As an avowed World of Warcraft addict, there aren't too many things that surprise me in the game any more. Yes, the Legion expansion has been incredibly good and has me feeling good about the MMO again, but it is still the same game, just in different expansion packages. However, after seeing fan project bringing the city of Stormwind and Dalaran alive in VR, my only response is "Blizzard, you must do this now!"
User Jason Trenkoski, aka Ultra, uploaded two videos of him taking a walking tour through the two prominent cities of World of Warcraft. The experience was actually created for the HTC Vive by friend Puffycheeks using Unity for a project called VR Gameworlds. For anyone familiar with WoW, the sense of scale you get is severely lacking in the 2D experience, but as Trenkoski moves through, the VR experience adds a whole new feeling of awe and wonder to the game.
It is not playable by an stretch, as the videos show the cities devoid of most characters, and the ones you do see offer little if any interactions at all. But as a concept, it is absolutely amazing.
"As for now, we're continuing to work on more maps," Trenkoski told UploadVR via email. "We've got Molten Core coming soon (perhaps a week or 2) but the aim is to try and get as many cities and experiences put into virtual reality and really recapture that nostalgia. Turning this into a game isn’t the aim for this, but after its all completed (which will take some time) we will look into doing a co-op experience or something of the sort."
Blizzard has given no hint that they would be interested in doing anything with VR so far, so this is a project that will be watched closely by VR and WoW fans alike. Unfortunately, given Blizzard penchant of shutting down fan projects that use its IPs, such as vanilla WoW servers, this could easily get shut down any time, especially if it becomes more popular.
Right now it appears the project is a labor of love, and there are no donations being actively accepted for the project. Puffycheeks even offers a disclaimer on his Stormwind video: "I don't own the assets/music in this project. it is owned by Blizzard Entertainment. This video is not monetized. This content is not for sale or distribution. Play World of Warcraft, It's fun." He probably struck through the "distribution" part of the disclaimer when he realized posting on YouTube would get it distributed.
Four versions are currently available for download, the Stormwind walkthough and a keyboard version for use without a controller, the Dalaran walkthrough as well as an Orgrimmar walkthrough. It was created for Vive, and Puffycheeks said he is unsure if it will work with Oculus. He also said that you need a beefy PC to run it, although he didn't give specs, so be warned.
And as a final tease of just how awesome this looks and the scale you get, he even posted a video of the ending of the Tomb of Sargeras raid and a look at how massive Kil'jaeden is in VR. This is a spoiler, so use this as a disclaimer before you click.
Blizzard, if you are listening, give us WoW in VR. Do it for Shacknews! I'd buy it and a VR headset in a heartbeat.