Friday, April 23, 2010

Hero Quests

Players have been asking for class quests to be put back into the game. Vanilla WoW had one for most classes: Paladins and Warlocks had to go on a lengthy quest for their mounts, Priests had one for a staff that allowed them to switch classes without having to redo their stats, warriors had one for special weapons...and so on.

There also used to be more quest interaction with professions. Blacksmiths, for instance, had to complete a series of quests to unlock a choice of specific blacksmith branches.

Blizzard's response has been less than promising. They believe that they can only design a certain number of quests per expansion and that by implementing hero quests that there would then be fewer quests for everyone else to enjoy. It is a good point, to be honest. Let's that for Cataclysm Blizzard can design 3000 quests. The implementation of epic hero quests might require 700 quests for all of the classes total. Now, the general player base only has 2300 quests that they can level up with, unless they choose to do their one line of hero quests for their class. But the other class quests are locked to them.

Blizzard's current stance that everyone should have access to everything (all quests, all gear, all dungeons/instances) is actually limiting the playability of the game. If I run my warrior through all of the content, then switch to my horde warlock, there are very few things that will be unique in my second run-through.

They tried to do something about this issue with the Northrend map by making to landing points and allowing the players to choose one side of the continent or the other to begin their leveling process. Of course, by the time either side reaches a certain level, they are all playing in the same zones. But still, it was a nice throw-back to vanilla WoW where you could start leveling from one of several locations and then choose another one later with a different character.

We need more of that. And we need the hero quests put back in for each expansion but they need to be for solo play. Maybe the very last quest ends in an group encounter, that might be ok. The problem is that once the majority has gone through these group encounters several times, they do not want to do it anymore. Calls for help in chat go unanswered for a long time. The poor player might get one or two answers, but they will be from the wrong class or the group will simply fill out beyond them.

Solo content is important to late-comers and players who have "finished" the game and would like more to do.

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