In today's interview about next expansion Wrath of the Lich King, World of Warcraft producer J. Allen Brack said that WOW will "probably" get a complete overhaul of its graphics engine in the future.
"Will we need a graphical update from the ground up at some point? Yep, probably," he said.
Wrath of the Lich King will be getting a more modest revamp, with some optional new effects for players with high-end PCs. But, said Brack, overhauling the engine completely was considered, and will be again.
"That's actually something we talk about every expansion," he said. "I'm positive we'll talk about it next expansion."
However, he noted that such overhauls had only been moderately successful in the past, when attempted by games like Ultima Online and EverQuest.
"A lot of people continued to play with the original client, because it was faster, or they preferred it, or were just used to it or whatever," he said. "And so for me as a game developer, the idea that we would spend so much time and energy on something and have people go, 'meh, that's not really for me,' that's not very exciting."