I wanted to give a few days of being max level before attempting to post my commentary on the expansion. My opinion, however, has not changed since I reached level 86 to level 90 and to now. Mists of Pandaria is a solid upgrade and addition to World of Warcraft. If you read my last post, or feel like going to read it now, you’d have seen that I was indecisive regarding what character to make my ‘main’ for MoP. In the end, my Death Knight won out over the rest. I leveled from 85-86 as Unholy, but quickly switched to Frost. Howling Blast, hitting all targets for decent damage and applying dots, is simply one of the most superior AoE options available right now – particularly for questing, given the heavy movement that comes from running to and from mobs/nodes/etc. Questing was easily the most enjoyable that it has ever been to me, possibly with the exception of when I started playing back in The Burning Crusade. I wouldn’t think this is because TBC quests were better (they weren’t), but just for the new factor at the time. The zones were amazing. It’s been quite sometime since some visage in WoW made me think, “Damn, that’s pretty awesome looking.”
In a recent post I divulged my fear of tanking heroics or at least my fear of failing as a heroic/raid tank. It’s a bit relevant to today’s subject so it might be worth a read. My death knight has finally reached level 85. I immediately queued for a regular to get my daily allotment of justice points and practice tanking some more. Naturally, I got Vortex Pinnacle (it’s my new Halls of Reflection) but the run was very smooth like most of the regulars I’ve done as tank. ALL of the dps even beat my damage done on each boss fight, a first for my dk. You might be wondering, “I thought you said you’d do heroics, pansy!” Well, I will, but…my gear isn’t ready. Not even the excuse I would use previously to myself, literally, I can’t queue for heroics yet due to item level. As I recall, 329 is the item level requirement to queue for a heroic and mine is only 323. Aside from that though, I started thinking. What really is the right gear level for running a heroic as a tank? Honestly I don’t appreciate when fresh 85 tanks who barely meet the gear required to queue at all are tanking for me. Usually they’re a strain on the healer to keep up, they can’t keep threat from the DPS so either there is deaths or if the DPS tone it down, things take a long time to kill. So when is it okay to start tanking?
It’s 2011. World of Warcraft is hailed as the largest (and argued by some to be the best) MMO on the planet. WoW boasts 11-12 million active subscribers. Brighthub lists Aion as WoW’s closest competitor at 3.5 million users, which is only a third of the player base. Though if we bend the definition of MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online – though usually requiring a permanent world) just a little, we find that Blizzards behemoth already has been trumped and by no small margin. Zynga’s Farmville, the Facebook app, has somewhere between 60 and 80 million users – easily 5 times the player base of WoW. So, hasn’t Zynga already beaten Blizzard? Not quite.
First, we need to remember that Farmville isn’t truly an MMO. Is massive and has many players and is online, but it doesn’t have a true persistent world such as WoW or Aion. Second, FV clearly isn’t trying to be even the same type of game. It’s more so a social networking past-time. A place to loiter for a few minutes a day in between status updates, as opposed to an hour sucking beast that WoW or other MMO’s can be. But MMO gaming companies need to realize, it’s 2011 and social media is king.
To be oh so cliché, the more things change the more things stay the same. WoW is no exception to the rule. I’m not talking about whether or not new bosses or gear are too similar to old ones, which are complaints I’ve heard from a couple of fellow players who’ve been wowing since vanilla. Nope, I’m instead here to talk about players and how regardless of what is added to the game, we’re always going to act the same way. Prior to cataclysm and 4.0.3 I suppose, gearscore ruled pugs. The gearscore addon, which attributed a point value to each piece of gear and gave a “score” for each player based on that gear was the loathed standard from which players were judged before being invited to a random group or raid. Not content with mere players making their own system for judging the “goodness” of others, blizzard implemented the average item level. Viewed on both your character sheet and on your armory profile, it is the new number from which all characters must be judged. I say this sarcastically of course, as there are much more important factors; see: Skill. Now instead of a gearscore requirement, we see “looking for heals for *instance*, 350ilvl or higher”
Along the same lines are the recruiters for small or social guilds and their message. Prior to cataclysm we’d see “Friendly leveling guild looking for members of all levels. Have tabard and 4 bank tabs, pst xxxx for invite”. Quite often after spamming a couple of those, random /trade trolls bash the poster, mocking their guild tab message. Usually undaunted, they continue the recruitment spam. Now the trolls have a new topic to mock the social guild recruiters for, “we’re a level 4 guild…”
Anything else you can think of that we keep doing over and over as players? Aside from standing in fire.