Reaction to latest Cataclysm info

The fine folks at WoWHead.com, easily my favoritest WoW database site, posted some content plus an exclusive interview regarding Cataclysm. Let’s get started…

  • Path of the Titans Content Has Been Removed

Deleted before we got a chance to see it, and I’m sad about this. It was explained that Blizzard couldn’t reach a design ‘balance making it complicated enough to be interesting, but simple enough to be understandable’.

This is unfortunate because I was looking forward to it. I was there at BlizzCon when it was announced and while I admit that in the back of my mind I was thinking about a new grind—it was actually a grind that I was looking forward to participating in. Well, not any more.

  • “Medium” glyphs

Again with the glyphs. Blizzard has gone on about them a fair amount, saying that their primary lament is that they don’t want glyph choice to be “obvious” in that there’s really only one set of glyphs you should get to optimize your character and, at the same time, the minor glyphs should do more than what they do now, while not becoming an issue of character optimization, and still be fun. It’s a tough balance, I know.

Anyway, they’re coming out with a new tier of glyphs so there will be minor, medium, and major. I don’t know, I’ll have to see what they’re like, but I have to say that at this point I’m not really excited about glyphs—especially after the loss of the Path of the Titans.

  • Archaeology skill

They are keeping at least one thing from Path of the Titans, the archeology skill. WoWHead describes it thusly:

Archaeology will let you find two types of items—Common Artifacts, which are kind of a collection game where you’re trying to find all of the artifacts for a particular race, and Rare Items which will produce actual usable items. Most Rare Items will be cosmetic only, but a few will have actual effects.

So, there’s that, anyway. It would be interesting, I think, to have a worgen hunter with the archaeology skill. Quite keen, in fact!

  • Guild Currency has been removed

Hmm. I rather liked the idea because it was guild fun coins instead of real gold coins. Instead, Blizzard has reversed that. Here’s a quote from WoWHead:

The rewards that they had originally had in mind for that system, like special guild tabards and mounts (with your guild insignia on them and everything!) are now unlocked by guild achievements. Rather than buying them with guild currency, you buy them with simple gold—but which rewards you can buy is restricted by your guild reputation.

So it costs gold to be a member of a guild now? If not de juris, it’s a de facto requirement as this will put more pressure on guild masters to ask for gold from membership. Unless, of course, the gold cost is trivial. Whether it will be is anyone’s guess.

And here’s an odd thing:

Some examples of possible guild achievements were offered:
  • 10,000 total quests completed
  • Having a max-rank of every profession
  • Having an 85 of every class

It’s odd to have “an 85 of every class” as an option when we’re only offered 10 character slots. I mean, if the guild has even enough people to sign the charter it’s not a big deal to have one of every class represented, even at maximum level, but still. Odd. By the by, the idea of the 10-character limit was addressed in the interview—do check it out.

I also wonder if the 10K quests will start with Cataclysm or grandfather already completed quests. If the former, then it might behoove those of us without the Loremaster achievement to wait until Cataclysm to start it, so that effort works toward the guild 10K.

  • Guild Talents have been removed

At BlizzCon they said that guilds will earn talents and those talents will benefit the entire guild. One example—that I was particularly fond of—was being able to resurrect the entire raid at the same time, rather than by individual.

But, admittedly, there are issues with that which the WoWHead article quotes from one of the designers. Things like are there balance issues where, once again, there develops to be a one optimized “best” choice of talent build so that every guild looks the same. How to fix that? Have everyone be the same from the start, I guess.

Instead, they’ve altered it to a simpler system: each guild progresses normally from level 1 to level 25, and gains a new perk at each level—just like a character learning new spells. The guild menu will now show you what your existing perks are, and what the perks will be come the next guild level.

I like this much better actually. Although every high-level guild will be the same as far as perks are concerned, getting the perks will be straighforward and easy.

  • Increased pressure to PvP

Speaking of earning reputation (instead of currency) and getting perks (instead of a talent build), how will a guild get reputation?

You farm guild rep by doing four things:

  • Completing quests
  • Doing rated Battlegrounds
  • Killing raid bosses (to get credit, the raid that downs the boss must be mostly comprised of guild members—7/10 for 10-mans, and 20/25 for 25-mans)
  • Earning guild achievements

Oof. Second bullet point. As I’ve made abundantly clear before, I do not like PvP. (The last sentence of that post is, alas, ironic now.)

Here’s the central problem: Right now, today, I can enjoy life without PvP and this affects no one but myself. The only pressure—at all—that I encounter to participate in PvP are achievements, and even then there’s only one: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.

But that total freedom is gone now. By not participating in PvP, I’m holding the guild back if even slightly a little bit. Will the guild miss me? Of course not, don’t be ridiculous. My participation will have no practical day-to-day impact on how quickly the guild progresses in getting the new perks via PvP because the guild I’m in is large enough that it doesn’t need the contribution of one mage who doesn’t know WTF to do in PvP.

But that doesn’t obviate the pressure and guilt I’ll feel for actively refusing to join any guld-related PvP activity. That’s a negative feeling and I wish it wasn’t going to be there, but it will be.

  • New Guild Interface

There are some neat things—do check out the WoWHead page for more information. I’m looking forward to ’em, especially the profession browser.

  • Raid Downshifting

What’s this? It’s best described by the example WoWHead gives:

Imagine if you do a 25-man run of a new instance, get about halfway through, and call it a night. The next day you get back together to do another run, but—big surprise—only 20 people show up. Well, now you can “downshift” your raid into two separate 10-man groups, and just keep right on going. The maximum number of 10-mans you can make out of one 25-man is three—meaning, if the remaining five guys show up the next day, they can swap down to a 10-man as well and keep right on going.

[…]

Rather than being locked into a particular raid ID, you can now join any raid, as long as it doesn’t have any bosses up that you have already killed. Basically, as long as you’re not killing the same boss twice in one lockout period—you have total freedom.

I applaud this. This will fix a frequent problem in my guild where we have to compare and contrast Raid ID numbers to understand who’s locked to what with which character and so on. It will be exciting to merely ask “what boss are you on?” and be done with it.

However, this doesn’t mitigate the fact that 10- and 25- will share the same lockout, meaning I can help my guild now half as much as I could before. I haven’t forgotten that.

Miscellany

Following are some miscellaneous changes that are worth commenting on…

  • New trade district in Stormwind

A second mailbox, auction house, bank, &c. has been added to the Dwarven District. I find this, well, rather odd really. I can’t imagine a reason for it. Is it an effort to make that part of the city seem like less of a ghost town? It seems that the only thing this would accomplish is creating two meek ghost towns, with neither side populated very well.

Unless, of course, there’s something new running down the middle of the city that prevents easy travel from one side to the other, but there’s been as yet no indication of that that I’m aware of.

  • New music

WoWHead says ‘You will be hearing brand new music in familiar zones.’ Good! I love the music in WoW so more is better.

  • 3,000 new quests

Yikes. By comparison, WoWHead says: ‘Wrath of the Lich King had about 1000 new quests.’

And speaking of quests:

  • Whither Loremaster?

The Loremaster achievement isn’t going away so if you have it you keep it—but if you’ve started your progress on it then make every possible effort to finish it before Cataclsym because the quests necessary to complete Loremaster, now, are being deleted. You’ll have to start over with new quests to get Loremaster after Cataclysm.

I’ve flirted with the idea of getting Loremaster but haven’t followed through. This might kick me in the dress enough to get going. Once I level my death knight, of course… 😉

Conclusion

I see an almost even mix of sad and glad with this news. Some things I wanted are going away, some things I expressly do not want are coming in. As always, we won’t know the full impact of everything until after we’ve played Cataclysm for a couple days.

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Geek. (But so are you!)

Posted on June 13, 2010, in World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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