Boathammer : Age of Bloggening

July 12, 2008

Why am I not worried?

Filed under: The State of The Game — boatorious @ 10:16 pm

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Working through the blogs this morning I was surprised how hard most of the WAR blogging community took the recent news of (I just made up this name) The Classpocalypse. I certainly thought the news was interesting, but it didn’t really affect my desire to play the game. Why not?

Don’t cry over cut classes

A good deal of it is that, for better or worse, I’m not really that invested in any particular class at the moment. In WoW I really wanted to be a healer and the smallest race. Since gnomes didn’t have healers I didn’t really care — so I picked warlock because my friend was going to be a mage, and I ended up with 60 days played on that little guy.

The abundance of classes in WAR just overwhelms me, especially considering the NDA is still up so we don’t even know that much about them. I still know humorously little about the classes that will soon devour my life. I guess that turns out to be lucky.

Are Three Cities Better Than One?

As for the city reduction, I just think of Ironforge and Stormwind in WoW. Ironforge has another city underneath it — “Old Ironforge”. Very cool idea, except that Blizzard hasn’t done a thing with it. Oh, and Stormwind has a portal that’s supposed to be for player housing. Also a very cool idea, except that Blizzard hasn’t done anything with it. Instead WoW players get multiple capitol cities that are fun to visit but otherwise all serve pretty much the same boring purpose.

So I’m excited about the idea of dropping down to one capitol city per faction. It really gives the developers a chance to go all out and make the cities great. If you look at the content Blizzard introduced at launch and the content they introduced after launch there’s just a big difference in quality. The team had learned a lot and were also able to focus on individual parts of the game. We’re going to get great capitol cities out of this “disappointment”.

Also, I just trust the Mythic guys

Pretty quickly after you start working as a software engineer, you go to your lead and ask them why the software does this insane thing. You might not say it, but you think, “this is stupid, why do we solve this simple problem in this insane way?”

And your lead will explain why all the sane solutions weren’t workable and why they had to go with the insane solution. You do this a number of times and eventually realize that the software isn’t stupid — you are stupid. You still ask why problems are solved in insane ways, but you start to expect a reasonable explanation.

You just start to trust other engineers. They think the same way as you do, they solve problems the same way you do. Most of us even dress alike.

I’ve never worked on a game, but my experience as an engineer and gamer has made me very opinionated about good and bad game design. And nothing Mythic has shown us so far has been poorly designed. The big draw, the RvR, is a little too complex for me to judge at the moment, although it does seem like a good idea. But smaller, more understandable things, like the Tome of Knowledge, the Crafting System, and the Living Guild system just seem well designed. They are elegant, workable solutions to problems that no other MMORPG has even begun to grapple with yet.

So, like I expect the guy at work to give me a reasonable explanation for something that’s seemingly insane, I expect Mythic knew what they were doing when they brought about The Classpocalypse.

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