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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Auction House. Where for art thou?

It's been a while since my last blog entry - life has been busy for me (nothing of any real interest though).

Finally today I had a chace to settle down for a short WoW session. I chose to head back to Zangarmarsh where I had a few quests left to tidy up. As I was swimming about killing countless Fenclaw Thrashers (with an awful drop rate on the quest item), I started wondering about the Auction House.

I've not been to the Auction House in, well I'm not sure I've been since the expansion came out. It suddenly dawned on me (Duh. I know) that the nearest AH was way back in Azeroth. So, I did a little looking around to find out why this was and I came across the following from Blizzard:

" As others have said we want to keep Azeroth inhabited post-60 and by leaving the Auction Houses and class trainers we can keep an entire game where everyone is interacting at some point instead of a large chunk of players just moving from new land to new land as we release expansions, never to be seen again in the old cities. Performance concerns are also obviously factored in as well."

In principle I agree, it's nice to keep the population pre- and post-expansion mixing. But then again does that really benefit the experience? Chances are level 60+ visits back to Azeroth are fleeting (probably selling loot from OL). I wonder whether it would have been better to attract back level 60+ players by adding some level 60+ content to Azeroth and Kalimdor rather than forcing them back just to train or use the AH.

There are a few spaces left in WoW which remain pretty empty (Karazhan is a god example of a level 70 dungeon which has been sneaked into Azeroth), and I'm sure you could add higher level content into these areas.

Alternatively I suppose you could include quests in Outland which send you back to Azeroth to work through a quest chain or two. The quests might be easy at 60+ (assuming you keep the mobs at around 60 in Azeroth), but could be made more challenging (and very difficult for those under 60+) by ensuring you always had to face down two mobs at a time, or even leaving it easyish to complete but giving more quests in the chain which require moving around a lot, or getting a large X of Z things.

My other thoughts drift to those 'old' and now pretty defunct dungeons. I think it's a real shame that the gear from Outland matches up to the Molten Core and it's ilk sets that doing these dungeons is now pointless (gearwise at least and thats what people mostly do them for I guess). Others like strathholme and xxxx I can live with being unused as generally people are just levelling through these or perhaps hunting for the gear to help them through MC or something.

There's been a lot of discussion about how to bring people back to the old content, I guess the main issue is that returning to old content doesn't fit with the story progression, although you might get around that by having a version of an instance for 60's and a version for 70's.

Imagine a MC where Ragnaros has been slain the dungeon left in ruin only for another lore character to take over the place, or for Ragnaros's essence to reform - or something.

Hey, there's an idea. Why not send groups of 2-3 70's on quests into the old dungeons, providing loot for quest chains that is only available in old instances?

I've strayed from my original point. I wish the AH would make an appearance in Outland. The trek back for me serves to real social purpose and is instead a bit of an unwelcome time waster. I might be on my own in that opinion, but that's how I feel :)