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World of Warcraft - Wrath Of the Lich King Is In Alpha

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-think-we're-prepared-this-time dept.

Role Playing (Games) 303

simrook writes to tell us that World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, has entered closed alpha testing, as reported by WoWInsider. Wrath of the Lich King, which we've discussed previously, will raise the level cap to 80 and introduce a new class: Death Knights. World of Warcraft remains the most popular MMORPG on the market with over 10 million subscribers. WoWInsider notes, "Various players are being invited to check it out, under a strict NDA."

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303 comments

No permadeath (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031314)

means you've gotta keep moving those goal posts, cause anyone who grinds enough can get to them, and so the carrot keeps being moved further away from the donkey.

Re:No permadeath (-1, Flamebait)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031404)

I was going to flame you about how permadeath is such a fucking stupid idea, but then I realized I don't give enough of a shit to type out a long reply.

Re:No permadeath (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031490)

Care explaining how it's a stupid idea? It works for Nethack, it works for a variety of MUDs, it worked in almost all pencil-and-paper RPGs. (Well, maybe not permanent-permanent but at least with actual effort required beyond respawning.)

It works in Counter-Strike and to a degree in other FPSes.

So why not in WoW? It would prevent the game from getting stale and solve the grind problem.

Re:No permadeath (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031526)

Because it's a subscription game, and if a player dies, there's a good chance they'll say to hell with it and quit. They're not worried about making a game that doesn't go stale, they're worried about keeping money coming in.

Re:No permadeath (4, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031578)

How would it make the game not get stale? Rerunning the same quests in lvl 1-20 zones over again because you accidentally ran into a couple bears you couldn't handle?
Not too mention that many of WoW's encounters almost guarantee you will die the first try or second try until you get your strategy down (especially in instances and raiding).

Re:No permadeath (5, Funny)

Todd Fisher (680265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031672)

Not too mention that many of WoW's encounters almost guarantee you will die the first try or second try until you get your strategy down Kinda like in real-life, except for the whole second try part.

Re:No permadeath (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032104)

Not too mention that many of WoW's encounters almost guarantee you will die the first try or second try until you get your strategy down (especially in instances and raiding).

Tactics, not strategy.

Strategy is in the long term. In WoW, the typical strategy is to build up the strength of your character by repeated battles, purchasing better weapons, and improving your tactics.

Tactics are what you use in individual battles and skirmishes.

Re:No permadeath (2, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032238)

Well, Angband and Nethack and its Rogue-like friends manage pretty well. (Not quite WoW-level, but they don't have quite the same resources behind them.) They have different dynamics, though. The WOW dynamics, indeed, won't work for permadeath.

When death is a big deal, you take a lot more precautions to avoid death. In rogue-like games, you will typically try to maintain a stockpile of 'escapes' and 'healing', the two primary ways Not To Die in a tight spot. You also pay attention to various sorts of Detection - ways of avoiding tight spots altogether. And, of course, armor and resistances of various sorts. WoW does feature some moderate amounts of healing, but fewer escapes, and much less detection. There is also a disparity with the tactic of simply Running Away. In a game like Angband, the dungeon is infinite, and randomly generated each time, so if there's a room stuffed full of Big Evil Nasties in front of you, well, you just turn around and head another direction; there will surely be treasure later to make up for the loss. Nethack has random-but-finite dungeons, but it's still usually feasible to avoid tough spots until you're better prepared. And in either, there are often a variety of ways around a spot that could avoid that trouble altogether. (WoW, in the meantime, generally litters important areas with baddies, and doesn't provide sneaky back routes.) Here notice another facet of a randomly-generated world: in Angband and Nethack there are very few Important Areas. Most are throwaways.

I guess that the key thing, though, to avoid repeating Tedium, you simply need to avoid Repetition and Tedium in the beginning altogether, as much as you can. To make a good game, rather than just a decent one that's good and long.

Re:No permadeath (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032478)

As a fellow nethack player I have to say the idea of permadeath is the one thing that has scared the people I idle in IRC with away from the game. Sure you can savescum if you want but in general the idea that you work so hard for things is ridiculous. Me, I'll never forget the day I was killed by my own kitten as I was 4 steps away from my chaotic alter ready to offer the amulet to my god. This sort of challenge/result, whilst hilarious, destroys the game play for people who don't get it.

Re:No permadeath (5, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031592)

Oh boy.

OK, first off "it works in Counter-Strike" isn't a fair assessment. It's not a permadeath for a character that you've poured days/weeks/months of your life into.

it would prevent the game from getting stale - guess what? when your character dies you have to (*gasp*) PLAY THE SAME GAME OVER AGAIN! How is that NOT stale? In a permadeath situation you get to relevel in the same leveling spots, with the same quests, and grind the same bullshit you were grinding before.

solve the grind problem - do you even know what the "grind problem" is? Removing the grind is the only way to solve the grind problem. Permadeath is only going to cause characters to (*gasp*) grind to their original level AGAIN! That's just grind-tastic.

it works for Nethack - because Nethack is built around a game mechanic that makes it unique from World of Warcraft: the entire game is a random dungeon. World of Warcraft is a static world (aside from the expansion packs). If Nethack was the same dungeon, with the same monsters, the same story, the same items, the same skills, it would become very tedious to play.

it works for a variety of MUDs - people who play these MUDs are fucking psychotic.

it worked in almost all pencil-and-paper RPGs - because you didn't play the same campaign over and over and over again. If you did play the same campaign with different characters until you beat it, you a) missed the point of having multiple campaigns and b) have a serious OCD problem. Oh, and c) never experienced having your level 19 warlock die at the hands of a bastard GM.

Unless you change the core mechanics and introduce a random story generation algorithm, Permadeath would be the single most mind-numbingly annoying thing you could introduce into a modern game.

1984 called, they wanted to let you know that the gaming industry left you behind.

Re:No permadeath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031630)

Well, based on your analysis you have just convinced me that the game can be nothing but boring through repetition with or without permadeath. It isn't even a game based on your description, just a chat room with visual aspects. Thank god I never bothered getting past level one and the collection of f*cking pelts.

Re:No permadeath (-1, Flamebait)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031640)

MMO's suck donkey nuts.

It's why I stick to popcap games.

Re:No permadeath (0, Troll)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031698)

So you admit you've never actually played the game. Or in other words you don't know what you're talking about, and you're just full of bullshit.

Re:No permadeath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032062)

i think i made it clear i did play it, but to be honest, barely, partly due to how inane it seemed. I have seen plenty of videos and watched my brother play to see that it is exactly as described, a game that doesn't require skill, just persistence. On that note, typically WOW players don't play other pc or console games because the multiplayer typically (but not always) requires a skill that is honed over time. Please tell me how I am wrong, I have always been fascinated by the attraction of MMO's in light of the mindlessness.

Re:No permadeath (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032436)

It does actually require skill. Not to the same extent that many other kinds of games do, and persistence is at least as significant a factor, but there is a level of skill required. And sure any idiot can get to level 70 given enough time, but once there only people with actual skill are able to do anything much in raids.

As for the kinds of quests you do while levelling, it's really only as mindless as you want to make it. If you only look at them as "okay, I just kill X number of Y and collect Z number of A, and do variations of that over and over again", of course you're going to see it as a mindless repetitive grind. But if you immerse yourself a little more and think of the reasons why this NPC is telling you to go on this particular quest and what you're achieving by it, and the places it takes you, it's more interesting. And of course, once you're at the level cap it's largely a different game.

Of course, it could be that this kind of game just isn't your cup of tea at all. My point still remains that it's not as mindless as it seems.

Re:No permadeath (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032214)

You've never met a MUD/MUX player, have you. Your call of bullshit is bullshit.

I'm sorry, I just made the same sweeping generalisation you did. I apologise.

Re:No permadeath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031850)

Based on the right (or wrong, depending on perspective) vague description, you can make any game sound boring.

Sure, the game can sound boring when people describe it, but it can actually be quite enjoyable, and it's a far cry from the 70 levels of boring repetition you think it is.

Re:No permadeath (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032100)

WoW is an extremely social game. If you're playing it and focusing on the leveling and the grind, you're not going to have fun.

Re:No permadeath (1)

Kurrel (1213064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031880)

Diablo 2 implemented it and it got more people to play it longer. Though I agree it generally makes people grind more and take very little risks, you can't really say it's not an option for games anymore.

Re:No permadeath (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031922)

But, like NetHack, Diablo 2 has randomly generated dungeons, so you're really just supporting the GP's point.

Random my ass (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032094)

As someone who played D2 for several years in between MMO's and school, their method of "random generation" was hardly random. Unique monster were still the same uniques with the same drops. There were a few rare monsters (who were unique, randomly generated) and the maps were randomly generated in the sense the geometry was different but the mobs were the same and the art was the same, and if you played for more than a month you figured out hey, I've seen this "random map" before.

Re:No permadeath (2, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032312)

Diablo II also had... saved games. I mean, seriously. Permadeath is OK when you can save the game and try again. Imagine every time your character died you had to start over again from level 1. Most people would never even see the stage 4 area Diablo lived in, let alone fight him if they had to restart the WHOLE thing every time they died. If you're talking about the multiplayer hardcore ladders, well a) I always thought those people were nuckin' futs, and b) the whole point of the ladders was to get as far as possible before dying. Hardly anyone ever beat the game that way. You played single player and/or non-permadeath multiplayer to see the content and get good at the fights before you ever tried the ladders.

Re:No permadeath (2, Informative)

P51mus (1266460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032116)

Diablo 2's permadeath was optional, and was called "hardcore" mode. A lot less people played "hardcore" than normal mode.

Re:No permadeath (1, Troll)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031992)

Unless you change the core mechanics and introduce a random story generation algorithm, Permadeath would be the single most mind-numbingly annoying thing you could introduce into a modern game.
You say that like it's impossible.

Nothing aside from lowest-common-sucker planning keeps a real PvE MMO from doing just this. A very smart system would respond to player action -- a heavily hero-populated land would attract more and stronger villians, who spawn minion-quests and whatnot. You could even have stateful shared quests, where a quest remains active until completed by any character, which then triggers a different quest.

The real problem with MMOs like WoW is that the meat of the game isn't all that fun. Some, like City of Heroes, try and avoid it by purposefully making low-level re-play the focus of the game. Others, like Eve Online, say to heck with PvE and focus on the PvP side.

World of Warcraft is "warcrack" by design. They could make it fun and interesting and genuinely massive, but that'd require real work and wouldn't have the same profit margin.

Re:No permadeath (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032196)

it would prevent the game from getting stale - guess what? when your character dies you have to (*gasp*) PLAY THE SAME GAME OVER AGAIN! How is that NOT stale? In a permadeath situation you get to relevel in the same leveling spots, with the same quests, and grind the same bullshit you were grinding before.

One problem it would solve is the skew of "player age", that is, a bunch of capped level characters with the best gear they can possibly attain for their play style. In the "real world" the population distribution is not even, but is more distributed than in a MMO. This creates a very skewed world that is designed for the higher levels and essentially it's a runaway train. You need the next expansion to get the next 10 levels and the next round of gear and pacify the sheeple for a year while you build the next expansion.

There are ways to solve this that don't involve permadeath from combat, or a single combat scenario. Game designers just need to have balls and not design to the lowest common denominator.

Re:No permadeath (2, Funny)

daddyrief (910385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032262)

d) never had sex.

not so grind-tastic.

Re:No permadeath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032734)

Its interesting you use counterstrike as an example of a game that can use permadeath.

Counterstrike, unlike the pen and paper games of the 1980s, retains a freshness.
The freshness comes from two things, I'd venture to say. First off, the randomness of the other players makes every game different.
Secondly, the players of the game find it fun and satisfying.

There are many other reasons I am sure, but these are the ones that I think matter. Where WoW may have a world that is made fresh by the real living breathing people inhabiting it, it lacks the simple "fun factor" that makes a game a game.
I'd say that's why people feel addicted. I know when I pissed my time into WoW, it was sort of fun, but not genuinely so. People don't often say they are addicted to "baseball," or "reading." Could is because baseball and reading are genuinely satisfying.

Re:No permadeath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031764)

Okay, sure. And by that logic, charging money for multiplayer play works for WoW, so why not have that for Nethack, any random MUD you can think of, or pencil and paper RPGs?

They're different games that work in different ways. What's a good idea for one isn't necessarily a good idea for the others. In my case, if there was permadeath in WoW I'd have gotten bored of it years ago. I'm pretty sure the same applies to many other players.

Re:No permadeath (4, Funny)

Spokehedz (599285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031696)

I wish there was a server with permadeath and you were on there. And while you were complaining on why this wasn't a Permadeath PVP server--I would gank you in the back.

Re:No permadeath (3, Insightful)

Starrk (1268600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031714)

Leveling in WoW is easy; getting the best equipment from raid dungeons or pvp can be very, very hard. If there were no more expansions, the vast majority of players would never be able to finish the existing content, so that's not the real problem.

No, even if you had permadeath (like that's a fun idea in an RPG that takes hundreds of hours to get through), you'd still get bored of the same old content, and want something new.

Re:No permadeath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032018)

Am I the only one who read this as "Wrath of the Lion King?"

level 80 (5, Insightful)

gangien (151940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031324)

ugh level to 80?

i mean i hear all the time how easy 60-70 is, supposedly, but man it's a pain if you're a casual player like myself. 62 and i need 600k to level or whatever. i have lost my motivation to play much.

Re:level 80 (-1, Troll)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031420)

You made it to 62? Holy shit. I lost interest at 14.

Re:level 80 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031546)

I've managed to level 4 here on a trial account... but playing it as a gm using a mangos \ ascent server is kinda fun tho..

Re:level 80 (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031974)

I've managed to level 4 here on a trial account... but playing it as a gm using a mangos \ ascent server is kinda fun tho..
Now that sounds like fun.

Re:level 80 (4, Funny)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031576)

I can beat that. I lost interest at level "Diablo II."

Re:losing interest (4, Insightful)

mauthbaux (652274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031762)

From what I've seen, Warcraft merely provides context for a social scene. If leveling up your character really was all that the game had to it, most people would tire of it long before even hitting level 14.

However, it's the social aspect that makes it fun. It's the same idea as a family vacation; the importance is the shared experience. By insulating yourself from the social interactions in the game, you've essentially lost the real reason most people find the game to be fun.

In summary: the social aspect is what makes the game fun. The rest of the game is there merely to provide context for the social interactions.

Re:level 80 (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031942)

You made it all the way to 14?! When it came out all of my friends were telling me it was the greatest thing in the universe and I just HAD to try it, after all, all the cool kids were doing it. So I made a character on my friend's account and played 3 nights in a row. I made it to level 11, and I think I was bored to tears every minute of it.

Re:level 80 (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032022)

A freaking men. I didn't play 3 nights in a row, more like 7 days or so. There was nobody around. It was still boring when there were people to play with.

Re:level 80 (5, Insightful)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032386)

Then you didn't really get very far into the game. Levels 1-20 are about teaching you the basics of the game, ending with a foray into an instance at about level 18-20. The rest of the time up until the level cap is learning about equipment and exploring the world. The first iteration of the game was pretty good, although it got boring from levels 30-40, but the expansion fixed a lot of those problems with better zone and quest design.

But it is, as someone said, a social game. You really won't have much to do unless you make friends in the game (or you're a healer, which means everyone is your friend). It sounds hackneyed, but in WoW the journey is the reward, especially in co-operative play. You will meet a lot of assholes in WoW (especially on PvP servers), but you will meet a lot of really good people as well.

If you ask people what their best memory of WoW is, they won't usually say something like "When I finally got my ghosthacker helmet", but rather "Remember that time when Wilbert aggroed 3 rooms of monsters and we still didn't die".

You are playing the right way when you log on and immediately get loads of tells asking how you are and if you want to do something. I stopped because I didn't have time, but I still keep in contact with many of the friends I made in the game.

Re:level 80 (2, Informative)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031554)

I hear that. Basically if you getting experience from questing and especially soloing you will level very slowly. You get about 10,000xp per quest turn in.
If you can afford a 1-3 hour session the better route is to run the instances. I mostly do pickup groups which of course can be painful but still generally worth it. With rested XP you should get over 1000xp per standard kill.
I did 60-62 mostly through questing and it took me about the same time to lvl 62-66 mostly through instance runs.
Some of the Outlands instances are pretty short too. Hellfire Ramparts only takes about an hour. You will generally get better items than from questing as well.

Let me tell you about the Wrath of the Lich King. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031326)

Let me tell you about the Wrath of the Lich King. I own a small business, with six employees. We do Flash games, web development, and other custom software projects. On Friday I wasn't feeling so well. A bit of the flu, I suppose. Regardless of my health, our work must go on. So there the entire company was, sitting in our 10x10 meeting room with two representatives from one of our larger clients. In short, I shit my pants. It wasn't a solid shit, either. It was diarrhea that ended up dripping down my legs onto my shoes, and then onto the carpet. And in a meeting room as small as ours, packed with nine people in it, it isn't an enjoyable experience. Needless to say, the reps from our client were not impressed. And tomorrow I get to deal with the repercussions of the whole ordeal. Since I clean our office (we can't afford a cleaning firm), I'll probably get to clean up the now-dried stool that has no doubt been sitting there all weekend.

Re:Let me tell you about the Wrath of the Lich Kin (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031542)

You're full of sh- oh, wait, no you're not any more.

Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (2, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031338)

But how is this news? So it's getting closer to release... it was closer to release yesterday than it was the day before, too.

If it was an open alpha, that would be different. But nothing really changes, apart from increase hype from stories like this.

If you're in the closed alpha, I think there's a good chance you already know and hence this news article is old news. Hell, they're probably never going to see it, since they're probably playing it even now.

To those who AREN'T in the closed alpha this can only serve as a tool to help those who are flaunt their exclusivity.

In short: I don't see the point? Well, other than it's WoW and has made Blizzard billions of dollars.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031448)

How is it not news? Entering alpha, even if it is "closed" gives new information on Blizzard's progress to this upgrade. And some people care about that. So it has relevance too.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031494)

How do you think the /. editors received access to the closed beta? They traded access for stories like this.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031544)

How is this different then any other Alpha that is out there, be it a game or software? Every day on /. you would hear about some software going into beta or alpha or even being released as v1.0. How is World of Warcraft any different?

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031608)

Because it's confusing for /. readers - they know that if they're talking about a Microsoft product, they need to trash it, if it's an Adobe or other commercial product they need to complain about DRM or something like that, and if it's Ubuntu they need to complain about how it's not quite as good as Gentoo/BSD/whatever. There's no herd response already ingrained into the readership about WoW.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031600)

But how is this news? So it's getting closer to release... it was closer to release yesterday than it was the day before, too.

Well, if it weren't for that pesky NDA, we could learn about the Death Knight rev. 1 or new lands or whether WotLK is teh roxxorz or teh suxxorz. But, alas, as we are all law-abiding citizens here on Slashdot (ahem), we must wait with 'bated breath.

(And yes, it is 'bated breath, not baited breath. I have abated my breathing, not eaten nightcrawlers.)

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031682)

> (And yes, it is 'bated breath, not baited breath. I have abated my breathing, not eaten nightcrawlers.)

Well, that answers a question that nobody asked.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (3, Funny)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032044)

(And yes, it is 'bated breath, not baited breath. I have abated my breathing, not eaten nightcrawlers.)
ARRRGH!

1: No apostrophe is necessary if you use the old spelling. "Bated" is a perfectly cromulent word.

2: English does not now nor ever truly had one singular guide to spelling. As with word definition, spelling is fluid and will change with time.

3: Go ahead and use thine old spelling, for verily it must make ye quite gay, else thee wouldn't use such. But, prithee, take no insult when another uses such new spelling in textual intercourse with you.

4: Go ahead and say cromulent isn't a word. I dare you.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032200)

1. True, 'bated' is a word in and of itself

2. I take it you never heard of this company? http://www.merriam-webster.com/ [merriam-webster.com]

3. It's not the old spelling, it is the correct spelling.

4. Just because the writers for the Simpsons decides to make up a word doesn't make it so.

5. Stop being a festizio

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (2, Informative)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032324)

cromulent isn't a word.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032962)

Just to be picky, "use thine old spelling" is wrong. The correct form is "use thy old spelling". Thee/Thine/Thy parallels Me/Mine/My perfectly (I guess you wouldn't get any of those wrong if you spoke a romance language).

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032122)

(And yes, it is 'bated breath, not baited breath. I have abated my breathing, not eaten nightcrawlers.)


I defer to your mastery in this subject.

Re:Disclaimer: I'm not an MMORPG fan (1)

decalod85 (1214532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032994)

To those who AREN'T in the closed alpha this can only serve as a tool to help those who are flaunt their exclusivity.

Exclusivity is the name of the game. You have something that someone else doesn't. This is the only explanation why players will pay a ton of gold for silly items like the "Blood Elf Bandit Mask" or the "17 lbs Catfish", because they are rare and they can show them off.

The Games section actually exists?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031368)

Yes, I know, offtopic. But it just seems like for the past couple of months the Games section has been primarily ignored - even through things like the release of Smash Bros. Brawl, a game that was worthy of a story when it was delayed but apparently not when it was released.

I'm glad to see Games stories like this making something of a comeback, but after checking the front page, a front page story on an alpha release of an MMORPG? Seriously?

I'd love to see stories like this limited to the Games section, but a front page story seems a bit much.

On an ontopic note, I wonder if this new expansion will get me interested in playing again. Probably not - I kind of ground myself out of MMORPGs. I've found that, if I'm forced to grind, I like portable games much better. I can grab the DS or PSP and grind for 10 minutes during lunch break or some downtime at home, but I can't manage the several hour commitment that an MMORPG requires.

I kind of wish some other company would do something interesting in the MMORPG space, but then I remember the Sony's "NGE" and the ever-so-innovative Square Enix "you can't pick your server" system and realize it's probably just as well Blizzard remains on top.

But even so, I'm still basically WoWed out, expansion or not.

Re:The Games section actually exists?! (2, Funny)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031654)

...but then I remember the Sony's "NGE"...

Cringe.. twitch...

Now I feel _dirty_.

Re:The Games section actually exists?! (1)

Koby77 (992785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032668)

On an ontopic note, I wonder if this new expansion will get me interested in playing again. Probably not - I kind of ground myself out of MMORPGs. I've found that, if I'm forced to grind, I like portable games much better. I can grab the DS or PSP and grind for 10 minutes during lunch break or some downtime at home, but I can't manage the several hour commitment that an MMORPG requires.

Did you play WoW? One of the big parts to its success is that there's minimal grinding as you level. Especially now after some recent changes, it's very possible to obtain max level by simply doing quests alone. Grinding is unnecessary. I think that WoW is unquestionably one of the fastest MMORPGs to get to max level. And you can go solo and you aren't forced to group outside of dungeons. WoW has succeeded because it's a lot more playable than the alternatives.

Are you talking about a leveling grind, or a max level grind for rep/gear/money/badges/honor/arena points?

Re:The Games section actually exists?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032914)

Max level grind. Made it to the end game, and got ground-out repeating the same raids over and over again.

Yes, hitting the level cap isn't quite as bad as some other MMORPGs. (But don't kid yourself - it's still grind-city.) But once you're there, there's nothing to do but grind rep or grind DKP or grind honor... Sounds like they added some new ones since I gave up playing.

Yeah well.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031386)

Only the brave deserve the fare, and you Taco are not brave, therefore you do not deserve the fare.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031422)

Ten more levels of tedious gameplay and new gear to grind for!

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031548)

Addicts rejoice!

What I want to know is ... (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031456)

will the King's henchmen be known as "lichens"?

Nah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031538)

Not likely. Everyone knows that slime molds are superior to lichen...

Re:What I want to know is ... (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031566)

Good thing the King does not employ druids, else there would be a bunch of lichen-covered trees running around. Imagine that!

Re:What I want to know is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031642)

Pulled from Wikipedia:
"A major ecophysiological advantage of lichens is that they are poikilohydric (poikilo- variable, hydric- relating to water), meaning that though they have little control over the status of their hydration, they can tolerate irregular and extended periods of severe desiccation."

Sounds a lot like your average WoW player.

Re:What I want to know is ... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032802)

Dessication? You imply that I play WoW without a drink in hand? Nevar!

Re:What I want to know is ... (1, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031684)

will the King's henchmen be known as "lichens"?

Only Algy - and he's halfway to being a fun guy.

Cryptic raving to some - utterly horrible pun to others.

Re:What I want to know is ... (1)

ShinySteelRobot (674078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032396)

They'll be called "lychees [wikipedia.org] ".

Re:What I want to know is ... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032846)

Nope, the Githyanki Gish, Warlocks of Gith, and the other similar creatures that wander the astral plane!

Obligatory (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031580)

I'm Rick James, Lich!

Now that WotLK is in Alpha.. (3, Funny)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031602)

Can someone check whether the Bard is in it?

Re:Now that WotLK is in Alpha.. (0, Flamebait)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032254)

You must not understand the concept of April 1st.

Re:Now that WotLK is in Alpha.. (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032812)

You must not understand the concept of 'humerous reference'.

Time to sign up ... again (2, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031634)

And JUST when I thought I was done with WoW. Honestly, a crack addiction would probably cost less - I might spend more money on it, but I'd also have more friends and more free time.

Re:Time to sign up ... again (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031664)

And JUST when I thought I was done with WoW. Honestly, a crack addiction would probably cost less - I might spend more money on it, but I'd also have more friends and more free time.

Yes, and if nothing else there will be a few crack whores around to help you through those cold winter nights.

Nooooo! (1)

Starlet Monroe (512664) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032768)

Yes, and if nothing else there will be a few crack whores around to help you through those cold winter nights.

Never winter nights!

Re:Time to sign up ... again (5, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032474)

Warcraft: $15 / month, 6 hours a day. It's a social event with friends...ever tried to raid with people you hate? No. You can hold down a job and even eat well. If you're careful, you can even keep a family.

Crack: $25 / hit lasting 10-15 minutes, and then you want another. Try holding a job when the urinalysis shows you a drug addict. Try caring about buying food when your entire body is twanging for the next hit. Try keeping a family when you steal and pawn your wife's wedding ring just for another dose. Do you have any friends? Do you know the expression "crack whore"?

Unless you turn tricks for $15 to pay for your Warcraft "addiction", you're not addicted. World of Warcraft is not just like Crack, and anybody who seriously claims it is should go and volunteer in a real rehab center for a full day. You don't have an addiction, you have a hobby. Learn some god-damned perspective, you molly-coddled children.

Re:Time to sign up ... again (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032702)

Sounds like someone here's a WoW player.

Re:Time to sign up ... again (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23033036)

Stop being so sensible and reasonable! No conversation about WoW should be this sensible. Where's the ranting?

Now let's all talk about why Retribution-spec'd Paladins are the best type of character! That should get things back to an uneven keel.

Re:Time to sign up ... again (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23033056)

My x-wife played Wow over 4,335 HOURS in one year.. Tell me that isn't an addiction.. And it is the primary reason she is the x.. and it ruined our family..

I agree, my father has been on the wagon for 25 years and I've seen all sorts of addictions destroy people's lives. But seriously, computer game addiction is real and it is as dangerous as any other addiction, just it won't kill you over night (no sleep, bad diet maybe help kill you sooner).

Death Knight? (1)

Gm4n (1139093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031644)

I've long since quit WoW (after being foolish enough to level several characters to 60 and one to 70), but I'm curious about this new class nonetheless. Everybody seems to know there will be death knights, but I have no idea what they are.

What is a death knight?

Re:Death Knight? (2, Informative)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031734)

They're the opposite of a paladin.

Holy Light->Death coil
Devotion aura->Unholy aura
Divine shield->Death pact
Resurection->Animate dead
(WC3)

in WoW they'll be a dps/tank class like warriors only they only use 2-handed weapons and instead of stance changing they switch runes on their sword.

Re:Death Knight? (2, Informative)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031736)

Apparently they are powerful necromancers.

From http://www.wowwiki.com/Death_Knight [wowwiki.com] :

A new order of death knights emerged during the Third War, in service to the Lich King. They were created from living and undead humans (and occasionally other races) who had been granted unholy runeblades, and most were former paladins who had forsaken the Holy Light.

Re:Death Knight? (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031902)

What just kills me is that they plan to have Death Knights for both Horde and Alliance. Wonder how they're working out the story for that one.

Logically the Scourge is its own faction, but I think the Horde/Alliance dichotomy is so hardwired into the WoW codebase, it'd be impossible to add a third faction.

Re:Death Knight? (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032280)

I think if they really wanted to they could add a third faction. There are lots of small groups that are neither Horde nor Alliance, and Horde and Alliance are basically groupings of several groups.

I think the biggest issue would be races. Create more? Reuse existing? Starting area/quests/etc. There would be a lot of work involved in creating an entire new faction. It's something you would want to do in an expansion or overhaul/sequel.

Re:Death Knight? (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#23033078)

Apparently the idea is that your Death Knight was recruited by the Lich King from the ranks of either the Horde or the Alliance, but you reneged on his offer at some point in your training as a Death Knight, and decided to rejoin your former friends, and give Arthas a taste of his own medicine. A bit contrived, but it works.

Lich? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031678)

So Lich... Is that short for Lichard? ;-)

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23031868)

in other blizzard news (0, Troll)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23031946)

Starcraft II has been delayed indefinitely again so that blizzard can concentrate on it's more profitable World of Warcraft franchise.

Re:in other blizzard news (2, Insightful)

Cookie3 (82257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032064)

WoW and SC2 have completely separate developers, art teams, etc. I wouldn't worry too much about WoW impacting SC2 (or, vice-versa SC2 impacting WoW).

Re:in other blizzard news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032266)

Give a link or it isn't true.

Re:in other blizzard news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032274)

Because the Starcraft development team and the World of Warcraft development team have a lot of overlap, right?

YAWNFEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032180)

Level up, gear up, level up gear up and repeat forever. I myself have so given up on the whole grind to the best possible and then have all that effort be worthless... As fun as killing some uber boss from wc3 is raiding gets old fast...

Re:YAWNFEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032310)

It's a videogame, dildoface. It's supposed to be fun. If you're not having fun, stop playing, for fuck's sake. What, did you think you were going to get a cookie at the end?

FREE! (-1, Flamebait)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032752)

Yes and the expansion should be free! With monthly fees and some hard core gammers who have been playing for 3 + years we have paid for the games several times over.

WoW! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23032824)

i love to see you dick smoking fags try to excuse away your little faggot game. go suck another dick you dumb fags. we know you take it in the ass at least once a month when they make you pay for world of everwarquest. just like those ghetto hoods who suck on the glass dick, you faggots suck on a virtual dick.

fucking dungeons and dragons queers, grow up and do something productive. trolling salshfag is even more worthwhile than worlds of assfucking. you fucking fail it. either be a real man or go get fucked by bliztard again. fucked in the ass for your cash.

Not to flamebait but . . . (1)

Lovat (1248352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032850)

Disclaimer: I've played WoW. I've stopped playing it more times than I've played it. Yes I've done endgame. Yes I pre-ordered WAR Collector's Edition.

First off, WoW has exceptionally bad PvP. It's a well known tidbit that Blizzard just tacked it on really. That said, it has GREAT PvE and is a fun game. So long as you don't want to PvP. At least in my opinion.

Now, maybe things have changed. But when I first heard about this expansion it seemed to offer another 10 levels, and then Every Single Cool PvP Feature that WAR has promised from the get-go.

All I get from this expansion's release is that Blizzard is actually somewhat worried about Conan/WAR. But it's too little too late. I've played WoW when it first came out, and I even came back to play it when BC came out. Blizzard never fixed what I thought were major flaws (cough cough, World PvP in general) that they originally used as advertising points.

Honestly, I'm not trying to make a flamewar here. I just want to know if I'm alone in thinking that for PvP oriented players this is just too little too late? Arena was nice, and fairly fun. But other than that one morsal there has been NILCH good about WoW's PvP system.

Am I wrong? I honestly have stopped playing four or five times now just because of the PvP system. And before you say it, no not the ganking. Sometimes that's annoying but usually amusing.

Captcha: Lamented. Man. It's like its reading my mind.

inside joke (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23032952)

Nooo!!! I am not ready! I am not ready, yet!
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