[Cataclysm] 3 good reasons why vets are getting bored

tigger

So, will Cataclysm mark the beginning of the end of Blizzard’s great warhorse?

Three months into the new expansion, are many players who have happily subscribed for years to WoW turning in their cards? Or even just players who subbed for a few months? Is it just the bitter veterans who are talking about bowing out, unable to cope with a game that has changed so that it can capture a new audience? Or is it just that a proportion of players will ALWAYS leave a few months into an expansion – not everyone is interested in signing up for the long haul of content patch to content patch.

We don’t have answers to those questions yet, except that it is really normal for lots of people to play a new expansion for a few months and then leave, uninterested in endgame. But there are some genuine reasons in Cataclysm why veteran players might be feeling the burn.

1. It’s not Cataclysm, it’s all the previous long delays between patches catching up with the playerbase.

In a MMO like WoW, there are plenty of activities on which players can spend their time. Even if you’re not interested in instances or PvP, there are mounts and pets to collect, alts to level, achievements to aim for, economic sides of the game to master … With three expansions under its belt, WoW offers a lot of content.

But if you were playing the game during those expansions, chances are you’ve already done all of that expansion’s content that you were interested in while you were waiting for the next content patch. For example, I happily ground out my Skyguard rep via daily quests for a nether ray flying mount during TBC – I enjoyed it at the time, dailies were shiny and new and so was flying. I cannot think of any reason why I’d ever want to do it again.

As another example, lots of people levelled alts during Wrath. Heirlooms were available for the first time, and there was a long delay between ICC and Cataclysm. So there’s a good chance that for many of those players, they already have level 80s of whichever classes they were interested in. So when Cataclysm rolls along and there is a bit of a gap between patches, that’s a time-filler they have no reason to do again. Yes, you could relearn to play those alts with the new talent trees and I’m sure that a lot of players are doing exactly that, but the 80-85 trip is fairly linear and fairly speedy if you have rested bonuses and guild perks to help it along.

And especially since many people are not really enjoying heroics, gearing an alt up through random heroics might not be as fun as it once was. (This is an issue with grinding heroics as a standard mechanic incidentally, even people who enjoy the challenge on their mains might not be as interested on alts that are intended for chilling out.)

What I’m saying is that for any individual player, there’s a certain amount of time filling activities in game that ever have the possibility to interest you. Once you are done with those, if nothing else has replaced them then you’ll either have to dial down the amount of time you spend in the game, get horribly bored by hanging around with nothing much to do, or leave and find a replacement. Blizzard has not really been replacing the long grinds which we now tend to associate with the earlier expansions. And even if they did, there would be an outcry from different sections of the playerbase which aren’t interested in grinds that might take months to complete. (Note: veteran players, already committed to the game, probably ARE interested in long term goals like this.) I think archaeology was Blizzard’s attempt to fill this hole. I’m not sure how successful it’s being.

2. Raiding ain’t what it used to be

My greatest disappointment in Cataclysm so far, bar none, has been zoning into Throne of the Four Winds. This is a smallish raid zone, located in the plane of elemental air, similarly to Vortex Pinnacle. Why the disappointment? See, I thought Vortex Pinnacle was gorgeous. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful 5 man instance, all airy, with arabian nights/ egyptian /djinni themes in the architecture. You can hop from one part to another by riding on whirlwinds. It’s just a lovely zone. And in the back of my mind while I was playing there I was thinking, “And if you think this is good, just imagine what the raid zone is going to be like!”

The raid zone is five platforms with djinn on them. That’s it.

To explain why this was a shock, you have to understand that raid instances in WoW have usually been just a bit more special than anything else in the game (yes, with the exception of Trial of the Crusader). AQ40, Serpentshrine, Black Temple, Ulduar, ICC, even Naxxramas. When you zoned into one of those instance you KNEW you were somewhere special. Throne of the Four Winds looks like Vortex Pinnacle but less cool. Bastion of Twilight is a cave. Blackwing Descent, to be fair, looks like the rest of Blackwing Caverns and does have a killer lift, making it my favourite of the raid zones so far this expansion.

I don’t have an issue with the encounters themselves which have so far been a good mix of intricate and tank’n’spank. (Well I do have issues with how melee is balanced with ranged but balance isn’t specific to this expansion.) I also have seen lots of feedback that Blizzard have generally done a good job with balancing out the difficulty of 10 vs 25 man raiding, which is a great achievement for them really.

But I feel there used to be something more special about raiding, and it wasn’t down to the percentage of the player base who was involved,  or the difference in scale between 40 vs 25 vs 10 man raids, because raids felt more special in Wrath too. And plenty of people were raiding Wrath in 10 man groups and/ or PUG raids.

That, I suspect, is going to affect how people feel about the endgame at the moment and whether it’s worth hanging in there. It is also something that Blizzard could turn around instantly with the next content patch if they come up with something like Ulduar. (Possibly even very like Ulduar, if Uldum is the next raid due up.)

If that happens, raiders may resub. It will after all still be possible to gear for raids via heroics at that point because the emblem gear will be upgraded.

3. Shorter term goals lead to shorter term players

I have identified before that I think Blizzard is deprecating long term achievements in WoW, which is (ironically) a long term trend for them. Emblem gear gets updated with every content patch. Gold and the economy is less important than it has ever been.

Players are being encouraged by this to feel that if they aren’t enjoying the game, the thing to do is unsub and see if it looks any better next patch – which might be in 6 months time. realID even means that you can easily keep up with your friends when you do get back, check who their current alts are, which servers they are on, and see if they’re interested in raiding again.

From being a game where people keep long term subs, I wonder if WoW is deliberately becoming one where a wave of endgame players will resub when the new stuff gets patched in, confident that they’ll be able to quickly catch up and join in. Other players, either enjoying the current tier of raiding more, not yet having run out of long term goals, or playing less frequently, will keep their subs up during the quiet times.

What do you think? If you are thinking of quitting, would you consider resubbing in 6 months time if they put in a cool content patch?

Can You Dig It?

Raptor mount

Recently I’ve been doing quite a bit of Archaeology on my Horde level 85 char. This is the same char I switched over from Alliance and duoing with Spinks, to join her much larger guild over on the Horde side. I love being a goblin, I seriously do. But I’m finding it quite overwhelming to be part of a really really organised guild, all of whom know what they’re doing. I loved getting to 85, but instead of plunging into gearing up and running dungeons and heroics, I’ve been finding solace in Archaeology, the latest profession added to World of Warcraft. It’s pretty fun, very relaxing and a hell of a pain to level up from scratch – but I’m sure fishing would take me just as long and not take me to such interesting places!

WoWScrnShot_012111_192448I started Archaeology on an alt and then quickly decided to pursue it on my ‘main’ first. I say ‘main’ like that, because I’m also playing a Dwarf Shaman with friends from LotRO, and I’m actually playing that more – possibly because I’m not ready for endgame at the moment. So Kizi the Goblin Shaman has taken to her bronze drake to seek out the corners of Azeroth that might locate artifacts that can make her some ready cash!! And once you get the hang of surveying and following little telescopes and lights to find items, and then how to make the various artifacts, then.. then you realise how clever the profession is – it shows you right at the start of every artifact what you’re going to be working on. So just as I was tired and going to take a break, I got to start working on the fossilised pet.

That spurred me on, and then a few sessions later the Fossilized Raptor showed up on my list, needing tons of fossils to ‘discover’ it. I looked up what it was, and when I found out it was a mount I spent a lot more time in-game, on the right server and doing as much surveying as I could. It took me quite a few sessions, cursing every time I was directed to Troll or Night Elf artifacts and dashing every moment I knew it was a fossil area. Until I eventually got the mount, and I love it! I have no idea what they’ll lure me in with next, but it’s a really nice way for me to hang out with the guild – all of whom I like a lot – but to distract them from the fact I’m not running dungeons, I’m busy, so that’s ok!

Finally, a little screenshot of the first thing in-game that made Archaeology stand out to me:

WoWScrnShot_120510_103726

[Cataclysm] Raiding Update with Bulletpoints

1. Good week for my raid group, we’ve knocked over Magmaw, Omnomtrom, and Halfus Wyrmbane in 25 man mode! Hurrah! (My kill of Halfus was in 10 man mode last week but I don’t think you can tell that from the Armoury feed.)

2. Still behind the ferals, rogues, death knights and enhancement shaman on the dps meters. Boo! I won’t keep droning on about this but it’s demoralising to be so far behind.

3. I’m not sure how I feel about the raid encounters I have seen so far. These are the introductory raid encounters for the expansion, and they’ve been fun enough on the whole. Omnitron has been the more fun of the fights for me, but it really is quite complex for an entry raid encounter.

My greatest beef with the content is that Blizzard could have made the interrupting job on Halfus much easier if they’d signalled his casts with better graphics. It reminds me of Vezax in Ulduar, but with that latter boss, the spells you had to interrupt were very very easy to spot, you couldn’t really miss them. With this one you have to squint at the cast bar.

Halfus also seems to have acquired the lion’s share of the raid trash. Wonder what he bribed them with.

4. I wonder how long before Vengeance gets nerfed (or warriors do). We tanked Halfus in 10 man with two warrior tanks, each of whom had Vigilance on each other. Hellooooo 90k shield slam crit.

Sorry for a brief post. Anyone else have any thoughts on the Cataclysm raids so far?

Heroic dungeons, and what is the optimal length for an instance anyway?

I’ve been reading an increasing number of blogposts from dedicated WoW players recently who are finding that the current Blizzard model of instances just isn’t working for them.

Understand also that it’s hard for someone who’s been so tied to a game to start criticising it, and trying to understand why it’s not so fun for them any more.

Kaozz writes:

Last time I queued I waited 40 minutes (as dps) for a normal instance and logged before one popped up. While they want to take the pressure off healers for ‘covering’ for other people by flinging out tons of heals- it still falls on the healers as they sit OOM holding the group up. Even if the dps was too low they will still get blamed in many cases. It’s not a fix. It’s not fun. It’s not harder, its wasting time.

Here’s the dirty secret of heroics this time around. A lot of people don’t enjoy them. It’s not just the difficulty, it’s the time and focus that they require and the fact that you can add quite a lot to that time if you have someone along who doesn’t know the place.

If you always run heroics with your guild and you’re all well geared, you’re probably thinking this sounds inane. Because they are quite smooth if everyone is well geared and knows what they are doing. This however is not the PUG experience.

And once you add really long queues for dps into the mix, it’s not surprising that people start to fret. Telling them all to play tanks or healers is AN answer but for all you know they might have tank/ healer alts and just want a break. I’m not sure how easy it is to organise runs on trade chat at the moment either, I hear people doing it so presumably it must work ok. So there’s one option.

Joining a larger guild is another option, but some people enjoy smaller guilds for reasons other than gameplay. It worked well in Wrath to be able to be guilded with RL friends and still run instances whenever you wanted via LFG. People, understandably, don’t want to be forced out of that mould.

lonomonkey adds his voice to the mix:

We’re all very casual, playing when we feel like it and when time allows. We’re not out for epics, achievements or guild levels. Yet, we do like the occasional raid and we do want to progress our characters with heroics for example.  We can’t do that anymore in Cataclsym since we’re a small guild that doesn’t always have five member ready to run heroics.

I suspect that Blizzard had something fairly special going in Wrath with the combination of quick instances and LFD. Maybe in a few months time the Cataclysm instances will be like that as well, but right now they aren’t. And once you have burned people out on a game, they may not be in a terrible hurry to come straight back.

Or in other words, the model of “start hard, and then nerf” is just going to lose casual players who happen to be in at the start.

The perfect instance length

In college, we’ve always been told that 45 mins is about the right length for a lecture. Longer than that, you can’t concentrate. Shorter than that, you won’t learn as much. If ours go on longer, we always have a 5 min break at the 45 min mark. So I think 45 mins should be the upper bound on instance length, even allowing for a few wipes. Possibly with some exceptions, marked clearly, for people who want a longer run and longer instances could have save points along the way.

But how can you measure the length of an instance? A well geared, well drilled team will demolish just about anything in a smooth run. A first learning run will always take longer than a farm run. Even Wrath heroics  took awhile when we were first learning them.

It is an interesting problem. But one thing is clear, there’s a demand for shorter easier LFG-friendly instances right from the start of an expansion, rather than halfway through …

[Cataclysm] Darkshore – How to destroy and rebuild a zone right

cata_darkshore

(Looks a bit less … purple …)

I must admit, I have never been a fan of Darkshore. It was a very long zone that required much running up and down. It contained one of the most hated quests in the old unrevamped Azeroth (Deep Ocean, Vast Sea). I’ve also never been fond of night elves, who never quite fulfilled their initial promise of being wilder and more savage than the priggish Tolkien inspired elves of standard fantasy fic.

But BOY have Blizzard done a number on that zone now.

cata_deadgriffs

Wait, I remember those hippogriffs and the flight master – what happened to them all?

When you get to Darkshore now, Auberdine is gone, swept away in a tidal wave caused by the Cataclysm. Your first quests are to try to help find and save survivors. If you’ve ever run the zone in the past, you may recognise some of their names. They’re the old quest givers and NPC denizens of Auberdine. You’re finding their bodies washed up on the beach, Some you can help to safety and … some you can’t.

The most poignant of the early quests is from one of the hunters you save who wants to know what happened to his beloved pet. (You may even remember seeing him and his bear in old Darkshore as a quest giver.) Usually in these types  “Please find my lost NPC!” quests, the prognosis for the lost redshirt isn’t good. In this case, Blizzard turn the trope around on its head to provide one of the more emotional questlines in the game.

And as for Deep Ocean, Vast Sea? It’s gone of course. In it’s place a quest that cheekily makes reference to it and allows you to take out a little mining robot and blow up zillions of murlocs – revenge for that old annoying quest, if you will.

Then it’s off to fight the horde with the help of tree ancients as your allies. Blizzard haven’t changed the shape of the zone but you now get some help with the travelling in the shape of night elf catriders who let you use their cats to ride up and down the zone.

But wait, you haven’t even started on the good stuff yet!

cata_greendragon_darkshore (riding a green dragon out of the emerald dream …)

Before you are done with this zone you will:

  • Meet some of the signature racial and Cataclysm NPCs (Malfurion, leader of the night elves)
  • Help fight elemental lords who entered Azeroth through the Cataclysm rift
  • Explore the ruins of Auberdine and try to bring some solace to both the dead and to the surviving refugees
  • Ride on a dragon.
  • Fight Naga lords (ditto)
  • Fight the twilight cultists and help to banish AN ACTUAL OLD GOD

In short, this zone is now the perfect introduction to Cataclysm, bringing in lots of the key storylines and introducing new players to fairly major lore concepts and villains who they will encounter again.

Not only that but it’s bitter-sweet for older players too, with constant references to the way the zone used to be, the old NPCs (both the ones who survived and the ones who didn’t) and the old quests as well, neatly tweaked to be fun in the 2.0 world. You will feel that the world really changed and that you are affected by it.

cata_aetherion

(spirits of the dead night elves help to fight off an elemental lord)

The only downsides are:

  • It’s still a bit of a pain to navigate. The path is broken up in the lower part of the zone which requires a bit of climbing, swimming, and creative navigation to get around. I don’t mind this, I think it is a cool way to make you really interact with the terrain in a way which long straight roads don’t allow, but some players will hate it.
  • It IS a brilliant introduction to Cataclysm. But when Malfurion tasks you with finishing the job of banishing the old god because he has to rush off to Hyjal, it’s hard not to think, “See you in …. 60 levels time …”. You will have to wait awhile to see the next part of that storyline, during which you will travel to both Outland and Northrend, even though your character knows that Hyjal is where the main action is.

If you’d like to see more of the zone, View Through Branches has a lovely photojourney through Darkshore, and covers it in more detail than I have here.

Gaming News: Roguelikes!, Kinect is a winner, should screenshots be exclusives?, LOTRO F2P is a winner too, pre-ordering gets complex, melee misery in Cataclysm raiding, Rift thoughts

I enjoyed writing a series of Gaming News posts on Sundays through the latter half of 2010, but did become very aware of how the gaming news cycles work and how non-news (like whatever random musings Michael Pachter pulls out of his hat) end up becoming headlines.

So I’m going to try to focus this year on stories that are actually news or have some interesting commentary that relates to current gaming news. Feel free to send me links during the week if you see anything you’d like to suggest! All contributions will be attributed.

Best Roguelikes 2010

Any fellow fans of Roguelike games out there? Andrew Doull posted the results of his Roguelike of the Year poll (981 people voted!)

Winner by quite a high amount, with a total 39% of the vote was ToME so if you are a fan of the genre and want to see what’s hot at the moment, go check it out. It’s F2P of course. No, wait, I mean it’s freeware, you can play for free and if you like the game and want to support it, you can donate.

Kinect ships over 8 million units, coming to PCs ‘soon’

According to Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO), they have shipped 8 million Kinect units so far. Winextra (the link above) do some figure checking and conclude that MSoft have actually sold 2.5 million units, the 8 million figure is the number that they have shipped to suppliers (figures for how many of those have sold are not actually in yet, they might all have done). In any case, this is an astounding figure for a controller which is still not very well supported with games and requires a large amount of room space to even set up.

I’m still hoping to see someone take a shot (sic) at making a Kinect based shooter, I think out of all the current genres that would benefit from being able to drop the controller, it’s sports/ dance games, FPS and ‘point and click’ adventure games that would benefit the most. But really the ball is in the developers’ court at the moment. There are probably some awesome things that could be done with it, as soon as people can imagine them.

And my gut feel is that the biggest Kinect application, in the end, will not actually be a game. Maybe it’ll just be people using it for controlling the TV, maybe Kinect Avatar will spark off a whole new slew of virtual world mania, but this way of interacting with technology is only going to grow and spread.

However, I still find it creepy to think that my computer might be watching me. It’s bad enough with the cat.

Exclusive Screenshots

One thing you will notice if you read professional gaming blogs/ sites is that there’s a strange cosy relationship that they sometimes have with developers. I’m not sure at what point money changes hands, but this is why you’ll see exclusive interviews, screenshots etc on sites that you normally would not touch with a bargepole (Ten Ton Hammer with your annoying popups, I’m looking at you).

The guys at Rock Paper Shotgun went head to head with this culture this week when they published exclusive screenshots from another site WITH ATTRIBUTION and got threatened with legal action for their pains.

Standard internet posting etiquette usually states that it’s ok to quote other sites as long as you link back to them. We normally consider this polite. But how does that fit in with the idea of exclusive screenshots? I think swiping exclusive screenies should probably be off limits but there is also a point at which you have to say ,”the internet just doesn’t work like that.”

John Walker at RPS commented, “”But really, the idiocy of publishers giving out adverts for their games like precious, secret jewels has got to end. It’s self-defeating, and it’s deeply tedious for the readers of every other site/mag in the world who want to know about a game they may want to play.”

It’s certainly tedious for readers to be directed all around the houses for information rather than just being able to pick it up from their favourite news feed. In fact, I’d rather be able to pick up my gaming news straight from the official site and my pet bug is developers (Mythic used to do this a LOT) who publish all their news as exclusives on random news sites rather than on their own.

LOTRO revenue triples since they went F2P

In an interview with Ten Ton Hammer (podcast interview, no transcript), LOTRO’s executive producer reports that revenues on the game have tripled since it went F2P.

That’s great news for Turbine, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see any figures from Codemasters to be able to compare the EU numbers (or see how much of an advantage Turbine had from launching their version several weeks in advance). So we can assume that they’ll continue to do whatever they are doing. More bizarrely marked horses for all!

Perhaps not such a great result for players who don’t particularly want to be spammed with inducements to check out the cash shop, especially if they are already paying by subscription.

Rage Quit Jane offers another analysis of F2P players, “Thanks Suckers” (for buying expensive shiny cosmetic stuff for real money and keeping the game going). The bloodsuckers she’s talking about are the new EQ2 race which is being sold at a premium to people who want one now, and will be offered free to subscribers in a couple of months time. Or maybe she’s just talking about SOE.

The complexity of pre-order offers

A couple of pre-order deals that made my radar this week are the slew of Rift pre-order special deals, and Dragon Age 2 announcing a DLC which is included free if you pre-order the signature edition – ie. only if you PRE-order, as opposed to last time where you got the DLC free if you bought a copy that wasn’t second hand.

Hawley ponders on this trend in more detail, nostalgic for a time when you could just go buy the damned game and not feel that you have to check every possible pre-order combo to make sure you got the best deal.

I think this is one of the downsides of F2P. Not everyone enjoys the process of shopping or having to waste brain cycles figuring out how to get the best deal on something commodity based like a game or book or film. Whilst it leaves a gap in the market for blogs or websites that can do the analysis for you, it isn’t really fun.

Obviously for studios it’s all about the bottom line, but I wonder if making a simple process (buy box and play/ log in and play) into one that involves complicated buying decisions is really a good thing.

Melee vs Ranged in Cataclysm, round 2, and 3

I mentioned a week or so back that I thought there was some imbalance between ranged and melee in Cataclysm instancing. Just to show I’m not imagining it, here are a couple more authoritative views, from raiders.

Paragon got the world first kill on some heroic raid boss last week (has anyone else totally lost interest in the world firsts?), and published a note together with the kill shot on their website.

Dropping out melee characters in favor of ranged ones has been a recurring theme throughout this whole raiding tier, but we hope that it’s over now with only the end bosses and Sinestra left. Here’s to hoping next tier of raiding won’t favor ranged by design. Maybe even go wild and give some incentive to bring in melee, too.

(Incidentally, it’s a sign of how mature a guild Paragon are that they decided to use the publicity which they knew they’d get from a world first kill to highlight imbalances they saw in the game.)

Karuki at World of Ming also writes a very well written, heartfelt post about the woes of playing a melee class (Death Knight in this case) in Cataclysm heroics and raids.

My experience is with heroics at the moment. And I’m getting pretty good now at staying alive *flexes at heroic Stonecore* but the cost is spending more time out of melee range and being more cautious of the mobs. Which is fine, but won’t make the numbers look good.

Also an ex-guildie of mine, who is one of the finest melee dps players I know, isn’t pleased with how dps warriors are working out at the moment. So that’s something to look forwards to.

Reactions to Rift

Out of all the reactions I’ve read about Rift and the Rift beta/s, these two caught my eye. Caveat: I think it’s a very fun game.

Abalieno @ The Cesspit sees connections between Rift and Warhammer Online, in terms of the game engine, the programmers, and other themes, and doesn’t think Rift compares well.

Wolfshead writes about how he thinks combat in Rift could be improved. I don’t think there’s even a remote chance that they’ll redo the combat system at this stage in beta, and it’s not broken in any case. But I really enjoyed his analysis of how combat is the main way we communicate with the game world in MMOs these days.

And one of the reasons I stick with WoW and keep coming back to it is that underneath everything, Blizzard made the basic combat experience very snappy and fun. PvD is wondering though whether some of the WoW classes/ specs are edging a little close to each other in play style these days.

Thought/s of the Day: Guild Rep in Cataclysm, and can you have too much of a good thing?

How are you all feeling about the new guild xp/ levelling in Warcraft?

Like any largish, active guild, we’ve been picking up levels at a reasonable pace and are currently somewhere between level 6 and 7, which I think is roughly where most other largish active guilds will be at the moment.

In a smaller guild with an alt, we haven’t quite reached level 2 but that’ll happen soon and people are quite excited about it.

I’ve seen posts wondering if there is any future for smaller guilds if the larger ones will have all the levels and reputation and achievements early. Whilst we’ll all get there in the end, an xp cap designed around active guilds full of high level players can feel overwhelming for a small guild of low level friends just starting out. I suspect strongly that Blizzard will do what they usually do and nerf guild xp in a couple of months or so, after the first rush of larger guilds have gotten to the max, and stopped obsessing about being first.

But one of the perks you get (at level 6 I think) is a 10% bonus to xp. Later on, there are heirlooms that players can buy which will add an extra 15% bonus to any alt who wears them. And if you have Wrath heirlooms too, that could be up to another 20% on top of that. (That makes 45% so far, if anyone is counting.) I think it’s almost guaranteed that there will be another way to get heirlooms in Cataclysm, probably involving badges in a future patch although these will probably be upgrades from the Wrath ones.

So imagine levelling a new alt with up to 45% bonus experience, and possibly rested xp, in a game where people have already commented that it’s easy to level out of a zone just from questing. I guess it’ll be great if you want to just rocket those alts up to max level.

In fact, since heirlooms are usually account bound, if you have one alt in a big guild that’s going to get the levels fast, you could even send the guild stuff to alts in other guilds, Or in other words, if you are big on efficient levelling, it makes sense to level all your alts in a big guild since you can take advantage of the xp and reputation perks without needing any guild rep (gained through instancing, questing, etc). But if efficient levelling was not your goal, then the guild perks might actually work against your playing style.

Another quirk is that you get a fair bit of guild rep from running heroics, and rather little from other sources. So small levelling guilds, even if they do get the levels, may still find that most members are struggling to reach revered or higher and buy the more desirable perks.

I’d say: nice try on the guild levelling. It still ended up being more tilted towards larger active endgame guilds, and I think a tweak to guild reputation earning would help more casual players a lot. There’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to have high rep with their own guild if they’re committed to it.

Cataclysm Screenshot of the Day

cata_day7pic

(Oops, can’t remember if I’ve used these shots before.) These are a couple of pictures from Uldum, the Egyptian themed zone. It’s rather lovely. And … yes, camels.