Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Random thoughts

I leafed through several blog posts around the blogosphere, and noticed that people are writing more or less about the same problems with WoW content as I am: the Old World being neglected and is needing a face lift, Old World content could be wiped (which Blizzard denies to even think about), changes needed in the questing, character interaction and so on, and so on. The list could go on.

I'm going to continue on the same alley. WoW has been our friend and foe for about four and half years now. By being an 'open ended' game, it could go on and on: instead it has gotten stuck into the set, persistent world in which nothing changes. The bosses have been killed millions of times, the invading centaurs and factions have been harvested to extinction as often as the bosses and this all has been repeated in the Outlands, too. So why wouldn't the world change over all this heroic onslaught?

Instead of expanding the game from the original background and surroundings, it has been easier to expand it outwards and away from the set stage. It's easier to fire and forget than develop the content in a meaningful way. But then again, we have to remember that this is business for Blizzard and the business is to make people pay for longer to get to the juicy parts, where they can 'enjoy' the most recent content and forget the older content all together.

If WoW was built and run by people doing it for a hobby, trying to enjoy and develop the game, I think we would have seen something else in the major cities. The villages would have developed, the buildings both build and broken and so on.

The more I think of this current situation, the more I like my view of having a MMO which has set lifetime of 3-5 years, each year having a pre-planned chapter to move the world's story onwards, aiming to a grand finale. 5 years timescale would be enough to keep the players interested and if each chapter had distinctly different basic plot, the new players would be easy to get into the game. True, they would have different history with the game, but so do we playing WoW: some from the early beta's, some from the beginning of WotLK.

Now, how hard would it be to generate a MMO with a few years of basic plot, on which to build the whole story for the players to see?