Monthly Archive: September 2018
My subscription lapsed yesterday and even though I have tokens in hand, there isn’t much reason for me to log in. I am fully up to date on the Alliance War Story, and fully geared as I can be as a non raider. There are no more goals to hit for me – the boring, repetitive emissary quests for Rep for items I don’t really care about are not a draw. I sitll have rep to grind to finish the war story on the Horde side but that is a week worth of “work”, and I will pick that back up when I do resubscribe.
I definitely plan on it. Whenever 8.1 hits and more story and things to do surface. I have no clue when that patch is going to drop but it is on PTR now so probably not long.
What to do until then? I had planned on WildStar when there was no end date mentioned. November 28th has been announced, and I’m now less enthused because I don’t think I can do or see the things I want to do there in that time frame. Perhaps it is best left untouched, as nostalgia often is.
I am tempted to go finish levelling in EQ2 – I had a great run there not that long ago and really enjoyed it. It did start to grind on me a bit, but I think that is because I didn’t do an 5 mans. Now I have no clue if they even have a LFG tool, and if they do, that could really open up getting to the finish line there. Again, no clue, and this is my “put out an EQ2 question to the universe instead of google” and wait for Bhagpuss to respond (as he often does in EQ2 cases). Thanks in advance.
Any PC single player games out there that are worth playing that have an ending?
This mid game Limbo is never fun, but always works out in the end. Any ideas?
Well, the Warfront scenario in Battle For Azeroth is an interesting one. It’s a play on the old RTS game, and plays out kind of like a League of Legends style MOBA with 20 live “actors”. It was kind of fun a few times, too. Challenge is that it completely negates Mythic 0 level content and below.
I find it strange in some ways and good in others. For example, you are guaranteed an ilvl 340 item everytime. There must be bad luck / duplicate protection because while I did get some duplicates I was able to get a full set of gear, plus weapons for both of my specs, in a single day. It was a slog/grind as the average Warfront seems to go 30-45 minutes but my main character is at their gear “max” for the content I do outside of doing an LFR weekly. The gear you get is also titanforgeable as I received pieces between 340 and 370 ilvl. It is a “can’t lose” scenario. You always win. There is no challenge. Yes, there are ways to optimize the experience but overall it’s just free gear.
Compare that to Mythic +0 which gives 340 gear, but does not have a LFG component and there is more pressure to perform in them. If you don’t know what you are doing you can lose those.
Heroic 5 mans give base 324 gear. Warfronts basically took away the usefulness of doing a 5 man dungeon. That is a lot of content negated so early in the expansion.
The downside? Well, it’s not really engaging or compelling content after the 10th time, and also well, just look at me.
I went from an independent hero of the Alliance – a Druid of the Cenarion circle, to just another pawn in uniform. Godawful colors at that too. Good news is that they are launching new armor sets with new Warfronts (and a Night Elf themed one is due in 8.1) but really, with the same ilvl of gear it will be a transmog +titanforge hunt at best.
With the chase for gear out of the way that just leaves the hunt for Reputation which does unlock some higher gear at exalted and gates recipes for the (mostly useless) professions. This gear up mechanism is so effective that I really am just waiting for the Horde to get it back now that my Paladin is ready to go because there is no point in chasing small upgrades when Warfronts gives you them every time. The end result will mean less tanks, healers and players in general doing 5 man content and most mass queuing up for the Warfront. Heck, with 4 days left on my subscription I started levelling my Shaman because there isn’t much point in spending time on my “mains” once the daily emissary is completed.
The WoW routine is getting set and pretty simple so far, and unfortunately not in the engaging, exciting way Legion did it. At least when you did emissary quests you had a chance for something exciting – a legendary item! Now you just get some azerite, gold or an item you already out level, and some rep. Doesn’t really scream “play me”.
In other news, I am reloading WildStar to see what I can see there before it is gone. Will be a tossup on whether or not I renew my sub for WoW or just wait for 8.1 and the new story, Warfront, and excitement that could bring.
I have really enjoyed several of their titles – especially the original Walking Dead series and The Wolf Among Us.
The company is effectively shutting down after finishing off the latest Walking Dead game.
Oddly enough, there isn’t a reason given that I have read. Mashable has a story up.
It seemed like a successful company with a lot of acclaimed titles – big names too – including Game of Thrones and Batman.
I can only guess that the cost of licencing must have been a downfall. Either that or mismanagement.
As always, best of luck to the 225 people laid off (from 250) finding work to support yourselves and your families.
A lot of fun speculation with the announcement of a “free” flying pirate ship mount if you just prepay for game time.
Optimist in me : “Guys, we have such awesome content coming down the pipeline, you HAVE to stick around and see it! Trust us you won’t be let down! Here is a shiny mount just for being an awesome, dedicated playerbase willing to hang in there while these changes come down the pipeline.
Cynic in me : “Subs are bleeding, mood out there is bad, quick, let’s lock down subs to buy us time to figure out what the hell we are going to do with this mess.
I get the feeling that depending on how your Battle For Azeroth experience has been so far, is how you respond to this announcement.
Max level in an expansion is usually an exciting place. It was fun getting both my Druid and Paladin there (most recently the Paladin, Horde side) and the differences in the campaign truly made it worthwhile to enjoy both story lines. Instead of a sigh of relief while now at the level cap it’s a sigh of boredom. There just isn’t a lot of fun feels to be had with where I am at in the game.
- Sure, I’m running my daily emissary quests, all 30 minutes for each character. The quests are the “same old, same old” of Legion.
- I did a few Island expeditions on my Druid. I need 5 “different” islands to move my war campaign unlocks around. They are boring and pretty useless. Forced advancement at it’s worse.
- I haven’t done the Warfront scenario yet, but I did do the “run around Arathi highlands killing un-challenging content and getting 340 / 370 loot randomly (high end gear). Turns out I get to do that once a week now too…
- I have ran all of the 5 mans between my two tanks. They are OK. Historically I love 5 mans, but the rewards seem to be really sparse. And with the drops from the Arathi (above) I’m better off not running 5 mans and just doing Arathi once a week, with whichever side I can.
- Alts are demoralizing. You have to grind out the same rep on each character. Hard enough the first two times. Well, not hard, just not fun enough the first two times. (And I still have a long way to go).
- While the story is great, that’s the first time. The second time won’t be. It never is.
- Professions are a waste this expansion. The mats you need to craft usable gear forces mythics. They are helping that a bit this patch with a “chance” to drop in Heroics, but those aren’t that great (noted above).
- I’m not even revered yet in my main campaign reps, because grinding out 75 per pop via WQs is not a fun way to earn 12000 rep (when the emissary grants 1500 for completion. It just hasn’t been up in several days)
- The game is too formulaic this time. Every new small quest area gives a single quest to “introduce” the area. Then they give 3 quests to do within it. Then a final quest. It’s 5 per, every time.
- This expansion was the “check boxes” expansion in every way, the way it was developed, the way it plays out.
It feels like it has no soul, if that makes sense.
I keep logging in daily, hoping something will stick. I am going to play out my month, hope the story / tasks I am asked to do jumps when I get the rep I need, and just hope something clicks. I am not confident right now. Which is sad considering how high Legion was for me overall.
I’ve read a few other “mehs” – anyone absolutely loving it? Are you raiding? Just sticking to one character? Not sure what I am missing. If I am.
I told you so.
I know that is very, very helpful. And to be fair, like many others, I am actually really sad it didn’t make it. I would often reinstall, play for a bit (I wanted to see/feel the story of Nexus), get wigged out by the colors and playstyle, uninstall. It was a slow slog, but I was getting there. And I hoped every time I logged in that it would grab me “this time”. Except it didn’t. Just long enough to see a cutscene with Drusera, run a quest hub, check out my awesome house, and leave for a long time.
I know it has been covered before – even here – but the core premise of why WildStar failed is more easily explained by watermelons. Most people like watermelons. Some like them with seeds, some like them seedless. No one likes them with extra seeds. There isn’t a watermelon company on the planet with a selling proposition saying “we have twice the seeds as the other watermelon company!”. In a MMO world that was focusing on convenience, simplicity and play-ability at the time they went the other way. It was something no one was asking for. In fact, if you had a focus group on Watermelon wants and desires I would punch the person in the face that said we need more seeds. It was that silly.
Look, the beta weekends were fun and it had a lot of good going for it. Here is my post history about WildStar and the synopsis around each:
- 2014 Content
- Post 1 – Suprised I hadn’t heard about it until March, 2014. Already called that they had to go F2P to be successful. Before the game even launched.
- Post 2 – Ratings after a beta weekend. It was a tongue in cheek rating system (yay, humour?) but did say there were good things. Even though I recommended not to buy.
- Post 3 – I rebooted EQ as a comparative to WildStar. Talked more about the good things EQ did that WildStar and WoW weren’t. Get off my lawn. This was more about EQ/WoW, but it was tagged WildStar, so it’s here.
- Post 4 – Writing was on the wall before launch. The pre-order game was discounted almost 25% off before launch. That is not a good sign.
- Post 5 – I give some credit where it is due!. Carbine shared class / race information from the beta. I think that companies should be far more open with this kind of information. I still knew it was in trouble, but at least they were good at sharing.
- Post 6 – Beta weekend two was fun. And since the game was heavily discounted, and I was bored, I did pre-order. The Medic class was a fun new take on healing, questing was whimsical, and there was a lot of things going on well to give it a shot. I also expected it to go F2P fast so it was worth a gamble.
- Post 7 – Worried that every class only having one weapon would end up sucking. You could also change “specs” between pulls, and I was worried min/maxers would spend more time changing their skills/abilities than playing. Interesting the Legion made single weapons work pretty well – but obviously not past a single expansion.
- Post 8 – Was the first time I was clear about Betas ruining launches for me. I hate building strength and power to just have it wiped out. I thought I was being clever in WildStar by sticking to only one side during Betas, but levelling to 40 in the Beta tests – well, let’s just say I never got that high again. I was basically playing the game at that point.
- Post 9 – I talked about Raids in general, and how Wildstar is better at math. They had 5, 10, 20, and 40 man content. This makes sense as smaller units can come together to tackle bigger content. Whereas WoW went 5, 10, 25. The scale was off.
- Post 10 – General housing post. WildStar was great here. I did miss shared, guild housing (DAOC) but this was something W* did right.
- Post 11 – On the eve of launch I tried to categorize what a successful launch would look like. I was optimistic. I was hopeful. Sadly, they didn’t hit a single one of the 4 points I had hoped for.
- Post 12 – I was sad I was paying $5 an hour to play I was travelling for work. I had committed to give W* 60 days. That’s an expensive per hour rate.
- Post 13 – No respecs is a dumb idea. WildStar had classes and paths. If you chose a path you ultimately didn’t like, you were denied that portion of the game (which a lot was built around). I knew already they were barely holding onto me.
- Post 14 – Documented the slow and undramatic decline of the game. So close after launch. Writing remained on the wall.
- Post 15 – I cancelled my subscription. No surprise here, but I did give it the old college try of 60 days. I did predict my return when things changed.
- Post 16 – A Rally Cap post – still wishing WildStar well, even after cancelling the sub. Wanted to be clear on that.
- Post 17 – Clarity of failure shared when the top brass at Carbine doubles down on wanting to attract the 1%. If you cater to 1% of the market,which is already a small market, and don’t get all of it, that’s a pretty small opportunity to be successful. Maths carbine, maths!
- Post 18 – The Slow and Undramatic decline became a Fast and Dramatic decline. Sadness and realism ensues.
- Post 19 – 10 ways W* screwed up. Not a slam dunk list but a good list, nonetheless. Albeit a controversial #1
- Post 20 – Oh, what could have been! Stories begin to surface about the design decisions. How it was originally tab targetting, then switched to action far too down the path. Changes too away dev time from polish. This made me sad because tab-targetting might have / would have made it a better game for the MMO crowd. Not the kiddie crowd, the old school, I will support the MMO of my choice thick and thin crowd, though.
- Post 21 – Still holding out on a failing sub model. I encourage them to figure out who they want to be, and then monetize it to be that.
- 2015 Content
- 2016 Content
- Post 24 – I unbury two WildStar posts I had stuck in Drafts. As part of a new mini-series I did to clean out my draft folder.
That’s a lot of content, hope, cynicism and realism all wrapped into a strong posting year about it in 2014. I wanted it to work badly. Most of us just knew it wouldn’t the way it was designed.
I am disappointed I won’t ever learn or experience what happened on Nexus, why the planet was such a big deal. Not sure who Drusera really was, or why the strain happened, or who wins the battle for the planet. There was so much cool about the WildStar and chalk another one up to a bad outcome of timing, decision making, and disappointing results.
Not going to say much due to hype levels – but I played this game pen and paper growing up, it’s by the team that made The Witcher series, and hype levels are currently unhealthy.
Can’t wait. The merge of FPS and RPG in this early reveal looks well done.
I hate the hype train, so going to try and forget about this for a while. No release date yet.