Rehashed or Reborn?

There’s so much QQ flying about I thought everyone rerolled mage.

“Cataclysm isn’t bringing new content, it’s just a rehash of old stuff that we’ve ALL seen before and don’t want to see again.”

First off, I would like to say that, NO, we haven’t ALL seen the content before.

Not all of us were in line buying WoW the day it was released in 2004, some of us are relatively new to the game.

Of those people that were there in 2004, how many have faithfully played through every patch up to current day?

WoW has a constantly fluctuating (and expanding) player base.

Just to illustrate, using data from an article at the International Business Times:

Subscriber Chart

For the first year or so after launch, WoW didn’t even have 6 million subscribers. That means at least half of us were not there and doing that back in the day with you old timers.

And I bet you had to walk uphill both ways, barefoot, in the snow just to wipe countless times in Molten Core. And you liked it!

Yup, us young whippersnappers have it good.

I think the veteran WoW community has a very twisted nostalgia going on.

We frequently hear that the new raids are too easy, that anyone can waltz into an instance and get their epics, raiding used to mean something back in the day. 40-man raids were where it was at. Bring back vanilla WoW servers!

But that’s invariable followed up by old raids are horrible, why would anyone want to go back there, the mechanics are boring, you could raid for weeks and never make any progress or see any rewards, everything was too grindy, getting 40 people on at the same time was a nightmare.

Or, the starting areas are empty, old world is a ghost town. I want to raid as a different class for a change of pace but it’s too much work to level another character.

I want to fly in old world and want blink to work. But I don’t want the developers to actually change anything in old world.

It’s only going to be 5 levels, why not 10? Leveling sucks ass.

You can’t have it both ways.

Stop giving lip service to both sides of the coin.

Blizzard has announced a revamp of Onyxia’s raid encounter for the 5th anniversary of the game.

Personally, I think this is fucking awesome.

I didn’t get to raid Ony when it was level appropriate (or any raid pre-Wrath). No one does Ony anymore. Why would you? Just move along to the Outlands and get better gear, nothing to see here.

So there she is, languishing in her cave with no one ever stopping in to say hello.

We finally dropped in for tea and scones to take a break from current content and pwned her. 2 of us. Killing a 40-man raid boss. For shits and giggles.

From a developer’s standpoint, she has outlived her usefulness. No one cares about her. She’s a relic.

The options are to remove her entirely from the game (which would piss off a bunch of people that enjoy raping dragons on a lazy Sunday afternoon), leave her in the game (so people can whine about wasted space or outdated content), or to bring her up on par with current content (which apparently irritates a bunch of people).

Blizzard has learned from their past.

I don’t think anyone is going to have to go get a bunch of fire resist gear (no more than you might currently collect frost resist for Hodir), because Blizzard learned that wasn’t fun.

I imagine she will still have a deep breath ability of some sort. That’s iconic of the fight (I’ve never even done the fight properly and I know about it) and can’t be dismissed.

The fight will probably be very similar, keep people out of the whelps, don’t stand in the fire, fear, etc. but will hopefully have some new twists.

This should be more than just buffing her level up to 83+.

Those of you that were there from the start get a fresh challenge off her with some nostalgic rewards and us new peeps get to see an approximation of what she was like in her prime.

To be honest, I hope this raid is fucking hard and all the old timers get destroyed when they go in. I would find that completely ironic and hilarious.

“But that’s not new content!”

Not entirely new, no, she isn’t – and wasn’t intended to be. Ony’s resurrection is part of a celebration. A permanent addition perhaps, but it’s something FUN.

Fun, you know, the reason we play the game?

What about Black Rock Spire?

Whole thing is going to blow up. Looks like we’ll lose Upper and Lower, probably Black Rock Depths, Molten Core, and Blackwing Lair.

The area is being recreated with new instances and raids to match the new lore.

“But that’s not new content!”

How is it not?

They are DESTROYING something and REPLACING it with something else.

Will it be themed similarly? Most likely. Doesn’t make much sense to change the whole lava/cave/rock/dragon theme to Disco Fever or something.

What is it that makes people think it’s not new content?

Is it because it’s in a place you’ve already explored on the map?

That’s like saying that when a store closes in the mall and is replaced by a different store that it’s not a new store because a store was already there.

Growing up, I knew the places around me; the places, the people.

I moved away. Several years later I returned for a visit.

It was like a completely different world. Nothing was the same. I was a stranger in my own hometown.

Thousand Needles flooded. Azshara redesigned for an entirely different level range. Barrens split in half.

“But that’s not new content!”

So, all new scenery, lore, quests, items, mobs, etc. isn’t new content?

Again, because it’s someplace on the map you’ve already been?

Is the definition of new content only opening up virgin territory on the map? /giggle, I said virgin.

If they moved all the new stuff to the middle of the Maelstrom and called it “New Exciting Bizzaro Azeroth Where You Can Fly” would that make it new content?

That’s not a good strategy for development. Eventually everyone ends up so far flung out and separated that you might as well be playing a single-player game. And people would be crying about the desolation (which they already are now).

We need a way to revitalize old world. Get people back there and not just standing on the shore of Northrend looking for the next new island (which people would bitch about because it’s not on the map right now).

Blizzard has learned a lot since they started this game and they want to take this opportunity to do things the way they would have done them if they knew then what they know now. (I think that sentence is grammatically sound, not sure.) Remember that they had little in the market to take best practices away from at the beginning and now they are the leader that others are looking to for inspiration.

They learned that new players might need a little more direction to keep going on quest lines (not everyone logs in and gets power leveled by a group of friends and not everyone is an elitist uber-gamer within 15 minutes of installing the game). They learned that having quest chains that force you to run around endlessly between zones isn’t fun. They learned that making it necessary to grind for advancement is boring.

New class/race combinations?

“But that’s not new content!”

Nope. It really isn’t, with the exception of the associated quests explaining how some of this came to be.

I’ve already talked about this, but I’ll recap.

Some races were really getting the short end of the stick on class representation, I mean tauren and gnomes had only 4 selections while other races enjoyed 5-6 – and the gnomes couldn’t even heal themselves! This is probably what has kept them from taking back Gnomergan all this time.

But ultimately, I think the addition of new class/race combinations is to facilitate the upcoming faction change process.

Not every change made to the game is going to be for our immediate enjoyment (ZOMG, not everything falls under the umbrella of “they buffed/nerfed my class”!), some changes are made to offer more options. Or would you prefer playing a game where all the elves are archers and all the humans are warriors? (Elf needs food badly!)

No one is forcing you to roll a new character if you don’t want. By all means, continue with your current selection of characters.

You’ll probably be done with Icecrown Citadel by then, so check out:

7 new zones

New dungeons: Grim Batol, Uldum, Deepholm, Skywall, Abyssal Maw, Blackrock Caverns – plus heroic versions of Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep

4 new raids: Grim Batol, Skywall, The Firelands, Blackwing Descent

Or how about the new daily quest hub of Tol’Barad, complete with Wintergrasp-style battles?

Path of the Titans? Is that not new enough?

Guild levels and advancement?

Reforging?

Skill mastery?

Archaeology?

Rated battlegrounds?

For there not being any new content in this upcoming expansion, things sure are going to be a lot different.

9 comments on “Rehashed or Reborn?

  1. Don’t forget Hyjal (sp?) in your 7 new zones.

    I have to admit, it’s getting harder and harder to actually come to work these days. I want to stay home and play all day. Luckily for me, my wife and my child I have the self control to come to work and make money. I know all of this stuff isn’t here and won’t be for a while, but it’s so exciting it makes me want to log in right now!

    You are completely 100% correct by the way. This has the potential to be the best expansion to date and I am super excited about it. Now I need to go do Ragnaros before he’s gone.

  2. jong says:

    Oh, look at you substantiating your point with charts and data.

    I think seeing the “old” contents again will be awesome too, because I joined the game mid-TBC.

  3. Hi! Just found your blog. I have to say I agree with you. Revamping old content, is new content. I mean if we take the stance of the QQers then I can say that Northrend is reusing content because I did all that in Warcraft 3. Heck they reused a lot of the same dialog. Thats like saying the culling of stratholme is reusing content…

    My concern is that things may be too different. Simplifying stats, changing the way talents work, archeology being very grindy for altaholics like me… and a guild leveling system that favors larger guilds unlike mine. If it is all done right it will be totally awesome… but with that many changes they may achieve just the opposite.

  4. Troutwort says:

    I too am a bit concerned about the “large guilds” being favored things. Why would someone stick with my little guild if they can off and get more “free-handouts” from a larger guild. I hope it’s done well and I also hoped the guild “leveling” isn’t solely based on raiding achievements.

    Simplifying of stats isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you look at some talent trees already there are talents that give 20% of spirit as spell power, 40% of intellect as mana regen, or whatever the crap the specific percentages are. Instead of having these as talents, they are simply rolling it into the base stats. Of course it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the end…but that wait and anticipation is half the excitement! (I’m pretty sure the other half is Worgen).

  5. chigatana says:

    As someone who has played since the first round of beta, I can tell you I think I’m MORE excited to see the old content reborn than people I know who haven’t. I have fond memories of these places and can’t wait to revisit their twisted corpses. That will be awesome! Plus, the Worgen look sweet!! Keep up the great blog, Arioch.

  6. Dark/Soth says:

    My understanding about the guild achievement and leveling is that it takes the top 20 players from every guild. So guilds that have lots and lots of people do not have an advantage over guilds with just 20 active people. Only the small social guilds are really affected negatively. I guess they had to set the number somewhere high enough so it would feel like a “guild” leveling together but not so small that you and a couple buddies could compete with the top guilds. 20 seems fair to me.

  7. smart001 says:

    As always, well said.

  8. gnomeaggedon says:

    Now, now Arioh.. it’s not that they don’t want the old world to return (or be rehashed) they just want it to be as easy as it currently is… Ony 2-manned… perfect… need 25? OMFG? What next thing you know you will want 40! (Which BTW I think they should do.. have the other raid sizes, but put in a 40 man raid.. just so people can experience the joy…. err nightmare of raiding with 39 others)

    Not everyone got to see the stuff.. I was there, but never saw it… Saw a little bit of Black Rock but nothing big… I wasn’t in a big guild, or high enough level and I certainly didn’t have 6 nights a week to contribute.

    Can’t…. Wait!

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