Look, before this gets any deeper, and omigawd was I right about the explosion of hate already unleashed, I’d like to speculate on what the world zones and playable areas could be, without the hate spin and rhetoric of detractors.
I’m seeing a lot of hate directed towards ‘rehashing the same old content’, instead of the expansion being an entirely new continent or world.
From the sounds of what I read on MMO Champion, the impression I carried away was of a world where the Maelstrom erupted once again, new lands have risen, old lands have shattered, and in some cases even sunk back into the sea.
I have seen concerns that everything is just going to be ‘bumped up’ in level, but same old, same old. I have seen concerns that flying could never be implemented because of the current size of the Azerothian continents.
If the Maelstrom were to cause a world shaking Cataclysmic event, Blizzard would have free reign to reduce the existing size of Azeroth, streamlining/reducing the size of level 1 – 60 content quests and zones available, which would then actually match what is needed when you take into account the accelerated leveling changes. Who here really has to run even half the existing content to level an alt? Anyone?
I like the current system, because I can skip whatever zones I’m weary of at the moment. But I can see how some of the existing zones could be revamped as higher level content, without negatively impacting low leveling options.
So I see it possible that the continents of Azeroth themselves could be made smaller, some zones have wormholes or cavernous fissures break open unleashing higher level monsters, others becoming isolated from surrounding zones requiring flight to reach them, and some zones remaining starter zones while others adjacent get bumped considerably upward in difficulty.
I saw mention made, specifically, of old zones that had been planned but never implemented finally getting released. So, rather than one coherent new continent in the expansion, this would be a redesign of the old, plus the mixing in of brand new zones right in the middle of (or adjacent to) the familiar, and the massive changing of others.
That kind of arrangement would accomplish one thing Blizzard has always been keen on… keeping Azeroth feeling vital, busy and alive.
As things are now, and you know it well, Northrend is the hub of all activity, bustle and commerce, except for those things that force us to visit capital cities for auctioning and class training. You see alts wandering alone in the world, and high levels grinding low level tradeskills or farming for alts, and you see small groups heading off for old world raiding.
This change would send characters of all levels traveling everywhere in Azeroth, and I am sure part of the redesign would be to mix in low level zones with high, encouraging the player interaction and ‘bumping’.
Of course, with flying active in Azeroth, you still wouldn’t see a ton of interaction and mixing… but you’d certainly see more folks stopping in random cities to sell to vendors and repair. Things would feel more alive in general.
I have to say, if this is what they do intend, I feel confident that the concerns over ‘no new content, boring old rehash of existing content’ can be countered with logic and reason.
The strange class/race combinations, I honestly haven’t got a clue. I am not a lore master, so I cannot possibly come up with where Troll Druids or Tauren Paladins would come into play. Just, I cannot do it.
Personally, I don’t believe this really will happen. I’d enjoy it too much, and it wold take a ton, a massive insane ton of work on Blizzard’s part. I’d like to, and I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t. I’ve been wrong plenty of times before, so who knows. But this… this just feels like too much work on Blizzard’s part for too little ‘come see new shiny’.
If Blizzard were to do it, they’d be doing it in part to make some massive changes to the entire world that would feel epic in scope, and shake us out of our old ‘been there, done that, killed the boss, looted the epic shirt’ attitude so many people seem to have. For that reason, I hope it happens. I’d love to see Blizzard mount a change like this, make this kind of commitment, to drive a world changing event of unprecedented scope.
I’d like to see this happen. I’d love to see the world of Azeroth come alive again, and to see people congregating at Molten Core or Blackwing lair for a night of serious action.
I am also aware that my opinion may very well be the lone voice of approval amidst the howl of protest about to break loose in the WoW community.
Umm, okay, except for one thing.
Blizzard, please keep Druids to Tauren and Night Elves, okay? Just for me? If you can’t, at least let the reason be some awesome lore stuff, and not a ‘because we wanted to open up the classes to more races’ thing. I’d like there to be some serious lore shit going on, if Trolls suddenly dropped the bong and picked up some kitty pride, knowhutimean?