So after my rage cancel of my collectors edition of Starcraft 2, I went back on my promise not to by it after the Real ID fiasco and the WoW Forums. Did I buy the collectors edition for the pet, no. I did buy the normal version of Starcraft 2.
From what I have seen so far from the single player game is that Blizzard knows how to tell a story and involve you in that setting. For the single player game there are interesting decisions that to undo you either need to load an older save game or play through the campaign another time. One in particular decides what type of Stealth unit you get, I will not go much farther than that.
So what does this have to do with Cataclysm, well not much really other than to say that if the quest/setting designers rewriting the leveling experience do even 25% as well as the Starcraft team has done then WoW 2.0 a.k.a Cataclysm will be a really really good and fun game from 1-60 and 80-85.
This now leads to the new issue. How to make the game not feel like a sledgehammer to the gut when you go from new and improved Azeroth to Outlands and then a slightly less painful experience in Northrend. Don’t get me wrong on live it is the other way 1-60 is hell and then you get a reprieve that gets better the higher you go.
IMO after launch one of the best things the quest design team could do is revamp Outlands for 4.1 and Northrend for 4.2. Here I don’t mean rewrite everything but incorporate some of the newer questing tools to make it just a little less painful. Actually this would most likely require a new or another team just to do that so the normal group can keep the raid instances and other new content relevant to the Cataclysm coming. I just hope we will not have a 2 year+ lull where the leveling experience in Outlands is like a festering wound before it gets improved and I don’t mean XP per quest and XP needed per level.
Beyond the Cataclysm
Now for the expansion after Cataclysm now that the Emerald Dream is resolved via a novel, I feel cheated by that as a gamer. I was really looking forward to exploring new Azeroth & the Dream Clone as an expansion and fighting the Nightmare. Anyway we will still have the Burning Legion to deal with and well the Titans as they will most likely be pissed that we have completely changed their plans for Azeroth and let some of the Old Ones out to play and kicked their ass in the process or at least it appears that way at the moment. The Titans are at the moment the “good guys” but their form of order would be boring anyway. Consider the following.
See the Naaru are on the Good/Light & Evil/Darkness/Void axis where the Titans and Old Ones are on the Order & Chaos axis which means that I could see us fighting both the Titans and the Old Ones at some point in addition to the Burning Legion.
I also smell a WoW & SC2 cross over coming with the void/twisted nether and the Protos but that may just be a similarity in the terminology and that I think the coolest unit shown in a demo was the April Fools joke with the Tarran/Tauren Marines. In such a cross over we find out that the Zerg are the Burning Legion 2.0. … Of course this would leave WoW to be the Prequal to Starcraft set in a place a long long time ago in a dimension far far away.
Anyway I expect Outlands at the very least to get the Cataclysm remake either the expansion after Cata or if the game is still running the one after that. There are several/many unused “dark portals” still around in Outlands and they could also add a continent or 2 from the twisted nether to Outlands. Fighting the legion on different worlds would be cool…. Now we just need to make something like SDF Macross to transport us as a raid through the nether and the infinite dimensional planes the Legion inhabits. I don’t know maybe make the Drenai a new city and relink Exodar with TK to restore it to full functionality.
I will get back to something a little more substantial and or meaningful shortly.