Blizzard Executive Producer J. Allen Brack and Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel were interviewed by Forbes and during the interview they were asked several questions about the complexities and decisions involved with bringing back a Classic World of Warcraft experience.
One of the questions brought about an interesting answer.
Something about Battle for Azeroth was announced today. Maybe a release date or prepurchase or something? I don’t know, but the news has people talking about WoW again in our community and the main topic hasn’t been contemporary.
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know and agree with completely. Wrath of the Lich King was so far beyond and away the best WoW expansion there has been and likely — given its direction — ever will be.
What made it so good?
World of Warcraft releases their worldwide scaling patch here real soon. The whole idea of content scaling in MMORPGs is an interesting one that has me going back and forth positives and negatives.
First, let's just get some definitions out of the way so we can all be speaking in context. "Level scaling" in WoW is basically where the player scales to the content (which is actually a little contradictory when people are referring to it as "world scaling"). So basically, someone at level 100 can be in a zone and someone level 110 can be in a zone but their stats and the enemy are all equalized.
Other games have scaling. Some similar some different. Some games scale group members together. Some let a player "mentor" down to another player's level and then that player is scaled down to someone at that level's abilities.
My thoughts are going to be specifically toward the newest and trendiest way of scaling as seen in WoW.
WoW's next expansion was announced at Blizzcon during the opening ceremony, and I have to admit that for the first time in many, many years I'm not even a little tempted.
It's once again this big "Horde vs. Alliance" debacle. Honestly, I feel like it's become a little (or a lot) overdone, to the point of being contrived.
Every other expansion the two factions once again hate each other, and in the other expansions they have to put aside their differences to come together and save the world.
During every cycle we see that both Horde and Alliance are very similar. Neither is truly good or evil, yet both have characters who display properties of both. There are redeeming qualities on both sides which is why they eventually come together.
To once again be pitted against each other feels like we're once again ignoring the fact that these factions have done this time and time again. While not necessarily an unfamiliar story trope, I feel like we need more to justify it. I haven't seen it.
And let's not ignore the role of the player -- or, the complete lack thereof. I never feel as those any player's actions matter in any of the lore.
I'll be skipping this expansion while I eagerly await this battle and lore to hopefully fuel a need for Warcraft 4 to continue the story! Given the fact that the WoW Classic Server announcement has overshadowed the new expansion, perhaps I'm not alone.