 people between both sides. The lag was unbearable and people were 'warping' around the area and 'rubberbanding' a LOT.

Over my 4 years playing eve I have only seen the lag situation getting better. In the Last year I have been involved in many lag-free 400+ player battle.

---

As said the benefit of eve over wow is the lack of sharding and sandbox nature. the attraction to wow is it's ease to play and casual side.

May it stay that way because frankly I wouldn't want eve to have x million subscribers because that would force CCP to pander to the lowest common denominator and dumb down the game.

Re:Old (1)

dushkin (965522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375264)

Some missions are instanced.

Re:Old (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376314)

How is that? Aside from i think some of the tutorial missions that have been locked down from intruders, pretty much anything else can be found and entered by other players.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375822)

No, in EVE each solar system is effectively a different instance. The only real difference to WoW is that you move between instances as you move around the game, and it doesn't deliberately prevent communication between players in different instances.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376182)

I dont think you understand what an instance is. Every system in EVE is a instance, as well as every wormhole.

Re:Old (0)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375206)

P.S: Any news about the graphic engine update? Last time I tried WoW (1 year ago) it could only use 10-20% of the 2nd core.

3.3 won't bring big GFX upgrades. Cataclysm might, but remember that WoW is also made to run on low end machines. I can run it on a 5 year old laptop at 10FPS on most locations. If you want a visually stunning game you are looking at the wrong one.

Re:Old (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375214)

I don't need eye candy, I'd like to play at 60FPS. But since it uses only 1 core and 20% of the 2nd this is not possible unless you have a 4GHz CPU.

I'm talking when a lot of people are in the same place of course.

Re:Old (0)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375312)

WoW is fairly basic, it doesn't need more then a single core running at sub 2GHz speeds. Giving it more will not increase your video performance.

If you are struggling to get decent FPS it is your video hardware you want to be looking at, not CPU utilization.

Re:Old (1)

mooglez (795643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375504)

Here you go:
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=1778017311&sid=1 [worldofwarcraft.com]

i'd recommend setting it to value of 255, which means that the OS will handle the load balancing on all your cores

Re:Old (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375634)

I'll try thanks, but I doubt it will solve anything.
If the process is single thread all it will do is bouncing it around on all the cores, but it will never use more then 1 core at any given time.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375932)

Wow is multi-threaded.
The implementation might not be "proper", but it does use several cores simultaneously on my quad-core cpu after adjusting the affinity.

Re:Old (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376112)

Is any of your core maxed when you play WoW? If it isn't the game is just bouncing the process across the CPU cores.

Re:Old (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375536)

If you want to play at 60FPS, run it on any hardware released in the last 5 years.

I ran it on a *laptop* from 2002, and it was still playable. Running it on an nVidia 6800 (launched early 2004), it pegged a solid 60FPS in all but the craziest raids.

Thinking you need a 4Ghz CPU to run WoW is ridiculous. Hell, you can probably buy a graphics card that runs it for less than the game itself.

Re:Old (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375618)

I'm talking about "craziest raids", 40 man PvP and mayor cities 30min before the raid.

I want 60FPS or I don't play the game.

I get 30FPS while my CPU is at 60% load.

My video card is fine and never goes above 20%.

Re:Old (0)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375328)

I'd actually like to have the option to have even simpler graphics, and higher frame rates / more responsive gameplay.

Re:Old (0)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375208)

The only updated to the graphic engine that's expected is improved water shaders for cataclysm. It has better multicore support now, but don't expect it to max them out (or even to come close).

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375196)

It is not the same as Eve. Everyone in Eve plays on the same realm.

What WOW has done is extended dungeon instances to be cross server if your looking for a pickup group. They do this already with battlegrounds. Otherwise you play within your own realm.

My guess is to do some kind of load balancing as well. Because the previous patch the instance servers got overloaded due to people all wanting to try the new dungeons.

Re:Old (4, Insightful)

MORB (793798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375280)

Actually what they did in WoW is rather awful.

See, people aren't really sharing a single universe. They just do instanced content together. instanced content means that your party gets its own private copy of a level and do some dungeon crawling in there.

To implement that, they made it so that people teleport directly into the instance instead of having to travel in the open game world to the instance's entrance, because you can't see people from other servers in the open world.

Since there is also generally a very unhealthy focus on instanced content rather than open-world content, what it means in practice is that wow is not really a MMO anymore. People hang out in capital cities, which function as glorified lobbies like you find in non-MMO multiplayer games, they form a party and then teleport inside of a private dungeon.

You have almost no opportunity to meet random people on your adventures anymore because people of maximum levle have seldom any reason to bother ever going out in the open world. And leveling from 1 to 80 has also been made trivial and is therefore a minor part of the game.

It means that some interesting gameplay aspects that can normally be found in MMORPGs (such as open world pvp) have been pretty much set aside in WoW to make room for more soulless dungeon crawling and loot whoring. This game has turned from a MMORPG into a glorified dungeon crawling game.

Re:Old (5, Insightful)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375750)

The fact is that most people don't actually want to play a "massively" multiplayer online role-playing game. They (and I) want to play a multi-player online game. I loved playing Unreal and BF1942, but if they somehow made servers that could handle 100,000 people I wouldn't want to play on them. It's just too many people. Blizz and other companies try to find a balance between too many players in one place, and not enough. I think they have succeeded in that I can usually find a group to go wherever, and don't lag out when I zone into the capital cities.

As far as world PVP goes, please, they tried that. It always just devolves into zerging, whoever has the most people always wins. If your server is 75% alliance, world PVP is going to be pretty meaningless/frustrating if you're horde. The only way to make it fun is to try and make sure the same number of people fight each other at the same time, which is what battlegrounds and arenas are for.

Finally your assertion that WoW is a glorified dungeon crawling game strikes me as baseless, given that I spend ~20% of my time going to dungeons and 80% having fun killing people in battgrounds/arenas. WoW to me is like TFT2, but with swords and magic instead of guns.

Re:Old (1)

MORB (793798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375796)

"The fact is that most people don't actually want to play a "massively" multiplayer online role-playing game. They (and I) want to play a multi-player online game."
Then why not play such a game in the first place instead of playing a different type of game and waiting until its publisher ends up into turning it into the kind of game you want?

"As far as world PVP goes, please, they tried that. It always just devolves into zerging, whoever has the most people always wins."
No, it doesn't always devolve into zerging. The moments I enjoyed best in the game were doing small scale world pvp.

Re:Old (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375792)

It means that some interesting gameplay aspects that can normally be found in MMORPGs (such as open world pvp) have been pretty much set aside in WoW to make room for more soulless dungeon crawling and loot whoring.

This really is a pity. During the early days of WoW there were plenty of open world PvP battles between the factions (Crossroads?): they were fun, simple to get involved with, frantic and you end up meeting dozens of new people in the midst of battle. Much more fun than the high-end raiding, IMHO.

They should have promoted this type of pvp (by fixing the numbers issue, having objectives, gaining control over areas) instead of creating separate arena's where you duke it out and impact nothing in the world.

Then again, I've left long ago. Good riddens.

Re:Old (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376028)

some interesting gameplay aspects that can normally be found in MMORPGs (such as open world pvp)

Open world PVP is not interesting, and has never been interesting. I played WoW extensively in the early days on a PVP server. 99% of open world PVP consists of one of the two following scenarios:

1. Higher level person ganks lower level person. Lower level person stands no chance.
2. Group of people gank smaller group/single person. Smaller group/single person stands no chance.

I don't know what you consider "interesting," but I prefer scenarios in which the most skilled competitors win, and not the players who have simply spent more time in the game (to get a higher level) or brought more friends along.

Re:Old (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375434)

I can create an MMO which would host millions of players simultaneously on a single server.

It'd be pure text mode though, and the interaction would be limited to a "hit player X" button every few minutes or so.

Have fun!

So... what stuff does EVE lack that WOW has?

Re:Old (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375534)

So... what stuff does EVE lack that WOW has?

What you said, although not quite as extreme.

All single server, single instance, MMO games (Eve, Second Life, Muds) lack producer created non-generic content. When there is only a single instance of everything, there simply isn't enough producer time in the world to make up the content needed for everyone. At best, you can duplicate the same content with slight changes, but I have yet to see anyone do that successfully. All such attempts ends up with everything feeling generic and unsatisfying.

Of course, if you are into player created content, the above doesn't matter. But not everyone is.

Re:Old (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375714)

All single server, single instance, MMO games (Eve, Second Life, Muds) lack producer created non-generic content. When there is only a single instance of everything, there simply isn't enough producer time in the world to make up the content needed for everyone. At best, you can duplicate the same content with slight changes...

So, I've read this several times, and I can't find you even examining procedural content long enough to dismiss it. I don't know if Eve uses it -- in fact, I very much doubt it -- but it also seems like Eve would be the perfect game for it.

Re:Old (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375884)

Sort of. EVE has mission and exploration mechanics, which are 'on the fly' created, but I believe they're based out of a library of such things, and have a locational distribution system (e.g. you get a particular kind of exploration site show up in a particular region of space).
But really, the whole point of EVE is that the 'content' is the players - everything (pretty much) links into the evolving political and economic dynamics of the playerbase - you make a profit by finding sources of demand and supplying it. Or creating it in the first place.
Maybe you crash in on an alliance that's collapsing, and take advantage of it, or maybe you bolster and existing conflict to tip the power balance. Maybe you join the alliance and _create_ that power balance in the first place. But certainly, where you get combat happening, no NPC AI can ever beat another player in terms of sneakyness and deviousness.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376184)

Sure, it's a game that has flaws,

Like daily downtime.

They depend on 3rd party sites to prove reasonable search ability to their forums.

Difficult to find people of a similar level to PvP.

Game centered around unbalanced combat.

Fuckin nerds (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375144)

Suck my mana potion, bitch.

Not quite working ... Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375160)

they don't quite work yet. you can start a group with others in your battle group, even chat in party or raid with them, like in battle grounds. but when its time to port/enter an instance...
delay.. screenshot of the instance.. then dropped back to where you were..

good idea, but need to work out the bugs.

Kramark- Crushridge.
FTH

Re:Not quite working ... Yet... (3, Funny)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375182)

It's WoW; you come for the good ideas, and stay for the bugs.

(Mostly because you're unable to logout)

And lots of bugs (1, Funny)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375200)

Yep, and it also brings a shitload of bugs that they KNEW about on the PTR. They went live with the patch anyway. The new graphical backends are causing issues left and right. I can say that in OS X, my framerates have plummeted (and I'm on a 3.8ghz i7 Hackintosh with a GTX 285), VSync no longer works at all, and the command key does not work in game. This stuff was well known on the PTR and they went live with it anyway. It's fucking unbelievable.

Re:And lots of bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375262)

Hackintosh isn't a supported platform.

I am running Wow on Mac Mini and I have no issues at all with it. The only laggy place is Dalaran, because it is a central hub for players to meet up. Wearing Gnomish X-Ray specs at high population times stops that lag.

In the lifetime of playing Wow (little over a year) it has crashed 3 times for me.

Re:And lots of bugs (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376078)

I'm on a late-2008 24" iMac, 3.06Ghz / 512 Geforce 8800. My computer lags so bad in Dalaran after the 3.3 patch, I feel like a kernal panic is due any moment. One of the *first* things I noticed from the graphical changes they talked about was this weird fog in the Stormwind background behind my human paladin on the character select screen. Something drastic was changed, and not necessarily for the better.

Re:And lots of bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375282)

Tell me DurendalMac, why Blizzard should feel inclined to fix your problems only occurring when running a completely unsupported, and depending on who you ask, also illegal installation? Tell me, did you purchase OS X? Didn't think so, but I bet you feel entitled to it anyway because "Apple won't sell me what I want".

What's "It's fucking unbelievable" is that there actually are so self-centered people like yourself who can't see the irony in what you are writing.

Wow marketing scheme (0)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375256)

Developer: 'So I was sayin' we could have cross server gameplay if we just made some instance servers-'
CFO: 'Hmm, what about the proposal John made about making them pay 20 bucks for a server transfer-(bursts into laughter)'
Developer: 'Alright sir, we'll make them think its acceptable after a year of profits and then offer the cross server gameplay servers.'
CFO: 'You see what we have over here folks? A real blizzard employee!'

They're making the game far too easy (3, Insightful)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375298)

I really like the cross-server instances feature, it's going to cut down my dungeon wait times from 8 hours to a few minutes, but looking at a few other points on the patch notes, it's like they're just making the game easier and easier.
  • Knockbacks no longer dismount players
  • To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character's minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.
  • Creatures attacking a player from behind can no longer cause players level 1-5 to be dazed, and have a reduced chance to cause players level 6-10 to be dazed
  • These regeneration rates have been increased by up to 200% for low level characters.
  • More mana regen, lower mana requirements
  • Any party member may mark targets
  • Etc etc

So their aim seems to be to get players to level up faster... but I feel that's taking away some of the fun of the game.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375308)

You have a point, but I think there's a little more to it than this. I suspect that they're speeding up the levelling process because they're going to add another five levels onto the top come the next expansion. My impression has always been that Blizzard have a definitive idea how long it should take a player to go from level 1 to the maximum level, and that they try to keep this constant through expansions. So, not long after the release of Burning Crusade, we had a nerf to the 1-60 levelling process (with 60-70 still being a substantial gap). Then 60-70 was nerfed shortly before Lich King hit. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the 70-80 xp grind had a nerf shortly before or after 4.0.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (5, Insightful)

Derosian (943622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375310)

I'm sorry but after getting 3 characters to 80, leveling just is not fun anymore... I feel most of the fun is at max level now.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (4, Interesting)

imamac (1083405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375442)

Whereas for me the leveling is incredibly fun. But I just started playing 3 months ago and have one level 43 character, one in the mid-20s and half a dozen others in the teens. I imagine they are /trying/ to strike a balance between people like you and people like me.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (5, Insightful)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375582)

I've actually got 4 characters at 80, another at 73, and the next runner up at about 66. Leveling is what I enjoy.

The end game gear grind, however, is not fun. Don't get me wrong -- I love to experience new content, I don't, however, like to keep re-experiencing it at the mercy of the RNG hoping I get the item(s) I need. Yes, badges mitigate this, slightly, but in the end you're still grinding the same one or two instances until a new one gets released.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375532)

They don't want to have a very long experience gap between new players and "regular" players. You get to grind your way up to 90, getting up to 80 gets easier. That's the way it's always been, so everybody can complain about how "easy" it's become but really they're just trying to keep people together. It's not "fair" but it's a game, if the endgame was a target that kept moving further and further away for new players it'd eventually become some place they'd never reach.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375898)

Or y'know, you could just have a game that doesn't have such a gap - you can keep people 'together' by making it easy to catch up, or you can keep people together by making everyone have 'value' in their own right. When a level 1 can take the field, and ... if not win going toe to toe, at least be contributing to the oucome of the fight ... against a level 80, then you don't need to 'help them catch up'.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375562)

Any changes to levels below 10 are inconsequential, that's about 3 hours of playtime. Removing the dazing effect and increasing regeneration just helps out new players, and i presume Blizzard is trying to recruit new players/subscriptions rather than just alts.

The meeting stone level requirement is effectively a nod toward boosting - given that low levels go past so quickly now, it's actually quite difficult to find a proper party for a mid level dungeon like maraudon, uldaman or that sort of thing. I guess Blizzard think it better that a new player get boosted through there, rather than miss it altogether.

Damn, I miss when you could get a full party for Scarlet monastery, though. Everything goes fine for the first 2 wings, then the leader switches on master looter for the tabard and hearths out - everyone else ragequits or goes to stormwind and badmouths him. Okay maybe I don't miss that so much.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375628)

I don't really see much connection between the changes you posted and "making the game easier".

- the knockback change is primarily because knockbacks are ridiculously powerful already. This has nothing to do with "making the game easier", it's about balance
- The meeting stone change is one that should have been made years ago. The "easier" here is "not making 5 people spend an extra 10 minutes traveling somewhere that if they were just a LOWER level they would be able to do instantly
- The mana regen/daze/etc are all for characters below level 20. Out of 80 (soon to be 85) total levels. That's called "giving people a chance to learn the game"
- Any party memeber may mark targets makes the game easier? What the fuck are you smoking? How does that even relate in the slightest? That's simply a new tweak in mechanics that, while admittedly is a bad thing for other reasons, has nothing to do with making the game easier.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375666)

And to continue, your main point is right, you just have no clue what you're talking about. The "making the game too easy" changes have already happened over the course of the last two years.

Didn't you notice about a year ago when virtually every elite mob in the game (outside of instances) was changed to non-elite?

Didn't you notice when they added about 10 new spirit rezzers to make corpse runs shorter?

Didn't you notice the experience gain/level requirement changes with BC/Wrath that makes it take about 45 minutes/level from 20 to 60, and about 2 hours from 60-70?

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375708)

So the fun of the game is having to run across the world when you're too high level, stocking up on drinks and waiting for mana to regen, stupid clerical crap like tossing around who's leader so they can mark stuff?

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375722)

it's like they're just making the game easier and easier.

If by easy, you mean faster to level, is there something wrong with that? Now, if only the instance server will stop crashing on the last boss of the Heroic dungeon. lol 3 times I failed to get the heroic daily bonus because of the server crash (I gave up trying) and once I got locked out of a decent Halls of Reflection heroic because the server crashed. lol, I only laugh at the irony of when it crashs. It seems to know when I will succeed and stay stable every other time. =P It's just growing pains, I know.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

fascam (1696602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375826)

Making it easier? yes. Far too easy? I don't think so. Faster leveling will be nice for those just entering the game or alt-o-holics(I myself got cured of that some time ago). Hitting 80 isn't the end of the grind if you want to raid. In fact it's harder the longer the you go cause people expect you to have a level of gear before they bring you along. Getting that takes time so the quicker the xp grind the better. I love the cross server instances. I play a tank and a healer so finding a group has never been a problem for me but when I do want to just dps I wont be waiting forever...just a little longer than I normally would. The other great thing about the cross server instances is that people can do dungeons while leveling again. No one runs the old instances anymore. Such a shame. 1. They're fun 2. If you get a good group and can move fast they’re a fast XP. 3. Most important...they're training. You level a tank or healer and do dungeons while leveling by the time you get to 80 you have a pretty good idea of what you're doing. You won’t know it all but you'll know there’s more to being a tank than doing a respec, wearing a mix a blu dps gear and green (of defense) items, and stating "here I am" Has raiding been mad easier? You bet. Back in the day I was in a guild and had quite a few server first kills. It was great and lots of fun. But I dont have that time anymore and if I were a developer I would hate to invest a lot of time creating something that only 5% of the population will see. Those that still do want that game have their hard modes and are rewarded for it. At the end of the day it's a game. You play a game to have fun and be challenged. If WoW is no longer providing that for you then (and I don't mean this to be rude in any way) perhaps you need to find something new. It's your money and you should spend it on something you truly enjoy.

Meeting stones (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375892)

Level on meeting stones was stupid. Nothing like going to run a newbie through a lower level dungeon for some leveling gear, only to get there when you're 70 or 80 and get a "you can't use that stone, only for levels 40-50".

Lack of daze from 1-5 just makes sense, you're trying to stroke that skinner box.

Re:They're making the game far too easy (1)

PFactor (135319) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376350)

"but I feel that's taking away some of the fun of the game." For whom?

Would be nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375364)

If it all worked correctly....but such is the first week of patches.

God be praised! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375710)

I won't have to listen to the Crusader's Coliseum NPC dialogue again.

WoW players will know what I mean. It's always exactly the same, and after the 100000th time, it's REALLY annoying. Especially "Thankyou high lord! I will now begin the ritual of summoning!" and the really hammy voice acting that follows "You summon a demon lord against warriors of the Horde?"

It's so bad, it makes me wish for "In the mountains... / Thorin, my lord! Why else would these invaders come into your sanctum but to slay you? They must be stopped!"

may take months to face Arthas? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375846)

Months, huh? I call bullshit. Some guild with no life will beat Arthas into paste before the end of the year.

Every time Blizzard has released new content, one of the mega-guilds powers through it so fast, that it's shocking. Yeah, they might get slapped around the first few times while they learn the encounter.... but you can expect the first Arthas kill in a matter of weeks, not months.

The only possible things that could put it off until the new year is (1) Blizzard hard coded it so each wing is opened on a set schedule, regardless of how fast the bosses in that wing are beaten and (2) Christmas break.

Re:may take months to face Arthas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375890)

It will take months because Arthas will not be released for months yet.
This patch is only the first wing of the instance. The next wing is in 28 days. (There is a NPC in the instance that tells you the time until "the door opens")
At this rate, Arthas won't be available until April.

Re:may take months to face Arthas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376064)

Except that the doors to the raid wings are not all open yet. They're on a timer, so the second wing is giong to open in 28 days. Then the 3rd wing will open some days (maybe 28 but probably less) after that.

Guilds will still power through the wings, but we won't see Arthas killed this year as they'll have to wait between each wing.

Re:may take months to face Arthas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376108)

Arthas won't be released in a few weeks so I highly doubt what you say is true. Read up before you spread your lies and bullshit.

Re:may take months to face Arthas? (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376124)

Well, remember how long it took to get the AQ gates open? Is this of similar difficulty?

WoW (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30375936)

There are a lot of people who seem relatively uninformed, are basing their statements in some variety of hearsay, and/or their experiences on a patch day. I've been playing WoW on and off for 3 years. The experience can be a mixed one, it is certain (as all things in life). However, I can assuredly state that this is one of the most well designed games I've played. The changes being made (faster leveling, obtaining gear being made easier) are designed to increase the appeal to casual players (which I don't at all see as a bad thing), and allow them a sense of achievement with relatively little playtime. This in no way prevents one from "min/maxing" their characters with harder modes, etc... The challenge in this game is alive and well for those who chose to go after it (corpse run lol).
Whether or not any individual thinks WoW is a good game is subjective... however from my personal experience, and the continuing success of a game more than 5 years old, I'm inclined to say that WoW is a quality product (despite patch day bugs: black screen of death anyone?), with huge amounts of appealing content for a variety of different kinds of users.
That is all.

Trade with other players? (3, Interesting)

WeirdCat (1136961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30375976)

Is it possible to trade with players from other realms via this cross-realm instances? Possibly players could even schedule a meeting in the lesser frequented instances.

Re:Trade with other players? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30376114)

No.

Re:Trade with other players? (1)

borizz (1023175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376282)

I think (haven't tried it) you can only trade stuff that dropped in that instance and has the blue "This item can be traded for 2 hours" text in its tooltip.

Re:Trade with other players? (2, Informative)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376328)

You can only trade items that you picked up INSIDE the cross-realm instances. Other items cannot be traded.

Friends (2, Interesting)

whoop (194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376324)

Is there a way to friend someone on another server, so you can do an instance with these specific people, or is it always random people to fill out your group?

squeezing the players for subscription cash (4, Insightful)

blueworm (425290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376336)

Patch 3.3 is Blizzard's big squeeze for subscription cash before the next expansion. Each wing past the first wing of the raid dungeon is locked out on a real-time timer such that the dungeon incrementally opens. What's worse, is the final boss of each wing has an attempt count which also increases linearly as more wings open. All this is to forcefully stop well-coordinated teams of players from beating the dungeon quickly, and I don't just mean in one week. There are guilds out there who are capable of beating this thing in a couple months in about the 50th percentile of raiding guilds, but with the harsh attempt count on the bosses of each wing it will most likely lock these guilds out for more than that, keeping the subscription cash flowing longer than it needs to. To top it all off, hard modes won't be accessible until the whole dungeon is cleared, and when that happens, they're granting all players a buff to their statistics to make it easier to beat the dungeon. That last one is to deliver the psychological feeling of accomplishment to players who would have otherwise ended their subscriptions, in order to make it seem like the game is still fun for them to keep their subscription dollars coming in.

Blizzard has gotten so addicted to the high revenues that they're willing to implement game mechanics based around keeping people subscribing with minimal content updates. As a result, I've cancelled my subscription and I can safely say I won't be returning to Azeroth again -- ever.

Re:squeezing the players for subscription cash (2, Insightful)

blueworm (425290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30376426)

UIpdate from mmo-champion.com: "The next unlock will happen on January 5th, if each wing is unlocked after a month it means that we won't see Arthas before April but if I had to give my opinion I would say that it will probably be faster than that. The 4 weeks are probably here to let people test the rest of the content without focusing too much on raid instances."

So there you have it folks, they're giving themselves plenty of time to harvest those delicious greenbacks without updating the content at all. If MMOs are supposed to be constantly evolving persistent worlds, WoW now wins the award for consistently stagnant persistent world.

The "other content" they're referring to are the 5-player dungeons, but those will just get toasted by the end of the week.

If you want to remain playing WoW, you might want to consider putting a dent in Blizzard's coffers by cancelling your subscription at least until the new raid zone is fully released on normal difficulty.

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