What will the next expansion look like?

Tobold had a tongue in cheek column regarding his prediction for the next expansion today. And while I don’t doubt that he is 100% correct, it got me thinking what I would like to see. Tobold is apparently disappointed in what is likely to be seen in the next expansion, I guess because of his own personal point of view in that he wants to see new and exciting concepts that push the genre into unknown territory. My own point of view is not to break something that works just fine. Blizzard runs the proverbial 800lb gorilla on the block, and they have a responsibility to ensure its continued success. The model they have developed over the past four years has served them and us quite well, so why change it? People are very happy with the game in general. They like the raiding end-game, as well as the pvp end-game. So again, why would Blizzard change that model?

Burning Crusade went live in February 2007 and Wrath of the Lich King is going live on November 13th 2008. That’s a little less than two years, which I feel is a pretty good span of time in between expansions. Though I think I would actually like to see the level cap raised to 100 next expansion, vice only 90. If it takes them two years, instead of one and a half to do that, so be it. I would also like Blizzard to revisit the concept of a hero class. I was fairly disappointed in their decision to create a separate, distinct stand along class as their first hero class instead of allowing out existing characters to “unlock” hero abilities. They probably ruled out my vision of hero classes because of the nightmare it would be to balance that, but they haven’t actually had a much easier time balancing Death Knights either, now have they?

To me, a “hero class” is an existing character that opens themselves up to additional abilities and talent trees after a lengthy epic quest chain. And when I say epic quest chain, I mean one that would take months to complete and would require content inside raids to be completed as well as individual quest that require thinking. Imaging that! Thinking! And when I say new abilities and talent trees, I don’t mean a simple handful of new talents and abilities. I mean entire new talent trees and spells which would make that character a devastatingly powerful being on the face of Azeroth. Hence my desire for the next expansion to be level 100 because heros could only start their quest chain at level 100.

It would, in my view, be time to revisit older content in the next expansion. Time for the Maelstrom, the Dream, as well as the Titans! Time to tie some plot threads together. There’s an old god still roaming around somewhere, and he’s corrupting the dream. Or is it an old god? perhaps it’s actually Sargeras? And hence the need for the Titans to revisit a planet they haven’t seen in eons. Obviously when one speaks of the Titans you know the Aspects would be involved as well, and that means Deathwing as well. Metsen, if you are reading this, dew eeet!

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