Daybreak Does the Impossible

I’m a little grumbly tonight. Daybreak decided they could do what was originally deemed impossible because the TLP/TLE servers are pulling from the same code as the live servers: Nerf Mage pets.

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Their actions are incredibly suspect right now. When the server needed to sell subscriptions, Mage pets were overpowered and it was impossible. Works great if they want to sell 6 accounts to one person who runs a Mage army.

Now that they are past the point of needing to sell subscriptions all at once, and have entered the era of retention, they have to keep the largest number of players happy. The long-term players are settling in and want to do content. Now Mages are suddenly a threat to the ‘good of the many’ rather than representing ‘the many’ and are getting a nerf. Miraculously they suddenly know how.

 

So now this begs the question, can we have old Freeport and Monk H2H damaged fixed as well?

Bring the Player Not the Class

For a while, Blizzard followed a “bring the player not the class” mantra… or tried. Now whether or not they actually stick to this isn’t really what I want to debate. My big question here is why can’t it be both? Why can’t we look to the person who plays their class best AND plays a class that brings something interesting, unique, and needed to a group or raid?

I believe that every class should offer something useful and be so different from the other classes that you can’t so easily bring one over the other. I want to make a distinction here that I’m not saying every class should be mandatory. I’m saying that no class should be at a distinct advantage, and no class should be unwanted. If two DPS classes are both LFG, one should not be at a disadvantage because their DPS is inherently inferior and they offer nothing else to a group but their raw damage output.

Similarly, I don’t think that every class should be an easy ‘push a button and win’ combination. If Rogues are the “best melee DPS”, not every Rogue should be the top DPS. If Clerics offer the best direct heals, not every Cleric should immediately be the best healer just because they play a Cleric.

And lastly, no one class should be able to do everything.  Duh [At least you’d think so.]  Homogenization is a detriment to fun.

TLDR: Balance the classes, please. And while you’re at it let truly skilled players stand out above the rest. Bring the player, AND bring the class, for the RIGHT reasons.

 

Melee Hunters May Bring Me Back for WoW Legion

WoW Legion Melee Hunter Spec

Demon Hunters look neat, but the one class I’d be interested in playing if I returned to WoW is the Melee Hunter. Hunters have always been special to me. My first class in WoW was a Hunter. I was the first level 60 Hunter on my server, first with any set items, first with full hunter set items, and first with the Rhok’delar. I was all about the Hunter class! Throughout my tenure as a Hunter, I always wished for the ability to go Melee Spec (and be viable) like Rexxar.

The Eagle Spear

When I saw the Eagle Spear artifact I was originally thinking Druids.  When they said Hunter I was a bit shocked. A spear? for a Hunter? Could this be the return of Keen to the Hunter class?

If WoW ultimately brings me back, I might have that chance. Here are the confirmed roles for Hunters in WoW’s Legion Expansion:

  • Survival: Melee Spec (with pet)
  • Beast Mastery: Ranged spec (with pet)
  • Marksmanship: Ranged spec (no pet)

Thea idea of a hunter fighting alongside a pet is awesome to me. I’m a pet class fan. Most people play the pet class because it’s usually the solo friendly option. In EverQuest, I was a Necromancer as my main — the epitome of solo friendly. However, I grouped most of my time in-game. Why? I like being social, but at the same time I like having a companion. I like having my pet feel like an extension of my character. The more my class interacts with the pet, and synergizes with it, the more I enjoy playing.

WoW Melee Hunter

Introducing a melee hunter as a legit way to play is quite a change. Hunters are known for their ranged DPS. I’m curious if Hunters will be given the same respect as melee characters and actually allowed to put out competitive DPS. I could actually see the spec being utility, though. Maybe buffs or… maybe become a tank class?

I hope that the hunter class with a pet offers more to a group. I’m a little skeptical since most of WoW has gone to way of pure DPS, pure Heals, or pure Tanking. There isn’t much left for strategic play or the need for support, but I still have hope for the class to be more than sending your pet in to attack and raptor striking non-stop.

I’d also love more of the game to revolve around the pets. Pets had really neat features and mechanics back in the early days of WoW. Catching a pet and finding the perfect one was a lot of fun. I hope the Hunter class hall has some neat activities centered around pets.

Anyone else as interested in a Melee Hunter? I fear asking the question might reveal I am once again interested in the most popular class/spec.

“WoW is Back!”

I chuckled when I saw “WOW IS BACK!” being shouted in all caps in Twitch chat yesterday during Blizzard’s big reveal of the next WoW expansion. WoW never left. Blizzard just used WoD as a stepping stone to make a little cash, keep subs just a little bit longer, and buy themselves time for their next real expansion: Legion.

WoW Legion

While I’m not yet at the point of saying, “screw it, I’m resubbing,” I will admit that I am intrigued by and proud of Blizzard for making a few decisions that actually have me contemplating whether or not I’m on the fence.

Heavy Focus on Class Identity

I’m hugely into the idea that every class should feel unique. Class identity is paramount in all MMOs. Nothing tires me more than seeing every class DPS the same, tank the same, heal the same, etc. Every class should bring something unique to a group. I don’t know if that’s what Blizzard is necessarily doing — and I doubt they’ll implement it to that degree — but I think it’s worth keeping my eye on.

At the same time, I think they’re borderline ruining my suspension of disbelief here. There’s this weird juxtaposition of having all of the Paladins come together… then giving each of them the Ashbringer… and at the same time trying to make it feel like YOU are THE Paladin. EVERYONE is a hero, but yet we’re supposed to think we’re the only one. I think we’re supposed to just gloss over that part.

Artifact Weapon Talent Trees / Specs / Etc.

I like this system of upgrading and working on this big artifact weapon goal. WoW is a themepark, and to me a system where you upgrade your weapon to be what you want it to be meets format nicely. Yes, it’s an additional grind. It’s essentially another leveling or grind masked behind a neat facade, but it’s slightly different at the same time.

The weapons alter how you play to some degree. For example, the Death Knight can get an ability from their artifact to let them resurrect themselves. Other artifact things can change your rotation. That seems fairly impactful.

As you upgrade a weapon it changes to look really cool or to look like your spec. Again, I really like the idea of the weapons becoming a central part of progression.

Champion Companions

WoW is inevitably moving toward a companion system. I think this is sort of the first step.  I’m hoping that the idea of sending champions to an area to help you is more than an “on paper” kind of thing. I’d love to run a dungeon with a companion vs. having it say, “You sent Maive here to help you so you get a +2% damage bonus to demons! Yay!”

With the new class, new area, calling back to WC3, and some of these pretty neat changes I think WoW is definitely a lot more enticing than it was these past few years. Not yet enough to convince me to come back.

What it’ll take to bring me back:

  • Big emphasis on making classes and their builds unique
  • Emphasis on the leveling experience and a plethora of things to do other than raiding
  • Leveling Artifacts and progressing them to their fullest potential must be independent of raids
  • The 100-110 gameplay needs to be about more than racing to the level cap to do something else. I want a reason to go slowly and enjoy the process.E

What Happens if WoW Goes F2P?

What happens if WoW goes F2P?

Cute pets and cool looking mounts won’t be the only thing you see here.

Wow isn’t going F2P, but if Blizzard decides to be un-Blizzard-like then you can expect a few changes. WoW would still be the exact same game, only way, way more annoying to get into and far less accessible.

Subscriptions Would Stay

Yep, that’s right. The subscription wouldn’t go anywhere. Players would still be given the option to pay the same they always have and have the exact same experience they have always had in-game. This subscription would be Blizzard’s VIP pass and players would use this to gain access to locked parts of the game. Oh yes, there will be locked parts.

Gated Content Behind Paywalls 

Of course Blizzard would make their raids restricted to paying players. Want to raid? You’ll need to be a VIP. Even the newbie raid finder or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days would require you pay the subscription. Dungeons would be restricted. They’d limit the number of dungeons you can run in a week or cycle in “Dungeons of the Week” that are free for players. Want access to them all? Pay to unlock or become a VIP.

No Epics for Free People

Epic gear or maybe raid level gear (they would probably add a new color to signify “paid gear) would undoubtedly be restricted in some fashion, probably for VIPs or some cash shop validation only. You’re welcome to wear the blues you find in the Dungeons of the Week, though! [Read more…]