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Default WoW: WotLK - Review @ 1UP

December 17th, 2008, 19:53
Ryan Scott rates WotLK an A-.
The most negative criticism that I can really level at Wrath is that it's essentially one giant carrot to the rest of WOW's stick. With Northrend's far-superior content, a newly accelerated 60 to 70 leveling curve, and Death Knights starting out at level 55, Blizzard's essentially holding up a neon sign that says "levels 1 to 54 don't matter anymore." With the leveling grind becoming more tiresome with each expansion, and with so many perks — PVE-to-PVP server-switching, name changes, and even gender changes — slowly implemented over time (each for a small fee, of course), I have to wonder how long it'll be before Blizzard offers race/class changes or flat-out level 55-plus newbie characters of all classes for lazy players with cash to spare.
I honestly wouldn't rule that sort of thing out, as Blizzard's even gone so far as to promise a dual-spec system (allowing players to shift roles with what I can only assume will be considerable ease) in a future patch. And like Burning Crusade, Wrath is essentially a year-and-some-change-long project with at least three or four major updates over the course of its lifespan. Heck, we won't even get to go toe-to-toe with the Lich King himself for a while yet; his home turf, Icecrown Citadel, will be Wrath's ultimate raid dungeon, and part of the game's final content patch. That's fine by me, though — Wrath features more than enough content to keep me busy for a while yet. And if WOW's current track record maintains, things can only get better with time.
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December 17th, 2008, 19:53
Interesting points raised in this article. In particular, offering near-end-game characters for players for an additional fee. Presumably, unspec'ed with lots of allocatable skills and points.

The reason why this is of interest is because it sharply bifurcates the MMORPG experience into two distinct phases: the journey and the destination.

The journey is the leveling process from 1->max, whatever max is. Depending on your commitment, patience and time it can take anywhere from two weeks (if you know what to do and where to go) to a 4-6 months. During this time, you are slowly drawn into the world, one region and one quest at a time. You gain experience with playing your class and the capabilities of other plays. You're continually upgrading your equipment and gathering new skills.

The destination is the end-game scenario, where your character is at its level cap. No new skills are available, since your character isn't "growing". New loot requires significant outlays of time and effort.

For me, MMORPGs are fun only during the destination. You're entertained wherever you go, since so much of the world is new. Having better-than-best equipment at a given level is irrelevant, since in a few levels you'll have access to better equipment yet (as an aside, there should be significantly greater differences between very rare items at a level and rare/magic items at a few levels higher).

Once the level cap is reached, the rewards for continued play are far and in between. Tweaking specs at this point merely homogenizes the top tier population, since everyone wants the best spec combo and there's enough technical literature out there to point you to several such combinations. Everyone is seeking the same armour, weapons and accessories.

MMORPGs should END when you reach the level cap. You know, the old "game over" scenario. Thanks for playing. Goodbye. Try again with a different toon, or do something else.
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December 17th, 2008, 20:01
Originally Posted by martink View Post
MMORPGs should END when you reach the level cap. You know, the old "game over" scenario. Thanks for playing. Goodbye. Try again with a different toon, or do something else.
I call it the MMO paradox. First players cry that they are not leveling fast enough and once they reach the maximum level they cry that they are bored.

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December 18th, 2008, 19:55
Originally Posted by martink View Post
The journey is the leveling process from 1->max, whatever max is. Depending on your commitment, patience and time it can take anywhere from two weeks (if you know what to do and where to go) to a 4-6 months. During this time, you are slowly drawn into the world, one region and one quest at a time. You gain experience with playing your class and the capabilities of other plays. You're continually upgrading your equipment and gathering new skills.
The problem is that many people have seen, in WoW's case, old-world content a few hundred times. Hell, never mind that: try leveling just an alt, and by the third time it's no longer interesting. When I leveled my alt, I did it with a friend with RAF benefits. Get the hell out of Azeroth as fast as possible, because even the sight of it was beginning to make the both of us quite ill. Until someone can magically come up with a way to make old content fresh all the time and make each character's individual experience super-duper-unique, for experienced players, the "journey" part of the game is nothing but a tiresome grind.
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December 18th, 2008, 20:53
Yeah, feels that way aswell.
I enjoy lvling in new content like when I got my main chr to lvl 80. But don't enjoy it doing it all over again with another chr. That only happens when I get really bored.

Now, its the end game content, the raiding, that I enjoy and look forward too.
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