With the release of World of Warcraft’s third expansion, Cataclysm, Blizzard introduced a new profession called Archaeology. This new profession joined fishing, cooking, and first aid as a secondary profession meaning everyone could learn it and begin leveling it. The last patch released was patch 4.3 and presumably it will be the last content patch of the expansion. Archaeology has received only very minor changes during the span of Cataclysm, and I think now would be a fair time to evaluate its success as a new profession and point out possible solutions that continue to plague it.
In patch 4.3, Blizzard introduced the Looking for Raid tool to World of Warcraft. Blizzard’s goal with this feature is to make raiding more accessible to the masses. Many players have had great success with LFR despite the criticisms. I don’t care for the tool.
First off, the elephant in the room: yes, LFR is aimed at casual players. That’s not a bad thing, nor does it mean that LFR is casual per se. The top guilds in WoW, like DREAM Paragon, used LFR to gear their raid team up. If it’s good enough for the casual players, good enough for the hardcore players, then it’s good enough for everyone in between.
After an impromptu two week break, we finally close off the Gears 3 criticisms. Not much to say about Act 5, though. It’s relatively quick as it is mostly combat oriented.
Starting with Home Away from Home, storming the beach of Azura is a well-designed space. It’s dark and stormy, but the lighting isn’t so bad that you need the headlights on the Silverback to see. The layout of the overall space separates the area into multiple compartments, while the enemy placement feels much closer to classic Gears of War firefights; Locust are on one side of the area, you’re on the other, there is cover for each side and the middle is for the dead. It’s very cathartic to play this chapter because of how it focuses back on the Locust and classic encounter design. At the same time though, things are mixed up with newer elements like mortars, landing Reavers, and the Silverback. Act 5 is already shaping up to be the grand finale of a great franchise.