Before I get started let me just say that this has only very little to do with WoW.
Most of my characters are sitting idle, waiting for the changes of 3.2. The only notable exception is the Mage I rolled early in the week, and even he has not made it all the way to level ten yet. I simply have not played much this past week or two.
That’s not what I came here to talk about today.
I came here to look into my cracked and chipped crystal ball and see if I can fortell the future. I am pondering Blizzards next generation MMO.
Don’t go misunderstanding what I think may come to pass as what I would like either, I am simply making uneducated guesses.
First I want to look at the genre of the MMO.
Blizz has already stated that it will be an entirely new game with all new lore. That by itself tells me it will not be World of Warcraft 2, actually that would be pointless. Keep patching what you have as long as people pay to play. It will not be a Starcraft MMO either, as much as I would like to see one.
I don’t think it will be a sword and sorcery type MMO at all. Why compete with WoW and Diablo in-house as well as everything else on the market? Just not a good business decision.
With Starcraft out of the question I also find it unlikely that it will be a sci-fi based MMO, although it may be. There are already numerous sci-fi based games out there for starters, but mostly I think if they were going to go the sci-fi route it would have been a Starcraft MMO. Mostly because it already has brand recognition.
I may very well be wrong, but I don’t see a sci-fi MMO happening. Too bad, I was kinda hoping for one.
I am assuming that Blizz wants to be able to include the tank/dps/heals mechanic as well as the scaling of gear.
I am also assuming that they want to continue with both solo play and group options from 2-3 players up to 20-30 player “raids” or whatever they will call them.
Further they have spent a lot of development time on the mechanics of vehicle based combat, and it has been successful. I would think they will want to adapt this to their new game.
Lastly (for the moment) I am going to assume that Blizz is going to look towards an area of the market that currently has little or no competition. What good is being the 500 lb gorilla of gaming companies if you arn’t going to use it to crack open areas that others have not gone to?
Based entirely on these wild assed assumptions guesses I can only see two generes that could be adapted to fit the bill. I may be overlooking something, hell it’s likely I am, but this is what I see.
Guess the first:
A supernatural MMO, possibly something similar to H.P. Lovecraft’s work. There is enough going on there to keep the monsters coming for many many expansions. There is also enough magic and technology (especially if set around 1900 or so) to make the tank/heals/dps work. It could also be some variation on the vampire vs. werewolf stories, that would give them two factions and an opportunity for PvP that made sense.
Not really sure how it would be implemented, but I think it could be made to work.
Guess the second:
A post apocalyptic MMO. The old Commadore 64 game Wasteland got me thinking of this one actually. Your enemies could range from splintered military groups, gangs of bandits, people from other towns that want your resources, humans and animals mutated by radiation.. hell you could even throw in aliens if you wanted too.
Once again the tank/heals/dps trinity could be made to work, solo and group work would make sense. Multiple factions would be easy to implement, as would pvp between them. Even swapping between factions with a proper rep grind could be possible within a system such as this.
Overall because of the flexibility of the environment and the developments blizz has been making towards siege combat and vehicle use, I think this is the most likely candidate.
Once again this whole post is just a bunch of wild ass speculation on my part. More of a sign that I ran out of coffee than anything else.
Would it not be ironic though if the game were called Cataclysm?
Filed under: World of Warcraft