WoW! Thoughts! — On Diablo III and Mutable Multiplayer

How the influence of Diablo III could make WoW friendlier for friends.

As those of you who listen to the Mashcast. . . Diablo III!!!

Playing through Diablo III it occurred to me that the game is a stripped-down, but full-fledged MMO.  The world is a giant four-man instance, and the log in screen is a capital city where you have access to the auction house.  You start in a capital city (outside the instance) by default, and you have to log out to get to the character selection screen (by pressing Switch Heroes).

Is it any coincidence that Diablo III introduced account-wide achievements around the same time the innovation will be brought to WoW in Mists of Pandaria?  Blizzard has two MMO’s on the market, and what we see in one can highlight possibilities for the other.

For example, Diablo III has made playing with friends incredibly simple with the use of Battletags.  While WoW has Real ID for cross-realm raiding and dungeons, Blizzard is only beginning to approach the possibilities of this technology with cross-realm zones.  Whereas Diablo III is not restricted by servers, the WoW population has been separated since inception.  And while server transfers exist as a revenue generator, it would be worth it to sacrifice that money in the interest of allowing people to more easily group with their friends.

Even with the increased reliance on cross-realm technology, users are still restricted to battle groups and these restrictions are still too high.  In Diablo III, the only restriction for being able to play with someone is level based.  WoW needs to head in the same direction.  I should be able to log in and find myself in Orgrimmar, and if I have a friend in another server’s Orgrimmar, I should be able to move to his instance and play with him.  I have no doubt that this will happen once they get the technology figured out.

Even the Alliance-Horde restrictions should be lifted under certain conditions.  If two friends want to run a dungeon together, they should be allowed.  Most dungeons are designed faction-agnostic, and many raids (such as Dragon Soul) involve the Horde and Alliance teaming up to defeat a world-threatening danger.  In that case, it’s a feature that would not be lore-breaking, so there’s no reason not to implement it.  However, general questing should probably remain faction-dependent, and it would be game-breaking to allow faction-swapping in PVP.

The implementation of Diablo III gives me hope that someday we’ll see a more united Warcraft game.  And we will be free to travel from server to server, as the Nephalem travel between Sanctuary and Hell.

WoW! Blurbs!

Head enchants are going to be removed!  Shoulder enchants will be craftable.  Now when you say she has an enchanting face, she’ll know its because she’s pretty. (Or you’re wearing these…)

BUY DOOMHAMMER!!!  Now when we get to be Warchief, we can really feel like the Warchief!

The Undead Underwater Breathing racial has been removed!  Does the name Touch of the Grave imply Forsaken players should be Grateful Undead?

Theramore Island Event speech datamined.  They left out the part where Jaina dismisses Aggra as just a phase.  (Seriously though, SPOILER ALERT)

Pandaria is on the map!  When we kick out the pandas I say we rename it Southrend!

Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz

Senior Producer

Host of WoW! Talk! and The Tauren & The Goblin. Sometimes known as the Video Games Public Defender. Wants to play more Destiny and Marvel Heroes but WoW is all-consuming. Decent F2P Hearthstone player. Sad that he lost the Wii that had Wrecking Crew on it. Would be happy if the only game ever made was M.U.L.E. Gragtharr on Skywall-US. Garresque on Ravencrest-US.

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