I don't like when they remove the old content entirely. Big mistake.
This, to me, is the big thing. There is no reason to rip old content out by the roots in a fantasy RPG. Removed dungeons and deleted quest lines like Battle for Undercity can easily be left in with a hand waved, "A wizard did it" level explanation. The quest giver just has to mention some mumbo jumbo about a little person named Chromie having come by recently on an experiment and you've got your time travel raison d'être.
Something similar could be done with Outlands and/or Northrend saying it's stuck in some kind of Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey, Dr. Who style field where it's stuck repeating events of a few years past.
Also, regarding "rehashed" content and it's percentage in the game. The entirety of Azeroth proper were redone for Cataclysm, I'd say it's a fairly decent percentage. Yes, some significant changes were made to the terrain, but it's largely the same. Yes some quest lines are totally new but most of them are the same or the same with a simple tweak to the number of items/kills needed. It's a vast rehash BUT it's AWESOME. The redesign of Azeroth was a part of the expansion that everyone, short of those that "level too fast" and complain, was a 10 out of 10, to me. Maybe 9.5 if I'm honest and allow for some room to improve. ;-)
Last thing I'd like to touch. ZA and ZG have to normal mode. Is this the first time in the history of wow a dungeon or raid exists solely in heroic mode? From an outsider perspective to development, it seems that making a Normal and Heroic mode is about the simplest thing there is. It's like a palette swap Abobo in Double Dragon, change a variable and you're done, essentially. With all the noise made about how players haven't even pushed their way sufficiently through current content to deserve new content, why are we again focusing on only more difficult and gated content?
03/10/2011 5:32 PMThis talk about losing WoW developers, or that WoW is left to a "B team" is getting tiresome.
Posted by Zarhym
A blue has appeared while I was typing!
To me, I'd say, it takes two to tango. A decision to wildly change the focus of the game to a more difficult or hardcore or whatever you wish to call Cataclysms model was made. Radical changes have been coming in, to affect that change in model to the game. There have been some mistakes and some triumphs, some nerfs and some reversions. The development team isn't perfect and the community can be overly harsh. We can't expect players to like radical changes instantly, and we can't expect developers to be perfect, but we should try not to get upset at/by people for their feelings and having them. We must also respect that getting upset is also allowed.
Unfortunately a side effect of the "constant updates" model now being used is that folks aren't allowed to get comfortable with anything
, good or bad. Unintentionally using the live realm as a test bed with constant hotfixes got a bit out of hand, and has been addressed by development. Bugs like the "Mangle sound effect for all" sat forever while "anti-fun" patches like Faded Wizard Hat, Older Dungeon Gold nerf, Cookies Tenderizer and Impetuous Query changes, Big Love Rocket drop rates for Love is in the Air reduced, Nitro Boosts fail rates, Elekk and Kodo forced on all Draenei and Tauren Paladins removing their horses, replacing cool flavor spells like Raise Ally with generic Battle Rez. Okay maybe a bit too many examples, sorry, but I felt it lacked gravitas to just list a couple and quit. The point being, the longer time between patches and updates meant that when some big changes came, and they are by nature fewer in number than little changes, they came alongside all the little stuff making it all feel more equally important, rather than a laser focus and lightning reaction on and to the small stuff.
Not that I'm advocating a return to the old style updates, mind you. This is simply another side effect. We're seeing it the world over as information disseminates faster and faster. You can't just change from one model to another and expect everyone to shout, "Hooray" and throw their hats in the air then roll to credits with Whitesnake blaring. =)