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World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade Review

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the ahhh-the-crusade-it-burrrrnnnnnssss dept.

329

It would be hard to argue that World of Warcraft hasn't been a huge success. Not only has it been a financial success in the MMO market, but it has introduced many new people to Massive gaming that might not have otherwise given it a shot. With their first expansion, The Burning Crusade, Blizzard has made huge advances in many areas of the game. Long-standing complaints have been addressed, and the structure of the popular title has been reinforced. The casual players have gotten a large injection of content that is both accessible and enjoyable to someone who doesn't have huge amounts of time to play. At the same time, hardcore players who thirst for new challenges on a daily basis have quite a bit of work ahead of them. This is not to say that The Burning Crusade (BC) doesn't have its pitfalls, but overall I get the feeling that this is closer to what Blizzard's World of Warcraft dream was meant to be. Read on for my opinions of this new round of addiction.

  • Title: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  • Developer/Publisher: Blizzard / Vivendi
  • System: PC / Mac
  • Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game
  • Score: 4/5 - This game is a wonderful addition to the original World of Warcraft universe and helps to alleviate many of the "problems" that players have been complaining about for a long time. If you are burnt out on the original game, now is a good time to give it another look.
In the beginning Blizzard gave us World of Warcraft. And life was good. Like any shiny new toy, the faults inherent to the game weren't initially obvious. As time wore on, though, players were able to delve into the guts of the game through raiding and excessive amounts of play. After a while the main complaints seemed to fall into two different "camps": those who wanted to see more "hardcore" content and those who wanted to see more "solo" or "casual" content. There were many arguments about how these two groups of people were mutually exclusive and how one or the other was the "obvious" best choice. However, in BC, Blizzard has done an excellent job in making sure that both groups of players have content to shoot for, even if the rewards aren't necessarily all that much better for conquering the raid content.

The first major improvement in the game comes with the extension of the level grind. There is a vast difference in the enjoyment of leveling a character from levels 1-60 and from 60-70. While the amount of experience is relatively comparable, the mechanisms in place make it a completely different animal. With the original game, leveling was thought of as one of the main aspects of the game and designed to take a long time to do with very little continuity or help to speed you along. Instances were designed to be for gear rewards and something you did rarely in between your bouts of leveling. With The Burning Crusade, the quests were designed to make you feel like you were accomplishing smaller tasks within a grand scheme, and they actually helped to develop the plot and a feeling that you were a part of the game rather than just trying to "beat" the game to get a level.

Throughout the questing and overall leveling process, instances in the Burning Crusade were also designed to be a much more integral part of the game for both leveling and gear. The group experience bonus allows a player to still make good progress towards the next level while playing through group content with friends and finding new challenges and boss fights along the way. The quests for every zone eventually start to poke and prod you towards the next level appropriate instance to help players make this decision and help round out the leveling experience. To make the process of instancing even better, Blizzard has grouped the instances in each zone together as "wings" of increasing difficulty within a larger structure that has an overall theme. This allows players to tackle the content in smaller chunks without having to commit large blocks of time just to do an instance. At the end of each group of instances the content culminates in a larger group encounter for raids to tackle once their players have completed a key quest for that particular instance.

While instances may have gotten a large push in the right direction, there are still a couple of major problems that continue to crop up, preventing players from really enjoying the content that is right in front of them. The largest of these problems are instance-breaking bugs. There have been quite a few of them since launch, and while bugs are to be expected, these are taking a long time to fix. Meanwhile the customer service reps in game are doing very little to help the players deal with the bugs beyond telling them it is a known problem and sorry about your luck. Now, I realize that some people are going to try and exploit GM assistance, but there comes a time when you just need to give your customer the benefit of the doubt and help them through any problems that crop up. The other major problem attached to instances comes before you even make it to the instance. If you aren't part of a large guild with resources always at hand, it means you are going to have to try your luck with a pickup group. While the "Looking for Group" interface was a neat addition, I think Blizzard either did too much or too little depending on what they were going for. With a simple global chat channel it was very easy for players just to type what they were looking to do and for others to answer, a quick and easy solution. In fact, most servers have seen a grass roots channel emerge to move back to this functionality. With the introduction of a user interface and automation to the process, they removed the "easy" solution but didn't go far enough with the complex solution. Ultimately, the "best" answer to this problem would be to bring back the chat channel but make the user interface "grab" names and classes from that chat channel into a larger pool of people to draw from, allowing users to use both methods of communication depending on their preference.

One of the main points of skepticism before the release of The Burning Crusade was the number of reputation "grinds" that would be required in order to experience new content. While much of the new content is hidden behind reputation requirements, the new system allows players to gain reputation at an amazingly fast rate making this requirement almost a non-issue. In addition to new content for these new factions the reputation system also unlocks a vast amount of new pearls for the crafting system. This allows different reputation choices to determine which recipes you are able to craft so that each crafter has the ability to obtain unique recipes instead of being a cookie cutter crafter like it was before the expansion.

Despite the fact that the casual consumer has definitely been given quite a bit of content to work their way through, the hardcore player has certainly not been left in the lurch. Raid content is available in spades. The addition of a 'heroic mode' for dungeons allows players to go back and play through previous instances at a higher difficulty level (and for better rewards). This, again, requires that they have put in the time to attain a high enough reputation level with the controlling faction. With each set of instances, there is also a difficult 25-man raid (now that Blizzard has decided to limit their "large" raids to 25 players instead of 40) encounter designed to provide an additional challenge. Beyond these short raids there is also new 10-man content (Karazhan) that allows players to work through a larger dungeon and attain a new armor "set" in addition to the random drops that still occur. Once players have made their way through this 10-man content they can start working towards some of the even larger 25-man content with huge sprawling dungeons promised, eventually culminating in the battle through Mount Hyjal. However, in order to get to this final realization players must wade through a lot of content. In an effort to help players in this goal one player even put together a flow chart of what it is going to take to realize this goal.

The largest problem with the current raid content is that while it requires large amounts of work to get to and complete (as it should), the rewards for actually completing that raid content have all but eviscerated the desire to do the work. Having moved from a "hardcore" raiding style of play to a much more casual approach I was quite pleased at how much I was able to do on a daily basis with my limited time. However, looking back at my previous play style and the rewards that I would be shooting for I realized that there was very little reason for me to aim for those "end game" rewards anymore. The time spent versus rewards earned seems a little imbalanced. I'm sure that a large part of this decision was to try and cater to the larger "casual" player base and stop the hemorrhage of players they were losing to other games. Just the same, if you are going to create content that caters to your hardcore players you should probably create rewards that justify the work they are about to put into it.

While much of the game play and content has been improved greatly the class balance issue is still one that continues to haunt Blizzard. For example, if you are a Rogue and you really want to experience some of the heroic content and smaller raid encounters, you are in for a difficult time finding a group. The same goes for priests if you are really into the competitive player versus player aspect of the game. I am willing to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt on this one since they are probably still evaluating how the new talents and new gear will effect the overall class balance, but changes are definitely needed.

In addition to all of the game play changes, each faction also has a new race, a new homeland, and tons of new starting quests to work through. While information on the new horde race, the Blood-Elf, has been available for quite some time, the new alliance race, the Draenei, has been somewhat of a mystery almost until the release of the beta. Unfortunately, this also shows in the quality of both the quests and the overall feel for each of these races. The homeland and starting quests for the Blood-Elves have a much larger degree of continuity and they lend a feeling of a long time in development while the Draenei feel like a last minute cobble when they couldn't think of anything else. This obviously doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things once you make it to Outland and the new content, but it can have a definite effect on someone just starting the game.

Overall, it seems that Blizzard is definitely listening to their player base, they just need to do a better job of communicating that fact. I realize that it is hard to release information about something if it later gets taken away or changed, but let your GM staff work for you, give the player the benefit of the doubt more often, and admit when something is wrong so that players can avoid the disappointment while it is being fixed.

Despite any pitfalls, The Burning Crusade is an excellent addition to the Warcraft Universe. Blizzard has done an excellent job of catering to many of the different types of players within the game, providing a wide array of enjoyable content. If you are new to the MMO scene or even if you gave up hope before The Burning Crusade hit the streets, now is a great time to get into the game and give it a shot.

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WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18124972)

This darned game is really getting on my chimes.

Why review this? (1, Insightful)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124996)

Everyone who plays WoW will buy it. If you don't play WoW, you either aren't interested or you would have started by now, or you realized how pointless and boring the game is and have no intention of buying a pointless and boring expansion.

Re:Why review this? (2, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125088)

What about the people who quit WoW, and are intrigued by BC? I don't think anyone would say that those people aren't interested in the reviews.

Re:Why review this? (5, Funny)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125432)

Nobody has ever quit WoW.

Re:Why review this? (2, Funny)

Alari (181784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125498)

> Nobody has ever quit WoW.

One of us, one of us.

Re:Why review this? (1)

admdrew (782761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125588)

I'd argue that death [theinquirer.net] is an effective way to quit.

Re:Why review this? (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126014)

Now that's what I call cold (and stiff) turkey...

Re:Why review this? (1)

smonner (468465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125116)

It's interesting for people who left WoW and were wondering whether they should come back. I got to 60 fairly quickly and then got really, really bored with the game. So I left. Spending hours on raids to get slightly better gear than I already had just wasn't fun, and while I found the PVP element entertaining for a while, it eventually started to feel like a grind for honor.

I was wondering whether it would be worth coming back for this expansion. While it sounds interesting, I can see myself coming back, getting to 70 in a month or so, and then being bored again. I think I'll pass and stick with Vanguard, which despite its numerous faults (still a beta game IMHO) is reasonably fun. Oh, sure, I'll hit the level cap and get bored with Vanguard as well, but I think it might take me longer than with BC.

And all the while I can continue to play EVE, which two years on still entertains me. I like the fact that there is no level cap. I think CCP is going to be getting my money for many more years to come.

Re:Why review this? (1, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125158)

And the review isn't even very accurate. The casual player gets next to nothing out of this. I am a casual player and bought BC. So far other than two new races I have seen nothing of the expansion. All I hear is the 60+ hard core players in my guild having fun in it.

BC is 90% content for hard core players.

Re:Why review this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125380)

It's not that hard to get to level 58, and once you do, there is a vast amount of new content for both casual and hardcore players.

If you're not level 58 yet, there are only two possible reasons: you haven't been playing the game very long, or you keep rolling alts instead of sticking with the same character.

You are right in one thing. If you're not going to roll a new character of one of the new races, and your current character isn't lvl 58 yet, there's no reason to buy the expansion. In that case, just wait and buy the expansion when you hit 58.

Even casual players aren't going to take more than a few months to get to level 58.

Re:Why review this? (1)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125492)

Now, I'll admit it. I've never gotten to 60. But that's because I barely play at all. Casual players can, in a few months of play (that is, about $90 of subscription fees), make it to level 58, where you can get into Outland. And from what I've heard, it's incredibly fun from there on out thanks to BC.

Re:Why review this? (3, Informative)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125536)

I'm a casual player as well and curious as to what you've been smoking.

My only character in the game was a level 60. I haven't done any of the new races (I heard they're well designed and beautiful). From level 60-70, I've probably gone on 20 small-man dungeon runs (5 players) and done about 400-500 quests. I've levelled up my leatherworking and saved money for my epic flying mount (Druids get the regular one for free). Even when I play totally solo, the new content has kept me enthralled.

Will you enjoy the game more if you level to 60 and find a few friends to play with. Yes. Is that hard? No. If you're still struggling to get to 60 (again, not hard) you're going to see generic content -- nothing from 20-60 has changed. For every other casual player who's at 60, the expansion has been a blessing with loads of new content and lots of upgrades.

Re:Why review this? (1)

Anguirel (58085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125804)

There is, in fact, additional content for 20-60. New quest givers have been added to every quest hub to give quests on the behalf of the two new races.

Re:Why review this? (1)

WilliamX (22300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126124)

Better adjust your plans. Druids do not in fact get the regular flying mount for free, they get a flight form at level 68 however. But in order to get your Epic Flying Mount Training, you will need the regular flying mount training as a prerequisite (like all other trained skills require the lower level skills to obtain the next higher one). So there is really no way to "skip" the regular flying mount's expensive, even for druids who get the flight form.

Re:Why review this? (1)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126160)

I don't think you can be truthfully labeled a casual player - no offense, but I've been playing WOW for about 2 years and my character just reached 60. That's with about an hour or so per weekend of casual play, with a "hardcore" 4 or 5 hour session thrown in every once in a while. I agree that BC is 90% for hardcore players - but of course, it should be. Hardcore players are Blizzard's bread-and-butter, and always will be - so why shouldn't they market to them?

Re:Why review this? (2, Informative)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125884)

You're joking, right? The BC expansion seems tailor-made for casuals to enjoy. The level progression is set at a good pace for casual gaming, and there are many instances that can be played with casual, 5-man groups. Reputation gain is also a lot faster, so people who don't play 8 hours a day don't feel as though all the good rep rewards are out of their reach.

I'm not a hardcore raider, but I wouldn't quite call myself a casual player since I average about 4 hours of gaming a night. I can clearly see how Blizzard has balanced the new content between casual and hardcore playing styles. Blizzard has obviously learned some lessons here.

And there's a fact that a lot of people miss: the new level cap and the power escalation that these new levels provide give casuals more of a chance to try the old "end game" content that they previously could not see because of their lack of commitment to gaining the powerful weapons and armor needed to see them. Sure the rewards won't be great, but, in my experience, casuals are more geared toward "having fun" than "getting the best equipment.

And that leads me to a final opinion about the article submitter's gripe about the lower quality of hardcore gear. While games like WoW are certainly "item acquisition" games, if your only goal is getting the next best thing, then I think you're missing out on a lot of enjoyment that WoW has to offer. Ten or twenty years from now, when my friends and I think back about out time spent playing together on WoW, our recollections will not be "remember that mace I got with the +50 Str?" but, rather "Remember when we finally beat that boss you spawned clones of us while we were fighting?"

I sincerely hope that a lot of people with the mindset of "better gear" being the be-all-end-all of the game came to their senses with the wakeup call Blizzard put into the BC where the tier 2 armor sets they spend months trying to obtain were made almost immediately obsolete by the first new items available in the BC.

To sum up my feelings on the Burning Crusade expasion: "gg blizzard"

Re:Why review this? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126064)

What the hell are you talking about? I progressed through all the new zones and leveled to 70 easily through solo quests. Even if you're antisocial or only have an hour or two at a time to play, the new content is very, very accessible.

Re:Why review this? (1)

Sherman81 (881227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125160)

Well in my opinion, I think overall it's a very good RPG, coming from an avid WOW gamer here. My only concern is how much of our personal lives with this game suck out of us. Somewhere along the way, we lost the spirit of the game and started investing our own time and money into a "virtual world". Who's to know now whether kids these days may simply stay home and have only friendly occasions on WoW. How many spend REAL money just for a silly pet as an example. To me, this is pushing the threshold of gaming a little too far. I've been addicted enough to play at the office a few times, very bad idea! I might have better luck building up an addiction to heavy drugs. At least I can go out more. :p

Re:Why review this? (2, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125192)

If you used to play WoW but quit, perhaps because you ran out of non-40-man-raid things to do, you might want to restart your account and get the expansion. It's rather fun.

My account was cancelled for a full year, but I picked it back up in January, got the expansion, and have enjoyed it so far. I reached 70 on my main a few nights ago, and spent last night just flying around on my (flying, obviously) mount.

Actually there's another group.. (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125240)

I'm of the small minority of players that purchased the expansion with great intent, and then realized what a small amount of content was added for a year of development. The game is still the same, the only difference is that it takes up more space on my drive. The customer service is atrocious, and I've now sworn off of it for good.

$15 a month may not mean a lot to a company that pulls in billions a year, but it means a lot to me, and it's my $15. They have to earn it by doing more than making me cough up an extra $40 every year. Their community is in horrible shape, and their employees are offensive and unhelpful.

I say "good riddance" as I remove this horrible and horribly supported product from my computer.

Re:Actually there's another group.. (0, Flamebait)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125530)

The fuck? Its $15 a month for WoW? I thought it was $5 a month and thought they were crazy. Everyone talks about Microsoft being greedy leachers.. Most games I play for at least 2 years. 2 * 12 * 15 = 360 + 50 * 2 = $460!! Assuming you play the xpac too. What a fucking ripoff...

Re:Actually there's another group.. (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125650)

It's not a straight equation for the cost. The monthly fee goes down the more months you buy at a time.

Re:Actually there's another group.. (0, Flamebait)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125846)

Even half that cost is rediculous. How much of a discount do they really give you, though? I paid $40 for 7 years of Starcraft. Blizzard has really gone down hill..

Re:Why review this? (1)

wdr1 (31310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125378)

Actually, I was thinking of why review it from a different angle: Why have an editor review it himself, submit it to himself, and decide himself he's going to post it himself.

Not that editors shouldn't be able to submit stories -- far from it. Instead, why not have them submit their stories just like a regular user? There could be an anonymizer so that one editor's couldn't have bias for fellow editors.

If the Slashdot submission process works, and the story is homepage worth, then we'll still see it; Just like any other user.

I guess if you agree w/ me, mod me up, but if you don't feel free to mod me down.

-Bill

[ ObAck: Yes, I agree, this is technically OffTopic, but where *would* this be no topic? ]
 

Re:Why review this? (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126010)

If you don't like it, start your own tech news aggregating website. I'm sure if it's better, everyone will leave slashdot for it. This isn't a democracy.

Re:Why review this? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125612)

Or maybe I just think I don't have a few years to waste on this, wish I was younger. I don't think I actually had those years to waste then either, but I did anyway and this looks a lot cooler than any of the games I used to play. However, I just have this image of me grinding away at 3AM to get [insert virtual loot here] and losing what social life I have. Knowing my gaming habits I don't think I should start playing any game I don't know when I'll finish - and WoW you can't finish.

Thank you robokatz (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126116)

Would you please point at any other "pointless and boring" things that I should avoid so that I can be sure to avoid them too?

How is this new? (0, Redundant)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125042)

To make the process of instancing even better, Blizzard has grouped the instances in each zone together as "wings" of increasing difficulty within a larger structure that has an overall theme.

Uh, you mean like the Scarlet Monastary? (That's pre BC for both of you who haven't played)

Re:How is this new? (1)

ShentarZ31 (915395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125136)

It is not a new concept, but its new in that they are making the new dungeons follow this same format because it works out so well. No more having to go to BRD and spend a large amount of time just doing one thing. Instead, you just go to the part you need to go to. I don't think the article even implies or hints that this is a new feature. It seems to just be a new policy for Blizzard when making instances. I, for one, applaud this change in how the dungeons are made.

Re:How is this new? (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125204)

Not new at all. They met good success with scarlet monastery, but even better success with dire maul.

One new thing is that the last boss tends to be near an exit. It's a small touch but it's noticably nice to burn through a dungeon, then just jump down to exit instead of having to spend, literally, 3 minutes running out.

The dungeons are very, very well designed. Most of the scripting bugs have been hotfixed, too.

Re:How is this new? (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125328)

Yeah, I was just being kind of snarky 'cause it seemed like the reviewer thought this was something completely novel with BC.

Exiting directly after beating a dungeon boss seems logical to me, but I grew up with Zelda. Doesn't it just seem lazy when game devs make you walk out of a dungeon, fighting mobs, for added (artificial) challenge?

Re:How is this new? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125982)

Some games kick you out of the dungeon without asking you though (especially RPGs), not a nice thing if there was still some area you wanted to search for treasure.

Re:How is this new? (1)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126068)

Use your stone or get a portal...

A ton of content. (1)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125044)

As far as expansions for MMOs go, the Burning Crusade does have a TON more content than normal. No new classes was a glaring flaw though, and it will be interesting to see if they can get away with that in future expansions.

Re:A ton of content. (2, Insightful)

ShentarZ31 (915395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125344)

The philosphy behind "no new classes" is that Blizzard feels that they want to improve the balance of the classes that they currently have. Just by giving the Horde the paladin and giving the Alliance the shaman, they have been able to unlock those classes more. They can develop those classes without having to make one faction vastly more powerful than the other. They are also giving some unloved classes some attention. Why add in new classes to upset a balance when they have improvements that can be implemented to the classes that they currently have? I am sure at some point they may add in a new class or two, but I applaud BLizzard for trying to fix what they have first. I don't see having no new classes to be a flaw at all.

Re:A ton of content. (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125712)

While allowing the opposing factions to play the "other faction's" class (paly/shaman) isn't really adding classes, it sure feels like it to our horde guild. In addition, the various talent trees have been more clearly defined, which creates more distinctive build possibilities for each class - which also isn't new classes, but is also very interesting.

Finally, I don't know that no new classes is a "glaring flaw". I certainly didn't expect any.

No mention of Gold? (1)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125058)

You didn't really mention how much easier it is to accumulate gold.

global "looking for group" channel (2, Insightful)

LochNess (239443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125090)

While I can see people's point when they complain about the newish LFG tool, I really don't want to go back to the server-wide LFG channel. It was basically global Barrens chat.

Re:global "looking for group" channel (3, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125298)

The way they could fix this is to put a global chat channel INSIDE the LFG tool, with a timer (2 broadcasts per 30 sec). That'd make it inconvenient to use as a chat channel, and would mostly be seen only by people actually actively looking for a group. The tool is nice, but needs some tweaks. But worse, the inability to chat destroys any usefulness it might have had.

Re:global "looking for group" channel (1)

LochNess (239443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125484)

That actually sounds like a pretty good idea.

Re:global "looking for group" channel (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126172)

That's a fantastic idea. The global LFG channel was obnoxious, but at least it functioned. The new tool is practically worthless. It's better to just go to the zone with the instance/nearest capital city and ask in general chat.

They should definitely implement your idea, and then make it so that auto-join/auto-invite is not enabled by default.

Re:global "looking for group" channel (1)

Miniluv (165290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126184)

I disagree. I started using LFG the day it came out, and have found it to be a steadily improving resource. I dunno if its useful for endgame instances, however up through SM and Uldaman level instances its highly useful. You don't need it to be a chat channel as you're already advertising your interest in one or more instances through the tool, instead I wish it was more dynamic (clicking refresh gets annoying) and I wish you could view the queue for more than 1 instance at a time.

Incomprehensible! (2, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125128)

As a non-WoW player (I do play Runescape though) this made very little sense to me. Can someone explain what an 'instance' is?

I'm equally baffled by the reviewer saying "players must wade through a lot of content." isn't content rather than grind what everyone wants?

Re:Incomprehensible! (3, Informative)

halivar (535827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125224)

And "instance" is a dungeon, populated with monsters and quest goals, generated specifically for your party. No one else is there. If some other group tries to enter the same dungeon, they get a difference "instance". It's a good way of getting away from the farmers and channel chatter.

Instances also have bosses with mad l3wt, which is always fun.

Re:Incomprehensible! (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125506)

I realize this is an article about how WoW does instances, but the definition is a little more broad than that. An instance in an MMOG really goes by the definition: a case or occurrence of anything [reference.com] . Anything in the case of MMOGs referring to a zone or area of the world. It isn't necessarily restricted to you or your party. In Everquest 2 they had the major zones automatically create another instance of themselves, so if the low level grounds of Antonica had more than 100 players or so in it, a new one would be created, and anyone entering the zone after that would have the choice of entering the first instance with 100 random players in it, or entering the newer instance that had less people in it.

It really just boils down to if the zone is static (there will only be one), or if more than one "instance" of the zone can be created. Usually it is done so that there is enough content for everyone, as having only static zones tends to get cramped.

Re:Incomprehensible! (2, Informative)

Aaul (695153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125580)

An instance in WoW is a self-contained "copy" of a dungeon for your group. You basically get your group mates together, walk through the dungeon's portal entrance, and a "copy" of the dungeon is created for your group to progress through. In the days of EverQuest (before the LDoN expansion), every dungeon was shared across the server, so if one dungeon was full, you basically had to wait until people left or you went to another dungeon. It takes a little bit of the "community" out of the game, but the added convenience is well worth it.

I think what the author meant by "wade through a lot of content" is that there is a lot of pre-requisite content that must be completed before moving on to the later, (arguably) more rewarding content. The statement is partly true (but exaggerated). If you look at the chart supplied showing the requirements, it does look like a whole lot of stuff to do. However, what people fail to mention is that just by playing the game, completing quests, and going through dungeons, you end up completing the vast majority of the requirements without a whole lot of extra effort.

For instance, every Heroic mode dungeon (the harder version of the dungeon) requires every group mate to have the Heroic mode key. You buy the Heroic mode key off a quartermaster for that dungeon's reputation, which requires you to be Revered standing. The first dungeon, Hellfire Citadel, is tied to the reputation "Honor Hold" (for Alliance) and "Thrallmar" (for Horde). By the time you do all the quests available, and run through the dungeon wings a few times on normal mode, you're already nearly up to the required reputation. There is very little extra grinding effort required to get to new content, unless you skip the natural progression of doing quests and dungeons for leveling.

I'm having a lot of fun with the expansion. So far my only complaint has been the issues the Warrior class has been having with fulfilling its job as a tank, but that will be fixed in time.

Re:Incomprehensible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125654)

Instances are something that WOW has where a dungeon basically becomes yours to play in and yours alone (Yours being your party or raid group)..

This allows your party to venture forth without that race to the end guy before the rest of the world gets there feeling. Other games have similar things under different names.

Well sometimes the end result of a quest chain yields equipment that really does not benefit your character. The content of the chain does not necessarily reveal this until the end and you don't have a way of knowing without research via the likes of Thottbot or some other avenue (like trial and error).

Re:Incomprehensible! (1)

Oswald (235719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125808)

You raise an excellent question. The reviewer probably made the "wade through" comment unconsciously, but it's a very important point for a lot of us. The content issue relates directly to the reason I (and a lot of other people) no longer get involved in the big online games. The games are too competitive--in the sense that there always seem to be a thousand people on the server with more time and skills than you have, so that your character is always a small fry--and I am too competitive--in the sense that I can't stand to be a second class citizen forever. When you're trying to catch up to the leaders, the content you're supposed to be enjoying can indeed become something you have to wade through to achieve your goal.

I still miss WOW over a year after I stopped playing. I can still see hundreds of in-game locations in my mind's eye and remember the people I met and played with. But I'll never play again because I don't want to make it my whole life, and it's not worth playing (to me) part time.

Good review, for those thinking of returning (5, Informative)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125148)

I concur with almost everything in this review.

I'll note one additional data point: When you do some of the initial quests, you'll be amazed at the quality of the quest rewards for relatively simple quests. I believe this was an intentional design to bring the "casual" player up to raid quality gear, effectively levelling the playing field. Casuals do not start at much of a disadvantage when they're having T2-quality gear heaped upon them (previously only available in instances such as BWL, where few casual players were able to attend).

The game does slow down after you hit 70, but more options open. Most likely, you'll be grinding to get a fast mount, but you'll almost certainly have 1000g for the slow flying mount. You'll want a guild, but one is not necessary to participate in most of the content. However, guildless, it's unlikely you'll progress into the "advanced" content for quite a while. It's difficult to complete the 10-man Karazhan key in PUGs, and even if you do, there are few 10-man PUGs. That sounds kind of funny, but Karazhan is NOT simply a level 70 UBRS. It's more like a 10-man Naxxramus.

Re:Good review, for those thinking of returning (3, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125232)

I had little raid-content gear before I started in the expansion. I was, literally, replacing a piece of armor every 30-60 minutes of play for the first week. All of my pre-BC gear was gone in two weeks, and in most slots I'd upgraded 3-4 times.

Eventually, when finished with Hellfire Peninsula and moving into Zangarmarsh, the gear turnover slows down. Suprisingly, I found this to be quite a relief; I didn't want to have to slow down and reevaluate my gear once an hour!

Re:Good review, for those thinking of returning (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125486)

The rewards for casual players when they first start in BC are nice (although how nice depends on your class) but it still puts you leagues behind the hardcore players who will still gank you in 5 seconds flat even with no tactics. The gear is only good compared to pre-BC gear but sucks butt compared to post BC gear. So, in essence, casual gamers are still screwed in WoW. You will never come close to the power of the well geared power gamers. To some extent this is intentional of course since they want the power gamers to feel superior for all their hard work but it still sucks for the casual gamer. As a casual gamer I was excited for BC but quickly found it to be the same ol' crap with new zones and now the power gamers can gank you without you ever seeing them most of the time (unless you spend a lot of time starring up at the sky) thanks to flying mounts.

Re:Good review, for those thinking of returning (2, Insightful)

Anguirel (58085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125896)

Or you could, you know, play on a Normal or RP server where you don't need worry about ganking unless you choose to participate in World PvP...

Re:Good review, for those thinking of returning (0)

47Ronin (39566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126080)

The rewards for casual players when they first start in BC are nice (although how nice depends on your class) but it still puts you leagues behind the hardcore players who will still gank you in 5 seconds flat even with no tactics. ...
As a casual gamer I was excited for BC but quickly found it to be the same ol' crap with new zones and now the power gamers can gank you without you ever seeing them most of the time (unless you spend a lot of time starring up at the sky) thanks to flying mounts.

Sounds like someone needs to reroll on a carebear^H^H^H^H PVE server. Ganking lowbies isn't new. It's happened to me quite a few times, but I've accepted that being on a PVP server. It just teaches me to keep watching my back and assessing the threat from opposing factions questing in the same area.

Re:Good review, for those thinking of returning (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125642)

I'll note one additional data point: When you do some of the initial quests, you'll be amazed at the quality of the quest rewards for relatively simple quests. I believe this was an intentional design to bring the "casual" player up to raid quality gear, effectively levelling the playing field.

As a casual player, I completely agree with this assessment. My girlfriend and I play for about six to ten hours a week and when BC came out we were still in our low 50s. Just last week we made it to 58 and headed to the Outlands. The quests were very appropriate for our level, but might have been a little difficult for someone doing them solo. The best part about starting Outlands as a 58 was that the 58/59 gear from out there is so ridiculously powerful that I completely owned pre-60 AB before I earned those last few XP to finally ding 60. =)

Draenei Cobbled? (4, Insightful)

borkus (179118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125182)

While I've liked both starting areas, I have quite enjoyed the Draenei starting quests. It's true that the architecture in the Blood Elf region is more complex, but that's consistent with the game in my opinion - the Blood Elfs are starting in their recently wrecked city, the Draenei start stranded on a remote island. The starting quests on the Draenei side are quite good - in fact, the "Medal Ceremony" at the end of the final elite quest is very cool. And then there's the Kessell Run. [wowwiki.com]

However, I can see how someone might prefer the flavor of the Blood Elf starting area to the Draenei area. To me, that difference in flavor shows how much thought Blizzard put into each area.

Re:Draenei Cobbled? (1)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125446)

Borkus? from Gilneas?

casual (3, Funny)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125186)

what do they mean by casual players? People playing less than 2hrs a day ?

Re:casual (3, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125280)

They mean people with jobs and\or social lives.

Re:casual (2, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125600)

I'm an enchanter and I'm in a chatty guild, but I don't think that I'm a casual player

Re:casual (1)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125366)

what do they mean by casual players? People playing less than 2hrs a day ?

I'm a casual player -- I merely stopped checking /played!!!

Re:casual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125438)

And some of them uses bots, Glider, WowSharp, ZoloFighter/fisher to help grinding, so they can be on the same level as their friends/children

Re:casual (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125582)

A Casual Player is anyone who plays less than you do.
A Hard Core Player is anyone who plays more than you do.

G.

Re:casual (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125646)

It's interesting, because the "casual/hardcore" definition has been debated for awhile. Some people contend that if you simply raid (play with 40 other players, now 25) you're hardcore. Others claims it's the amount of time devoted to the game.

For outsiders looking in (like yourself) it's convenient to view all Wow players as addicted basement-dwellers. That's blatantly incorrect. The reality is that most players play infrequently, have career and families to worry about, and their Wow schedule is dictated by their life schedule (not the other way around). You don't get to 8 million+ players with just the hardcore.

I myself consider myself casual. I'll log in maybe 1-2 hours a couple days a week. Others make it a point to log in every day for many hours, but they are the minority. (Again, it's convenient for you to tout otherwise, because you don't know any better - similar to when the media lambastes "video games" everytime a kid shoots another kid and they need something to blame it on).

For me, the expansion has been a blessing because a lot of content can be fitted into my small window of time available. Again, most players are like me. To paraphrase Wow regulars, "l2understand".

Re:casual (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125858)

"have career and families to worry about"

If you have to "worry" about your career or family getting in the way of playing a game. you've got problems.

Re:casual (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126152)

Casual players wear jeans and t-shirts.

Hard core players dress up in full armor and masks.

Additional impressions from a casual player (3, Informative)

diagonti (456119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125228)

Just some intro caveats: I'm a casual player. I think I've been in a raid-group of more than 5 twice. I am friends with several people who are serious raiders, but I'm not one.

Initially when you first start the new content, the items you receive feel unbelievably good. They are meant to bring you up to just barely under the power level of the folks who have spent the past years raiding. And because of this, the new stuff felt really munchkin initially. Fun, but munchkin. Epic items from pre-BC were replaced with green(normal) items found in BC. The quests are good - a lot of the little annoying bits have been toned down (fewer pointless long runs, flagging quests that really require multiple people as requiring 2 or 3 people as appropriate). There is a lot of nice flavor here.

One thing the reviewer missed is that a lot of BC is really beautiful. Each zone is very distinctive. And there have been several times when I just paused to admire the beauty. With the addition of flying mounts, there are some really gorgeous views that can be found. Several of the instances are visually stunning as well. This is a pretty game.

There are some class balance issues -- but I think at least part of the issues are that the classes changed a bit and people have not adapted their thinking. For example, it used to be hard to try to be a raiding druid in the tank role -- there was effectively one set of gear that all tank-druids went for. BC has added a large variety -- which means the class is a lot more viable in a role than it used to be. Is this unbalancing? No. It is different and changes some of the feel of the game.

Too little too late (1)

Fishy (17624) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125248)

Given the amount of money coming in they should be dropping one of these out every 12 months, this was thrown together to try and keep the competition at bay.

There is no-reason why there shouldn't be 10-15 races by now, with a *proper* crafting system. Instead blizzard wasted time with Raid instances that only the minority wanted.

Doesn't mean I'm not playing it though :) must level ... must level ... must level .......

Re:Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125406)

The plan stated by blizzard is to have one expansion every 12 months.

I'm not too excited about having a ton of new races or classes, though. Maybe specializations of existing classes... but that's similar to the 41-point talents.

The crafting system could use a little work, but it's not terrible. The existing tradeskills have gotten really nice bonuses with BOP items, too.

Re:Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18126044)

Oh, please, there don't need to be a ton of classes and races to make a game good.

Just look at FFXI, it has had three expansions and has never added any races, and it's doing... um...

Well, OK, bad example, everyone left FFXI to play WoW years ago, after the second expansion to add no new races and no classes.

But still, number of races and classes isn't the only way to gauge how good an MMORPG is.

Quick Question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125254)

Where you able to type out "With the original game, leveling was thought of as one of the main aspects of the game and designed to take a long time to do with very little continuity or help to speed you along." without laughing?

hard modes? why bother until later? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125258)

currently hard-mode rewards are hardly worth the time invested getting them. Majority of loot from the few we've run has be disenchanted, because we had better items from quests, or regular 5 man instances.

net result running them? one guy leaves with a token, of which he'll need many to get anything with.

hoping they reitemize...

Re:hard modes? why bother until later? (1)

ScuttleMonkey (55) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125390)

Mostly the reason we run on heroic is for the increased rep reward.

Re:hard modes? why bother until later? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125440)

compare the time invested to finish vs regular mode and you'd find that the 25% bonus for running hardmode isn't enough to make it pull ahead.

well unless you're steam rolling through the place, which most ppl aren't given the unlucky string of crushing blows here and there =p

Re:hard modes? why bother until later? (1)

ScuttleMonkey (55) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125510)

Thankfully our tank is a monster, making it much easier.

What is missing from the review? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125264)

Interestingly enough the reviewer completly neglected the glaring class related issues that BC has created.
With the nerfing of warriors, the lack of scalability in the priests defensive and healing spells and the huge buffs given to druids and
paladins. BC has created a considerable number of unhappy players who installed the expansion just
to find their toon is no longer relevant as a hybrid class fills their niche much better than they do.
I have seen many priests and warriors dropping over the last couple of weeks.

BC = Easy (2, Insightful)

vision33r (829872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125290)

So far I think the BC's content is large but short on quality. Lots and tons of new gear but re-colored items with no new graphics. Some new epic gear has some of the wackiest artwork, doesn't have the consistent quality of many pre-BC designs. Most of the quests are way too easy for certain classes, while certain classes are dependent on others to help them grind quests. They have yet to fix class imbalances and looks like it got worst. Some classes have scaled so far ahead of others that they don't even need a party to help grind elite quests. Its a bit unfair there. I say BC was a bit rushed overall, lots of repetitive quest grinds and nothing new to the game, many class specific changes only benefit those classes and Blizzard has remained silent about changes, not giving anyone a shred of hope that they would fix them. Perhaps LOTR Online, here we come?

It's all about context (5, Funny)

nganju (821034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125292)

Did anyone else read this synopsis on the Slashdot front page and then completely misinterpret the next article down? For a minute I thought Slashdot was turning into Gamespot.

First Article - "World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade Review"
Second Article - "Recovering a Wrecked RAID"

Instance wings (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125300)

Aside from Scarlet Monastery, which was always broken up into sections, does anyone know if they broke any of the pre-BC instances into multiple parts? Specifically AQ, MC, or ZF?

Re:Instance wings (1)

ShentarZ31 (915395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125444)

Dire Maul was considered a winged instance. MC, ZF, and AQ weren't winged, however ZF did have a circular design that allowed you to, for the most part, skip bosses that you didn't need to kill.

Re:Instance wings (1)

NFNNMIDATA (449069) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125836)

I believe the existing raid dungeons were left as-is. Not sure why anyone would go to them at all anymore, as the loot is quickly replaced by quest rewards in the 60s and once you hit 58 you can go to Outland and start working through the new content. Just imagine all the level 60 content they put in over the years aside from dungeons that is now effectively obsolete... the mind boggles.

Re:Instance wings (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125970)

I can verify this...I picked up my pally again and decided I'd finally do the damn epic mount quest. Went to Strat, DM, and Scholo...On a high pop server, mind you...and didn't find a single person in any of those instances.

Not surprising; I'll bet there are people in the under 50 instances still, but 50 and up? I doubt anyone will be in those until level 70s start grouping up and grinding them as a lark.

Waste of your Life (0)

ShrapnelFace (1001368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125332)

Playing online games that keep you cocooned in your home, alone, is not really a past-time- its social aversion. Making the quests shorter, the game less time consuming, and on the whole much more aesthetically pleasing with better UI and etc. isnt really an upside to something that has caused people so much pain.

There is no reason for this product to be heralded, in my opinion, because, in life, no one should have to pay anyone in order to have friends.

Protest all that you would like about this post, however, I do believe that there are plenty of people who have posted their experiences which often end in marital problems, economic problems (job loss, financial traumas) and mental health problems. All of these seem to correspond with social problems that may or may not have existed before hand, and are now exasperated to the point of extremes.

Just my opinion, and I am free to share it.

Re:Waste of your Life (1)

KillerMoblin (987542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125410)

What?

I think you have a hard time separating the real world from video games. . . . .

Just as 'bad' as watching TV or listening to music, except you actually interact with people in this game (yeah, I know, it's not face-to-face). Not a replacement for going and hanging out with your friends and such, but jesus, give it a rest. Not all people that play this game are 100% reclusive.

Besides, 90% of the people in the world are retarded and not worth conversing with (unfortunately, 75% of those play WoW. . .)

Re:Waste of your Life (1)

ShrapnelFace (1001368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125568)

The point of my opinion is in fact wrapped around the difference between real world and MMORPG's. Those parallels that would be drawn around TV and Music are not necessarily similar in that neither one of those mediums are interactive. There is an output that requires no input. In either case, Im not arguing the merits or demerits of other forms of entertainment, I am only stating my opinion on this one aspect of PC entertainment.

#fris7 psot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125354)

provide sodFas,

BC is good, to an extent (1, Insightful)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125462)

I quit WoW and started again after BC came out. They did fix a bunch of stuff:
  • Instances no longer require a 4 hour commitment
  • Casual playing actually has rewards
  • Zones are very well designed and laid out
  • One in ten quests is actually interesting and fun
However, after I did a quest where I had to kill Hydras for 4 hours in order to get 8 scales or whatever, I realized that it was more of the same crap and the promptly quit the game again.

Re:BC is good, to an extent (2, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125856)

However, after I did a quest where I had to kill Hydras for 4 hours in order to get 8 scales or whatever, I realized that it was more of the same crap and the promptly quit the game again.

I started a Blood-Elf for the hell of it and realized after not too long that you can skip any quest that involves killing monsters to collect X number of items. That particular kind of quest has to be the most tedious and absolutely frustrating quest available. I read the interview with the Warhammer Online team and they seem to have gotten it right. In their game, if you go on a quest like that, then EVERY SINGLE MONSTER that you have to kill will drop the item you need to collect. I wish the Blizzard folks would pull their heads out of their asses and do the same thing.

Re:BC is good, to an extent (2, Funny)

wynler (678277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125940)

Yup.  When looking for Murloc eyes, I found it really funny that apparently some Murlocs didn't have eyes. 

Re:BC is good, to an extent (1)

Miniluv (165290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126036)

Very, very few of the kill for drops quests have low drop rates if you pay attention to which mobs to kill. Even Westfall stew is now quickly do-able if you pay attention to the levels of the mobs. Perhaps I've just been lucky in this (though I also run mobinfo2, so after running a quest once or twice I have good stats on drop rates and can become much more efficient). The only one I've run across (though I've yet to play a BE) that had a really bad drop rate was the various pieces of the Warrior quest for the big 2hander at 30, and since it is a totally optional quest with real value only for PVPers (particularly twinks) its not that big a deal.

Re:BC is good, to an extent (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126136)

killing monsters to collect X number of items. That particular kind of quest has to be the most tedious and absolutely frustrating quest available. I read the interview with the Warhammer Online team and they seem to have gotten it right. In their game, if you go on a quest like that, then EVERY SINGLE MONSTER that you have to kill will drop the item you need to collect.

Well at that point it's no different than the "kill X monsters", uh, not that "kill an unknown number of monsters to get X items" is really "different".

One thing I like about BC is that so far the drop rates of all the quest items have been fairly high. I have dropped quests like a bad habit when I realised that I was going to have to kill a ridiculous number of enemies to get a few items. I remember one very bad one in Hillsbrad where I had to collect tokens from farmers, and after killing about 20 I had one token, and I had to collect some 20-30 total. Uh, screw that I said.

The problem comes in when the quest is part of a chain -- a fact that you may not know from looking at the quest itself, which is another complaint. The follow-ons may be easier, have good loot, or take you to an instance. Without looking the quests up online, you would never know.

Re:BC is good, to an extent (1)

Hrvat (307784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126166)

Yeah... It pained me when I had to kill boars to get ribs and then one in 10 boars dropped ribs. What was that about? Are boars walking around with no ribs?

Re:BC is good, to an extent (1)

Demoknight (66150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126078)

This is exactly where I can argue "skill" comes in to play... it's not skill *in-game* but rather skill as a gamer.

MANY of the quests that require drops off a particular type of monster... you'll find they range within 2-3 levels of each other... the same monster. Kill one level you get a 30% drop rate, kill the other 2 levels and you're looking at 10%.

This isn't typically considered "skill" but knowing this fact certain falls under some kind of anti-ignorant category of gaming.

The first of the TWIMTBW games promotion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125538)

This is the first time the Preparation H folks have gotten involved with games promotion with their The Way It's Meant To Be Wiped campaign.

The Quest For The Hanging Pile expansion promises even more fun.

PC / Mac ? (1)

Stemp (936330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125542)

System: PC / Mac ?

There is a Linux port ? woaw !! that's great. Or PC = Windows ?

Re:PC / Mac ? (1)

ShentarZ31 (915395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125628)

PC = Windows in this case. I can think of only a handful of games that have been written to run in Linux from the get go. Most seem to be ported over later by the community. Atleast, that has been my expirence with linux and gaming.

Expansion Side Effect (1)

SandwhichMaster (1044184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125886)

I'm not trying to troll, but I think the expanions should have been a free upgrade. For one thing, adding free new content gives players incentive to keep playing (and they're already paying). I'm guessing there are at least few players out there who have lost interest, and a $40 expansion isn't enticing, but maybe a free one would be.

Also, this expansion has "de-valued" a lot of characters. For example, my once powerful 60, is now getting 2-hitted by characters only a few levels higher, because 61-70 characters are disproporionately more powerful. Not being able to access new content is one thing, but it actually puts others at a significant disadvantage (items, levels, battlegrounds, etc.).

I realize Blizzard is in the business to make money, but a free expansion could have made financial sense too.

time vs skill (4, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125936)

The largest problem with the current raid content is that while it requires large amounts of work to get to and complete (as it should)

Why should it? This is why I hate (and do not play) this game. A good game should advance with the player's skill and a little bit of time. World of Warcraft advances the story only with time, time, and more time. You'll pour your life into the game, but you can still suck large amounts of ass at it. The reason that there are countless level 60/70 clueless morons is because the game requires no skill to speak of, only endless amounts of time.

Meanwhile Engineering gets a single faction recipe (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125996)

Green Smoke Flares

What do they do you ask? Nothing. FUCK YOU BLIZZARD!

40 Man isn't so bad (0, Troll)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126076)

As a former WoWer I always liked the 4+ hour 40 man raids. The big instances always provided the most interesting challenges and rewarding experiences.

I quit because nobody really has that much time to devote to games. It's especially true of the huge raids that require formal scheduling to get enough experienced (qualified) people together to complete anything.

It sounds like the BC expansion made good changes but still requires the huge time commitment. I'll stick with my former plan to return to WoW when I retire. (Hopefully there will be improvements made in the next 40 years)

Levelling is now different, somehow? (1)

DulcetTone (601692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126108)

I don't understand that observation. I'm still pointing and clicking and doing repetitive tasks.
I still have 25 or so backpack slots filled with stuff I need for some forgotten (and possibly lapsed) purpose.

I enjoy the game every so often, but need to find my buddies online to really get into a play session.

tone
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