A world revamp? - Speculation and discussion


(Alamara) #1

(I’ve made this same thread in MMO-C, with a poll to gauge people’s opinions on this. Vote there if you have an account: https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/2492763-A-world-revamp-Speculation-and-discussion-plus-poll)

As speculation and fake leaks begin to grow in frequency as Blizzcon nears (only five months!), a common theme keeps reappearing: is a new world revamp coming?

I’ve been speculating about a world revamp for some time. Several people were already putting their bets on it after Legion. The events of that expansion affected many old zones, and, surely, the end of our oldest foe could only mean a new beginning for the franchise.

We got BfA instead. The biggest faction war, they said, and it started with two capital cities destroyed. Not only that, but there’s two old zones revamped for warfronts, with more seemly on the horizon, and some other tidbits like Uther’s Tomb revamped. Also, we finally face Azshara, and maybe, just maybe, N’Zoth himself could be our final boss.

What’s left after that? How will the franchise endure? What new lands are there to be found?

Signs?

There’s some signs that may or may not point to next expansion being a big undertaking related to the old world. BfA’s patch cycle has a slower pace than Legions while not delivering as much “new” (specially in art) content per patch, maybe signifying the team is putting way more work on other endeavors.

The warfronts, as well as Uther’s Tomb renewal and Lordaeron’s new walls, could also be forefront work, or proof-of-concept, of how the world may look at a renewal. Also, revamping the areas for Warfronts could also reduce work on doing a world revamp.

The last few expansions have been adding a lot of art assets that would reduce budget in a world revamp. We got human, orc, draenei and night elf buildings, as well as some doodads for other races (like trolls). Many mobs from Kalimdor/EK either got revamped models (kobolds, troggs, wendigo, kodos, eagles, bears, frogs, prairie dogs, rabbits, cats) or new models for new versions that could be used instead (wolves, tigers, harpies, ogres).

As a plus, in an interview (sorry, I can’t remember which), when asked about moving the franchise away from Azeroth, Ion suspiciously mentioned a “WoW 2” and that the franchise wouldn’t be the same away from Azeroth. Why mention “WoW 2”? Hmmm…

But Cataclysm already did that, and that’s a bad expansion

Yes, but we need to understand why it was a generally bad expansion, and how the same pitfalls could be avoided.

First and foremost, Cataclysm’s revamp cost a lot of dev resources, ending up affecting negatively the endgame. When Cataclysm came out, most people welcomed the new leveling experience. However, it ended up that most of the game was available in the prepatch. Once the expansion was actually released, there was very little “new” to do.

Second, Cataclysm made the old versions of the continents unavailable.

Third, broke the timeline, as the earlier zones were chronologically more advanced than previous expansions you had to venture into in higher levels.

Fourth, Cataclysm’s leveling storylines were firmly set in a particular timeframe that quickly got old. It was less about exploring Azeroth again and more reacting to faction war, the destruction brought by Deathwing and the Twilight’s Hammer’s schemes. And most zones were left on rails. Last but not least, it’s been 9 years. We leveled a bazillion alts since then, so we are really tired of Cata revamp.

So, how could a new revamp avoid these pitfalls.

A new game for a new generation and for the coming decade

I think the revamp is coming, but it won’t be like Cataclysm at all.

This is WoW 2, but as an expansion instead of a new game. Same engine, reuse of assets, but lots of new things. Our old enemies have been vanquished, a few years of peace follow and, after a small timeskip (10 years?), Azeroth needs us once again. It will feel like a renewed game, a soft-rebooted franchise where we again explore Azeroth and find out what evils have been growing in the wild places of the world.

First, I bet the new Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms won’t be just the old maps revamped, but new files entirely. The old versions will keep existing and be accessible throught bronze dragons. Blizzard will have the freedom to rework zones entirely, even reshaping, removing, merging or dividing them. THis allows the company to go entirely wild with ideas, and will mean we will have to actually rediscover these lands (and towns and flight paths).

Second, the leveling experience will be completely redone. The level squish is part of it, and will help the theme of a new beginning. You can choose to level up a new character entirely on the new world. Yes, you can teleport back in time to experience old expansions, but it will be an entirely optional endeavor. Systems developed over the years, like Bonus Objectives, could be used to speed leveling, leaving quests only for storylines that you can do in any order you wish.

The level squish also helps you feel like your character if you choose to keep the ones you adventured with all these years. After a few years away from action, Azeroth needs heroes again, and there you are, an old veteran, after years of peace, having to deal with danger again.

In the “new” continents, the low level zones will be up in the prepatch, like in Cataclysm, but this time they are only a small part of the content. 2/3 or more of the renewed continents will be for BfA’s (squished) max level onwards. Imagine that anything beyond the race-owned lands is reserved for high level content and off-limits during the prepatch.

Third, revamping the world does not mean it won’t feel new. New lands could open. Old lands could change completely. Quel’thalas and Myst Isles could finally be integrated into their main continents (while keeping the TBC originals untouched!). The leveling flow could go into totally new ways. Imagine the possibillities! I present some ideas bellow.

Kalimdor: the Wild Continent

Night elves settled in Moonglade, turning Nighthaven into a great city where their people is reckovering. The Cenarion Circle has moved to Hyjal, which is now neutral territory.

Beyond the night elf-controlled Darkshore, the continent is either Horde or savage. Creatures from Draenor, misplaced during the mag’har extraction, have spread all over the continent. Ashenvale is in a three-way lock between Horde and Night elves. The barrens are terrorized by saberon and gronn.

The Myst Isles have been assaulted by the mag’har, displacing the draenei and collapsing the Exodar. It’s now a place for the mag’har clans, with the draenei, too weakened after the Legion’s end, fleeing into other parts of the continent or Eastern Kingdoms, where they have formed their own towns and cities akin to the ones they lost in Draenor.

In Azshara, Bilgewater Harbor has turned into a major goblin city. Orgrimmar is renewed.

Without Onyxia or Theramore to threaten them, the Stonemaul ogres have thrived in Dustwallow Marsh, rebuilding a glorious city of stony spires in the mountains near the coast.

The lands to the south are the most dangerous ones. Feralas is botani territory, with both ogres and night elves fighting for it. From Uldum, a new threat rises, as the Ama’thet Tol’vir rise in power and moves north.

Eastern Kingdoms: Truly a place for civilization

In contrast to Kalimdor, cities and towns thrive in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Quel’thalas is reckovering from the almost-corruption of the Sunwell. Eversong forest has reckovered, but the Ghostlands still bear taint from the old days.

The Plaguelands have been healed, becoming again the Eastweald. But dark creatures still lurk in the caves and forests.

Lordaeron is in the Alliance’s hands, but the Forsaken dwell in the frigid mountains of Alterac, atop their black necropolis.

Dalaran has landed in its old crater, while the Revantusk tribe conquered Jintha’alor.

Stromgarde has been reborn. Gilneas is retaken.

Way more urban adventures await, and the many kingdoms mean conflict is brewing way more often than it should, as governments threaten each other through politics or war. And the wild places still need to be conquered, as dangers rise from the ruins of the Twilight Bastion or rediscovered titan constructs emerge from the long-forgotten halls of Uldaman.

In the far south, Outland’s denizens are pouring throught the Dark Portal, as that ruined world is no longer able to sustain their increasing populations post-Legion defeat. The cursed Arakkoa are exploring the Swamp of Sorrows and the abandoned lands of Duskwood, as they have found the perfect place to nest: Deadwind Pass.

The broken have mostly fled to draenei settlements, but some, corrupted by despair and the void, start exploring Azeroth in hopes of conquering it.

And New Lands

Even never-before-seen lands could be added, probably in patches. Dragon Isles, the Maisara Hills of the Amani, Plunder Island, Tel’abim.

Imagination is the limit, as we explore a world we thought we knew. These lands are familiar, but they are not the same. Nor they are safe.

So, what do you think?


#2

just giving my opinion on a world revamp, didn’t read much of the OP.

I kinda doubt we’re going to see anything on the scale of a cata revamp again, however I’d be willing to be we’ll see more and more endgame phased revamps (think darkshore, arathi, and tirisfal), the original (cata) versions of those zones will likely still exist, but as they there’ll also be phased, revamped versions once you hit the relevant expansions content.


(Alamara) #3

If you get time, try to read it. I addressed as best as I could how this revamp would be totally different from Cataclysm’s, avoiding most, if not all, of its pitfalls.


#4

I always thought they’d do a Warcraft 4 - then eventually a WoW 2. Realistically, they have both classic and reforged coming out to gauge what is clicking in 2019. It may be that the next logical step for Warcraft is a AAA singleplayer RPG, something new and hype for the IP.

WIth the level squish we will at least see some freshing up of the leveling experience but I doubt there will be a full overhaul of the world. When you have a playerbase as well installed as WoW you risk a lot with a huge rehash or redesign. Moving forward is really the only move and as WoW’s Azeroth gets more and more cluttered, that may soon mean a truly new game.


(Saángreal) #5

I think Blizz should just make WoW 2. I don’t know how, but this building on existing architecture thing must be a dev nightmare


(Alamara) #6

WoW 2 would have a lot of costs and risks.

Would people welcome a WoW 2 that just reuses WoW’s assets? I don’t think so. New art assets would be required, and a new engine. Can you imagining them redoing all player models? All creature models?

ALso, WoW 2 would throw away all our achievements, mounts, transmog… there would hardly be any chance of keeping the stuff we gathered over the years.

Now, “WoW 2” as an expansion that resets the leveling process and renews several systems, maybe adding a new class and new customization for all races? And allows you to still experience everything that came before? Well, that’s way more likely.


#7

That sounds pretty sweet! I haven’t really considered what they would do with wow in the future in this way. I have always wanted to see a cured plaguelands and new Silvermoon/Gilneas. It would be neat to rediscover Azeroth after a certain amount of time in the story… there would be a lot to catch up on with the characters which could be pretty fun too. What will Northrend be like after all that time? :thinking:

Fun to think about! Thanks OP.


(Alamara) #8

You are welcome!

While I doubt they’d go beyond EK and Kalimdor for this, if well-received it would open the door to revisit other places in the future.

Besides, there’s a Lich King waiting over there…


#9

If a revamp is happening, it’s already being developed which doesn’t add up to the fact blizzard morale is low and leaving.

Old world revamp will probably be after the expansion after bfa.


(Spotti) #10

How long does it take to write that much :thinking:

Anyways, it’s really them wanting to update the look of WoW in intervals and rightfully so. I don’t see anything big all at once though, I think they are doing it where it makes sense to put their resources into.

I saw the old WoW, and seeing how they’ve done some revamps, I’m all for them doing more revamps going into 9.0.


(Alamara) #11

I really doubt it. The moment is now. BfA is a “filler” to prep it up, and it’s taking long between patches because next expansion will be HUGE.


(Sorelai) #12

I don’t see the current company of Blizzard doing a revamp of any sort justice. They will cut corners and forsake quality in deference to an out of whack budget and unrealistic timeline. Due to this anything that sounds cool in advertising and cinematics, won’t be.


#13

One patch being 20 days late isn’t long.

WoD had tons of cut content made legion obvious… bfa doesn’t feel cut dry like wod


(Burgsnbeers) #14

Nice ideas, they definately need to do something like this at some point, the story arcs across the game as a whole are incredibly jilted.


(Alamara) #15

“20 days late” means almost 25% more time to deliver a patch, and that’s only counting one patch.

Every patch has taken longer in BfA than it did in Legion.

By this point in Legion, we were talking about 7.3 PTR.

We will probably only get 8.3 PTR after Blizzcon.


#16

I would love this OP.

But I feel it might be a bit too ambitious for an expansion. Don’t know if blizzard wants to do that.


(Alamara) #17

I think it’s possible. Specially since we will celebrate 15 years of WoW and 25 years of Warcraft in Blizzcon. A “WoW 2” expansion with extra effort that will renew the franchise for the next decade fits.


(Kelisaria) #18

I think, in terms of a revamp, we’re getting something very much like Classic WoW. Storywise, the Horde will obviously very likely be lead by Thrall, while the Alliance is lead by Anduin Wrynn (just like in Classic). Jaina just got her own island nation, and is making friends with Horde leaders like Baine, Thrall, and Thalyssra. Certain leaders of the Alliance, those of the “old guard” and the Night Elves, advocate continued war and revenge, whereas the Horde has largely moved into being more peaceful. War, or at least continued hostility, will come in the form of an old guard Alliance character doing something evil and insane. Various neutral threats aligned with the Old Gods, crazed dragons, the Naga, and many others, will begin moving and attacking the player factions and taking opportunity in the tension to cause more suspicions and hatred.

Mechanically, the rumors of a level squish and Classic coming out and it being the 15th anniversary, is too good a chance to pass up.


(Alamara) #19

I think they won’t bring Thrall back as warchief, thought.

He will be present, but in a lesser role, maybe as advisor to Baine.

Some of the interesting changes after 10 years or so could include Dagran Thaurissan II being old enough to actually being used as a character. Maybe Ironforge and Shadowforge may have become a single kingdom under a yound Dagran advised by both Moira and Muradin.

Vereesa’s children would also be adults.

Anduin would be older and wiser. Epic beard incoming.

The allied races could have spread out over the world, becoming more important players in the setting.


(Chihao) #20

Too long to change the world. If this would be a possibility, it’ll be 10.0, not 9.0. 10 as a significant number and as well as letting them drag more time out to remake the world.
Also the team that brought us BFA seems to be less innovative mechanics wise and more art based, better for working on new maps.