Tomorrow, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm finally hits the shelves. I’m still trying to decide whether I should sue Blizzard for stealing my life for their own profit!
Want proof? Well, okay. Here goes:
In Cataclysm, the world is ripped asunder by a vengeful dragon. In reality, a conniving harpy tore my world apart.
In Cataclysm, some statues were broken during Deathwing’s rampage. In reality, a couple of my action figures suffered a little damage in transit.
In Cataclysm, talent trees got tweaked. In reality, I had to retool and update my resume.
In Cataclysm, they added new starter zones. In reality, my starter zone is changing from Cary, NC, to Huntsville, AL.
In Cataclysm, they’ve raised the level cap. In reality, I made it to Level 44 in September and now I am proceeding toward the new current max of 45. I’m optimistic the cap will get raised again.
In Cataclysm, you can now fly mounts everywhere! In reality, I’ve been trying to train Huck to fly like that dog in Neverending Story.
So, what do you think? Do I have a case?
I recently took a few days to poke around at Dungeons & Dragons Online. Now that it’s free to play, with a microtransaction payment model to get extras, I thought it might be fun to jump in and see how Turbine did things. For my feedback, here’s a point worth noting: I played through the tutorial zone and then went to Stormreach, completing some of the content in that area.
Stuff I like: First, the scenery looks great. Somewhat reminiscent of Lord of the Rings Online, but not all the way toward that end of “pretty.” Second, the interface and NPC interactions are rather simple to grok. Third, the combat’s fun. Fourth, the scaling for instanced content was great. Fifth, the minion system is nifty. I liked being able to take an NPC into a dungeon with me to help clear the trash.
Stuff I didn’t like as much: First, the tutorial (although effective in teaching the basics) puts the player in too much of a helper role while NPCs do the cool things like fighting a dragon. Second, so much of the world is instanced. I recognize they probably had to do this to accomplish some of the single player-style adventures with scripted bits, but I found it a little jarring that I mostly just ran into people in town rather than crossing paths during adventures out in the wilderness. I missed those random encounters. Third, the instances aren’t always interesting. Mostly, they seem to amount to: Enter the dungeon, whack boxes for loot, kill critters, and then repeat ad nauseum. Traps and puzzle tiles shook things up every once in a while, but the fare was otherwise really predictable.
I may keep dabbling at it occasionally – sometimes I do just feel like smashing boxes for loot and chasing critters around dungeons, but it doesn’t seem likely to hold my interest for long stretches of time. We’ll see. I haven’t touched their crafting system yet and there’s presumably a lot of wilderness beyond Stormreach that could be worth exploring.