Imagine a world in which Mr. Robot was hired by Blizzard as the new director of World of Warcraft! This blog series goes deep down that rabbit hole. It is written from the perspective of Mr. Robot’s minions writing a series of posts that outline the changes coming to the game in 10.0. (Full list of articles at the end of this post).
We have been playing WoW for over 15 years, developing a third party gear optimization website for over 11 years, and generally doing theorycraft for most of that time. It is inevitable that we have thought up some ideas that we think would be good for the game, based on our research and interaction with users of the AMR website. But, not every idea in these posts is an idea we came up with independently.
Many of the ideas we incorporate into this blog series have been floating out there in the community – sometimes for years! Some of the ideas you will recognize as systems from other popular games. We are not taking credit for coming up with every idea in these posts. We are pulling together a set of ideas that provide a fun new direction for the next WoW expansion.
Why post this now? I have seen a lot of talk out there about how poorly WoW is doing. The player base has a depressed feeling right now, but there is still a large, passionate group of people that want to see this game succeed.
In my reading, much of the conversation is focused around tweaking the game a bit. Change borrowed power systems, tweak loot drop rates, balance specs/classes better, etc. I think this is the time to think bigger and bolder. I want these posts to be a discussion of what a potential large evolution of WoW would look like. An expansion to excite old and new players alike.
This is a work of fiction meant to be a fun read. Maybe it will spark some discussion. Maybe it will even catch the eye of a Blizzard developer.
I (Swol, the writer of this post) am not a game designer. I am a designer (an architect). Some parts of the design process carry across disciplines. Do I think WoW 10.0 would be amazing if Blizzard used this vision for it? Yeah, I do. Would I ever expect another designer to take my ideas and use them exactly? Ha, no.
Then why bother? Because when you are designing, discussing ideas with other people is one of the best ways to spark the creative process. Maybe one little nugget of an idea in these posts will be interesting to someone reading this. And that will lead to their own ideas, which they will talk about… and so forth until maybe someone working on WoW will read about it and be inspired. That is how design works. Even discarded ideas are useful and can lead to something great.
Enjoy the read and have fun with it! Discuss with us in our forums or discord. (We’re old-school and stay more active in our forums than discord, so that is the best place to interact with us directly.)
I encourage everyone to approach this discussion without getting too bogged down in implementation details. We do not know the production capacity, schedule, etc. that Blizzard has. No idea is impossible, and we can only guess as to whether the ideas are too hard to implement. When trying to come up with a good idea, it is better to start too far out there and then reign it back in. Going the other direction is more difficult.