The next Bliz MMO, bye bye raiding, and a WAR 1.2 observation.

How much of a debate is there over what the next MMO from Blizzard will be? Originally Starcraft was a solid guess, but since StarCraft 2 will take 3+ years to be fully released, you can’t really launch an MMO in between delivering the full RTS product, can you? That leaves us with two options, a new IP and Diablo. A new IP MMO would be too risky now that Blizzard is a public company, and new ideas are not exactly Blizzard specialty (see SC:Ghost). This leaves us with Diablo, which conveniently has a new title set for release ‘soon’. Following the footsteps of Warcraft 3 and WoW, D3 will launch followed by a ‘sequel’ in Diablo Online. WoW will continue to slip further and further into kid-friendly MMO (Panda expansion anyone?), and D3-Diablo Online will aim for a more mature audience. Considering D3 has adopted a WoW-like hotbar for abilities, it will be interesting to see what direction the MMO version takes. Action-RPG-MMO done right? Yes please.

Jeff Kaplan leaving WoW might as well be the official ‘we don’t do raids here’ announcement. Considering WotLK launched with zero new multi-boss raid content, and the lighting pace the first actually new raid is being release at (‘soon’ right?), it’s hard to argue the direction WoW is moving in. While I personally don’t care much for the new direction, time (and market briefings) will tell the tale of its success. With anyone remotely interested in raiding already farming the current content, it will be difficult to change that pace by releasing noticeably more difficult content. If Uld is indeed a step up in difficulty for Nax-geared raiders, how exactly will that play out among the casual raid crowd? How tolerant will they be of guild-check encounters, considering Blizzard won’t be able to place the more traditional gear-check encounter (you can’t have a gear check if everyone already has the gear, now can you?).

Finally, I’m a bit surprised the WAR forums are not filled with more angst over 1.2. Fetch issue aside, it seems everything in 1.2 has been well received, and met with a general “lets see how it all plays out on test” attitude. Odd for the forums…

IMO WAR currently has a large ‘lurker’ population: people who moved on in the first 1-2 months because of certain issues that are still tracking the game and waiting for something to bring them back. The Choppa and Slayer will do it for some, and I think some of the more major changes to oRvR (keep redesign and such) will bring back others. If you left the game in the first 1-2 months, you will be surprised at how far WAR has come since release, both in terms of overall server activity and in code polish. It’s still far from perfect, but noticeable more enjoyable overall now than at release, and this will only increase once 1.2 goes live.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in MMO design, Patch Notes, Random, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The next Bliz MMO, bye bye raiding, and a WAR 1.2 observation.

  1. mordiceius says:

    On a side note, Blizzard said at the last Blizzcon that it will be a new IP for their new MMO.

  2. Minn says:

    It’s unlikely that Ulduar, on the basic level, will be much harder than entry-level content. The first few encounters are probably going to be easier than Malygos. My guess is that any decent casual guild will eventually clear it with dedication, teamwork and experience. The hardcore guilds will roll over the bosses very quickly, but…

    It’s pretty obvious now that Blizzard wants the best raiding guilds to compete based on achievements rather than actual boss kills. ZA timed runs (2.3), Sartharion with drakes, Immortal runs, Malygos in 5 minutes… more “hard mode” achievements to come in 3.1. The community perception of raid progression will evolve to consider achievements as the real milestones, with “full clears w/o frills” a basic requirement.

  3. darren says:

    “IMO WAR currently has a large ‘lurker’ population: people who moved on in the first 1-2 months because of certain issues that are still tracking the game and waiting for something to bring them back. The Choppa and Slayer will do it for some, and I think some of the more major changes to oRvR (keep redesign and such) will bring back others.”

    …nail on head.

  4. Syp says:

    Hey guys,

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve linked to Hardcore Casual from Bio Break, my general MMO blog. If you’d like to reciprocate linkage, I’d be grateful! (Just trying to get some readership going there.)

    Rock on,
    Syp

  5. pitrelli says:

    I dont think its fair to say WoW is slipping into a more kid friendly MMO, The WoTLK content Ive experienced so far is a hell of alot more brutal (than vanilla WoW/ Burning crusade), involving quests like skinning people or hacking their corpse with a machette. Again I think your stuck in WAR fanboi mode, if you havent played the content on WoW how can you comment?

    I can be classed as a lurker for WAR, but I will return when they release content of note. Simply repackaging what should have been included in the release just doesnt do it for me. Until then Im enjoying the Lich King so it may be a long while before I give WAR another bash

  6. Youngblood says:

    I always think it’s funny when people who say that WAR should have released with certain content, are never even happy when Mythic releases the missing content. A sure tell sign, no doubt.

  7. pitrelli says:

    @ Youngblood, I cant say whether im happy or not about it as Im not currently playing WAR im just pointing out these are things which were cut so WAR could be pushed out in time.

    Having played WAR through beta and purchasing a sub it was one of the big let downs for me.

  8. Bonedead says:

    As someone who recently returned to WAR (after a grueling 2 months in SWG)the only thing I can really say is talk about a breath of fresh air. Live events, gear rewards/influence for oRvR, and a populated server. It finally feels like there is so much to do besides just queuing up for scenarios (though it still is pretty damn fun).

    Oh wait, the best part is Nordenwatch isn’t the most played T1 Scenario anymore. Gates of Ekrund ftw!

  9. Jeco says:

    I’ll admit to being one of those lurkers. I burned out after the first couple months with alot of the launch issues. This month I’ve come back around to WAR to find everything much improved and the games as fun as it was at the start. Now if I could only pick a class and get caught up to the other CoWs…

  10. Marchosias says:

    YAL (Yet Another Lurker), I peek in at WAR once in awhile and it’s definitely getting better. I’ll probably be back there fulltime around mid-March, just before their big patch(?). In the mean time I’ve been hangin out in EVE and goofing around in CoH.

  11. Ghost says:

    I think your missing the obvious.

    Blizzard’s next gen MMO will be WoW 2. It will have a major space/spaceship content (ie. will be set in the future). It may utilise Eve/Runescape concepts of one giant universe.

    Reasons:
    – Blizzard can’t touch Diablo/Starcraft IPs (currently used by future projects), and really WoW is only other IP it has
    – Blizzard needs to retain its player base (from WoW), at the same time as not undermine WoW (ie. provide a sufficiently different experience)
    – (cynically) it will do properly what Everquest 2 should have done

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