It's been a month since the release of World of WarCraft: Cataclysm, so it's a good time to take another look at the game and wonder if it's missing something.
World of WarCraft remains one of the most important titles in its category, and Cataclysm is undoubtedly the best expansion pack to hit the hands of fans of the game. However, despite the great fun it offers, it leaves the impression that not much has really changed since the release of The Burning Crusade.
Along the way we've received fantastic guild management tools and now a new system for its expansion, as well as great offline attractions such as a mobile armory and auction house. Bored of waiting in line for battlegrounds you can take up archaeology, which in my opinion is a great profession if you have a minimal interest in the history of the game world.
Apart from that, however, exactly the same schemes are used all the time. We jump to the next level, visit instances, collect equipment to participate in raids. There again, we collect equipment, then fight against stronger bosses. Is it tedious? I don't think so, Blizzard has done a great job and both the new and old worlds provide plenty of challenge and fun. However, there remains a certain lack of satisfaction, you can feel a disturbing repetitiveness, and I assure you that I'm not alone in these feelings. Can this put anyone off the game? Probably yes, although we're talking about individual cases here. People who loved World of WarCraft continue to play what they like and how they like it. However, it's worth asking yourself what the game is missing and how it could be improved.
New races and territories have been built on more interesting principles, but there is a bit of innovation missing in the later stages of the game .
Let's start with the economy of Azeroth, which remains in a strange stagnation. People at level 85 have access to a huge amount of cash, but don't really know what to do with it. From time to time you can spend some money on materials needed for profession advancement, sometimes you can buy an enchant or a gem at the auction house, but that's about all. Players need something to spend the money they earn on.
The endgame still consists of practically two options - either PvE, which is limited to evening raids, or PvP, that is visiting battlegrounds and a few arena visits per week. A month of sporadic play was enough for me to achieve everything Cataclysm offers at this stage. Do I complain about it? Not really, for me the most important thing in MMOs have always been people and a good game environment, and I can't complain about the lack of one or the other so far.
The game has become more casual than ever, but I'm not sure if this is a step in the right direction. Instead of developing new aspects of the game, Blizzard is simplifying old ones so that they are accessible to everyone. This is certainly a solution of sorts, but perhaps it would be better to come up with something new to occupy players who prefer standalone gameplay? We are all moving in a very limited environment with a perfectly organized endgame, but with an absolute limitation of freedom. When the choice in PvE comes down to: "to raid or not to raid?", it's not really a choice at all. You could probably focus on instances, but there aren't that many of them, and the difficulty level of heroes (a big plus for many and for me) really eliminates playing with random people.
There's a certain lack of freedom in finding activities for yourself, and that's because Blizzard is defensive about introducing new features. Sure the developers have their reasons, they've spent the last two years revamping virtually the entire game world and have done a fantastic job. However, despite all my respect for their work, it would be nice to tackle something else besides raids, arenas and battlegrounds. The first thing that comes to my mind is player housing, which has been missing from the game forever. Fans seem to have given up hope that such a possibility will ever appear in Azeroth, and I have to admit that the proposals coming from the forums are really interesting. People write about houses that could be expanded, workshops to improve professions, mannequins dressed in old equipment from previous supplements, fantastic ideas are a lot, but their implementation, unfortunately, much less. I also meet with opinions that the new areas, despite the great story line, lost a little connection with the main opponent of this expansion, the Deathwing. He appears sporadically, which is usually spectacular, but is absent from instances and raids. In Wrath of the Lich King we saw the Lich King almost everywhere, the atmosphere of fighting him was perfectly felt, this is what is missing in Cataclysm. The new instances make a great impression, but the presence of Deathwing is often missing there. Additionally, Blizzard in search of balance is starting to make character classes too similar to each other. I often hear that individual heroes are losing what made them different. Shamans are no longer the only class that offers Bloodlust, Battleshout Warrior is no different from the Shaman totem or Horn of Winter - Death Knight. We're still waiting for the promised, revolutionary changes in professions. Any self-respecting tank is doomed to those professions that offer a bonus to stamina, while dps will choose a craft that will maximize damage dealt. Archaeology offers some very cool stuff, but it lacks something special in cooking, fishing, not to mention first aid. My goal, of course, is not just to point out the game's shortcomings. I'd simply like to point out places whose improvement could make World of WarCraft even more attractive. I'm not alone in this. Both American and European forums are full of constructive posts, which appreciate the quality of the add-on, but also propose new elements of the game, which would perfectly expand the fun. Many indicate that the latest addition is primarily an attempt to rebuild the game world, introduce some standards or balance between classes in PvE and PvP. This is a goal well worth the effort, and Blizzard's achievements on this ground deserve respect. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a certain amount of repetitiveness and a lack of new ideas for the game. Something tells me that we'll have to wait for them until the next supplement, and in the meantime it remains to enjoy the undoubtedly perfectly polished, but a bit old gameplay mechanics.