This is not going to be a “I love Blizzard post”, at the same time I’ll try not to turn it into a “I hate Blizzard post”. This is my impressions on the news regarding the next expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and my thoughts. If you can’t stand to hear anything negative about Blizzard then feel free to skip this post.
I took the whole weekend to think carefully about this post and move on from my initial nerd rage reaction. There’s a lot I want to talk about but sadly, a lot of it is pure conjecture so I’ll try to keep those ideas for another day. When all is said and done though, I feel MoP is simply not an expansion for me. Notice I did not say “a bad expansion”, but rather an expansion that wasn’t made with my gamer type in mind.
Not for me?
A friend of mine summed up nicely MoP during a conversation.
It’s the expansion for my Ex!
Since you probably don’t know the ex-girlfriend in question let me describe her quickly. She was the kind of wow-gamer in it for the social life. She loved collecting pets, doing mini games, getting achievements and just goofing around when she could. She did raid, but for the social side of raiding and the collecting part of it. She didn’t care much for difficult encounters or challenge. She wanted the rare pet at the end of the raid.
I’m not saying that’s a good or bad way to play the game. But it’s not my way to play. I picked up WoW at the beginning when it was a much different game that what it is today. She started playing at the end of BC and was in love with Wrath because she felt it was the perfect balance while I thought Wrath was too much casual for me.
For me, MoP is a step toward making the game cater to the more social/casual gamer audience which I realize I’m not really a part of. The changes to talents, the mini pet fighting… all things I simply cannot see myself participate in. When I look at MoP I see a completely different game than the one I fell in love with back in 2006.
How did we get there?
This is what has been bothering me this whole time…. why do it? Why change the game so much again and it took me a while to come up with a simple idea. It’s all theory of course so there’s no way to be sure that Blizzard thought along those lines but I love this theory simply because of its simplicity.
When was WoW peak of subscribers? Back in Wrath of the Lich King
Does Cataclysm has more subscribers? No, it has less.
Then… If Wrath model was the most successful let’s go back to that model.
Simple as that. The more casual crowd Blizzard has been catering to in Wrath resulted in more money. So why not go that way again? It might the be the way I would like the game to progress but it’s hard for me to blame a company for wanting to choose a more profitable option.
I’d like to finish by saying that I’m not angry at Blizzard. Disappointed? Yes… absolutely… I feel the game I discovered back in 2006 is going away for good. WoW 5.0 is simply not a game for me and in the end I’ll simply have to hope Sw:ToR or some other MMO will cater to my needs.