Well, this post certainly won't be groundbreaking for one simple reason, Mynsc, I basically more-or-less agree with everything you wrote in the article. Wall of text ahead.
However, there is always a however, a couple of things. I am still unsure about the housing. I know people have demanded it for years and undoubtedly it would be an excellent way of making the virtual world of MMO that much more realistic and closer to heart of its players but I just don't know how they could possibly integrate it. MMOs have somewhat unpredictable population as well as population surges that don't typically occur in the real world not mention that it nigh impossible to actually predict what number of people will be playing the game. So, Blizzard just building a set number of houses seems to be out of the picture. Maybe they could place the players in an instanced zone but that tends to kill the immersion especially if the housing is, as one might expect, inside major cities of factions. But on the other hand there is no way they create a city large enough to house that many players. Also, it would likely create a feeling of isolation if you only see your own house it might not feel like you are part of the greater world which would remain probably, this is all conjecture of course, the same. They can't place all the players in a same instance of the housing but splitting them would create additional problems. One perhaps interesting wasy to deal with this would be to incorporate Sarnakyle's idea. If only players could build player houses that would create an interesting dynamic and could potentially recreate real world housing market. That does come with it's own set of problems. Which would be that would recreate many of the problems of the real world in a virtual world. Does anyone really want to have some guy in a game to tell them that he/she is too poor (of in-game currency) so that they can't afford house in some more exclusive place in the city, closer to the ruler's house, or closer to the market. That would probably be too much of real world for what is still essentially a game. Granted, MMOs are games that attempt to create a virtual world that is every bit and more interesting and expansive than real world.
@Sarnakyle. I agree, that sounds really interesting and would probably be amazing if included. Forming a strong economy that resambles real-world one in a virtual world that is entirely ran by players with devs only making sure that things are going smoothly is something I've always wanted for WoW. I know there is Eve Online but that is too much like real world work for me. And I am not big fan of Eve's corporation system. Though because of it's player run economy Eve has had some absolutely amazing happenings like when Guiding Hands Club worked their way up the (virtual) corporate ladder untill their man was vice-president and assassinated the president of one of the most powerful corporations in the game and then stole virtual goods in valued at 17,000 real world (US) dollars. I don't play Eve, never have, but it's things like that make me (kind of) whish I do. And I think that Titan would benefit greatly from giving greater freedom in creation of the universe's economy to the players. Making players of the game both suppliers and buyers would be amazing. However, as I notes before, there is always a however and/or but(t). Biggest issue with that is, can we do it. Or, more accurately, is there enough of players who are willing to be suppliers. Biggest issue with that kind of system is if for example, being a blacksmith is boring and most players want to go out and adventure. That is really a question for devs, can they make every single role interesting that there would be enough players willing to fulfill that role. If adventuring, which is standard MMO/RPG occupation, lets you explore the world, kill bosses, get amazing storylines etc, whereas, if you choose to be a blacksmith, you are stuck in a single city/town and are essentially grinding for supplies every day, then, number one, you are not playing a game but working, and two, that's boring to majority of people. Of course, this is just an example, but it certainly, I think, illustrates issues with making players both the suppliers and buyers. If the devs don't make both roles, and all the roles within those to roles, equally fun and balanced, economy and potentially game is ruined. I don't that will happen, I do trust Blizzard to make an amazing game but even they can make mistakes (cynics would say especially them, ActiBli$$ and all that), so they have to be very careful. Another issue is, how would players experience the game/world's storyline if they are essentially tied to their profession? They have to make the professions much more mobile than, for example, real world jobs are, and, I think, by necessity, have to include at least some adventuring in any case. Or did you mean a more advanced and improved version of WoW's profession system where stuff you make with your profession aids you in your adventuring? In which case I great deal of this paragraph is pointless.
Now, as lot of people seem to be posting their theories, Why not Zoidberg? Okay, I apoligise for that. Anyways, quickly moving on. I also firmly believe that the game will have time travel component and that time travel will be a crucial aspect of the gameplay. As a sidenote, I made a temporary name for Titan, TimeCraft. © me . It fits Blizzard's standard naming scheme and fits the (highly theoretical) time travel component. Anyway, onwards. This theory came from an observation on WoW I made. Which is, for as much as WoW's history evolves and political map changes, technology never seems to change whatsoever. Technology in modern (if we can call it that) Azeroth is hardly different from technology that was available before Third War, or before the Second War or before the First War, or, if someone from Azeroth went back in time to War of the Ancients unless I am badly mistaken, technology is more or less the same as it is today. As a another sidenote, I used this as a way of proving my theory, however, I wanted to use this chance to express my annoyance at Knaack for retconning the entire bloody War of the Ancients. It was pretty complicated before and all, but then he sent his band of warriors to the past completely changed the history. So, now there are two versions of the war, the old one and the new one, which makes it so much more complicated than it needs to be. Furthemore, apperantly Night Elves that we have today in Azeroth aren't the same Night Elves that we led in WC3. There is branching timeline that current Azeroth is in or whatnot. So, Night Elves went from being race of amazonian warrior women to the current tree huggers, and I mean that in the best sense possible, I like Night Elves. This is derailing me considerably. Anyway, overall technology never seems to change in Azeroth. So, why not, and this is my theory, have a world where technology changes quite a bit and due to time travel we are there to see it change and direct it if need be. Practically in gameplay terms, I envisioned (which sounds pretentious, I know) Civilization or Age of Empires type of gameplay, not in a sense that it is TBS/RTS, but in a sense that it is divided into time periods, which would be at the core of the gameplay. Game would set in a fantasy universe, different from WoW, maybe low fantasy as opposed to WoW's high fantasy, but one that would be divided into eras that would coincide with Europe's timeline. So, the eras would be Prehistory, Ancient, Medieval (which would be classic fantasy era), Renessaince, Industrial, Modern (where Technologically would be equivalent of modern Eart but in fantasy world) and Future (which would be Sci-FI in fantasy world, magic and lasers). Maybe more eras, probably less, seeing as there might be too many. Eras would be completely divided from each other, they would be on seperate servers. They could balance it so that players start in Prehistory and then go through eras where eras would be regions in other MMOs or from Future to Prehistory, or free choice because player characters will most likely be time travelers. But in the end game there should be complete freedom to go to any of these. One of the biggest draws of this would be, from lore-standpoint, observing the development of this fantasy world from undeveloped Prehistory to a situation where they have cities and sci-fi technology as well as all positive and negative consequences. Gameplay-wise the quests in prehistory would be most open and least linear with numerous possiblities and player actions. In that sense it would be somewhat like Elder Scrolls series where, obviously for example, there might be pack of dragons on a mountain and player might get a quest to go kill them from one faction, or to try to get them over for another factions or the player might just decide to help dragons destroy one of the factions (provided the player has completed some pre-req quest to be able to speak draconic) or he might just give them food. And then in future era those dragons could perhaps form a city and even country that would be basically like a modern country with modern technology and those same dragons had evolved into significantly smaller humanoids that is one of the major factions in that version of the future. In general, earlier in history era is, the more unchanging and constant the setting, so, for example in Prehistory, same NPCs will always be at the same places, same factions will always rule the same areas, etc, however, at the same time, the less linear and quests also have as many as possible solutions. And then, all quests and major actions in past affect all the future eras. And more future the era is, so, for example, the Future era, has fully linear quests that can only be solved with one way, however, there are more versions of the era. So, there could be thousands of instanced, partially proceduraly generated party pre-made by the devs versions of the Future era, and any other later era though less so, that is made from players actions. So, future could be one day/week/whatevere they set before the next change, highly technologically developed world with several super-powers, other time it could be post-apocalyptic world depending on players action in previous eras, or hundreds/thousands other versions. There are multiple benefits to this, for one thing, it means that Titan won't have the same problem that WoW has had in its transition from RTS to MMOPRG great deal of lore has been, and continues to be, "destroyed". WoW lore didn't transition well and there is understanding that in many cases gameplay trumps lore and that, as far as lore is concerned, everything seen in game has to be taken with a grain of salt. Time travel, regardless of accuracy of theory, solves this problem with elegance that even mathematicians would envy. Another thing that this solves is the "theme-park-ness" of WoW and the increadible linearity of WoW's questing experience. Doing quests in a zone once, twice is okay, but when you are leveling through that same zone for the fifth or sixth time, lore-nerd or not, questing is boring. This way questing in the earlier eras wouldn't be boring because the quests would be completely non-linear and they wouldn't be boring in the latter eras because of the increasing number of versions of future and their diversity. And, yes, that is basically that.
And I just saw that I've been writing this comment for two bloody hours, I started around 17:50 and now it is 19:50 where I live. Wow. I think this might be my record.