Cataclysm Questing is So Linear

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30 Dwarf Priest
360
One of the worse examples of too-restrictive gating is the process of getting to Vashj'ir the first time.

The very first thing that many players will see of the new expansion, and Blizzard chose to start off with... the "waiting for the bus" quest. In which you have to go to the dock and... wait.

And not just the standard random wait for a boat, you're actually required to stand there for a minimum amount of time while some none-too-bright city guards come and whine for a while. And don't look away from the window during this time, or you'll need to wait through the whole thing again.

The you get to stand on the boat for a while, and watch it get sunk (which you can't do anything to affect), then get captured and rescued (without even having control of your character), then finally finally get to actually begin questing after half an hour of boredom.

All of which was slightly interesting to watch the first time around... and makes me recoil from the idea of ever taking another character to Vashj'ir. It's a beautiful zone, but I just can't stand the idea of of all the forced attentive boredom you need to sit through in order to start it.

90 Draenei Hunter
11510
Having leveled 3 characters through Cata now I would have to say the following;

A.) I have enjoyed the linear questing for its story telling capability.

B.) Each time the phase changes it does give a certain feel that my character has made an impact on the game world, unlike killing a raid boss just to find it is alive and kicking next week.

C.) If I had one complaint it would be that the quest chains are a bit heavy on the supported battles. There are very few times where your called to kill X number of mobs only to show up and find your new found allies are already battling the mobs and you are required to just finish them off.


Asnani
85 Huntress of Shandris
61 Human Death Knight
580
02/04/2011 12:59 PMPosted by Mypali
My biggest complaint about Cataclysm questing is that my character spend 90% of each cutscene cowering. Holy. @@##. Have you SEEN the crap my Paladin has gone through? He shouldn't cower at squat! Just ruined my mental image of my Paladin. He's forever a coward to me now :(


Have to agree with this. After all, the king personally requests our help against world events. We have personally fought and defeated the likes of Malaygos, Arthas, Illidan, Mannaroth, etc. We have faced old gods, deranged dragons, and escaped demons. We have been to the bottom of the deepest ocean, and the top of the tallest mountain. We have fought off invasions of elementals and zombies alike. We have been backwards in time and seen the burning legion invade our lands. We have explored spaceships and machines the likes of which only the titans understand.

And yet a couple pygmies show up, and we cower in fear.
HELLO???? And we're talking like a half dozen. In non-movie mode, I would bear up and rip them apart. Or burn them down with my mage. Or my dk would just go ape on them with his army of the undead. Shoot, even hundreds of them wouldn't make me give up like a little kid. I am pretty much fearless by now. I have and will gladly again charge into battle. And if my end is to be, I will face the impossible odds with courage and determination.
85 Tauren Druid
6770
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.

Overall, we think we were successful in achieving those goals and making the leveling experience more story-driven, but we realize we may not have hit the nail perfectly on the head. For example, we've received a lot of feedback that suggests we made questing a bit too linear this expansion, and we're not in total disagreement. It's cool that your character has a visual impact on the world and can watch as key events unfold, sure, but sometimes it can feel a bit awkward when you're unable to explore content at your own pace because you're still locked to a particular phase. We also hear your concerns about cut-scenes, tradeskill nodes, and the effects phasing has on groups.

We're taking all these criticisms in stride and will be using them to improve the questing experience for future expansions and, to an extent, future patches. When it comes to questing, it's matter of finding a good balance between story and gameplay, and that tightrope can be a hard one to walk. Your feedback keeps us from swaying too far in any one direction, though, so we greatly appreciate threads like this one. Keep it up.

/high five
/respek knuckles


I disagree. Wrath was much more immersive to me.
85 Draenei Paladin
1890
I loved it all, personally. I think Blizzard, did in fact, hit it on the head here.

See, whereas some people are complaining that it's too linear, the other option was Wrath of the Lich King Questing. Sorry, but I played out every single zone except Icecrown (because by that point I was completely sick of it.) and Scholozar Basin was my favorite... Why? Because it had a linear degree to it. It took me all OVER the place, and I loved it. Especially the Oracles. And their religion based around all things shiny.

It's a matter of opinion, really, but I think there actually IS a way to make everyone happy here, or at least almost everyone. Some people just won't be happy until they're unhappy. Jerkfaces. :P

Creating multiple linear lines, like in Uldum and Deepholme. However, create more of them. Even have them intersect, possibly, so that you might need to go back occasionally (but not every time or even half the time) and catch a different quest line up to remove an obstacle.

I mean, come on... Who can honestly say they didn't enjoy the Andorhal questline? If you say you didn't like it, then you just don't like fun. :( It was perfect in length, severity, involvement, and enjoyment... For either faction, even! If that could be applied in future patches/expansions to where we have two or three of these in every zone that each branch into another couple of questlines/questhubs... I think we might have a satisfied crowd, in general.

A very wee percentage of people want nothing but fedexing and to be honest, I think the majority of us agree that the days of questgivers having out one to four quests a piece is over and good riddance.

Now the biggest issue at hand is getting around phasing.

Anyone got any ideas? Should we start a new thread on this?
100 Blood Elf Mage
9430
02/04/2011 12:59 PMPosted by Mypali
My biggest complaint about Cataclysm questing is that my character spend 90% of each cutscene cowering. Holy. @@##. Have you SEEN the crap my Paladin has gone through? He shouldn't cower at squat! Just ruined my mental image of my Paladin. He's forever a coward to me now :(


Some mass effect style cinematic/dialogue interaction in those situations would be nice, even if it has no recorded impact.
100 Dwarf Warrior
3475
I dunno, it's not that big a deal to me. I get every quest I can get in a zone and quest them until I finish them all or outlevel them. There aren't any rewards I really want from any of them, if I get to the point that I don't want to do them anymore, I abandon them.

I like that the quests all seem to tie in to an overarching theme. WOTLK did a pretty good job of this too.
85 Orc Warrior
2510
This post will be coming from the mind of someone who spends the lion's share of their in-game time doing solo stuff, so bear that in mind.

I loved Cataclysm's high-end zones. Yes, they were a wee bit too linear at times, but it's not easy to get a new mindset perfect the first try. I did really like the immersion of the questing while you were questing; having everything link up, so to speak, made quest types that are otherwise less than stirring and imaginative ("kill X baddies for me, 'cuz I can't move my higher level elite ass fifty yards to wipe the area clean with a wave of my hand, 'cuz, uh... I have a bagel in the toaster and I don't want it to burn while I'm out") feel involved.
The cutscenes could get a little excessive at times, and admittedly I felt more than a little like I was in a Gamera movie during latter portions of Hyjal, but again, early attempts at new techniques (in my opinion, the whole Wrathgate / Battle for Undercity thing in Wrath doesn't count as the first try, because it was way clumsy and time-consuming by comparison).

Phasing is probably the elephant in the room, design-wise. It's a tricky line to walk between keepnig the world easily open to everyone (it's an MMO, after all) and making players feel like their actions have actually had an impact. I'm sure everyone and their brother has pointed out the resource nodes issue with phasing, so I won't beat that dead horse. The real trick is making it possible to help a friend with various quests even in phasing areas; as-is, you're just not going to be able to help a friend who's "behind" you in the phasing. They must catch up, and that's pretty well that.

So yeah, room for some improvements, but overall a good showing in my opinion. Plus, you somehow made vehicle quests suck a LITTLE less than they did in Wrath, even if they're still at best two-button spamming wonders.

The final point that I feel needs to be made is this:
Allow goofy-ass quest things to be repeated. Examples being Gnomebliteration in Uldum (hell, even let it give 150 Ramkahen rep if you're really feeling beneficent), and the "How I beat up Deathwing" guys in the Badlands.
Really neither of these needs any tangible reward attached, but just the opportunity to re-experience them without having to level new characters to those points would be fantastic. It's not like there aren't about a billion of those Gnomes, and the old fogeys in the Badlands actively tell you they have nothing better to do with their time than tell stories to people (I still want to see the knife fight happen =( ).
85 Human Warlock
1110
I actually like the quests now. They all tie into a bigger story that makes sense. I'm really impressed with what they did in Westfall. I used to hate questing there because it was so boring.
90 Draenei Priest
9735
There are too many quests zig-zagging back and forth between the two zones, some quests send you clean into Shadowmoon Valley, you don't know what the heck gives what, and have to just keep plugging away and hope you get the achievement *soon*.

Not to mention, the fact that you can make things harder on yourself by forgetting that some quests can only be done BEFORE you get Friendly with the Consortium.

Also, Blade's Edge quests achievement sucks, in that it *requires* several Ogri'la quests, some of them you have to grind apexis crystals for... quite annoying


Why are you doing quests you don't like in outland? You have a choice with the old system, just skip them. It's the new system that forces us to do every quests in order to progress.


*points to the word "ACHIEVEMENT" in that block of text that you quoted from me*

Ever heard of Loremaster?

It kinda forces you (esp. Outland Loremaster) to do every freaking quest in a zone, or near it. Now, the Azeroth and Northrend zones give you some lenience and allow you to skip some quests, but Outland Loremaster is pretty finicky and tight, they give you very little, next-to-zero lenience, especially now that they removed Thrall's quests from Nagrand and HFP.

As I said before, trying to get Nagrand Slam and Terror of Terokkar is a royal PITA because of the quests that keep jumping around back-and-forth. They are _the_ two hardest zones in the game to get the achievement for, bar none. BEM is the 3rd hardest, due to the fact you have to scrounge up a bunch of crystals and crap.
Edited by Vieria on 2/4/2011 5:18 PM PST
68 Tauren Warrior
11205
02/04/2011 5:03 PMPosted by Togobox
[quote]
Questing in vanilla was a disaster. Quests took you all over the world


It saddens me that people think this is a bad thing - that's what made it a "world" - zones mattered to each other. They don't feel connected at all anymore.


I wouldn't go as far as to say that having as many quests take you across each continent as were in Vanilla was a good thing, but the occasional quest definitely helped make the player realize how big of a world it is, relatively speaking.

Now, you can enter a zone and literally never have to leave, because the quest rewards are so good, and because most classes only learn new spells every 6-10 levels, so you never have to visit a capital city or another zone. Zones are now a collection of microcosms wrapped up within two continents, and it just feels miniature because you always know exactly where you have to go. Yes, that's good for some quest chains, but for crying out loud, they didn't have to remove every possible sense of adventure or desire to explore.
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