Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Things I Hope Blizzard Learns From Warlords

In a recent post I mentioned how I'd rediscovered the "spark" that first pulled me deeply into World of Warcraft after struggling this expansion with finding the motivation to do much outside of my garrison. However, I admitted that even with my focus realigned, Warlords of Draenor will likely go down as my least-favorite expansion. Here are five things I hope Blizzard takes away from the Warlords of Draenor experience.

Value of Scenarios
I won't say I missed them dearly, but scenarios in Mists of Pandaria provided an excellent opportunity at max level for small-group content. Scenarios were especially attractive for damage-dealers and those with limited amounts of play time. Queues were always short; it was sometimes possible to run multiple scenarios in the time it would take for a damage-dealer to find a dungeon party.

Utility of Alternate Currency
We saw some of this with Apexis Crystals, but the effect was dramatically scaled back compared to previous expansions. Instead of earning this currency through dungeons, scenarios and multiple quests, crystals were a reward for completing a single daily quest given in the garrison or by mindlessly grinding mobs. I think it would've been advantageous for Blizzard to have included Apexis Crystals as a dungeon reward, and by extension, the non-existent scenarios. Not only would it allow players to fill some holes in their gearing strategy, but it extends relevancy of group content at max-level. Like dungeons.

Return to Factional Daily Options
Many people agree that Blizzard went too far with daily quest options in Mists of Pandaria. You want a rep grind? We'll put a rep grind behind a rep grind! What we have in Warlords of Draenor seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to the outcry over too many dailies. To me, it's clear the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Give us some other way to gain factional rep other than Apexis dailies, garrison missives, and mindless mob slaughter.

Benefit of Farmable, Rarer Mobs
This might be a personal peeve, but the way rare mobs were handled in Warlords of Draenor was a bit of a letdown. Kill it once, you're guaranteed whatever drop(s) the mob has on their loot table, and you're done. Previously, there were a number of items that could drop off of a rare mob, one of which was usually some sort of unique item, like a vanity pet, toy, or a crazy-cool leveling elixir. Maybe players cursed by RNGeesus have had enough, but seeking out those rare or missing items gave me another reason to get out into world after I'd exhausted the leveling content.

Additionally, Draenor is incredibly overpopulated with rares. It's kind of like how if you hand out epic gear to everyone and their uncle it ceases feeling like epic gear. In addition to not guaranteeing drops on every kill, rare mobs should be fewer and far between.

Need for Better Travel at Max Level
I nearly titled this section "The Value of [Redacted] at Max Level" but then thought better of it. I'm swallowing the Kool-aid, Blizzard, and trusting that you've got something in store here. Fact of the matter is pretty much since the Burning Crusade players have taken earning flight as a reward for reaching max-, or near-max level. With the removal of flight there needs to be a better system of travel to wherever players want to go in current content. Waystones, portals, I don't care. Give us something more efficient than "improved" flight paths.


  1. Value of Scenarios - Agree 100%

    I miss some quick content for my alts or small groups. Even the gear, as poor as it was, seemed fine for the type of content it was and could still be okay as starter gear for a fresh character. Scenarios had their place and still do. I would like to see them returned.

    Utility of Alternate Currency - Agree 100%

    A lot of people are yelling they are quitting with the removal of flight, but if I up and quit tomorrow, do not take it as a sign of a protest against the removal of flight. If I quit it will be because they removed justice / valor. I loved doing dungeons on alts to have them raid ready in case I felt like bringing them in. Now, I don't even gear alts. Or play much. Valor was my carrot and the game without it has no carrots for me. Not to mention, I really loved that if you downed a boss in a raid and got nothing, at least you got some valor as a consolation prize and maybe you can buy something with that after enough of them.

    Return to Factional Daily Options - Agree 100%

    If blizzard had actually read any of the "I hate dailies" treads they would have noticed it was the gating of them that people hated, not the dailies themselves. So I would say, with this, I hope they learned to read the threads before making changes and not just change things based on the title of the treads.

    Benefit of Farmable, Rarer Mobs - Agree 100%

    I miss having something to do during down times. I miss farming warbrigers and scouts for reputation tokens to mail to alts. I miss farming rares just for the gold from the item it dropped, or the baggies, or what have you. It was solid content, easy to make, and I have no clue why they removed it.

    Need for Better Travel at Max Level - 100% agree.

    I have a great idea they can do to make travel better. Add flight, I am sure the players will love it.

    Awesome post. Sadly that means blizzard will never read it. :(

  2. I agree. After finally getting around to some end game with Final Fantasy XIV, it is amazing how much better a job they've done of being the populist MMO Blizzard has long hoped WoW would become. There's a ton of content, new difficulty modes remix that content a bit, but are still accessible to those with the right item level. It's all super engageable too.

    Plus, they hand out end game tokens for so many things, even rewarding matchmade pugs with a bonus if the group happens to have a new player along.

    It's heaven.

    1. Funny you mention FFXIV. I just read a great blog post outlining the content delivery between it and WoW. Seems like they've got it down.

  3. +1 - Scenarios provided that sweet spot for DPS. As a lock, I could queue dps for scenario, dungeon, lfr at logon and they would often trigger in that order. I wouldn't have the 45-minute dps queue for dungeons or lfr to fill (doing dailies).

    Rares, should be rare. Right now, everyone can get a 'rare' item, just by camping the spot until it respawns. Most of the rares I've found are there virtually every time I pass by. I've had harder times finding a new pet to battle instead of a rare npc to fight.

    I avoided the gold-lotus rep grind, but then again I wasn't normal/heroic raiding so I didn't need anything from the upstream factions. I started after the gating was removed and went straight to the faction providing the recipe I wanted. :)

    Apexis crystals should drop from everything (in dungeons and raids). Like pocket lint, we should be getting these things with each kill. One the otherhand, why are the arakoa(sp?) collecting pocket lint? to line their giant birdie nests?

    1. Haha! I do not know why they are collecting pocket lint...good question!

  4. Scenarios - not only scenarios themselves but the use of scenarios to tell a story. The scenarios with each new patch that told the story of the expansion in MoP were awesome.

    Currency - another part of MoP that I think they did well was the adding of many ways to get points you could use. Even if you just wanted to pet battle and do dailies you still were earning points towards something.

    Rep - I think the rep grinds in MoP only really were a problem in that Valor gear was locked behind them and the rep grinds that were locked behind other rep grinds. The change to daily driven faction rep grinds was a positive one. Look at the old wintersaber or timbermaw grinds and how terrible they were. The MoP grinds were for the most part actually really good in that you learned a story along the way related to that faction and they didn't really take that long to finish. I for one loved the Klaxxi story and the cloud serpant rep the first time. The problem was I want this item, ohh it's locked behind this rep which is locked behind this other rep so you need to do X dailies per day to unlock that item as soon as possible for raiding.

    Rares - I personally enjoyed and spent a lot of time flying around killing rares even if I didn't care about the drop from them. I liked the boa treasures during MoP as well but those you could still find more than once. When Isle of Thunder came out I spent a lot of time just riding around the island going from rare to rare with groups of people. They actually mostly required groups when they were released unlike timeless isle where it was if you weren't standing on the spawn and ready to click you'd probably miss it.

    Travel - even though Isle of Thunder didn't allow flying it was still enjoyable. I just don't see the need for the leveling content that already is below people and trivial for a max level to be restricted because it's made even more trivial with flying.