The mighty World of Warcraft has everything - everything, that is, but player housing. And now game producer J Allen Brack has told Eurogamer that it might never happen - WOW could be without player housing forever.
"Player-housing has been on the list of something we want to do even back before the original realm box [first game release] shipped - it was a feature that didn't make that," Brack told us. "It's one of those things we talk about every expansion - what would this look like in WOW?"
"I don't necessarily think that it'll ever actually happen for WOW because the thing that we want to do is... I don't think it's sufficient enough for us in WOW to just say, 'Hey we have player housing - great.' There's got to be some reason to have that, there's got to be gameplay behind that, stuff that happens.
"So thinking about the content creation we need in order to make that successful, as well as the other content creation that we need to do just to keep the game going, makes that..." Allen trailed off. "[Player housing] has fallen off the list of things that we're willing to tackle on a per-expansion basis I guess one, two, three times now - so we'll see what happens for the next time."
Player housing refers to when you or I can buy a house, in-game, for our avatar or perhaps our guild. Ultima Online featured housing integrally, although many MMOs today prefer to instance-off player housing, keeping the main world free thousands of players' pads.
According to a leaked release schedule, Blizzard has two more expansions planned for World of Warcraft - one next year and one in 2013. The last expansion, Cataclysm, let Blizzard's now vastly more experienced team tear up and redesign the old world of Azeroth under the guise of mega-dragon Deathwing returning and treating the world as a rockstar would a hotel room.
The next World of Warcraft patch is 4.1, which Oli Welsh found out for Eurogamer would not include the Firelands raid as was previously planned. Why? The community hasn't progressed through enough Cataclysm content yet. Chop chop.
Firelands brings back boss-supremo Ragnaros, a giant fiery Elemental Lord. He'll be vastly more powerful that he was at the bottom of classic WOW raid Molten Core, where he was but a projection of his true self and spent his time prattling to lizards.