Cataclysm: Can You Feel The Apathy?

So other than various MMO studios shooting themselves in the foot over the past week — which makes me simultaneously reach for the popcorn and feel bad for them — the big news lately has been the announcement of Cataclysm’s class changes.

Some folks are pretty jazzed, but that’s sort of a default setting to anything Blizzard announces.  Heck, even the announcement of an upcoming announcement from them is, like, page one headlines most places.  But even though I’ve softened up to WoW and had a good time during the winter getting back into the game, I have to say — I’m as underwhelmed as can be by Cataclysm news thus far.

The new class skills are nice, and I’m glad they’re doing more than just one, yet at the same time there’s nothing grabbing me by my lapels and screaming in my face, “PLAY MEEEE!”  In all honesty, my first thought was wondering if the hotbar had enough spare slots to aborb three or four new skills.

I’m also not sensing the same kind of buzzing excitement over this expansion, even though it’s really one of the few Big Things remaining on the MMO schedule this year.  Have diminishing returns finally caught up to WoW?  Who knows, and predicting this title is a futile exercise anyway.  I just haven’t heard anything truly gripping to entice me back come launch day.

24 thoughts on “Cataclysm: Can You Feel The Apathy?

  1. Tanek April 14, 2010 / 11:30 am

    I have not been back to WoW in a while, but the news that caught my eye recently was the plan to take back Gnomeregan.

    New class skills? Different stats system? Eh, I’d have had to relearn all that stuff anyway. But give me the opportunity to let loose an army of Gnomish roombas on Gnomeregan, I’m there. Well, for 30 days, anyway. 🙂

    I’m a bit shaky on whether it is something happening with the expansion, or *before* Cataclysm launches, though, so it might not count.

  2. pitrelli April 14, 2010 / 11:30 am

    I’ll agree although I’m still a bit hyped to play a couple of Worgen.

    I’d like to think (hope) blizzard are holding things back but I’m only interested in the release date now if I’m honest. The ‘hype’ this time around has just been poorly handled imo. I mean it has been whimpers and fake leaks since blizzcon and the Cataclysm website has only just been updated recently (first time for 7 months).

    I cant see it being as popular as other expansions but hey blizzard will no doubt prove me wrong.

  3. Matt April 14, 2010 / 11:35 am

    They had me at “we’re redesigning Azeroth”.

    Everything beyond that is just awesomesauce on an already delicious cake.

  4. theerivs April 14, 2010 / 11:36 am

    The New Mage Skill of Time Warp got me pretty excited though I doubt it gonna be like Max Payne Bullet time, where I fly across the screen shooting two wands.

    but here’s to hoping 🙂

  5. Fuzzy April 14, 2010 / 12:05 pm

    I would love it if a Blizzard employee broke down my front door, grabbed me by my lapels, and yelled at me to play the expansion 🙂

    And yay for Homeworld. Too bad I suck at RTS games.

  6. Utakata April 14, 2010 / 12:12 pm

    As a person who has more invested in the game, I couldn’t be more excited. That’s because perhaps I understand the finer nuance of what they’re doing…which is regretabley a hard sell for a game that is has become long on tooth for many. But for me, who has invested a lot of love into my characters, to see the world change so radically for levelling content just opens new possibilites.

    I suppose when it comes to LoTRO, it’s a game that is stuck in pre-set lore which really can’t be deviated from. WoW has no such constraints, and the lore continues grow with the game. So the player is never too sure what’s going to come around the corner. To me this is exciting. It’s
    a living, breathing world that always changes. But I understand that’s not for everyone.

  7. Slymie April 14, 2010 / 12:25 pm

    I think it’s far less a case of anyone at ActiBlizzard fearing Lore departures, and more a case of “how can we entice the players that have quit to come back and buy our expansion?”

    Answer: change the game so drastically that it’s no longer the WoW the players quit. They did the same thing with Burning Crusade. They drew back tons of players that had left due to classes not being what they “thought” they should have been. Now they’re doing the same thing with this x-pak.

    Nothing is going to change with this dev team. They’ll continue to turn out great theme-park style content, while completely revamping their core mechanics every 2-4 years. To say that WoW isn’t the same game it is now as when it was release would be an understatement. Only SWG has had a s drastic a core mechanics change as WoW has as far as MMO’s go. I’m just wondering when WoW’s going to “get it wrong” and see why that kind of activity just doesn’t work well.

  8. Drew April 14, 2010 / 12:57 pm

    When I read the headline, I thought certainly you’d be talking about the apathy I currently have (and many others from what I’m reading) about playing WoW until the arrival of Cataclysm – not Cataclysm, itself. As a hunter main, I’m quite excited about the upcoming changes – a re-vamp of the class is going to be very interesting. As for playing right now? I’ve actually hung up my bow until the expansion hits in all likelihood – I’m just bored to tears of the current content.

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  10. Brian 'Psychochild' Green April 14, 2010 / 1:21 pm

    I’m feeling pretty apathetic about Cataclysm, too. Although, for me, WoW has definitely moved on and I’m no longer very interested in it. I’ll go check out the revamped Azaroth if I can without buying the expansion, but I doubt I’m going to get back into the game like I did in TBC.

  11. blomma April 14, 2010 / 1:28 pm

    @utakata: As a person who has played wow since classic beta i can say that im extremly underwhelmed by the announced class changes. Or to be more exackt, some classes, like the mage, got some interesting stuff, while others, like hunters, got roally screwed out of anything remotley interesting.

    But mostly it feels like they have completley run out of interesting ideas and are just going thru the motions.

  12. Void April 14, 2010 / 1:41 pm

    I have never really made an alt that lasted because I grow bored when I have to rerun the same content.

    Because of this, Cataclysm is making me really excited to create an alt and level it up through the completely new Azeroth. When they announced completely new content from 1-60 I was sold.

    But, for the same reason, that alt probably won’t make it past 60 because I’ll be re-running content again.

    On top of the new Azeroth I think another 5 levels at endgame with my Druid could be fun… but as you said it isn’t as compelling as it once was.

  13. moxie April 14, 2010 / 1:44 pm

    I’m definitely in for Cataclysm, but it’s more because I love the story/lore of Warcraft and want to see all the changes to the game world. TBH, once I get my characters up to 85, I don’t know how long they’ll keep me… maybe for a while, but they need to come up with something other than gear-grinding to keep me interested after I’m level capped.

    Right now my WoW guild is going through a horrible slow time because so many of us are off playing other games. All our alts are level capped, most folks already have whatever the highest tier of gear you can get with badges. So we’re in a holding pattern until Cataclysm comes out.

  14. mbp April 14, 2010 / 1:55 pm

    I have no opinion one way or the other about World of Warcraft but I have to post because Homeworld remains one of my favourite games ever and while the Cataclysm sequel is not quite as good as the original it was also pretty awesome.

    They just don’t make em like they used to.

  15. kaozz April 14, 2010 / 4:00 pm

    I am not very excited about Cataclysm. We all know there will be plenty of time to play it over the (at least) next two years. As slow as they are with expansions, milking them out as long as they can. Then making a big production out of the upcoming expansion… It’s sort of lost it’s sparkle.

    Class changes, that is nothing new. More of the same ol’ same ol’ why not tell us more about the content. I suppose they will hold out on the good stuff for BlizzCon.

  16. Utakata April 14, 2010 / 5:46 pm

    I can’t really comment on the class changes, blomma…because there still not a lot of clarity exactly what it means now they changing many of the mechanics of how the classes will play in Cat, which is quite likely to be different from where they are now. I need a little more substance to go on. I can tell you, that you seem more enthusiastic about the Mage changes than I am…but perhaps with my main being a Mage, I am see’ing the grass differently on the other side.

    One of the things I will say though, I think the lack of information we’ve been getting from Cat since they announced it has been so very little until last week. Thus, it’s having the opposite effect to games like Warhammer, Champions, STO before and SWTOR currently; that is, it’s really under-hyped. A more steady trickle of info might of staved off the apathy and wet the appetites a bit. I would still like to see a female Worgen in play for example. This is remarkably different from how they marketed Wrath and BC, and I think it’s starting to tell. And ironically, it appears I’m more excited about their product than they are. 😦

  17. Nerokis April 14, 2010 / 6:04 pm

    You’re projecting. There’s a lot of excitement and panic (which go together on the internet =P) over on the forums. People were at the edge of their seats waiting for these class changes to come out.

    Certainly, there’s more to be excited for in Cataclysm than in any other expansion so far: classes are being polished from top to bottom (some are being given new core mechanics, too), and being given some cool, situational new spells; the old world is being revamped, being brought in line with the rest of the game, and endgame will now go straight through it, all removing the sense that it was becoming increasingly obsolete and detached; rated BGs will broaden the PvP landscape, along with the new PvP zone that seems to be a combination of the Sunwell zone (which was amazing) and Wintergrasp (which was so-so); all the changes to guilds will be amazing, supplementing whatever PvE/PvP/social goals the guild has; the Mastery system, Path of the Titans, and Reforging will add a greater level of customization to our characters; two new races, and more race/class combos; all the new content, which will be created by a team now more experienced and technologically flexible; etc. etc.

    For me, the list of things is so large, it’s hard not to vent when someone implies there’s little to be pumped about.

  18. Wonderwyrm April 14, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    Not really interested, they dont seem to do anything new with that franchise.

    Lets throw a new coat of paint on everything and call it a day.

    A company with that much money, and theres nothing new, just the same old rehashed stuff.

  19. boatorious April 15, 2010 / 5:54 am

    I wouldn’t expect class changes to be that exciting to anyone who doesn’t play the game. If you’re a warlock sick of dealing with soul shards for the past five years (or hunter sick of ammo for the last five years) you’re pretty stoked that shards/ammo is going away. But if you’ve never dealt with that I can’t imagine it would be interesting, or even notable.

    Nobody’s mentioned phasing, quest design, masteries, revamped low-level dungeons, or Archaeology/Path of the Titans. To me (and probably to most casual players too) that’s going to be the coolest stuff in this expansion.

  20. pitrelli April 15, 2010 / 8:00 am

    @ Wonderwyrm interesting comment and I’d be interested in hearing what you think they should do?

    From where Im standing WoW is still a global success and to dramatically change anything at this stage would be madness on blizzards part. Sure if subs drop dramatically they will need to think of different avenues to go down in relation to WoW and its gameplay but for now I think most WoW players would be happy for ‘more of the same’ just more often than at present.

    I am hoping with Cataclysm they learn from some of their mistakes, hell they even had a dev interview not too long ago about things in TBC and more recently WoTLK that they think just didnt work and would take a look at it before cata releaseds (such as the emblem system and dailies).

  21. Wonderwyrm April 15, 2010 / 1:37 pm

    I dont mean they need to reinvent the wheel or anything of that sort. What they have right now works.

    Im talking evolving the game, not dumbing it down, I know they want to appeal to everyone.

    They need to expand on the phasing, I think they also need to expand on the caverns of time. Even if you could go back there for diffrent quests, not necessarily a 5 man.

    How much lore does warcraft have? A shit ton! Use it!!

    Housing would be awesome, I mean a lot of there systems are ripped off from other games anyway!

    Look at lotros skirmish system, I think its great!!

  22. pitrelli April 15, 2010 / 3:15 pm

    ‘They need to expand on the phasing, I think they also need to expand on the caverns of time.’

    ‘How much lore does warcraft have? A shit ton! Use it!!’

    Umm someone aint read up on the expansion have they?

    – Phasing is going to be a big part of their plans, hell the whole worgen area is subject to phasing.

    – Caverns of time instances have also been confirmed

    – As for lore – simply read this

  23. We Fly Spitfires April 15, 2010 / 4:42 pm

    Ehh, I don’t know. I’m pretty excited over Cataclysm because I’m genuinely impressed with the things Blizzard are going to do with it. No other MMORPG has ever revamped their original zones and content and I think that’s quite exciting to see happen.

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