Way back in june 2005 I started playing a game called World of Warcraft, when there was no flight path to camp Taurajo and Dire Maul was all new and shiny. I was all young and innocent, had a troll warrior who I leveled up to 34 with a shield and a one-hander thinking a shield spike did good damage… I was a noob without any knowledge of how things truly worked. I had played UO before but skipped Everquest so it was all new to me. I did not read blogs, forums or anything and Thotbott was the best source of knowledge I knew of. Over time of course, I found myself seeking more information and found the forums and blogs, asked questions, gave comments and just like everyone else gave my opinion on what I tought was working and not working in the game.
If you follow blogs talking about WoW you know they intend to put a maximum number of attempts each week you can try to kill a boss. For example if you can’t kill boss X in 5 tries then your done for the week. Also, they are adding a buff that will increase over time to make the raid easier and more accessible. Both Larìsa and Spinks have written excellent posts on the matter.
Going back to my little story from the beginning I used to be a hardcore player who couldn’t commit to a hardcore raiding schedule. I wanted really bad to go down all those big raids but I just couldn’t commit 6 hours raiding 4 or 5 times a week wich was always happening too late it seemed. I was one of those back in 2005 that argued that raids should not take 6 hours, that 40 people for a raid was unreasonable and that I should not be penalized because I had a life. I eventually did the hardcore, 7 days a week raiding for a short while.
Well I wasn’t the only one saying Naxxramas being seen by 1% of the player base was ridiculous and Blizzard listened. When they released Burning Crusade they dropped the raids to 25 mans, made the raids and instances shorter and generally improved the game in ways the player wanted to. Fast forward to the current patch and I can’t help but see the recent changes as a way to answer player complaints.
Limited number of tries? Helps makes the hardcore feel more “elite” for a longer time since the less advanced guilds will take many more weeks to complete the content. Also, puts the emphasis on skill instead of bashing one’s head until success. For the more casual? It puts a limit on the torture of long raids where you keep wiping on a boss your raid as no chance of taking down. Helps limit the maximum time a raid can take.
Buff that makes the raid easier after a while? Gives a chance to every player to finish the content and protects the hardcore achievement of being able to do it without the buff. Not unlike current achievements where you get a mount for not dying.
In fact if you look at every single patch and expansion you can see Blizzard answering players complaints and concerns. Some patches are successes but others like the Argent tournament are disasters. The point here is that these changes are brought by “us”, the players. In many ways we dictate how the game will evolve and the current WoW is no less that the sum of everything we asked Blizzard to do.
That’s why I’m wondering if we’re not hypocrites with the complains. Sure it’s a given right for us to complain about a game, especially one we keep paying 15$ a month to play but at the same time we are complaining about what we asked them to do. Yes, the game is probably too casual now but we all asked for that. At least I know I wanted them to make it more accessible and more casual at one point. Wether or not the latest change will be for the better or worse for the game only time will tell. But I’ll try to stay quiet if it’s “too easy”.