The newest Dev Watercooler
column gives King Crab
a break and instead lets us peek into the mind of Dave "Fargo" Kosak, lead quest designer for World of Warcraft
. You might remember Fargo from Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth and GameSpy
days. Fargo's Dev Watercooler is all about experiencing World of Warcraft
as a non-raider and what Blizzard's expectations are for level 85s who aren't bashing down Ragnaros' door.
One of the weirdest statements that I have to make to many people who are new to the MMO genre is that "the game begins at 85." While we know that isn't factually correct, since there are 85 levels of content previous to hitting the magic number, it still makes sense from a "never-ending world" point of view. There is no end, so the game begins at the "current" end.
Fargo makes the case that all players are entitled to an epic storyline, engaging content, and a feeling of continual power growth. The new patch 4.2
Firelands daily quest hubs in the Molten Front and the Regrowth are tailor-made to hit these points and provide a personal, continuing experience for players who don't participate in the raid game. With dailies being randomized and your personal tree growing at your own pace, players are rewarded based on their efforts alone.
Personally, I like this direction for solo questing experiences. The Molten Front and the Regrowth seem like better, more advanced, and more evolved versions of the reputation grinds we were previously chugging away at to open up gear and other rewards, but with less of a "watch a bar go up" mentality. Here, we have engaging choices and rotating sets of random tasks that keep us coming back for more, all the while physically changing the world around us. Now we just need to care about the cause. I think Firelands is going to push us a good way forward in that regard.
Check out Fargo's first contribution to the Dev Watercooler series, after the jump.
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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm