WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby night_druid » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:56 pm

Four zones down, one zone left (Twilight Highlands). My impressions of the zones thus far:

Mt. Hyjal: Interesting quests and kept me interested. Two problems, though. 1. Too much of gates to firelands without there being an overall firelands zone 2. too crowded. Way too many people hang out in that zone.

Deepholme: I sorta struggled here early on; its actually the zone I went to first, without getting Hyjal gear, so I was under-geared for the first half of it. Parts were interesting, although it has those stupid cat-things from Outland that are insanely powerful and kick my arse every time. :P

Uldum: By FAR, my favorite zone. The Harrison Jones quest line is badass. Especially the part where we jump into coffers to survive the nuclear explosion. That was full of awesome. I particularly love the variety of quests given, and the liberal use of cut-scenes. Plays like a movie. Only wish there was more.

Vash'jir (however the heck that's spelled): Blech. While interesting quests and a fairly good story, you can tell how badly the quest line was chopped to hell (friend tells me they dumped a ton of buggy quests, and it really shows here). Bit baffled by the whole naga Battlemaiden quest line that just goes nowhere and suddenly drops without a satisfying resolution. I'm hoping a later patch finishes it out; I kinda wanted to meet the battlemaiden in "present day" and see how that turns out (I get the impression she's key to forging peace with the naga at a later date).

Twilight Highlands: Only about a third into it. This zone drags. Moreso than Hyjal. I will say I did like the Horde Island town; that thing looks badass. Very reminiscent of earlier Warcraft games, actually. The zone itself is well done; I might warm up to it more later. I think I'm just burned out so I'll probably put the game to rest for a while and come back in a week or two.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:20 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure how much of the WoW:RPG the changes would invalidate, but then again, I don't think the RPG has a very good map. I wonder how easy it would be to extract maps of individual areas, so that they could have a RPG makeover.

Well, one could always use MapWoW if they update it for Cataclysm.


I've seen that in the past. (I'm not sure how easy it is to grab maps from the screen.)

It would be great if they could do the same thing as Google Street View. Perhaps they could send a PC down the footpaths and take screenshots as they go. :idea:

Bonetti wrote:Alternatively, WowPedia probably has a lot of the maps. For instance, take Tirisfal Glades (Forsaken starting area). They have the pre-Cataclysm and post-Cataclysm interface maps (hand-drawn cartography, based on the topographic map), as well as a list of the Cataclysm changes (and a fair amount of information about the zone). I would guess the other zones do, too.


They look pretty good.

I suppose the way to convert MMO maps to RPG maps is to put the MMO map into some sort of art package with layers, copy over the geography, rescale inhabited areas to match RPG population figures and then generate random buildings to bring things like the number of farms up to the correct levels.

On a zoomed in scale, it would be interesting to see how places like Stormwind would need to change. I suppose you could look at other fantasy RPG cities, like Greyhawk, Waterdeep, Palanthas or Freeport, to see what sort of building density there would need to be.

Bonetti wrote:Digging those links out brought me to this site, which has the Cataclysm changes (in a Google-map-like interface, a la MapWow). Bear in mind that this is the actual in-game topography projected into the minimap textures, so it's the actual game map. Using that plus the interface maps should give you everything you need to work out maps for the tabletop game -- and screen shots would reinforce the look/flavor (e.g. the distinct architectures).


For some reason, I don't like that map as much as the other one. I can't work out why, but I feel something is missing. :?

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Are there any that look like they are likely to be more obviously useful for RPG play? Have the starting zones got new quest chains that look good for tabletop?

That's harder to answer. I've only played three of the revamped starting zones: tauren, trolls and forsaken. The trolls no longer feel bolted on to the orcs (and have their own introductory story now), and you get a taste of the Vol'jin/Garrosh antagonism. However, once you're at Razor Hill, there are a lot of familiar quests. Similarly, the first bit of the Tauren is new, but most of the Bloodhoof questing is very familiar. The Forsaken has very little change (other than visuals and moving some quest points around), except for a new, zone-unifying story built around a new NPC. Parts (or all) of any of these three zones could certainly form the backbone of a tabletop game.

Actually, that's true of all the in-game material now -- extracting the stories from the quests would provide plenty of gaming material. I've done some of this in the adventure paths I sketched out :-)


Your adventure path concepts are great. They are the only reason I can see for discussing the play style of the MMO so much.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:06 am

Big Mac wrote:I suppose the way to convert MMO maps to RPG maps is to put the MMO map into some sort of art package with layers, copy over the geography, rescale inhabited areas to match RPG population figures and then generate random buildings to bring things like the number of farms up to the correct levels.


I'd use them as the actual maps, and just lie about the scale :-) That is to say, if the players wanted a map of Tirisfal Glades, I'd give them that one (with the labels replaced), and set it up to be a "reasonable" size (tens of miles to a side) to have room to develop. If one thinks of the MMO maps as a sort of "highlights reel", one can extrapolate to a much larger and better for tabletop gaming world.

Big Mac wrote:For some reason, I don't like that map as much as the other one. I can't work out why, but I feel something is missing. :?

Other than the border, it adds scrollwheel support (which mapwow is missing), and it has the current topography (so none of the wasted space of undeveloped areas). I guess you need to know the game to know where things are :-)

Big Mac wrote:Your adventure path concepts are great. They are the only reason I can see for discussing the play style of the MMO so much.

That, and I don't know that anyone here is actually playing the tabletop game yet, and the only real development happening lore-wise is in the game -- and a lot of the lore is built into the gameplay (which is primarily told through quests or instances).

I do wish I had more time, it would be fun to actually write up some adventures based on the adventure paths...
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:09 am

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I suppose the way to convert MMO maps to RPG maps is to put the MMO map into some sort of art package with layers, copy over the geography, rescale inhabited areas to match RPG population figures and then generate random buildings to bring things like the number of farms up to the correct levels.


I'd use them as the actual maps, and just lie about the scale :-) That is to say, if the players wanted a map of Tirisfal Glades, I'd give them that one (with the labels replaced), and set it up to be a "reasonable" size (tens of miles to a side) to have room to develop. If one thinks of the MMO maps as a sort of "highlights reel", one can extrapolate to a much larger and better for tabletop gaming world.


That makes perfect sense. The "hard" work would be working out the scale change, and then hunting down maps from Wowpedia.

I wonder what the regions of Azeroth would look like done as hex maps.

Maybe I should put on my Pied Piper costume and go looking for Dave L! :P :twisted:

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Your adventure path concepts are great. They are the only reason I can see for discussing the play style of the MMO so much.

That, and I don't know that anyone here is actually playing the tabletop game yet, and the only real development happening lore-wise is in the game -- and a lot of the lore is built into the gameplay (which is primarily told through quests or instances).

I do wish I had more time, it would be fun to actually write up some adventures based on the adventure paths...


I'm still looking for a (reasonably priced) copy of the (WoW:RPG) entry book. :(

One thing that would be great about tabletop WOW, would be using the MMO music to help evoke the feel of locations.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:51 am

Big Mac wrote:I wonder what the regions of Azeroth would look like done as hex maps.

Maybe I should put on my Pied Piper costume and go looking for Dave L! :P :twisted:

...or install hexgimp and try it out ;-)

...or ask me very nicely the next time I have time ;-)

Actually, it might be fun. I'd probably start with the idea that the world is smaller than Earth and probably more oceanic, and then work backwards from there (using the world map).

Then again, the globes in HoL pretty much mark the continents as globe-spanning: Eastern Kingdoms. That suggests that either they're way bigger than the MMO (and, if memory serves, the RPG) makes them feel, or the globe is way smaller than Earth-normal.

Hrm, looking at that globe -- um... Dun Morogh (snowy) is on the equator, Northrend is at the north pole (OK, that works), and Stranglethorn Vale (jungle-ish) is pretty darn far south. The Titan globes make no sense from a climate perspective...

Big Mac wrote:I'm still looking for a (reasonably priced) copy of the (WoW:RPG) entry book. :(

Good luck :-)

Big Mac wrote:One thing that would be great about tabletop WOW, would be using the MMO music to help evoke the feel of locations.

Oh, that's a good point. I keep forgetting about music, because my attempts to use it at my game have failed (players don't really care, and don't have speakers in the gaming areas). I really should just get some external speakers for my ipod and use that...
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:58 am

Tirisfal Glades

I wouldn't use it as-is, but that's a quick & dirty test. I took the hand-drawn in-game map from wowpedia, doubled the resolution, and build a quick hex map under it. So, I didn't touch the scale issue. I was just curious how it might turn out :-)

At a guess, that's one of 1, 2 2/3, or 8 miles per hex. I wouldn't have a hex be more than that. Actually, thinking about it, I think it works pretty well (from a raw gaming perspective) at the bog-standard 8 miles per hex scale.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:32 am

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I wonder what the regions of Azeroth would look like done as hex maps.

Maybe I should put on my Pied Piper costume and go looking for Dave L! :P :twisted:

...or install hexgimp and try it out ;-)

...or ask me very nicely the next time I have time ;-)

Actually, it might be fun. I'd probably start with the idea that the world is smaller than Earth and probably more oceanic, and then work backwards from there (using the world map).

Then again, the globes in HoL pretty much mark the continents as globe-spanning: Eastern Kingdoms. That suggests that either they're way bigger than the MMO (and, if memory serves, the RPG) makes them feel, or the globe is way smaller than Earth-normal.

Hrm, looking at that globe -- um... Dun Morogh (snowy) is on the equator, Northrend is at the north pole (OK, that works), and Stranglethorn Vale (jungle-ish) is pretty darn far south. The Titan globes make no sense from a climate perspective...


Nice maps you have there. It is a long time since I looked at Thorf's mapping project and I've not had the time to look around the Mystara section recently, but you are doing some good stuff there. Looks like I'll need to jump into a TARDIS and "ask nicely" as you have already posted something! :lol:

Having the world of Azeroth, be smaller than the Earth would make sense as it would allow the PCs to attempt the sort of epic journeys that are common in the MMO.

I am confused by that globe picture too (as well as the other globe pictures over at Wowpedia). I did notice that the moon did not seem to be lined up on the equator. I wonder if the globes are supposed to be shifted at an angle to represent Azeroth's axil tilt. :?

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm still looking for a (reasonably priced) copy of the (WoW:RPG) entry book. :(

Good luck :-)


Thanks. I'll be able to order a few more books, once I've got the main one.

I saw one a while ago in Playin Games, but when I went back the other week the shop was empty. I am not totally sure that they have gone out of business, but I'm not holding out much hope for them. The other RPG shops in London have pretty much stopped selling 3e stuff (and have never suppoorted second hand RPG books) so it looks like I'm limited to the Interwebs.

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:One thing that would be great about tabletop WOW, would be using the MMO music to help evoke the feel of locations.

Oh, that's a good point. I keep forgetting about music, because my attempts to use it at my game have failed (players don't really care, and don't have speakers in the gaming areas). I really should just get some external speakers for my ipod and use that...


None of my groups have ever used music, but I'm thinking that the music of the WoW:MMO is so iconic that MMO players will have a subconcious association with an in-game location when you play it (like Pavlov's dogs).

Bonetti wrote:Tirisfal Glades

I wouldn't use it as-is, but that's a quick & dirty test. I took the hand-drawn in-game map from wowpedia, doubled the resolution, and build a quick hex map under it. So, I didn't touch the scale issue. I was just curious how it might turn out :-)

At a guess, that's one of 1, 2 2/3, or 8 miles per hex. I wouldn't have a hex be more than that. Actually, thinking about it, I think it works pretty well (from a raw gaming perspective) at the bog-standard 8 miles per hex scale.


Great test map! I have posted a link to it from the WoW:RPG page on Facebook and asked for help working out the right scale of the world. Someone called Zachary Rogers said this:

Zachary Rogers wrote:Well, we know that someone can travel from southern Gilneas to northern Gilneas in two days with a small boat according to some quest dialogue in the Worgen starting experience.


I don't know how much that helps.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby night_druid » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:14 am

Just finished up Twilight Highlands. My thoughts? The end quest was MASSIVELY disappointing. Frankly, it was downright boring. The boss-fight was a grind where I felt more a spectator or at best a henchman ("go do this, go do that while we fight the boss!") than anything else. It really feels like two quest chains got swapped at one point, because an earlier quest chain would have been a MUCH more appropriate way to end the zone. And the worst part is that the quest reward was rendered vendor trash because I already had a (quest) item of higher quality...WTF?!?! You're big "conclusion" to the non-group quests part of the expansion is vendor trash? Way to go, Blizzard. I seriously wish they'd revamp their quest reward system such that it doesn't result in 90% vendor trash. :P
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:14 am

night_druid wrote:Just finished up Twilight Highlands. My thoughts? The end quest was MASSIVELY disappointing. Frankly, it was downright boring. The boss-fight was a grind where I felt more a spectator or at best a henchman ("go do this, go do that while we fight the boss!") than anything else. It really feels like two quest chains got swapped at one point, because an earlier quest chain would have been a MUCH more appropriate way to end the zone. And the worst part is that the quest reward was rendered vendor trash because I already had a (quest) item of higher quality...WTF?!?! You're big "conclusion" to the non-group quests part of the expansion is vendor trash? Way to go, Blizzard. I seriously wish they'd revamp their quest reward system such that it doesn't result in 90% vendor trash. :P


Is there any way that could be raided for the RPG? Would the faults be easy to fix? Could the vendor trash be reused in a way that works better for the RPG?
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby night_druid » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:39 am

Big Mac wrote:Is there any way that could be raided for the RPG? Would the faults be easy to fix? Could the vendor trash be reused in a way that works better for the RPG?


WoW gear in general is a poor fit for D&D; 99.99% of the gear simply changes stats; anything beyond that is extremely rare. The only thing I'd even consider using would be the appearance of the weapons & armor, and even those are so absurd that they make Warhammer armor look downright realistic ;)

Warcraft is a very odd bird, IMHO, in regards to the gear, because most of it is just sold off to vendors. Who, ironically enough, sell pure garbage. Outside Faction Quartermasters, I don't think there's more than a couple of vendors that sell any gear that is even remotely usable...I'm not even sure why Blizzard even bothered having them sell gear, since quest & random drops will have you with a complete set of fair gear by level 20, and yet there are still vendors out there selling level 85 white-quality gear (lowest quality of all; even stuff 40 levels lower is better). They should at least sell interesting stuff...it makes little sense to have armorers selling level 80 swords that are crappier than that sword you picked up in Outland 20 levels ago.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:48 am

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Is there any way that could be raided for the RPG? Would the faults be easy to fix? Could the vendor trash be reused in a way that works better for the RPG?


WoW gear in general is a poor fit for D&D; 99.99% of the gear simply changes stats; anything beyond that is extremely rare. The only thing I'd even consider using would be the appearance of the weapons & armor, and even those are so absurd that they make Warhammer armor look downright realistic ;)


One thing that might be useful is to use the typical distribution of MMO weapons to work out what weapons are used in the RPG world.

Maybe the stat-boosting doesn't fit in with D&D, but the quality level (from the MMO vendors, quests and drops) could be used to infer what quality of D&D items should be substituted. (Perhaps a treasure table of ordinary weapons, mastercrafted weapons, +1, +2 and +3 weapons and so on could be created)

I don't generally like Games Workshop minis, but think they would work well in a WoW:RPG game.

night_druid wrote:Warcraft is a very odd bird, IMHO, in regards to the gear, because most of it is just sold off to vendors. Who, ironically enough, sell pure garbage. Outside Faction Quartermasters, I don't think there's more than a couple of vendors that sell any gear that is even remotely usable...I'm not even sure why Blizzard even bothered having them sell gear, since quest & random drops will have you with a complete set of fair gear by level 20, and yet there are still vendors out there selling level 85 white-quality gear (lowest quality of all; even stuff 40 levels lower is better). They should at least sell interesting stuff...it makes little sense to have armorers selling level 80 swords that are crappier than that sword you picked up in Outland 20 levels ago.


If MMO vendors buy and sell stuff that is not useful to most PCs, that could carry over to the RPG. Maybe most of their trade is with low-level PCs and low-level NPCs.

A lot of the good stuff (in the MMO) seems to be bought and sold via the auction houses, so perhaps the RPG world could be given an economy based on specialist auction houses. If this was built up the sort of detail that you get in a real-world stock exchange, high quality foodstuff, the best cloth and other raw materials could all be sold this way.

You already said that places like Stormwind needed to be expanded. Maybe Auction House could become a small trading district, with individual buildings that are called things like The House of Swords, The House of Grain, The House of Leather, etc. This could give the cities of Azeroth an eBay-like economy that has a different feel to other campaign settings. (You could even have buildings in the Auction House district act as storage space for traders who want to leave their goods for sale at action.)

In the RPG, the NPC vendors could be general traders, who hang out in areas away from Auction Houses and (as well as doing what they do in the MMO) they could also buy and sell things at one or more of the Auction Houses. Perhaps each vendor could become a small organisation that has a not-very-important NPC representative* that sells high quality stuff at the nearest Auction House district and then buys in the sort of low level stuff that the vendor likes to sell to the public.

* = This could be a brother, sister, cousin, another relative or a hireling, that will not trade directly with the PCs, but will pass on messages to the vendor they work for. Perhaps people need to have a "vendor licence" or a "vendor franchise" to sell things within the cities.

What do you think? Would it work?

BTW: I was also asking about the Twilight Highlands plot. Do you think that could be raided for the RPG (and improved along the way)?
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby night_druid » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:36 pm

Big Mac wrote:One thing that might be useful is to use the typical distribution of MMO weapons to work out what weapons are used in the RPG world.


I have no clue what the distribution of WoW weapons are. Not sure how useful that really is.

Maybe the stat-boosting doesn't fit in with D&D, but the quality level (from the MMO vendors, quests and drops) could be used to infer what quality of D&D items should be substituted. (Perhaps a treasure table of ordinary weapons, mastercrafted weapons, +1, +2 and +3 weapons and so on could be created)


<shrug>D&D already has that built in (more obvious in later editions than earlier). For weapons/armor, I think the rule of thumb is somewhere around +1 per every 4 levels or so, with variations due to campaign conditions.

If MMO vendors buy and sell stuff that is not useful to most PCs, that could carry over to the RPG. Maybe most of their trade is with low-level PCs and low-level NPCs.


I don't think that's a good idea; it pigeon-holes PCs into making their own gear.

A lot of the good stuff (in the MMO) seems to be bought and sold via the auction houses, so perhaps the RPG world could be given an economy based on specialist auction houses. If this was built up the sort of detail that you get in a real-world stock exchange, high quality foodstuff, the best cloth and other raw materials could all be sold this way.


There is something inherently wrong with food being editable based on the level of the eater.


You already said that places like Stormwind needed to be expanded. Maybe Auction House could become a small trading district, with individual buildings that are called things like The House of Swords, The House of Grain, The House of Leather, etc. This could give the cities of Azeroth an eBay-like economy that has a different feel to other campaign settings. (You could even have buildings in the Auction House district act as storage space for traders who want to leave their goods for sale at action.)


Stormwind already has specialty stores and a Trade District (its the central district of Stormwind). Outside of reagents, they generally sell junk. They should probably operate more like quartermasters, and be the primary source of green-quality gear, instead of quests (which should just give money & rep, with items being extremely rare). Vendors could even sell a few blue-quality items to revered & higher repped characters.

What do you think? Would it work?


Probably change the economy too much in the game itself. <shrug>

BTW: I was also asking about the Twilight Highlands plot. Do you think that could be raided for the RPG (and improved along the way)?


Can't speak to the Horde quest lines, but for Alliance, I found it very *meh*. The quests around Highbank felt like a rehash of Valance Keep in Northrend, although slightly better done. The Wildhammer quests felt unnecessary and more appropriate for an enlarged Hinterlands (with levels adjusted accordingly). The quests leading up to the confrontation with Deathwing were appropriate and enjoyable. The Twilight Council quests was just a weird tangent and should have come earlier instead of the last quests of the zone. What I was expecting, and didn't get, was that all of the loose ends from the other four zones wrap up in the Highlands neatly. Didn't happen, of course.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:46 am

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:One thing that might be useful is to use the typical distribution of MMO weapons to work out what weapons are used in the RPG world.


I have no clue what the distribution of WoW weapons are. Not sure how useful that really is.

Big Mac wrote:Maybe the stat-boosting doesn't fit in with D&D, but the quality level (from the MMO vendors, quests and drops) could be used to infer what quality of D&D items should be substituted. (Perhaps a treasure table of ordinary weapons, mastercrafted weapons, +1, +2 and +3 weapons and so on could be created)


<shrug>D&D already has that built in (more obvious in later editions than earlier). For weapons/armor, I think the rule of thumb is somewhere around +1 per every 4 levels or so, with variations due to campaign conditions.


I'll see your "shrug" and raise you a "meh"! ;)

My main reason for asking both of these questions is that the MMO has a great deal of background data, which I think may be something that can be used (at least by some GMs).

If you give a player an Acolyte's Dagger, as a common item, it could be no better (or worse) than a standard D&D dagger. But you can tie it in with the NPC "Silvermoon" Harry (who sells them in the MMO) and maybe use it as a hook to get the PCs onto an adventure based on one of his MMO quests.

Or it (and the other common Acolyte items) could be linked into one of the types of Acolyte mentioned on the Wowpedia article. If "Silverymoon" Harry is selling these daggers, maybe it is because someone is looting them from Acolytes and selling them to him.

I was really just thinking that the MMO would provide a bit of flavour or an incentive for PCs to go looking for information. I'm not trying to use it to create new weapon rules, or bump up the power of things to make them into magic items.

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:]If MMO vendors buy and sell stuff that is not useful to most PCs, that could carry over to the RPG. Maybe most of their trade is with low-level PCs and low-level NPCs.


I don't think that's a good idea; it pigeon-holes PCs into making their own gear.


That is one option (f the vendors only usually stock stuff for commoners).

Other options would be:
  • go directly to a tradesman, and commission them to craft the item you want,
  • pay a vendor to order the sort of item you want or
  • go to one of the big towns visit the Auction House and bid for equipment.

People could still buy a +3 sword, they just couldn't buy it in any random shop.

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:A lot of the good stuff (in the MMO) seems to be bought and sold via the auction houses, so perhaps the RPG world could be given an economy based on specialist auction houses. If this was built up the sort of detail that you get in a real-world stock exchange, high quality foodstuff, the best cloth and other raw materials could all be sold this way.


There is something inherently wrong with food being editable based on the level of the eater.


Editable food - or edible food? I think the MMO food is daft. It is really just used as a magic potion system.

Having said that, I would want to raid all of the types of food from the MMO and allow people to cook them and feed people. :lol:

Maybe , if a group of PCs were stuck in Azeroth's Underdark (assuming it has one) and they have someone who can turn moss and mushrooms into food, that could save the party's lives. Something like that could be worth looking at (especially as recipes seem to be treated like magic spells). There is no reason why cooks could not go around looking for cookbooks when they find a stash of loot.

But I would not be looking to create a "5th level pie"! :roll:

Food issues asidbe, I can't see an obvious reason why a RPG setting witth an auction house would be unworkable. I think that an economy based on auctions could introduce a difference from other settings and also put an element of randomness into prices and equipment availability.

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:You already said that places like Stormwind needed to be expanded. Maybe Auction House could become a small trading district, with individual buildings that are called things like The House of Swords, The House of Grain, The House of Leather, etc. This could give the cities of Azeroth an eBay-like economy that has a different feel to other campaign settings. (You could even have buildings in the Auction House district act as storage space for traders who want to leave their goods for sale at action.)


Stormwind already has specialty stores and a Trade District (its the central district of Stormwind). Outside of reagents, they generally sell junk. They should probably operate more like quartermasters, and be the primary source of green-quality gear, instead of quests (which should just give money & rep, with items being extremely rare). Vendors could even sell a few blue-quality items to revered & higher repped characters.


The RPG economy could go that way too.

I think that both quest rewards and monster NPC drops need to be looked at. Some of them just don't make sense. I think that physical treasure can be good. And I even think that low cost physical treasure can sometimes be appropriate. But we all now the MMO is fixated on a grinding ecology.

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:What do you think? Would it work?


Probably change the economy too much in the game itself. <shrug>


If it creates a ton of work, it might be bad. But if it makes for an interesting game, I might want to try things. If they don't work, I can always frevert to bog-standard D&D.

The idea of the PCs annoying a rich NPC and then having that NPC follow the to the Auction House and attempt to outbid the on the cool stuff that their group needs could be fun.

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:BTW: I was also asking about the Twilight Highlands plot. Do you think that could be raided for the RPG (and improved along the way)?


Can't speak to the Horde quest lines, but for Alliance, I found it very *meh*. The quests around Highbank felt like a rehash of Valance Keep in Northrend, although slightly better done. The Wildhammer quests felt unnecessary and more appropriate for an enlarged Hinterlands (with levels adjusted accordingly). The quests leading up to the confrontation with Deathwing were appropriate and enjoyable. The Twilight Council quests was just a weird tangent and should have come earlier instead of the last quests of the zone. What I was expecting, and didn't get, was that all of the loose ends from the other four zones wrap up in the Highlands neatly. Didn't happen, of course.


Well, my idea is to raid MMO stuff - not just blindly convert it. So if changing the order of things makes them better, I'd be more than happy to do that.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:21 am

(Since I'm late to the party, I'm going to skip quoting and just hit some main points)

If I were running a table-top game, I'd take advantage of the look of the MMO (and the design) for illustration at the table, e.g. "This is what this area looks like", "This is the monster you see", etc. I'd also take advantage of the rather extensive in-game weapon/armor models for the items, and thus allow the players to effectively build a 3D model of their character (assuming an MMO-able race) via wowmodelviewer or similar. I would also re-skin the items, so the "long sword +1" would become "a Wingblade".

(Note: I am currently running 4e, and some aspects of the WoW itemization are similar to the way magic items work there, e.g. suggested levels and some approximation of stat boosts/effects are the norm. That would make things easier.)

As for vendor trash, it's a placeholder for "all monsters of this level drop X gold, plus-or-minus a couple standard deviations" and an inventory issue. In a sense, the idea is to force you back to town every so often. It was more meaningful when inventory management was a larger issue and quest hubs weren't so close to the quests (and you didn't have a vendor every 10 yards in-game). Now, it's not bad for flavor, but it's a sort of hold-over.

(Note: Again with the 4e: there are what amount to suggested amounts of "party gold" per level, and if you use the parcel system you'll end up in the right spot. I've been borrowing from the WoW approach and been swapping some of the coin for more convenient things to carry, and have waived the majority of inventory management issues. I'm not quite to the "you can put ten horses in your backpack" stage, but it's never been a mini-game I liked. So, I tend to play on the side of "let's handwave that away to keep the story and fun rolling".)

I think the Auction Houses are really more of an MMO community thing (they're a way to sell stuff with uses to other players without standing in a city shouting "I have 400 wool cloth for sale!"). If you had several groups playing in the same approximate world, it might be a way to swap stuff back and forth between groups, but that would need to be worked out between the DMs.[*] I'm not sure it's valuable in that sense. However, the vendor licensing stuff could potentially be tied in with some economic or trade situation. I could see borrowing rules from the Darokin/Minrothad Gazetteers to cover that (or expanding the system, or developing one) to end up with a mostly non-combat trade game. In that case, Auction Houses would also play a part (and the buyers/sellers would need to be simulated somehow).

[*] Aside: once ran a Mystara game (Karameikos, B10, specifically) and was swapping campaign stories with another Mystara game. His game had my party as NPCs in the background, and I used one of the events from his game as the background for a situation in Threshold as they arrived. That was something the players didn't fully realize was going on (semi-shared campaign setting), but it was a lot of fun for the DMs -- and it let us feel like our worlds were more alive to us and our players.

It's already been noted that the level-based food/drink are basically substitutes for out-of-combat fast regen on a non-potion cooldown. I would never use them as listed, although I might import "Constitution-enhancing" or other stat-boosting foods (with an implicit level requirement). Remember that levels on items/foods put a floor on who can use them, and it's a balance thing. In an MMO, any non-soulbound item is available to any character in the game. Since gear matters a lot, it would not do for a brand new level 1 character to be walking around with a level 85 crafted sword. He would be ridiculously overpowered until his 80s, be completely brutal in PVP, and it really wouldn't be a lot of fun to one-shot through most of the grind. In a tabletop game, the level limits would come from the DM not making the items available to players until they're ready :-)
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:31 am

Big Mac wrote:Having the world of Azeroth, be smaller than the Earth would make sense as it would allow the PCs to attempt the sort of epic journeys that are common in the MMO.

I am confused by that globe picture too (as well as the other globe pictures over at Wowpedia). I did notice that the moon did not seem to be lined up on the equator. I wonder if the globes are supposed to be shifted at an angle to represent Azeroth's axil tilt. :?


I don't think they put that much thought into it, to be honest. The company is often about "what is cool" and "what works", not "what is accurate". They've already proven they're willing to dump nearly any amount of lore to make a viable story.

Since the climates don't quite make sense, I'd have to work with the continents a while to get things working. I'm inclined to place the equator running through Silithus/Un'goro/Tanaris/Stranglethorn and Icecrown near the Arctic circle. That leaves 75% of the surface not covered by those three continents, and thus room for other islands/continents as needed (or just empty ocean). That plus altitude resolve most of the climate issues. Still not sure how Silvermoon/Eversong/Quel'Danas work out, though.

Big Mac wrote:None of my groups have ever used music, but I'm thinking that the music of the WoW:MMO is so iconic that MMO players will have a subconcious association with an in-game location when you play it (like Pavlov's dogs).

For many, yes. I'd probably not want to run it for MMO players, though, as there might be too many built-in assumptions. Depends on the players, I suppose...

I don't have as strong of associations with the more recent expansions, as I've tended to leave sound off of late, but the original game's music has very, very strong associations for me :-)

Big Mac wrote:Great test map! I have posted a link to it from the WoW:RPG page on Facebook and asked for help working out the right scale of the world. Someone called Zachary Rogers said this:
Zachary Rogers wrote:Well, we know that someone can travel from southern Gilneas to northern Gilneas in two days with a small boat according to some quest dialogue in the Worgen starting experience.

I don't know how much that helps.

I'd have to work out the actual continental and zone maps, and whether they would be the RPG or the MMO's maps (they don't agree). That does help, though, as it puts a general bound on that specific distance. Couple that with approximate positioning of the three continents on the globe (and in relation to each other), then pick the most convenient scale that fits, and that would give a decent base scale to work with.

Of course, the in-game zone maps are not in scale to each other, so one would still have to work backward from a larger map first :-)

You know, I think I'll let someone else tackle that one ;-)
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:42 pm

One issue with being so darn tied up in work & school is that I've been very slow at playing through Cataclysm. I'm not done with 4.0 and the base content, and 4.1's out. Eek.

night_druid had comments on the zones, I'm going to add my thoughts:

Mt. Hyjal (ND: too crowded, needs Firelands separate): Decent quests, branched enough that it's not railroaded the way Vash'jir is. I had a lot of fun, and being a little behind the curve (a lesson learned from Burning Crusade, actually) meant that the zone was pretty quiet when I was there. Firelands is a separate zone as of 4.2 (hitting or about to hit PTRs now), but they needed to set it up here. I have some thoughts on the Firelands in general, but that's deserving of a separate post :-) I was really pleased to quest through it and help bring the ancient spirits (Cenarius, Aviana, Malorne, etc.) back. Modern Lore always felt a little empty with them having been slain in the War of the Ancients (or during Warcraft 3, for Cenarius), sort of like having Mystara with almost all of the Immortals killed off.

Deepholm (ND: hit undergeared, struggled, interesting): I'm not quite finished with the zone yet, but it has a nice feel to it. I liked the remnants of the area where Deathwing's armor was attached, and it was nice to see more about the Earthen. The environment was well realized, but it was more fiery and less earthy than I would have imagined the elemental plane of earth. Still, surprisingly diverse within the theme.

Uldum (ND: favorite, esp. Harrison Jones): The Indy Jones callbacks were fun, although the phasing was wreaking havoc on my two-boxing (and I hit a couple bugs with it along the way). I really like the Tol'vir story, and it's nice to see the Egyptian theme of Silithus finally tied back to one of the Titan-created races. Cutscene vs. content got old. From a gaming perspective, it established new races and backgrounds to work with. I could see an entire campaign built just around Uldum's opening.

Vash'jir (ND: blech): My preferred starting zone -- quiet, relatively linear, careful use of phasing, and I love the Horde ship design. I'm a big fan of the naga, so it was nice to see some history fleshed out (beyond the normal "They're night elves who sank with Azshara and the Well of Eternity and were changed to survive the depths, then were summoned to the surface by Illidan"). That, and I find water and blue to be soothing, so it was calming to quest here :-)

Twilight Highlands (ND: drags): This one I've barely started (as Horde). Since we begin by overthrowing the leader of the Dragonmaw, then build up a Horde town, it starts off with a bang. Quite enjoyable start to the zone, but like ND I'm a little burned out on generic questing so I haven't had a huge desire to wrap it up. Maybe once finals are over...

Overall, I'd say that Uldum is the most self-contained campaign seed, but coupling Mt. Hyjal with the Firelands raid lore would make a great epic adventure -- especially if you tie it into the previous stuff with Blackrock Depths and the Dark Iron dwarves making the pact with Ragnaros' forces.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 15, 2011 12:48 pm

Bonetti wrote:Uldum (ND: favorite, esp. Harrison Jones): The Indy Jones callbacks were fun, although the phasing was wreaking havoc on my two-boxing (and I hit a couple bugs with it along the way). I really like the Tol'vir story, and it's nice to see the Egyptian theme of Silithus finally tied back to one of the Titan-created races. Cutscene vs. content got old. From a gaming perspective, it established new races and backgrounds to work with. I could see an entire campaign built just around Uldum's opening.

Vash'jir (ND: blech): My preferred starting zone -- quiet, relatively linear, careful use of phasing, and I love the Horde ship design. I'm a big fan of the naga, so it was nice to see some history fleshed out (beyond the normal "They're night elves who sank with Azshara and the Well of Eternity and were changed to survive the depths, then were summoned to the surface by Illidan"). That, and I find water and blue to be soothing, so it was calming to quest here :-)


The phasing would not be an issue if this stuff was raided for tabletop as all players would be on the same phase at the same time. The only thing the GM would need to do is have an organised way to deal with phasing changes (so they can advance the appropriate elements of the game, as the players switch from one phase to the next).

I can imagine an individual phase having several possible elements, like map changes (for world changing events), random encounter table changes (or events that displace certain NPC groups or monsters and replace them with others) or a set of NPCs (or maybe even monsters) that are not initially available and kick in later on.

The closest thing I can think of in tabletop phasing would be something like the way that Forgotten Realms has been updated from the 1st Edition AD&D version all the way up to the 4th Edition D&D version. I think that some things (like the Time of Troubles) would need to create a global phase on the world, while other things (like the return of Thultanthar in Anarouch) could phase in locally, and maybe even be tweaked forwards or backwards by a GM.

Bonetti wrote:Overall, I'd say that Uldum is the most self-contained campaign seed, but coupling Mt. Hyjal with the Firelands raid lore would make a great epic adventure -- especially if you tie it into the previous stuff with Blackrock Depths and the Dark Iron dwarves making the pact with Ragnaros' forces.


Maybe that could get its own thread at some point, when you are less busy. :mrgreen:
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Wed May 18, 2011 2:34 am

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote: although the phasing was wreaking havoc on my two-boxing

The phasing would not be an issue if this stuff was raided for tabletop as all players would be on the same phase at the same time. The only thing the GM would need to do is have an organised way to deal with phasing changes (so they can advance the appropriate elements of the game, as the players switch from one phase to the next).

Well, technically the phasing exists to provide an MMO (which is typically static for very good reasons[1]) with the flexibility of affecting the world that tabletop RPGs have always had. So, really, the phasing is very easy to accommodate -- carry the world changes over, and since you're not limited to spawning predetermined objects, the tabletop game is a lot more flexible. Steal the fundamentals of the change (e.g. "the guy you escorted to safety from inside the prison is now standing in camp giving out quests"), and implement appropriately in the tabletop version of the story.

So, pretty much whenever I refer to phasing, I'm either kvetching because it broke /follow and I had to go back and retrieve my second toon, or it's "the world/setting/NPCs changed, accommodate in a tabletop game".

I suspect I've said this all before, but it's been a long day and I'm too tired to search. Rambling is more fun...


Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:...but coupling Mt. Hyjal with the Firelands raid lore would make a great epic adventure -- especially if you tie it into the previous stuff with Blackrock Depths and the Dark Iron dwarves making the pact with Ragnaros' forces.

Maybe that could get its own thread at some point, when you are less busy. :mrgreen:

It's on my very lengthy TODO list. I haven't examined the material enough yet to really think it through, though.

I do have a start, though, but that's more of a summary at this point.

--
[1] Basically, content is very expensive. You want to re-use it in an MMO, which means every character probably has very comparable stories (the questlines in the starting areas). This lesson was learned in MUDs and Ultima Online long before WoW -- it's not cost-effective to develop content only a tiny fraction of the playerbase will ever see, and it's impossible to maintain consistency among dozens of servers and hundreds of thousands (or more) users with human-driven interaction (e.g. having company employees "run" events). So, most MMOs have either been static (a la pre-phasing WoW), have re-learned this lesson, or have done something akin to phasing. Auto Assault had phasing (once you completed a questline in the starting area, an exit tunnel appeared -- but only people who completed the quests could see it) before WoW did, and there were probably others.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:49 am

Bonetti wrote:[1] Basically, content is very expensive. You want to re-use it in an MMO, which means every character probably has very comparable stories (the questlines in the starting areas). This lesson was learned in MUDs and Ultima Online long before WoW -- it's not cost-effective to develop content only a tiny fraction of the playerbase will ever see, and it's impossible to maintain consistency among dozens of servers and hundreds of thousands (or more) users with human-driven interaction (e.g. having company employees "run" events). So, most MMOs have either been static (a la pre-phasing WoW), have re-learned this lesson, or have done something akin to phasing. Auto Assault had phasing (once you completed a questline in the starting area, an exit tunnel appeared -- but only people who completed the quests could see it) before WoW did, and there were probably others.


The ironic thing about this is they have a lot of old content that tey have dumped over the years.

If you were able to install WoW and run it locally, and were able to dump to any patch throughout the history of the MMO, you could gain access to the entire history of the MMO and get all the years worth of play that the original players had.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:37 am

Big Mac wrote:The ironic thing about this is they have a lot of old content that tey have dumped over the years.

Not as much as one would think. Several of the "retired" raid zones have been reborn -- Naxxramas (originally level 60) was moved to Northrend with the content retuned and updated; ZG/ZA have returned as 5-man dungeons (reusing geography, models, and some lore); even with the zone revamps, there are a lot of quests which carried over.

Big Mac wrote:If you were able to install WoW and run it locally, and were able to dump to any patch throughout the history of the MMO, you could gain access to the entire history of the MMO and get all the years worth of play that the original players had.

Well... you'd need to replicate the server data, too, since a fair amount of the experience isn't local :-) I believe the quest text, item text, etc. is client-side, though, so that can be mined. Note, however, that there have always also been bits of "dead" data (never used, speculatively implemented, early revisions, etc.) which can be mined but not encountered.[1]

Frankly, the oldest zones desperately needed a revamp. They were poorly structured, and the quests were mostly there originally to alleviate some of the (then normal) xp grinding for levels. (Remember that the EQ model was to grind out xp, WoW pushed the "normal" experience into a quest-driven/story-driven experience closer to a single-player game while leveling -- which was pushed by early friends & family alpha testers complaining about the paucity of quests. It came out of them using casual players for early testing...) Funnily enough, a lot of quests are held over -- Tirisfal Glade, for instance, is about 80% the same old quests (sometimes with a new turn in), and about 20% new glue content/updated content to catch the story changes. I was surprised at how relatively little was patched out. Even the old instances (Stratholme, Scholomance) are still around, with level adjustments to match the zones they're in.

In my opinion, the much more coherent current version of Azeroth is a much better developed base from which to build a campaign, and the richer quest tapestry provides a lot more fodder to build stories from. Lore has exploded as the MMO has progressed, and most of it can be repurposed pretty easily.

Phasing as tech is just an MMO implementation of world changes which are much easier to do in a tabletop game (you got back from the orc lair, and your home village was razed). I'm sure I've seen it done in other modules, but there was definitely a module version of the same non-static world idea in Feast of Goblyns. Other than the specific "suggestions" encoded in the questlines (all the stuff in Niffleheim as the Sons of Hodir area is adjusted is actually pretty fun), it's what good DMs have been doing all along :-)

[1] The two big ones I remember are Azshara Crater and the Emerald Dream. Azshara Crater was a 40-man battleground (a la Alterac Valley) which never saw the light of day. The issues with population in AV prior to the pooling of servers into battlegroups showed they did not have the player population to sustain two huge BGs. (AB and WSG, 15 and 10 man, respectively, were much more successful.) So, they scrapped it after building out the data. Similarly, they early single-zone art for the Emerald Dream, but it has never been used. The current occasional quest leading into the Dream is implemented with phasing and maybe an additional visual filter.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby night_druid » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:32 pm

I've recently completed all of the zones on the Eastern Kingdoms side of the world. Its been a slow grind, mostly because I can only play for short periods of time (longer and I get nasty headaches that take hours to go away). Overall, I like the changes they've done to leveling zones. The big thing, to me, is that they've done away with you picking up a quest chain in one zone, and have to travel literally across the world several times, spanning a half-dozen disparate zones, to complete. And they've done away with the utter randomness to the quests. Instead, each zone has a small set of quest chains, all of which keep you in-zone, making completing a zone easy and quick. A given zone probably takes an hour or two to finish. Each zone has a story, and the quests complement that story. And there's a sense of accomplishment once the zone is finished and the story is complete. I also like that they relocated quest-givers in the dungeon's entrance, so you can finish a frigg'n dungeon in one go instead of constant back & forth to a half-dozen quest givers scattered all over the frigg'n world.

They also fixed rep-grinding, so that by the end of the quest chains involving the particular faction, you're within easy reach of Exhaulted status without the nasty turn-ins and insane grinding. And often the story of a particular faction is tied tightly with one or more zones, again giving you a sense of accomplishment once you finish with a faction.

One complaint I do have is that some zone stories end, no matter how the story progresses, in a return to the status quo. In particular, the story of the Swamp of Sorrow results in a battle where one side invades the other side's town (I'm sure its the same for Horde as Alliance). In the end, the invasion fails despite your efforts and the opposing faction's town remains. I know why they did it that way, but it would have been more satisfying to see your side "win" a few battles and expand their territorial holdings. Something similar happens in Western Plaguelands, too (my gawd, Blizzard is in love with the Forsaken or what? They're pretty much the story-line uber-faction now).
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Ivellius » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:26 am

A handful of scattered thoughts:

Maybe Quel'thalas is much more temperate due to the Sunwell's climatological influence? Having a fountain of pure magic might make things heat up a bit. I do agree that all of the continents so far seem more or less comparable to a northern hemisphere. There's probably some kind of tilt that makes Winterspring colder than the rest of Kalimdor; perhaps Teldrassil and the Exodar account for the northwestern islands' climate being a bit warmer, too.

They did fix a lot of the problems with Cataclysm. I didn't start playing until after Wrath came out, and rep grinding in Outland (I want my Mountain o' Mounts!) isn't much fun.

The Forsaken are the next Scourge. It makes some sense that they'd be nearly unstoppable, though you'd think the Horde wouldn't put up with it--Garrosh isn't so kind as Thrall and seems to keep things better watched. Apparently not? Also...wouldn't the Argent Crusade have some problems with them? The Scourge is mostly bottled up now. Surely Tirion could spare a few crusades against Undercity to overthrow the Lich Queen.

I liked the brief "civil war" with the Rotbrains in Tirisfal, though. Except for the obvious bias.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:18 pm

It feels like they're building Sylvanas up to be the villain in a forthcoming expansion -- she seems to be starting down the "descent into madness" path that others before her have taken. On the other hand, given her position (isolated, surrounded by enemies, and hated by both factions) a lot of her actions make sense from a self-preservation point of view.

Regarding Tirion attacking: she is still an ally of the Horde, and they would feel compelled to respond to an attack on their own. That would break the cross-faction nature of the Argent Crusade. Just be glad Sylvanas isn't the one now sitting on the Frozen Throne :-)

I think they've put deliberately provocative leaders into both factions in order to rebuild tension between the Horde and the Alliance. King Varian has a backstory which lends him to hate the orcs, combined with a certain hotheadedness.

Similarly, Garrosh feels he has to make up for his past, but he's been left in charge of the Horde. In the meantime, he has lost the support of Vol'jin, respect of the Tauren, and Sylvanas considers him a nuisance to be ignored (and the Blood Elves, shorn of their own leader Kael'thas, may well consider her a de facto leader given her past as a ranger-general defending Quel'thalas). The Horde is brittle, much more brittle than the Alliance seems to be.

I like how Thrall has become something closer to an Azeroth-wide hero, since previous WoW-wide heroes have typically been Alliance (and, often, human).

Other than a quick whirl through the Worgen and Goblin starting zones during the Cataclysm alpha, I haven't checked out much of the lower-level story yet. It's on my list of things to do, once life is back under control :-)

Ivellius: I feel your pain. I'm at 72/100 on the mounts, and see my path forward. However, it goes through the Skyguard and Netherwing, and I didn't enjoy those even when they were solo end-game content :-(
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby night_druid » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:43 am

Bonetti wrote:It feels like they're building Sylvanas up to be the villain in a forthcoming expansion -- she seems to be starting down the "descent into madness" path that others before her have taken. On the other hand, given her position (isolated, surrounded by enemies, and hated by both factions) a lot of her actions make sense from a self-preservation point of view.


That seems to be the case. Wonder how they'll handle Sylvanas going full-bore evil, out to destroy everyone, with Foresaken PCs. I can only assume there'll be another split within the Foresaken, with those siding with Sylvanas being NPCs and Foresaken PCs will allied with some as-of-yet unnamed NPC opposed to purging the world of the living (and probably end either with Sylvanas' death, or, although unlikely, the restoration of her sanity &/or status as a living elf).

I think they've put deliberately provocative leaders into both factions in order to rebuild tension between the Horde and the Alliance. King Varian has a backstory which lends him to hate the orcs, combined with a certain hotheadedness.


Well, being held as a slave by cruel orc slavemasters does tend to do that to a guy. Although ironically, you never see slaves in-game in Horde areas. Not sure if the orc internment camps are still around.

Similarly, Garrosh feels he has to make up for his past, but he's been left in charge of the Horde. In the meantime, he has lost the support of Vol'jin, respect of the Tauren, and Sylvanas considers him a nuisance to be ignored (and the Blood Elves, shorn of their own leader Kael'thas, may well consider her a de facto leader given her past as a ranger-general defending Quel'thalas). The Horde is brittle, much more brittle than the Alliance seems to be.


To be honest, I'm not sure where Garrosh came from, pre-Catalysm. I think he's well on his way to plunging the Horde into civil war. Gawd, what the hell was Thrall thinking in appointing that dork leader? Whatcha wanna bet it was Jania who suggested it during some pillow-talk session. She gets Thrall to step down as leader, appoint a hot-head who manages in short order to hack off the entire Horde leadership, and Horde crumbles into civil war. In the meantime, she maneuvers Alliance into conquering the world. No wonder Thrall dumped her, after realizing how badly he screwed up after listening to her "advice". :twisted:

I like how Thrall has become something closer to an Azeroth-wide hero, since previous WoW-wide heroes have typically been Alliance (and, often, human).


Most of the WoW-wide heroes came from earlier games, so naturally they favor humans. ;) I like Thrall, although its sad he's the exception when it comes to orcs, not the rule. He makes a good war leader, but he's way too trusting, to the point that on several occasions he looks like an idiot (gee, whodathunk those Foresaken would turn their plague on US? Wow, didn't see that one coming!)

Aside from Thrall, orcs are living up to their reputation of being bloodthristy, murderous primitives rather than rising into a civilized people. :P

Ivellius: I feel your pain. I'm at 72/100 on the mounts, and see my path forward. However, it goes through the Skyguard and Netherwing, and I didn't enjoy those even when they were solo end-game content :-(


Too bad they didn't fix Outland at the same time. It too, is in desperate need of fixing. Too many problems from the first iteration of the game wormed their way into that expansion.
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Re: WoW: Cataclysm, and the resulting world-building

Postby Bonetti » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:30 am

night_druid wrote:
Bonetti wrote:Similarly, Garrosh feels he has to make up for his past, but he's been left in charge of the Horde. In the meantime, he has lost the support of Vol'jin, respect of the Tauren, and Sylvanas considers him a nuisance to be ignored (and the Blood Elves, shorn of their own leader Kael'thas, may well consider her a de facto leader given her past as a ranger-general defending Quel'thalas). The Horde is brittle, much more brittle than the Alliance seems to be.


To be honest, I'm not sure where Garrosh came from, pre-Catalysm. I think he's well on his way to plunging the Horde into civil war. Gawd, what the hell was Thrall thinking in appointing that dork leader? Whatcha wanna bet it was Jania who suggested it during some pillow-talk session. She gets Thrall to step down as leader, appoint a hot-head who manages in short order to hack off the entire Horde leadership, and Horde crumbles into civil war. In the meantime, she maneuvers Alliance into conquering the world. No wonder Thrall dumped her, after realizing how badly he screwed up after listening to her "advice". :twisted:

Garrosh Hellscream, son of the Blademaster Grom Hellscream (of the Warcraft 3 cinematic fame), was left behind on Draenor when the wars came. He was the not-very-effective, undercut-by-everyone-because-he-whined-incessantly leader of the Mag'har -- except he didn't lead, and everyone was left to fend for themselves. One of the quest chains culminates in showing him what his father did and how he died freeing the orcs from Mannoroth's curse, which is the beginning of his story. That event changed his outlook, and he moved from there into being a major player in the Horde during Wrath (impatient, reckless, domineering) under the guidance of Saurfang. Basically, Thrall's reverence for Grom led to Garrosh being treated far better than he should have been, and Thrall hoped Saurfang would temper him into being a decent Warchief (Thrall having no heirs, and there being no obvious replacement other than perhaps Cairne -- as if the orcs would follow him).

night_druid wrote:Aside from Thrall, orcs are living up to their reputation of being bloodthristy, murderous primitives rather than rising into a civilized people. :P

I think of them as more like the Klingons of Azeroth -- noble in their own, not very peaceful way, and not exactly primitive. After all, they were enslaved by demons, turned loose on a world which was not theirs, then broke free of their fel chains (and their imprisonment by humans) and made their own way. Medivh led them from the Eastern Kingdoms to Kalimdor, to some of the least hospitable land there (Durotar and The Barrens). Even then, the Alliance (specifically, Kul Tiras) pursued them there (see also: Northwatch and Tiragarde Keep). There was an uneasy peace, broken by the Royal Apothecary Society's betrayal[*] and Varian's invasion of Undercity.

[*] While I see the argument that Sylvanas ordered the attack, I literally don't see it. She's not stupid enough to think she can beat the Alliance and Horde, and she would never do anything that effectively helped the Lich King -- it was too hard to break free the first time, and she flat out refuses to be dominated again. I do think she ordered them to research the plague (when the entire world is against you...), and her culpability is at most of the "would no one rid me of this troublesome priest" sort of exasperation -- but more likely, given the events launching Wrath, it really was just a rogue faction of the RAS who thought they had her blessing, and were wrong. (Note also: Varimathras may have been playing his own game, dreadlords do not suffer being minions easily...)

If I had more time, I'd write up a re-interpretation of Sylvanas, similar to the one of Jaina...
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