Sep 2nd 2009 7:41AM No matter what you think of Warcraft or any of the other games Blizzard has produced, one thing they absolutely excel at is the business of making MMOs and making money. They have created a lot of additional features that tie back into Warcraft and keep you coming back for more like the addictive card game business that has chances for in-world items. Like BlizzCon. a Store site, books, etc... a movie forthcoming by a major director. It's everywhere. Microtransactions in the future only make sense to continue to draw people in.
Blizzard excels at the psychology of the Game.
That said. I have absolutely no doubt that whatever they come up with will be entirely and completely different from World of Warcraft. They want to keep the millions of subscribers they have... and add more. So it is going to be something wildly and radically different which means you can pretty much guarantee it will not be a fantasy genre game of any kind.
Sep 24th 2008 12:34PM Actually... he's not far off the mark, you certainly need a complete living world but it seems like the technology and workflows arent quite there yet. Here's an example of what I would hope to see:
There is a peaceful little village being attacked constantly by baddies, let's choose orcs, the downtrodden meat bag masses of the fantasy world. The orcs like that location because it is situated on a cove where they like to store stolen goodies and they want to branch out into further pirating affairs.
Players get a choice. They can choose to help the poor villagers and go take down the orcs at their camp or they can help the orcs slaughter those annoying pinkskins in the way.
Record the data. How many players complete the orc quest, how many the human quest. Tally.
1000 people completed the quest helping the villagers but 5000 helped those pesky orcs.
With your next monthly dynamic world patch which your players will expect as a feature, you remove the human village and replace it with a budding orc village and a port with a small pirate vessel.
Now what? New quests to choose from... aid the orcs in expanding their pirate activities in the area or aid some of the buccaneer groups that dont want any new competition in the area and raise the orc village.
Record quest completions, tally, repeat.
Voila, dynamic worlds and environments. Not only does this open up a host of new possibilities that will make players question their choice of quests a little more but it will give them a stake in the direction of the game world as a whole and at the same time open up an entirely new avenue for the company hosting the game to create real legend, lore, and history about their world.