Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ravenholdt or Riot

It always amuses me to compare the WoW player culture with Blizzard's WoW dev culture. A lot of the time they're the same. But sometimes there's a clearly inexplicable gap between the two.

Take the rogue class order hall, for example. If you asked the rogue community, they would all pick Ravenholdt Manor as the iconic rogue location. And with good reason. It has been the "rogue place" ever since Vanilla. Multiple class quests, as well as the legendary rogue dagger questline, have centered around Ravenholdt.

But Blizzard wants to put the Rogue order in the Dalaran sewers.

That is as pure an instance of tone-deafness on the part of the dev team as I can recall. First, no one really wants to end up in the sewers. Second, the Dalaran sewers used to be the PvP area, back in Wrath. That's what most people who were around back then associate with the location. Third, Dalaran is the mage city, and really has nothing to do with rogues.

Maybe if Ravenholdt didn't exist, the sewers would have been an okay choice. But it does exist, and it seems quite pointless to throw away all the history and resonance Ravenholdt has built up.

In any case, the Rogue community is trying to convince Blizzard to change course. Whether they'll succeed or not, I don't know. A lot of it might just come down to art time. If Blizzard has already finished the artwork and modelling for the Dalaran sewers, they may just stick with their decision.

Still, though, I take this instance as a caution against being too clever and dismissing bonds that the players have built up over the history of the game. Wherever possible, Blizzard should take advantage of those bonds, and allow them to do the heavy lifting.

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