There's been a fair bit of chat on our guild mailing list today, about the coming mage changes, triggered by this post by a guildie. One ex-guild member, who went off to a different server for some more hardcore, sweaty raid action, expressed the feeling that he might stop playing WoW with Cataclysm, not because he was bored of WoW, but because the changes he was seeing took away from the fun of the game for him.
And, I'll admit, I've been feeling the same way. The changes to tree form that are proposed strike at the heart of the game for me. I like the quirky, off-beat elements of the game, and the. Trees of Life, with their medallions, and agitated broccoli looks, are part of that for me. And restos, as a breed, seem to identify very strongly with tree form. Look at how many resto druid bloggers have the tree form in their headers, rather that their individual, personal character avatar. It feel like Blizz's concept of what is important in the game is starting to stray from what many of the player base think, as all their focus seems to be on balance in 10 man raids.
The whole "showing off the armour" thing annoys me, because it's a party- and raid-centric viewpoint. As many others have pointed out, our armour gets plenty of "air time" in cities, while questing, during non-grouped time generally. Taking away a core part of druid's self-identity for this seems, well, to be prioritising dogma over player need.
I am grumpy.
Yet, I'm likely to buy and play happily in Cataclysm. Why? Well, this paragraph gives it away:
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, players will have the opportunity to explore the newly reopened Mount Hyjal as Azeroth's heroes, with the help of Ysera, Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem, are called upon to push back the armies of the Firelord, banish Ragnaros to the Elemental Plane and lay waste to the twilight dragon stronghold in nearby Darkwhisper Gorge. This all-new level 78-82 zone will feature multiple quest hubs, phased terrain and quest lines, portals to micro-zones within the Firelands, an all-new raid dungeon, and much more.
You see, at heart I'm a quester and dungeon-er (Look, if Shakespeare can make up words, so can I). And that sort of phased, narrative content is what I play for. Raiding is what I do to mark time between chunks of quest content.
I'm beginning to wonder if I should avoid all the mechanics previews, concentrate on the content trailers, and just accept that I'm exactly the sort of player that I am.