Things are moving along nicely in my part-time Warcraftf addiction. I basically play for about 30min in the afternoon while my youngest is stuck onto me after I get home from work, and since this involves 50% fewer hands on my part, I use this time to do housekeeping like AH, trainers, etc. A lot of fishing, which is pretty surreal if you think about it. In the evenings, I get another 30min or so in, after everyone is asleep, usually as a way to unwind and build up motivation for some productive work time. This is unfortunately time I used to spend blogging or watching anime, so I may need to go alternate days or something. I do get longer bouts of questing in once in a while, an hour or more online maybe on average 2-3 times a week. Thats when I do the plot coupon-type quests.
Having spent enough time now to no longer be a newbie by any reasonable definition of the word (except when it comes to PvP), I feel entitled to gripe about various things. This really counts as thinly-veiled praise, since I am basically complaining that Blizzard hasn’t been awesome enough. Were Blizzard less awesome then they are, I’d probably be satisfied, but they keep such a high standard that I’m left noticing the tiny margins between awesome and perfection. Enemy of the good, and all that, though in this case it’s more like enemy of the super-awesome. There are numerous small things, like the fact that night and day seem to make no difference in terms of the wildlife and the population. While quest-giver NPCs should indeed be available at all hours, wouldn’t it be nice for some variety in terms of different guards on duty at night, or minor npcs being asleep in their beds and requiring rousing to talk to? Or for the flora to vary a little – are pigs really nocturnal? Granted most of the animals are usually part of some farming X of Y quest most of the time but you could make the quests adapt – get 10 pig snouts OR night wolf skins, etc.
Far more bizarre is the fact that seasons seem to be perpetual in every zone – even the ones with ostensibly “normal” histories. Why is Elwynn forest in perpetual spring? Dun Morogh in perpetual winter? Azshara in perpetual fall? ok, some of these zones are twisted by some wierd horrific cataclysm or another, but still, if the world events can follow a seasonal pattern, surely the lighting and texture can follow? It would be amazing to see Teldrassil cloaked in snow in December and to see what Westfall looks like in spring.
While I am on my wish list, wouldn’t it be interesting if Blizzard were to do some cross-promotional stuff? Like sell cheap mini expansions for minor zones that aren’t part of the mainstream Azerothian narrative but rather just for fun? What springs to mind immediately is how awesome it would be to recreate the Myst island and let you basically play that game as an in-game adventure. Myst was tailor-made for the WoW engine – you interact with objects using the mouse, carry around minor things (and blue and red pages would be pretty easy to implement as soulbound quest objects), and the various Ages of Myst are essentially branched instances. The folks at Cyan actually redid Myst in real-time with a rendering engine already, so its not just static screenshots anymore – so they are already 90% of the way there. It would really be an incredible experience, and I’d gladly pay $20 for the experience. I’m sure there are other similar cross-overs possible – for example what about the island on Wii Sports Plus/Wii Fit? Or a few levels in Portal? Or Castle Wolfenstein/Doom? In fact if Blizzard opened up Zone development to indie developers you could see all sorts of potential opportunities arise.