I agree that mercs, and the huge growth in boxing in general, has damaged the social aspect of the game. It's also true that certain classes tended to be played by certain types of people, such as clerics by those who enjoy being needed and helping others. It's so true that in the "old days" we wouldn't leave PoK headed to an XP zone until we had recruited a real cleric for our group. Now we don't even think about it. Heck, not only cleric mercs, but shamans and druids can rez and heal almost as well as clerics. I play all 3 classes and I'm amazed how much they've made the other priests into "psuedo-clerics." Unless you want to raid, where clerics are still needed, I can't imagine why anyone would make a cleric today.
Warriors, not the same. Warrior mercs are "OK", but not that good, especially at higher levels. I'd much rather be standing with (or even better, behind!) a warrior being played by a real person than one being run by AI.
Hot zones... don't get me started. If they were smart they'd set up polls for players to vote on the next set of hot zones. They wouldn't have to commit to going with the top picks in every case, since some of the same zones would come up every time, but getting some input from those who actually do PLAY would surely avoid some of the miserably bad choices they make.
I also vote for changing hot zones more often. Since they leave the hot zone augments in the zone once they go "cold" why not change them more often? It's tedious to level toons in the same 8 zones for a whole year. Sure, you don't HAVE to use hot zones, but between the XP bonus and the fact that if you want to group with other "real" people the odds are much better in a hot zone.
I've always thought they should let the bonus XP available from a hot zone be tied to a group rather than a zone. Maybe allow people to "sign up" for a group and when it forms and moves to an XP zone, the group gets the bonus. And I mean a bonus beyond just the full group bonus. This would allow players to experience any zone they want, and even mix things up, while retaining the hotzone type bonus. The whole POINT of hot zone XP bonus is to encourage players to congregate in the same zones to encourage grouping and socializing. This could be accomplished by tying the bonus to the GROUP and not the ZONE.
Edited, May 1st 2012 8:09am by Sippin
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