The end of the world hasn’t happened, although in a bizarre sweep, Snooki was elected the first female U.S. President.
World of Warcraft’s population has dwindled a bit and is increasingly antsy for the next expansion, which Blizzard promises will land this year.
The only question is, where can WoW go from the Cataclysm?
A better question: Will Blizzard ever be as gutsy with their flagship game as they were with the previous expansion?
Without fail, every time an expansion or major patch lands for an MMO, I’m already thinking about the next one. WoW players’ eyes are full to the brim of Cataclysm right now, but the newness will wear off and future-vision will become the norm once more. People will start to wonder what direction Blizzard will take WoW, particularly as the trend of an expansion being merely 10 levels added to the cap with a new race or class has been — somewhat — shaken up.
Of course, I don’t know any more than you, but I have a few thoughts:
1. Blizzard is probably going to revert back to the 10 new end game levels scheme (bringing it up to 95!). The company isn’t that well-known for horizontal advancement, and I see no reason they’re going to diverge from what’s treated them well. The company’s probably satisfied that the 1-85 experience is roughly on par, quality-wise, with all of its parts, and that means less reworking and more additions.
2. There will probably be a single new hero class, because enough already with the sole Death Knight.
3. If Blizzard is daring, then it’ll do something to change the landscape even more, such as overlaying Azeroth with the Emerald Dream (twin worlds occupying the same basic landscape) and allowing players to flip back and forth between them. If Blizzard isn’t, then it’ll add another continent.
4. One of Blizzard’s key M.O.s is that it monitors the field for successful features and then swipes them for WoW. The only question is what has already or will catch Blizzard’s eye between now and then. Dynamic events? Better PvP? Popcap games? …oh wait.
5. Finally, I think Blizzard’s going to capitulate on a player-demanded feature that they’ve had a long stance against (you know, like allowing players to fly in Azeroth), such as housing or snow tubing or player-created missions/dungeons.