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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm To Launch Dec. 7th

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the remember,-digital-bear-pelts-are-not-an-appropriate-christmas-gift dept.

Role Playing (Games) 431

Blizzard announced today that the third expansion to World of Warcraft, dubbed Cataclysm, is set for launch on December 7th. In addition to upping the level cap to 85 and including several new high level zones, the expansion will revamp the parts of Azeroth that have been around since WoW's initial launch, bringing the 1-60 leveling experience more in line with the improvements Blizzard has made in the expansions. Cataclysm will also give players two new races to play, Goblins and Worgen, who have joined the Horde and the Alliance, respectively.

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Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786226)

Real ID lost me. I don't play online games so I can be stalked and harassed, and by failing to make privacy and security a priority from the start, you ruined any chance I'd trust you to handle it right,.

So I won't give you money.

I'm sure you miss me.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786252)

Huh? You realize that you don't have to add ANYONE to your RealID list right? Nobody has been added to my RealID list, and so nobody "stalks or harrasses" me.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786380)

I thought he covered it in his post:

by failing to make privacy and security a priority from the start, you ruined any chance I'd trust you to handle it right,.

Doesn't really matter if they 'backtracked' and 'fixed it up AFTER the community when batshit' to him.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (4, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786472)

They announced a PLAN to make RealID required to post on the official forums (an activity that only a small percentage of players even participate in anyways). After community backlash they NEVER IMPLEMENTED that plan.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (2, Funny)

B4light (1144317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786516)

I don't want to play a game with FURRIES in it.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (3, Informative)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786922)

Have you even used the Real ID friends list? First of all, someone has to know the email you use for your WoW account (granted, this is probably easily guessed in a lot of cases). Second, they send a friend request which you must manually accept before they can see anything.

In other words, Real ID has been opt out from the start by design. If you never add anyone or confirm anyone, no one can see your real name or track you, and your WoW experience is no different than before they added this feature.

This isn't something they added 3 days ago with the web based controls, this is how it has worked since it was originally implemented. Also, from the very beginning, if you wanted to go through the hassle of setting up the parental control system you could have completely disabled Real ID if you were super paranoid about it for some reason.

Basically, the main addition they added a few days ago was the option to disable the display of friends of friends, and made the method of totally disabling Real ID less complex. While I think the ability to hide yourself on the friend of friend list should have been in from the start, the simple solution beforehand was to simply not add any Real ID friends. Any method of "totally disabling" Real ID is just paranoia by people who apparently lack the self control to not click "accept" every time some random stranger sends them a friend request in a video game (other than the pre-existing parental controls method, which was the specific case of a parent of a minor child exercising their right to control their child's online engagement level).

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786486)

You can also just disable real id altogether. Sure its a despicable system, but so long as its not enforced I can overlook it.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786540)

Huh? You realize that you don't have to add ANYONE to your RealID list right? Nobody has been added to my RealID list, and so nobody "stalks or harrasses" me.

This is how we know that the Coward is being dishonest. Anyone even remotely familiar with it realizes that none of the 'DANGER DANGER' stuff came true. Anyone touting it as true today is either not a player or is deliberately being false - probably both are true, actually.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (2, Informative)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786314)

RealID is completely voluntary. They even backed of on the requirement of it's use on their forums.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786528)

RealID is completely voluntary. They even backed of on the requirement of it's use on their forums.

Yes, they backed off from it, but that's like an abusive spouse apologizing after hitting you.

The only thing you should take from that experience is a message to get the hell out of the relationship.

The lack of a convenient way to opt out of Real ID was bad enough, perhaps I could have waited for them to fix it, but that whole forum business? It showed their real thoughtlessness and how incompatible their way of thinking is with mine.

So I jumped ship because I just can't trust them anymore. Backing off? They shouldn't have even released the idea to the public, it should have been shot down in whatever brainstorming session came up with it. But no, it made its way out to the public, where it was shouted down with an appropriate fury. Which may be enough for some people to keep trusting Blizzard, but not me. They gave a clear sign of exactly what they think they can do, and I'm sure they're going to push the limits again.

This frog does not want to be boiled.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786590)

Yes, they backed off from it, but that's like an abusive spouse apologizing after hitting you.

Did you seriously just compare an company considering then declining to disable anonymous commenting on their forum to spousal abuse? Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786618)

This is the dumbest argument I've ever heard of. They had an idea they thought would make the experience better. They put it to the public. The public hated the idea. They responded to the public and binned the idea.

And you're complaining that you can't trust them? You could just as easily say that they're trying new ideas to improve the experience, and they're clearly listening to their customers.

There is a pretty big difference between looking for ways of making people responsible for their actions online and hitting your wife.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786642)

To use your abhorrent analogy, they never "hit" anyone. The policy was never implemented. They listened to their customers, how terrible of them.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786956)

It's an opt in system already. You opt-in by adding Real ID friends to your friend list. If you have no Real ID friends you're already opted out. The hard disable on the website is just to make idiots feel better about their inability to avoid clicking "confirm" on every pop-up they ever see.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (-1, Flamebait)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786356)

Real ID lost me. I don't play online games so I can be stalked and harassed, and by failing to make privacy and security a priority from the start, you ruined any chance I'd trust you to handle it right,.

So I won't give you money.

I'm sure you miss me.

You're a liar. And you likely work for the competition, to boot.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786418)

Real ID lost me. I don't play online games so I can be stalked and harassed, and by failing to make privacy and security a priority from the start, you ruined any chance I'd trust you to handle it right,.

So I won't give you money.

I'm sure you miss me.

Don't pay much attention, do ya? Real ID isn't required, period, just a Battle.net login, which isn't the same thing. You don't have to share your Battle.Net login with anyone, thus they can't find you unless you willingly give it out - Blizzard is putting the responsibility for your safety and privacy in your hands, where it belongs.

Blizzard gains about 20 new customers for every one that quits - so, please, continue to quit - my stock price keeps going up.

Your stock price? (3, Interesting)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786652)

Blizzard gains about 20 new customers for every one that quits - so, please, continue to quit - my stock price keeps going up.

Actually, what's funny about that is that last year I bought some Activision Blizzard stock (ATVI on NASDAQ). I had a little leftover money, and I figured that with such a strong release schedule for 2010, there must have been room for growth in the stock. And guess what's happened - the stock is currently down from where I bought it, from about $11.70 at this point last year to about $11.00 today.

This despite the fact that ATVI has been profitable, has lots of cash on hand with no debt, has good releases in the pipe. They've even recently implemented a dividend to try and help with that staggering stock price (which will pay out around 1.5% of the stock price early next year, and I'm quite happy for it since it's at least a small ROI). On the one hand, the stock is largely following the market, so its price won't go up much until the larger market goes up, but the stock has also had a few tumbles apart from the market average that it never recovered from. What's crazy is that the price tumbled just after SC2 came out in part because of a company announcement stating that their quarter 2 earnings weren't going to beat expectations. Huge worldwide release of a long-awaited game apparently meant nothing against a lackluster earnings statement for a quarter with no major releases.

I'm sure your stock price thing was just sort of a flippant comment, but I wanted to mention this since it's been weird following the stock for a year. It's actually taught me a valuable lesson about buying individual stocks - you're told to trade in stocks where you know something about the company, something about the industry, so that you can predict how the price will move, but knowledge about the company doesn't always translate into knowledge about the market.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (3, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786422)

WoW jumped the shark when Blizzard created achievements and players started to use them as a criteria to participate in a raid.

Gear-score came along and gave the finishing blow.

I have nothing against requiring some prerequisites like completed a lower level raid or have a reasonable gear score. Unfortunately most players who spam the trade channel for a raid pug require that you've already achieved that particular raid instance or a gear score so high that requires you to have farmed that raid repeatedly.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (2, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786654)

From my experience too, on returning after a hiatus to find the gear score thing in place (and my character still being pretty well end-raid geared (ulduar 25/tournament 25), it seemed that the people demanding the really high gearscores and pre-completed raids didn't meet their own requirements - ie, they just wanted boosting.

I'll still never forget being turned away from a Karazan badge farming run on my 6/8 T6 mage with Sunwell off pieces for "too little spell power". Perhaps it was because I wasn't 8/8 - the sunwell pieces were better than the equivalent T6.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (4, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786720)

WoW jumped the shark when Blizzard created achievements and players started to use them as a criteria to participate in a raid.

Gear-score came along and gave the finishing blow.

I have nothing against requiring some prerequisites like completed a lower level raid or have a reasonable gear score. Unfortunately most players who spam the trade channel for a raid pug require that you've already achieved that particular raid instance or a gear score so high that requires you to have farmed that raid repeatedly.

I read an opinion, which isn't necessarily mine by the way, that basically said that Cataclysm was the answer to all of these woes introduced by the new meta-game. The theory goes like this:

1) The talents and values on gear are simplified, making the basics of the game very easy to grasp without help.

2) The difficulty is ramped way, way up. The standing intention now is mana/resource conservation along with the return crowd control. Also, there will be a progression of 'Normals > Heroics > Raids' that cannot be skipped.

3) Two deeply-critical roles are seeing huge nerfs - tanks/healing - while damage is getting a sizeable buff, creating an inherent conflict of interests.

4) Guild are getting rewards, which translate into costs when one leaves said guild.

This is said to result in a climate where you're never, ever, ever going to want to play with people you don't like. Everyone will be dieing together, a lot. Victories will be by the skin of your teeth, and only when everyone is playing at their best. The days of 'one-wipe-and-bail' will be gone, and the players who seek to judge your ability by Gearscore+Achievement won't be worth playing with. You'll be intended to foster relationships with players and keep them around. You'll guild up for the rewards, and you'll focus on doing this stuff together to get more of them. As you do so, you'll work on getting more skill for those that need it, as pugging just won't be a workable idea.

Or so the theory goes, anyway.

Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786820)

You can now shut off RealID completely from the account settings page.

Account > Settings > Communication Preferences

Really? (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786234)

I started with MUDs, moved on to Meridian 59, Ultima Online, Everquest, etc...I absolutely LOVED my time spent with MMOs, especially WoW (closed and open betas, continued until about 1.5 years after launch), but the genre got boring for me. Not even The Old Republic can get me excited about an MMO.

I still find it surprising when I hear so many people are still playing WoW. Anyone on here still playing since launch? What's kept you with it all this time? Gameplay, community, what?

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786274)

I started with MUDs, moved on to Meridian 59, Ultima Online, Everquest, etc...I absolutely LOVED my time spent with MMOs, especially WoW (closed and open betas, continued until about 1.5 years after launch), but the genre got boring for me. Not even The Old Republic can get me excited about an MMO.

I still find it surprising when I hear so many people are still playing WoW. Anyone on here still playing since launch? What's kept you with it all this time? Gameplay, community, what?

Been playing since early 2005. Blizz has managed to keep it interesting, despite some missteps. About time for the old world revamp though. Bring on the Cataclysm!

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786358)

I started with MUDs, moved on to Meridian 59, Ultima Online, Everquest, etc...I absolutely LOVED my time spent with MMOs, especially WoW (closed and open betas, continued until about 1.5 years after launch), but the genre got boring for me. Not even The Old Republic can get me excited about an MMO.

I still find it surprising when I hear so many people are still playing WoW. Anyone on here still playing since launch? What's kept you with it all this time? Gameplay, community, what?

Been playing since early 2005. Blizz has managed to keep it interesting, despite some missteps. About time for the old world revamp though. Bring on the Cataclysm!

As a Beta Tester, I gotta tell you - the water effects ALONE are worth the 4.0 patch. So much has changed, yet alot is still the same, or just slightly different - but it feels like a new game, truly.

Re:Really? (1)

bmin (945466) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786306)

I started out with the MUDs, did some DAoC, CoH, WAR, etc, but I've stuck with WoW. I started WoW about 4-5 months after launch. I've taken a 6 month break from it, but I keep coming back to it. I enjoy both the PvP and PvE aspects of the game and find the new content they keep releasing refreshing. Also the game has been updated again and again. With the launch of Cataclysm the talent trees are being made smaller. You'll be able to fly in the old world, etc. For me it's more of a social thing than a game. It's my Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, whatever you want to call it. It's where I spend my time talking with friends and doing an activity. Also the cost per hour is minimial. Even if you pay 15/mo in the US, it still works out to a few cents per hour (I play alot in a month). Even if you play for 2 hours a month it's cheaper than going to a movie.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786382)

Even if you pay 15/mo in the US, it still works out to a few cents per hour (I play alot in a month). Even if you play for 2 hours a month it's cheaper than going to a movie.

Or I could just play Team Fortress 2, which I got as part of a 5-game pack for $50 that has no monthly fee*.

Since my community [ocrtf2.com] runs it own servers, we turn AllTalk on, although that does make it harder to coordinate things as a team.

* However, since I've clocked over 800 hours (prolly over 900 by now, over 1800/1900 if you count idle time for items back when that worked), I did spend the $50 on the item pack Valve recently added. I can afford to give then some money to continue adding new things to the game.

Now, if Valve would only give me a Mann Co. Supply Crate, I'd give them even more money! (They cost $2.49 for the key to open one.)

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786442)

Have you ever thought that someone who might like an Action-Adventure-RPG such as WoW wouldn't like a twitch First Person Shooter like TF2?

Re:Really? (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786548)

Have you ever thought that someone who might like an Action-Adventure-RPG such as WoW wouldn't like a twitch First Person Shooter like TF2?

Maybe you should go back in time and tell this to the people funding APB. :D

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786604)

TF2 has 9 classes to choose from! And quests ("push the cart!", "go get the flag!", "defend the point!"). You gain new loot by playing. You can get achievements. You group with other players and kill enemies. It's basically the best online RPG ever.

Re:Really? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786638)

Have you ever thought that someone who might like an Action-Adventure-RPG such as WoW wouldn't like a twitch First Person Shooter like TF2?

Maybe I should have clarified that.

I could renew my WoW WotLK account and pay $15/month to play WoW or I could pay nothing and play TF2. I clearly can't make your decisions for you, but for me it was easy.

P.S. The two groups do overlap. The group of friends I used to play WoW with are the same group of friends that I played FPS and RTS games with in the past.

And Valve really seems bent on eventually turning TF2 into an RPG. Hell, the game just added item sets of all things, and equipping all 3-4 items in a set gives you bonuses.

I have my Tier 1 Spy set equipped right now!

P.P.S. I'll likely renew my WoW account for a month once the old world changes hit just to see what changed.

Re:Really? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786794)

I could renew my WoW WotLK account and pay $15/month to play WoW or I could pay nothing and play TF2. I clearly can't make your decisions for you, but for me it was easy.

Well, assuming you have no interest in TF2 (which you obviously do) then would it really make sense to choose "save money" over "have fun" when what you want is "have fun" and you (presumably) have disposable income?

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786318)

I've been playing since just a few months after launch, but "playing" is used loosely for the last 6 months or so(I've been logging at most an hour per week during that time).

The community aspect - guildies to log on and talk to for a bit, is a big part of staying, but aside from that sometimes I just wanna kill some time. WoW feels like a decent way to spend that time. Repetitive? A bit, sure, but life itself is repetitive. Nobody asks the sports fans why they watch the same sport every Sunday, or why the fisherman goes out catching the same kinds of fish every Saturday, or why people go down to the same bars with the same group of people each weekend. People do the things they like because they enjoy doing them, and just because you can reduce it to "doing the same thing over and over" doesn't necessarily mean that it loses all appeal.

Re:Really? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786894)

Pretty much this for me too. I've made loads of friends in WoW that I'd begrudge just upping and leaving. I have stopped playing a number of times, ie, stopped paying (not just "log on once a week or so") for various reasons throughout the years, always hanging around the guild forums, but eventually, it keeps bringing me back.

OCD? :P (3, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786322)

OCD? ;)

Well, now seriously, I don't know anyone who actually played non-interrupted since start. The longest I know someone playing in a row is like 3 years, which admittedly is still a lot, but still not quite since start.

What most of us do is really play one game, play and eventually get bored, move to another game, played and eventually get bored, and so on. Not even all MMOs. There'll be lots of falling back to single player games in between MMOs.

I mean, technically I've started WoW relatively soon after it got launched in Europe myself, but, good grief, not continuously. In fact, the vast majority of these years I was _not_ on WoW at all. Ditto for other games. Actually my all time favourite MMO is City Of Heros, not WoW, but, you guessed, it's been actually a lot of not being on COH either.

At any rate, I'll probably have a look on WoW when cataclysm launches. Or maybe not. But it's not like, you know, a marriage or a job or swearing allegiance to a new king. It's a game. You play it until you've seen all the quests that are easy to get to, maybe try again with a different character or three, but eventually that's it.

Re:OCD? :P (1)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786610)

I would say WoW is an exception to this, because the expansions basically reinvent the game every two years, especially this one that fully refactors the initial leveling experience as well as adding the new content at the top.

Well, I probably wasn't too clear (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786846)

Well, I probably wasn't too clear about it. I do come back now and again, so the point is kinda: I too could technically make a claim like "oh, I've been playing WoW since launch" and even go into what got changed in which EP. But it's more like since start playing a month or two, then taking a half a year break, then playing another month, then taking a break until the next EP, then taking yet another break, then figured I'd try playing a horde char to see what's different, then take another break, and so on.

And for that matter I could make a similar claim that I played COH since launch (except most of the time not actually playing it) or EQ2 since launch (ditto.)

Most people I know who count as "playing WoW since 2005" are really something like that. _Very_ few have actually played it for so many years in a row. But when people hear about "playing WoW since launch" they assume the former, not the latter, for some reason. Which IMHO for most people is actually the very wrong assumption.

Re:OCD? :P (2, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786624)

You play it until you've seen all the quests that are easy to get to, maybe try again with a different character or three, but eventually that's it.

The Heirlooms that they introduced with Wrath, and are continuing with Cata, have put an interesting spin on this, actually. Your main character's efforts can now directly result in alts leveling faster through the content you've already seen. There's XP in the battlegrounds now, too, and PvP heirlooms make that a lot easier to get into.

Everyone I know has several alts. Many of whom reached max level during this last xpac. This did used to happen in the past, true, but not to the degree we see it today.

Also, the optional RealID system means you can play on another server and/or faction without anyone wondering if you've quit the game...

Re:Really? (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786326)

Same history here. I actually got hooked on a MUD once again. BatMUD rocks. Chip off the old rock...

Re:Really? (1)

assemblyronin (1719578) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786336)

It's my alcohol without the hang-over the next morning.

Re:Really? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786338)

Reinforcement.

WoW is juts a Skinner Box for humans. Some people are more vulnerable to this than others.

Cataclysm is not evolutionary. It is just more of the same. I won't be re-opening my old WoW account.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786912)

WoW is juts a Skinner Box for humans.

What isn't?

Re:Really? (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786394)

Geeks love WoW because it's the closest thing they'll ever experience to working at Foxconn.

Re:Really? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786550)

Actually, FFO, original EQ(pre-WoWing of the experience system), and some other games are more like Foxconn than WoW. WoW is like working at Hot Dog on a Stick

Re:Really? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786928)

Actually, FFO, original EQ(pre-WoWing of the experience system), and some other games are more like Foxconn than WoW. WoW is like working at Hot Dog on a Stick

I thought it was TF2 that had the funny hats.

Re:Really? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786416)

I'm an on-and-off player since Beta. I play in within my social circle, mostly, so I'd have to say that we'd simply rather be on WoW than on Facebook. We can work together towards a common goal, 'hang out', and simply share a hobby. My vendor's rep is into WoW, too, so we can swap stories from time to time.

WoW is a lot like the new golf. Nearly everyone has either played it, or has heard of it, and can at least carry on a conversation.

So, the gameplay is part of it. It changes a lot from xpac to xpac, and keeps things from getting too stale. This keeps the community that you'd naturally attract otherwise.

Re:Really? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786512)

I started with MUDs, moved on to Meridian 59, Ultima Online, Everquest, etc...I absolutely LOVED my time spent with MMOs, especially WoW (closed and open betas, continued until about 1.5 years after launch), but the genre got boring for me. Not even The Old Republic can get me excited about an MMO.

I still find it surprising when I hear so many people are still playing WoW. Anyone on here still playing since launch? What's kept you with it all this time? Gameplay, community, what?

I still play a MUD that's been online since 1989. I also tried to move up to Ultima Online. I lasted a whole 3mo into retail, then Origin shanked/patched the pre-casting, which IMHO ruined the PvP experience. From there I chose Asheron's Call over Everquest, and I stayed with AC on Darktide (PvP-only server) for about 5 years on-again/off-again. Too many class balance adjustments ultimately ruined it. Asheron's Call 1 was probably the most fun I've ever had with an online game though. Sure, Doom 1&2, and Quake had their places... but Asheron's Call was the first 3D game where I could invest time in growing my character (grinding/quests), and learn the physics and mechanics of the game engine so as to exploit my knowledge during fights with other human players.

Also, as newer games came out (read: the sequel to Asheron's Call 1, ShadowBane, Eve, City of Heroes, WoW, etc) Turbine kept raising the monthly subscription fee. In the last 12 years there has been only a single major graphics update. They completely shut down all the servers to the sequel, Asheron's Call 2, but are now charging $15.95/mo for a game that went live in November, 1999...

What I can tell you about the reasons I stuck with AC1 for so long. From the beginning the PvP was what attracted me to the game. The fact that I could "ruin" someone's "fun" was what really kept me coming back. I took great joy fighting other human players, but took even greater joy from the actual notoriety the system allowed for. Unlike other games that have in-game mechanics for such a function, in AC1 it was all done socially through fellowship/monarchy chat. No other game to date has provided me with such joys like "raiding" town and seeing everyone flee while screaming my name in terror! Another very cool thing from the old AC1 days was when the developers would trigger an in-game event, and then run around controlling a boss character as they literally destroyed in-game towns!

All the newer games seem really dumbed down to me. The character development, the storyline, and the quests all seem extremely bland and poorly scripted. I have yet to see any other game show the type of developer/player synergy that Turbine has achieved with their flagship product "Asheron's Call". I'm not trying to say AC1 was the best game ever invented, just that it got so many things right that it was worth sticking around for many years.

The things they got wrong, probably had a lot more to do with their budget constraints than anything else. For example, I think the AC1 dev team lacked for many years a clone server to do regression testing on. Which if true, IMHO, led to a number of patch reversals/rollbacks that could have been avoided by providing adequate testing and gathering player feedback.

WoW to me was the ultimate decline of the online RPG genre. It's always been sort of the Super Mario Bros. of the RPG world. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator to maximize corporate profits. People will flame me for saying this, but I'd rather play DDO or LOTRO with the free-to-play model Turbine seems to be doing OK with...

Re:Really? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786830)

WoW to me was the ultimate decline of the online RPG genre. It's always been sort of the Super Mario Bros. of the RPG world. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator to maximize corporate profits. People will flame me for saying this, but I'd rather play DDO or LOTRO with the free-to-play model Turbine seems to be doing OK with...

You're mixing the two arguments, without really doing anything about meshing them together. Your points are:

A) Games charge too much per month to play
and
B) Games are being dumbed down

But you're advocating DDO and LOTRO. Why?

A) - Check. Free to play, at least somewhat. You can elect to pay as little as you'd like, so long as you're fine with restricted access.
and
B) - Not-check. They're both as dumb as WoW, on the whole. Some ways more so, some ways less, but the net is about the same.

On the one hand you're advocating storyline as a good thing, and on the other you're happy to wreck that for others while you grief them PvP-style.

Very disorganized rant, IMO.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786836)

Yes! The coveted "modtroll" Troll mod! I don't see anything terribly trollsome in that post and I'm an old school pen/paper D&D to WoW convert!

Re:Really? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786628)

"I still find it surprising when I hear so many people are still playing WoW."

Some of us went full circle. I'm back playing Ultima Online (privately owned-public server...and free, UOSecondAge) and it is like I never left. WoW is what made me realize that, by FAR, the most fun I had playing MMO-style games was the very first years I did so.

Go back to your roots. I honestly believe that the trailblazers in MMO history rode us right to the clearing at the end of the trail--everything else is simply derivative. Until someone takes some huge risks, it will remain so.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786668)

Played since launch, but not continuously. After it came out, I played for 6 months or so, then quit. A while after WotLK came out, I started up again for another four months. That was a year ago. I started again last month, because I wanted to be around when Cataclysm came out. After I get to 85, I'll probably do some raiding, remember that I got totally burned out in Blackwing Lair in classic, and quit again.

Basically, it's worth it to come back and see what's changed, but once you've done everything, it's kind of pointless. Sure, you can start a new class, but that's always felt like a chore to me. I wish they were adding a new hero class, as it's really nice to skip the 1-55 grind with the Death Knight.

Re:Really? (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786756)

Frequent breaks. I played the hell out of it for about 4 or 5, maybe 6 months, took a year off, played for a few months, took off until BC, took off another couple years and just resubbed a little over a year ago. My sub lapses next week, but that's because I'm on a PPC mac and support is being dropped for it, but that's okay. I'll wait until Cata is good and broken in and I'll be ready for a new computer then. :)

Re:Really? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786788)

I come back every 6-8 months or so. I don't consistently play it. Even then I've managed 2 level 80s, a 78, a 70 and misc. chars in the 40s.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786884)

Any other Meridian 59 players out there? I used to play the hell out of that game!

"The Guild" makes it all worthwhile... (3, Funny)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786896)

While the game itself varies from occasional memorable moments to a great deal of mundane (and frequently mind-numbing) activity, the meta-game and content that surrounds the game can be very entertaining. The game is fuel for interactions with fellow players, discussions with game developers, and music videos such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMrN3Rh55uM [youtube.com] .

Eh, (1)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786258)

I'm more interested in finding out about the new next gen mmo Bizzard ir rumored to be working on. Supposedly it's a new IP with no story connection to their other works. Would be nice to see something thats not a sequel. Regardless of what one thinks of WoW, Blizzard has created som iconic game IP lines.

Re:Eh, (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786302)

Much like Valve, Blizzard is one of the few companies that could continue only releasing games connected to their core IP and not hear a single complaint about it from me. While I'm excited about a potential new Blizzard IP, their current IP is so iconic and so engrained in my gaming experience that I don't think I'd ever get enough of them.

Re:Eh, (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786374)

I pretty much agree. I mean, Blizzard really has their "typically game genre" bases covered. They've got the more aloof less serious fantasy setting with Warcraft, the darker more serious fantasy setting with Diablo, and the futuristic sci-fi setting with Starcraft.

I don't think there are a lot of good options for creating a modern day IP separate from reality. The only significant option that seems to be unexplored for them (aside from just doing different fantasy/scifi world) would be a more Victorian/Steampunk type IP (or, God help us, a vampire/werewolf type setting), which I can't say that I'd personally be extremely interested in.

Re:Eh, (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786532)

Steampunk = goblins
Vampire/werewolf = Worgen

Re:Eh, (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786666)

Vampire/Werewolf = Worgen gets a "kinda" from me. It's still embedded into the WoW "swords and sorcery universe", rather than letting the vampires/werewolves be center stage. There's also the issue of the vampires missing from that aspect of it. I'll let that slide though as there are some vampires that show up in WoTLK, even though they're decidly not of the "pop culture" variety of vampire.

Steampunk = goblins though is a "no way". Steampunk is an established genre that doesn't typically feature different species. It's typically human, and has heavy influence from the American West and Victorian England. The devices might be there in WoW, but the atmosphere and feel of the genre most certainly isn't. At best they could be argued to be a strange parody of steampunk.

Re:Eh, (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786676)

While I'd generally agree, I'm very happy Valve took chances on Portal and Left 4 Dead. Blizzard seems content to evolve their IP's, with WoW being very different than Warcraft, and the failed Ghost being very different than Starcraft. But there is something special about when Valve releases a whole new world to explore. TF2, while it didn't have much of a "world" world, did feel like a 1950's take on a very 1990's genre.

And they have enough, and release infrequently enough, to keep the interest up. But here's hoping Blizzard starts taking more creative risks like Valve.

Re:Eh, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786808)

I'm more interested in finding out about the new next gen mmo Blizzard ir rumored to be working on. Supposedly it's a new franchise with no story connection to their other works. Would be nice to see something thats not a sequel. Regardless of what one thinks of WoW, Blizzard has created som iconic game franchise lines.

FTFY!

It's about time (2, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786310)

It's about time. We knew the release date had to be soon, as Blizzard's WoW Updater has already pushed out 4.8GB of updates to each user for the upcoming version (4.0.0).

Re:It's about time (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786502)

My best guess as to the timeline:

10/12/10 - Soft-Confirmed date of the 4.0.1 patch. This will be client and class/mechanics changes only.

10/26/10 - End of Beta

11/23/10 - 4.0.3 'Sundering' patch containing world changes, but not perks like Goblins/Worgen, etc. This coincides with WoW's sixth anniversary.

12/07/10 - Cataclysm proper, as announced today...

12/14/10 - Rumored start of Arena Season Nine

The thing that's odd to me is, why start an arena season when nobody is geared to take part in it yet??

Re:It's about time (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786706)

The thing that's odd to me is, why start an arena season when nobody is geared to take part in it yet??

You get gear during the season. People have been gearing up for season nine during the whole of season eight. PVE doesn't really factor into it.

Re:It's about time (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786742)

Sort of, but you can't equip any of it until you're 85. How does one get time to level to max AND grind up a bunch of points in only seven days?

I'm not expecting there would be anyone to queue against for such a person...

Re:It's about time (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786752)

That's, "Hell, it's about time."

Pearl Harbor Day? (1, Troll)

mike.mondy (524326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786316)

WOW is just a game ... But this choice of a release date is sure to generate controversy....

Re:Pearl Harbor Day? (1)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786354)

WOW is just a game ... But this choice of a release date is sure to generate controversy....

So? My daughter was born almost 59 years to the minute of the D-Day Invasion...

And, actually, it could be viewed as somewhat appropriate - Cataclysm is an upheaval for Azeroth in so many ways; much like the attack on Pearl Harbor was an upheaval both for America as a nation as well as the rest of the world.

Re:Pearl Harbor Day? (1)

TBone (5692) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786520)

As was I (though 32 years, not 59...).

Happy birthday to me, time to kick some Deathwing butt.

Re:Pearl Harbor Day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786800)

"So? My daughter was born almost 59 years to the minute of the D-Day Invasion.."

D_Day is a day, not a minute or hour. (Paratroopers were landing at midnight and the first landing craft didn't reach shore until after 6am or so, And of course this is local (Normandy) times...

BTW Bill Millin, the piper that landed at sword beach with Lord Loat's brigade, passed away only a couple of months ago aged 87.

Re:Pearl Harbor Day? (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786400)

I challenge anyone to go to www.datesinhistory.com and find a date that WON'T generate controversy somewhere. I totally understand what you are saying, but all dates have meaning to someone.

Re:Pearl Harbor Day? (1)

mike.mondy (524326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786700)

Of course. And I'm sure the real rush is to make the Christmas shopping season. But, I still predict some complaints....

Re:Pearl Harbor Day? (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786736)

Oh I am sure there will be...maybe not to the level of what EA got, but still. What surprises me is that I thought they would have it out before Thanksgiving weekend so everyone could begin a mad dash to lvl 85 over a long weekend.

So Familiar.... (2, Insightful)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786342)

Why does a very destructive sneak attack from the ocean on major coastal cities around December sound so familiar?

To be serious for a moment, I still play since launch. The thing that kept my attention is their drive is partially beating the content and continuing drive to change the content. Seeing a new boss, dissecting its behavior, and attacking in a cooperative team manner is always fun. There is just enough complexity that it triggers my analytical side so when they revamp or change out mechanics I'm always interested.

Granted "WoW" isn't a perfect game and it does hinge on personal experiences (if you have no friends to play with, "WoW" is easily the dumbest thing to try to play) but I'm always stumped when people say "WoW" is a horrible experience.

Re:So Familiar.... (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786814)

Agreed. I think your enjoyment will be inline with how many friends you have that play, or how many friends you can make in the game. Since I found out that some people I work with play, and since I found a guild my enjoyment increased greatly. What I never got was the people that would do nothing but solo quest and then complain that the game was crap...of course you think it is crap if you miss the whole point of social interaction.

No mention of flying? (5, Interesting)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786392)

The author failed to mention a primary feature of the expansion: flying allowed in Azeroth. The world was previously not setup to allow players to see the ugly transition between zones, and this is seen as a major update.

Re:No mention of flying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786534)

Flying: an ability to avoid what little chance there was for spontaneus world PvP. Hoorayy.. :(

Re:No mention of flying? (1)

jdizzle636 (1573803) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786746)

Flying: an ability to avoid what little chance there was for spontaneus world PvP. Hoorayy.. :(

Oh, you mean ganking.

Re:No mention of flying? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786770)

balance druids, shadow priests and mages all can kill you while you are flying, so don't worry.

Re:No mention of flying? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786882)

Or possibly make it even easier to gank "noobs" in lvl30-40 zones, death from above...

Re:No mention of flying? (-1, Troll)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786580)

Yay -- WoW has finally caught up with the 6-year-old City of Heroes. :)

Seriously, is there any feature WoW has that other, more creative games (CoH chief among them, in my opinion) hasn't already done? As far as I can tell people play WoW because of either Blizzard's good reputation or because so many other people are already playing it. By measure of the actual gameplay, it's one of the worst MMOGs you can find.

Re:No mention of flying? (1)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786772)

Yeah, Blizzard doesn't really do innovation. They take other games' features and add polish. It actually ends up working, because most of the "more creative games" have large gaps somewhere, and if you mash all of them together into one less creative game, you end up with more people playing it than the total of its component parts.

Specifically, the flying thing took so long because they didn't originally design the zones for flying (which CoH did). In the current world there are large stretches of flat textures, perspective tricks (the cathedral in Stormwind), false walls, and so forth. It took them until an expansion that rebuilt most of the old world for them to be able to correct that.

Re:No mention of flying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786776)

^ This. Never liked WoW, to be honest. I tried it, and hated it, multiple times. I even got in the Cataclysm Beta (God knows why) and tried it again, and hated it again.

CoH was a lot of fun. I only just cancelled my account, and only because of school. Going Rogue (the new expansion) just added a crapton of content to the game, as well as overhauling the graphics, which were already better than WoW's outdated graphics. And The Old Republic looks awesome too.

WoW just kinda pales in comparison to the much more awesome games that are out now.

Re:No mention of flying? (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786920)

Well, you're looking at this a bit one-sided, I think.

Yes, CoH allowed you to fly early on, and their character-leveling game was the absolute best I'd ever seen when it launched. But that's all they had. Fast-forward to today and, as far as I know, that is STILL all they have.

It would be very easy for a game like WoW to see those good ideas and incorporate some of them, without losing the other stuff they had built up along the way.

As far as I can tell people play WoW because of either Blizzard's good reputation or because so many other people are already playing it.

Yes, certainly. The latter part is clearly more of a factor than the former, as I see it.

By measure of the actual gameplay, it's one of the worst MMOGs you can find.

That's going to need a definition of 'gameplay'. It is at least as good, if not better than most of the stuff out there in terms of pressing buttons and getting a satisfactory experience. They have mediocre content to play - whether PvE, PvP, AH, whatever - but it all plays reasonably well. So I'll agree with you only in that 'good is the enemy of great', and that WoW as a whole could be a lot better. And it likely would, if it had any serious competition whatsoever. But as it stands 'worst' can't quite be accurate, unless it also means 'equally bad'.

I'm shocked they're skipping the 23rd (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786438)

Honestly I would have thought the guys in Marketing would have pulled this for the 23rd - their sixth anniversary. My only guess at this point is that they plan their 4.0.3 'sundering' patch on 11/23 instead. But genuinely, I would have imagined that they would pull towards that date, even if there were major bugs left to be fixed.

hmmm good timing or planning? (1)

Deadstar_lll (1915024) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786444)

Wow just in time for the Christmas rush. Smart move on blizz or did it take too long?

Blizzard's Amazing Release Schedules (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786484)

Man, I remember that we were talking about Cataclysm more than a year ago. It had already been in development for quite some time, it had already gone through a lot of changes. When I talked to other people making guesses about when Cataclysm would come out, we figured it would hit around February/March 2010, so as to not interfere with Starcraft 2's release.

Well, it's not interfering with SC2, that's for sure. December 2010 - sheesh! It amazes me more that I keep falling for it, thinking Blizzard products are coming along okay, then always having the release pushed back by a year and a half. I know the quality of their products usually makes up for it, but you'd think they'd reach a point where they'd just stop hinting at release dates for years in advance. Not to mention that it's strange that they're going to put this out in December - I wonder how Activision feels about having a new WoW release to compete with the rest of its Christmas schedule?

By the way, Diablo 3? Not until summer 2012. Calling it now.

Re:Blizzard's Amazing Release Schedules (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786724)

They've been reliably* putting out a new pay expansion every two years.

Sure, I guess it *is* news for nerds, but... (0, Troll)

DdJ (10790) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786560)

I'm sure both of the people who care about this topic and who saw it on Slashdot before seeing it on a WoW-related news site or forum are delighted to see this story here.

Anyone know the policy on updates? (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786600)

I haven't played WoW in a long time, not since Burning Crusade. So I missed WotLK.

If I restart my subscription now, and buy WotLK (so I have the most recent content available) do I have to pay again to get Cataclysm? If that's true it probably makes sense to do some catching up using Burning Crusade then wait for Cataclysm... assuming that option is still open.

Apologize in advance if this is obvious to anyone. Thanks.

Re:Anyone know the policy on updates? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786640)

I haven't played WoW in a long time, not since Burning Crusade. So I missed WotLK.

If I restart my subscription now, and buy WotLK (so I have the most recent content available) do I have to pay again to get Cataclysm? If that's true it probably makes sense to do some catching up using Burning Crusade then wait for Cataclysm... assuming that option is still open.

Apologize in advance if this is obvious to anyone. Thanks.

The changes to the old world (Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms)/old zones will not require any expansion. You could play the original WoW only and be stuck at 60, but you could still go to the changed zones.

However, the two new races (Goblins and Worgen), the new zones, the levels 81-85 require the Cataclysm expansion. Archaeology may require it too (new secondary profession).

WoW (-1, Troll)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786636)

I know this is news for nerds but I thought that even nerds shunned World of Warcraft players.

Not ready for release. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786658)

I'm in the Beta and I can tell you, it's gonna be a buggy ass release. The damn thing plays like an alpha right now. There is NO WAY it will be ready for December 7 with the previous quality of expansion releases. Either the date will slip, OR it will come out sub par.

Re:Not ready for release. (1)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786784)

You've never been in a WoW beta or PTR before, have you?

Wish I could play (1)

PowersOfTen (1915034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786718)

This will be the first expansion that I do not purchase. I was in college when the previous two were released and I can't see myself playing now that I have a career. I don't enjoy merely leveling alts, so there wouldn't be anything for me to do since I can't spend hours a day in the game, let alone schedule my life around it. I will forever miss pvp and raids, but one cannot play on a competitive level while trying to make something of themselves.

Re:Wish I could play (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786870)

So did you finish college??? Don't keep us in suspense :) I am not, nor probably never will be "hard core". I have done only 1 10-man. I don't see myself ever going beyond that. That said, it comes down to priorities and time management. I play WOW a couple of hours each day, but I only watch 30 minutes of TV (PTI on ESPN), so I figure it all balances out.

Noooooo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786762)

I almost got laid this year....damn....

So now... (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786768)

I would have to kill seventy trillion boars instead of forty trillion?

Not really sure why the level cap keeps getting bumped. It's just more grind.

  Yeah! I just spent twelve months grinding this guy to level *insert here* and getting him all the best stuff! Nothing can kill him now!

*Expansion*

  *Die!*

  *THUD!*

Yeah. Real fun.

Call me when the game isn't a boring single-path grindfest.

Re:So now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33786848)

Who grinds at this game? If you do, you are playing wrong. Most people level up through PvP or through 5-man dungeons...

Re:So now... (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33786866)

WoW has never been about the path to the level cap it has always been about the content at the level cap.
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