Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cataclysm Revamp part2 - Path of the Titans

One of the most surprising features announced for the Cataclysm expansion was that it was only going to extend the end game by five levels. This goes against the trend set by the previous two expansions, but seems reasonable since Cataclysm is going to be focused on reworking the 1-60 content. However, trying to sell an expansion that didn't add any levels to the end game might have been hard to market. Blizzard obviously wants players to feel like they are getting their money's worth when they buy the new expansion. Thus the decision was probably made to add at least some new levels to the end game. This shorter leveling stretch though is going to make Cataclysm feel a bit different from previous expansions.

We'll be getting five new leveling zones in Cataclysm even though the level cap was only raised to 85. This gives us a much higher zone ratio then Northend, which only had eight leveling zones (not counting Crystalsong or Wintergrasp). Hopefully, this means that there are multiple questing paths to reach max level just like in Wrath of the Lich King. On a negative note this could also mean that Blizzard artificially stretched out the levels in Cataclysm by increasing the experience requirements. This doesn't really fit their style though and I don't think Blizzard would copy a design decision which has proven to be a bad idea in other MMOs.

Instead, I think a portion of the questing in Cataclysm will be devoted to the new Path of the Titans system. This system expands on the basic idea behind inscriptions and offers players another way to advance their characters besides gear and levels. Players basically align themselves with one particular Titan and then will be able to earn additional glyph slots and abilities to place in them. The system bears a remarkable resemblance to picking a deity for your character and I'm sure that's how the idea got started. Unfortunately, Blizzard was a little tight lipped on how you characters actually progress through this new system.

I suspect we can look forward to some sort of reputation or token system for progressing along the Path of the Titans. I'm leaning towards a token system since Blizzard made heavy use of tokens for the Argent Tournament. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tol Barad serve as the daily quest hub for this purpose. If my memory serves me correctly then the devs have already announced that Tol Barad would be a quest hub similar to the Isle of Quel'Danas. However, they didn't say if the daily quests would grant gold, pvp tokens, or be involved with Path of the Titans advancement. It's quite possible that Tol Barad will just be for PvP quests and Uldum is the hub for Path of the Titans stuff.


Kaziel said...

uoActually, the Path of the Titans will be tied into the new Archeology secondary profession, and be "gated". Basically, once you pick your Path (one of six different options), every x amount of time (I believe Blizzard said every week), you will have the ability to go onto the next step in the Path.

If I had to make a guess, once you reach 85, you can go to the Archeology trainer and they will have a number of quests, one each relating to each of the Paths of the Titans. You pick one and it's entirely soloable. By completing that quest, you can access your chosen path and can open up the first ability on the path. Every week you can access a new one, but to actually access it you need to use Archeology to get "Path of the Titans materials" but once you assemble

Also, it was either stated or implied that each step isn't set in stone. You can pick one ability out of a number of potential options (three I think) to better tailor your version for you, so it's not like "This path is for melee DPS, this one is for ranged magical damage, this one's for hunters, this ones for tanks, etc. etc.".

Relmstein said...

I'm guessing the new secondary profession will be how players craft the new abilities for Path of the Titans. But I bet the actually "gateway" will be some type of rare item like a primal nether or crusader orb. In the past these types of items were lock up away in dungeons. But since blizzard seems to have a thing for daily quests, I expect they'll play a part in the process.