Blizzard scraps Project Titan

After years of troubled development, Blizzard is opting to scrap their next big MMORPG and move on.

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After seven years of tumultuous development, Blizzard is officially canning development for its next MMORPG known as Project Titan. Citing a lack of passion and several setbacks, Blizzard has ultimately decided to scrap the whole project.

"We didn't find the fun," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime told Polygon. "We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."

Blizzard had appeared to be ramping up production on Project Titan in recent years, with the development hitting 100 workers. However, given the game's ongoing identity crisis and the recent success of smaller-scale Blizzard games, the publisher ultimately thought it best to shift away from the massive endeavor. Titan's cancellation is also offering Blizzard a moment of introspection, noting that it doesn't necessarily have to pigeonhole itself as the MMORPG studio.

"Maybe we can be what we want to be and inspire groups around the company to experiment, get creative, think outside the box and take chances on things that just might thrill people," Blizzard senior vice president of story and franchise development Chris Metzen added. "Maybe they don't have to be these colossal, summer blockbuster-type products."

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 23, 2014 10:15 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Blizzard scraps Project Titan.

    After years of troubled development, Blizzard is opting to scrap their next big MMORPG and move on.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:15 AM

      I was just about to post this. RIP DON

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:16 AM

      not surprised

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      September 23, 2014 10:21 AM

      Good, take all the money you won't be spending on Titan now and put it into making Starcraft: Ghost a thing again goddammit.

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        September 23, 2014 10:45 AM

        SERIOUSLY. Assassins are SO IN right now, but they're taking forever to get to the future.

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          September 23, 2014 11:29 AM

          Yea, plus Nova is a badass. I love her who section in SC2

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            September 23, 2014 5:26 PM

            Her character is pretty cool in Heroes of the Storm too if that adds anything.

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        September 23, 2014 10:48 AM

        I don't care, it won't bring back Swinging Ape T^T

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          September 23, 2014 11:40 AM

          A lot of those people still work at Blizzard.

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            September 23, 2014 11:46 AM

            I'm happy for them - it sounds like a great place to work, but it won't get me super ultra Metal Arms

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 10:49 AM

        They should make a Deus-Ex like game set in the Starcraft universe.

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        September 23, 2014 12:15 PM

        How long as it been now? 12 years? RIP GameCube.

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          September 23, 2014 6:52 PM

          I STILL go back and watch those old game play videos. SHIT LOOKED AWESOME.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:22 AM

      RIP

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:26 AM

      Did they ever reveal what it was actually like?

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        September 23, 2014 10:28 AM

        No, but I'm sure there will be some leaked info within the next year or two.

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        September 23, 2014 10:36 AM

        Even they didn't know what it was going to be.

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      September 23, 2014 10:32 AM

      Unfortunate, but not unexpected. The MMO market is too saturated at the moment and WoW is still making money like crazy, even if subs are down. Looking forward to new IP's in the future tho.

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      September 23, 2014 10:32 AM

      lol surely they have some other mmo in the pipeline. WoW is 10 years old and really long in the tooth

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        September 23, 2014 10:44 AM

        it still has like 7 million active subscribers, they'll still be making bank on it for many years to come

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          September 23, 2014 11:23 AM

          Yeah and another Blizz MMO would definitely lower subs in WoW.

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        September 23, 2014 10:45 AM

        Well, the subscriber numbers are still high. If the declining subscriber trend remains fairly constant, I assume it'll still remain profitable for many years to come. I'd be real interested in seeing Blizzard's internal projections for WoW's future.

        It would also be really interesting to know how profitable WoW is compared to Hearthstone or will be compared to Heroes of the Storm. Those smaller free-to-play games surely have tiny initial and running development costs than WoW, making them far less risky. The creators at Blizzard also probably don't enjoy working on the same title for 10 years, as in WoW's case. I sure as hell hope that some day Blizzard will create an epic game of World of Warcraft's scale again.

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        September 23, 2014 10:47 AM

        It still has a stupid high sub base, but also, Warlords of Draenor is looking really good. They're going to get back a chunk of the people that left after the lighter-toned Pandaria.

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        September 23, 2014 11:15 AM

        I don't think they'll make another one. SWTOR and TESO kinda show that that's not a market you wanna chase.

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          September 23, 2014 11:38 AM

          to be fair those games were both shit

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            September 23, 2014 12:43 PM

            They really weren't and certainly aren't.

            I haven't spent any time with TESO buy SW TOR did far more right than it did wrong. More importantly it is a lot of fun to play.

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              September 23, 2014 1:34 PM

              As usual, InfoBiter knows wtf. SWTOR is a lot better of a game today than it was at launch, but you only get one chance to make a good first impression...

              I resubbed for a while to do the Space PvP and it was glorious.

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                September 23, 2014 4:21 PM

                I disagree. Linear story driven MMOs are about the 'journey' not the end. That isnt going to retain subs. Players had to beg for end game content. This isnt saying that i didnt enjoy my 'journey' in these games but you could finish it all up before your first month sub runs out. The games were "shit" in a sense that they really shouldnt have been made as MMOs. More isolated co-op or something probably would have been better.

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      September 23, 2014 10:44 AM

      You make diablo, Starcraft and hearthstone too. You've only made 1 mmo ever. I don't know where this identity crisis is coming from. Does anyone actually see blizzard as an "MMO company?"

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        September 23, 2014 10:48 AM

        well they did make the most successful one ever

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        September 23, 2014 10:49 AM

        When you make a game as popular as WoW it's hard not to be perceived as the "MMO company."

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        September 23, 2014 10:50 AM

        WoW is basically their biggest product, certainly their most profitable, reshaped the industry, and touched popular culture in a way none of their properties ever have (or likely ever will). It's hardly surprising that they'd invest in a successor.

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        September 23, 2014 11:41 AM

        Only one MMO but they have released several new expansions for it which are like sequels in a lot of ways

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:44 AM

      http://www.priceisrightfail.com/

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:46 AM

      * STARCRAFT GHOST'd *

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:48 AM

      world of starcraft backup plan engage

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 10:50 AM

        I would actually love this

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          September 23, 2014 3:11 PM

          Same here - especially if it was an FPS Planetside-style thing.

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            September 23, 2014 3:28 PM

            All over my face pls

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:49 AM

      I think it's cool that they are still the studio that wants games to be fun above all else.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 10:52 AM

        Yeah, I can't think of any other studio that has so consistently taken big projects that weren't "working" and just said "Fuck it, nevermind".

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          September 23, 2014 10:55 AM

          I wonder if they will come up with a whole new IP or just look to iterate more.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 10:50 AM

      WarCraft 4 confirmed!

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        September 23, 2014 10:54 AM

        ^^^^^ YES!

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:28 AM

        OMG this is what I want!!!

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 12:50 PM

        If only. They'd have to set it in the past or something though, can't get in the way of the WoW timeline chugging forward.

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        September 23, 2014 1:05 PM

        The return of green jesus.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 6:05 PM

        Only if they scrap the WoW storyline and pick up from 3.

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      September 23, 2014 10:53 AM

      The only MMORPG I really got into was Anarchy Online, but after enough years of no graphical updates, and just doing the free to play thing and missing out on over half the content, I moved on. I really would like for an Anarchy Online 2 to come out, as I'm tired of fantasy mmorpg's and games in general from Skyrim to Guild Wars 2, etc. I just crave futuristic games these days, and just bought Anno 2070 complete on sale yestarday to help. But I still miss Anarchy Online :(

      That said, though I really enjoy Planetside 2, half the time it feels like I'm just part of a zerg rush and therefore am not making any difference. The other half, I feel constricted as most of the weapons look or feel relatively identical. Not many differences in particle effects, weapon visuals/animation, and sounds. It's a great game, don't get me wrong, but it feels like it's missing something still, and I think I just like the rpg elements and feeling like my character is progressing more. But that's not possible if I keep fighting the same character models 100 hours later, and kill them with the same tactics 100 hours later as I did before. I don't need to change up my playstyle too much, and idk, I'm just rambling at this point.

      Character progression (i.e. stats, new abilities, secondary classes, crafting) for a game like Planetside 2 while keeping everything balanced in a pvp only game isn't possible. I guess I like comp stomps more than I thought :) I miss the AI from F.E.A.R. for some reason it just felt perfect, now to have something similar in an mmorpg...

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:16 AM

        Rubi-ka 1 or 2 , who was your main ?

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          September 23, 2014 12:59 PM

          I'd tell you if I could remember, but it's lost in time :( I had a lvl 101 or so Martial Artist xD He was a bit squishy, but man did his crits hit hard.

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        September 23, 2014 11:18 AM

        Loved AO. Went back last year some time when the graphics update was supposed to come out ( I think it's still not out yet) but it never came, and I played for a bit and had some fun but gosh it's kind of dead these days. Sad.

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      September 23, 2014 10:54 AM

      Huh interesting. You know what they should do next, they should take what they did with WOW make a offline optional co op game like WOW but pimp out the graphics add more gameplay details and make it a mega Skyrim game but in the WOW universe and allow up to 10 player drop in co op.

      This is personal want I want and think it would be amazing, with the removal of the MMO constraints it be pretty awesome and well I don't like MMOs, and I dislike always online games.

      I know it is never going to happen but it be pretty cool

      WOW -> Skyrim -> Optional 10 player CO OP with offline mode and mega graphics + deep gameplay and RPG elements would = My mind blown

      MMOs time seems to have passed time to move on optional co op that is where its at.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:26 AM

        No hats? It will never work.

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        September 23, 2014 11:30 AM

        I would want to turn all of WoW from Vanilla to current into a massive Single Player gamer of Epic proportions!!!!! That game would be massive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          September 23, 2014 11:34 AM

          Well this is exactly what I am saying ^^^^^^ and with a new engine. I played WOW Vanilla and BC for two years and I loved it but I played it solo to lvl cap and I could think of is "make this a MEGA SP game with optional co op".

          If they where to ever SP it with the optional 10 man coop in a new engine and fine tune everything with more detail and gameplay it be amazing.

          Dude lets hope they do something like this it be incredible.

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            September 23, 2014 11:49 AM

            It'd rock, but Bliz seems to be shying away from anything single player. Everything they make now is very online focused.

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            September 23, 2014 1:39 PM

            that about the time played as well and even then I wished it could have been a SP game..... I WISH UPON A MILLION STARS FOR THIS!

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        September 23, 2014 1:07 PM

        no. like not even a little bit.

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        September 23, 2014 1:19 PM

        I like coop a lot, I really do, but you just can't take an MMO model and move it to single player, just like you can't take single player and move it to MMO.

        I think that a big part of the failing of the most recent WoW expansions has been that they tried to force a very heavy single player narrative an MMO, and in the process kind of diminished the social and open world aspects that attracted people to the game. I think phasing is one of the worst parts about it, you can hardly even quest in the same area with somebody else. It's really hard to get synchronized with another player.

        Not that you would want to quest with another player, since the game is incredibly easy solo and everything dies so fast that there's really no benefit.

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          September 23, 2014 1:29 PM

          Which is to say that I think a properly-constructed MMO world lends itself to coop or teamwork without necessarily requiring it or building it in in direct ways.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 11:28 AM

      Dump it all into F2P MOBAs :(

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 11:33 AM

      I'm an idiot, but I'd prefer they dump time and effort into a brand new IP and genre that isn't RPG/RTS/MMO.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:34 AM

        Or Rock 'n Roll Racing. I'll take that, too.

        • reply
          September 23, 2014 11:40 AM

          a polished fun racing game by Blizzard. I could get in on that.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:54 AM

        How many developers get into more than 3 genres. Let alone be THE developer in those genres.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 11:38 AM

      Ok now that Titan is dead they have a couple of options now:

      A. Speed up development on Legacy of the Void
      B. Resurrect Starcraft Ghost
      C. Work on Warcraft 4
      D. Bring back the Lost Vikings
      E. Make a new IP
      F. Sit back and let WoW make mo'money
      G. Sit back and let Hearthstone make mo'money

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:40 AM

        Time to put all their eggs into the Blackthrone basket

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:44 AM

        Massive Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Role-playing Collectible Card Game: MaMOBARCCG.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 11:48 AM

        E. Minecraft clone- destroy Minecraft Trove and everyone else.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 12:22 PM

        H. FUND HALF LIFE 3.

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 12:40 PM

        E) A Blizzard styled side scroller!

      • reply
        September 23, 2014 12:55 PM

        E of course, I bet those guys are bored shitless of MMOs and want a change on something smaller and fun. We'll see some cool shit from Blizzard within a year which is cool.

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        September 23, 2014 1:14 PM

        Since we're doing the whole awful idea thread thing, how about:

        H. Re-open the Diablo III RMAH and revert the Jay Wilson changes
        I. Purchase Studio Ghibli and finish Warcraft Adventures
        J. Leverage access to Activision IP and create Call of Duty MMO
        K. Work on Death and Return of Superman 2 reimagined as an MOBA

        and my personal favorite...

        L. Fuck it... Leverage access to Activision IP and give me Blur goddamn 2.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 11:39 AM

      Warcraft 4 RTS plz

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        September 23, 2014 11:50 AM

        yes plz!

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        September 23, 2014 12:07 PM

        maybe with a single player campaign, but ALSO a co-op campaign, you each have one hero, larger maps etc.

        side story co-op campaign action?

        man that'd rock.

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        September 23, 2014 12:37 PM

        Seems unlikely. WoW is pretty much the "the thing" for the Warcraft plot right now. Any games like an RTS would have to take place way off the beaten path or use some kind of wonky plot device so as to not interfere with what WoW handles or might handle in the future.

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          September 23, 2014 1:20 PM

          I don't see why they couldn't release one because of that. They could release the plot for Warcraft 4 first and than integrate it in WoW.

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            September 23, 2014 1:29 PM

            Sure, they could. But I'm not sure why they would want to. There would be lots of logistical issues as well as the possibility of player dissent. It just seems unlikely to me, but I've been wrong plenty of times before.

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              September 23, 2014 2:18 PM

              I'd figure the biggest challenge would be the difference in storytelling perspectives. Warcraft 4's narrative would likely allow for much broader strokes and would take place over an extended period of time. So WC4 players would get what would be an MMO expansion pack's worth of story content over the course of their ~20-30 hour campaign. On the flipside of that coin, World of WarCraft players would experience that same series of events - albeit with a much greater degree of minutiae and item gathering detail and back story - but over the course of ~2 years.

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          September 23, 2014 2:09 PM

          if star trek can do it, warcraft can do it. they've got the dark portal and caverns of time and a couple other plot mechanics they could make hay with. that said, i don't think a warcraft rts would be successful today. i'd rather see a single player, third person rpg in the warcraft universe. those still sell well today

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            September 23, 2014 2:11 PM

            I was never arguing that it wasn't logistically possible, just that Blizzard likely wouldn't want to.

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              September 23, 2014 2:13 PM

              i agree we're not going to see a warcraft rts but i really don't think the plot is the primary reason, or even secondary or tertiary. that's something they can easily deal with if their business decides another warcraft game is what they need, and i don't think they'd give it a second thought. they had no problem repurposing the warcraft world for hearthstone

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            September 23, 2014 2:14 PM

            Yeah I was thinking a caverns of time / planet of the apes mechanic. Kevin the Orc peon returns from work-work on a Caverns of Time portal to find his world as a dystoopian ravaged husk. Lil Kevin's adventure begins in fighting the strange Alliance in what we later find out is an alternate time line. Warcraft 4: Spitball edition.

        • reply
          September 24, 2014 5:00 PM

          I don't think story is really the hurdle for a Warcraft RTS, its that RTS is not mass appeal and in a post-Wow era, Warcraft isn't an RTS.

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        September 23, 2014 2:35 PM

        The Warcraft 3 team is working on StarCraft, so WC4 would have to wait until SC2 is call finished up.

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        September 23, 2014 6:08 PM

        I fear it will be full of "please come play WoW" bullshit in the game and or DOTA clonery :(

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 11:43 AM

      It's good to think that they would can something because it just isn't fun, but I'm hearing that "it just wasn't fun" line so often, it's more like a trendy PR / marketing line than real info. It sounds so much better than "the project wasn't going to make back the investment", like it was an artistic decision instead of a normal business decision.

      I dunno about blizzard, they're really good at making certain kinds of games at an extreme high quality, but they aren't really trying to innovate and they have statues of past games around the place. It's not the kind of place I expect to do anything new or risky.

      Maybe they should work on a Minecraft killer- they could drink Microsoft's milkshake before they can get Minecraft 2 or whatever made.

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 11:50 AM

      This is good news for the creative process if they don't have to start canning people.

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      September 23, 2014 11:58 AM

      Bleh, don't want to play WoW. :( Was hoping for something fresh. WoW just feels weird now days to me when I tried to play.

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      September 23, 2014 12:40 PM

      i really want to know what it was

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        September 23, 2014 12:41 PM

        We will eventually see concept art on artist pages down the line.

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      September 23, 2014 12:41 PM

      Not at all surprising. The MMO space has changed a lot since they started on this. It became clear to me a few years ago that another huge subscription-style MMO was going to be a huge problem to fit into the market.

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      September 23, 2014 1:28 PM

      Jay Wilson strikes again!

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      September 23, 2014 2:42 PM

      Was there any info on exactly what Project Titan is/was, other than it was an MMO?

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      September 23, 2014 2:49 PM

      Best f***ing news all day! WarCraft 4 let's do this!

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      September 23, 2014 3:23 PM

      MMORPGs...they're dying. I'm glad Blizzard realizes this, likely taking a clue from lackluster giants like ESO. WoW will continue for a while yet though I'd imagine, being the main reason so many others have failed.

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        September 23, 2014 3:25 PM

        They definitely all tend to feel the same, albeit largely worse than WoW.

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        September 23, 2014 3:28 PM

        it's a pretty awful genre

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          September 23, 2014 3:32 PM

          Yes, weirdly I agree. It's odd though, I figured I'd like them due to liking fantasy in general. I think it's the bored mechanics in just about every single one as well as the complete lack of immersion with 15 other people jumping around like idiots in the middle of the road or picking flowers at any given time.

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            September 23, 2014 3:36 PM

            It wouldn't be so bad if most things were instanced and there was a heavy heavy focus on legit story like the first 20 levels of Age of Conan.

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              September 23, 2014 5:15 PM

              As much as I enjoy many MMOs, I would kill to have a group of just five people who would want to stick through the story elements as much as I do. The problem is, that will never happen. Ever. For any appreciable amount of time. I might find five random people who enjoy it but that's not going to guarantee we're friends or that our schedules will align.

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            September 23, 2014 3:48 PM

            it just completely stifles story, characters and gameplay. The only redeeming thing is the world/scale and then you replace story and gameplay with progress bars.

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            September 23, 2014 4:25 PM

            I don't know it feels like it was a genre that evolved from all sorts of stuff slowly but surely, ie: D&D -> MUDs -> 2d MMO's like UO -> 3d MMO's like WoW and then... did it just kind of die? Or did it shift sideways into other genre's I'm not realizing? I feel like things just kind of stagnated, there hasn't been much innovation in that type of game for a while now.

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            September 23, 2014 5:09 PM

            That's why I loved Guild Wars so much. The instances (which means no stupid monster respawn), andt he lack of jumping.

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          September 23, 2014 7:14 PM

          MMORPG is a genre?

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        September 23, 2014 3:40 PM

        The problem with making a really good mmorpg is it kills your real life. Life is a pretty damn good mmorpg itself. Its tough. WoW came at a good time when no one had the mmorpg experience and it was a great experience , its just there's no way in hell these same people are going to enter it again and lose more years of real life.

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        September 23, 2014 3:58 PM

        No one likes the grinding of old-school EQ, but that's the only way to keep players from burning through content. And, that's exactly what all modern MMOs have experienced. Without the stupidly exponential xp curve of EQ, you just can't make the game long enough to hold interest.

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          September 23, 2014 4:19 PM

          I hate saying this because it sounds dickish and judgmental, but I've wondered about this a lot over the 10 years that I've played WoW, and it really does seem sometimes like certain players are the worst enemy of the MMO. Those groups that clamor to be the first & the fastest all compete with each other to have the biggest e-dick, and consequently they chew through anything the game offers in ridiculous time, causing them to bitch and moan that there's not enough stuff to do, or that it's not hard enough, etc. All while the rest of us plebian sane people are like "wtf this game is huge".

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            September 23, 2014 5:20 PM

            A lot of that noise is generated by people who haven't completed the content themselves, but complain about the lack of content because there exists someone who has completed it at all.

            The WoW & D3 public profiles make it really easy to identify these people.

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        September 23, 2014 4:31 PM

        MMOs (or something like them) are probably the future of videogames. They're not going anywhere.

        Massive, persistent online worlds are absolutely here to stay.

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          September 23, 2014 7:09 PM

          I'm really not sure how you can say this now, compared to a few years ago

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 3:30 PM

      I could see a WoW universe game with a Destiny-like structure, with lots of paid DLC rather than monthly fees, as a direction that wouldn't surprise me.

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        September 23, 2014 4:11 PM

        make it starcraft universe and they can take all my money

    • reply
      September 23, 2014 3:38 PM

      Frees up some funds for them to finish Warcraft Adventures.