Tuesday, June 15, 2010

News Filter: Cataclysm Downgraded To Catastrophe

  • I should know better than to post on the same subject as Green Armadillo. Nonetheless, I can't help but weigh in on the recent press deluge about the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft. Or at least one bit specifically.

  • MMO-Champion, as always, has a good round-up of the particulars. Many of the announcements are Blizzard hyping the instanced content and nailing down more information about rated battlegrounds. And they also informed us the Path of the Titans and Guild Talents had been one-shotted, so they would not appear in the expansion. I mention guild talents for the sake of completism, but I was never that excited about the system. It seemed like a neat idea, but the objections were valid.

  • No, the one new thing in the new expansion I was most interested in was the Path of the Titans. (Not that I was terribly excited. More WoW is more WoW. For good or ill.) I know that I'll be leveling a new character. I'll take my mage to the new level cap and maybe see a few dungeons. But I'm not going to raid (unless random raiding really does come true). I don't like to PvP. And daily questing is a horrible grind. So I was looking forward to something that was at least a little else to occupy my time.

  • I was a little interested to see how Blizzard would handle alternate advancement. Like anything you tack onto an MMO, it has the possibility to unbalance the game. I have more than once heard complains from podcasters how you can level to the cap in EQ2, but be terribly behind in AAs, therefore useless in endgame content. That's not something I want to see in WoW, but I'm sure Blizzard could have figured out how to hit the right balance.

  • But more than that, Path of the Titans would have been an additional goal for those of us who don't buy into the raid endgame. Maybe that too much to ask for from an MMO. Or at least too much to ask from from WoW. But it's unfortunate to see that glimmer of hope dashed so quickly.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. I was disappointed in the axing of Path of the Titans too. Like you said, for better or for worse, that was the one new feature of Cataclysm that I most looking forward to and felt was actually interesting. With it gone now, I gotta say I'm little less impressed by the expansion than I was before. They really shouldn't have announced such an ambitious new feature until they knew they could implement it.

  2. Ok, I'll be the voice of dissent. I think making archeology an optional side skill that lets you explore the lore of the game is pretty neat. WoW does have some interesting lore and story lines, but each expansion has garbled it more and more. Having a coherent world took a back seat to whatever game mechanics they felt like jamming in a long time ago.

    For example, when they decided a race of "kindly space demons" would join the Alliance, they pretty much announced that they didn't give the first crap about cohesive world design. There are also holes in the back story of Death-knights you could drive a truck through.

    Having an optional skill that only exists to help you uncover the lore of WoW is a hopeful sign to me. It implies that there will be a back story better than what the average 12 year old could come up with to uncover.

    I was personally exited about the system as originally as described. But to my peculiar tastes a totally optional side game focused on lore and cosmetic items is even more cool sounding.

  3. @ MMOGamerChick - Green Armadillo had it right when he referred to the announcement as public brainstorming. I just hope it doesn't end up on the box like the Dance Studio did.

    @ Yeebo - I can always count on you to be the voice of reason. If Archeology ends up still being cool on its own, that could be something fun to do. I'm not one of those people who neglects their secondary skills, so it is nice to have something new to tackle.

  4. Yeah, public brainstorming. Sometimes can prove to be a treat, but oftentimes also leads to disappointments. Ah well, c'est la vie.

    And thanks to Yeebo for pointing out archaeology. To be honest, I haven't been following WoW expansion news the way I used to and I'd forgotten the details of a lot of other features they brainstormed, and archaeology was one of them. I was an anthro major so I have to admit it does sound pretty cool, but the Path of the Titans as originally described was still way more awesome :P