What I realized flying over old zones...

General Discussion
10/23/2017 06:42 AMPosted by Leyami
That design guideline was still pretty much in place for most of the zones in later expansions. It wasn't until Cataclysm and beyond that they overdid the mixing of distinct environments...and at the risk of sparking unnecessary controversy, it was probably because of the fact that they didn't originally intend for us to be flying within those later zones. This observation is basically agreeing with yours, in that we are being directed like rodents through a specific...and design-wise, a more efficient...leveling course.

I really should add though, that this `compacting' of questing hubs can be excused if you think about how often the player-base complained about travelling time back in the day. The spread-out, natural `world-like' zones used to be crossed primarily by land mount...and very early in the game, on foot. This was especially tedious for leveling characters, particularly when you consider that it wasn't until late Burning Crusade that you could ride mounts at level 30, and not until MoP before you could mount at level 20.


Cata ruined the old-world.
I enjoy the irony of this new world... people A are at war with and hate people B. However they live within a realistic walking distance of 10 mins, sometimes less. Yet they are both thriving and have not killed each other yet. They also share limited recourses and the same food supply. This amuses me and helps me to log out.
They used to design worlds. Now they design questing zones.
100% Agreed. I remember having so much fun exploring and getting into newby trouble
10/23/2017 06:37 AMPosted by Deathchix
that's cause old zones weren't designed around MAUs and DAUs.


Truth being spoken.
Back to an earlier comment, wasn't there a flight path in the southern part of the Barrens? Or was that a separate zone? I definitely remember the Crossroads FP.

That sense of adventure of leveling a new character in this game in 2006 for me will never be recaptured. :(
10/23/2017 11:37 AMPosted by Helfdan
Back to an earlier comment, wasn't there a flight path in the southern part of the Barrens? Or was that a separate zone? I definitely remember the Crossroads FP.

That sense of adventure of leveling a new character in this game in 2006 for me will never be recaptured. :(

The Barrens originally was one huge zone. There was a FP at the Crossroads, Ratchett, Camp Tarajo, Mor'sham Ramparts at the Ashenvale border.
10/23/2017 10:36 AMPosted by Firesphere
There is nothing wrong with the idea of space. Blizzard seem to have forgotten that. There is no need to place a tree, bush, pebble, rock, mob in every pixel now. Older zones seem to reflect an actual world, the zones now seem to reflect a "play area" or an artificial "gaming experience."


Agreed. For some odd reason, Blizzard has forgotten the idea of space and a sense of natural place. Older zones definitely had this from Vanilla to Wrath, and with Pandaria. There was better pacing because the zones were designed to resemble an actual world. Now, it's a theme park with the player ping-ponging from quest mob to mob so there's never any relief. I partly blame the lack of flight in Warlords and Legion. Without it, the designers seem compelled to pack in as much as possible into a smaller canvas.
This thread brought back fond memories of being a young Dwarf out in the world....crossing though tunnels going too Loch Modan for the first time.....I was scared chitless.....I wasn't in any guild at the time...didn't known anyone in game really. I was actually scared going there, then as weeks went by and I got too level 58 and could go to Outlands....I went though the portal and just stood there scared again....seeing all those huge monster fighting at bottom of the stairs.....good times for sure.

I still say all new players should have to go though the running till level 40 and flying at level 70.....I think all the running around made me a better player.
10/23/2017 12:10 PMPosted by Moused
This thread brought back fond memories of being a young Dwarf out in the world....crossing though tunnels going too Loch Modan for the first time.....I was scared chitless.....I wasn't in any guild at the time...didn't known anyone in game really. I was actually scared going there, then as weeks went by and I got too level 58 and could go to Outlands....I went though the portal and just stood there scared again....seeing all those huge monster fighting at bottom of the stairs.....good times for sure.

I still say all new players should have to go though the running till level 40 and flying at level 70.....I think all the running around made me a better player.


Not that it really matters. levels 15 -> 80 are pretty much spent sitting in a city between dungeon queues for most players.
10/23/2017 09:52 AMPosted by Hazzulu
I think people forget that Vanilla also had insanely small zones, smaller than the broken isles even. Many of the starting zones are extremely small and there's Silverpine, Blasted Lands, Thousand Needles, Searing Gorge, Swamp of Sorrows, Westfall. These are all smaller than the main 5 Legion Zones. I'm sure others are smaller as well I'm just eyeballing it.

Yes, but there were TWO FULL CONTINENTS worth of zones to play in.

I also miss when there was more than one type of resource in a zone. The whole "this zone only has this one type of fish/plant" design robs the world of any sense of being an ecosystem, and shoves the "this is a game zone" aspect right in your face. I'd much rather go back to vanilla-MoP style gathering, where a certain plant might only show up in a specific environment (coastal, mountain, swamp, snow), but it was ecosystem-linked within the expansion, not zone linked.
WoW seems like a lot of headgames lately. Sure developers have always done this and that to get players to do whatever but nowadays it all just seems really apparent they are cutting costs and seems they're playing obvious psych games to try and keep people gated/hooked, it's kinda like they're scraping the bottom of the jar now. Zone design is a large part of what's made this so readily apparent for me.
I was just in ice crown the other day and thought about how nice it was to have certain zones designed AROUND the idea we'd have flight. I enjoy some of the smaller densely populated spaces for zones they don't intend us to fly in - but I would really enjoy if they would create at least a few zones in the next expansion around the idea you will be flying.

They both have their merits. It would be nice for them to include both elements in future designs. Even if it was just the final zone we're in which is rich in crafting materials that you only unlock after you get pathfinder or whatever - it would be something.
10/23/2017 10:29 AMPosted by Vaythee
10/23/2017 06:26 AMPosted by Firesphere
With some exceptions, current zone design is lifeless and non-immersive. It's almost like each zone designed today is an actual continent itself, with 10+ environments in a single zone.

There is a certain charm to simplicity that has been lacking in WoW for a long time.


What do you think is the trade-off in making immersive zones and environments? Content for those zones. You can't have both because is not feasible. You can't have a huge zone feeling immersive and at the same time offer the same amount of content a cramped zone has.


Sure you can have the same amount of content, it just has to be spread out. You know like not having 5 massive rares all 10 sec from each other?
10/23/2017 06:54 AMPosted by Pharsalus
I'm 100% opposed to level-scaling. However, I am not opposed to an event, that could be phased, for higher levels. OR, big or, if there are, say level 110 MOBs in Silithus, they scale DOWN to the level 55 Joe or Jane there mining Thorium.


if you dont like scaling - got back to vanilla lands and play there - What Part of Achievement , dot some of you understand ?? Which is something accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed.

I bust my butt to get where i am and im proud of my self every day - this is how WOW has always been right from vanilla
Funny you mention this OP, but I had the exact same experience this weekend in the exact same zone! As I was doing candy buckets I relived the old nostalgia of the eeriness of Duskwood (even though the old zones got changed in cata). And when I got to wetlands and heard the crickets it just reminded me how much better the old zones were.

They were actually varied and interesting before blizzard started even recycling the landscapes because they did not want to design anything "new."

Ah old world, how I miss thee. I really hate cataclysm and everything about it, especially what it did to the old world.
I, myself, recently spent some time in Deepholm... and while I know that zone was specifically designed with flight in mind, when I was doing a quest, I couldn't help but feel that being on the ground there was better than many of the zones we have had recently.
I think the real distinction is that the early zones were made and then the content added. They made a world, and populated it.

Today, it's the other way. They have a list of rides and attractions, and then build the world around it.

Also back then they really didn't have a handle on how the world "worked", how the players interacted with it, etc.

Back then, "running around" was "part of the game". Considering the dearth of flight masters and graveyards.

They were still steeped in the Vanilla experience when they did BC, but they were coming around in Wrath. The density certainly started to come up in Wrath (e.g. Ice Crown). It still had some wide open space, for sure, but with Grizzly Hills, Storm Peaks, Shalozar Basin, those were all pretty tight areas. Not as tight as Legion, but tight.

I think Hyjal and Deepholm were also examples of tight areas. I wouldn't know about Twilight Highlands -- I flew everywhere up there. The daily areas (I loved the Dwarf daily areas in TH) were pretty packed up with mobs.

MoP definitely had a mix as well. Some of the islands were pretty tight with mobs, the Vale was also. Those underground places were terrible. Timeless isle only really had a few safe paths, and even then folks were complaining of dazing and dismounts.

WoD had the Terrain. Jagged rocks, big roots. I hated navigating Frostfire ridge, for example.

Legion is certainly tight -- there really are no "wide open spaces" in the Broken Isles. Argus is a little better, notably Mac'Aree. But the others are just a train waiting to happen.
10/23/2017 01:04 PMPosted by Mahatma
I, myself, recently spent some time in Deepholm... and while I know that zone was specifically designed with flight in mind, when I was doing a quest, I couldn't help but feel that being on the ground there was better than many of the zones we have had recently.

I truly believe that, in zones designed on the assumption max level would bring flight, they had no incentive to create terrain mazes - they knew players would simply fly over ridiculous terrain. Now that they can ground us, they can troll us with all the ridiculous roads that go nowhere and unclimbable slopes that they want to, and call it immersion.
10/23/2017 10:58 AMPosted by Palpatine
They used to design worlds. Now they design questing zones.

Very well said! The older worlds (classic wow, BC and even Wrath) were so much more immersive to me because they felt like worlds. Playing on Argus I feel almost claustrophobic.

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