(Finishing up Pokemon week, I’m going to change things up a bit and teach a lesson to the players of Warcraft not to the company)
During the past few week I did something that I usually never do, go read some World of Warcraft and Pokemon forums.
While reading some ‘interesting’ comments, I noticed a trend that appears in both WoW and Pokemon fans. The idea that expansion X, or in Pokemon terms Pokemon game X, was the best and all other following games was terrible by comparison.
In WoW commenters will say that the best expansion is usually the Burning Crusade or Vanilla while Pokemon’s best game is Pokemon Red and Blue. I attribute this to the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. I would like to set the record straight by quoting the title of this post, that every single WoW expansion and Pokemon game will suck, compared to the predecessor.
With any addition to the game there have always be improvements to the gameplay’s quality of life for the player, changes that most people do not want to lose if you asked them.
With Pokemon the Red and Blue games were good but nowhere near the perfection that nostalgic players would claim.
It took the next addition of the Pokemon games (Silver and Gold) to add some gameplay that was sorely missed in the first generation. Along with more Pokemon the new games had days and night times, a better Pokemon daycare, held items and improved color pallets and Pokemon designs.
Let us not forget the bugs that Pokemon Silver and Gold fixed in their game
With Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (the third generation of Pokemon) the game now added again, improved graphics, and the introduction to the double battle mechanics and as mentioned in monday’s post, the addition of Pokemon passive abilities and weather conditions in battles.
This trend continued with Diamond/Pearl (Gen. VI) and Pokemon Black and White (Gen. V), like cut scenes and healing halfway through a difficult caves.
The same holds true for WoW.
Does anyone really want to go back to a time in WoW where you needed to pug 39 other players to go to a raid that had non-existent boss mechanics? With Priests and Druids being broken to the point they can be useful when they are in a healing spec, and a terrible gold economy?
No? then Vanilla WoW is not for you.
Ok, what about the awesome Burning Crusade expansion sure there was slightly improved quest lines, a deceased in the required number of people to take down a raid boss, and lest us forget the flying mount.
But lets not forget about the ridiculous to get attuned for the heroics and raids.
In Burning Crusade, we still have no easy way to get people together for the heroic/raid. We still have to gather the people, we have to fly there, and no way to replace members mid dungeon run. Also the reputation grind was still grinding thousands of enemies and hundreds of turn-in quests. Do you want to an expansion with new factions that required more pointless grinding?
No? then less move on to the Wrath of the Lich King.
Alright so we ruled out Vanilla and Burning Crusade, what about Wrath? Well in Wrath Blizzard gets props for breaking up raids into a ten and a twenty-five man sizes but the getter gear was always in the twenty-five raids, penalizing smaller guilds who could not get that many people together online at the same time. Also the talent trees where getting out of hand with the amount of bloat in each spec, and there was no ingame rewards for guild participation. And although Wrath had more land to fly around in, and better phased quests, the old Azeroth content started to look very dated by comparison. A problem with the phasing is it always isolates you from the world for the roleplaying cut scenes
So lets move one to the current expansion, Cataclysm.
Now we have Cataclysm, with revamped Azeroth and flying throughout almost all of the world. We also have a much more toned down talent tree system and equal loot tables for both ten and twenty-five man raid groups, which makes my guild especially happy for since now Cata we have actually got a few legendaries.
So what was wrong with Cataclysm?
Archaeology was still very rough, and Blizzard did not add any new craftable weapons with each patch so any Archaeology epics you would be obsolete with just one run of Raid finder. Blizzard also learned that players want more end game quests to complete by themselves, and the new world was now filled with instanced locations where two friends could not see each other if one completed the quest chain before the other.
So now lets look at Mist of Pandaria and see how much better it is than Catclysm.
With Mist of Pandaria now NPC appears and triggers conversations with you or other NPCs without you being teleported to a separated instance, so I can now help my friend with a Jade Forest quest when I’m already level capped . And Blizzard now learned what to improve for end game time sinks. Archaeology, something added in Cata, is now greatly improved with smaller dig sites and hostile disturbed spirits that drops additional fragments and the more interactive time sink with Pet Battles.
What I’m trying to say is that in both Pokemon and WoW each previous games was flawed in some say that was improved with the next installment. Each game also had quality of live improvements that no reasonable player would demand to be taken out improved graphics, double battles and abilities for Pokemon and flying mounts, LFG, Mass rez for World of Warcraft
Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mist of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays