How about giving WOTLK a try before you make any judgements on the game, since you haven't played the game yet. :rolleyes:
Eh, it is pretty much true though. As a casual friendly game, wow is exploding. There is so much you can accomplish with low skills and low playtime now that it is turning into just another regular game, except that it will never end. As a hardcore player's game, it has all but died.
The disconnect created by the "hard-mode" feature is quite disappointing as a former HC player. The loss of the connection between encounter difficulty and storyline was just too much for me. If i'm going to put 20+ hours a week into a raid, I want to beat different shit than joe who puts in 8, not the same content just harder. Granted some of the hardmodes changed the fight so drastically that it really was a whole different encounter, but those were few to the whole. The new colleseam seems to be a step in the right direction with completely separate instances, but I'd have to see two different raids for each content patch to bring me back.
PvP has almost always been muffed up in wow. One of my favorite things to think on, is how a blue touted that they had an employee with a PhD in math who wrote his discertation on ratings systems in video games, and yet we've seen the many failed iterations of the arena ranking system. What school did he write this paper for? Arena Balance has also always been whacky. Twos has never been quite right, and it is probably good they're starting to discourage it. If they can create more parity in the class balance I might come back to the game just for arena, because it is a cool concept, but rerolling over & over to get an edge sucks.
I was PvPing in wow way back in the Tauren Mill / Southshore days, and the early days of waiting outside the wsg queue to get into a game. I also participated in every season since S1, except for the most recent one S6 (Quit after S5) Nostalgia aside, the best time I can rememer is just after they implimented cross-realm battlegrounds. I participated in some truely epic Premade Vs Premade games, that still have me wishing for those times back. The last I knew of Premades in BGs, there were retardedly long queue times, which made it impractical to play. If they can get a GOOD matchmaking & rating system up for BGs (at least WSG & AB, the other ones can fuck off) they'd have an awesome player retention feature.
For me, wow is kind of like looking at a cardiogram. From a distance it looks fine (Casual) but as you get closer and closer - linearization - it starts to look more and more like a straight line and dead (Hardcore view). I'm really interested to see what they do with the next gen MMO. Start off right where WoW left off with a super casual friendly game, or begin where WoW began, sort of catering to a specific type of player.
Their next MMO is going to cater to all the people who left WoW for various reasons.
How else could they recapture the audience they lost, without impacting the monthly sales of WoW subscriptions?
It's the smartest move they could ever make.
About some of the comments above. People are funny. It's the stupidity of the mind. Years ago the largest complaint was that blizzard was developing raid content that only a small percentage of the WoW player base could play, because of the difficulty and time commitment involved. So Blizzard fixed that by making raids more accessible to the general masses. Easier encounters, shorter raids, smaller groups required. And now the complaint is that the game is too easy, and people are getting bored. Lol. Ridiculous. A lot of people don't really know what they want, they can only grasp what makes them dissatisfied, not looking beyond their own selfish heart to see that the other side of the spectrum won't make them any more satisfied.... until of course the other side of the spectrum comes to be, and they find themselves still not pleased.
Making raids more accessible was the best thing they ever did to the game. Finally I don't have to waste away my life to see the raid content and story of all the top tiers. I don't have to join a guild and deal with high-school drama and popularity politics. I can join a PUG and still see absolutley every raid content available. Amen to that. All it takes is a few hours per day, a few days per week. I have the freedom to go out and do other things when I'm finished, or take a night off from raiding and not worry about losing raid spot priority in my "hardcore" raiding guild, or missing out on dkp.
Difficulty still exists in the game. Server firsts are still around. Elite raiding guilds are still around. And now you have even new avenues to flaunt how elite you are. You have proof in achievements. You have new, elite gear awarded to those capable of completing the hard modes in raids.
Pre-BC was one of my most enjoyable MMO experiences thus far. I pretty much spent 100% of my time played provoking World PVP. The best PVP that World of Warcraft has ever had, was also by accident(I know they didn't intend for TM vs SS or BRM). I was the asshole that would gank anyone, anytime, regardless of how many people you had. I did the long PVP grind and I got to rank 12, before my brain started to explode. I quit right before TBC was released, because I didn't like the direction the game was going.
I still follow World of Warcraft and stay updated, but I won't be playing again.
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