Regional FlagLeveling needs more thought.Source
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Cryogenix
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#1 - 2011/06/09 04:09:00 PM
Let me start off by saying, this is my first character in the game. This entire post is merely an observation on the game from someone who just recently leveled to 80 for the first time.

With that being said, I finally feel like WoW is enjoyable, rather than a grind. I don't mean that 1-79 was absolutely awful, and that I didn't have fun and wanted to quit the game. That is hardly the case. However, the grind from 1-79 lacks any mechanics to make dungeons fun, and the questing itself isn't all that great.

As soon as I hit level 80 and was able to que for Cataclysm dungeons, it's like the game changed for the better. There were actually mechanics you had to follow in dungeons, such as standing in the way of a beam. Now I understand that after someone runs these dungeons several times that you can do it without thinking about it. To me at least, it's still refreshing to have things that must be done specifically to prevent wiping.

This became even more apparent to me last night. I joined a group that was about to run ICC 10 man. Now granted there were several bosses that just involved nuking them as fast as possible, but even the little things like standing in certain spots, or avoiding ice tombs make you feel like there is some thought put in a fight rather than just plowing through bosses like it's nothing. The Lich King fight is honestly the most fun I've had in this game since I started playing. It wasn't necessarily hard, but it was fun.

What I'm getting at is the almost non-existent amount of thought that is required for anything as you level up. I've seen several threads about wanting difficulty or the accessibility for all to complete a raid or dungeon, and while I would argue that difficulty is necessary to keep the fun level up, I think what's more important is a learning curve. Requiring people to learn an appropriate response to boss attack's, movement, etc... should be implemented, even at lower levels. There's no reason why a player in the 50's or 60's shouldn't be having to learn to actually work as a group, instead of just standing there for 30 seconds attacking, until the boss is dead. Yes, more people will wipe. Yes, leveling might take a little bit longer with said wipes. However, you'll learn important things before you get to the current content, and the game becomes more interactive.

This may come across as a rant, but I just feel like there's no reason that the game couldn't have thrown me a little difficulty earlier on. I'm having a blast now that I'm learning boss mechanics, focusing on those while attempting an achievement (Lich King 30 stack of necrotic plague was a little stressful for my first raid), and actually feeling like I accomplished something when I down a boss rather than just "alright, which boss is next".

Maybe this is how the game is supposed to feel. When you get to a higher level you get better game play. Personally, I don't understand why a fraction of this can't be implemented on the journey there.

Just an observation, from someone who's new.

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Community Manager
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#20 - 2011/06/10 02:14:00 AM
This is a cool discussion. Thanks for starting it. :)


06/09/2011 09:09 AMPosted by Cryogenix
I don't mean that 1-79 was absolutely awful, and that I didn't have fun and wanted to quit the game. That is hardly the case. However, the grind from 1-79 lacks any mechanics to make dungeons fun, and the questing itself isn't all that great.


While I wouldn't say that leveling from 1-79 is totally "grindy" (I actually had and continue to have a lot of fun running through those zones), I can definitely see your argument. I mean, a lot of current dungeon mechanics are fun, right? They make you analyze the world around you and adapt changing scenarios, sort of like a puzzle. At first glance, having that kind of gameplay accompany you all the way from lower level quest zones to end-game dungeon content seems like it'd be amazing. But that's just at first glance. There's a lot to be said for keeping the leveling process as seamless and straightforward as possible.

For a lot of players, the goal of World of Warcraft is to meet some benchmark, things like leveling up, getting gear, increasing their character's potency, and/or defeating end-game raid content. While questing may be enjoyable activity in its own right for some (like you!), there's definitely a portion of the population where it's really more of a means to end -- a way of achieving those other goals more quickly or with greater efficiency -- and that's an important fact for us to keep in mind.

It's not that quests aren't important; on the contrary, they're a critical part of the game, and we'll continue to work towards making them even more epic and fun. It's just that if we make quests too challenging or too complicated, especially during the leveling process, we run the risk of creating situations where players might become frustrated and feel like they're being forced into a style of gameplay that isn't exactly their cup of PvE.

Now, that doesn't mean there isn't some sort of balance that can be struck, where we're able to create quests that evoke the fun of dungeon encounters, but never really reach that point where they become tedious or difficult (we totally hear your feedback on that). It's a matter of appealing to as many players as possible and making sure that they're engaged, but not overwhelmed with over-the-top challenge as they level up -- which can be tricky, especially when you have such a wide variety of playstyles and opinions to consider.

Even so, incorporating more dynamic mechanics into questing and using quests as a teaching method is something we'd like to do for future content. Whether or not we should invest the time and resources into revamping existing content, though...well, that's something that we'd have to weigh very carefully, as it would require us to focus our attention away from creating new things.

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Community Manager
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#269 - 2011/06/16 02:12:00 AM
It's just that if we make quests too challenging or too complicated, especially during the leveling process, we run the risk of creating situations where players might become frustrated and feel like they're being forced into a style of gameplay that isn't exactly their cup of PvE.


I'm reading that as you want quests to be interesting but easy and fast to get people to endgame.


Yes and no. When designing quests, it's important for us to keep in mind all the different kinds of players that'll play through them and what their interests might be. For example, some World of Warcraft players just want to get to max level as quickly as they can. That's a totally valid style of play, so we try to make sure that quests don't arbitrarily complicate or impede the leveling process.

That's just one thing we consider, though. We know that there are a lot of players who absolutely love questing -- quest chains, daily quests, low level quests, all of it. (Loremasters, represent! \o/) And we absolutely want to appeal to that group of players, too. With respect to the OP's suggestions, our concern is that, if we implement quests that are too challenging or too similar to dungeon content, then we risk forcing players into roles and types of gameplay that they may not appreciate. Not everyone likes running dungeons or feeling pressured by having to learn encounter mechanics, so overloading quest content with those kind of scenarios may not be the best course of action.

Could we do more to vary up the kinds of quests you play through, though? Sure. We feel that we can still provide a streamlined, straightforward questing experience without always relying on the simple "collect this," "kill that," "okay, now kill that again, and then be a good sport and collect a variety of gross things from their corpses" objectives that everyone has come to love. Those kinds of quests certainly have their place and will likely remain a staple in World of Warcraft, but we're trying some new things with the 4.2 daily areas that we hope players will enjoy, and want to continue that trend with future content, as well.

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#270 - 2011/06/16 02:12:00 AM
As sort of a side note, if any of you missed our last Dev Watercooler, "Content for the Casual 85," I'd definitely recommend checking it out. In it, lead quest designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak" delves into the goals and hurdles of quest creation at end-game: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2913878#blog

While the topic of this discussion is slightly different, it still addresses a lot of the challenges and intentions behind quests in World of Warcraft, and how our designers are looking to improve the experience going forward.