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Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Final Countdown (Day 20) :: All Bound for Mu Mu Land

STILL in an Alt's Quest Log. JUST IN CASE.

It has become something of a tradition around these parts to usher in a new Expansion with that, for the sake of this post, will now be referred to as a Pre-Patch Event. This has become de rigeur not simply to pave the way for new content, but in many cases to allow players vital time to adjust (or not, in my case) to new mechanics or changes to UI/Class abilities. This time around we have (potentially) a complete change to damage reporting and armour strength/ability 'squish' to deal with. On top of that, we're coming up for 10 Years of the Game. Anyone who think the pre-Expansion event this time around isn't going to be HONKING HUGE therefore is probably working on the assumption that Blizzard isn't working on getting as many people back into the game as possible: we're not just looking at new bums on seats either, this is squarely directed at you guys who are sitting there daily telling me how much you hate the game having unsubbed and how sad I am for being enthusiastic about it after nearly nine years.

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Anyway, there are a vast number of potential tools at the designer's disposal to make this event awesome... but you know what, I'm betting they won't need any of them, because if they just go back and re-create the 'classic' Scourge Invasion/Plague scenarios from years gone by, they're going to be onto a winner. Hang on, weren't people really upset about those back in the day? Yeah, but there wasn't The Walking Dead on TV then, was there? Zombies weren't A MASSIVE THING back then, were they? Having done a quick straw poll on Twitter back in the week, all we really need is Zombies plus Demons, especially Burning Legion ones, because The Burning Crusade really does shine very brightly in the hearts and minds of a good many players. Fortunate really, with all those portents from the Black Prince of the Legion on their way back. In fact, let's work on the theory that 'that name' that appeared in the Summer is on the money and that the details break down as follows:



THE DARK = INVASION FROM OUTER SPACE, LEGION INVASION
BELOW = UNDEAD RISE, NEW PLAGUE


Put it together and we have the means to utilise code from AGES ago, those who actually kept the Scourge Stones get a bonus for being really organised AND far-sighted [*], and everyone else gets to run around the World like a loon chasing down Zombies at their level range. Blizzard chuck a bone to everyone who can't get to the end of SoO in LFR and put some half-decent weapons up as rewards for some thematically-linked Scenarios, Lore Nerds rejoice as Queen Azshara arrives in her titular homeland hearing the Legion IS INCOMING and really gets nicked off at the Goblins for THAT mountain carving and starts a fight, and IT ALL GOES OFF. Don't tell me that isn't going to make everyone excited, because it did the moment all the speculation kicked off a few months ago. Blizzard know what you want, and how to get people back to their screens:

  • Tons of new 5 mans with levels of difficulty: Normal, Heroic (with Flex difficuty), Challenge Mode, plus items that change in iLevel each patch.
  • Scenarios that give Vanity Pet rewards/Crafting rewards.
  • Some kind of Quest line that will result in an UTTERLY COOL REWARD (mount, probably, or possibly a choice of mounts... actually...)

The standardisation of the Battle Chest to include Cataclysm and the rework of the Recruit-A-Friend system are significant in this context. Blizzard are making it a s simple as possible for people to play catch-up late. The Recruit-a-Friend system will now allow people to choose their rewards via a token system, and if that's going to happen then maybe those tokens will appear elsewhere, allowing people to decide what their reward is, rather than having to get what they're given. Freedom is choice, after all. Give people a great big place full of things they want but might have missed in patched gone by, then they have to MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS.

There's going to be a load of that in the next Expansion. Just you watch.

==

[*] I wouldn't put it past them. I really wouldn't.

1 comment:

dobablo said...

Zombies. Been done.
Zombie demons. Better and thematically correct.
Zombie demon ninja pirates! DINGDINGDING