So I haven’t posted about WoW in some time as I took a few months away from the game – I was burnt out and didn’t expect to be coming back, but a very convincing friend of mine drew me back in (although what is up with the Scroll of Resurrection? I can’t have played since March 2012? That’s pretty intense.)
However Blizzcon just wrapped up and I have been reading about it – now that I am playing WoW again. I have very, very high hopes for this upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor. I think this can bring a big following back to WoW. Here’s a few reasons why:
1. Character models are sexy as hell. The new models are badass and gorgeous and do the old models justice. I am really excited to see the trolls, whom I am hoping will be a bit bulkier. I think this would have been a nice time to spruce up the blood elves and draenei a little (I firmly support slim blood elf males without the goofy anvil-chest), but I just want to make an army of dwarves right now since those guys are so fucking beautiful. LOOK AT THE BEARDS, people!
2. The new world is gorgeous and well-needed. A return to space was in the works, but this is a take on it which will have both nostalgic elements (in a cool backwards time-travelly way) and gorgeous new locales in the vein of Pandaria and the Cataclysm zones. The choice of setting, Draenor, will lead to very rich storytelling and a chance to meet some fascinating characters. The zones look beautiful, the characters intriguing, and I think with a good bad guy at the end you can really encourage people to check out the game (Arthas and Illidan were obvious big draws for their first expansions – even if Illidan didn’t last the whole way through, he was still a really cool villain to have).
3. The gear changes. This might actually be what I am most excited about implementing, since the game is going old-school in an even bigger way. We have an old-school world and setting with original characters from way back (which will lead to some really cool interaction), but we also have old-school design philosophies making a comeback. The item changes documented at Blizzcon mention an item squish to make things stop getting quite so out of hand (very much needed) at high levels with crazy health and such, and the changes to equipment are FABULOUS. Dungeons & Dragons totally does this so well, and that’s having interesting equipment with fun bonuses. The ones they talk about – Sturdiness, Lifesteal, Speed, gem slots – all sound like perfect implementations of that policy, and they make armour another very special part of your character, since people can wind up with slightly different versions of stuff – just like with talents! I am really pumped to see this happen.
There’s a lot more stuff, but I am very excited to see the gear changes: they truly sound like efforts to create a more diverse set of equipment that nevertheless retains its basic properties, and makes sense. By removing the extra stats like hit and expertise (and taking dodge and parry off armour), you eliminate a lot of the extra work that players went through in optimizing their characters and instead focus on more interesting elements. In my mind, it makes perfect sense that a priest should be able to heal and DPS in the same robes, or a druid could wear the same leather armour to improve their healing and bear-form-tenderizing. The magic equipment is like a general power-augmentation: it may have certain special properties, and we’ll still see unique jewelry and trinkets and cloaks and such (which DO make sense to have different effects as accessories) but the design philosophy has me sold!