Lets take a look at a lot of what has happened in this expansion with an eye towards us being a focus group if you will, looking at what has been introduced and how it has played out, what may or may not see improvements, or outright abandonment. There is the potential of a great many new to WoW, or even long gone players perhaps making a come back as a result of the movie. While I do understand that the hiring of a considerable workforce has resulted in some growing pains, I do see that they have tried a lot of new ideas. Maybe it seems to me, but have they tried out so many new concepts in prior expansions?
They have said they want to release expansions at a faster pace, so this will be the first at 18 months if we get to April/May of 2016 for the next expansion. The deadline is in place, they have to be ready for the movie. Perhaps that set the shorter time frame on WoD, if there was concern the next may have issues and run longer than expected.
Perhaps it was just the overall content and some disjointed problem area’s but I feel the leveling process was in good shape, once we had established a Garrison the campaign quests had some issues, and I think some of the story progressed in a way that left many wondering what was going on.
Many were put off on the speed that raids were released in MoP and were no sooner making progress on one, than the next was set to go, which inevitably lead to the final tier of Mists going for much longer than they wanted or us for that matter.
For WoD we had an entry non tier raid in Highmaul, followed after a time with BRF, and now in to HFC which could peg out at around 10 months. I think the pace set for the raid release seems to be fairly well timed. Obviously there will be those that burn through all of it and want the next ASAP, but conversely there were many that may have gotten all Normal, but were at a loss for time to try any Heroic mode. I think they did a decent job with the timing. As to the raids themselves? I will not comment because they are, at this time, of no interest to me beyond doing once in LFR.
The increased cost of the expansion. That extra $10, however the subscription cost remains the same as it has over the last 10+ years.
How many decided against their normal Collectors edition due to the new price, how many may balk at more than just the basic digital download going forward based on experience with this expansion. Beyond the initial Battle Chest I purchased for both of my accounts, I bought the collectors Cataclysm, I did the preorder for the Free Diablo 3, but this last, there was nothing enticing me to buy other than the digital version, and even that I held off until a week or two prior to release.
They have introduced alternative methods for paying your sub fee, and a way for people to buy gold to use in game, both in one feature. Will it continue? That is another subject all together.
I think the values have pretty well stabilized, Blizzard is the only one that truly knows how many are still buying gold, and if the monthly subs are being paid for with gold. I expect that if it was removed there may be a great deal of an uproar, I additionally feel that the upcoming Q2 report will have critics saying adjustments should be made due to people buying up many months of game time with gold, that may have taken a break or quit not being reflected in the numbers
More options for current dungeons, Normal, Heroic, Mythic, and Challenge modes. Adding in Timewalker versions
I think this overall is not a bad idea. I allows people an alternate means to become more powerful. The Silver Proving grounds achievement still does not sit well with me. I understand why they feel it is needed, but there are many people, myself included that just do not do well on our own. While I have been told that adjustments were made to take in to account WoD talents etc, using the MoP adds for teaching purposes felt like a cheap fix to get it out the door. I would much rather have seen something based on the current adds we would have to fight in the world. Just my opinion. Adding in the Timewalker dungeon runs while a trip down memory lane for many of us, was also a first time for quite a few. I do feel there need to be some subtle adjustments made to them. Legendary weapons from that time can make them a joke, however gearing up specifically in the appropriate gear that should have made them a joke did not.
Keeping flying out to extend the leveling experience.
Well this is an interesting topic. I think many are ok with holding it off until you have reached max level, maybe even until a future patch. But it appears the majority are set on really wanting their flying. I am on the fence. On the one hand they are trying to prolong your experience in the new zones and to give you a chance to learn new abilities and changes to talents etc, but on the other, they are in such a rush to get you to max level so you can go raid with friends. I will be curious if going in to the next expansion if there will be notice given prior to preorders on it being in or out, and if they will say firmly yes or no, not open for debate.
PvP, the Ashran debacle
I give them credit for trying. They are really working at fixing it. It is a problem that is a long time needing a fix. Many changes have been tried, but the largest issue, at least to me, is how do you get people that only jump in every so often the ability to hold their own against people that have been in there for months. It is a tough thing to balance, perhaps a sliding scale buff given to those new to a zone, that diminishes the longer they participate, or the more kills they log, or improve gear. There should be something in place so that 6 weeks in someone does not wander in wearing their Blue quest gear, get ganked instantly 10 times then walks out never to come back.
Treasures and finding things.
While I think it was fun finding some treasure, it quickly became something you needed an add on program to help you with. Some were so small and located in such bad spots they would never have been found. There were many that I was directly on top of, only to have to go look up on a web site to find were in a tree, or an alcove, or showing so faintly on the ground you would never see them unless you played on Ultra settings.
I am sure there are quite a few other things that have been tried out on us this expansion. Garrisons are a whole discussion to themselves. Lets just all hope that the feedback they listen to was informative, and lessons were learned.