Random comments about World of Warcraft I’m writing in various threads (specifically over at Grimwell) that could be interesting for who still hasn’t tried the game:
WoW surely gives you a lot, a lot more tools than, say, DAoC. Where you really are limited in what you can do. This makes the combat more creative and strategic, in particular if you consider the death system that pushes you to try something new in how you fight.
I’m playing mostly solo and I didn’t even care to grab many skills that are group-related (that are under the berserk and defensive stance, which I don’t use). Right now my default behaviour is:
1- Charge a mob (it stuns it for a pair of seconds and builds up my rage)
2- Use the shout that weakens the mob’s attacks (with the rage I got above)
3- Land two normal attacks
4- Use the shout that boosts my attacks
5- Apply DOT
6- Spam the damage style
6a – Use the reactive style when it lights up in the interface
6b – Use the stun style if the mob is a caster and casting effects appear on it
Parry, dodge and block are done automatically.
Things change depending on the zone. For example if I fear aggro or if I fight more than one mob I’ll use an AOE attack or a semi-root style that prevents the monster from fleeing and calling for help.
Then I could use some rare health potions if things go wrong, reduce downtimes with food, use ranged weapons to finish a fleeing mob, trigger the damage shout at the end of a combat so I’ll gain effectivity for the following fight…
This is all gameplay for a solo player. And I love it.
About the mechanics..
– The shouts don’t depend on the stance.
– The styles are, so the stance you use will affect which style you can perform.
– Switching styles empties your rage.
– There are talents that give you possibility to keep rage when switching styles.
The rage is basically the endurance in other games, I wrote a lot about it in my article on the death system that I linked in the other thread. The fact that you begin the combat with an emptied rage is *wonderful*. Because in other games you want the fight to END SOON. The more you fight the more you’ll lose power and possibilities to win. In WoW this is revolutionized. As you go on with the fight more and more options open to you. It’s a positive direction that pushes you toward the combat and makes it way more appealing and fun.
Geldon is right. They didn’t simply add more and more styles with a simply different effects. Each interaction has a SYSTEM below. And it’s not about the classes even if that’s what is most obvious. From the map system, the quest system, the interface. Everything has its own depth and it’s not just a tool to fill a space.
Just in the last patch they added something wonderful. Now the question mark above the head of NPCs changes color depending if you are ready to finish the quest or if you still need to accomplish the goals. If you select a quest and you are done with its goals a green point will appear on your mini map to let you locate the NPC easily. Both in and outside buildings.
And just to make other examples: it’s true that 90% of the quests are a mask for the average grind where you have to kill 50 mobs and collect specific loot. But there are also quests using, again, specific systems. For example there’s a quest where you create a spell, evocate a ghost and follow it through a level till a secret spot where you’ll get a new mission. Another quest (I did two days ago) was about an NPC that buffed me and told me to run in a dungeon filled with mobs and come back in no more than an hour (and a clock appears on your screen). Another mission was about escorting an npc till a specific point and defend him from ambushes. Etc…
you can get quests from NPCs, placards or even dropped items. Often you have packages that you can read (like letters)…
What I mean about the “story” is simply that you don’t kill mosters in WoW because they feed you of exp. But because there’s a quest that tells you to do so, it has a stupid story but at least something. In another forum we are discussing about camping and grinding. This in WoW doesn’t happen because it’s the quest to tell you what you have to do next and where to go. All the world assumes a sense and you are pushed to do stuff and explore as part of your experience.
Yes, a real impact on the world is also my ideal aim but WoW is already doing something. At least. And it is 100 times more fun than grinding in another PvE game.
I’m confused. Here you say that MMORPGs are boring when you have to repeat things over and over. And yet on the Warcraft Hype thread, you describe a “default” attack sequence, which, presumably, you repeat over and over with great enjoyement.
It’s mitigated by the fact that I fight different mobs for different quests/purposes. Move through different zones that are /completely/ different etc…
The grind in WoW is masked by a story and a purpose. Even in Baldur’s Gate you keep fighting in the same way but the gameplay changes. In DAoC I speak of grind because for whole levels you have to camp a specific monster. In WoW you don’t camp anything because you do everything inside the scope of a quest and what the quest tells you to do.
Tobold also commented about creating “exit points”. Quests not only allow you to do this (encapsulating small play-sessions with their own purpose and sense of accomplishment). but they are also the reason that push you forward to reach and see the next step.