Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Slow Decline (WoW)

I don't actually play WoW currently. Someday I may again, though I've been on hiatus for several months. I suppose I still write and wonder about WoW because someday I would like to play it again but I can't seem to get past what it really is today- A far cry from what it started as. I do still have multiple sites in my feed reader that update me on what has been going on lately and other players views. I also like to keep up with many games, even if I am not playing them. I was wondering lately if WoW is starting to decline. Maybe not at a fast pace but more of a slow trickle. I think so.

I've been holding this in my drafts for a few weeks and decided to finish it up as I've seen many players in the past few months quit and ponder (much like myself) if they will head back for Cataclysm. I've seen many friends quit or those who just quit from boredom to wait it out. Reading the class changes, that have been the hot topic for WoW lately, I've seen a lot of mixed reactions. There are some very unhappy reactions to some changes, others are welcomed. This doesn't seem to be the direction the game really needs.

I do wonder though if the company is shooting itself in the foot with letting players use tools to abuse others. You know what I mean-  Add-ons. These tools can be useful but more often than not they are used to make players feel inferior and to set (ignorantly) high standards and ultimately (IMO) destroy a community. Sure there are guilds out there that get along fine and play together all the time. How about the new player trying to make their way into the end game being bombarded with all of this?  Is this game really inviting, in the end?

I'm not going to beat a dead horse this time- I promise! I'm just going to throw it off a cliff! 

The next thing on the list of reasons for decline would be content. I've beat this one to death, I know. I should let the poor horse die, right? There will be a time when WoW isn't the most popular game around, what will it have to offer that is so unique? Sure it set the bar for a lot of today's standards, but is it really a standard MMORPG games needed? Gear scores, racing the dps meters at a blurring pace with the community stretched into instances with cross-server groups. I want my 10 man UBRS days back. Those were some fun groups, where is the fun today? You can never go back, so what now?

I think more and more people are burning through the content and burning out, for a number of reasons. If a MMO is your hobby then you realize just how much an expansion in a timely manner can really refresh a game. Blizzard still hasn't caught on to this and no they are not floundering... yet. I don't wish doom and gloom on WoW, I do want to see it flourish many years still! I just think the game has taken on a toxic persona. It's pushing people away slowly. For whatever reason, are you logging in as much as you use to? Are you still having as much fun? It's just not one thing, it's the game as a whole.

I know the game has been more accessible lately than it was in, say, Burning Crusade. I respect the fact that Blizzard tried to incorporate more players into heroics and raids this expansion. I just don't respect the fact that people are more elitist than ever, the content is stagnated still and the expansion seems to focus more on class change than new content. Seriously add in some new classes, oh we couldn't rock the (PvP) boat with more balance issues...

Classes, one word sums up the direction here: Homogenize. They all have a uniform feeling. What is really unique about the classes anymore? With this expansion they seem to blend together more so than ever. Another year no more new classes, there will maybe be one more hero class, as I see it. Give me a new class to play my new race with! I think this also adds to the stagnation for players. They have played everything, some several times over. Admit it, you have played some classes up more than once!  I also wonder how heavy PvE players can stick to WoW these days. PvE has been beat repeatedly with the nerf bat because of PvP, it makes one want to scream thinking of all the changes and nerfs. The abilities should be changed to function differently in PvP and PvE. They can do it, they already have with several functions within the arena.

Someone asked me the other day why I didn't play. Then they asked if it was because I played it so long. No, I had fun for a long time. The direction, overall, has turned me away. I also made the point that I've played Everquest for ten years and don't have a fraction of the ill feeling towards it as I do WoW.  This isn't just a rant on my feelings towards the game, just some observations as a long time player. Just some thoughts, feel free to comment!



  1. Whilst I think most addons have a place in-game (especially whilst the UI it comes with is so ugly), I think the sooner they put a stop to gearscore the better but even if they do, people will still exact their own standards in some fashion.

    As for new classes, well I've got three druids and two priests and I'm still having fun playing priests and druids. I wouldn't want to see another class tbh, not because I don't like variety but because I think the balancing would be a nightmare. Look at Deathknights and their ups and downs.

    I've been playing on and off since release which is what 5 years now? Ultimately I'm still having fun. Yes I bitch about stuff (people mostly) but at the end of the day I still enjoy doing PvE and PvP.

    Yes, PvE is dumbed down these days (in my opinion at least) but maybe thats for the better. In Vanilla for example my guild was the only one on a decent population server who killed Cthun, now pretty much anyone who wants to can kill the Lich King in one mode or another.

    Will I play Cataclysm? Yes. Will I play Cataclysm beyond levelling to 85? Not sure, but I've had a lot of fun over the last five years so I'm happy enough with the game. There probably are better ones out there somewhere, but at the moment PvP with the odd instance plus wandering around the world taking screenshots is enough for me.

  2. Good post. Well it is what it is. They need to make more changes instead of what every 2 to 3 years thats too slow. And the rudeness of many people out there...well I understand your post completely! Great pictures!

  3. I still have my "why WoW fails" post in the works, just can't get it to a version I'm happy with. I do believe its the community first and formost that's damaging the game

  4. @Erinys- You do take some fantastic screen shots hehe. They always make me nostalgic. It's good you have a niche with the game. I suppose I just need a nice long break for now.

    @Janet- Ty, yeah I suppose all the expansions in EQ spoiled me.

    @lonomonkey- I'd like to see what you have to say with that post. I agree the community puts a great strain on the game, it can be quite vile.




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