I have quite a few friends who have shared with me thier plans for “What I’m going to do when Cataclysm comes out.”

These range from the extreme;

Teysa says, “I have 40k gold, 50 pets, complete set of Heirloom gear and a motorcycle all waiting for my Worgen Druid.”

To the casual;

Dechion says, ”I’m feeling pretty bored with the game as it is, I’m just biding my time until Cataclysm comes out.”

Most of the things I hear, however, share a common theme;

“Things will be new and exciting when Cataclysm comes out.”

What I’d like to wonder about, just for a moment, are what our expectations really are for Cataclysm, and if they’re really realistic.

Much like a certain other recent vague message of “Hope and Change”, we know that Cataclysm will cause sweeping changes throughout the world of Azeroth, but the details of those changes, their ramifications and how they will affect us personally are left mostly to our imagination.

We are free to leap to the conclusion that what we think should be changed WILL be what’s changed… the assumption being that Blizzard agrees with each of our secret hopes and dreams.

The most common assumption I’ve seen is that, in the wake of such a sweeping cataclysmic event, all of the realms will be rebooted, wiped clean and populated from scratch, resulting in a completely new and different leveling/questing experience from 1 to 60.

I’ve seen mention that Outlands will be untouched, and Northrend will emerge mostly unscathed, so the playing experience there can be expected to remain the same.

But is that a realistic expectation?

They are also adding 5 new levels of content, revamping the entire Talent Tree system, converting all gear and mechanics to a new stat system, adding two new races and starting zones, and adding all new raid related content.

So, along with all that immense work, is it realistic to expect that the entire world of Azeroth will be transformed, and along with the new terrain features we will have a completely new level 1 to 60 quest structure throughout all of Azeroth? 

Or is it more realistic to think that as many quests as possible will stay the same, in style if not in who gives it or where you go or what you retrieve, and only some will be brann spankin’ new?

It’s something to think about.

In this current World of Warcraft, with the average player having at least two level 80 characters, replayability is something everyone is looking for.

I know for a fact a lot of people are pinning their hopes for the future on having the game they already know and love and are comfortable playing suddenly sprout 60 levels of brand new content and exploration opportunities.

Think about that. Basically, World of Warcraft Vanilla 2.0. That is one hell of a tall order, on top of everything else.

I just hope that when the expansion itself finally does come out, and we see what has been done, that people are generally pleased and excited and feel that there is as much meat on the bones as they wished.

I also hope that people don’t make too many assumptions on what we are going to get, and try and keep a realistic point of view.

For my own sanity.

I really don’t want to have to read any damn QQ about how “Blizzard failed to deliver this, that and the kitchen sink” just because people expected too much out of one bloody expansion.

What do you folks think?

Really, are you expecting a gutted Azeroth pimped out with all new quests and awesomeness? Do you think it’ll be an even mix, some zones revamped completely and others almost untouched? Or something else entirely?

And whatever it is, do you think that it will bring enough new shinies and freshness to revitalise the game for the year or two to come after? 

I love that last question. In what other niche of the game business does a product have to satisfy players for longer than, say, 40 hours? Not just 40 hours,but a whole year or two? Really?

But no, the expectation in MMOs is that the game has to kep you excited for years. Unbelievable.

Ah, well. What do you think? What do you expect?

39 Responses to “Are our expectations too high for Cataclysm?”
  1. Spinks says:

    I give you a 50% chance that our expectations are either too high or too low :) And that some things you hadn’t even considered will be really exciting, whereas others you were looking forwards to will disappoint.

    But Blizzard has always done a cracking job with the levelling experience so I’m not surprised expectations are high. Whether they can really revamp the whole 1-60 run as well as adding in 80-85 to the same high standard … I dunno, it’s a lot of work. I’m expecting more of the higher level stuff myself, the underwater zone sounds cool.
    .-= Spinks´s last blog ..[LOTRO] The naming of pants, banners, and trash drops =-.

  2. Argon says:

    I vaguely recall from some of the Blizzcon info last year that some zones are being overhauled, while others are going to stay much the same. I don’t remember the exact breakdown, though.

  3. The Alien says:

    If you assume everything in the old world will change, you’ll be disappointed for sure. I know they’ve said of at least a couple of zones “This won’t change much, if at all.”

    The impression I get is that it won’t be 100% new quests, either. New ones, to be sure, but also small alterations to old ones, moving some quest-givers around, all to make the experience flow better.

    I would plan for it to be at least 50% polishing of old content. The new dramatic stuff like flooding a zone or turning the Barrens into (effectively) two zones with lava in between will certainly make big changes, but I believe I heard Loch Modan won’t change much.

    Which is a shame…I can’t stand Loch Modan or Darkshore. My first characters leveled up in Loch Modan and it seemed like every other thing you did was ‘swim across the lake’. I like many of the quests, but dislike how much running there is.

  4. Deandre - Dalaran says:

    I also think a lot of us old timers are looking at things through rose colored glasses. Think back to your first character you leveled, how amazing it was exploring the world for the first times and learning how to play. That was the vanilla content…BC was great, but we had the formula down, things went faster, easier, we had a foundation already built so it was less of a wow. Now we’ve weathered through things, know how to power quest, AoE grind, or power through dungeons. Cata isn’t going to be a return to Vanilla like a lot of people hope.

    I say all that…but I’m still looking forward to it. I’m always looking forward to new places to go, new stuff to see, and new bad-guys to topple.

  5. Katsiya says:

    I’m not really sure what I’m fully expecting when it comes to Cataclysm. I mean, I’m certainly not expecting a complete and utter revamp of the entire game from 1 to 60. Not only is that a lot of work, but to be fair, most of the content will not exactly be run more than once or twice by a player, and even then that would just to be so they could say they did it.

    Take the Hinterlands for example. There is very little incentive to actually go out there and quest, save for maybe a quest line or two that sends you out there to do stuff. Not to mention I really have no clue why its out there, nor what its real purpose was in the original, other than to give players yet another place to quest and level in (as I did with my Paladin way back when.)

    I do expect to see quite a bit of change when it comes to old world content, that much has already been given, and it’ll be enough for me to level a Dwarven Shaman up through the levels. The main thing I’m more worried about is going to essentially be the system itself.

    With the streamlining of spells and abilities down to a single rank, we’re going to have several large gaps where we won’t be getting anything new at all. Not just new spells, but the increase in ability of our old stuff as well at certain levels. I’m most likely over reacting on this, as I’m sure Blizzard already has it covered, but it would be nice to know what they’re doing.

  6. Keristrazja says:

    What I hope for and what I expect are always two different things, I’m far too much of a realist to get swept away by the simple idea of something.

    What I hope for is like you described, WoW Vanilla 2.0, massive sweeping changes, all new zone layouts/quests/etc.

    What I expect will be a few zones getting drastic changes, a few getting moderate changes, an the rest getting little to no changes.

    I hope questing will be new and exciting, with extended questlines to continue some of the old ones that felt unfinished.

    I expect questing to be more linear and less jumping all over the damn place, but to be pretty much the same quests with slightly different starting and end points.

    I hope that Cataclysm will be so massive, so unbelievable, that the forums will go silent for at least a month because all the usualy trolls are just too entralled with the game.

    I expect massive amounts of QQing no matter what Blizz does, because some people are only happy when they are miserable, other people live to make others miserable, and some people just have absolutely no fuckin’ idea of what it actually takes to make a game this size.
    .-= Keristrazja´s last blog ..We Get To Use Actual Nukes, Right? =-.

  7. mythcreant says:

    I think expectations are high due to the fact that Blizzard has a reputation for delivering the goods.A complete overhaul?No way,but I’m sure there will be enough to get us all back into the low level experience again.You can also be sure that there will be a lot of QQ because we expect only the best and any little flaw is quickly picked apart.
    We will praise what we like,complain about what we hate and Blizz will tweak as they go.
    Business as usual.
    .-= mythcreant´s last blog ..A message to overgeared fucktards =-.

  8. Eluniar says:

    I will be happy if the new 80-85 zones are done well and theres enough endgame solo and group content to keep me happy. I am hoping that level 1-60 will be changed massively but will it be? They are redoing it all, so would that mean making everything run as smoothly as it does in Outland and Northered? If so there would be alot of quests scrapped and gutted as they dont really fit this criteria. I

    I think the impression alot of people got was that all the old world and dungeons would be redone, I heard somewhere blackrock mountain would blow up but as things settled down so did the wild rumours. Blizz may have been set up for a fall by peoples presumptions and hopes- In the end all they really need to do is make sure theres enough content for everyone- In particular raiders. If blizz can find the right mix between Super hardcore and somewhat casual in there raids than it will be better than Wrath. Hopefully there wont be a repeat of the Trial of the Crusader raid- Even a player like me who is easy to please sees the faults in that.

    Hardmodes are the way to go, but they need to be done right. I only raid 10 mans and have yet to finish ICC but Ulduar is my favourite raid- The bosses were hard but beatable and the hardmodes varied and fun if not a little uninventive in places (Hodirs). Blizz needs decide how to implement hardmodes and stick with, keeping a consistent system in place throughout all of Cataclsym.

    I hope Cataclsym is everything people hope it will be and that Blizz really does make a brilliant exspansion with plenty of content for everyone.

  9. Dechion says:

    While I do have a couple grand and a stack of heirlooms on standby for my Worgen Druid I am being realistic. We are not looking at Wow 2.0, simple as that. The changes would simply be too great, and there is only so many ways you can kill ten rats no matter how they write it up.

    What I realisticly expect to see is redesigned starting zones that will take characters from 1-15. Recent data shows that only 30% of all players make it past level 10, they will want to engage those players and keep them going. From 15-60 I expect to see about an even mix of new, old, and reworked quest content.

    regardless of how they do it there is going to be a river of tears from those whose vision does not agree with what eventually comes to pass.

    With any luck the tears will be enough to slow down those pesky lava flows that are going to crop up in the barrens. (drowning the chat there is too much to ask)
    .-= Dechion´s last blog ..Waiting, just waiting… =-.

  10. Graimerin says:

    I’m excited to see how the tweek the game engine. The views of two new startings areas seems awesome hope the rest of the new scenery has same level or work put into it. Dwarf shaman’s for me a entirely new alliance option do not like space goats as characters to play personally. A bunch of diapointed people who waana change x character/class to some of the brand new ones as soon as Cat launches. I remember hearing over BlizzCon stream that they dont want realm first NE mage being a transfer toon imagine that will hold for all the new combos. Heaing how bad the worgen casting animation is and hoping I can live with it for my warlock.
    Just waiting to see how blizz makes me go holy shit again have been doing it now for along time and I’m sure they will again. But I’ll cop to being a Blizz fanboy

  11. Kayeri says:

    Well, I dont think I’m looking at an ENTIRELY new experience from 1-60 for my NE mage and Worgen hunter, but enough new content to make it fresh and interesting to do again. I have four 80′s now, and one more toon I expect to level before then, so I should cap out at 5 80s before Cataclysm… then there’s my pally on Moon Guard… I really need to work on her, too.. ::chuckle::

    But what I’m hoping for is yes, a newer experience to make levelling fun again… I mean, the same old quests get OLD after a few toons go through them, you must admit, even though they’ve given us the means to make it go faster. And yes, the new stuff in Cataclysm will grow old, but at least for my 2 planned toons, it should be fresh and fun enough to keep me going on them. :)

    But FIRST… Kayeri and her lovely red drake, Ara, will explore our new and different Azeroth! :)

  12. Shintar says:

    I expect that no matter what Blizzard does, it will be both too little AND too much. People will go through some zones and wonder why some old, really annoying mechanic is still there and how in the world Blizzard could have missed that when updating, but at the same time they’ll go to other places and go “Aww, they got rid of quest X? Why, I loved that one!” I’m sure it’ll still be cool though. :)
    .-= Shintar´s last blog ..Druid vs. paladin tanking =-.

  13. Darth Solo says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What Blizzard is doing with Cataclysm is a very smart thing. They could have stuck with the same way of doing things, i.e. yet another expansion that brings 10 more levels and a new continent but they decided to be different this time and I think it’s the best thing they could have done. I see Cataclysm as a reset to the whole of Azeroth and I can’t wait to level 2-3 more characters through the new areas.

  14. Stonedrake says:

    I’m not expecting much, not with the release of Cataclysm. A whole new Vanilla 2.0? I doubt it. They’ve just not got the time or resources to deliver that. I expect that some things are going to change, and then there will be more in incremental patches later on.

    What I *HOPE* to see is changes to the more frustrating styles of quests (“Bring me 40 Zhevra hooves!”). If I’m *dreaming*, I hope to see more class lore related content. Druid class quests kind of went by the wayside around about the time we got Cat Form (though I guess we got a nod with the fast flight questline). Rogues lost their story after returning to Ravenholdt for their Sunken Temple blue. Give me more of the class lore stuff and I’ll be stupidly happy.

  15. Bear Pelt says:

    I’m probably going to sound very silly, but the prime reason I am excited over Cataclysm is… *drumroll* the graphics.

    The goblin and worgen race are appealing to me not because they’re all spiffy and new races, but because of the zone graphics! I’m excited to walk around in new low-level toons I may never level, just to gape and awe at the architecture and new graphic engines. And don’t forget that a lot of Vanilla places are going to be overhauled, so it will be fun to go exploring all over again! This, I can safely say based on Blizzard’s performance so far, will not disappoint..

  16. Saffron says:

    I think Blizzard has done a lot to increase our expectations. But I do hope that Cataclysm is fun!
    .-= Saffron´s last blog ..I’ve Gone and Killed the Comments =-.

  17. Earthsong says:

    I think theres change much phyically and change much quest wise. The two seem to be getting confused. All questing is being revamped and streamlined, focused so you can move through the zones as you level more like Northrend. That doesnt mean the zone will change itself only hos its residents act and perhaps the mob levels.

    They may not even rewrite all the quests, Hogger will probly stay where he is annoying the guards, but flavor text will probly be shifted a bit in most of the quests to reflect the changes to the world – like war.

    They will be making some very signifigant changes to the mechanics (like + def) so I think the changes to things like class trees will be minimal so they can digest how the classes have evolved. but I dont doubt its in the works, just /proably/ not slated for now.

    Given how much Ive fallen in love with my tauren druid I think Ill roll a worgen druid, and since I already have the toys I need it should be lots of fun.

  18. 3 Minute Kitty says:

    I think your point of view is correct, I myself only hold on to fact with this expansion and make myself excited over fact and not possibilities. What I am excited for is simply the Worgen to be a playable race and some of the areas revamping, like Desolace and Darkshore. The only hope I have really found myself wishing is that maybe just maybe boredom won’t strike me for awhile.

  19. Barryhn says:

    I’m not sure what I’m hoping for. But I can tell you what I’m looking forward to.

    1. Worgen – top of the list, I remember finding some stuff about Worgen maybe being the alliance race in the lead up to the release of TBC and was hoping hoping hoping. Now I finally get to play as the race I’ve always wanted :) have 2 characters planned, a warrior (because I love ‘em) and a Druid (because I’m interested in seeing the possible lore relationship between the Worgen and Elune)
    2. Heroic deadmines and SFK – being able to do two of the best dungeons Blizz have designed at max level – sign me up for that, if they add Scarlet Monastery as well I’ll be absolutely bloody ecstatic.
    3. New talent trees and mastery system – the potential for a whole raft of interesting new talents, and being able to go further into 2 trees with 5 more points and no more talent tiers is very interesting (Ret pally with divine storm and Reckoning /drool). The mastery system is a really cool addition as well, it’s going to give gear a lot more broad usefulness.
    4. New hunter mechanics – i’ve deleted a level 75 hunter – i’d lost my mojo with the class that hooked me into wow. Will be rolling a fresh one when the expansion is released, and learning how to play them again from scratch.
    5. Archeology, I don’t know why, but I find the idea of this profession extremely appealing, it’s likely my hunter will pick this up (and will be going for the explorer achievement).

    While writing that I have thought of a few hopes and wishes – hopes first, these are not too far out of reach either.
    1. get rid of the damned stupid quests that send you to the other side of the bloody world to pick a flower or somesuch. (Blizz has expressed their intentions to do this).
    2. Make professions more fun to level. Lets be honest, until you hit outland most professions can be a real pain in the hole to level.

    And a couple of wishes.
    1. Bring back dungeon gear sets – and lets have some progression in heroics. Stop heroics from being places to quickly farm for badges. And give them meaning again, TBC heroics were hard, and bloody good fun.
    2. Improve the spread of skills and abilities throughout the levelling of a character – why do we have to slog away for sometimes as much as 50 levels of dull and restricted playstyle on some classes before we get our hands on the more interesting spells. Classes should get access to their defining abilities earlier (Ret pally’s should get crusader strike at about level 25-30 – ret are dull as hell until you get that ability) I’m hoping that with new focus on the levelling game again, blizz will see this and do some shuffling about and spread the fun stuff throughout the levelling curve.

  20. Skarlarth and Company says:

    My Hope for Cataclysm is hinged on one thing. One thing that is only semit in BLizz’s control: Getting She Who Must Be Obeyed to try it out.

    With the recent changes to quest map and such it has piqued her interest, but whenever she sees me with a spreadsheet weightign which upgrade or what gem, or what ability to use she runs screaming for the hills :(
    I tell her she does not need to worry about this stuff if she is questing or grouping with me or guildees (bonus of geing the GL wife), and I would never get in a situation where she would be a detriment; but to her it all seems like a big hassle.

    I knwo they mentioned stream lining ability trees and making talents more “fun” and “interesting” rather than “This is the required spec or GTFO”, although you know there will still be “the spec” it is unavoidable.

    So with fewer stats to juggle, more options in specs, I think I may get her to try it out.
    Not to mention I, and many other people she know of in the game will be starting new toons that she can level with, and she does not have to worry about “being a bother” while I am on one of my 5 (soon to be 7) 80′s on their way to 85 :P

    Skarlarth and Company
    Medivh

  21. Firecroch says:

    There’s been a lot of comments that people are making about the terrain and area, don’t forget that Blizz is going to be using their new Phasing tech much much more in allowing some of the new features for Cataclysm. This will allow a lot of things to be done in the areas without having to change them permanently

  22. Tesh says:

    I’m expecting them to push even further with their “subscriptions and more” business model (including selling Cataclysm in a box, rather than just including it as part of the subscription), double dipping in all sorts of ways, but the game itself will be just polished enough to keep people playing and finding new things to do. This will make people happier to give Blizzard money, while talking out of the other side of their mouth about how terrible microtransactions are.

    For the game itself, I expect little real change, though I’ve hoped for more. The game will still be a solid themepark with treadmills. It will be pretty, and pretty fun, but ultimately, more of the same. It really can’t afford to change. It needs to stay relevant to keep that revenue stream pumping, but it can’t be *new* any more than Levi can suddenly start producing lunchmeats.

    We’ll have a perpetual dance of fire and ice, with dragons taking turns on the center stage with the Lich King. When one gets boring, the other will pop up and say hello long enough to keep people busy while the other gets a breather. (Sort of like Ds and Rs, come to think of it…) In the end, though, nothing much really changes but the numbers. Day to day play will be much the same.

    As I’ve noted before, this really is the only way that WoW can stay interesting and relevant (read: profitable)… but it really isn’t going to change the core of what the game is or how it plays.
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Bacon and Chocolate =-.

  23. Katchafiya says:

    I’d love to see the end of “/w spec and achievement”

  24. Phaedra says:

    While I am excited for the new content, like archeology and the new races (though, based on my Blizzcon experience, waiting several months to roll one), I am most excited for leveling my main in new new stuff. My favorite time playing WoW was the first weekend Wrath was released. Most my guild was able to go to a midnight release and we were all on vent together, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all the new stuff. We were linking pretty much everything that dropped – crazy greens, arctic furs, quest rewards.

    Being one of the first people on my server to set foot on Northrend is something that you can never reclaim on an alt, no matter how many you level. THAT is what I am most looking forward to in Cataclysm.

  25. Trevor says:

    I will be very disappointed if they don’t revamp the “flavor” of almost all of the quests, even if they are essentially the same quests. I realize this will be a lot of work, but quite frankly I can’t see any way around it without really screwing with the story telling. The Defias were defeated, in lore, before the Cataclysm. Period. Running around killing the Defias in a post Cataclysm world simply makes no sense. If they want to use the same models, fine. If they want to use the same basic quests (kill x of y caster mobs), fine. If they can reasonably argue a resurgent Defias Brotherhood (with new leadership of course) in a way that makes some sense, fine. I just really hope they don’t recon ALL lore from Vanilla WoW to after the Cataclysm just to make the redesign easier.

  26. Slyght says:

    @Keristrazja – Nail on the head

    I’m sure a lot of you have seen this, but this is a tentative map of the changes being made to the zones in Azeroth. Based on developers comments and known details about changes to zones, it is assumed red means major changes to the zone, yellow means moderate changes, and green means minor changes.

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.wow.com/media/2009/11/ah110509catzonesoverhaul.jpg

    According to this diagram, seven zones are marked as red, ten as yellow, eighteen green, and the rest unknown. So it seems like half the zones in Azeroth are getting minor changes, half are getting moderate-to-major changes. I’m expecting the 1-60 leveling game to be roughly 50% new, 50% old content. That seems like a good mixture for me. It’s not like every quest in Vanilla WoW was bad, afterall.

  27. Charity says:

    For me, I will be blissful if even 20% of the quests are new outside of the new starter areas. I think (hope) that 10% is a more realistic expectation. I’m hoping and expecting the quest flow to be improved, as Blizzard seems to have improved at that. I’m excited about the idea of not having to theorycraft as deeply (hopefully) to know which stats are better for me on gear. Based on some of the other comments here, maybe my expectations are too low. I hope that means I’m not likely to be disappointed.

  28. Morphster of Aggramar says:

    I have to admit I’m a bit surprised so many people are focused on the new low/mid-level quests and questing experience that Cataclysm is heralded to bring. I’m working on two new alts and other than class quests I haven’t done any questing after level 15. I simply enjoy group dungeons more than dinking around by myself and dungeon finder has made it so much easier to find groups. I take advantage of my time in the queue to farm stuff or play in the AH so I’m leveling my professions and wallet much quicker than was possible to me “back in the old days.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for new races and exploring the new instances up to 85, but I don’t think Cataclysm will affect me a whole lot . . . other than a spike in wife agro when the next expansion is purchased :)

  29. Tarean says:

    “I really don’t want to have to read any damn QQ about how “Blizzard failed to deliver this, that and the kitchen sink” just because people expected too much out of one bloody expansion.”

    I found that fit well with your vaguely disguised statement (that could be interpreted as somehow political maybe if you looked at it in the right light) :P

    But seriously, I’m not trying to keep my expectations too high. I expect that my troll druid will go through the world, learning skills previously unknown to her kind, and helping the Horde deal with the Cataclysm, and helping the Warsong expand into Ashenvale, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t have to kill a few boars here and there.

    Flying mounts in Azeroth though…I don’t see any way we could be dissapointed in this, other than limits to areas that we didn’t expect, etc. Similar stuff with the new water graphics (about freakin’ time, if you ask me), and with the starting areas. If we expect some DK starting area style craziness, then I’m sure we won’t be dissapointed.

  30. Ndiayne says:

    I’m cautiously excited. I don’t fully know what’s coming, but personally… getting to play Goblins in-game? AND THEY HAVE PRIESTS. This has been my dream since we ran a short (weekend) WoW tabletop campaign a few years ago. (Justifying a Goblin Priest to my DM at the time was really fun…) For me, that’s enough to be crazy-excited. Add in gnome priests, at least a few major zone overhauls (to some of the zones I absolutely loathe)… yeah, I’m just excited to see what they do.

    I’ll personally only be disappointed if they keep in quests that lead to old “dead-ends”… either inaccessible, or completely irrelevant to the game post-Cataclysmic activities. I’m not expecting a complete overhaul, but I don’t think it’s too much to expect flavor text/NPCs of some of the current original content to change slightly as a reflection of the upcoming events.

  31. Deius says:

    I think these expectations are perfectly reasonable, as from what Blizzard has said about Cataclysm so far, it looks like they’re just turning WoW2 into an expansion.

  32. Dahkeus says:

    Ya, I’m looking to Cata for “hope and change,” but I don’t think that’s a radical idea. Of course I won’t get all the new shiny things I want, but there’s no doubt that there will be enough to sate my hunger at least temporarily.

    I know this because past patches and expansions have done the same for me.

  33. Perrin says:

    I’m expecting that:
    * the zones will be redesigned for smooth flying experience
    * the quest lines that are now defunct (Missing Diplomat etc) will be moved forward or replaced
    * new quests will appear to replace some of the modified zones old quests
    * L81-85 zones will be added
    * New race zones will be added
    * and Troll and Gnome cities will be added.

    Even that in itself is a tall order, so I’m not expecting an entirely new set of quests. Horde will still have to hunt Zhevra’s though the reasoning may have changed (lack of food etc), and Alliance will still have to kill Hogger etc.

  34. Asana says:

    I expect no more and a little bit less than what Blizzard has already put out there. Blizzard tends to build up expansions like they’re full-blown game changing awesomeness!!!1 Then again, it’s what they have to do to charge up the loyal masses (like all the skeletal soldiers at the end of WotLK’s trailer) *and* entice new players to the game. As with past expansions, anticipate that everything you’ve heard about won’t quite be all there when the game ships and that Blizzard will timesink/ankle shackle/landmine you to prevent your immediate zip to level 85. The old world will be revamped and it has to be since we’ll be able to fly through it. The mind wonders, will we have to learn/achieve/quest chain/wait til lvl 8x on our way to old world free flying?

    Will we get treated to as much Deathwing as we had with Lich King? Maybe, I mean he is kinda huge unless he pulls a Chromie then he could pop up all over the place quite easily. Where will the new flight paths be in the old world? Lowbies still need flightmasters and with places like Auberdine to be destroyed flight pathing is going to get remapped… perhaps more efficiently?

    There will most definitely be QQ, it’s Blizzard and WoW c’mon! When has there NOT been QQ to pew-pew? The fact is that the content will never live up to all the expectations and if you don’t know this by now… you’ll never, never, never know it. Easy mode accusations will take flight yet again and in playing on the PTR yesterday with all those overly helpful pop-up windows, I immediately thought Free Realms! To many longtime players’ disdain, a lot of what WoW had been has become easier and it’s a trend that will continue (cause if it’s easier more people will come, see: Wii). Blizzard takes pride in watching what other games are doing and incorporating their most popular aspects into WoW. While not terribly inventive and in some cases downright annoying, Blizzard is in the business to make money (hi Activision /wave) and if that means making WoW the Swiss Army Knife of all games …so be it.

  35. Ant Adam says:

    For myself, I am quietly optimistic but also dreading a few things…

    Looking forward to those dreary zones being more interesting graphically – barrens and desolace spring to mind.
    NOT looking forward to low level pvp battlegrounds – Arathi Basin, omg can you hust imagine how many worgen your will see in one team for weeks n weeks. It’ll be worse than the DK splurge.

    Will there be a big shift of balance on all servers? – an awful lot of horde I talk to are going to create a worgen and level that, so we could see a dearth of horde for the first week or three if this is indicative of the general trend. Worgen just look too cool to not want to try them out.

    And in case you havent subscribed to the Blizzard magazine – yeah, I did, and I quite enjoyed the first issue – which goes some way to answering whats happening quest wise and zone wise and gives more details on deathwing, the new professions and so on. Definitely worth getting and reading.

    On the whole though, Im a wait and see but with a little excitement fence sitting at the moment.

  36. Eldorad says:

    Surely the re-tool of old zones is going to be like the adjustment to Dustwallow marsh.

    You guys remember that? During BC they changed the zone and added mudsproket. The whole zone (for alliance at least) feels much newer and fresher.

    For example, instead of one quest to go kill X, come back then go somewhere else, there is always two quests at once in a given area, with follow ons that tie into each other.

    Similarly, if questing in a group, quest drops are shared by all, rather than having to kill double the number of mobs like in a lot of old world content.

    It’s that sort of smoother and simpler quest design that is going to change things in the 1-60 bracket.

  37. Zamboni says:

    For those of us that already filled our 10 character slots, the whole “New Azeroth” is kind of a dead fish. The new races, new starting zones, new class combinations, the redone 1-60 grind…they’re all just filler material unless I delete one of my existing level 68 profession alts (along with his 450/450 professions). Another 5 levels and the Archeology buff sound interesting, but it’s hard to get excited about the rest of the package at this stage.

  38. MyName says:

    They wouldn’t even need to revamp the questing that much. If you can just compare the two new BC starter zones (BElf and Dranei) with Don Modr/Loch Modan or Darkshore, or the 3-4 different shires you ended up running around for the humans, the BC starter zones are more polished and less annoying. Having a mount at 20 helps alot, but the best thing they can do is get rid of the running around so that it all makes sense.

    And as far as changes go. Nearly every zone in Vanilla looks gorgeous and interesting, but there’s only a handful of actual questlines that stick with you. So as long as they keep the look the same, and reduce the running around, I don’t think it matters as much what they do with the quests themselves.

  39. Rage says:

    This last expansion has been awesome the game has matured extremely well IMHO and I think the next expansion will yet improve on this one becoming more dynamic and player friendly. Best thing they did was center the game around daily heroics and improve the badge system. Leveling the field between classes was a great leap as well. Each class can do similar damage and all the tanks are viable. Healing needs to be worked a bit IMO raiding relies on Paladin heals way too much for my taste.
    My biggest gripe with the game at the moment has nothing to do with content but LAG! My server Sargeras is almost unplayable on Tuesday night. Average latency of our raiders is 500-800 and spikes to 1200. Our raids have become way to stressful due to this lag. New content is great but I much rather enjoy the current content without all the server issues. So while they are coming up with a bunch of great additions to the game I hope they are focused on the quality of the servers and the games playability. Also related to servers why can’t they do server maintenance at off peak hours? Start at 2am and be back up by 7am. I’m probably going to be disappointed because I haven’t heard of any plans to address server problems with the next expansion.
    I would like to offer a suggestion for an area of improvement and that is in leveling. For me grinding or quest based leveling is the anti-fun. I can’t stand it. I understand the purpose is to immerse you in the lore and teach you the mechanics of your class but, most are familiar with the lore or don’t care about it (I’m more the later) and other’s quickly adapt to their new characters abilities and don’t need to spend weeks leveling going thru the same monotonous routine. We play online for a multi player experience if you want to play you could find much better solo experience games.
    I would love to see some type of skill based leveling system using the random dungeon system. Similar to tutorials in most 1st person shooters you run thru a course and at the end it grades you awarding points for your proficiency. I know the dungeon system is in place but what I’m calling for is an alternative leveling system that rewards player’s performance instead of how well you can walk from point A to point B and then back to A. Develop raiders not lab rats! So while you can do dungeons now it’s more of a supplement to questing not an alternative. It should reward players with additional experience for both their group and individual performance (I will elaborate in a different post). This is a capitalist idea the better the player the faster you level. But, let’s thru in a twist of socialism and encourage people to educate/help each other by making group rewards much greater and worth wild. For myself and I think many other people this would be far more enjoyable leveling system then running all over the place mindlessly talking to npc’s. This would be far more fun and benefit everyone as a whole. Imagine fresh 80’s that know how to use all there cooldowns, move out of ground effects, hold aggro, don’t pull aggro, conserve mana by using appropriate spells. Right now you have some that do the above and others that just mindlessly ran from quest giver to quest giver.

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