I am a huge fan of having choice in any game that I play. Whether that means having choice with how I play or how I look doesn’t matter to me. I just love not being forced into something that I didn’t pick myself. It’s one of the reasons that I am a huge fan of RP games and being able to create a character in my mind.
Based on all the information that has been coming out of the Beta, I think that Blizzard is trying very hard to allow players to choose in many different areas. They are trying to add more features, such as Challenge Modes, without making it necessary for “Hardcore” players to do them. The rewards are simply cosmetic or at the very best bragging rights. They even seem to have gone as far as giving long time players the ability to switch to a new character without losing rare items or titles. In my opinion, allowing as much choice as possible for players is an amazing thing that Blizzard does.
A huge part of choice for me are the aesthetic features that my character has. Transmogrification was great for me in allowing me to have my character look different than everyone else’s. Before that feature, my character always wore the current tier because I was a raider. If I was around other characters who wore the same armor type, chances were that I would look just like them. While this wasn’t a huge detriment to my enjoyment, having the ability to look unique is amazing. This isn’t to say that I’ve gone crazy with transmogging and have sets that I’ve farmed. I still go back to my favorite tier sets or a very simple set from questing, but having the choice to do so is what matters to me.
That said, I absolutely love many of the new glyphs that Blizzard is putting out in MoP. It seems to me that they learned from the Tree of Life model update that not everyone likes what may seem like simple aesthetic changes. Giving players the option to stay in a permanent Tree of Life form that has no benefits is just so cool. It does nothing but make the player happy if that’s what they want to see. Other glyph changes, like the updated Travel Form, add an extra benefit to the updated model as well, but they in no way make the glyph a necessity to have.
These changes just take small opportunities to make something otherwise normal into something flashier.
Paladin mounts not flashy enough? I better fix that with a glyph.
The more wings the better? Glyph it.
Smiting enemies with giant maces not cool enough? Well a little glyph can add some heavenly fire to that.
As far as I can tell, all of the new minor glyphs are in some way aimed towards this new area of choice and changes that don’t break the game. While some, I’m looking at you Righteous Retreat, do change abilities in a way that may end up being a little overpowered or broken, most are just really fun in my opinion. These changes aren’t going to be as extraordinary as adding Pokemon into WoW, but they keep really simple things feeling fun. I’m not going to lie: I spent thirty minutes being amazed at my druid’s cat and bear forms changing colors because of Glyph of Chameleon.
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m easily amused, but I was also really amazed at the glyphs that gave brand new abilities to toy around with. Contemplation will have a permanent spot on my paladin’s action bars as soon as these glyphs go live. I’m going to enjoy overlooking Stormwind as the Radiant Knight who is constantly brooding under some pesky flashlight. My druid is also going to have fun finding odd critters to tame with the Charm Woodland Creature ability.
I know that many people have been arguing that certain aspects of the game aren’t as good as they used to be, raiding being a prime target for this argument. Yet it is clear to me that Blizzard is working hard to keep this game going without catering to one specific group of people. They are paying a lot of attention to details in MoP, and these glyphs are clear evidence to that for me. There are issues that need to be resolved, but there is also so much new and fun content being added everywhere that gives players so much more. I think that instead of players taking all that is being added into the game for granted and then continuing to complain about X or Y, they should see how much of what we’ve been asking for has been added in.