Wrath of the Lich King, the latest expansion for popular MMO World of Warcraft, is slated to add a cover mechanic to its battle system. Like similar systems used by more action-oriented games, such as Gears of War and Army of Two, players will be able to “quickfind” cover at any point during battle with the press of a button.
“We thought the battle system could use a bit of an overhaul,” says Blizzard’s Joseph Redlin. “Granted, since the battle system is based on a chance-to-hit system and it doesn’t really matter if something makes physical contact with you or not, the cover really won’t affect anything, but we feel that in order to keep up with industry trends, implementing this system is a necessity. Also, we are rich as fuck. I mean, seriously. We’re like Scrooge McDuck; in fact, we actually have a swimming pool sized vault full of gold coins. We can pretty much do whatever we want. Good example: we paid Ferrari $36 million dollars for the exclusive rights to use their products in games. Our games are fantasy and sci-fi based! We’ll never use them! But now no one else can either. Ha ha ha!”
Essentially, the new play mechanic is operated by pressing a button (designated by the player), which leads the player’s character to hide behind a nearby structure. Many players have raised concerns that the system is “stupid” and “retarded gay”. “A good amount of attacks in WoW are melee attacks, both for ranged- and melee-based classes, so running away isn’t really going to help, not to mention that the monsters follow you at about the same speed, if not faster, most of the time, so cover’s not going to help when something running with you,” said player James Trevonius. “You’re basically just going to press your back up against a wall while a monster tears your dick off. That’s not a very good value at $30. But, it’s a WoW product, so I guess I’m kinda required to buy it.”
Other mechanics were originally suggested before the developers decided on the cover system. “Other ideas included motion controls, a rumble feature, 3D glasses… we were pulling stuff out of the cliche handbook,” said Redlin. “At one point, we planned to use Mii-like avatars. We worked on them for a month before we realized that’s essentially all the game is to begin with. One person even suggested a multimedia CD-ROM game, like Myst. I said ‘Buddy, have you even played the game?’ And of course, he hadn’t. Then we all went out, got ripped on Goldschlager, and drove dune buggies around on a golf course. We whipped the cover thing up the next day.”
Blizzard expects the new expansion to sell over 9 million copies.
The Blizzard splash page I’ve been too busy slavishly following to update about is finally finished. It looks a little bit different than the ice-based teaser pic with the Death Knight/Protoss eyes that was up before. Here’s the pic so I can show you the differences:
The differences are subtle, but many. For example, the ice motif is gone, replaced with a red and orange, fire-based theme. Text is now present on the image. Also, IT FUCKING ANNOUNCES DIABLO FUCKING THREE. I may get sick of having to pretend I give a shit about WoW anytime I’m around gamers that I don’t already know personally, but if it allows them to finance projects I actually care about, I want a law passed making a WoW account mandatory for all US citizens, punishable by torture, because when Blizzard’s good, they’re really good. Now I’m just waiting for a splash page announcement for Lost Vikings III.