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?