Posts Tagged ‘wrath of the lich king’

Hey folks. Today I’ll be writing a bit about the last World of Warcraft Expansion, Cataclysm. With the release date for Mists of Pandaria quickly approaching, and the release of the cinematic trailer at GamesCom today, I must say that I am pretty stoked. Now I will admit that the trailer wasn’t as epic as the Wrath of the Lich King one but its was still pretty cool. I’m really excited to see how the new talent system works. I’ve messed with some different builds on the talent calculators just to see what I think i may like but only time will tell on that. There’s gonna be plenty of time to talk about MoP in the coming months so I’m gonna get to ranting about Cataclysm.

Now there really was a lot of wicked content to check out in Cata. The entire two original WoW continents Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor both got completely revamped. They look wicked as hell. Personal favorite change to the look is the giant fissure in the middle of the Barrens. Looks awesome. What this redesign of the original continents did was allow Blizzard to completely rework the level 1-60 content. While I am a huge altoholic and didn’t mind leveling a bunch of characters I did feel that certain zones seemed to drag on forever. I definitely understand a lot of people’s points of view that the leveling process was painstakingly boring. The 1-60 content is now some of the best stuff in the game. They definitely learned a lot about quest design over previous few expansions and I felt that they made questing in Azeroth much more fun.

The zones to get from 80-85 definitely had a lot of really cool stuff and some stuff… Not so much… I really enjoyed some of the new zones and others I couldn’t wait to be finished with. The ones that I enjoyed were, Mount Hyjal, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. With Hyjal I just found that for the most part the quests and story lines were pretty cool. For most of my 85s I leveled through there instead of Vashj’ir. Twilight highlands I also really enjoyed because there was planty of really cool questlines there. I especially enjoyed the quest line towards the end that dealt with Alexstrasza and the Wyrmrest Accord. Always enjoyed the Wyrmrest stuff. My favorite zone back in Wrath of the Lich King was Dragonblight.

In Uldum a lot of players felt that control was taken away from them and didn’t enjoy all the cinematic breaks that happened. I am completely fine with the more cinematic experience. I felt that it really help to immerse me in the story for the zone and what was going on. The Harrison Jones quests were pretty damned funny. I do understand why some people wouldn’t like the more cinematic approach. Some people just don’t care about the story and want to tear through to max level as fast as they can. That’s cool. I get that. For me even tho I just wanna hit cap, I still love to be immersed in the world and the lore.

The other two zones, Vashj’ir and Deepholm, I really was not a fan of. Vashj’ir is a water level. I’ve always disliked water levels. In any game. I’m trying to think of a single example from other games that had a water level that I actually enjoyed and I can’t think of one. Don’t get me wrong, there actually were some cool parts to the zone. I actually really enjoyed the big fight at the Abyssal Breach at the end of the quest line for the zone. For the most part, I found the zone to be pretty tedious and boring. With Deepholm it’s not that the zone wasn’t fun, it’s that in order to get the shoulder enchants for my characters I HAD to quest through there. I’m not really a fan of forced content. I found myself leveling to 85 with the new heirloom gear and completely forgetting about shoulder chants and had to go back and finish up the quests just to get them. Not so bad the first or second time but once I got tot the fourth and fifth time through it I really started to dislike the zone. Like Vashj’ir there were parts of Deepholm that I did enjoy but overall my experiences there were not very pleasant.

Next up I want to get into the 5 man dungeons. Blizzard did attempt to make the heroic 5 mans a little more challenging by adding in elements that made CC an important part of them like back in Burning Crusade. I did enjoy that. Except for in random q where no one know wtf a CC was or how to avoid constantly breaking them. Despite whatever nerfs or changes they made i felt the Cata 5 mans just weren’t as well designed as previous expansions. I could sit for hours back in Wrath doing nothing but random 5 mans even after I didn’t need any gear or emblems. To me it seemed that the majority of them were a lot of fun and very well designed. In Cata i really felt quite the opposite. I dreaded queuing for them. Partially because I was worried about what kind of group I would get but also because I thought they were pretty boring. Having at least 5 level 85s I really developed quite a distaste for them. I’ve tried numerous times to figure out what it is about them that just turned me off so much. No clue. They just don’t feel right? I guess that’s the best way I can describe it. Whatever it may be I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

Of course you can’t talk about the things you liked or didn’t like about a WoW expansion without go on for a bit about raiding. There was definitely a mixed bag of good and bad here. I just want to start this part by saying what many others have already. Raid Finder should have been in with the launch of Cataclysm. I think that it’s a great feature that allows many people that don’t have raiding guilds or enjoy raiding and want something quick and easy to run through each week something to do. They at least got it in and am looking forward to having it available right out of the gate with MoP. Having it release with the third and final tier of raids(which in my opinion is the weakest of all the raid content in Cata) to me was a bit aggravating. I enjoyed the tier 11 raids the most. I found that there were some really cool fights in tier 11. Conclave of Wind in Throne of the Four Winds is a favorite of mine. The platform swapping between the three bosses and having to kill them all within a minute of one another was really cool. I also really enjoyed the Omnitron Defense System, and Nefarian in the Blackwing descent raids. Of course there were a few of the fights in the tier that I wasn’t a big fan of but overall I thought that it was pretty well done.

Tier 12 is where stuff started to get weird. First off the trash clearing. What the crap. I understand that there’s gonna be trash mobs kicking around raids and clearing it is a part of the game. Having to clear enough trash for one of the bosses to spawn was kind of a pain in the ass. The best thing about this tier of raiding was that some of the gear pieces looked bad ass as hell. The difficulty pacing that was just all over the place. The interior of the Firelands raid did look pretty cool but it has to be one of my least favorite raids in all of WoW. I’ll have to take a peek at my achieves later but I can’t remember if I ever ended up finishing Firelands. It was around the time that my account had run out and resubbing to go trudging through the Firelands wasn’t reason enough.

Tier 13. Dragon Soul. Really that’s it? When I heard that one of the fights with Deathwing that you would be standing on his back I got really excited and thought that would be epic. Not so much. I honestly thought that with the impending apocalypse that Blizz would have pulled out all the stops and gone balls to the wall with this raid. Not the epic finale to an expansion like i thought it would be. A lackluster ending to what i feel was a pretty cool arcing story throughout the expansion. The ultimate bad guy. More dangerous than anything Azeroth has ever seen. Let’s put a raid together with rehashed boss models, have the second last fight more difficult than the actual final showdown between the heroes of Azeroth, the dragon aspects and the biggest big bad the World of Warcraft has ever seen. I guess after really enjoying most of the raids in Wrath so much that in comparison i felt they dropped the ball.

This sounds like a giant QQ about how much Cata sucked. Not the case. While I did have issues with some of the content that we got to experience with the expansion, I did have a lot of fun. The game itself to me has never really lost its fun factor despite my gripes with certain aspects of the content. A lot of people have gotten bored with WoW over the years and moved on to other titles. That’s cool. You gotta play what you like. I still have a lot of fun with WoW even after all these years. There’s plenty more I could go on about when it comes to Cata but this is one long ass rant. The last thing I will mention is about the new races. Worgen – Really cool. If I actually played Alliance I would totally have rolled one. Goblin – I love my Goblin. It’s pretty much become my main at this point.

/rant

Phew… This really is a long one… What are some of the things you did or didn’t like about Cataclysm? What features are you looking forward to the most from MoP? Let me know!

Thanks for reading folks.

-FMG-

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So with SWTORs patch 1.2 on the horizon, I’ve messed around quite a bit on the Public Test Server. One of the greatest features coming our way is the fully customizable UI. While the current incarnation is good, there are a few things that I’ve found a little bothersome. Little things like the Voidstar Warzone map covering part of my quickbar on the right side. Nothing majorly game breaking but enough to be an annoyance at times.

While I was spending a ridiculous amount of time messing with different setups it got me thinking about my UI configurations in my games over the years. Even before I got into MMOs I was downloading UI skins for Counter-Strike. I always liked playing with add ons and options to make things fit me better. Back in City of Heroes/Villains I completely moved everything I could around to fit what I was used to. The default for that game had the quickbars along the top and I was more used to having it across the bottom so I would rearrange everything.

Moving on to World of Warcraft. That’s when I really got into UI tweaking. With the plethora of different add ons available I would test out as many as I could to find which I felt the most comfortable with. Towards the end of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion I think I was running around 30 different add ons. I had everything from threat meters, to scrolling combat text and things to change the general look of everything. I spent about twenty-five minutes digging through every folder I could find to see if I had any old screenshots from then but I couldn’t find any. I looked pretty drastically different that the standard UI. With there being so many UI add ons for WoW out there I would sometimes watch WoW footage videos just to see how people would set up their UI. A lot of times they would list the add ons used or people would sometimes ask in comments.

I must say that I was a little disappointed that you couldn’t even scale down the size of the UI in SWTOR at the start. Having toyed with so many UI add ons before I already know what type of things I look for with customization. With the built in options for SWTOR it gives me almost everything that I could want. Everyone has very different ways to set up their UI. I personally don’t like clutter on my screen. So what I do usually is move as much as I can to the bottom area as much as possible. Here’s a quick shot of one of the setups that I did. This will most likely be how I place things once 1.2 is live. I messed around with a few other setups but this one seemed to work the best for me and felt most the most comfortable.

A few things not shown on the shot are are the party/Ops frames, tool tip popup and the warzone scoreboards. Since you will only ever see the WZ scoreboards one at a time those are stacked up in the upper right corner. My party/Ops frames are tucked down on the bottom left corner and my tool tip is actually detached from the mini map and stuck in the bottom right corner where my quest log is. It does overlap but when I need to see it covers the quest log but I probably won’t need to be looking at both simultaneously. I had one setup with the tool tips still on the bottom corner but the quest log was about the middle on the right side of the screen but I didn’t really like it there very much. I don’t like having a lot of things cluttering up my field of view.

Here’s a shot of the interface editor so you can see where everything is that isn’t showing. Everything tucked nicely together leaving my field of view pretty much clear.
I’m sure once it’s on the live servers that I will tweak it a bit more. Once I play around with it on my 50s I’m sure I’ll find little things to change or things that I don’t like. For now this seemed like a good setup.

Just to show and example of how very different people set up their UI, Larry Everett aka @Shaddoe from Massively wrote a post and also made a video showing his UI setup from the PTS. Drastically different from my setup with action bars in the middle top area of the screen. Here’s the link to the post. The video is at the bottom. Great article. Check it out. Hyperspace Beacon: Gooey GUI

How do you like you UI set up? What kind of setup is most comfortable for you? Doesn’t matter the game. Send me screenshots to thefullmetalgamer@gmail.com or post them on the FMG Facebook. It will be really fun to see the many variations and preferences. If i get enough I will put a big post together showing as many varying setups as I can.

Thanks a lot for reading.

-FMG-