I have low expectations for the upcoming “Live QA” Blizzard is hosting a good two weeks after Flightgate
took off walked up to the cave on a hill (?). Maybe not as low as Grumpy Elf, but I share the sentiment that Ion “Watch the world burn” Hazzikostas is likely set to field a lot of softballs this June 6th. While I appreciate Grumpy Elf’s… enthusiasm in the questions to be answered, I wanted to offer a few that have a slightly larger (if still remote) chance of being asked and answered.
…and then the announcement post was released yesterday, which indicates questions need to either be 140-character Tweets or 40-word forum posts. So they “can get to as many questions as possible.” Because quantity of answers is exactly what everyone is looking forward to.
But, whatever. Sisyphus is a personal hero of mine, so let me remove all context and edit all my questions down to the raw nubs. Note: these questions are less than 140 characters even with #WarlordsQA (and a space) included in the Tweet. Feel free to appropriate them yourself.
1) WTF are you smoking?
1) How do you feel that more non-interactive flight paths, during which players Alt-Tab out of the game, increases immersion?
2) How is Draenor more dangerous sans flying, when players are immune to being dazed off their ground mount with garrison stables?
3) Why the push for exploration by level-capped characters when majority of exploration rewards targeted at leveling players?
4) Do you feel your treatment of professions this expansion have met your design goals? And what were those goals, exactly?
5) Ion said “group dungeons are one of the greatest strengths in the MMO genre.” And yet smallest amount of dungeons ever. Why?
6) Why remove Justice/Valor points when you just add back in currency like Apexis Crystals?
7) Why does Season 11 PvP gear still cost Honor? And not just a little Honor, but equal to current gear amounts?
8) Was there ever a thought about designing the Garrison to be Account-wide? If not, why?
9) Will the Water Stider mounts continue to be the de facto mounts everyone should use in this, and all future expansions?
10) Are there any other fun parts of the game we can look forward to you removing on a whim in the future?
…well, I tried.
In case you get a chance to watch the Q&A Live, someone has helpfully printed out some Bingo cards you can use to play along at home. My favorite part is that “Immersion” is the Free Space.
I’m picking Card # 2.
Posted on June 3, 2015, in WoW and tagged #WarlordsQA, Bingo, Ion Hazzikostas, Twitter, Warlords of Draenor, Watch the World Burn. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.
I can answer 1 and 10 together. During the first year of vanilla, flight paths were not connected. You had to talk to every flight master at every intermediate destination. And you had to remember which intermediate flights to take.
So yes, I think the removal of connected flight paths would make the world more alive and dangerous and would highly increase the immersion.
Unless mobs could attack you while choosing a new destination, I don’t see how disconnected flight paths would do much of anything besides requiring you to run WoW in a window.
Use Blizzard logic to think about it. Not common sense…
You already know my feelings about 5, but I really like 3. Really really like it, and I wish there was a way to extrapolate from it to the larger design goals/direction of the expansion as I think it really points to where they went wrong. But, I think it’s pretty much implied that they aren’t really interested in discussing much of that or they’d take more in-depth questions. I wonder what non-6.2 questions we are going to see addressed as they are being horribly vague with ” but also take a look back at the challenges we’ve faced (and the lessons we’ve learned)”. Last time I heard those words in regards to dungeon content the end result was Timewalking and Mythic, not added content, so who knows if they “learned” anything this time around either.
Had an interesting thought on the Garrison. I know my idea runs counter to the expansion theme of being a General/Commander, but I think that’s been a poor way to handle the “my character isn’t central to the story” nature of WoW that some people have complained about for a long time. Instead of making the Garrison your hub, create central cities with garrison-like buildings, with attendant factions you have to provide resources to to help build/maintain for the war effort. This still gets you access to the buildings you want, but also puts you right in the middle of town, surrounded by people and interacting. Does mean there’s not much point in the AH Bot or the Hearthstone, but that’s OK, probably would have made for a better experience long term.
FFXIV does a really good job of both making you the central character without making you Grand Commander. Interactions with profession “guilds” are interesting in that they occasionally explain why they are teaching you (shortage of people) but that they aren’t trusting you completely because you are an Adventurer and they don’t stick around or put roots down. I am really not sure how WoW goes back to making you a non-Commander who’s accepting quests again instead of being the quest giver after this expansion.
It’s funny, because a lot of the Old Guard have always talked about the opening of the AQ gates as one of those enduring memories. And those gates would never have opened without the anonymous contributions of thousands of players donating random material. So in a sense, there is already a precedence for a “reverse Garrison.”
On the other hand, if you zoom back a bit, this all really amounts to “bringing back daily quest hubs.” And that’s sad. Not because dailies are sad, but because Blizzard threw the pendulum so far into the other direction after MoP for essentially no good reason.
You know, it seems to be an ingrained part of their culture to overreact when they “fix” something; Wrath>Cata difficulty, too many dailies>no dailies, “I’m just a grunt”>”I’m just a quest-giver”, “valor grind sucks”>”hey! no valor for EVERYONE”. I’m sure if I gave it time I could find more. ^_-
At first I was going to argue that AQ gates follow this, they repeatedly say they won’t do it again even though it’s often mentioned as being very memorable content. I think to some extent though we have a similar event in Burning Crusade with the Isle of Quel’danas and the Isle of Thunder in MoP. (time-unlocked phases), but Argent Tournament and Molten Front are character-specific unlocks as opposed to server-wide. Odd, I was expecting a swing with this too, but not so much. Maybe an artifact of the level of that design (zone vs expac/server) or the fact that it comes in later instead of being at the start.
If we want to see this part of their culture change though, we probably have to identify what’s causing it and I don’t think it’s simply “they didn’t like x, do not-x”, it’s probably two or more aspects of their internal culture interacting to produce it. It’s really hard to see what it is though with the lack of any real communication coming out of Blizzard at the moment, and the fact that I can’t sit there and observe inside the company for a few months or more, but I think programming culture and the concept of iteration are a big part of it. The word hides a lot of force behind it; their “iterations” when it comes to content are much more forceful and less mathematical than the word implies, but if I am right it hides it from them as well when they make proposals and changes. As for the other side of things, I’m not sure. That is harder to parse out as I haven’t noticed anything as blatant as iteration in their communications.
Reverse garrison makes a LOT more sense in an MMO, especially if you arent allowed to be the hero of the story anyways due to scenematics not being able to include you, or whatever is the reason. It might be a questhub alla the old daily hubs, but tbh was the questhub nature of the dailies really what was the trouble?
I might be only speaking for my self here. But the problem I had with dailies was always that they locked my playsessions. If i did less than all of them, i fell behind, if I wanted to do more than all of them some day, that wasn’t an option. In order to stay current I had to do the same thing every day (slight variance in daily quests aside). I believe the repetitiveness of dailies are for a lot of people tied to having day 1 look exactly like day 2 which looks exactly like day 3 etc. If mists had allowed me to do any of the “dailies” as repeatable quests instead, I wouldn’t have felt forced to do exactly X of them each day, maybe some day I would focus on this and another day on that.
I would argue that the garrison has taking the worst feature of dailies (repetitiveness, forced gameplay patterns, the feeling of falling behind if you miss one day) and has replaced the best feature of them… The quest part. Wow is an MMORPG and we want to play our character, kill some mobs, click some items, and maybe once in a while escort a stupid npc or something. Preferrably somewhere out in the world amongst other people as well, rather than only in instances.
The garrison game might be a fun enough game (at least for some people) but it has very little to do with an MMORPG, it feels more like a mandatory minigame.
Rant over,Shandren out
Flying announced. Time to remake the question list?