Larisa has a great post up on making your own Cataclysm while you wait for Blizzard to release the real thing. I highly recommend it, found thisaway. Her bonus link to Ixobelle’s PvP adventures is worth following as well.
Commenting on her post, I noted that I would love to see Blizzard really shake things up in the industry by changing business models.
With Guild Wars as a spiritual model, Blizzard should:
1. Instead of consigning the Old World of WoW to the digital scrap heap, slice it off into its own phased existence and sell it as a standalone subscriptionless product. Call it “PreCataclysm Azeroth” and watch it sell like hotcakes and introduce a new batch of newbies. It’s like a free trial on steroids… that you can charge for. Forget a piddling $1 for a week, try $30 for a lifetime sub, a direct stab at the market that GW has had mostly to itself, and a kick in the teeth to those other guys who sell lifer passes.
2. Watch the rest of the industry scurry about trying to reconcile the notion of the biggest sub MMO in the lake stomp through the F2P shallows. (Note, there are Subscriptionless games and Item Shop games, both possibly referred to as F2P… here, I’m talking more about Subscriptionless games. Marketing matters.)
OK, OK, I’ve written about this before, and I doubt that they will follow my admittedly selfish wishes on this, but I’m really very curious as to whether they might have some sort of long-term plans along these lines. Not that I’d mind, mind you… Still, with a new MMO in the pipes that may well cannibalize their WoW base, it’s a good time to start tinkering. The natural split of “old Azeroth” and “Cataclysmic Azeroth” is a perfect vehicle to segment the market a bit and diversify their death grip on the industry.
Whether or not that‘s a good idea is up for consideration, perhaps… especially since what’s good for Blizzard need not necessarily be what’s best for gamers. It’s not like WoW is the root of all evil and the herald of doom and all that, after all. (Please read that whole article. Ferrel is having a bit of fun, but voices some legitimate concerns.)