The Wednesday WTF.

Hey, we’re back everyone. Vacations, Internet failure, and general laziness kept the WTF from you, but no longer! I bring you a shiny new WTF, and cookies.

In right before the actual expansion, I wanted to talk about the gameplay changes between WotLK and Cata. There have been any number of posts, discussions, and rants ranging in quality from insightful and informative to nothing but QQ. Last week MMO-Champion featured a post about all the things WoW players are going to have to learn/relearn for Cataclysm. The post caught my eye not because it was exceptionally good (or bad), but rather because it was incredibly bland.

A well written and concise post, it nevertheless seemed that all the discussions on the upcoming changes over the past months were distilled in it, and the result was uninspiring mush. The post offered nothing new, and unless you’ve been away from WoW for the last three months, nothing you didn’t already know. The post itself is not the issue however. It’s a fine tool for a returning player, someone who’s lived under a rock for the past several months, or just something to point at when summarizing gameplay changes.

The problem is in the responses. Given a lack of criticizable content, the people on the internet picked the closest thing they could think of: talking about how WotLK (and the players thereof) sucked. Ignoring the fact that ~45 pages of posters are all sure they’re not the average WoW player, I have a couple problems with this attitude.

First, all of the things on this list good WoW players either A) were doing throughout the entirety of Wrath, or B) knew about but didn’t do because it was suboptimal. Maybe this is applicable to new WoW players, people with the memory of a goldfish, or just bad players, but once you rise even a little bit above the sea of mediocrity, you’re going to find that everyone already thought of all of this on their own, and is prepared for it. Not to discount the endless stupidity of people on the internet, but I think it’s safe to say anyone reading MMO-Champion already knows this shit.

Second, it continues the popular trend of slamming WotLK, and the play-style that resulted from it. Almost all of the “bad habits” of Wrath are a subjective response. So you don’t need CC in PvE? It still has a place in PvP. Who says a /focus /polymorph macro takes more skill than a perfectly executed AoE rotation? Heck, I liked the chain-pulling of Wrath. Maybe you didn’t get  a cool achievement or bonus loot for completing a 5-man in under 10 minutes, but it was a challenge just as valid as anything else presented.

Sure, Wrath had its faults. No one is going to argue that. The scope of the problems is just an opinion, and one I think is generally pretty disingenuous. If you hate the 3 button facerolls that Wrath turned most classes into, fine. That’s a valid opinion. But for every you, there’s someone else that saw the same situation as an opportunity to absolutely perfect their use of those three buttons. More buttons to press does not equate to more skill, just a different kind of skill, and no matter if they’re pressing 1 button or 20, a good player will always find a way to shine through.

Wrath was a fine expansion, arguably the best Blizzard has produced thus far (6 days…), and everyone bandwagoning on to the “Wrath playstyle sucked” wagon can go sample some penis. We had a good couple of years, Wrath of the Lich King, and I appreciate what you gave to the WoW community. /salute

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