I still play WoW, despite the negativity I feel (and express in writing) towards this game. It’s still the one game that binds me and RL friends together and the game we have invested years of time into. I suspect the wishes of one lonely WoW player will never reach the ears of Blizzard devs, but for the sake of a thought experiment I’ve decided to layout what I would want Blizzard to implement to improve WoW. <rant on>
1) Sort out the leveling curve
Seriously, the ‘end-game’ in WoW is meaningless to me. I don’t want a hamster wheel gear-grind as my main activity. So make leveling a challenge and an achievement again by nerfbatting the XP gain from creatures and quests to early TBC or even vanilla levels. You can keep the optional boosts from heir-looms and RaF of course – give the end-game obsessives their options too. I haven’t played through much of the redone content as it’s simply so trivial, so ridiculously easy.
2) Dynamic content
Blizzard has big pockets and resources. They should have worked on truly dynamic content years ago, phasing doesn’t cut it I’m afraid. Lets see dungeons with random traps (Rogues, Engineers and maybe a new item enchant can be used to disable these). Lets see more puzzles, but with randomised solutions – e.g. DDO has tile-slide puzzles with a randomised set of solutions for maximum replayability! Let’s see quests morphed into events – ArenaNet has been talking about the dynamic open world events in GW2 for *years* now; Blizzard are very good at adapting and polishing other games’ ideas so why aren’t these events in Azeroth yet!?
3) Real crafting please
Go back to basics on recipes that need more variety and less quantity of ingredients. Making a plate helmet that requires twenty dozen bars (exaggeration for emphasis) of the same ore isn’t exciting or imaginative. Why have all newer cooking recipes become so simple? Stop giving the trainers all the new recipes as well, I want more world-drop or dungeons-drop recipes (not heroics or raids!) for the various crafting professions so you have nice surprises once in a while. Also add woodcutting and woodworking as gathering and crafting professions (see below).
Why has this not happened yet? The cities aren’t vibrantly alive with people being social, they are waiting lobbies for the evil dungeon finder. So give up on that as an excuse. Give us housing for each race, with the ability to craft or buy furniture. Do *not* copy the hook system from LoTRO. We want full 3d placement like in EQ2 or Runes of Magic. It gives people a major non-combat activity to engage in and is great for roleplayers. Entrances to the houses should be inside the major cities, right next to the main thoroughfares – so people come out to go to the bank / AH. Maybe allow them a mailbox inside as a rarer item to make/buy (engineers could summon their portable mailbox anyway). But no bank or AH NPCs in housing to keep the traffic in the cities going. Eventually you can add lots of trophies from bosses / quest chains so you can decorate the house with memorable items. How about ‘weapon shelf’ woodcrafting item that allows you to transform an old weapon into a nice decorative feature to go above the fireplace?
5) Future content
Similar to 2 above. The Molten Front was good for giving some lore and content. But it’s just more layered token grinds. Make the quests harder, encourage team work, let people work together to achieve results and cut back on the grind. Don’t sit and think ‘how many days should they do these dailies for’ before designing the content. Some of the quests were nice but seem silly as dailies. How many more times will we take the tower back from the enemy, watch some druid leader destroy it, only to have it rebuilt again the next day? This is where having random and longer lasting world events could really mix things up – combined with daily quests. Let the enemy forces take over a base and make it a real hard fight to take back. Sure sometimes we’ll be missing a base as there aren’t enough on to counterattack. So what! Get people calling for reinforcements in-game or beyond. Get the players out of the lobby-based dungeon-grinding mentality and back into the game world!