Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Does Starcraft 2 mean no Starcraft MMO?

Starcraft 2 was announced last Saturday and most gamers around the world took notice of the event. Blizzard especially made sure everyone who played World of Waracraft was aware by including several advertisements on the WoW homepage and login. While some people were annoyed by the promotional announcements most players were happy to hear about the sequel. Even if a gamer isn't a fan of the RTS genre they will still probably pick up a copy of Starcraft 2 due to the buzz about the game. Blizzard redefined the genre when the released the original version and the sequel looks like it will also have a huge impact.

The week before the announcement had seen a lot of rumours flying around as people speculated the nature of Blizzard's new game. The two most popular rumours were claiming it was either Starcraft 2 or a Starcraft MMO. Since the announcement was to take place in Korea, which has a well known obsession with the decade old game, most rumours accurately guessed which Blizzard universe was being revisited. However, just because Starcraft 2 turned out to the be the winner in the rumour contest doesn't mean that a Starcraft MMO is out of the picture.

Look at how Blizzard made use of Warcraft 3 to expand the warcraft universe and add multiple characters and story lines to the franchise. This fleshed out the RTS game with enough background that the transition to MMORPG was possible. The early warcraft games had a nice complicated plot but were missing the massive amounts of names, places, and races that a MMORPG requires. Most MMOs require this critical mass of story lines and characters to construct a tangible fantasy world. Think epic fantasy series like The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Truth or even Tolkien's books which all seem to create a semi-believable universe.

In my opinion Blizzard might have decided to go with Starcraft 2 so that they had plenty of time to add more lore so that a Starcraft MMO would be possible. I'll be keeping a close eye on the plot lines from the single player campaigns to see if it looks like they are expanding the starcraft universe. Already I can see how Blizzard might have different races within the factions of Starcraft. The Protoss are the most obvious since they have very different "light" and "dark" units. The Terran and Zerg are a bit more difficult but could be based around which leader they followed. For example there could be Terrans with better technology from the United Earth Directorate and Terrans with better survival bonuses from the Colonies.

Its all speculation at this point but I firmly believe a Starcraft MMO to be Blizzard's hidden weapon against Warhammer which looks to be a strong up and coming opponent to WoW.

7 comments:

Sean said...

From what I understand about Warhammer, it sounds like it's a different game than WoW. I believe (but could be wrong) that Warhammer is geared mostly towards the PVP crowd, which makes sense looking at the tabletop game. WoW on the other hand, while it has a pretty strong PVP component, seems to me to be geared more towards a PVE playstyle. Sure, they add new battlegrounds and arenas, but the most "exciting" patches always seem to be the ones with new dungeons or quest hubs.

As far as Starcraft goes... always liked the Warcraft games much more. :P

Leon said...

I think is Blizzard were to make a SC mmo, it better NOT be RPG related.

By that I mean NOT a WoW, no quests, no grinding, no lvl this lvl that bullshit.

But inside a huge universe that is divided into 3 realms for the 3 races. And you do combat in a mix of RTS and FPS which thousands of other players.

Relmstein said...

I think Huxley and Tabula Rasa will give us an indication of how popular a Starcraft MMO will be. If they both flop then we might not see one for awhile.

Not using a level based system for a Starcraft MMO would be interesting but probably not something Blizzard would do since they created so many new MMORPG fans with WoW.

Most likely because Starcraft has both melee and range units they would adopt some of the same components that WoW has but mix in more twitch components from FPS games.

Stropp said...

I expect that Diablo will be Blizzards next MMO. I understand that there is a team working on Diablo 3 at least, and I've heard rumours that Blizzard is also working on another MMO. So maybe the two are connected.

I posted last night at http://stroppsworld.com that I'm actually happy that SC isn't being given the MMO treatment. Not every game can be a MMO, and I'd love a RTS sequel to SC. Which is happening. Yay!

Back to a Diablo MMO. Diablo is still a much loved game. It certainly has the potential to be a great MMO with as much, or even more, appeal as a Starcraft MMO. So many games, so little time.

Relmstein said...

Stropp:

There are two main issues a lot of people raise about a Diablo MMO.

One: Diablo 2 was practically a stripped down MMO so Blizzard would have to walk a fine line when releasing Diablo 3. If they add too many features then they destroy the market for a Diablo MMO.

Two: Many other countries and some factions in America avoid the Diablo brand name for religious reasons. Because Blizzard is a big fan of the subcription model they make a lot more money if they have broad market appeal.

jiraiya said...

I dont know much but Blizz just recently announce that sc2 will be rts.well, i'm quite happy with that but there's quite low-down when i'm see at the trailer and screencap.same races and new unit.just like an expansion.just hope it will be awesome as other blizz game. btw, when is the release date?

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free mmorpg said...

i want a Starcraft MMO :(