I’ve been obsessing about CAT, aka Cataclysm, again and also reminiscing about some of the cool fun things in vanilla WoW that I wish were still in the game. Result? The following blog post detailing 3 things which I want, no DEMAND Blizz include in the upcoming expansion. So join me, dear reader, on a journey of forgotten memories and earnest wishlisting!
1. A Troll City!:
Oh right, yeah… Thanks Blizz I love you!
1. 8-Piece Armour Sets:
Back in WoW’s original form, tier sets were not the streamlined version we know today. A set would include up to 8 pieces of armour, including mundane things like wrist bindings and boots. Collecting a full set required serious grind and was an impressive achievement in itself. I’d really like to see such sets come back. Current tier gear is fun, but you don’t get the full effect of sheer awesomeness that comes with wearing a full set of, say, the Ten Storms.
Now obviously expecting people to go through the toil required to obtain a full set is unreasonable, and is in fact why Blizzard cut down on tier pieces in the first place. But they should still be there as an option, so that people can walk around in a full set of cool-looking matching armour if they need to. They can leave the big tier bonus at 4 pieces so that its not mandatory to collect the whole set to play your class right. What would be quite awesome, but not at all game-breaking is if an 8-piece bonus gave some kind of cool proc or ability that was flavoursome, but didn’t make a massive difference to gameplay. For example, a small chance for a Paladin to become bathed in an burning aura of light that makes her temporarily immune to fear. Or a bonus for Shamans that turned their water shields to ice, granting damage protection in addition to mana. Random examples, just to prove how nifty this could all be.
2. Really really long dungeon runs:
The more old school players amongst you will remember massive old instances that you could literally get lost in. Blackrock Depths is most infamous for this with its vast sprawling non-linear design. Running through the instance groups would often have to start by coming to a general consensus of which way they were going to go and which bosses people wanted to kill, because there wasn’t a snowballs chance you’d be able to clear the whole place in less than several hours. The sheer scale of the dungeon made it feel epic. The multitude of over 20 bosses, ranging from dwarf royalty to pyromaniac Tauren, only added to the feel that you really were lost in a subterranean city.
Another favourite of mine was the Scholomance, in fact it remains my favourite instance of all time. It started off as a raid that quickly got reworked into a really long, really cool dungeon. It was much more linear than BRD, but maintained its epic feel but virtue of the fact that you had to make a serious concerted effort to push through to final boss. Whilst a few bosses were optional (“lets leave Jandice to rot in her basement”), almost all the deranged faculty of the Scourge’s favourite finishing school had to be vanquished to complete it. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and one I’d love to see repeated.
Seriously when was the last time you got lost in a dungeon? Granted, Wrath‘s dungeons have a cool lore-ridden feel to them, and I applaud it. I just want to be in there for longer, doing more stuff, killing more bad guys and having so much fun I can’t find the way out. Of course, we can keep some short dungeons around for the grinders, but come Cataclysm, would it kill Blizzard to give us at least a handful of truly epic ones?
3. An Epic Battleground:
In vanilla WoW there used to be a place of constant war where battles of titanic proportions raged for hours and even days. Even when all possible honour had been wrung out of this arena of death, still players would battle endlessly, just to see the other side crushed mercilessly. It involved not just large-scale player-on-player bashings, but also a number of quests and the nigh-essential involvement of some truly awesome army-eating NPCs. I speak of course of the one, the only, Alterac Valley.
Of course AV has been completely lobotomised by Blizzard to become a pathetic shadow of its former self, but the old version of it serves as an example of a truly epic battleground. It was a great idea, well implemented and it was a lot of fun. The only reason it feel from favour was because of the player-base shifting towards quick and fast battlegrounds so they could do their honour-grinding without having to invest too much time per battleground. I have little time for these whiners. Old AV was a great mixture of large-scale coordination, strategy and good old fashioned zerging. You needed strategy with different teams devoted to various tactics in order to win. Indeed, using your factions giant NPC was a crucial tactic – even if it didn’t clear the path into the enemy base, it forced your opponents onto a serious backfoot. You had to manage resources, coordinate attacks and sometimes go all out smashing in skulls to have a hope of winning. I want that feeling back. I also think modern developments in the game could make such an experience even more interesting. Consider for example AV with flying mounts. I’d pay a lot to see that.
I’m hoping that the proposed Tol Barad battle, the Cataclysm successor to Wintergrasp, will fulfil this need. Its supposed to be a PvP battle on a massive scale and hopefully Blizzard will have learnt from some of their previous mistakes. The existing battleground system allows the honour-addicts to rinse-and-repeat to their hearts content. Lets have Tol Barad be something truly epic, a coming together of hundreds of friends, guildies and misfits coming together in common cause: to kill the enemy in the face. It could be a beautiful thing! 😉
Please forward the following blog post to one billion of your nearest friends and relatives. Oh and to Blizzard. With your support, we can make the dream a reality.