WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran


Woo II - the author

I began playing WoW just before Outland appeared. I've played both PvE and PvP ... though nowadays I focus on PvP battlegrounds. I currently have twelve or so characters on two servers: Dalaran Alliance and Executus Horde. You can find their names and links to the Armory pages here. I play every class of character (except warrior), and continue to play them regularly.

I maintain a WoW Battleground Strategies site. The site is intended for beginners and intermediate players, and it draws about 1000 readers each month.

I worked, long ago, as an applications programmer. Later, as a college professor, I taught computer programming and wrote two introductory programming textbooks (which, unfortunately for my bank account, are no longer in print). Even later, I taught college courses in Communication and Systems Theory. I designed an Introduction to Communication Theory website that has been in use for over twenty years.

I can code in Lua. I've written many macros and a number of add-ons. Some of my add-ons attracted users until I got tired of maintenance and delisted them from Curse. But that's the extent of my experience. I am not a game designer nor a game systems programmer ... and I've tried not to go into that level of detail in this document.


What WOO II is NOT

I began playing the current game some years ago and I'm still at it; I enjoy it. In my opinion, the current game has it's flaws, but WOO II is not an attempt to address these. That is, WOO II is not an attempt to "fix" the current game in any way - you can treat it that way if you like, but that's not my purpose.

In my mind the scenario goes something like this:

On a future date, yet to be determined, or even imagined, the final disaster brings an end to the current game. There is no next expansion. Instead, the denizens of the current game pool their powers to spawn a new continuum. This is a brand new game, with a new account, new characters, new everything. WOO II is an attempt to imagine how such a game might be similar to the current game, but re-created with a new framework and game play mechanics.

  1. WOO II is not official. I've never worked for Blizzard/Activision, except for free as an addon creator. We have no relationship other than customer to supplier, and I have no idea whether or not they want people doing this kind of thing. I wrote WOO II to satisfy my own curiosity.
  2. It's not a plan or a specification or a technical design. There is enough here, I think, to eventually produce a playable game with these features ... but I started out to see if I could figure out how to make certain aspects of the current game less boring, e.g. crafting, and that led to thinking about classes and attributes, and that led to Life Paths and the rest of it. What's here is a collection of ideas ... you couldn't give it to a computer, and it would take many, many hours of work to get it to that stage.
  3. It's not complete. I've reached the point where I'm satisfied that a game could be created that would increase the options for the players and make the game play more interesting. Huge chunks of detail are missing, and it's possible that those details would prove my schema unworkable. But I have other things to do ... like playing Wow ... and I'm happy with what I've discovered. So I'm done.


I didn't attach a forum to this site because I don't have the time for, nor the interest in, long discussions about the details. I'm publishing it because the results were interesting to me and I think that some other people might feel the same way. If you want to discuss it, please use Blizzard's forums ... they are very good about soliciting and listening to ideas about how the game should develop. And they are pros when it comes to moderating discussions.