1. #1

    Lightbulb WoW's Future - Features and Systems - 9.0 / 2.0

    Hello everyone

    My name is Mor and I am the Guildmaster of <Exodus>, playing in The Maelstrom EU- Alliance.

    I have been playing the game for 14 years, through its ups and downs, and during the last couple of months I've been collecting ideas and suggestions.
    All of those ideas and suggestions focus on the future of the game, and they way the game should evolve and improve.
    Everything I have written is the basic form of those ideas, and could be expanded to greater systems and features.

    So, after this short introduction, I would like to share what I've gathered with you, and hopfully get your opinions and feedback.




    My concept for the next expansion:

    •New Continent: Dragon Isles
    •New Race: Dragonborn
    •New Multi-Class: Dragonsworn
    - Earthworder – Tank
    - Lifebinder – Healer
    - Chronomancer – Caster Ranged DPS
    - Spellweaver – a Bow Ranged DPS
    - Dreamerwalker – Hybrid Healer/RDPS (Disc Priest)

    •Max level is now 60
    •Azeroth re-forged: Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor rebuilt from the ground
    •Revamp leveling and open-world systems: quests, dynamic events and more…
    •New talent system: progression system for leveling and customization for endgame
    •Class Relics: new way to customize your skills
    •Itemization and crafting
    •Return of the Orders: Class Order Halls 2.0
    •Guild stronghold
    •Micro Dungeons
    •New heirloom system


    Leveling and Progression:

    The goal: update the game to fit the modern gaming area, turn Azeroth and beyond into one world, that looks and feels like one game, relevant to any player in any level.
    Background: Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor represent the symbolic continents of the franchise, the entire story of the expansions starts and ends with these continents. With time, us players return to these places as a part of the quests in the new expansions (e.g. The BFA expansion’s war campaign, or the Legion’s expansion Artifact questlines). In addition, when a veteran or a new player starts a new character, there has to be a chronological order in the story, even more so as this is an RPG. The areas should appear accordingly and transmit the gameplay in a way that resembles the endgame, give the player the feeling that this is a meaningful journey, which is still connected to the current content.

    Max level: 60, with any expansion when new continents and zones will be added, the player will progress through story chapters or meta achievements (like Suramar) instead of new levels, those achievements will be account wide, which makes alts more accessible directly to the end game content.
    When a character reaches level 60, the player will get a unique heritage armor + mount questline for each race, this quest will be similar to the "Balance of Power" quest from the Legion expansion and include dungeon quests, crafting materials and open world events, which would make it more meaningful to obtain.
    New talent system: Combine ideas from old progression systems like the Pandaria talent system, classic’s talent system and HoA/Legion artifact traits - each level the player will get a talent point, talent points will be used to unlock new core skills, skills choice, passive skills or to empower your character just like the old talent system, but this time with a lot more choices and customization options.
    Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms now fully revamped: new evergreen stories and quests, those quests will not tell a story with a specific point in time to avoid chronological order situations like the |Cataclysm" created. New assets, graphics and textures for all of the old zones (like blizzard did with WSG and AB battlegrounds graphic revamp style), all zones will scale to your lv (1-60) – this will make the world relevant to you even at max level, especially with the party sync feature.
    Old world leveling and quest update: Many zones start with an open world short scenario(not a queue one), this scenario will unlock the zone’s content for the player, after this scenario a lot of events, rares, chests, WQ and more chapters for the main story of the zone will unlock around the player.
    Each zone has a number of main story chapters, the revamped zones should be designed in a way that more story chapters can be added later to progress the story and create more changes to the world over time.
    Open world social interaction: like in Mechagon and Naz'jatar, many rare spawns and events will pop up in the world, what makes the players to group up naturally. In addition, if the player choose to travel with friends, the player will get a bonus experience buff (1% per group member, max 5%) and an increased chance to find more treasures from chests and rare spawns (gold, resources etc.)
    Core races: a core race character will start in their old (revamped) starting zones, but now with a short race specific chain quest. At level 10 the player will be able to start their class quest immediately and it will send you to your class hall.
    Allied races: to unlock old the allied races, the player just needs to complete the recruiting quest instead of grinding old expansion reputations.
    When starting a new allied race character, the player will start at level 5 with a scenario that will tell the story of their place in the world, this scenario will get you to level 10 and then the player will get a quest that leads you to your faction’s capital city and your class order hall.
    Class Order Hall: at level 10 the player will get access to his Class Order Hall, there the player will start his class specific quest that continues throughout the player's leveling journey and beyond.
    In the first chapter of this class quest the player will create his own Class Relic (a new artifact item with the option to customize your skills).
    Old world and old expansion content: through the Caverns of Time, every player can experience the old world quests and expansion content (even the Cataclysm Azeroth world revamp) to complete old achievements - but not as a "must to do" part of the leveling experience.
    In this way, there is access to all the old content, and more importantly - a logical order is created in the story.


    Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor Revamp:

    •Eastern Kingdoms (EK) and Kalimdor have always been our true home, every expansion starts and ends in those lands.
    •EK and Kalimdor are the starting points for all of the players (especially for new ones) so it's important that they look accordingly, up to date and feel like a place for great adventures.
    •Many new races have joined the world and taken a part of it in recent years, and more will join in the future which is changing the world dynamically: so now the Kul-Tirans rebuilt Menethil Harbor, the Dark Iron Dwarfs control the lands of the Burning Steeps, the Magיhar orcs now spread their forces across The Barrens etc…
    •With the WoD new character models the goal was to keep the soul of the races but gives them a total new HD version, we can see a similar situation with the revamped Arathi Highlands and WSG battlegrounds, EK and Kalimdor should recreate at this way.
    •Zone scaling is a great way to let the player to choose his own path of adventure, with a final max level of 60 the world can scale to the player’s level so the whole world remains relevant at every stage, and the player will still feel stronger when he returns to old areas thanks to the talent system, gear progression and the class relic.
    •With a good evergreen content around the world, EK and Kalimdor can stay relevant for max level players even in future expansions.
    •The 1-60 leveling world should be filled with enemies such as Kobolds, Vermins, Gnolls, Morlocks, Pirates, Bandits, Centaurs, Naga, Satyrs, Undead, wild Orcs, Furbolgs, the Botani and Saberons from Draenor, so that the storyline of the zones would remain relevant as the game progresses through expansions (as opposed to the current state of the quests which tell a story of a specific point in time – a Nightborne receiving quests from Garrosh etc).
    •In past expansions we have seen loads of ideas that were left behind, like the Pandaria's farm, Legion invasion points, BFA assaults, Draenor’s Garrison outposts, Warfronts, Broken Shore buildings etc.…
    These features can fit right into the world as evergreen content, for example:
    -War zones: some zones continue to be attacked from time to time by races like Kobolds/Gnolls/Blackrock Orcs/Undead/Centaurs etc..
    These attacks can dynamically affect the zones and small towns the players have to rebuild them with resources around the zone to recapture them.
    -Westfall Farm: Westfall was rebuilt with the help of the alliance and it’s used as a huge farmland – there you can claim your little piece of land and build
    your own farm (fruits and vegetables will be used for cooking and will have a duration so you cannot stack them for a long time or sell them on the AH – if
    u want to sell them maybe you should use your social skills ).
    •With all of those new things to do in the EK and Kalimdor, a lot more new factions and characters reputation (like the "farm friends system" from Pandaria or the bodyguards from Naz'jatar) should be added to the game (with a use of the paragon system (some of them will be mob grind base, others will be gained from events and activities around the world.
    •When the world is designed in this way, more story chapters, events, and rewards can be add in a later patches and expansions.


    Open world Structure and Rewards:
    •The world should have a lot more random encounters, escort events and rare spawn around the world using the new AI from island expedition (some of them will be a super rare spawn)
    •group quests and chain quests like Monster hunter quests should be added to the profession quests
    •rares and elites now have a lot more skills and mechanics – you WANT and NEED to group with more players to kill them
    •some of them have a cool way to spawn like mini games, puzzles and active items
    •just like rare spawn - treasure chests will spawn randomly around the world but some of them have a unique way to spawn as a reward from mini games, world events and mini bosses
    •treasure chests can reward you with gold, profession materials, random items, cosmetic items and even rare mounts, pets and heirlooms

    Treasure Hunting
    a new "treasure maps" items should be added to the game.
    "Treasure map" items can be found everywhere: dungeons, raids, chests, rare spawn and even in the open world lies in some hidden places.
    When you find a treasure map you will get a hint of the lost treasure location, as you get closer to the hidden location an extra button will appear, when you click on it a mini-game (similar to the archeology profession) will start, footprints will appear on the ground around you, and the extra button will disappear, once you stand on the footprints the extra button will reappear and this will continue until the footprints will lead you to the secret location of the treasure chest.

    There are several types of treasure chests; each one has another way to open it:
    Cursed chests: once you click on the chest, an event will start and waves of monsters will attack you.
    Protected chests: a chest protected by a mini-maze or lasers you will need to dodge quickly.
    Trapped chests: In order to get to this kind of chests, the player will be required to clear up a booby trapped path.
    Magical chests: to unlock this kind of chest you will need to solve a puzzle (similar to the tortolan mini-game and Nazjatar chests mini-game).

    Open world Micro-Dungeon:
    Micro-Dungeon (MD) is an open world event/scenario that pops-up in some places on Azeroth, inspired by the gameplay on island expeditions but in the old world structure.
    •The player can find a Micro-Dungeon enent in places like: Caves, mage towers, gold mines, abandoned buildings, enemy garrisons and keeps, underground hidden bases, Night Elves dens etc.
    •a MD event may not always be active
    •You can't track a MD or see them on your map, so some exploration is needed here
    •MD is designed as a scaled group content but you can always try to solo them or to take your bodyguards to help you with this challenge
    •The MD is not an instance area, it's an open world event that everyone can take part of
    •The player will fight some enemies and make your way through the maze to the end boss final stage, across the MD you will face random events, rare spawns, items to interact with, treasure chests and some NPC that need your help
    •The player can help those friendly NPCs with the different ways your class/spec and your profession have to offer:
    •If you find a wounded NPC you can heal them as a healer, give them a potion as an Alchemist or to make/find an antidote
    •If you find an imprisoned NPC you can release them as a rogue/ create a key with Blacksmithing or Inscription or to find the lost key
    •In some places you will find a locked gate and doors, in this case BS/inscription and rogues can help you too


    New Talent System

    The new talent system is based on old progression systems like:
    •Classic WoW's talent system
    •Pandaria's/Modern WoW's talent system
    •Legion's artifact traits system
    •Azerite gear trait choices and the HoA progression system

    Goals and explanations:

    •Starting from level 10, each time players level up, they will receive a new talent point to invest in their talent tree, this guarantees that the players will be rewarded and feel stronger with each level progression.
    •Every 10 levels (at 10/20/30/40/50) the players will get to choose 1 new active/passive skill out of 4 options (similar to the azerite trait choice).
    •At max level (60), the player will get to choose one of two ultimate skills.
    •This new system consists the advantages of the previous progression systems, it gives the player choices (like the current talent system/the Azerite traits system) and a regular "skill tree" progression system (like Classic talents/legion artifact system).
    •The new talent system will allow players to learn their skills through the 'talent tree' which will make their learning process more sensible.
    •Some of the talent tree's skills will require that the players go through a quest to unlock this skill.
    •The quest will enhance the players' affinity to their class and create an even stronger bond to the class fantasy.

    When a warlock wishes to learn the skill that allows them to summon an Infernal, they will get a quest that instructs them about the ritual of summoning this demon.


    Itemization, Crafting and Reward Feeling :

    •Itemization creates possibilities for customization between different game contents and game styles.
    •Item level and gear stats is a pretty boring and outdated concept, however it should remain in game in a less impactful way.
    •It's much cooler to use items with effects and abilities that affect your gameplay than only stat sticks items.
    •Items like "Sulfuras" from MC and "Corrupted Ashbringer" are remembered to this day because of their abilities/power and the way they could be obtained.
    •"Sulfuras" from Molten Core is a great example for a cool item that combine a lot of MMORPG elements like: group content, crafting and farming for a great reward feeling, we can see another example of it in "Cataclysm" with the "Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest" or "Fangs of the Father" questlines.
    •In BFA we saw a lot more interesting items, for example: dungeon items like "Geti'kku, Cut of Death" and a lot of items from Battle of Dazar'alor, Crucible of Storms and the Eternal palace raid, this kind of items fill the place that Blizzard wanted to fill with the Legion legendary system, powerful cool items with cool effects (but not broken as the Legion legendary ones).
    •Not all items must have a super powerful effect, most items can have "mid-ring azerite traits" effects (for example: Lifespeed/Azerite Globules/Heed my Call/Gutripper etc...)
    •Some of these effects can also be found on Heirloom items and vice versa.
    •This kind of items creates a real customization option for different situations in the game.
    •Crafting is an integral part of the RPG genre and that's how it should stay.

    Reward feeling:
    •The gear quality that is dropped in a raid should reflect the difficulty of the raid itself, same goes for every content which rewards gear, good example for that can be seen in the BFA essence system in which the stronger essence and upgrades can be obtained by going through more difficult content.
    •Normal raid loot will be green (uncommon) quality items, heroic raid loot will be blue (rare) quality items and mythic raids will drop purple (epic) quality items


    Class Relics:

    The Class Orders are rebuilding themselves to protect Azeroth from new threats.
    For that, each Class Order crafts a unique Relic to support their champions:

    •Paladin: Holy Libram
    •Warrior: Horn of War
    •Death Knight: Cursed Skull
    •Druid: Spec-Specific Animal Idol
    •Rogue: Vials of Poison/ Belts of Shurikens
    •Monk: Keg / Scroll / Monk Necklace
    •Demon Hunter: Demon Skull and inner soul + Tattoos
    •Shaman: Totem
    •Hunter: Quiver and arrows
    •Mage: Magical Orb
    •Warlock: Demon Skull / Demon + Wing Effect
    •Priest: Light/Void Idol


    •Combine ideas from the HoA 2.0 essence system + Diablo 3 Runes system
    •This artifact system lets you customize your core skills with several different versions through Runes (Similar to the Diablo 3 skill system)
    •Each spec has 5 core skills to customize, each skill has 4 runes to choose from
    •each rune has different animation and effects for each "Core Skill"
    •You will collect the runes from various activities in the game: quests, bosses etc.…
    •Similar to the BFA essence system, each rune has four ranks and qualities:
    Uncommon – Rank 1
    Rare– Rank 2
    Epic– Rank 3
    Legendary– Rank 4

    Rank 1 provides a basic enhancement to the chosen skill, these enhancements aren’t don’t just provide more damage or stats, but also have the option of gaining buffs, additional effects, charges and more.
    Rank 4 of the rune is a cosmetic change that is flashy and has a unique visual.


    Class Order Halls 2.0:

    After the events of "Legion" the class orders choose a new master to lead them, the player will become his "right-hand man" over time.
    The Class Order Halls from legion will return as a side content base for leveling AND endgame to emphasize the class fantasy.
    As you start your character, after a short scenario you will get a quest to visit your class hall and learn more about the history of your class.
    Each class has its own unique Class Hall, after the events of Legion, some of the Orders Halls had to change their location to stay in Azeroth:

    •Paladin – Light's Hope Chapel (Eastern Plaguelands, Eastern Kingdoms)
    •Warrior – Alcaz Island (Kalimdor)
    •Death Knight – Acherus: The Ebon Hold (Eastern Plaguelands, Eastern Kingdoms)
    •Shaman – The Edge of Elements (The Barrens, Kalimdor)
    •Hunter – Eye of the Eagle (The Hinterlands, Eastern Kingdoms)
    •Dragonsworn – Chamber of Aspects (Northrend)
    •Druid – Moonglade (Kalimdor)
    •Rogue – Ravenholdt Manor (Alterac Mountains, Eastern Kingdoms)
    •Monk – Peak of Serenity (Pandaria)
    •Demon Hunter – Eye of the Betrayer (Felwood, Kalimdor)
    •Mage – Hall of the Guardian (Dalaran)
    •Warlock – Black Harvest (Karazhan Catacombs, Deadwind Pass, Eastern Kingdoms)
    •Priest – Netherlight Chapel (Silithus, Kalimdor)


    •The player will visit there from time to time as he progresses in his class main questline and for side class quest.
    •The Player will meet champions of his class and some new NPC adventurers like him.
    •The new recruits will be used as body guards, level them up to unlock more skills for them, more quests, stories and class cosmetics rewards (similar to the Naz'jatar bodyguard system).
    •The Class Champions will be used as quest givers and as key characters to lead your class story.
    •Players with Legion's class halls achievements receive a special starting quest in place of the quest for the new players
    •The player will unlock more and more cosmetics and skins to his Class relic through achievements, quests and activities (similar to the Legion Artifact system)


    Guild Stronghold:
    •Each Guild can Build their own Stronghold
    •Guild Stronghold can be built only in the capital cities (Stormwind, Ironforge, Exodar, Orgrimmar, Thunder bluff, Silvermoon (or in some zones like The Barrens or Redridge Mountains.
    •You can unlock buildings and styles with guild quests and achievements
    •You can unlock more ways to customize your guild stronghold by doing guild content, guild quests and guild achievements
    •Each Stronghold has several buildings:
    - Guild Central – include relevant monuments and statues, a place to hang out
    - Guild Inn
    - Guild Bank
    - Guild Hall – main building, includes Guild kitchen, vendors, guild emissary, daily
    and an office zone only for officers
    - Guild Trophy's Room with a "time walking" option for old expansions guild trophies
    - Player's personal House - a personal place to customize, this place will stay the same even if the player choose to change a guild


    New Heirloom System:

    Heirlooms will be used as a part an open world item system, and be available to collect and use in the open world. They might be found randomly (like Legion’s legendries) or bought with a new currency which will also be something the player can find around the world and obtain by doing content.

    •Many new heirlooms were added to the game.
    •Heirlooms will no longer give bonus XP buffs
    •Heirlooms now have use/passive effects similar to the items from CoS / the Eternal Palace raids, Benthic gear and the new heirlooms from BFA
    •The player will collect them as a random drop from content around the world like chests, rares, dungeon bosses etc... (similar to the Legion legendary drop system)
    •The player can also purchase a specific heirloom from a new heirloom quartermaster with the a new "Heirloom Shards" currency
    •There will be some class-specific heirlooms that will be available through class quests / class vendors.
    •The new heirloom system will fill the place of excitement and anticipation for a cool item while leveling and can serve the players in the open world even in the endgame.
    •Heirloom items are now only rings, trinkets, wrists, backs, belts, boots and gear enchants.
    •Since there won't be heirloom armor pieces for chest/helm/legs and shoulders anymore, players who already had them in their collection will get the appropriate enchant heirloom instead, these item enchants can also be found in the world or in the heirloom vendor.


    thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Very well thought out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shipu View Post
    Hello everyone
    •New Continent: Dragon Isles
    Definitely getting a new continent.

    •New Race: Dragonborn
    Not happening. Blizz doesn't want to make dragons a playable race. I would love it, though!

    •New Multi-Class: Dragonsworn
    - Earthworder – Tank
    - Lifebinder – Healer
    - Chronomancer – Caster Ranged DPS
    - Spellweaver – a Bow Ranged DPS
    - Dreamerwalker – Hybrid Healer/RDPS (Disc Priest)
    You're just asking for the moon and stars here. Of course, why not? But they can't balance what they have. And now you want to add all this?

    •Max level is now 60
    Didn't they already say this was going to be a thing? I may be mistaken.

    •Azeroth re-forged: Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor rebuilt from the ground
    Not happening. They were burned by the Cata revamp when they spent tons of money revamping the lands and no one cared. They aren't doing it again.

    •Revamp leveling and open-world systems: quests, dynamic events and more…
    Probably not happening for the leveling process. Why go back and re-do what people don't really care about in the first place? (Again, Cata revamp)

    We may see some of this for level cap. Certainly works well in GW2.

    •New talent system: progression system for leveling and customization for endgame
    Arguably we already have that. Azerite now and whatever it was in the last expac.

    •Class Relics: new way to customize your skills
    Would be nice, though something else to screw up balancing.

    •Itemization and crafting
    Unless something profound comes out of Blizzcon, they've given up on crafting.

    FF14 has a great professions system. Blizz should be looking at that with envy and Seth McFarlane-level of plagiarism.

    •Return of the Orders: Class Order Halls 2.0
    Probably not happening.

    •Guild stronghold
    Not happening. I think they'll do housing first or at the same time.

    •Micro Dungeons
    I don't think your version of micro dungeons will happen. Too random and small. May see a different iteration of Islands though. Something soloable would be nice to take the pressure off of the go-go-go mentality.

    •New heirloom system
    Not happening. What they have works good enough for them

    Here's the problem: Classic has shown (for now) that they can spend little money and still have a large subscriber base. So spending money now isn't a priority. What we get at Blizzcon is what was planned already before they saw this new dynamic. But it will rear its ugly head as content starts to slow down even more than it already has been.

    Any suggestion that requires a large input of capital/labour isn't going to fly right now.

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Kyphael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Very cool but as said above, too ambitious for Blizzard to pull off. As much as people like to say BfA is as bad as WoD, it doesn't feel quite as abandoned as WoD by the same point in time which means all resources haven't been poured to 9.0. That means we'll just likely get a slightly more ambitious expansion than BfA but not Legion-level.
    Last edited by Kyphael; 2019-09-11 at 06:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthope View Post

    Here's the problem: Classic has shown (for now) that they can spend little money and still have a large subscriber base. So spending money now isn't a priority.
    this is really wrong. Look at classic, most servers have already gone from high and full to medium. Classic is losing players daily and the vast majority of players is still in retail, and you can check this yourself, not something im making up. Just check the server list at any time and compare the amount of full servers in retail compared to classic, high pop, medium pop etc. My server in classic has gone from full on the first days off peak hours to low. Its now medium on peak hours

    Bfa made over 150 million Euro's by the first day it was out in expansion sales alone, add that to token sales, character services etc and you can easily see that classic is making pocket change compared to bfa. Now bfa is failing, no doubt about it, so blizzard has to spend resources into their gold cow. If 9.0 is just another legion/bfa, then they are in deep shit, they have serious competetion now from eso and final fantasy. They can't afford doing as little they can to reap the most money like they have been doing. They need to get players back and make them happy so they stay.

    Ot: i am interessted in that talent tree. I have been picking my own brain trying to figure out ways to fix it, that is not just going back to vanilla talents, cause, guess what, they are overrated AF

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by glowpipe View Post
    this is really wrong. Look at classic, most servers have already gone from high and full to medium.
    Some of that has to do with increased capacity. It isn't all because of population loss.

    Classic is losing players daily
    You are right about that. So is BfA though.

    and the vast majority of players is still in retail, and you can check this yourself, not something im making up. Just check the server list at any time and compare the amount of full servers in retail compared to classic, high pop, medium pop etc.
    I don't know how accurate server tags are. I know they changed them to more accurately reflect capacity for Classic, but they didn't say they were doing that for Retail. It may still be proportional.

    My server in classic has gone from full on the first days off peak hours to low. Its now medium on peak hours
    Again, some owing to population loss, some to increased capacity.

    Bfa made over 150 million Euro's by the first day it was out in expansion sales alone, add that to token sales, character services etc and you can easily see that classic is making pocket change compared to bfa.
    I don't doubt that.

    If 9.0 is just another legion/bfa, then they are in deep shit, they have serious competetion now from eso and final fantasy. They can't afford doing as little they can to reap the most money like they have been doing. They need to get players back and make them happy so they stay.
    You're right, but I don't see any evidence that they are thinking that way. Anecdotally, it seems they are still thinking along the lines of: "Invest as little as possible"

  6. #6
    The heirloom system completely ruined gearing while leveling. They really need to fix this somehow. Classic feels great without it.

    One way to do it is to have dungeons drop better gear, and by better I mean 10% to 20% better. Instead of equipping the heirloom pieces, maybe they can change it so that the stats from the pieces are applied to the gear slots, including the XP bonus...etc

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