With news that the Timeless Isle PvE world component of patch 5.4 introduces the concept of events that scale dynamically to the amount of people partaking, and reward based on the amount of time and effort you’ve put in it seems the concepts that started in Warhammer Online’s public quests, and were refined in Guild Wars 2 event system are finally making their way to the Warcraft Universe. About time too.
We first saw the transition to this concept introduced in Cataclysm whereby quest mobs could not be tagged – they were essentially public NPCs that anyone could get credit for killing for a quest if they were on the mobs aggro table. This prevented griefing, and was one of the small changes to the game that went mostly unnoticed, but it was a good change.
We saw this expanded to Boss NPCs in 5.1 (or maybe 5.2). 5.3 saw mobs scale in HP and difficulty with the amount of players. 5.4 Also introduces flexible raids which expands flexible health pools and difficulty further.
So what next?
The above twitter conversaion suggests that MoP’s bloat of abilities is being reigned back massively. Us hunters started it first, with a seemingly infinite amount of buttons that were all good enough to be included in our shot priority. We complained, some changes were made, but the fact remained we still had too many, and the prospect of another expansion around the corner would normally hint at more abilities. :-(
So how far will that go? Guild Wars 2 seems to be the model that WoW is moving to for other core concepts, will we see something that simple, with action bars being reduced to a maximum of 10 abilities that can be activated? These are picked from an unlockable pool of abilities which are unique to each class?
It’s a distinct possibility, and one that would irrevocably changed the game… I’m just not sure at this point whether it would be good or bad. Needless to say people are saying the game needs to adapt to a changing market, and with WoW already having been changed so much it is only natural to suggest some more of the core mechanics of the game change too. Time will tell, but one thing is sure, if Blizzard were to err towards Guild Wars 2’s style, they would never adopt it wholesale; it’s not in Blizzard’s style to copy without first refining.