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Shifting Perspectives: The day has come, part 2


WHAT THE F#&$, BLIZZ? WHAT THE F$(#$ING F$&$? I THOUGHT THESE WOULD BE BETTER! YOU SUCK! AGHDIOASHEWADKSKALFDIOSFJKDLSAFDIOW!!!!

You're a fascist.

YOU'RE JUST PREJUDICED AGAINST FASCISTS.

Probably. We'll try that again:

You're a (political ideologist meriting derision as determined by each individual reader so don't bother dropping an indignant comment here because I'm just going to laugh and keep scrolling).

NO, SERIOUSLY. WEREN'T WE SUPPOSED TO GET CUSTOMIZABLE FORMS?
OR ARMOR ON THEM?

Tying your bear/cat form colors to your hair/fur colors in caster cuts down on the amount of programming required before this goes live. Being able to add colors that are not predetermined by your character's hair or fur color would (as observed in the following linked thread) mean screwing around with the base character record, and while I could be wrong, my impression is that that requires an insane amount of coding and possibly more server load. Given the choice between getting the forms earlier or waiting another indeterminate period of time, I'll take them earlier -- and let's face it, it does make sense that your character's fur/hair color are visually indicative of what they will look like in forms. Blue posters have said that the ability to pick different bear and cat forms is something they'd like to do, though.

Remember: you are not your hair color. You are not your fur color. You are not how much gold you have in the bank. You're not your spec, you're not how many epics you have on your toon, you're not how many times you've beaten Mimiron on hard mode. You're the all-singing, all-dancing, Swipe-tastic god of Azeroth.



ARMOOOOOOOOOOR!


If Blizz can figure out a way to put armor on a bear or cat without it looking insanely stupid, all the more power to them, but (as with the issue described below) this may very well be more trouble than it's worth. Has anyone who wants armor on their forms been able to come up with a means of doing this that will reflect armor upgrades without the models looking increasingly awkward accommodating the different shapes, sizes, and textures of armor graphics?

There were a lot of people out there who hated the Amani War Bear (which was often trotted out as an example of what Blizzard might be able to do armor-wise), but there was no law saying you had to ride it. Now imagine being forced to play one if you want to tank.

THE FORMS SHOULD SCALE WITH OUR GEAR!

I'm sympathetic to the feeling from which this impulse springs, because it does suck that the Druid is the only class where you can't show much work you've put into the character for 95+% of your playtime. As such, I'm not intrinsically opposed to seeing forms "scale" in some fashion. But to be frank, I think yoking overall form quality to i-level (or whatever system players have suggested) sounds like a better idea than it would actually be in practice, and here's why:

A). I don't agree that a form you're obliged to spend most of your ingame time regardless of your role in needs to "punish" you with lesser quality or fewer options if you don't have the time or schedule for whatever Blizzard would require you to do for a better form. Which leads us to our next point:

B). There is absolutely no way to "scale" the quality of Druid forms by tying it to player effort that is not going to result in problems or complaints.



Blizzard would need to quantify the quality of the form somehow, and then develop a scale for it, awarding a "better" form or more options for each stage. Taking some suggestions players have made:

Would it scale off achievement points? Wouldn't it kind of suck to be saddled with a plain-looking or ugly set of forms if you wound up re-rolling, or feeling forced into doing achievements so your character can look half as good as a character of any other class?

Would it scale off PvE progression? That punishes the people who don't or can't raid.

Would it scale off PvP progression? That punishes the people who don't or dislike PvP.

Would it scale off pure i-level? That virtually requires you to pick one of the former two options, as you have limited options outside of either for obtaining better i-level items.

And then -- here's another issue. Most of the people who want the forms to scale don't seem to have considered that this doesn't look beyond the present expansion. Let's say a hardcore player who jumps through the hoops gets an intensely tricked-out bear form with slashes, scars, claws dripping blood, cupholders, an AM/FM radio, sunroof, power windows, extra tire attached to middle of bear, etc. Let's say there's literally nothing you can do to improve the bear at this point. Does the next expansion "reset" your form so you can improve it all over again, does the bear stay the same, or does Blizzard engage in the graphical version of an arms race trying to supply an endless range of options to keep changing the forms?



If we tie the scaling of form quality to i-level, eventually each Druid player would wind up with the "best" forms no matter what assuming future expansions, unless Blizzard spends precious developmental time adding a wider array of options (and there's really only so much you can do to an animal form without descending to ridiculous levels. Once you've exhausted eye color, scar, and horn possibilities, what else do you want? Hats?). Zarhym made the point earlier that the Druid requires more art than any other class to begin with, and I'd rather not see this start getting dumb.

More customization would be fantastic, but I'd much rather see it arrive in the form of another set of barbershop options, and available to all Druids. Not only would this result in a far greater variety of individual touches, but it also wouldn't punish people who love the class but have limited options for advancing their characters in the endgame.

ARE THEY GOING TO CHANGE TRAVEL AND AQUATIC FORMS?

We can only hope. Travel Form has been a placeholder graphic since the beta, and was originally intended to be a stag of some sort -- which is why you get that rather odd hoofprint icon for a cheetah -- and aquatic form is the sort of thing a creative parent could use to frighten small children into bed at night.

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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