What if we are the bad guys?

A thought has been rolling around in my head ever since the basic plotline of the WoD expansion was announced.

You know, that whole thing where Garrosh escapes, somehow steals Doc’s DeLorean, and drives thru the Dark Portal at 88 miles per hour. This puts him back in the old west old Draenor where he decides to make the Horde more awesome before the Alliance has a chance to do anything about it.

We are tasked with stopping this from happening, because… reasons.  I’m sure they are good ones that will be explained in the fullness of time.

Granted I can see the Alliance point of view, but what if the Horde did manage to take over the world in the past? Why would the Horde of the here and now want to change that? Why have endless war when there could be a peace ruled by them?

Actually come to think about it, how do we know that the world as we know it today isn’t a result of our interference? What if it was supposed to end differently?

More importantly, how did Garrosh manage to get his hands on the Uranium to power Doc’s time machine? (I’m betting he found it on the Black Market Auction House. Shady dealers, those.)

Anyhow, the way I see it there are several ways this could go.

The first I’ll just call the Star Trek method. His going back splits the timeline and causes a new future different from the one we are currently experiencing.

There is a little problem with that however. Why bother going back to stop him?

Why send our war-weary soldiers on yet another journey to save a timeline that’s not even ours?

Hell, as long as it doesn’t affect our world why should we even care what he does?

Would we even notice?

If that’s the case, seal the portal so he can’t come back, effectively banishing him to an alternate reality and be home in time for supper.

Granted, that makes for poor story telling, so I think we need a different option.

In our second option Garrosh goes back and it does affect us. In fact the whole world is radically different. Possibly even owned by the Venture Company.

I suppose we’ll call this the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure method.  Those that travel back are able to make changes that only they will remember, as the rest of the world just sees the changes as the way it’s always been.

Actually, I think The Butterfly effect did a better job with this type of time travel, and it was a far darker film.

Personally this is the only way I think it would work from a storyline point of view, but it’s still going to be very difficult to pull off.  His going back has to cause problems though, or we have no story.  If we have no sense of motivation then why spend our blood on him?

If that’s the case, and I think it will be, we are going to be going back in time to restore things to the way we believe they should be.

We are also not going to be able to control when exactly we go back to. If we could we’d just send a group back to 10 minutes before he arrived and be waiting for him when he got there. Catch him before he establishes himself, two to the chest and one to the head and that’s a real quick Xpac.

Once again, our characters are home in time for dinner.

Nope, the story will require us to fix a busted timeline, otherwise there is no point in going back.

We will have to go back in time to ensure the Orcs become corrupted. Hell, we might help that to happen.

We will have to set the pieces in motion to start the war. How many characters lost loved ones in the war? How many would try to stop the war from happening to save all those that died?

Our leaders will be there “Boots on the ground” long before the zombie invasion, before the Litch King came, before Deathwing snapped and broke the world.

We will have to take part in the breaking of Draenor, we may even be the ones who cause it.

My Character is a Draenai Palladian. What will be so important to her that she feels justified at breaking her own world? What would cause her, and her leaders, not to take action to prevent the breaking of Draenor? How about standing by and doing nothing to prevent the breaking of Azeroth?

All the war, hatred, cataclysm, death, and destruction for the last 35 years will be laid at our feet. All of it either caused by us or allowed to happen by our inaction.

Is hunting down one Orc, no matter how bad he may be, worth that?

We get the opportunity to go back to the past and all we can think of is making sure all the pain and suffering of the endless war between all our peoples happens just the way it did last time?

We can’t look at this and say to ourselves We have an incredible opportunity here, a chance to do this over. A chance to do it right.

If the best we can think of is how best to kill one another in the past then the worst villain of this expansion might very well be us.

Come to think of it that sounds like pretty bad story telling as well. I really don’t think Blizzard is going to make us into the bad guy. Bad for the story, and bad for business.

What we need here is a third option.

One that lets us save Draenor and Azeroth as well, from some bad thing I haven’t thought of yet.

One that explains why there is still an Outlands that it exists as it currently is for us to go to at the same time as the Draenor we get to try to save.

One that has compelling stories from the past while not greatly affecting the current level 1 to 90 timeline.

What we have here my friends is a pocket dimension.

Somehow, some way, Garrosh managed to travel to a copy of Draenor as it existed 35 years ago. A copy that exists in its own little “bubble” of the universe.

Garrosh, and our characters, can make changes there without making changes to our version of reality.

It also explains quite nicely how Outlands and Draenor can exist side by side in the Warcraft universe, even after this expansion. They are simply two different copies of the same place, the same only different.

Now, while that hurts my head a little, it does make sense to me as a story teller.

Only time will tell if that’s how it all works out or not.

I actually have a lot more to say about the pocket dimension idea, but that’s for another day.

Excuse my mess….

As you may have noticed, I have started blogging again.

In not even kind of unrelated news I have also started playing WoW again.

I suppose now that folks might be coming by again I kinda need to spruce the place up a bit.

Like your house… you have folks coming over for the holidays… *Dammit Brain, I told you to shut up while I’m writing.*

Anyhow, I’ll be doing some cleaning on the site. If you perchance notice any broken links or things horribly out of date please let me know so I can address them. One of the first things to go will be the gearing guide for level 70 hunters… I don’t think we are raiding at 70 much any more.

Have a good weekend,

Dech

 

Maybe I never really left?

There is a lot of hubbub about the upcoming expansion, most of it good. I read up on the changes planned for the game, and decided I would throw down a few bucks on a game card.

Yes, I know, the changes have yet to happen.

I have been quite happy with everything I’ve read. It’s like they read my mind, figured out all the things that had turned me sour on the game, and at least made an attempt towards fixing them. That plus tossing in extra cool stuff I hadn’t even considered, like the Garrison for instance.

(I wonder if I can name mine Mister, so it can be Mister Garrison?) *Shut up Brain, I’m trying to write*

Anyhow, I think the biggest thing that got me back now is the promise of an honest to goodness world event. I’m really quite excited about it.

I’m even willing to come back and level my planned new main character to 90 now. I could get him there just by buying the expansion, but if it’s half the fun that the zombie invasion was the hours of slogging thru old content will be worth it.

First thing I did was go poking thru my stack of heirlooms for gear suitable for the pally that I plan to level. I found pretty much everything I needed, scattered across the half dozen characters on Draenor.

Imagine my surprise when I found that heirloom shields had been added to the game. That one took me a bit off guard, but hey, I’ll take it. A bit of points shuffling and a few quick BG’s on my old 85 Hunter and I had a shiny new shield.

Apparently we can also upgrade our heirlooms now? the old level 80 ones? I seem to remember hearing about that shortly before I left the game. I still need to look into that, it would be nice to not need to worry about gear, and get the leveling bonus, all the way to level 85.

 After about a half hour of shuffling and buying, and bank searching he’s now kitted with heirlooms, bags, and a bit of cash. All the aspiring adventurer needs.

Standing at the start of all things, in front of his very first quest giver.

The journey to 90 begins with a single step.

You’re Grounded!

So, Insomnia is a damn nuisance.

It does however give me extra time to read up on things and even toss out the occasional blog post. Good with the bad I suppose.

Anyhow, The reason I brought you all here today was to talk about flight. More specifically flight in the new old world of Draenor.

Based on a few blue posts I have read today it appears that flight will be used as a gating mechanism, preventing players from trivializing the content of the leveling zones. That part I can understand. No flight until max level.

Well, it appears that there will be some progressive storyline type questing at the level cap which makes it valuable to the experience Blizzard is trying to provide to continue not having flight available. You know what, that doesn’t bother me either.

I work with machinery in my daily life, I work with interconnected systems. For some reason it just seems right to me that we don’t fly until max level. Quite honestly had they decided to not ever allow flight in Draenor I would have been OK with it.

Alright, I may have grumbled a bit, but it would simply have been how things are.

With new longer term storyline questing at max level and such I see the logic. Frankly if I have to give up flight in order to never do another daily quest I’ll take that trade.

Where it sounds like they may be making a grave error is the way I interpreted what it will take to fly again. A long and involved quest chain, the end of which won’t be available until after patch 6.1, and a “sizable” sum of gold. Both of those are meant to make you work for it, to try to re-achieve that feeling we had years ago when we hit 70 and were able (if you could afford the 500g) to fly for the first time.

Believe it or not, I don’t mind that. Make me work for something, and it gives me a goal to attain. The harder the task the more I’ll appreciate the reward.

There is something that worries me in all this however.

Alts.

I love me some alts, so do many of you. I know people right now with nearly every class at max level, both Horde and Alliance side. What about them?

Are they going to have to slog thru the same long involved quest line on a dozen characters just so everyone can fly?

Is Blizzard going to have a mechanism similar to the WotLK method where a max level character with flight unlocked could buy a tome of flight for the upcoming alts? I sincerely hope so.

I wonder, this is just a thought, if Blizzard is trying to gear the game more towards having one single Main character. One to be in charge of the garrison, one to be able to fly, one to be able to do all the things.

One Character to Rule them all.

I guess time will tell.

First thoughts on Mythic raiding

Once upon a time, actually last time we went to Draenor I was an officer in a raiding guild. Oh, and It was called Outlands back then… in the future.

Speaking of, did anyone else just see Garrosh driving past in a funny looking DeLorean?

Anyhow, I got home from work last night and tried in vain to find a copy of the opening ceremonies to watch. Failing that I started trolling the WoW news sites looking for info. Several things caught my eye. I think I’ll write about the new raiding format first.

The gist of what I got from it is that all raids will be availible in a scaling flex format from 10-25 raiders, with the exception of the new “Mythic” raids which will be a fixed 20 player format.

One of the first things I read scrolling past on twitter after that announcement was that the worst 5 players on your 25’s team just got real scared.

Well, honestly the ones whos jaws probably hit the floor hardest were the guild leadership of 10’s guilds. They were just basicly told to double their roster if they want to do cutting edge content.

I’m really not sure how I think this will all shake out yet honestly. It should be better than the transition from 40’s to 10’s (for Karazhan) then to 25’s. I know that 10 to 25 step killed a lot of guilds, mine included.

With the ability to raid at a flexible size at all other difficulty levels I don’t really see it having a huge effect on the more casual raiding guilds. Possibly a bit more turnover as some gear up and move on to higher progressed guilds at end game, but thats always been the case.

What I expect is to see quit a lot of turmoil as things sort themselves out, and there will arise guilds designed to field a 20 player team. They will raid normals as 20’s and carry right on thru to mythic without a blip.

More casual guilds on the other hand might have any number of raiders (well, from 10-25 on a given night) and may even try to field a 20’s team if the numbers are there.

In the long term I see it as a positive thing, but a lot of  good guilds will die to get there, especially smaller ones. Even those that don’t will be forever changed.

For myself, I doubt I’ll ever see the inside of a mythic raid. Normals is plenty for me.

Dech’s top five things I hope to hear about WoW at Blizzcon

Yes, I know. Its been a while.

Anywho, I’m popping in to share my top five things I hope to hear over the next few days at Blizzcon. Without further ado..

5. The next expansion questing will be more free range and less “on rails”

4. The next expansion will come with one free server transfer

3. The next expansion will feature raiding thats less mario brothers and twitch reflexes

2. Heirlooms will become available cross server

1. While I’m dreaming Karazhan will have the basement finished and be refurbished for max level play. (that alone and I’m back)

I seriously doubt I’ll hear any of these, but I can always hope.

Good for us? certainly a goldmine for Blizzard

I was sitting in the maintenance shop this morning, waiting for something to break. As I was waiting I was thinking, mostly because it beats staring at the wall counting the number of cinderblocks they built the place out of.

I thought about a lot of things, but one thought that struck me really hit hard. As in, hard enough to get me to kick the dust off this blog again and do some writing.

Instead of wandering thru the thread of how my mind came to be asking me this question, I’m simply going to put forth the potential goldmine Blizzard is not tapping and see what you folks think.

In the game World of Tanks there are three kinds of XP to be had. Locked, Free, and Convertible.

Locked XP is exactly what it sounds like. It’s XP earned by a given tank that must be spent on that tank.

Free XP is a bit different. 5% of all XP earned is automagicly granted as Free XP, which goes into a pool that is available to be spent on any tank you wish. It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up after a while.

Convertible XP is any XP earned by a tank that is already maxed out on leveling. It goes into a separate pool that can be converted into Free XP, if you desire, for real world cash.

Now imagine that Blizzard adopted a similar plan for WoW.

Locked XP earned by anyone leveling.

Free XP earned as a 5% bonus on top of any XP earned on any toon.

Convertible XP earned on any toon with it’s leveling locked. At max level players would get the choice of the extra gold per quest or earning convertible XP.

People that want to level the normal way would not be effected at all.

People that have more money than time could convert XP earned on their main to quickly level an alt to play with friends. 

People that are on their 38th alt and simply can’t make themselves level thru Wrath again could “Free XP” past it and move on to Cata.

Say for instance that the only thing you play for is high end PvP, or end game raiding… say that you despise leveling and just suffer thru it to get to play the actually content you want. Well, this would let you spend this expansion banking convertible XP that you could use to bypass the questing next time out. (For a price of course)

Thats only one example, I’m sure others can think of lots more.

As to the argument that it would have characters showing up at max level without a clue how to play their class, it’s not a good argument for many reasons. Here are two: 1) leveling thru questing is primarily a solo Dps exercise. It doesn’t teach group tactics, healing skills, or tanking ones for that matter. 2) You can already grab pet battling at level 5 and (in theory at least) level to max using nothing but that.

This is not to say that people won’t get to max and not know how to play, it’s simply stating that it already happens.

All in all it would give Blizzard another knob to tweak on the leveling process to adjust the speed while at the same time giving them what could be a very solid revenue stream once WoW finally does go free to play.

Just a thought, but seriously, why hasn’t this happened yet?