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  1. #1
    Pit Lord Z3ROR's Avatar
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    Updating Azeroth in Retail WoW (again) for Cataclysm Classic

    I was just thinking. In 2010, almost 12 years ago, Blizzard updated Azeroth greatly with new graphics, elements, etc... A lot have happened in the meanwhile, both lore-wise and technically for the game's graphics. If you look at Dragonflight then you see huge improvement compared to what have now in retail Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms.

    Blizzard is investigating if they should release a Cataclysm Classic. And if you add 1 and 1 together. I would say 'Yes, release Cata Classic' and use the opportunity for Retail WoW to update the old zones once again to match up with the current events in the game. Replace old low res models of objects with new ones, like the trees and treestumps. Most object models in Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms are 20+ years old when the expansion after Dragonflight comes out in 2-3 years from now.
    And add the Draenei isles and Blood Elven zones properly to their continents (so we can finally fly there). And don't only update the Vanilla zones, update Outlands and Northrend as well. And don't forget the dungeons, BG's and arena's. Those also needs to be freshen up.

    Does anyone else agree with me?

  2. #2
    Yeah they should also just make a wow 2 and 3. And just rewrite the whole wow engine. And just redesign all the classes. And just make them perfectly balanced. Hell they should just make 3 more classes too.
    Last edited by Bandit446; 2022-09-30 at 09:14 AM.

  3. #3
    This is almost guaranteed to never happen. It's too expensive.

    Cataclysm was kind of an experiment, and it didn't go well. It's great that they revamped old zones and all, but it also spent vast amounts of resources on content many people didn't give a shit about because they weren't going to level new characters, or not level them in those zones. It effectively wasted a lot of expansion budget on something that wasn't actually a big expansion feature onto itself. Even if you DID level a new character, you got to see some of it for a little bit, and then it was done, and it never mattered again. Whereas other expansion features tend to have more longevity - even "seasonal" content like Korthia etc. lasted people a few weeks. Nobody took a few weeks to level a character through all the new zones. Heck even just leveling one character often didn't give you a full zone's worth of story, because you outleveled the zone too quickly and didn't get to see the conclusion.

    Art assets, world remodelings, etc. are incredibly labor-intensive work, and therefore expensive. But the payoff just isn't there. So it's not something we're likely to see ever again, at least not on the scale that the original Cataclysm had.

  4. #4
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    The WoW dev team can't even produce more than 5 zones for an expansion's launch anymore. They no longer have the budget to update Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms all at once. At most you might get a piecemeal revamp like Darkshore once in a blue moon.

  5. #5
    As much as id like that I doubt it will happen, They dont wanna waste resources in updating old content like that

  6. #6
    Pit Lord Z3ROR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    The WoW dev team can't even produce more than 5 zones for an expansion's launch anymore. They no longer have the budget to update Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms all at once. At most you might get a piecemeal revamp like Darkshore once in a blue moon.
    Yeah, but they dont have to design the zones from scratch llike for the expansions. The zones are already as they are. They only have to update them, which is a smaller task to do. It's not that complete mountains are gonna be moved to new locations and such. And for some older models there are already new version in the later expansions, so would be just a model replacement.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Biomega View Post
    This is almost guaranteed to never happen. It's too expensive.

    Cataclysm was kind of an experiment, and it didn't go well. It's great that they revamped old zones and all, but it also spent vast amounts of resources on content many people didn't give a shit about because they weren't going to level new characters, or not level them in those zones. It effectively wasted a lot of expansion budget on something that wasn't actually a big expansion feature onto itself. Even if you DID level a new character, you got to see some of it for a little bit, and then it was done, and it never mattered again. Whereas other expansion features tend to have more longevity - even "seasonal" content like Korthia etc. lasted people a few weeks. Nobody took a few weeks to level a character through all the new zones. Heck even just leveling one character often didn't give you a full zone's worth of story, because you outleveled the zone too quickly and didn't get to see the conclusion.

    Art assets, world remodelings, etc. are incredibly labor-intensive work, and therefore expensive. But the payoff just isn't there. So it's not something we're likely to see ever again, at least not on the scale that the original Cataclysm had.
    Well you have almost kinda said it yourself: Cataclysm was a failure, because they've made the design mistake where they spent so much time on revamping the zones and then never using them for endgame content. This is a mistake they haven't since made and thus it is obviously expected that if they do another revamp (a full revamp or in small steps), then they will absolutely make more use of it than just being leveling zones for alts.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertMugabe View Post
    This is a mistake they haven't since made and thus it is obviously expected that if they do another revamp (a full revamp or in small steps), then they will absolutely make more use of it than just being leveling zones for alts.
    Possibly, but it's likely that'll cause other problems that make the investment not worth it. For one, it's vastly more territory than a new continent. Secondly, it takes more work to redo old stuff than to build something from scratch, because there's so many things that still need to work afterwards, and so many legacy things that can screw with your tech. Also, if you make all the zones endgame-relevant, then what about during leveling? Do people just not see them? In which case you need to have massive phasing etc. going, including on a geometric level and not just asset level (i.e. the layout of the map is different, not just things plopped on top of the terrain). And then you don't give non-endgame characters the same experience. And so on. And of course it'll inevitably feel like it's "worth less" than a new continent, because it's "just" a revamp, even though it may be more actual work to make.

    All in all, it'd be a rather tough sell to the money people to ever actually do this.

  9. #9
    I think as much as we all hope it will happen and even say it never will but still hope. I don’t think it will. They need to sell an expansion that has a story for the zones. It will be hard to “revamp it” and have a story for an expansion going for the entire planet (new expansion zones not included: broken shore etc)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Romanthony View Post
    As much as id like that I doubt it will happen, They dont wanna waste resources in updating old content like that
    It doesn't have to be old content. Anything beside intro island, BfA and current expac is optional. Cata world could be put behind caverns of time portal. And of course they dont have to revamp everything in single expac.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Z3ROR View Post
    Yeah, but they dont have to design the zones from scratch llike for the expansions. The zones are already as they are. They only have to update them, which is a smaller task to do. It's not that complete mountains are gonna be moved to new locations and such. And for some older models there are already new version in the later expansions, so would be just a model replacement.
    That's exactly what they wanted to do for Cataclysm, and they barely made it (some stuff was still unfinished), and sadly it had negative impact on whole expansion, one way or another.

  12. #12
    If they plan to do it like they did for Cata (aka removing content), then that's a big no for me.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    It doesn't have to be old content. Anything beside intro island, BfA and current expac is optional. Cata world could be put behind caverns of time portal. And of course they dont have to revamp everything in single expac.
    Well I think a question was asked at a old blizzcon someone asked about them "Updating" the old world, to refect the time period because it was odd to go Cata - tbc - wrath - cata Etc. And they said they wanted to do it, but it would take to much work for them to do since it means updating old assets, and remaking quests etc etc

  14. #14
    Pit Lord Z3ROR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romanthony View Post
    Well I think a question was asked at a old blizzcon someone asked about them "Updating" the old world, to refect the time period because it was odd to go Cata - tbc - wrath - cata Etc. And they said they wanted to do it, but it would take to much work for them to do since it means updating old assets, and remaking quests etc etc
    But that was years back. I've seen that question asked when watching BlizzCon. One way or another Blizzard can't deny that some assets are in desperate need to be updated. As i already said old assets are close (or have already made) the 20 year mark. It's soo low res, that it doesn't fit modern WoW anymore. So if Blizzard wants WoW in the air for a lot of years then someone at Blizzard has to do this.

  15. #15
    They should have done another huge revamp a long time ago, at this point its probably not worth it anymore now that considerably less people are playing and the game is much more end game orientated. Still sucks that we have dealt with both a Legion and Old God invasion and the world doesn't even reflect the damage that they caused, we are still stuck with Deathwings destruction and a whole lot of pop cultural reference gags while questing..

  16. #16
    "Classic" kind of ends with Wrath, though. If anything, they should update models where they can and call it "HD Cata". There are more than enough assets from retail to make this happen. Updated player models, modern Transmog, and updating raid/dungeon/world mobs and props shouldn't be too hard as nothing needs to be made from scratch. None of this actually impacts gameplay, just makes the game look better.

    Adding Silvermoon and the Exodar to the open world would take more work than the Classic team can probably manage, so I don't think that's happening at all.
    Last edited by Zaithor; 2022-09-30 at 04:17 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Z3ROR View Post
    But that was years back. I've seen that question asked when watching BlizzCon. One way or another Blizzard can't deny that some assets are in desperate need to be updated. As i already said old assets are close (or have already made) the 20 year mark. It's soo low res, that it doesn't fit modern WoW anymore. So if Blizzard wants WoW in the air for a lot of years then someone at Blizzard has to do this.
    I mean yea I agree, id love a face lift, I dont argue with that and instead of Chromie time id like a Coherent Time line. Alot of Mmos these days handle this aspect better. But wow keeps each exapnsion storyline and are adamanet "it costs to much/too diffcult"

  18. #18
    The Classic era is Vanilla, TBC and Wrath. That is the consensus across the playerbase.

    Cata would be the end of classic era 1.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    The WoW dev team can't even produce more than 5 zones for an expansion's launch anymore. They no longer have the budget to update Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms all at once. At most you might get a piecemeal revamp like Darkshore once in a blue moon.
    Who cares if there's 5 zones in Dragonflight. The Dragon Isles are bigger than Northrend which wasn't an heavily detailed zone. Most of the modern zones were smaller, but had more details. Also, the zone is made to be 3 dimensionnal which wasn't the case for Northrend. Believe me, when I first saw the Dragon Isles on the screenshot I was thinking it was small and trash. But in game it's actually big. For the first time in WoW since I first jumped off Teldrassil I felt small. It's also good to note that they've added way more creature models, NPC variation and spell effects in the recent expansions than they did back then.


    As for the world revamp itself, I've made a thread to tell why I think it might happens before Dragonflight came out. And I was proven to be wrong since Dragonflight was released. But I now believe even more that the next expansion will be a revamp. Because everything I've said back then still stand, outside of the new starting gear but hey, there's still a lot of unused recolors for armors and weapons.

    https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads...-revamp-thread

    Most people need to aknowledge that Vanilla was actually 6 differents zones : Eastern Kingdom forest, Kalimdor forest, desert, snow, lava and swamp/jungle who uses the same assets. You can check right now on live or Classic if you don't trust me, but every single forest in Kalimdor has the same trees, the same ground textures and almost no rock. Most of the buildings outside of those in the capital cities are the same, and they now exist in HD thank to Legion and Arathi Bassin. There's like 5 different cave patterns, 8 if you count gold mines.

    They revamped anything night elf related, nature related (dryad, keeper of the grooves, moonkin ...), anything demon-related, harpies, murloc and kobold in Legion.
    They revamped anything troll related, most of the human and the orc architecture thank to warfront, anything naga related, anything old god related, yetis/wendigos, troggs, quilboar, and a lot of beast. And I mean almost half of Azeroth's beasts.
    They revamped anything undead related, boar and ram in Shadowlands.
    They revamped centaur, gnolls, dragons and elemental, a quarter of Azeroth's beasts in Dragonflight and they still have 2 or 3 more patch to add new assets and creatures.

    Not to mention everything these expansion have added in the lore and the bestiary of WoW. What's left to revamp now ? Girafe ? Lions ? Alligators ? Ogres (because I don't consider them to be revamped) ? Goblin buildings ? They can shift all the art team into capitals and dungeons. And since some of the artists aren't even working on environnement, they can just take their time and make armor, weapons and more stuff that will be good to use in later expansions.

    Now in term of feature, look at what Dragonflight updates : Professions, UI, talents and the way you move in the world. They also seems to set up the lore for more race / class combos (at least for the original classes). Those are content you would expect from a world revamp expansion. What I mean here is they've already started to invest in a world revamp. I believe Dragonflight is the first step of this world revamp. Now most of the systems are done. The only thing they need to update is the crossfaction experience, and maybe PvP. But they can't do it if they keep the old world as a starting experience. They need a new solid base. And Dragonflight might just bring the lore for a revamp. They can bring Galakrond, Murozond. They can even heal the world thank to Tyr for what I care since Danuser is still lead narrative.

    They've added like 200+ developpers to WoW with the studio they've bought. Even if it's not in its best shape right now, the game is still one of their most profitable game behind Diablo Immoral. And to be fair, I'll agree that the expansion are more and more expensives, but they are still light on the cash shop. They could clearly bring a new item in the shop each month if they need money. Next expansion will likely be released for the 20th anniversary of WoW. It will be its 10th expansion. If there is a moment to revamp, or at least to build new foudnations, it's right now.

  20. #20
    Cata doesn't need a revamp. It may be noticeably lagging graphically, but that's not what the Cata update was for. The main thing it did, other than put the Kalimdor and EK story into the Cata era, was to update questing to the modern quest hub style which began in BC and took full form in Wrath. The expansions radically changed how WoW's questing worked, focusing quests into a smaller area before moving you on to the next, rather than the globetrotting expeditions found in numerous classic quests, and that's without touching on the areas like Azshara which are straight-up unfinished in Classic. The Cata revamp modernised questing, and that style of questing has remained fairly consistent since then.
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