Category Archives: Haters gonna hate

Legionary

logo Welp, Gamescon is a week gone and we have the name and quite a few details about the next expansion of WoW. Missing the most vital answer, of course – when’s it releasing? – but I sure didn’t expect to hear that quite yet.

The Legion

A lot of people are unhappy with the subject of this expansion, and I suppose they have some cause.  But from a lore perspective, the Legion IS IT.  I mean, that’s our Big Bad. Sargeras may be the final boss, but his army is The Burning Legion.  This entire franchise has been about The Burning Legion.  Even Wrath (The Lich King was a construct of The Legion).  Even Cataclysm (Deathwing was created as a byproduct of the Legion’s first invasion). The only part of this franchise that was not about The Legion was the parts about the Old Gods and Pandaria, and I’m not entirely sure we can’t pin at least a couple of those on Demons in some way.

Point being, the Legion is a loose end that hasn’t been tied off yet, and we’ll need to tie it off or we’ll keep coming back to it. Just like people are complaining about. Though in this case, we never finished it.

The (Iron) Horde

Part of the original storyline was how the Horde got sent our way thanks to the demonic influences of Mannaroth, who we’ve now seen killed three times canonically (and many more times on WoWLogs.com and their ilk). Warlords was a revisit of that, and, when it comes down to it, appeared more of a conspicuously gratuitous effort to placate the metalheads in the artists shop than a real story.  It had no place in he canon, and introduced more questions than it answered.  Legion, at least, connects that crazy train and the jumble of moments that pass for canon before and during Warlords. How we get to the third Legion invasion is now revealed.

Learning to Stop Worrying and Loving the Plot

(or at least put up with it, because ye cats, these guys are pretty ham-fisted and, as my company commander used to say, as obvious as a five-dollar hooker.)

Okay, so from within the framework of the appropriateness of the setting, how it connects with the past, how it connects with the present (we’re told that this is ‘present day’ Azeroth), harmony with the lore (Pandas didn’t), and so forth; I’m personally pretty good with this theme.

(By the way, I have one prediction, and it isn’t about this expansion: when, inevitably, we revisit the Scourge, I suspect that those complaining about retreaded content will be extremely welcoming to the concept. See if they don’t.)

Class Changes

It’s obvious from early information that Blizz is looking to shake up the classes to a great extent. The most amazing news so far is the change to the Hunter class.  We’re headed for:

  • Beast Mastery – Ranged DPS with pet (Artifact = Gun)
  • Marksman – Ranged DPS without pet (Artifact = Bow)
  • Survival – Melee DPS with Pet (Artifact = Spear)

Did you catch that?  This is exciting! BM is basically becoming the One True Hunter Class by virtue of serving the original concept, but I have to say that Marks without a Pet is basically the fulfillment of many a Forum Poster wet dream.  And the return of the Melee Hunter is unexpected.  Unbelievably, I have been granted a win in the ultimate discussion of the destiny of the Hunter class, and I am for once not appalled at my victory. This is amazing!

Aside from the Demon Hunter specs (Two specs only! Wuuuuut?!), we’ve heard precious little about other class changes. Well, we’ve heard that they plan to make Warlock’s Demonology spec more Demoney and less Metaphorphos-ey. If it follows the same pattern as the Hunter class, I approve.  Well, actually, anything that diminishes the role of Meta is good in my book.

I’m not sure what I mean by that, but I promise to take full credit for whatever it ends up being. Unless it sucks. In which case, Ghostcrawler did it.  Ooo look, is that a baby wolf!?  /scurry

Artifacts

The other really big thing, for many, was the announcement that there will be no weapon drops in this expansion. Instead, each spec picks up a unique artifact weapon that they continuously upgrade during the expansion. For hunters it’s bow for MM, Gun for BM, and Spear for SV (which was our first clue about the melee spec).  I am constantly amused at my joke predictions for character weaponry in comparison. What I said in jest, is almost exactly what they’re doing for real.

There are many unanswered questions about this, most pointedly, what happens when switching specs? And where do current Survival Hunters get starter weapons to bridge the gap? This is gonna make the gear grind kinda weird.

Professions

They have said diddly about professions, but we can infer a few things from peripheral facts.

First peripheral fact: well, rumor, really. Word is that the professions team has swole hugely, with one source claiming more than 2x increase in seats. This implies that there are major changes inbound, but we’re not yet informed what they are.

Second peripheral fact: the Garrison concept is not coming forward with LegionPraise Mammon for that! I cannot go into how many ways that Garrisons failed us without violating some secret blogger’s creed restricting article size to one gigabyte per page, so I’ll just say it’s a pretty sad story and leave it at that. Most people I know will be happy to see it go.

But there’s a problem with that for professions, since professions got tied to garrisons so tightly. All professions are going to have to progress without Garrisons to support them. Some, such as the lumberyard, are probably not going to make it into Legion at all.  Well, at least, I hope not.

Ultimately we’re either headed back to pre-Warlord crafting (hardly something we need a huge Professions team for) or something new is coming down the pike.  Honestly, as far as professions go, going back to the Vanilla / BC style of crafting is just fine with me.

The only thing I will say that I like in WoD’s crafting is how crafted armor / weapons fit in.  You can basically meet or exceed the quality level of normal Hellfire Citadel with crafted items. This is, as far as I can remember, something we haven’t seen since Vanilla, and maybe not even then. Sure, Heroic and Mythic raiders  will get better stuff, and I’m extremely good with that. They’ve earned it.  But the fact that you can make crafted gear that is actually relevant is pretty unusual, and I’m hoping we keep that in some way in Legion.

Final peripheral fact: PvP is being totally revamped, which will shake up the talent trees for everyone, and this will likely revamp the spec tiers completely, as well as glyphing. As a result, expect to see Inscription getting a lot of changes, at the very least, to support these changes.

By the way … a week after Gamescon, and glyphs are flying off the shelf. The inscription market is extremly brisk at the moment.  The prices ain’t tremendous, but quantity is making up for it. Illume is burning through mats like there’s no tomorrow. 10,000 a day is the norm. Tell me the game is dying. Please. I need a laugh now that Jon Stewart is gone.

larry no

The Triumphant Return

drama horn

After the worlds-shattering drama following their announcement that flying would not be happening in Draenor at all, Blizzard has changed their minds and decided it bring it back, but only if you really want it.

At the heart of the initial plan to restrict flight in Draenor (even after players reach level 100) lies the design goal of providing the best moment-to-moment gameplay possible in the outdoor world. From navigating the lava flows of the Molten Front in Patch 4.2, to breaching the Thunder King’s stronghold in Patch 5.2, to reaching the heights of the Ordon Sanctuary on Timeless Isle in Patch 5.4, to uncovering secrets deep within Gorgrond’s jungles on Draenor, World of Warcraft is full of memorable moments that are only possible when players explore the world by ground. And as we’ve continued to develop content over the years, we’ve focused more and more on providing players with these kinds of experiences.

There will be chores to do; exploring, collecting, rep grinding, and so forth. It’s a little reminiscent of the attunements we had in BC, to be honest, and I like that. I’m not one for collecting piles of non combat pets I’ll never look at or mounts I’ll never or rarely use at all. I’m not as much an achievement monkey as some.  Give me a grind that will get me something tangible, however, then you’ve got my attention.

Naturally, no matter how you slice this, there will be mighty drama around this announcement as there was around the last. Where before it was all “Blizzard doesn’t care about what the players want raaaaeeeege”, now instead it’s “Blizzard gives in to every little whine raeeeeege!”  Blizzard can’t win with this bunch, and personally I think they should just do what they think best and shut down the forums, but that’s me. 

I’m still not missing flight in Draenor. But to some, the mere inconvenience is an insurmountable obstacle to inner peace, or something like that. This is not to say, I won’t use it if it’s there.  As I’ve said before, I won’t put myself at a disadvantage on mere principle.

The haters will always be around because they need an avenue to vent their frustrations in life in, and a bunch of nerds writing software is just the perfect target.  Well, people at Blizz get paid to read their drek, but I don’t. 

So flush twice, it’s a long way to MMO-C.

Small World, but I’d Hate to Paint it.

This being Bizarro Outland, Draenor is replete with familiar faces. You just never know who you might run into.

Today I ran across the former warchief of the Horde, just hanging, as former warchiefs are wont to do. He let me take this sweet selfie.

WoWScrnShot_042315_233531

I found this evil looking axe laying nearby. Asked him if it was his, he didn’t say it was. 

Left it, though. The stats were all wrong. 

Kicking myself, now – I could have DE’d that for some decent pixie dust for Jas.  I bet someone came along and grabbed it already. No point in going back for it now.

By the way, don’t let the brochures fool you. Nagrand might look familiar to the old one, but it’s a lot more humid. Pack accordingly.

Getting the ball rolling

I missed all the launch day angst this year because I had my own personal launch day angst.  My boot drive died, and I was without PC.  ((Word to the wise: just don’t buy OCZ SSD drives.  This is the third hard failure in as many years.  Lonomonkey has already chastised me for this poor purchasing choice on Twitter, so consider your chastisement obligations fullfilled in proxy. I mean it.))  So I set forth to reinstall Windows for the third time in as many months ((Time the first: moved to Win7-64 to play WildStar. Time the second: upgraded motherboard two weeks ago. Time the third. F!CK F!CK F!CK))

I handled this a lot better than some did about the inevitable launch week collywobbles ((SERIOUSLY – were you asleep the last five expansions or something, people?  You’re amazing. In some non-complimentary form of the word.)) in that I shrugged my shoulders, and used the down time to catch up on back recordings of @Midnight ((That’s the same guy that did the Blizzcon costume contest, by the way. He’s One Of Us.)).

Last night was Right Out due to OS upgrades, but also the servers still appeared to be having problems. This morning they were free and clear, at least the ones I’m involved with.  Kudos to Blizz for repairing the damage resulting from the DDoS attack  as quickly as they have. That shizzle ain’t easy, yo, and if you ever start to think it’s easy, come talk to me. I’ll dissuade you of that sad delusion.

As opposed to the abortive effort that was Blizzcon 2013, Blizzcon 2014 was an amazing success. That coupled with the +700K sub numbers indicates that the old warlord is far from dead. I can see Metzen up on stage saying BRANG EET, BASTIGES, and imma for once stand with him on this. Blizz seems to have turned something around, and while it’s only supposition, one can’t help but look at a moderately recent departure for clues on the change in tone.

And this launch was, from my perspective, amazing once I got into the game.  Here are my initial impressions.

  • NOW’S OUR CHANCE! STORM THE PORTAL! Well, I gotta say beardless!Khadgar was a bit of a disappointment, but after working with him, I totally didn’t care. Whiskers or not ((Whiskers have a strong union, expect class action in the near future.)) he’s a total badass and I am happy to fight at his side.  I would have preferred that the premier mage on Azeroth, Jaina Proudmoore, lead this charge, but at least they wrote this guy well.
  • For the first time in what seems over a year, I swapped out my Spirit Beast, Cheezburger for my default tanky pet, Bumbles.  SRS BSNS, FOSHIZZLE
  • I actually got THANKED by a representative of the Shadow Council on behalf of the Shadow Council.  Flora might have been cool with that, but I just felt a little skeevy.
  • Yrel’s evolution is apparently going to be a lot faster than I expected ((I’ve seen the end-of-Shadowmoon cinematic, so I know where she stands.)). When I first meet her, she “has never killed before.”  Amazing for a race that is undergoing systematic extermination.  Protip, Yrie – get on that shit as soon as possible to avoid extinction.  kay?
  • Start of garrison – hello, Baros!  That’s an unexpected and familiar face from the past!  I love how they’ve managed to merge old-school Azeroth into this expansion.
  • Being called “Commander” really makes me feel a sense of obligation … maybe grimmtooth!Actual’s military experience comes into play here, but the feeling that the whole garrison’s population is looking up to you makes it a LOT more personal than I expected.
  • And speaking of personal, the barracks appears to be inhabited by slobs, and/or college freshmen ((Same thing)).

 

All in all, this has been an excellent start to an expansion that I was – at best – dubious about when it was announced. While it’s not as advertised as the brodawg Orc shit, the Draenai lore is really shaping up nicely. The mechanics of things is working out well. The questing process has been, so far, well done, if unchanged from the MoP questing model.

And the player involvement in Things of Import is really well done. I feel like a player in this. I feel like I am being looked up to, a true “commander” of the Alliance force in old!Draenor. The quest and zone designers have done an amazing job of putting this all together, and I am going to be first in line ((Or at least as First as I an manage)) to call them out on (1) a job well done recovering from an unexpected launch event, and (2) a job well done on the design of the expansion.

Ops team, Quest Design team – take a well-deserved break at your earliest convenience.  You’ve earned it.

Pre-game

There’s been quite a bit of – well, “whinging” might not be totally inaccurate, but it might be viewed as some as offensive ((Not intended to be offensive, but A==B, B==C therefore A==C kinda thing. Sorry. Your baggage is your own, please claim it at the point of debarkation.)), so we’ll call it “whinge-like sounding critique” – about the pre-expansion event associated with Wierdos of Draenor ((Or whatever it’s called.)), and that puzzles me. It’s as if they remember other pre-expansion events that I do not. Neither Pre-WotLK nor Pre-Cata were all that big a deal, and were done after a handful of quests, unless you were the kind of jerk that liked to get the zombie curse and grief your own faction ((In which case, go spin on a stick.)).  I’d even say that the Cata event was much shorter.  And maybe I missed the Panda event, but I really don’t remember one. So whatsamatta for u? 

I just don’t get the haters. Well, I do. Haters gotta hate.  If they got nothing to hate, they make something to hate.  So yeah I get it, but I hatin. 

OH DAMN. NOW I BE A HATR!

(deep breath)

I do have one issue with the event, and it’s with the way that quest events are indicated in the game.  They’ve moved from a “sparkle” highlight or a “gear” highlight to a “faint outline” highlight that I absolutely hate.  Maybe I’ll get used to it, but right now I can see a LOT of trips to WoWHead in my future as I grapple with hidden items in Draenor.

If I had been ambivalent about the Iron Horde before, this would have changed it.

Keri

YOU KILLED KERI!  YOU BASTARDS!

Us Dwarves have a fairly low threshold of outrage when it come to killing off our booze vendors.

Clearly, somebody’s going to have to pay for this.

/cocks rifle

And I’m comin’ for payment, you bastiges ((Bastiges. It’s a Wildhammer thing.)).

Drunken Friday Night’s musings

If I’m sober enough to type, I’m sober enough to post.

Ennyhoo.

The latest news on bag management – and especially reagent management – in patch 6.0.2 is exciting and very smexxay. Allowing you to use your reagents bank from any location is a game-changer, no doubt about it.  I hope that cooking mats are included, not that that’s a big deal to me these days ((Raids? I’ve heard of them.)).

Without attributing to any specific incident, let me say that the ladies of WoW are an especially awesome group of people.  I might get worn out trying to keep up with some of them ((And I’ve dropped a few twitterz because of that.)), but the thoughts that they put forth on the topics of gender equality are well worth the time it takes to read and digest. I may not agree 100% ((And I suspect that my XY chromosome arrangement renders my opinions to some of them irrelevant.)) with all that is stated by them, but overall they fight the good fight and I am totally okay with that. Not that it matters, right ladies?

It occurs to me, though, that there are very few male bloggers whose opinions I cherish. A lot of them come from a position of privilege and seem to somehow carry that with them, but others have multiple points of view and therefore bring something interesting to the party. Which I find interesting ((I remembered ‘Rades’ but not the name of his blog. Go figure.)). I’ll always have interest in the various hunter fora  ((BTW, WHU is back, Metzen be praised.)) without actually endorsing them, but it’s the blogs that have opinions on the issues that matter that keep me coming back.

A long time ago I used Amiga computers pretty much exclusively, and participated in a FidoNet “echo” that the current WoW “twitterverse” has a strong resemblance to. Those people – more than any blog, forum, or website – epitomize the goodness to be found in the WoW social universe, in the same way that nothing that mattered on amiga,org seemed to matter in #AmigaGeneral.. Not the pustulant sewers of the WoW fora, and certainly not the reeking crevasses that represent the ‘discourse’ to be found on MMO-C, 4Chan, or Reddit.

Cultivate the proper list of tweeters on Twitter, and your life will be better in every respect.

Ai  swarez.

The Zen of Warcraft

There seems to be a deep divide between those that think that our classes’ rotations have become too complicated ((AKA “Button Bloat”))  – and thus welcome the upcoming changes to our rotations in WoD, and those that think that reducing the count of abilities is somehow “dumbing down” the game ((AKA “elitist jerks”)) and thus are very annoyed at the upcoming changes.

This is not a topic with simple answers. I’ve tried, multiple times, to explain my thoughts on this topic in a venue in which I feel is ill designed for such discussions – that being Twitter. In fact, I have in the past unfollowed people that absolutely refuse to take long, wandering Twitter diatribes and put them in a blog post where they can actually sound semi-intelligent ((Every one of them being people with mostly neglected WoW blogs, by the way.)). Since I can’t unfollow myself, I have no choice but to go the blog route, or never speak to myself again.

Anyhoo.

Part of my day job is being a programmer. I am, when I program, primarily a Python programmer. Python is a beautiful, productive, and exceptionally fun to work with programming language that has, at its core, a set of principles that all programmers should heed, even if they aren’t programming in Python. To wit:

>> import this ((Yes, if you open the Python interpreter and type “import this” you will get exactly that output.))

The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren’t special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one– and preferably only one –obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you’re Dutch. ((The inventor of Python, Guido von Rossum, is Dutch. He’s kinda our Linus Torvalds.))
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea — let’s do more of those! ((Yeah, that one’s hard to explain if  you’re not a programmer, and if you are, you probably already get it.))

Okay, the part I want to draw your attention to is this.

Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.

The idea here is, simple code is easier to maintain than complex code, and maintainability is everything in the software world. You may not be the next person to work on this code, for example, so think of the next programmer in line.  And, as a famous saying goes, “any code that you haven’t seen in six months might as well have been written by somebody else.”   In this case, the next person might be YOU.

Of course, there are times that complexity can’t be avoided.  If your web server wants to support multiple web browsers, for example, you need to bake a little bit of complexity in to cater to specific requirements of various browsers.  You can do complexity and still uphold maintainability if you do your job right.

But complicated … well, there we lose the thread.  Maintainability goes out of the window. You need a roadmap to even keep track of your own code. Often, you end up guessing because keeping track of it all just wears you out. Want a good example of complicated? Log in to Facebook using any browser you can get access to, including obsolete ones that nobody else supports.  They’ve baked more than complexity into Facebook, and it shows, every time you use it.  Often it even corrupts modern browsers to keep it open too long. It’s so complicated that it even damages the internet – not intentionally, mind you – because there are parts of it that are just harmful and broken.

How’s this pertain to WoW?  Well, it’s all about the difference between simple, complex and complicated.

Let’s shift gears for a moment.  One thing I was taken to task for was expressing that I missed the old, pre-Cata talent trees.  I was called on this, “You claim you want to reduce the number of abilities but you want the more complicated talent trees! Hypocrite! LIIIIIAAAAR!!!!1”

But that’s just not comparing things fairly.

talent tree

You’re gonna point and laugh at talent calculators, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU?

The old talent trees, for all their complexity, gave flexibility.  You could put together a Holy Hybrid priest that was 3/4 Disco and 1/4 Holy that pretty much was indestructible and pretty good at healing, to boot. You could create a “Shockadin” that utilized elements of Holy and Ret Paladins ((See here for more good examples if you care to read it. I think you should.)).  You could do a lot with a complex talent tree that was useful and functional.

Button bloat, however, offers none of that.

First of all, unless you get really clever and complicated in your keybinds, you have around twelve abilities that are easily available – or if you’re like me, maybe sixteen ((I cheated.)).  The rest are going to always be a stretch to find and use.  Adding more abilities just makes this worse. You weed out those that  have no immediate purpose, and maybe don’t bind them at all. Maybe they stay in the spellbook.

too many buttons

KAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN

What’s the difference between twenty unused talents and twenty unused abilities?  Probably that the unused talents have the potential to actually be USED. But chances are, if your spec has twenty abilities that you don’t use, they’ll NEVER be used.

WoWScrnShot_041314_103659

Once you go Warlock, you’ll never go back.

It would be a whole different story if you had twenty extra abilities or spells that you might use as effectively as the twelve you have bound currently, but those twelve are bound and those twenty are not for a reason. Those twenty unused talents, however, have probably some chance of being used at some point if you want change your build.  But no matter how hard you want, you won’t change the effectiveness of those ineffective abilities.

There’s an obvious fallacy here, though.

The astute reader might realize that I’m not exactly comparing equals.  I’m comparing twenty potentially useful talents to twenty mostly useless abilities. That’s because of the source of what I’m comparing – I’m comparing the state of talents at the end of WotLK to the state of abilities at the end of MoP.  That’s not entirely fair, but it is the hand I’ve been dealt for this discussion.

Obviously, the answer to the twenty useless abilities is to get rid of them and replace them with twenty useful abilities, right?

But here’s the one glaring difference between abilities and talents.  Abilities are in your face, on your ability bars, and used in real time. Talents are not, except when they actually “produce” an ability.  But for the most part, you choose your talents, you adjust your rotation appropriately, and for the rest of the expansion, they’re out of your face.

In the end, I stand by this.  Lots of talents ((And/or glyphs, and/or stats, and/or gem sockets, and/or weapons, and/or armor.))  gives you the ability to fine-tune and individualize your character without necessarily causing your contribution in (raiding | PvP | cooking) to suffer overtly. But too many abilities can get in the way, make your life more complicated, make it more difficult to contribute to your favorite activities.

Well, naw, that’s pretty much a fallacy, too.

Let’s be honest. Your rotation will be whatever you see on Icy Veins.

And what will they tell you?  Of those 50 abilities you have, here are the handful that you must use.  And those others?  Use them at the ren faire. Maybe somebody will applaud.

For the most part, the same applied to talents back in the day, except that instead of one true way to use them, there were multitudes, often dependent on levels and gear and what you wanted to do with your character.  In terms of abilities, however, you have one of three tasks, now – DPS, heal, tank.  And there will be probably two rotations – single target vs multi. And that’s pretty much as you’ll ever get from abilities now.

I fail to see the virtue of twenty good extra abilities when there is zero chance that they will be used.  Twenty extra good talents, however, have potential to be used, without getting in the way.

The difference between the two is the difference between complex and complicated, and it’s all the difference in the world to me.

Your keybinds, your ability setup, your macros, that all amounts to the same sort of package as the average software project. You have to set it up, maintain it, use it.  If it’s an unpalatable glop of buttons and half-hidden macros, I doubt the author is performing to her or his potential. Unlike a complex talent tree, you don’t have the time in the midst of battle to go looking for stuff or reading up on Noxxic when you forget just what the proper set of mostly unused actions are that you need for this particular situation (whatever that is).  The more towards simplicity we go with this, the more towards goodness.  Let’s move the complexity where it belongs, which is to say, not in the real-time aspect of the game.

So, no, I’m not talking out of both sides of my mouth on this topic. I see a substantial difference between a rich talent tree and button bloat. I’m not a big fan of the current talent system, but even less of a fan of having a dozen abilities I’ll never use.

Maybe I can’t bring other people to see that difference, but at least I didn’t leave it in Twitter.

And the Zen of Python?  Maybe Anaheim should think about adopting it as a core principle as well.  The Python runtime achieved a Coverity defect density of .005 this past year ((I know, you’re thinking “This means what to me, exactly?”  Trust me, from a software engineering perspective, it’s a very good thing!)).  A culture that eschews complexity – while still allowing for it when necessary – seems to work out to high-quality software, something that impacts anyone that uses it.

They Killed Flappy Bird, Didst Thou not Hear?

Summary: Flying was a mistake. It was a design flaw in TBC.  Blizzard lacked the vision to realize the game would last beyond one expansion ((I’m really not making that up, they didn’t expect it to be so popular.)) and so they painted themselves into a corner at the end of TBC by giving everyone the ability to fly, and it went from neat end of game feature to automatic entitlement in the next.

When WotLK came along, the "reason" we couldn’t fly in Northrend at first was so thin, so lame, that we actually mocked them, and for good reason.  And thus has it ever been for the following expansions, as they continue to come up with lame, stupid "reasoning" ((Hint: no actual reasoning to be found.)) to "justify" ((To them, not us.)) keeping us on the ground until we’ve narfled the Garthok ((Def. #2 slays me.)), just because they don’t want us ignoring all that beautiful artwork and masterful questlining they’ve done.

A further unintended side-effect is that they’ve never learned how to create a zone with flying in it.  You may have noticed, Blizz uses the landscape to push you where it wants you to go. Impassable mountain ranges, big tree trunks, bloodthirsty troll guards, etc.  You avoid that which is impassable or inconvenient, and end up in an area that they want you to be. Flying mounts negate all that, you violate every control they put in place, children are left unattended, dogs and cats cohabitate, and other terrible things happen as an effect.

I don’t know if they’ve even tried, but I have yet to see a zone where flying was properly factored in to the flow of the zone’s "experience", and, as such, it looks to anyone that’s looking as if they don’t have a clue how to design a zone, period. Twilight Highlands – who remembers how unpleasant it was to slog through the first time versus the second time, when you got flying for the whole tribe and your alts just skidded around in the sky without a care in the world?  That’s the difference in how the zone comes across with and without flying.

So flying’s broken the game, and they won’t or can’t adjust the game to make flying work out as a part of the game ((Well, every now and then they try flying mobs that will knock you out of the sky, but as soon as the expansion moves far enough along, they remove that. Say hello to the birdies over Halfhill for me.  If they pay you any attention.)), therefore all we get is "U No Fly Heer" zones and collective years of wasted effort on their parts as entire zones turn into flat, two-dimensional tabletop adventures that have a scattering of completely avoidable mobs.

Clearly, flying must die.

There are three possible paths, as I see it.

  • They can remove flying from the game completely, admit it was a mistake, soak up the abuse ((For the kind of money they’re getting, they can manage to soak up a LOT of abuse and be just fine.)), and move on.
  • They can remove flying from the current content, allowing it in all previous expansion areas, but controlling it in the current.
  • They can bloody well learn how to put together a zone with flying taken fully into account.

As a gaming purist, I am in favor of the "nuke it from orbit" approach, mostly (a) because I have seen no evidence that option #3 is even possible. I’d rather they spent scarce resources on something that they have a reasonable chance to accomplish, meaning (b) I also have my doubts as to whether they can pick up all the loose ends in the case of option 2.

I’m not in favor of removing flying simply because I have the blackest of evil hearts and enjoy seeing others suffer ((I might, but it’s not germane to the situation.)), I’m in favor of it because it makes for a better game.

  • They spend less time trying to account for ((And failing, and giving up on.)) people flying around whatever feature they’re working on.
  • They spend less time trying to negotiate the precise moment in the expansion or player’s life that the ban gets lifted.
  • They spend less time tracking down bugs that might crop up because someone found a niche where they CAN fly in ((A feature not implemented won’t cause bugs in its own right.)).
  • Players play the game, rather than ignore it on the way to whatever corner-cased endgame feature they need to twink on ((And maybe players leave the game over this. I’m not concerned over the quality of people that lets something like this put them over the top. I just aren’t.)).
  • The designers put more thought and interest into game features because they realize that there are far fewer ways for players to blow them off.
  • You actually "accomplish" something yourself.

It amazes me that people can’t keep things civil on this.  A friend of mine has been getting abuse over her opinion on this.  Listen here, cheeto-breath.  When all you have to fall back to is abuse, you lose. You’ve already lost.  Everyone can see it, you have added nothing relevant to the argument.  You’re nothing but a hater, and we all know about haters.

haters

That’s right, J. D.  ((Doing selfies Old Skool.)) 

You’d know better than most.

And the only way to deal with the haters is to let them go hate on the only person that loves them – themselves.  So, any person they unfollow is, really, better off for it – though blocking the haters is better, since that whey they can’t sleaze back into your life later without your permission.

I’ve not said much about this before, because others have done a much better job of getting the point across. But it seems as if some people don’t do "points." 

Or something.