Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tin Foil Hat: I Don't Know Everything Legion Will Bring, But I Do Know What the Next Expansion Will Be.

Warning: This post is 100% speculation and quite possibly 100% bull shit as well.  I have no proof of anything I will say here.  I am making it up as I go.  This is a tin foil hat post.  For fun, discussion, or perhaps even prediction that I can reflect back on in two years from now when we find out what the next expansion will be.  Have fun with the post, but do not take it too seriously.  Even if I do think what I write here is entirely possible, even if insanely unlikely.

Now for the big reveal.  The expansion after World of Warcraft : Legion will be called.... nothing.

Legion is the last expansion for warcraft.  It all ends here and it all ends now.  But that does not mean that warcraft is all done for.  Legion might be the last expansion of the world of warcraft as we know it, but it will lead directly into World of Warcraft 2.

That is what I predict the expansion after legion will be.  A complete reboot from the start.  We all move on to new level 1 characters, if we choose to do so, with the release of WoW 2.

There are many things that might lead someone wearing their tin foil hat a little to tight to believe this to be true but none larger than the reason that makes the world go 'round, money.  The be all end all that motivates companies to do what they can to make more of it.

I will list a few reasons that might point to legion being the last expansion but I do not think any of the reasons will be as strong as the first one.  So on to the list of possible tell tale signs that legion will be the end of the world of warcraft as we know it.

PS4, XBox and the like:

They have been trimming down abilities left and right lately all in an effort to make our bars so much simpler.  It is not all for the players enjoyment however.  Sure having fewer buttons to hit might make some things easier and depending on how they interact could make some things more complex.  But the real reason for having fewer abilities is so that it will be easier to port to the many different game stations out there now that seem to live and die with an internet connection.

While WoW can not be reasonably ported to work for PS4, for example, WoW 2.0, if it is built and designed for it, would be able to perfectly be ported for play on the PS4.  By allowing people to play on their game station of choice or their computer they open the doors to many more players than they had ever had.  Even when they were at their absolute height back in wrath of 12M+ subs the range of players they reached was never as large as it would be if every person on every major game system could play as well.

It only makes solid business sense to find an avenue where you can add players.  Even more so after the start of a successful movie franchise (hopefully) that introduces the game to millions of players.  Many of whom would jump at the chance to play the game with their friends on the PS4 but don't really care to do so on the computer.

It is all about accessibility and having WoW available through more outlets allows them to get more people into the game and possibility retain people a little easier.  Where before it was a choice of playing warcraft or playing on your PS4, now you can play warcraft while on your PS4.  It will always be there for you to play so the likelihood of you switching from the game you are currently playing to warcraft would be a lot higher than the likelihood of you turning off your PS4 and getting up and going to your computer instead.

There is a lot more money to be made and with abilities being trimmed down warcraft is pretty darn close to being capable of being ported.  Legion is a test to see if and how things work with fewer abilities.  All while WoW 2.0 is being primed in the background, designed for fewer abilities to begin with and coded to be ported to game stations like the PS4 and XBox.

You Want It, You Got It:

As many people have already noted about Legion it seems like blizzard is doing a major fan service.  People wanted "this" person dead, so we are killing him.  People wanted "this" person to return, so we are bringing him back.  People wanted Demon Hunters to be a playable class, so have at it.  People wanted the emerald dreams, well here it is.  People wanted to face Azshara, well here she is.  People wanted to wield Ashbringer, go for it and here are a dozen other cool looking versions of it too while you are at it.  I could go on and on, but I am sure I do not have to.

Blizzard is going for broke here.  They are throwing everything into the pot, they are leaving nothing on the table.  They are trying to give everyone what they wanted, or at least the things they saw posted most about on the forums over the last 12 years.

It makes one believe that if they are doing this and basically tying up a bunch of outstanding story lines, or at least giving some sort of closure to remove the ideas of what could be a future expansion like Azshara and the dark below, or the emerald dream, or so many other things that they could have made expansions about or used as a background for them being put to rest you have to think, why not leave the loose ends.

A company looking forward to making more expansions does not tie up all those loose ends they spent years creating so they can have something to build on in the future unless they know, in this incarnation at least, there is no future to save them for any longer.

The fact they are giving us everything we wanted makes you think, maybe that is because this is the end.

I Have to Replace My Artifact With What?

Every expansion is the same.  We work our butts off, usually for a year of nothing to do but get better gear from raiding, to get the best gear we can get only to see it replaced with a quest green as soon as the new expansion comes out.

Warlords was, in my opinion, the first expansion that ever did leveling right in terms of gear progression.  I leveled to 100 with my SoO gear on and I even did the proving grounds gold on day one when I hit 100 while still wearing all my gear from SoO.  My mists gear worked, for the most part, up until dungeons in warlords.  And that is how it should be in my opinion.  Even more so when you were in all mythic gear like I was.  It did still suck to have to take off the legendary cloak, but at least I did not replace it with some quest green as soon as I stepped into the expansion like what would have happened in most previous expansions.

I expect legion leveling to be somewhat the same if they learned anything from how awesome the leveling experience was for many, like myself.  But what of the expansion after.  Sure we might not replace Ashbringer with a quest green.  But we will sooner or later need to replace it and it makes you think that this is the ultimate weapon for my class.  How do I get better than the ultimate weapon?

And that is why I think the Artifact weapons show that there will not be an expansion after this one.  Even if it is an awesome thing, like the cloak, it is still just some no name but special cloak.  It might have been powerful but once you find something more powerful you say good bye to it.  How exactly are you going to do that with Artifacts?  They are the most powerful weapons in existence.  They are not some no name weapon.

Also these Artifact weapons offer not only power, but massive time investment to level them.  They have skilled that we will have become used to.  What Beast Mastery hunter, after spending countless hours, days, weeks and maybe even months, leveling up his or her Artifact weapon just so he or she could have a second controllable pet is going to feel right throwing that away from some no name weapon.  Even if that no name weapon comes from the first tier of raiding in the next expansion.  Even if it comes from the last tier of raiding next expansion.  When do you let go of the weapon that is the best weapon for your class that you are ever supposed to have?

We would lose the time put into it, which if we are correct will not be just a heavy weekend of playing to level.  We would lose all the boosts to our abilities we gained from leveling it.  We would lose all the power ups we gained from leveling it.  We would lose the thing they spent an entire expansion telling us is the greatest weapon we would ever own.

The Artifact weapons and the power up system they are adding in Legion show that they do not intend for us to ever replace these weapons.  So there are three options.  1) dig themselves a really big hole it will be near impossible for them to get out of by the expansion having us drop all that power for what... 2) keep leveling up those same weapons the expansion after with added levels, which will make it harder on new players that join the game because now they would need to level a weapon through 2 expansions instead of only the current one, or, the one we are focused on in this post, 3) they do not intend for us to ever get any weapon after this one because there will be no expansion after this one.

Three seems to make the most sense.  One seems like it is asking for trouble, but quite honestly it does fit blizzard idea of never thinking toward the future.  Two seems really unlikely.  How would you feel if you joined the game in the expansion after legion and found you needed to level your weapon, which could take months for an active player (blizzards words, not mine) before they can actually catch up to the current expansion.  So yeah, three makes the most sense. 

They are giving us our ultimate weapons.  They are letting us power them up to ultimate power.  They are letting us choose how they look.  They are letting us be the "hero" of the game for our one last hurrah.  This is it folks.  Your paladin will go down in a blaze of glory with Ashbringer in his hand.  Your hunter will die fighting with Titanstrike in his hand and two pets at his side.  It doesn't get better than this folks and that is because, it doesn't have to.  This is the end, this is the last weapon you will ever have, and it has been designed that way.  Just think about it.

The Game is Old:

And I do not mean that in a bad way.  I like that the game has history.  It is part of the reason I keep playing, I do not want to leave that history behind.  But there is a lot of baggage that comes with age that can not just be forgotten about.

Lets look from the outside in and see what someone that never played before sees.  The stories of only basement dwellers play this game.  The stories of people losing their jobs playing this game.  Losing their marriages over the game.  Or lets say they know all that stuff is just BS, which it really is because I am sure all those things could be said about any popular game and there is someone out there is might be true for and they look at the game as what it truly is.  A game with 6 expansion (soon) and over 110 levels (soon).

Sure it might not take a lot of time to level 110 levels.  Sure you can get all the previous expansions for a song if they are on sale and cheap even if they are not.  Sure if you buy the most current expansion you can get an instant boost.  But to someone new to the game, even if they know all that, it still feels as if you are so so so far behind.

So lets even forget dragging new people in and them feeling that they are so far behind.  When people do join the world is so out of order, thanks to cataclysm mostly, but just because as years passed and things changed a lot of the older stuff doesn't fit right, doesn't work as intended, or just doesn't make sense.  You get abilities out of any semblance of order.  The story line bounces all over the place, if you are the type that even reads it that is.  The leveling pace, because they had to change it for people with alts and heirlooms means even a new person without them still often out levels zones before they finish them.

Over all the years the past of the game just, well, got destroyed, for lack of a better description.  Blizzard knows this.  They know the leveling process does not really make the game look good to a new player because they have not concentrated on getting any new players.

And the reason they are not addressing this is?  Who cares, we are starting over again soon.  It will be a new game so no basement dweller stigma.  It will be a new game so no 110 levels behind for newcomers.  It will be a new game so no 6 expansions to buy.  it will be a new game so the leveling will be fresh, enjoyable, and in order, as it should be for everyone.  It does kind of make sense that a reset would really help this aspect of the game.  Doesn't it?

There are Some Things You Can't Fix:

I can't remember what I heard this in reference too, but I am sure at one point I heard a dev say that some things can not be fixed.  Maybe it was as simple as the beginning bag space issue being locked to 16.  Maybe it was about the continuity issue caused by the redesign of cataclysm.  But one thing was sure, there was something in game they did not like how it turned out that they can't, or won't spend the time to, fix.

A complete reset would allow them to fix all the things they did that did not turn out quite as they intended them to be.  Those globes in Ulduar, you know the ones that showed all the known world to us. Yeah, it kind of limited where we could expand to with expansions without adding some fancy explanations.  Come to think of it, that is what I think the comment I mentioned was in reference too.

They can easily fix the bag space issues.  They can easily fix the world issues.  They can easily fix everything they have noticed to be a problem area over the years if they design knowing what the problems are, which after 12 years, they should be pretty clear on what they are.

Some of these issues are big, most are not, but each and every one of them can be fixed with a complete reboot.  And maybe the reason they are not looking to try to fix and of them now means they know they do not have to fix the issues because the issues will be left behind.

Battle Net Wide Makes Transfer Easy:

Did you ever notice that they do not make things account wide, they make them battle net wide.  If our pets, for example, were account wide than all our warcraft accounts would have it.  But if they were battle net wide than all our games would have it, such as  warcraft 1 and warcraft 2.  Just something to chew on.

The Future is Mobile:

Back to design and what warcraft is not capable of but warcraft 2 would be.  Mobile games are hugely popular.  If anyone says otherwise they are living in the last century, or roughly 12 years ago if you work for the warcraft team.

I am still not sure why when battle pets were added there was no mobile app that allowed us to play with them while on the road, at work, in school, or basically play with them when there are other things we are supposed to be doing.  (not that I advocate playing games on work time, but writing blogs is just fine. wink wink nudge nudge).  The reason can only be one of two things, no one at blizzard thought of it or the warcraft engine and how it was designed was not capable of supporting it.

I am going to go with the game was not capable of supporting it at the time they added them.  I don't think it is possible that not even one person that works for blizzard in a high ranking position did not see the HUGE impact having a battle pet mobile app would be.  Heck, I could even see them adding a transmog mobile app, so you can change the appearance of your characters while you are sitting on a bus if you wanted to.  Or a dungeon crawler app where you take your character, solo, through dungeons designed strictly for the mobile app.

Remember when I said at the beginning that ending WoW and starting WoW 2.0 would be all about money?  Well, the ability to have mobile games where you can attain things that show up in game and the stuff you do in game can show up in the mobile version is a big part of that.

Once they can have integrated mobile and computer and game stations all accessing the same content, and in this case content you can play anywhere, it opens the possibilities for making a great deal of money.

The pet battles can allow you to do something like 20 battles and regenerate 5 per hour but if you run out and want more you will need to buy more battles for 2 bucks if you do not want to wait it out.   They could add special adventures, for 10 dollars per, that you need to complete on mobile to get a few pet that will show up in all places.

Maybe the reason there was never a pet battle app is because they could not tie it into the WoW engine, which gives them more reason to make a WoW 2.  Why recreate an engine for WoW and invest all that time for only adding thing.  Might as well start new all over, which is what they will do and then I will be playing battle pets at work instead of writing this... maybe.

And the Big Bad of Warcraft Has Always Been Sargeras:

We do not know where Legion will lead us but one thing we do know for sure for sure and that is Sargeras is supposed to be the end boss of the World of Warcraft.  What better time to have him show up than now?  They have set the stage for him completely.  All he needs to do is step his feet on the soil of azeroth and we will all tremble as we fight the urge to bow before his god like omnipotence.

A battle between the heroes of Azeroth and the fallen titan can only end in one way.  Death and destruction of everything, including the world as we know it.  They can easily write the story so that as Sargeras breathes his last breath, the death of a god, as close as we could come to know one, triggers the titans to activate the re-origination button, as was threatened so many times before.

The world, as we know it, would be destroyed and from the ashes we would arise, with knowledge of what we once were, but no power, in a bed being tended to by a care giver that carted our bodies from the rubble.  Or gear destroyed, our abilities diminished and our bodies frail after such a long sleep, we would need to journey, adventure and fight to gain our powers back, our strength back, and our gear back too.

In this new world there would be new land masses and blizzard could make sure not to let the full world view ever come our way.  They could even keep us on the same continent for more than one expansion, only opening up moving further into it as time goes on. They could create new lore, no stories, new histories of the past.  All would be new, even if some things might seem familiar.

What better time to hit the reset button after beating the fallen titan and having the world as we know it reset by the titans?  The story just seems ripe to lead us to the new beginning we would need if we want to move into a WoW 2.0 cleanly.  They lined it up perfectly, so perfectly in fact that there can't be an expansion after Legion.  Sargeras will be dead, and the Azeroth that we know will have died with him.

So what say you fellow traveler?  Do you don your tin foil hat with me and get ready for 2.0 or will there be more of the WoW we know and love first?  Will there ever be a WoW 2.0?

Come on... put on the hat... you know you want to.  Speculate.  It will be fun, I promise.

24 comments:

  1. HAH! Nothing I like more than a good tinfoil hat theory, the wilder the better. Unfortunately, I don't think yours is very wild. Not saying it is going to happen, but I think it is definitely in the realm of possibility.

    I agree that a reset to port to other platforms -- and thus garner a much wider audience -- is one excellent reason to do it. But I think your point about the game being old is equally compelling. Anyone ever involved in software development knows that the older and more complex the code, the more impossible it becomes either to maintain it or to add to it. I suspect that many of the most inexplicable Blizz "decisions" of the past couple of years were made not out of either evil intent or incompetence, but rather because the code and infrastructure would not support it. They may well be at a point where a complete rewrite consumes less resources than maintaining/adding to the old stuff.

    Thanks for a fun read. If we eventually discover that Legion is the final expansion, I will buy you a beer.

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    1. And I will be waiting for that beer.

      What you said about the "old" part makes it seem even more likely. As you said, being it is old makes it harder to add to it or limits what can be added. As you said, at some point, maybe not just yet but at some point, it will be easier to rewrite the entire thing.

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  2. While you make a compelling argument - Blizzard stated last earning call they make "more than 50% from non WoW". At 75% I'd be with you, so my guess would be for "Legion + 1". AKA - Legion will set up the stage. The next one will take us to the world of Demons to bring an end to Sargeras. Unless earnings in Legions are beyond expectations, then we first have to go back to Northrend to take down the LK (again).

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

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    1. Legion +1 does make some sense too. Either this or the next, we are near our end with WoW 1.0 I believe.

      Going back to northrend would be the proverbial "jump the shark" moment and it would signal the end of warcraft as we know it. I hope we never redo wrath, it was a great memory and I would hate to see it tainted by today's development team.

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  3. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    This is likely the next to last expansion, with a trip off-world to end it with the death of Sargeras on his homeworld set to be the next expansion.

    Somewhere between now and then, Blizzard will announce WoW 2.0 is in development. In around between four (bare minimum) and seven or eight years to as many as ten years from now World of Warcraft 2.0 will be released. It will be a multi-platform game, and its revenue stream will come from multiple sources.

    It won't be a direct reboot of the current game. It will be a new game set in the world of Azeroth. Most likely this new game will be set years and possibly even many centuries into the future of Azeroth. In a game where many races have life spans far in excess of a human, the new version of Azeroth is likely several thousands years into the future.

    Alternately, it may well be a direct reboot, and my paladin awakens in Northshire Abbey to do it all again, but with a different story this time. I doubt I would find that as appealing no matter how much they improved game play and graphics.

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    1. As the guy before you said, legion +1 makes sense too. However in legion +1 we would probably get the same amount of content we "should" be getting in just legion.

      I am thinking a complete new world with new history, new story and everything we did is just a distant tale told. Perhaps we are thrown into the future, but start all over again.

      I don't think I would like to be put back to level 1 and start the same exact leveling over again. No thanks.

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  4. It's a very interesting and not unlikely scenario you've brought us :)

    Like I said before, Blizzard have perfectly opened the exit door with the coming expansion. The already announced Titans' Pillars of Creation would serve any purpose, it's a joker card. They could kill Sargeras, provide an eternal shield over Azeroth, destroy it or just close the portal, whatever you wish.

    *Still, there is no Azshara coming, she's not in the heroes-and-villains list. At least naga and old gods arc is not solved.*

    Artifacts doesn't seem so obligatory after Legion. All the power of Draenor in our rings, all the might of Celestials in our capes... With Atrifacts, they could be perfectly "destroyed" in a small story twist that even a blizz janitor could easily provide. The perks will be merged into passives and what not as it will happen with draenor perks in legion.

    Considering mobile platforms: yes, mobile apps like garrison, pet battles and everything would be a great addition to the game. But Blizzard has got many titles that fit mobile gaming even now. We still need a mmorpg with macros, maths and everything so huge that it needs constant exploration. We need a big, big world, complex and deep. That's something that a mobile game will never have.

    I admit there's some tiredness for the universe - as much as I love it, I have a tickling feeling that WoW has reached its limits. Like a balloon that can't be inflated anymore? But if we have any next game to come, I would still want my old WoW server live - for achievements and nostalgy purposes, I would pay some fee.

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    1. The artifacts are more than a proc from the cape or an on use from our ring. They are what empower our abilities, give us some other abilities. They are not like the legendary items of the past which we can easily replace with something that has more power. But I agree with what you said, they would make the power and the abilities just become leveling perks later. Maybe... remember, this is blizzard. They can leave it as is with their standard "only end game matters" design.

      You can have a big world on mobile, just no one has made it yet. Wouldn't it make sense that the company that put the MMORPG genre into mainstream put it mainstream on mobile too?

      But the game itself is not what I meant. They would do aspects of the game on mobile. Not the entire game. It is way too complex for that tiny screen. I know I would want nothing to do with it if it did. I can barely see on that tiny screen as is. Getting old here. :P

      I think they would keep WoW 1.0 servers up. Why would they remove them. As long as people are paying to be there, they will keep them there. And I think it will remain worth keeping them up for them, for a long time to come.

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  5. More to go:

    When they announced "Legion" in August, my heart instantly dropped, because it sounded like the word of doom. It sounded like Warcraft is over now.

    WoW2: I would like to see my characters move further. I have invested so much in them that I would like them to continue. But there must be some world reboot indeed.

    Other game: I would crave for fantasy space MMORPG setting like Wildstar, but done by Blizzard.

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    1. That is my one big fear if we restart. I invested so much time in my character. I have to be approaching 300 days played. I do not want to lose that history.

      I do not mind a level reset but I want to keep my character, my name, my achievements and my items I might have like mounts, toys, pets, and rarities.

      I actually really liked wildstar. I think warlords tried to steal a lot from it, and they did, and it did not turn out well. Over all I think if wildstar was not catering to the HC crowd, one that does not really exist any longer in large numbers, it could have put a hurting on the wow player base.

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  6. I don't think it's the last expansion. Level 110 as max level sounds terrible.

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    1. It would have been better to stop at 100. If they had made warlords 5 and legion 5 that would have worked.

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  7. Here's my take, Grumpy, with the understanding this was written tongue in cheek.

    Blizzard will continue making expansions as long as it is profitable by a particular margin. Its as simple as that. Though, you raise some interesting points.

    Simplification of the abilities available seems to be moving towards a console interface. They were successful with Diablo and Heroes at presenting relatively few abilities that have many people who enjoy them.

    I can appreciate the reasoning. WoW has a huge barrier to entry problem, which they are addressing them in a few different ways, one of which, is this simplification of the abilities available. Therefore, with the instant boosts, someone can get into the game, use the boost, and be able to play. This will reduce the barrier to entry and with other marketing efforts etc bring more people back to the game, even if its to be played for 3-6 months then leave. They make their money on the expansion sale and a few months of gametime, either with direct payment or inflated cash value of the token.

    My counter argument is this. The barrier to entry has not and cannot be lowered enough to bring in new players. You have 3 types of potential players. 1) Never had any interest, and never will. 2) Current or former player. 3) Young game players who've not yet tried the game. Group 1 is a lost cause. We have well established patterns of group 2 dynamic of which Blizzard has the most control. Then there is Group 3, the only significant new source of players. In my view, Blizzard believes, these players are all keyed into the Diablo/Heroes/LOL games, where you have relatively simple abilities and entice Group 3 to play. I think this is flawed logic in its extreme.

    First, whatever remodeling is done, you will never be able to reformat into this simpler ability model without losing major amounts of value (abilities, capabilities, adaptability, flexibility). Inevitably, few if anything will be streamlined, and the clunky play as massive complexity already in the system is reduced. The MMO experience will never give these new players what they fundamentally like about those other games, a fast paced tension filled experience. Sure a fight or series of fights can be that, but WOW and MMO's are so much more.

    A second point, and more important one is that there are 5-10 million players who've already played this game and returned time and again. They are the force funding all this experimentation, and the losses on the altar of this new paradigm and new players, risks alienating the loyal dedicated players whom shown incredible patience and fortitude to stick with past changes.

    These weren't requests that the 5 million subs were asking for, overhaul every class and spec, reduce complexity by removing abilities. If you are no longer capable of CC'ing, or buffing the raid, or having a pet, then you no longer have to worry about it.

    I say it again. Blizzard will not and cannot lower the barrier to entry enough and gain enough players to justify the alienation of the established player base. Blizzard is betting they can have their cake and eat it to, and if it blows up in their face, they sigh, and reassign personnel to other projects and work on the eSports crap.

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    1. I agree with you that as long as they are hitting their desired mark on profit they will keep churning out expansions. And really if they could ever get down the 1 year thing, which I don't think they ever will, they could stick with it even longer.

      The barrier to entry with warcraft is really huge right now and will only get worse. That is one reason I think a reset is more possible.

      I disagree that they can not lower the barrier more. Well, sort of disagree. They can remove levels completely and the second you join you have all abilities and can do everything. They can turn levels into something else, like what you can buy cosmetic wise. So people will still level, but it is no longer important. Pick up and play, that is what the xbox generation likes.

      The one issue is that you can not have a successful sub based game if you design it for the xbox generation. Those games are intended to be play and one, not play and play and play grinds like MMOs are intended to be. Can blizzard straddle the line between the two and keep both sides happy? I think not. I think wow right now has an identity issue. Does it want to become an xbox game or does it want to be an MMO?

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    2. A point of clarification. My point was not that they couldn't lower the barrier to entry. My point was that they can lower it but not low enough to catch the targeted market. Not enough and still hold the current subscriber based, and as you point out, that market doesn't respond particularly strongly to subscription based games.

      I think the conflict between xbox game and mmo are real, and I think they are trying to hedge towards Xbox. I just don't think it can be done successfully (and by successful I mean keep long time wow patrons through the rebirth).

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    3. I agree. They can lower it a lot more for the xbox generation of players but doing so would lose just about everyone currently playing.

      I agree that I do not think this game could be as successful, in the same way, if it went more xbox design. Perhaps with micro transactions and a more diablo like looting it "could" do well, but would completely turn over their audience from people like you and I to people that like to buy a game they can beat in one sitting.

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  8. The most logical counter-argument I can think of for why it's unlikely is that it takes Blizzard... what, 3 years to develop an expansion? The framework is already there, the game is already designed, they're just adding a new skin for one small part of the game. And that takes them 3 years, if not longer.

    Legion is out in 6 months, more or less. Expansions lasting 2 years is, by every account I've seen, too long. So if they were to introduce a new game post-Legion we're talking a realistic max of 2.5 years until it needs to be released.

    If that was going to happen, from a marketing perspective, I don't think it's something they would keep quiet.

    World of Warcraft Vanilla Edition was announced in Sept, 2001. It was released in Nov, 2004, more than 3 years later. Expansions are different... players are still playing, they don't want to disrupt the current game with future content until as late in the process as possible so they can get a temporary bump in subscription numbers. It's a game, but it's a business.

    World of Even Warcraftier (they'll probably come up with a better name), though? Different story. WoD is losing subs by the minute, the Legion announcement was a while back so any temporary bump due to that is already gone. Announcing that Legion will be the final expansion and that WoEW will be coming "Soon(tm)" could only bump the current interest and I could see it increasing interest in Legion when it's out. There really isn't an upside in waiting that I can see vs announcing it now if it was coming that quickly. What fence-sitting player or former player wouldn't at least consider coming back to finish the series? That's marketing gold right there.

    Based on that, even if there will be a wind-down of WoW at some point with an actual direct replacement product released in its place, I don't think it's happening immediately post-Legion, I'd expect more notice.

    I've also theorized in the past that there will be a new RTS Warcraft game to bridge the gap between WoW and WoEW, obviously your timing would destroy any chances of that so I can't support your position. :)

    Side note - I find it kind of sad that I can't come up with a non-business argument to your theory. The game is old, the game is tired, there are only so many things they can do to shine things up even temporarily and it does kind of seem like they're putting a lot of them in at once and still ending up with an uncompelling offering, at least in my mind. I'll play it, of course (why not? Gold tokens FTW), but I'm not expecting miracles.

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    1. That is a logical counter argument, but I must ask, when has blizzard ever done the logical thing?

      For all we know the reason this, and the next, expansion are so dreadfully slow to be released and why we have seen dam near no new material (except the expansion release and HFC) in well over 2 years is because they have had the bulk of their development team working on this top secret 2.0?

      I know, huge tin foil hate there, but it could explain why they have the "largest staff ever" working on WoW and they are putting out the least content ever.

      I would not mind seeing some new RTS games. I never played the originals but I would like some new ones with new stories and lore. I can dig that.

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  9. haven't read any of the comments (too many), but if you are right, I will not buy into or play WOW-2. I have found that games ported over to those consoles, are just crap. I can't hold those controllers, nor press those buttons. And if a game that has been designed for computers and consoles, then a lot of buttons are left out (such as turn buttons A and D) but that damned strafe is there (Q and E). Prime example is Skyrim. Lovely game, great graphics, rich story line, but unplayable to me. Why? No ability to turn in place such as WOW has. I can't strafe and turn with that. Too awkward.

    Why can't I use console controllers? My thumbs are shorten - I lost the first joints at the base due to rheumatoid arthritis. To get any type of flexibility - new joints were made from one of the three tendons that each thumb uses.) This is probably the biggest reason why I don't own or use any type of touch pad.

    So you see, no flex no console controller handling. :)

    At that time, I will prob find a private server to play on. I know they are out there.

    There are the card games for probably most of the players of wow. I don't play them - can't understand them. LOL, maybe I am getting too old to play computers. Nah.

    Wow Crush, anyone?

    -roo

    -roo

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    1. I would buy it, but then again I am a fool and you know what they say, a fool and his money will soon be parted.

      The difference is, if we can not carry our stuff over, I would not feel as connected to the game and thus would most likely quit if I were not happy with it.

      I think a lot of us would find private servers to play on. I would join a wrath one personally. I liked that expansion the best and having the armor pen MM hunter build (with a pet) is a dream of mine.

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  10. forgot to add this - got my 10 sky shards!!!! (only took, how many years???). 3 dropped in my lap after 4 hours of killing and running around. Painweavers and Conquerors. And so I got that serpent.

    -roo

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    1. Wow 3 in 4 hours, awesome. Congrats on your new mounts. Well earned.

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  11. I do have a tin foil hat somewhere...there it is.. Well, lets see. I once heared that theoretical maximum level for a character is above 200 something (think there was a youtube video of a guy who showed that years ago) So if Blizz has content, then we could reach level 160+. That would say minimum 10-12 more years. Then what ? Wel, lets say that the last thing you do in wow 1.0 is to put some of your beloved belongings in a treasure chest (or more ? ) Then in wow 2.0 a distant grandson wakes up. He is level 1. And many years ago he had a distant hero in his family. He also want to go on adventure, and starts levling up. At higher level he gets access to some of the old treasures, and pet's mount's heirloom's and so on. + many more new raids. New storyline, and more. I also guess, that we now have the option to play in VR, and be inside the game. Hm.. i think there was more, but an elf from Blizz casted a spell on me....

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  12. I love Warcraft game very much. I am surprised that Legion is the last expansion for warcraft.

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