Just my .02 from a player since vanilla:I am sick of the point grind. JP, VP, HP. 5mans have become work. People say WolK was a gear vending machine? Cata is far, far worse. I am so tired of this attitude that dps is replaceable and that all tanks should be able to handle anything. I gave up tanking completely, which I have done on and off my whole play time, because of the groups. Not the mechanics. DPS pull ahead, refuse to CC, ignore encounter mechanics because it's just heroics, and I have been told "No heroic should take more than 15 minutes." and then $%^&* at the tank or healers for wipes. Two days after ZG/ZA came out, two days mind you, I told the group it was my first time tanking there and got instabooted. I had to get a guild group to actually get in there to learn it. >.o 1) Wow has become work. Put in your time day to day doing the same thing and get paid points. 2) Tanking sucks. Period. They made the threat easier but but the attitude of most random dungeon groups is horrible. Tanks are a requirement to get the q to pop, once inside they aren't worth much anymore.3) For the love of god, if you're going to make it this way at least give us new 5 mans. If I see one more troll I am going to go postal. >.<Go go go go! Points points points! Go go gogogogo! ... the game needs a chill pill.
This is my first post to wowhead. However, I feel quite strongly about many points in the comments here. I've written my own blog post on what I think Blizzard should do that probably can help mitigate the hardcores and the casual player. I consider myself a casual player. Only have been playing for a little over a year now and enjoyed the game for the most part. When Cataclysm came out, I felt after reading various posts that the game mechanics would make the game harder. Some people have enjoyed the challenge. However, I quit temporarily because I had some personal business to attend to. When I returned, I talked with a friend who considers himself a fairly hardcore raider. He mentioned about incredible frustration in terms of the end game heroics and how he and some others spent several hours trying to down a mob during a random. Another friend of mine (who played a Resto druid) pretty much quit after dealing with a similar experience. So that kinda turned me off from instance grinding.Fast forward a bit and I managed to level up a few toons to 85. I've done only two Cata instances. The first one wasn't so bad, but the other wasn't fun at all (seemed like the tank had some issues, but whatever). That kinda turned me further off from running Cata instances. Right now, I just don't have the time nor energy to really put into watching videos and becoming a theoretical expert. I want to just play the game and experience the different aspects of it as a casual gamer.That said, I think what Blizzard should have done was separate the realms on a difficulty setting. Kinda like what they've done with Starcraft and Diablo. Yes, WoW has Heroics, but the problem with that design is that you're essentially rewarding gear based on the skill of the player and preventing casual players from getting the opportunities to play end game content. There is no "learning difficulty setting" that allows n00bs like myself to learn how to raid properly against a boss or instance without dedicated effort. The closest thing I've seen in the game is how new Cata zones would introduce you to some concepts that will appear in raids or heroics. However, the problem that Blizzard is missing is that players need to learn how other people perform and understand each others' roles and build chemistry. The guild system partly solves this, but doesn't guarantee anything.Second, I think Blizzard should focus more on content rather than just game mechanics. It seems that too much effort is put into finding the right numbers with each class to achieve balance so they can raid or pvp. As a long time RPG gamer, I feel as though this game is more like after school street fighter rather than something that puts emphasis into storyline and immersion because of their focus. So people who might come to the game looking for an immersive experience might get bored after completing most of the basic content since what the end game boils down to is reaction, gear and dedication. I think part of being an MMORPG is kinda like the old AD&D Friday night gaming thing, where a bunch of friends gather together, share a pizza and hit some dungeon/quest. Here, you see more emphasis on competition, which, imo, eliminates the social aspects since there's a lot of pressure to do things the right way.Lastly, I really have to wonder what community Blizzard might be talking to at times too when they address issues. I think a lot of casual players probably don't voice their opinions as vocally so Blizzard might get only a slim snapshot of how people truly react in game. For instance, I get the feeling that the PTRs are better than most of the regular realms, which is where they might get a good portion of their feedback. From what I've heard, PTRs have really cool people who are interested and dedicated to the game. However, for someone like me, I ended up leaving my first realm (a PVP spot) for a PVE realm because I got really sick of world PVP, camping and just the general immaturity of players. For the most part, it's been better but that old realm nearly burnt me out towards the end. I wonder sometimes if Blizzard directly had to deal with those types of people whether or not they would change the way they designed their games.
I totally agree with you. I still have fun in getting achievements even if I already did it three times on other characters. Like tough ones (sea turtle and such things).
Cataclysms flaws reside from bad design. I know thats heresy and all WoW players kiss Dev butt but I'm going to be honest and point the finger wheres its due.I dont know if they lost touch with the beast at the end of wrath or if cata was simply not well thought out.My main, pre-cata, was a paladin. In wrath most of the key Pally abilities were redesigned to be based around base weapon damage as a key determining factor in overall damage, which makes sense in theory. In practice it worked since everyone was level 80 and running around with Heroic Bone Arbiters and Tiny Abombs. What the devs ultimately failed at was realizing what would happen when Cata hit and pallies were suddenly struggling to keep up with other classes because our key abilities were now based off quest drops and everyone else had power abilities. Not to mention the weak initial utilization of Mastery and other mandatory Pally nerfs. To most Pallies were pretty much unplayable unless you won the lottery and got a Zin'rokh or you had a decent guild and got an Akrius. In a nutshell they simply designed the paladin out of early cata.. and that sucks when your main is a pally.Which leads me to the next failure; the guild system. Instead of promoting guild cooperation, it simply encouraged guilds to let everyone in to maximize their speed toward level 25 and then to not care about anyone except their core 25 party, leaving a couple hundred to enjoy an exp bonus and maybe a guild mount. My guild was one of the first on server to hit 25 and thats pretty all there is. They do their core raids, to which everyone else is obviously excluded. They don't do guild challenges since theres no benefit for a level 25 guild to bother. Achievements are only worked at when it provided a mount or heirloom or cheap do-dad. Now any guild that ISN'T 25 is shunned and no one will join. Essentially Blizz did exactly what they did with raids, they created and exclusive upper class for the very few.Which brings me to my next point; raiding. In Wrath yes you could get top tier set without enter ICC and I realized all the little raiders cried, but more people did ICC because they were able to obtain gear to be competitive in the raid. I realize the raiders think the raiding set should require you to raid for it, but those are the same people that checked gear scores and achievements and now ilvl and achievements. Since my pally was unusable in early cata I didn't get the gear early and didn't get into the upper class where i could raid to get the items that allowed me to keep raiding and therefore I haven't seen any raiding content outside of Firelands. Making a huge part of this expansion effectively inaccessible to me. By caving into the raider crowd Blizz disregard a huge chunk of players who might not be hardcore but were still regular players, the fact is people dont pay to play WoW so the elite can raid, they want to experience content too. For that matter when people hated gearscore with a burning passion, why in bloody hell did Blizz make ilvl? Incorporate one of the worst things this game has every known and change the name and call it a good thing. And finally balancing. Blizz's tireless crusade to keep everything equal and fair ends in the same result that EVERY game that tries to make every class and race balanced; blandness. Your a Tauren, your a Dwarf, who cares because it doesn't mean anything except what faction your in. Your a Druid, your a priest? other then shape-changing your the same character and priests will probably get shape-changing soon anyway. There's no individuality. There's no point to being X or Y anymore. So basically the only aspects of Cata i liked were the revamped zones because it made my first 2 alts interesting to level (its boring again btw) and the Worgen (who's lore and storyline were no where near as interesting as I hoped). So yeah Blizz, keep catering to your elitist crowd, its the rest of us that are trying Rift or pre-booking Old Republic or Neverwinter. Oh and one last thing we went from Arthas stealing souls and murdering heroes in front of us to Deathwing, arguably one of the most awesome villains in Warcraft lore who seems to be doing nothing more then twiddling his long mustache and sneering at us while telling us his boss is going to slap us silly. From archvillian to low level flunky.. at this point I'm surprised Illidan wasn't working for Hogger..
Additionally, my guild had a speculation on mage tanking where the frost spec would be beefed up to be an almost kiting-based tank style using all of their freeze abilities. If you were to increase the armor value from their shields and give them some sort of "Frozen Skin" armor that allowed blows to "glance off" (parry) of them it would work out. This would also give a unique tanking style that has not been seen in-game before.
All opinions seem to be right with no reason to be a druid tank or a frost mage.... there is no more unique toons that someone plays very good. As in hey your a kick ass enhance shammy or dude you play that warrior like a mad man ...or that lock is sick. Most dont agree but the gear score and making people feel like they should go play another game because they dont have a piece of gear that makes their whole toon a gear score that the raid leader or even 5 man will let in. I'm sure everyone remembers playing their toon to the max and helping out a 5 or 10 man and doing it in blues and getting your first epic drop off a boss. fun times now eveyone has to be geared all the same ....hmmm all the same ...well that migh be it....unless your gear total is 375 for example u cant get in and have a chance to get your 378 gear. It used to be how well the toon handled the situation and made it work and help out the group ...now its wow that toon has 375 gear and cant play worth a dime. It seems Blizz killed themselves with that one and that's how they will go down.
A lot of things I agree with have been said. I've played WoW on and off since beta. I played the most during vanilla, and then quite a bit in BC. WOTLK I came to late, but ended up playing quite a bit of. CATA I played about three months of. I just recently finished my free "try out Firelands!" week. Honestly, it wasn't enough to convince me to come back.For me personally, the combination of factors leading to is more complex than simply the game getting older. A major part of it is that I have gotten older. When WoW came out, I was still a student. It was shiny and new, an awesome game, and I had the time to join a raid and see the 40-man content that so few people really got to see back then. It was a great social experience unlike anything I'd had before (the closest thing would have been Final Fantasy XI, then Counterstrike and Team Fortress Classic... but none of them really came close). The first time things started falling apart was during the debacle that was the original Naxxramas and the era of the first BGs. It wasn't that Naxx was hard, it was that it was buggy, laggy and, quite frankly, not fun. People forget that. Try Heigan's dance with incredible lag. Now with ten people you might have one person lag out and die, but back then 15 people failed out due to lag spikes and another ten from graphical issues leading to a crash. It was enough to make you not want to play anymore. (And don't get me started on the original C'thun. Hope you like wiping to a completely fabricated time block!) Then there was the other part of the game--PVP. I had tons of fun in WSG back then, but that's because I was a raider in tier 3 and everyone else was swiss cheese. the queue system was broken, causing players to abuse it and all the drama that comes with. And of course there were the 72-hour AV matches so many people think back on fondly that were really just horrendous.But so much of that got fixed early in BC that we came back. And we kept on keeping on for a lot of BC because it was still shiny and new. And because none of us had kids or serious jobs yet. As a smaller group by that time, we appreciated the addition of smaller raids like Kara and ZA. In my personal life, though, things got hectic. I was earning a post-graduate degree, in a long-term relationship, and hey, I had a PS3 and other games to play. So I would quit for months at a time (especially between Kara and ZA--didn't care about the 25-man raids).WOTLK was a turning point, I think. For people with a core group of gamers, it was heaven. And for casuals, it was pretty damn good too. There was a huge number of good, fairly fast 5-mans, and all the raids were accessible to ten- and twenty-five-man groups without restrictions. The game felt older by then, aged you might say, but the quests and quest mechanics were pretty fresh. The dungeons were interesting. The story was interesting! More than anything, BGs felt mature and remained fun and raids were probably the best of all time (excluding Naxx, which was always an abomination, in my opinion). It had a lot of staying power and I played it quite a bit more than I thought I would given the age of the game. Plus, it coincided with an era in my personal life where I had very little time outside work for a real social life. When I did have time, it was already later in the evening, or it was in the morning, et cetera. A game like WoW fits that schedule quite well, actually!Come CATA. It felt more like a continuation of WOTLK than anything new. The raids are fine, but they felt a bit less epic now. Perhaps after dungeons like Ulduar and ICC, it's hard to come back and be impressive again. The new zones were fun to me, actually, but there frankly weren't many of them, and I didn't feel there was much revolutionary to them. Phasing was awesome and new in WOTLK, and it's being used well now in CATA, but it's not shiny anymore. And I felt I had to complete them out, so by a couple months in, I had done every quest in the new zones. That said, CATA added a lot to the old world as well, and I played that out quite a bit. Of everything, I enjoyed that the most, actually. The old zones and the new storylines (particularly on Horde, in my opinion) are quite interesting. But raiding and PVP are feeling a bit stale to me.More than those factors though are personal factors. I just got married. I have a serious job. I don't have the time most of the things in a game like WoW take. I've gone from being in one of the top vanilla raid guilds and one of the top WOTLK strict 10 guilds to not having time enough to even level a character in this game. And while the new Darkmoon Faire thing looks fun, and Firelands is okay non-raid content, but not "wow"ing, it's just not enough. WoW doesn't really have enough bite-sized content to justify blowing $15 a month on it for me, in my opinion. Sure, I could throw down a WSG or Isle match from time to time, but not at that cost. Honestly, I'd love to keep playing WoW. But at this point I don't think it's worth the subscription fee. When I can spend 5$ for a game like Terraria and derive 40+ hours of entertainment from it in a month, I can't justify paying $15 for a month of WoW to play a BG I've played a hundred times and get enough honor for a headpiece. I'd love to see WoW go the route of F2P (or at least cheaper-to-play... say 5$/month) with microtransactions, honestly. I'd be fine with having to pay 4-5$ for a new 5-man dungeon or possibly a bit more for a whole raid. Is that unrealistic? Maybe. But people like me are the ones who buy those silly $25 mounts from their store. We're the people who actually buy mini-Ragnaros. Et cetera. They could sell people like me a ton of crazy crap through microtransactions. But right now I don't pay anything because I can't justify the monthly fee. So yeah, I'd like to see (and am anticipating) a change to the payment model in the coming year or so.Then again, it's fair to point out that once Diablo III is out, there's a lot lower chance I'd play WoW even if it were free. I mean, that game is going to be free to play, and its brand new and has more bite-sized content. Anyway, sorry for being Old Man Nostalgia and ranting. I guess my real point is that perhaps part of the waning is also due to a large swath of the customer base getting older and, frankly, growing out of WoW.
I would love to keep playing WoW, but these 2 reasons are why I stopped.(1.) I'm having to cut back on my spending alot, and WoW is something I would let go in a heartbeat if I had to (Down to Reason 2).(2.) I've been playing WoW since TBC, I never got into the hardcore side of WoW, never wanted to. Always pugged in raids, on free time I had since I learned quickly that guilds are full of people I don't want to play with. Especially ones dedicated to the hardcore lifestyle of Raiding. I always enjoyed the grinding and achivement side of the game. But I've gotten extremely bored when cataclysm became live. It really hit me when I went to Vash'ijr and I must say, if this was like 10 years ago, I would be freaking out on how amazing the level design was. But when I swim in Vash'ijr on my seahorse. I see one good thing about it... grinding mining and herbalism ONLY. Do I like looking at the zone? Hell f***ing no! With a zone that looks like a desert, no massive underground water filled caves, no awesome water lighting effects from above-below-or anywhere, very little vegetation, no race of friendly underwater inhabitants and city, with absolutely little points of interest that could blow the mind away. This is the biggest half-assed zone I have seen yet! $15 a month... 4 expansion packs... AND in that time! You have not thought of any new ways of creating a immersive or new experience? Sure their is water, oh sure their is underwater fighting that basically ONLY exists in this place. What else! What could be so entertaining about this zone! Does the fancy hop-skotch animation that your toons do turn you people on! Do the little cute jellyfish or turtles make you go their? Perhaps its the eluding Ghoscrawler that attracts you, or the pirate gnome, or the whale shark, or nothing!So when I see the same old boring easy boss fights, which people fail at all the time apparently... especially on the Troll Dungeons or Deadmines (Heroic Vanessa VanCleef Nightmare Elixir Phase). The same BGs that have either been retextured or made terribly wrong with no s-t-r-a-t-e-g-y involved whatsoever. Raids that repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat with no moving, or thinking, or super awesome cutscenes, or vehicles, or whatever you people can think of that would be a wonderfull addition. I just feel that the game is based on a platform made for people in a time before time that failed to catch up to the present and think about the future.The only things I know is that this game needs a new direction and that I have quit WoW because of the lazyness of Blizzard Entertainment. I have always loved your games starting with Starcraft which I played at a very young age. Then Warcraft 3 came along, and that blew my mind away. It took me some time to get off Warcraft 3 and transition to my first MMORPG... World of Warcraft. And that was another blast, all the way up to now. So unless you seriously rethink your strategy about WoW and honestly your other namely games Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. I may just completely move away from you guys and simply watch you off the internet. You may prosper or die very slowly like so many massive corporations that have become complete Bureaucracys.P.S... The only interesting things I have seen in Cataclysm.(1.) The cloud effects used in the sky above Uldum, in the Vortex Pinnacle, in the Throne of the Four Winds. Are absolutely amazing! I try to pretend the sky would be full of it, a whole new zone devoted to having floating islands in the sky covered by this rich blanket of clouds and wind. I try to dream how WoW could be so much better, but then I realize that its not as great as I wish it could be.(2.) Their are certain parts of the desert in Uldum that the sand have a different texture this darker and makes the deset look like a real desert. For any of those who still play, you may have a idea what I'm talking about. I believe it was on the west side of the zone. But sadly this only spanned a couple of yards(Exaggerated but you get my point if the size of it, is compared to the entirety of the zone) and I only noticed this because I went back on my mount to check out things I had missed after questing was completed.(3.) The Jousting parody in Mount Hyjal. Never have I seen a event more enjoyable than that one! Sadly I have only done it 12 times because you can only complete it 3 times per character. And it infuriated more than anything in the game to not be able to compete in that f***ing amazing game again, even if it was just a daily or a weekly raid that resets every damn tuesday! No competitions, no friendly duels, no nothing other than I have realized that people that I have talked to in WoW about it, either hate it or have failed so many times that they refuse to do it. So **** you guys at Blizzard for throwing this away in the attic and the people who fail at classic games.
I liked cataclysm! At least for leveling.Endgame is different. If you don't/can't raid, then unfortunately at one point you get "stuck". You're gear cannot get better, but you're overgeared for heroics. Everyone's doing Firelands and they always check for the achieves. People require 360+ ilevel for a normal BoT/BWD (at least on US Mal'Ganis). If a new player reaches 85 during the middle of an expansion, the player will find it hard to get the same level of gear that many raiders, who have been around for a while have. It's not entirely Blizzard's fault. A lot of it is the players who create that separation of raiders and non-raiders. PUG's should be made for the non-raiders, not the raiders. We'll have to see how the raid finder turns out, and I hope it turns out to work well. I think a lot of new players will feel inclined to learn fights when it comes out. Hopefully that will improve Blizzard and definitely improve player retention, which is turning into a huge problem for Blizzard.I heart World of Warcraft, though.
On the subject about the declining subscriptions, every changes in the game touches a player differently.Lots talk about the raids lockdown on 10 mans and 25 mans. For harcore raiders who did both every week, this change limited them a lot. For casual raiders, it doesn't affect them a lot but still touches them.For Player versus Player players, in my personal opinion, it feels like very new features are offered. One new BG, one new zone and the continuing arena seasons. But, the PvP only affects those just mentionned. We are talking about WORLD of WARcraft. I have once played a game where it was only PvP oriented (Knight Online for those that know it). The PvP in it had some affects on the rest of the game (A clan could battle against other clans for the zone of Delos and the winner would control and receives taxes from the purchases at Deloz and Moradons npcs). Or you have Perfect World which guilds could control zones through PvP wars (maximum 3 zones) and receive incomes taxes from purchases of all players at npcs in those zones. It would be very interesting if World of Warcraft would make PvP interact with the rest of the map in an innovative way like the games I just mentionned. Also, we are forgetting the very source of Warcraft, Alliance versus Horde. Now, the only time we see some sort of fun on that is when a group decides to raid an opposing faction capital. I don't see any groups forming and just running around and kill every Horde or Alliance just because they hate them.About Boss mechanics, I could say lots of complaints are astonishing as other games sometimes don't even have mechanics at all (no tank, no dps, just a bunch of players exchanging blows with a stupid monster that does the same attack over and over and over without even realizing there is a healer out there). But I do agree some of the fights repeat themselves. Just last week, I was studying the fight for Argaloth. Yes, it's basically the Brutallus fight with a little added twist but still almost the same. Or Sindragosa, it made me remember the Sapphiron fight a lot. And these mechanics that repeats themselves does bore some players that decides to try other things or other games.Or another thing I thought about recently: it was really fun with what happened after we killed the Lich King, it changed a few zones (Western Plaguelands for example). What is sad is, it doesn't feel as it was a direct results of our efforts. There are players which does and have fun at the same time doing all the quest. The phasing in Icecrown zone was awesome but it's the only real phasing I saw so far in World of Warcraft. It would be fun if in let's say for example Stranglethorn, we could definitely win our fight against the Trolls tribes and retake Stranglethorn.All these affects players differently. Some will adapt, others will find a new place to have their fun. But ain't that part of the fun :-)
The one thing I can't stand about Cataclysm, is that people spend most of their time in SW/Org, I don't like that. I want to have a reason to go to the new zones, or the old zone. All i do is go to Hyjal, do Molten Front (best dailies I've seen, joined shortly before WOTLK), hearth, log out, level alts. While leveling alts is fun, it gets extremely boring once you go to outlands, because while they may have changed the old world, they didn't do anything to BC/WOTLK content, making it dull by comparison. I do admit that the BC raids were my favorite, having the most lore and the greatest aesthetics, but the new raids are pretty poor. Firelands looks cool though.That is what I feel Cata failed most at.
A lot of these points are good. But I think for me, the biggest mark against cataclysm isn't so much the content itself, but the way Blizzard enabled the player base to ignore each other.In Classic, BC, and even Wrath, PuGs were a big way of meeting the people on your server. In fact most of the people that came to be the regular raiders in my guild were originally people I met in PuGs. And even aside from that you got to see regular faces posting "LFG" in trade chat. You knew who to join and who not to.While the Dungeon Finder inherently made it easier to join dungeon groups, it not only killed off the primary means of finding GOOD groups, it killed WoW's community as a whole.I can't even do a 5-man anymore without someone typing the words "lulz, you're horrible, scrub" to someone else in the group. Back in BC, people would HELP. They'd give advice or tips on the class. And people would take that advice to heart.Cata enabled people to solo things a little too much, and cut off the only means a lot of people had to see the raids. Not because of difficulty, but because they catered to the people who make the community a harsh mistress. Guilds are now almost exclusive, and people are afraid to leave higher level guilds, even though they hate the members.It's the horrible community that makes Cata bad. and Blizzard just enables it.