Impressions: BlizzCon Day 1

Well, now. I didn’t really see this coming.

The biggest news of the day, based on Reddit traffic, was clearly Blizzard’s teasing of WoW Classic. As in, they are actually making a vanilla server. Everything is still in development, so it’s technically possible that it won’t actually happen, but that would be pretty embarrassing given that they spent time on stage and even created a video about it. Important details such as cost and which patch stage they will be basing it on are still unknown – based on “server” language though, it’s possible it will just be, well, a server option in your normal WoW subscription.

Some people will undoubtedly be overjoyed. None will probably play a paladin.

In other news, the next expansion in WoW Prime will be… err…

WoW_BFA

Uhh…

Now, I’m sure there be a lot of people excited for WarCraft to get back to “roots” as a Red vs Blue RTS trope, but this is literally the most generic title and expansion theme they could have done. Sequel Escalation can be difficult to manage when there is no formal end planned – there are only a few more tricks Blizzard can pull once the Burning Legion itself is extinguished – but… this? “Battle for Azeroth” is something you write on a whiteboard with an underline, to denote that a series of actual title ideas will follow. Is this what people felt like almost exactly six years ago when Mists of Pandaria was revealed?

Looking at the MMO-Champ coverage, about the most interesting set of bullet points were:

World PVP

  • The PvP vs PvE server division is going away, replaced by an individual toggle. You can choose if you want to opt in to PvP or not when you are in town. Players that feel trapped on PvP servers have a way out. This opens up the game to changing and improving the world PvP ruleset.
  • New content like bounty hunting or assassination quests will become an option.
  • There will be bonuses to experience, reputation and other things when you are questing with PvP mode enabled to offset the inefficiency.

This is almost a complete game-changer for me. And probably anyone else trapped on an imbalanced PvP server. My primary server at this point is actually heavily skewed to the Alliance, but that just makes the Horde I do encounter especially surly while leveling. Or, you know, when faceless Cross-Realm hit-squads phase into your area. Now that problem is permanently solved.

It also, rather cleverly, creates world PvP hotzones with the carrot of increased Reputation (etc) gains. You could argue that these Reputation-farming zones would already be hot in a normal, always-on PvP server, and you would be correct. But now everyone there would be consensually engaging in (or preparing for) PvP, likely putting up more of a sport of it. And since the change in flagging requires one to be inside a town, you avoid opportunistic ganking, and presumably accidental flagging in the same design. Win-win.

There will be more to talk about in the coming days, I’m sure, but those are my first impressions.

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Posted on November 4, 2017, in Impressions, WoW and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. They’re going to need to think about what they are doing with wpvp templates really heavily if they hope for that to stay in the game. The way they setup instances pvp in legion was great for bgs and arenas imo but it made a complete mess out of wpvp.

    I dunno how they are going to get this right though. The gear spread at endgame just keeps getting larger, and they really seem to want to focus on people not having pvp abilities in pve.

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    • What they might be able to do is make it so that certain PvP abilities are only available when you have “toggled on” the PvP switch out in the world (or BGs). That could provide another carrot to get people to run around with the PvP flag, if they get access to more abilities to make leveling faster.

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  2. How does this work with players killing NPCs like griffon masters, questgivers etc? Or can they do that on PvE servers already anyway? I’m a bit out of touch with the current game but I remember it being a bit of a problem back when I was playing.

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  3. It’ll be fun to see all the excuses the WotLK-haters cook up to explain why they DON’T go play the Vanilla server. :) Because my guess is that precious few of them will end up staying after trying for one month.

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