Saturday, 17 August 2013

Class Questlines/Scenario

   I've been playing WoW for about 5 years. It's quite obvious to me that Warlocks are dark and demonic and not exactly the friendliest class. It's obvious that Mages are more light-hearted what with their polymorph, mirror image and teleporting abilities. It's obvious that Priests are holy what with their classification called 'Priest' and their discapline and holy talents. But despite knowing that, I've never really seen much difference between these three classes.
   Warlocks are just darker Mages. Priests are more serious Mages. Mages are just more optimistic Warlocks. I'm sure this would upset a few people but it's just the way I've always seen these classes from a neutral stand-point. I've played all three, but even without having played a Priest or a Mage at the beginning, I saw them this way. They're all just clothy casters.
   The same goes for Shaman and Druids. They both use the power of nature, but in slightly different ways. One uses the elements, while the other uses more immediate and material nature. But I see little difference between them (aside from being able to turn into animals, which is frickin' awesome).
   Warriors and Paladins I see a little more difference between, but only because Paladins use magic of some sort (ie, the Light), but otherwise they're quite similar. Plate melee tanks. Oh, except some Paladins are healers. Warriors don't heal, they just break things. Like bones. Yeah.

The old Warlock demon quests - credit

   I'm not suggesting SWTOR, far from it, but I think it would be brilliant if WoW had some kind of class-specific quests. Yeah, you've got those two sad little quests that give you a class-specifically designed weapon and helm, but they more or less require the same thing from every character, and don't give any kind of feel for the class, either.
   Not everyone who plays WoW is interested in the lore, and that's totally fine. They're missing out big time, but it's still okay. They learn what they need to from the game itself, and the books are just there for those of us who want more information. But the lore is what gives us a real feel for our classes. I played WoW without knowing any of the lore. My first character was an Undead Warlock, and I still have her at the top of my character list. But I picked her because I thought that Warlocks sounded awesome, and I needed to be something with magic. If you know me well enough, then you'll know why. But I never knew anything about Demons, the Burning Legion or anything like that, and didn't, in fact, for some time. Even when I got to Outland, I didn't know why it was just a floating rock, I didn't know who the ghostly figure at the altar before the Hand of Gul'dan was, and I didn't really realise that the creatures I was controlling were of the same nature as those roaming around in Hellfire Peninsula that frightened me so much. Basically, I was a classic noob.
   I have since read all of the books and gathered as much info on the world and its past as I can, so I know what a Warlock is, and I know what the huge differences between Mages and Warlocks are, but I really don't feel that that comes across well enough in-game.
   I'd love to see a nice questline - a questline with a cinematic, perhaps. The reason it should be a questline is so that it's not over in just a few minutes. And the reason it should have a cinematic is for those players who never read quests, so that they can still get a feel for the nature of their class. Not all of us read quests - in fact, I'm sure most of us rarely do. It's possibly one of the most underappreciated jobs in WoW.
   The class I have the biggest problem with, in fact, are Priests. Even after reading lore, I have no idea what they are. Perhaps it's because I play Shadow, but I have never felt anything particularly holy about them, they just use sort of...'cleaner' magic, what with the whites and light yellow spells. Paladins come across more holy, but that's probably because of the Argent factions. Few other classes really have any very present factions. The Argent factions really get up in the enemy's face, while the rest sort of don't. The Kirin Tor don't really seem to do that much, and they're the only other sort of class-based faction that comes immediately to mind.

   Basically, what I'm saying is that I'd love to see more class depth. There is plenty of race depth, most of which is quite clear from just their starting zones, but there's not all that much from the classes. Yes, there were a few quests in the old days. The only ones I experienced were the Warlock ones wherein you had to go through a small quest chain to get new demons, but I only recall the Voidwalker and the Succubus. I don't remember the Felhunter. And I have no idea if there was ever one for a Felguard or if that was always just a talent. These quests did add depth to the class, but not as much as what I'm talking about. I'm talking about quests that give you a feel for what the class is rather than just what they can do.

The Emerald Dream

   These questlines shouldn't be based in any zones we already know. Give us little single-player scenario-type situations, but not necessarily scenarios. When I say 'scenario' I am not talking about WoW's Scenario feature, and I am simply using the meaning of the word 'scenario': 'a possible sequence of events'. Though I suppose WoW's Scenario feature could work. Unique phased zones would do just as well. Little zones that only your class could get to. But if it was a 'Scenario', it shouldn't be just your run-of-the-mill scenario; it should have sort of quests within it, rather than just stages, or the stages should have a nice response from the 'quest giver' at the beginning and end of each, in the same way quests do when you pick them up and complete them. When I'm in a scenario, I feel this sense of urgency to keep moving, probably because there are almost always new waves of enemies coming with each stage. I'd want these class scenarios to be a little more relaxed - move at your own pace and really take in your location and what you're supposed to be doing. And, ideally, I'd want to see a little 3 or 4 quest questchain first to gather this that and the other, or have this as the first few stages.
   But as for locations, I'd expect different ones for each class. Send Warlocks to some Demonic Plain or something. Send Priests to a chapel. Have Paladins prove themselves to the Light. Send Druids to the Emerald Dream. Have Rogues assassinate someone. Surely none of you can tell me that this wouldn't be awesome, and totally unique content for each different character regardless of faction. Have something pivotal, but still minor, happen to really add more depth - like have a big Demon pop up and try to mess shit up and have the Warlock subdue and/or enslave it. Have a suddenly unstable Elemental situation that the Shaman has to balance. Have the Rogue in a situation where they have slipped up or something (no one can completely avoid mistakes - what proves how good you are is how you handle these situations, because you cannot perfectly predict the reactions or movements of others) and are being hunted and have to slip away silently and undetected. Something that really rounds up the scenario and sort of acts as proof of our character's mastery of the class.
   It shouldn't necessarily be easy in the sense of just killing a certain number of things or gathering things, but neither should it be too challenging. It needs to be doable at the set level, and it needs to work properly against the class's specialisation, such as keeping cloth and plate armour in mind, and ability types. None of these quests would be accessible to any other class, so it wouldn't need to be balanced with other classes. As long as each questline/scenario/phased zone works with its sole intended class at the correct level without heirlooms (not everyone has or uses them, be they new or veteran player) then there should be no problem.
   I also think it should be around level 50. It shouldn't be a start-zone type of thing, because that's where we get the taste of our race. I see it as a sort of mastery trial, so you need to be a more experienced level than level 20, but I would not say beyond level 60. Lots of players burn out when they hit Outland because they've done it so many times. It's now the oldest content in the game, afterall. If it's prior to Outland, at level 50 or 60, then it might keep players playing their character because they have a more solid feel and respect for the class, and it might give their character more depth. Plus it's totally something to look forward to for each class. But it should still be obtainable at a higher level, for those of us who are obviously already level 90 and far past the level 50 requirement. Why the hell should we miss out?
   Also, if the use of vehicles and immediate commands were used rather than just their standard action-bar then the player will pay more attention and feel more immersed. I know that when I have a prompt on-screen that I have to pay real attention to, even if it's just subduing a seahorse, I do pay more attention than when I'm mindlessly killing 5 mobs with my own abilities.

Rogue stealthing through scenario location, locating target and watching for mobs that may detect them.

   I love my characters. I love my classes. I know there are big differences between different caster classes and different melee classes, but I don't feel that other players share in that fact, and I also know that if I could have more depth for the classes I play, my characters would mean even more to me. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't really know what a Priest is. Are they just cloth-wearing ranged Paladins? Do they have different ideals? I feel that this is something vital that's being missed, and I, for one, would hugely appreciate it. It wouldn't have to be compulsary or anything, you shouldn't be forced into it, but given that each quest would be unique for each class, I don't think people would avoid it unless they happen to have four Mages. In fact, do some classes rival others? I don't think a Paladin would share the same ideals as a Warlock - would there be some kind of a clash between them? Or would the Warlock questline simply mention how worthless a Paladin is in their view, and how they are weaker for not possessing the same power a Warlock does?

I'll end my blathering here. Please be kind to me and keep abusive comments to a  minimum.

What would you love to see for your class? Perhaps you're a Hunter, and you'd like to have your character track a particularly elusive beast? Or you're a Paladin that must gain the trust of the Light? Or you're simply a Warrior that wants a nice, big brawl against some tough opponants. What would your ideal class' scenario be?


  1. disqus_u5aXIqsYtH19 August 2013 at 15:02

    I agree: i wish there were many more class-specific challenges, trainings, questlines, scenarios, whatever. Not sure this helps either: but I had fun writing it.

  2. That is an amazing post, thank you for linking it! I enjoyed reading it (though some parts were, admittedly, a little over my head). But I think having one big quest for varying classes around level 50 would be just awesome. I would love to see Blizzard do this, because I think a lot of people choose classes based on gear and class strength rather than the history behind it. And that's fine - some players just aren't interested in the lore or story of the game, they're interested in the competative side, and that's just fine, but I think a lot of people would benefit from a questline like this, and it might open up the interest of WoW lore to people who don't really think about it. Which is in their best interested because sales of WoW books might increase following it.


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