Expansion Wishlist

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I have been fairly vocal and blunt in my criticism of Warlords of Draenor, and Blizzard’s general decisions in this expansion. Decisions that caused me to leave the game for a while.

With a new expansion on the horizon, time for a change from all that doom and gloom. So without further ado, here’s my expansion wishlist – what would bring me back to Azeroth:

– Lore as the driving reason for game decisions. Story is important and rather than fight it, work with it. It really does make for a better world. I don’t particularly care if we fly or don’t fly at the end of the day – but I want a good lore reason whichever way it goes.

– A solid story. No more dodgy time-traveling, no more gaping plot holes that need to be hastily filled. All I want for Christmas is a well-told, engaging story.

No more orcs. I’m really tired of orcs – there’s a plethora of stuff going on but the spotlight seems to be on orcish politics and Thrall’s life. And I just don’t care about it anymore. How about a Gnomish coup to oust Mekkatorque – we clearly need a better leader to retake Gnomeregan. What about the night elves? The goblins? The Tauren?

– A retaken and cleaned up Gnomeregan city for gnomes. I thought we’d be getting this in Cataclysm honestly so this one’s overdue for me. No, that cess infested irradiated patch of land we got does not count.

A female leader…lead. I’d like to see any of them in action – especially Tyrande. She holds a special spot for my druid since I first started playing and I’d love to see play a major role in the upcoming story.

– More class options for Gnomes. Gnomes have the lowest number of playable classes for our race. We could really use hunters or shamans or even paladins (since we’re already priests). Any of those would do – more options are good.

Lots of dungeons. One of my favourite parts in Wrath was seeing dungeons tied to storylines in each zone and having so many of them to do.

Interesting Professions. Not trivialising gathering professions would be a start. But in general the stale formula of “craft this cd for x number of days and you have a shiny” didn’t make the professions feel terribly unique. They just didn’t grab me this time around.

Class quests. I really miss them. First time I rolled a shaman I loved having to talk to the elementals and learn about each of the four elements before getting my totems. It was all about the journey, all about exploring a new class.

The RNG nature of Stats on gear. Playing with luck is fun but too much of something is bad. It wasn’t fun to roll for stats – it was annoying and frustrating.

Featuring a gnome in a cinematic. One of the reasons I love FFXIV is that they take my favourite race and treat it equally with all the other races. It appears in trailers, there are important lore figures representing it, and said lore figures are actually doing important things in the game. It’s time to take a page.

I’m looking forward to the 6th to see if anything on this list makes it to the announcement. I’m not quite sure what to expect but for the love of the Light, I hope it doesn’t involve any more orcs.

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Warcraft and I

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I don’t know quite how to put my thoughts together on this, but there is something that needs to be said. So, here goes.

Over this past weekend, news emerged that patch 6.2 is the final major content patch for the expansion. This makes Warlords perhaps the shortest expansion yet and it would be first among all expansions to end this early. This was unexpected to say the least. It’s still good news to me though – as my tweet sums up nicely:

wod-tweet

I imagine two scenarios for why Blizzard would choose to end Warlords of Draenor this early – one is a good one, the other not so great:

Cutting their losses and moving on.

The story in Warlords is a badly told story at level cap. We’re already in an alternate timeline which put it on thin ice from the very start. Then there’s the orc-centric component which is somewhat tired, and to top it all off, there isn’t a solid ending to this arc. We don’t get to the fight the big bad villain of this expansion. There was also no Karabor as a city (I was so disappointed with that), and in general, I just didn’t want to be in this world after a point.

Yep, I am ready for a different story. One without orcs at the center for once, and preferably in a nice normal timeline. Gnome expansion if you ask me – hey, a girl can dream.

Lil-mercurial1

STOP! More gnome lore needed!!

Hopefully, this announcement is just Blizzard accepting that hey, this hasn’t gone the way they expected. Their design decisions and vision was clearly off the mark and perhaps it’s just time to stop trying to salvage the story and move on to something better instead. And in this case, sooner is better than later.

Faster-than-a-goblin-rocket expansions.

FOR PROFITS!

FOR PROFITS!

This is the one that worries me. Blizzard has time and again mentioned how their goal is to reduce the amount of time between expansions. Ending WoD early however, is possibly the first step with this goal in mind – churning out expansions every year rather than every two years.

I dearly hope this is not the driving reason behind the decision because it prioritises  a quick schedule over quality. And to top it off, faster releases is not at the top of my list of issues.

wod-tweet2I would rather have a good story, and an engaging, immersive world any day over a quicker expansion. Whether I play one expansion per year or one every two makes no difference whatsoever.

All I care about is if I am having fun and enjoying my time in the game – and that is governed solely by the quality of content and not its frequency. 

Final Thoughts

I decided to take a break from WoW because I didn’t enjoy playing in the world any longer. When 6.2 failed to draw me back in, I figured that perhaps 6.3 would do the trick and I’d be back for it. I thought I’d merely be sitting out a patch or two – and now with this news, it appears that I will be sitting out the entire remainder of the expansion.

Where does this leave Warcraft and me? I don’t really know. If Blizzard does choose to go down the path of bad storytelling and lackluster narratives, I don’t foresee myself returning to it. On the other hand, if they’ve got something up their sleeve and want to tell a compelling story with a well-articulated vision in mind, then yes, count me in. Until then, I will wait and keep an eye on how things develop.