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2-23-2010 @ 4:56PM
Only a portion of gnomeregan is being retaken, not all of it. So the instance will still be there. The reason why we are re-taking a portion of gnomeregan and echo isles is likely to be a place for race-specific starting zones. As both trolls and Gnomes are the only ones to share a "new player zone" with another race.
2-23-2010 @ 5:02PM
Seems like an awful lot of work and developing time, as well as time for 80's, just so all races can have a starting zone. Think about it, 80's spend however long questing and whatnot, then the only people who benefit are 1-10's?
2-23-2010 @ 5:05PM
Especially considering a gnome would still be dumped into Dun Morough anyway from Gnomeregan, so at best you'd be talking about the first 5 levels.
2-23-2010 @ 5:10PM
Yeah, I think they would spend that much time while benefiting only levels 1-15. You've got to realize that the vast majority of Blizzard's customers do not have level 80's. Levels 1-15 are essential in keeping a potential customer with Blizzard. Blizzard is already doing a great amount of work and rehauling on starting zones for Cataclysm, why is it hard to believe that they would do the same before Cata?
2-23-2010 @ 5:16PM
What Rowan is saying here is that a successful business strategy for Blizzard would be to cater to the interest of a dwindling set of high level characters while making no attempt at all whatsoever to expand the player base with new blood, or do anything to rejuvenate older content both for new players expecting a more up-to-date experience, or older players making new alts to keep their interest going by trying something new in Azeroth rather than in, say, Guild Wars 2 or whatever the latest new thing is that they could make new characters in. Obviously, Rowan is a genius at marketing. ;)
2-23-2010 @ 5:19PM
If you look at the post-vanilla starting zones, they have quests that rely on you using your racial powers/death knight powers. I imagine the updated starting sub-zones are going to get something similar for each race. (One hopes that Durotar will become more visually exciting with Cataclysm; it's such a boring-looking zone.)
2-23-2010 @ 6:30PM
@ RowanYes, I agree. I mean, high level characters are going to get absolutely nothing out of this upcoming expension.... Wait a minute.Sorry for the sarcasm, couldn't help myself. But that being said, this is wrapping up a story that has been unchanging for 6 or so years now. I think that's worth a bit of work. It's also a fun event to tide us over 'til Cata comes out. As to what will come of this (new zone, new city, etc.), well, all that is speculation. For all we know, after we free Gnomeregan, the cave could collapse leaving the poor little guys out in the cold snow... again...And it's not like new content is a bad thing, even if it may only be for low level toons. Revamping the old world was one of the big points for Cata if i recall correctly, no?
2-23-2010 @ 5:44PM
Artificial,No...what Rowan seems to be saying is that it doesn't neccesarily make sense to make an additional section of the starting zone for the first 5 levels of the game (which take, what...20 minutes to complete?) just to start gnomes and dwarves in different physical areas. How does that benefit new players anyway?When you played WoW for the first time and found yourself in that little valley with your gnome, did you think to yourself, "Wow...this is obviously the same starting zone as dwarves and those are the only alliance characters that share a starting zone and for some reason I know that already and it makes me angry. I sure wish they would make a separate starting zone for gnomes. Maybe one that's just slightly north of here and would still send me out to the rest of Dun Morough to do the same quests as Dwarves 20 minutes from now."Adjusting the fun factor and flow of the starting zones as a whole? Sure, that makes sense in terms of drawing players in. Giving gnomes their own little tiny section of that starter zone? Doesn't seem even slightly important from a new player marketing perspective.
2-23-2010 @ 5:55PM
Maybe they will end up being the starting zones for gnomes and trolls, but first we have to retake them. What I imagine is a series of lvl 80ish daily quests that slowly change the area (like Isle of Q). That will keep us busy until Cataclysm. If, after we've completed retaking them and Cataclysm is released, that area is a new starting zone then Blizzard will have killed two birds with one stone. Additionally, its kind of a good idea - who goes back to Isle of Q nowdays anyway? At least this way the zones will still get some use by low lvl characters.
2-24-2010 @ 7:15AM
@(cutaia): Luckily Blizzard knows a lot more than you about designing MMOs. That sort of first-impression stuff makes a big difference to new player retention. And I wouldn't say I felt angry, but yes, starting my first gnome and my first troll, it was kinda obvious that the new player experience for those races is sorta half-baked. Start a new night elf, or a new forsaken, and you're immediately immersed in the lore of the race in question very well. Start a new gnome or troll and it's like, "here ya go, dumping into generic starting zone X, hardly matters to anyone what species you happen to be, kinda wondering why we even made you pick a race at this point aren't ya?"
2-24-2010 @ 12:21PM
"Luckily Blizzard knows a lot more than you about designing MMOs."Just so you know for the future...acting like a dick at the start of all your counterpoints really doesn't help your case.Nobody here is trying to claim they know everything about Blizzard's design plans (except for you maybe).
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