I’ve never designed a game. Have no clue what goes into deciding what gets changed, kept, removed. All I know is what I feel when I play. And right now. After being online for about two hours? I feel nothing. No excitement, no desire to stay logged on until I am passed out at my desk. No desire to even roll an alt to go play a new class.
There is a lot of talk about class fantasy, about the choices you are given having meaning. And honestly? I think right now they are lost. I don’t think they have a clue what to do. They have played around with the winning formula, chasing the dream that they can make it better. Make it more complex, those that left said it was too easy, make it more simplified, those that left said it was too complex. Professions take to long to level, let’s make them super easy so players can level things in a few minutes a day, professions have no meaning, let’s make them hard to max out with different ranks so improving makes things cost less.
I could go on and on. But in a nutshell, they have been designing based on reactions for over 10 years. From The Burning Crusade into Wrath, they found a balance that worked. But then they kept poking and trying to improve, trying to refine. We can do better. Add in more things for people to do to hold their interest. And all that keeps happening is they are driving people away. Because we, the players, don’t really care about our characters any more.
For many it probably started with a bank alt, then just one for PvP, maybe one to Role Play with. Soon people had maxed out servers and started spreading out. Or maybe your like me and only really play one. But you’ve played the same so long, know how you move, jump, run, how to get away from that patrol, that you are more frustrated when they make major changes. Oh sure the first new expansion wasn’t bad. Just a few tweaks and a new stat. But then they change some more, and more, until one expansion, which is just a continuation of the last, they redo your whole character from top to bottom. Strip away fundamental basics to your class. Make it something someone in an office, or maybe a team, has a vision for the class. They never liked the way it was designed, even though that’s what drew you to playing your main. They were placed on this team, when they really wanted to work on the Warlock design, or the Hunter. Hey wait. I can redesign the Priest to be more like them. I know how to play a Warlock. This will be awesome. But they never asked you the player what you enjoyed. They wanted to make it better. Make it something they wanted to play. Maybe they talked to top people that played the class. Who knows. Someone has had ideas on shaking things up, but they can’t just keep adding to the basic kit. Couldn’t follow the old talent trees with giving you more points to spend to make the same core abilities stronger. That would get boring year after year. Change is good. Until that one day it isn’t.
I don’t know why I still play. For the people I guess. Maybe just to be able to hold some relic of the original game together. To make and grow a guild to offer people a group to make friends, to see and do what ever content you wanted with other people. I don’t know really. But right now, it feels like they have ripped out the last shreds of the soul of my Priest and cast him to the wind.