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6-02-2008 @ 3:17PM
You can't just focus on the end if you're an MMO. It's about staying fresh, sure, and that's why they focus a lot on the endgame... keeping people playing, etc.As much as I'm sure Blizzard learned from the whole TBC experience as a content expansion and the constant outcry to poor ol' Azeroth with it's bland textures, environments, and unfinished plots (gosh there are some great plots that just stopped all of a sudden that I'd love to see finished), leaving Azeroth alone to stagnate while Northrend and Outlands stand out as the "real" content seems like a really bad idea! At some point, the modern innovation and evolution that the game experiences needs to trickle down to the original content. Don't you want your noobs in the game to see what you're really able to demonstrate as a developer? It can't always be about the endgame.IMO, it's just a matter of time before it will be important for them to modernize the original content. I'm reminded of when Everquest got the Shadows of Luclin expansion pack, and how they modernized the graphics engine along with some other really nice enhancements. It was probably one of the more welcome changes that game needed at the time, and helped bring more people back into the game.Seems like a worthwhile investment for Blizzard. I just hope it's sooner than later!
6-02-2008 @ 3:26PM
I was giving the problems you stated a lot of thought a few days ago. Old world content that grows stagnant with quest lines that simply end. I came to the conclusion that one of the ways Blizzard could solve most of these problems would be to have a future expansion pack where no new lands or continents are added. Instead the story is progressed into the future and the old world receives a graphical upgrade.Players who create a brand new character start off in like they all do today and the only difference they see is the graphical upgrade. Those at level 80 or whatever however exist in an Azeroth a few years in the future where old world zones are revamped with new high level quests and mobs. The Gnomes have finally retaken their old capital could be one of the lore progressions.If anyone wants to go back to the old world they go through the caverns of time.
6-02-2008 @ 5:07PM
Wow. Just wow. I was all set to come to Blizzard's defense with an explanation of how no matter how much content you add in the middle, people eventually pass through it, while the 70's are stuck at 70 no matter what they do, so you are obligated to prioritize new content that can't be progressed beyond simply by grinding boars if that's what you choose to do.Then I read this post. And it is simply brilliant. It would require a massive hardware upgrade, but having an "old Azeroth" and "Present-day Azeroth" is the best Idea aI've heard in ages. It makes all the old dungeons heroics for all intents and purposes, and provides a real reason to go back and visit the old world again, which even the most jaded 70 has to admit is a very cool place, if only there was a reason to be there. It would allow for all the unused instances to be updated and used, like Grim Batol, Uldum, Timbermaw hold, Hyjal, etc.Excellent idea, mate. Too bad they'll never do it, but great idea nonetheless.
6-02-2008 @ 7:04PM
I think we're talking about different definitions of "mid-level" content in some of these discussions.With Patch 2.3, we were specifically talking about things geared toward making leveling faster and - for people with many toons - less repetitive. If you're grinding out your eighth 70, the reduced XP and new hub are excellent.But I sense that a lot of these comments come from people who aren't looking to level their umpteenth character... they're looking for more new, solo content for their non-raiding 70s.That *is* WotLK. Ten glorious levels through multiple zones, with new quest chains, new cities, etc. If you're a true casual player, I can't see the appeal of new hub in Darkshire or a new level 50 zone in Kalimdor. If you're primarily solo, as I was for the first year I played, one of the driving reasons to roll an alt (and get stuck in the same mid-level content) is the lack of solo options at 70.I realize that calling the 70-to-80 progression "midlevel" is oxymoronic, but it's sort of accurate if you consider hitting the level cap just a beginning (as most raiders do).So when we talk about midlevel content, we have to differentiate between the content that appeals to a solo player looking for new things to do and the content that appeals to hard-core players looking for faster ways to the cap.
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