World of Warcraft VR Fan Concept Is A Tease Of The Future Of MMOs

by David Jagneaux • July 26th, 2017

If you have ever spent much time inside of a modern VR headset then chances are you’ve had your fair share of “Wow!” moments. But not many people have actually had a WoW (World of Warcraft) moment in VR because Blizzard’s actual game doesn’t have VR support. As the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) on the planet, it was only a matter of time before fans took the mission of solving that feature’s absence into their own hands.

Originally created by user Puffycheeks in Unity, the video shows YouTube user Ultra (a friend/colleague of the creator) exploring the city of Dalaran from inside an HTC Vive headset. You can even see models of the Vive wands floating in place of his hands. Check it out (we hosted it on our channel with permission from Ultra):

The video is very long because he flies around and explores every inch of the city. When stationed on the street-level he looks up and marvels at the sheer sense of scale. Perhaps more so than anything else, that is what is missing from most modern non-VR MMOs that release these days. It’s very difficult to capture a feeling of awe and wonder with modern flat games.

This is a far cry from a playable mod or anything like that. Essentially, it looks like the city’s 3D model was transplanted into Unity and is simply explored as you would if it were an actual game world. Jason Trenkoski (aka Ultra) describes it to us as a “walking experience” for now.

In order for something like this to ever work in the game itself Blizzard would have to enable it. There has been zero indication that they’d ever be interested in doing something like that, at least not in the short term.

“As for now, we’re continuing to work on more maps, we’ve got molten core coming soon (perhaps a week or 2) but the aim is to try and get as many cities and experiences put into virtual reality and really recapture that nostalgia,” writes Trenkoski  over email. “Turning this into a game isn’t the aim for this, but after its all completed (which will take some time) we will look into doing a co-op experience or something of the sort.”

But still: it makes you wonder. With games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 both getting full VR support, is a fully-fledged VR MMO closer than we might think? The prospect of playing a game like World of Warcraft, EverQuest, The Elder Scrolls Online, or Guild Wars 2 inside of a VR headset makes my mouth water.

Here’s another video of World of Warcraft VR that Trenkoski uploaded, this time exploring the city of Stormwind.

What do you think of the footage in the videos above? Let us know down in the comments below!

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  • Get Schwifty!

    Very excited about this – would love to see Final Fantasy XIV (MMO) get a VR port… that is a beautiful game, the visuals in WOW were great at the time but are even with updates looking…. tired. Then again, VR makes everything seem new again, so it would still probably rock!

  • Get Schwifty!

    Love to see a VR port for Final Fantasy XIV – all these games would require some serious interface and control reworking to be viable. In time, and people will spend even more time in MMOs and Battle Arenas…

  • Chris Orris

    You can get WoW working in VorpX and it’s apparently not so bad. My buddy tried it and says it’s fun because everything’s so huge. But it’s still basically a hack so there’s not the staying power you’d have with actual integration.

    Oh also! Orbus VR’s open alpha is this weekend, you guys should cover that. 🙂

  • ESO on VR would be insane!

  • TDUBS

    Man,…Guild Wars….yes please

  • TDUBS

    VRMMOs will be Vr’s killer app. Just imagine if deep learning and all of the breakthroughs in AI are implemented into a VRMMO! The city would feel alive.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Agreed – I truly think a good MMO in first person/3rd would rock and put it over the top. The best part is, with current HMDs a game with fairly simply graphics on the level of WoW would look pretty good for the most part as well.

    • Lance

      Working on it…not a full mmo… 20-40 player server with parties of 4 grouping, no teleport full locomotion , 3d spatial voice communication along with a live avator vid-feed chat window to friends that are in another zone …riding and flying mounts…etc. stay tuned…cheers

      • Ted Joseph

        Need teleport (similar to Arizona Sunshine), and if possible the step teleport (The Mages Tale) as myself; along with many of my VR buddies (who purchase almost every good VR game released) get vertigo without it…

        • Lance

          There will be a Teleport option along with Teleport only servers, locomotion only servers and teleport-locomotion open servers…I understand some people do get sick…..

          • Ted Joseph

            Excellent. Try to have both the Arizona Style (point, rotate thumbtick for view direction, then release), Mages Tale (step walk which is awesome as I actually feel like I am running when running on the spot and moving). options. If you do this, and the game is awesome, you have my purchase day one.

          • Lance
          • Ted Joseph

            Looks good. I may be transferring over to the Microsoft mixed reality platform. Will it be available for this platform as well — possibly through steam?

          • Lance

            It should work fine, it’s already compatible with stream VR, but I will have to get one to test with…. so yes we are not limiting the game to one headset…

          • BritBit

            I bought a VR headset with WoW in mind, but they don’t seem to be interested in allowing VR gaming. I play WoW for the world exploration, RP and soundtrack (yeah, I’m weird), so if it’s anything like that then I’m throwing my money at you!

          • Lance

            Working on the website and as soon as we get some content, we’ll put together some videos for kickstarter, and yes music is very important.

          • BritBit

            That’s great news – I’m already excited! I just played Dreadhalls and despite very basic graphics, that game gets immersion down 100% mainly due to the use of sound, timing and darkness. I’m not sure if you’ve even started thinking about dungeons or instances yet, but having some bits that require solo exploration (to get to the group starting area perhaps) to get the user terrified from the start would be amazing!

            I’ve waited years for VR tech to arrive, so the future is looking very interesting now!

          • Lance

            Game mechanic’s and sound are probably most important in VR gaming, graphics need to be balanced for good frame rates…even lower end graphics look amazing in VR when the lighting is done right. And yes if you like dreadhalls you’ll love our game, your not trying to escape, your trying to clear it, looking for loot, secrets, and defeating the boss to get that really good and rare item and if you die you’ll respawn at a portal, so your party will be short handed until you get back , plus you’ll have a exp hit and have to retrieve your gear from your corpse so don’t die…”aka everquest” .lol dungeons will be difficult but rewarding and very fun… Nothing better than questing with buddies, there will be a teleport option but its mostly based on “onward” style locomotion, there are lots I want to share but I can’t give the competition and clues…these are not randomly generated dungeons, these have thought going into them, the same way old texted based adventures like Zork did. Also you’ll be able to look in every nook and cranny…chest’s, crate’s ,desk drawers…etc cheers https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3fd5bb7d135ac82a532c0a93fc92a3224c7ad8d79a1f12498e8e299045352cd0.jpg

          • BritBit

            Eeeeeexcellent! By the way, in ‘real life’ I’m a software tester, so let me know if you need anyone to sit there playing the same tiny bit of the game 50 times over to find bugs! : D

        • BritBit

          I had terrible nausea with full locomotion when I first got Oculus (literally within seconds), I now use a flicking motion on the thumbstick instead of holding it down and the more ‘jagged’ walking motion seems to have fixed it. In fact, now that my brain is used to ‘jagged motion’, I can deal with short stretches of full locomotion and I seem to be building up an increasing tolerance for that. Not sure if that helps, but a few people I’ve spoken to have had similar results with this method. It can take a few months of practice to build up ‘VR legs’ like this, but might be worth a try if it means you have access to more games?

          Alternatively, my sister finds that imagining herself standing on a hoverboard while moving around tricks her brain into accepting full locomotion more easily.

          Oculus should develop a ‘VR legs’ training app for new users! 😀

  • Lance

    Dungeons of the Realm in development, open world multiplayer dungeon crawler https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df8585260c3f79f5839b0bedfe3735a21135eb4a0c659cd268a8bc0b3fb83369.jpg

  • BritBit

    There are a couple of indie developer teams building MMORPGs like WoW specifically for VR – open world sandbox RPGs for multiple players with the sort of thing you would have had in vanilla WoW, but all created for virtual reality from the start, with far more detail and using more realistic graphics. So you can feel as though you are strolling through the woods and walking into Goldshire Inn (for example) and it’s full of realistic candlesticks, tankards, food and other stuff you can pick up and interact with (to the annoyance of the NPCs in there). You have to physically hold an axe and swing it at a tree to chop wood and see the cut marks on the bark as bits fly out. You walk around dungeons as if you are actually there with the vaulted ceiling towering above you when you look up. You have to learn how to load and fire crossbows as if you are holding them, or use a sword to fight an NPC standing right in front of your face. It’s a whole new level of gaming. WoW is brilliant for many reasons and will always be a classic of its era, but it wasn’t designed for VR and would need redeveloping from scratch to really make use of VR capabilities. Virtual reality isn’t just visual (although head tracking inside a 3D environment is thing everyone focuses on). You can physically interact with the environment when you’re in the game and there are multiple things developers can do with sound and psychology to immerse the player further. WoW just doesn’t have that built in to it.