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View Poll Results: What do you think of the Revamp?
I want it! And I think it'll happen! 2 22.22%
I want it, but I don't think it will happen... 6 66.67%
I don't like it, but I think it'll happen. 0 0%
I don't like it, and I'm pretty sure it won't happen! 1 11.11%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2019, 04:40 PM
Deicide Deicide is offline

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Default 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?
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:07 PM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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I like it a lot. I don't think it will happen, but I do like it a lot.

Blizzard seems like the type to learn the wrong lessons.

At any rate, what's your plan for the broken timeline? I didn't see anything about how to resolve that.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:35 PM
Deicide Deicide is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menel'dirion View Post
I like it a lot. I don't think it will happen, but I do like it a lot.

Blizzard seems like the type to learn the wrong lessons.

At any rate, what's your plan for the broken timeline? I didn't see anything about how to resolve that.
"You can choose to level up a new character entirely on the new world."

In essence, you create a new character, and you start in the new version of the world. And you can level 1 to max entirely there.

Every past expansion becomes optional. Like, instead of leveling in the new world, you can access them at level X by "going back in time". They scale from X up to BfA's (squished) max level. You can experience each expansion in full, but that's only if you do not want to do so in the new Kalimdor/EK.

It's essentially WoW 2, but without losing all legacy content.

Considering this year is WoW's 15th anniversary and Warcraft's 25th, I can totally see as a big possibility them announcing an expansion aimed at renewing the franchise in both gameplay and lore for the next decade or so.
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2019, 02:56 AM
Ujimasa Hojo Ujimasa Hojo is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menel'dirion View Post
At any rate, what's your plan for the broken timeline? I didn't see anything about how to resolve that.
WoW Classic could be simply be some sort of stepping stone where old content is brought back. Eventually, all will be merged, including BC zones, seemlessly with advanced phasing.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:18 PM
Jon Targaryen Jon Targaryen is offline

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I like it. I think it's too much to hope for, but I like it. Look forward to people's speculations on this thread.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:53 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Need a goddang reboot.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:49 AM
Ujimasa Hojo Ujimasa Hojo is offline

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By the way, any changes to Classic quests to conform with Cataclysm lore? For example, quests where you Kill X in the former but X turns out alive in the latter.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:59 AM
rshll rshll is offline

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Two things that I really want are

Ashenvale and Barrens to switch places - woods are being cut down by orcs turning Ashenvale into desert steppes while Barrens and Desolace continue to blossom (what's already been happening), turning it into Zandalari-like jungles.

Lordaeron is rebuilt. Capital city, Stratholme (how long does it take for the city to burn down completely?), Quel'Thalas, Dalaran, Alterac. No big changes, maybe something like what they did to Arathi.

Otherwise, the whole world is kinda okay.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:49 AM
Vineyard Vineyard is offline

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Hm... it's possible, but imo. the basis probatly will be the old maps, to save at least some dev time. But I agree that they could in theory do things more radically this time.

I mean, we saw what they have done with Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch.

Plus, they have a bigger team than in Cata and developing tech also got better.

But I don't think they will do a time jump. (Technically, years already have passed in the old zones anyway and we already have some confirmed have changes lorewise. Tanaris and Gadgetzan anyone? )
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:29 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshll View Post
Two things that I really want are

Ashenvale and Barrens to switch places - woods are being cut down by orcs turning Ashenvale into desert steppes while Barrens and Desolace continue to blossom (what's already been happening), turning it into Zandalari-like jungles.

Lordaeron is rebuilt. Capital city, Stratholme (how long does it take for the city to burn down completely?), Quel'Thalas, Dalaran, Alterac. No big changes, maybe something like what they did to Arathi.

Otherwise, the whole world is kinda okay.
Blizz's mistake was investing so much of the nelf story in ashenvale, if they burn it down then it's essentially a huge middle finger to the playerbase, on top of the mess that Teldrassil is
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:36 AM
rshll rshll is offline

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Blizz's mistake was investing so much of the nelf story in ashenvale, if they burn it down then it's essentially a huge middle finger to the playerbase, on top of the mess that Teldrassil is
That would be a perfect chance to reintroduce this race when it's been neglected for too long.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:04 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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That would be a perfect chance to reintroduce this race when it's been neglected for too long.
Nelfs haven't been neglected they have tons of screentime just none of it good
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:56 PM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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I already suggested it baaack in the day, but Cataclysm should have "duplicated" vanilla instead of replacing it.

So you would have what we call today "WoW classic" in one hand, untouched, and the "next step in the timeline", in this case Cataclysm.

Major advantages of this approach:
  • You preserve the original content, and don't lose any amount of content.
  • You don't need to worry about breaking anything you want to preserve, like spawn locations no longer working after editing the terrain and such.
  • You can go wild and destroy everything, and don't worry about the consequences.

Cataclysm done on a duplicate would have allowed Blizzard to destroy entire zones and replace them with new storylines. They could have restructured the whole leveling process.

If you're really ambitious, you can move the story forward a few decades, and redefine the whole faction system. The Alliance and the Horde of today might not exist in the future, and players might find themselves on different factions when playing in "future Azeroth", or maybe with no factions whatsoever.

What's the point of the faction war if no one is going to win? What's the point of fighting villains if we're always going to win? We know everything will be stale, because that's how they approach their story and content.

Imagine things like:

---

The Burning Legion wins

Azeroth is fully invaded by the Burning Legion, and the few survivors hide in various underground refugees, fighting a guerrilla war against the invaders. The original capital cities and starting zones are now in ruins.

We eventually defeat the demons, and the sequel would deal with us rebuilding our lost kingdoms, ala pioneer expansion, with new factions struggling for power.

---

The Alliance wins

The Alliance wins the faction war, and fast-forward to the future, the new nations of Azeroth are as follows:
  • New Kaldorei Empire: Formed by night elves and tauren, ruled by Tyrande as an immortal tyrant. Military dictatorship ran by the Sentinels and the druids.
  • Grand Alliance of the Eastern Kingdoms: Formed by the human kingdoms, including a restored Lordaeron where undeath has become part of their culture, plus the draenei, dwarves, and high elves, who have retaken Quel'Thalas. The Church of the Holy Light has become too powerful, and controls the masses through brainwashing. Lot of internal conflicts, but the coalition always proves to be too big to fall.
  • Zandalari Empire: Formed by trolls and goblins. Ran by money and trading families, with a council of investors as the ruling class.
  • Free Cities: Coalition of pretty much everyone outside the three major factions. Pandaria is one of the major players, together with New Theramore, rebuilt as a refuge for the blood elves. Lot of freedom, but lot of crime as well. Haven for criminals and refugees fleeing from the big three. Post-war treaties dismantled the Horde and forced the orcs back into a tribal system, but some of them escape their seclusion and get employed as mercenaries or bodyguards.

With this setup as the starting points, we can pretty much go anywhere. Our characters could join their parent factions, become mercenaries, etc.

---

Cultist takeover

Some cult (Cult of the Damned, Twilight's Hammer Cult, etc) reveals itself as a big power. Suddenly a global civil war erupts. Players have to choose between the inquisition (supported by most factions), the cult, or neutrality, and carry their orders.

The ensuing conflict would play out as a global civil war, with players themselves being able to betray each other for money or power.

---

So yeah, I agree, Cataclysm should have been a duplicate instead of a replacement, and I would love to see something like this happen in the future.
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