• Cataclysm Cinematic Intro
  • New Cataclysm Tree of Life form
  • Tier 11 Deathknight
  • The Cataclysm effect

The Cataclysm effect


Over the past few days I’d been thinking about Cataclysm and why its such an important milestone in the history of World of Warcraft.

Most people I chat to about WoW have rarely played any other mmo’s before they started playing WoW.  To them WoW invented the whole mmo industry.  In some respects it has, its launched the genre into main stream media.  My first introduction to mmo’s came in the form of EverQuest Live.  This was a very unforgiving game, there was very little in game help or anything like that.  It really was a world to explore. I then moved onto Everquest 2 back in late 2004.  EQ2 came out just before WoW went live.  Around my then circle of gaming friends there was a lot of hate for WoW and how cartoony and dumbed down it was attempting to make the mmo market.  When compared to EverQuest games at the time, WoW really did look just that, dumbed down and designed for people playing console games who wanted easy quick satisfaction.

I still picked up WoW come lunch to check out all the buzz.  Unfortunately I never followed through.  I managed to level my very first character a Dwarf Hunter to level 21 before I gave up.  I had some serious commitments going on in EQ2, I was acting raid leader and heavily involved in nightly progression raiding.  Anyway going off topic here, this is not an article about my gaming history!

What I’m trying to get at is that WoW did dumb down the mmo market when compared to EQ but was that really a bad thing?  How exactly did it ‘dumb’ down mmo’s?  This is the thing, at the time I honestly believed WoW was for dummies.  But now looking back I can’t believe how stupid I really was.  I got WoW wrong, very wrong.

Join me after the break.

To put it bluntly, World of Warcraft made mmo’s fun.  All previous mmo’s did have fun aspects don’t get me wrong or confused on that point.  What they did have a long side some fun mechanics was a whole bunch of time sinks.  It took ages to level in EQ, you lost xp when you died…..hell you could even de-level after enough deaths.  That’s not fun.  I could go on and on about systems which on the whole removed the fun aspect.  On the other hand the fear of death in EQ made people a whole lot better at the game and so the general player base was very skillied.

This is one topic WoW has issues with.

With the game being so accessible to almost any type of player you inevitably end up with droves of very poor players.  You also end up with people who love to spam chat channels with abuse and all kinds of crap.  For me this is the worst aspect of WoW.  For un guilded new players moving from older mmo’s or just more mature gamers in general the state of city chat channels can be very off putting.  I have first hand experience of this.  A member of my family (a very hardcore EQ Live raider) tried WoW. Only to then decide on giving up as group chat was none existant and general player attitudes were poor.  I don’t think WoW will ever manage to brush off this stigma.  Being the most popular its going to have the worst  community on whole, I just tihnk its unavoidable.

However as soon as you manage to get into a great guild, things can become very good indeed.  Theres nothing like having loads of like minded players to play with!

So whats all this got to do with Cataclysm you say?  Well I’ve been watching Total Biscuits heroic dungeons runs form the beta.  The difficulty level is awesome.  These are the kind of dungmeons we want.  Not only will people have to use their skills and abilities to the best of their knowledge they are also going to have to learn to effectivly communicate with each other.  If the difficulty level remains the same then you won’t be able to simply join a random group, say nothing, and blast through the zone walking away with the loot.

Heroics are  going to sort the men from the boys.  As it stands in Wrath if the tank makes a bad pull and causes a wipe, most of the dps will instantly leave.  Can you blame them?  The question is are they going to do it in Cataclysm?  If they do, they’ll find themselves never completing dungeons at all.  You are going to wipe multiple times.  You need to get used to it.

The fabled Cataclysm effect I’m hoping for is a jump back in time to the good old days of quality players and people willing to engage in conversation in groups!  People will become better at WoW in time and we should be all able to rejoice in the sea of awesomness…..with some luck!

Anyways, come on patch 4.0.1 hurry up and hit the EU servers!

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