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Blizzard Launches Third WoW Expansion, Cataclysm

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the resetting-the-treadmill dept.

Role Playing (Games) 218

Last night marked the launch of Cataclysm, the third expansion for Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Cataclysm includes: two new races, both of which have their own starting zones; five new high-level zones that span the new 80-85 leveling content; seven new five-man dungeons (plus two heroic versions of classic dungeons); three end-game raids; a new profession; two new PvP battlegrounds; and one world PvP zone. In addition, Cataclysm features a revamp of Azeroth, the portion of the game world that went live when WoW originally launched in 2004, providing a much improved leveling experience for new players and alts. MMO-Champion posted a comprehensive collection of information about the new content. Of course, Cataclysm's launch has brought the video game addiction debate back to the fore.

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218 comments

Three Endgame-Raids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34472584)

Jay, so we can expect three sequel-sequel-sequels?
And pay for each and everyone, of course!

Getting drunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34472592)

FTFA: "This episode genuinely contains someone advising people who game too much to go out and get drunk ("smashed") instead. It's insulting to those who for whatever specific reasons struggle to control their gaming, and dangerous for misinforming the public." I personally think that that's an excellent point. Basically gaming is bad but going out and harming your body and bank-account by drinking execcive amounts of alcohol is somehow better for you?

Re:Getting drunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473482)

It is because you might actually get laid.
Of course that means being liberal with the term excessive , just enough to make you sociable but not enough that you harm yourself one way or another. Very thin line it is.

Le sigh (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472608)

I have some absolutely AMAZING, AMAZING memories associated with WoW. I was in the closed and open betas, playing in my friend's basement during the summer of 2004. We had the run of his house (his Dad was in India from March until December of that year), so we set up two huge folding tables in his basement, and got a permanent 10-person LAN setup. Myself and the 9 other people spent ungodly amounts of time in WoW (during both betas and after launch.) I played religiously until about a week after Burning Crusade came out, and I haven't picked it up since.

The funny thing is, despite all the amazing memories I have with WoW, I have pretty much zero interest in making any new ones. I think it has more to do with being done with MMOs in general; not even The Old Republic has piqued my interest enough to plunk down some cash.

Did it go anything like this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34472660)

Mom, bathroom! [whoisthemonkey.com]

Re:Did it go anything like this? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472994)

Pfft, I wish! That would have made it crazy awesome, not having to get up lol :)

But seriously though, our ages at the time ranged from 20-27, all of us either full-time employed or full-time students with part-time jobs. How else do you think we were able to afford properly setting up a 10-person LAN? (not to mention sustain it for months with the required snacks, booze, and soda.)

Luckily, my buddy already had some exercise equipment in his basement, so we took shifts putting in some physical activity. Also luckily, I was working full-time six days a week as a mechanic back then, so I got in PLENTY of physical exercise during the day.

Re:Le sigh (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472858)

Agreed,

Perhaps we are getting too old for games?

NAH!
But the grind no longer interestes me. I want goals and good social atmosphere with no drama and immature people.

Re:Le sigh (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473630)

To be fair, the bulk of the revamp of Azeroth is to get rid of the mindless/endless grind. They've even tweaked experience gains from instances so that your best bet for levelling quickly is to immerse yourself in the storyline and do the quests.

The new races added with this expansion are especially good at that... I have only had a chance to play a Gilnean (worgen), as I only had an hour before I had to leave for work this morning, but I didn't run into a single FedEx quest. (well, ok, I did run into a couple, but they were well embedded into the story line and easy to do at the same time as others). What I found, instead, was a well developped story line that moved quickly and kept me wanting to do that next step in the quest chain. Levelling is also much faster at lower levels (I made level 9 on my little druid), and you get into the class skills that actually make you *feel* like your preferred spec as soon as you can choose that spec... there's real distinction between specializations right at level 10, whereas you used to have to be in the late 40's or 50's before you saw a meaningful difference. That does help to keep the levelling interesting, I find.

That said, endgame is still going to be a grind. Particularly once you reach max level and get into the raiding game... I currently have 2 characters I raided with in ICC, and the only thing that kept it interesting was having dual spec... when I got bored of healing on my priest, I could switch to shadow, and when I got bored of DPS on my shaman I could switch to heals again. (and yes, healing on a shaman is very different from healing on a discipline priest, so there was enough difference there to keep me interested, too :))

Can't do anything about the drama and immature people, though. My solution to that is to join an 18+ guild with a strict no-drama policy, and turn off trade chat. It helps that I'm on an RP server, as there's not quite as much stupidity in chat as you find on a regular server.

Re:Le sigh (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472908)

I think it has more to do with enjoying playing with those people than it does WoW itself. The people I know who still play WoW (including myself) play with good friends, either real world friends or those they met online.

Re:Le sigh (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473026)

I ALMOST agree with you...but I still loved just going solo every now and then.

Still, the connection and feeling of community certainly had at least something to do with it.

Re:Le sigh (4, Insightful)

osgeek (239988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472996)

Yeah, I know what you mean. After an EQ addiction and then a a bout of WoW addiction, I realized that as fun as MMOs are, they throw your life out of balance. It's one thing to have an escape every once in a while; but when you live your life in escape, those memories just aren't meaty enough to have been worth it. Memories of time spent with my family are more valuable. Learning something about science, technology, politics, economics, or history is more valuable than having my brain filled with the prices of virtual pieces of magical armor in a virtual world.

It's kind of like a guitar hero addiction. Sure, have fun with it for a few hours here and there. If you have enough time to spend hours on it a day, though, why not take up playing a REAL guitar?

That said, I think I started to drool a little when I looked at the new WoW expansion and thought about spending my Xmas holidays in Azeroth.

Re:Le sigh (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473146)

I'm mildly interested in it, but I have no desire to spend hour upon hour playing the same game again. That was my biggest gripe with WoW (and every other MMO I've played, from Gemstone III to Meridian 59 to Everquest to WoW, and everything in between.) When you're in the depths of an MMO, you miss out on everything else that gets released.*

Both of my downstairs neighbors are into WoW (they put in about 2 hours a day or so, unless its a Friday night.) Any interest I have ins eeing the changes could be done looking over their shoulder.

*ironically, I'm in my 74th hour of Dragon Quest IX :x

Re:Le sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473362)

Learning something about science, technology, politics, economics, or history is more valuable than having my brain filled with the prices of virtual pieces of magical armor in a virtual world.

To quote Morpheus: What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

Are those things more valuable because they are more "real" than a computer game? Are they more valuable because they are prerequisites for playing computer games in the first place? Have you figured out the fundamental reasons why they seem more valuable?

These kind of questions don't matter much today, but there will come a time when it's going to be very hard to outright declare either one as 'more valuable'.

Revamped Azeroth sells the game (3, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472646)

With all the player friendly changes finally incorporated into the old world the game is essentially new enough for people who have never touched WOW. It also is freshened enough for existing players to want to revisit the old world. Overall, its a much better expansion than BC and possibly better than Wrath. Is it perfect, no, but rarely will changes please everyone.

FWIW, someone made maximum level with the help of their guild within hours of the game starting up in Europe. Should be fun seeing all the people crush through the zones and race an un-winnable race

Re:Revamped Azeroth sells the game (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472948)

Yeah, talked to a few long time players, almost makes me want to sign up... almost.

Re:Revamped Azeroth sells the game (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473582)

With all the player friendly changes finally incorporated into the old world the game

The fact that this is working for Blizzard gives me hope that Square Enix will ape it to fix the horrible world that is Final Fantasy XIV. Even if they fixed everything else in that game, they're still stuck with the most bland, most boring, most oversized, most repetitive world map that's ever been in an MMO.

I don't really intend to play WoW, but it's nice to see that at least one MMO company is willing to take risks like completely redoing their original world map when they feel it needs to be redone. Apparently there's already talk from Sony about doing something similar to EQ2 for similar reasons.

Of course, considering that rather than fixing gameplay flaws in their "big patch," Square Enix instead offered the ability to customize chat colors, I highly doubt that they'll actually fix their world. But it's nice to see that it can be done by MMO companies with a spine.

Re:Revamped Azeroth sells the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34474190)

You can't fix shitty art direction and assets after the fact. The whole world building process is what takes most of the labour, and unless the team is still in one piece and hasn't been assigned to another project, and there is more funding poured in, it will never get done.

Re:Revamped Azeroth sells the game (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34474076)

What a wonderful time to quit. Good bye WoW, we had some fun time but now it's time to do something that doesn't kill the very last bit of faith I still have in humanity.

Re:Revamped Azeroth sells the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34474146)

Yep,

Now if only BC content was as fluid as 10-60

no one who plays WoW will comment here (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472662)

they are all busy playing

therefore, if my understanding of the Slashdot demographic is correct, there will be a total of 22 comments in this thread all day, and all of them will by non WoW players commenting how much WoW sucks

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34472798)

Except us who are stuck at work and want to read anything and everything about what's going on with the game...

I Play WoW (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472808)

I just play WoW responsibly. I will probably wait until middle of January to buy this expansion (got a lot of holiday time coming up). I played the original off and on for about two years and then got sick of it. Now, I just look forward to an expansion and I have a couple level 80 characters that I will play up to level 85. Or if the lower levels have new content, perhaps I'll start a new race. All I want to do is get most of the easy quests out of the way and enjoy the game for one month (the month that comes with the expansion).

I "played" Fable III until about midnight last night. I mean, I was constantly interrupted but it's a great story line. I'll put in my 40-60 hours playing through the storyline and just enjoy it. Same thing with WoW. I don't understand why people treat WoW any differently. Given the monthly fee, I would think it'd make more sense to beat the regular content in that first month and let the end-game go. It's a case of diminishing returns.

Oh, one more note, if I have extra time at the end of the month, I'll sometimes go back to old content and enjoy old end-game material that is now mid-game material that I never got to experience. With the new races, you can sometimes find a pickup group to go with you.

and all of them will by non WoW players commenting how much WoW sucks

WoW doesn't suck but it's not the last game I want to play. I am a WoW player but I'm at work right now. I am the elusive sensible responsible WoW player that you seem to claim doesn't exist. If you actually looked at the numbers though, a lot of us players are in this category. We're just not omnipresent in the game so you won't see my characters in game non-stop and now it's only when the new content comes out.

Re:I Play WoW (1)

macdude22 (846648) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472910)

This is how I play WoW. I have been playing Warcraft wince Orcs v. Humans. I love the lore, I love the art style, I love the content. I love RPGs and the stat crunching those games provide. I'm not interested in grinding in the slightest. I'm not interested in Raiding. I play WoW for 3-4 months, soak up all the content I desire and move on to the next thing. Most people associate some sort of "real" value with their time in MMOs, I do not. It's entertainment like watching 30 Rock or playing Street Fighter. Or reading a book. WoW is fun, for a time. Same as any other game. Except Starcraft. Never stop playing Starcraft.

Re:I Play WoW (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472936)

All I want to do is get most of the easy quests out of the way and enjoy the game for one month (the month that comes with the expansion).

FYI, Blizzard has never given people a free month for buying an expansion. You might be given an e-mail begging you to come back and try it for 10 days if your account is inactive, but that's it.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472912)

Some of us are waiting on our pre-orders to even ship. Fucking Amazon. This is why I normally refuse to pre-order anything.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472922)

WoW sucks!

(Am I doing it right?)

I don't play WoW (or any MMORPG), but I'm having high hopes for Diablo III.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34472984)

nah. i just tried. i have a few 80s. and i got one to 82. this is actually pretty boring. i was thinking of quitting, but figure'd i'd give the expansion a try. not worth it. i am done with it. i find myself looking for some entertainment while i play: music, tv, something... who needs this from a game?

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

dousette (562546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472992)

they are all busy playing

therefore, if my understanding of the Slashdot demographic is correct, there will be a total of 22 comments in this thread all day, and all of them will by non WoW players commenting how much WoW sucks

...or from non-WoW-playing employees wondering where their "sick" coworkers are today.

Timothy, I'm looking at you.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473062)

Actually, we're all reading Slashdot while waiting in the 2 HOUR QUEUES to get onto a server... sorry, I'm just a little annoyed that "the best expac ever" has dropped, and I'm still stuck waiting to play it.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473302)

Nope. I played for 10 minutes this morning to check out Stormwind from the air, then logged out for the day.

I'm going to an open mic night after work so I won't even be playing tonight.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473560)

See, this is more like me. I logged for a while last night, did some dailys, went to bed. I'll probably play tonight, but I've got to file some bills as well, so it probably won't be until late. I'd probably play a lot this weekend, but I've got family coming, so probably not.

You can enjoy playing it without having to be a slave to it.

Re:no one who plays WoW will comment here (1)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473452)

You forgot us former WoW players, who are cautiously curious, but still keeping our distance.

~D

Servers non-responsive (5, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472688)

According to the level 80 shaman that lives in my basement, Blizzard has basically slashdotted themselves - there are *so* many people trying to play that their servers are basically non-responsive. Players on the WOW forums are suggesting that people open 16 games simultaneously (in windowed mode), and then start to play whichever one responds first - which, of course, makes the entire scenario 16x worse.

Re:Servers non-responsive (3, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472726)

Worse still it made Starcraft 2 non-functional. I tried to have a quick game of SC2 last night, and as far as I could get was a frozen log-in screen and no way to either proceed or exit.

I ended up having to ssh into my machine and kill -9 the Stacraft 2 process to get back to the desktop.

Re:Servers non-responsive (3, Funny)

ijakings (982830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473172)

For me, this was amazing, because I was fully able to tell all my friends who bought SC2 "I Told You so".

Re:Servers non-responsive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473782)

Sounds cool, I just hit alt-cmd & esc.

Re:Servers non-responsive (3, Interesting)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473040)

It's because this is the first expansion you could buy digitally before it was released, to have it unlock at exactly midnight (plus or minus a few hours depending on region). Previously, people had to physically buy a copy at the store at midnight, so unless you had a buddy that worked at Gamestop, you were actually in line or driving home for the next hour or so after midnight, and on top of that, it was always based on midnight local time. So not only were logins spread out by time zone, they were spread out by physical travel time from the store to the home.

This time, you have people who bought it online, and people who bought their physical copies and installed them hours ago sitting at home waiting for exactly the designated time to simultaneously login at once. And if the other poster is correct, now their login servers have to share time with SC2 players, which is also not something they previous had to deal with.

They really were just setting themselves up for disaster, but apparently whatever system they used to enable the digital download versions had to be run at the same time for the entire region, and I guess they didn't want to discourage/encourage digital purchases by giving an advantage/disadvantage to those who purchased online vs. in the store.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473796)

No, I remember really long queue times when Wrath launched, too. And for several weeks after launch, at that. I have a screenshot somewhere on my hard drive of me sitting there at 900th in queue to get on to the server, too.

This morning, when I booted up to check my e-mail, I decided to check and see if WoW was up. It was, I had an hour to kill before I had to go to work, so I logged in and created a Worgen. No waiting at all. There may have been a huge rush at the Midnight rollover, but this morning there was no delay at all. YMMV.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34474056)

We're not talking about queues. we're talking about the login servers being physically unavailable. As in, you can't even get into a queue. And it only really applied to the first hour or so the game was available in EU/NA.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473164)

According to the level 80 shaman that lives in my basement, Blizzard has basically slashdotted themselves - there are *so* many people trying to play that their servers are basically non-responsive. Players on the WOW forums are suggesting that people open 16 games simultaneously (in windowed mode), and then start to play whichever one responds first - which, of course, makes the entire scenario 16x worse.

This launch may very well be worse than past ones... But I've seen something similar at the launch of each previous expansion.

You've got a ton of people who haven't been playing WoW who suddenly run out and re-subscribe just to see the new stuff. You've got a ton of people all trying to log in and download the most recent patch at the same time. All hitting the authentication servers at the same time. All hitting the web servers and the forums to complain when it doesn't work. You've got piles of people rolling up new characters and all running through the same few geographic areas.

It brings the servers to their knees.

You're lucky if you can actually get in and look around on launch day. To hell with actually playing or accomplishing anything.

I'll try to log in this evening... I'll roll up a new worgen and buy the Azeroth flight skill for my 80's... And then I'm going to switch back over to one of my non-Cataclysm alts and just ignore the expansion for a few days.

If you give it about a week things will settle down. Folks who subscribed again just to see the new stuff will get bored and wander off again... The powergamers will have raced through the first few areas of 80+ content... Folks will have leveled their new characters out of the newb zones... And you can actually enjoy yourself without having to fight for every spawn.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473428)

This always happens any time they release a new expansion, and often when they release a new major content patch. It's in inside joke in most raiding guilds that you learn never to schedule raids for the tuesday a major patch hits.

That said, I digitally pre-ordered the expansion a week or two ago, had it all pre-downloaded in the past few days, went to bed last night at a normal time, got up this morning at the normal time (7am est), logged right into my server (Stormrage, one of the most populated servers around) with no authentication problems, no queue for the server, no delays logging in, and no problems. I flew around the old world for 15 minutes and then went to work.

*Shrug* not sure what everybody else is seeing.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473864)

If you did a digital pre-purchase you'd have most (all?) of the new content preloaded. There might be a quick patch to unlock everything, but that's about it.

Folks who are installing from a retail CD are going to have more content to download. Even though they've got a disc, there've been tweaks on the server.

And if everyone is trying to download that content it's going to be a painfully slow process.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473650)

Nothing will ever be worse than the first day of the release of WoW classic. There weren't queues yet, so people would mob a server, crash it, then mob the next open server, crash it, etc.

It took them 6 months to deploy enough server capacity.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473846)

Nothing will ever be worse than the first day of the release of WoW classic. There weren't queues yet, so people would mob a server, crash it, then mob the next open server, crash it, etc.

It took them 6 months to deploy enough server capacity.

Yup. I was there for the initial launch. Logged in right at 3:00 EST and rolled up my first character.

It was bad enough that they were actually crediting players free gametime, since the servers were down so much.

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473832)

Didn't have to fight for every spawn as my young Gilnean this morning... :) The Worgen start zone is phased into at least 4 different instances that I've seen so far, and as a result, there's plenty of spawns for everybody. (at least as far as I've seen.)

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34474000)

Didn't have to fight for every spawn as my young Gilnean this morning... :) The Worgen start zone is phased into at least 4 different instances that I've seen so far, and as a result, there's plenty of spawns for everybody. (at least as far as I've seen.)

Nice.

I won't be able to play until this evening... And my server is fairly populous... So I'm concerned that the phasing won't matter much.

The deathknight starter area was phased, but it was still painfully crowded for several days after launch.

pizza (1)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473268)

According to the level 80 shaman that lives in my basement ...

yeah mom i'm running out of food down here could you bring me some pizza please?

Re:Servers non-responsive (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473330)

I dunno about non-responsive. I was up at midnight and the login servers did bork out, but everything was back to normal half an hour later. I don't think that's too bad, considering the insanely above normal load we're talking about here.

You can't win WoW (0, Redundant)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472698)

There is no way to win the game. The only point is to get the best gear and achievements and then sit as 'King of the Hill' until someone else comes along and knocks you off, or you get bored and quit.

Seriously, who over the age of 25 has 5-10 hours a day to spend playing a video game?

Re:You can't win WoW (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472834)

Seriously, who over the age of 25 has 5-10 hours a day to spend playing a video game?

I play maybe 5-10 hours a week, and that's plenty for me. At $14.95 per month, it's a good return for entertainment per hour.

Re:You can't win WoW (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472878)

Seriously, who over the age of 25 has 5-10 hours a day to spend playing a video game?

Anyone without kids, and/or a wife who is cool with it. You only need to play 5-10 hours a day if you suck. If you are half ass good at video games, you can play 5-10 hours a week, and still see all end game/end patch content. A good raiding guild raids twice a week for 4 hours a night 2 days a week, and clears and/or makes progress.

You don't ever really "win" anything in life. Lottery winners go bankrupt like 33% of the time, if you went to state/college championship you still didn't win the Super Bowl, so you're a loser! In no aspect of life is there ever a clear winner. Someone somewhere is better than you at whatever you claim to be the best at. If people have fun playing why tread on them? Is it because they are not like you? Are you better than them because you choose not to play? Is you're wife better than thier's because she would be appauled if you spent 5-10 hours a week doing something you enjoyed?

And... who cares? (2)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473082)

There is no way to win the game. The only point is to get the best gear and achievements and then sit as 'King of the Hill' until someone else comes along and knocks you off, or you get bored and quit.

And, basically, who cares? Not all games are made to be won or lost. There is also no winning Elite, or Tetris, or Pac-Man.

What matters is whether you had fun playing it for X hours or not. Which fun can come from gear and achievements, but it also can come from doing quests, or exploration, or social interaction with other people, or just trying to be the biggest dick without getting banned, or really whatever floats your boat.

Essentially if the only point you can see is comparing dick size and complaining that the game doesn't give you an "OK, you won" popup, then I can see how maybe it's not the game for you. I'm sure there's a bunny-hopping and teabagging simulator... err... FPS out there more suited to your needs.

Seriously, who over the age of 25 has 5-10 hours a day to spend playing a video game?

So, you know, don't? I keep hearing that complaint, and it never ceases to amaze me in it's pencils-up-the-nose underpants-on-head idiocy.

Guess what? There is no paragraph in the TOS that says "Blizzard can ban your account and kill your dog if you play less than 5-10 hours a day." You can play just half an hour a week on weekends or take a month off, if you wish. The game was designed to be playable in whatever portions you wish.

Heck, even if you're in a fairly obsessive "raiding guild", we're no longer in the pre-BC age of 40-man raids that take all night. You can do some reasonable raiding in two hours a day, which still falls short of the 5-10 hours a day bullshit. Or you can find yourself a social guild and never have any schedule at all.

Frankly, it seems to me that the only ones who come up with that stupid objection are those who think they're basically playing to prove penis size. It can't be a coincidence that it almost always comes together with the "but you can't win!!!111eleventeen" objection and with the whining that all there is to do is collect the best gear and all achievements. They end up caught in some race to have all the penis size symbols, and have them yesterday if possible, and not even seeing any other way to play than grind 10 hours a day towards that coveted King Of The Hill Position.

In reality, it's a race that exists only in your own mind, and a prize that exists only in your own mind. In reality, almost nobody actually gives a flying fuck about your being King Of The Hill or not, nor about how fast you got there. If you don't want to put 5-10 hours a day in a race that exists only in your own mind, then don't. It's really that simple.

Of course, you may have to find yourself

Re:And... who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473770)

Guess what? There is no paragraph in the TOS that says "Blizzard can ban your account and kill your dog if you play less than 5-10 hours a day."/p>

Uh oh.
You might want to go back and read the revised TOS.
Quickly.

Re:You can't win WoW (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473256)

There is no way to win the game. The only point is to get the best gear and achievements and then sit as 'King of the Hill' until someone else comes along and knocks you off, or you get bored and quit.

You're doing it wrong.

The point isn't to win (though some people seem to think that). The point is to have fun.

It's a diversion. It's escapism. No different from reading a book or watching TV or going to the movies or whatever else people do with their spare time. Sure, some diversions like board games and most video games have a clear winner... But plenty of diversions like reading books and watching movies have no winner. It's just a way to kill some time.

My wife and I both play WoW. We play with a guild we've been members of for about 10 years now. They're people we know. They're fun to hang out with. Half the fun of the game isn't actually mashing buttons and killing critters - it's the social aspect.

Re:You can't win WoW (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473848)

I play maybe 3-5 hours every 3 or 4 days. Its enough for me. That 14.99 saves me from buying 49.99 video games every other week, "winning" and shelving them. Think of it as a financial investment. I have most fun PvPing in low level brackets - not end game content. I could care less about being king of the hill - like you said, I have a real life to be king of the hill in.

Re:You can't win WoW (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473880)

You don't play to win. You play to achieve.

Winning is just one of the many ways to achieve in a game. In pacman you couldn't really win, but you achieved higher levels every time you played. Or a higher score then someone else. In WoW, just like in many other games, you achieve things. You achieve a kill of the Lich King, or achieve some achievement. That's what keeps people playing, achieving things.

As a former WoW player, I say, I didn't get enough achieve for my time. I might play a bit again once Cataclysm goes in the discount.

Best "achieve" for my money this year: "Super Meat Boy" http://supermeatboy.com/ [supermeatboy.com]
The game is hard, but not impossible, and you achieve more and more when you progress. Impossible things become possible, hard things become easy. You see yourself achieving progress. I don't think I'll ever "win" SuperMeatBoy, as the game features well over 300 levels. But it's damn fun trying (&dieing, died over 4000 times now)

Re:You can't win WoW (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473904)

There is no way to win the game. The only point is to get the best gear and achievements and then sit as 'King of the Hill' until someone else comes along and knocks you off, or you get bored and quit.

Seriously, who over the age of 25 has 5-10 hours a day to spend playing a video game?

I see this said a lot. I really don't get why people bring this up, open ended games have been around for a while. (Myst, being the first one I can think of). Oblivion is another one. Point is, there is no way to "Win" these games either. And those ones aren't even multiplayer. Yet I know people who have played Oblivion past the final story arc multiple times through, different characters and all that.

World of Warcraft HAS story in it. You just ignore it. Most people ignore it. They are so wrapped up in trying to get the best gear that they don't read the quest log. There is an insane amount of writing in amongst all the quest data. On the Alliance side, you can actually play all the way through to level 60 as if it were one massive chain quest - it will direct you to the next zones when you are ready (usually via another quest) and then finally it'll send you back to Stormwind and you can start the annoying Behemoth that is the Onyxia tuning, and then downing her.

When the game was still young- that was considered the end. If you downed her, you won.

As for the time spent playing a game - my girlfriend is out of town, as a result, I have around 4 hours a day monday through friday and 15 hours on the weekend where I have essentially "Free" time, if I wanted to play WoW I could.

I just don't find it as entertaining as it used to, things have gotten too easy.

Re:You can't win WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34474048)

"A strange game... The only winning move is not to play"

-Joshua

Well... (1)

Notlupus (1893060) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472708)

I gave the game another shot, because I really wanted to give the 'fabulous new revamped overhauled Troll starter zone' a try. It took me 22 minutes to finish it, and I was level 9 when I did so. What a shame.

Heh. What did you expect from a starter zone? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473556)

Heh. You do realize, I hope, that the starter zone is just that. It's partially a tutorial (e.g., telling you how to use Immolate or Steady Shot or whatever on some dummies) and partially giving you some back-story for your race and helping get in-character, so to sleep.

It's basically the equivalent of, dunno, castle Cousland if you played Dragon Age as a human noble. Or that escaping-from-the-hospital-station level in Mass Effect 2, while being taught how to control the game. Or the tutorial town in Fallout New Vegas. Etc. You get the idea.

It's not like it's the end of the content or anything.

Honestly, I can't even imagine (A) why you'd actually want a tutorial longer than 22 minutes, and (B) seriously, why not go to another race's tutorial zone if you need to practice the start game some more?

Re:Well... (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473882)

1-60 was revamped - the troll zone is new. 80-85 is new. 22 minutes to finish 9 levels on an exponential growth leveling scale is hardly surprising considering there are 85 levels.

In preparation for the launch... (4, Insightful)

awjr (1248008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472774)

I gave away all my gold (about 120k), sold all my gear, deleted all my characters, waved good bye to guild friends (which is one of the major pressures to play) and un-subscribed.

Boy have I been tempted to go back, but if the urge gets too great, I take a lump of wood, whittle a small penguin, stare at it for 5 minutes, look in the mirror and tell myself that I have achieved more in those 5 minutes than any achievement/raid boss kill would ever do.

Interestingly enough our fortnightly games night had become a WoW LAN party (5 of us). With me quitting WoW, we have rediscovered board games and those nights have been a lot more mentally stimulating than any WoW dungeon crawl I can remember.

WoW is an amazing life-sink that you justify because of the other 20-40 other people in your guild wasting their lives away playing a game that never ends. I can't fault them for playing, but some of them are failing school and divorcing over this game.

Re:In preparation for the launch... (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473948)

I can't fault them for playing, but some of them are failing school and divorcing over this game.

And you have iron-clad proof that these same people wouldn't be failing school or divorcing over something else, were it not for WoW being there?

Kinda care-bear'd (0)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472784)

I've been playing for a long time, but haven't played in the last few weeks. Rolled an Alliance Pally last night just to see how the game starts. Used to be you could go from 1-7 in an hour just in the Abby area, without grinding. Now you get to level 5 and you're off. The rewards are better earlier (for instance, you get a bag in the Abby, along with the wine-stained cloak). Got killed once in the Jasperlode Mine because the Kobolds were respawning so quickly. What really surprised me was all the additional flight paths. Now you have them in Goldshire & the logging camp. Haven't made my way down to the garrison yet, but I'd suspect there's one there too. I'm all for refining the game, but at the same time I feel like I'm having stuff just handed to me, instead of having to earn it. Rolled a Worgen Rogue this morning but haven't really had time to check him out yet though, had to get to work.

Re:Kinda care-bear'd (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473470)

If spending half your game time running the length of Elwynn Forest is your idea of "earning it", I can only say I disagree. Completely.

MMOs have a nasty tendency to pad game time with copious amounts of traveling. I hate that. Blizzard would seem to agree, and have made getting around quicker and easier for years now (with one exception, the removal of the hub city portals). You get mounts earlier, you get fast mounts earlier, you get flying earlier etc. It's the right thing to do.

Re:Kinda care-bear'd (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473562)

4.0 is a better game than 3.0 was.
3.0 was better than 2.0
2.0 was better than 1.0

I've been there for all of them (since open beta actually, when looting didn't even work half the time), and people who complain that the game is currently too easy are usually just annoyed that they had it harder "back in the old days" (lol 2004 was a long time ago).

If you want harder gameplay, start questing in zones that are above your level. judging the current state of the game on the northshire abbey experience is retarded.

Also, if getting a bag for free makes the game too easy for you, maybe you should throw it away?

Re:Kinda care-bear'd (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473978)

I've been there for all of them (since open beta actually, when looting didn't even work half the time), and people who complain that the game is currently too easy are usually just annoyed that they had it harder "back in the old days" (lol 2004 was a long time ago).

You're probably right. It did suck to have to wait until 40 to get your mount. :-)

Re:Kinda care-bear'd (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34474142)

Sure, I admit that it annoyed me that I paid like 1000g for my shaman to have dual spec, my priest got it for like 50g, and my mage got it for 10g or 15g or something...

But you know what, I'm glad that I didn't have to pay 1000g 3 times.

The bigger addition problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34472870)

A shocking number of people are addicted to something called the "real world." Many people remain addicted from a very young age until the moment of death. This is especially tragic because the stuff that happens in this "real world" is worse than what happens in any virtual world.

Re:The bigger addition problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473212)

A friend of mine that played since launch has since become addicted to heroin, and refuses to play again. I miss him.

First Cataclysm (0)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34472954)

EVE had an expansion named Cataclysm years ago.

Re:First Cataclysm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473094)

Not first, more like second: The first Cataclysm - Homeworld had the expansion named Cataclysm much before that way back in 2000.

Stock names anyone?

Re:First Cataclysm (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473594)

Dragonlance had a Cataclysm that reshaped the world back in 1984.
(well 1987 if you want to be specific to the books where the characters were "there" for it).

Ho Hum (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473034)

It's kind of hard to play through a game like Assassin's Creed and then get excited about WoW. I'm constantly astounded that Blizzard can constantly demonstrate how much money one can make and still not have any viable competitors. Oh well, maybe cataclysm will allow us to rescue that sixth slave. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Ho Hum (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473176)

Oh well, maybe cataclysm will allow us to rescue that sixth slave.

Considering the comic was about the Cataclysm beta... unlikely.

And my social life takes another hit (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473050)

And my social life takes another hit. Not because I play, but because a good deal of my friends do. Curse you Blizzard! (shakes fist)

Viral (1)

NuKe_MoNgOoSe (1941452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473060)

I seriously dont know of any other game except maybe Everquest which has been responsible for ruining so many of my friends lives lol. I dont mean to laugh but several have lost their jobs calling off fake sick and being caught on the servers by their supervisors who are ALSO playing WOW on their legitimate days off, not very smart lol. Several close friends of mine have also lost their girlfriends and one ended his marriage all over this damn Game. Ya cant blame the game or the game designers I am certain that they didnt develop the game with the intention of wrecking homes but that is indeed what it does. They need self help groups like AA for WOW players who obsess over their DPS lol. This new expansion is going to haul friends of mine who managed to pull themselves away from the game after months and months of grinding their social interaction percentage will now fall to 0 as they quest for ever highter dps lol.

Guild leveling (2)

space_jake (687452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473120)

The guild leveling system is fun. You can level your guild to level 25, each level gives a perk (%5 more xp, 10% faster mounted speed, etc) The guild levels by members completing quests, dungeons, and battlegrounds. Everyone contributes a little.

Re:Guild leveling (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473370)

Level to do what? Everything is about leveling and then when you're done what happens? You can't even stand around while newbs check out your "hard earned" gear anymore since they are giving it away fo free! The entire game is a pointless waste of time... and I'm not hating, I played it for 3 years and I forgot today was the expac.

Re:Guild leveling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473888)

Well this game is not about looking cool to some people. It is about having friends in different countries, co-operating to complete goals and spending time playing with friends and family. The story is well made and engrossing. I understand the hate from people who only played in the beginning or joined a "hardcore" guild - it is boring under those conditions.

But for some gear and leveling is a side effect of meeting up with friends (local and remote) and having fun. You may have spent 3 years but playing doesn't seem to fit the game you are describing. Playing usually involves fun which goes beyond leveling and gear.

Peace
AC

Wake me up when diablo comes out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34473168)

/snore

Blizzard Entertainment (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473610)

Destroying students' final exam grades since 1991.

Seriously, I know they're releasing it now to get big Christmas money, but that alone makes me really glad I don't play that game any more.

Re:Blizzard Entertainment (1)

OutLawSuit (1107987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34473756)

If they just released next week, it wouldn't conflict with most universities' finals schedule. As it is, this is painful trying to study for finals and write papers when Cataclysm just came out.

Also, Frito-Lay has good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34474136)

Reports of Cheetos sales went up over 40% after this expansion was launched... :3

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