Each of you, dear friends, has a favorite expansion set of World of Warcraft. Today I’m going to tell you about WoW Cataclysm which the players liked only in the end and about the process of its creation and how the developers got an idea to «ruin the whole world».
It all started when Christopher Metzen decided: we need to change Azeroth that is familiar to us since it should be developing as the main character. At the beginning, this idea wasn’t taken seriously and positively because such a great transformation could lead to the end of the World of Warcraft and it almost happened. Nevertheless, cataclysm has been realized and turned out to be quite controversial. By the way, as for the «changing of the world», if Blizzard didn’t decide to remake the whole world we wouldn’t be able to fly so far because there were a lot of «holes» in the textures, non-finished places and a lot of visual bugs because of which flights were unavailable.
Traditionally in the articles of the «The history of the creating…» series I speak about the starting events before new updates. Unfortunately, this time everything was much simpler even than in the time of Wrath of the Lich King. A lot of elementals attacked capitals and you were able to complete a quest chain. And that was it for the «event».
It happened that the players didn’t like not only this moment. Except for boring event, dungeons and raids became more difficult and it caused a rush of indignation. During 2 years of the «Lich» players got used to fast walkthrough of instances and not really «hardcore» bosses. In addition the leveling from 80 to 85 took too much time and energy, but in contrast the leveling from 1 to 60 became faster. These and some other disadvantages led to big reduction of the subscribers which happened the first time. Patch 4.1 has introduced changed versions of Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman which should have gladdened the players but caused a rush of indignation instead since these instances were too long and difficult and only few could complete them. Archeology which didn’t give any advantages, difficult raids, and bad remakes of the old instances – these all caused the fall of WoW popularity. Moreover, by this time the release of Rift and Star Wars the Old Republic, two potential competitors, was expected. Such conditions made Blizzard make bold steps.
The first attempt to save the situation was patch 4.2 which introduced Firelands and Molten Front. Of course every update had its haters and this one wasn’t exception. The players wrote that the raid was great but there were too few bosses in it. Even though the bosses had different mechanics there were only seven of them and it was not enough in comparison with ICC and Ulduar where there were twice as more bosses (14 and 13 correspondently). The only thing that players liked was a quest chain for the legendary staff of Tarecgosa which was rather interesting. Almost everyone liked it. Unfortunately, this patch couldn’t change the situation to the contrary. The task was partially completed by the next innovations.
I suppose, patch 4.3 tried to take into account all the mistakes and successes of the previous patches to save the situation. This task was partially completed. New raid instance Dragon Soul turned out to be much more interesting than Firelands and it was a great pro. However, there were still only 8 bosses in it and some new beautiful places hadn’t been introduced since the main battle was held in the Dragonblight and the secondary battles were held in The Eye of Eternity and Ships which has been existing since the time of the Lich King and this was a minus. But there is an explanation: if Blizzard made a new location for the Dragon Soul they wouldn’t release the new patch before the release of Star Wars the Old Republic and it could cause the end of World of Warcraft. However instead of the new location Blizzard introduced 4 successful innovations. The first one was a quest chain for daggers which was special for Rogues. It was introduced because of the staff chain success. The second was the system of the raid forming which is called LFR. This innovation made the process of finding the raid easier and this was a great advantage. Another great innovation was the system of transmogrification which helped to change the appearance of any gear by changing it to the appearance of the other gear. This ability started to stimulate players to pass old dungeons and raids became the topic of the discussions and a great hobby. The last innovation was the change of the Darkmoon Faire dislocation and addition a lot of new quests, amusements and achievements which became another way of unusual spending of time.
To conclude, it can be said that in the beginning Blizzard released not a very successful content which caused the reduction of the number of players but then the company managed to save the situation and find the proper way.
The History of the Creation of World of Warcraft. Part 3
The History of the Creation of World of Warcraft. Part 2
The History of the Creation of World of Warcraft. Part 1