Monday, October 20, 2008

The world is shrinking!

PUG the world seems to be the prevailing motto of most people before the wrath expansion. With the 3.0.2 nerfing instances into oblivion even the most hardcore huntard accompanied by a bunch of ebayers can succesfully beat pretty much any of the current instances.

And it shows. Pugs on sunwell, people running onyxia and molten core, steamrolling Kara,ZA and even BT. Things that previously took a well prepared raiding guild days are now shredded to bits in mere hours. All records for speed-runs have not only been broken but left in the dust. You can literally participate in raids just for the sake of taking a good look at the instance scenery rather than doing anything at all.

Instance bosses have been hit so hard with the nerf bat that half the healers in a raid have taken up DPS-ing to prevent them from dying of boredom.

The coming of the 3.0.2 patch has turned instances that would previously put a frown on even the most experienced raiders into a complete and utter joke.

All this in the guise of 'allowing' casuals to see the higher level instances before wrath hits without caring one shred that come level 80 with level 80 gear the outland instances will be so ridiculously easy that simply no one will ever set foot in them again (other than me and my fellow solo-artists of course).

So instead of actually 'adding' new content with an expansion blizzard has succesfully 'replaced' old content with new content. With practically no reason to run azeroth or even outland instances come wrath and outland instances being too easy to be much of a proving ground for up-and coming raiders we're literally looking at outland becoming just another desolate wasteland.

If northrend didn't have approximately the same amount of zones as outland I'd say our world just shrunk.

In all this I am not necessarily complaining. I have always preferred to solo/duo or otherwise ironman instances so the changes will allow me to continue doing so well after Wrath has been released.

But from a game design perspective I am abhorred. Invalidating content like this by strapping a superior ladder to it is one thing, breaking down the ladder below it so it becomes easier to climb is another thing entirely.

Why would you decrease the difficulty of content when you're facing an increase of strength of your players in the near future?

An expansion should do what it says: Expand. Expand your possibilities, expand the places you can go, expand the experiences you can have. Not invalidate old content and force people onto a new ladder which further down the line would be replaced by another ladder.

In my opinion the world in general seems to be shrinking to what the latest and greatest expansion has to offer.

I am just happy I was never here for the gear. I can't even fathom what people must be feeling after they have spent the better part of the year getting the gear they have only to see people achieve the same thing in just a few nights of farming post 3.0.2.

Funny how that goes... you wake up one glorious morning and find the world shrinking under your feet.

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