|It's the same old World of Warcraft
||[Nov. 24th, 2010|10:14 am]
Blizzard's furry friends
As a prelude to the release in early December of its "Cataclysm" expansion, Blizzard yesterday launched “the Shattering” patch for World of Warcraft. There has been a lot of hoopla and hype surrounding this, with much of the talk centering around how innovative and creative Blizzard is for taking such a bold step.
What the Shattering mounts to, however, is a cosmetic patch over a game structure that is fundamentally unchanged. Fundamentally? It isn’t changed at all. Orgrimmar is prettier than it was, Auberdine less so, parts of the map have been redrawn, and some regions have different-level monsters than before. There also appears to be a great deal more potential for pointless conflict between Horde and Alliance--Warsong Lumber Camp and Talendris Point, for two examples. Some of the graphics choices are an improvement; many of the trees, for instance, no longer look like transparent shells painted with bad leaf designs.
But this does not alter in any way the flatness of the core game mechanics. The Shattering and Cataclysm are just more of the same: Go out, Kill something, Collect the loot. Lather, rinse, repeat. Endlessly.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t have done it or that it wasn’t a helluva lot of work to achieve; I’m just saying that I don’t see anything particularly “bold and creative” about redrawing parts of the map and applying new textures. What I would like to have seen is something that requires some degree of skill and strategy, rather than just typing a key and having better gear than the other guy. Now that would be innovative.