MoP,D3, Titan – A few random thoughts

I don’t have anything really important to express or complain about at this point that I have not already beaten to into the ground, resurrected it, and beat it down again.  So I just want to add a few small thoughts and comments on a few games and stuff from Blizzard.

 

MoP 

I don’t have much more to say on this aspect until level 90 opens up and we start to see how scenarios, heroics and entry-level raid content looks like.  Really just to see if the encounter designers have yet again screw up the game and the model that the class and system designers have worked on.  I think in the end the encounter designers are given way too much freedom or leeway when it comes to designing the boss encounters.   Hell come to think of it the Diablo Difficulty mode and boss/elite encounters and mobs have the scaling I have bitched about needing to be in WoW boss encounters for ages.

And to top it all off the elite mobs are randomly generated and do a better job than the overly scripted crap that is spewed out to us in WoW.

 The more I think about that the more it makes my blood boil at the encounter design process for WoW.  Don’t get me wrong some of the combinations are horrific and should not be in anything over a 5 man but still the encounter design is so dynamic in Diablo it makes WoW look like a high school senior graduation project compared to a professional grade product.

Since Elite mobs in normal get 1 ability, 2 in Nightmare, 4+ in higher, this is the same scaling I was suggesting for WoW with multiple levels of boss difficulty and allow the raid to decide how difficult they want to make the fight.

 

Diablo 3

Now I understand the design decisions that went into making D3 an always internet live game, and rightfully so some of the player base is pissed about it.  I still think they could have made a solo offline play mode and LAN play mode available for those that wanted to have it and will hopefully be added in future patches/expansions.

As long as the character you play in solo/LAN play is not able to be used in competition and Battle.Net play I do not see the issue with having these features added.  Hell it would be cool to also have a download copy of the Battle.Net character to your sandbox play if you want to work tinker with stuff.

 

Titan and future D3 and WoW Expansions

HIRE MORE ARTISTS!!!!!

The art and graphics in the games are beautiful don’t get me wrong here.  But it always seems that the excuse as to why we can’t have this thing or that thing is that there is limited art and other development resources.  Well I can believe that completely because in Act 4 in Diablo 3, I had flashbacks and was not sure if I was playing Diablo, a Protos SC2 map/game or running around the Exodar or in the Burning Crusade.  The point is Blizzard has too small of an art department or maybe too few lead artists such that all of their product art is starting to merge because the same people are overworked on too many different game products.

For the sake of Titan when developing your art style and core art objects please make sure they are completely different and new when compared to your other current Intellectual Properties.  Your artists are great but you need to get some more styles and perspectives in the core assets for future expansions and settings especially.

MoP – More General Feedback

Well for as negitive I may get in this post I want to state that I will be playing MoP and most likely just playing Pokemon and Farmville just the WoW versions thereof.

 

Flying Mounts!!!

Now in the long run I don’t mind leveling, I have 13 level 85s and 2 others above 50 that will be level cap by the time MoP comes out.  The one thing that has always been one of my sticking points with leveling is how annoying traveling becomes especially after the first time through the content.  Traveling is even maybe a little interesting the second time but not really many times after that.

Now with Beta I can fully understand no flying until level cap.  As they want to tightly control what areas we can access and when while testing.  However when the game goes live the ban on flying mounts should be lifted, and I don’t mean just at level cap.

But knowing Blizzard it will be so I will say this.  When 1 character on an account unlocks flying in Pandaria all other characters on a player’s account should have flying unlocked.  Then for the first time through the content characters are Railroaded through the content as Blizzard wants but then afterward we the players should then be free to explore where we want in what order we want.

The side effect if this limitation is not lifted then you will get the following to occur.

A few people or at least the first wave of people will level up straight as fast as they can.  Then some will get into dungeons at level cap to gear up for Heroics and Raiding, but others will take advantage of their new-found advantage over the other 10s and 100s of thousands still leveling up and start farming all the resource nodes in the new continent.   So while the average player is questing as Blizzard has Decreed and see a resource node in their questing path and go for it only to have a level 90 swoop down and take the node.  Gee thanks maybe if it was free for all pvp that would be ok because then we could at least snipe at the assholes on both factions but since we are not EVE-Online that will be nothing more than a pain in the ass.

 

Warrior Rage Mechanics

Up until this point in the game the warrior when filling either DPS or Tanking roles ends up being like a Dynamo, they are slow to start but build up and keep going and going, because with earlier rage mechanics they always had a constant stream of rage building.  With the new rage mechanics it always feels like the start of a fight or always in a rage starvation state.  I imagine that Bears  would feel the same way as both classes/specs use rage.

I really think this because they are a one resource based class.  One resource works if it is like Mana where you have a very large reserve and can choose to burn it all quickly for a lot of burst or do a slow burn.  All I know is that with current Rage gain tuning for DPS and most likely Tanking needs to change.  All I know is that my Warrior as they are at the moment will not be a class I choose to play often.  I will get it to level cap and then most likely let it collect dust other than for crafting.

 

Active Tanking Model

Along the same vein as the Warrior Rage Mechanics I am completely disgusted by the Warrior Active Tanking Model and looking at the Guardian model it seems to be about the same.  I am sure the Monk and DK version works as they are being developed from the ground up with an active tanking model.  The Warrior, Bear, and Paladin feel like all they did was take some of the survivability that was normally there and removed it and added some buttons to press to give it back on a limited basis with massive resource requirements.  Great so now we suck more by default and have to spend all our time gathering resources just to get our previous survivability back.

On a similar note I don’t really know why we need to make our tanking more active, it is not like we don’t have enough to keep track of at the moment.

  1. Boss Positioning for Environmental Effects
  2. Boss Positioning for Melee not to stand in #1
  3. Keep Threat on the Boss
  4. Look for Adds
  5. Perform #1 & #2 with adds if Off Tank or Tank all the above and keep threat on them all.
  6. Any other special encounter mechanics that fall on the tank to perform, may include interrupt rotation.
  7. On top of 1-6 Tanks end up leading groups a lot of the time so have Group Management to perform some or most of the time.

Now we also have to keep track of a buff, debuff or other mechanics just to keep our mitigation and survivability on top of all the above.

Thanks a lot Blizzard, I can say in MoP I am done tanking, and I now have 4-5 Tanks.

 

Newbie Blogger Initiative

I came across this in my Google Feed Reader from other bloggers that are participating so I thought I would join the group.  The forums can be found here http://nbihq.freeforums.org/index.php.

I definitely thought I should get involved since in the past few months I have helped several bloggers either find hosting, start a blog or start their own self hosted blogs.  I will follow up on this a bit more at a later time as I have not really had the time to think of anything important to say on the subject at this time.

If you do have blog (WordPress) questions and would like advice or at least another point of view email my address of malchome at mmo-report.com.