Friday, November 30, 2012

The Whole Game

Your Faction May Vary.

This is a Spoiler for the 5.1 Legendary Questline.

No, I didn't hide it under a cut or anything, I am a naughty Godmother. Those of you paying attention will notice that it is asking you to win battles in the two new PvP Battlegrounds.

I am also guessing that this is going to make a few people unhappy.

The Legendary, (allegedly) must have PvE item for this expansion will require you to PvP. Heck, this entire Patch has locked the first retooled skin of items from Vanilla (the Gryphon/Wyvern) behind daily quests that are themed around a PvP fight. If you needed reminding, this is Blizzard telling us that this game is called the World of WARCRAFT and that's what you're going to do, fight each other, whether you like it or not. Those of us who baulked at the supposedly 'Epic' cinematic as the might of their Faction's fleet spewed their power onto the beach in Krasarang, and who wonder why we can build something so unsympathetically NOT Pandarian so fast whilst Stormwind's towers remain still ravaged by Deathwing, are really not best pleased with this turn of events.

It would appear, as we've already seen Blizzzard force people into LFR (at minimum) to complete Part One, that we can expect to play the whole game to earn our Orange Loot.

The setup at Lion's Landing is also interesting: we are seeing an extension of the situation that began with the Tillers. You can 'buy' items to begin quests as a way to use commendations once (presumably) you've spent all that you need on gear upgrades: however I'm not sure that's the way to solve a long term issue in terms of redundant currencies. Had this situation existed in the Firelands Dailies for instance I'm not sure I'd have wanted to use my spare World Tree marks like that, ideally I'd have liked to transfer them to a lower placed alt so that they could benefit from items I'd already outgrown on my main. I know Blizzard are keen never to give us a tied 'pool' of Valor or Justice, but what's stopping that happening with secondary currencies? If I work to get Exalted on my main and then have no need for the marks, why can't I send them to someone who could use them? It worked really well with the Wintergrasp marks, which you could convert to Honor and send across account...

Needless to say, I'm very glad I'm on a PvE realm.

What this quest does do is set up some interesting speculative possibilities as to what we can be expected to do in 5.2 and beyond. I'll bet it'll involve Scenarios, which it appears have replaced the cinematic cut scene as the go-to item of choice for storytelling this Expansion. The basic 'construction' mechanic at work in the 'A Little Patience' scenario for the Alliance is one I'd also expect to see repeated as we progress. I liked what I saw, and it is clear Blizzard are pushing the envelope in terms of new ways to make old tasks more interesting. I'd also expect to see us in going back to a 'Classic' instance next patch around (I note people are already making their list of Battle Pets they'd like from the second generation of 40 man instances) I reckon Karazhan's ripe for a revisit (and could fit into the lore slot quite well considering the involvement of Warlockery in 5.1) In fact, I'd like to wager this large sack of gold on that being exactly where we'll be going.

Without spoiling 5.1 for anyone who's going to take part, the item you'll end up with at the end of the quest line is fairly inextricably tied up with Outland. If you don't know your lore, it might be an idea to do some reading. Considering both ZA and ZG got the revamp treatment last time around, it would make logical sense to see Kara 'update' to accommodate not simply new content, but a new slew of Battle Pets and Scenarios to boot. If we're going to be moving at the faster pace that Blizzard seem to have ascribed to, I'd expect to hear details of that after Christmas. I wonder where we'll see the new Raid take part as a result... ^^

I'm still a long way off from completing Part One of my Legendary questline, but I'll keep plugging away at my Sigils in LFR until it happens. If you're setting foot in this endeavour, be aware that you're going to be asked to show your commitment to the game in all its forms. If even the thought of stepping foot into a Battleground fills you with dread, it might be time to consider your options...


Jonathan said...

Oh no, it's the Children's Week achievement all over again. This is going to go down like a bucket of cold sick with both 'I don't do PvP' people and 'I don't want to do PvP with noobs' people.

The forums are going to drown in tears...

Anonymous said...

What's that, Godmother dearest? There's "compulsory" PVP in 5.1? I must go and read the patch notes more clearly ;-)

Scenarios are a great change for the game - we took a CC "Trialler" out one a bunch of them last night and the whisper afterward was "that's probably the most fun I've had in this game in a long time".

I must admit that I'm a little disappointed that they didn't open in sequence, or as the result of getting to a certain point in a quest chain so you get a more linear feel to them. I'd like to be able to earn my new scenario sessions, not just queue for them.

It would certainly (as you allude to above) add a great storytelling element to the game and it's nice not having traditional roles of tanks, dps and healer.

I feel that they're a tad easy - a bit more team mechanics would be lovely, even if it was nothing harder than (as per the Klaxxi bonus boss) having to get one person to lie down whilst the other one kneels to reveal the boss.

In my ideal world, given that they're rather trivial to defeat, they'd consider making them more like challenges, with rewards contingent upon success in certain objectives/timescales whilst on the scenario. It bodes well though that as a result of the playstyle, they can just add more and more content without too much hard work on tuning for groups/requiring defined roles.

I'd also love for them to revisit some of the older content with scenarios and bask in the glory of some old school lore. Revisiting Icecrown or Naxxramas a little, heading back to Outland to battle a few demons, or even popping back to good old Stormwind to (finally) put the city walls back into some semblance of order.

At the very least, some scenarios that unlocked some of the older cutscenes so you could immerse yourself in the lore of the old world....

dobablo said...

There is no warlockery in 5.1. It was cut on release day because they hadn't finished the quest chain. :(

Not sure about the comment on forcing people to LFR for their legendary, considering that all previous activity required actions in full raids.

Finally, the commendations are not used to purchase gear. They can be used to but portals, very long quests, buffs, NPCs to guard the PvP objectives or a mini-pet.

The Godmother said...

There is Warlockery in the Legendary Questline. I'm aware the Warlock QUESTLINE has been removed for the green flame, that wasn't my reference.

I've read people complaining they are forced into LFR for the questline, I'll try and find the source later...

Kamalia said...

Ugh... I don't PvP unless there's something I really REALLY want out of it. I suppose this qualifies.

But before I can brave the battlegrounds a few times, I have to have several more lucky weeks in LFR because I am still a long way from having enough Sigils to complete the 5.0 part of the legendary questline.

Chris AKA StupidGoldTweet said...

Agree completely that your marks should be BoA, but then again a lot of things should be BoA. "Play the toon you want, the way you want" is what they said right?

As for being "forced" into LFR, people have been claiming to be forced into LFR for many reasons. Most of those reasons boil down to their desire to have more gear quicker. If you want more gear you work for it. If LFR is the way you choose to work, so be it.

It's possible that since the sigils drop in LFR as well, folks who don't realize the quest line will span the expansion and they don't need to finish each part tomorrow think they HAVE to do LFR to get them more quickly.

I love the idea of Battle Pets on Kara bosses. I bought The Fiery Warhorse off the BMAH and am kind of sad I don't have a reason to do my weekly Kara visit anymore.