Monday, November 3, 2008

Bundle of answers

I'm trying to improve on my feedback on the open Sunday thread. What I already do is answer some things directly in the comments there, and take other subjects from the open Sunday thread and make a complete post. But that still leaves lots of questions unanswered, and so I'll treat those in one bundled post during the week. This will be my first attempt of such a post.

With the recent nerfs to raid content in WoW, does anyone feel this will lead to a more pronounced feeling of entitlement amongst raiders/players going into WOTLK? Will players who are now used to zerging BT going to fill the forum pages with 'why is Naxx so hard?', and will Blizzard adjust accordingly?

I do think players have a certain right to expect Naxxramas to be easier than the original Karazhan 2.0, although maybe not quite as easy as Karazhan 3.0. As far as I hear from the beta, there is at least one wing of Naxxramas that should be quite doable for players who are reasonably good without being hardcore.

But I actually don't think there are all that many people who want raid content to be TOO easy. I think most accusations in both directions between casual players and hardcore raiders of "just wanting epics" are not true. The important thing isn't epics, but access to fun content. The original Karazhan 2.0 didn't offer that, because it wasn't accessible enough. But once you make a raid dungeon so easy that you can just tank and spank anything, it stops being all that interesting. The trick is to have raid content of various difficulty levels in the game, so that everyone can find content which is challenging enough for him, being neither a pushover nor a brick wall.

Are you in the mood to look at lesser known MMO's like Spellborn?

I'm not interested in *every* lesser known MMO, but Chronicles of Spellborn is on my list of games to play, and I've signed up for the beta long ago (but never got in). Having said that, of course my interest in other MMOs goes up when my interest in the big MMOs goes down, and vice versa. Between WAR and WotLK, fall 2008 isn't exactly the period where I'm most interested in smaller games. I covered more of them this summer, when I was more bored.

How do you think including voice chat automatically in MMO's from the start would effect the games?

I think it would be a good idea to have, but apparently it isn't all that easy. The WoW version doesn't seem to be all that popular nor working all that well. And I'm not so sure if I really want every pimply kid from every pickup group to shout at me, so voice chat should always be optional.

Paladin ret nerfs?

Blessing of Kings would be a better place to discuss those. I really can't say what the exact best power level for paladins would be, not playing one myself. What I can say is that Blizzard definitely messed up, because I've never seen such huge changes to a single class in successive patches and hotfixes.

There will always be a market for JC and enchanting as new gems and enchants are needed each time gear is upgraded. Is there, therefore, any future in inscription?

Strangle little beast, inscription. Before patch 3.0.2 I had less than 1,000 gold left, after buying my third epic flying mount. Now I'm back up to 10,000 gold, from selling both glyphs and surplus herbs. That won't last. The big advantage of inscription is that it doesn't use any especially rare materials, just herbs and vendor-sold parchments. The long-term market value of herbs will be determined more by alchemy, and by how much gold you could earn with lets say daily quests in the time it takes to gather those herbs. As on average you need two herbs to make one glyph, the long-term market value of glyphs will stabilize around twice the price of the herbs. But the volume of the market will be rather low, as players won't change their glyphs very often.

Do you think some types of classes are always problematic in MMOs? (Thinking of the retribution paladin type, but any dps/healer or dps/tank or heavy crowd control really, or stealth.)

Something will always be problematic, because it is impossible to balance all classes for all modes of gameplay. You want every class to be equally viable in solo PvE, equally strong in PvP, and equally likely to get an invite into a PvE group or raid, and I don't think that is possible.

do you have any interest in Fallout 3, Tobold?

I ordered it together with Sacred 2 (for the wife), so I'll get may copy only mid-November. And with WotLK coming up, it might be 2009 before I get around to actually play it.

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