My previous post here: Rift - Why I think it will be a success , was about Rift and how they appear to have addressed Bartel's rpg gamer archetypes as shown here: http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm. In my opinion WoW started out appealing to those archetypes as well, but through changing their game they have actually taken away some of that appeal.
What WoW did was to reduce the amount of exploration by changing the leveling curve in their game, now to level from 1 to end game takes significantly less time than in Vanilla or BC. Also the addition of the dungeon finder removed some of the need to wander and find quests or just the need to wander when given a quest. Another thing that removed the need to explore was the the addition of the quest helper, which now directs you to where you need to go to finish your quest instead of giving you more general direction in the quest text itself. So explorers got short changed, their gameplay was nerfed.
WoW de-emphasized the Achiever by making everything more accessible to everyone. What an achiever wants is a way to differentiate themself. In recent years ( last 3 years ) Blizzard has tried to make the game easy enough for anyone to play all of the end game, setting expectations that all players will be able to be the best. They did attempt to keep some achievment based content by providing a "Heroic" version of the content, sometimes the heroic version has been met with disdain as just more HP and more damage taken. I was more happy in the "Burning Crusades" days when I had better players to look up to, I had the next raid tier to look forward to and knew I had a ladder to climb. Any achiever needs to have goals, even if they didn't seem attainable at this instant. Removing the incentive to work through the content reduced the achievement process. Why should I work so hard on this content when in 2 months when the new content comes out I'll automatically be bumped to that level?
When the dungeonfinder was added the need to socialize with other players was reduced. Sure the people could chat with guildies and in trade channel and city channels, but is this the kind of socialization anyone really wants? Since the people you're running with in instances are people you most likekly won't ever see again, in most groups not one word is spoken other than "I'm ready". In my opinion dungeonfinder broke the server community, your socializer types will have a harder time finding people who just want to have conversations, especially new people. They have also made the quests easier to do solo, even further reducing the need to talk with anyone else, and giving possible socializer friends a reason not to communicate with the socializer.
I'm not a PVPer so I can't make a whole lot of comment on this. But most complaints I've seen has been based on balance and "Flavor of the Month" and how the player's favorite class no longer competes. Anyone have any comments on this one?
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