Oct 222011

Wow. Well, the announcements this year were a bit more shocking then last, weren’t thay? (Of course, Blizzard did a much better job of controlling leaks this year.) Let me take a look at how my predictions from yesterday fared, then I’ll go over my thoughts (briefly) about today’s news.

There will be pandas, but they will not be playable: Well, I almost totally whiffed on this one. I couldn’t see a fair way they could give Pandaren to one side or the other (they couldn’t either, so chose both). Call it a quarter-point for being right on pandas.

No new classes: I figured the balance changes for adding a new class would be too much work (apparently not). No points here.

Talents significantly overhauled; trees eliminated, three talent families to spend points in, limitations on leveling players, specializations kept: Overall, I mostly nailed the changes here. They were a bit more radical then I thought; I figured you’d still be choosing talents within a spec, not a common talent choice for all specs. Three quarters of a point.

LOTRO-style skirmish system, merc that you can customize/equip: Well, I got the “new thing you can customize” right, though the actual thing was wrong. I never would have guessed WoW pokemon, but this is a genius move by Blizzard. I also was sort of right about skirmishes. Half-point, with a bonus point next year if I’m right about it being cut before launch. :)

Dance studio announced, not as impressive as expected: Maybe still an incomplete, but I figured they would have featured it at Blizzcon if they were at least planning on it, so, no. No points.

Total: 1.5/5. Go me!

Anyway, on to the other news I found interesting, in no particular order:

No flying until max level: Big ups here. You don’t really experience the content if you can just skip it with flying mounts. It’s probably worth further discussion, but I’d argue that unrestricted flying has been a net negative for the game.

Monks: Probably the most predicted idea for a new class. Love the idea, especially the idea of no auto-attacks. I’d love to see them take the leap to removing auto-attacks for all classes. As it stands now, autoattack is just a persistent DoT that requires melee range to function.

New talent system: Love the idea, but there will still be “cookie-cutter” builds, they’ll just be a lot easier to type out. :) I have a further discussion coming on the talent system in this week’s Shifting column on WoWI.

Challenge mode dungeons: Very cool idea, though I wish they’d implement solo Challenges. I also am STRONGLY against the idea of challenge mode dungeons being accessible through the Dungeon Finder. Why? Imagine you start an 5v5 arena team. You find some other people who want to play, work hard, get beat up a bit, and eventually rise to a rating roughly equal to your level of skill. Now imagine a different person who clicks a queue button and gets put on an arena team filled with a bunch of other good players, and he is instantly rated the same. You get the picture, I hope. Thankfully, there’s no gear rewards, and you have to specifically queue for Challenge mode, which should help prevent, um, “motive mismatches.”

Pet battles: Meh. It’s WoW Pokemon. If you like Pokemon, great. If you don’t, don’t. Hopefully, there’s no in-game reward to make me feel like I have to do it.

Four specs for druids: No more bearcat. I’m quite sad, though I expected it (I expected it for Cata, actually). Those level 90 talents look very interesting, though…

Pandas: My first reaction? Nerdrage. “THEY REALLY DID PANDAS OMG THIS GAME JUST JUMPED THE SHARK!” Now that I’ve thought about it a little more, though, my thoughts have changed a little bit. I started playing WoW in earnest almost three years ago. I was a geographical bachelor (long story), and looking for a community. I became a hardcore player. I would have HATED Pandas then.

Now? A little over a year ago, my wife and I had a large fight over where my priorities lay. I walked away from the game that day, and came back, much later, as a *cough* “casual.” Today, I have a three-year old son, who I haven’t seen in several months…and according to my wife, he’s crazy about pandas. One part of my brain scoffs, “a perk called ‘Bouncy?’ That’s so lame!” The other part, though, is envisioning him laughing over the rolls and spinning kicks.


Go Team Panda! (Except when you roll on feral gear.)

Day 2 thoughts tomorrow.

  11 Responses to “Blizzcon 2011 Prediction Review and Day 1 Thoughts”

  1. I was about to say “don’t you mean Guardian gear?” but then realized I’m not on Reesi’s blog ^_^
    One thing I did feel they’ve snuck under the radar though was the ‘gear flattening’, and the fact that stats will be lowered significantly across the board, so our characters will have way less strength, agility, intellect, health and mana across the board at release. No more soloing for me ='(

  2. I agree with you to an extent about flying, but I’d also argue that it’s far far more convenient flying then spending forever running around on some slow forgotten land mount (lest we forget how bad leveling was before). Especially when you get into leveling alts, then it just becomes boring and ridiculous you have to wade through more “scenary” just to get from point A to point B when all you want is your alt to get to max level to enjoy that content since you already went through it once. At the very least, a sort of “heirloom” flight license for you to purchase for alts once your main hits 90 (like what WotLK eventually introduced) so you don’t have to do the boring trek on land again would be a nice option.

    Also, give WC3 a spin, Pandaren are awesome. Don’t invoke images of Kung Fu Panda or whatever, as Pandaren have existed long before. And they like a good brew like dwarves as well.

  3. Indeed, pandas have been a part og the Warcraft IP since the 90’s! Samwise made sketches of them back in ’99 (sonsofthestorm.com).

    I think a lot of ppl forget that sillyness and humor is an integrated part of Warcraft – at it’s heart, it’s not a very serious game. They need to keep feeding that to make a useful contrast to the darker sides of the franchise. And if you don’t agree on that accessment, go have a chat with your engineering cow buddies in Thunderbluff or play the start zones of gnomes/goblins!

  4. The thing that made feral fun for me was that you could switch cat and still be pretty good.
    So i guess if i still play by then i have to check out how fun monk tanking will be.

    • They say there will still be a tie between cat/bear trees, we’ll have to see how “Hybridy” it feels when more info comes out.

  5. So what do pandas really mean? So kids like them and very casual players that just wanted to collect pets like them. That means the target audiance for WOW has officially changed.

    Why did Lucas put Ewoks (SW pandas) in his movie? To get kids to come see it and for marketing. But it backfired as did Jar Jar Binks. BTW I heard a rumor that the final boss in 5.0 will be a Jar Jar type character that trips over the tank and falls on the healers causing a wipe.

    Thing is including pandas sends a real message to the community. Couple that with the talent changes, gear changes, ease of playing etc and you get a game designed for 6 year olds.

    Thank God Skyrim is comming out in 18 days.

  6. It seems that the introduction video over on youtube got 50% dislikes. That compares to about 7% dislikes for the Cata intro and just 1.6% dislikes for the Wrath intro video.

    Not sure how this expansion will go with 50% of the people looking at your intro video voting that they dislike it.

    • How does 17,000 dislikes out of 2.5 million views somehow equate to 50% of the player base disliking it from the get go? Don’t understand all the bitching about them considering they’ve been in the lore since WC3 and have been the single most requested thing for WoW since, well, up until MoP was announced. Not to mention complaining about them somehow making aimed at kids when already it has talking cows, space goats, gnomes, and goblins, is packed full of poop jokes, and silly crap.

      I wonder about the cat/bear separation, hopefully there’s still some hybrid-ness in MoP.

      • Sorry but comparing the dislikes to total views is not the same thing. When I checked on this a few days ago the number of dislikes compared to LIKES were almost the same number.

        I could just have easily claimed that all the viewers that viewed the movie and didn’t vote like must have hated it. Both arguments are false.

        Same argument can be said about Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars. There were lots of other things in Star Wars but were ewoks not silly or pandering? As for lore they were included as a joke. But then again WOW was never big on lore so I never argued that point.

        • No what you got is 34,000 (your likes and dislikes) people with way too much time on their hands, and the other 2 million plus giving a giant shrug…sure why not and not bothering to click like or dislike.

          Trying to make any conclusion off likes or dislikes is flawed. I watch Youtube all the time and have never used the like or dislike buttons since they serve no fucking purpose for me >.< And shockingly enough thats the same attitude of the majority of people who use youtube. Thats why out of 2m + views you had less than %1 click the buttons.

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