World of Warcraft Is Now Too Hard
Something I’m discovering as I’m slowly playing more of the Cataclysm expansion is how much tougher the new level 80+ dungeons are than any of their predecessors. Personally I welcome the challenge but unfortunately it seems that a lot of players just don’t have the stomach for it. Whether it’s because they’ve been conditioned to the blind face-roll that was previous WoW dungeons or spoilt by the fact that they everyone they grouped with before already had the best available gear, this new challenge aspect to the game is definitely causing quite a stir. Have Blizzard unknowingly shot themselves in the foot by trying to make things more difficult?
It’s certainly polarised the community and, whilst some people (like myself) are thoroughly enjoying having to think again, others are finding it a hard adjustment. Personally I relish going into a new dungeon for the first time, having to watch what I pull and how I fight, figuring out boss tactics and actually using a bit of skill. Who cares if we die on a boss? It’s hardly a chore to respawn right outside the dungeon 10 seconds later and then use the teleporter within it to return to your last location.
When I’m fortunate enough to get a group of like minded individuals it’s a blast and I probably have the best times in WoW I’ve had since I started playing it. Random PUGs are full of banter and chat (for the first time ever) and there’s a real buzz in the party. It’s like playing a completely different game… or even one with a traditional, helpful old school community.
Unfortunately though not everyone sees it that way and a good proportion of the peeps I’ve encountered (I’d say at roughly 50% of my groups) are still stuck in the pre-Cataclysm mentally of expecting everything to be a straight forward cake walk in the cake park. As a tank, it’s not unknown for me to be on the receiving end of silly critisicm such as people expecting to me have full appropriate level epic gear (huh? at level 82? in a brand new expansion?) or expecting me to prop up the entire party without realising that now DPS are required to think as well and the healer’s mana isn’t infinite like it used to be.
Side note: curiously enough almost all negative comments come the damage dealers and I usually find that the oh so witty response of “this coming from the pussy who plays DPS” normally shuts them up. Still, I don’t gripe as the lovely complements I do get make tanking all worthwhile.
The absolute massively gigantically insane leap in gear power hasn’t helped matters either and there isn’t a person in my guild who hasn’t replaced almost all of their level 80 epic gear by level 83 at the latest. Green quest rewards and random drops are more potent than some of the best gear we used to get (note to self: draft article about why I dislike itemisation as progression) and the blue dungeon drops frankly blow everything old out of the water. Of course this means that acquiring the appropriate gear for level 80+ is a real rat race and often players get trapped in the cycle of not having “good enough” gear to do a dungeon which, ironically, would net them the gear they need.
The Dungeon Finder is a real mixed blessing at this level too as it can prove to be a fantastic way to experience group content or an equally fantastic way to experience the retarded dregs of the community. It’s actually quite comical how many people will cycle through dungeons until they find the “right” group as opposed to just giving one a shot and see how it pans out. I had a funny instance today in which the same DPS player cycled in and out of our dungeon about three times (I of course took every opportunity to jeer at him each time he arrived).
So all-in-all it’s a rather funny situation the game finds itself in and personally I’m looking forward to seeing what will break first. Will the community start to realise that this is a new age for WoW, one that requires cooperation, thought and teamwork or will Blizzard get scared and nerf the dungeons before people start to leave?
Although I do recognise that it’s a bit jarring to go from easy – easy – easy – SUPER HARD over night, I am hoping that Blizzard will stick to their guns and keep things tough. Frankly, it will do wonders for the community. Eventually.