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Community Blog Topic Results: Persistent changes in Azeroth


Last week, we asked, "What do you think of persistent changes to Azeroth?" We talked of player driven changes, phasing, and permanent changes that come with expansions or patches.

Player driven change

SparkysShocker at Blood Sweat and Honor suggests

As far as PvE player driven persistent change I always thought it would be cool if the world changed based on your guilds PvE progress. Lets say you conquered the Black Temple would could go to it in the world and see that it had been razed or maybe that the Broken had taken over, small changes like that would be neat.

alykii from Dead Gnomes Society would like to see
... new players would literally start at the beginning and follow the story. Their world would change around them as they progress. The sundering would happen when they get to that point, and not before. Then the decisions they make or what quests they choose determine just what changes, if anything at all.
BnDov3r has a good idea.
Just to throw it out there: Remember before the Tournament came, how there was quests having us building the actual place? Something like that for Theramore, Gilneas, or dare I say it, Westfall, could be great. Having players work on building up destroyed places could be a nice little distraction, long as it wasn't made too repetitive. The Isle of Thunder Dailies, at least while unlocking the area, felt varied enough, especially with the solo scenarios here and there.

Reactions to permanent changes JeffLaBowski at Sportsbard believes
Change is good–most of the time. It's a necessarily evil. In WoW or any game, it kind of needs to happen to keep things fresh. When the Cataclysm happened, these changes to Azeroth as we knew it were quite devastating in many areas. Some for the better, some for the worse.
paragorillabear over at Tanasttia laments the aging of changes.
Now, no matter how many future expansions come out to advance the story, most of Azeroth will forever be stuck in these skirmishes with the Elementals. The Twilight Cult will perpetually be attempting to bring about the end of the world. We will always be at war with Deathwing.
robgrayert says
I dislike when timelines overlap, The expansions occur in a linear time order, but you can go back and fight the Lich King at any time. Somehow you level through the destroyed post-Cataclysm 0-60 zones, then you're back in time in Outland, then Northrend, then you're back on the post-Cataclysm timeline, and then you're in Pandaria. When you visit Stormwind at any level, Deathwing's scale is hanging there, even if you haven't killed him yet. I'd like to see persistent world changes that address these issues, but I have, like, zero bright ideas how to do that, honestly.
AshwinSingh opines
I love the idea of both, phased zones and permanent changes, but can someone please put off the fires in westfall? I don't mind if only a charred husk remains, stratholme style eternal fires just don't do it for me.
The.DialTECH argues

... the world is constantly being attacked and destroyed by enemies of both the alliance and horde. as if a setting wasn't enough with the alliance and horde fighting each other, they bring in The Burning Legion, The Litch King, Blackwing, and now the Sha. That's 4 major threats that we're fighting against. places go under siege and destroyed, that happens during war and end of the world type situations. sometimes they are repaired as well, but not all. these changed have been made to support the story for each expansion and so on.

Many agree with schmidt.capela.
- Permanent changes that adds content without removing any: fine, and what I would expect of a MMO.
- Permanent changes that removes content, but with the option to go to the unchanged version of the area and do the missing content: no issue.
- Phasing, as long as it's not possible to permanently leave behind incomplete, or repeatable, content: no issue.
- Permanent changes that removes content, even if it adds some other content in it's place: I would prefer if those didn't exist.

Revisiting the past

ErinysVictoria at The Harpy's Nest suggests
What if we could enter a zone in the Caverns of Time and be whisked away to a point in Azeroth's past. You couldn't necessarily go anywhere at once but that could easily be explained away by mist on the timeways or some such random deus ex machina. Maybe the destinations would change weekly or maybe it would be influenced by the patch but the idea would be that one week/patch cycle you could picnic in old Auberdine and the following week/patch you could revisit Desolace back when it was desolate.
MeatyStakes enjoys a similar solution.
I really like the Bronze Dragon Phasing on Theramore; I think it's a really nice way of having updated content with the possibility of going back for any reasons.
jmrice7 agrees
With the phasing that they did on Theramore Isle I don't understand why they aren't able to phase the Vale in much the same way. Make it normal until you reach a certain point in the over all story quest chain. Or do it in a similar way to how Theramore was done and you complete a scenario to flag he change. Make it to where after you do the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario for the first time, the 5.4 trailer plays in game and boom the vale is destroyed.

Gradual changes

Jonathan Gantz suggests
what i'd like to see, and i hope we can take this to the dev's themselves, are minor non static event based changes. For instance it would have been interesting if after Cata started if we saw night elf wounded soldiers and civilians pop up in areas of darnassus (a medic zone). No buildings, no major changes. Just copy past some npcs and their motions to a part in darnassus. Then as Cata and MoP continued 2 or 3 more spots taken over by the wounded and by the time Siege of Ogrimmar happened the Temple of Elune was full of wounded elves with Tyrande personally attending to the worst. It would have had the added benefit of showing that Tyrande is doing SOMETHING.
One of my favorite changes was the changing of the guards in the Undercity to Kor'kron guards. I always imagine that they are speaking through gritted teeth every time I ask them where something is. I wonder if they will remain there after the next patch or expansion.

If you have any suggestions for future Community Blog Topics, please leave them in the comments. We're constantly on the lookout for something juicy that will get people blogging.

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