Monday, 11 November 2013
Blizzcon is now officially over, but if you are anything like me, you are still wandering around in a state of shock. This is going to take several days to digest the information and formulate opinions. As a backup plan I am going to review my own prediction and compare to what the new expansion is going to introduce to the game:
1. The new expansion is Warlords of Draenor.
Yay, one to Bob, this was almost a given, although I was toying with the "Dark Warlords form Below Draenor".
2. No new expansion for at least 9 months.
Not confirmed how long it take or even how far developed they are. A patch 5.5 would delay the release of new expansion. (eg if Patch 5.5 took 4 months to implement, Warlords of Draenor would be pushed back 4 months) with no parallel gains to be made by splitting teams to work on separate projects.
3. Heroic 5 man instances will be re-introduced.
Not sure whether they will return to adding extra 5 Man Heroics in future patches, but like MoP they will start with Heroic instances
4. Scenarios of multiple sizes will continue to be used to compliment and advance storyline.
A fairly safe bet that scenarios will become entrenched into the game
5. A major change to LFR either using flex technology or content that needs only one Tank or fewer healers.
I think I called this correctly, with LFR having a little more room to wriggle in terms of overall composition of the raid team.
6. Dailies and Weeklies will be used for content and reputation, but not as the only source of reputation gain.
The noises emanating from Blizzard are that the Daily Quest is now dead. The jury is still out on this one, and expect to see Dailies and Weeklies but not as common as the last two expansions. They will definitely be used sparingly on Reputation grinds
7. Gear will not be available only through the medium of Valor and Justice, Factions will once again require gold.
This is a wait and see, but there are changes to come for Valor and Justice. Justice was less than useless for the entire expansion.
8. Commendations will continue to be used for Alt reputation gains.
Nobody stated anything to contrary, and it is doubtful they will want to leave alts so isolated again, so I expect this feature to remain.
9. The next expansion is for 5 Levels only.
Congratulations to R for calling me out on this one. The main reason is that 100 levels sounds more Epic than 95. Apparently the maths makes it an easier transition without the big loss in power we encountered between levels 88-89 as crit and haste drop significantly below the gain in gear.
10.The squish is coming, and certain unintended items will become BiS. Some levels will becoming difficult and others ridiculously easy, especially around the old level caps.
Yes, the squish is coming, but glitches in the system will be more difficult to determine at lower levels. It affects the whole game and not just the last 10 levels.
11. I anticipate no new class, but possibly a new race (available to both side)
Partially correct, I had a feeling that this would be the first expansion without new Races, Classes or Professions.
12. New character models for all, with PC upgrades for many
An easy one to predict and I stand by the PC upgrade aspect of the prediction
13. New improved levelling for Tailoring, Leatherworking, Enchanting, Jewelcrafting and Fishing.
Easy levelling paths are planned for every profession with the exception of Blacksmithing and Cookery which have already been updated.
14. Jewelcrafting to return to a discovery method for all gem cuts except for PvP.
No news on this one yet
15. No new professions.
It is becoming more difficult to backward integrate professions into 90 levels of existing game. There is unlikely to be any new professions in any future expansion.
16. Radical changes for Warriors, Hunters and Rogues.
I have seen no special mention of class changes but this is normally a later development in deployment.
17. Normal 10 and 25 man Raiding to be replaced by Flex.
Oddly enough I called this one correctly. It is not a complete replacement more of a shuffling of Raid progression. Flex has become universally loved for its flexible approach and is easier than LFR even with more Raid features being included. Kurn highlighted the four tiers of raiding.
Looking for Raid/Raid Finder: Same as LFR today, only flexible, meaning that if you’re waiting for six people to fill your LFR group after a wipe, you don’t actually need to wait — the encounter will have changed dynamically and you can just go with your 19 people.
Normal Raiding: This is what is currently known as “Flex” raiding, in terms of difficulty, it looks like. The size for this raid will be 10-25 people and will be flexible and dynamic. This is why they’re removing “flex” as a difficulty. Instead, they’re applying flexible raid technology to all difficulties of raiding. (Well, except one.)
Heroic Raiding: This is what is currently known as “normal” raiding, in terms of difficulty. Again, this raid size will be 10-25 people and will scale dynamically.
Mythic Raiding: Currently known as “heroic” raiding, Mythic raiding will be the “elite” raiding level. The raids will be tuned for 20 people and will not scale up or down, instead of the 25-man size raiders have been using since Burning Crusade.
18. No replacement for Wintersgrasp and Tol Barad
I well and truly misread this one. The reason was that if any expansion needed an Orc v's Human, world battleground it should have been Mists of Pandaria. Obviously the feature was missed and Blizzard have got some new ideas to implement.
19. Legendary to continue to be a questline available to all and achieved by the few.
This was a much better implementation of a Legendary than the previous implementations. Kudos to those that achieved the Cloak of Strange Effect, and I hope to have mine before the expansion ends.
20. No major change to the Talent tree, 1 new level added at 95.
Slight modifications expected to eliminate any Talents that are still perceived to be mandatory, New Talents are not expected to add to the Button bloat so expect to see imaginative use of procs and combining with other spells.
21. Valor upgrade vendors to stay.
Still up for debate. I am unsure whether I like this facility or not.
22. Scribes will be able to make coloured Gear Ink to assist in the Transmog process.
Too early to tell, but Transmog is an important meta game for many.
23. PvP vendors will be hidden in a cave with no indication where to find them.
"Where are the PvP vendors?" "In the cave at 23,72" "I don't know what to do with coordinates" "..."
24. No new farm or upgrade to existing farm.
Boy did I not see this one coming. Player housing is not something that particularly floated my boat, but a Garrison filled with lackeys, now you are talking. I think this is the number one new feature of Warlords of Draenor.
25. No revamp of Outlands, expect a new continent.
This one I missed off the original list, but I have discussed before. This is not a new planet/continent that has recently been discovered this is Draenor as found in a "Time Bubble". For those that did not get the Dr Who reference from Dave Kosak:
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to affect, but actually, from a non-linier, non subjective point of view it is more like a big ball of wibbily wobbly timey wimey...stuff "
Doctor Who (Blink)