@ Chris Metzen & Alex Afrasiabi – Part 2

WoW EmblemWhen I originally made my “@ Chris Metzen & Alex Afrasiabi” on the World of Warcraft forums it received over 39,000 views and over 330 replies. Within the thread I made one reply, addressing some of the posters comments. Since I think it’s relevant to the first post, I’m posting it here….

As Kisirani, and other developers have mentioned in the past, within development there is a metaphorical “table”. It’s crowded and limited in size, and the goal of any thread like this one is to have Blizzard ask, “Should we make room for this issue?” Blizzard’s resources may be large, but, at the end of the day, they still have a limit. Therefore priority must be made.

“Immersion through Acknowledgment” is not a concept that must be implemented in one fell swoop. Priority within the concept itself can be made, and quite frankly, should be made.

There is past content.
There is present content.
And there is future content (in development).

Several posters have pointed out that “Immersion through Acknowledgment” is already being experimented with and exercised in current and future content.

Much of the debate has been over whether to implement it in past content.

While this would be great, I’d like to point out that there is a fourth category of content that has yet to be directly mentioned.

While it may sound cheesy, I don’t know how else to say it: Timeless content.

Thrall, Rexxar, Tirion. The faction leaders. The class mascots. The celebrities of WoW. These are the characters we experienced in the past. Experience now. And will experience again in future expansions. If you were to pinpoint where “Immersion through Acknowledgment” is still most needed, this would be it. Thrall should know who I am. (;))

Adding acknowledgment from these key characters, not only makes them more believable, relevant, and vibrant; it strengthens the game’s story and affects all categories of the game’s content. Past, Present, and Future.

Start with this, then go from there. Through prioritization within the concept it self, it’s easier to find space on the table.

Thanks again for the overwhelming response. And as an old-school druid myself, Kisirani, it’s great to see you here.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason October - 2007 at 5:56 am

One would think it would be a simple code, simple enough to be written in BASIC, and you can’t help but wonder why it hasn’t been done. The absolute best quest reward I received in Outland was having my gnome warlock become queen of the ogres. As her tiny frame waddled through the crowd of giant ogres, those close to her would kneel and comment, singing her with praises and commenting on her rather petite size.

It was brilliant. A simple little device and yet I spent the entire duration of the event patrolling the grounds, making the ogres bow before my apparently awesome presence.

Unfortunately it was over all too soon. The ogres in the area don’t even remember me. Sure I saved their tribe but what of it? That was yesterday’s news. Those ogres are a fickle lot.

Think of what a permanent acknowledgment system could lead to. With the proper writers on board Blizzard could implement a SCUMM-style dialog system that would not only remember the choices made but change the outcome accordingly. Going even further, the dialog could be set up in much the same way as a western PC RPG, where you essentially have good and bad choices. The bad would lead you down a darker path, opening up new possibilities, negating you from others, and making the town citizen gasp in fear as you run by on your way to the auction house.

Good obviously would have a similar effect, but townspeople would whisper your name in astonishment and characters such as Tirion would be much more likely to give you a quest to kill 10 ghouls instead of 30 to prove if you are, indeed, trustworthy.

Though it would take some work I honestly think it would be a fairly easy task when compared to adding new dungeon or holiday event content (not that I’m against that sort of content, of course). It would take some creative planning, a dedicated team of writers, and some clever coders but I don’t see why this isn’t possible. I know I’d be willing to do it and I’d work for peanuts (salted peanuts). The potential to make World of Warcraft into an even better, more immersive game is there.

Sorry about the rambling comment. I believe you’re fighting the good fight!

2 Cocles October - 2007 at 2:17 pm

Ramble away, that’s what this place is for.

I know Blizzard is working on a next generation MMO. I bet we’ll see more acknowledgment there at the very least. I’m still hoping though that WoW itself is retrofitted.

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