Recently Blizzard's Rob Pardo sat down with Businessweek. He mostly talked about the future of the game, the success of The Burning Crusade, and the creative process. Since reading his interview, I have spent a lot of time mulling over what he said. The first thing that stuck out in my mind was his likening the MMO to a television series. "We're developing episodes just like Lost or Seinfeld," he commented, "We're always trying to come up with something that's true to the theory; that's true to the content that people love; but that is new."
I never had the chance to look at the development cycle like this. In some ways it explains the company's drive to constantly bring us new content rather than connecting old dots (Uldum anyone?). The designers are looking forward, and as they mentioned at Blizzcon in 2005, more portals will be opening, new worlds for us to explore. And we as gamers are ravenous for this new content. Our expectations are high, and the company is there to try and satiate our ever growing appetite. What this also means is that there is a story arch with which they are working. I know Lost is working on a seven-year story arch. Does this mean that we can expect a grander plotline connecting the expansions together? I for one am eager to find out.
I haven't really thought about the game in these terms. My previous experience with MMOs (*cough* Anarchy Online *cough*) has taught me that games are fairly linear. Yes, there might be a new world connected to the old one, but the story pretty much stays the same. Since playing World of Warcraft I have had to reinvent my view of the MMO, and now I, too am one of those ravenous players dying for new stories and new characters to love or hate. This interview has made me wonder where we are going with the next expansions. So I'd love to hear what you think. Beyond the proposed Northrend and Emerald Dream expansions, where would you like to go as the World of Warcraft universe expands into new worlds?