vrijdag 29 april 2016

We are still cookie-cuttered.

I have this idea in my head about writing about what we miss these days in World of Warcraft. What is the difference between then an now, and are there possible solutions to get something of that back..if I can actually figure out of what 'that' is.

But every time I start, it becomes this big blur of thoughts where I cannot seem to make sense of, where do I start? Where do I go? Am I making sense to myself? Well..  have some random thought:

One of the things I actually miss is the old talent tree system. Remember that system? You got your first talent point at level 10, and then every level another one. And one point would give you 1% more block or something small. The reason why they got rid of it was that everyone used the same cookie-cutter spec.

So if you where a fire mage, you had to have a certain spec, and being a Tankadin, you'd better had 41 point to reach Avengers Shield... and who played a tankadin with a spec like 0/40/21....  oh..yeah..that would be me at the end of TBC.

Now, to be honest, I think the new talent system works. Although, the amount of times we pulled a boss, and I forgot to change a talent are numerous. Which basically means we still have cookie-cutter specs, only for each boss, instead of all-around. But it works, for end-level stuff.

When you level, you have to wait 15 levels before you get a talentpoint these days. And than you get the choice between three talents which you probably don't really need while levelling. And that is something I don't like. I liked levelling and getting that point when I levelled up. It was a nice little reward. And you had to think what to take, it was the basic of theory-crafting.

So here is one solution, at least to make levelling more fun again, use a talent tree for levelling, and the moment you hit max level, it is replaced in your UI with the 'modern' system for different choices. This would make levelling more fun I think..although..the time we actually where one level for more than an hour is gone...  well..maybe lvl98 and lvl99 take a little more time.. a little.

..but increase levelling speed and heirlooms...  that's for a later post.

dinsdag 26 april 2016

Well... I wasn't expecting this....

Official Reply to Vanilla Servers and Nostalrius
We wanted to let you know that we’ve been closely following the Nostalrius discussion and we appreciate your constructive thoughts and suggestions.

Our silence on this subject definitely doesn’t reflect our level of engagement and passion around this topic. We hear you. Many of us across Blizzard and the WoW Dev team have been passionate players ever since classic WoW. In fact, I personally work at Blizzard because of my love for classic WoW.

We have been discussing classic servers for years - it’s a topic every BlizzCon - and especially over the past few weeks. From active internal team discussions to after-hours meetings with leadership, this subject has been highly debated. Some of our current thoughts:

Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server.

We explored options for developing classic servers and none could be executed without great difficulty. If we could push a button and all of this would be created, we would. However, there are tremendous operational challenges to integrating classic servers, not to mention the ongoing support of multiple live versions for every aspect of WoW.

So what can we do to capture that nostalgia of when WoW first launched? Over the years we have talked about a “pristine realm”. In essence that would turn off all leveling acceleration including character transfers, heirloom gear, character boosts, Recruit-A-Friend bonuses, WoW Token, and access to cross realm zones, as well as group finder. We aren’t sure whether this version of a clean slate is something that would appeal to the community and it’s still an open topic of discussion.

One other note - we’ve recently been in contact with some of the folks who operated Nostalrius. They obviously care deeply about the game, and we look forward to more conversations with them in the coming weeks.

You, the Blizzard community, are the most dedicated, passionate players out there. We thank you for your constructive thoughts and suggestions. We are listening.

J. Allen Brack

I wasn't expecting an official statement. Don't expect anything soon though, unless they just hire the Nostalrius-people, let them handle it. and have the added security to fire them if it goes awry.

maandag 25 april 2016

The things we miss....

I don't think we where prepared for the backlash about shutting down a Private Server. Before Nostalrius, private servers where on the background, hidden in the shadows of the Internet.

I was aware they existed, and have been for a long time, but I never gave much thought about it. They where illegal according to Blizzard, and the law, and I know they probably cost Blizzard some money. But as stated last time, I really didn't care.

The amount of people playing there where probably not to many. And they where probably people either not willing, or not able to pay the Blizzard Price, but then... Nostalrius. I am pretty sure some people stopped playing, and paying, for retail, just to go to Nostalrius. And knowing my fellow players, some probably put that in as reason why they stopped.

And although the shitstorm it was at the start of the backlash of the shutdown, which almost looked like a World of Warcraft Civil War, the forums have now shifted to the reason why Blizzard should, or should not, start Legacy Servers. And if you are weak of heart, don't try to visit forum-posts about it. Well-thought posts are far apart.

My opinion is simple: Yes, there is a market for Legacy-servers, but, if people have to pay for it, why would they not pay for retail, because Vanilla had some large flaws. I think it will be popular at the start, and than fade away... apart for maybe enough players for one server.

But, maybe Blizzard could take note from some of the complaints, I hope. Not for Legion, but isn't it time for WoW version 2? At least we could get rid of that bag-pack with 16 places...

But this whole thing, and my little journey on Nostalrius, has made me think about stuff I really liked in the game that are gone..and also about stuff I am happy is gone. But that is for another post.

vrijdag 8 april 2016

Nostalrius, a house divided

And boom, there goes the World of Warcraft Internet. A private server was 'asked' to go offline, and being the forums on battle.net and mmo-champion...well..escalation galore.

Before I'll continue, here is my feeling about this all, and not only about private servers, but also about all the people screaming at each other over the internet at the moment.

For those that played on Nostalrius (or are playing on a PS), what did you expect? You where basically playing an illegal copy of a game and the company that made it was not getting any money from it. That is the same as copying compact-discs and giving them away to your friends, or downloading a movie, both of which are illegal in most countries on this world. So now Blizzard decided to end it, which is in their rights. Accept it and move on. It doesn't matter if Nostalrius was a big server, and Blizzard once said that Vanilla-servers would not be feasible, that is another discussion. All the rights for World of Warcraft are with Blizzard (or Activision).

For those that didn't play on Nostalrius, why do you care? Some people on the internet where enjoying themselves with something that didn't hurt you, and didn't hurt anyone else. Do you care if someone is watching an illegal downloaded movie? And are all your disc original? Yes, I know that a lot of those PS-players thought they always knew better, or didn't paid for it, while you had to pay cash to play World of Warcraft, but did that really hurt you? Blizzard closed it down, a 'What did they expect' is all the thoughts you should have about it.

Yes, I know, it's the internet, everyone wants to reply to everyone. But do remember:

We are all World of Warcraft players

What I read on the forums was mostly Nostalrius players driving home that there where a lot of players that wanted to play Vanilla, while the non-PS players are mostly referring to laws of copyright, or 'don't look at the past'.

referring to the law, is of course correct, but really doesn't help any discussion, it is only inflamatory mostly. Everyone knows private servers are outside the law, but it wouldn't be a WoW-forum to really make sure you know...a hundred times over. There where also some comment about fair use, but a.f.a.i.k. this isn't true with private servers. Fair use does not give you the right to copy stuff outright, you may use some little parts, but not 90%.

The idea that many players wanted to play vanilla is also not completely correct. Nostalrius boosted about 150k active accounts. Which seems like a nice number, but if you think about it is actually not that big of a number. And how many of those 150k would actually pay for a vanilla-server. I think that if Blizzard actually could get money of vanilla-servers, they would make them.

There are also some 'don't look to the past'-posts. They come down to people simply saying play the current patch or bust. Who cares what came before. Why would you actually want to go back to that period. Normally followed by some rose-colored glasses, and 'but all was better back than'. Trust me, it wasn't....  having said that, all isn't better now either.

I've yet to see a single lucid argument as to why legacy servers shouldn't exist for those who want them. Everything boils down to one preference being more important than another, and I think that's a tragic way for a community to be reacting to itself. Rather than supporting one another and accepting the diversity of our preferences, the belief is that a sizeable chunk of the community should be chased off.   

- C. Whyte (commenting on alternative-blog)

This remark really hits the nail on his head. This community should start looking at themselves. Especially posters on forums. What kind of message are we giving to the new players that come in now, or later this year, after the movie.

We should accept our differences, some like it red, some like it blue.

...and just as an afterthought,

I played on Nostalrius

After some posts about 'how it was', I wanted to refresh my memory, and do some blogposts about it, I was doing it for research  :p. So, last week I made an account, and I just got my first level 20 last Wednesday-evening... 

Time for you to guess how much /played was on that character.....  some things were not that great.