Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Patches! We don't need no stinking patches!

Game: World of Warcraft
Subject: Patch 2.0.1 (Pre-Burning Crusade)

Wow, just wow. There are so many new implementations here that my head spins just thinking about it. Let’s take this one at a time by the things I have currently experienced after the patch.

PVP: The changes in PvP caused a massive influx of people logging in to the battlegrounds. I have screenshots that show damn near 200 open battlegrounds on each instance. (Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley) For those of you who don’t PvP or play WoW let me explain.
Warsong Gulch (WSG) – Classic CTF (Capture the Flag) each team tries to grab one another’s flag and return it to their flag (which must be present to capture). By far the Horde dominates this market, I rarely win a WSG.
Arathi Basin (AB) – Capture Objectives, in order to win this battleground you have to accumulate 2000 resources first. To do that you have to capture several of five objectives; the farm, the blacksmith, the lumber mill, the stables and the mine are the five buildings in question. Again, the horde usually dominates this arena. It’s hard to get your team to split into three groups and hold three objectives.
Alterac Valley (AV) – Capture buildings; kill the opposing faction’s commander. This is fun but repetitive just like the others. The alliance seems to dominate this one but I think that this is because of geography more than anything.

Honor System: I enjoyed my brief boost of honor, not enough to get the full pvp set but I did get my PvP mount. (I can’t afford to train the riding yet though) I don’t agree with the reduction in honor points that I have heard about. Blizzard made PvP too popular and now they are taking the candy away from the babies out there that can’t handle their advantage being taken away. I didn’t pick up any of the set yet, and as a matter of fact I don’t even have my full dungeon set (The Magister’s Regalia). I for one would love to have the whole set in a week, but I know why blizzard has reduced the honor rewards. Balancing the game is great but the whiny ass-mites out there are going to complain until they’re blue in the face.
PvP Rewards: Ah the smell of a new set of Epic Armor. The prices are high but with the amount of honor you were gaining before you could have gotten your whole set in a week or two with no issues. No problems with the rewards changes all-in-all. Maybe too many marks required? Any commentary on that?

Talents, Mage, Frost: I love my frost mage; ice spells give more mob and crowd control options to keep your enemies ether slow or off you entirely. It is average in PvP as most times you have to focus on who does the most damage first. The new frost talents are useful for the most part.

Talents, Hunter, Marksmanship: Damage, damage and more damage. I can 3-5 shot the ‘squishy’ classes every time. The sheer amount of damage possible with hunters is sickening even for someone who plays them. I like it.

Looking For Group: I personally love the looking for group system. The players, on the other hand, tend to leave the group if you don’t have more than two people in already. (Which defeats the purpose of the tool, idiots.) If players would stick around more it would be better but right now no one is using it as much as they should.

Problems: As with all software and patches on such a grand scale problems are to be expected. So are the inevitable complaints. It takes someone who knows absolutely nothing to make such crass and unfounded commentary. Here are some things to remember.

1.) Compatibility: With so many different types of computer equipment out there the combination of software vs. hardware is enough to make any programmer want to hurl and refrain from finishing his super-genius-mega software package. Even if you test all of the manufactured computers out there remember that there are people that have built their own rigs, and who says an active Photoshop dll file can’t conflict with World of Warcraft?

2.) Backwards Compatibility: You could come up with a wonderful feature with your software, but what happens when someone forgets to include support (or functionality) with something else that already exists?

3.) Human Error: Anyone who bitches about Blizzard not getting their patches right is effectively claiming that their shit doesn’t stink. It does. You can’t be right all the time; I am the epitome of Murphy’s Law. I also program. Do the math.

4.) Scale: Remember something else here: This is, for the most part, a GLOBAL launch (don’t bitch in semantics; I don’t care if X country can’t subscribe to WoW. Everyone who plays wow, around the ‘globe’ is getting this patch.) That’s a staggering feat.

This patch marks the first step in the giant leap that will be the Burning Crusade. Flying mounts, new dungeons, new races, new quests, new content, new items and new fun! My wife and I have preordered the Collector’s Edition of the Burning Crusade from We can’t wait.

All-in-all, from what I have seen Blizzard has done a good job at implementing the new changes. No one is perfect in any respect though, they will iron out the bugs.

A general opinion on PvP and Factions: It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that a large majority of the alliance players out there are kids or like the asthesic value of pretty characters and scenery. (Don’t get me wrong, I love great scenery and even my wife says that the boobs on the alliance females are great.) I think that’s why the horde wins more battles, they are older, and more experienced and can follow orders. It makes things easier when your team mates can follow orders. Raids usually work out better when people follow orders and have the common sense to do what the leader is doing.

How hard is it to stick together in groups of five in AB? How hard is it to have someone defend the flag in WSG? How hard is it to STICK TOGETHER in AV? Show-boating just gets everyone screwed. The more I type the more agitated I get. I hate it when people don’t follow orders like they should.

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