Blizzard has smashed records with World of Warcraft. Over 12 million subscribers is an incredible feat, and it is currently estimated that World of Warcraft holds 62% of the MMO market share worldwide. With more MMOs shutting down, WoW still reigns supreme.
What can Blizzard do to top themselves? What should their next move be after the 3rd WoW expansion? The answer is simple: make a new MMO based off a successful Blizzard IP with the goal of sucking in anyone who has never shown previous interest in the MMO genre. The answer is Galaxy of Starcraft.
Mission Statement and Synopsis of Galaxy of Starcraft
Mission Statement: To make an MMO that will captivate fans of World of Warcraft, as well as bring in new gamers who previously were turned off by the idea of a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG.
Galaxy of Starcraft would play very similar to WoW, and use a completely customizable interface. The graphics would be updated, but it would use a down-scale technique found in Warhammer Online, that would allow users of low-end PCs to still enjoy the game.
The reason why WoW is so successful is also the reason why many gamers will not play it: extensive end-game support. You’ve heard the term “MMOs almost never end”, well, in World of Warcraft, it takes months to even conceive a conclusion. It is because of this that many gamers are turned off; there is simply too much to aspire for. All of the best dungeons, equipment and content are all at the end of the game. Blizzard tried to tone this down in Wrath of the Lich King by having 10 person end-game dungeons rather than only having 25 man raids that generally require a guild. To expand on this, there would be many other features in Galaxy of Starcraft that would ensnare even the most casual of gamers.
- More emphasis on team play, even for early game questing
- Add more early game skills and spells to increase fun factor for casuals
- Have a myriad of early-game PVP (player versus other players) options for players who fear end-game hardcore PVP
- Place more emphasis on “PVE” (Player versus environment) servers, and make them more user friendly. Add extra FAQs and tutorials for players new at MMOs, explaining basic terms and what to expect.
- Have “casual” gaming events and content that cater towards non-hardcore MMO fans. Have a separate team devoted to this, while the core team still continues to design more content for end-game play.
- Have a separate gear set for non-raiders. While it’s not nearly as effective as end-game raiding, it serves a different purpose.
- Decrease effort needed to get a good PVP set; still have “top-end” sets for hardcore PVPers to earn
While it could take some stretching, the Protoss ally with the Terrans in order to eliminate the Zerg’s galactic infestation, forming the Galactic Alliance. The Zerg have captured Terrans and Protoss, infecting them beyond recognition. The Xel’Naga (The quasi “Gods” of Starcraft lore) have made themselves known, and also are going to stop the Zerg from conquering the galaxy. Many Protoss have begun to worship the Zerg, and have developed a cult in their name. They are determined to stop the Galactic Alliance, and fight in the name of the Swarm.
As noted, the story may be a bit of a reach, but so was World of Warcraft in many respects.
The format could still have good versus evil, and use the standard MMO scheme.
- Galactic Alliance
- Infested Terrans
- Fallen Protoss
Make 3 factions, similar to Dark Age of Camelot
- Terrans, Protoss and Zerg
Sample Character Classes
Terran Soldier: Played similar to a hunter in World of Warcraft, they would be ranged DPS (Damage per second; or just “Damage Dealers”).
Sample Ability: Stimpack: Increased fire rate for 30 seconds, but take 30% more damage during this time
Zergling: Melee DPS, with regenerative capabilities
Sample Ability: Hive Tap: Increase all statistics for 10 seconds (5 min cooldown)
Lurker: Melee DPS similar to a Rogue from World of Warcraft. It can “lurk” instead of stealth
Sample Ability: Soil Pierce: Does 30% increased damage if used on a target while lurking.
Ultralisk: Overall Tank (unit that takes all of the enemies’ attacks) for the Swarm
Sample Ability: Leadership: Rallies all units and gives 20% extra vitality to party for 10 seconds
Templar: Would be a ranged healing or DPS class, depending on the spec (Specific role chosen by the player). If the DPS tree (spec list) is chosen, the player will have the option of becoming a Dark Templar, similar to a Shadow Priest in World of Warcraft.
Sample Ability: Psionic Storm: AOE (Area of Effect) damage for 5 seconds on targeted area
Zealot: Melee DPS, with few psionic ranged spells
Sample Ability: Pneumatic Punch: Pierce the enemy with your psionic blade, dealing X damage over 10 seconds.
Terran Capital: Mar Sara (New Capital of Alliance)
Zerg capital: Hive Mind Entrenchment (Capital of Swarm)
In order to get to different zones, it would be similar to walking through the Dark Portal in WoW. Also, “flight paths” would be obviously used in Galaxy of Starcraft to the fullest.
Galaxy of Starcraft would still encourage end-game raiding to keep the 12 million plus core players. The venues could range from:
Rogue Zerg Hives (Even the player’s Zerg faction would need to destroy it)
Rogue Terran Faction space stations
Protoss’ abandoned research centers
Overall, the law of market saturation would dictate that Blizzard should wait at least 3-4 more years before unveiling this project. WoW still has another good few years left in it at the rate it is going now. Starcraft II and Diablo 3 will tide over fans for a while, and so will the next World of Warcraft expansion. When that hits, Blizzard should definitely consider creating a “new” MMO standard that will suck in more than 12 million. I really enjoyed playing WoW for a year, and loved the endgame content. If the early-game aspects of WoW were more user friendly, I would have had a lot more of my friends playing it with me, and that’s what gaming is all about. Galaxy of Starcraft can accomplish this feat. If you guys like these ideas, I have some more for “Realms of Diablo”. Cheers!