April first has always been a big day for Blizzard Entertainment. They make it a point to make huge announcements on this day, like last year when they announced World of Warcraft game coming to consoles in the form of Molten Core, a game built exclusively for the Atari 2600. Anyone can see, with the concept art matching the screen shots so amazingly, that this was going to be a great game.
Well, they’ve outdone themselves again this year, announcing a new equipment rank system for WoW players and two mobile games that are sure to be hits.
As a writer, I am super excited for the announcement of the game Queen’s Quest for mobile platforms from Blizzard. The fact I can move through this story of “betrayal, love, action, drama, comedy, life, death, destiny, freedom, war, peace, hope, despair, and epic adventure” using just my words is groundbreaking for the industry! And do I even need to say it? Look at those graphics, and that dialogue. I think I’ll have to stop playing WoW for this one. I’ll be picking up these 17 floppy disks from the store as soon as it’s released, you can be sure of that.
With the recent emphasis in game about gear score (for those of you that don’t play WoW, each item has an “item level” that indicates what tier of content an item is from. Gear score is all of these item levels added together, which is supposed to be an indication of a player’s level of gear.. and, obviously, skill), the good folks at Blizzard have taken it upon themselves to further streamline this process of weeding out poor players from the best. They’ll be releasing the E.P.E.E.N. system with Cataclysm, the next expansion, which will phase characters out based on their E.P.E.E.N. ranking, meaning only the best will be able to speak to someone with a very high E.P.E.E.N. score. I think Blizz said it best:
As your number grows, the game world will tailor itself to you in other subtle ways: as the pool of players you interact with becomes more and more exclusive, you’ll no longer need to stand still in prominent locations quite so often to allow others to inspect your gear; you’ll have fewer time-wasting calendar invitations to sift through; and your friends list will become increasingly more manageable, reducing needless scrolling time. Any negative repercussions of these changes will be offset by the satisfaction you’ll receive knowing your equipment is significantly more impressive than average.
As always, Blizz, I commend you on your industry-changing April First news releases.