I have been playing WoW since the launch of BC. For most of that time I’ve been raiding or raid leading at a heroic (AOTC) level. I have never seen or felt WoW in as bad of a state as it is now and I would like to put forth my wishes for changes I would like to see in the next expansion of WoW taking from my own personal perspective, pain points, and things I’ve seen work in other MMOs.
- Cross faction raiding, pvp and guilds. You can still have factions and even add more factions. But make that restriction less pushing. You story may be different if you ‘pledge’ to one faction or another, but it doesn’t restrict the social aspect of the game. The rigid faction system is just punishing to social constructs now and provides to benefit. It’s old game design that no longer works and needs to be evolved. Friends that are mythic raiders, and thus Horde, we can’t play with. People who have been Ally the entire game and want to play from a different perspective can’t because they can’t participate in the same in-game social structure; guild, chats, etc.
- Removal of the Faction Specific Hall of Fame for cross-realm mythic. Make it a flat 100, any faction then open it up. Ideally remove the restriction all together and keep the faction specific lists and chevo. I am not part of a mythic raiding guild, but we at least like to do the first few bosses in mythic. With the HoF restriction in place that means we can’t fill a missing spot and by the time it’s lifted we’ve lost so many people that it’s no longer viable.
- Removal of raid wide buffs. No more fort, no more int, no more stam no more dh or monk debuff. People always say “you don’t need it for heroic” but when you have a 1% wipe and don’t have some or all of those, it’s always there weighing on you. So to try and minimize that roster construction is making sure those are covered and it reduces freedom. It’s no longer “bring the player” but “bring the class”. As much as we can eliminate that, making everything as viable as we can and removing the ‘required’ things the better. Keep stuff like hero, PI, rallying cry, etc. Those add a pretty cool element and dynamic to the game.
- For a raid boss, a wipe should not remove any consumable buffs, i.e. food, rune, etc. It should also reset you right outside the encounter space. There is zero reason to force a raid to run all the way back through an empty instance to get back to a boss to try again. All this causes is more frustration at wipes where there is enough a penalty already.
- No required chores. The way it’s worked the last 3 expansions is one you get to max level you have to gear the toon up and progress whatever system is in place. It’s too much. Once I reach max level the gear game should be the only thing I need to content with, finding and farming BiS. With Shadowlands; you had to level, do the gear grind, do the renown grind then you had to do Torghast for the legendary grind.
- Tokens and currency for gear. When we kill a boss if I don’t get a piece of loot I should get currency that I could use to buy the loot I want from a vendor. That vendors inventory can be locked to bosses I’ve killed for that week. This allows me to always progress and work toward something. I never got lucky and can’t get that weapon I need to drop and it’s never in the GV, well no worries after a couple of weeks of clearing bosses I can just afford to buy it. If you keep the Great Vault around that currency could also be used to freeze the loot for a week, so if I got 2 baller choices I can pick one, freeze the loot table for that row and get the other one next week. This applies for PvP as well. Every season, reset Tokens of Heroism and Tokens of Valor to zero so there isn’t a new currency every tier. Also discount the pervious tiers stuff, so if I missed a piece to complete a TMog I could always buy it with the current currency from the season.
- No more Pathfinder 2 for flying unlock. Start of the xpac without there being another patch I should be able grind unlock flying if I want to.
- All rep and currencies should be account wide. For example, I raid on my main, build up a bunch of currency at the end of the tier but there is nothing I want to buy, I should be able to hop on an alt and buy some gear with it. Or I can buy the gear on my main and send it to the alt. If an xpac has a system that needs to be leveled, that should be account wide. But there should be no more systems that lock out player power.
- More off-global cooldown abilities, more combos and meaningful chains. WoW’s combat is really good and very fluid, but there seems to be a real skill celling where really good players can’t optimize anymore of their rotation or playstyle. Allowing for more OGCD weaving, or ability to have combos change actions or abilities would allow for a faster and more complicated rotation at the high end while still making classes approachable and playable at the low end.
- No more gear recolors. For a long time there hasn’t been a good looking heroic or normal raid set. Everything is just bland and derivative. I want to visually see someone, inspect them to find out what that cool piece of armor is and research how I can get that. The only good gear now seems to be old stuff and recolors of old stuff. This removes part of the inventive to get new gear and hunt transmogs.
- Guild housing. Garrisons did not work because they weren’t social. Eventually WoW should have player housing but to start I would want Guild Housing. Depending on what faction the guild is aligned too that would be what city they can build a house in, maybe there is a guild rep system meaning that they can start building a house in Exodar and once they get enough rep they can build in Stormwind. These should be walkable and visible by anyone, entrance can be restricted if the guild wants. External and internal elements should be all configurable, i.e. outside I should be able to have my guild banner, and whatever house colors I want, maybe a statue showcasing an achievement like an AOTC or Cutting Edge. I should be able to advertise open positions and have a public message board people can look at. I want to be able to cruise the streets in game and see what other guilds are up to, see what events or RP is going on.
- No more trans-media storytelling for the major narrative of an expac. Have in-game cutscenes where my character is shown and interacting. Have my raid or party in the cutscene up close so I can see their gear. I want to feel like my character is part of the story and actually inhabits the world I’m playing in. Cinematics are great, but they seem to heavily relied upon. I shouldn’t have to follow Blizz on YT or Twitter to get important story beats. I shouldn’t have to buy a book to find out what is happening at the start or end of an xpac story.
- Dyes for gear. I want to be able to change the color of my gear. If I don’t like the puke green color of it how it is, I should be able to dye that out. Make the difference between Normal, Heroic and Mythic raid gear more pronounced rather then just color.
- Give me raid or pvp currency for queuing up for random dungeons, raids or lfr. There should be encouragement for max level players to queue up as solo for random normal and heroic dungeons, pvp, raids and lfr. I should be earning currency that I can use to buy gear for the content I’m currently clearing. For example a daily or weekly that offers me 100 Tokens of Heroism for queuing up for a random normal dungeon. This should be for everything, not just the current xpacs dungeons, raids, etc.
- Level and gear sync older content. If someone is new to WoW and leveling they are doing say Stratholme, I as a level 60 tank should be able to queue for the random normal dungeon daily and be sync’ed to the level and item level for that content, so it’s not a murder fest. I should also be able to turn off the sync so I can go back and farm the Lich King for the mount.
- More open and visually grand zones. WoW is such a good looking game, but rarely in the new content do I get a sense of scale and wonder from the zones. They are so plain or compact that I never seem to get a chance to sit on the side of a cliff looking over a sprawling vista. Suramar was I think the last time I really enjoyed the scope of a zone. Najz was good too, but it was so small.
- Gives us new/altered abilities every xpac. Borrowed power really sucks, you just start feeling good at the end of an xpac and then you feel awful for the start of the next one while you have to get on the treadmill again. Ability bloat is a huge issue, not asking for a new ability every level, but one thing that will stick with my character outside of the xpac. Without the xpac specific abilities my toon feels the same like it did in WoD and that sucks, it feels like I didn’t progress anything.
World of Warcraft can be such a good game when it doesn’t feel like it’s actively punishing its players, introducing contrived systems, or making us do stuff to meet some business metric. If you give me reasons to want to play I will and I’m sure others will as well. I will go TMog hunting, work on my guild house, queue up for daily random dungeons.