I know what’s wrong with World of Warcraft

If that isn’t a click bait title, I don’t know what is.

These past several expansions the focus has been, get to the end as fast as you can, here’s a free boost so you can skip all the previous content and get right in there, don’t worry about spending time working at building up a gold reserve, just buy a few hundred thousand off the cash shop.

We have been conditioned into believing that we “have” to get to the end game, the expansion doesn’t really start until your at max level, you need to do the highest level of difficulty to get awesome rewards like “Moar Azerite Powah” 😬

I spent a good 5 months wandering around, investigating little out of the way places, looking through buildings, basements, I truly explored Azeroth on my journey to level 80. When I was closing in on level 77 or 78, everyone was pushing for me to get to 80, gotta get here, there is so much more to do. And while that may have been true for me in Wrath, all the expansions that came after shared a common theme. Spend about 2 weeks getting to cap, then focus on all the reputations, run Normal Dungeons, then Heroic, then start raiding, patch after patch, spend months doing the same content over and over.

The fundamental design hasn’t changed all that much, just the introduction of more difficult versions with Mythic being added. Where things have gone off the rails is that to recapture the feeling of the journey, they have added more in depth requirements, more time consuming activities, overly complex puzzles requiring hours of following a specific set of tasks.

There really isn’t any discovery left in the current game. Either WoWhead, the Secrets Discord, or other 3rd party sites have laid out exactly where, or what you must do to get a reward. The game comes with a complete walk through now. Oh sure, you can go without looking things up, but invariably you will come to a task that has no clue for how to complete it unless you ask friends hoping someone has done it already.

What if the end of the game was getting from level 1 to 120, and that was it. There were no more activities, no Dailies, no World Quests. You leveled a character to max, and then they went off to retire in a cabin by a lake. And then you would start another character of a different class and race and experience a different journey. There is such an inherent design in place that you feel compelled to get there as fast as possible, that we barely take time to read quests, let alone stop to see what NPCs are talking about in town.

 

edit.

What if once your character had retired, if you could summon them to help you for a short period of time, say you need to complete a quest that requires 3 people and you are all alone, what if your champion could swoop in and lend you an assist.  Say once a day for a maximum of 10 minutes to prevent it from being abused.  How many of us have run across that one rare we have to kill to advance a story, or a rare spawn creature that is a skull level to us.  Just an idea.

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6 thoughts on “I know what’s wrong with World of Warcraft

  1. Agree. Although I still struggle with agreeing at a more… practical level?

    I came to a similar conclusion earlier in the year. That the spark of WoW and perhaps MMOs more generally had gone out for me at least in part (possibly a large part) due to how… I don’t know the right word here. ‘Transactional’ was first that came to mind, but I don’t think that’s actually right. Dry? Functional? Actually there we go, I think ‘functional’ best fits.

    The function I played, particularly WoW for, was to raid. The rest was just things I had to do in order to enable that end goal. It was a necessary barrier of entry. Paying the piper. *Earning* the way into such content with your friends.

    I recognised that if I wanted to regain any sort of joy from MMOs, I didn’t necessarily have to drop raiding but I did have to learn to appreciate the journey along the way. ESO and FFXIV were the two I picked to help try shift that mindset. It’s still a work in progress honestly, but… getting there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly think this is more a case of player mentality and exposure to players with such mentality. There have been players since the launch of the game that have wanted to just get to max-level in order to start farming the dungeons and later the raids there (mostly players I think, that came from earlier MMOs), you having taken the more relaxed route to max-level just didn’t meet them before—me neither, really. If anything, I think Blizzard now probably puts *even more* effort into making things that can be discovered by players and the story along the way but with many people having played the game so long they feel they’ve “seen it all” and have started joining the camp of people just wanting to get to the end-game content. As for discovery of how to get rewards, Wowhead has also been around since The Burning Crusade I think, and we had Thottbot before that. So these resources have existed for a long time, there just wasn’t much need to make use of them when taking it slow and smelling the flowers on the way so maybe one didn’t even realise they existed at the time, but now that one is used to using them they kind of do take away the opportunity of discovery for new content though again that’s more down to the players not the game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if the focus has shifted more towards pushing people to get to max level to get into raiding end game content, and it is the personal choice now for a player to decide they don’t want to race to the finish. My love for the game happened because I was so far behind all the existing, even on my newly opened server, that I just took my time marveling at the whole world. I’m pretty sure that if I had started in August of 2009 as an instant level 70 Shadowpriest, and gotten to 80 in 2 weeks, jumped into raiding ICC, that I probably would have quit the game in Cataclysm. Leveling over the course of 5 months allowed me to grow to love the character I consider my one and only main.

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      1. I agree, the free boost does muddy the water a bit, since it makes it seem like the obvious choice to skip the old content and start with the new content even for newer players, but don’t you get that boost only when buying the expansion and not the base game? And I would assume a completely new player might only buy the base game if they want to check it out and would consequently not have the boost so obviously presented to them.

        As for the focus, well it has kind of always been primarily on the endgame since that is where the most players are since that’s where you end up after you are done with leveling and exploring the world and it tends to offer new opportunities for exploration either through flying which might unlock areas that were unaccessible before or new zones that are tuned for higher level characters. Also, with how world quests are setup, I think Blizzard might just have moved the part where we used to get to know big parts of the world through questing and leveling with completing world quests on max-level characters. World quests have given me a reason beyond pure curiosity to go to places I probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise, as has flying with its ease of travel allowing me to actually focus on the sights instead of trying to dodge mobs on the ground.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Everything should be the answer. World Of Warcraft should never have existed. Making Warcraft into a MMORPG was a mistake. They should shut the servers down and forget WOW ever happened.

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