Flickr

March 02, 2005

WarCrafting

Blizzard should create a Construction System in World of Warcraft.

Creating a base, building barracks, upgrading lumber mills - this is the heart of the previous generation of WarCraft games. It's the fundamental mechanic behind most real-time strategy games, really. But nowhere in the wide World of Warcraft can online players create structures that stay.

A player should be able to train the Construction skill and contribute to the manifacture of a new asset for the town. You could build a barracks to replenish the stock of town guards, upgrade an armory so that the guards have plate mail, create an outpost for a new rouge trainer, or get your guild members together to build a hall.

I'm not advocating a system whereby users create arbitrarily styled or defined buildings. I'm not arguing for the type of license that some MUDs afford their users because one of WoW's greatest strengths is the consistency of its design. However, a system can be defined to allow users to build pre-defined structures in specific locations.

This would also create an incentive for players to create characters on new servers. When the world is new, Stormwind won't yet have its Cathedral and you'll have the opportunity to contribute to that monumental effort.

And building something as big as a Cathedral should be difficult and take a long time to complete ... but once it is, you'll be able to look at the corner stone and see your name listed as one of the contributors. As much as I value my rugged leather tunic simply because it carries the label "Made by Towena," helping to build a structure that stays would be a true in-game accomplishment.

2 comments:

dgcopter said...

Even with confining construction to pre-defined structures & spaces, it seems like things'd get pretty cluttered pretty quick. I mean, wouldn't everyone want a barracks or whatnot?

But then again, Second Life seems to be doing okay...

Jason Goldman said...

The structures would be per-town not per-person. So a town could have a barracks, not each individual player.

I wouldn't want to see WoW adopt the Second Life model. The barracks that is built for Stormwind should look like it belongs there ... and not be a gaudy nightclub, for example.

It would take the effort of multiple players to raise a building (as opposed to simply enchanting an item). But the effects would also be more widespread - the town now has guard towers, for example.