Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WoW: Cataclysm - Goblin Experience Part 2

A few more things I thought I'd write about before I move on;

Event monsters
Location progression and quest style
Guild levels/rewards

Granted, this is my opinion, but here it goes.

Event Monsters

I don't like event-spawned mobs that grant neither experience nor loot. In theory, they're fine when you get to kill them en-masse with some kind of quest device. It's empowering in a way, and empowering the player, especially at low levels, is good.

But, and this is a huge butt, perhaps one of ogre sized proportions; when you end up constantly being assailed by these event mobs, and do not have a way to deal with them other than an old fashioned beat down, its not cool. If these events were foolproof, it'd be fine. But they're not.

I found myself fighting these lootless, no-experience mobs many, many times. And they spawn so fast that if you don't keep moving, they'll just pile up and inevitably kill you.


Now, this next part is something I've noted about Cataclysm as a whole. The change in design from larger, more densely populated quest hubs to strings of what I'm calling rapid-fire quest hubs. But first, let's take a lil' step back in time to 1999.

In Everquest, you camped. You picked a spot and killed the mobs there as long as you could. Instead of getting a quest, going out, and coming back, you pulled mobs to that location or killed the ones that spawned there. Now, Blizzard has decided to move away from large quest hubs, in what I wouldn't necessarily call an evolution - more like a sidestep.

This is because you still spend a lot of your time traveling. Instead of returning to the same hub many times, you might only return to it twice. A brilliant innovation however, is the pop-up quest system. By entering an area or killing a mob, you can get a quest via a pop up. A lot of times you complete the quest via pop up as well.

I think the pop up quests are significantly better than the rapid fire quest hubs. In fact, I think this is where MMOs should be headed - everyone has done quest hubs to death. Instead of having the player travel down the same road two, four or six times to complete and turn in a quest, let them go do the quest and finish it while they are traveling to the next area via a pop up. Or, if that presents problems of logic (such as how you actually give people an item or get a reward) just have the turn in NPC be in the next area you go to.

I don't care how it's handled - cell phone, crystal ball, comm link, whatever. It's time to evolve. Maybe not 100% evolution, but perhaps 50/50. The ratio of pop up quests to traditional hub questing in WoW: Cataclysm seems to be abysmally low. Less than 1 per 50, at best.

Guild Levels/Rewards

It's just a good idea. Guilds, or whatever they might be called across many worlds, are a pinnacle of the communities that drive MMOs, and I think that they should always be more than just a chat channel and a tag. I know they're more that in an intangible sense, but I'm talking about tangible things here. Granted, you sort of leave the solo player in the dust here, but it does promote joining an organization. You're not exactly punishing a player for not being in a guild, since anyone can join one or even create one themselves.

The idea has so much potential for fun things too - it's a perfect vehicle to give out vanity and novelty items with, but at the same time functional things as well. You just have to be careful how much you reward guild play, since at some point it will feel like you're trying to force people into a guild.

I promise I'm done talking about the Goblin experience now! Next time, the new 1-60.


Lindsay said...

Hey Cody, I'm loving the reviews you're writing for Cataclysm! Very insightful and interesting to read!

I definitely agree with you about the event mob situation. I took a warrior through the new 1-60 and there's a quest in the Badlands, "Troggish Troubles," where you have to survive waves of troggs through the use of a giant cannon. I loved actually doing the quest but, like you stated, when I wasn't on the quest the troggs would continuously spawn giving me no loot or experience upon their death.

I'm not sure if you've done that quest already but I just thought I'd add my experience with a similar event mob issue!

Goreface said...

Hmm, good to know!

I actually missed most of the badlands except for the Deathwing quest. Even without heirlooms levels were going by so fast that I barely got to see any zones in their entirety.

Which is either a hook to get players to roll alts to see all of them when they're level-appropriate, or they just made it too fast :p

Have you done 80-85 yet?