Here’s how WoW Classic influenced the design of Shadowlands for Retail WoW

    
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While World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion has been in the works long before the launch of this past August’s WoW Classic, the fallout from the legacy server type nevertheless has crept into the DNA of Shadowlands.

In an interview with Kotaku, Blizzard said that it was reminded of how game design can subtly encourage players to work together rather than be forced to team up. As a result, some of Shadowlands will offer common goals and opportunities for spontaneous alliances rather than forced systems.

“It’s been informative seeing how well people play together, even in the face of [the fact that] there’s no rules,” said Executive Producer John Hight. “That social system — I’m going to help you out if you help me out — that’s resonant in Classic has shown us that you don’t have to beat people over the head to get them to understand things. It’s best when they talk to each other and help each other out. A little bit of complexity is OK, a little bit of friction is OK as long as you have a good social system to support that.”

Other WoW Classic-influenced design that Blizzard is bringing forward into Shadowlands includes adding “cool and satisfying” class and zone moments that offer fun over pure combat utility as well as a more “cohesive” and “super immersive” world that has a bit of bite to it.

The studio said that it’s still too early to tell if WoW Classic is stabilizing into a long-term residents for players or if it’s “just a novelty.”

Source: Kotaku

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Scott McCulloch

Playing Classic has just confirmed even more that retail has it all desperately wrong.

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Arnold Hendrick

I am constantly impressed by Blizzard’s ability to rediscover what MMORPG designers understood 15 years ago. This may be related to the likelihood that the WoW development staff has seen over 100% turnover during the last 15 years. Is anyone there who held a similar position the first year WoW launched?

The “spontaneous alliances” occur when players realize they cannot complete a quest playing solo. Nevertheless, the preferred play style of the WoW community is solo – that’s transparently obvious to anyone who spends time within the game. But people will group up (even if the group reward system penalizes them for it, as often happens in Classic) when forced to do so.

Alternate interpretations, such as those from the game’s Executive Producer, don’t seem rooted in the reality of the PvE game experience. This willful disregard of community and gameplay realities does not bode well for the player experience in the upcoming 2020 update/expansion of the game.

As for grouping in PvP, well, duh, the bigger battalions win. Forming a larger gank squad is always desirable. If there are player number limits, then WoW players will kick group members in favor of replacements with better stats without compunction. They’ve already demonstrated this in how they organize “raid” groups.

What’s been informative to me is how selfish WoW players usually are. There are occasional people and guilds that are an exception, but the majority behavior is very, very different from MMORPGs that demand near constant grouping for survival (such as EQ and EQ2).

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Joey

What’s been informative to me is how selfish WoW players usually are. There are occasional people and guilds that are an exception, but the majority behavior is very, very different from MMORPGs that demand near constant grouping for survival (such as EQ and EQ2).

I hate to paint the entire WoW player base as having this solo oriented mind set, but I think it is generally true. There is like a very real disdain for guilds, forced grouping and having to “socialize” in order to achieve goals with the most of the people that play WoW.

I don’t know if it is the IP that has attracted a lot of these types or it has been Blizzard’s obsession over the years to try to target as many player types as possible.

In any case, the game as it stands today, kind of feels like a boring and anti-social everything box that really doesn’t do well at targeting traditional MMO players.

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Bruno Brito

It’s…so much bullshit, you have to stand in awe.

I’m going to break it down:

“It’s been informative seeing how well people play together, even in the face of [the fact that] there’s no rules,” said Executive Producer John Hight.

Bullshit number one. Rules are impediments. They’re not just rules in the law sense, they can be a impediment to your tailored style of play. People play together well because the warrior can’t help but stare at the mage that is grinding the whole zone. So, they need to be social, and the warrior needs to offer something because that mage just offered a impediment to his play. The “rules” consist of you realizing, that in Classic, you have a specific role, and this role is shoved in your face right at the beginning. And to be more efficient, you need to group. This bullshit “no rules” doesn’t make sense. People don’t group because they love each other, they group because they need it.

Get to STV at level 30 and you’ll see what i mean.

“That social system — I’m going to help you out if you help me out — that’s resonant in Classic has shown us that you don’t have to beat people over the head to get them to understand things.

Suits really don’t play their game, do they? Classic in it’s entirety is a exercise in caving people’s head in. Yeah, it’s easy. Easier than we remember. But it’s not easier than retail leveling by a mile. You NEED to go to STV at 30+ because the maximum level you’ll get without elite quests ( which requires grouping ) is 33/34. 35 TOPS if you’re like me and completion entire zones at green questing. STV is a fucking hellhole. And it teaches you, BY BEATING YOU OVER THE HEAD, how to play your class in PvP.

It’s best when they talk to each other and help each other out.

Don’t you say, jackass.

A little bit of complexity is OK, a little bit of friction is OK as long as you have a good social system to support that.”

A little bit, my snow white ass. This PR speech is grinding my gears. This isn’t about a “little bit of complexity” or “friction”. This is about the game having “evolved” over the years towards something he clearly doesn’t even reckognize. There’s almost NO complexity towards building anything in WoW. Honestly, there wasn’t much even in Vanilla, but some things are still being found today in Classic like Dual Wield Tanking, Spelladin MCP, hell, Warlock leveling is still one of the most discussed and polarized subjects to date.

Why we are getting pointers from someone which clearly doesn’t understand the game he’s talking about, it’s evolution through the ages, and what the lack of challenge and importance, WoW’s leveling in retail made to player’s apathy, i’ll never know. This guy is vague as vague can be, and that’s saying a lot from fucking Blizzard.

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Schmidt.Capela

STV is a fucking hellhole. And it teaches you, BY BEATING YOU OVER THE HEAD, how to play your class in PvP.

I leveled through it back in Vanilla, and I believe I was attacked by the opposite faction less than a dozen times during the whole the whole questing there — including finishing the Green Hills of Stranglethorn quest before moving on.

I believe I already had some kind of reputation by that time, though. When attacked I would either /sit without fighting back (ensuring a boring confrontation), or kite the attackers into Booty Bay without fighting back to force them to fight the guards, at which point they could either kill the guards and flee (losing rep that was a pain in the ass to get back) or allow the guards to kill them (and getting the PvE death penalty, which is far larger than the PvP death penalty).

Edit: this in a PvP realm, mind.

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Bruno Brito

When attacked I would either /sit without fighting back (ensuring a boring confrontation), or kite the attackers into Booty Bay without fighting back to force them to fight the guards, at which point they could either kill the guards and flee (losing rep that was a pain in the ass to get back) or allow the guards to kill them (and getting the PvE death penalty, which is far larger than the PvP death penalty).

And this all confirms my argument. It’s acquired behavior that you enforce to yourself since it’s the best way to either avoid confrontation or win them for you. That was what the game/community teached you. These behaviors are all over the game.

And i’m the same, but on the servers i played, STV was always a hellhole. There’s a reason why we call it Gankthorn Vietnam. I always did everything so i could go back to STV at 37/40+ and do those quests in two or three circuits max.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

We had a bloodbath in that elite ogre mound a week or two ago. Our server is generally civil, but STV is engineered to start shit.

And I’m big enough to admit that I started it, but only because those bastards started leapfrogging us after presenting themselves as waiting for us to play through.

I can only imagine what some of those bottleneck areas turn into on PVP servers.

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Bruno Brito

Most 30+ areas are engineered to be shitshows. Arathi,Hillsbrad, Alterac, Hinterlands, etc etc.

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Joey

I leveled through STV a month ago on a PVP server and I loved every second of it. This kind of adversary is what made me fall in love with WoW in the first place.

The modern game just feels so sterile to me. Sure, the classes are more complete, dungeons encounters are more difficult and all the specs are viable, but the entire core of the non instance game just feels like a soulless experience.

There so little interaction with other players outside of the instance content anymore.

This is why I’ve largely given up on modern MMOS, they all mostly fill like single player online games now.

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Dagget Burmese

I think they got a lot of their ideas from FFXIV Shadowbringers, more than anywhere else. Venthyr, which are described as eaters of sin, for example. Also a lot of visual motifs, check reddit etc for various side-by-side comparisons.

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agemyth 😩

There has not been enough time for this to be heavily influenced by Shadowbringers. FF11 and WoW were built from a EQ1 template and FF14 was made from a WoW template. Nothing is made without heavy cultural influences from recent or ancient history. This is especially true with the iterative nature of video game design. Sin eaters themselves are very “on brand” design concepts for the Final Fantasy brand and JRPGs inspired by it.

The memes are just memes.

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peor togs

Classic player here. No plan to leave classic anytime soon, but maybe with a level squish, better leveling difficulty, and new allied races to level to 60 I would!

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Anthony Clark

I don’t plan on leaving Classic anytime soon.

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donvweel

Me neither, I have no interest in retail WoW.