Global Chat: World of Warcraft BlizzCon reactions

Whether you play it now or not, chances are that your paths have crossed with World of Warcraft in the past. This is true of pretty much every MMO blogger I know, and as such, all of them have emerged over the weekend to offer their thoughts on BlizzCon’s classic server and Battle for Azeroth announcements. So what do they have to say?

On World of Warcraft Classic:

“Meanwhile, a lot of what Blizz said about WoW Classic was set in the future tense.  It sounds like they had a small group do some research and found a viable path forward.  Everything else, however, seemed to couched in ‘we will,’ ‘we’re going to,’ and ‘we want to.'” (The Ancient Gaming Noob)

“After I had gone past the initial amaze-balls feeling of just hearing about it, my first thoughts were — which kind of Vanilla? Vanilla was around for about two years before we got Burning Crusade, and a lot happened during that time alone. Will we get early-Vanilla or late-Vanilla? Which patch are they going from? And are they going to do it hardcore, no quality-of-life changes from later patches/expansions added whatsoever?” (Jinxed Thoughts)

“Vanilla WoW is still very much a quirky translation of the pencil and paper RPG genre into a computer screen, with items such as ammo for ranged weapons and weapon proficiency leveling coming back. If you play old school D&D and other old school-inspired games, that might not be an issue, but for people raised on the action MMO or newer pencil-and-paper RPGs this might be a bit of a shock.” (Parallel Context)

“I’m sure I will take a look at it out of curiosity, perhaps even record some videos, but it’s extremely unlikely that I’m going to pay a subscription to re-experience the days of taking 40 levels to get a slow mount.” (Endgame Variable)

“But then, when that cinematic started rolling… Oh, the feelings. Especially as I watched our beloved world of Azeroth restored. I got up and literally danced around the living room, bursting with joy. I even woke up our son (it was way pass his bedtime here, living in Europe).” (Alunaria’s Avenue)

“The biggest question is, ‘How classic is classic?’ My friends all played vanilla but I didn’t. I told them no auction house, no Crossroads chat, and no guild bank because I think that was added later.” (Coffee Cakes and Crits)

On Battle for Azeroth:

Battle for Azeroth is probably the most uninspired theme for an expansion they’ve come up with to date. Pretty much anything people were speculating about before the announcement would have been more interesting.” (Priest with a Cause)

“So many awesome expansion ideas. So many potential plot threads. And they decide to once again flog the same dead horse they’ve been trying vainly to resurrect for over ten years. What a waste. The thing is, we know this is a story that can’t go anywhere. No faction can either win or lose.” (Superior Realities)

“Even the expansion seems to backtrack on expansion progress over the years. Mechanically getting rid of the artifacts is a good step. Level scaling across the board is good. Lots of dungeons, open groups, all good things. Ignoring the story, it looks like it can work. It’s the first expansion where I am I not curious, in the least bit. Borderline apathy I guess.” (Leo’s Life)

“Scaling throughout the world is a welcome change for me personally. I can’t remember the last time I actually managed to quest through and finish a zone properly without feeling like everything around was trivialised the moment I breathed on it. It will be a breath of fresh air to go back again and watch the story play out, and maybe level alts again instead of just dungeon farming.” (Heals n Heels)

“The Battle for Azeroth is promising epic stories, but when the dev team makes a joke about Vol’jin in the same breath, it becomes impossible to ignore the fact that plot for them takes secondary status to features in this expansion. That’s cool, I can cope with emotional detachment, as long as the features are as great as I’m told they’ll be.” (Alt:ernative Chat)

“For the very first time in a long long, while I watched the next expansion’s trailer I wasn’t excited — far, far from it in fact. Feeling utterly saddened as I watched Alliance and Horde battle each other on the outskirts of Lordaron, I wondered if this is an expansion I even want to pay for. Not really what I would have ever expected myself to feel on a Blizzcon morning.” (Z for Zeirah)

“Personally, I am cautiously optimistic about the next expansion! It’s no Legion, with its features upon features that seemed to be catered specifically towards appeasing the fanbase, but I think there will be a lot of good stuff inside. From a historical standpoint, the only other expansion we’ve had that has put the primary focus on faction conflict thus far has been Mists of Pandaria, which was one of my favorite expansions to date.” (Growing Up in Azeroth)

“Now, I’m sure there be a lot of people excited for Warcraft to get back to ‘roots’ as a Red vs Blue RTS trope, but this is literally the most generic title and expansion theme they could have done. Sequel escalation can be difficult to manage when there is no formal end planned — there are only a few more tricks Blizzard can pull once the Burning Legion itself is extinguished — but… this? ‘Battle for Azeroth’ is something you write on a whiteboard with an underline, to denote that a series of actual title ideas will follow.” (In An Age)

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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GamingSF

This feels like another Warlords – it feels to me like their plans for Azshara/Void lords didn’t work out quickly enough to announce the expansion many were expecting. So this is the filler (with lots of non-story features) to keep us going for another 2 years while they try to get the next big story expansion into a better state of development.

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rondstat

I’m kind of shocked by how many of the responses to BfA range from meh to overt hostility.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more excited for a WoW expac. This is the theme, the story I dreamed of seeing as a follow-up to Legion’s plot, but feared Blizzard was not bold enough to ever implement. These are the zones I’ve been waiting for, the features I’ve been waiting for, the characters I’ve wanted to put under the microscope. I mean, Warfronts? Am I the only person for whom this is the holy grail of desired-but-unlikely WoW features?

This arc was masterfully set up throughout Legion – in a way that wasn’t true for Cata, or WoD, or Legion itself – and seeing these titans on the battlefield, ironically and tragically mirroring the Legion opening – instant hype. Knowing that Golden’s on the story team gives me hope that WoW might finally move away from bombastic good vs giant-evil-of-the-minute and attempt to tackle something with a little more depth..

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Dragon Whimsy

The Battle for Azeroth story is only interesting if it’s the final battle between the two factions and they merge the factions for the next expansion, uniting the fanbase on each server. Otherwise it’s just a repeat of Mists of Pandaria.

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Denice J. Cook

Perhaps Blizzard came up with such an uninspiring expansion theme to try and push the throngs onto the classic servers, so they don’t have to update WoW anymore. :P

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Loopy

Aside from the unfortunate name, i feel like this will be one of those “living in the moment” type expansion, as opposed to an “epic quest” to defeat a great enemy. Honestly, i’d rather have a state of perpetual war and conflict with some sort of a tug of war mechanic associate with it, interwoven with other smaller threats that pop up so that we can justify dungeons and raids. It will feel more like a living world, instead of episodic approach that Blizzard generally takes with expansions.

I don’t know, maybe i’m wrong, but it’d be nice to break the cycle of big bad baddies, and focus on Azeroth instead.

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Kala Mona

Yeah, I also don’t have a problem with the “theme”, but then there should be some strong features to support this.

I could imagine a big OPvP continent, where the factions struggle for dominance, and you can help your side by doing PvE content too. Like creating armor and weapons for the NPC-s or food for them or even collecting battle pets to summon a mega battle pet to fight alongside your NPC-s, whatever. Digging up ancient weaponry via archeology. PvE dungeons deep behind enemy lines that, when completed, sabotage their NPC-s or buff yours. Raids on the open to take down enemy bosses.

Knocking down castles, rebuilding them by quests and gathering, summoning common guards and powerful attacking NPC-s, crafting siege machines, stealing rare artifacts that give buff to your side, giant war all over a continent. Mechanics that prevent one side from dominating the other. Quite some of these were done in games like WAR for example.

That would be a real Battle for Azeroth, not “kicking each other in Silithus for some ore”.

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Red Galaxie

I agree completely. The new frontiers of dark age of camelot were like this, with just a massive persistent battleground. The realm that controlled the most area unlocked passage to a kind of bonus area for new loot and stuff like that.
The addition of pve contributions is awesome. I hope they do something like this.

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Tanek

“No faction can either win or lose.”
Big surprise of the expansion will be that the Alliance is wiped out and everyone has to reroll Horde.

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Dušan Frolkovič

No, there will be two cash shop items, one for each faction. Whichever gets bought more, that faction survives!

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Kala Mona

I honestly would like to see that :DD

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Jeffrey Meade

I agree with most of the blogger comments about the expansion. I loved the cinematic for it, but almost everything else comes across as uninspiring with a feeling of been there, done that. There isn’t one feature announced so far that has me excited. I really can’t figure out what Blizzard is thinking. There were so many rumors and speculation as to what the next expansion would be, and almost any of those would have been more exciting than what Blizzard actually announced.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

What is Blizzard thinking? Esports. My Old Gamer Tin Foil tells me that this expansion will be low key because much of WoW’s team has been and will continue to be working on moving WoW into Esports mode. Subtle and not so subtle shifts in the game world are already occurring as Blizzard’s philosophy and business plans and targets move in that direction.

It’s always important to ignore what they say and watch what they do.

I also thought the cinematic (all of them, really) was great. No one does that better than Blizzard. A mini-movie in 2 minutes. You laugh, you cry. But the expansion news itself is uninspired.

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Red Galaxie

They did just finish that big arena the Overwatch world cup was in, so this isn’t unreasonable. Blizzard really does love its Esports.

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Mailvaltar

@Syp Just want to point out that the blog is called “Endgame Viable”, not Endgame Variable.
Sorry for being a smartass. It’s not my blog, but it would bother me if it was. :-)

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starbuck1771

Justin they are going to single you out and give you the Neapolitan. :P

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Annoyed badger

just so much…..meh.

Battle for Azeroth…only its not is it, its not really faction conflict as no one can win….so some big bad will appear, we will all work together again and that will die a damp squib….until next expansion (scuffle for southshore perhaps…) and it all NEW, exciting DEADLY, HORDE V ALLIANCE conflict (only not really, because you see you have to band together to beat XXXXX).

Features: Meh, hard to get excited about things that should be standard in any modern MMO like whole world scaling. I mean, its like getting excited an MMO includes a group finder now isn’t it…..

Classic, now dont get me wrong, I like a good old nostalgia fest as much as the next person, but I seriously doubt this has widescale appeal, at least from people who actually played it (yeah, an hour finding a group, a 20min hike across the barrens, 10mins whilst they try to find the entrance ot razorfen downs, then they have to go 5mins in and its all for nothing…go classic wow). Realistically, they should go for a late vanilla patch, so all the worst of the annoyances are taken out, but I doubt it has long term appeal for many gamers.

That said, TBC, or especially a WOTLK server…now that would peak my interest……though lets be honest, how long could I play that for? People whine about stale content when an expansion does not come out every 12 months, so how long will they play vanilla on repeat?

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Mars Langley

Aside:
The phrase is “pique my interest”, pique being an old-fashioned word that basically means “to excite” (or, as in “a fit of pique”, to sharply irritate by offending pride). It is based on the French “pique”, from which we also get the English “pike” (but only when speaking of the weapon, when speaking of fish or mountains the word is rooted in Old English “pik” which is also the origin for “spike”). Anyway it’s basically a metaphor for someone getting your attention by poking you with a sharp spear. “Whoah! Hey now. Okay, yes, I am paying attention to this.”

On topic:
I agree wholeheartedly with the “meh”. This has got to be the most snooze-inducing setup for an expansion since Mists of Pandaria. As storylines go this is … a distinct LACK of a story. The Horde and the Alliance scuffling has been happening in the background since WoW was released, with various apocalypses layered overtop. Strip all that away and you get Battle for Azeroth: Fighty Men In Fighty Times.

We’ll see where they go with it but yeah, this is not an encouraging start.

Classic: I think this’ll be a fun toy for vets to play with, just a kind of entertaining aside so people can look back on the original WoW, warts and all. Plus it brings some players back into the (paying) fold.