The Daily Grind: Whom should pre-expansion MMO events target?

    
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What if, instead of random chance, we just... let you work on things?

There are lots of things I’m not crazy about when it comes to the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth pre-patch event, but one of the big ones seems like it would be a little thing but is actually a pretty serious one. For Legion, the Legion invasions that came in hard were level-agnostic events that let everyone get in on the action and encouraged you to level up characters who had lagged behind. This, though? Aside from being something I’m not super happy about, there’s no leveling component. It’s just for people at the level cap, no one else.

You could, of course, argue that the expansion event is aimed at people who are already done with the expansion to get them excited, but I always thought that one of the goals of these events was to bring everyone up to the expansion. Back in the day, Final Fantasy XI expansions would include content for many levels, and the pre-expansion event for Treasures of Aht Urhgan drew in everyone gently. But maybe that’s just me. What do you think, readers? Who should pre-expansion events target in MMOs? Existing veterans? People coming back for the expansion? New players entirely?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Kevin Smith

Considering this is a story event it wouldn’t make sense to have none max level characters in this event. It isn’t like the invasions from the legion xpac which were basically leveling path to jump straight in to the xpac. With the addition of needing to run the new character alts through old content to get the exclusive armors I don’t think they want a loot pinata for a short term (only during the event) so everyone get it without doing the real legwork. I can see making some content that low level character would do, but when your story is removing an entire major capital city it doesn’t work. If you complete this event then the city should be gone, they might add a time thing like they did for some other areas where there are two instances of the same area running, not just phasing but two actual instances. Overall for me xpacs are for the people that have been playing for years, not the new player who still has the entire game before this to play. An this event is part of the xpac. Sure they can skip everything that came before, buy the leveling pass, but that is on them and if they do that they can jump right into the story event now so that is mute point.

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Arcanum Zero

This whole thing seems anti-player, in my opinion. Pre-patch event for 110s only; everyone over 100 loses their artifact weapon regardless of level; everyone under 100 has missed out on the opportunity to run Legion as it was intended, for what looks like perpetuity.

Really badly done.

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Jokerchyld

Missing out on the opportunity to run Legion is the one thing that stands out. Its, in my opinion, there BEST expansion and I thoroughly enjoyed it to the point I made an alt just so I could play it again from the Alliance side. Only to find this out. I don’t get it.

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Ben Stone

I think the direction this time mostly has to do with the levelling overhaul in 7.3.5. They want to justify the levelling experience taking longer, then they aren’t going to let people powerlevel again like they did in Legion.

Also Legion was a fairly popular expansion, while they needed a carrot on the stick to get people back after the mess that was Draenor.

The content is good for gearing up undergeared alts to get them ready for BFA. The new world quests drop gear slightly better than normal Argus raids.

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nomadmorlock9

Legion pre patch was great. BFA has been pretty much phoned in.

Everything about this expansion (note I skipped beta and all spoilers I could) feels like it has half hearted effort behind it.

Sincerely hope it’s not all like this.

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Minimalistway

Just few weeks and leveling in new content will start, i’m waiting for that, i feel it’ll be something like Legion, which is not bad but also not exciting enough, islands thing (i forgot the name) will be the main content for me, 3 players scenarios, if these are fun then good, if not? well another MMO waiting.

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Eamil

I’ve been under the impression Blizzard no longer cares about its own story since around the end of Pandaria =/

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Fervor Bliss

If there is too much community in your game, this seems like a good way to separate your players.

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Utakata

All pre-expansion patch content should be available to all those players and their pigtails who are waiting patiently for the actual expansion to kick in.

That said though, Blizz is likely doing this way because of the phasing mechanics that’s involved (for good or bad). So if a leveling character where to complete this, but had a critical lowbe quest to turn back into Darnassus, only to return to the Flight Master stating, “But there’s no tree to go back to anymore, sorry!”…this could be an issue. So I guess this is why this locked to max levels only this time…beyond the reason to pad their level booster sales on the side. o.O

Polyanna
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Polyanna

The elephant in the room here is a question nobody is talking about in all the furor over a trivial pre-patch event, the mysterious demise of our artifacts without so much as a cutscene to mark their passing, the overall boringness of things in BFA, and on top of it all a whole new level of hell for those leveling by the usual means.

The question is this: What if Blizzard believes there are no more new players for WoW?

This is not the same as “WoW is dying.” The game may be doing fine and the company may have a plan for it to continue serving its core veteran player base for another decade. But what if Blizzard has looked at their numbers and found that there just isn’t anyone left out there in 2018 who ever would play WoW and hasn’t already?

WoW has been so big, for so long, that the number of actual new players the game can ever hope to sell to at this point may no longer be a factor in anything they do, because everyone now is a returning or veteran player. If that’s true — or if Blizzard believes it is true — it would explain a lot about why their focus is where it seems to be today; exclusively on turning out a steady stream of content catering solely to veteran players who mostly want to just get to the endgame and do the new stuff.

The problem of course is that ignoring new players also means ignoring the veteran players whose game play loop includes regularly starting over again like new players, leveling alts the old fashioned way and enjoying the older parts of the game all over again like they were new. But I suspect Blizzard feels that alienating them with the “buy a boost” attitude is losing them less in goodwill than they can gain by putting their time into brand new endgame content, vs. making the old game fun and good (which is anyway the opposite of what they want it to be if their goal really is to make more veteran players buy more boosts).

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Ben Stone

Mysterious demise? There was a cut scene that explained that we used them to absorbthe unstable power from Sargaras’ sword and that they would become overloaded before burning out.

Also new players get a free 110 so they arent exactly excluded from the pre-patch event.

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Kevin Smith

Really guessing you didn’t go do the quest that gives the cutscene showing you why your weapon was drained of power. It was an auto quest up to this week don’t know if it is now, I would assume that it is for anyone who did any of the silthus stuff after the sword fell.

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Hirku

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Christhulhu

TSW/SWL is the worst offender of this, IMO. I’d never personally gotten to the point where all of the cool stuff was available when new major updates were released, and that always just made me sad… :’ (

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Rick Mills

Seems like you’re looking at bonus material in the mouth….