Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Warcraft 101: What I'd change


World of Warcraft has been around for a long time, seven years.  That, in game time, is ancient.  When most games get played for a month or two until the next big thing comes out, Warcraft has managed to retain it’s audience, or even grow it, for a very long time. 

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I would change, or add, to the game.  Here are just a few of them.

First, I would institute player housing.  Currently, when you log out of the game, the biggest concern you have is…nothing, especially if you’re high level.  While you’re leveling, logging out in a capital city or an inn is important, as it gives an XP boost when you log in the next time, but once you are finishes leveling, it doesn’t matter anymore.  The bad part about being able to hang your hat anywhere, is you have nowhere to hang your hat that it your own.  Players have been clamoring for housing practically since WoW premiered, but it still has yet to come to pass.  Implementation of housing in Aion is done very well, and I think WoW could take a page from their book in terms of what works, and what doesn’t.

Second, another idea straight from Aion:  Let companion pets carry items, and generally be more useful.  WoW is attempting that for the next expansion, with the whole-scale implementation of Pokemon into the game world, but the pets only fight each other for glory and honor, and the occasional achievement.  In Aion, companion pets can carry items, and if you keep them out and happy, they will occasionally give you presents too, which is super awesome fun times.

Third, I would implement more mini-games into the world.  Right now, there is a shortened Plants vs. Zombies, and the aforementioned Pokemon to be introduced in the next expansion.  I really think Blizzard could go even further with it, though they would have to be careful not to inundate the playerbase, and risk alienating a decent chunk of them.  But I would really like to see an actual tower defense game, and things like that.  The Darkmoon Faire is a step in the right direction, but the mini-games there don’t really give you a reason to play them, what with only giving one ticket a time.  Basically what this suggestion comes down to is; give people something to do that isn’t killing mobs, or players over and over again. 

Right now, the options in the game boil down to raid, dungeon, quest, RP, or PvP.  Yes, there are subsets of those things to do(achievements come to mind), but in essence, you are doing one of those five things.  And unless you like pretending to be someone else, your choices revolve around killing stuff.  That can be fun, but it does get old.

Anyway, WoW is still a great game, otherwise it wouldn’t have held onto 10 million players all these years, but I do see room for improvement and growth, and I hope Blizzard continues to look at World of Warcraft that way as well.

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