Blizzard makes Warcraft obsolete Pt1

In 2004 World of Warcraft started with a huge world to explore and due to the design and pacing at the time, it took the average player months to get to max level and much longer to explore every nook and cranny, see all zones, complete all quests and maybe even do it on Horde and Alliance sides.

wow

In this post I’ll be focusing on the PvE side of the game, as usual.

Then there were the dungeons that offered a good amount of gameplay time, because you were leveling slow, there was often a good incentive to revisit them, get another level, finish an additional quest you’ve found or hope to find that nice sword you’ve had your eye on.

When you reached max level, finally, you didn’t jump into raiding right away….or ever in quite a lot of cases. There were still a number of max level zones available that offered lore and loot. A bunch of high to max level dungeons (5 or 10 man) were also an option to improve your character further. Then there were questlines like the  one for the Dungeon Set and raid attunements had to be completed as well.

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Playing games, making stuff and other things

At least that’s what it feels like. I’m super busy, but I’m not really making any progress at all because I’m working on too many things concurrently. Oh well, time for another miscellaneous updates post about what I’m playing, programming and planning to do in the near future.

Now Playing

Why is it sometimes so difficult to find something to play? I don’t have a small selection of games and even the titles I’ve never played before, but are collecting dust in my shelves is unfortunately somewhat impressive. I’ve also severely increased the quality of my gaming selection by getting rid of hundreds of crappy games or titles I’m not interested in anymore. So I can literally choose from countless quality titles from all genres and platforms. But here I am, wondering what I should play for the last couple of days.

Playing now: Blackwell Legacy is part one in a five part series
Blackwell Legacy is part one in a five part series

I’ve started playing a bit of Blackwell Legacy and it’s not bad. But I’ll continue playing this together with a friend, so that’s not an option right now.

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Scarlet Monastery: Warcraft Dungeon Challenge 3

Alright, progress! This time we’ve tackled and unexpectedly cleared Scarlet Monastery. Due to the difficulty of Houndmaster Brown, we had to level up quite a lot and one- or two-shot most bosses in the Monastery. But that doesn’t mean it was easy, far from it. Anyways, let’s get to it. Today we’ll take a look at the following bosses:

Thalnos the Soulrender

Brother Korloff

High Inquisitor Whitemane

These bosses are level 33 (Thalnos) to 34 (the rest). We on the other hand were slightly lower, level 25 to be exact. Merely 8 or 9 levels below the bosses and of course we’re just two players.

scarlet_monastery_achievement

A few boring facts about Scarlet Monastery:

The minimum level to actually zone into the instance is 23. We’re a little bit higher, but not much. You can queue directly for it from level 28, of course you’ll be doing the dungeon with five players of similar level. I believe the random queue requirement is even higher, about Lvl30. The mobs are around Level 32/33 and the bosses 33/34. At level 25 we were well below that of course.

Here we go!

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Warcraft Dungeon Challenge: Scarlet Halls

The current World of Warcraft dungeon challenge is the Scarlet Halls. We’re two low level Gnomes trying to beat dungeons at the lowest level possible.

World of Warcraft Scarlet Halls Dungeon Achievement
Unexpected victory in the Scarlet Halls Dungeon

We did a couple of Blackfathom Deeps runs to improve my gear a little bit, but the desired item didn’t drop. Since survivability was our main concern, we didn’t bother anymore as the item in question was mainly a DPS boost.

In this post, I’ll be breaking down the encounters one by one, what challenges we faced and where we had some interesting surprises.

Current World of Warcraft patch: 6.2.3

Dungeon: Scarlet Halls

Bosses, gear and unexpected challenges

Both characters were level 25 by the time we cleared Scarlet Halls. We originally entered ad level 22 but hit a roadblock pretty early on, before even getting to the first boss.

Our gear was mostly dungeon blues until Gnomeregan and a few quest rewards. No heirlooms and the average item level was about 20-23. As for buffs, we used a few low level alchemy potions and enchanting recipes to give us a slight advantage, but since it’s still pretty early in the project, we haven’t gotten any serious upgrades yet.

Here’s a list of all noteworthy encounters:

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How to keep things interesting pt.1

Compared to other MMORPGs or more traditional CRPGs at the time of release, World of Warcraft, for the most part, was never really challenging, due to Blizzards intentions to make their games as accessible as possible.

dead
I should start a death-counter

With the release of the first expansion, the game didn’t get easier, but you could see a more streamlined design in the zones, that made content progression more straight-forward. The normal questing content was still as difficult as before and the endgame featured challenging raids and, with the intended gear level, very challenging heroic 5-man dungeons.

After that, things started to get easier with every expansion in an effort to remove any and all frustration for new players and to get everybody to the endgame faster. And now here we are in Warlords of Draenor, with crazy fast leveling speeds due to heirlooms, more powerful skills, more interface/profession/financial streamlining and reduced experience requirements.

So nowadays you literally faceroll through all instances and the whole questing content until max level, and except Heroic (Raid) and Mythic (5man/Raid) or Challenge mode content, even there everything stays mostly trivial, which is a shame, because World of Warcraft offers tons of great content, from thousands of quests to dozens of dungeons and raids, which are unfortunately completely irrelevant for todays leveling players. So why not change it up and find a way to make it fun and challenging again? Experience the content with new eyes and maybe even learn a thing or two about a class and encounters?

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Happy new year! With some updates…

Hey everyone.

 

This year I’ll (again) try to be more regular with my updates and also work/progress on learning Unity and talking about Game Design/Development as well as ranting about WoW (since I surely will resub again to repeat the inevitable cycle).

 

Unity:

I haven’t progressed much due to real-life obligations, but there’s just a few tutorials left in the 4.x version, after which I’ll be switching to Unity 5. Then I’ll finally start working on the 5.x tutorial, with the goal of doing the asset work mostly myself and also expanding on the tutorial project.

 

 

Gaming:

Last year I’ve played through most of Bloodborne (excellent game) but there wasn’t much else. I finished “Stasis”, a Kickstarter funded isometric horror adventure, which was fun, albeit a bit short.

For this year there isn’t much planned. Even though I’ve gotten rid of hundreds of games in my collection, there’s still far too many left. For 2016 I’m looking forward fo Dark Souls III and ~maybe~ Deus Ex, although I’m not sure which platform I can play it on since I don’t like playing first person games with a controller and it’ll only be available with Steam DRM on the PC -_-

We’ll see

 

 

WoW:

There’s still a lot I’d like to talk about and there are a number of rough drafts for future posts. I finally finished clearing up my WoW Archive and gotten ever so slightly hyped for Legion, which has put me in the mood of at least playing the test account again and see the Cata zones up to Lvl20, especially on the Horde side, since I’ve been neglecting those since they came out.

The 1-10 Zones/Classes are already done, with some very notable differences in player engagement, gear, gold, story and required playtime. I think the enjoyment a new player can have, heavily relies on the right choice of faction, race and class as some combinations can be quite fun, while others tend to be less interesting. Of course with a higher character level, the gameplay will become more interesting and the questing only gets better the more current the content is. But for a completely new player, the very early content can last for hours and days and with the huge amount of more modern alternatives, new players are likely to “give up” if the first hours aren’t engaging enough.

 

Anyway, before I get more into it, I’ll save this topic for a later date. See you soon!

Various updates and progress

Hey everybody!

It might not seem like it, but I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of months. As you can see the blog looks different, that’s because I’ve moved to a new provider and can (finally) use more current WP versions. Yay! So I moved the whole blog and gave it a little makeover. There will be more changes in the upcoming days and weeks.

In gamedev news, I’ve continued working on the Unity tutorials. Unfortunately at a very slow pace, I just managed to finish the current chapter. But I want to push through the last Unity 4 tutorial this month so I can switch to Unity 5 and start working on the mini-roguelike game in September.

Gaming is a little bit slow, but right now I’m playing (and loving) Bloodborne on the PS4. I’ve also played through “Papers Please” for the second time.

World of Warcraft has unfortunately fallen from grace. After a really REALLY (!) great start, it completely fell apart in the endgame. I’m not an active raider, I don’t love PvP and I don’t care about trivial content or achievements so the endgame has VERY little to offer, which is a damn shame, since the final endgame in MoP was just awesome.

Now Blizzard is already announcing the next expansion, so it looks like they’ll be releasing them faster. Don’t know if I love that. But in theory I’ve got a lot more topics to talk about, so we’ll see about that.

But I’d rather talk about more general game design topics, but I guess my gripe with WoW is still applicable to other genres and areas.

Anyways, see you soon, from today, there will be regular content updates again.

Day 8: Consecutive

So far I’ve taken more days off than I have posted updates. Time to change that!

 

Alright, day 8 of my little challenge and we’re -almost- halfway through the second tutorial.

 

On todays menu:

Chapter 07: Creating Shots, Chapter 08: Shooting Shots, Chapter 09: Boundary and Chapter 10: Creating Hazards.

As always, you’re more than invited to follow along and get to know Unity yourself. The tutorial videos are short and very well done, so you’ll be able to progress quite fast.

Here’s a screenshot todays work:

Very simple scripting

In gaming updates:

World of Warcraft is getting somewhat boring, but that’s not really surprising. Right now I’d like to level my prot warrior to 100 and just tank everything, but that takes time. We’ll see. I’ll probably take a break until a couple of content patches have arrived and the next expansions release date has been announced. By then there’ll be plenty of new content for me.

Until then, I’ll probably try to finally finish Dark Souls (only Gwyn left) and try out Issue #10 in The Secret World. Issue #9 was somewhat of a letdown, especially considering it’s f*king 東京, but they absolutely deserve another chance.

 

Motivation and Preparation

Alright, time to get serious.

Blizzard has announced the release date of the expansion a couple of days (or has it been weeks already?) ago and it looks like I was right on the money. We will be seeing an unusually late release date, after Blizzcon, which means three more months of Patch 5.4 with the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, making it one of the longest (if not the longest, I haven’t checked) final raid tiers at 14 months.

 

I also reactivated my subscription, after my longest break since the game launched in 2005. “Why now and not when the addon is released?” you might ask? It’s a little bit complicated and the result of a number of factors. I want to be adequately motivated for the expansion, to avoid early burnout in an expansion that has the potential to be actually really good for a change.

So to avoid getting sick and tired of the game too soon, I’ve got to prepare a little bit. First and foremost, I don’t see myself playing the rogue exclusively through an entire expansion like I did with Mists of Pandaria. I like my combat rogue, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been playing that same character for about 9 years now and I’m not going to stop any time soon. But I also really, really like healing on a holy priest and I’d also give tanking another shot, because in all these years I never managed to get a tank to the current max level.  So where’s the problem?

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What to do in Warlords? Casual vs Hardcore

The new raid modes. I like it!

 

Right now I’m contemplating how I will tackle the new expansion. Unfortunately what I -want- to do, isn’t necessarily what I’m -able- to do.

The problem is, that Blizzard seems to think that people who don’t play a lot (or are unable to play a lot) aren’t interested in a challenging environment and make all PvE gameplay that involves character progression and challenge somewhat time consuming. I don’t want to say Blizzard thinks most of their players are idiots, but it seems like they do.

I don’t have a lot of time, but I want what little time I have to be enjoyable. Running through trivial content isn’t necessarily fun for me, but if I don’t have any other choice, I try to play as good as I possibly can, even if it’s total overkill to reforge, gem and enchant blue gear and use flasks in 5 man heroics. If I can’t compete against the content, I can at least compete against myself, trying to improve my dps, reduce my mistakes and speed up the dungeon by apparently being the only one who does dps on trash. And it’s always a pleasure to see a lazy damage dealer upping his game after he got beaten by someone with much worse gear. Doesn’t happen a lot though. 😉

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