We see the mad rush anytime there is a patch to the game, content is added to the PTR, or Beta. Not long after Data Mining sites have dived in, and extracted all sorts of items, new quests, pets, mounts, achievements, even story line. All in an effort to get the most clicks from players as possible to fund the site. Are 3rd party sites needed? As the current system stands, unfortunately, yes. Because Blizzard is not the ones telling us what has been added.
Take the Winter Veil achievement for the Crashin Thrashin racers. I got the one from under the tree, I had seen the one in the Garrison purchasable for doing the Daily quests one day. The other 3 I figured were similar to Children’s week achievements that required many years to get. So imagine my surprise when I see people posting that they had gotten the other 3 on social media. I find out from reading further that there were 3 new rares added to Tannan. So I go over to WoW’s site, glance through the Winter Veil write up, and see no mention of them. So that means that if I was a new player who had no idea about 3rd party sites, I would be at a loss as to what I needed to do. If I ask in Trade 99% of the time I will be met with a Google it noobcake reply. And this is a big problem.
A quick tip for the folks at Blizzard HQ.
Not all of us look at 3rd party sites.
I rarely look at WoWhead, or even MMO-Champion. Because they spoil too much of the story. Maybe it’s me, maybe I have gotten lazy and have lost my desire to explore. There was a time when I first started playing that I would read all of the quest text, and figure out where I needed to go, what I had to do, now it has gotten to a point where some things require you to look up and read a walk through in order to get something done. If you want to see why we burn through so much content so quickly, maybe take a hard look at what information is out there months before a patch goes live.
I dare say that the appeal of Vanilla WoW to many was the fact that nothing was known. Yes the game had issues and needed many tweaks, but it was a time of exploration, of discovery, figuring things out. Now an days, you can open WoWhead on a side monitor and just do everything as a walk through. And something about that just feels fundamentally wrong to me. We have potentially 9 months of nothing new. Maybe having someone come up with interesting story challenges to help understand what will be happening should be posted on WoW’s site. Maybe hint that going back and doing a Kirin Tor quest line starting with X NPC. SO many of us have never done any really old content, it has been a mad dash to get to the end as fast as possible, and when we get there we do not appreciate what we are experiencing because we most likely skipped over vast quest lines of key story. And at this point it is beyond many’s knowledge of even where to go to start. Why is Dalaran where it is now? Why did they move it? Who are the Ancients? You rely on outside sources to tell a story that you should be telling, or prompting us on the desktop launcher to go revisit.
Obviously you have no control over sites digging through data, but perhaps maybe it should be encrypted a little better so that we need to go back to a time where we had to explore to find things, not where on launch someone has a program pointing you right at a tiny pot in the dirt we need to click on.