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World Of Warcraft Dev Address Pacing Problems

World Of Warcraft Dev Address Pacing Problems

Posted time: May 12,2016

If you’re still holding your breath for Blizzard to make a firm ruling on official servers running older (legacy) versions of World of Warcraft [official site], jeez, you must be tired. A month of holding until you pass out, over and over? Rough. Well, a Blizzard livestream today deftly stepped around that, but one dev get nicely into one of the problems fuelling interest in legacy servers: modern WoW’s bad pacing at lower levels.


Oh, and Blizzard also mentioned that closed beta testing for Legion, WoW’s next expansion, should start on Thursday to begin the run-up to its August launch.


That’s the plan for Legion’s beta, anyway. Excluding unexpected last-minute badness. Remember to check your Battle.net beta opt-in settings if you want a chance. The livestream was mostly about Legion, full of details about things it’s adding, so get stuck in if that’s what you want. What interested me far more was the talk about legacy servers, or around them – about modern WoW’s rubbish pacing.


Assistant game director Ion ‘Watcher’ Hazzikostas spoke surrounded by disclaimers that this isn’t the authoritative word and that Blizzard’s official stance hasn’t changed since that statement. However, he did talk a lot of sense. He said that negative feedback to Blizzard’s proposed ‘pristine’ servers “sheds some light on something that I think is a problem with the game in general right now, that I think we can address outside of the context of legacy servers, pristine servers.”


Which is that the levelling-up experience through older zones at lower levels is “pretty broken right now. It’s not really very well tuned.” He added, “It’s not even about difficulty; it’s about pacing.”


Basically, low-level players now plough the game, killing everything easily in unsatisfying combat so they spend comparatively far more time simply running between objectives. Some of this is down to changes made with the end-game in mind.


Some of it is down to intentional speeding-up of lower levels, especially with the Cataclysm expansion’s arcing story missions pushing people along far quicker. Hazzikostas said that was partly down to wanting to remove barriers to entry. Blizzard were concerned about new players who’d joined to play with their pals but were so far behind, and about returning players not wanting to grind through zones they’d seen. So they sped it all up.


He would like to change this. “The point isn’t to make the game brutally hard”, he explained, it’s to ease back on the pace. Besides, the barrier he spoke of is already partially solved. WoW offers instant boosts to max-level, including one redeemable boost with each new expansion and selling them separately too.


Which, yeah, I agree with that. I first played WoW before the first expansion then returned shortly after Cataclysm and sure, it had a lot of cooler moments and the story wrapping of lower levels was good stuff, but the rush ruined the feel of the world. WOW gold buying, IGXE is the best choice.


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