Tobold, I thought maybe you'd be interested in a topic about licensed and non-licensed WoW products (or other games/in general) that are brought on the market.
The additional income licensed products bring, is it milking the brand name (e.g Blizzard / WOW, or Nintendo / Pokemon)? Examples of such licensed products that may be doubtful are the cardgames, boardgames, action figures, comics and books etc. How original can these be? Is the intent to deliver a quality game or milk the brand with dodgy products and make dollars? With some companies the production of these items is given to other companies for a fee, resulting in awful things coming on the market. I have seen many bad quality Nintendo items, although possibly they have may been counterfeits. Counterfeits brings you to non-licensed products..
Are non-licensed WOW products un-acceptable. Or is the line not so clear? Besides counterfeits these products may in many cases be well meant signs of appreciation of fans (machina, but for example also comics)? Again quality and originality may vary.
The question may also arise whether companies (as Blizzard and Nintendo) can or should dintinguish between the bad counterfeits and (positive) fan contributions?
Intriguing report that WoW's Chinese operator (The9) had *lost* a legal case following a ban for the use of exploits ("pre-existing system bugs") to farm gold. The whole Chinese legal/license structure is a mystery to me, and I've been looking for English-language coverage that explains the ruling in more depth. I'm interested in the different social/legal approaches adopted in China.
Unless there are too many new classes added (whether they are added in a similar manner as the death knight or as extensions of a previously existing class). Too many new classes would probably screw up raid balance a lot.
As an extension to this, here are my predictions for the most likely future new classes in WoW:
1. Witch Doctor: It adds a plausible healer, the ward system would provide a new type of class mechanics (similar in a few ways to shaman totems, but different enough to be fun.), the seagoing influence would fit in pretty well with a sea expansion. Biggest disadvantage is being horde only in Warcraft 3, but this may be adjustable.
2. Spellbreaker: it adds a tank class, is flexible enough from warcraft 3 (With thrown weapons, anti-magic, and melee ability) to come up with a number of different talent trees and skills. Biggest disadvantages are the tank shortage possibly being taken care of with death knights + no healing on the class, and TBC being the "blood elf" associated expansion already.
3. Hydromancer: It fits with a sea expansion, and being water-based gives lots of options for abilities, including healing and possibly tanking. Biggest disadvantage is that many possibly spells for this class are taken already by other classes.
4. Necroamncer: it is a classic class from many other games, would add some possible new pet mechanics, and, in a twisted way, a possible healer (On Wowwiki look of necrologist and you will find one, there is also another necromancer class idea that i created with healing). Biggest disadvantages are the scourge expansion already being taken, and too many spells being similar to warlocks, death knights, and priests.
5. Arch Druid: It fits into an emerald tdream type expansion, and adds another healer. biggest disadvantage is that it wouldn't be too much different from a druid in terms of background, spell names, and most likely abilities as well.
Do you ever get the feeling that encouraging people to level alts implies a lack of things to do if you only want to play one character?
Maybe that's confusing, but I wonder how many 70's people have now. I say this of course as I'm finishing up leveling one of each class to 70.
As a person for whom "alts" (I tend to have a bunch of characters i play about equally, so don't think of any as a main or alt.), I do prefer games that full development of several characters.
I do think that encouraging alts as a playstyle shows that the game has less to do for a single character (since otherswise it could simply describe all the other things to do.).
(my own personal preference is for a game that is multiple character friendly, but still has plenty of stuff to do, not one that's going to rely on multiple characters to keep people going, it should preferably be friendly to both.)
This might sound like an insignificant gripe or even make me sound cheap but I went into Best Buy and saw they were advertising a pre-order for WAR with an inhouse price of $5. Yet, when I got to the register, they wanted to charge me $10. Now $10 isn't a lot, but why do they advertise for less and then try to get more? This for a beta test pre order and you can't even get into the beta test until EArts says its time