There are plans for a new daily quest hub in Mount Hyjal to be released in conjunction with the Firelands raid. We’re planning to make it phase and unlock more content as players progress, very similar to Isle of Quel’Danas. One downside of the phasing and unlocking of new buildings/quests there though, was that you had to be participating during the world event to actually see the change take place. We’d like to make the Mount Hyjal hub phase per player so that your personal progress unlocks new content for you, rather than for your whole realm.
We’ll have more details about that a little later though.
Phasing is a great technology for telling a story however there are several fatal flaws with how it currently working in World of Warcraft.
- No way to sync player phase states. So if 2 players in the same group get to different points in the quest line they can no longer interact while in the phased area.
- Resource nodes still show up on the map even if they are in a different phase while flying around and then disappear when you slowdown/land to gather them.
- Rare resource nodes when re-spawning will appear in one phase and then not be available to other phases until someone in the “right” phase gathers it. This is an extension of the item 2, but in this case I want to note that this also covers fishing pool spawn locations.
I really don’t know what to say about these other than something needs to be done before more Phasing is thrown into the game. Get the current technology working first. It was very very annoying back in WotLK when we wanted to summon someone to ICC before the Warlock showed up and the raiders had to fly to the 5-man summoning stone because the Raid summoning stone was in a phased area of the zone and you had to play guess who was in the same phase. This is complete bullshit, no other way to really describe it. So many other games out there that do different phase/shard layers have a way to sync up or switch state, hell I remember this being implemented in Guild Wars before I started to play WoW. So seriously WTF?
I was going to try and not do any Rift comparisons in this post but I all I will say is that Rift has drawn a new line in the sand for the baseline features of new MMO content. The user interface has many features that we WoW players have been asking for years to have baseline in the user UI. I love add-ons but I think they have made Blizzard lazy in the UI department. There are other Quality of Life issues with the UI and game that just work in Rift and feel really kludgey in WoW now. I was forming up in a raid last night waiting for a few people and forgot that I could not do any quests because hell it just works in Rift, they don’t care if people group up to get stuff done faster, they actually encourage player interaction and group effort.
Honestly it is time for Blizzard to sit down and have a real internal discussion at the very least on what the baseline experience of WoW is like compared to new games of a similar genre. I would love to use the default interface for most things but in WoW that is not going to happen. LotRO was close but there were still some things find a PITA to use. The default RIFT interface fixes those.
***** Update *****
Big Bear Butt has some similar complaints on phasing while talking about a few other things.