In to the Unknown

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What lies ahead for all of us.

I am sure if you ask 100 people you may get near 100 different thoughts and ideas of what may be ahead.  It is something only those at Blizzard have a clue to what direction we may be going.  They are smart people.  They have made it in this business not being a flash in the pan one successful title and then gone.  They are looking at a picture few of us could even imagine, and I am sure it may even scare them at times what they may be looking to accomplish.

I have suspected for awhile now that eventually the whole Blizzard Universe will eventually go one sub fee to play them all.

edit: Yes  LOL, I was in the process of writing this when you made your comment, so there is at least one other person in the world that has a similar thought.

 

We have several games now that I see on my Battlenet launcher, WoW of course, Dialblo 3, Starcraft, Hearthstone, and I have Heroes of the Storm Beta.  Overwatch is a title that looks interesting to me.  I have grown beyond the Diablo style game play and enjoy the more real world visual style.  Will I enjoy the PvP aspect of it?  That is hard to say, looking at the gameplay video’s it has appeal, but in the end it will amount to can I play it to the level I will need to, in order to have fun.  Mrs. Mara and I have talked about it, and yes there will be a new PC for me later this year.  My current is 5 years old, and it is becoming an issue, so I have no worries on system issues in playing.

Rule them all

Sorry Mr. Jackson and Tolkien for taking creative liberties.

Personally I think it will be a bold and profitable move on their part, no longer would they be tied to any one game being a make or break for the corporation bottom line.  subs drop to 6 million in WoW? No worries, they are up to 15 million in Hearthstone, or Startcraft, or Heroes of the Storm, et. al.  No longer are they looking at a single game for total annual revenues, you are looking at 20-30 million players paying $15 a month, 300-450 million dollars a month over 4 billion dollars a year.  That is not small change.

Billion

4 or more of these, every year, for as long as they can keep creating new and fun games to play.

I think they are looking at the fact that the majority of us, not myslef mind you, but most people, will play a game for awhile, then become bored with it, and move on to something else.  So why have the consumer take their money elsewhere, lets make a franchise that you pay a monthly subscription and just keep increasing the titles you can play under the sub fee.

Now the question is, how do you design the games.  Do you keep to a certain design philosophy of making it difficult and time consuming to satisfy a small portion of your subscribers?  Do you adjust the design so that people can see the content at their own pace and in their own time without having to commit to working at it for weeks/months on end?

Maybe LFR is more than what we originally thought.  It was touted as a means for people to gain an entry level into the raiding culture, to accomplish fights that would normally require being in a guild, having Vent/Mumble/Teamspeak and a group that was willing to work together for a long time to down bosses.  But what if it was just the beginning of a whole new way of gaming.  What do they say about Illusionists?  Never look at whats in the hand in front, look to what they are doing with the one you are not paying attention too.

You don’t grow to be as large a corporation as they have become just by spending money in the hopes of hitting a home run.  While I am sure they may have a fund for finding new ideas, new games to play, what other games are out there, what are the players looking for, what can we make that will bring them to us.  I am also sure that at some point in the last few years, someone has come to the realization that they have something here, some thing that has the potential to be around a very long time, and they went from being the young guys with an idea that took off, to the adults that are looking to be around for a very long time, and be able to retire at some point without having to worry about how will they make it.

I suspect, or have suspected for a time, especially with the quick change to the health pool in LFR Iron Maidens by 25% that they are seeing a real change to the way we want to play.  I can only imagine how hard it may be to design something 2 years out, and figure out one day that the attitudes of the players changed and they are not looking to play the same game as what you designed for.  Just personal opinion, and seeing so many people I know stepping away from the more focused Hard Core progression to just being able to log in at night, and play the game with friends, and have fun.

Maybe it is a culmination of the attitudes of You’re a casual, you’re Elite, you’re a Social, finally getting to a point where those of us that log in every day, just want to be called “Players”  We all play the game, we all play to different levels of skill, we all find parts that we enjoy, and that is a great thing.  That so many people that have different ideas of what is fun, can all play one game and for the most part get along.  The day we all stop pointing fingers at each other saying “You are why this game is bad” and instead realize that it does not matter what the other person does, only that because they are here, there is a game for me to play in the manner I like to play it. Yeah, it may not be your perfect absolute 1000% perfect game, but even with its flaws, it is still something you log in every day to take out for a spin.  It leaks oil, the brakes are wonky, the steering is a bit loose, but it is a blast to put the top down, and take it out on the road, to drive off in to the unknown.

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Will the next patch be huge for content and story line?  Will there be a tie in to the Warcraft movie?  I have no clue.  I know that we will eventually venture into the zone we all briefly went through at the beginning, we wil finally see what has been going on all this time, and we will face off against the final bad guy.

Or will we.

Who knows what lies ahead, will defeating the final bad guy only reveal a return to the Legion?  Will we all go back home to a different Azeroth? Will we find ourselves meeting the Old Gods?  Will we find out that “we” are the old gods, will Survivor be renewed for yet another season.  😀

There is a path ahead of us.  Behind us in the world of gaming we all know and find comfort in.  It is an old pair of jeans we just cannot bear to throw away, an old recliner that has seen better days, the old car we like to take out for a ride, it is old, and has a level of comfort we like, but also is showing its wear, we should all be ready to look ahead, look to new ideas, should not be afraid to make suggestions on how to make things better.

I have played video games since 1972.  Many of you were not even born, for that matter, many of your parents may not have been born.  I have see the evolution of video games, it is scary to me to think of what innovations they may come up with in 5, 10, or even 25 years.  And I hope to still be here, trying my best to fit in with what ever culture the gaming world evolves into, and I hope to see many of you here too in years to come.

Enjoy your Saturday all, Spring is here, get some fresh air, venture outside, but never forget, no matter where we may be out in the real world, this is who we are at heart.

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3 thoughts on “In to the Unknown

  1. “Maybe it is a culmination of the attitudes of You’re a casual, you’re Elite, you’re a Social, finally getting to a point where those of us that log in every day, just want to be called “Players” We all play the game, we all play to different levels of skill, we all find parts that we enjoy, and that is a great thing. That so many people that have different ideas of what is fun, can all play one game and for the most part get along.” — This. Yes. The thing I really think I love most about WoW is this ability in-game to play however you want, and get what you want from it. For me, it’s relaxation and escapism, for others it satisfies their competitive streak. And that’s awesome that both types can play the same game and enjoy it.

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  2. I generally play World of Warcraft the way that I want to play – I’m one of the most casual players that I know, anyway. Oh, I used to chase down the cap level and all of the gear, however, it finally hit me that I don’t really enjoy the game nearly as much unless I slow down and enjoy all of the phases. I’ll still be here doing my own thing in my own time for as long as I can. 😀

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