Friday, February 5, 2010

The King is dead, long life the King!

So finally the gates to the Frozen Throne opened. And before a day passed the Lich King was already pushing up daisies. Something's rotten in Northrend and it's not Arthas' corpse. Three things are bugging me a lot about the LK fight:
1. How fast the LK went down. It was a "blind" fight. No previous test in PTR, no data published that could help you through addons like DeadlyBossMods. You had to discover by yourself which were the LK's abilities and how to overcome them. The only info published when the patch hit the streets seemed to involve some beam dance like the Netherspite fight and the access to another room/dimension like Kalecgos. Everybody was expecting a very tough fight, but it didn't last even 24 hours and the published video of the fight it seems pretty easy (although the Frostmourne room isn't shown, maybe there are the beams). This says very few about the encounter designers. Fights should be a challenge, not something you can achieve on the first try. Neither should be something impossible to get, not even by the top raiding guilds, but the amount of time passed since the fight was available it's ridiculous. Other boses in the past took more time to be defeated, but it seems Blizzard didn't take into account how easy is to get good gear nowadays so you can kill the first 4 bosses in ICC with just purchased tier gear.
I was expecting a fight of these epic proportions to last much more, with people trying different tactics, getting a bit closer with every try. In one word: progression. But no, in only some hours we already had a winner. And if you check the videos the tactics seem pretty easy. Is that all the LK can offer? Bullshit I say. Where's that dreaded character that appeared since you first set your feet in Northrend and bragged about his powers, then sparing your life because you weren't powerful enough to challenge him? Gone with the cold Northrend wind. I got the impression it wasn't the last boss in the game but just a last 5man dungeon boss. Of course I'm sure he's a tough one, but in the video looks sooo easy. At least tactics don't seem to pose any complication or involving anything new than tank'n spank and move out of fire. Since I don't want to spoil anything just go and check the video, then tell me what you think.

2. This issue has already been very well addressed by Chastity at Righteous Orbs: why must be always be a Lich King? Just check Chas' post. The argument it's so weak it doesn't have any sense: without a leader, the Scourge would go rampant and destroy all life in Azeroth. Excuse me sir, but
a) the Scourge's goal has always been to exterminate all life on Azeroth, serving the Burning Legion's plans
b) it hasn't shown any trace of following any plan or grand scheme to achieve this, at least since Lordareon was destroyed. No coordinated assaults on major cities, no undercover operations to assassinate/control the Alliance and Horde leaders... so mostly has "ran rampant in Azeroth" killing whatever they could
c) without the pressence of the Lich King and the powers he wield, almost all the Scourge should crumble to dust since they lack the demonic powers that drive them forward. Only the characters with enough power before joining the Scourge or certain degree of free will should be still alive (erm, undead, sorry). And these ones most surely whould be trying to get the LK crown and command the Scourge
d) the LK doesn't show any traces of the former Arthas "being the only thing restraining him from sweping away all life from Azeroth". And the last human remains (aside the body with Arthas' form) were destroyed in the quest Tirion's Gambit. If he hasn't launched a total assault to destroy all life it's not because what's left of Arthas was still struggling to avoid it
Ok, so without anyone as the Lich King the Scourge would cease to exist and that would break the gameplay, at least in a logical way. No problem, I see the point. But that doesn't justify why putting another person in his place. If WoW still needs to Scourge you don't need to pick somebody to wear the crown. There're other ways, more logical: the body that held the crown no longer exists, but that doesn't mean the powers it contained have vanished too. They have only dispersed and just need a new body. You don't need to sacrifice someone, just let the powers rebuild a new body, something like Sauron was trying in the Lord of the Rings. It will take time, since the power it accumulated from the start has vanished or doesn't exist anymore (looks like Frostmourne is shattered and all the trapped souls are free now, so that's less fuel to the dark powers of the Lich King), but if Sargeras' death didn't stop the Bruning Legion, why Arthas death should stop the Scourge at all? It's a very lame argument.

3. The last point is just a personal opinion about Ensidia's being suspended during three days and all achievements and loot removed because apparently they exploited a bug by using saronite bombs in the LK fight. If you read all information available to me it seems a huge pile of bullshit from Blizzard. The encounter had a bug, ok, but that was Blizzard's fault. And doesn't seem Ensidia was exploiting actively this bug. Looks like Blizz forgot the fight wasn't tested previously in the PTRs, so nobody could known that using saronite bombs (something that rogue had been doing before as part of his dps rotation) would cause the platforms to rebuild. WoW is not a perfect game and there're still a good bunch of bugs that need to be fixed. Do you expect players during a boss encounter to see why some platforms reappear again, specially on the endgame boss? This is not like that old bug people were exploiting to get to C'thun faster. Somebody found some kind of invisible ledges that let you get to the Old God faster, avoiding a lot of hard trash mobs fights. Well, that's an exploit. People who did it was punished and the bug was fixed, and that's great. I also concede that with this bug the fight may be easier, but the fight already looks easy enough without it and also they weren't exploiting actively this, it's just something that happened while they were in the middle of the fray. Now it's that important for Blizz who gets a world first? Do they care which guild downs first any boss? It's the guilds who care, since top raiding guilds are sponsorised and get money for being the first ones in achieving something. It would have been smarter to just allow this achievement for Ensidia and fix the bug asap. or at least fix the bug and let them try again. Suspending their accounts and removing achievements looks very lame, like a spoiled brat who's been beaten at a game of chess by someone who's a better player, then gets mad and tosses the board and pieces away (heh, I did that when I was a kid, I never liked being defeated and specially in a game I did not understand at all). And let me tell you this is just my opinion, I don't have any relationship with Ensidia and I couldn't care less who's getting a world first.

Post soundtrack:  Kill the King - Megadeth

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