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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

Speculating on Blizzards next MMORPG.

Posted by Teala Tuesday July 28 2009 at 2:53PM
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I've been thinking, if I were Blizzard I would create something totally opposite of what I currently have. What does that mean or imply? Well right now they have a game that is considered a thempark game in WoW and is fantasy based. So what do you do that is the opposite? You create a sandbox game(the likes of which has never been seen) and make it a sci-fi based game. Yeah! Woop, woop, ...::does her happy dance:: woop, woop...

Seriously. Blizzard came in and showed all the other companies how to make an MMORPG, one way, the theme park way and succeeded. What do they do to top themselves and all the other companies who have or are working on an MMORPG right now. You beat them in the other aspect of online virtual game worlds by taking the best of all those other sandbox games and make the ultimate sandbox game with a sci-fi theme.

So how does Blizzard do this? We know Blizzard has said that this time around that they are going for a totally new IP, one of their own making. They have all ready done the fantasy theme and they need to go in a direction that is still fairly open...so I'm guessing they're shooting for the sci-fi crowd. There is but maybe a half-dozen sci-fi based MMORPG's on the market and in the works and most of those are centered around players just flying space ships. This is great for them. They can come in and fill a void that needs filled. God knows we're swimming in elves and dwarfs. How about some exotic aliens for a change?

Then they'd look at all the different MMORPG's that are sandbox based games like old Star Wars Galaxies and Ultimate Online and all the others and then make a sandbox game that makes all other sandbox games look like child's play. They basically create a game filled with all the things good in a sandbox game and tell the players - "Here's the playgrounds new sandbox, and in it you'll find some really cool buckets, sand shovels, and all the things you'd expect to find in a sandbox and more!"

More?

Yeah...like we've included some prefab stuff to help you get going. There are these cool places that are pre-built, however, what you do with them is your business. Like see this planet. It needs players to make it work. Here are some cool things so that you can make it work. There's also some cool areas on this planet you might like to explore. Then look over here at this world, awesome isn't it. It has it's own little thing going on, but it still needs players to make it work as well and oh look, over there is a planet close by and the inhabitants don't get along with anyone from that world so be careful - they have been raising an army of their own and Intergalactic War looks imminent .

So what I am thinking, maybe Blizzard will create this awesome sci-fi sandbox/theme park game that will once again redefine how we look at MMORPG's. They give us the ultimate sandbox in a sci-fi setting laced with bits of theme park game play.  They took and looked at how MMORPG's were made after games like Diablo and Ultimate Online and saw that they could do it even better.   The one thing that has yet to be done better is a good sandbox game.   We've had all of maybe three or four really good sandbox games, like UO, SWG pre-NGE, EvE and Vanguard. 

The market is just ripe for the making of a great sandbox based MMORPG right now.   People are getting tired of elves and orcs and wizards.   The market is saturated with WoW wannabe's and is only going to get worse.   So this makes me think Blizzard will do what others are not doing and go the sandbox route.

Go ahead and tell me that wouldn't just make you want to do a happy dance of your own.
 

Mystik86 writes:

I really hope they go this route. It would be nice to see if Blizzard can master anything other than theme park fantasy...

Tue Jul 28 2009 3:51PM Report
cressowski writes:

Sounds like too much work to me (as a player). Having slid slowly from hard core gaming to extremely casual over the years (in terms of how much effort I put in till i stop - I still game a fair bit), I wonder if any sandbox game could match the numbers of WoW.

WoW has such a huge userbase precisly because it appeals to the casual player - you can achieve things without a lot of effort or planning. I wonder if Blizzard will feel they can take the double risk of new IP plus a more demanding scenario.

Also, say a lot of casual gamers switched from WoW. Remember that a lot of them will be leaving their very first MMO if they try this new game - a shock to the system that long term MMO players know well - but something first time players might not realise which could make them reluctant to start again.

Tue Jul 28 2009 4:30PM Report
haratu writes:

 Blizzard has stated that their next MMO will not take many people from WoW, it is therefore most likely a totally different type of game.

Tue Jul 28 2009 5:39PM Report
Death1942 writes:

they said it was a different IP, haven't heard anything about linear of sandbox.  Highly doubt (but highly hope) they would go sandbox but either way i look forward to their next MMO.

Wed Jul 29 2009 12:23AM Report
Elbowskrape writes:

Blizzard is not going to deviate from the Theme park idea, its making them too much money. they wont do a Sci-fi because starcraft 2 is coming out, my guess a War game of some sort gonna be made PvE only and everyone shoots at Nazis, Nazi Zombies, and Alien Nazi Zombies will be the end game You will see!

Wed Jul 29 2009 4:34AM Report
tupodawg999 writes:

Sandbox and Sci-Fi or...

a game aimed at the age 10+ market which is a shade too young for WoW.

I know which I think would make more money (unfortunately).

Wed Jul 29 2009 3:23PM Report
Xaenex writes:

And here I was thinking I was the only thinking of starcraft/starcraft 2 when I read this article. Blizzard has done Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Medieval, they're going to do something else for a change so I'm pretty sure from what they said, these 3 Genres are striked from the list of possibilities.


Wed Jul 29 2009 4:51PM Report
TsukieU writes:

Blizzard already stated that their new MMO progect would be based off an original, new IP.

So no, no Starcraft MMO, no Diablo MMO...it's going to be something different.

That aside, Blizzard can do no wrong.  Blizzard has the midas touch of the gaming industry ever since Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.

  THAT aside, expect Activision to try to make as much money as possible off of Blizzard's midas touch.

Sat Aug 01 2009 7:43PM Report
ArcheusCross writes:

I really hope you are right Teala. Heh.. i've been wanting to own my own spaceship that i could walk around on and actually land on the surface of a planet ever since ive seen the series firefly.

We rreeeally need a good sandbox again...

 

Sat Aug 22 2009 2:38PM Report
wizyy writes:

 They may even make a sandbox, but what they will NOT do is remove the DRIVE for people to get new, better items which look way cooler with the more time invested to get them. That is the main formula for WoW addiction (Diablo too), and they have perfected it.

Oh and weapon NAMES won't be removed as well for sure. "Wow, look at him, he's got a DESTROYER/DIRGE/WHATEVER" :)

Tue Sep 01 2009 5:57AM Report
Banquetto writes:

Ultimate Online? Should someone blogging on mmorpg.com know the name of one of the pioneering titles of the genre?

Sun Oct 25 2009 8:52PM Report
sijmister writes:

You can never have too many elves or mages!!! =P

On a serious note, I think that Blizzard should make a game that maintains some fantasy elements. Basically, I want a game where the antasy archetypes are maintained, though it doesn't have to be in a fantasy setting. As opposed to mages, you could have ranged, low armor, mobile fighters that use plasma weapons and shields. You could have healers that use some sort of nanotechnology based healing system that still gives you that warm fuzzy glow that is usually attributed to the spirits or some divine force in fantasy games. Things like that.

Now about the sandbox/theme park thing: I think this is an excellent idea, and is probably the path that most AAA MMO titles will have to take to progress and create innovative content, while being able to attract customers from the full spectrum of interests in the genre.

Mon Oct 26 2009 10:22AM Report
Decimal writes:

  Stop! You are killing me.... you just described my utopia :P I hope blizzard has the same target.

@sijmister, yes it will probably have something like that. Consistency as it probably called, so players can have a base to expand their gaming experience. The opposite of that is Entropia, i had the hardest time trying to figure out this game.

You got me excited with the game and while going i found a great site, it's [url=http://www.blizzardnewmmo.com]blizzard's next mmo wiki[/url] with lots of info around this game.

Mon Jan 18 2010 8:04AM Report
luoace1 writes:

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Mon Jan 18 2010 9:30PM Report
PerfectLife writes:

TL;DR  OMG u hav't seen nething yet.

I see we're starting the hype wagon on the new game already (see you're already interested). Anyhow, you almost got it right. What you're missing is that it might not be Blizzard and it's definatly not either/or on the sci-fi vs. fantasy issue.

Take what you've imagined, now add to it two different home planets for players to start on with one having achieved the ablity to explore the galaxy using tech and the other using magic. What's interesting is that magic is basically just technology that is too advanced for a cultures perception of reality. But, enough patronizing education.

We're planning (yeah, expect a lot of clone games, whatever it's part of the territory) on solving this issue of one side being vastly more powerful than the other by using a very simple mechanic. In short, the technologic side of things will be based on a planet that is experiencing nothing short of a Rennasance of unbelievable scope. That is to say, they will obviously be a growing, inovating, fast paced, blender of progress. On the contrary they (the mages. for our slower readers) will be dealing with a stagnate, dying, slipping into obscurity, dogmatic world where new ideas are about as welcome as slaming your tender bits between two things which are not at all soft.

These won't simply be asthetic issues, that would be lame. No instead ver time if you're playing a mage you'll notice your fireball just dosen't have the explody blasting goodness it used to, the "tech" your using is always getting worse, every day. While, on the other hand, the tech solider will be upgrading his already awesome machine gun for a shiny new gattling laser cannon. This won't just apply to combat and in fact I expect combat to actually be fairly unsought after. It will be there, it's just the players will have the ablity to solve problems using methods other than Conans' Guide to Diplomacy with Unknown Cultures, Animals, Deities, and anything else that can Die. (aka: kill them all until they like you or are all dead and it dosen't matter if they like you).

Things get interesting as the two cultures expand into the galaxy, however, as if they weren't already. The mages will, most definatly progress faster in cultivating new worlds and dimensions. There's no doubt about it but as they start to find thier power decreasing, they'll be forced to either wage all out war or compromise and here's the really neat part social wise. The mages can reverse engineer tech to agument thier failing magic and over time reverse the decline. Thats right, it's up to the players as to how this cookie crumbles. Want to form a splinter group, take over a planet, and be friends with some techs and work towards sustainablity. Go for it. Want to lead social, economic, political, or military war agianst those stupid finger wagglers. Go for it.

What's nice is there's really only three planned phases (and they are nothing at all like you'd expect out of planed events):

1) Mages always win.

2) Mages and Techs are on a equal playing field.

3) Either both groups learn to play nice together and make it to the secret phase four or they all die, get mad, and go home.

Nothing new, however, it's not about the grand arc of it all (unless it is and in that case you'll have the ablity to influence it), it's about the fact that you can assault a mages tower guarded by really pissed of mages and plenty of totally bad ass dragons with an airship right out of FFXIII along with an entire division of giant walking robots. Or, you could buy a home and cultivate a garden that people from Farmville would cry tears of jellous bitter envy over. Or join a militia needed on a far off planet to deal with a natural disaster, aliens, the unknown. Or even just be a tour guide, or a performer, or a dj, or a news reporter, or a vagabond determined to find the most potent medical herbs in the galaxy while becoming a werewolf and hanging out with robot dragons that are exceptional poker players.

Of course, to spice things up we're planning on having an entire team on staff devoted to leading what we generally consider PvE. Yeah, if aliens attack, those aliens will be controlled by real humans. Expect plenty of the usual AI fare as well because no one wants to be the person stuck playing, "the wild boar roaming the country side looking for food." You can also fully expect every member of the dev team to have an in game account with what I can only describe as full PnP GM control over the world according to their domain. If you're a bit more poetical, they will be straight up Deities. That means if our enviromental specalist and ecologist lead devs decide they want to simulate what happens when a flood forces a population of animals into populated urban areas; they can. If "Tim" the developer in charge of magic decides that dragons should suddenly be pink, breath cotton candy, and sing raunchy ballads; they will (and trust me "Tim" knows how to write a raunchy ballad).

We're making a game for every adult out there who's ever thought "wouldn't it be nice if a game came along that didn't mind being the best game ever made."

And, in fact, I can go so far to say that some items in game, when you buy them (yes they will cost real money, these items will) you'll get them shipped to you. Either in replica (not as much real money) or in working order (cheaper than wal-mart if wal-mart could sell fancy sports cars). This even works into the basic ideas of each of the two macro-societies as in mages will have to spend a lot more effort to get a 60" plasma screen than the techs. They won't cost more in real money, but they will require more from your character in both terms of supplies and effort. The upside for mages being that it's hard to care about a gattling chaingun when you can summon a protective shell and an army of goblins and they might just get to order the verision of the TV with sparky lights that makes awesome noises when you turn it on. ((no stop laughing this is serious business) seriously)

What blows my mind is we've made such leaps technologically that we can build, design, populate, and control this galaxy. Even more crazy is it's almost here.

For good or ill, we're aming to make a game so insane and grand that the only two things you can ever really be sure of in the game world are death, and taxes. And, we're going to make sure both of those are much more awesome than currently implemented in reality. Ever play a game where if you die you can come back better than you were before you died with perhaps knowledge of some undiscovered tech or a fancy new spell or even just a really good joke to tell people at parties? Ever play one where there's no such thing as an exploit or cheating or unsocial conduct? Ever play one where you're not being told that you can't do something and in fact are probably being encouraged to do it? Ever play one made by people who have very high standards and never have to compromise?

Yes, ma'am. We've been hard at work learning our lessons and doing our homework.

Look me up when you log in.

Sun Mar 21 2010 2:29AM Report
Aramir13 writes: Teala Done and Done! well not done but in the works sandbox check sci-fi check more check coming, not from Blizzard however side note to PerfectLife: getting excited looking foward to press release anouncement Wed Apr 28 2010 4:35PM Report
Boredmad writes:

I wouldn't mind a sandbox MMO if done correctly and anyway with Blizzard we wouldn't have to worry about the major flaw of many of the recent MMO's partly done games at launch.

Personally from the list of individuals I know are supposted to be working on this title I'd like to see if someone can get the Sci Fi/Fantasy genre done properly. Its such a cool idea, but everytime I see it attempted its just trash. Think Shadowrun done right it has its merits.

Wed Jun 23 2010 5:10AM Report

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