Draenor as a campaign setting

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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:06 pm

The garrison looks like it's the closest thing to player housing they're going to put in. It looks like a variation on the farm from Mists, with buildings, followers, etc. At least you can finally invite others to come visit...

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More importantly, the Draenor map. Some of the unnamed bits are the Zangar Sea (between Nagrand and Frostfire), Faralohn (the island where Netherstorm will be). The continent in the bottom left is where the ogre empire is, which I don't remember seeing on maps before. AFAIK, most of the zone maps aren't available yet. However, it looks like they're putting a bunch of lore in. They're also flagging the lore-heavy quests, so if you're primarily interested in the story it'll be easier to make sure you get all the important bits. They're also working on small scale story stuff, like hidden caches and periodic events, similar to what's on the Timeless Isle in 5.4.

So, I expect that there will be a huge amount of additional, potentially useful information for a Draenor campaign.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:38 pm

Bonetti wrote:Something to keep an eye on: Warlords of Draenor.

BlizzCon is this coming week-end, Blizzard just registered "Warlords of Draenor" as a trademark, and they appear to have registered the domain. Here's hoping they're doing something with that material.


Excellent. The trailer talks about "past and present colliding" so I guess they will have some sort of time warp to connect Draenor to Azeroth. That means there may well be better resolution maps that can be raided (and that the MMO community may well do a lot of the work for us). ;)

Bonetti wrote:Warlords of Draenor is the next WoW expansion (just announced at BlizzCon). It looks like they're returning to pre-Outland Draenor (they showed a Shadowmoon Valley without all the felfire as one of the zones). You may want to keep an eye on what they're doing for that, since it looks like Draenor is about to have Pandaria-level development put into it.


Both Shadowmoon Valley and Frostfire Ridge look pretty good. I'll be interested to see what the rest of Draenor looks like.

They advertised this as a "New World" in the first trailer, so I'm guessing there is the potential to expand outside of the area of the map that we have already seen. :cool:

Bonetti wrote:Update: They hit a Q&A. They really, really don't want to focus on the time travel bit, they want to focus on "You get to see Draenor before it goes all demon-infested". So, from a lore perspective, that's pretty cool.


I'll be interested to see how they work this thing out.

Bonetti wrote:The garrison looks like it's the closest thing to player housing they're going to put in. It looks like a variation on the farm from Mists, with buildings, followers, etc. At least you can finally invite others to come visit...


I'm not sure how much of a construction engine they will offer, but maybe models of buildings could be exported and used for tabletop play.



Interesting. It looks like Blizzard have locked down Mists of Pandaria updates to focus on getting Draenor ready, so no more quest chains for that could be raided for tabletop plots.

Bonetti wrote:More importantly, the Draenor map. Some of the unnamed bits are the Zangar Sea (between Nagrand and Frostfire), Faralohn (the island where Netherstorm will be). The continent in the bottom left is where the ogre empire is, which I don't remember seeing on maps before. AFAIK, most of the zone maps aren't available yet. However, it looks like they're putting a bunch of lore in. They're also flagging the lore-heavy quests, so if you're primarily interested in the story it'll be easier to make sure you get all the important bits. They're also working on small scale story stuff, like hidden caches and periodic events, similar to what's on the Timeless Isle in 5.4.

So, I expect that there will be a huge amount of additional, potentially useful information for a Draenor campaign.


Great map. I can't quite figure out how it lines up with the previous map yet. Was that map the same thing as the Tanaan Jungle?
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby night_druid » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:02 pm

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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:22 pm

Big Mac wrote:Great map. I can't quite figure out how it lines up with the previous map yet. Was that map the same thing as the Tanaan Jungle?

The Zangar Sea is drained, it becomes Zangarmarsh. Tanaan Jungle is what becomes Hellfire Peninsula. The Spires of Arak collapse, and Talador becomes Terokkar. Nagrand is the least changed. Frostfire slams into Gorgrond, creating Blade's Edge (as I understand it, the Blade's Edge feel of "two zones", forested and rocky desert, comes from the bits of the two new zones as they survive). Faralohn (the unnamed island to the northeast) becomes Netherstorm. I assume a lot of it will have the feel of the ecodomes the ethereals set up.

The corner of a continent to the southwest is an entirely new continent, and they've hinted strongly that these are not the only two continents (but who knows how much will be seen in the expansion). I don't know if we'll get to see it or not, but it is the ogre homeland.

(As an aside, I think they were suggesting in one of the panels that we may not have seen the last new continent on Azeroth, either. Chris Metzen was saying some stuff about being against the globes in Ulduar, no matter how cool they looked, because they implied that the existing three continents were all that there were. MoP had an excuse (hidden by the mists), but you can't trot that out all the time. Well, that and the globes were supposedly made by the Titans, which would have been pre-explosion anyway, so the continents should not have had their modern shape.)

From a story point of view, they're planning multi-expansion arcs now. So, apparently, some of MoP and WoD will be laying the foundations for whatever is coming. I feel like they dropped the ball a bit post-BC and did a "greatest hits": Arthas, Deathwing, Chen Stormstout, and now all the old warchiefs. (That being said, Garrosh's character was developed from BC through MoP, and you could sort of see his fall coming.)

Regardless, I think that the newly developed zones will really add oodles of material for Draenor as a campaign setting, and I look forward to seeing what they unveil.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:48 pm

night_druid wrote:Here's a side by side comparison: http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2 ... rScale.png


Thanks. It is great to see Draenor compared with Outland. :)

But I was kind of talking about a comparison of the new Draenor map and old Draenor map. From the post that Bonetti has made, there must be a lot of small differences made to shoehorn things in.

And the idea of some sort of "Ogre expansion" sounds like it would be good.

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Great map. I can't quite figure out how it lines up with the previous map yet. Was that map the same thing as the Tanaan Jungle?

The Zangar Sea is drained, it becomes Zangarmarsh. Tanaan Jungle is what becomes Hellfire Peninsula. The Spires of Arak collapse, and Talador becomes Terokkar. Nagrand is the least changed. Frostfire slams into Gorgrond, creating Blade's Edge (as I understand it, the Blade's Edge feel of "two zones", forested and rocky desert, comes from the bits of the two new zones as they survive). Faralohn (the unnamed island to the northeast) becomes Netherstorm. I assume a lot of it will have the feel of the ecodomes the ethereals set up.


That is quite a lot of changes. I thought they were doing some sort of timeshift thing. But this seems like the same sort of amount of changes they had with the big dragon that split Azeroth up. I wonder if they will try to retcon this in (and replace the Warcraft II map) or if they will try to have Warcraft II be the past of this new Draenor. It did look from the Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal article on Wowpedia that the computer game story went straight from the old map to Outland.

Maybe they could reduce the damage, remove Outland and change from original Draenor to this instead. :?

Bonetti wrote:The corner of a continent to the southwest is an entirely new continent, and they've hinted strongly that these are not the only two continents (but who knows how much will be seen in the expansion). I don't know if we'll get to see it or not, but it is the ogre homeland.


I kind of like these expansions. I would be happy with MMOs that had terrain that was closer to what you would get in a real world. But I do know that people complain about the MMO maps taking a lot of real-life time to cross. I wonder what sort of impact these expansions have on how the game works. I suppose that if a lot of it is high level content, it could just mean that people start in Azeroth or Kalamdor and then migrate to other continents as they level up.

That isn't too relevant to tabletop play, but if this part of Draenor and the rest of the world that gets added on, is all for post-80 level MMO players, there might not be so much for low level tabletop players to do there.

But I'm just speculating here. I guess when the quest chains come to light, we will be able to see how easy it would be to raid this stuff for tabletop play in the World of Draenor setting. :)

Bonetti wrote:(As an aside, I think they were suggesting in one of the panels that we may not have seen the last new continent on Azeroth, either. Chris Metzen was saying some stuff about being against the globes in Ulduar, no matter how cool they looked, because they implied that the existing three continents were all that there were. MoP had an excuse (hidden by the mists), but you can't trot that out all the time. Well, that and the globes were supposedly made by the Titans, which would have been pre-explosion anyway, so the continents should not have had their modern shape.)


More stuff on the World of Azeroth could be a lot of fun, if they can find a way to insert it, without it looking wrong.

As well as continents, they could certainly go for some sort of "underground" expansion, similar to D&D's Underdark. There are already plenty of mines on the surface of Azerth and Ironforge is mostly underground, but I bet it wouldn't be too hard to have some sort of "lower level" that connects Ironforge to Gnomeregon and goes beyond the two. If that got invaded by leper gnomes, there would be a logical reason for Ironforge to seal off their end.

That tunnel that goes between Ironforge and Stormwind certainly implies that there are people that can build epic tunnels. If that tunnel was just one in a network, there could be a sealed off train that used to run from Ironforge to Gnomeregon (and maybe also a train that used to run from Gnomeregon to Stormwind). It would also be fun to have an epic train that was built from Ironforge or Gnomeregon to a land deep below the sea half way between Ironforge and Darnassus. There could be a partially completed tunnel between that underground realm and Darnassus itself.

It would be fun for them to add a bunch of other stuff similar to that that has been cut off. Any of the mines around the world of Azeroth could be converted into entrances into lands below those mines.

Then you have the "hollow Earth" thing. If they did that, they could almost double the size of the game area. :twisted:

Bonetti wrote:From a story point of view, they're planning multi-expansion arcs now. So, apparently, some of MoP and WoD will be laying the foundations for whatever is coming. I feel like they dropped the ball a bit post-BC and did a "greatest hits": Arthas, Deathwing, Chen Stormstout, and now all the old warchiefs. (That being said, Garrosh's character was developed from BC through MoP, and you could sort of see his fall coming.)


We have spoken about how to maybe convert some of the story arcs that have gone across the patches (or quest chains) into tabletop plots, but with all the rapid changes in the map, I do wonder how hard it would be to convert all of these changes to tabletop.

Maybe WoW: Tabletop games would need to run in years, with the map being altered every year of gametime. :?

Or maybe we could retcon a lot of the new stuff into the past maps and just not give players easy access to it. :?

Bonetti wrote:Regardless, I think that the newly developed zones will really add oodles of material for Draenor as a campaign setting, and I look forward to seeing what they unveil.


It does sound like it could be fun.

I do wonder what might happen if Blizzard found a new tabletop RPG company that they trusted enough to bring back World of Warcraft.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:07 pm

Big Mac wrote:That is quite a lot of changes[...]Maybe they could reduce the damage, remove Outland and change from original Draenor to this instead. :?


I don't think that they have drastically retconned Draenor. There isn't that much info to begin with. If you take a peek at the Playstation map (and the earlier maps (one, two that they came from), you'll see that they've stuck to it pretty well. That side of the continent is still the same general shape, and it carries over quite well to Draenor. I think "The Red World" may no longer apply, and the Playstation map suggests Hellfire was always that reddish rock (rather than the jungle it is now), but they've kept the rest. OK, the maps have moved the Warsong clan around a few times, but Outland already established that their home base was mobile (placed either on the far east or far west, depending on the map).

The changing of the Tanaan Jungle into Hellfire Peninsula may be explained by that being the first clan to embrace the Burning Legion, and the Warcraft mission takes place after all of the orcs have converted. So, that may even figure into the story of the continent.

The current "new"/"old" Draenor is reasonably faithful to the older source material, while expanding on it. It's very similar to the original (retail) version of Azeroth, which was reasonably (but not perfectly) faithful to both the existing Warcraft maps (III in particular) and the RPG maps, but modified as needed to support the MMO.

Given that the destruction of the Dark Portal (which was the Warcraft II adventure) was said to "shatter" Draenor, I would expect pretty serious upheaval from Draenor to Outland -- destruction worse than what Deathwing wrought on Azeroth. So, turning a sea into a swamp, crashing a zone into the void, slamming two zones into each other to make a new zone... yeah, that's pretty reasonable given that the Outland of Warcraft III is said to be floating island-chunks of old Draenor, post-destruction.

(Aside: the Deathwing destruction of Azeroth mostly enabled two things: one, rebuilding the world geometry to allow flying mounts, and two, reflowing the zones so they made more sense and there was less "dead" content. They had so sped up the leveling that entire zones were being skipped, and, honestly, the quests were so old and weak that they really needed a rework to bring them to the level of polish available. So, Lore served Gameplay, which is the MMO focus.)

Big Mac wrote:I kind of like these expansions. I would be happy with MMOs that had terrain that was closer to what you would get in a real world. But I do know that people complain about the MMO maps taking a lot of real-life time to cross. I wonder what sort of impact these expansions have on how the game works. I suppose that if a lot of it is high level content, it could just mean that people start in Azeroth or Kalamdor and then migrate to other continents as they level up.

That isn't too relevant to tabletop play, but if this part of Draenor and the rest of the world that gets added on, is all for post-80 level MMO players, there might not be so much for low level tabletop players to do there.

Cataclysm showed the weakness of revamping old content. It felt pretty slim, as expansions go, because half the effort was a rework of existing content. No new game play. (It didn't help that it was a 5-level expansion, possibly because so much quest/story effort went into the revamp.) Generally speaking, what's exciting about xpacs is new content to explore (ideally, a new continent with a bunch of zones), and new levels of power to obtain. So, no matter how realistic it is (c'mon, Draenor is L90-100, Stormwind is L1-10 -- an army of L90-100 orcs would so totally obliterate a L1-10 human kingdom that there would have only been one Warcraft mission :-) ).

Story matters, levels don't. Levels can be (and should be) scaled. I wouldn't map MMO levels to tabletop levels. In fact, I think that, depending on what parts of the story one uses, one could see an enemy (say, the dark iron dwarves of the original game) at several power levels. If they're the "end game" content of the expansion, then (in 4e terms) they'd be Epic Tier (21-30), probably capping off with Blackrock Depths as the final adventure. However, if they're in their proper place in the story, and Molten Core is the final tier, then they'd be Paragon (11-20), depending on the story needs. Or if weakened Ragnaros is Paragon, they might even be late Heroic (say, 5-10) and early Paragon (11-15), with Molten Core being late Paragon (16-20), and then the Cataclysm elemental invasion of Hyjal for Epic (21-30).

Furthermore, this version of Draenor is some sort of pocket universe/alternate timeline version, which is linked to Azeroth from the past. It won't replace Outland (still used for 60-70). And... they're doing an Instant 90 thing in the expansion. Buy WoD, bump one character to 90 (and you'll get L90 starting gear, to boot). Easy way to "catch up", so you're not playing through all the previous expansions just to join your friends.

Big Mac wrote:I guess when the quest chains come to light, we will be able to see how easy it would be to raid this stuff for tabletop play in the World of Draenor setting. :)

Easier than ever, actually. With the instant-90, you get a playable character. They've also introduced a new concept of "story" quests, which are specially marked on the map. That way, if what you want to do is just play through the storyline, you can. Just follow the story quests, and get all the story out of the xpac.

Big Mac wrote:That tunnel that goes between Ironforge and Stormwind certainly implies that there are people that can build epic tunnels. If that tunnel was just one in a network, there could be a sealed off train that used to run from Ironforge to Gnomeregon (and maybe also a train that used to run from Gnomeregon to Stormwind). It would also be fun to have an epic train that was built from Ironforge or Gnomeregon to a land deep below the sea half way between Ironforge and Darnassus. There could be a partially completed tunnel between that underground realm and Darnassus itself.

Two things: One, I think the gnomes dug it out, or at least did all the finishing touches. Two, it was intended to connect Darnassus and Stormwind (that's why it runs east/west not north/south), but it turns out that because of the terrain, they needed to link Ironforge/Stormwind instead. So, not having time to rebuild it from scratch, they left an underground tunnel looking like it was crossing the bottom of the sea -- and facing the wrong direction :-)
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:26 pm

Great points Bonetti.

I still can't quite get the old and new maps to line up in my head. I guess that the Tannan Jungle is the same thing as the area that had the Dark Portal, Gorgrond is the home of the Laughing Skull Clan and Shadowmoon Valley is the area where the Shadowmoon Clan is found. So I'm guessing that the play area has increased by about two thirds.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby night_druid » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:54 pm

They don't quite line up. Some zones get shifted, and the early, Warcraft II-era maps of Draenor imply that the mapped area was just the eastern most edge of a much larger continent, not the entirety of the continent.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:12 am

night_druid wrote:They don't quite line up. Some zones get shifted, and the early, Warcraft II-era maps of Draenor imply that the mapped area was just the eastern most edge of a much larger continent, not the entirety of the continent.


I thought there was some level of rebooting going on.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:53 pm

FYI, the WoD alpha is freshly launched, and a few lucky players (not me) just got their hands on the files. MMO-Champion has stitched together a map of the continent from the minimap data.

The Arakkoa area looks like it will have interesting terrain features, and I'm really curious what that weird blue stuff off the west coast of Nagrand will turn out to be.

I will point out that this is from an alternate time stream. The Warlords of Draenor story has Garrosh linking back to an alternate universe (so the timeline of Azeroth isn't messed up by the time travel). If one wanted a larger or different pre-Outland Draenor, there's no reason that the Draenor of WoD couldn't be an alternate Draenor with different (smaller) landmasses from the ones that an enterprising GM may want to have as their own Draenor.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:18 pm

Bonetti wrote:FYI, the WoD alpha is freshly launched, and a few lucky players (not me) just got their hands on the files. MMO-Champion has stitched together a map of the continent from the minimap data.


Nice! It is a bit blocky, but you can get a real feel of what the eventual map will be like.

Bonetti wrote:The Arakkoa area looks like it will have interesting terrain features, and I'm really curious what that weird blue stuff off the west coast of Nagrand will turn out to be.


I looked at that too. Maybe they are adding Smurfs to the playable MMO races! :P

I was also wondering what the small green island with no surface detail to the north of the map was. Perhaps that is an unfinished area that is not available to the playtesters yet. :?

Bonetti wrote:I will point out that this is from an alternate time stream. The Warlords of Draenor story has Garrosh linking back to an alternate universe (so the timeline of Azeroth isn't messed up by the time travel). If one wanted a larger or different pre-Outland Draenor, there's no reason that the Draenor of WoD couldn't be an alternate Draenor with different (smaller) landmasses from the ones that an enterprising GM may want to have as their own Draenor.


Alternate timelines is an interesting feature for World of Warcraft play. If you can effectively ignore the "grandfather paradox" that would allow players to travel back in time and kill off NPCs with no effect when they come back. Take that concept over to tabletop play and you could theoretically have a tabletop game set in multiple time periods, where the PCs could do anything they want to without it radically changing the other time periods. That could actually give the Warcraft world a different feel to other campaign settings (which opt-in to the "grandfather paradox" logic). :)
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Tue May 06, 2014 11:16 pm

Bonetti wrote:The Arakkoa area looks like it will have interesting terrain features...

They posted an interesting discussion of the art development for the Spires of Arak, which gives a pretty good idea of what it will look like.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:24 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Bonetti wrote:The Arakkoa area looks like it will have interesting terrain features...

They posted an interesting discussion of the art development for the Spires of Arak, which gives a pretty good idea of what it will look like.


Looks like it will be pretty easy to fall off the side of a cliff in that zone.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby night_druid » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:43 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:
Bonetti wrote:The Arakkoa area looks like it will have interesting terrain features...

They posted an interesting discussion of the art development for the Spires of Arak, which gives a pretty good idea of what it will look like.


Looks like it will be pretty easy to fall off the side of a cliff in that zone.


Probably not; everybody by that point will have their flying mount. Aside from combat, gathering, and (maybe) interacting with townsfolk, most characters' feet won't even touch the ground.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:38 pm

night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Looks like it will be pretty easy to fall off the side of a cliff in that zone.

Probably not; everybody by that point will have their flying mount. Aside from combat, gathering, and (maybe) interacting with townsfolk, most characters' feet won't even touch the ground.

Not that this affects pen & paper, but... no they won't. Blizzard is blocking flying in Draenor until at least the first content patch. They've hinted that they won't allow flying in Draenor at all, but have stated that no decision has been made yet. (The content I've seen suggests that they're planning for flying -- they're not building incomplete buildings anymore, like they did in Stormwind and Lordaeron at the original launch, which is why they had to revamp the world to allow flying in Cataclysm.)

I have mixed feelings about this. From a story flow point of view, keeping flying from working is good. It allows for a real sense of exploration, and it keeps you from bypassing content (as you note above). I liked in Mists that you didn't get flying until after hitting 90, at least on the first character. However, by the third character, you really just want to get to the level cap, and it's frustrating. It works in constrained places (Isle of Thunder, Timeless Isle, battlegrounds), but there reaches a point where it's nothing but a grind. Wrath solved the "alt" issue with an heirloom book that could teach it earlier, but still required you to get one character to max.

In a tabletop aside, I do wonder if anyone has tackled such issues if they allow zeppelins or similar goblin & gnome engineering tech, or in other settings with spelljamming ships or the like. I remember one game I was in where a couple of the party members had items that granted fly, and a high enough level wizard to cast fly on everyone else, and it was occasionally used to avoid slogging along the ground for days to get somewhere...

...or to try to find a back way into a fortress.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby night_druid » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:30 pm

<chuckles>Shows how closely I've been paying attention to WoW. In my defense, I haven't played since just before MoP. :) Although I have loaded up the music to listen to lately; WoW does have some amazing soundtracks. :)

No flying in Draenor? Man, the rage over that one should be pretty epic. Although that might explain the griffon points I saw on some maps I've seen. :)
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:30 pm

Bonetti wrote:I have mixed feelings about this. From a story flow point of view, keeping flying from working is good. It allows for a real sense of exploration, and it keeps you from bypassing content (as you note above). I liked in Mists that you didn't get flying until after hitting 90, at least on the first character. However, by the third character, you really just want to get to the level cap, and it's frustrating.


I wonder if it is about time Blizzard introduced flying combat to parts of World of Warcraft.

If flying characters got attacked by flying monsters, that might be a better control mechanism than flat-out banning flying.

Bonetti wrote:In a tabletop aside, I do wonder if anyone has tackled such issues if they allow zeppelins or similar goblin & gnome engineering tech, or in other settings with spelljamming ships or the like. I remember one game I was in where a couple of the party members had items that granted fly, and a high enough level wizard to cast fly on everyone else, and it was occasionally used to avoid slogging along the ground for days to get somewhere...


In a Spelljammer game, the play area is much bigger than Azeroth (or any other fantasy world) and ships are really there to take you between play areas, rather than to allow the PCs to move a few miles quickly. Thematically, I would say they work more like the ships and airships in the MMO.

I kind of think that if individual groups go down the route of allowing the PCs to fly, or own a flying ship or walk across the Astral Planes to jump from one area to another, then it is going to change the game, but not necessarily kill it.

Flying characters are going to be more of a challenge for low-level monsters, but when they start meeting spellcasters or monsters who can dispel magic they are going to start falling out of the sky.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Bonetti » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:48 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:I have mixed feelings about this. From a story flow point of view, keeping flying from working is good. It allows for a real sense of exploration, and it keeps you from bypassing content (as you note above). I liked in Mists that you didn't get flying until after hitting 90, at least on the first character. However, by the third character, you really just want to get to the level cap, and it's frustrating.


I wonder if it is about time Blizzard introduced flying combat to parts of World of Warcraft.

If flying characters got attacked by flying monsters, that might be a better control mechanism than flat-out banning flying.

Well, the fundamental issue is skipping content. It's actually kind of fine in the older xpacs now, because people playing in them are usually just leveling a new character and have already seen it (or don't care about it). It does matter for newer content.

As a side note, aerial combat would be very dangerous in WoW, unless they completely rework the mechanics of mounting, flying, and what creatures can do. Creatures can daze you if they strike you from behind, and if you get dazed, you get dismounted -- which leads to falling. (Engineers and four classes have easy escapes -- mages get slow fall, priests get levitate, druids can insta-shift to flying (but not in combat), and paladins won't take damage if they're bubbled at the time of impact. Engineers can add 'parachute' to their cloak. Everyone else would go 'kersplat'.) None of these particularly apply to tabletop gaming, though.

Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:In a tabletop aside, I do wonder if anyone has tackled such issues if they allow zeppelins or similar goblin & gnome engineering tech, or in other settings with spelljamming ships or the like. I remember one game I was in where a couple of the party members had items that granted fly, and a high enough level wizard to cast fly on everyone else, and it was occasionally used to avoid slogging along the ground for days to get somewhere...


In a Spelljammer game, the play area is much bigger than Azeroth (or any other fantasy world) and ships are really there to take you between play areas, rather than to allow the PCs to move a few miles quickly. Thematically, I would say they work more like the ships and airships in the MMO.

I kind of think that if individual groups go down the route of allowing the PCs to fly, or own a flying ship or walk across the Astral Planes to jump from one area to another, then it is going to change the game, but not necessarily kill it.

Flying characters are going to be more of a challenge for low-level monsters, but when they start meeting spellcasters or monsters who can dispel magic they are going to start falling out of the sky.

Yeah, but there's absolutely nothing to prevent players who have gotten a helm from, say, digging up all the rumored locations of artifacts, jetting to the absolute closest point via ship, then dropping in on top of it. Or flying under the cover of night to the roof of the citadel of their greatest enemy and jumping in. If the world isn't used to seeing spelljamming vessels and flying ships (and afaik there's nothing preventing using them as jets within the rules), the defenses will likely be weak until an arms race is triggered.

I'm not saying everyone would do it, but I can tell you that's how my players would try to sue a ship if they got their hands on one :-)
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby dulsi » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:35 am

Bonetti wrote:Yeah, but there's absolutely nothing to prevent players who have gotten a helm from, say, digging up all the rumored locations of artifacts, jetting to the absolute closest point via ship, then dropping in on top of it. Or flying under the cover of night to the roof of the citadel of their greatest enemy and jumping in. If the world isn't used to seeing spelljamming vessels and flying ships (and afaik there's nothing preventing using them as jets within the rules), the defenses will likely be weak until an arms race is triggered.

I'm not saying everyone would do it, but I can tell you that's how my players would try to sue a ship if they got their hands on one :-)

OT: My players would love to do that. They even did to some degree. They showed up at the lake and told the jellyfish like creature that they and their masters are not welcome. A kraken was sent as a "no" response by the lake inhabitants. They then asked a dragon for his support. He informed them they would need more than one dragon.
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Re: Draenor as a campaign setting

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Bonetti wrote:I have mixed feelings about this. From a story flow point of view, keeping flying from working is good. It allows for a real sense of exploration, and it keeps you from bypassing content (as you note above). I liked in Mists that you didn't get flying until after hitting 90, at least on the first character. However, by the third character, you really just want to get to the level cap, and it's frustrating.


I wonder if it is about time Blizzard introduced flying combat to parts of World of Warcraft.

If flying characters got attacked by flying monsters, that might be a better control mechanism than flat-out banning flying.

Well, the fundamental issue is skipping content. It's actually kind of fine in the older xpacs now, because people playing in them are usually just leveling a new character and have already seen it (or don't care about it). It does matter for newer content.


The same really applies to tabletop RPGs. Even if you are running a tabletop game on World of Warcraft, you do not need to simulate travel across Draenor in real-time. You can roll for random encounters* and then hurry the PCs through known areas, so that they can get to the new areas.

* = I guess that if you were trying to use Profession Skills to simulate the sort of gathering culture that the MMO has, you would also get anyone with mining, or flower picking to make a random roll to see if they "encountered" anything they might want to dig up.

Bonetti wrote:As a side note, aerial combat would be very dangerous in WoW, unless they completely rework the mechanics of mounting, flying, and what creatures can do. Creatures can daze you if they strike you from behind, and if you get dazed, you get dismounted -- which leads to falling. (Engineers and four classes have easy escapes -- mages get slow fall, priests get levitate, druids can insta-shift to flying (but not in combat), and paladins won't take damage if they're bubbled at the time of impact. Engineers can add 'parachute' to their cloak. Everyone else would go 'kersplat'.) None of these particularly apply to tabletop gaming, though.


I guess they do not apply to tabletop gaming. But if people are raiding the MMO for tabletop ideas, it does mean that the entire area of flying mounts is not truly representive of how Azeroth works.

dulsi wrote:
Bonetti wrote:Yeah, but there's absolutely nothing to prevent players who have gotten a helm from, say, digging up all the rumored locations of artifacts, jetting to the absolute closest point via ship, then dropping in on top of it. Or flying under the cover of night to the roof of the citadel of their greatest enemy and jumping in. If the world isn't used to seeing spelljamming vessels and flying ships (and afaik there's nothing preventing using them as jets within the rules), the defenses will likely be weak until an arms race is triggered.

I'm not saying everyone would do it, but I can tell you that's how my players would try to sue a ship if they got their hands on one :-)

OT: My players would love to do that. They even did to some degree. They showed up at the lake and told the jellyfish like creature that they and their masters are not welcome. A kraken was sent as a "no" response by the lake inhabitants. They then asked a dragon for his support. He informed them they would need more than one dragon.


Getting this back on-topic, I'm not sure this would be a setting-breaking issue for World of Warcraft, because the world does have goblin airships and it does also have flying spaceships. This sort of tactic is an existing feature. An uncommon one, but one that does exist.

Forgotten Realms has flying ships too, in the souther part of Faerûn. Maybe one of the 3e sorucebooks for FR could help someone that wanted to work out how things would work if the PCs obtained a goblin airship for themselves.
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