I seriously cannot believe BlizzCon is only two months or so away again. It really feels like just yesterday we were all hanging out by the pool at the Anabella or listening to Chris Metzen tell us what geek was. Ah, the good ol' days of 2010. Anyway, it's BlizzCon or bust again for me, and I am already hyping myself up to stupid amounts, excited to see friends, meet more fans, and order more pizzas to the hotel room. I am getting excited.
What happened to having more frequent patches but with smaller amounts of content in each?
We don't know, really. If I had to guess, I think that Blizzard fell into the hole of its regular patch cycle again, where everyone wants to keep adding features until the thing becomes a big, bloated patch again. Features are great, and saying "this is the biggest update to the game yet" is great, but it also means that once someone has finished the available content, they move on to another game.
Honestly, I like the six- to seven-boss paradigm that Firelands has created for raiding content, and if we get this many bosses every three to four months, heroic modes included, I think it's enough at the top tier. As for PVE content like the Molten Front and other Firelands-specific content, Blizzard put in a lot of fun rewards and vendors and stuff, which kept me happy for all of the month and a half it took me to hammer out all of those dailies and get my mount and title. Now, I'm ready for more, and farming old content for transmog sets does not count as content.
Is it just me, or does this seem incredibly soon for the final patch and end boss of this expansion? I know that ICC lasted us quite a while but we did get a lot of bang for our buck with that expansion...I only actually got bored during the final few months before Cataclysm. But with this expansion, everything just feels so rushed or half-arsed that I've actually ended up getting fairly bored and distracted quite often.
Is that just me?
It isn't just you. It does feel odd that the expansion is "coming to an end" so early, but it really isn't, because this patch isn't coming out tomorrow. We've still got a good while until patch 4.3 is at our feet, and the full feature list isn't even out yet. Plus, Blizzard has said that it wants more expansions with shorter life cycles, so this is the first step in that.
The big problem with the great experiment called Cataclysm was that most of the new content that the expansion brought players was a new (and really great) 1-60 experience. The level 80-85 zones suffered because there weren't enough of them to hold the majority of players, and people didn't really see leveling an alt as new content. It was something that had to be done to facilitate new players, sure, but the fact is that this was not an expansion aimed at higher-level players, in the end.
What does this mean? Well, my prediction is either the next expansion is as big and expansive as Wrath was or we get smaller, shorter expansions with year-and-a-half life cycles (as opposed to two to three years).
In regards to the new tanking threat changes, GC states "we want to shift more tank mitigation to require active management". Why would they buff tank threat *now* but without any of the other desired changes needed to keep tanking "fun"? I don't tank raids, but I still pride myself on my tanking abilities in dungeons and I don't want to be bored tanking waiting for my abilities to be updated to make tanking fun again.
The change to threat was not really a tank change so much as a DPS and quality of life change for tanks in random queues. New tanks were being discouraged from ever tanking because they would queue up, pop into the dungeon, and get yelled at by DPS who couldn't slow their roll for 5 seconds while a new tank learned the ropes. Well-geared DPS who weren't giant tools still could just auto-attack and rip threat off of an undergeared tank. This was discouraging and bad.
Now, with the increase to threat, players can worry about aggro rather than threat and just play the game and have fun, where tanks can do their job and DPS can do theirs. Threat generation isn't going to make tanking fun or ever did make tanking fun; it's a clunky mechanic made to give tanks something to do. Now, encounters have become dynamic enough where we have to move, fight, grab adds, kite bosses, etc., that holding threat as well just wasn't compelling to people new to the role.
Since it was announced that one of the new dungeons will feature the War of the Ancients as a Caverns of Time scenario, and humans weren't really around by that time, what race do you think are we getting transformed into? Night elfs? Demons? Dragons? ... Raptors?
I really hope it's raptors.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!