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  1. #61
    My opinion is Blizz worked too hard to make the game easy. They introduced difficulty sliders on PVE content so that if you can't do the "real" content, there's an easy version you can walk over. But the difficulty treadmill doesn't make the game more engaging, it's makes it less engaging. Because you've seen all of this content before. Doing Normal then starting from scratch in Heroic raid just doesn't feel good like single difficulty raids did.

    Point is, that "adventure" is gone when the content is so easy on the baseline difficulty. And even though we know the "real" content is the harder one, it feels cheap since you've already done it before. Maybe 2-3 times before (LFR -> Normal -> Heroic -> Mythic).
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  2. #62
    Legendary! Zuben's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware of this before Cataclysm made it apparent in that some of the more heavily revamped zones, e.g. Hillsbrad, felt like theme parks compared to how they were in Vanilla. Anyhow, I suggest people look for their sense of adventure in other games; I had a great time exploring both Conan Exiles's designed world as well as Valheim's randomly generated one.
    Now you see it. Now you don't.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaben View Post
    My opinion is Blizz worked too hard to make the game easy. They introduced difficulty sliders on PVE content so that if you can't do the "real" content, there's an easy version you can walk over. But the difficulty treadmill doesn't make the game more engaging, it's makes it less engaging. Because you've seen all of this content before. Doing Normal then starting from scratch in Heroic raid just doesn't feel good like single difficulty raids did.

    Point is, that "adventure" is gone when the content is so easy on the baseline difficulty. And even though we know the "real" content is the harder one, it feels cheap since you've already done it before. Maybe 2-3 times before (LFR -> Normal -> Heroic -> Mythic).
    This is a good summary of the core issue.

    Players doing the "easy" modes don't get a real sense of having overcome anything. Players doing the "hard" modes don't get a real sense of doing something other people couldn't. You are force fed all of the content in the game immediately after hitting max level and everything becomes a gated grind.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by username993720 View Post
    I completely agree with the OP's assessment.
    Venturing into the "wilderness" back in vanilla felt dangerous. Especially, when you encountered much higher level mobs than you (skull for level). That kind of feeling doesn't exist anymore. seeing a giant Devilsaur in the distance, for example, does not evoke feelings of dread anymore. The sense of adventuring into desolate and unexplored territories do not have a sense of wonder (probably, because we are already accustomed) or hesitation ("should i dare explore that cave).
    Whenever something is more difficult/too hard, people start crying though or they ignore it. And something like Vanilla will never happen again. People complaint about having no quest flow, having to grind levels etc. Now people have guides telling them every step they gotta do. There are guides for everything. There's no exploration anymore because people always wanna do the most efficient stuff.

    The time people where happy seeing a dinosaur is long over. When they see it and cannot kill it, they complain about lack of content. Whenever something hard happens, they cry instead of looking for help /grouping up /using all tools their specs have.

    Players in most games often get what they deserve. Not always, but way more often than they believe.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuben View Post
    I wasn't aware of this before Cataclysm made it apparent in that some of the more heavily revamped zones, e.g. Hillsbrad, felt like theme parks compared to how they were in Vanilla. Anyhow, I suggest people look for their sense of adventure in other games; I had a great time exploring both Conan Exiles's designed world as well as Valheim's randomly generated one.
    This is the irony of the "you think you do but you don't" quote about wow classic. In reality, the things that turned retail into a lobby based seasonal game rather than a... you know... MMO.... are what "you think you do but you don't".

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurosh View Post
    Whenever something is more difficult/too hard, people start crying though or they ignore it. And something like Vanilla will never happen again. People complaint about having no quest flow, having to grind levels etc. Now people have guides telling them every step they gotta do. There are guides for everything. There's no exploration anymore because people always wanna do the most efficient stuff.

    The time people where happy seeing a dinosaur is long over. When they see it and cannot kill it, they complain about lack of content. Whenever something hard happens, they cry instead of looking for help /grouping up /using all tools their specs have.

    Players in most games often get what they deserve. Not always, but way more often than they believe.
    That doesn't mean you design for those complaints. Telling the playerbase "no" is a good thing. Right now, the relationship between the developers is like a child demanding more ice cream until they are sick and then the child is blaming the parent for giving them the ice cream and the parent is acting like they can't figure out what is wrong with the child.

  6. #66
    Elite mobs were a good idea early game, made people team up and socialize. Unfortunately, people just started skipping the hard quests, couldn't find people to group up with, and then the elite quests became unused content, so Blizzard nerfed them so people would actually do them.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurosh View Post
    Whenever something is more difficult/too hard, people start crying though or they ignore it. And something like Vanilla will never happen again. People complaint about having no quest flow, having to grind levels etc. Now people have guides telling them every step they gotta do. There are guides for everything. There's no exploration anymore because people always wanna do the most efficient stuff.

    The time people where happy seeing a dinosaur is long over. When they see it and cannot kill it, they complain about lack of content. Whenever something hard happens, they cry instead of looking for help /grouping up /using all tools their specs have.

    Players in most games often get what they deserve. Not always, but way more often than they believe.
    Also, vanilla literally happened again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by The Butt Witch View Post
    Elite mobs were a good idea early game, made people team up and socialize. Unfortunately, people just started skipping the hard quests, couldn't find people to group up with, and then the elite quests became unused content, so Blizzard nerfed them so people would actually do them.
    That's a nice pile of made up shit, because during the first few months of classic people were absolutely grouping for elite quests all the time.

  8. #68
    If you want the world to feel dangerous enable warmode. Oh wait, you won't meet anybody in warmode anyway.

    Welp...TBC is coming out in August and it still has forced pvp on pvp servers. God, I miss the back and forth between Honor Hold and Thrallmar, was fun until BFA when Blizzard killed world pvp with the retarded warmode that barely anybody uses.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuben View Post
    I wasn't aware of this before Cataclysm made it apparent in that some of the more heavily revamped zones, e.g. Hillsbrad, felt like theme parks compared to how they were in Vanilla. Anyhow, I suggest people look for their sense of adventure in other games; I had a great time exploring both Conan Exiles's designed world as well as Valheim's randomly generated one.
    If you'd played Valheim for 15 years do you think it'd still have that same sense of adventure? I remember us going into Valheim completely blind & it was great, but now if we were to start a new server we'd all know the ideal paths to progress, where to find the items we need to upgrade, etc... Doing that for 15 years in something that isn't randomly generated (& to a lesser extent in a title that is) is going to result in a lessened sense of adventure unless they absolutely tear up the rulebook & do something so wildly different to anything they've ever made before.

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by The Butt Witch
    Elite mobs were a good idea early game
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalexia View Post
    during the first few months of classic
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalexia
    That's a nice pile of made up shit
    do what in the who now?

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Malkiah View Post
    do what in the who now?
    Your conflating two things:

    1. "Players don't want to do elite quests anymore."
    2. "Players only want to do elite quests on fresh classic servers."

    Those aren't the same thing. #1 is about the mindset of the player base. If they don't want to do it, they wouldn't do it even on classic servers. #2 is about fresh classic servers having some unique quality where player interest in elite quests suddenly changes on them for... reasons.

    Which is it?

  12. #72
    Legendary! Zuben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toybox View Post
    If you'd played Valheim for 15 years do you think it'd still have that same sense of adventure? I remember us going into Valheim completely blind & it was great, but now if we were to start a new server we'd all know the ideal paths to progress, where to find the items we need to upgrade, etc... Doing that for 15 years in something that isn't randomly generated (& to a lesser extent in a title that is) is going to result in a lessened sense of adventure unless they absolutely tear up the rulebook & do something so wildly different to anything they've ever made before.
    I'm not disagreeing with you, I was never interested in the Classic version for this very reason. I'm just noting that even without this natural development there was a point in time where Blizzard's design philosophy changed to ignore adventure all-together and Cataclysm is imo the best showcase because it literally re-designed old zones, giving us direct comparison material. Like I said, I believe it's best to to look for mystery and adventure from lands you haven't explored yet, that being other games in this context. In my case I'm still playing Valheim, but won't be returning to Conan Exiles, because I went through all of its map and did everything it offered. Why am I still invested in WoW? Not for mystery and adventure, that's for sure, but for other things the game offers.
    Now you see it. Now you don't.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaben View Post
    My opinion is Blizz worked too hard to make the game easy. They introduced difficulty sliders on PVE content so that if you can't do the "real" content, there's an easy version you can walk over. But the difficulty treadmill doesn't make the game more engaging, it's makes it less engaging. Because you've seen all of this content before. Doing Normal then starting from scratch in Heroic raid just doesn't feel good like single difficulty raids did.

    Point is, that "adventure" is gone when the content is so easy on the baseline difficulty. And even though we know the "real" content is the harder one, it feels cheap since you've already done it before. Maybe 2-3 times before (LFR -> Normal -> Heroic -> Mythic).
    I would build on this and combine it with trying to draw the game out with grinds. I can understand the argument that systems like conduits, renowned, and legendary crafting lock outs are designed as nerfs over time but that argument always rang hollow to me.

    If these are supposed to act as nerfs over time why is it that once they are all unlocked you still need a rather ridged comp to clear mythic raiding? Even with max renowned, full conduits, gem slots, and max level legendaries you can't really carry more then one or two off meta specs and expect to complete the encounter.

    It feels like beating harder and harder content to gear up and advance was slowly replaced with a spread sheet that contained a list of chores (grind torghast, grind the maw, etc) what makes it worse is that these chores offer no real difficulty or challenge but are the definition of busy work.

    It doesn't feel heroic to murder "elites" that can barely fight back in the maw. I only know of 2(3?) that can actually overpower a player who knows what they are doing and one is lodged so deep in the beast warrens i don't think ive ever seen players around him and the other is on a very long respawn timer.

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurosh View Post
    Whenever something is more difficult/too hard, people start crying though or they ignore it. And something like Vanilla will never happen again. People complaint about having no quest flow, having to grind levels etc. Now people have guides telling them every step they gotta do. There are guides for everything. There's no exploration anymore because people always wanna do the most efficient stuff.

    The time people where happy seeing a dinosaur is long over. When they see it and cannot kill it, they complain about lack of content. Whenever something hard happens, they cry instead of looking for help /grouping up /using all tools their specs have.

    Players in most games often get what they deserve. Not always, but way more often than they believe.
    The biggest evidence for this are addons integration and QoL features.
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  15. #75
    I think you bring up some good points that I agree with, even though classic isn't near the top overall for me, the zones certainly are because of some of the reasons you listed. It might sound corny but I remember leaving the starting zone the first time and how it felt like Frodo and Sam going on an adventure and for every zone you went through, it felt less and less familiar and more going into scary territory which I consider a good thing.

    I would say MoP had a similar kind of thing but WoD really didn't and the concept of 'do the zones in which order you please' they brought on us with Legion, BFA and to some extent SL doesn't really give us that same feeling.

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    Familiarity breeds contempt. When I played Zelda BOTW at first the big pig enemies, Hinox, concerned me and made me think I was going to die if I got too close, and I avoided them. They became much less scary after I kited and killed one with bombs, and later became a joke as I knew exactly what to do to kill them. Same with the Lynels.

    The game designer's job is to keep introducing new things that are scary and innovative, but when you've played a game since 2005, they run out of things to throw at you that are novel and scary, so you get jaded and bored.
    I mean they tried to do it with the maw but people whined about it just like everything else.

  17. #77
    While I really enjoy Shadowlands I absolutely agree with your OP, Vanilla had a really great zone structure. Going from a "home zone" to one of the openly hostile ones you could really feel the world change as you went along.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Toybox View Post
    If you'd played Valheim for 15 years do you think it'd still have that same sense of adventure? I remember us going into Valheim completely blind & it was great, but now if we were to start a new server we'd all know the ideal paths to progress, where to find the items we need to upgrade, etc... Doing that for 15 years in something that isn't randomly generated (& to a lesser extent in a title that is) is going to result in a lessened sense of adventure unless they absolutely tear up the rulebook & do something so wildly different to anything they've ever made before.
    I agree with you and I'll add that the sense of exploration and discovery is limited by the fact that the number of biomes is limited, the elements in each biome (mobs, materials, caves, etc.) are limited. Of course it's possible to explore the whole map and discover a huge huge unique world for each player, but every black forest is more or less the same, much like swamps and other biomes. I do agreee that the inital reaction to a biome, the discovery, the danger, is great, but in the end it's always more of the same.

    I played a bunch of No Man's Sky and it's the same. At the start, new planets, new biomes makes it fun and engaging to explore. But it often end up as a combination of weather elements, gravity, toxicity, etc. Each planet is different, but at the same time the replayability is not really in the discovery. I agreee that after 15 years of playing the same game, whatever the randomly generated worlds and biomes, the feeling of discovery and adventure will fade away.

    It's the same with a game like WoW. I personally know the world like the back of my hand, but I play with friends who are also new players, and are discoverying and exploring the world, being amazed at some zones and storylines.

    I do agree with the OP about how the game experience was designed at the beginning of the game, and the progression the devs designed for the Vanilla experience. It's a valid analysis and I quite like this progression for characters. I think the same design mindest is not present in the game's expansions. Each expansion, because of story and game design doesn't have the same progression. And it's fine. Curently, I think the devs should work on a solid 1-50 experience in Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms much like before, as thecore gameplay experience, and the 50+ experience being the current expansion. It would recapture best the sense of progression and discovery for newer players, while allowing them to experiment with expansion story and progression.

    But I'll add that I don't think this would solve anything regarding older players, because the sense of discovery, adventure, etc. is much more on the player than the game, really. It's tied to expectation, how the player interact with the world and the game systems, the time them spend on the game, if they play alone or with a group, etc. The game alone can't fix this.

  19. #79
    OP is, imo, spot on.

    Disconnected zones was a problem in Cata, and in that case we were at least on the same continent. Blizz even recognized and acknowledged the disconnect, iirc.

    Then they tripled down on it in SL, I guess in service of the theme? I think it's another huge mistake, IMO the worst thing about SL is/are the maps and the hub you have to fly through.

    It's weird though - I bitch about SL travel times yet I do not feel the same, at all, when I'm running around on an alt in the vast landmasses of EK and Kalimdor.

    Those old zones are just so so SO much better designed. You can step off the beaten path if you want, but there actually IS a beaten path.

    Idk, makes me wonder if I should give Classic another try, but it's just too late I'm sure. Plus I have the sunk cost of my mount collection and all my alts.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfire View Post
    Yes. I'm going to tell you exactly where it went and you will be shocked - clickbait.

    Contrary to unpopular opinion, vanilla WoW world design had a certain structure to it. You had the "core zones" of your race / faction: Mulgore, Durotar, Teldrassil, Elwynn, Dun Morogh and Tirisfal. These zones had a heavy faction presence. As a new character, you were mostly fighting small-time criminals and minor monster infestations - believable problems for a "core zone".

    The further out from your capital you went, the lesser the presence of your faction became. For example, the Barrens felt like a peripheral province of Durotar with a new corresponding set of Horde problems: collecting supplies for your settlements, fighting fringe cults and defending your settlements from indigenous locals. All believable problems for a peripheral province of a newly-established faction. The Alliance, on the other hand, were fighting corrupt administrators in Westfall and Duskwood - also believable problems for a well-established kingdom.

    Now when you went out even further from the core and the periphery, that's where things got interesting. You journeyed into "wilderness" zones that had a drastically reduced faction presence. Along with this reduced presence, you had much less straightforward quests pointing you do to X in spot Y and collect Z. You'd have to figure out more on your own while traveling through the wilds - where to farm, which professions to level etc. You also encountered neutral towns like Booty Bay and Gadgetzan, where members of both factions would cooperate to survive in the wilds.

    As you went further out, you stumbled into even more desolated zones. You would have places like the Un'goro Crater and the Western Plaguelands which had barely next to no friendly presence - faction, neutral or otherwise. This is where you'd start to run into some really wild things like titanic Dinosaurs eating your face. Correspondingly, you'd also find much greater treasures and valuable materials.

    Lastly, you ventured into openly hostile zones like Silithus and the Eastern Plaguelands. These were the zones where you felt like you were actively in danger and they had the visuals to match their hostile and terrifying ambience.

    This progression from civilization into wilderness into terrifying enemy strongholds is completely absent in post-vanilla expansion. All Shadowlands zones, for example, feel equally lived-in and you are carefully curated into every nook and cranny with little possibilities for independent exploration. In fact, I think the last time we had an "outer wilds" zone with few quests and little friendly presence was Townslong Steppes in MoP and Sholazar Basin in WotLK. Perhaps people said that MoP reignited vanilla's sense of exploration exactly because it tried to recreate that core -> periphery -> outer wilds -> enemy stronghold journey with the Jade Forest -> Valley of the Four Winds -> Kun-lai and Townslong -> Dread Wastes progression?
    I agree - to some extent.
    Take i.e. TBC.
    You start in an extremely hostile area - the assaulted dark portal, then you visit some holdouts and minor outposts - but the majority of it all is highly hostile and/or desolate.

    Then Zangarmarsh, a bit less hostile, but mostly neutral dominated with a tendency to hidden enclaves.

    Terrokkar / Dead wastes, neither of which are particularly friendly, with Shattrath being an enormous oasis.
    Nagrand - a nice contrast with its relatively tame area compared to other areas.
    Shadowmoon and Netherstorm: utterly dominated zones with some curious holdouts - nothing that makes it feel controlled.

    Blade's edge: Very limited in movement, controlled by ogres and neutrals.


    Anyway the point of this post is that there was variety, a lot of it in fact between zones, and frankly it stayed like that at least up to and including WotLK.

    Some were dominated by warped terrain, some were dominated by nature, animals, various factions varying degrees of hostility - you name it.

    Most of all these zones were coherent in this sense, it strengthened their identity while not being necessarily dominated entirely by just one sort of thing (which is not to say that zones dominated by one theme cannot be good - the invasion of the emerald nightmare was something i really liked).

    And there was also the matter that these zones did not become "resolved" after questing through them. Yes, some improved a little in terms of hostility, but none really reflected that you did stuff there - defeating the big bads of the land, built bridges, strongholds, etcetera - thus preserving the adventurous feel of the land. Likewise an overfocus on explicit storytelling can be detrimental as well, since all the main mysteries have been resolved with finality and there is nothing left to wonder about.
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