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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 1:23PM Greeen said

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Well, if we talk on a combination of e.g. Eve and Starcraft, then i think of something like SWG which includes both space and planet bound questing/combat/pvp.
In addition, the original pre-CU/NGE version had a skill based system.
Finally, add to that sandbox. Player housing, etc.
Although, player housing alone is nice but not the same if not in a sandbox game. In EQ2 or LOTRO they don't really add anything to the MM part of MMO, as it does in SWG. Although, shops as in eq2 can make a difference.
So in the end *shrugs* we are just speculating wildly in all possible and impossible directions. And once we know, there will be the usual fanboys and haters......

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 1:58PM (Unverified) said

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I would be very surprised if it were not a StarCraft MMO, which I've been saying for years. I can't think of a better property for Blizzard to use at this point from a business perspective for a few reasons.

1. There's an overwhelming demand from fans for a StarCraft MMO.

2. It wouldn't detract from WoW. It's a sci-fi game that would have a completely different setting from WoW's fantasy theme. Sure, there will be people who leave WoW for it. But it's all money in Blizzard's bank account either way.

3. There aren't any AAA quality sci-fi MMO's out right now. The market is up for grabs.

4. SC2's updated graphics can set the stage for and provide a smooth and easy transition into a 3D StarCraft world. The graphic style that you see today in WoW is almost identical to that of WC3's. It's a familiar style of graphics and art to people who have been playing WC3 for so long. Blizzard obviously knew people loved that style so much with the tremendous success of WC3 and hence they intentionally adopted it for WoW. SC2 is part of a much bigger plan other than just serving as a great sequel to a great game.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 2:21PM cray said

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If it's a Starcraft MMO, they'll have to compete with 3 big name properties (Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate Worlds) let alone Eve and Jumpgate Evolution.

I'll be surprised regardless.

Posted: Feb 16th 2009 1:48PM (Unverified) said

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Star Wars maybe... Star Trek and SGW are not mainstream enough and will probably fail or be contained to a small market share. The culture associated with the latter two has already been established (nerds) whereas WOW is a cultural phenomenon in and of itself (cool kids).
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 2:41PM (Unverified) said

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Back in October, Kaplan was asked if the next-gen MMO falls into the genres of "science fiction, post-apocalyptic, or historical" and his response was all of those combined.

So... that makes me think it is not Starcraft, because it's not really post-apocalyptic (unless you have a very broad definition) and it's definitely not historical.

So, I think it's either an original IP or a licensed IP. The combination of post-apocalyptic and historical are sort of strange, but if you imagine a game that allows for time traveling, then those both could apply. In fact, there already is a known MMO in development that is both apocalyptic, sci fi and historical: The Day.

Of course, maybe these genres are just red herrings to throw us off from guessing. But if Kaplan was being truthful, then the nature of the game can be narrowed to being quite specific.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 2:57PM Lethality said

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Hmm... I disagree about the "faster combat".

Remember, unless Blizzard is not going to be building an "RPG", then combat success cannot rely solely on skill and twitch.

These games typically have RPG elements because they are long term committments... you have to have goals to work your character toward, on multiple levels... and stats are on of the ways to do that. Improve your stats, improve your character and not rely on your internet connection or shitty keyboard. It's the great equalizer vs. other genres.

So anyway, if Blizzard leans more toward an active combat system like Conan (you see what happened there), it will lose a lot of players who came to the genre for the 1 thing Blizzard is taking away.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 2:59PM J Brad Hicks said

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When World of Starcraft comes out, I want to play a Terran Battlecruiser.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 3:15PM Drexel said

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Bioware's Star Wars MMO is probably the only secret that was worse-kept than a Blizzard Starcraft MMO...to do any other IP would be thinking that is way too out-of-the-box for Blizzard.

Blizzard will do what they have learned to do best since they've entered the MMO-sphere: Take other people's good ideas and evolve them on an already proven platform to minimize financial risk, avoid moving the genre forward at the risk of making a 2 hour a month casual gamer upset and finally simplify the genre to a mind numbing button mash to avoid losing any single cell organisms as another paid subscriber.

Because they only measure of success is your completely inflated subscriber numbers and corporate e-peen press releases amirite?

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 3:39PM Nadril said

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Yet World of Warcraft continues to be the staple unto which OTHER MMOs try to copy and evolve into their own game.


Blizzard took about as much from other MMORPG's as any other in the genre has currently. The thing that really pisses me off is that the genre wasn't even hardly 10 years old at that time (not counting some of the more obscure examples such as NWN and text based MMOs. I'm starting the real timeline much at Ultima Online's release [1997]) so it's not like there was much going around there.

It's kind of like saying that Half Life is just a Doom ripoff, because it has guns, bad guys you need to shoot and had things such as health pickups and new guns you could pick up. Yet in reality Half Life took the tried and true model and turned it into something incredible, to where you can easily see that it changed the industry.

The only thing WoW did was take the basic model for a PvE MMORPG at the time and mold it into their own MMO. However they threw in numerous things that are common place these days, and any MMORPG before WoW didn't have them.


You can bitch and moan all you would like but there is a clear, clear difference between Pre-WoW and Post-WoW MMORPG's. Go play an MMO that came out before WoW (everquest, Ultima Online, Anarchy Online, DAOC, ect.) and then go play MMOs after WoW (Everquest II, Warhammer Online, ect.) and you will see a clear difference.


Perhaps you don't like the change, that's fine. However there are clear differences that you can not deny. Of course there are some exceptions to the genre (EVE Online for example).


As far as what blizzards new MMO is, I think it will be a new IP. Blizzard has starcraft's storyline already going on in a 3 part series for Starcraft II and, likewise, they already have a story going on for Diablo III. In reality I don't think they could fit an MMORPG based on either of those two IP's very well.
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 4:22PM Firebreak said

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Just as a correction Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft came out at the same general time along with City of Heroes so you can't really count them as post WoW but they show that the industry was gearing in that direction but that WoW just pulled it off better then the rest.
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 4:57PM Nadril said

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Yeah that's a good point Firebreak.
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 9:16PM Drexel said

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That's exactly the problem...people are copying WoW now simply because it's WoW. It doesn't matter if a move is good for the genre as a whole they take a "wow has it so we have to have it" approach and a lot of the time it's done in games where WoW-style gameplay doesn't fit.

Incidentally I started playing MMOs at UO and IMO they have went downhill ever since...so yeah call me old and bitter, I'm ok with that.
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 11:47PM Nadril said

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However are they copying it because it is WoW, or because it has some downright logical ideas for the progression of an MMORPG?

Also speaking of UO, I kind of see Darkfall as the evolution of UO MMO model, just as WoW was the evolution of the EQ MMO Model. If we're lucky more make take after Darkfall and we'll have some more variety around.


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Posted: Feb 15th 2009 8:45AM Drexel said

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WoW has brought some good things to the table. I think every generation of MMOs has a few stand out features that quickly become defacto standards (although I feel the industry has missed a few no-brainers such as CoH's sidekick feature which is/was pure brilliance).

UO brought us the whole idea. It was the first widely accepted MMO. It brought us PK's, faction wars, Order vs. Chaos wars, guild wars, true player housing and a crafting system that is still (IMO) unparalleled in the industry. DAoC brought us the RvR concept and frankly they made PvP for everyone. You didn't lose gear, you didn't lose XP but there was still something to gain. Now the keep seiges and relic system were revoloutionary and I can't even begin to describe how awesome Darkness Falls is/was. I guess, to shorten an already long comment, all well done games bring something to the table but not ALL of their features should be hijacked. WoW's rested XP system, quest based leveling and highly customizable UI should be taken note of and carried into the next generation. I'm not so sure their cut and paste PvP system and their laughable "e-sport" should be the kind of things carried on. Then, don't even get me started on the raiding model...

Ask anyone in marketing about how to have massive, widespread appeal and they will tell you to appeal to the LCD (lowest common denominator). Doing so doesn't inspire creative thinking and innovation it just inspires copy cat games that feel like the current FotM with a new skin.
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 3:40PM Pingles said

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The amazing part to me is that even though I cancelled my WoW account over a year ago I will likely jump into Blizzard's next project regardless of what it is.

WoW was the most fun I ever had playing an MMO. I have subscribed to four since and am about to cancel the last of them.

Nobody has duplicated that WoW experience for me, yet. Perhaps Blizzard can.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 3:45PM Graill440 said

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The first thing blizzard/vivendi needs to learn before they release another MMO, is how to do pvp. The second thing they need to learn is how to allow everyone that pays a monthly fee access to all content. Currently no MMO's do this so wow is just another junk MMO in the heap of what not to do, popularity aside, remember AOL is popular too.

Lastly they need to come up with a working economy, not a single MMO currently has any type of working economy, sure the have artificial, greed based ,infinite resourced, and idiot ran "what the market will bear" wannabe economies.

This guys blogs do nothing to make me believe he will add anything new or fix newer MMO's.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 4:54PM (Unverified) said

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Well a Starcraft MMO having a faster game place would be welcomed, i'm one of the few that still play Planetside and I still haven't found a game that can rivial it. It wouldn't have to be the same type of game like Planetside but allowing people to fly or control vehicles or in the case of zerg evolve would be an interesting concept if such a thing would happen.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 6:49PM engrey said

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I don't know how I feel about a Starcraft MMO unless it is a very different in the genre (EvE).

The fantasy model is getting old just like WWII games did for FPSs. I would like to see a more of a medieval type game, say Assassins Creed type setting.

A new IP from Blizz would be a better choice since everyone is so familiar with their name they don't need a brand to try to lure people in.

With a new IP they can have an almost endless amount of content to burn through without worrying about making it fit right with existing lore. Lore junkies may take a hit on this but you can have a much more in-depth story line if it's new.

I am sure I will play their new game, as long as its not super casual 1 hour a day friendly.

That however is almost the business model for MMOs now and not like the good old days of EQ and some Vanilla WoW.

As for PvP, no game has got it right yet. Warhammer tried but did not hit the mark, AoC just ran out of money for bug fixes and content.

I don't know if the appeal is there though. Sure some people like a skirmish but even battle grounds and arenas is not the key here.

The approach has to be new enough to get interest but proven to be successful. Say for example city sieges in Warhammer. On paper and even in beta the event worked pretty well and the ideas of just looting, killing and taking down a king sounded great.

Sure you had some of this in WoW but the game was not built around it since PvP was an after-thought not a priority.

The industry has yet to integrate a great PvE game and PvP game together as one. Since up till now you had one or the other that was really focused on and executed well.

Knowing Blizzard we wont hear anything about this for another year or two.

Posted: Feb 14th 2009 7:03PM Nadril said

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I think you stated my thoughts very well, I agree completely. I do think that it will be a new IP as well, perhaps something that isn't quite fantasy or Sci-Fi, but perhaps a mix. (maybe something like Ryzom or even Anarchy Online's Shadowlands). Of course we have no real way of knowing.


I agree too that if someone can incorporate a good PvP and PvE MMO in one I'd be very happy. The problem, of course, is that you have two very conflicting types of playstyles here, most PvE players I know hate to get ganked and hate PvP in general, while a lot of PvP players I know find fighting an artificial monster for loot boring.


If anyone can get it right though I think it will be blizzard. I think if they go with a new IP they will have more freedom to put in PvP and PvE the way they want it. I know they've tried with arenas and battlegrounds in WoW and, to be honest, that kind of PvP really does fit well within WoW (I enjoy the small skirmish type of PvP compared to a huge open zerg fest/brawl) but I think they can do better.
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Posted: Feb 14th 2009 10:49PM engrey said

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Exactly.

Blizzard has the knowledge to strike a balance between those two mediums but doing so successfully will take time. Time if anything is never an issue with Blizz since their games are top notch even from the start.

So with MMOs you get the foundation set and have the players fill in the different levels. I do hope Blizz does get the message that players will burn through any content that gets thrown at them. This has been proven time and time again.

AoC is a big example since Funcom did not have enough quests and content at the "end game" for the players to do.

Two of the most, I want to say effective ways to slow progression requires either; time or people.

Time would be leveling. If the time between levels is long and the experience gained from quests and NPCs is low then you will have a long build up.

If at any point in that time whether it be the beginning or end you need to slow the pace you add people needed. This would be dungeons, encounters, quests to advance but this method is not always the best choice.

Blizz will have to have an endgame waiting or put more emphasis on leveling in the lower levels. Again another challenge or decision that has to be made.

What really needs to happen is have Blizzard announce the type of game soon so that speculation and expectations go down.

Over-hyping done from the marketing teams of modern MMOs has develop into this giant "cash cloud". Where you market your game, get pre-order sales and maybe a 6-month sub and hope for the best.

Also in part due to developers over promising and under delivering. It is my personal belief that you should only tell the public what you know for a fact will be in the game. Lots of flames and anger will pour out as an outcry from that last statement.

Those people say "well they do not know what will be in the game months before it comes out, and what about those juicy details that users get hooked on?"

After seeing the fallout of almost every AAA MMO title to come out in the past few years; Tabula Rasa, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, I can say for a fact that hype is the fastest way to kill a game.

Blizzard can be brutally honest with the public or very closed lipped about their intentions and content of the game.

It is only a good mystery for now.
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