Video Games

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Played WOW back in the day about 15+ years ago with a few friends for 3 months or so, really enjoyed it at the time but it was very difficult all trying to be on at the same time and trying to level together to be able to do the same content, so we all dropped it over the months. We had a great time in those months though.

I say this to set the the context as a few years ago a couple of us picked our WOW accounts back up again which were still in the pre level 50 original areas (now completely changed for some reason) and the place was totally deserted, I don't think we saw a single other player the whole evening, it was dead and I was really confused as to what was going on in game. I dropped it after one evening and never went back. I get the impression it's a pretty hardcore serious game these days and I think back in the day it was a bit more casually accessible when the player base was a lot bigger? maybe I am wrong.

With Microsoft presumably soon to own the game/IP, I think there is an opportunity to build a big new modern WOW 2 game that is more accessible, available on consoles (and free on gamepass rather than its own sub???). They could keep the original game going and have a new one with gameplay/combat more suited to the console audience perhaps.

To compare the WOW experience today to FFXIV and touch on some of the things in the linked story, I finally gave FFXIV a go about 3 weeks ago and I really wish I had gone through that frustrating account sign up process sooner on the site to get the massive free trial. Such an amazing online world and welcoming friendly community going on in that game as a new player/sprout. I only lasted a week before signing up for the full account to be able to join a free company (guild). I'm going through the original ARR main story quests and there are old and new players out and about all the time in these 10 year old zones.

It's the little side things in the game that make it what it is, players are going out together with treasure hunt maps in the FC I am in, one day we just chilled for a bit in the FC house garden watching some timed event fireworks, another day we had a certain theme for a fashion show in the FC house, it was a full on properly organised player made experience with a catwalk in the house, people walking on stage and doing poses, then a crowd of members around it cheering and doing emotes and stuff, awards at the end of it for the best glam. Then a group photo shoot outside the house. This week there is a game of hide and seek in a certain part of the world going to happen, not really sure how it works but again I'm sure they will have put a lot of effort into organising/planning it. Another day a group of 5 people were putting on a little concert/gig which you can play I randomly came across with a decent crowd watching/listening and and cheering them on.

This is just the player made casual social experiences, not even the actual game as such which while a very slow burning story and a million fetch quests, is world building really well as I go through it (while getting constantly distracted by other stuff). I have been totally drawn into its world if you haven't realised by now with how I've gone so OT...

I was really embedded in the WoW community around launch and for a few years after , running quite a few sites for it but the game really changed over time and all interest waned for me. When it went all sparkly pony was when I called it quits.

With less time to play MMOs these days I doubt I would entertain getting into WoW 2 or any other for that matter. The hype around MMOs has really died off in recent years and WoW was only ever supposed to be a 10-year project for Blizzard if I remember correctly from my interviews with the dev team early on.

I have no doubt a WoW 2 would do well but the big question is how do you create a sequel around a game that is so embedded with the current player base and has so much lore to consider?

They have already done graphics updates so simply reproducing the current content in a modern engine would not be enough. I know I would not want to be the dev tasked with trying to create a sequel for it, there's so much that could go wrong.

Really interesting to hear both your thoughts. While I've dabbled with WoW, I've never tried FFXIV despite reading a lot about it. My friends who play reinforce exactly what you said Dave - that it's such a friendly, joyful community, certainly when compared to the worst of WoW. The WoW --> FFXIV exodus a few years ago came as no surprise to me.

And Paul Younger - building a sequel for a game with such rich lore is a challenge, but it's also an opportunity. My instinct would be to set it either in a far-off realm or in Azeroth's distant future. Especially with the latter idea, it would allow you to build upon the lore, fill it with easter eggs and returning characters/factions for the original WoW players, and deepen the depths of the world rather than replace them.

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