Monday, December 3, 2012

More on 5.1

I had a reaction which surprised me the first time I saw the 5.1 updated map for Krasarang Wilds, with the Alliance and Horde each having taken over a chunk of the area-- it gave me a feeling of sudden loss. In pure gameplay terms, these areas have been changed forever and there is no going back. I barely got to know this area in its natural state, and now it's gone overnight [literally, heh]. This really impressed me because that seems to be exactly what the devs are going for in story terms too. We did this. We came to Pandaria and decided we knew better than the locals, and changed the face of their country forever in the name of the greater good.

So despite my last post, I'm not that cynical about the game. I went back to Klaxxi'vess and [with after purchasing my double XP] helped free the last of the Klaxxi Paragons from his amber prison. I walked into Karazhan [without a raid group] to once again kill Attumen. I look forward to going back into other classic raids to collect the new pets.

I want to talk about upgradable gear. This must be the stupidest and most brilliant addition to the game I never saw coming. Stupid because systems don't come much more shallow-- you spent points to buy item levels. No lore justification, just very simple, very game-y progression. It just seems very, very tacked on.

But brilliant because it actually creates gameplay through adding complexity to your gearing strategy. You need to consider not just how much of a bonus you will get for upgrading a certain piece of armour, but how likely you are to replace it. The price is identical regardless of slot, so you'll need to weigh up whether you spend it on a high stat-budget slot like helm, chest or legs, or on that primary stat-only trinket you're probably going to use well into the next tier. It also means that you are not Best-in-Slot until you spend 1500 Valor points on every single piece of gear you're wearing, adding a new step to progression which previously did not exist.

I love the Brawler's Guild. This is how you foster realm communities. Players from the same server standing around spectating other players from that same server as they demonstrate for all to see just how good [or bad] they are at the game. It's like standing around in SW but instead of recognising the names of all the people who by definition have nothing better to do than talk in trade chat for hours at a time, you'll end up recognising the names of people who achieve actual gameplay feats.

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