WoW: Shadowlands (9.2 is out!)

No no, the whole thing was just Baal having a nightmare, and it turns out we are inside the new Diablo MMO.

But I don't want to play on my phone!

Heretk wrote:

... there will be mostly more of the same.

WoW has been essentially the same basic game since Vanilla: shoot 'em and loot 'em.

Oh, sure, some things have changed, and a bunch of things have been added (and subtracted), and every x-pac takes us to someplace new (or made over, in Cata's case), and there are a lot more things to do than there used to be. But I'm not sure why anyone would expect the gameplay and the basic formula of the next expansion to be substantially different from the eight prior x-pacs.

Enix wrote:
Heretk wrote:

... there will be mostly more of the same.

WoW has been essentially the same basic game since Vanilla: shoot 'em and loot 'em.

Oh, sure, some things have changed, and a bunch of things have been added (and subtracted), and every x-pac takes us to someplace new (or made over, in Cata's case), and there are a lot more things to do than there used to be. But I'm not sure why anyone would expect the gameplay and the basic formula of the next expansion to be substantially different from the eight prior x-pacs.

It at least used to feel new and exciting.

I don't envy them. As much as I'd like to see some new gameplay and innovative design, we also need to remember that WoW is predominantly a mainstream title where lots of people are quite comfortable just getting the latest story, the most recent gear with slightly higher numbers, and whatever the cute gimmick is included for the new expansion. Their $15 is just as valuable to them as ours but at some point even those people who are comfortable with WoW being the same thing year in and year out will eventually move on.

What I would like is a wrap-up expansion, you go from zone to zone cleaning up after the disasters caused from previous expansions and storylines. You get to resolve all the big plot elements they just drop when a new expansion comes out, plus with phasing you can gradually renovate and update the zone over the coarse of questing.
Plus maybe you uncover some weird linkages running through all the areas and you have to fight a god or something. It’s not a real expansion unless you have to fight a god.

ruhk wrote:

What I would like is a wrap-up expansion, you go from zone to zone cleaning up after the disasters caused from previous expansions and storylines. You get to resolve all the big plot elements they just drop when a new expansion comes out, plus with phasing you can gradually renovate and update the zone over the coarse of questing.
Plus maybe you uncover some weird linkages running through all the areas and you have to fight a god or something. It’s not a real expansion unless you have to fight a god.

That sounds awesome, but I think they'd have trouble getting people to pay for a full xpac for that.

ruhk wrote:

What I would like is a wrap-up expansion

I still think this is what Legion was supposed to be. Then it did so well they decided they had to keep going. The problem is they're having trouble figuring out where. They spent so long paying off stuff from the RTS series and didn't quite manage to lay enough groundwork for more. They did kind of try with the Jailer, but didn't give him enough of a buildup and the whole thing rings hollow. And in the attempt they used up most of the best dangling threads they still had.

The stuff with the Jailer was actually pretty good. They just unfortunately locked all the juicy bits behind a book that came out after patch 9.2

Shadowlands expansion started off good good enough they just took way too long to release the 2nd raid content patch. Doing Heroic Castle Nath and pushing Mythic + for a multiple months with no content took a lot of the steam out of it, at least for me.

I keep thinking to myself "this expansion didn't seem too spread out all things considered." Then I remember that I had a baby on March 30 last year and didn't actually miss anything...

I think a problem with SL was it was multiple distinct lands and never felt like a cohesive larger area. That seemed to bleed into the story where stuff happened but didn't look that tied together.
Legion, BfA all at least had major areas (or two) that moved from one to the other. Some one off areas was fine, but all of it made it seem more throw together than planned

Dragons xpac confirmed.

New race dragon and can only be the new class and only the dragon can be the new class.

Shadout wrote:

Prediction:
Dragonflight title is true.
The Dragonflight "leak" about the content (Mini classes etc.) is blatantly wrong.

Easiest call ever, but nonetheless, called it!

Lvling zones, and new class runs contradicts the main stuff in the "leak".

Talent trees are back! I like that.
Also fits the "hey look, we are going back to the classic WoW. Please clap".

How to Train, and Design, your Dragon.

Oh my... Wrath of The Lich King. Now that is a true return to WoW at its best.

Like the new race/class especially because of the gliding built in...
I am unsure about the talent system as I do not want to go back to adding .5% to mastery style filler throughout the tree or being a prerequisite for a new spell unlock or potent revamp.

Dragon mount customization is cool but not really a ZOMG for me.

New race seems like Worgen 2.0
I like it but I don't think Worgens were really popular. And actually, this expansion would fit with their trend to revisit expansions. This looks like Cata 2.0 like Shadowlands was supposed to be Wrath 2.0

Watching the dump on the talent system changes and...
I don't like it at all. Its a mistake. It is giving all the power and customizability back to max level and nothing but confusion and and envy as you are leveling. The old system did give the most options at end game, but there were some talents early on that were impactful and defining that you could look forward to, but didn't have to wait until level cap to utilize.

You shouldn't have to get out a calculator to optimize one of your specs. For that matter, you shouldn't have to optimize at all. The current system allows you to choose how you want to round out your character. It shouldn't be granular. If you want granular, you have everything else about your character that is granular: gear, stats, spells/skills, levels and endgame mechanics. There should be a non granular way to customize your character other than class choice.

fangblackbone wrote:

Watching the dump on the talent system changes and...

The pendulum swings back!

I think your fears might be overblown, though. Wowhead and Icy Veins will each have their version of the One True Talent Tree for each class/spec combo. Just copy it and be done with it (and update it after every patch).

I'm honestly more worried that the UI revamp will fatally wound all of my addons.

On a side note...I'm really curious to see what the story progression looks like here. I mean, you just conquered death and restored reality. The trailer says "the world is healing, but her fate is uncertain. Here the new age of dragons shall begin." From a scale perspective it feels like a bit of a letdown, but I don't know where else you could go with the bigger and bigger stakes once you basically reset the afterlife. It seems like more of an offshoot of the main story, in a way that Pandaria was after Lich King and Cataclysm. I'm intrigued but not thrilled. Of course I'll play it, even if it's just to try out a new race/class.

Wait...does this mean Shadowlands and now Dragonflight are following The Neverending Story?

Budo wrote:

On a side note...I'm really curious to see what the story progression looks like here. I mean, you just conquered death and restored reality. The trailer says "the world is healing, but her fate is uncertain. Here the new age of dragons shall begin." From a scale perspective it feels like a bit of a letdown, but I don't know where else you could go with the bigger and bigger stakes once you basically reset the afterlife. It seems like more of an offshoot of the main story, in a way that Pandaria was after Lich King and Cataclysm. I'm intrigued but not thrilled. Of course I'll play it, even if it's just to try out a new race/class.

Wait...does this mean Shadowlands and now Dragonflight are following The Neverending Story?

Also got a Raya and the Last Dragon vibe, in addition to the How to Train Your Dragon vibe mentioned earlier.

It seems like of course at some point your addons will be broken but they stated openly that they want to work with addons and make them accessible to everyone.

re: Icy Viens, I think that is a problem because it both makes it more granular and less choice. With the current system I can be non optimal by choice because I like it better. With talent trees, I am more likely to be less optimal but less by choice. Sounds like a lose, lose, lose to me.

I only got to watch the initial announcement and a little bit of the zones preview.

The most interesting things in there were their plans for Wrath Classic, particularly them leaving out the dungeon finder and bringing in the barber shop. Makes me wonder where the Classic line goes from here. Will we eventually see a version of Mists of Pandaria with vanilla-style talent trees and no pve queues?

As for Dragonflight, I’m interested but not excited. Overall I like the talent rows better than the old trees, but the trees did have some real advantages. These days when I level a character I am almost never aware of which passive bonuses I’m getting or how my abilities change and gain procs and synergies. They show up briefly when I level up and by the time I’m mentally shifted out of combat and ready to look for the changes, they’re buried in an alphabetical list or a changed tooltip for an ability I’ve had forever. A passive bonus to crit damage might not be an exciting choice, but if you make me click the tree to get it then at least I know I got it.

As for the new race-class dragon evoker things, I dunno if I want it or not but I sure as heck reserved the “Vargon” name on my server just in case…

Lol, how many versions of Dagron are going to show up on launch day?

Enix wrote:
Heretk wrote:

... there will be mostly more of the same.

WoW has been essentially the same basic game since Vanilla: shoot 'em and loot 'em.

Oh, sure, some things have changed, and a bunch of things have been added (and subtracted), and every x-pac takes us to someplace new (or made over, in Cata's case), and there are a lot more things to do than there used to be. But I'm not sure why anyone would expect the gameplay and the basic formula of the next expansion to be substantially different from the eight prior x-pacs.

Shoot em and loot em describes a whole lot of games. My gripe is that after this many xpacs actiblizz isnt changing enough. They need WoW 2 at this point to get me interested. This isn't a far fetched idea either. Look at Guild Wars and EQ.

Heretk wrote:
Enix wrote:
Heretk wrote:

... there will be mostly more of the same.

WoW has been essentially the same basic game since Vanilla: shoot 'em and loot 'em.

Oh, sure, some things have changed, and a bunch of things have been added (and subtracted), and every x-pac takes us to someplace new (or made over, in Cata's case), and there are a lot more things to do than there used to be. But I'm not sure why anyone would expect the gameplay and the basic formula of the next expansion to be substantially different from the eight prior x-pacs.

Shoot em and loot em describes a whole lot of games. My gripe is that after this many xpacs actiblizz isnt changing enough. They need WoW 2 at this point to get me interested. This isn't a far fetched idea either. Look at Guild Wars and EQ.

And they can even mostly have the best of both worlds. Classic for those who want WoW1 to live, and then something new for others.

I find it hilarious that Talent Trees have come back. Granted it’s apparently very different but from what I have read it’s also removing class specs so you can talent into a hybrid Ret/Prot pally build and be mediocre dps and tank.

TheGameguru wrote:

I find it hilarious that Talent Trees have come back. Granted it’s apparently very different but from what I have read it’s also removing class specs so you can talent into a hybrid Ret/Prot pally build and be mediocre dps and tank.

It looked like class specs are still there, you just get 1 general tree for your class, and 1 for your spec.
Which sounds nice imo.

I assumed you get separate points for each tree, so you dont have to choose between your spec power and your class power so to speak, but dont know if it was clarified.

I find it hilarious that Talent Trees have come back. Granted it’s apparently very different but from what I have read it’s also removing class specs so you can talent into a hybrid Ret/Prot pally build and be mediocre dps and tank.

Not to mention it has exploded balance testing difficulty. I just don't get it.
With the current system you can have a class with 3 damage specs that all play differently with strong identities while retaining the theme of the class. Whether you are demonology, affliction or destruction, you are still a warlock.

The new system adds granularity and hybridization which only increases grind, sub optimal choices and muddies both class and spec identity.

How does it increase grind? Some of the best early mage builds were hybrid builds. It can work perfectly fine, and give options that would otherwise not exist. It is unlikely to be useful for true hybrids, since half healer and half dps, tank etc. are very unlikely to be good. But then, if we are still limited to a specialization tree and a class tree, we also won't get the chance to mix two specs like that (unfortunately).

fangblackbone wrote:

With the current system you can have a class with 3 damage specs that all play differently with strong identities while retaining the theme of the class. Whether you are demonology, affliction or destruction, you are still a warlock.

My problems with the current system, especially before Shadowlands brought back some cross-spec abilities was exactly that it didnt feel like a coherent class anymore. I was playing a fire, frost or arcane mage, not a mage. They could easily have been different classes. The shared identity was... blink?

The grind is because of the difference between hitting a level and having access to the ability or passive right away and determining whether it works for you.

-Or in the skill tree having a weak version of the skill because you unlocked it but only have one point out of five in the skill where it really shines.
-And not to mention that passive that needs to have at least two out of three points because it adds projectiles or aoe or cost reduction to that skill you just put five points in to be viable.
-And then we can get into the weeds where the spec as a whole doesn't have enough points to spread around to the required skills so you have to crunch to find out which skills you can skimp on.
-And then there is the skill lower in the tree that does nothing for your spec but is mandatory to max because it is linked a the base of the tree to half of your build.
-And some times that skill that is required but does nothing for your build is also absolutely useless filler for the entire spec/tree and numerous builds
-Or it technically is useful to the whole tree and your build but it only adds 2% mana regen...

Again, WoW and many mmos and rpg games have tons of granular systems already. Tacking on another one that is obtuse by default isn't fun. The level of complexity in granular systems loses its effectiveness very quickly. Enhanced choice becomes confusion and frustration.

I’m glad the talent trees are returning, I really dislike the current system and hated when they switched to it. I know trees are harder to balance but I loved the fiddly-ness of the old system and the ability to roll with weird specs. I’m also a pretty casual player though and rarely get into the “hardcore” side of the game. I think I’ve done Mythics maybe a dozen times since they became a thing and really only run raids through raid finder.