WoW Weekly Report - The Overpull for 8/24/09

Welcome to The Overpull, Ten Ton Hammer's weekly newsletter that discusses all things WoW.   Blizzcon was so full of "teh win," the...
Welcome to The Overpull, Ten Ton Hammer's weekly newsletter that discusses all things WoW.

Now on Farm or That's a Wipe

Blizzcon was so full of "teh win," the only negative I can find is me missing the event in person!

Let's hit the high points of Cataclysm:
  • Complete Re-working of Azeroth with flight included.
  • Guild Leveling System
  • Stat Simplification
  • Deathwing - a favorite of mine
  • Finally seeing Hyjal in all it's glory
  • Goblins and Worgens - jury is a bit mixed, but the racial bonuses rock.
  • New Class options, Tauren Paladins and Dwarf Shaman means more people can see the light and enjoy two of the best classes in the game.
  • Talent Masteries and Path of the Titans, no idea what these are in any kind of real depth, but sound quite cool.
  • Rated Battlegrounds
And the high points Pre-Cataclysm:
  • Return of the Brood Mother, Onyxia
  • Cross-realm LFG channel
And tons more...

Did I mention more Paladins? My only issue is that I've never seen a Light dum bum.
  Blues Clues 

Messiah was right, people aren't smart
Last week we had the Overgeared Underskilled debate, apparently feeding right into Blizzards desire to make things easier. Ghostcrawler on Simplifying Stats:
"What we were finding is that in many cases things had just become so complicated that players were not making intelligent decisions based on their knowledge of how various stats benefited them."

Don't squash the small guys!
Nethaera on how guild leveling won't punish smaller guilds:
Guild advancement is based on the performance of the top 20 producers within the guild. If you have a small guild of 20 (or less), then every person's contributions will count."

Nothing to see here...yet.
As always we want to get into the beta and we want it now! Nethaera says hold on to your horses, "
As always, when there is a beta, we will announce it. Please be wary of any and all claims of a beta or alpha for the new expansion being held."    

Medeor's Mishaps and Mayhem

Palms sweating, blood pressure rising, nerve endings blaring, is the Cataclysm upon us? Oh wait that's an injury and why I'm hopped up on muscle relaxers. Don't expect full and complete thoughts or sentences, just ride along on today's magic carpet ride.

The last few days have been nothing short of staggering when trying to weed through all of the changes coming to World of Warcraft in the recently announced expansion Cataclysm. 

I was shocked, impressed, curious, skeptical and even grateful as the news seeped out of Blizzcon. While I'm very excited about the changes, Ethec brought up a major point of contention for me in today's "Loading...Blizzard's Master Stroke." Namely, that Cataclysm is really WoW 2.0 and changes everything. The old game will be gone, stats are being removed and changed. Whole character progressions will change, not to mention the addition of two new races and their starting areas. Almost every zone appears to be touched by the expansion (they've said some won't change drastically but will still be reworked). Are we ready for that? If I knew that everything I worked for so far could be for naught, I might be a bit peeved. Blizzard has been very good at transitioning, but as Ethec pointed out, every company can have their Waterloo..aka NGE.

I know you're curious about my thoughts, so I'll go ahead and share my gut reactions to what I heard:
  • Before the expansion rolls out we get Onyxia - this is the start of the "New" Blizzard that goes back and reworks worlds. I'm a big fan of this change.
  • New races - I went from meh to thinking the new races might be kind of cool. I'm an alt-aholic so leveling another character never bums me out. Will they keep the refer-a-friend live when the expansion hits? I see a lot of people speed-leveling to be server-first either way.
  • Re-working Azeroth. In a word, brilliant. Why drag around this long-in-the-tooth content when re-tooling and reshaping it would be so much fun? And add flying, check.
  • Deathwing. I'm not a total lore-whore but I do enjoy some of the books. Deathwing should be in the game.
  • The Trailer, there always has to be a trailer. It is pretty good, but their cinematics are so much better that it's always hard to get too excited.
  • Character changes. These are too numerous to name or even speculate, but we are going to see a complete wipe of current itemization. The line for QQing forms to the left. I am concerned here. Blizzard is struggling mightily to balance the game as it is, will a complete switch help that or destroy what's been built? On the flip side, they seem to be simplifying the system so maybe they've realized they'll never get the right mix with so many variables. When in doubt reduce the variables in the equation.
Next week we'll dive into more of the specifics, but for now I'm left with more questions than answers as usual:

What if they wiped the servers? Seriously. They won't, but they could. I can hear that baritone voice now "In the Sundering all heroes fell into the Maelstrom or were devoured by Deathwing. It is time for new heroes to emerge..."

Which class will be the Cataclysm class? Each round of major changes seems to elevate one or two classes over the others in "fun factor" or makes them attractive in raids or they just feel over-powered. This is all subjective according to me, and as far as I know, I'm always right. In vanilla WoW I'd say Warlocks and Shaman got to reign supreme. The Burning Crusade was all Druids and Wrath of the Lich King has been Death Knights and Paladins (this is changing though). Who gets the love in Cataclysm? So far I'd say it's Hunters and maybe a swing back to Warlocks. The new shard system has me dusting off my Warlock I can tell you that.

Will people come back for Cataclysm? Many of my raiding and non-raiding friends have dropped off over the last few months. With absolutely nothing scientific to back it up, I'd say the drop off was more severe and sooner than after The Burning Crusade launched. Each expansion acts as both a welcome back and a swan song it seems. Cataclysm won't launch until 2010 (hopefully) which means we could be a year away plus. Can Blizzard carry this momentum for a year? Will we be attending next year's Blizzcon saying "so how about them Worgen and Goblins, when we gonna see them?"

My last question. Does this mean we can put Dalaran back where it's supposed to go?

Stop and share at our forums and feel free to weigh on on anything here or elsewhere that excites you or concerns you about the changes coming to WoW.

Have a great week, and thanks for reading.

-Jay "Medeor" Johnson

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