Tobold's Blog
Friday, April 18, 2008
 
World of Warcraft 2

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of the World of Warcraft expansions, neither the Burning Crusade nor the Wrath of the Lich King. I find they are mostly "more of the same", lack innovation, and add too little content with far too much time in between. I do not think that adding 10 more levels in every expansion is a viable strategy to keep World of Warcraft interesting for a long time. But some comments on recent posts made me realize: What if Blizzard doesn't *want* to keep World of Warcraft interesting for a long time? What if they just put a small team on developing WoW expansion to do the minimum to keep it alive, and put a much bigger team on developing World of Warcraft 2. Or World of Starcraft. Or World of Diablo. Whatever.

Sooner or later all MMORPGs decline. Yes, Ultima Online and Everquest are still around, but their subscription numbers have fallen far from the peak. EA certainly regrets earlier decisions to have cancelled UO2 twice, because now the Ultima brand is dying. SOE did better with EQ2, which while having "lost" against WoW which was released in the same month, still is profitable with 200k subscribers.

With time players grow bored of any game. The graphics engine becomes more and more outdated every year. And by adding more content you inevitably dilute the existing content, creating large empty landscapes. The diehard fans will keep playing anyway, but attracting new customers for a game that is several years old is getting increasingly hard. Sooner or later a new game comes along with new content, fancier graphics, new ideas, and it steals your customers away as well as attracting new players. If you were leading a game company, wouldn't you want that new game to be yours? If Blizzard brings out WotLK end of 2008, and announces WoW2 in 2009 for release in 2010, they could keep their position of top dog for many years to come. WoW would be kept alive, and would probably still have millions of players, albeit less than now. But WoW2 could easily become even bigger than WoW1, and together the two games could keep dominating the market.

Blizzard certainly believes that they have the secret sauce recipe of how to make a successful game. And I don't know of any company that doesn't want to grow. What looks like a more likely successful growth strategy to you: Creating regular expansions for World of Warcraft, or making a successor game, be it WoW2 or WoS or WoD?
Comments:
Be it a SC, Diablo or heaven forbid a brand new ip I think everybody with even a passing interest in this genre wants to see blizzard make another MMORPG. What they have done with the warcraft world is actually pretty phenominal in my opinion and the prospect of another completly new world to explore in the future with the same high quality as WoW is mouth watering.
 
I am a die-hard warcrafter since release but have been lately thinking about trying other stuff out. Even the new Shattered Sun stuff has only rekindled my interest so much.
So I have been looking around for alternatives and found out about Cryptic developping "Champions OL".
I'm a big superhero fan and even recently reactivated my City of Heroes account as a WoW alternative, and Cryptic seems to do it right: They bring out a new superhero-game, with new features and graphics, evenn though CoH/V is still running.
 
The question is: How would you launch WOW 2? Is that - from a story perspective - even possible? Would you simply update the graphics to a new next-gen level and have comic look in HD quality?

I would think it far more realistic to feed the biggest MMO crowd of the world with regular "more of the same" addons and then launch a new MMO with a different setting. With a "World of Diablo" they could venture into realistic graphics (as Diablo was always aiming at realistic gfx rather than comic look) and have a fresh, unique setting to put the geargrind into.

WOW 2 - in my opinion highly unlikely before 2012 - WOW is in a clear business sense a cash cow, the VW Golf that sells forever and gets a few facelifts every now and then. You don't innovate the cash cow, you squeeze it bleeding dry.
 
It's inevitable that something will eventually succeed WoW as the biggest MMO, and since Blizzard are working on another MMO project, we can safely assume that they don't expect WoW to remain dominant forever.

There are a number of heavyweights squaring up to enter the MMO ring over the next few years. Bioware & Bestheda, for a start. I reckon Blizzard will be eyeing those, rather than AoC or WAR, as the greatest threats to its dominance, and will be positioning its new MMO accordingly.
 
There's no question to ask in fact. You have to do the both. Developping extensions and a nextgen mmorpg at the same time : this is the successful strategy.
With extensions you can keep your customers, and most important keep your money from subscribers until the next game is done.
And like that you can invest more time and money in the developpement of the new game.
 
...and the next thing you notice is that you are in fact looking for a MMO planned to last for 5 years, with a huge, slowly updated story arch and definite "Game Over" screen.

That wouldn't be too bad a scenario, now would it?
 
...and the next thing you notice is that you are in fact looking for a MMO planned to last for 5 years, with a huge, slowly updated story arch and definite "Game Over" screen.

That wouldn't be too bad a scenario, now would it?

The only problem with that is the content churn. Content is always consumed faster than it's created. Unless you're talking about "content" like the Ahn'Qiraj grindfest.
 
I'd be curious how the current game would transition into the new one. Would current WoW players somehow be able to import older characters into the game? Would it be a fresh start? I suppose Blizzard could always open with some massive cataclysm that "kills off" all the old characters, forcing everyone to start fresh, but I'd hope they would come up with a more innovative system.

Perhaps you can select an older character to act as a "benefactor" to your new toon. Depending on his/her level, you'd get mail once in a while with gold, gear, whatever. Or perhaps, after hitting the level cap with your new character, you can do a quest which gives you access to one of your WoW1 toons, now also at the level cap.
 
But would the world (of warcraft) end if some people "finished" the game early. Sure you may lose the high end progression raiding guilds when they "win", but if you made a game that retained more casuals as a result, that may not be a bad business decision.
 
I'd be curious how the current game would transition into the new one.

If it came about that there was indeed a WoW2, I would assume an almost entirely new storyline would be written that happens perhaps well after the current events in Warcraft lore. New enemies, new friends, lots of changes, etc. Although, I find it a hard concept to grasp that they would just redesign Azeroth with next gen graphics. How different would it really feel to explore the same zones? Would there be that much of a difference?

My bet is that Blizzard has a non-Warcraft MMO in the works. Whether it be Starcraft, Diablo or a new IP, obviously remains to be seen. I doubt its a new Warcraft MMO though. Just doesn't make sense.

Also, by creating a "next-gen" MMO, they will be losing a large chunk of their players right off the bat who don't have machines who can run the software. It won't be as accessable as WoW is now.

WoW is a great game, but it has some major flaws. Whatever Blizzard decides to do, I hope they learn from those mistakes and make an even better game. The lack of innovation and same content as they've had for the last three years with just a fresh coat of paint is going to come back to bite them in the rear eventually.
 
It sure would be nice if future MMORPGS had a way of keeping old content from dying.
 
No company should be placing all its hopes on one product.
If WotLK failed, Blizzard could go belly up, so they have to be looking at other sources of revenue, without a doubt.
 
You say UO and EQ are dying as their user numbers are far from peak.

I see it different. If you take the numbers and forget the peaks all those MMOG's have a stable number where they live for 10 years minimum. UO is over 10 years old and has 160k-210k subscribers. Not bad for such an old horse.

This is mostly true for all successful MMOG's where the provider didn't shut it down. So WoW will live 10 years and have a stable number of players (couple of millions) for the years to come.

So launching WoW2 will hurt WoW1, so businesswise it doesnt make sense at all. Even launching a Diablo II MMOG will hurt WoW numbers, even if its PvP or action oriented. It has to be entirely different, so I wonder what Bliz is up to.

On another note developing WoW2 doesnt make sense additionally as everything you want in WoW2 can be put into WoW1 as well. So why bother?
 
vlad you do realize they still make a small fortune every year off of starcraft. In Korea that is the most popular game of all time. When StarCraft 2 launches they'll make a huge amountof money off of it. If WOTLK flops badly worst case they'll end up with a few million hard core subs and they'll still have income.

A crash for them means they'll still be bringing in as much or more income than the other gaming companies right now.

I really doubt the next MMO will be starcraft. SciFi roleplaying games and MMO's have never been as popular. Fantasy just has a broader appeal.
 
Sooner or later a new game comes along with new content, fancier graphics, new ideas, and it steals your customers away as well as attracting new players.

Gonna keep it short this time. It took Blizzard 3 years of analyzing EQ, to start development and to deliver a superior product. Now think about any current game studio, that is capable of deliver a clearly superior product to WoW, within the next let's say 5 years. When i say superior i mean subscriptions. No artsy products for the insider, i mean products with an even bigger mass appeal. At this point only Blizzard is able to beat themselves.

It won't be World of SC. SC will be the eSport IP for the next decade, just as its prequel. They will not split one IP between 2 very different genres and markets. They do care about their franchises and that would be a stupid move. Right now Warcraft is THE MMORPG, SC will be THE RTS.

We know Diablo III. is in the making and it will be parts classic Diablo single player and parts MMO. This is your upcoming WoW successor. Up till then 10 more WoW levels every 20 months. And don't undererstimate Blizzard. If they would be forced into crunch-mode, we would see true new things. Sad thing is, there is no competitor to force them out of the 10-more-levels game. Subs are still rising, it does work, if Tobold likes it or not.

Look at what SOE did with EQ/EQ2, the former became hardcore raids only, the later one focsused on a wider audience. In the long run i see the same thing happening with WoW and Blizzard MMO#2. The former will focus the core audience, the second one goes even more casual, only then they will beat their own subscription records.
 
At this point only Blizzard is able to beat themselves.

I'm sure a few people said the same thing about Sony at the height of the PS2's success, but I think most people would agree that Nintendo are the surprise winners in the current console wars.

While it does indeed look like Blizzard's dominance is unassailable, I wouldn't be too hasty to discount the hype machine that will grow around Bioware's MMO project when it is finally announced properly.

Bioware have a proven track record of both quality and innovation (the latter not being Blizzard's strong point), and they now also have access to EA's deep pockets, which certainly seems not to have done Mythic any harm.

Still, all the stars are going to have to align before Blizzard is toppled, but unlike say, Microsoft, Blizzard certainly don't have a monopoly on anything, and are wide open to some serious competition.
 
WoW2 would just be an expansion where everyone started at level 1. I highly doubt there will be WoW2.

World of Diablo would be great, but would ultimately not appeal to even half of the people that play WoW due to the gore and adult content. If they didnt stick with the Diablo atmosphere, the fans of Diablo wouldnt be happy.

World of Starcraft has potential. There hasnt been a sci-fi MMO that has been a huge success, just a few minor successes. Im sure Blizzard would love to tackle that challenge. SC has enough lore to pull fans in for the story, and enough open storyline to fill plenty of content ( much like WoW).

In the end, I think it will be a different, or maybe even original IP.
 
WoW 2 really seems like a good idea, but it would be very difficult to carry the story forward. If you go too far ahead all the current lore becomes useless. If you don't go far enough ahead you are stepping on future development of WoW.

On the other hand, WoW 2 could easily take place at the beginning of the first invasion. That would allow Blizzard to make massive chances to the story, but still have a solid lore base to start from. It would also intice existing WoW players to play - they would get to explore the lore that created the games they love.

Oh, and the idea of an MMO with a long term storyline designed to actually end would rock. Just consider what Babylon 5 did to Sci-fi with it's established arcs and carry that into MMOs.
 
Also don't forget the possibility of Blizzard making their next MMO more PvE based then what they are slowly turning World of Warcraft into.

I just hope they come up with an all access plan when they have more then one MMO.
 
I think the answer is more innovation for the next expansion after WotLK. The next expansion should significantly drive the story ahead, introduce new characters and factions (not like Argent Dawn, like the Burning Legion), upgrade the graphics engine, and add things like player housing, increased item customization, and maybe a new race and class.

New graphics can be introduced with sliders so current WoW customers don't find them selves with a product they can't play.

The story line should drive emotions in the players - like a faction splinter. Lets say something along the lines of the Alliance fractures and humans and night elves (add one more race) end up fighting dwarves and gnomes (add one more race). This would necessitate modifying the old content too and may not even be feasible it's just an example of something that would get people charged one way or another.

Player housing and increased player item customization gives people an outlet of expression and helps avoid grind burnout. Plus I want a place to hold my old items I don't want to discard or wear.

There are a lot of things that can be done that wouldn't necessitate a new version. Blizzard, however, may have to be willing to accept a shift in player demographics and that could be a painful shift if they don't understand the market as well as they think they do.
 
The problem with Sci Fi is that to have a successful Broadly appealing game you have to have the mystical unknown stuff. the perfect example of this is the force. Pre episode one it was this cool almost magical thing. Then in true sci fi hard core mode in episode one we quantified it and made it unfun.

people grow up on stories of King Arthur, Charlemagne, etc. its different for different cultures but its basically the same thing. SWords and sorcery. Grimms Fairy tales etc.

Magic an swords are comfortable and familiar and full of the unquantifiable that people can rationalize any way they want and make thier own comfortable spot with it.


Sci fi is harsh an quantified. And every Sci-fi Game I've played over the last 30 years of my gaming life I've lost a lot of my fantasy friends who just weren't interested in psionics, technology and aliens.

If someone does create a successful broadly appealing sci-fi game it will have to have something like the force that is unknown and mystical. In otherwords it will have to be Sci-Fantasy not Sci-Fi.

And that creates a marketing problem. The Hard Core sci-fi fans are the ones that will create all your buzz. They want the hard core Science fiction. But they are the ones that will drive off the casual player base that will want the Science Fantasy.


Blizzard is not a big risk taker. They jumped into the MMO market after analyzing EQ2 and verifying it would work.

When we finally see a big huge Sci fi MMO it will be from some other company that is not so risk averse.
 
I think the answer is more innovation for the next expansion after WotLK. The next expansion should significantly drive the story ahead, introduce new characters and factions (not like Argent Dawn, like the Burning Legion), upgrade the graphics engine, and add things like player housing, increased item customization, and maybe a new race and class.



Absolutley. I agree on everything except the graphics upgrade. I really don't think thats necessary for expansions. Though Avatar and equipment customization would be huge for the player base.


New graphics can be introduced with sliders so current WoW customers don't find them selves with a product they can't play.



No if the graphics don't look good casuals wont play it. one of the things that makes wow so successful is that the world and the avatars match and it just feels ok. I love the world graphics in EQ2 but it makes my avatar bug the hell out of me. He looks like a mannequin walking through a real world. out of the 3 complaints i had in TR one was that with my mid range video card I had to play it on low settings. That and the UI pretty much killed the game for me and I wanted a sci fi game to play.


The story line should drive emotions in the players - like a faction splinter. Lets say something along the lines of the Alliance fractures and humans and night elves (add one more race) end up fighting dwarves and gnomes (add one more race). This would necessitate modifying the old content too and may not even be feasible it's just an example of something that would get people charged one way or another.



YES... and I'd love to see other things like betrayal quest lines that would let people switch factions.


Player housing and increased player item customization gives people an outlet of expression and helps avoid grind burnout. Plus I want a place to hold my old items I don't want to discard or wear.


I'd bet a lot of people would happily permanately put all thier old epic sets in a trophy case even if they couldn't use them again.


There are a lot of things that can be done that wouldn't necessitate a new version. Blizzard, however, may have to be willing to accept a shift in player demographics and that could be a painful shift if they don't understand the market as well as they think they do.



I agree completely. I've said before I think they are letting the numbers tell them what they want to hear. People are pvping more because their content is lame and the expansion model is training people to wait it out for the new greens. And they seem to think that all the people pvp'ing are doing it for fun not gear. If they don't get a better feel for the game community it'll be bad when the next good PVE game comes along.
Of course that may be 5 years if War doesn't pan out. The other companies don't seem to be any better at understanding that new soft hard to define casual market either.
 
It has seemed apparent to me for a long time that WoW has been running in maintenance mode since TBC was released. There simply isn't much creative effort going into the game anymore. I think Blizzard's top-tier developers are working on something else now.

I don't think it's WoW 2. First, Blizzard said that they had no plans for WoW 2. Second, besides having updated graphics (and disenfranchising the subscribers with slower computers in the process!), it's hard to imagine WoW 2 being significantly different from WoW in terms of the story and gameplay. Third, WoW is expected to continue to be highly profitable for many years to come even with a declining subscriber base -- but WoW 2 would completely depopulate WoW! Therefore, I think Blizzard's new MMO will be set in a different world and will be distinct enough from WoW in gameplay to encourage the players to subscibe to both products.

I don't know what this new MMO is, but if I had to make a bet I would say it's World of Starcraft. It has the potential to be different enough from WoW to be novel and exciting while having enormous brand recognition at the same time. This combination would attract both new and old customers in droves, all the while retaining WoW as a profitable product. Most of all, given Starcraft's staggering success in Korea, I don't see how Blizzard can say 'no' to thier corporate management's demands for the product that has every potential to capute tens of millions of paying subscribers in USA, Europe, and Asia. From the financial point of view, WoS is a no-brainer.

If I had to make a second guess and it couldn't be WoS, I would say Blizzard was making a superhero MMO. Superheroes have enormous mass-market appeal, supported by their recent blockbuster movie popularity, that far exceeds that of fantasy or science fiction. First, a superhero MMO would allow Blizzard to go after a totally new (and potentially huge) class of 'Joe-sixpack' subscribers that are unreachable via 'geek' (sfi-fi/fantasy) fiction. Second, it would let Blizzard compete with Cryptic's upcoming Champions Online which, if done right and for the reasons above, has a worrying potential to take a big bite out of Blizzard's subscriber base.
 
Simple solution. Just advance the Warcraft story ahead in time a little and put out World of Warcraft- 40K ;)

Anyway, I think they would be crazy to mess with the WoW money machine by putting out a WoW2. We are much more likely to see an MMO SC or Diablo or just about anything else.
 
Honestly I dont see a WoW2 at least not for a long time. Im not sure I would even want to play a Wow2 for a long time to come. Personally I think WoW still has a lot of steam left, at least for me. I think its going to take a long time (2-3 years) or a VERY good game to take its place, I highly doubt AOC or WO will do anything more than chip a bit of WoW.
 
Keep in mind how World of Warcraft broke into the market anyway.
Hey didn't just make a MMO with better graphics to try to steal the EQ crowd away. They made an MMO that appealed to a completely untapped potential audience; the casual gamer.

Making WoW 2 would simply just split their userbase in half, and they'd have to maintain two MMOs instead of one.

If Blizzard is going to make a new MMO that is going to be as successful as WoW, it would only make sense to design one for a completely new audience than to an audience that they already have control over.

The only untapped audience left is the console market. The next generation of MMOs would probably be multi-platform, utilize more interactive controls than standard keyboard and mouse, and will probably have a more flexible method so that people can play for free or very cheap if necessary.

As for Heroes Online, the only reason why Cryptic is making an updated CoX type MMO is because they don't even own CoX anymore. So essentially, they are trying to a attract a userbase they lost and are trying to get back.
 
You know what might work? World of Starcraft for $15-$20 a month, but if you subscribe to both WoW and WoS, your WoW subscription is free.

Make them different enough that it's worth playing both.

Also, WoS needs to learn from the mistakes of WoW. Tone down the gear arms race, alleviate gear inflation, make levelling a new character more than essentially just a different class experience, ie expand the world 6-fold and let people level to the cap in 6 different ways (I'm sure they have the manpower and resources to do this). There's about a hundred other things that are completely practical and would make WoS a great game. Throw in free WoW and you've got yourself a winner.

Coming in 2011.
 
WoW was my first MMO, but it won't be my last. I'm still enjoying WoW now but will be one of the first people to jump to Blizzard's next MMO when they release it, whether it's WoW2, WoSC, WoD, or a super-hero one. My personal favorite would be the latter option to appeal to a different and broader marketplace. Generations of kids grew up on superheros but never played D&D. :-)
 
I don't think WoW2 would be accepted. The current WoW is so evolved and has such a strong community that splitting that up would just hurt both games.

EQ2 was necessary because their other tries at making EQ spinoffs failed, and EQ was so old there was no hope for it becoming a juggernaut. I really enjoyed EQ2 for the time i played it, but it didn't have the lasting power that WoW does.

I am constantly trying to quit WoW and only lasting 3-4 months before some bug bites me and I have to get back into it. I have never had this feeling for another MMO, and WoW2 would have to capture the same magic. Something tells me it just wouldn't succeed.
 
I'd play it(a new blizzard mmo)... about a year after it came out.. just so they could iron out all their "features". And add enough content that I don't hit the brick wall at the end of programming land.
 
I'd do wow2 in a heartbeat if it kept the basic playstyle. But if they allowed people to transfer characters over I dont' think i'd buy it. I'd only do it if everyone had to start over and I could get that new game feeling again.
 
Most of the arguments I am hearing for why WoW2 wouldn’t work are only valid TODAY. Unless Blizzard has been secretly working on a WoW2 project instead of a WoTLK expansion then none of those arguments are very meaningful. In my mind, WoW2 is inevitable. One future day, Blizzard will once again want to cash in on the intellectual property that is World of Warcraft. That day may be 10 or 15 years from now but you can bet they will make another game based on their most successful and endearing IP. I, for one, will gladly play that game for no other reason than to see what is new in Azeroth.

That being said, I agree that Blizzard has other IP properties like Starcraft and Diablo that will likely see an MMO before the next WoW. But I will tell you what I don’t think is going to happen. I don’t think that WoW will somehow evolve into WoW 2 over a progressive series of expansions. That may have been Blizzard’s goal at some point, but an expansion every two years is just not going to continue to breathe new life into the game. The subscriber base is eventually going to ebb to maybe 25% of peak population and then just maintain. Future expansions might see that population creep back up to 40% but it will slowly decline back to a solid group of core subscribers who won’t abandon the game until Blizzard turns off the servers. Casuals may turn to other MMOs and games or they may just turn to alternate forms of entertainment (like TV).

If I am a Blizzard stakeholder, I want to know the plan for sustaining the subscriber base through expansions and into new products. I have to believe that Blizzard recognizes that they will need to eventually cannibalize from a declining cash cow in order to successfully migrate subscribers to the next product. It is actually very common for companies to cannibalize their own existing markets for the sake of simply maintaining the dominant market position. Starbucks for example, routinely puts in new coffee stands near existing Starbucks coffee stands in order to ensure that your choice of coffee is limited between two Starbucks stores and not a Starbucks and something else. My feeling is that as Blizzard introduces new games they will simply offer some type of pass or subscription like SOE where you are provided account access to all their MMOs and online games for the same monthly subscription.
 
For the casual gamers who play WOW, 'more of the same' is EXACTLY what they want.

They don't want to be challenged, they want to log onto their comforting WOW World and do what they usually do.

That's why any alternative to WOW is facing a major challenge, because the fact is that most players don't even want to try anything else.
 
For the casual gamers who play WOW, 'more of the same' is EXACTLY what they want.

They don't want to be challenged, they want to log onto their comforting WOW World and do what they usually do.

That's why any alternative to WOW is facing a major challenge, because the fact is that most players don't even want to try anything else.


The key here is Casual players that play WoW. Someone who has played world of warcraft for a long time will likely be one who enjoys th leveling and such, or doesn't care too much either way, but other people who get bored after awhile, (Of which there are likely a lot), will want something else that fits with their preferred playing style better.

In general, my personal feeling is that a lot of WoW's popularity comes from it being a Blizzard game, from being good enough to keep people around, and that making it popular enough that people will join friends in it. I could easily see other games coming out with features that will attract people who either don't care all that much about WoW but would be attracted ot something else, or people who get bored of the playing style but have not heard of another game that handles well what they are looking for.
 
I don't think I agree that casual players don't want challenges. The problem in WOW currently is the only challenges they've been able to come up with at end game take so much time most casuals can't actually experience. And grinding PVP for honor...Not a challenge. Just a grind.

Unfortunately for the time challenged the content that provides the best challenge is the 5 mans that no one wants to do anymore because of the broken risk to reward ratio.
 
2009 is way too early, 2011 is more like it for the next big mmorpg smash hit.

Or even a bit later like 2015 :P
 
I'm very excited to see what Blizzard has in store for us with their "next generation MMO" that they've been hiring for.

I doubt it's going to be WoW2. I think players will be tired of WoW2 unless it's a very serious departure from the Warcraft universe we've come to know so far. It would have to be a complete reinterpretation of that universe to appeal to gamers, and I don't think it would follow along with the revolutionary approach I think they'll take. In other words, it would be too restrictive.

Personally, I hope they start a whole new franchise. I would rather they hire a bunch of writers to come up with an original world that fits the kind of revolutionary MMO they want to make. That means no World of Warcraft 2, no Universe of Starcraft, or World of Diablo. There are bigger and better stories that need to be told that can't come from the simple RTS storylines of Warcraft and Starcraft or the isometric Action RPG world of Diablo.

Or, if Blizzard takes the route I would like to see with a Next-Gen MMO, the traditional story-based game wouldn't be possible beyond the first month after release. I'd like to see a truly dynamic world where the players have the capacity to change the face of the game itself. NPC empries would spread across the land (think of the popularity of the Naxx/AQ40 invasions, or even kiting high-level bosses/mobs to major cities). Player-run empries would have the ability to tame wildernesses, found new cities, or wage war (or ally with) with NPC empires or other player-run empires.

With a world like that, the traditional stories are difficult to be told.
 
Adam I hope you are right but every thing blizzard has ever released about dynamic worlds has been an excuse on how hard it would be. Blizzard isn't one for innovation. They are one for quality. I don't think the game you are looking for will come from blizzard. I hope I'm wrong but that would be a really big leap for a very risk averse company
 
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