Milady at Hypercriticism writes a fascinating post on a single, tiny facet of World of Warcraft that many ex- and current players will remember: the Tower of Azora.
She’s looking at how WoW’s game design has changed, and how, in particular, Blizzard’s world-building has changed.
What would the Tower of Azora had Blizzard decided to fully incorporate it in their Cataclysm remake? Milady attempts to answer that question in a post that’s thought-provoking whether you agree with her or not:
“If Blizzard had cataclysmed Azora, they would have had it explained out to passers-by, they would have stripped it naked for the player to stare and yawn, commodified it into a quest hub. No enchanting trainer at the top of it: what for? Every profession is now found in the capital. No more inconvenient trailing back and forth.
They ironed out Azeroth. Every thing that stood out as unique was pressed down upon the flat surface of convenience. In so doing they turned a world with its peaks and valleys into a two-dimensional print. Following the creed of balance they made everything equal: nothing harder or more desirable, nothing different. Enchanting, with its inaccessible trainers and excessive material expenditure, and its grindy furbolg reputation that granted a much-coveted recipe only a few obtained, and with it fame and clients. Then they made each class equal in what they could do, so that nobody was discriminated in the basis of being a paladin without crowd control. The saddest of these equanimities was the shadow priest that now just did raw dps. Tanking and healing styles were fused into one big blob.
This did not only affect the enjoyment of the gameplay – it also changed how players viewed the world. The shadow priest was more effective now that he could put out more damage, but he was no longer fulfilling a unique role, different from all the rest. He might as well be firing darkened fireballs. They ‘balanced’ the gameplay to the detriment of the world.
Read the rest of “The Tower Of Azora And EQNext” »