I’m kinda torn here. I did say over, and over, and over again that I thought that Cataclysm would be the high water mark for World of Warcraft. That it would jump the shark there and be on its way out. And, by all accounts, I was right about that. Subscriptions have been on the decline, and the grumbling has gotten louder.
One of the current concerns is the “dumbing down” of WoW. I know, a month or two ago I would have been laughing too – how do you dumb down the dumbest and simplest mainstream MMO on the market? But awhile back, I got in on the unlimited free trial, ostensibly to see how some of the areas had changed, and found that all the abilities had been overhauled as well. I went digging for information and found that this was indeed the dumbing down that had been referenced. And it is true in a literal sense – Warlocks no longer need Soul Shards to summon pets for instance. But I was stunned at how much more I enjoyed the classes, and found myself nodding in positive directions at the changes I had seen. I liked the streamlining of the abilities, and the new starter areas are well done for the most part – will special kudos to the new Troll and Undead starting areas.
And that’s why I’m torn. As WoW continues down the backside of its career, the moves it is making seem to be, to me, all the right ones. I know I am in the minority in that, by the way. No argument there. But I can’t help it, I approve of what they are doing…
Which is why I almost felt better today when I read that they were doing away with Talent Trees. Or at least, the traditional version of them. I read the article, and agreed, that’s a terrible idea. The talent tress are fun and allow someone to invest in personalizing their character, a great move. To get only one talent point and three choices every 15 levels? You must be joking, that’s a terrible idea!
But then in the comments someone gave a link and a simple suggestion. Did you bother looking at how the new talent system actually works? I hadn’t, so to be fair, I jumped right on over to see the fail up close and personal.
A pox on you Blizzard. That’s actually rather brilliant. I *like* the new Talent System. I like the streamlining, I like the “dumbing down”. What is wrong with me? What is to keep me from subscribing to WoW and starting all over again in the grand golden standard of MMO gaming!
Oh, right. That.