All games need to develop and adapt. Even different games take from them things that existed in games of the same type earlier and update them to the times.
Take, for example, rift with how it handles quest items. If you get something you are supposed to use for a quest it does not take up bag space, it goes in your quest log, if you have to collect items for a quest it does not go in your bag, it goes in your quest log.
Simple things handled simple ways shows progress in making a game better and while something like that is so small and would go unnoticed by many it is a huge advance in how this type of game is played from a quality of life standpoint. The question is, what concepts are dated and what should be updated. Lets start with those quest items as I give my opinions.
Quest Items: (The Items)
As in the example above it shows that quest items can be handled a different way. How many of us were questing years ago and noticed that our bags seemed to be full with quest items all the time?
Lets face it, when you are leveling your bag space is limited. When one quest giver sends you to pick up four flowers, each taking a bag space and another gives you an item to use on 12 mobs and collect items, taking up 2 additional spaces, all when you are level 12 and most likely only have your starter bag and maybe a 6 slot bag if you got lucky, having 6 bag spaces clogged up like that is a real hassle.
If it were not for rift showing us how it could be done so well we might not know how it should be done but being we see how it can be done it should be done like that.
My Verdict: Without a doubt, how quest items are handled is a dated concept that needs to be changed.
Quest Items: (The Drops)
Gone are the days of spending six hours hunting down nightsabers for a few pelts. Any of us that ever did the quest I am talking about will know what I mean. Going up and down the coast killing nightsabers like a mad man for hours on end two or three days in a row just to complete that one quest. You would out level the quest by the time you turned it in because you spent so much time killing them and this is well before heirloom gear giving you extra experience, it was just the shear amount you needed to kill that got you that experience.
Either way, enough of the nightmarish trip down memory lane, blizzard has updated it. Some. There are still a few quests that seem to have low drop rates and some of them just happen to be our new dailies. Bad enough funneling everyone into the same area on the same quest but asking them to collect 5 of something from a slow respawn mob with a horrible drop rate and many people doing it at the same time is just not fun for anyone.
The low drop rate quests time has come and gone. In a game that has changed in an effort to funnel you to the end game as soon as possible it means there is no longer a need for low drop rates. There is no longer a need to have you gain your experience killing as many mobs as possible. There is no longer a reason to keep you busy with mundane tasks. There is much more to do in the game now. So much so that keeping people busy with low drop rates, while level or doing quests at max level, is not good design any more.
My Verdict: It is time for 100% drop rates on quest items. If the game wants us to collect 5 and it have a 25% drop rate, just change it to 100% drop rate and ask us to collect 20 instead. It would be better design.
Some call this a great idea and others call it a horrible one. I can see both sides of the argument because both sides have a valid point. But is the tagging design a thing of the past, is it dated?
Blizzard seems to think so, to some extent. The end boss of a quest line is now what we call a shared kill. Anyone that even gets one shot in gets credit for the kill or can loot the item from it. This was a big change and it fits the design that blizzard seems to be heading toward. Moving people to max level faster with less waiting time and more playing time. It also works for dailies, you can do more if you are not waiting forever for your turn to attack an end quest line mob.
But is it time for it to move further and go to all mobs? I am not exactly sure the game should ever move that way unless they completely change how looting is designed. For example, say I am on my hunter and I am farming for motes or what have you and I have 20 mobs on my pet and I am AoEing them down and just as they are about to die some melee class comes running in, tags them all with one AoE move and then bends and loots before I can because they are right there and I am at range when I was the one that did all the work gathering them and all the work killing them and they only came in for their one shot and took all the loot that I worked for. So no, I do not see this working on a greater scale, as is at least.
Perhaps a combination of the two needs to be added to the game. Shared kills like end quest mobs and mob tagging. Whoever tags the mob gets the loot but whoever helps gets credit for the kill, if they are on the quest, or the ability to look a quest item, if they are on the quest. Whomever attacked the mob first should always be the person that gets the loot. That could even be adjusted now for those end quest ones.
This would actually inspire people to help each other because it helps themselves as well. If that someone sees me killing those 20 mobs and they are on a quest to kill some I just made their life easier as they are now one AoE away from finishing their quest, and they made my life easier as I get a hand downing the mobs I am grinding for whatever my reasons might be. I get my loot, because that is what I was after, they get their kill credit, because that is what they were after, and we are both happy with how it turned out. It moves toward creating a community that works together instead of one that fights itself like it seems to do now.
My Verdict: Mob tagging is a thing of the past and needs to be updated.
I hear people all the time saying things like, 141 gold repair bill, when repairing after a few wipes. I personally can't tell you what my repair bills cost because I never look. I click repair and move on because the amount of money you make in game now means the repair bill is nothing. I could raid and wipe 24/7 for the next three years and probably still not burn through the gold I have. But that is just me, I often hear people in raid complain they do not have enough gold to repair their gear, so I give them a few hundred which will more than cover the nights raiding even if we do amazingly horrible that night.
So with the two extremes, me and the millions like me that never even notice what the cost is, and the ones that have little or no gold that complain about it all the time, is the idea of repairs a dated idea?
Perhaps it is a dated idea but it is a dated idea with a purpose and there is no reasonable replacement for it, at least not one I can find.
Repairs are a gold sink, the perfect one even, it is something everyone experiences and the more you do the more gold you get so the more you do causes more wear and tear on your gear and more you need to spend on repairs so it equals out, unless you are foolish about your gold. It is not much gold wise but even if you do not realize it that small repair cost adds up and lots of gold is taken out of the game each day because of it.
My Verdict: It is a dated idea, but it has no replacement, so it is a good one as is.
I remember grinding reputation with the Cenarion Circle but killing the twilight guys for their texts that I could turn in for reputation. I would get home from work and log in and jump on the flight path from Darnassus to Silithus and then go about the things I needed to do around the house. I would take a shower, clean up a little, maybe even grab a bite to eat and most of the time when that was all said and done I would sit down and still have not landed yet.
At least it was not like it was earlier where I would have not been able to leave because flight paths only went from one to another and I would have needed to sit there to continue my flight. So for me, that one long trip was a great way to do it, much better than being forced to sit there.
Well, just like the time changed from stopping at every flight point to one long non-stop flight they keep changing, but they have not changed enough. The added that lower levels get flight points automatically when they reach a certain level, I love that, no long trips to a new area by foot any more just to grab the flight point because it connected to somewhere else you wanted to go but couldn't unless you had that one flight point and that is a great time saver. They added the guild bonus to fly faster on flight paths, which is a nice little addition. But even with those things they have not changed enough.
There are still flights you can take where it will brings you around the world to go some place you could have went directly too. Why bring me around 4 different zones when the flight path I want to go to appears right next to where I am on the map? Why can I not just fly directly there?
The old reason was that many areas were unmade, so we did not fly over them on purpose so we would not see unmade areas but once flying was added to the old world everything was made so we can fly over it now as there were no empty unmade places.
Flight paths need another update, direct flight paths. The flight from darnassus to silithus is nowhere near as horrible as it used to be and I have not timed it recently but it still takes an extremely long time for a game that has learned in many other aspects that time is a factor in enjoying game play. A direct path would make it even faster.
My Verdict: The concept of flying from A to B is not a dated idea, it is a good idea. The idea of sending us around the world through C, D, E, F, G, H, and I on our way from A to B and not giving us direct flights however, is dated and needs to be changed.
This will end up being a post of its own as I have an idea I would really like to share but I will not delve too much into that at the moment. There was a time, before my time, when there was no such thing as PvP gear and PvE gear. There was some gear that might be more useful for one thing or another but all gear could be used for everything. All the best tanks in the game had gear we would call PvP gear in today's society.
Is PvE gear the offshoot or is PvP gear the offshoot? Who knows, but is the idea of different types of gear a dated concept? Kind of odd when you look at the older system and see only one type of gear and think the older idea was the better idea. Wouldn't older be more dated? So was the one type of gear idea dated or is the two types of gear that replaced it dated.
In a game that is always trying to simplify things to make it easier for people to understand is the two types of gear for two types of things really a good idea?
My Verdict: Loose PvE gear. Make all gear PvP gear and you can use it for raiding or for player vs player. There is no need to have different types of gear and if anything it hinders the flow of game play to have to keep changing back and forth, not to mention all that wasted bag space for extra sets.
I read an excellent article some years back about limited space in games and why choosing how much space you offer a player can significantly impact their game play experience. I wish I could find it because if I could perhaps reading it again will remind me why having limited space is a good idea. Without that article I look at it from the standpoint of a player who has no bag space left.
We have profession materials, we have fun toys, archeology finds, BoAs, holiday stuff, transmog stuff, stuff me might use later if we get something else, stuff we might transmog later if we can get the whole set and if you happen to be dual spec you might have two sets of gear, four sets of gear if you PvP as both.
Where does it end? There is so much worth keeping for actual use, for fun, or sale or for cosmetic reasons and there is so little space to keep it in.
There is a lot that can be done, let profession items stack to 1000 if in a profession bag. Make bigger bags. Add more bank slots. All of these are just patches. As more things come out there will be more things we want to hold on to and for every one space we clear now there will be two things looking to fill it later.
Some games have just abandoned the idea of bag space and made things like a giant bag that can hold everything with a search. Is this the future of wow and should it be?
My Verdict: The limited bag space idea is a dated concept, even more so being blizzard is making an effort to keep adding toys it apparently wants us to keep and play with. It is something that needs to be changed.
With all the advances to the game to make it easier to do thing while out in the world where is the ability to change our specs in the world. We can change out skills in the world now being there are no real skills, just secondary abilities, or at least they are treated as such.
So you have to ask yourself is there a reason we can not just choose any spec we want while out in the world now. A rogue can go from assassination to subtlety or combat and back if they want to instead of just picking two to be only. Is limiting us to only 2 specs dated?
My Verdict: You should be able to switch back and forth between all 3 (or 4 if you are a druid) at will if you wanted to. I think this restriction is dated.
Gearing Dual Spec:
I mentioned PvE and PvP gear, I mentioned two specs of gear in the bags, and I mentioned that would mean 4 sets of gear for the person with two specs and both raids and PvPs. Gear is a means to an end, we need it to play at our top level we are capable of playing at but I look at this the same as I look at the PvE gear issue. Why even have it different sets?
Should a Shaman just use all the intellect mail no matter what spec they are in? How about a druid that likes to switch back and forth, should they need 4 sets of gear for each time they change around or 8 if they are playing both ends of the game?
Perhaps it is time the game stopped making gear spec dependent and make it class dependent. Just like a hunter uses agility mail or a mage uses intellect cloth and they might reforge things around a little differently but they are completely capable of switching specs and still doing decently without reforging whereas a holy paladin can not just switch to protection and start tanking, they need additional gear for it.
My Verdict: It is time to lose the "gear by spec" design and change it to a "gear by class" design. The gear by spec concept is dated. Not to mention it is completely unfair to the classes that have no choice but to have two, or more, sets of gear because of it.
Want a horde dwarf or an alliance troll? I know many people that do and with the advent of panda being able to choose sides you have to wonder if the other races are far behind. Is faction loyalty a dated idea?
Every game has sides, good guys or bad guys if you wish, which one is which depends on the side you choose of course but all games of this sort have always had sides. Different groups headed for the same objective in their own way with their own set of morals and tactics. It is a staple of sorts and has been for some time now.
Even more the advent of choosing sides there were always certain races you could play and certain ones you could not. They did not intermingle. It is just the way things have always been.
My Verdict: I want to play an alliance troll. I like trolls and I like alliance even if I hate the back story to them because they feel like they are always the underdog defending themselves against the unrelenting forces of an aggressor that is more brutal than they could ever even imagine to be. But in the same breath trolls are awesome, mon.
What other concepts might you put on the block as dated and in desperate need of an update?