Friday, February 13, 2009

Blizzard's next MMO will be all about raiding

Just kidding, but that is one way to interpret the news that Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan is leaving the World of Warcraft team to join Blizzard's team working on the next MMO. Tigole famously was hired as lead designer for WoW for being a raid leader in Everquest, and many people believe that he is responsible for WoW being such a raid-centric game.

In Bartle-type speak, Tigole is certainly an "achiever". And there is an old saying that designers create the type of game they would like to play themselves. So Tigole having a big role in the design of Blizzard's next-gen MMO makes it at least more likely that the game will be focused on achievements again. And not a social / exploration game like SOE's Free Realms (which just announced their release date to be early April) or a PvP game like WAR or EVE.

The other way to interpret the news is that WoW raiding is now so easy and boring that even Tigole is leaving. :) There certainly doesn't seem to be much of an influence of hardcore raiders in the design of Wrath of the Lich King. Has Tigole gone soft with age, or didn't he have much to say on WotLK? I guess we'll see in the design of the next game.

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