My Cataclysm Wishes

Everyone has their own hopes and dreams for what Cataclysm will bring for them, whether they are roleplaying, raiding or PvP’ing. From what we have seen so far, the game will be more casual friendly, which I consider not bad considering a lot of focus was given to (and demanded by) world-class raiders. Those who believe themselves master of the Arena have their tournaments (whether they meet like-minded souls, have fun and not bother anyone else) and Roleplayers will likely be in awe or in dismay regarding the new outfits available when the expansion hits.

But what is it I would like to see?

This is a question that has been in my mind for a while. I am trying to ease my way back into roleplaying, but I don’t PvP all that much on Natarumah (although I believe I should try). I love raiding, even if it’s classic instances. But lately I hit a snag – training for the Hard Modes in ICC is quite draining, I don’t feel like grinding rep (unless I splurge and go straight for the Insane title) and I am not too strict on doing my dailies (still 40 to go until I hit the 1000 daily quest achievement).

What I would like to see is more in the atmosphere. Immersion, a sense that the game is growing, not just expanding.

The Goblins and Worgen are a nice addition – I think I will roll me up a Goblin because they have powerful personalities and concepts. I have seen some of the concept screens for Blasted Lands and Swamp of Sorrows, and I am very pleased with the detail. It’s still cartoony enough to be WoW, but detailed enough that it seems like a world that designers invested effort and attention to make immersive.

For me, the cartoony bit is mandatory. Yes, there are people clamoring for the game to be more “next-gen” and more realistic. But let’s face it, the really realistic games generally fail, either because they are too realistic, or they fail on the tiny details that put people off. It also eats processing power, and limits the number of people who can actually play the game.

I’d also like to see an Outfit and Back system like it had been designed for Lord of the Rings Online. You see, in that game there are two brilliant systems in place to make people do what they like (and look like they want) yet have no influence on gameplay. First off, you can select a set of items to be an “Outfit”, after which you can activate that set whenever you like. No matter what you are wearing, that set is the one displayed on your toon.

Second off, there is a much wider range of items to put on your back (and WoW even has the option to put items in the Shirt slot, like the rockets at the gunship battle in ICC). I’d love to see hunters with unique quivers, or Goblin engineers hurtling around with a barrel of bombs on their backs. Paladins toting around little portable shrines, Tauren Shamen with a giant totem pole, and sneaky night elf rogues with an actual packpack (and the mandatory weapon collection).

Just imagine it. Close your eyes, think about it. Imagine the restoration Druid (now forced into caster form most of the times) with giant potted plant. Imagine the Worgen with a netted pack full of skulls. Imagine the Death Knight and his mining bag full of lovely Saronite. The possibilities are great – and make for another unique addition to one’s character.

But in the end, what I wish most for in Cataclysm is that it makes the game better, the world more expansive and immersive, the quests more interesting. I’ve played this game for over four years now, and I haven’t exactly gotten tired of it. But the life of a game is not measured in how many expansions are made for it, but how well they are received by the players, and how the playerbase loves the game.

World of Warcraft is massive, its community passionate and its capacity for drawing in players greater than what is currently actually in play. I approach Cataclysm with open eyes, mind you, but I will allow myself to be surprised by the wishful little things, that we can have:

  • Outfit styles and more back items than just the old cloaks no one shows anyway
  • Maintain the sense of Warcraft, immerse the players in the changing world
  • PvP being exciting, not something that only a small portion of players actually enjoys
  • Raiding as something that is friendly to casuals, but rewarding to hardcore raiders
  • Path of the Titans and Archaeology feeling like part of a whole, not “tacked on”
  • Greater graphical detail, but keep the average player hardware in mind
  • The game being streamlined so it can run the race for another five years.

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