Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Game design beats lore in Cataclysm
Blizzard used to run a tight ship, keeping their cards close to their chest, but maybe now they are Activision Blizzard they have become too big to keep a secret. So WoW.com assures us that they have several sources confirming the next WoW expansion will be called World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, will be announced at Blizzcon, and will have Worgen and Goblins as playable new races. I love playable new races, because they are horizontal expansion, not just the vertical 10 more levels expansion we got last time.
In case you aren't terribly sure what a Worgen is, it is a kind of wolf man. WoWWiki says about them: "These creatures are thoroughly evil, delighting in torturing and devouring intelligent creatures. They enjoy hearing the screams of their victims as they tear them apart piece by piece. Worgen never show mercy or remorse." So of course the Worgen will be the new playable race for the ALLIANCE !!! There goes all pretense of the Alliance being the good guys, and the Horde being the bad guys.
I figure this is still to balance out the problem that casual players often choose the nicer looking races, making the Alliance with their humans and elves more attractive than the Horde with their assorted ugly monsters and rotting undead. The Burning Crusade already went in that direction by adding sexy blood elves to the Horde, now the Horde gets another cute diminuitive race, and the Alliance gets an ugly monster. Logical for balanced game design, and nobody cares about the lore anyway. Lets just put those torture-loving Worgen into the Alliance, and say they were just using waterboarding for terrorist interrogation purposes. There probably will be some phoney fresh lore explaining how the cataclysm caused some alignment of interest between wolf men and the Alliance.
No news on a new hero class, I wonder if we will get the expected healer hero class, or whether it is every odd expansion offering two new races, and every even expansion offering one new class.