Subscriber numbers for WoW are stagnating at around two million according to some reports, the dev team has to be partially restructured due to the lawsuit against Blizzard, and in lore, they've just bred a sort of Thanos in the realm of death. This chief villain (the Dungeon Master) is said to have the greatest power in the universe in his hands, with which he can destroy everything and spread the domain of death across the universe.
There has never been a better time in WoW to hit the reset button, turn the game around, and thus return it to its former glory. But why do players actually want a WoW 2.0, what would it look like, and what would it need to do differently than the WoW we know?
Table of Contents
- 1WHATA WOW 2.0 NEEDS
- 2WoWneeds a real housing system
- 3Get moreout of old instances, but better than timewalking.
- 4Bringing thefun back
- 5Abetter level experience
- 6Moresmall stories, less big story arc
- 7Collect fromother MMORPGS
In Unreal Engine and as a new release?
WoW in Unreal Engine 4 looks fantastic, but seems unrealistic.
Source: Daniel L
New contenders for the MMO throne like New World or Ashes of Creation impress players with cutting-edge graphics. Here, of course, new games have something ahead of the 16-year-old WoW. And anyone who has ever seen a video of, for example, a flight over Stormwind in Unreal Engine 4 will wish for such a graphics update for a possible WoW 2.0 as well.
But a true successor to WoW seems highly unlikely, even if as a long-time player you often wonder if the developers might have been secretly working on something big during the content holes of the last few expansions. Or did they have to lend a hand to another team currently developing a whole new MMO? Again, despite a not-very-trustworthy leak with this exact theory, that seems highly unlikely. Rather, WoW would have to go through a reboot like Final Fantasy 14 did with A Realm Reborn, while simply maintaining its already timeless graphic style.
After harsh criticism, the folks at Square Enix decided to keep FFXIV in its basic form, only to release a completely revamped version almost two years later that hit the ground running. The developers of WoW have already proven that they can do something like that with Cataclysm and several level and item squishes.
WHAT A WOW 2.0 NEEDS
The graphics or the engine of WoW is not the problem. New animations, lighting effects and models can still be integrated into the old WoW engine. Sure, things like character creation would need some work, but it's more the new systems that have been increasingly flawed since Warlords of Draenor and neglected worlds that become irrelevant after a while. It's these points and existing systems that Blizzard developers would need to address. So let's take a closer look at what a WoW 2 needs.
Make Azeroth Great Again
The content of the latest WoW expansions all read almost identically: four to six new mini-zones, a few new dungeons, three new raids. Well, that really doesn't entice much of anyone anymore, as we can see from the monthly active users from the Blizzard financial report. It's the same little content, the same predictable patch cycles, while Azeroth and the extra zones made in previous expansions lie fallow. That's a huge amount of untapped potential. In a WoW 2.0, the entire game world - and by that we mean largely Azeroth's Eastern Kingdoms as well as Kalimdor - would need to be brought back to life.
The world needs more events, even if you recycle in the process. Source: buffed
What reads better: "Here you go again with a bunch of new zones and dungeons and X complicated systems" or "The whole damn WoW world has more content now"? WoW needs to drive players out into the world more again, with new and gladly familiar zone events like the raids from Legion that are constantly changing and bring different elements and challenges every week.
The weekly quest shouldn't be "Complete four Mythic dungeons" or "Your pet gets triple XP" but "This week, N'Zoth, Warriors of Light, and Southern Sea Pirates take turns attacking the shores of Azeroth" or "Deathwing returns to area XY." Coupled with meaningful activities and great rewards, WoW 2.0 could bring back the MMO feeling. But for that to work, two things need to be in place.
1. better server structure and removal of factions.
Faction warfare all well and good, but splitting players makes no sense.
WoW has two negative aspects exclusive in the big MMO world. First: Already 30 players in a pile bring the respective zone to crash. And second: I can't play with my friends if they prefer to play Orcs instead of Night Elves. WoW players have come to terms with these two aspects, but in the MMO world it's complete insanity. Phasing, sharding, and whatever the systems are all called have made developers lazy.
You rarely see more than 20 players in a phase. That's because events like Nazjatar with 30 people - where sharding is cancelled out by creating raids - or the world boss in the Maw already make the game unplayable. In the case of Maw world boss Mor'geth, even the entire Korthia zone is lagging while the mob fight is going on.
To the article: WoW: Top US guilds cry for help in face of faction imbalance
No other MMO has such server problems. Yet an MMO thrives on high player activity in a zone. No one expects a mass merge of 80v80 to be free of jerks, but for a WoW 2.0, the servers would have to be able to handle significantly more players per zone if the world is to be filled with life again.
Even though much of WoW's lore revolves around the war between the Alliance and Horde and faction pride, both factions have already laid down their arms and allied with each other several times. We won't go into the myriad of problems that faction separation brings with it here. When looking at this problem, you have to step out of your WoW bubble for a moment and think about the fact that you can't play an MMO with my friend if he likes elves but you prefer to play Orc ...
Developers rule out a WoW 2.0
Of course, the developers of WoW also had to face the question of a WoW 2.0. Ex-WoW designer John Staats didn't give much hope to GamingBolt magazine: "It doesn't make much sense to make a successor when the developers can just release live updates instead. In my opinion, Cataclysm (or any other expansion) can be called a sequel. I highly doubt Blizzard will ever make a WoW 2.
It just doesn't make much sense from a business perspective - especially since things like WoW Classic can divide the WoW audience." Game Director Ion Hazzikostas also has a clear opinion on the matter, saying, "In many ways, we treat every new expansion as a successor to WoW." For Hazzikostas, developers are already reinventing the wheel with each expansion anyway. This explains the many new systems players have to deal with each new expansion. Opinions can change at some point, though, as we all know ...
2. make more things account wide
The countless resources, factions and systems in WoW literally suck the joy out of the player. We'd love to try out the Mistcaster Monk, and we'd even have it at max level already. However, fully motivated and having reached level 60, we have to face the two Korthia Call grinds, the Torghast Soulglow grind, the Sanctum Shard grind and the Stygian Glow grind alone in patch 9.1, which directly ends our little Mistcaster project. To be anywhere near the level of our main character, we first have to grind various resources for six to eight weeks.
Table of Contents1. WHAT A WOW 2.0 NEEDS2. WoW needs a proper housing system3. Get more out of old instances, but better than timewalking4. Bring back the fun5. A better level experience6. More small stories, less big story arc7. Steal from other MMORPGS8. CONCLUSIONDon't get
us wrong, you should have to do something for good gear, however we've done all this stuff X times with our main characters. Unlocking all resources, trade goods and even gold should simply be account wide per server. In this day and age where we are now faced with 50+ resources, cloth, ores, and all sorts of stuff scattered across umpteen characters, and it takes addons for that to even begin to keep track of it, it just needs a lot more freedom for players.
3. remove talents, playstyles or both
Many of the ambitious systems of a WoW expansion fail because of the now 36 playstyles or seem to take so much work that you can't focus on the important things of the addon anymore. This can possibly lead to planned content not being realized in the end. On top of that, there are 21 talents, most of which rarely if ever change any of them. Together, these 36 playstyles and 21 talents multiplied together add up to 756 small components that need to be considered for every medium, every new attack, every Legendary, set items, in PvP, in every boss fight, and much more content in the game.
The big reset - What would a WoW 2.0 have to do differently? (2) Source: buffed
In our opinion, at least, this is also why so few new classes can be added in WoW. It's like a cumbersome patched together program code: Every new line in the 756 lines of class code throws everything off and crashes the system. For many players, it would be a shock to have to say goodbye to beloved ways of playing. But a WoW character could play great without spec and talents. Instead of talents, the character would simply get a few more unique (!) abilities that represent his class and the choice of spec would only be a small aspect that would add a bit more spice to the class.
Final Fantasy shows that something like this is possible and that it doesn't make the game completely boring. In the Square-Enix-MMORPG not only one character can practice all classes, but there are neither talent trees nor special specs for the class. The gameplay itself is easy to learn, but hard to master, even without additional systems like talents, glyphs or specific spec abilities.
Does the Dungeon Master have the power to reset Azeroth? Source: buffed
4. make crafting professions more important
Apart from alchemy and enchanting, all other professions in WoW play a rather minor role. If you don't need Legendary blanks like in Shadowlands, you can safely ignore professions that craft equipment. WoW, unlike other MMORPGs, forgot at some point that crafting professions shouldn't necessarily be able to craft the best end-game items, but should at least provide reasonably useful gear for non-raiders.
Gear via professions is an easy catch-up mechanic for newcomers and returners, it drives players into the world in search of resources, boosts the economy, takes gold out of the game, and provides more player interaction. Not having to come up with a new catch-up mechanic for every new content update also takes the pressure off the developers.
Blizzard has shown that they are exploring this idea with the introduction of the Male of the Craftsman in Shadowlands, but the implementation is too hesitant and half-baked. Crafted items are also welcome to be the best items for the current raid tier. Forged weapons from TBC or small-scale sets from Classic have shown that this isn't a deal-breaker - on the contrary.
WoW needs a proper housing system
Yes, for some the topic of housing is an ole topic, because many think WoW would be fine without this feature. And anyway, what is housing supposed to bring to the game anyway? Apart from the many possibilities for RP enthusiasts and the unlimited things you could create for your own four WoW walls via professions, a decent housing system would bring back an important aspect to the game that has been buried at least since WotLK - ambition.
The Garrison and its two statues don't really stand for Housing. Source: buffed
In WoW Classic, didn't you used to look at a player in the capital dressed completely in Tier 2 and think "Wow, I want to be that awesome"? Or stared at the rogue in TBC with his two wargleves and thought "What a God Gamer!"? That aspiration has been lost over the years. It's not just because of the transmog system, it's also because aside from the achievement window - which no one looks at anyway - you no longer have any real clue as to what a character has actually accomplished.
And no, the pet statue and those of Gul'dan and Khadgar in the garrison, which by the way has little to do with Housing, don't count. Imagine, as a newbie, a veteran invites you into his retreat and you get to gaze at statues that reflect his experience in WoW and move through his magnificent chambers, which he was able to equip because of his superb craftsmanship. Housing in this way could also reawaken players' ambition and spur them to spend more time in WoW.Getting
more out of old instances, but better than timewalking
In addition to an elaborate housing system, WoW 2.0 might also like to borrow FFXIV's scaling system for dungeons. In addition to the open world of World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 ), WoW's unused dungeons also set cobwebs. During the leveling phase, old instances still have their use, but even here the rigid level limits of individual dungeons have a major flaw:
Old dungeons are only used in WoW during the level phase. Source: buffed
New players can't play with experienced players unless the experienced player creates a character at the same level. And then the WoW veterans complain why none of the newbies learn the game properly anymore. A scaling system that puts high level characters at the level of the dungeon would make a lot of sense. Thus, more players could play together, the waiting time for a dungeon run would be shortened and veterans could help the young WoW blood to the game More get out of old instances, but better than Timewalking In addition to an elaborate housing system WoW 2.0 might also like to borrow the scaling system for dungeons from FFXIV.
Bright spot Legion-M+
With Legion mythic-plus time-walking dungeons, Blizzard is already well on its way towards scalable instances and raids.
In addition to World of Warcraft's open world, WoW's unused dungeons are also setting cobwebs. During the leveling phase, old instances still have their uses, but again, the rigid level limits of individual dungeons have a major flaw: New players can't team up with experienced players unless the experienced player creates a character at the same level. And then the WoW veterans complain why none of the newbies learn the game properly anymore. A scaling system that puts high level characters at the level of the dungeon would make a lot of sense.
Thus, more players could play together, the waiting time for a dungeon run would be shortened and veterans could help the young WoW blood to be introduced to the game. The system would be a sort of timewalking mode for everything, just without the silly restrictions on Legendarys, set bonuses, and more. With those restrictions, you're just taking the fun out of players anyway, which by the way, should be made much more of a priority.Bringing
back the fun
More fun areas like the Gold Saucer in FFXIV would also do WoW good.
When was the last time you had fun in WoW? So really? What was the last small or big feature that put a grin on your face apart from the endgame or a rare drop? Except for some minigames about world quests, we can't remember at least. Most likely it was the visits to the Darkmoon Faire, which happened a few years back. Aside from little gimmicks, WoW on max level doesn't offer any special fun activities.
The biggest feature is the Darkmoon Faire, which has been around since WoW Classic, but has been treated rather stepmotherly except for a few small updates. The WoW player's endgame routine usually looks like farming some Daily Hub and hiding the rest of the content behind timegating. Other games have jumping puzzles, mount races, or even entire casinos with countless minigames. WoW doesn't always have to be heroic or gritty, Blizzard. Please bring back the fun with more features like the Darkmoon Faire.
A better leveling experience
The free trial for WoW would have to go beyond level 20.
The leveling phase in WoW has become nothing more than a chore to play the real game at max level. Not to mention, it's hard to explain WoW's huge story arc to new players in a short amount of time. Chromie time is at least a halfway good alternative, but rather you have to start with the gameplay during the leveling phase itself. Characters need to get a lot more exciting abilities early on than the two buttons they push by level 20.
Things look even bleaker at the moment when you look at talents. A new character has to level up to level 15 to choose the first boring talent. The next talent ten levels later is usually no more exciting. It's only near the end game that you unlock skills and talents that make up the class.
Table of Contents1. WHAT A WOW 2.0 NEEDS2. WoW needs a proper housing system3. Get more out of old instances, but better than timewalking4. Bring back the fun5. A better level experience6. More small stories, less big story arc7. Steal from other MMORPGS8. CONCLUSIONBy
this point, a newbie has already lost motivation and formed a clear negative image. This is certainly not the way to attract young blood to Azeroth and WoW will remain a "boomer MMO". Another point where WoW for beginners has to start is the free possibility to play the game. Playing Free2Play to level 20, even after the level squish to level 60, is just not cutting it by now.
As mentioned, the player never learns the first real skills that make up his class in the stale skills and talent system. Here, the maximum level should be raised by at least ten, if not 30 levels. Free2Play to level 50? That sounds absurd at first, but would make the endgame more palatable to players and more likely to lead to subscription purchases than the current F2P experience.
More small stories, less big story arc
It's probably too late for WoW to have a big story arc. The 16 year old story is just too big. None of the new players will ever know who Ragnaros, C'Thun, or the many other villains and heroes of past expansions actually are.
That's not good, because it splits the experienced "you don't even know what it used to be like" players and the newbies. Unfortunately, Blizzard has messed up a lot with the ever-changing - sometimes incoherent - stories. Cramming the story together so that it can be told during the leveling phase would be too much to ask, but instead of putting so much energy into the big story arc, Blizzard should refocus on the small stories and bring the player character itself back to the forefront. The best example of why they should do this is Shadowlands patch 9.1.
Small stories Blizzard can tell well, the big story arc rather not so. Source: buffed
The story writers in Irvine, California, know two or more years in advance how the story will develop with all its twists and surprises. This often leads to players being kept on tenterhooks and some storylines only make sense at the end of the expansion. For example, even four years later you don't know what Sylvanas is actually up to or why Tyrande reacts the way she does in a tight cinematic.
In small dialogues like with Uther in Korthia or the short quest with Thrall and Draka in the Maw, more clear story content is conveyed within a few minutes than in five cinematics spread over several years. Blizzard should use these short but clear story snippets more often to tell better stories again. The ultimate would be some sort of story mode for each raid, allowing players to play through raids like Molten Core with a group of NPCs, for example, to at least get a sense of what the raid was like back in the day. In the same breath, you might as well replace this mode with the LFR and save players who want to know the story of the current content the annoying visit to the raid browser.
Competition leads to innovation
The pressure of upcoming MMORPGs like New World and Ashes of Creation gives hope that Blizzard will make WoW a genre leader again.
Stealing from other MMORPGS
WoW used to be known for "stealing" things from other MMORPGS, or rather copying them and tailoring them to WoW. It was obvious, but nobody had problems with it as long as the features were well received. Be it weekly quests (The Old Republic), quest trackers and world markers (Guild Wars), the dampening debuff in the arena (The Old Republic) or even phasing (HdRO, Guild Wars 2).
Blizzard has taken so many features from other games and usually implemented them even better for WoW. Why not return to that? Has being the long time genre leader become too much of a fine point? With housing, level sync, fun activities outside of the endgame, and a better crafting system, we've already listed three things in this text that FFXIV does significantly better than WoW. There's a reason that Square Enix is grabbing more and more players with its MMORPG. So steal what you can, Blizzard!
WoW can continue to cater to a few hardcore raiders and grind-happy players, but it must manage to bring more life back into the world, engage players with meaningful activities, revitalize the community, and bring the fun back into World of Warcraft. Fortunately, there is no need for a new WoW 2.0, because despite the large construction sites, World of Warcraft is already excellently positioned in many areas without major changes. WoW has the best raids and dungeons in the industry, and the art team and PvP are also top notch in Blizzard's MMO world. This is something to build on, but a big shakeup is still needed.Support buffed - it will only take a minute. Thank you!
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