Creep

There has been a huge demand for classic or vanillas WoW from back in 2004 for a while now, and Blizzard is finally coming out with it.  I played it a bit yesterday and I must say I am understanding the appeal. But, there are also MANY, many quality of life items that no longer exist.

But not talking about that, I am specifically interested in the problem of ‘power creep’ that I feel is effecting Battle for Azeroth. We were having a nice conversation in Elwynn Forest on Classic and someone mentioned it felt good to feel like a mercenary again rather than a god.  This made me think of the power creep not only with players but with the bosses.

For instance even though I started in Wrath, I’ve been reading/watching a lot of the lore going back quite a ways.  I’m not a pro at it but I know a bit.  I will also say I do not know the exact progression of bosses from opening day until BC either.

From what I understand in classic you’re just a nobody helping out here and there to start with.  Beat these murlocs, heal this guard, carry this wine somewhere. Your biggest problems are a gang leader (VanCleef), Hogger,  and eventually, the black dragon Onyxia.  At some point you even go as high as an Elemental Lord, Ragnaros.  In the grand scheme of things, Elemental Lords end of being pretty low as the creep goes on. You also get to fight the bugs in AQ though, I believe.  I’m not sure where they even rate though.

I’m not super clear on BC, although I quested through it I didn’t play when it was knew but as far as I know you were still just a general band of adventurers getting stuff done.  The final boss was Illidan which I still don’t really get why (I kinda hate Illidan) and/or Kil’Jaeden.  I mean Kil’Jaeden is kind of a big deal being a huge demon.

In Wrath it’s obviously the Lich King and by now you are such a big deal that the LK himself wants to kill you and raise you as his most powerful heroes. But, you went through A LOT to get there.  The Naxx stuff, ToC and the nerubians, the titans in Ulduar effected by the old gods, and the IceCrown Citadel.  (I started playing when Ulduar was a big deal but didn’t raid until ICC).

In Cata the big boss was Deathwing and along the way you fight not only Ragnaros again, but Alakir who is another elemental lord, you assist Therazane the earth lord(ess?) and Neptulon the water one. You fight those old god minon guys again, lots of them.  You’re kind of a big deal but still pretty scrappy taking down that huge dragon trying to end the world.

Mist of Pandaria … I don’t even want to talk about it.  Good expansion but you’re basically fighting an orc.

WoD is an alternate timeline and I didn’t raid so I don’t even remember who the last boss was.

Legion was when it starts to get weird, in my opinion.  It was a FANTASTIC expansion but omg you’re fighting doom lords all the way up to Gul’dan and SARGERAS.  Where do you even go after that? You’re equipping MULTIPLE legendary items like it’s nothing, to the point of having multiples in your bags.  MULTIPLES!!! When in prior expansions it took months to finish even 1 for maybe ONE person on  your entire team, and now EVERYONE has MULTIPLES in their BAGS!  You are god tier at this point and the bosses are beyond god tier.  Also, fuck Illidan, take a bath you hippie.

And now in BFA, what is there even to do? We’re such a big deal legendary items are kind of whatever and we’re all leveling the same necklace.  The old gods are rolling around but, so? How can anything but worse than Sargeras?

That’s not to mention the other gear problem.  Want a huge bag? Go buy it.  Good gear? Go buy it.  Level a profession? Go buy the mats. I am rather enjoying looting a small slot bag in classic like it’s the best thing in the world.  I got a small red and brown bag and it’s AMAZING.  I like equipping an updated GREY or WHITE item.  Oh wow I got a green item!  It’s actually pretty neat.

How I Handle the Toxic

I had a discussed on reddit recently in the girlgamers section about what to do with chat goes toxic.  I’ve not really had problems over my 10+ years of online gaming and when someone has acted up, the way I handle it tends to work.  I discussed it briefly on there and basically got told I was rude, it wasn’t polite to fight sexism with sexism, , it wasn’t nice, etc.   I’m sorry but if you want to fight toxic with being polite and nice, it’s not always going to work.  Here’s methods I’ve used with actual examples.

Hiding:

Play a male character, only type but not ‘like a girl’, and never use voice chat.

Example: I played a male in Lineage 2, and my typing style isn’t like ‘a girl’.  I’m not sure what that means either.  You can join a voice channel and just not talk, but that is going to give away you are female or a dude playing a female.  But in my experience, you’d be pegged as a dude trying to be a girl if you are on a girl character and refusing to talk.

I don’t hide but in L2 playing a male character kept away a lot of crap.

Deflecting:

When an insult comes in, don’t argue, don’t cry, just deflect it.

Example:  I was fighting a rogue on my mage which I wasn’t terribly good at and, he decided to PM me and say how terrible I was.  I admitted I wasn’t very good at the mage but I was trying to practice.  Basically ‘yeah I know I’m bad, whatcanyado?’.  The guy ended up, a few days later, getting back to me and apologizing.  We were friends for quite a while after that.  Or recently when I was playing Pharah and got harassed that I was bad and I should switch, I just said “I am not listening” and stopped typing to them.  I didn’t say “that’s mean” or anything.  They ended up calling me a 20 chromo cunt and I reported them.  End of story.

 

Stand your ground:

If they were being just, wicked toxic, let them know it’s unacceptable without letting them know it bothers you.  They LIKE bothering you, that’s the whole POINT.  It’s blood in the water.

Example:  Some kid, probably, was going on and on being annoying as heck in Overwatch.  I said “please stop talking so much it’s distracting” and they replied “your mouth is distracting”.  I then said “cool well I’m muting you” and went on my merry way.  I want them to KNOW I am not listening to them.  If you mute and say nothing, they think they are getting to you and you’re just holding your tongue.  You ARE, but on your terms.  I choose not to hear you, I am not just sitting listening and crying.

Counter-punch:

Sometimes it’s just over the top ridiculous and at least with me, I can’t just let it slide.  Reply back with a ready insult showing you are not afraid and you aren’t about to cry about it. Don’t say “that’s mean” because that’s the point.  You are admitting they are bothering you that way.

Example:  Overwatch, I talked.  I hear “OMG a girl gamer omg girls don’t exist!”.  I reply “yeah I know weird isn’t it we’re like 50% of the population”.  I’ve done this multiple times, they have nothing to say.

or “Get in the kitchen and make me a sammich!”  I reply on the same level “get in the garage and fix my car” or “sure but first I have a jar for you to open since it’s the only thing you’re good for”.  Is it mean? Fuck yeah it is.  I didn’t start it, did I?  Fire with fire.  I could go on and on about all the people I did this with who I ended up on good terms or friends with later.

Other examples are “suck my D” and I reply “if you had one” which really riles them up.  Or roll with the insult.  In one particular situation in WoW, a guy was insulting my healing and a friend stuck up for me.  He said something like “you must have stuck your junk down his throat really well” and I accepted and replied “maybe I did, jealous?”.  I turned the insult into a jab that THEY would LIKE that sort of thing.  He ended up apologizing.  This one is in my rage tells list as well.

 

Just some thoughts.

It was fun for me

I realized making some classes easier was beneficial, for example hunters in MoP, I believe it was, were energy starved all the time, you had to use the shot that brought back focus (I forget the name, focus shot? I dunno) sometimes 2-3x in a row and after every few shots.  That got fixed.  Feral druid, for me at least, was SO DIFFICULT in MoP I literally could’t play it successfully until WoD where it was very enjoyable. At least, for killing Horde.

But a lot of classes lost not just silly flavor spells that were of little to no use.  They often lost giant mechanics that were kind of an interesting thing to think about while playing.

For instance, during Cata when a disc priest cast PW Shield, they got Borrowed Time, which was a haste buff to their next spell which was typically Penance.  Penance applied Grace which increased your other healing spells to using a big or fast heal was augmented.  That’s all completed gone and although we have ‘atonement’ to keep an eye on, it’s barely anything.

Or my resto druid in particular, eesh!  You don’t have to stack Lifebloom, thank goodness but, I liked keeping it refreshed with a direct heal.   You can’t do that any more.  I liked keeping up Harmony, which was also refreshed by casting direct heals.  I liked needing rejuv on a target to use Swift Mind.  It made you think a little bit.  That’s all gone. Swift mend is just a cool down, you have to manually refresh lifebloom with lifebloom, and as far as I know, Harmony doesn’t exist in it’s old form.

It’s basically just randomly pushing buttons that have nothing to do with anything.

I did start a new monk to relearn Mistweaver and it appears it hasn’t changed much (other than losing fantastic Grapple Weapon!) other than not watching Chi stacks.  I LIKED WATCHING CHI STACKS.   You can still cast enveloping mist and uh, the other one, instantly while channeling soothing mist but there is nothing to track any more.  It’s just, boring.

Alliance are Jerks, GO HORDE

So, I decided to make a new mistweaver because it’s been a long while since I played it and I honestly don’t remember how now that chi generation is gone.  I’m still on the Wandering Isle but about to choose my faction, and holy geez is it heavily horde biased.

You first run into a Tauren who comments he was a prisoner of the Alliance but he seems like a nice guy.  Then you run into a goblin who is going to help dislodge the Alliance ship who apparently carelessly crashed into the giant turtle Shen-zin Su, but when they do so, it leaves a critical wound.

God damn alliance right!

During these questions you run around collecting things and you only see horde npcs also killing the things fighting you (an orc is what I saw).  Then on top of that, once you cure the wound, all the human female does is threaten to toss the kindly Tauren right back in jail.

 

ASSHOLES!

 

You aren’t fooling me though Blizzard, Alliance all the way!  But I can’t imagine any new player would EVER choose Alliance thanks to these quests.

Hardcore Classic

Last night I tried to get into the classic version of WoW, but it had me sit in a queue, choose an account, then put me in a queue again.  For a solid hour.  So, that didn’t happen.  There was a discussion that classic WoW was ‘hardcore’ but c’mon.  Really?  Now, I only played it for maybe a few days when it first came out but I promise you Lineage 2 was more hardcore.  Here’s just a few examples I can think of from what I know about vanilla WoW.

1. Dying.

In Lineage 2 if you died you lost experience and could even de-level.  You had a chance of dropping gear (more on how bad this was later). You’re only rez choice was ‘return to village’ which meant running all the way back to your current location.   No item durability loss.

In WoW, you died and your equipment took some durability loss.  Didn’t drop gear, didn’t lose exp, and could corpse run.

Lineage 2 wins at the worst dying. 

2. Money.

I heard money was hard to get in WoW but I am not clear on exactly HOW hard.

I remember being level 20ish with 16k on me.  A D grade weapon (levels 20 and up) cost around 400k.

I am not positive but I think L2 wins

3.  Gear

In Lineage 2 you did not get gear from mob drops.  You did not get gear from quests.  You did not get gear from rare mobs.  Raids didn’t exist yet.  You either bought gear from stores, which had limited supplies past NG (no grade, level 1 and up) or have a dwarf craft it for you.  Crafting was tedious and expensive.  The only reliable gear was some nub-grade jewelry you could get in some starting areas off low level mobs.  If you ever lost a weapon by a scam or dropping while dying, YOU WERE SCREWED.  Your power came 99% from your weapons.

         As I mentioned I did not play vanilla WoW but, I am pretty certain gear dropped from mobs once in a while, quests gave gear rewards, the raids gave gear. You could kill stuff by punching it or if you were a caster, still hit stuff with spells at least a little. I think.  Update: I was able to play a bit of classic, I did get gear prior to level 5 from a quest.

L2 wins. 

4.  Scams

Lineage 2 had such excessive scamming that I wrote a guide detailing it out to help people avoid it.  Low level items that looked the same as higher level or higher priced goods, shop scams, trade window scams, player name font scams, loot method scams, you name it.  It was especially prevalent because of these flaws AND because the GMs did nothing about it.

Many scams simply cannot be done in WoW thanks to bind-on-pickup gear and other soulbound items.  The trade window one still worked, and loot ninjas were a thing.  But, the GMs would punish you if you did a scam which stopped a good majority of them and loot ninjas were labeled and punished by the community.

Lineage 2 scams were much, much worse. 

5. Transferring items

Lineage 2 literally didn’t have a mail system of any kind for many, many years.  If you wanted to trade something from one of your characters to another, you had to find a secluded area on the map and log one character out there.  Then log in the character with the stuff and get to the same spot.  Then, I kid you not, you had to DROP THE GEAR ON THE GROUND, quickly log out, log in the other character, and spam pick up and hope you got it.  Seriously.  I use to drop stuff in rivers to hide it to do this.

WoW had a mail system between characters right out of the gate so, do I even need to say it?

 

6. Travel

Lineage 2 had boat travel between the Talking Island starter area, Gludin and Giran, and instant Gatekeeper ports to areas and towns.  In early expansions though no one could afford ports and had to run everywhere.  We even ran under the ocean to get between towns because the boat was expensive and buggy.   In the entire time I played, I never had a player mount.  They had to be upgraded through experience and quests from a hatchling to a strider, required food and armor to survive, and could die forever, besides all of that.  There was no porting ability like blink, dash, leap, etc.   I remember wanting to cry during the 2nd class change quests when I had to go across the entire map over and over BY RUNNING.  It was so bad in later expansions the quests gave you ‘dimension diamonds’ that let you trade for town specific portal scrolls but in very limited supply.

WoW had mounts at level 40 that didn’t need food, didn’t die, and didn’t require exp.  Flight points took time but as far as I know, they weren’t cost prohibitive to use.

L2 wins again. 

7.  Crafting and enchanting systems

Put aside the fact that L2 required hundreds of materials to make an item, it had recipes that had 70% and 60% success rates and recipes you needed extra copies for. Not even kidding.  If you wanted to craft a 60% item, which was often the only way you could because some items did not have a 100% recipe, you not only needed a copy of the recipe for yourself, and the crafter also needed a recipe, but you COULD FAIL.  That meant you lost the recipe and ALL THE MATS, if you failed. And for the longest time you couldn’t tell if it worked or not, you would give all your materials to a crafter who could SUCCEED, but tell you it failed and keep your stuff.  And you had no idea if it worked or not. And some recipes took ages to even get.  I legit (almost) cried when I turned in the Tower of Insolence floor plans for all 13 floors and it gave me a handful of materials AND NOT THE RECIPE.  You could do a quest for weeks and not even get what you wanted.

I don’t know how WoW’s crafting worked in vanilla but I am going to guess it’s 100% not like L2’s.

8. Raids

Lineage 2 didn’t have raids at all that I can recall at all until the Cruma Tower Core in C1 or 2 and the Ant Queen.  However, no one was a high enough level to try either of those until well into Chronicle 2 since they were level 50 something.  They weren’t made for a US audience either because they required ridiculous number of players (like 50 to 100) we just didn’t have.  They weren’t raids in the instanced sense either, they were all world bosses.  If it was killed on your server, no one could do it until it respawned.  We did have mini world bosses though. They often dropped nothing at all or useless stuff though.  In C3 we did an actual legit world  boss raid for the first time and it dropped no joke, 397 stems.  Stems were a very base crafting material.  It would be like getting 300 mage cloth from Ragnoros or something.

 

If I recall correctly, Classic WoW had some actual raids, like Onyxia and AQ? I believe raids were 40 people as well.  They were only available to max level players though.

I think both games are probably on par for 2004 raiding though. Other than WoW not making you lose gear or exp during raid wipes though. 

 

L2 wins at being hardcore. 

 

If I think of more later I’ll add it.