In a press release issued earlier today, Hasbro Inc (the owners of the Dungeons & Dragons family of games) has agreed to license Blizzard Inc (the creators of the wildly popular World of Warcraft) to produce a new D&D-based Massively Multi-Player On-Line Role Playing Game (MMORPG).

This new on-line game, code named Greyhawk Lives!, is scheduled to begin beta testing in late summer 2010 with an anticipated release date of December 2010 (just in time for Christmas).

The game will use blizzard’s, soon to be released, NextGen 4D graphics rendering engine (an evolution of the current engine used in World of Warcraft) and will take place within the original World of Greyhawk setting (originally created by the late Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons & Dragons).

Rule Sets

Unlike other MMORPGs, Greyhawk Lives will have four server types, each running a separate rule system. Players can choose between 1st edition, 2nd edition, v3.5, an 4th edition rule sets simply by selecting which server they wish to play on.

Races & Classes

Initially, each rule set will include the five basic races (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling) and the four basic classes (Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard). Characters will have their choice of multiple starting areas, based on race.

Sources at Blizzard say that these race/class limitations are merely temporary in order to get the game finished and tested and on the market as soon as possible. Future expansions are planned to add a great many other races and classes to the game as quickly as possible.

5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

An as yet unconfirmed rumor states that Hasbro has worked a deal with Skip Williams to head the development of the 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons series. Work is to begin immediately and, once completed, 5th edition will be released exclusively as a new server type of the Greyhawk Lives! on-line game. No details are available on when 5th edition may be ready but sources speculate that it may go live as early as mid-summer 2011!

High Hopes

After the abysmal failure of the Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) project, it’s nice to see an experienced and highly qualified company like Blizzard take the reins on this one. Blizzard is known for their excellence in the gaming industry and is a long-time leader in MMORPG development.

I’ve always said that it was doubtful anyone could ever come up with a fantasy-based MMORPG that I would give up WoW for, but Greyhawk Lives! will almost certainly become that game!

I’m going to make characters on every server type (running each rule set) as soon as it comes out.