Cataclysm Questing is So Linear

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I think part of the problem is the advent of the quest helpers that tells you where to go and what to kill. You never have read the quest, you just look at the map and find the little number. I found that same problem with FF13. There was always a arrow telling you where to go, never have to explore and make mistakes. And how many quests do you want in your log? Get 15 quests in one shot where do you start? Where is the balance between to many and not enough?
I find the instances in Duskwood and Westfall pretty unimpressive in the immersion department.

In Dukswood the whole place is on fire with several NPC's missing yet less then a minute later the entire place is exactly how it was before the fires broke out and all NPC's are back and don't question or acknowledge what happened.

For Westfall everything looks fine and dandy until you are right above Sentinel Hill, only when your right above it does the instance load resulting in a severe jump from happy blue skies to orange foreboding skies, also sentinel hill looks fine from a distance but clearly not when up close.

I assume every section of the world has a minimum level requirement for quests within said section, I also assume several sections had the same requirements as each other. If those 2 assumptions are correct then how it is currently is 99% linear.
The linear quests thing is fun the FIRST time you do it. After that, when levelling alts, it's boring and predictable.

Uldum, however, never gets boring.
Uldam is a cutscene... do I need a cutscene of me running away from a group of soldiers and a dragon?

Having all the BOA gear makes questing too easy on top of just being easy quests. but I can't go into zone B until I've hit required level, by the time I've hit required level I'm 3 levels above the crap I'm killing.
In linear question you can't skip a step in the story. You tried to jump ahead and found that you couldn't do it. A story can't progress in a nonlinear way, it just doesn't work. Can you just skip chapters 5 6 7 9 12 and 13 in a book? No, you'll have no idea what's going on. Besides quest flowing in cataclysm was perfect. Never once did I not know where to go next or not have a quest to do in a zone.


I have no desire to ever read the same book 10 times in a row, or play the same single-player game 10 times. I have 10 toons that I had planned to get to 85, but after the third (and two of them don't even have everything unlocked because it takes too much questing to open the reps) I couldn't take it any more.
The part of this argument I find most humorous is the comments stating that the first time through is fine, but it becomes more linear and boring with each subsequent playthrough.

How is this not the exact same game we were playing 5 years ago?

Everything is fresh and different the first time through. Even in Vanilla, people eventually developed a formula for leveling their character in the most fun or efficient methods possible. That is a linear experience. The only difference is that you took the stew but picked out the meat and potatoes, because you only like the broth.

If you want a unique experience from one playthrough to another, level both horde and alliance characters.


The difference is that the main draw of questing now is the story. You do 1-2 quests at a time because it makes sense for the story. Well, by the 10th time you've read the same story in a month, it gets pretty boring. I'd much rather pick up 25 quests, fly around for an hour, do them all, then turn them in and get half a level at a time. Because after the first time, I don't care about the story any more. I'd much rather see "dramatic progress" in my xp bar than in the amount of fire on Mt. Hyjal.
Quick 2 cents. 1 quest bugged otu and half of twilight Highlands' quests became unavailable to my alt.
My alt was on the quest where you fly a dragon above Tol Barad and figth deathwing dragons as Deathwing and her highness fight. I get horrible lag spikes in Twilight Highlands (don't ask me why, nowhere else in game does it happen). Anyways I lag out and die on top of the mountain. I fly back but mistakenly went the wrong way around the mountain and was dismounted from the death flyer when I crossed into Loch Modan. Aggravated I just went back to the spirit healer, took rez sickness, hearthed and figured I would just reset the quest by abandonign it.
Well, I could not get the quest again. The NPC 'whats his name' didnt have it any more, there was no dragon to mount and after returning once more even 'whats his name' despawned. Soooo, now my alt has no other quests in Twilight Highlands. That quest is apparently the only quest available for him at the moment. Loosing it keeps the next quest hub from opening. He hasn't opened up Garona's quests, the quests by the mine, the quests by the dragonkins etc. NPC's are there but no quests available to him.
Thats my 2 cents of why I dislike this linear questing. 1 quest bugged out (or maybe it isn't bugged and you arent ever supposed to abandon that quest) and my alt cant do any other quests in the highlands because loosing that quest broke the quest line to open up the other hubs
"So bascially you would rather do a bunch of random, unrelated quests than a linear storyline after which you feel like you actually accomplished something in the zone?"

It felt like Inidiana, I mean Harrison, accomplished alot. As did the elite helpers, and their item counterparts. Me? I accomplished A1 thru Z2000, in order as demanded. Yay.
02/03/2011 1:18 PMPosted by Lylirra
For Cataclysm, we wanted to create more immersion with better storytelling, and we wanted your characters to feel connected to ebb and flow of Azeroth. This was something we hoped to accomplish through a number of mediums including quests.


1. The cutscenes are interesting the first time you view them, but after the 2nd or 3rd time through they actually become annoying, particularly the ones that can't be interrupted. They actually hamper the replay value of the game... and let's face it, replay value is crucial to WoW.
2. The linear nature of the questing makes me feel as though I'm not in control. I want to explore a zone, not be pushed through it.
3. The ease with which almost all mobs can be tackled, and the over-large xp rewards, mean that players zoom through levels 1-60 without even trying. It feels as if Blizzard are catering to people that don't really like levelling (and who just want to be level-capped already and doing the endgame dungeons/raids).
4. There are a number of really pointless quests. "Walk ten yeards to another NPC and talk to them". "Watch in awe as an NPC deals with the problem for you". And so on.
5. Please bring back group quests. They were a pain in Icecrown only because of the phasing. But then, does the playerbase really like phasing. I'm not really sure they do. Only Blizzard seems enamoured of it (like they were, for a period, enamoured of mounted fights in dungeons, even though very few players seemed to like them).
I've played WoW since the vanilla beta. What I've seen in Cataclysm so far is the pinnacle of quest design. All quests I've done until now seem meaningful and are not just a "Fetch me those 20 troll ears" or "Kill those two bad guys because they are there" variant. Very well done.
I've played WoW since the vanilla beta. What I've seen in Cataclysm so far is the pinnacle of quest design. All quests I've done until now seem meaningful and are not just a "Fetch me those 20 troll ears" or "Kill those two bad guys because they are there" variant. Very well done.


I don't understand statements like these, because there are still so many quests EXACTLY like the ones you described. Nothing has changed, except for the fact that there are slightly fewer of them, but I don't understand what kind of wool has been pulled over your eyes to make you think questing is vastly more innovative than it was. Sure, there are alot more quest types now than the "Kill X" and "Collect Y" versions of Vanilla, but the only difference is you simply cannot skip the quests you don't want to do.

It's become a single player game where the only real choice you have is what zone you want to level in, and even then, the variety is meagre. You don't see the problem with having the player character appear to be the most important character in a zone at any given time? What about the ten other people doing exactly the same thing as you? Even then, your character almost always has help from some NPC for the really important quests, so even the illusion of being important is false. Characters in MMOs should be cogs that drive the machine, not the machine itself.
I love the new questing! No more flying here to ride a boat to there to give a letter to her...

Everything is in nice little clusters. It saves so much time!
I actually don't mind it, however- I do have one criticism. I don't like the fact that storywise now every character is a part of the center of what is happening. It's really not just me that helped out Jones, or that helped to overthrow the Goblin Trade Prince and save the Bilgelwater Cartel, etc. etc. I don't like that our individual characters are basically now individual hero's who, arguably, would have their own spot in the lorebooks in the actual game world.

If that makes sense. >_< I liked feeling like we were all in it together.
I actually don't mind it, however- I do have one criticism. I don't like the fact that storywise now every character is a part of the center of what is happening. It's really not just me that helped out Jones, or that helped to overthrow the Goblin Trade Prince and save the Bilgelwater Cartel, etc. etc. I don't like that our individual characters are basically now individual hero's who, arguably, would have their own spot in the lorebooks in the actual game world.

If that makes sense. >_< I liked feeling like we were all in it together.


We've always had elevated status in the world as 'heroes'. There is a collective effort but the actual work is done by heroes of the horde or alliance.

dream: Warcraft 4 .. if we can import our WoW characters as in-game a playable hero... that'd be great.
01/20/2011 1:02 PMPosted by Thakjr
You didn't feel like you made a difference when you were killing all the major MC bosses, or when you Fight with thrall against Deathwing?


I felt like I made a difference when I killed them 5 years ago. Bringing them back and saying LOL RETCON or LOL THEY WERE ONLY AVATARS SRY doesn't really cut it.

I love the new questing! No more flying here to ride a boat to there to give a letter to her...

Everything is in nice little clusters. It saves so much time!


You just made my favorite persons list if your name is from the Anathema song. (I have a Rogue with the same name)
This linear approach to questing is by far better then what it used to be
Quests used to be jumbled up and thrown everywhere with some not even having a point, these quests make the players feel more imersed into the lore and feel like they have done something to acomplish by compleating the quests
Loved the Uldum quests & deepholm , the highlands werent bad I'am not a big fan of the underwater area but thats just me I get turned around alot in there but overall I love what you did with questing in cata.

My only real complaint about the quests is the phasing nodes I lost alot of mining nodes to it
Phasing was a horrible experience for me.

An interesting concept, sure. An involving one, sure. It was very nice to be a part of events.

But.. It. Does. Not. Work.

I went through a lot of this in a very nasty broken way with my main. With this alt the starting area. The _STARTING AREA_ was a very nasty experience for me.

If I were a starting player, I would be turned off by all of my experiences on two characters levelling through all of these phased quests.

I agree with earlier posters that phased-questing often feels like we're being punished for completing quests.

Even if phasing and phase-related quests were actually fixed, various Worgen starting area phases remove a character from basic resources like a rest spot, mailbox, store and trainer.

Also, various phases are just "all interactive stuff has been removed from everywhere else but here" which isn't necessary. I can understand people migrating. That's kindof cool for unimportant NPCs, but when the wildlife vanishes it's quite strange. Yes, I spent hours running around before and after phase shifts, confused at why everything was completely empty or why there were invisible barriers or stupid blocking-terrain.

Yes, I managed to do some really crazy things like getting into areas I probably shouldn't have been in, breaking quests and I even completed the Worgen quest chain and "escaped" to the real world without learning how to turn into a human. That functionality was snuck in quietly after the fact, through one of the "hidden hot fixes".

A HUGE amount of Cataclysm oozes with the incompleteness the Blizzard drop-features-to-kick-it-out-the-door policy has implemented. I have found so many broken or ugly quests it's .. a facepalm.

The hotfix system and hidden patches are an insult. Seriously, you guys have snuck in changes without reporting them, and the hotfix blogs are a very out-of-the-way way to "publicly announce" changes. When will the hotfix notes be announced properly like patch notes?

The way patches roll up a bunch of changes is unnecessary. A number of changes can and should be done as immediately as possible. Many patch changes are a trivial mechanic change and should not be held back for weeks to make a patch more impressive. I can understand this as being part of a process, but it's a very bad process to let known oddities about the game go unfixed because they must be inserted into a patch weeks or months later.

Back to questing. I was really enjoying myself with the questing, up until I started doing quest chains which were so very obviously unethical. Yes, I suppose I could set aside the

- "go murder x innocent y" and
- "go steal x number of y" and possibly even the
- "go murder w innocent x and butcher them into little bloody pieces with your bare hands and take their y body part"

.. type quests, but when a quest is about negotiating peace with natives, then trying to trick them with fake gold, then MURDERING THEM FOR THEIR OIL. My jaw just dropped. I stopped doing Goblin and Gnome quests because of that. I won't interact with those NPCs.

There are many cases when I regret completing a quest and I'd jump through hoops to undo a turnin. Becoming a bastard bad guy to npcs I really like, because of the linear nature of the questing, is one of those things that makes me grind my teeth.

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