[Video Games] Blizzcon predictions for World of Warcraft?


The rumor about a new expansion named "Mist of Pandara" is probably true; If this title was for another game we should have seen a new trademark by now. I expect the new expansion to be heavily Asian theme based (a little like Guild Wars Factions was) which makes sens with Blizzard current push towards Asian markets. It foremost gives a complete blank sheet for the art team and that's what I'm the most interested in.

I expect the level cap to be raised but by how much will depend of the "Possible but maybe not yet" section below.
There could be a new playable class (maybe a monk) but it could depend again of the "Possible but maybe not yet" section.

Possible but maybe not yet...

I expect the leveling game and the end-game to be separated as we approach the 100 levels cap.

The XP gain is way too important for new players -- who have to quit a zone after barely exploring it -- and it is a burden to just experience a new class at level cap for your 10th alt (1000 cumulated levels ...) . The current cap also makes the game unsocial to new players who can't possibly be useful to their RL friends veterans, unsustainable anymore in a real time socially networked world. I don't see another economically viable way for developers to somewhat reconnect players and to give more diversity to veterans, an attempt to mitigate a little the aberrations of vertical progression in MMORPG:

If Blizzard do it (and I believe they should) it will be extremely unpopular with long time players who consider WoW as a time and money investment rather than a game and a virtual world. You could imagine nice perks for having leveled a character to mitigate the unleashed rage of older players (main professions only available through leveled characters?, wide world exploration only available through leveled characters? dedicated titles? mounts? pets? ...). Maybe the push to new markets could be sufficient to go forward on dedicated servers (Asian market, new social gamers, new FPS RPGed players...).

I expect PVP and PVE to eventually be separated at level cap.

The dream of PVE-PVP class balance is unsolvable, it's obvious in the never ending classes changes seen in hot-fixes and minor patches. It's also the main reason Blizzard is so reluctant to introduce new classes, adding more variables to the nightmarish PVE-PVP-balance equation.

We could now imagine level-caped PVP characters essentially limited to BGs and arenas with more of an horizontal progressions than a vertical one (a little like Battlefield Bad Company 2, unlocking new abilities, gaining gear with special effects or adding a stat and diminishing another one...), PVP will then mainly be based on skill, knowledge of the other classes (now directly possible for all classes) and interesting decisions to make. We could even go as far as to imagine our PVP characters be used in the DOTA style game Blizzard is developing.

As Blizzard is putting more and more resources on their other IPs they have no choice but to develop PVP in an economical way (PVP is free "content" since provided by the players), it will have to be fair to interest the Asian market (Starcraft success), and you won't have to require 100 PVE levels to begin to play PVP with your friends. The more players can easily understand and play the others classes and the more fun they will have.

I don't really expect Blizzard to announce a separation of leveling/end-game or PVE/PVP at a Blizzcon as the physical integrity of their staff would probably be compromised there.

# videogames #blizzcon
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