Monday, November 17, 2008

Initial WotLK thoughts

I hadn't really planned out what I was going to do when I first started playing Wrath of the Lich King last week. I have had very little free time nowadays and been working a lot of extra hours. Still I've been impressed so far with what I've seen in the expansion. It feels bigger then the Burning Crusade, which probably has a lot to do with it having ten zones instead of seven. Also the two separate starting areas seems to contribute to the feeling of size in the expansion. I'm glad they put a dungeon in both areas since that seems to be making them equally favored by the players. So far the questing seems up to the high standards of Blizzard and remains chock filled with pop culture references. I particularly enjoyed the DHETA quests which force you to go against Nessingwary's hunters.

I've done both the Nexus and Utgarde Keep a couple of times and I'm enjoying being back in a dungeon oriented game. Warhammer was great and I'll probably keep my account running for awhile, but it's dungeons were a little too different for my tastes. I'm a little worried that the number of group instances seems to be lower in Wrath of the Lich King. The Burning Crusade had fifteen single group instances spread across five different dungeons. In Wrath of the Lich King it looks like there are only twelve though they are spread out a bit more. I'm hoping that the 10-man version of the raid instances are easy enough that they sort of count as single group ones. I just hope the recent death of Malygos by TwentyFifthNovember doesn't encourage Blizzard to overbuff the raid content in a hotfix. People with lives want a chance also.

The raid content seems interesting in the expansion, but just like the single group dungeons there much less of them this time around. When the Burning Crusade launched there was the massive Karazhan raid zone, 3 smaller sized raid zones, and then 2 single boss encounters. So far in this expansion it looks like Naxx will serve in a similar capacity as Karazhan, but at the moment there are no smaller sized raid zones. There does seem to be single boss fights in the Obsidian Sanctum, the Eye of Eternity, and the Vault of Archavon. Still as TwentyFifthNovember is finding out there is much less raid content to burn through. Blizzard has plans to quickly patch in raid content for Ulduar and eventually the Icecrown Citadel, but it's probably not happening any time soon.

Still there's no reason for the power levelers to despair. Blizzard is being smarter this time around and has put in some encounters that allow raiders to adjust its difficulty. The Obsidian Sanctum in particular can be done so that you fight the main boss with several mini-bosses at the same time. You can kill the mini-bosses ahead of time, but the more that you leave up the better the loot. I wouldn't be surprised if the other aspect encounters are set up similarly so the content can be done by guilds in different stages of progression. After all the big failure with the Burning Crusade was that they tuned everything for the very high-end guilds and locked almost everyone else out of the content. This new way of thinking might make it a little bit longer for a raid zone to be developed, but it should allow a lot more people to experience it.


Obelisk said...

Well if you ask me those people are freaks of nature and will end up ruining it for the rest of us. I bet the average population is still 71. These people need to get a life enjoy the game for once and stop acting better than everyone else. I haven't gotten to see half of the raid content in this game and I'll be pissed if I don't get to see the wrath stuff too because of these jerks.

Capn John said...

A major problem with too many Instances as you level is not getting to see them all.

Look at Hellfire Pen & the Citadel, and Zangarmarsh and Coilfang Reservoir. You can do all of the zone quests, ding several times, and leave Hellfire Pen and Zangarmarsh without setting foot in any of the four Instances. All that work, all those Designer & Programmer hours, all for naught.

You could even do Slave Pens, gring a level or so questing, and move on without entering Underbog to complete the "Lost In Action" quest.

On the plus side, having so much content means when an Alt or two comes through that way, there might still be content you've not yet seen.

Anonymous said...

I actually kind of wish they didn't waste dungeons on "leveling". I'd rather have 12 non-heroic places to run at 80 than dungeons folks level out of and never go back to. A few months post-release it becomes nearly impossible to find a group for the lower level dungeons unless you can beg guildies to go slumming.

Because many of the quest chains in the zones actually want you to go into the instances, it can be pretty frustrating. On my second level 70 I ended up completing quest chains while running them in Heroic mode, when I could have used the rewards and the XP at levels 60-65 instead.