Through much of my teen years, I took a long break from gaming due to various Real Life obstacles. This ended when I started playing World of Warcraft, but even since then, I’ve mostly been a player of Warcraft and little else.
However, for the first time since my gaming hiatus ended, I now find myself in the position where there’s a significant number of games coming down the pipe that I’m looking forward to, so thought I’d go over my hopes, concerns, and plans for each game.
Hopes: As you may remember, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the previous installment of the Diablo franchise, but it seems like Blizzard has learned from all their mistakes. Diablo III looks to offer a wide variety of useful and synergistic class skills — as opposed to the one-button wonders Diablo II classes were — and every mistake of its predecessor looks to have been avoided — except maybe the amount of grinding, which is something I won’t know until I play it.
It also looks to have an exciting and epic story. The characters look intriguing, and the lore is the one aspect of the Diablo franchise I never had an issue with.
Concerns: It’s Diablo. No matter how good the previews look, I still have horrible flashbacks to grinding monastery mobs for the umpteenth time to get a few more skill points to put into the only skill my class has that’s worth using.
Plans: I’m probably going to play a female wizard at first. Demon hunter is also tempting, but the idea of running around Sanctuary as a psychotic little Chinese girl who can vaporize demons with a giant red beam of death just sounds too entertaining to pass up.
Guild Wars II:
Hopes: On paper, Guild Wars II looks like it will solve nearly all the problems of the MMO genre. No more being in competition with other players. No more endgame to rush to. No more raids to be excluded from for arbitrary reasons. No more gear grind. No more repetitive questing for bear asses. No more restrictive “holy trinity” of group roles.
Add to that amazing graphics and an awesome-sounding personal storyline progression system, and it’s not hard to understand the messianic status its fans have given it.
Concerns: ArenaNet is being really ambitious in this game. Actually, that’s a colossal understatement. GW2 is possibly the most ambitious MMO since the genre’s inception. There’s a lot of room to screw up.
I’m also a little worried about the story. What I’ve heard about it sounds very bland and generic. Jeff Grubb’s involvement gives me some hope, but a single writer does not a good story make.
Guild Wars’ version of talents, traits, sounds a lot like WoW’s talent points pre-Cataclysm. And no, that’s not a compliment.
Finally, I’m somewhat worried my rather mediocre computer will be able to run its state of the art graphics. It promises to be accessible to lesser machines, but so did Rift, and that didn’t really work out so well.
Plans: I’m nothing if not predictable, so I currently expect to play as a thief and an elementalist (which are analogous to WoW’s rogues and mages). One will be Norn, and the other will probably be human, but I’m not quite sure which will be which. There’s a good chance the thief will be a female with a black ponytail named Maigraith, though.
It sounds like thieves might be viable as a ranged class, which I will love, if true. Hmm, shortbow or dual wield pistols?
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm:
Hopes: Tricia Helfer on a psionic revenge spree across the universe. What’s not to love?
More seriously, I love the idea of Kerrigan as a resurrectable hero in every mission, like the heroes of Warcraft III. WC3 was the perfect hybrid of RPG and RTS, and I can’t wait to see how this system is implemented into Starcraft 2.
I’m hoping we’ll get more about the Fallen One and the Ulaan Prophecy. I want to see how Kerrigan is integral to saving the universe.
Concerns: My main concerns for Heart of the Swarm mostly revolve around the story. I liked Wings of Liberty’s story much more than most, but I’ll admit it was a bit rough around the edges. Blizzard doesn’t really know how to tell a non-linear story effectively.
It’s also going to be very hard for them to strike the balance of the Zerg being a force for good without ruining them as villains. These aren’t Orcs, and this isn’t Warcraft III. You can’t make the Swarm into a bunch of friendly, likable killer space bugs. It just doesn’t work.
I’m also worried the new units will be nerfed into boredom in the name of balance. It happened to the mommaship, it happened to battlecruisers, it happened to ghosts, and I’m pretty sure it will happen to replicants and vipers.
Plans: Not much to say here. I’ll play the campaign, I’ll like it, I’ll go online and discover no on else did, and I’ll feel slightly depressed about the whole thing.
I’ll probably make another attempt at multiplayer, in which I will continue to embarrass myself with my complete inability to defend against mutalisks or pretty much any other kind of harassment.
Mists of Pandaria:
I’ve already covered some of my thoughts on the upcoming expansion, and I’m planning another one to discuss my plans, so I won’t clutter this post any further. Stay tuned!
* * *
How about you? What games are you looking forward to, and what are your plans for when they’re released?