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The fall of a Titan

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World of Warcraft” has been the most popular MMORPG since 2004, controlling beyond sixty percent of the MMORPG subscription market with over ten million players worldwide at its peak of popularity. Blizzard has recently seen a decline in its players, in the millions, due to the repetition and simplicity of the game, and the release of two meager expansions, “Cataclysm” in 2010, and “Mists of Pandaria” in 2012. With the recent releases of “Guild Wars 2,” “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn,” and “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” Blizzard is trying to, once again, make “World of Warcraft” the titan of the MMORPG market.

Their Options
A rumored speculation was leaked in 2007 about a project Blizzard was working on called “Titan.” “Titan” was supposedly a next generation MMO that would coexist with Blizzard’s other MMO, “World of Warcraft.” The leaked release date of this new game was supposed to be in the fourth quarter of 2013. However, in August 2013, Blizzard announced that the project would take a different turn after most of its developing team were moved to other projects and was “unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG.” With this option gone, Blizzard had to find a new way to lure new and old players to “World of Warcraft.” At Blizzcon 2013, the fifth expansion of “World of Warcraft” was announced, “Warlords of Draenor” with an unspecified release date in 2014.

Warlords of Draenor
“Warlords of Draenor” is a refreshing change from the “World of Warcraft” that we know and love. They are implementing much needed visual upgrades and user interface (UI) improvements. The maximum level is increased from ninety to one hundred. As you level you explore a new world,”Draenor,” and fight with friends in six new dungeons and three new raids. Worried that you will be too far behind to enjoy the game with your friends? Don’t be! Blizzard is offering a free boost to level ninety on any character on your account with the purchase of the new expansion. This way you will be able to play with your friends as soon as possible if you are new to the game or went on hiatus. Blizzard is also adding a new feature to “Warlords of Draenor,” they are giving players the ability to own a piece of land called a “Garrison.” These garrisons are players’ personal fortresses that they can build, staff, and manage. Players can customize their garrisons’ layouts and appearances which creates a wide variety of gameplay.

Last-Ditch Effort?
One can’t help but wonder if this new expansion is Blizzard’s last hurrah to regain “World of Warcraft’s” former glory as the number one MMORPG in the world. With new gameplay and visual upgrades, Blizzard may be trying to lead the charge in next generation MMOs, replacing “Titan” with a new, shiny “World of Warcraft.” When you overlook these changes however, the gameplay will be the same as it used to be, grinding quests and dungeons to reach the maximum level and then grinding raids for the best gear in the game. Maybe it’s not the improved gameplay players, who dropped their subscriptions, are looking for in “World of Warcraft,” but a whole new game instead. Why don't you decide? Visit http://us.battle.net/wow/en/warlords-of-draenor/ for upcoming information on "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor."

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