Changing the game Part 1: Why I like the "dumbing down" - pruning, removal of reforging and stat squish

You must be blind or deaf not to hear the outcries from the current active World of Warcraft players complaining about the changes.  The game has been "dumbed down" or they're "taking the fun out of our class" are some of the most common complaints.  There was a lot of complexity to the game as it stands currently, and for those of us who have played for a while, we didn't really bat an eyelid over things like using Ask Mr Robot to max our gear stats, or read Icy Veins to figure out our hit and expertise caps or haste break points, but for the uninitiated, it can be SO difficult especially when you're just learning the game and everyone is telling you how stupid you are because you aren't hit capped.

But don't you think it's funny that some of the same people complaining about the changes are also some of the same people who say that Vanilla was amazing.  Where back in Vanilla we had less abilities, very few of these extra stats, and you just ran around hitting things and having fun.  Of course, there was skill to being good at what you did, and you could still do amazing things with those few abilities we did have if you knew your class well.

With each expansion Blizz added more.  More abilities. They changed the talent tree - a few times. They changed our specs.  They put in new abilities and rarely took old ones away.  They gave other classes HoTs and AoE heals, and my class more direct heals.  The distinction between healing classes seemed to blur a little, and I was happy when I finally got some damage mitigation spells in my arsenal so that I could have a bubble type effect like a paladin or a disc priest.

Before you knew it, my bar was full.  In fact, my secondary bar is full.  And my third. And my sidebars (yes I use a standard UI).  And I don't like remembering a zillion keybinds - I want my daughter to be able to get onto my character and have a little bit of fun about it without having to remember that you have to do 1, 2 and 3 and if then hit [ and then 8 and 4 if you're taking lots of damage and sometimes you may have to use 7.  In fact, I tried to make it just 1,2 and 3 for her and if she's dying too much she can just run away.  THAT is dumbing down. But the extra things, still have a bit of depth to them.

The ability pruning is actually a really GOOD change, and I don't think it's dumbed down at all. My class has gone back to what it used to be - a HoT class - where burst healing was not it's strength but overall raid damage counteracting was what druids used to do best.  It was the Priests and Shamans who used to get the fast big heals out.

My husband used to play a lot of WoW with me in Vanilla and BC, and then he took a break.  He has found it hard to get back into the game because learning it was not as easy as it was - the game was no longer intuitive, he had to read outside World of Warcraft to actually learn how to play his class again, and he didn't enjoy nor find that particularly fun.  And of course he would come back for brief periods and I'd try to get him geared up a little bit so he could have fun, but inevitably he found himself unsubbing again because he didn't enjoy it.  I've been excitedly telling him about how he would enjoy Warlords of Draenor because the class is simpler without all those hit and expertise things he didn't quite understand and couldn't be bothered with, and all the extra stats are now more FUN because they make your class better not hinder or handicap your class if you had too much of one and not enough of another.

Now, my challenge is to find where I sit in terms of raid functionality.  In times of big AOE damage I still find myself struggling to get out a fast AoE heal (there's my bloom shroom nostalgia again!) that ISN'T tranquility but blanketing rejuvenation is something I have to get used to again.  Not something I really did in 10 mans as I tended a bit towards a few rejuvs with swiftmends and Wild Growth but I am slowly finding my feet.  I feel like Haste is the most yummy stat I could lust for come WoD so I can get more Healing Touch and Regrowths out!

Reforging for those stupid caps was also a nightmare.  One piece of gear and you had to redo all your gems and enchants - OK maybe a slight exaggeration, but it would be expensive.  And it was definitely NOT FUN. I hated doing it.  I hated that I had to have an outside application to do it and sometimes I would sit down with paper and pen and write it all down to try do it myself.

And it is SO strange looking at gems that have +10 or +20 to a stat.  It's good though - at least this is one part of inflation that can easily be uninflated.  A shame that can't be done for the economy :D

And so, now we are going back to a version similar to Vanilla WoW.  Let's see if those Vanilla was better people still are saying the same thing NOW... but I think that complainers will always be complainers. I am excited for WoD because now my husband can come back and enjoy some of the game that he used to love to play because the whole thing is so much friendlier to a new or returning player than it used to be, and I can't wait to show him some raids in the new Raids when he's ready for it.  And I think that Blizz is on the right track with this if they want to keep players or encourage players to return (even for a short while) - making an easy learning curve and be able to play the game for fun without it turning into some kind of ... homework... for the more casual player.

Learning faster, means you get to have fun faster!


  1. I agree completely. I much prefer being able to watch the boss fights and enjoy the game than miss everything but my bars/buffs and my feet. I cannot wait to be raiding in WoD, get a piece of gear and be able to put it on without too much issue - that is soo exciting :)

    It will be good to see your hubby back in the game if you can convince him of all the changes - but I agree with him for the new/returning player - it shouldn't require six hour pre-reading of various sites to know how to play your class.


  2. Overall I agree that the Prune was a good idea. However certain spec's have had their soul ripped out as a result.

    Do I agree that using Rapid fire as a BM Hunter every minute (due to tier bonuses) was exciting and fun gameplay? Hell no. And ultimately I think BM Hunters were done well - didn't lose anything substantial, and tuning can fix the dps issues at 6.0 launch.

    But is pressing literally 3 buttons as an Arms warrior fun? particularly when mixed with an enormous swing timer - and being quite easily rage capped at low ilvls, despite your dump being an AoE?

    I think not enough work was done on ensuring that each spec feels right - they should feel engaging to play and right now a bunch of them don't (ask Disc priest how they feel about Holy Nova? - thank god its not usable at 100).

    We're at 6.0 now, so its really unlikely that anyone is going to have any major rotational change till 6.1/6.2. I truly feel many specs are going to suffer rerolls as a result of it.

    Regarding reforging - can't agree more.

    1. Tbh i can only comment from a druid perspective and it is good for me. Hopefully other classes will get tweaked till they are fun again.


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