Thursday, July 5, 2007

The better Freezing Jihad

Four months ago I wrote a parody about the next World of Warcraft expansion, which I called The Freezing Jihad, in an obvious antonym of The Burning Crusade. That one got a lot of laughs, and even Blizzard linked to it from the WoW homepage. But what many people didn't notice was that it was actually a sad and pessimistic text, making fun of all what is wrong with TBC and assuming that the next expansion will continue that trend towards the unimaginative. So today I'm going to write a different text, not so funny, but idealistic and optimistic. I'm keeping the Freezing Jihad name, but I want to imagine what features the next World of Warcraft expansion could have that while still being realistic are a lot more exciting and innovative. So here is the feature list of the better Freezing Jihad:
  • No change of the level cap, it remains at 70.
  • A huge new continent, Northrend, with over 20 new zones offering content from level 1 to 70.
  • 6 new dungeons, one each for level 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70. The level 20 to 50 dungeons are for 5-man groups. The level 60 and 70 dungeons are for 10-man raid groups, but designed to be relatively easy, a training ground for people to learn raiding and work together in a group.
  • 4 new races, with 4 different newbie zones, which form a new faction, neutral in the war between Horde and Alliance. The neutral faction can't participate in any form of overland PvP, but they can participate in duels, arenas, and battlegrounds. On battlegrounds they will join the numerically smaller side as mercenaries, for better balance and shorter queues.
  • 3 new hero classes, bard, monk, and necromancer. You can't create characters of these classes from scratch. But there is a level 70 soloable quest on the new continent which allows you to have the character who does the quest to die and be reborn as a hero, at which point he can choose one of the three hero classes. A reborn hero starts again at level 1, so you are effectively losing your level 70 character. But you keep all your reputation, gold, belongings, flight paths etc., and everyone will know you gave up a level 70 character to make this hero. The bard is a healer / dps hybrid, healing, short-term buffing and hurting with the power of his songs. The monk is a tank / dps hybrid, using his deadly fists or a quarterstaff. The necromancer can summon skeletons from the corpses of his slain enemies.
  • Player housing in instanced zones, accessible from all major cities of your faction. Each player housing instanced zone has room for 100 houses, which are arranged in a block around a central square. There are different types of houses available, guild houses which have a guild vault feature, private houses in which you can store goods or display trophies, and shops in which you can sell wares via an NPC vendor for no fee and without a time limit. You can visit all housing instances for looking around or shopping, not only the one where your house is in. Houses have an upkeep depending on size and features. This upkeep has to be paid once per month. If you don't pay, your house will be shrunk to miniature size by a local mage and put into your inventory. When you come back, you can place it in another instance without losing any of its content, but you will have lost your "spot" in neighborhood you were in and thus housing instances can't accumulate deserted houses.
  • New professions of lumberjack and woodcrafter. The lumberjack can fell trees at new tree nodes distributed all over the world and gather wood, which the woodcrafter turns into bows, arrows, and staves.
  • Dyes to change the color of your armor and clothing.
So what do you think? Would you like this list of Freezing Jihad features more than the first one? And what is your guess, will the real second WoW expansion be all about the level 70 to 80 game with another layer of raid dungeons, or will we get content for all levels and totally new features like player housing like in this proposal?

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