While World of Warcraft remains the premier MMORPG after all these years, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 14 dwarfs it graphically – pun entirely intended. The world of Eorzea is a shimmering diamond next to the somewhat clunky, cartoon feel of Azeroth, and feels more consistent narratively following the massive A Realm Reborn overhaul. Given the success of FF14’s drastic changes, I asked WoW’s executive producer, Holly Longdale, if Blizzard had ever considered a major rework for WoW.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love World of Warcraft. In fact, after BlizzCon 2023, I’ve never been more excited about what the future of Blizzard’s MMORPG looks like. However, as someone who’s also a sucker for good graphics, I can’t deny that Final Fantasy 14 looks – and oftentimes feels – more modern than WoW ever has.
A few months ago I wrote at length about why we need a WoW 2, and while Longdale promises that the WorldSoul saga will narratively revive the “connection” to WoW that we’ve been missing in Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, she has confirmed that an FF14-style reboot isn’t on the cards.
“It hasn’t been part of the conversation recently,” she tells me in our exclusive BlizzCon interview. “I will say that, given recent events with the [Microsoft] acquisition, we’ve got all kinds of ideas, but it isn’t on our roadmap right now.”
“We want to bring everybody home for this joint venture,” she says with a truly warming smile. “But we’re always talking about how we engage, improve, and be better.”
What’s interesting, though, is the word “recently.” FF14’s success post-relaunch is nothing to smirk at, so it’s interesting that Blizzard appears to have, at some point, considered something similar. Given WoW Classic replicates the Vanilla game pretty much one-for-one, it would be interesting to see what a graphically enhanced Azeroth would look like. I, for one, just want to see the shimmering groves of Ardenweald overhauled FF14 style.
Old graphics or new, though, The War Within is shaping up to be something truly special – especially if we do see the return of Sylvanas Windrunner. If you’re excited to dive into a brave new World of Warcraft, we have a list of the best WoW addons you’ll need for your journey, as well as a WoW Dragonflight tier list to get you up to speed with the current PvE and PvP metas.
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