Sometimes, I like to pretend I’m a Game Designer. My best mate does this for a living, as it happens. In fact, he was one of the team responsible for one of the best games ever made. No, REALLY, and I’m beyond proud of this fact.
Yeah, my mate was responsible for recreating actual scenes from a film in a video game at a time when nobody else did that. I have always maintained he has the Best Job in the World and so, from time to time, I like to pretend I could drop everything, give up being a mum of two and start making AAA titles. Therefore this morning, I’d like to question a 7.1 design decision. Someone tweeted the Warcraft Devs and pointed out they’d not seen the Kirin Tor dailies for a week, and this was the official response:
Then, my mate Kameron pops up and points out (quite rightly) that this Emissary serves an important purpose: you get to choose whose Rep to pick as a reward, which is really useful if you’re working towards Exalted with a particular faction. The response to this, I have to say, made me do a double take:
See, you and I know these quests are the most problematic and divisive of all the World Quests currently offered. Many people can’t see them because of graphical restrictions on their machines. There’s three of them (racing, bubbles, puzzle cube) plus I’m informed that a new one has actually been added for 7.1 (see below) and so that means getting ‘bored’ of repetition will happen far faster than is the case with others. I suggested that ActiBlizz might want to try and introduce even more ‘puzzles’ and yet the reaction is to decrease the rate at which the quests appear. With my tinfoil Designers Hat on, that says to me that there is no time in the budget immediately to do that, so the easier ‘fix’ in the short term is to stop the quests being as prolific so that players don’t get bored.
Now, I’m wondering if that means there’s a team somewhere creating more quests to add to the Kirin Tor ‘pool’ and we might yet see 7.1.5 introduce perhaps two or three new ones to the range that can spawn. Or, has the decision been made to write this off and make sure that when the system is rebooted for the next Expansion, this problem does not occur… only time will tell. However, there was a tweet in the response list that made me think that perhaps the problem isn’t just the number of quests people are able to pick up, but may be associated with where an individual has travelled in questing progression:
My husband and I do our World Quests every day, and when Suramar came up in the early weeks post 110, we’d have a problem, because our available joint quests would not match up. It does not take much effort to surmise that this was due to the fact we were at different points in Suramar quest progression. To prove the point, once he caught up with me, the World Quest objectives began to match. That means that someone who’s not bothered to complete all the quest lines seems more likely to see the same tasks repeating if they’ve not opened up all the potential zones to use. That means, at least in my mind, that tying World Quests to phasing is not as brilliant an idea as it might first appear.
As a Designer, it isn’t just about making content, but solving issues surrounding it, and if the phasing is a problem? Well, my solution would be to stick World Quests in areas with no phasing. Except, I wonder now how much of the new Expansion isn’t phased, and I doubt that much exists. Then maybe the solution could be sticking World Quests in zones outside the Broken Isles, and that might solve a few other issues too. How about the Kirin Tor sending you to the Caverns of Time, for instance? You could collect stuff in the Swamp of Sorrows, or perhaps Ashenvale. As long as the area didn’t rely on you having completed X quests in a Broken Isles zone, would it really matter?
There’s always been a mentality that the current content is all that matters, and yet we’re now seeing moves that suggest that all of Azeroth now is as important as helping recover the Pillars of Creation (note to self: get back on that this weekend) Could the Kirin Tor help open up the Old World to World Quests in 7.1.5 and beyond? I for one wouldn’t have a problem with this, and what could be done to utilise old zones and integrate them as ‘current’ content would never be a bad thing, at least in my eyes. I look forward to seeing if this is a problem ‘solved’ going forward, or whether it ends up as a lesson learnt in what constitutes ‘great’ questing.
Locking rewards to phased questing is a great idea, but only if players choose to take part.
[EDIT: TY to @XanderGryphon on Twitter. Here’s the ‘new’ Kirin Tor Quest for 7.1: