Having been a WoW player solidly back in the day (06- 10), I still to this day believe it to be the best game I have ever played. No such game have I had such fun and hilarity with, nor one that I have ever got so pissed off with I have had to storm off to cool down. Or come to think of it, have I thought hilarious to strip my character down to pants and dance … actually, if only more games allowed me to do that. If only. Nor have I played one game consecutively to the extent I did with WoW. So now that I don’t play it, I like to keep in touch and see what’s happening in the world (of Warcraft) and Blizzard’s doings.
When I was online back between 2006 – 2010, there was about 10 million players. 10 million people, just let those numbers sink in. Servers were full left right and centre. You had to actually wait in line before being able to join. They of course then fixed this by adding more servers, but that is still something. Seeing that subscribers have been declining is no surprise, a game that has been running for 10 years can’t live forever, can it? No is the answer. Nothing will stay top forever even when bringing out new content, the expansions can only add so much to the game. You will get the odd few (hundred thousand probably in WoW’s case) want to give it a try, but then realise why they stopped in the first place. So with the number now sitting at 7.7 million it’s still a hefty amount (when you consider the monthly subscription), and with 1 million of those having already pre-ordered the up coming Draenor expansion. It makes one think what will be the next push? I personally felt that come Cataclysm back in 2010 WoW was no longer the game I had been playing for the past few years. It was different and Blizzard was changing things that made the game seem much easier, and something I was not a fan of. Now with the likes of other MMORPG’s springing up, players are going to want to venture to other pastures, with many a likely player being a convert to ESO. Although it does make me think whether it will be a matter of time before they slowly hunker down and head back to WoW, as most people do end up doing. But as for myself I could hands up admit I couldn’t go back to it again.
So if Blizzards mighty MMORPG is slowly diminishing, what else is there that can bring in the dolla needing to feed its insatiable thirst? Well in all honesty, quite a lot.
The free to play card game, Hearthstone has so far been an impressive success. “Deceptively Simple. Insanely Fun”, no truer phrase could be said. Being free to play was a wise move, and would have got a number of people to at least download it and give it a go. Then after you’ve found out how simply addicting it is, you’re going to want to keep on battling. If you find you want to add some more cards to your deck, these can be obtained through in game purchasing. As new cards are not exactly expensive, many gamers (myself included) feel that I am not cheated by spending a few quid here and there. Also, with the new expansion coming “Curse of Naxxramas”, this is going to keep the game flowing and fresh. Not like it’s hard to put down as it is. On top of this, there is the announcement that it will be coming to mobile. So if you found the only reason you could put it down was because you didn’t have access to your tablet / computer. Now it is going to invade the space that is tucked in your pocket. There will be no escape!
Heroes of the Storm is going to be a smashing title in the waiting, I think. With the BETA being currently up for download for those who want to get involved. From looking at it, and as with all Blizzard titles (for me), it is going to be another huge addiction I feel I am going to be magnetised towards. Which sometimes is not always a good thing. I love what Blizzard do, the games they make are always to the finest quality, by a pretty darn sweet team. Okay, they may not always be perfect in regards to bugs, but then again, I don’t care about that. They will get fixed eventually. So now, with the release of HotS, some crazy nutter at Blizz HQ, thought hey, how about we some how combine all the series into one game and see what happens. And what has come out the other end, is a MOBA, and one that is going to be F’ing sweet. Thrall vs Diablo, Raynor vs Uther. The very thought blows my mind! I like to play Dota2, but with the tie ins I’ve had with the franchise, I feel I’ll be sucked in 10 fold.
With currently positioned games such as LoL and DOTA2, I am intrigued to see how the market takes to this, and the approach Blizzard take. As there surely is only space for so many on the MOBA block?
Diablo 3 coming on to console as well this summer. Now, I had tried to play Diablo 1 and 2 and never got into it. Maybe because I wasn’t in the mood at the time, but more than likely I don’t think I was ready for it. So when Diablo 3 came out, and having checked it out some, within minutes I was in a mode of “I must play this game and I will like it”. I then picked it up on launch day to which I found it so easy (vs the previous games) to pick it up and play, and play and play for hours. Which luckily was in the time I was at Uni, where time was more freely available than now (sadly). Diablo 3 is also not exactly a game that when you complete, you put down (that’s not accounting for the other difficulty settings). It’s a game that you will play, and grind and play for many hours in order to get the best gear. To which you are rewarded with a character who looks SO BADASS, your eyes will bleed. The fact that it is now coming to console is more exciting. Playing it on a mid spec laptop isn’t exactly justifying it in the slightest. And as I loved it so much first time round, I will have no hesitation to pick it up on console. To which I would say to many an RPG fan, if you haven’t played Diablo 3, to take a leap of faith and buy it.
On top of this, Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls has been out for a little while now. Having checked it out online, you’ll soon see that it is not one to be missed if you haven’t got it already. As I haven’t picked up Diablo in some time due to the PS4, I for some reason have decided to neglect the poor game. And yet, it was only until the other night, where the IM PLAYIN team sat down to podcast. The D word is mentioned, and all of a sudden, we’ve made plans to go back and buy RoS within about 10 minutes. A no-brainer really.
Last but not least. The Warcaft film that is due for release in 2016. Now, I am HUGELY excited for this, among the other millions of others that are too, I could fathom. The IM PLAYIN team have been saying a WoW film would be so epic for years and years. So to believe it is finally happening is more than great news. The only bad side to it, is with such hype and with such expectations, if it is a flop, I’d lose the plot I think. As we know, and the past does repeat itself with game franchise turn movies, is that they can be really really awful. Instead of concentrating on what would make the film tight in regards to lore, storyline and character. All that a fan of the games would expect. They could make a film that just exists knowing that the fans of the franchise will watch it regardless. Now if I know Blizzard, I hope to heck that they don’t let that happen. Sadly there isn’t a great amount of information available. So when the trailer does come out. I am hoping I’ll just need to have a drool bucket to hand.
With all this in mind, all we need to see is Warcraft 4 being announced… Well, okay. We can all believe in miracles.