World of Warcraft Going Forward:
Post-BlizzCon Developer Q&A
Published on Nov 11, 2016
Following BlizzCon 2016 maintaining momentum from a strong World of Warcraft: Legion launch requires improvements in many areas. World of Warcraft has celebrated its 12th anniversary the task of modernization is critical to compete with an increasingly competitive and crowded MMORPG genre.
World of Warcraft has become an iconic cultural phenomenon similar to Star Wars. Expansion of the Warcraft universe with new movies expansion to World of WarcraftWarcraft and new additions to the real time strategy game allows for greater depth and long term success for the entire franchise. Star Wars has become a generational phenomenon, with the stories of characters continuing through their children. The Warcraft universe has a similar potential for long term growth.
Legion has introduced a variety of new promising systems that have greatly improved the day to day experience for World of Warcraft players, the World Quest system stands out as an alternative to traditional dungeons and raid content for casual player progression. Expansion of the world questing system to include zones outside of the Broken Isles, additional player versus player objectives that have been popular in previous expansions will encourage more player activity and involvement.
The Ruin Gaming community has authored an open source suggestions project to provide feedback on improvements to World of Warcraft going forward. As a large casual player versus player focused organization many suggestions focus on improving aspects of gameplay that will have the greatest impact for world player versus player and conquest objective based play.
Proposals generated by the community will continually be updated. A preliminary list has been provided below:
Note: These suggestions are informal and are works in progress.
World of Warcraft has a complex, massive and timeless intellectual property that with updates and expansions will remain viable for decades to come. Similar to Star Wars, Star Trek and the Lord of the Rings and Marvel Universe. New interpretations, updates and expansions on the World of Warcraft universe can provide the basis for evergreen content and GENERATIONAL relevance as the major MMORPG franchise.
In order to maintain the unprecedented impact and market share of World of Warcraft the core MMORPG most remain competitive with other MMOS and provide appeal outside of the MMO genre niche. Providing a broad spectrum of content to a broad spectrum of players should be a core aspect of World of Warcraft players going forward.
Core fantasy of World of Warcraft:
- Origin of Warcraft as a REAL TIME STRATEGY GAME. Engaging in the core match based environment, with clear victory conditions should be more prevalent in World of Warcaft. Faction based sieges of locations, use of the Invasion System to compliment this. The Alliance and Horde are at war, the Legion invades. In a living World of Warcraft this reality should be more clearly apparent beyond a few static world quests.
- How do you put players into the core fantasy of great faction conflict?
- Resource based, strategic warfare, use of new systems such as the invasion system to provide the Real Time Strategy experience (basis of current MOBAS)
Rise of MOBAS
- Rise of MOBAS. The popularity of MOBAS such as League of Legends and DOTA is indisputable. MOBAS originated in WarcraftIII and provide a match based scenarios involving teams of heroes competing.
- How to entice MOBA players to World of Warcraft?
- Recreate the MOBA experience for players on PVP maps. Put players into giant MOBA maps. Re-imagining maps such as Ashran with clear victory conditions and match restarts.
- Match based (clear objectives beginning and end of the match) one of the primary issues with previous attempts to do this (Ashran) was objectives and victory conditions were not well adjusted and resulted in lack of direct competition between players in favor of completing separate objectives without fighting.
- Shooter match based games, Overwatch has demonstrated the further popularity of quick match based gameplay.
- E – Sports – The value of E-Sports is undeniable, however, ensuring that a broad spectrum of casual players can participate is critical.
- Competitive play
Engaging the casual PvP community in World of Warcraft:
World of Warcraft is a MASSIVE multiplayer online game. Massive should apply to PvP as well. World of Warcraft can support hundreds of players fighting across a zone as well as stable pitched battles involving several hundred players. Providing compelling incentives to fight in the massive multiplayer pvp environment should be provided. In previous expansions Wintergrasp and Tol Barad were popular due to the high quality of rewards available, including access to both pvp and pve progression equipment. The World Quest stystem allows for compelling objective based rewards that could easily be used to create open world battlegrounds. Control based play in which factions fight to retain or gain control of an objective are popular and easily scaled for large numbers of players. Precedents include Halaa from The Burning Crusade, in which players fought over control of a small city, player kills in the vacinity of Halaa awarded tokens that were redeemable for rewards once the city was claimed for a faction.
The overwhelming majority of player versus player encounters do not occur in high rated battlegrounds or arenas. Casual world PvP, battlegrounds with clear victory conditions are more accessible and relevant to the average WoW player.
- PVP focused players: Legion has introduced a new pvp system, overhauling the previous conquest gear progression model. The addition of gear boxes scaled to player’s PvP rating allows for greater flexibility in gearing. The use of boxes as a general currency to existing world objectives could provide
- Social Media and sharing – Twitch and social community outreach.
- Team recognition
World of Warcraft engine improvements allow for large numbers of players to fight over objectives with very limited lag issues. Players should be given incentives to play in this massive multiplayer pvp evironment.
- Precedents – Halaa Burning Crusade World PVP zone
- Wintergrasp Wrath of the Litch King World PVP zone
- Tol Barad Cataclysm World PVP zone
Concerns potential problems and solutions:
- World of Warcraft servers can not handle true unlimited player battles without significant performance issues in massive large scale player battles. From observation those limits are in the vacinity of 120 v 120 (three raid group versus three raid group battles).
- Player caps for faction based fighting should reflect these technical limitations.
- Addressing Horde and Alliance player faction imbalance. Outnumbered player factions in a battle should have reasonable “Tenacity” buffs that provide stat bonuses to make the outnumbered faction more viable.
World quests PVE – VP
- Legion Invasions coming in 7.1.5
- Expansion of the invasion system to include other NPC or other player factions (Horde – Alliance)
- Lack of faction balance. Servers should be paired in order to provide a reasonable faction balance in the open world. These pairings should periodically be adjusted based on population fluctuations over time.
- Solution to faction balance, making changes to server groupings.
World PvP towers currently provide no incentive to fight
- World Towers in Broken Isles rarely have any player fighting. Far more pvp over pve objectives where both factions are present.
- World PVP objectives must provide a common incentive for both factions to fight over. Examples of this include Halaa from The Burning Crusade
- Halaa – Currency for fighting over Halaa from killing players. Currency only useable if your faction controls Halaa. Fighting required in order to get currency, victory required to turn in currency.
- Guild Halls – guild housing has been implemented to varying degrees of success in many different MMORPG competitors. Guild ships, battle keeps, claimable keeps and fortresses.
- Star Wars the Old Republic: Guild Ships and player instanced player housing.
- Age of Conan: Guild cities and Battlekeeps. Instanced guild cities as well as limited in world housing that guilds fought for control over.
- Eve Online: Player owned stations.
- Real Time Strategy roots – Use of the Invasion System: The Legion prelaunch event included destructible structures in the open world that players could interact with through the use of siege equipment. Alliance and Horde structures could be constructed in contested zones and defended or destroyed in a similar way.
- Account based guild membership
- Value of Nostalgia
- Expansion on Ashran and Wintergrasp – Alterac Valley Arathi Basin
- Conquest map objectives
- Win based scenario
Perfect Ten: Messed-up aspects of MMORPGs we mindlessly accept