The above announcements of no Blizzcon 2012 and the press event are hardly breaking news, and as I was 99.9999999% not going anyway I really didn’t care much at the time. But then I after listening to debates on podcasts and reading some blogs I got thinking of what this could mean for the future of the World of Warcraft.
The general consensus is that this sucks but with their mighty schedule this year, Blizzard really doesn’t have time to waste on a 3 day event. But I really think that they simply won’t have anything to show us and the Battle.net World Championships and some panel Q&As simply don’t equal a Blizzcon. This really does make sense. The fact that it was closely followed up by the “Alert the Press” message is interesting though.
This all leads me to believe that Diablo 3, Starcraft: Heart of the Swarm and the World of Pandacraft expansion will be out by our “usual” Blizzcon time of October. It also means that Titan is not close enough to completion to even announce it. What does this all mean?
Well firstly I think that the friends and family alpha of World of Pandacraft is live now. This is great and means (if the Cataclysm timeline is a guide) we should get World of Pandacraft in September/October 2012 which coincidentally is when we would have had Blizzcon 2012. This isn’t a bad time to release a game as the summer is ending and the new academic year is beginning meaning people are no longer on vacations and spending time with their loved ones but hiding away in their dorms playing video games rather than study because that’s done just before the exams right?
Diablo 3 is already late and is due in quarter 1. That’s right now and what better way to misdirect all attention away from the secret testing of World of Pandacraft? That just leaves a nice window for Starcraft: Heart of the Swarm to launch in between these 2 killer titles of June/July which was deemed a good enough time for Blizzard to release StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Now for the killer, I also have a theory that World of Pandacraft may be the last World of Warcraft expansion and I think that at Blizzcon 2013 we will get the mammoth news that Titan will come out in 2014 and replace World of Warcraft. Could Titan be Warcraft 4? If it is this would make my theory even more possible.
People DO become attached to their main character in an MMO. Let’s face it, if you’ve been playing since launch and playing “casually” for an hour a day you’ve racked up 4 months play time. If you have no alts that a big investment in your character. Now it really isn’t hard to double or treble that average and that becomes an obscene time investment. Could you just leave your character behind? Could you delete it? Would you be mad if you were forced to lose it by Blizzard?
I know I would and so do the folks at Blizzard. They’re not stupid (well I hope not) and if they want us to play their new game they need to stop us playing WoW and a great way to transition us between the two games would be to have you be able to port your character, their back story their achievements, prized possessions into the new game? Obviously I’m not expecting this to be a transfer to max level kind of deal or give any game play advantage over a complete newcomer but it would make me more likely to stay loyal to Blizzard. Or maybe I’m just crazy? How would you feel if I were right?