MMO News, Reviews & Opinions
- Written by Dshadow
This is the fifth edition of the Fringe Round Table Discussion editorial, in which Temploiter and daffid011 discuss WoW's forthcoming expansion: Cataclysm.
Is Cataclysm WoW's NGE?
No. It will mean some changes to the game, like every patch and expansion has been, but it has been planned, tested, and talked about for months, not sprung upon a hapless customer base.
The changes to talents does remove some mix and match customizing, you must go down one talent tree for a very long way (31 points) before you can put any points into any other tree. That's more restrictive than before, yes, but it also removed many reduntant or rarely utilized talents in the process. So, on the whole, I look at the talent changes as a wash, with perhaps a small upside for giving a Mastery bonus to your chosen 'tree'.
I've purposefully kept myself ignorant of all of the changes coming in the actual Cataclysm expansion (the talents are live now in patch 4.01) so that I can have some surprises when it releases. But, the changes that have made it through my self-imposed filter all sound really cool. Remaking the old world via a cataclysmic event could be a good way to freshen things up, and add new content. It will also open up the ability to use flying mounts in the old zones, which can only be seen as a plus. Additionally, having new content in the old zones will make it much more fun to level a new Goblin or Worgen up.
I've noted many times that WoW is not my personal preference for MMOs, but I do play it, and it's worth the 50c a day I pay for it. It's a level based game, so every time the level cap has been raised, basically all your hard work with leveling and gear and talent builds, etc are out the window. That's been the case with WoW going back to it's first big content releases in Vanilla adding epic sets, talent changes, etc. It's to be expected if you are a vet of the game. The changes coming with Cataclysm are just more changes to be digested and dealt with, routine even.
I doubt there will ever be anything to ever come close to the scale of what the NGE did to star wars galaxies. To even come close to a comparison it would need to meet a few criteria.
1a) be developed in secret
1b) deny that a big change is in development
1c) promise that there is not going to be a big change
2) be designed in an attempt to replace your current customers
3) make a bad situation worse
Cataclysm has a few big changes, but nothing on the scale of the NGE. Once players get over learning the new talents and additional skills things will be back to normal. The changes to the worlds geography will bring a few cries as favorite old stomping grounds get altered into new areas, but again people will enjoy the new content if that is what they are looking for.
When all is said and done, regardless of the changes coming in cataclysm, wow for the most part is going to play exactly like it always has. Being the greatest strength and weakness of the game.
If blizzard does manage to revitalize the old zones and make them relevant again it will almost be the anti-nge of video games and something we will see other companies try to emulate.