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#1 - 2012/11/23 09:58:00 AM
Really Blizzard absolutely amazing job!

I loved vanilla, it was fantastic a fair bit of that stemmed from it being my first MMO but I really enjoyed it, every new quest, every new zone, every new dungeon felt like an adventure. Unfortunately I was as noob as they come and one day in vent I was getting quite frustrated at my constant 1000ms, I had bad internet but not that bad. Then someone in vent said "Well you're in Europe? Playing on the NA servers? Ofc you are going to lag" I then found out I had been playing on the NA servers and had the NA game, I thought WoW was just one big server.......

I then went on to TBC which I loved, I thought it was an awesome expansion and my only complaint was when they nerfed all raid content which in hindsight wasnt a bad idea, the expansion was coming to a close and it was nice for other players to get a chance to see the content without shivering every sunwell raid night.

Then Wrath came along which I did enjoy but really it wasn't the expansion, it was more the fun of just raiding with good friends and doing PvP with good friends, if it wasn't for that I personally found the expansion not to my taste.

Then the Cataclysm came and I tried to like it but I personally found it was just a terrible expansion and then I quit.

A rather kind friend bought me MoP and convinced me to play, I figured I would just rush to 90 get levelling out the way so I could enjoy the game but to my surprise its the slowest I have ever levelled, I am finding my self reading every quest and actually investing in the story line.

And I have never been happier to be able to play the game on ultra, the new continent is absolutely beautiful and I am finding my self exploring again something I had not really done since vanilla, and exploring actually feels like an adventure again.
I found myself trailing of the track to find a seemingly hidden river and across from it, a remote hut which upon inspection had a grey book just lying there which sells for 10g, I'll admit 10g is not exactly much but I love finding little easter eggs like this.

And I found myself on top of a large cliff, over looking a large dark forest. I saw a panderian sat there and spoke to him who told of all who come here the forest just holds sadness, I noticed a rope next to him and started lowering myself down and with the sudden change in atmosphere I actually felt like I was on a small adventure, I felt like I was in Jurassic Park and velociraptors were going to be down there.

The quest areas are awesome, I am not only finding them fun but loving the theme and atmosphere. The same goes for the dungeons as well I really love the designs and the attention to detail.

Excuse my rant its just been so long since I have enjoyed this game and it really feels like Blizzard have really well made this expansion.

Don't get me wrong though I know it has its flaws like PvP balance and bots but for the moment I am really loving this game.

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#9 - 2012/11/23 01:35:00 PM
The quest areas are awesome, I am not only finding them fun but loving the theme and atmosphere. The same goes for the dungeons as well I really love the designs and the attention to detail.

Excuse my rant its just been so long since I have enjoyed this game and it really feels like Blizzard have really well made this expansion.

Rant excused ;)

I’m glad you’re enjoying MoP so much, I couldn’t agree more with you when it comes to attention to detail regarding design.
Sometimes I see players complaining about an out-dated graphics engine based solely on technical details, like the new API functions that usually come with each new generation of video cards that software engines can take advantage of, but I think that most of the times they forget about the most important thing, the design of the game itself.

World of Warcraft is quite cartoonish, that’s obvious and it’s on purpose, it’s a design decision and I think it’s a really good one, it adds a lot to the longevity of the game, and it also makes it possible to play on low-settings and still have the game looking good.
Also I have to say that engines aren’t something static, sometimes I think players forget about that, our engine is made in-house and so of course technical details are not as well spread on the internet as the ones from other engines, but as most players probably noticed, for example, the game now supports DirectX 11, and 64-bit OS’s. There have been a ton of changes made under the hood along these years; some of them are even visually unnoticeable since they are only performance improvements, but these are very important updates, raiding in a 25-man environment with addons and the like can actually be extremely CPU-intensive. I think those that have tried Sha of Anger in a 40-man raid with other raids around them “helping out”, understand the importance of having an efficient game engine.

The amount of care that is put into design is quite impressive, there are lots of things that players don’t consciously notice and just take for granted, but after questing or raiding on a certain area, they will probably notice in the end that there was something special on that scenery that they just couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. The design ends up being extremely appealing and I think most players would be surprised to know the amount of attention and resources that are spent on fine-tuning very small details.

I’ve played other games with the latest generation graphics engines and I must say that while some like to take advantage of showing off the engine capabilities, and try to impress players with technicalities, like using extremely high resolution textures and latest vertex shaders, most of them fail in delivering superb design, and by that I mean the amount of care and artistic talent that is put into real 3d modelling of in-game objects, of quest design, raid encounters and whatnot, that requires real work and artistic talent. I’ve seen some of the latest games using super simple 3d models and just applying some high resolution texture over it with stuff like tessellation and displacement mapping as a fast but impressive way to create surface relief and give it some finer 3d details.
When seen independently this kind of things can look impressive, but are they memorable? I don’t think so; good design is not based on simply using the latest technology, good design should have an intrinsic value in itself and be able to persist through time.

For example, the style of architecture that is used throughout Pandaria is consistent, fits like a glove into the environment and actually follows a lot of rules, grabbing inspiration and giving proper respect to old-eastern culture and architecture.
Of course this is done in a way that fits into the already well-established and respected WoW culture and design.

I would bet that most players would correctly recognize a 3d architecture model from WoW faster than they would from most other games. There is some “artistic glue” that connects it all together in World of Warcraft and makes everything look consistent, thus easily persisting in our memories as WoW or even as “Blizzard style”.

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#19 - 2012/11/23 04:27:00 PM
23/11/2012 16:02Posted by Huntórz
Multi-core optimization to get use out of 4 CPU cores instead of current 2, would help a lot in the FPS side during Raids :)

This is a problem that many games face and it's a hard one to tackle, new and possibly better OS's also play a big role in this area as they can control which threads go to each core.
But I agree, this would be a major improvement as CPU's seem to be evolving into more and more cores, instead of the number of transistors in each one, eventually things get so small that technology might hit a physical limitation. We’ll just have to wait and see, maybe some new scientific discovery will change this and we get back to single core CPUs (Hello quantum!)

Optimization for 2+ CPUs would be great, but I don’t know how feasible it is, I suspect it would take major resources to do any kind of major improvement on this, resources that might be better spent somewhere else since the game runs just fine on current CPUs.

There are also many constraints software wise that make this something very hard to accomplish with such a complex game, I suspect that some optimizations can be done but the game will continue to use some cores more than others, simply because some threads will be under a heavier workload than others and you can’t easily split them into multiple ones, some calculations require one thread and don’t run well in parallel, any kind of major change on this I suspect would probably require an almost complete rewrite of the game code or some special compiling, but this is mostly speculation on my part, maybe devs can tell us otherwise one of these days.