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Let's get into the Overpull this week!

Here’s the lineup this week


What's the Buzz

In the previous week we’ve found out that we’re going to see some Cataclysm specific events in the near future. The retaking of Echo Isles and Gnomeregan will be coming up soon and you’ll be assisting the Trolls or Gnomes in retaking their homelands. This is pretty important story wise and will be fun to see as a pre-Cataclysm event.

You’ll soon be able to turn in a Frozen Orb for a Frost Lotus in 3.3.3 which is something that is driving the WoW economy mad. Some servers are seeing sharp decreases in the prices of Frost Lotus and Eternal Life/Fire, while others are seeing sharp increases in the price of Frozen Orbs. I’m sure there are real life economists out there going crazy with the results.

The Ruby Sanctum is going to be under attack by the Black Dragonflight. This is kind of interesting because it means we’re going to get one last raid dungeon, but the difficulty of it is still up in the air. Many are hoping for Sunwell-esq difficulty in order to make up for the easy mode factor of ICC, while others hope it’s easy just so they can see the content. Personally I think it should be as hard as possible and give players something to work hard on while we’re waiting for Cataclysm. I also think it should drop some awesome purps with plus experience for leveling in Cataclysm.

The plushies are out now and players are buying ‘em up. It’s funny how players complained that they wanted something tangible with the previous store pets but now they want the in game pets separately. You can’t please everyone I guess.

BlizzChat and BlizzCast came out recently. BlizzCast taught us that SC2 is big with Blizzard right now while BlizzChat talked about how grindy Emblems of Frost are. I’ve skimmed over it and there aren’t any huge details.  Blizzard also mentions that the Plaguelands will be free of the Plague.

Another big one was how they spoke about limited attempts being lame. Amen, they are. Blizzard makes a good point. 10,000 attempts are unhealthy, but losing a healer and consequently an attempt is almost as bad. Here is hoping they come up with a better solution in the future.

Stormrage, the book is out at your local bookstores if you’re into some Emerald Dream lore.

Hey our forums are open if you want to talk about any of this. Click here to find your way over to our community and put your two cents into the news this week.


What's the Buzz

Is Blizzard rewriting the history for Cataclysm?

World of Warcraft is an ever changing game and the next expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, is going to redefine change. The entire world will be changing, but will our previous victories be forgotten during the revamp? The WoW Comic and other external sources of lore are dripping into the game that have the chance to rewrite the entire history as we know it. Want to know more? Read the latest Loremaster's Corner to find everything we have on this subject.


What's the Buzz

This week’s question is: What’s the most frustrating thing for you in the game?

Allods Online, a free to play MMOG, recently announced a very severe death penalty for higher level players. The “Fear of Death” debuff can last up to an hour for maximum level players and reduces your offensive stats by 25%, can stack to four times, and can only be avoided by wearing perfume before you die. This debuff starts to appear after you reach level 15 and becomes progressively longer as you continue to level up. You can obtain perfume through the cash shop, in the game, or you can remove the debuff by paying gold. Many players are up in arms for and against this harsh death penalty.

On the surface this may seem like a very severe death penalty, but if we look at other games we’ll all come to the realization that it is rather mild. It just displays the punishment in an inconvenient way.

In Dark Age of Camelot death, outside of pvp, meant experience loss. You could /pray at your grave to return some of it, but you were still down XP. Being down on XP meant you were down on time on top of the resurrection sickness you had. So death was something you absolutely wanted to avoid. The XP lost scaled with the number of deaths, making the first few relatively painless and any after that a grind to get back. In PvP death meant a good 15 minutes of waiting to get back into the action, rebuffing, begging for groups, etc.

In EverQuest it was a lot harsher than that at one point. Your corpse would fall to the ground and you would have to run to it naked in order to pick it up. It could also decay after a certain amount of time meaning that you’d lose all of your items. To add insult to injury, you lost XP and could even go back a level. Death was serious business and something that no one took lightly.

Various MUDs have had different forms of death penalty, but more often than not they were similar to EverQuest’s harsh system. Your corpse falls to the ground with all of your loot and you better hope you can get back and loot it before it rotted into the ground giving everyone in the game a chance at all of your items. There is nothing like being completely naked while someone is waltzing around in your loot.

Of course, all of these penalties had one theme in common: time. They all make you spend more time in the game for your mistake. Sometimes the XP loss would take more than an hour to get back. If you lost all of your gear then you’re looking at a very long time before you get all of it back, especially if any of it is rare. In EverQuest you could lose an entire week of gameplay by one single death if you fell into a dungeon and were unable to run to your corpse. So, looking at it, the Allods penalty isn’t nearly as harsh.

Let’s compare that to WoW. The death penalty is simple. When you die you have to run back to your corpse and you lose 10% of the durability on all of your equipped items. If you die in a dungeon then you’ll need to run back to the instance portal. Someone could resurrect you as well, negating the need to run back, but while leveling you’ll often find yourself running anyway. When you get to your corpse you get everything back and the penalty ends. If you die by falling off of Outland or don’t want to do a corpse run then you can spirit rez at the cost of gaining resurrection sickness lasting about ten minutes. There is no additional penalty. If you die inside of a modern raid there are often teleporters or direct paths to most bosses, negating the need to run back. Death does incur a cost to repair your gear and reapply any buffs or elixirs you were using (flasks persist through death).

Which is right? Which is wrong? Many would argue that a hardcore death penalty adds a fear of dying, in the literal sense, into the game. It makes you become less careless and forces good behavior and a sense of survival onto you. People become more corporative when more is at stake than a few minutes of their time and it builds a sense of community and camaraderie.

However, others would argue that it’s not fun to lose everything you’ve worked for or to spend twenty minutes of your time because someone distracted you, you got too many adds, or the latest boss stomped you into the ground. Why do we play a game if it’s not fun? That’s not fun, losing XP is not fun, and frustration is only fun to a point.

I would argue that a hardcore death penalty only serves to make you spend more time to level up and artificially inflates the content of a game. Allods Online is a very fun game, very pretty, and one of the few games out that lets you float in the air as an elven fairy. However, an hour of time because you died isn’t fair. Neither was doing a corpse run in EQ or finding your tombstone in DAoC. Neither is losing all of your stuff or going down a level. I think WoW’s carebear approach to death is near perfect. I think other games could improve on it, perhaps adding in a certain amount of risk to dying that would be just enough to make you not want to do it but not too much to make you spend more than 10 minutes per death trying to work to get back to life.

Honestly, I am the type who champions adding hardcore into the game. I’m all for harder raids and leaving the achievements, pets, and mounts to casuals. I’m for gimped rewards for casuals and badge farming only taking you so far. However, I do not want to sit there for more than five or ten minutes because I got unlucky and pulled too much. I want to get back into the game, control my characters, and not fear death at every single corner. Sure, make it an unpleasant experience, but make me so scared that I’m going to farm nothing but greens in fear of death.

There is one place that many people argue has no true death penalty and that is the battlegrounds, but I’d argue that death can mean a lot if you’re trying to play an organized game. Rez too far back in AV and you’re out for a long time getting back to the action. Die in Arathi and someone is going to be claiming that node. Gulch? Yep, you wiped and the flag is gone. Death does have a purpose there. The short resurrection timer also keeps you from being bored while you’re trying to get back into the action.

Well, that’s my thoughts on death penalties. What’s yours? Want to downlevel or risk losing items when you die or are things rocking as they are?

This Week's Forum Thread for your commenting pleasure.

-David "Xerin" Piner

WoW News, Quest Database, Leveling Guides, and More at WoW.TenTonHammer.com

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

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