Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?

I haven't actually blogged a blogging blog in a while, so let me crack the ol knuckles and let's get this rolling.

WoW.

Cataclysm.

31 point talent trees.

Where do we go from here?

Does anyone get the distinct impression that we're starting all over again, and that this feels way more "WoW 2.0: The Re-imagining" than "WoW 4.0: Expansion Pack Number Three"? Can you honestly believe that in order to start a new toon, and reach the endgame, you need to buy 4 boxes off the shelf, and the fourth box completely replaces the first box? Doesn't that seem a little silly? What happens to the guy that only owns vanilla WoW on the launch day of Cata? Is he phased into the ghetto of Ogrimmar? Do we phase him into a separate Trade channel, too, so we can't hear his pathetic whining and asking about where Thrall's throneroom is? Doesn't that friggin noob know Thrall died when Jaina put the Matrix in his chest and he was no longer Rodimus Prime, but reawoke as...

wait.

I mean, really. The most obnoxious part about all of this is not that we're going back to training-wheel talent trees, but that after we crap our pants with ZOMGCATA we pass back through the Dark Portal and are faced with the grim remembrance that Hellfire Peninsula is just the grind that leads to Zangarmarsh. And then (!), after you slug through the 'old again' content of BC and WotLK, you go 'back' to Cata to experience the endgame? Really?

Seriously, where do we go from here?

WoW 5.0: The Really Really Dark Portal that Leads to the Hecka Burning Crusade (this time it's personal, and this time you REALLY aren't prepared)?



WoW 6.0: Northrend 2.0?



Why not have a real Cataclysm, and just wipe servers? Or... not wipe servers, but just release a new client? You can continue to side grade and do ICC/LK hard modes, or start over, buy one box, start a new subscription (this time with all that RealID crap starting from the beginning, and not tacked onto the back of a 6 year old playerbase) and 'reimagine' WoW?

Would that be so bad?



...Where do we go from here?

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Usually, you're my favorite blogger. You write well-thought-out articles that are humorous and though-provoking.

I have to say that this time I don't understand a damn thing you're talking about.

Azzur said...

Different author...

Anonymous said...

Damn, totally forgot about Larisa's last post. X_X

Forgive me.

Sage said...

Yeah, welcome to Ixo land, where bads make the blog post.

I've gotta agree with Ixo on this one, the game's FAR too expensive right now. Example below:

http://us.blizzard.com/store/browse.xml?f=p:110000034,p:110000018,p:1100000265,p:110000044

The damned game is $80 right now, plus subscriptions. Imagine if it went higher.

Sage said...

They really need to drop BC down to like $5-10, original WoW to $10. Northrend...eh, 15, because you need Cata for...jeez, probably everything.

One thing about your talent qq, Ixo, we all know that Blizz isn't the best made tool in the box, and who have been buying their game? Us. Still, the way they've been talking sounds like they FINALLY got WoW to release (BC being Beta, and Wrath being open Beta).

They've got something of a handle on balance, although from what I can see of 5-mans, I can't understand this whole 'the tank will survive more then two hits' thing. Because 5 is the minimum number here, and they might be shooting for 3-4. Reverting healing back to BC is kinda hilarious, though.

spinksville said...

Yeah, I have absolutely no idea where they will go with the next expansion. You can't really pull a trick like Cataclysm twice in a row... or can you? They're also running out of big bads.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Vanilla WoW players are getting most of Cataclysm for free.

Cataclysm expansion is only for Goblins, Worgen, and level 80-85 content.

So as a new player, you buy Vanilla WoW, and proceed to 60. At 60 you either stop, or go to BC, etc etc.

At this point though, I'd love to see them doing what FFXI did with buying one box and gaining multiple expansions.

Dwism said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see kil'jaeden pop back into the next expansion. So yea, It will be cata 2.0.

Like Spinks said, they are running out of baddies.

Dwism said...

not cata, burning croosaide ofc

Anonymous said...

@Pangoria:

Not really. The quests, profession changes, a lot of the talent and skill changes; Vanilla players are still losing a LOT. Basically the only thing they're getting "for free" is the changed landscape and some of the quests.

Copra said...

...and flying over old Azeroth.

I see this as the final step towards WoW 2.0, the real one, which will come out at the next expansion's launch 2012. So long old Azeroth and all, hello New Azeroth and new, original IP encounters, monsters and lore (based on the lore we've played for the last 6 years).

C out

Markco said...

Having to buy 3 expansions to a game and having flying players ganking you will probably force blizzard into making wow 2.0

Twan said...

Well they certainly need a new warchest.

Anonymous said...

I'm entirely convinced they'll lower the price of the other expansions, or offer new battlechest with vanilla and the first two expansions for less than if you bought them separately.

jeffo said...

'running out of baddies'? They can just invent more. It's not like they're constrained by any real history here.

Vigorless Fragmentary said...

Where do we go from here? to be honest I think not much further, this will be it. Cata is probably blizzard's last expansion - I can't see them releasing any after this. Cata will keep the ever-diminishing crowd busy over 2011 and there will probably be some minor content patches à la Ruby Sanctum to milk the dying cow as long as possible.

WotLK has kinda finished the full circle and already this expansion you could feel we're on a retreat. WoW has seen its peak end of TBC and from there has gradually slimmed down - and I liked WotLK, but towards the end of it everyone could really tell all their efforts and probably their best devs have changed their focuses on SC and Diablo. the wait time between WotLK and Cata has been the longest ever between expansions for a reason. the future belongs to these games.

So the main question should maybe be, why should Blizzard release any expansion at all after Cata? you see them release more for 2012? I don't.

Ixobelle said...

@pangoria: Vanilla WoW players are getting most of Cataclysm for free.

Cataclysm expansion is only for Goblins, Worgen, and level 80-85 content.


except that all of the vanilla continents have been.... heavily bruised... by the cataclysm. Assuming you only buy a vanilla retail box, will you honestly see the new Barrens etc?

I'd be curious if that were the case...

@the anons: sorry, i'll make it more clear i'm not larisa next time ;)

Talarian said...

The answer is yes. Vanilla players will see the Cataclysm'd zones and not the old zones. There will be no phasing involved in that aspect, nor will they split the playerbase like that. Zarhym and Ghostcrawler have answered this question multiple times in multiple interviews and forum posts, and it's on the general website FAQ for Cataclysm as well.

So, Vanilla would get you 1 - 60, with all the revamped zones, but no access to TBC/WotLK/New Cata Zones*.

TBC gets you 61 - 70 with Draenei, BElves, and Outland and the associated zones.

WotLK gets you 71 - 80 with Northrend and DKs.

Cataclysm gets you 81 - 85 with the new Cata Zones.

*Note that a recent forum posting mentioned that places like Hyjal will be accessible to anyone, but they'll be phased to prevent someone without Cata from doing much in them.

See:
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/faq/

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/26227612533/leveling-in-cataclysm/

evilbeards said...

Yeah, Players with only the vanilla box will only be missing out on Worgen, Goblins and 80-85 content. Old Azeroth is gone, completely. Everyone, regardless of what expansions they have bought start in the new cataclysmic Azeroth.

I can see what you mean by this post, personally I've never had any of the high points of fun that I experienced in Burning Crusade. I guess either the game or me is changing, I'll try out Cataclysm but if it leaves me as uninspired as Wotlk then I'll just let my sub expire.

Magma said...

@Vigorless
You have no fucking clue what you are babbling about. No this will not be their last expansion. Not only have they said that, but they have more players than ANY other paid MMO. Paid MMOs with A LOT less players constantly put out expansions. (FFXI, Everquest)

To honestly think they would be finished is just dumb.

Tesh said...

As much as I think Cataclysm is a Good Idea for making the world actually feel like time has passed, I do think there's a place for the "Old World"... say, as a F2P hook to get players addicted, then sell TBC, Wrath and CAT when they just can't get enough.

I've argued many times for a more dynamic, changing world... but like the RealID kerfluffle, you can't just tack that on to the butt end of an established game and hope it's going to mesh well, mechanically, story-wise or even socially.

Vigorless Fragmentary said...

@Magma
oh boy, i'm sure you're right - after all it prints money, right. maybe its more about me not being so eager to see any expansions after Cata - mostly because I am already unhappy with the state of things. and i'm hardly the only person thinking that Cata looks more like a polished recycling effort than anything. where will things go at this rate (which is pretty much the question of Ixobelle's post too) - ?
but I guess things like Emerald Dream are pretty much a given, yeah..
I think there is one big difference to the other MMOs you compared wow with though; nobody has as many irons in the fire like blizzard. but then they really got enough financial means to maintain them all.

by the by, there's no need to insult me. I'm not sure I hit a fanboy nerve there or if you're just a bully in general, but this is still the PPI I believe, hostess away or not. thanks. <3

Ixobelle said...

@Talarian: Hm. I admittedly don't follow the news as closely as I used to, but that seems a little odd. So basically they're giving away the entire cataclysm of the old world for free... owning Vanilla WoW will grant you access to the entire old world update (minus two races & respective starting zones, which basically boils down to some art and racial abilities). Once you've trudged all the way up to 80 (assuming a new toon, again) you can do new end game for 5 levels, then sidegrade until the next Xpac.

The sidegrade is admittedly one of the largest points of the game --reaching the end level cap and incrementing gear-- but the name of the expansion itself isn't "Duke it Out in Tol Barad"; it's Cataclysm, which to me means the sundering of the old world.

I stand firm that my argument still stands, though, regardless... once we've begun redoing the old world, where does it stop? Sell a new client already.

Just because EQ had 70 expansions doesn't mean that makes it correct or (the big buzzword of the day) accessible.

One retail box is accessible.

Anonymous said...

@Ixobelle

How would you get to 80 with just Vanilla? You're locked at 60.

Anonymous said...

A really silly post.

It's already been mentioned that Cataclysm changes the world for vanilla WoW players (revealed in the announcement speech).

So on to your main point... sell a new client. Have you played an MMO before?

A new client suggests to me WoW 2, when MMO sequels have been proven to fail. If you want any less than that, Cataclysm is exactly what is required. Content that everyone can play, nostalgia for current and returning players... all in the world that people are already happily invested in.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that no one questions Blizzard's ridiculous practice of making new players/accounts buy a box for every single expansion.

I don't think any other subscription MMO does this. EQ2, LOTRO, City of Heroes and even AoC include all of the game in the latest expansion. But I guess it's more money for Blizzard, as well as an easy way to artificially bump up their box count sales numbers.

Dwism said...

@ixo:
Point is, they want new subs to stay as subs. Something like 70% of new players do not make it beoynd level 10, they want those to stick around. they want the super casuals to pay subs. That is the point of caataclysm.
But that does not change your point about "where do we go from here", i know.

Iapetes said...

They should definitely offer a sort of 'pack' of the original game and the next 2 expansions for a total of $60 at most. You're asking them to then pay for the cata expansion when they hit 80 as it is.

Iapetes said...

That said, I don't want an expansion that offers no new endgame content or the major shake ups you can only do by adding more levels.

Lazaros of Llane said...

I can still see two expansion topics left at a quick glance: The Maelstrom, and The Emerald Dream. Hell, they could base one on the Bronze Dragonflight and have us going all over the timeline.

Actually, that last one sounds like a blast if done right.

Sage said...

Think about it this way, Ixo. All the stars left WoW for other things, thus allowing the stupid to leave as well. What we're left with is some decent enough people, without the spotlight on them. The days of crazy devs may be over. Or they might be just beginning, I mean you never really know with these things.

Ron said...

You can already get battlechests that have Vanilla and BC. On Amazon.com you can get the Vanilla+BC Battlechest for 30 bucks. Add in Wrath for $30 and Cataclysm for $40?( I forget how much it was at launch) thats $100.

Not bad considering its 3 expansions worth. I'm sure the price will come down, or a new Vanilla+BC+Wrath battle chest will be released. That should bring the price down to something more reasonable.

Anonymous said...

fact check... lots of respect for this site but this author could answer some of the questions (sarcastic or not) with a simple google...

Tamarind said...

@Anonymous

Bear in mind that Ixo and I are just trying to keep the dust off the furniture and the conversation going while Larisa is away. Obviously we're can't be Larisa, or even any kind of substitute for her.

And obviously I can't speak for Ixo but I'm pretty sure the questions in this post were largely hypothetical to get people talking and thinking, rather than because he specifically wanted The Answer (which, as we know, is 42).

Larisa will be back soon, have patience with the untrained bartenders!