Does anyone else feel like there is someone new at the helm of WoW? I mean we know there isn't we just saw Chris Metzen and Mike Morhaime standing up there on that stage at Blizzcon and announce World Of Warcraft: Pandas and Pokémon... we can see it's the same people, so why is it they suddenly seem to be throwing caution to the wind and letting their, previously conservative, imaginations run wild?
If Warcraft was, to date, a steady ride through a well polished fantasy world, then the man at the front just threw the leaver into roller-coaster mode and we're in for a great ride!
What I mean is this, this is what we had been told a year ago:
"We will not allow players to change their characters"
"We want every race to have a unique silhouette, so no race can ever be in both factions"
"We will never allow you to turn real money into in-game gold"
"You'll never see a 'neutral' race"
"Pandaren are a joke, you will never see them in-game"
Oh really Blizzard?
From the moment I saw the Tier 13 Rogue set, something made me think the conversations in the Blizzard offices where more and more, going something like this:
"So I've got this really cool idea for X!"
"No... that's ridiculous, it's way out there... although..."
"The players will like it..."
"I was just thinking that, hmm, screw it, do it!"
And the first conversation I imagine was "Hey boss, why don't we make Rogues look like The Goddamn Batman?!"
I think it was an awesome move. I imagine the next few going something like;
"Hey, we should totally bring in transmogrifying!"
"Ah but that would change the silhouette, but then, is that really so bad, screw it lets do it!"
Which could have been quickly followed by;
"Hey... if we don't care about silhouette, we could give both races one race, so we could focus all our development on that!" and perhaps: "So what one race do both sides really want?... oh yeah... PANDAS!"
Couple that with the Real Money Auction House in Diablo 3 and the similar (though much more reserved) auction-able Blizz' Store pet. The old school 'homage' that is WoWkémon Pets and who knows what else that we have yet to see. It's starting to look like the gloves are coming off for the Blizzard developers!
'If it's cool, make it!' is definitely a mind-set I can definitely get behind, even if I'm not sure what triggered it... Is it the increased competition of games like Rift triggered and games like SWTOR and Guild Wars 2 are threateningto be? Is Warcraft reaching the end of its planned finite development life(Level 100 is but 2 5-level expansions after Pandaria)? Or has Blizzard simply decided, in it's quest to always up the Epic, that it's going to start breaking eggs (and rules) to make it's omelettes? I certainly couldn't speculate, but whatever the trigger; it works for me. I'm on board for another year, and let's see what crazy fun awaits!
Screw it! Lets...