Author Topic: A post-factional WoW?  (Read 123 times)

Marco

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A post-factional WoW?
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:22:42 PM »
Pulling out some posts from other threads:
Unless this is all (Conspiracy Theory) about making the faction war even more unpopular so the playerbase doesn't riot when they introduce cross-faction grouping in the future. (please blizzard. just kill the faction war already. it's bad.)
Blizzard people did hint at wanting to wind up the faction conflict in interviews about BfA, as I recall.  One could make a case that it's better for the faction war to flare up and be dramatically settled than for it to just fizzle out after Legion, since it is such an iconic part of the franchise.
Super wild and baseless speculation:

At the end of BfA the faction war from a narrative perspective finally ends. 

- Arenas stay, since gladiator combat will always be a thing
- Battlegrounds and other instanced PvP get reframed as training excercises. (Other games do this)
- Open World PvP (The Warmode Toggle) Makes you aggro to *ALL* players regardless of faction. Reframed as Bounty Hunter Mode
- Additional work that framed the backbone for communities begins to allow the factions to interact more. 
- Unified Horde/Alliance Auction Hall
- Anyone can enter anyone else's city
- Next expansion we return to the usual Big Bads.  A portion of BfA will be laying ground work for what these could be.  There seems to be hints at a Lich King redux with relatives of Arthas and Bolvar appearing.
I've had similar thoughts about how Blizzard could pull this off.  Changing world PvP to be FFA would essentially be killing that aspect of the game and replacing it with something very different, appealing to some players and not others.  I'm also not sure what leveling would be like; are you alliance or horde up to level 120, and if not, how does the game present the questing storyline, especially in Mists and BfA expansion content?

If this does happen, I don't expect the two factions to make peace so much as I expect them to splinter and fall apart, with future stories beginning to orient more around racial leaders.

Honorata

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Re: A post-factional WoW?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 10:08:19 PM »
Some thoughts:
* The end of the faction war (either through the Horde and Alliance coming to a truce, or one or both factions dissolving) wouldn't necessarily preclude some sort of other "faction" pretense for WPvP -- allying with one of two or three at-war factions on a continent could be all the pretense you need for WPvP, or having specific armies characters could join/ally with whose flags they'd fly in WPvP.

* for old content, I don't know, we've already got that weird "you go back in time from 60-80" thing going on, and the timelines i various starting zones being really confusing. I don't know if Blizzard would stick with that, or if there would be "new" versions of zones with "talk to Zidormi"s to go to old versions or what. I think how much the faction war still exists in old content in a world with no/significantly lesser Horde-vs-Alliance faction war would depend a lot on how the end of the faction war itself was enacted. I could certainly see some level of story-and-gameplay segregation situation happening where Horde and Alliance could group together from the earliest levels but the "faction war story" itself doesn't end until 120.

* I think one thing that would be really interesting in a "one or both of Horde and Alliance falls apart" scenario is seeing specific cross-faction racial alliances develop, and how this might be reflected in play experiences.
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Kharvek

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Re: A post-factional WoW?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 11:34:30 PM »
Somewhere Frank is smiling about splitting this out from the 8.1 discussion.

Random thoughts:

- I agree that right now old content is sorta...frozen in time.  You level in Northrend? Arthas is still up in your grill.  Levelling in Legion?  You still get your artifact.  Levelling in BfA post BfA will be 'playing through the part where the faction war ends"  I think this will create some weird beats since in theory you might be able to have a cross-faction levelling party and that might be hard to pull off with some BfA quests.

- I think the two factions will remain and we'll still be playing Alliance/Horde, but that choice won't matter nearly as much.  I think there are a ton of old things under the hood that depend on these two choices, but they can 'end the war' and basically find the other narrative wrappers for gameplay that depended on the war. (Battlegrounds, etc)  However I think there's a bunch of other base systems in the game that rely on a factional choice that are going to be really hard to remove and rather than completely get rid of "Choose alliance or horde" they just...stop the war and tweak a few things to allow stuff like cross-factional guilds and chat and remove the various aggro in opposing areas/cities. 

- All old quests that were horde/alliance only I think will stay that way.  Redoing all quests to be faction agnostic would be a ton of work for not a lot of gain. 

- While I don't think they would do it, I absolutely agree the more interesting choice is to dissolve the factions entirely and create cool relationships between the races and major characters that weren't otherwise possible. 

- I think the resolution won't end up with the Alliance and Horde being best buddies, but it will result in them realizing that "This war is really dumb.  We should really stop fighting over Warsong Lumbermill while Arthas/Deathwing/Kil'Jaden/Illidan/Sargeras/Steve are threating to end all life."  I think it can end in a way where there still is tension and conflict to explain why there might be skirmishes....but also allow for more intermingling.

- I agree with Marco that BfA is basically ending the war with a bang instead of "Hey this is dumb.  Boom, it's over" to kind of give it a sendoff since the faction war was the original reason this game series even exists.   

- Baseless bold claim: No major characters will die.  Not even Sylvanus.  I also bet Thrall doesn't come back for any major plot points.  Thrall was a Chris Metzen creation and for Metzen's entire tenure as a lead WoW narrative guy, Thrall has been a major part.  As Chris pulled back and eventually left the company, we've also seen less and less of Thrall.

- Open PvP being FFA will create new weird metagames.  I can see things where multiple large raids all clash and instead of it being red vs blue, we could see a thing where four or five mini player run factions start trying to do stuff. 



Piralyn

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Re: A post-factional WoW?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 11:43:26 AM »
- All old quests that were horde/alliance only I think will stay that way.  Redoing all quests to be faction agnostic would be a ton of work for not a lot of gain. 

To be fair, if they're going to close the book on one of the major fundamental components of WoW, I could easily see them doing a Cataclysm 2: The Reckoning kind of redux of Azeroth. Probably not Outland/etc., but for the main continent? They've done it before.

Kharvek

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Re: A post-factional WoW?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 12:13:43 PM »
Doing a Cataclysm 2.0 would be a ton more work than the original since to defactionalize the quests it would need to hit Outland and other places like that.  Which...is why I think they'll just live with the factions, quests being frozen in time and doing an 'uneasy peace' narrative.  There's still room for interesting stories in defining what the factions are in the absence of the war since they kinda defined each other through the war in a lot of ways.

....granted it might mean the reasons for their continued existence might be as shitty as the reasons we have for the war so.....but hey.  That's less irritating.

Honorata

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Re: A post-factional WoW?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 12:39:55 PM »
Even though they did the Full Cata Overhaul, as we've seen with subsequent updated zones, I think they're loathe to do something like that again, either due to the time commitment it took, or due to people saying they wanted it before hand, but then being kind of like "oh, my old favorite zones are gone" after it actually happened.

I suspect if there were a change to the faction war, and if there were any zones updated as a result, they would be updated pretty piecemeal, like we've seen since with Blasted Lands, Silithus, Northern Barrens, Dustwallow Marsh, Arathi, etc. and in such a way that the previous zone is still accessible through Zidormi, and may change from the old zone to the new zone due to level or gameplay rather than be changed for all players immediately.

What I actually think will happen if there are major changes to the faction war:
* Cross-faction grouping becomes a thing for PvE, and potentially for ranked PvP (where you can already fight Alliance v. Alliance or Horde v. Horde) -- you can only group cross-faction when War Mode is turned off.
* The new community features will be adapted to allow for cross-faction guilding.
* The factions may still exist as a gameplay feature in War Mode and unranked battlegrounds
* There is much less faction-focus in PvE, and perhaps a new feature like the order halls to show that cross-faction cooperation is the name of the day

* You may or may not still be KOS in the opposing faction's cities -- I think it would be cool if some races were unfriendly/neutral in certain cities or certain areas of certain cities in a more serious truce situation. (Like, I feel like the nelves should be at worst unfriendly in Thunder Bluff, and I'd imagine a good argument for Pandaren not being KOS anywhere. This would also be neat to show how some of the cities/subfactions feel vs. others -- say the dwarves are still pretty insular and not welcoming to the horde races, but the Exodar is chill with basically anyone not an orc or something.) It would be especially cool if you could rep up to neutral in the old hostile cities, but I think that's unlikely outside of a more major faction change than I'm really expecting.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 12:51:23 PM by Honorata »
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Snique

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Re: A post-factional WoW?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2018, 05:11:45 AM »
If this happens I expect we'll see something like sub-factions. Real-world we have an interesting model of this in Northern Ireland, where you have everyone from those cooperating with the "other side" down through really violent 'splinter groups' off the IRA. We've had bits like this before, with the Forsaken vs Horde and Dark Iron vs Alliance sub-faction clashes. You wouldn't have to redo all the Alliance vs Horde quests, just dress up bunch of NPCs in new splinter-faction clothing.