Lamenting On The Death Of Uniqueness

This week we have seen a few things crop up on the PTR. We of course have seen the new heroics, ZG and ZA. ZG was my first ever raid, even if not done as a proper raid. As such, it holds a special spot in my gaming memory. But I can’t help but help but feel that it might have a bit of a chewing gum taste to it.

And also, a ton of class balancing changes have been implemented. This is the way patches always have been, and will be for a long time. They change the game, not only in content, but in mechanics as well.

But a change buried under the DK list really has me irritated.

I Am A Gamer, I Like Shiny Things

I strongly identify myself as a gamer. I have shelves and shelves of games to which I dare not even try to guess how many hours I spent burning the midnight oil. I have my wow toons, which collectively account for just over 2/3 of a year /played. I have games that I cannot wait to play, just waiting for developers to RELEASE THE DAMMED THINGS.

And what do all of these games have in common? New, unique (for the most part) gaming experiences. And they are marketed as such. That is how one RTS separates itself from another, one MMO from another, one shooter from… Well, you get the point. Otherwise we’d all be playing the same thing, right?

Then There Was Second String

WoW, it is almost universally accepted (though to be fair, never confirmed by Blizzard), brought in the “alternate” team of developers during the Wrath era. Many things were changed for the better. Consolidation of buffs, easier access to raiding, greater communication from the development team. So many that it is far too great to list here. And it was successful! Wow enjoyed the largest subscription it has ever had during the Wrath era.

But during this era of change in our beloved games, many things were lost. Buffs were shared by many classes, gear acquisition was a bit easy, difficulty was maybe undertuned… I am sure we can all think of things that we would change.

And then enters Cataclysm taking this design and driving it even further home.

Clone Me!

A while back I wrote a post (it was during T10, right as gear started flooding the game) which asked players to stand in Dalaran and take a gander at other toons. If you can remember the picture in your mind, you will remember how similar everyone looked. Yes, they, overall, looked better than the rainbow clowns of the BC era. But, you couldn’t pick individuals out of the crowd anymore.

Also at the beginning of wrath, they removed profession specializations. No more Tribal Leatherworkers, or Armorsmith Blacksmiths, etc. Once you learned a profession, everyone who had that profession could get your items. No more gallivanting around with your Stormherald as a sign of your e-peen.

And now, with the patch of 4.1 they are going to be removing one of the most unique spells in the game – DK’s Raise Ally.

Oh, it was comical to use. If a raid member died, your DK could go over and rip the bones from their body and make a ghoul. Which would promptly run around in circles or explode because the person behind it would rarely ever know how to work it.

And perhaps that is why it is being removed. Pruning talents/skills that have little use, or get used very little is certainly in keeping with the goal of cataclysm. I know as a tank I rarely ever had the chance to use it – I had to be in range of the dead body, select the raid member, and then click the button. It was a pain, and difficult to pull off as a tank. But as a dps? I always used it as DPS.

They are replacing it with… Raise Ally, Battle Rez edition. Yup, it’s just becoming a battle rez.

I could write a novel on why it is silly for a DK that is DEAD to raise another player back to LIFE – but that is for another time.

Right now, I just have to sit back and look at the repeating patterns in Cata. SW looks like an army of clones again. Ret Paladins play like Rogues. Professions don’t add anything to the game other than the small perks you get from them. Unique spells are being replaced with boring (if necessary) spells that are already in-game.

How far is blizz going to drive home that we are all just clones of one another?

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