WOW Wreck of the Galleon

“The basic boss mechanics for Oondasta are much, much, much more punishing to pickup groups.”
That all changes with new world bosses like the dandied-up T-Rex Oondasta, who’s closer to what he and the team originally had in mind. “He’s in a much more remote location and in an area where you can’t actually fly–it’s not a place where your average player is going to go waiting for the boss to spawn,” he said. “The basic boss mechanics are also much, much, much more punishing to pickup groups. If you’re not spread out for his lightning attack, for instance, you’re going to die.” It’s hard to miss the satisfaction in his voice when he adds that none of the pick-up groups on the test server have come close to killing it so far, faction-tagging or no. “When he spawns, it’s not about getting there first.”


Despite his reservations, Hazzikostas says Blizzard remains open to extending open tapping to other aspects of World of Warcraft’s questing experience. “We’re definitely looking for something more along the lines of personalized looting or tapping for quest objects on the ground.” As it is, he believes, the current competition tends to ruin the experience. “It’s actually often more time consuming to finish those quests with people helping you than it is on your own, and that’s very contrary to our goal of making playing with your friends more rewarding.” When I asked, along those same lines, if World of Warcraft would ever feature open tagging on resource nodes for mining and herbalism as in Guild Wars 2, Hazzikostas was less enthusiastic. The impact on the in-game economy, he said, would be devastating. “They’re two very different systems,” he said.

For my part, having experienced most of the new MMOs that embrace open tagging, I’ve come to appreciate World of Warcraft’s approach again. WoW might no longer be quite as social as it used to be, but I’ve found that I still enjoy grouping with other players to tackle daily quests or form a leveling team for a particular zone more so than I do in many other MMOs. In other MMOs, paradoxically, open tagging seems to discourage conversations of any sort. In WoW, I talk more with other players (even if I’m merely arguing), and of course it thrives on the constant tension of competing for taps against players in the opposite faction. That, at least, will never be absent from the coming boss battles.

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