I started thinking the other day that when Blizzard comes out with their next generation MMO, some 10 or 20 years from now, I'll try and keep my WoW account as long as possible but still pick up a subscription to the next game.
Everyone of my acquaintance agrees it will be better than WoW simply because Blizzard has learned a lot from WoW. This made me wonder: what lessons has Blizzard learned that they might improve upon? So I came up with my own little list.
We can't fly in old world Azeroth simply because it wasn't built to be flown over. In a new game, they can start from the ground up with this in mind.
Again, they can start from the ground up. WoW was promised player housing early on in life, but this time they'll have the chance to brainstorm it into the fabric of the game.
WoW is pretty old and graphics have made leaps and bounds beyond it. Just look at the vrykul and NPC Northrend skins vs the traditional character skins. There's a huge difference in detail.
I'd also like to see more streamlining in the UI. The old-fashioned fantasy feel is nice for the game, but when it comes to your control panel, let's get with this century, hm? The current WoW panels remind me of a Cadillac -- big, boxy, and old.
Perhaps players could choose from assorted UI skins and have more controls for how things are set up (positioning, color, size). There's really no downside to better UI customization -- for anyone.
PVP vs PVE
This is my big wishlist item. If they do nothing else, I want this.
Many players who hate PVP are stuck on PVP servers because their friends won't play anywhere else. I'd love for Blizz's next MMO to make this issue moot through a choice-based (not server-based) PVP system, like maybe choosing your PVP flag status in the creation screen -- and PVP flaggers have special PVP perks, or something, while PVEers have world PVP restrictions (up to and perhaps including a complete inability to PVP outside a PVP zone or even heal someone involved in active PVP). This would make PVP flags a permanent status and satisfy the PVP crowd while protecting the PVE crowd.
The thing I hate about world PVP is simply that... I hate it. I don't want to do it, I don't want to be forced to do it, I don't even log on horde for anything but PVE anymore because I hate it -- the only other thing I'd log on for would be dailies which, on a PVP server, might as well be scheduled gankings. But I am, currently, stuck. My friends refuse, even when the next MMO comes out, to roll PVE.
And I fear getting hassled so much that I just won't go out in the world on a PVP server unless I have to -- which means I don't play those characters to their full potential. And I can usually live with that, work around it. But every now and then, that stress, and the limitations it puts on my play, is so frustrating I want to cry and break something. I've enjoyed Birdfall lately because she doesn't carry that stress, and it makes me even more loathe to choose a PVP server a second time around. Best case scenario is if I don't have to choose between my friends and my game satisfaction because Blizzard can find a solution.
Help me, Blizzard-Wan Kenobi! You're my only hope.
Choose Your Faction
I'd like to see this, if they do the faction thing again, perhaps even with more than one faction (instead of just alliance and horde). My biggest complaint about my character Birdfall is that I can't play her with my friends and refuse to faction-transfer her because I play her for her race and design and personality. I like her as a Night Elf. As is. (See how this wouldn't be as big a problem if my friends played on a PVE server? Yep. So do I.)
More [Fill In The Blank]
Races. Classes. Pets. Mounts. Pretty dresses. Fuzzy animal forms. PINK. I think Blizzard knows how important these things are to us (well, all but pink -- I think they're being slow and male and "the majority of our players are guys" about pink -- but I hold out hope), and I think they've learned enough from WoW to plan accordingly.
We like novelty stuff. Give it to us. *creepy stare*
How do you think achievements will be tweaked if they're available from the start? Just more of the average First Player to X? Or will they decide to get really creative? Will they want or need to tweak the system at all?
I hope they implement more varied controls for friends and ignores. Organization options and levels for Friends, for example. I dislike seeing a message for "That guy who did that pug with me once a year ago" every time he logs on, but I wouldn't mind grouping him into a "Good PUG" low-priority friend section. Also, I'd like to see notes for Ignores (yay notes for friends, btw), even with just a 10 character max. It's enough for "Mean PUG" or "Begger" or "Ganker." We really don't need much.
Another thing people have been asking for is some sort of a player reputation system, where you can rate someone on their awesomeitude. An alternative could be a reputation or popularity number based on how many friend and ignore lists you're on. Say, 3 rep points for a high priority friend, 2 for medium, 1 for low, and -1 for an ignore. Maybe even have the option to add a tenth of a point to someone you don't want on your friends list but still think is a good player (and no option to decrease their rep aside from Ignore, because that would be abused).
I've also always wanted a status message and/or blurb about the player. Limited character count, of course.
Last names, pet names, mount names. Fun for the whole server!!
(Husband says: "Yeah, with half the population naming their mount 'Your Mom.' This is why we can't have nice things!")
Remove the need for bank alts.
Those are just some ideas. What do you think?