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Why they scrapped Titan & How YOU can get Titan released.


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#1
jezbelle

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There's only one reason why they would reset the MMO. And no one has mentioned it.

 

The first thing you need to understand is that they're not dumb. These people are .. NOT.. dumb. This means:

1) They would not pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a game, and wait until the VERY last second to scrap it because they didn't "like it". They would have OBSERVED much earlier that it wasn't headed in the right direction. This supports the obvious alternative...

 

In reality, the truth is that they were making a lot more money from WoW than they expected they were going to be making at the end of 2013. When the document was leaked years back, showing that Titan had been scheduled for a 2014 release, WoW subscription numbers (in millions) were going down the toilet. Literally. They wanted to have a game ready for when WoW met its end. But, as it turns out, WoW had a more resilient, core player base than people originally thought... and games that were perceived to be threats (ie. Star Wars) turned out to be duds.

 

It all comes down to profit. How can they make more profit? How can they satisfy their shareholders? 1) Taking a gamble by releasing Titan now (with WoW earning hundreds of millions of dollars each year already) ORRR   2) sticking with WoW for a few more years, and making guaranteed money. The latter of course, was the safest bet. This is why...

 

Releasing Titan while WoW was still going strong would have been the most stupid decision of the century, because in MMOs, we have something called a FIXED playerbase. People cannot be playing two MMOs at the same time. When you go to one MMO, you leave the other. And often, the number of active players playing MMOs are relatively static. Because they already OWN the majority of the MMO player base, they would only be stealing players away from themselves to feed Titan. 

 

Instead of trying to manage two very popular games at the same time, Blizzard's plan has ALWAYS been to wait until WoW dies to release Titan. It is simply more profitable, and more practical. They have decided to scrap Titan (instead of hold onto it for later) because in however many more years it takes for WoW to die, Titan will likely be behind its time.

 

The sooner WoW dies, the sooner we get our beloved Titan. Convince your friends to quit.



#2
Sarnakyle

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Convince your friends to quit.

 

HA! I love the way you ended this :)

 

First off, welcome Jezbelle and thanks for the post! (And if your not new, my bad, I suck at names). You make an good point, WoW is still hugely successful by all other MMO standards and I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that Blizz put off Titan a bit to fix it. Also, people are kidding themselves if they think Titan wouldn't have leached the WoW player base. But I really believe that there was something fundamentally flawed with Titan.

 

In the absence of Titan, I have been studying Blizzard more as a whole (to kill time). I think the company is currently going through an evolution. You are seeing them embrace new traditions such as opening up communication much more than ever through social media. They looked back at their roots to see if they could still make a super fun game with a small team in Hearthstone. Blizzard is also pushing out more titles than ever with Hearthstone, HotS on the horizon, and two projects (Titan and something unknown). Blizzard is changing to meet the demands of the new ways we game and interact with games. So, I will take this opportunity to make my prediction:

 

Titan was a project of the old Blizzard.

 

The idea came out three(ish) years after WoW was released, in a world where the MMO was king. But the MMO is no longer the Hamsters rock, Squirrels suck! anymore. In fact, MMOs are now almost the black sheep of PC gaming. I would bet that Titan has changed so much it couldn't even be classified as an MMO as we know them today. I think they will go for a hybrid route (think Destiny) or maybe even release something completely new to the market. A bit of proof that Titan has changed is when MM stated that it will be unlikely to be a sub based MMO. This would have been unthinkable when the game was thought of in 2007. And as Mynsc has pointed out; does that mean the game will not be an MMO with a sub, or not an MMO at all. 

 

Of course this is all just random thoughts that fly through my head, so your guess is certainly as good as mine. The only part I will dispute is convincing your friends to leave WoW. I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I don't want Titan to come about by striking against the game that (financially) allowed Titan to be born! Also, we are all here because of WoW. We wouldn't be interested in the spiritual successor to WoW if it wasn't the great game it is. 


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#3
Slayer

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Nah, nah. You can wait. Deal with it.



#4
Valkata

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In any case, I hope once Titan is released Blizzard is going to share their original thoughts of the game in 2007. It would be fun to compare the two.



#5
jezbelle

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HA! I love the way you ended this :)

 

First off, welcome Jezbelle and thanks for the post! (And if your not new, my bad, I suck at names). You make an good point, WoW is still hugely successful by all other MMO standards and I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that Blizz put off Titan a bit to fix it. Also, people are kidding themselves if they think Titan wouldn't have leached the WoW player base. But I really believe that there was something fundamentally flawed with Titan.

 

In the absence of Titan, I have been studying Blizzard more as a whole (to kill time). I think the company is currently going through an evolution. You are seeing them embrace new traditions such as opening up communication much more than ever through social media. They looked back at their roots to see if they could still make a super fun game with a small team in Hearthstone. Blizzard is also pushing out more titles than ever with Hearthstone, HotS on the horizon, and two projects (Titan and something unknown). Blizzard is changing to meet the demands of the new ways we game and interact with games. So, I will take this opportunity to make my prediction:

 

Titan was a project of the old Blizzard.

 

The idea came out three(ish) years after WoW was released, in a world where the MMO was king. But the MMO is no longer the Hamsters rock, Squirrels suck! anymore. In fact, MMOs are now almost the black sheep of PC gaming. I would bet that Titan has changed so much it couldn't even be classified as an MMO as we know them today. I think they will go for a hybrid route (think Destiny) or maybe even release something completely new to the market. A bit of proof that Titan has changed is when MM stated that it will be unlikely to be a sub based MMO. This would have been unthinkable when the game was thought of in 2007. And as Mynsc has pointed out; does that mean the game will not be an MMO with a sub, or not an MMO at all. 

 

Of course this is all just random thoughts that fly through my head, so your guess is certainly as good as mine. The only part I will dispute is convincing your friends to leave WoW. I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I don't want Titan to come about by striking against the game that (financially) allowed Titan to be born! Also, we are all here because of WoW. We wouldn't be interested in the spiritual successor to WoW if it wasn't the great game it is. 

 

Thanks for the response. So... you say there was likely something fundamentally flawed with the game.

 

They worked on the project for nearly a decade. I have a hard time buying that ;) Like I said, these people are not stupid. They are professional video game designers. If there was something fundamentally flawed with the game, it would have been absurdly easy to detect early on. If it had not been a "fundamental" problem, it could have easily been written out/re-designed. That is the beauty of the creative industry!

 

While I personally think that they thought it would be dated by the time WoW died, I would not discount the possibility that it had already begun to seem dated!

 

AS for the "to be MMO" or "not to be MMO" debate... I think this is also a no-brainer. I think your observation about the "new genre" games actually support my point. That they are making these mini-games because they don't want to commit a lot of time to anything while they are really only waiting for WoW to die (which they figure could be a spontaneous thing). In other words, they are trying to make money on the side. But MMOs are their main profession. Do you think they are making a lot of money off of these mini-games? Hardly. Nothing close to an MMO. An MMO, while it may be the hardest genre to make successfully, is infinitely more profitable than any other genre. And Blizzard has a PROVEN track record with MMOs. There is no reason why they WOUND'T make Titan an MMO. Any alternative would be impractical, and a break of trust for its shareholders. The reason people hold shares in that company, the reason it is valuable, is because people believe they have the tools to make the best MMO out there.

 

Titan will be an MMO. 100%... rejoice!

 

 

 

ps. If it's BIGGER than an MMO, I'm open to ideas. Although I don't think technology is there yet.



#6
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Great topic jezbelle, and thanks for stirring up some new conversation.  I had a good chuckle with "Convince your friends to quit."  You should get yourself an avatar at this point so we can identify you better. ;)

 

While you make many interesting points, I think one thing in particular is a big leap. 

 

If there was something fundamentally flawed with the game, it would have been absurdly easy to detect early on.

 

Why can't professionals change course and realize fundamental flaws after a decade?  Even in a static environment, and even with best laid plans and intentions this can happen.  Add onto this the shifts in revenue models in the last 5+ years , then games altering their base structures to play in this new market and you already have one example of a reason Blizzard may have chosen to revamp Titan.  It all comes down to profit as you say, so if Blizzard designed Titan without an ingenious way to implement a F2P revenue source within the game then that alone could account for a reset.  I'm not sure this is what it is, merely pointing out that professionals can and do change things after a long time.  It's not necessarily easy to see flaws early on, especially in a landscape where the rules change underneath you.  Heck, it took me 15 years of playing my instrument to realize a fundamental flaw in what I was doing, and another 5 years to fix it.  I'm sure I'll find many more along the way and need to go back to square one yet again.

 

I do agree with most of the other stuff you have mentioned, especially that WoW is doing pretty damn well all these years later.  If the WoW ship was sinking and HotS and Hearthstone weren't on the table then you can bet your BALLS (see what I did there?) that there would be some major pressure to push Titan out the door. 

 

The question is, would that be good for us as consumers?  Would this old version of Titan have been ready for 2014?  Who the heck knows now.  Blizzard didn't go down that path.  I for one am glad that if there was even the slightest inkling that Titan wouldn't be the next "It" of gaming that they make a second pass.  Add on to that the unparalleled expectations that the next Blizzard MMO live up to and surpass the success of WoW, and well... you've got a recipe for disaster if they don't do it right.  It has to blow people away from the very start in every way or Blizzard is going to take a huge hit.

 

So sure - I agree with you that the sooner WoW dies the sooner we get Titan.  But I don't want it to die before it has run its course because I want Blizzard to have the time they need to live up to our unrealistic expectations of it.



#7
jezbelle

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Why can't professionals change course and realize fundamental flaws after a decade?  

 

Well... I can see how this MIGHT happen. But, looking at it objectively, isn't your explanation a lot more far-fetched than mine? They neglected to see something fundamentally wrong with the game after nearly 10 years and hundreds of millions of dollars later? What I'm offering is a more practical explanation backed by some common-sense.

 

You don't keep pouring money into a game that you don't think will work. Even if you have the slightest idea that the game as a whole MIGHT NOT work, you would get to the bottom of the problem first before you invested another fortune. That is the responsible way to run a company or any business endeavor. 

 

Anyways, I think we both agree on the MOST IMPORTANT part... the sooner WoW dies, the sooner we get Titan. I disagree with the statement that Titan's quality would suffer if hurried through production. If WoW was perceived to be threatened again, Blizzard would shift ALL of its BEST developers to Titan solely, and give Titan a tremendous dose of undivided attention. I personally think that's just what it needs, rather than having it labeled as a "side project". Theoretically, the company would be banking on Titan's success, and would not compromise its quality. They know how important it is that Titan be better than every OTHER MMO, or else they have nothing. In this genre, it's all or nothing.



#8
Sarnakyle

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Sorry, but I'm gonna keep the ball rolling a bit longer, simply because!

 

I want to make it very clear that I do not have a disagreement with you, Jezbelle, regarding WoW's death bringing about Titan's arrival. If WoW was tanking, we most likely would be receiving Titan in its original concept.

 

But I disagree that they could have seen the things that were wrong with the project staring them in the face. Eremite makes a good point about the ground changing underneath them. What seemed like an amazing idea back in 2007, might now seem silly due to changes in the gaming atmosphere. Newly popular games like League of Legends and Minecraft have to have an affect on the way that developers think about designing for a new generation and who knows if they somehow made Titan appear to them that it wouldn't appeal to the new audience? Or what if the game was too big? We know that Titan was the most ambitious game Blizzard had even taken on and we also have leaked sources stating that them game was too much for the devs to take on. The point I'm making is we didn't know what they were developing and we don't know why they reset the game, but simply pushing it off so that they don't leech from WoW seems like a waste of money in and of itself. If Titan is as good in its original as its ever going to be, then releasing the game wouldn't be a loss of money for Blizzard, but simply a shift of where the money comes from.

 

I would also like to point out that Blizzard will continue to pour money into a project until they really decide that it is not going to work. StarCraft Ghost is the most famous example of this. The game was playable and almost completed before Blizzard decided to pull the plug on it. Wouldn't you think that if flaws in a game were so obvious that they would have seen whatever was wrong with it prior to making a playable demo for the game? There is a fairly large list of games that Blizzard has developed but have never seen the light of day.


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#9
jezbelle

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I would also like to point out that Blizzard will continue to pour money into a project until they really decide that it is not going to work. StarCraft Ghost is the most famous example of this. The game was playable and almost completed before Blizzard decided to pull the plug on it. Wouldn't you think that if flaws in a game were so obvious that they would have seen whatever was wrong with it prior to making a playable demo for the game? There is a fairly large list of games that Blizzard has developed but have never seen the light of day.

 

Starcraft Ghost was disassembled because platforms were changing so rapidly that they couldn't keep up with them. They stopped production because they had no other choice - "fundamental flaws" like these don't occur in PC. The PC platform has remained the same for quite a number of years.

 

Let ME point out Diablo 3... Bad game, PvP wasn't working, but they released it anyways because it was FINISHED. They wanted to get the most money out of it that they could for what they spent. For Blizzard, this ideology also translated into holding out on WoW, a project that they have sunk over a BILLION dollars into already.

 

Managing two MMOs at once was never an option for blizzard. Each would have suffered from quality loss, resulting in both games failing. With new estimations telling them that WoW (their billion dollar investment) would be around for quite a few years longer, i'm sure they did see an opportunity to improve an already "great" game (TiTan). I have no doubt that the game was great, it was ready to be announced, and 10 years of hard work hard been poured into it from the greatest MMO developers on earth.

 

This is a hard thing to swallow for me too. Unfortunately, it comes down to the realization that "hey... were still making 90 million dollars a month from subscriptions... i kinda want to keep that million dollar paycheck coming in every month... I've had my eye on that ferrari... maybe we will just sit on this, and push the limits of titan in the meantime." Any other decision would have been like playing Russian roulette. 

 

Ferrari... or Russian roulette?



#10
Sarnakyle

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Well as I said above, I'm not in desagrement with you, I just feel it goes deeper than that. Unfortunately, we will likely never know what exactly caused the reset (especially if you are right). And even if you are 100% correct, I'm not going to start telling people to leave WoW :) I respect the game too much to do that. 


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#11
jezbelle

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Well as I said above, I'm not in desagrement with you, I just feel it goes deeper than that. Unfortunately, we will likely never know what exactly caused the reset (especially if you are right). And even if you are 100% correct, I'm not going to start telling people to leave WoW :) I respect the game too much to do that. 

 

Why! It's such a horrible game now.. Tell them to go to a private server haha. There are some fantastic ones ... my favorite is a 100% blizzlike Vanilla WoW server (called Emerald Dream). When the game was good.



#12
Valkata

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Funny, I play on Emerald Dream, but not private server :D



#13
Sarnakyle

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Why! It's such a horrible game now.. Tell them to go to a private server haha. There are some fantastic ones ... my favorite is a 100% blizzlike Vanilla WoW server (called Emerald Dream). When the game was good.

 

So don't you think that Titan will share in the current WoW philosophy? They moved away from vanilla because they want the game to be more friendly to a wider audience (for better or worse). I get surprised when I hear people come to this site looking for a new MMO from Blizzard because WoW "sucks" now. It just seems to be a contradiction IMO. 

 

I hope you don't take that offensively, because I'm enjoying our conversation :)

 

PS. If you are looking for that Vanilla WoW experience, I would suggest checking out Wildstar. 


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#14
jezbelle

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So don't you think that Titan will share in the current WoW philosophy? They moved away from vanilla because they want the game to be more friendly to a wider audience (for better or worse). I get surprised when I hear people come to this site looking for a new MMO from Blizzard because WoW "sucks" now. It just seems to be a contradiction IMO. 

 

I hope you don't take that offensively, because I'm enjoying our conversation :)

 

PS. If you are looking for that Vanilla WoW experience, I would suggest checking out Wildstar. 

 

I don't think its a contradiction, personally. I think Blizzard must now realize an important thing (which they can apply to Titan)... that is, when the game was difficult, and catered to the "hard core" player, more people played it. Reciprocally, when they catered to "casuals" they began to lose subscribers. What's interesting is that the high difficulty of the game, while it made the casual players frustrated, it also kept them playing. What Blizzard should have realized by now is that the casual player CANNOT BE ALLOWED to do all of the content... when he does, he quits the game.

 

In the end, we realize here that harder games, ones where players have to walk across Azeroth instead of fly across Azeroth, keep the player playing for longer. Not only because it takes longer to traverse the land, but because he's meeting friends along the way, and because he's become enamored by WoW's beautiful, lore enriched world.

 

This resembles WoW's universal shift towards a "server lobby" "win without trying" feel, where everyone is queuing for instances, dungeons, and raids while they sit in org and pile on meaningless epics (a travesty of the word). No wonder people left... WoW became a joke.

 

In game quest helper? You don't even have to read the quests? LOL.



#15
Stompalomp

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Of course this is all just random thoughts that fly through my head, so your guess is certainly as good as mine. The only part I will dispute is convincing your friends to leave WoW. I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I don't want Titan to come about by striking against the game that (financially) allowed Titan to be born! Also, we are all here because of WoW. We wouldn't be interested in the spiritual successor to WoW if it wasn't the great game it is WAS

 

I agree with everything Sarn wrote other than the last sentence which I handily fixed above  :whistle:

 

I quit WoW at the end of Cata because WoW just wasn't that great anymore.  It had changed from a gamer's game to a casual MMO that rewards laziness and those who complain loudest.  Gone are the days of working together with other to achieve goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment in completing them.  Now is all LFR and welfare epics.  Not to mention the fact that the game has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.  

 

So don't you think that Titan will share in the current WoW philosophy? They moved away from vanilla because they want the game to be more friendly to a wider audience (for better or worse). I get surprised when I hear people come to this site looking for a new MMO from Blizzard because WoW "sucks" now. It just seems to be a contradiction IMO. 

 

I hope you don't take that offensively, because I'm enjoying our conversation :)

 

PS. If you are looking for that Vanilla WoW experience, I would suggest checking out Wildstar. 

 

I hope that whatever they do with Titan goes back to the roots of WoW and they make a game that appeals to an adult market who want a game with depth and gravitas.  I hope that is perhaps part of why they delayed Titan, but I suspect I may be hoping against hope.  Equally however, I think that Blizz must realise they made mistakes moving away from the ethos that was so successful through Vanilla, tBC, and WoLK.  I don't believe that wanting that is incompatible with looking forward to a new Blizzard MMO.  It's just that I hope they emphasize those elements that made WoW so successful to start with, rather than all the new things that pander to casuals and have ruined the community and ethos of the game.  Look at it this way, the biggest growth WoW saw was Vanilla through Wrath.  After that the game started losing subs; down from 12.5M to 7.5M presently.  I do not believe that's a coincidence but rather due to the erosion of the core gameplay values that made WoW so great.  And I hope and believe that they will have realised that.  



#16
jezbelle

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And I hope and believe that they will have realised that.  

 

Lets hope. I think it would even be a good move to draft a letter to Blizzard expressing these sentiments and gather a million sigs  =p

 

If Titan does not meet these requirements, it would be the end of the MMO genre as we know it for a long time. A hundred MMO gambles later that cost many companies their existance, we have 0 new successes. All have all lost money trying to compete, as they literally have to be the best MMO to make money (with all the MMO players only playing the best MMO).

 

Simply put, its not as attractive an enterprise as many once thought after the success of WoW, and most have become permanently discouraged. Single player games are much more profitable! (on average)

 

How can anyone play a single player game? :(   I don't get it.



#17
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I don't think its a contradiction, personally. I think Blizzard must now realize an important thing (which they can apply to Titan)... that is, when the game was difficult, and catered to the "hard core" player, more people played it. Reciprocally, when they catered to "casuals" they began to lose subscribers. What's interesting is that the high difficulty of the game, while it made the casual players frustrated, it also kept them playing. What Blizzard should have realized by now is that the casual player CANNOT BE ALLOWED to do all of the content... when he does, he quits the game.

What you say is quit ironic, but very true. When blizz tried to appeal for the "wider audience", they started losing subscribers. So, how is it appealing to a wider audience again?

Anyways, My theory about thic casual-hardcore thing is, that if a casual sits in a capital and sees a fully-epic guy (back then, you didn't even need to inspect the other player, you could spot a raider from a mile away), they wanted to be that guy. They were jealous as hell. And that kept them in the game. And of course the fact that everything required a lot of time to accomplish, but somehow, people never got bored with it (or at least, not for 3 years).

However, you can throw any theory out of the window, you just need to think logical. Blizzard was rushed to make new content, while the same people, who wanted more content cried about the current ones difficulty. So what does blizz do? They lower the difficulty, so that you can run through the content even faster, so they must make content even faster, too. What a great logic! *clap* *clap* *clap*



#18
mynsc

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The 2 most probable reasons for why Titan was delayed, namely that they didn't want to artificially shorten WoW's life or that the design was not working out, are not mutually exclusive.

 

I used a bit more gentle approach when mentioning this in a previous article, namely that they have other priorities, however it is of course reasonable to suspect that they are doing whatever needs doing so they don't have 2 competing products out at the same time.

 

I also definitely think some of Titan's features weren't working out. Over the last few years we've got numerous quotes hinting that Titan will be something we won't expect, a real change from what we came to see from Blizzard. Other anonymous "sources" suggested it was too big to finish or at least a very daring project.

 

Going from design to implementation is a tricky process, especially when you aim very high, so I do believe they hit some major obstacles when trying to put the initial design plans in action. It's not like Blizzard does not have resembling priors: Ghost, D3's PvP.

 

So I'm pretty sure that Titan getting reset / delayed is a combination of these 2 factors, and who knows what others.


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#19
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I'm just gonna full on agree with the OP. Makes perfect sense. And it's another excuse for me to tell my friends to quit that stale game, haha... But really, I personally feel like WoW has seen enough time here on the MMO market. I could really go for a fresh MMO from Blizzard.

#20
Valkata

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Yeah, new one would be awesome, I'm still undecided if it's the end of my personal journey in to WoW's world or not, so far... it looks like two expansions in a row are meh, third one will be deciding factor for me I guess.

MoP - fluffy panda land, don't like it.

WoD - so confusing with two timelines, everything suddenly make no sense.

They better gief me new ranged class in expansion after WoD!