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Reloading... Nerd Rage of the Firelands

Updated Fri, Jul 01, 2011 by Ethec

Welcome to the 27th edition of Reloading…

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird

Everyone can use a feel good moment to start the day.   Let’s go with this…



If you watched the above video, you are now asking yourself, does medicating the “crazy” actually harm society? I have no idea, but I tend to lean towards not sucking every ounce of creativity out of someone just because they don’t necessarily ride the train to the same destination as everyone else.

I lean the same way when it comes to game design.  Players love creative design, but there must be balance.   Too much change and they leave in frustration.  If the gameplay is too easy then they leave from boredom.   The spectrum is enormous AND it is different for every single player.   What I find hard you may find easy.    What I find creative you may find complex and annoying.

Enter Rage of the Firelands or as I affectionately call it, Nerd Rage of the Firelands.   During the questline which I will do my best not to spoil, you have to fight some baddies.   Easy enough you say?  It is, actually, unless you get trigger happy and start to AE down the mobs that you need to kill.   You see, some smart-acres flag themselves, and when your oh so innocent AE - meant only to take out the mobs lands - it also hits Mr. Smart-Acre and voila, you are flagged.   Smart-acre and company immediately pounce on you like a hobo on a ham sandwich and the result is you dead with a five-minute countdown timer on your PvP flag.    Huzzah!    Players are raging about this.   

Fortunately, I have a solution; actually I have more than one solution.    First, don’t AE, just plink away at the mobs single-file style; this is Kill Bill, not Transformers.   The second solution and the one I enjoyed much more was to simply find one nincompoop who had flagged himself and was half health or lower and then unload on him to even up the fight a bit.   If his buddies try to fight me, well, I may die, but at least it will be one kill for one kill.  Inside I feel better.

Next up, the new raid was cleared on day one in normal mode.   Players are raging about this.    It was cleared on normal mode and though that does disappoint me, I can’t put my finger on exactly why.  Guilds have been smashing Rag on the public test realm for months, so why shouldn’t he die straight away on the live realms? It’s not like Blizz was going to change anything just because it went live.    Should the content have been gated like Trial of the Crusader?  I wasn’t a huge fan of that either.   On the spectrum I’m a real problem here because I don’t even know what I want.  How can a game designer hope to please me?

My favourite content was Ulduar, no Naxx.. no… Ulduar.    It was one of those two.    They were challenging and creative for their time.    You can never go back, even a revamp of those dungeons wouldn’t make them as good as the originals, but there must be creative ideas out there that just aren’t being developed.   Are the big game publishers, who now have their hands in most everything medicating away the creativity?

What do you think?

As always, you can contact me a number of ways:
  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Telepathy (Just make sure it’s during business hours.  I hate to be woken by this stuff)
Until next time,

John "Boomjack" Hoskin
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