Tin Foil Hat Time: ‘The Unannounced Game Changer’ in WoW

Disclaimer: This is all speculation. Some of it is insane speculation. Most of it is probably wrong. Thats the point of any post tagged tin foil hat time.

I wrote this post last night, then got up and read some of Ghostcrawler’s tweets, so this is the rewritten version.

When I called Flex raiding the unannounced unannounced feature in my previous post, I had an idea in mind that the technology behind Flex hadn’t been developed for its current purpose. I had wondered if it had begun as a retro raiding feature, designed to scale 40, 25 and 10 man fixed size raids to whatever a guild happens to have these days. It could be tied in to some character scaling (like that used in Challenge Modes and BGs) to produce level 60 raids you could do at level 90 with 15 people. It might even provide some xp so people could level through raids.

Realistically, there might need to be limits. Certain bosses need certain abilities and you would need to ensure players had access to these before they could enter. It might not be available below level 40 or 60. In all honesty, that would be fine. The refreshed low level content is fast and easy. Its only when you get to TBC that it gets slower and more painful.

You might also need to retune some of the fights (Sunwell, I’m looking at you). And adjust a few mechanics (not everyone will have a rogue to tank that one boss, or a warrior to tank this other boss). But a lot has changed in terms of how characters work as well, so this is somewhat inevitable.

It was a feature I particularly enjoyed in the SWTOR mini-expansion that I could level through raiding. For people who like raiding, this is a dream come true.

I finished this post with a statement saying this was unlikely. Apparently not as unlikely as a I thought because Ghostcrawler came out and confirmed that Flex could be retro-fitted to older raids. I may have been right … but you won’t see this with 5.4.

What else might we see in 5.4?
Ghostcrawler said he would never confirm what the unannounced feature was that he hinted at a couple of months back. He said there would be several features in 5.4 and we should ‘pick our favourite’. If another implementation of Flex is not coming, what else might be?

We know a little bit about PvP changes – the return of Elite gear as a cosmetic feature. I would hardly call that a game changer, however. We know there will be a raid, there won’t be a dungeon and we can assume there will probably be some scenarios.

What else could compare to Flex raiding enough that we would have a choice of game changers?

Random ideas (more hopeful than realistic, I admit):

  • There was mention of something being done with the longer battlegrounds – could we see this>
  • Retro-fitting LFR to older raids for levelling?
  • More open world events/bosses (in the vein of stealing from Guild Wars 2)?
  • Some kind of puzzle type quests/events/scenarios (in the vein of stealing from both GW2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • Guild events/puzzles?
  • Personal rated PvP rankings, not attached to teams.
  • We’ve seen individual scenarios and three man scenarios – what about scenarios for larger groups that require coordination (not boss killing, more doing a set of tasks within a limit – sort of somewhere between a raid and a battleground).
  • Retro-fitting Challenge Modes to old dungeons?
  • What ideas can other people come up with? Put on your tin foil hats and start specultating.

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2 thoughts on “Tin Foil Hat Time: ‘The Unannounced Game Changer’ in WoW

  1. Not to be the grumpy one here, but I think that the Flex raiding will be 5.4’s only nifty feature (next to the usual things like raids, dungeons et cetera). However, I would be positively surprised and really pleased if Blizz would use the technology to make old raids interesting again, even if the rewards would just be mogging items or other vanity stuff.

    1. I was sort of right it seems. Additional features are not around old games, but we are getting Proving Grounds and Virtual Realms. The latter could definitely be described as a game changer. Someone is feeding the dev team a lot of weetabix!

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