We had two similiar comments drop in on the tipline in the past few days that both are pretty interesting ideas that WoW does all right with, but could probably do a lot better. Foxtir dropped us a note the other day voicing an opinion about the night and day cycle of World of Warcraft.
As you may have noticed, WoW does have a night/day cycle already-- when it's midday, the light looks very different from the middle of the night (and my favorite zone in the whole world is Hinterlands in the evening). But Foxtir wants an even more obvious cycle-- during the day, Stormwind should be bustling, while at night, the weirdos could come out, and maybe even some Defias could be found in the city. It would be cool to see the day and night cycles have a gameplay effect as well-- in Warcraft III, they definitely did
, but in WoW, I don't know that the day/night timing has any effect but the lighting.
And Jasperwind sent another note saying basically the same thing about the weather-- we've got the occasional rain and snow, but what if weather affected gameplay somehow? Or even more extreme forms of weather, he suggests-- what if earthquakes scared mobs away for a matter of time?
Let's give Blizzard credit where credit is due-- most games don't have a night/day cycle (much less a realtime cycle), and many games have no weather at all, or implement it badly (and anyone who's ever experienced a freak storm in Tirisfal will agree that Blizzard didn't do that). So WoW
is already ahead of the curve in both cases. But in an MMORPG where we pay monthly, we can always expect more. And it would definitely be cool (and add a little more strategy to the game) to have these cosmetic changes affect the lives and actions of the characters we play.