An Open Letter

2 07 2009

Dear people who say the game is being dumbed down,

Did you enjoy reading a quest, only to have it tell you to head “northeast?” Northeast is quite vague. Sometimes the directions weren’t very accurate, and more often than not you were looking for some small object on the ground. As someone who levelled long before mods like Questhelper and Carbonite existed, I can tell you that this is not very fun. I also recall not having a mount of any sort until level 40. Then at level 60 I never had enough gold (500 gold was a LOT back then, what with there being no daily quests and all) to buy an epic mount, so I ran around on a 60% mount for a long time.

South, eh?

South, eh?

Did you like when many classes really only had one role, even if their talent specs seemed like they should be able to do more than one? Like when a Druid’s 31-point balance talent was Hurricane, on a 1-minute cooldown? And when tier sets for Druids, Priests, Paladins and Shamans were simply healing sets (which sometimes had strength on them for Paladins)? Do you remember not having dual specs, when you had to pay 50 gold if you wanted to do some PvP or tank/heal something?

How about when you didn’t get tier loot through tokens that multiple classes shared, but rather simply having the items drop, like Vault today? When pets and mounts took up room in your inventory? Do you remember questing in Blade’s Edge and Netherstorm without a flying mount? When the auction houses weren’t linked? When you could only fly from one FP to the next, and having to buy a new gryphon at each stop? When every raid needed as many Shamans as possible, lots of Shadow Priests, and many specs/classes were basically left out to rot?

Did you also know that a lot of MMOs have severe penalties for death, like XP loss, item loss, or any number of other things?

Do you remember how much these things SUCKED? I guess not.

I applaud Blizzard for doing their best to streamline what are the grindiest parts of the game while working to provide new raid content that satisfies people. Also, have you possibly noticed that the hardcore guilds like Ensidia are still here? When Naxx came out, and they cleared it within days (hours? I don’t recall), they stuck around. Blizzard may not be doing everything perfectly, but they’re doing a lot right.

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5 responses

3 07 2009
frogi

Mate, I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and today I just had to post. You are so bloody, damn well … right! The game was at times boring to level and addons like QH and Carbonite have made it easier and faster. Now with all the alts, we all have, its worse.. You give an example of “head Northeast” but how can you know how northeast, northeast actually is. Also there are two quests in Crossroads and at Skull Rock that I never knew exsisted till the Track Low Level Quests options came out.

Love the blog mate, all the best.

3 07 2009
avrsion

I knew i wouldn’t be the only one out there welcoming the fixing of the MMO Genre.

While we remember the days of grinding Tyrs Hand hours on end and wrestling a 40 man raid to do something right in a fond light the truth is that we’ve just forgotten what it was really like.

4 07 2009
Kirei

HA! I remember 90% of those things.. I remember the hell of helping every warlock or pally I knew get their epic mount. I remember face palming every time I took the wrong FP because you couldn’t see which ones connected and which ones didn’t. I remember farming and farming for my mount and ending up with nothing afterward. I remember pugging UBRS over and over again because I needed tier .5 or whatever in order to be even considered by raiding guilds.

Let’s not go back. Please. Especially the FP thing. I still feel spoiled hopping onto one and seeing all the FPs.

I played FFXI online for 2 years. Everytime you die you lost EXP. So much so that you could delevel. So if you were in endgame you had to constantly gain exp just to keep at max level. You have no idea how much that sucks. I lost my max level more times than I could count. And they don’t make it a happy moment. The music that plays, the lovely blue animation that goes across your screen… not to mention your “guild” laughing at you XD. Ah.. good times.

4 07 2009
shopx3

@Kirei: I remember playing Ultima Online, where (granted it was a different kind of game) if you died you lost basically everything you had equipped, including armour, spell reagents, gold, etc. In addition to that people could steal stuff from your pack, loot your corpse, and all sorts of other things. WoW and other new-gen MMOs are leaving this stuff behind, which is a kind of dumbing down, but for a game that focuses on PvE and certain kinds of limited PvP (BGs, arenas), I think these steps are necessary.

11 07 2009
Shaunbacca

I hear you. What about when getting a charcter to 60 in under 13 / 14 / 15 days played was considered an achievement?

I’m looking forward to the next patch, I’ve rolled a bunch of alts and they’re hitting level 20. 10G for a mount at that low a level seems like such a compeltely foreign idea for me but I’m all for it.

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