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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Quest Design Post Mortem

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The Blizzard team has published an in-house interview with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm quest designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak. The interview covers a wide variety of topics including what Kosak feels worked and didn't work in the Cataclysm expansion.

It's a terrific read and worth the time to visit the World of Warcraft site.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    While he did cover some of the problems with Cataclysm, he really missed the major problem.  The sea area, Vash'jir, was a joke.  There was zero point to it.  Zero reputation gain in that area relegated it to a skip once you had figured it out.  When you relegate a huge portion of the new areas to something everyone ignores, you have a major failure on your hands.

    Just don't know how he could have missed this as a big issue with the expansion.

  • fivorothfivoroth LondonPosts: 3,665Member Uncommon

    I think he has addressed most of the major issues with this expansion. The two biggies were phasing (they certainly overdid it) and lack of content for the 80-85. Had they focused all their resources on the 80-85 level range instead of redoing level 1-60, they would have had more subs and most importantly a more varied endgame.

    Every time I start reading posts like these about WoW I get all nostalgic. I start remembering all those great moments I had with the game and the urge to resub rises again.



     




     



    Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  • frestonfreston orensePosts: 521Member

    Main problem is that quest system has become obsolete. It was good enough, seven years ago, but now it wont be able to compete with dynamic events, rifts, invasions, whtever... knowing blizzard i guess theyll adapt and well see some deviations from their usual system next expansion.

  • slickbizzleslickbizzle Matthews, NCPosts: 464Member

    I don't think anything was particularily "wrong" with Cataclysm.   I personally didn't like the wash-rinse-repeat style all over again.  I didn't like the guild thing ("First, you've go grind your guild to max level, but you also need to grind your rep in the guild! Are we having fun yet?"). It was a sign that they had no original or fun plans for the game. 

    The main thing for me was  the age of the game.  It had become tiring/boring instead of exciting. Not anyones fault. After years of playing it had wore thin.  Towards the end, I didn't even log in, I just played around on the forums and even that became stale. How many times can you read "Rate my mog" and "WoW race stereotypes" and "Thanks Blizz" threads before enough is enough?

     

     

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I feel like cataclysm missed an opportunity to introduce fundementally new gameplay options.  Yes, the old questlines were streamlined and modernized (although sometimes the tone of the remodelled zone did not match the tone of its history - I'm looking at you, Lunk).   But you have more zones than you need now that most of the players have moved on to the high levels.  Most of the characters going up at this stage of WoW's lifecycle are alts, not new players.  Redoing all the quests does give a fresh story, but not really a fresh experience.  I would have liked to see a zone or two being more radically different - more dynamic, more experimental.

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    I loved the cataclysm expansion CONCEPT- unfortunately the expansion had too many mini games and felt very adolescent , and that i believe is where i see this game heading.

    many concepts and zones felt unfinished and dungeons ignored. they should of released zones as full patches- like Trion does.

    I was glad they revisited old dugeons and made them Heroics (troll dugeons). a little too late.

    ive had awsome years playing WoW- but its time to retire this game for any serious mmorpg gamer.

    its something i would give my nephew or niece to start playing.

     

     

  • fivorothfivoroth LondonPosts: 3,665Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by orbitxo

    ive had awsome years playing WoW- but its time to retire this game for any serious mmorpg gamer.

    its something i would give my nephew or niece to start playing.

    Dunno about this. I think people should stop with the stereotypes. There is just so many times you can pull the whole WoW-kiddie-game before it wearing thin. I haven't noticed a huge difference in the communities between MMOs. General chat is crap and shit everywhere! I think the only notable exception I've come across is EVE.

    Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    to above post what i meant by adolescent  is - i dotn consider saving bears from a tree and jumping off a tranpolin ( mount hijal quest..)-or these holiday events are considered serious gaming. and now with their battle pets on the horrizon.




    i was talking about  the game mechanics not the community.












    -and yes eveonline (which i played for 4 years) has a great community.





















     










     




     

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    why the need for such a HUGE inteview?

    what did work? ......the celestial mount.

    what didnt work? ......everything else.

    there, done.

  • arctarusarctarus nilPosts: 2,570Member Uncommon
    Removing of class quest is what saddens me the most. The unique story and quest is gone.

    I hope they bring them back some day and expand it till Max.level, something like tor. Each class with their own quest for weapons and stories.

    Also too much phasing in cata.

    I will play wow 1 last time when panda hits, unless gw2 is seriously flaw or not to my liking, if its still nothing notably new, im really gone this time.

    RIP Orc Choppa

  • daisdais Nowhere, TXPosts: 95Member

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    While he did cover some of the problems with Cataclysm, he really missed the major problem.  The sea area, Vash'jir, was a joke.  There was zero point to it.  Zero reputation gain in that area relegated it to a skip once you had figured it out.  When you relegate a huge portion of the new areas to something everyone ignores, you have a major failure on your hands.

    Just don't know how he could have missed this as a big issue with the expansion.

    Really?  I had a lot of fun in Vash'jir, was a nice change of pace :)  And you earned Earthen Ring reputation....were we playing the same game?

  • joe2721joe2721 las vegas, NVPosts: 161Member

    I really enjoyed cata as a whole. If anything the game itself is older and that makes most  expensions seem to be more of the same.  People in general are very good at saying whats wrong or broken but even if  you fix everything we say theres always going to be something else you need to do better in our eyes. 

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  • jrworden1976jrworden1976 Vancouver, WAPosts: 22Member

    Cata was ok at best.... but it eventually killed the game for me. And now with MoP coming I think I will move on.

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,536Member Uncommon

    Well i still give them props for trying new stuff, sure things did not work to their fullpotential but at least they did try. I would guess that MoP will be more focused and take the best bits of Vata and combine them with 7 years of knowledge.

     

    And just to point out.. EvE's devs did the same thing.. to such an extent that they felt they needed to say "ok we are sorry, dont hate us please" it is all part of the cycle. The  biggest example tho why it is not a smart isea to make radical changes to the core gameplay will always be SWG. Now i am a advocate for that "it was bloody well needed" but it still drow away a lot of people and the game did never really recover from that.

  • Superduper69Superduper69 Aurora, INPosts: 363Member

    Originally posted by freston

    Main problem is that quest system has become obsolete. It was good enough, seven years ago, but now it wont be able to compete with dynamic events, rifts, invasions, whtever... knowing blizzard i guess theyll adapt and well see some deviations from their usual system next expansion.

    Easy there bud..nothing has been proven yet.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,145Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    While he did cover some of the problems with Cataclysm, he really missed the major problem.  The sea area, Vash'jir, was a joke.  There was zero point to it.  Zero reputation gain in that area relegated it to a skip once you had figured it out.  When you relegate a huge portion of the new areas to something everyone ignores, you have a major failure on your hands.

    Just don't know how he could have missed this as a big issue with the expansion.


     

    Hmm.. I have not skipped because I play for FUN. And getting reputation is only small part of it. But I agree there should be also reputation gained as area is awesome.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,145Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by joe2721

    I really enjoyed cata as a whole. If anything the game itself is older and that makes most  expensions seem to be more of the same.  People in general are very good at saying whats wrong or broken but even if  you fix everything we say theres always going to be something else you need to do better in our eyes. 


     

    Same goes for me. Expansion was awesome as all predecessors.

    Main reason I'm not playing currently wow, having 10 alts 85 and close to this level bunch of Hordes ... is because they killed end game for my taste. I started to love it with wotlk. Despite there were problems, was enough fun to keep me in wow for at least half year more than I would otherwise play. Cata killed this joy and now I'm in wait mode for next expansion. 

    Fortunately Rift ans Swtor came along so to be honest for the first time since release of Wow I do not miss it at all. But I can still barely wait for pandas. .-)

  • MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

    I think Cataclysm had a few good ideas but they ultimately failed in making those ideas into a cohesive experience. I enjoyed many of the new quest types and the new feel of the quests. Killing and collecting were kept to a minimum and the small cut scenes really did it for me. While individually enjoyable experiences they just didn't gel together well enough. The story did try hard to accomplish this but sadly failed to do so.

    I can't quite put my finger on why LK felt right. It might be because of the mystery of it all. Each area built towards Icecrown Citadel. The raids were centered around fighting for great power to defeat the Lich King. Our main quests kept us in touch with the enemy, slowly building our grudge towards him and teased us with the hope of redemption. The new dungeons spilled more story and built an epic arc towards your ultimate goal.

    Cataclysm failed to achieve this sense of buildup towards Deathwing. The new dungeons were just rehashed old dungeons and failed to keep the player in line with the story. They just felt like gear grinds instead of progression. The raids failed to capture the buildup towards Deathwing. I really didn't care what ogres were doing and the guardians of the elements just seemed out of place. While the Deathwing encounter itself is epic the buildup towards it falls short of expectations.

     

    Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member

    I remember finding myself in a green field, with a "kill 10 x" quest, and thinking "No - I can't bear it."

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    what Magnetia said.

  • HomituHomitu Hometown, HIPosts: 2,030Member

    Quote from the interview:

    "Previously, "doing dailies" meant hitting the same quest givers for the same three quests, usually in a static place. Here we were able to deliver a sense of progression and a story that unfurled over the course of a few weeks, all as you did a constantly changing set of quest objectives in a dynamic environment. We think that worked out well.

    Moving forward, we're going to look for more opportunities like this -- ways to keep people engaged and cool things to do solo with your max-level character. We've got ambitious plans."

     

    Oh snap!  Even Blizzard is dropping the "D-bomb" now.  Search gaming forums for the word "dynamic" and you're bound to come up with at least 10 hits per page.  Now other developers have hopped on the band wagon. 

    But seriously, it's a good thing.  The concept is sound (and superior) to a linear, redundant world.  Implementation just has to be right.  Some may knock Blizzard for "copying" feature B from game X, but it's really a good thing.  It makes all games better for everyone (again, if each game implements them properly.)  And it's by no means an unethical practice.  It's standard for every industry: film, literature, music, art.  A new technique is devised, others learn it, master it, use it and pass on any improvements they make to it.

    Even though I can confidently say my WoW days are behind me for good now (and have been for a good 15 months), I'm glad to see they continue to look for ways to improve their game based on successful systems other games are coming up with.  It's one of the main reasons they've kept their game going for so long. 

  • MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Homitu

    Quote from the interview:

    "Previously, "doing dailies" meant hitting the same quest givers for the same three quests, usually in a static place. Here we were able to deliver a sense of progression and a story that unfurled over the course of a few weeks, all as you did a constantly changing set of quest objectives in a dynamic environment. We think that worked out well.

    Moving forward, we're going to look for more opportunities like this -- ways to keep people engaged and cool things to do solo with your max-level character. We've got ambitious plans."

     

    Oh snap!  Even Blizzard is dropping the "D-bomb" now.  Search gaming forums for the word "dynamic" and you're bound to come up with at least 10 hits per page.  Now other developers have hopped on the band wagon. 

    But seriously, it's a good thing.  The concept is sound (and superior) to a linear, redundant world.  Implementation just has to be right.  Some may knock Blizzard for "copying" feature B from game X, but it's really a good thing.  It makes all games better for everyone (again, if each game implements them properly.)  And it's by no means an unethical practice.  It's standard for every industry: film, literature, music, art.  A new technique is devised, others learn it, master it, use it and pass on any improvements they make to it.

    Even though I can confidently say my WoW days are behind me for good now (and have been for a good 15 months), I'm glad to see they continue to look for ways to improve their game based on successful systems other games are coming up with.  It's one of the main reasons they've kept their game going for so long. 

    How crazy. I just imagined WoW with dynamic events and thought about resubbing. Maybe some time in the distant future eh? XD

    Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

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