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Wrath of the Lich King Progress Report

Author: inwowgold Source:

Are there any major features that have yet to be injected into World of Warcraft? "A lot of people would argue that a housing system would be a great thing to inject into an existing MMO like WoW," said Chilton. "We'll see. There are a lot of different ideas out there that we have for future gameplay systems, game mechanics that may or may not make it in the long run. Certainly any MMO that's first shipping never has the kind of massive feature set or breadth of content that WoW has right now four years into its existence. That isn't absolutely necessary. Like when we first shipped WoW we didn't have the amount of content that EverQuest had, but it didn't stop us from being successful. It's certainly a possibility that other games out there will ship with less content than what we have and still do very well."

Brack went on to say there's no shortage of ideas at Blizzard when it comes to new features in WoW. "The ideas are actually a lot of times not the most difficult part. The implementation and the execution is far more challenging than the idea, usually."

So it seems feature and content updates are no problem, but what about the technical aspects of the game, specifically the graphics. If you consider World of Warcraft [World of Warcraft Gold]will likely continue on for seven or more years into the future, will there be some time along that long road when users can expect a visual upgrade? "Right now we're pursing the strategy of iterative updates that are a little more organic than just 'the graphical update,'" said Brack. "Other games have done the giant graphical update and that's had middling success, mixed results. A lot of games have come and people have not liked the new graphical direction like 'well, my character, I want it to look like it's always looked.' So it's a downer as a developer to think about 'I'm going to do all this work to do this huge graphical update and you're not actually going to want to install it.' So right now we're going down the road of smaller graphical updates. For Wrath of the Lich King we've announced that we're going to do a new shadow system that'll enhance the existing visuals and then we'll just come up with the next visual that we'll want to do."

Chilton added, "We're making use of shader effects on our terrain and it's definitely a lot more incremental. Definitely over the course of three years or so you definitely see a difference. We get a lot of feedback on the Lich King expansion that the Northrend zones are visually a lot more impressive than any of the previous continents that we've ever done. And that's a combination of new tech and our level designers getting better and better at their skill."

"Is that to say we'll never have [a full-on graphical upgrade]?" said Brack. "You can never say never."

There's still no set release date for Wrath of the Lich King.


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