Edited, because I cannot math. Sorry, over 100,000 words. 🙂
I find ot hard to believe I have had something to say on 200 things. Well technically I have been over 200 for some time if you include posting on other blogs I have. I want to thank all of those that have encouraged me to write, and all of you that read the craziness that are my thoughts.
So what to talk about, what monumental topic should I tackle. Well coincidentally there was news of a sort last night apparently. There have been some major adjustments to the Raid Finder, and Normal mode raiding for Hell Fire Citadel. Presumably so that any groups that have hit walls can get past to complete Normal mode and move into the more difficult Heroics, and for those that run LFR to complete fights with less aggravation. Also I am sure, in the hopes that people will get into raiding that may have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for tuning adjustments.
To be honest. It’s too late. The damage has been done. When say 40% of your 10 million sub player base like a feature it makes sense to continue on course with the same design goals. When you see some leave claiming it’s because the fights are too easy, you’re catering to the casuals, and make adjustments to the level of difficulty, lets make them harder, lets make the top level of fights challenging enough that only a small percentage would even attempt doing it. You are not getting back those that left, they may say they left because the game had become to easy, but I am sure there were other factors. Boredom with the repetitive nature of leveling, Dungeons, Raids. 6 expansions of the same formula. Still when you start off seeing a swell in numbers, you have to think you are doing something right. When that percentage drops to 30% or 25% of your 10 million, that’s still a lot of people. But when it becomes a portion of 5 million, of 3 million, you have to wonder, what is driving them away.
Personally, I think you do not have to look far to see. You have introduced competitive games for people to play. First Hearthstone, now Heroes of the Storm, soon Overwatch. You are enticing those that enjoy a more competitive style to play something else. The fallout is they look back at WoW, and even nostalgia is no longer enticement enough. The majority of those of us left, don’t play because we want to compete at the highest levels of play, yes, we like challenges, yes we love the game, but we play to find a place where we can escape from the real world for a time and be a powerful hero, the stranger that rides into town to take care of the bad guy, we log in to have fun.
Yes there are still those that play to the highest levels, and they compete against each other at a level that the majority of us can never comprehend. Giving something an eSports tag, does not make it desirable for me to play. You are just making the statement to me as a consumer that I am not your target audience. Putting vanity things for sale in the game, offering a means to purchase gold, do nothing for me. I love playing WoW. And quite honestly I still play because of the people. Look around at your low to medium population servers, look at the people that are online every day, look at what they are doing. These are the people you should be looking at ways to keep entertained. They are the ones through the good and the bad, look not at one part of the game, but at the entire World of Warcraft, they don’t care if you have 13 Mythic bosses that only a few thousand people will ever see, they want to explore the world, and escape into this fantasy world you have created. They are not looking for another form of a job. They want to go out and do random things for fun, to find groups of people to fight the bad guy, to save the day.
And that is what is missing. We are not saving the day. We down a boss for the 10th or 30th time, for a piece of gear, that a few months later we discard for something new. DO you want to know why Transmog for so many is popular? Because we want to look like the Hero, not the Vagabond in mismatched pieces. We want to be the hero. And we want to know that what we have done, does save the world. I hope that some serious design discussions have gone on these last months leading up to Legion, and that you can change the course of this enormous ocean liner, before more people jump ship to other boats, even if they are your boats waiting for them.