Friday, March 4, 2011

What happened to WoW?

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:  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?


  1. In my opinion WoW isn't fun anymore because when you want to start a new charakter it really feels like the game won't start until you're lvl85 and everything you're doing until then doesn't mather so you try to reach the cap as soon as possible since there are basically no low lvl players anymore..

    And when you're finally at lvl85 you HAVE to join a guild and start raiding and doing instances to get better gear and stuff, and that's pretty much it.

    That's how I feel atleast.

  2. In my opinion Blizzard is just making a contradiction of itself. On one hand Blizzard eases up on gameplay to where the majority of all players and solo; such as, many group quests/elite quests were transformed into solo/non elite quests, as well as many areas in certain zones having only elite level mobs, now are non-elites. However, on the other hand, with the release of Cataclysm, Blizzard tried to toughen the stakes on other aspects; such as, "tougher" dungeons, more difficult to obtain mats/gear/recipes/etc. Where is the balance?

    I also feel the Blizzard just tried to do TOO much change. I'm all for change, but it feels as if they just they threw all sticks on the floor, instead just one at a time. For example, the huge HP scale difference from level 80-85. This makes it completely one-sided for those pvpers out there that want to BG PVP or World PVP. How can an 80 with 20k HP try to quest or even BG in a bracket that is housed with 82s with 70k HP or 84s with 100k HP. The HP scale makes it completely one-sided and takes any skill that a player may have completely out of equation.

    In my overall opinion, I believe that Blizzard tried to set the stakes higher than they were able to reach and ended up harming the overall gameplay and community.

    I'm very glad I took the time to try Rift, even though I never played in the Beta. I enjoy the difficulty combined with the ever changing world. THere is a real sense of community, gameplay, and progress being made. Not to mention that Trion actually takes the time to listen to their customers, as opposed to just posting a rebuttle Blog as to why their customers are wrong. ::cough::ghostcrawler::cough::

  3. Fairly old post but I figured I would still toss in a couple of thoughts.

    For the most part I agree with your sentiments. Over the last short while WoW has seen a 2 million (ish) drop in monthly subscribers. There are almost as many statements and opinions about this as the loss in subscribers but using a little common sense we can factor in a handful of the more popular opinions and combine them to the decline.

    - Age of the game is around 7 years now, if you started in vanilla no matter what they try to do to spice it is still aging

    - Another aspect that you already covered in your post is that veteran players are leaving and lots of them, anyone can now do anything it is no longer for the top players and things like getting mounts at level 30...then 20, it is not that it does not make sense it is that there is no recognition of any kind for those that not only waited until level 60 to get that epic cool land mount but many of them had quite the effort in completing a quest to do so.

    - Some of the originality and storyline...the lore I guess is what I am getting at is becoming less interesting. The storyline that led up to the end or WotLK was great, integration of various aspects of Dungeons and Raids all led to the end of an epic storyline.

    Having said all that, I played WoW for about 4 years in total. I really enjoyed my time in the game but found it was a tad too time consuming of an activity and in the end I was simply there for the social aspect of seeing my guildies and chatting with them online.

    My own personal reasons:

    My main was a Warlock and like many other classes over the years took the giant nerfbat just before Cata hit, then took some more, then they messed with the mechanics to the point where the character felt really clunky in 2 out of 3 specs. I have heard from some of the other fellow locks out there say that they can still do really well but they openly admit its 2-3 times the effort for average to just above average results. This is just another example of how the devs/ management of the game simply do not pay attention to everything.

    In some ways I feel that WoW went like the general direction of many television networks, all the shows I like, dont last past 1-2 season(s )and reality shows are cheaper to make and appease the masses.. It's easier to focus on a class that uses 2-3 buttons for dpsing. In place of making a character have a special reason for being in a raid just give every class the ability to accomplish that special task. Etc.

    Every begininng has an end.