It’s been a pretty hectic weekend around the Syp household: both our families have descended upon our house for my daughter’s baptism, and I’m scrambling between being a good host (which means cooking a LOT), doing some work, and wondering where my son has hidden my aunt-in-law’s $300 camera lens cap.
So… not a lot of gaming. A little, not a lot. Although we certainly had the processing power for it.
My wife’s family comes from a long tradition of gadget geeks, and by the time their shoes were off in the house, they’d plugged in multiple laptops, iPhones, cameras and iPads, hooked into my router, and spent the next couple days conversing with all of us while looking at their screens all of the time. I’m not used to being “out-geeked” by others, but in this case I felt like a social butterfly in comparison.
The iPad? This was the first time I got my hands on one, and yeah… it’s pretty much a big iPhone. Nice-looking, snappy to carry, and pretty much useless for whatever I’d need it for. My brother in law was crowing about his, swishing this and that around, and I finally had to slap him down by opening up my netbook and logging onto my wife’s WoW account. “Can yours do this? Yeah. Let’s go look at some Flash applications now.”
There was a lot of WoW gaming in the house as well, and we spent some time chatting about the new expansion. Now, to be honest, there’s just really nothing left in WoW for me, and I tried hard not to let that enter the conversation in the form of bitterness or condescension. They’re having fun in it, awesome for them, and I even think I’ve got one of my bros-in-law to try out LOTRO after a quick demo.
But I gotta say that there was a lot of disappointment, both from this ex-player and the current ones, when we heard the news that Blizzard’s cutting down some of their much-ballyhooed Cataclysm features. Seriously, it’s like they took a brave step toward introducing alternative advancement and innovative features, and then freaked the heck out and run away. As I’m not that interested in promoting the furry cause (cue hate letters), my intellectual interest in Cataclysm swirled mostly around the Path of the Titans feature and the new Archaeology profession. The former has been axed completely and replaced with more glyphs, the latter dumbed down, and other features — like guild leveling — have taken watered down into a thin, reedy broth that’s tasty for no one.
Really, it’s disappointing. I say that not from a vantage point of hating Blizzard, but because I want to see the game improve and I know a lot of people were looking forward to those systems, especially Path of the Titans. Another tier of glyphs? Whoopty-freaking-do. I feel sorry for people who swallow their disappointment with this by trying to buy into the delusion that this is a better move. Of course, it’s not like this is the first time Blizzard promised features or even put them on the back of the box, just to never see get them in the game. Blizzard claims they couldn’t make it work, which is mind-boggling considering how long they work on these expansions.
Okay, it’s not everything, but man… what does that leave? More of the same, with parts just reskinned. I was hoping WoW was moving forward with this, but they’re kind of moving sideways and making a huge deal out of it.