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Beyond the Mists: Life after PandalandFollow

#1 May 10 2013 at 1:06 AM Rating: Excellent
I'm writing this for a couple reasons. The first and foremost is that I'm procrastinating and don't want to study for finals. The second reason is because I want a place to jot down my ideas and, when they prove true, somewhere I can point to as proof and say "I ******* called it!" Warning. This post is HUEG LIEK XBOX.

That said, most, if not all of this will probably turn out to be completely wrong. Oh well. A guy can dream, can't he?

So I've been thinking a lot about what the expansion after Mists will be. I'm fully expecting an announcement at this year's Blizzcon in November, to the point where if it wasn't announced then, go drop something heavy and see if it still falls down, because the laws of physics and the universe just took a personal day. I have divided this post up into a few different sections, and I'm going to try and provide as much evidence as I can for each. Feel free to brutally tear apart my argument (or agree! People still do that, apparently) if you see something that you think is impossible or you just like playing devil's advocate like a little ****. That's ok, I really like doing that too. We can be little turds together.

So, first up, what will the next expansion for WoW be? What will it be about? What kind of new goodies are we going to get our grubby little hands on in our pursuit of the glorious "phat lewtz"? Let's start with the setting of the expansion.

The Setting

(Oooh, big text. Really blew the special effects budget on that one. I'm pulling out all the stops here!)

I'm predicting Argus, the Draenei homeworld, as the setting of the next expansion.

I'm guessing we'll see Outland as we know it revamped so the leveling experience there isn't so completely horrid, and an entirely new area, Argus, opened up for endgame. This means in addition to the Outland revamp, we'll also see a new world with complete new zones for the next leveling bonanza. The expansion will feature the Burning Legion making a return, with I'm guessing Kil'Jaeden as the final boss. As far as levels go, I'm thinking only five more, bringing the cap to 95.

So why another Outland expansion? Well, Blizzard has said in the past that they would like to go back to Outland and give it a revamp, like the did the old world with Cata. In fact, a lot of the Lore Q&A panel from back in 2010 (when it was supposed to be mostly about Cata) ended up being questions about another visit to Outland, and the devs definitely expressed interest.

I've taken some key quotes from that interview and crapped them out into these fancy shmancy spoiler tags to save on postage:
Quote:
Will we ever see a redemption or resurrection of Illidan as a Character?
BOY DO I WANT TO DO THAT. That'd be badass. I don't think anyone at all has ever talked about that. But I love that ****. I'm a sucker for a good redemption story.

So for the story contest i wrote what might have happened to Kael'thas what happened between tbc and the bt
Actually a number of years ago, one of our lead writers wrote a 80 page novel about that, and its ********* we've been struggling where to put it out, i would like to put it out at some time.


It was brought up again next year at the 2011 Blizzcon Lore Q&A, as well.

Quote:
What happened to Arthas' body, Kael'thas' body, Illidan's body? Can we just bring them all back?
(Metzen) I woudln't say we're going to bring all of them back. Do you guys think we should bring Illidan back? (Crowd cheers) Based on that response I think it is likely, we'll have to find some way to bring Illidan back.


But the devs expressing a desire to go back to Outland and beyond doesn't mean that they have any concrete plans, right? Right.

Except we're already seeing evidence of another Burning Legion expansion in the live version.

The first confirmations of Expansion 5 being worked on bubbled to the surface way back in March of last year. MoP had been in beta for two days when this was published. Blizzard likes to leave little hints at things when they can - when they add races they prefer ones we're familiar with, and new content has recently been evolutions of old. The point I'm getting at here is that Blizzard not only had time, but they also had the motive to leave little hints here and there for the alert eye to pick up. Hints pointing towards a Burning Crusade expansion.

Let's start with a certain Pet Battle trainer in Felwood - Zoltan. This is a Blood Elf surrounded by cultists (who by the way, have bugged textures that look really cool) and preaching in Demonic. Preaching about the return of "the Master."

Speaking of "the Master," this isn't the first we've heard of him. Back in the Battle for Undercity, Horde fought against Varimathras in his coup. Varry gave some excellent quotes during the battle.
Quote:
Thrall: LET'S GO! QUICKLY! 
           What is this? 
Varimathras: Welcome to your future -- what little there is left of it... 
                     Too long... Tireless, endless planning... It will not end like this... 
                     Need more time... The Master is near... 
                     Such power! Can you not feel it, mortals? Cease this foolishness and join me! 
                     I will not fail! Not again! 
                     I cannot hold... Destabilizing... 
A distance voice : YOU HAVE FAILED ME, VARIMATHRAS! 
Varimathras: A thousand-thousand pardons, Master! I will deal with these intruders myself! 
All the portals are now down, and Varimathras start to fight himsefl ! 
Varimathras: Years... wasted...

(code-blocked for formatting)


So we've established that there's a major demon running around that people are calling the Master. Possibly Sargeras. Possibly Kil'Jaeden. Possibly the Hamburglar. Most likely a raid boss-level character.

But those are minor and outdated things. Let's get to the real juicy stuff, the legitimate hints. I'd like to present Exibit A: Alleria and Turalyon. First off, Alleria is the third Windrunner sister, sister to both Sylvanas Windrunner, the Dark Lady of the Forsaken, and Vareesa Windrunner, leader of the Silver Covenant. And she hasn't been seen in years. Alleria and her human husband, Turalyon, one of the founding Knights of the Silver Hand, were members of the Alliance Expedition that shut down the Dark Portal from the Outland side. They were stranded in Outland with the rest of the expedition until the portal reopened. The thing is, we don't know what happened to these two. They just kind of... disappeared. And the fans have been asking for them for a while now, since they were and are major lore characters.

Blizzard hasn't been completely quiet about them, either. First off, the two have a half-elven son running around Outland looking for them. Recently in Mists (!!!) a tip was added to the loading screen rotation stating that "Nobody has seen Alleria or Turalyon in years." And most importantly, at the Mists launch event in September of 2012, Metzen stated that we will "need their help" soon, heavily hinting the next expansion will feature these two characters, both very tied to Outland.

And then there's Wrathion.

Oh boy. I could write a book on Wrathion.

In the Best Buy Developer Q&A, an interesting question popped up.
Quote:
Will there be an appearance of the Burning Legion in the end of MoP?
The threat of the Burning Legion is still out there, and it's very much a threat to Azeroth. The mortal races are mostly focused on the current war, but not everyone has forgotten about what's out there and the challenges to come... Wrathion, in particular, is already trying to look ahead.


Wrathion is the character who has been trying to bring an end to the Alliance vs Horde war for the entirety of Mists, even if that means supporting one side to total victory. Because Wrathion says something is coming. Something very, very big, and a divided Azeroth can't hope to stand against it.

Quote:

Wrathion says: My father, Deathwing, tried to destroy the whole of Azeroth.
Wrathion says: He was misguided, of course, but he was right about one thing: Our world is... so fragile.
Wrathion pulls out a dagger and slices his palm, casting some magic to show a representation of Azeroth, which rises from the floor to hover a few yards up.
Wrathion says: We are a point of light in a universe of shadow. A candle in a tempest.
Wrathion says: Sometimes I think it was the very precariousness of our world that drove my father to madness.
...
Wrathion says: Now, to my point: I believe we are headed towards a reckoning. And no, I am not talking about the current conflict between the Alliance and the Horde.
Wrathion says: Believe me - what Garrosh Hellscream achieved in Theramore is nothing compared to the horrors that are even now bearing down on our fragile home.
Green fireballs, reminiscent of infernals, streak toward the planet. The surface turns molten.
Wrathion says: But the war deeply troubles me. Do you see my concern?
The planet explodes.
Wrathion says: A divided Azeroth cannot possibly stand against the darkness.


This is some of the most compelling evidence for a Burning Legion expansion there is. Wrathion is stating in about as plain of words that you can expect Blizzard to use that Azeroth is going to be facing an outside threat. Something not from Azeroth. Infernals, a "universe of shadow," "horrors bearing down on our fragile home"

This is screaming, "It's Burning Legion time, b*tches!"

So why do I think it will be an expansion set in Argus and not a Burning Legion invasion of Azeroth? Well, if they did an Invasion expansion, where the **** would they put it? Blizzard will want to do another new continent, not a spattering of zones across the world like Cataclysm - they cited the unpopularity of the spread out zones as one of the reasons Panndaland was a continent, and not a bunch of zones. So if they did a new continent, there's just not much left on Azeroth to explore. We have a lot of underwater areas still most likely, maybe some underground zones like Undermine and whatever the ****'s going on below Tirisfal, some islands in the Great Sea still unexplored, and the occasional unimplemented zone in the Old World. But that's about it. There's just not a lot of space left in the old world, and none of it fits with a Burning Legion expansion.

So let's take another look at Outland, if there's nothing in the Old World big enough. Blizzard has stated multiple times in the past they've wanted to revamp Outland, but they won't use just Outland, since it's currently occupied by the 58-68 leveling bracket. As of Cata, the Exodar has been fully repaired, once again allowing dimensional travel. The Draenei themselves are possibly the most neglected race, lore-wise, though Velen is starting to get more attention. (Another point! Velen is starting to get more attention!) And I'm willing to bet there would be plenty of Draenei willing to lead a crusade to take back Argus with the assistance of their Allies. Perhaps as a retaliatory strike after some kind of calamity happens to Azeroth? Something that the mortals have to struggle to deal with again, challenging both Alliance and the Horde with their new Warchief (*coughVol'jin*cough*)?

I see the Burning Legion as obvious for the next expansion. My money's on Argus and a revamped Outland, but evidence for that is a little harder to come by.

Ok, enough ranting about the setting. What else are we getting? What other goodies?

New Races, Classes, and Why We Won't Get Any

Mists of Pandaria added not just a new race, the Pandaren, but a new class, the Monk. But you know this. How could you not know this. We're in the freaking pandaland expansion.

What I'm getting at is Blizzard usually likes to give these things time to settle before expanding more. Pandaren are still really new, and Monks are the least popular class. While I would love to see an Ethereal race or a Demon Hunter class, I really don't see it happening. Monks in particular are a bit of a thorny issue - like I said, they're the least popular class at the moment, and a new class is only going to reduce those numbers. Blizzard is also super hesitant at adding new classes. They have yet to add a new class two expansions in a row, and I really don't see them breaking that trend, unless it's to wait even longer between additions. I don't see a new race in the cards, either. It'll take away too much from the Pandaren to have them eclipsed so quickly by some newcomers.

But fear not! I don't think we'll be left out in the cold, either. In fact, I'm guessing something really cool will be coming with this next expansion. Not the redone vanilla races. Well, I think we'll be getting those too, actually, since they've been working on them for so long and the 5.2 mobs are I suspect a great preview of them. But I digress! As I was saying, I think we'll be getting something really awesome in the next expansion.

Disclaimer: From here on out I'm going to start the baseless guessing and rampant speculation. Like I wasn't already. I just have no facts or evidence from here on, as opposed to a few scraps.

This past March something showed up in the 5.3 PTR. A little something called Tri-Spec. Obviously, this, if implemented, would be a huge deal. But I don't see them implementing it any time soon. They don't want to give us a Tri-spec system that would homogenize all the rogues into being the same, all the priests, all the mages, etc. When you have access to all your specs, there's no need to even respec again, and all the characters of the same class are immediately exactly the same. That is, they don't want to give us tri spec when we have three specs.

When we have three specs.

I'm predicting that for the next expansion, in lieu of a new class or a new race, all current classes (with the possible exception of Druids) will be getting a fourth spec.

This would accomplish a few goals. First, it would allow us to finally play as all the archetypes we've wanted, but honestly wouldn't happen as an individual class thanks to them already being too similar to current classes/specs. Demon Hunters are the weird bastardization of Warlocks, Hunters, and Warriors. Necromancers are like Warlocks and Death Knights had a doombaby. A Psionic class would be too similar to Priests. So on, and so forth.

The second goal it would accomplish would be to fill in itemization gaps. This is a problem Blizzard has talked about before, especially with the switch to Cata and the Healing Debacle. Int Plate and Bows/Guns are great examples of what Blizzard could fix with adding a fourth spec - finally giving those types of gear multiple classes, instead of having to disenchant that bow that dropped for the third time because you don't have a hunter. This would also allow Blizzard to play around with some of the pure dps classes, finally giving them some hybrid options. This would breathe new life into old and aging characters, and would allow people to keep playing their old specs if they wanted, having the choice to try something new without being forced into it.

Here are some possible specs I've thought of that could maybe be added on to existing classes:

Death Knight: Necromancer, a ranged DPS spellcaster using the already existing rune system. Uses int plate and dual wielding int weapons or int two-handers (they do exist). A good old-fashioned pure Necromancer archetype that WoW is sorely lacking, it might involve summoning mass weak minions, like an ability to raise five skeletons at once or something. I don't know, I'm just spitballing here.

Druid: I don't think they would get a fourth spec, really. Sorry to leave them out in the cold, but they already fill every roll, and five specs is kind of insane.

Hunter: A Physical dps, melee spec. That's right, get up close and personal and use abilities to fight like an animal. How cool would it be to be fighting side by side with your pet? Mauling like a bear? Slashing like a tiger?

Mage: Bring back the Frostfire spec! While Frost is exclusively ice, and Fire is burney goodness, Arcane isn't a union of the two but its own thing about force of will or some such. I want a union of flame and frost to blast my foes, with frostburn and hotcold or whatever Blizzard comes up to call the damage, since loldamagetypes these days. An alternative could be a Time based healer spec, reversing the damage done and making it so allies were never hurt to begin with, though this borders a little with how Arcane has been portrayed recently.

Monk: Cranedancer: a ranged spell dps spec, following Chi-Ji the Red Crane. This is the only one of the four Celestials that monks cannot currently follow in the steps in, and a chi-based and energy-based spellcaster just sounds cool to me. It could be based around Chi spells and Hadoukens firing off constantly and all kinds of spellcaster-y goodness.

Paladin: Shockadin time! Another ranged dps caster, this would be all about Holy Righteousness or whatever the kids yell as they shoot holy magic at each other these days. Another Int Plate user to fill in the gaps.

Priest: A second ranged dps spellcaster spec, this one utilizing bother Light and Shadow in a discipline-esque "force of will," potentially Psyonic archetype. Uses both light and dark to sear the foes, being awesome and filling in a Yin-Yang-style that WoW suspiciously lacks.

Rogue: A swashbuckler tank class, that gets up close and dodges and parries her way to victory. High evasion, high parry, high finesse. Lots of showy attacks and ripostes and all kinds of goodness. This is eclipsed a little by Combat, though, which utilizes similar thematics already. In lieu of this, another ranged Physical dps utilizing bows with no pet would be pretty cool. A true archer, minus the furballs.

Shaman: As much as I want to see a Shaman tanking spec, it doesn't really fill in any of the holes in the itemization. I don't really see them adding some kind of tanking Mail, either. If they went the route of Shaman tanks, it would have to come with some ability to let them equip plate and would likely dual-wield. They would have some cool abilities too, like maybe encasing themselves in a body armor of earth for absorption or some such. Actually, this might work...

Warlocks: Demon Hunter tank spec. This one is a natural extension of the tanking options Warlocks have already combined with a Burning Legion being the perfect way to introduce a Demon Hunter specialization. Illidan, the quintessential Demon Hunter even started as a powerful mage, just like most Warlocks in the lore. This one just fits too well to pass up. The only issue is itemization, which will need to be solved by again bumping Warlocks up to Leather while DH specced, or by giving some kind of conversion from caster stats to tank stats. Maybe make them require Spirit for some variety in gearing?

Warrior: I'd forsee a ranged DPS spec using guns and bows. Though there aren't really with any Strength on them, so that could be an issue. Maybe they attack at ranged with an equipped Melee weapon by throwing? I really think Warriors are due for a ranged spec, though.


Well, that's that. My brain-abortion spattered all over the computer screen. I still have more to type, but it's 2 AM and I have to be up in a couple hours for crew practice, I'll edit more in later if I feel I have good stuff to contribute. Read, respond, disagree, downvote and make me lose imaginary internet points, I don't particularly care.

Ok, I kind of care. I would like some feedback. Likely? Impossible? Yeah, probably impossible and not going to happen, but it's just some brainstorming I've been doing on Life after Pandaland for a while now.
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#2 May 10 2013 at 1:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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It'd be about **** time that the Legion got back into the spotlight as the villains. I know I'd resub just to play through the leveling for that.
#3 May 10 2013 at 3:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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Burning Legion + Argus sounds plausible to me. It makes sense lorewise and also would likely bring back many subscribers and help retaining the current ones. But I seriously doubt they will ever try a complete revamp of any expansions zones again. They can talk about how they like the idea as much as they want. But they have also admitted numerous times that one of the biggest shortcomings of Cataclysm was the lack of endgame content and the reason for this deficit was the time spent on redoing content many people have not that great an interest in because they already have one or multiple maxlevel chars.
I would love it if they'd at least bring the Draenai/Blood Elf starting zones up to speed. Get rid of the loading screen you get when entering/leaving them and allow flying in there. Sadly I don't believe they'd do that since they stated that it would take a huge amount of work for a rather small gain.

4th spec + trispec would be badass. Also it would make balancing PvE and especially PvP even harder than it is now. If they try it they should finally do away with their BS arguments against separating how abilities work in PvP and PvE. Many things already function differently. So it's not like it would get any more confusing for newcomers.
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#4 May 10 2013 at 6:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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I can haz Alleria?

Edit: four specs for druid seems like a no-brainer. Bear, cat, moonkin, and "tree," no:?

Edited, May 10th 2013 8:09am by teacake
#5 May 10 2013 at 6:24 AM Rating: Good
teacake wrote:
I can haz Alleria?

Edit: four specs for druid seems like a no-brainer. Bear, cat, moonkin, and "tree," no:?


They've already got four specs, which is why I left them out. With the talent revamp in MoP, they were unique in they were given four specs, since they always kind of had four specs anyways. It's like you said, furball, badger, lazerchicken, and hippy cat, bear, moonkin, and tree.
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#6 May 10 2013 at 6:36 AM Rating: Excellent
TherealLogros wrote:
Burning Legion + Argus sounds plausible to me. It makes sense lorewise and also would likely bring back many subscribers and help retaining the current ones. But I seriously doubt they will ever try a complete revamp of any expansions zones again. They can talk about how they like the idea as much as they want. But they have also admitted numerous times that one of the biggest shortcomings of Cataclysm was the lack of endgame content and the reason for this deficit was the time spent on redoing content many people have not that great an interest in because they already have one or multiple maxlevel chars.


I could see this being a very legitimate reason not to revamp Outland. At the same time, Blizzard is working at a pace lightyears ahead of what they were doing in Cataclysm. They've stated that their team is bigger than ever, and they confirmed that they were working on this fifth expansion before MoP was even in beta - meaning development's been going on almost parallel with Mists. Given the rate of content we've seen for Mists, I think Blizzard just might be able to pull off an amount of content that size this time around.

Quote:
I would love it if they'd at least bring the Draenai/Blood Elf starting zones up to speed. Get rid of the loading screen you get when entering/leaving them and allow flying in there. Sadly I don't believe they'd do that since they stated that it would take a huge amount of work for a rather small gain.


Yeah, I think this would be pretty much a necessity at this point. Those zones are horrible to level through these days.

Quote:
4th spec + trispec would be badass. Also it would make balancing PvE and especially PvP even harder than it is now. If they try it they should finally do away with their BS arguments against separating how abilities work in PvP and PvE. Many things already function differently. So it's not like it would get any more confusing for newcomers.


This is, I think, the number one argument for why Blizzard wouldn't do something like this. As hesitant as they are to add new classes because it's a balancing nightmare, this might be even worse. A new class provides three new trees to work into the system. Giving everyone but druids a fourth spec would mean they'd have to incorporate ten. The flip side is these specs wouldn't be built brand new from scratch. Since they would be more evolutions of existing classes than completely new content, it might be easier to develop creative ways to make them work and to fit them in. For example, for a Frostfire Mage, they already have Frostfire Bolt to work with, instead of having to come up with a unique ranged nuke for a new spellcaster class. A new Priest DPS spec would likely utilize Smite heavily. So on and so forth. We'd be more likely to see new ways to use existing tools than a bunch of new tools entirely, which I think would lessen the workload significantly.

That said, a PvE/PvP split is inevitable if they go this route, I think.
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#7 May 10 2013 at 9:08 AM Rating: Decent
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I may be one in the minority, but I've never liked the notion of everyone being able to do everything. I've always felt that having classes that specialize in one area, maybe two, makes them more unique. If all classes were homogenized into every role then it really defeats the purpose of having a class. It turns into just having a character. The only difference would be what items or gear you'd be able to equip.

I don't know how I feel about redoing of the Outlands either. Personally, I really enjoyed the Outlands, but then again BC was probably my favorite expansion. I've always felt that when Blizzard redoes something, it usually means they ran out of original ideas. I know Cataclysm redid the old world, but after the initial excitement it was still just the 'old world,' barren and dead. Personally I'd like to see something new.

Maybe I'm just getting old and cynical... I don't know.
Although, I am a bit curious as to what the next expansion may be. I remember the Emerald Dream was tossed around for a while. Only time will tell.
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#8 May 10 2013 at 11:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not that big when it comes to lore questions but isn't the Emerald Dream wrapped up more or less? I think it happened in a book (BOOO for having important events take place outside of the game!).

While a revamp of Outland could make leveling there a bit more fun and smooth out at least some lore-/time-inconsistencies I don't feel like it's a necessity. The level 1-60 zones prior to Cataclysm were horrible. They needed an overhaul. The BC zones are a bit dated but they are still okay.
But if they would make all the scattered places on Azeroth one actual big world where you can reach every of the existing zones via your mount, that would be awesome. They'd need to make you dismount automatically from your flyer when you reach Tol Barad for example but other than that I would welcome it. And get rid of this idiotic Fatigue thingy. It serves no purpose and worse it makes no sense. It should make no difference if I'm flying across mountains, shallow water or deep water. What's the logic behind that?
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#9 May 10 2013 at 11:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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I miss trees.

A fourth spec+trispec would be excellent and I would sign any amount of petitions to make that happen. Would they have to work harder to balance? Sure, but Rift's soul system makes Blizzard's talent trees look like Tonka Trucks and somehow they manage with less than a quarter of the resources, staff and income.

Shockadin is the spec I have missed the most - it would be great to have that fourth spec for a DPS build so that I don't have to slog forever through dailies (im a tank and healer).

You should post this over at Bliz official so a blue can like, get a clue or something about what we want!
#10 May 10 2013 at 12:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:

They've already got four specs, which is why I left them out. With the talent revamp in MoP, they were unique in they were given four specs, since they always kind of had four specs anyways. It's like you said, furball, badger, lazerchicken, and hippy cat, bear, moonkin, and tree.



How woefully ignorant of me, I had no idea. Might be time to dust off druid again. Smiley: lol
#11 May 10 2013 at 6:01 PM Rating: Excellent
To be fair, I've been wording it really badly this entire time by saying everyone gets a fourth spec but druids. That sounds like Druids only had three, and would not be getting a fourth instead of the reality of four specs already.
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#12 May 10 2013 at 6:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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It seems pretty clear to me that people just are not enjoying the Horde vs. Alliance story aspect this time around. And it's not hard to understand why. Without compelling characters at the head of the conflict, or a typical good vs. evil dynamic to fall back on, it just ends up looking like two whiny brats commanding armies for stupid reasons. Which is, unfortunately, true. They have not written Garrosh or Varian to be deep, dynamic characters. Which is a shame, because they really did have the potential to be.

And the story just hasn't made sense. There's NO good reason for the Horde and Alliance to be warring while Deathwing was ripping the world to shreds. Particularly not when the leadership of the two factions were closer than ever before, sans Garrosh and Varian. And the Cataclysm vaulted the Night Elves and Tauren into places of immense power, further highlighting the issue of them as members of opposing factions.

Yeah, MoP is better... but only if you accept that the war isn't asinine in the first place.

It's sad that reintorducing a wholly-evil Big Bad sounds better than a character driven story, but the WoW writers have really lost it. Arthas was an awesome villain. You felt for him, and part of you was rooting for him, all the way through the end of Frozen Throne. And Wrath continued that - The Lich King was an awesome figure, and the heroes were awesome, and everyone had their limits, and it just worked so well. I get that they didn't really have a new character to fall back on, but all the more reason why LK shouldn't have been the second expansion. And if they wanted Garrosh to be a great character, they shouldn't have forced his development so much (and, you know, have made him compelling).

Maybe other people are interested in characters that are just bloodthirsty and drunk with power. I'm not one of them. I think those can be interesting character traits, but only when applied to something.

The sad thing is that they've killed off, forgotten, or destroyed all the characters that would have made an Argus expansion interesting. I honestly have trouble caring, because they've completely ignored the Draenei since BC. They haven't bothered to bring them into the story AT ALL. At least the Blood Elves have been getting political intrigue. The stupidest part is that you'd think Wrath would have been a great place to give them some focus, being servants of the light. Or at least Cata. But nope.

/rant over.
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#13 May 10 2013 at 8:10 PM Rating: Good
They'll bring back Illidan, unfortunately. As much as I liked him as a character, I abhor cheap resurrection just as much as the WoW writers seem to love it.
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#14 May 11 2013 at 6:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
They'll bring back Illidan, unfortunately. As much as I liked him as a character, I abhor cheap resurrection just as much as the WoW writers seem to love it.


I still cling to the hope that he will only return via a new Caverns of Time raid. Something with more substance than the forgettable Cataclysm 5man with him.

'Black Temple was just a setback' just seems horrible.
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#15 May 11 2013 at 9:15 AM Rating: Good
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Do people want old characters brought back for the story or for the raid's that may be associated with them?

Bringing back an old raid would ruin it's status. Black Temple was challenging and massive raid. The size and scope of the instance was great. With the direction the game is headed, a BT reintroduction would probably make the raid a little easier so the current player base can clear it with ease. To go from a raid that required attument just to enter, to introducing it as an LFR option, presuming that happens, has me dying a little bit inside. It may come off as a bit elitist or pretentious, but the thought of making old raids which required coordination and some skill, to be accessible to everyone does hurt a bit. I'm sure Blizzard just wants the current crop of players to see what was once available but i feel it cheapens it.

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#16 May 11 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Good
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Patch 6.0-
"AHN'QIRAJ WAS JUST A SETBACK!"

Patch 6.1-
"BLACK TEMPLE WAS JUST A SETBACK!"

Patch 6.2-
"ICECROWN CITADEL WAS JUST A SETBACK!"

Patch 6.3-
"DRAGON SOUL WAS JUST A SETBACK!"

Patch 6.4-
"ORGRIMMAR WAS JUST A SETBACK!"

Patch 6.5-
"Caverns of Time: for the love of God stop crossing the beams!"

[EDIT]

It would be funnier if this wasn't something I could actually see them doing. Trying to bring back old players by making an entire Caverns-themed expac, with the concept being that major time streams all intersected and brought back the major villains so they'd form one massive enemy coalition or something. I used to hold Blizzard to a higher standard than that for story telling. I have since stopped. Though, to be fair, Starcraft (at least from what I've seen of it), seems to be doing well, even if Diablo and Warcraft aren't.

Edited, May 11th 2013 11:21am by idiggory
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#17 May 11 2013 at 9:26 AM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
..one massive enemy coalition or something.


That wouldn't work. Too many egos would cause internal conflict amongst the baddies. They'd destroy themselves before the raid group ever got past the first set of trash mobs.


Edit: What if they come together like the Power Rangers big robot, basically just combine into one super boss. Boss of all bosses.

Edited, May 11th 2013 11:29am by ACLinjury
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#18 May 11 2013 at 9:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not sure if my last post was poorly worded or if I misunderstood some of the following but I was NOT advocating a CoT Black Temple raid. That would indeed be ridiculous. But if they do a CoT where the players fight alongside Illidan against the Burning Legion (like in the Night Elf campaign of WC3) it could be fun. That's just an idea so please don't rip me apart. Smiley: wink


@iddigory: SC2 is awesome in multiplayer from what I gather from friends and forum posts. The campaigns are maybe the best I have ever played in any RTS. The story overall is okay. I'm not that big a fan of the constant Raynor - Kerrigan - 'will they end up together or not' and I think the coming of the Xel'Naga could have been handled better but it's not the major f'up they did to the D3 story.
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#19 May 11 2013 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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I just really want them to release WoW 2, and have the factions be political machinations that drive the story, not actual gameplay definitions.

To be, when everything is put in terms of one race vs. another, you completely rob the story of any potential it has to be dynamic. It's always Humans vs. Orcs, or Night Elves vs. Trolls, etc.

And that's a serious issue, because it makes nothing make sense. You lose all nuance. Even worse, when you are forced to think about groups in the big picture scenario, you can't relate to why their actions make no sense on the big picture.

When you are thinking about the Horde and Alliance, it makes absolutely no sense for them to be at war when Deathwing is ravaging the world. When you think about the individual groups and interested parties within each faction, however, it makes more sense. But it's just not working with the way they tell the story. Everything is just coming around to what the Human and Orc leadership wants, instead of allowing any political intrigue to play a part.

I want WoW2's factions to be independent of race. They can have stories that link them strongly to one race, of course. But I want the actual players in the factions to be plot points, not just the agents of plot. By taking this small view, the war gets to make sense as part of the concept of conflict through self-interest. Let players join the Royal Apothecary Society and work to destabilize others to elevate their own importance, to drive the war effort to shoot them to a place of prominence, etc. Don't tell them it's "For the Horde!" Tell them it's for their own selfish desires.

Or maybe you join the Silver Hand, who is actively trying to suppress Demonic cults and other dark groups, within both factions. But those groups also have their own political power to use against you, and your prominence is far higher in the Alliance (where such groups are hidden) than in the Horde (where they are now out in the open). Etc. End result is that the Horde sees you as attacking their way of life, so you have to fight for standing there, where you get a lot of support from the Alliance for your mission... but then you spend more time trying to please the Horde, which ****** them off. Etc.

It just makes the actual experience of the game far more interesting. It's immersive in a way that WoW isn't anymore.

And it's frankly more fun. I'm tired of expansions that render all old content obsolete, and story lines that erase the old stuff. I want expansions to focus on altering and enhancing current gameplay with new dynamics, not just starting over. Sure, let expansions trigger major events and upheavals. Introduce new zones with them when you need to. But stop adding continents just because you need all new territories for all new content because you designed a game where you level out of everything.
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#20 May 12 2013 at 10:58 AM Rating: Good
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Lots of good points in this thread.

As for BC 2.0 ... I'm just not looking forward to a revamp or another exp for it. Sorry, it just doesnt appeal to me. Maybe because I barely even saw SSC & BT when it was current level content. Sunwell? **** no. So, as far as story driven, character development, blah blah... i didnt get a full measure then and therefore don't feel compelled to care as much as i should into a 2.0. However, I totally agree about the Draenai and Blood Elves being completely underwhelming. Bring the goods or go home (Blizz) for the story.

Yea, I understand the "opening old raids to more folks" argument. Regardless whether you plow thru a L60 raid at 90, it never feels "right" when it's not current content.

Fourth class spec... yeah a few of the op's ideas need focusing but generally seem plausible.

Hunter: I refuse to say that melee hunters in vanilla were ahead of the curve. They were just idiots. But I love the idea if skills and such support it.

Mage: While "elemental" mage is a good concept, I'm leaning more towards "time healer". In part to help counter all the other ranged dps casters suggested as new specs. Balance!

Priest: I dont play any priests, but OP's yin-yang concept strikes me as using mechanics similar to the moonkin's solar power, building to one side of the scale then to the other. Homogenization-ish, yet some different tools. /shrug

Rogue: I like both ideas (swashbuckler tank, archer ranged dps). Coin toss.

Shaman: Well, if not shaman tank, what about a 2h melee spec? Hybrid version of arms warrior. /shrug

Warlock: Coin toss. No idea if it'd work but I'm open to it.

Warrior: Ranged dps... especially after the removal of ranged/relic slot crap, I have trouble building a warrior spec around it. I'd rather suggest an "unarmed" BRUTE spec. The hands on, fist pounding, berserking, hand to hand wrestler/grappler type spec.

I'm not a lore junkie, but yeah, I can still tell when something feels good or downright lacking in quality/content. They'd have to do a hella lot to make a BC 2.0, or Draenai homeworld expansion (not sure where Horde fit in on this at all btw), to make it appear to be better than BC 1.0 which many have mixed emotions about.
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#21 May 13 2013 at 12:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Azaza wrote:
Mage: While "elemental" mage is a good concept, I'm leaning more towards "time healer". In part to help counter all the other ranged dps casters suggested as new specs. Balance!
Another option would be "Barrier Warrior", who tanks via magical barriers that up armor and provide damage reduction, illusion skills that raise avoidance and threat generated by playing a game of "telekinetic got your nose".
#22 May 13 2013 at 6:41 AM Rating: Good
The only issue I see with cloth tanks is itemization. How is Blizzard going to make them work without making cloth avoidance gear? Or maybe they will go ahead and make that kind of gear, since there might be a couple new specs that used it.
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#23 May 13 2013 at 6:56 AM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
The only issue I see with cloth tanks is itemization. How is Blizzard going to make them work without making cloth avoidance gear? Or maybe they will go ahead and make that kind of gear, since there might be a couple new specs that used it.
Cloth tanks use spellpower for armor, crit for damage reduction, and haste for avoidance. Or something like that.
#24 May 13 2013 at 11:02 AM Rating: Decent
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I'd much rather see CC in heroics and raids brought back rather than a 4th spec. I think that will give every class a little bit more responsibility in a group rather than just mash buttons while a tank holds aggro.

Introducing a fourth spec that may provide a new role for each class, but, I think it will homogenize the game to a point where classes will not matter as much since they're all viable for every role, or most at least. Furthermore, it might alienate some of the alts people play, especially those who aren't altoholics since their 'main' can now do what their alt does.

IDrownFish wrote:
Hunter: A Physical dps, melee spec. That's right, get up close and personal and use abilities to fight like an animal. How cool would it be to be fighting side by side with your pet? Mauling like a bear? Slashing like a tiger?

Please no! I fell in love with my hunter the moment I started playing WoW. Questing to get my pet, trapping, kiting, at one point even having to get better ammo and having to manage how I use it since it wasn't cheap. If I wanted to melee I can play, rogue (or rouge as some call it), warrior, paladin, druid, death knight, shaman, and now a monk. If I get to melee with a pet, how long before those other classes being to complain that 'hey, we want pets too.' The whole point of the pet is to keep mobs away from us so that we can do damage from distance. The notion of a melee hunter just seems to go against what the class is. Furthermore, with the minimum distance removed, you can just stand right next to a mob and get the same feeling as 'melee.' This will kill the class for me. It really will.
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#25 May 13 2013 at 11:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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ACLinjury wrote:
I'd much rather see CC in heroics and raids brought back rather than a 4th spec. I think that will give every class a little bit more responsibility in a group rather than just mash buttons while a tank holds aggro.


They tried that with Cataclysm. It wasn't a success. While guild groups could have great fun nearly every PUG suffered immensely under it because too many players nowadays don't want extra responsibilities and tasks. They just want to stand somewhere and pew pew. :-/
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#26 May 13 2013 at 3:49 PM Rating: Good
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TherealLogros wrote:
ACLinjury wrote:
I'd much rather see CC in heroics and raids brought back rather than a 4th spec. I think that will give every class a little bit more responsibility in a group rather than just mash buttons while a tank holds aggro.


They tried that with Cataclysm. It wasn't a success. While guild groups could have great fun nearly every PUG suffered immensely under it because too many players nowadays don't want extra responsibilities and tasks. They just want to stand somewhere and pew pew. :-/


Honestly, it's not the players. Blizzard spread endgame content to players by completely destroying the need for strategy, rather than making strategy more seamless, communicable and understandable. Combined with additional changes, such as the random cross-realm system, completely eliminated all need for communication.

There's no coming back from that. Well, there is, but the answer is to work to establish systems that slowly train players into it. That's not going to happen overnight, so all Cataclysm did was... destroy endgame content. So we had a veteran group who stopped using CC altogether, because it didn't matter. And their gear made it even less necessary in groups to communicate, particularly for tanks (who could solo content) or healers (who could carry pretty much any team).

It's really not about players who are being lazy, or who don't want to be more. It's about a system that is changing out from under them, without the appropriate support to actually transition content. Expansions aren't a subtle transition, they're a wall for people. You can't teach millions of players to play one way and expect them to change overnight. But that's exactly what Blizzard did.

And the problem is that those millions of players thought that the steamroll content was fun. That's the real issue. Blizzard broke a system which, from that perspective, was working perfectly. Their primary demographic of players was having fun. So then they tried to please the more hardcore players... by making more difficult the content they weren't going to regularly play unless forced.

Know what the answer is there? Stop forcing the hardcore players to run dungeons, and focus on developing a meaningful difficulty system for raids and dungeons relative to the groups running them. DONE. Don't completely restructure content out of nowhere.
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#27 May 13 2013 at 5:28 PM Rating: Good
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TherealLogros wrote:
ACLinjury wrote:
I'd much rather see CC in heroics and raids brought back rather than a 4th spec. I think that will give every class a little bit more responsibility in a group rather than just mash buttons while a tank holds aggro.


They tried that with Cataclysm. It wasn't a success. While guild groups could have great fun nearly every PUG suffered immensely under it because too many players nowadays don't want extra responsibilities and tasks. They just want to stand somewhere and pew pew. :-/



I don't know why, but that bothers me. It seems like 'epic' items are the new green/blue - everyone has them, there's nothing epic about them. It's a joke.
-Que up
-Stand still
-Complain that the group is going too slow
-Tell everyone how to play their class
-Get badges, tokens, purple items
-Leave abruptly
-Repeat

Hate it.
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#28 May 14 2013 at 3:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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@iddigory: I agree the change came way to fast and they didn't offer any alternatives endgame-wise so everyone was stuck with either doing the rather hard heroics or doing nothing. But in that few months before nerfs made CC meaningless again I came across many players who simply refused to adapt although they did not run the HCs the first time. So they did know they could not steamroll it but queued nonetheless in hopes they'll get this 1/10000 PUG that can carry them through. And then complained and whined endlessly when it didn't pan out. Yes a good part of the blame can be laid on Blizzard but when I remember windowlickers like this my contempt knows no bounds.

@ACLinjury: The same can applied to the new "legendary". I'm not done with the step "collect 20 secrets & 40 trillium bars" so I don't know if the solo scenario that comes afterwards poses any challenge but so far a monkey could have gotten the legendary rewards. I'm all for making content accessible but Imo they are pushing things too far.
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