Last October, I confessed that I am a female WOW player. Today, I come as a WOW fan, video gamer, and Blizzard Entertainment customer. You don't have to play World of Warcraft to know about the culture, you only need to know someone who lives inside the game. I have not played since February 4th, but that has not stopped me from writing about the game's third and possible final expansion installment, Cataclysm.
Cataclysm is coming soon everyone. Blizzard will probably launch it in late summer/early fall of this year. The volcanic ash incident in Iceland alone is a sure testament of modern-day Azeroth's willingness to change into the drastically, unrecognizable world depicted in Cataclysm. For the last three weeks, I have been analyzing the new Cataclysm preview class changes with exhilaration and worry. I love video games that challenge the mind and transcends the imagination, similarly to what Hollywood mega blockbusters are suppose to do when you enter the movie theaters.
But with the new influx of new WOW players and the stupidly easiness in leveling toons and professions in the game, I have created this proposal to help Blizzard developers out there through the process of this expansion pack in order to regain the trust and satisfaction of its customers and innovate and improve beyond the first two expansion packs: Burning Crusade and the Wrath of the Lich King. Declaimer: If you are not a WOW fan and is reading this, try to catch up!
1. Make sure Tree of Life is efficient in PVE and PVP. In WOW, you can play characters from ten different classes. One of the classes that you can play is a druid. I have a level 72 druid. In the preview, Tree of Life is a passive ability, meaning that if you were to spec in the restoration druid talent spec, you can play as a tree. Now Blizzard wants to make the ability into a cool-down based talent. If this happens, please have TOL last between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, longer than the deep demonology warlock's Metamorphosis talent. Also, I encourage Blizzard to provide resto druids with some, if not all of the Tree of Life buffs when not in form. If not, resto druids will be more susceptible to polymorph effects (mages) and stuns in pvp and arena.
3. Give rogues a reason to kill. I also have a level 80 rogue. Rogues are probably one of the only classes to be gear and Cool-down dependent. Their skill comes from the mastering of its several defensive and offensive cool-down based abilities such as cheap shot and gouge. When all the CDs are down, they are useless and swishy. Rogues are fortunate to receive the Smoke Bomb ability, but what happens when a rogue activates it and cannot use its spells because the cool-downs are up? Is 10 seconds enough? Also, fix Vanish and Cloak of Shadows. I did not played WOW during the Vanilla days (2004-2006), but I will tell you is that if you are suppose to vanish within the naked eye, you are suppose to not be seen.
4. Nerf the paladin class. This statement is very self-explanatory. Blizzard made this hybrid class almost unbeatable in every form of combat sequence in the WOTLK expansion pack. When beta testing PTR realms are opened to the public soon, I hope Blizzard keeps in mind that the balance of all classes should be the most important goal in the game. Otherwise, there will be another influx of paladins or your customers will lose interest in the game and quit.
5. Make sure the new level 85 dungeons and other content are challenging. Blizzard has more than 10 million customers worldwide and counting. Your customers should work for the $15 monthly subscription. Do not make leveling their toons to level 85 like a walk in the park. Currently, a new player can easily level to 80 in less than a month and farm level 80 heroic dungeons for level 200-232 gear in less than a week. If you want to keep your customers, make sure the heroic and raiding dungeons are harder to play as a group. As a result, it will allow players to actually think about the content, the group dynamics, and their avatar abilities more intimately than easily defeating bosses and mobs.
6. Finally, Skill is more important than gear. Bring back Vanilla. When a recruiter or internship coordinator analyzes job applications, he/she is looking for potential candidates with some level of experience and personality. When I play WOW, I intend to play with skill. I may not have the best available gear, but I as least have the dps (damage per second) or heals or tanking abilities to defeat any foe in my way. You can always get gear, but skill takes practice. Unfortunately, most WOW players only care more about the shiny new level 277 gear you got from Heroic Icecrown Citadel 25-man than the level of skill it takes to master your particular class(es).
This is the reason why I do not like the current gear score system or Blizzard's call to eliminate the gear score system: The Equipment Potency Equivalence Number System. Either way, guilds and groups will still use gear ratings to discriminate against others that have below-average or decent gear. Blizzard wants WOW players to manage their toons' mana and energy more efficiently than ever before in Cataclysm with the new stat changes, but how does that filter into the current gear vs. skill politics? With skill comes great responsibility. To become a great player with the best gear and skill is rare, but should be one of the most ultimate goals of any WOW end-game player.
Other than this, I look forward to the new expansion pack and more hours of epic leetness!
Do you play WOW or know someone who plays it? If so, what do you think Blizzard has in store for us in Cataclysm? What do you agree or disagree about my proposal? If not, what did you not understand about this blog post? I can clarify some points via comments below.