We have a few really huge expansions coming out next year that I am really excited for, so I wanted to do a quick touch on them in this segment.
There’re really two that have me giggling like a schoolgirl – and oddly enough, they’re both from the same company! You guessed it: Blizzard Entertainment. Both Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft have big expansions coming next year and they both look to be just what a Sean could ask for.
Firstly, the incredibly long anticipated Heart of the Swarm expansion for Starcraft 2 is something that I am more than a little eager for. I can’t wait to see the new multiplayer units, how that effects tournament play(probably the only competetive activity I find myself interested in is competetive Starcraft 2 btw), and how it effects my level of play as well – I’m Diamond league in 2s, 3s, and 4s. But even more exciting is the single player campaign. Trying to capture a zerg feel, they’ve given us a lot of really cool evolution type features that really make it unique from the WoL campaign. As well, they’ve also included some rpg elements in the growth of Kerrigan’s strength and control.
Heart of the Swarm trailer courtesy of starcraft on youtube:
Also with the HotS expansion will be the Blizzard DotA map. A typical ‘MOBA’ style map with a twist – all of the characters will be Blizzard Heroes and Villains. Ever wondered if Kerrigan is stronger than Illidan? Or how about if Arthas can beat Tyrael? Here you can find those answers. However, it’s not just a gimmick they’re working with here – they’ve also decided to tackle some of the key gameplay and attitude issues inherent to these games by simplifying some of the stats to make it more accessible, defining the hero roles a bit better to avoid tanks who can outdps dps heroes, and most importantly by adding a lot more of a ‘team’ feeling by combining ‘assists’ with ‘kills’ to prevent things like killstealing. Overall it sounds like they’ve got all of their hearts in the right place on this one, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Comical ‘Blizzard DotA’ trailer courtesy of starcraft on youtube:
The other expansion Blizzard is giving us next year is the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft. Mists of Pandaria is doing a lot of things people have been asking for for a while such as putting the focus more on the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde, and adding account-wide pets and achievements. Both are huge pluses. But more importantly is all of the little things they’re adding – the passtimes. Things such as the pet battle system which, despite it being somewhat copycat of pokemon, I am really excited for. I think this may be the most interesting expansion they’ve ever done, thinking about it from a standpoint of someone who loved to raid but just doesn’t have time anymore – this may be the only thing that could’ve drawn me back in to playing actively again.
Mists of Pandaria trailer courtesy of WorldofWarcraft on youtube