This game is long overdue a concerted 1-110 revamp.
When it became apparent Demon Hunters would begin their lives as L98’s, it should have come as no surprise to anybody. The World of Warcraft has changed immeasurably since Mists of Pandaria launched in 2012, which was the last time anyone even stopped to think about what content might be like for those levelling from scratch. Five years on, and we’re still to see any appreciable changes in the ‘traditional’ experience. I’m well aware that there’s been some tweaks (stealth and otherwise) to what happens when you begin your journey, but one cannot help but feel the Company are hoping that if you need to start a character from scratch, it is just simpler to stump up the cash and buy a 100. Time is money (friend) after all, and no more so in this Expansion where you need to be collecting AP from the moment you pick up your Artifact.
By far the biggest obstacle to a revamp is money: the time it would cost to go back to every part of the old World and streamline the process is clearly considerable, and as the Company never tire of telling us, players want new stuff and not the old stuff renewed… except Legion’s gone a long way to debunking that theory. Hiding new stuff in the Old World brings people back there. Promoting Timewalking allows fresh life to be breathed into the past, and (if the numbers on my cluster are an indicator) is promoting more play to happen in older zones. A number of people I have spoken to have stated that if the 1-110 experience were to be updated, they’d take a character through it once ‘for the journey’ and I’d be one of them, especially if I could learn key skills such as cookery and first aid uninterrupted and with a logical consistency along the way.
Logistically, I suspect this would be a nightmare, but isn’t impossible. Third parties have already suggested ways to improve 1-60, and I’d be paying for a Patreon now that did just that had ActiBlizz not stepped in and stopped it. I took the intervention in Bellular Gaming’s revamp project as a possible sign that a change could be on the cards, but with the way lore is subtly altered on the Broken Isles (a process which of course began on Draenor) from what began as an unshakeable ‘canon’ would now require some quite considerable reverse engineering. The last time that happened was Cataclysm, and many people don’t like to talk about those times any more. That was when we first diverted from the ‘true’ Vanilla path, after all, and there are those on my Twitter timeline who bitterly complain even now of how this destroyed memories of a game for them that were pretty much sacred.
Phasing technology is the key to keeping the past intact and the future flexible. It is currently allowing players of disparate levels to inhabit the same spaces simultaneously whilst participating in multiple layers of content. If this works now on the Broken Isles, how feasible is it to make Silvermoon a vibrant, living city again regardless of your iLevel? Could I be doing Level 120 content in Uldum as a part of the NEXT expansion? These things must have been considered as possibilities by somebody, at some point, and finding the means by which these disparate strands can be combined has the potential to completely redefine the game play experience. If the next expansion gave the right class to play from Level One, with the correct rewards to gather as you traversed 12 years worth of content, how many people would pay the admission price to say they did it once? That’s all this needs, after all, enough of a unique hook to pull people into purchasing the box price, even if your contents are effectively virtual.
If Blizzard revamped the 1-110 levelling experience, would you be interested?