World of Warcraft's tenth anniversary is this year, and with that milestone we've seen a lot of changes, additions, and growth -- the game now spans 90 levels (soon to be 100) and sprawls across the original two continents, Outland, Northrend, Pandaria and places like Deepholm. We'll be traveling to an alternate dimension soon. The game has auction houses, flying mounts, the Brawler's Guild, Proving Grounds, dungeons, raids, scenarios, transmogrification ... a lot has been changed and added over the years.
Yet there are some things WoW never did that I admit, I expected it to do before now. With the level 90 boost incoming, they added one I was wondering about (and which our own Adam Holisky basically predicted based on what other games were doing) but there are still features other games have had over the years that WoW doesn't. Some have seemed like real no-brainers, while others might just be based on my own weird ideas. None of these are things I necessary want or think are good ideas, they're just things I expected.
1 - User Generated Content
When I read up on Neverwinter's user generated content, I immediately found myself wondering why World of Warcraft hadn't taken a bite out of that. The Warcraft RTS was so infamous for player created maps that it spawned a whole sub-genre of games (if you play League of Legends now, that game wouldn't exist without the original Defense of the Ancients mod to Warcraft III) and yet, we've never really seen anything like that in WoW. I understand why Blizzard might want tight control over the game's story and content, but even something where players could submit generated content to be evaluated has never manifested, and I'm kind of astonished. To be honest, after Neverwinter announced its Foundry, I expected something like it for WoW, but I was wrong.
2 - Sidekicking/Mentoring
Keep in mind that City of Heroes went live in April of 2004 with a mentor/sidekick system in place. This isn't a new idea at this point -- and considering how often Blizzard has mentioned that they want to ease the barrier to entry for new players in order to let people play with their friends, I'm frankly astonished that we've never seen a system like this in place. Yes, it would have to be one designed to work with WoW and its incoming 100 levels, and it's possible that we simply don't need this anymore with the level 90 boost in place, but I've always expected something like this to be implemented.
3 - Item dyes and item customization
No armor dyes, no ability to name a specific item (not even crafted items) -- I don't know if I'm being ridiculous here or not. It's possible that it would be a ridiculous pain in the rear to allow either or both of these things, that it's just something more suited to single player games. Armor dyes, at least, I've always expected ever since Blizzard started introducing all those variant colors to various sets over the years. I know item customization (especially stuff like getting to name gear) is a lot easier in games like Skyrim than in WoW.
4 - Playable Ogres
I'm not saying that playable ogres are a must have, or that I'd want to play one. I'm saying I'm amazed they've never been made playable. You'd think ogres are a no-brainer for a Horde race, and if Blizzard didn't want to go the no-brainer route, making them Alliance would be a hilarious way to shake up everyone's expectations. Yet, here we are, ten years into the game and we got playable werewolves, blue space alien good demon people and talking pandas before we got ogres. We may never get ogres. I'm honestly floored by this. I was willing to put money on ogres being playable back in 2007.
I've since learned never to bet on or against the idea of Blizzard doing anything, of course. They are wily and hard to figure out.
5 - A Diablo/Starcraft Universe Crossover
Heroes of the Storm is that, to a degree, but I'll be really honest. I half expected Diablo II to inspire Blizzard's first MMO, and the fact that it was World of Warcraft instead of simply a Sanctuary/Diablo MMO has always seemed a little odd to me. Diablo was the RPG series, Warcraft the RTS. I'm not saying they didn't make the right call, but it's what I remember thinking at the time. And if you played in Vanilla, you remember the original talents which were implemented fairly late in the beta, and which were very similar to Diablo II. I know we've had Diablo and Starcraft themed pets and mounts and such, but I've always wondered in the back of my head if we were ever going to end up fighting the forces of the Prime Evils or the Zerg at some point. The fact that it hasn't happened shows a great deal of restraint on Blizzard's part.
So there we are. Five of my 'This never happened?' moments. Honorable mentions goes out to Martial Arts weapons (I totally thought monks were going to get hook swords and bladed fans and three sectioned staves), more classes (I thought we'd be up to 20 or so by now), and a third faction (I'm glad they didn't, but back in BC, I really expected one).