If you’ve been keeping up with the news of late, the past 10 months have not been going so well for Blizzard’s monster known as World of Warcraft, who in March admitted that their latest expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm despite it’s literary game changing plans didn’t hold the subscriber base dropping from around 12 million to October to 11.4 million, now announced that it has dropped further to 11.1 million.
Now many factors may be included with that, many state it’s just too old and repetitive to continue playing, others deem the length between the expansion release and a ‘true’ content update was too long, even stating that the length of time suck at the ‘end’ of Wrath of the Lich King was too long and the content from Cata did not justify the wait. Some even state they left for another ‘better’ MMORPG like the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic, so why haven’t they stayed with WoW until then, who knows?
I think it could be another factor – click ‘more’ for my thoughts….
The problem with WoW’s dev team is that they seem to panic each time the player base ‘dips’ during the holidays when quite honestly it’s many due to players having lives outside the game – like going on holiday, or simply spending time doing something else between content updates.
This ‘panic’ seems to make the dev team illogically believe the needy ‘QQ’ fest of complaints from people to lazy to actually move their finger from one key to another otherwise known as the WoW forum’s posts are actually true and continually mash down the game’s complexity and requirement of planning and actual achievement down to to a fine dust.
The game basically boils down to use your slightly older set of items to gain the only other set of deemed ‘good’ items in the game by just mashing mobs over and over again until the NPCs say you’ve got enough cookies to bribe them to hand said items over, that is the sad truth of it, there is nothing ‘to do’ but gain items, nothing else is rewarded more importantly, equal, or even at all.
Forget about the 99.9% of the game’s content or even the whole ‘getting to cap’ bit all of it is meaningless as your Arbitrary number of Epeen Points (also known as Gear Score) requires to be at it’s highest point possible before anyone (including the dev teams) will actually consider you worth interacting with – A point further pushed by the dev team handing out items to newer characters like candy with the same power as the older player base who had to work for it by spending 6 months in the dark screaming at their guild’s raid group in the first place.
WoW ‘was’ a MMORPG at some point but now with various ‘for convenience’ features, such as instant ques and teleportation from anywhere to dungeons, battlegrounds and arenas the game has more in common with the Diablo series then Everquest as it’s now more session and game room play then it is a open world to explore. The numbers will continue to decrease when WoW’s ‘F2P successor’ known as Diablo 3 comes out as heck that does the same game play basically ala the ‘grind items to gain better items to smack your friends in the face with in whats known as ‘PVP’ these days, can be played completely ‘solo’ and helps the mass workforce of gold farmers earn their pocket money by legalizing the one thing that every MMO dev has been trying to combat for years now! That is a whole other topic.
Blizzard should quit shooting themselves in the foot and actually understand that people like to be challenged and rewarded for it accordingly – by just shoehorning everyone into the current content you not only make older players feel like everything in pointless in the end but allow ‘everyone and their dog’ to be rewarded the same no matter what they do devalues the content, I know a lot of good older content (like the class quests) that simply have no ‘use’ in this current generation in WoW simply because it’s ‘old and doesn’t reward as much’, I don’t understand why Blizzard kept said ‘old’ content in game when their primary focus is rewarding the new – it’s just wasted bandwidth and space.
Key point here is that Blizzard is trying too hard to reward ‘everyone’ with ‘current’ content and alienating those who have put time aside back in the day to gain something from the old content when at the same time not properly gating the game allowing any skill level access straight to the end point without first ‘teaching’ them the core fundamentals of how it is to play WoW. If every gamer ‘needed’ to be cuddled and ‘helped’ each time a game got ‘too hard’ for them – why are games like Demon Souls so highly recommended by gamers and the media?