And earlier than I go away till 10.0., I’ve one more put up to summarize my considerations about present WoW and desires for its possible future.
For sure, lore is the largest butt monkey within the cage, and rightfully so. We omit Shadowlands rant, for all I care Tyrande performing a French kiss on Sylvanas wouldn’t already hassle me – it’s too late for that. But what’s to come back?
World of Warcraft has quite a lot of very fascinating themes to discover – Dragon Isles (regardless of the fuck that’s), Azshara is someplace there, a protruding Sargeras’ blade in Silithus, extra devastated zones that want therapeutic (Teldrassil & Undercity case included), a peace between Alliance/Horde, a case of Mild/Shadow by way of already very disturbing Turalyon/Alleria antics and a possible Evil Mild invasion from alternate Draenor by way of the now-“Light Portal”, kobolds, troggs and shit working rampant within the wake of Fourth Conflict and a few years absense of Alliance/Horde leaders, Scourge working rampant with out Helm of Domination, Azeroth lastly hatched – and what not, and that’s simply our dwelling planet, sufficient for a number of expansions.
If performed properly, this might all play out and ship us epic adventures, which we deeply care about. Keypoint: performed properly. And that is how.
To start with, a convincing villain and its motives. We’d by no means count on the FFXIV depth (and that recreation additionally has its favourite tropes too, frankly), however we should nonetheless relate. Longing for final energy is understandable, corruption by evil forces (dreadlords or no matter) is a moldy case in WoW, however it works. Concern, anger, vendetta, scraping out territory and sources in your individuals, your individual imaginative and prescient of how the world ought to function – something would suffice. In case of Evil Mild, we already even have Alleria/Turalyon/Yrel standing able to sway into fanatical campaign, taking their faith into excessive, there’s nothing to invent.
All these motives are very viable and plausible – all we want is to see them articulated at first, via pre-patch, trailers and cinematics. All they should do is NOT to be obscure – like even now in 9.2. we’re not conscious what Jailer really desires, we all know WHAT and HOW, however by no means WHY. What was driving the plot of two expansions? I don’t know, and nobody does.
Second – we additionally want to know WHY DO WE FIGHT. Such a superb phrase from Pandaria, there’s nothing higher. We have to perceive what the villain is planning – and so we perceive what are the stakes and why are we preventing, what occurs if we don’t? Else, we might outline our personal agenda: for instance, ruining a Sargeras sword would launch loopy elementals, however it must be performed to heal the planet, and so we do what is important and are able to combat them, to take that threat and address penalties.
And epicness is born precisely right here: when one thing spectacular occurs in a cinematic, we perceive how terrible it’s, or how cathartic is the decision when evil disperses. That, not simply the image, makes us awe.
Third – characters, characters, characters. Once more, WoW is just not Ultimate Fantasy and neither it must be, so you’ll be able to’t wrap up the narrative round characters’ private tales and arcs, main and minor alike. But all characters we meet on our manner should have some sturdy motives, a powerful logic of how occasions affect them and the way their perspective modifications, why and the way they act in a manner they do. At present, all of them are merely speaking dummies with unexplainable and thus unbelievable pivots right here and there.
Once more, it’s onerous to carry hope after Shadowlands, however even in BfA Blizzard managed the smaller image. Outdated and new, main and minor characters have been performed so properly, and that’s what stops me from naming the enlargement unhealthy – they and the precise occasions saved me engaged and motivated, even when the general main narrative lacked focus – why will we combat – as Sylvanas, the primary conflict set off, was absent from the display screen.
That is crystal clear now – particularly in Zereth Mortis which I give up after two days, two classes – that WoW is remarkably outdated in its method to on a regular basis gameplay. The majority of each enlargement and patch, as new lore takes 2-3 hours tops on launch day, 8-10 upon x.0 enlargement launch, are repetitive actions within the open world: dailies, world quests, chests, rares and what not. There are PvP, raids and dungeons, after all, however to take part in them and progress via content material, to accumulate new items you’re nonetheless sure to on a regular basis duties – multiplied by the variety of alts.
And that is the place participant satisfaction comes into conflict with the almighty MAU. The general builders’ concern is to make gamers spend as a lot time within the recreation as attainable – sarcastically, they’re so mistaken of their strategies and obtain precisely the other outcome.
For instance: your world quest requires 13 mob kills (or clicking/amassing 10+ gadgets). Technically, a participant spends twice as a lot time than if he needed to cope with 4-6 enemies or amassing 3-6 nodes earlier than shifting on to the subsequent process. So he spends twice extra time taking part in WoW, proper? Mistaken.
It’s a tactical victory which nonetheless ends in a strategical defeat. In case your every day process requires this grind (extra so, if it’s spiced with dense/onerous mobs and pointless, harmful, exhausting fight), you turn into fairly exhausted, accumulate an total fatigue, and are reluctant to login subsequent time as in “not this again”, to say nothing about alts that are required to do the exact same stuff. Every day duties repeating themselves after a short time doesn’t assist in any respect – the general vary of quests and duties is restricted.
Now let’s see the other instance: acquire 3-5 nodes, kill 4-6 enemies throughout the identical duties. Sure, you spend 5 minutes on quest as an alternative of 10, and also you hop on the subsequent process twice as quick, however you’re feeling… comfortable about it. In half an hour, you obtain lots and obtained a major reward, you probably did all of your chores, you’re free for the day and… you don’t really feel exhausted. You’re really comfortable and wish extra! So you’ll be able to hop on an alt, or chase different actions at your leisure – or, in a “worst” case state of affairs, be performed with a session for right this moment. However! you’re comfortable to return tomorrow, since you really had enjoyable, you felt progress, and also you wish to repeat the expertise.
That’s my greatest concern about 95% of my WoW gameplay. It’s an MMO, true, so objectives should not be achieved in a day, and the mannequin of kill-me-some, bring-me-some would all the time stay as its core questing. But preserving this mannequin intact, you would simply make the entire course of lots much less grindy and so much more enjoyable – even when it means a tactical MAU loss, on the identical time it’s extra subscription time and a happier playerbase.
I’d not discuss borrowed energy, gating, and stuff like that, it’s been chewed time and again quite a lot of instances, by many individuals. However the issues I mentioned right here is precisely what made me give up WoW in the meanwhile, and I hope they get decision in future expansions and patches.