Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WoW 2.0 - How would you design it?

If they where going to give warcraft a complete reboot with a new engine they would most likely have to make a completely new game.  What would you like to see happen with the new design?  Anything goes of course being this is a complete remake so you are not constricted by things we currently know.

1) Leveling:
- I would make leveling take time again.  BoAs would not be server bound with the redesign so if people are looking to level alts fast they will use BoAs but first timers should never be able to speed level on the first character they ever play.
- I would make sure that it would be impossible to out level a questing area just by questing.  There should be a more intelligent flow to quest design where quests alone will not speed you though an area to fast.
- Dungeon experience would be minimal.  No more people leveling through dungeons only unless they want it to take three years to level their characters.  People complain about no one being out in the real world, well give them no choice, if you want to level the place to do it is out in the real world.

2) Quests:
- All races would have race specific quests.  Something simple that tells them about the history of their race while doing it.  Would be nice lore for new players to know more about the race they are and for older players who just happen to like that stuff.
- Class specific quests.  Something like the new rogue legendary dagger quests, but of course not as demanding for people just learning.  Just a few quests that they are required to do to learn new abilities, so you know, they actually learn how to play, even a little bit.  Make the quests tied to leveling as well.  If you do not complete the quest you can not level.
- Cookie cutter questing.  Collect 10 bear meat.  Kill 10 arctic wolves.  You get the idea.  Something that is not expansion specific so it does not need to be redesigned or become outdated so easily.  This is forward thinking so they do not put themselves in the position they just have by designing the entire old world around deathwing and deathwing is now dead making all the redesigning they did useless.  I saw this coming, I am sure you saw this coming, how did a multi million dollar company not see this coming?
- Expansion specific quests.  Just like they phase in holiday quests, each expansion they can phase in quest lines all throughout the leveling process and the new areas added that are expansion specific.  These quests would give less experience but better, more current in concept, rewards.  It would also mean that all new areas would not be known as only "BC" areas once their time has passed.  They would still be current, just their expansion specific quests would have been removed.

3) Professions:
- All professions should have dailies.  All dailies would offer tokens.  You would need tokens to get most patterns all throughout the leveling process.  Trainers would only offer a small amount of patterns for training.  Tokens would be needed for leveling.  Yes, I know, you can yell at me now if you want because this would kill power leveling in one day.  Either way, I think it is better design.
- Material allotment would need to be more balanced.  Need 6 herbs for a potion you can get them by picking 3 flowers.  Need 6 bars for a pattern, you can get that by mining 6 nodes.  Need 6 heavy savage leather for a pattern, you need to kill 30 beasts to skin.  Not exactly balanced don't you think?
- Profession leveling can still be done with only trainer patterns but it would not be as efficient.  See, you don't have to yell at me.  All the things that are trainer type things should be reusable items that can be sold.  Armor kits, belt buckles, sewing kits, etc. so if you really wanted to you can skip buying patterns for items you will never make or even have the need to make but you will have everything needed that you will need from your profession.
- Old materials would always have a use.  Like inscription for the most part where peacebloom can be milled and turned into a glyph that is still needed for end game, all professions should have things like that.  Tailors might need sewing kits that require wool, or mageweave or something even for the newest of new patterns.  Making professions more useful as a whole and making almost all materials useful forever.
- Leather and mail armor over 40 split into two separate professions with blacksmithing and its under 40 mail being split with the new mail armor profession.

4) Dungeons:
- All dungeons would be scaled in groups of 5.  If a dungeon is introduced at level 15 it will be a level 15 dungeon but also a level 20, 25, 30, etc.
- Gear would scale according to the level of the instance.
- The instance would always be the highest possible level instance when entered based on the lowest party member.  Interesting turn of events for high level characters, they would not need a low level so they can get in to farm wool as opposed to a low level needing the high level to run them through.
- At max level, all instances would always have a heroic version with current gear.
- Gear will always scale in heroics with the current raid tier.  IE:  This expansions started with 346 items when valor bought 359.  When valor bought 378s, all the heroics would have been upgraded to drop 365s.  Now with 397s being bought for valor all heroics should drop 384s, or being there is now a new raid tier that is 384, 378s.
-  These changes will mean all content is always current content and always useful content for new and gearing players.

5) Raids:
- Would be designed just like dungeons are.  A level 85 AQ 40 would be a lot of fun, and if it where scaled like everything else is, it would not need to be "remade" it would always adjust with the content patch.
- All raids will have multiple increments of player requirements.  Every and all raids will have a 10, 15, 20, 25, and 40 version.
- Older raids will always drop gear just under the current starter raid gear for the expansion.  IE: This expansion started with 359 gear dropping from the starting raids so all older raids, normal or heroic, would drop 353 gear.
- Legendary weapons will need to be changed with this because of the fact the raids scale.  This means all legendary weapons would need to scale as well.  Being the older raids are always under the new expansion raids in terms of item level the older legendary weapons would now have an extended life even not a long one, perhaps only into the first raid tier at most.  This would insure however that legendaries are indeed legendary and can at least always be used when your reach max level before you enter a raid to get a new weapon.

6) Achievements:
- Lots more of them, all with the intention of creating artificial content.  Things like fish up 1000 fish in darkshore.  It would get people, at least achievement hunters, out in the world a little more often.
- PvP based achievements as well.  All hubs should have a king type figure in a room guarded by max level +5 elite characters away from the quest givers as to not interfere with leveling players to much.  Killing them, or defending against an attack against them, would offer a reward like honor but not spendable.  It would be for bragging purposes only and of course, achievements.  There would be zone wide grouping for a feature like this so raids could be any size.  Anyone in the predesignated zone would get credit for the kill or the defense.
- Gathering achievements that are not profession based, so all have access to it.  Collect and turn in 100 pristine hides looted from wolves.  There would be various ones for various levels of wolves.  The hides would be turned in at a major cities collector of said items.  Collect feathers, seeds, essences, etc.
- The myriad of things that can be added using the achievement system as artificial content is staggering, and it should be done in 2.0.  Heck it should be done now.
- The advantage of this system is adding to it is easy.  Once everyone had caught 100 fish, add an achievement for 250, then 500, then 1000, etc.

7) PvP:
- In an effort to bridge the gap in PvP resilience has been removed completely as a stat.  This way no one is at a disadvantage, outside of their own skill, should they wish to start PvPing and good PvPers will still be PvPers even without PvP gear.
- More encouragement for PvP has been added by removing honor and conquest as they are just justice and valor now.  It would allow people to gear up faster which in turn would bring out people that might not normally PvP into it as a different way to earn their justice and valor.  The best way to turn someone on to PvP is to show them how fun it can be. 
- Honor will continue to be counted for statistic purposes from honorable kills but not as a form of currency.
- The fun in PvP is in world PvP and all efforts will be made to bring that back full force.
- A reward system, like mentioned in achievements, would try to make fighting in the world more appealing.  Also, city kings would provide a 6 hour buff to anyone that participated in a kill or defense meaning that the more you kill or defend the more powerful you become for the time being making you want to continue fighting.  The buff will persist though death but will not be active while in any dungeon, raid, battleground or arena.
- Various open air arenas will be added world wide with prizes based on a six hour loop which counts the killing blows and deaths of everyone that has participated in that time frame and giving the reward to the person with the best kill to death ratio with over 100 combined kills and deaths.  Being this is a six hour loop and counts everything, you can participate whenever you have time and have just as much chance of winning as anyone else.  As guessed, this is also with the hope that some of the killing might spread out into the world.

8) Concept Design:
- Everything will be designed with the concept that it is intended to be expanded upon.  No more dead ends in professions, quests, timeline, personal progression, etc.
- Everything will be designed to last.  Nothing will be put into the game as a permanent feature or quest line unless it fits the game at its point in progression so when the next expansion comes out there is no a gaping holes in leveling that just does not fit any more.
- Phasing will be used in older areas to give high level players new quest zones in old areas allowing for not only more content but a sense of connection to an area.  Instead of leveling in one area from 20-25 and never seeing it again you might find yourself there in a quest line in your 40s, 60s, and again in your 80s, meaning the area is a vital part of your world and not a been there and done that area that once you finish it you never see it again.

9) World:
- Two new continents have been added, and more are on the way.  What we know of the world is only a small piece of it, there is a much bigger world out there.  When new races are added, their continent will become active.
- The new continents will also have full quest zones and lines so you can level in just those areas and never step foot into kalimdor or eastern kingdoms.
- Each new continent will have at least one alliance and one horde main city that will be connected to the main hubs of SW and org though flight or boat or port.
- The world will be designed to constantly expand and not all new areas added to the game will always be new leveling areas.  Old leveling areas will be added to give the history of the new races within their quest lines.

10) Future:
- Level cap of 2.0 is 50.
- Each expansion will extend on that by 5.
- Professions will cap at 500 at 50 and 550 at 55 so they will keep the pace of 10 skill points per level.
- There will not be a huge gear jump between expansions to keep inflation in check. This also means end game raiders can ride their end game gear all the way to the new cap in some cases but everyone else can still move on fluid as if they have not missed a beat or feel they need the new expansion gear ASAP to even do the quests.
- Each expansion will have 4 raid tiers and be two years apart.  The start raid, and 3 raids in six month intervals.
- Each raid will have at least 12 bosses of increasing difficulty to make the raids last longer and feel more complete.
- Raids must be unlocked. Once one guild has defeated the first 4 bosses the next 4 will be opened the following week.  Meaning that even the most advanced raiders will take 4 weeks before they can even see heroic content.  This will also mean the race for world first will be 8 weeks at the absolute minimum.  On raids with more then 12 bosses, the unlock time will take even longer, perhaps even a 1 boss per week basis on any bosses past 12.

That is all I have for now.  I think some of them are solid ideas and truthfully I could support a change like this being made.  It would suck to lose everything I know about WoW and start new but for a better over all design it might be worth it.

Perhaps they could add that you can transfer any level 85 (or whatever is max at the time) to a 50 in WoW 2.0 the transition would be smoother and upset fewer people.  Remember, people hate change.

I would like to see them add a lot of other things like AoE looting, which is long over due and more world events such as world bosses that actually have an impact on the game and can not just be killed by one single geared and competent raid group.

The possibilities are endless if they ever decide to do this but sadly I do not see it happening and even if it does I see them making the same mistakes they have made already.  It is worth thinking about for fun however.  How would you design 2.0?


  1. I think BoA are poisonous for leveling experience, and should be avoided at all costs.

    If you want faster leveling for alts, sell "extra xp for a hour" flasks for Justice Points. Maybe add level-scaling strength/agility/intellect flasks, but nothing using item slots so that you can obtain actual upgrades in quests/dungeons as you level. Still bound to account so that it will feel as perk of reaching max level (instead of just a thing you grab on AH).

    You can have quest xp rewards to be somewhat trivial, and huge rewards for completing zone quest chains. Something like 20/80% total xp split. That would solve outleveling quest areas by questing.

    Current reward of extra xp for "random dungeon" unnecessarily inflates xp gains, ans should be removed. Satchel of useful goods is good enough already, they really overcompensated on incentives when they introduced Dungeon Finder.

    As for the rest, those are fairly big overhauls of current system requiring alot of upfront and maintenance efforts. Nothing stands out to me as inherently wrong though, those options can work.

  2. Mmmmmm WoW 2.0. Something I have dreamed of for ages (since the introduction of LK infact).
    WoW needs more in-leveling training, more socialisation and a shite-load more reward/punishment for good/bad behavior.

    1. Experience required to level to 85 INCREASED VASTLY. No longer will you be able to out level a zone just by doing 1/2 the quests. You will need to do the quests in at least 2 equal level zones.
    1b. Reduction in exp gain the longer someone quests.
    ie 100% 0-2hrs, 80% 2-3, 60% 3-4 etc.
    Prevent people from power leveling for 8 hrs straight. Heirlooms would be a workaround that removes this restriction. Questing as a group would also remove this.

    2. Bring back world Elites that HURT. Have quests that require grouping, or that require thinking out of the box (trapping, kiting, CC etc) in order to suceed. Rewards of course are also suitably better.

    3. Make it so that you can only group with people +/- 5 levels of you, so you cant be carried by 85's.
    Ditto with tag & kill tactics.

    4. Elites and group quests give blue quality gear.

    5. Reduce dungeon exp, make leveling dungeons difficulty matter (no more steamrolling low level dungeons with ones brain switched off - make dungeons require a proper healer/tank/cc.)

    6. Make rewards from equivalent level quests be of green quality, elite quests low blues and dungeons high blues.
    Get back to the concept of:
    More effort = More reward.
    More cooperation = more reward.

    7. Low level dungeons have Max level restrictions. Once you exceed the level requirements, you have to wait till you get to 85 to do them again as 85 normals or 85 heroics - applies for all dungeons.

    8. #7 would tie in nicely to the idea that crafting matts never go out of style, and linen/wool/copper/tin/peacebloom/light leather are still required for high level crafting. Keep the economy for low level mats alive. Possibly making farming a viable leveling method if one is short on gold.

    9. Item level squish (blizz will have to do this anyway). Make the 'curve' linear, or at least a very shallow exponential curve. Doing T6 content at appropriate level may be worth it if you can then use the gear for another 10 or so levels without having to replace it.

    10. As leveling takes a long time (a big time/effort investment) make it possible to change classes at any point: But a class change costs gold, Must follow your race restrictions (eg gnome mage to warrior ok, but not mage to paladin) and you lose x% of your levels permanently. (25%? 50%?)

    11a. 5 mans are now 6 mans to accomodate more dps. (or even 2 healers)
    11b. 10 man raids become 12 mans.
    11c. 25 man raids become 24 mans - making it easier to convert 2 small raids into a big one.

    12. Once you hit maxx level.
    All the low end dungeons will open up as 'normal' 85's, with a difficulty curve that matches their original level. eg a 85 normal wailing caverns is one of the easiest, but a 85 Sunken Temple is harder.
    Same for Heroic.
    Essentially make 5/6mans the casual end game, and reserve 12/24 mans for fulltime raiders.

    13. Have 2 not 1 tier between heroic gear and top level raid gear.

    14a. Much slower badge rewards tied in with a far greater selection of dungeons to run.
    14b. Smarter dungeon loot distribution. ie when there are no leather wearers in the group, reduce or remove the % drop chance of leather gear.

    15. Some method in LFG to rate/rank your random colleagues. Continual bad ranking due to poor play or bad behavior has penalties. Penalties that are shared across ALL account characters.

    I could go on,
    But I should probably stop there. :)

    Ellifain formerly of Khaz'Goroth.

  3. You will find that people have a lot of different opinions, even contradicting ones, on what they find OK in WoW and how would they change the things they don't.

    1) Take away the "of" from "endgame". Or even make endgame similar to midgame and stress the difference between opening and midgame.

    Example for a game with 50 levels:
    1-10 would be a training zone, similar to current WoW's 1-10 but easier to play as I've heard the starting zones are actually quite difficult for non-skilled players.
    10-20 would be a training extension, including first forays into dungeons and PvP. The expected time to level from 10 to 20 would be longer than it is in WoW at the moment but not by much.
    20-50 would be split. First, there would be options to quest to max level with a couple of group quest lines and PvP ones.
    Second, there would be a PvE route starting with simple dungeons and eventually expanding to raids starting at about 30. The dungeons would be short (less than a hour) or allow easy player replacement in short intervals without impeding the party much. In a similar manner, raiders would be able to switch groups in a lockout so guild that have enough raiders for multiple groups would be able to do more runs without having to divide the raiders permanently.
    Third way would be PvP; however the PvP progress would be reversed from the original WoW, with large battlegrounds and sieges being an equivalent of PvE's raids while smaller BGs and arenas would serve more casual PvPers.

    Players would be able to switch between the modes on will, however gear would be optimal for the mode it was obtained from, so there would be a small performance penalty for doing a mode you are not geared for.

    Note that despite the ability to switch, all modes would be self-sustained so players can play PvP exclusively without having to gather consumables or make money in solo mode.

    2) Decrease power gain from levels and gearing. Characters would take much more time to become unbeatable to what was their equals, even order of magnitude compared to current WoW. This is not related to how often characters level up but as an example if a single level takes days /played, even a single level might suffice for the characters' power difference to be big enough for the higher to be unbeatable, if a level takes a couple of minutes, then it takes a lot of them for the difference to be big enough.

    3) Decrease the gearing and leveling speed. The characters would take much more time to fully upgrade their gear and in a similar manner, having a max level character would be quite an achievement. Thanks to the previous points, this would be much less of a concern than in the original WoW as the power difference would be much lower and players would engage in raids or sieges while leveling.

    I'm not sure whether this would go well with non-Koreans. (*cough* Lineage and Ragnarok *cough*)

    4) Questing: Similar to current WoW, the majority of quests would be contained in questlines, however the questlines would be much shorter (up to 20) and the leveling zones would contain several of them each arranged in a roughly sequential order. This would allow the players to see the end of all quest lines they started without overleveling them even if they level through PvE/PvP too.

    5) Similar to TOR and other games, the quests would be able to offer multiple options leading to branches in a quest line. However, the choice would only affect the quest line flow and ending, not other quest lines. (I. e. no light/dark points mechanic as I'm afraid it would promote considering the point gain before actual answers.)

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  5. 6) PvE and PvP grouping: Both of them would have two separate paths, one tuned for temporary groups (dungeons/BGs), the other one for semi-permanent groups (raids/sieges). The players could either progress horizontally or vertically.

    7) Temporary groups would include a way to rank the group members. There might be some rewards for being continuously ranked as a good player but more importantly, the system would attempt to put people who mutually ranked each other into a group. (If possible, a friend-of-friend feature would be nice as well.) It would be also possible to offer to "realm pull" a player to your guild or even "double realm" them so they can stay in contact with their friends on the original realm even if they join your guild.

    (In the previous post, there were some comments about PvP at this point but I removed them as it was not well thought over.)