Saturday, 23 July 2011

See your trainer

So, Erom has finally made it to the giddy heights of level 10 in my rusty man challenge. So far, there hasn't been a fight that Arcane Shot + an angry pig can't handle. It hasn't seemed particularly slow, either.

So why does it all feel so unsatisfying? Well, without the little rewards that come from new pieces of gear, abilities and talents, the game feels pointless. Considering how I've mocked those who play for gear, not challenge, this is deeply hypocritical.

Without the new toys every half hour or so, the incredibly repetitive nature of the content itself becomes more obvious than a naked elf on a mailbox (and Cataclysm levelling is quite good by the standards of the genre). By adding new skills and talents every few levels, this gets disguised - the encounters seem different because we have more buttons to press, even though the mobs themselves are almost identical.

I wonder if that's a clue to bringing some of the interest back to the solo game - make the encounters much more different. If anything, Cataclysm has taken a step in the other direction - for example, fire elementals are no longer immune to fire. Make the poison from scorpions hit like a truck, so that dispelling it is worth the bother; make melee mobs nasty enough for ranged types so that they have to kite, rather than simply spell them in the face. Anything to make different encounters need different tactics.


  1. I too bemoan the 'dumbing down' of leveling content. Another blogger pointed out that WoW today consists of 2 separate games.
    The first game is like watching TV, you press button A & B, ding levels, watch cutscenes go by and generally run on autopilot.
    Then there is the second game. You hit 85 and suddenly you have to function in groups, gather gear, do grinds and turn your brain on.

    Blizzard DID do a good job with the level redesign. Level flow is much more balanced, zones are properly scaled for good leveling progression.

    Its just a shame that the quests within the zones are so dull and repetitive, and could be done (as you have found out) by a toon with no gear pushing a single button over and over again.
    Gone are the interesting mobs (save for the odd rare elite - who aren't even very elite), gone are the areas of elite mobs, challenging group quests.

    Get quest - Find mobs - Push buttons A,B,A,B,A,B - Loot - hand in quest. Repeat.

    Pavlov (and his dog) would be proud.

    Ellifain @ Khaz'Goroth

  2. Ellifain

    You couldn't dig out a link to that other blog, could you? I'd like to read it.

    I hesitate to say that you can go through the whole levelling process this way yet. I suspect it is, but I'll hold off final judgement until I've actually done it. Which may be a while, as it's rather boring.


  4. I'd forgotten than Gevlon post, thanks.