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WoW Burning Crusade Delayed until January 2007 290

Posted by Zonk
from the little-longer-for-that-alliance-shaman dept.
Wowzer writes "Blizzard today announced that the release date for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the first expansion for World of Warcraft, is delayed until January 2007. From the article: 'By adding a few extra weeks to the development cycle beyond its original target date, Blizzard will be able to extend the closed beta test and further refine the new content that will ship with the game.' While disappointing now, what will this mean for the yearly WoW expansions long term? As Blizzard COO Paul Sams revealed plans in August that 'Starting with The Burning Crusade, every year thereafter we plan on bringing out a new expansion set.' 2008, 2009, ad infinitum?"
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WoW Burning Crusade Delayed until January 2007

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  • and as disappointing as this is I'm almost glad, this gives me a chance to actually get some good game play in and get my character leveled up and a chance to make the addiction worse..
    • by LocoMan (744414)
      I have to agree too... I just started playing some weeks ago, and I'm level 32 but most of my friends are 60 already... hopefully I can get there and do some endgame quests with them before they all move to burning crusade and level 70 stuff.. :)
      • by muffen (321442) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:02AM (#16558312)
        The game is constantly made easier so that "catching up" is always possible, the hard part is to get the last few items you need.
        Anyone who's been in a guild in WoW should know how long it took to run through BWL for example say 8 - 12 months ago compared to now. Not sure how the american servers are doing right now but on the EU servers there has been a big dropoff from the larger guilds. Blizzard _needs_ this expansion or I think they will start loosing a lot of subscribers.
        Alot of it is their own fault, they are saying blue items in BC are better than epic items pre-BC, thereby removing the need to obtain the high-end raiding items at the moment. Looking at the amount of time you need to invest to get any decent raiding-items, you are simply better off getting to level 60 before BC comes, and the levelling up with your guild/friends.

        Personally I cancelled my accounts, simply because I got bored.
        • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:26AM (#16558656)
          They have to make it easier and easier over time, or nobody will come and start anew, knowing that they will never ever catch up and reach that supersezzy new content. They'd rather turn to some other MMORPG (it's not like there's only one medieval-styled MMORPG on the market...).

          I know how much this sucks, and it drove me away from other MMORPGs in the past. Personally I'd be very happy with a more or less "stable" universe, with the occasional new content to keep people entertained. Hell, with good PvP you can even reach that goal by redesigning the PvP areas every now and then, without the need to actually generate a ton of new content!

          What really ticks me off in "modern" MMORPGs is the carebear attitude towards the players. Why don't they just hand out everything to everyone?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Graywolf (61854)
            What really ticks me off in "modern" MMORPGs is the carebear attitude towards the players. Why don't they just hand out everything to everyone?

            I think this carebear attitude is why Blizzard got the millions of subscribers and billions of cash. It's the wide appeal of the game and the "no real penalties for losing" gameplay that attracts most people to the game. Compare this to the number of EVE players, where you can literally lose your ship and money (and hence "lose" time played). EVE is more interesting
          • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:50AM (#16559820)
            What really ticks me off in "modern" MMORPGs is the carebear attitude towards the players. Why don't they just hand out everything to everyone?

            I'm always amused at the term 'carebear'. As if it was some sort of insult to use it, either towards another person, idea, or action. Can you think of getting into a fight and be like... "Oh yeah?!? Well, you're... you're... a BIG carebare! HA! Take that! Mwuahahaha *walks away gleefully as if scoring some major victory*".

            Ironically, it's been my experiance that those people who have used this term to insult things, act more childish than the actions or people it's being used upon.

            Cheers,
            Fozzy

            • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:36AM (#16560656)
              I don't mind cooperation with other players. Actually, that's what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, "carebear" games (i.e. games where the game creator makes sure you don't have to feel any hard edges and stuffs you in bubblewrap) support the radically opposite kind of player: The greedy, selfish prick.

              Let's take two very different (from a "carebear" attitude point of view) MMORPGs. EQ (the original one) and WoW.

              In EQ, dying meant you lose ... everything! All your gear dropped to the ground, and if you could not get it back within a week, it's gone for good. Quests and encounters that actually REQUIRED you to use loopholes to be successful. There were quests where the dev team said flat out "We don't have a clue how to beat it. Good luck.". And a few more things that made this game simply and plainly unfairly evil and hard. I guess you could not get less "carebeary" than EQ was.

              On the other end of the spectrum you find WoW. A minor loss in XP, "damage" to your equipment (which you kept) and if you're too lazy to get your gear back, the worst thing that happens to you is more damage to it. In a nutshell, you lose a little XP and gold. Quests are meant to be solved with a pre determined number of players and, let's be blunt here, that can be scripted if you're a halfway decent coder.

              Now, when I look back at the playerbase of EQ, I'd be hard pressed to find real assholes. Sure, you had the occasional player or even group that was either loonies or outright bastards, but few of them survived for long. Simple reason: Being a jerk did not pay off. You DID need the other players, if for nothing else then for getting your gear back from the peak of mount whatever, within that certain week. Being a jerk meant that nobody would go out of his way and risk his gear for yours. I've seen raid parties of 30+ people tank their way through days worth of, from their point of view, "needless" quests, just to get the gear of one person back. Because you simply knew that he would do the same, or maybe he even already did.

              In WoW... I've seen more jerks, idiots, morons and simple flat out assholes in that 4 months I played it than in my whole EQ time.

              That's what I don't like about carebear games. They let you get away with being a jerk.
              • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:33PM (#16563006)

                The problem is, the term 'carebear' is a created internet term, much like w00t, pawn, haxxor, leet, and others are. To this degree, there's no standard definition for it, and it's open to be used or abused in sentaces that don't properly phase the word to it's original means.

                Carebear was always implied 'childish' behavoir or actions as The Carebears [wikipedia.org] was a popular childrens cartoon in the 1980's. It was used to insult people who would yell and scream at someone for 'killing' their character. I believe this was back in the Ultima days when PvP was open and easy. If you're missed those days, then maybe you've seen the South Park episode featuring WoW? You know that half naked guy running around killing people for no reason? Well, it was kind of like that. The grief would call the people he griefed 'carebears' because they would complain and yell at him for loosing, like a child would cry if they lost at a sport.

                So, in the wonderful world of online gaming and RPG's, two terms where developed to insult the other people. "Griefer" and "Carebear". A person would call someone a "griefer" if they would kill you repeatedly and a person who complained (ie. cried about) at being killed repeatadly would be called a "carebear". Of course, in Ultima, that game mechanic was possible.

                Of course, these terms survived and moved into EQ and all the games to be spawned after it. The term became associated with "easy" as games started to restrict the ability to kill others, such as requiring an accepted duel or special areas that a player could 'choose' to enter. Thus the 'griefers' where killed off and in their anger claimed that such games where too "carebear" to play because there was no threat of grief. Not surprisingly, the player base increased dramatically when such restrictions where part of the game model. Though, to cater to the Ultima fans, EQ and the following games created special servers that allowed open fighting and killing, usually after a certain, very low level. This of course, lead to the popular (and hilarious) story of Fansy the Bard [notacult.com].

                Since then, games have tried to cater to the Player vs Player fan base, who liked the idea of danger and suspense when anyone could attack you. Dark Age of Camelot, who's game was designed with restricted areas for PvP combat, created an all open PvP server where anyone could fight anyone at any time. I even tried this server, but didn't last past the first level of open combat as it was just too annoying after I got my quick thrills of griefing. This became famous for showing how over powered the Enchanter class was, as it had a magic casting pet with no line of sight restriction, allowing it to attack you from far away without recourse. It also became famous for the small city of Mag Mel(sp?), where you could resurect and continue fighting. Ultimatly, the server numbers dwindelled to next to nothing because, due to game mechnics, you had very little chance, and players had very little reason, to let you level to the maxium level and have a fair(er) playing field. It's all part of the video game 'God' complex. Of course, at that time, those in support of PvP DAoC servers would call who critizied them 'carebears'.

                So, there's a brief history, as I know it, of the term "carebear". And that's why it's not a very good use of the term when calling a game carebear, as a game cannot complain about the way people use it. Of course, if games where real, I could see Shadowbane calling WoW a carebear while Ultima Online kills them both. hehe

                For more issues that Ultima faced, you can read some on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

                Cheers,
                Fozzy

              • EQ as it stands now is a carebear paradise to when it first started. When I played, (original game, kunark, velious and to a large extent luclin) it was much more hardcore than it is now. Now in EQ it seems that the Devs are listening to the very vocal minority and making the game so easy to get around it's not even funny.

                When I played, it was hardcore. No portal stones anywhere...if you needed to get a port you better find a druid or a wizard to port you. No binding NPCs....if you were a warrior or other n
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Aceticon (140883)
              A carebear in a MMORPG is someone which would rather not spend several hours doing a repetitive task in order to get some random rare drop.

              In my experience, carebears are usually people that don't have that much time available for playing games and which often in their real lifes have to "spend several hours doing a repetitive task" (for example, adults with jobs) so they're hardly keen on going online only to do some other repetitive tasks.

              Ironically, it's been my experiance that those people who have used

          • by misleb (129952)
            What really ticks me off in "modern" MMORPGs is the carebear attitude towards the players. Why don't they just hand out everything to everyone?


            Or better yet, just sell it for real money. It would save people a lot of time and it would make Blizzard money. It is a win-win situation. Well, the only people who might lose out are the poor people in 3rd world countries currently being paid to generate game stuffs.

            -matthew
          • What really ticks me off in "modern" MMORPGs is the carebear attitude towards the players. Why don't they just hand out everything to everyone?

            WTF are you talking about? I started in June'06 and it's been a slog just to get to end game content with my friends/guild. /played is 15 days and I'm still level 55. When I heard from my friends in beta how long it took them to go from 60 to 61 (12 hours, in full purples), I wanted to quit right there. Maybe it was better in your "good ole days", and I at first t
      • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:03AM (#16558320) Homepage Journal
        GO and kill the wild boars in the forest.
        By my reckoning, you can gain the required 38 levels after only 4796.5 hours of constant killing.
    • by Majik Sheff (930627) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @08:57AM (#16558226) Journal
      Thank you for moving the release of this product until after Christmas. By doing so you have enabled my long lost WoW addicted relatives to make a meaningful appearance during the holiday season. There are few things more frustrating than having 2 people ask at the dinner table if they can use your computer.
    • Perhaps they need a little time to add in some obligatory "South Park" references for the episode that referenced WoW.
      To bad the "Sword of a Thousand Truths" probably won't be one of them, other than a mythical weapon that can never be obtained.
  • Oh Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @08:40AM (#16558026)
    I guess teenage "Thrombo The Orcslayer" will need to sheath his "Daemon Warblade" and come down from his bedroom over Christmas and join mum, dad and Auntie Flo for a family game of Monopoly this year then.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @08:41AM (#16558040) Homepage
    ...sociologists predict many more marriages will now survive the Christmas season.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      You know, they should use WoW as a new treatment for meth addiction. Sure, they would still neglect their kids, but at least they would gain some weight.

      -Eric

      • by glsunder (241984)
        Actually, that's not a bad idea. Why not use WoW to treat addictions? Let's say someone has a gambling problem. Wouldn't they be better off playing WoW than online poker? Go play keno sometime, it almost feels like an opium den. Sure, it'd be better to treat the addiction properly, but the person has to be willing to be treated. Introducing them to WoW could divert people to a less harmful addiction. People with a gambling problem lose way more than $15 a month.
    • Not really.

      IM IN BETA
      AND SHARDING MY PURPLZ

      "Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING."

      But that's how the quote goes! =(
  • Ad infinitum? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @08:45AM (#16558082)
    I knew it, Blizzard has no plans whatsoever to make games anymore. As long as WoW is played, Blizzard are not developers, they are simply maintainers. Don't take this the wrong way though, would you or I honestly continue to make new games if we're constantly making billions on one game?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Considering the fact that it's confirmed that they have an unannounced project , it can't be true .

      And every game they produced since Warcaft:orcs and humans has been a masterpiece , they take great pride and joy in making these games .
      • and since WoW they canned one game and haven't announced any others when typically they've released at least one game every year (all of them, like you said, masterpieces, I won't deny that) and have about 1600 employees? I know that games are getting harder and more expensive to make these days, but how many employees does it take to maintain WoW? Surely they've had enough employees to finish a project or two up since 2004.
        • by teflaime (738532)
          Obviously, when you have an incompetent like Tigole in charge, it takes 1600 employees to maintain WoW. Otherwise, Starcraft: Ghost would be out by now.
          • Starcraft: Ghost was quietly canned about six months back. You'll be waiting a long time.
            • by teflaime (738532)
              Not really. I was just using that as an example. I don't actually like Starcraft. I was kind of hoping for Diablo 3 though...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Compulsion (734114)
        A confirmed, unannounced game? "Yeah, we're DEFINITELY working on SOMETHING..."

        Let's look at Blizzard's history:
        # The Lost Vikings (1992)
        # Rock & Roll Racing (1993)
        # Blackthorne (1994)
        # The Death and Return of Superman (1994)
        # Warcraft (1994)
        # The Lost Vikings II (1995)
        # Warcraft II (1995)
        # Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (1996)
        # Diablo (1996)
        # StarCraft (1998)
        # StarCraft: Brood War (1998)
        # Diablo II (2000)
        # Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (2001)
        # Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002)
        # Warcraft III: T
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drik00 (526104)
          i think the thing everyone seems to forget is that i dont think Bliz was ready for the success that WoW has achieved. 7million subscribers? I can see them having to alter their plans in order to accomodate success like that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      would you or I honestly continue to make new games if we're constantly making billions on one game? Of course I would! Why make billions when we could make....... millions? *raise pinky* If they want more money, they'll make sequels to Starcraft and Diablo 2..
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gsslay (807818)
      I knew it, Blizzard has no plans whatsoever to make games anymore. As long as WoW is played, Blizzard are not developers, they are simply maintainers.

      And what's the problem with this? If you like WoW, aren't bored with it, then the news that Blizzard plan to keep updating it is good news.

      And if want to try another game, there are other companies eager for your custom.

    • Re:Ad infinitum? (Score:5, Informative)

      by muffen (321442) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @08:56AM (#16558224)
      Blizzard went down the drain when Vivendi bought them. A bunch of good developers left during the "vivendi taking over" phase, so my guess is that we will see the "blizz-like" games coming from other places and not blizzard themselves.

      From Wikipedia:
      A significant number of key employees have left Blizzard over the years. Many of these have gone to create gaming companies of their own. Some of these companies are:
      * Flagship Studios[2], currently working on Hellgate London.[3]
      * ArenaNet[4], creator of Guild Wars.[5]
      * Ready At Dawn Studios[6], creator of Daxter.
      * Red 5 Studios[7], currently working on a yet to be announced next-gen title.
      * Castaway Entertainment[8], currently working on a yet to be announced next-gen title.
      * Hyboreal Games[9], Working on a yet to be announced next-gen title.[10]

      Notice the part where it says "A significant number of key employees"!
      • So what you're saying is that Blizzard are stalling significant development until they have enough talent to continue developing quality titles instead of going for the classic EA style murder by numbers?
    • by PMuse (320639)
      When you're on the gravy train, you don't try to replace it with mag-lev. It's fine to be developing mag-lev quietly, but you ride the gravy train until it stops -- or at least slows down. There'll be time to get the world on-baord your mag-lev later.
      • Or you could manufacture planes, cars, and home stereo systems while continuing to ride the gravy train. They've got a good MMORPG I can appreciate that, but there's no reason they can't work on other games (that more people want [in addition to the mmo players]) too. Especially when they've got more money than they know what to do with. They could be working on a new RTS game (or even working on the expansion to push it out the door on time) but instead they're all joyriding around in their platinum plated
  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @08:46AM (#16558100)
    Sure, as long as the players will pay for it.
    From an economic point of view, Blizzard would be crazy not to milk WOW for as much money as possible. And economic points of view are important to corporations ;-)

    Of course (and half off topic), it would be smart to use some of that money and invest in something new, because at some point people will get tired of WOW.
    • by Chaffar (670874)

      it would be smart to use some of that money and invest in something new, because at some point people will get tired of WOW.

      FYI, some people still play Quake II online... hell, some people still play Quake online. If their dedicated fanbase is large enough to warrant expansions every year or so, then good for them, there's a fixed source of income for you :)

      Besides I'm pretty sure they're working on "new" projects, like WoW 2, Warcraft IV, Diablo III, and Starcraft something,. Now all that's missing is a

      • Oh, I'm sure WOW will take long to fade to the point where it has to close down because subscriptions don't pay for maintenance anymore. Some time after 2010, I guess.
        But the numbers of players will shrink. And unless Blizz wants to shrink with them and become a minor player in the market, they better think about a replacement for WOW now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by matt328 (916281)
      Of course (and half off topic), it would be smart to use some of that money and invest in something new, because at some point people will get tired of WOW.

      That's actually the first thing I thought when I read this. Who says WoW will even be around in 2009? Games like this are a fad. In a few years they'll be made fun of alongside facebook and myspace on I love the 00s on VH1. I can see that boring deadpan guy talking about it already.

      "Yeah I remember WoW. It was this game that you just played and
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ad Infinitum?

      More like ad nauseum, IMO.

      I played WOW obsessively for a year and change. No matter how far I got, there was always some new goal I was chasing (level 60, full tier 1 set, pvp rank, etc). At some point I realized that my time investment in the game was becoming greater and greater. This was just about the time my guild got big and started doing the 40-man raids, and getting in on that would've required me to nearly double my playing time. There was just no way, unless I was willing to just give

    • by mmalove (919245)
      As a WoW player, I know I'd be likely gone the second they opened a WoS (Starcraft MMO). Makes sense to me Blizzard would want to maximize their return on investment though.

  • I'm not addicted, I'm a level 51 dwarven priest.
  • Does this mean that millions of people will be able to attend the Christmas family dinner after all... ?
  • WoW players should feel lucky that the expansion pack was only pushed back until 2007 and not indefinitely like every starcraft project...
  • n00bz.

    Seriously, this is probably a good thing. I'm surprised how *little* downtime WoW has considering its size and population, but I can't imagine how difficult modifying the codebase for all the changes TBC includes will be. Let them get it right the first time.

    --trb
    • by SkunkPussy (85271)
      There is shed loads of down time. On my server, There is often lag or lagspikes (unacceptable when a spell cast promptly means the difference between life and death), queues to get into the server, various server reboots with little or no warning at arbitrary times, periodic kicks from the server, and from time to time, the server doesn't come back up from the weekly maintenance for a day or two.

      With blizzard earning at least 1 billion/year from subscriptions, this performance is absolutely unacceptable whe
      • by (trb001) (224998)
        There is often lag or lagspikes (unacceptable when a spell cast promptly means the difference between life and death)

        This isn't necessarily Blizzard's fault. For instance, last night we were in ZG and our MT and his wife DC'd from 6000+ latency. The rest of us were sitting comfortably at 200ish latency. Lag spikes are often a result of problems in internet connectivity between a section of the country and your server, NOT the entire server. That's not to say that server lag spikes don't exist, just that
  • by Benanov (583592) <brian...kemp@@@member...fsf...org> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:04AM (#16558338) Journal
    I don't understand how this is so 'new' to everyone. EverQuest has something like 11 expansions now for it; previous MMO games also had expansions. But apparently, when Blizzard does it, it's novel or something.

    All of the EQ expansions cost 30 USD or so when they first came out; there have been roll-up packs for those who were behind the curve.

    I quit after the 6th (when Gates of Discord came out; my machine couldn't handle it and I was tiring of the game.) I haven't looked back. I've since switched to Ubuntu, and it helps me resist the rare urge to go back.
  • by Thaelon (250687) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:05AM (#16558342)
    I hate blog links. Here's the real deal: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topi cId=38244050&sid=1 [worldofwarcraft.com].
  • Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:05AM (#16558354) Homepage Journal
    On one hand they are foolhardy for doing this, on the other it is a brave decision to improve the game. Almost every shop around here is full of WoW stuff leading up to christmas - the 15 day trial packs are literally flying off shelves which shows they will have more than enough new players getting the game for christmas and joining in. However there would have been a huge upsell market for the Burning Crusade pack if it was released in time for Christmas, granted most people who play Warcraft will eventually pick it up but Christmas would have been a perfect time for Blizzard to cash in on both new gamers and existing players.

    However, by choosing to delay it they have put the playability of the game over the profit they could make by throwing it out there and just continually patching it up to standard (cough, Gothic 3, EA, cough). I'm quite happy to see a game studio finally taking the time to make a game good before cashing in on it, instead of throwing out whatever they have done to make the sales that will occur anyway. I just have to wonder whether this will be the last delay we will see for Burning Crusade, or whether more lay in wait in development hell.
    • by Thaelon (250687)
      They have 7 milllion customers eagerly waiting to buy the expansion. They don't need the christmas rush.
    • by Achoi77 (669484)
      I beleive there is a little more marketing evil genius going on here. (well, perhaps not so genius, ebbing on the side of 'duh' in fact).

      The are well aware of one and one thing only:

      The launch on the holiday season is not going to boost their sales. Why would that be? Simply because everybody that is projected to buy the expansion already has been playing WoW for some time. The expansion is not meant to increase their subscription, but rather to strengthen subscriber retention. Blizzard pretty much knows

    • by Aceticon (140883)
      In an pay-per-month online RPG the decision to postpone an expansion pack isn't quite that hard to take as it would in a no-monthly-fee game - waiting for the expansion pack might actually keep around (and paying) several players that saw it all and did it all and were getting bored with the game.

      It's not quite the "we'll delay getting some revenue from the game and risk our company so that the game comes out perfect for players" kind of attitude that it would be for other companies.

      PS: Gothic 3 is hardly t
  • I think there's a popular hope out there that perhaps this delay is brought about by uncertainty on Blizzard's part regarding the new UI restriction. Do a Google search for "WoW UI nerf" and you'll find huge, endless threads in which about five sixths of people (and about 95% of healers) rail against new restrictions in the scripting system that will break numerous existing addons, requiring raiding healers to multiply their mouse mileage during raids by orders of magnitude. Now I'm a casual player (10 mon
  • is how this change in release dates will affect the release dates of other MMORPGs?

    By pushing back to January this could allow another MMORPG or two some vital time to get in during the holiday crush and make a good impression. Pushing back also treads on some Q1 predicted releases as well, would they move forward or back to avoid Blizzard? (LOTR may still be on path for Q1 release)

    Regardless WOW didn't get where it is by allowing crap to get out. If anything the time invested shows, both to the players
  • I was saving vacation days for this year!

    God damn it, I'm so mad I could go outside.
  • by Kohath (38547)
    Damn you Sony. Can't you get your act together and release something on time?

    Oh, wait... nm
  • I felt... (Score:5, Funny)

    by CaseM (746707) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:39AM (#16558852)
    I felt a great disturbance in Azeroth, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror...and went RIGHT back to raiding again.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:44AM (#16558896)
    Expansions can make a game gone stale get great again. They can, though, also forever ruin a game never to be resurrected again. So Blizzard will definitly make certain that whatever this expansion brings won't cause too much of a ripple in the universe of WoW. After all, it still goes strong, so far the players aren't fleeing in large numbers, and the worst thing a very bad expansion can do is to make them do just that.

    Game balance is the biggest issue an expansion has to solve before it may enter a game. Because one thing's certain: Once it's there, you can't make it leave again. An expansion is here, and it's here to stay. Mythic with DAoC was the only company that ever pulled a stunt and unplugged one of their expansions after a lot of complaints and many people leaving or in the process of leaving, and even they only did it by introducing new servers.

    So the delay may very well be not a technical problem, be it stability or bug-freeness. My bet would be on balance. You can make or break balance very, very easily with an expansion that often not only introduces new items but also new classes. Classes are maybe the most difficult part of the balancing process in a game. New classes must first of all be that: new. You can't simply recycle some styles and gadgets from old classes and just give it new names, or people will complain. And that new spiffy thingamajigs you give them have to be in check and balanced, not only against the world but also against the other classes for PvP. They must not level faster than the old classes, they must not be stronger in solo fights (and neither must they be weaker), they must not even provide more "group value" than other classes, and of course they may not "replace" an existing class.

    Now do that if you can.

    Balancing is a very, very difficult task for expansion packs. And, honestly, if I played WoW, I'd rather give them 6 more months and have it done right than demanding it out now and having it break everything there is.
  • "Ad infinitum" is probably right, at least looking at it from the perspective of computer and video games. Last I checked, Ultima Online is on its way to being ten years old and still has over 100,000 subscribers [mmogchart.com]. World of Warcraft has almost fifty times as many players. If they manage the game well, I can see it being around in twenty years. Part of that would be a yearly expansion. The only people who would want to get the expansion are probably more-than-casual players, and spending $60 a year on a game
  • by Maul (83993) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:24AM (#16559474) Journal
    Unheard of!
  • How can something without an announced release date be delayed?
  • by Dangolo (974232) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:08AM (#16560092)
    My roommate has the BC beta and i've watched him play. Honestly, i'm surprised it's even in beta, i think it should still be in alpha status. Of the 5 or so hours of gameplay i've seen so far, i have witnessed:
    1- Loot rolls being won, but the item doesn't go into your bag. The item was 'lost' since he couln't loot the body anymore.
    2- Just clicking on a particular elite mob crashed wow to the desktop, twice.
    3- There were several mobs that didn't have any animation assigned to them. they were just these floating statues and you couldn't tell who they were attacking or if they were even dead yet.
    4- He has mostly tier 2.5 and 3 gear, and is a freakishly amazing pvper, yet he was easily killed by a rogue only 2 lvls higher. he used to be able to just laugh at rogues with his mail armor and shield, now it appears the lvls signify an overpowering leap in stats making it unfair.
    5- I don't know about him, but if I had worked relentlessly, giving up my life to get the uber leet T3 armor, and then see GREEN everyday items drop in BC that are actually better the most sought after gear in the normal game......I'd get so bitter i would prolly logoff and uninstall right that second!

    I have seen alot more than this, but all i can say is that the game is nowhere near ready for release. They need to realize that it affects over 6million of us now and most of us like it just the way it is. Also, we already have to deal with the dreaded 'patch day' every tuesday where our servers are offine, we can't play and then we get to read about how they changed the game yet again.

    This is just my opinion of the game from what i have seen. I mean no harm to Blizz, and i'm sure that with $(6million X $15 / Month) they can afford to devolop the game into truly one for the recordbooks.

    GG /uninstall
  • by Necroman (61604) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:39AM (#16560738)
    Blue posts found here (WoW forums are dead right now):
    http://blue.cardplace.com/newcache/us/38233956.htm [cardplace.com]

    They will be doing a 1.13 patch still. To quote Eyonix:
    "Keep in mind, we do plan to push a content patch prior to release, which could occupy your holiday time quite well." Followed by, "Oh, you know, just a few small things such as a brand new honor system, as well as new talents and abilities along with dozens of other changes and improvements. ;)"

    So they are releasing much of the changes available to level 60 people prior to the holiday season. It may even include some world event about the opening of the Dark Portal.
  • Delaying the BC expansion isn't completely a bad thing. This will give Blizzard more time to give us a polished, complete product. Hopefully servers won't crash on the first day!

    Also, is anyone that surprised by this? Blizzard has made it a practice to delay their titles, and usually it's worth the wait. I think though many may be disappointed, it'll work out in the end.

    I also think it shows that Blizzard has quite some brass, giving up the opportunity of hitting the Holiday market... though I guess t

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