Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What would I change about WoW? Part 1.

The announcement a couple of weeks ago of pets, mounts and achievements going account-wide has filled me with joy! Since I like to play a lot of alts, it will be wonderful to have all mounts and pets accessible to each toon, as well as to have one unified achievement count for my entire account. I do not personally consider repetitive grinds to be good gameplay, although I understand that this is not such a problem for other players.

Now I've only been playing for a year, but in that time I have formed some thoughts on other changes that would improve my quality of life in-game. I'll start small here in Part 1, and in Part 2 will make some bigger (and perhaps controversial) suggestions.

The first five points will focus on making old content relevant. I am not one of those people who thinks that WoW will crash and burn at any minute. However, I don't think that unused and irrelevant content, littered all over the game, gives a good impression of a thriving MMO. Furthermore, I think that many people, myself included would be happy to revisit older content if it were worth our time (meaning: gives us shinies and gold!).

1. Cooking and fishing dailies for all of the base Horde and Alliance factions. One way to increase population in dead zones like Silvermoon City would be to introduce dailies in those areas. In addition, adding portals to each capital city from Orgrimmar/Stormwind would make travel to all of the daily locations easy. What would make me want to do all of these new dailies? While leveling, I would like the experience and the reputation gained towards the Ambassador achievement. Beyond that, I would like to see better rewards than are currently available for the existing faction dailies. One skill point per daily could be replaced by 5, as you get for the Darkmoon Faire dailies. Fishing rewards that contain pets or decent amounts of gold (as is the case for Outlands and Dalaran fishing dailies) would be a huge improvement over the Bag of Vendor Trash that we currently get. It would also be awesome if the chef's awards from these faction dailies could go towards the chef's hat, which you can now only get from cooking dailies done in Dalaran.

2. While I'm speaking of abandoned zones, how about the Isle of Quel'danas? I don't have any pictures of it as I've probably only spent an hour or so actually playing there. It's a shame, because it's a beautiful place. I remember how excited I was when my first toon dinged 70 and could take to port in Shattrath City to the Isle...only to find that the dailies there gave little XP compared with Northrend, and are focused on a now-irrelevant progression towards opening up old dungeon and raid instances. I would love to see the content made relevant again, even if just by increasing the XP and gear rewards so that a few rounds of dailies could substitute for the first couple of levels in Northrend for those of us who are getting bit tired of Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord.

3. And one more abandoned zone: the Argent Tournament. As with the Isle of Quel'Danas, I was so excited when my first toon got that letter in the mail inviting her to participate! I chose my faction, completed quests all over Northrend and learned to joust until I could beat those damned Boneguard Commanders. Visions of mounts and pets and heirloom gear kept me going until my toon became Exalted Champion of Orgrimmar...and then I realized that I would have to do all of this again with the other four factions, becoming exalted with them as well, before I could open up the rewards vendor. That is when I gave up in disgust. Let me also point out that during the month or so that I was playing the Tournament, I saw maybe 5 other players doing the same, and Drak'Thul is a high population server. Why? Too much work, too few rewards. My suggestion would be to reduce the process to one run through the quests to achieve Champion, as that is plenty. Or, maybe making some of the rewards available as the toon becomes Champion with each faction, rather than only getting access to the rewards after completing the entire insane grind.

4. What's another near-useless feature in WoW? Gear vendors! I would love to see affordable, level-appropriate vendor gear available throughout the game. It's kind of sad that everytime you level up and enter a new area, the vendors are offering the same crap you bought in the starting zone? It's like an Azeroth-wide flea market. At the very least, shouldn't armorers and weaponsmiths in the capital cities be offering the latest (level-appropriate) fashions? This could also serve as a reward for achieving leveling milestones; I would love to be able to buy a super cool piece of gear from vendors only when I hit leveling milestones such as 20, 30 40 etc. It would also be nice if existing vendor gear were useful for transmog: the Battered Leather set above looks pretty sweet for example, but doesn't have stats so it's completely worthless past level 20 or so.

5. Another underutilized population of NPCs are the justice point vendors for the two oldest expansions. I believe this is mainly because the ridiculously low JP rewards for Burning Crusade and Wrath dungeons do not allow players to collect enough JP while leveling to actually purchase this gear while it is still useful. Old JP gear is also beautifully suited for transmog, like the shoulders that Wapsi is wearing in the above picture which were purchased from the JP vendor in Shattrath City. I would like to see Blizzard provide the same JP rewards for all dungeons from BC to Cata, which would make it possible to make use of earlier expansion JP gear before endgame.

That's the end of part one. I feel that so far, most players would generally agree with these suggestions, even if they don't agree with the potential solutions. Most of us would be more than happy to be able to enjoy all of the content in the game. My next 5 suggestions, however, deal with making that content more accessible, which not everyone may agree with.

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