Perfect summation. Anything that spans a few years gets stale at some point. I logged into Everquest for the first time in 6 years the other day, and the game immediately showed its age, both in graphics and gameplay. If you dramatically change the WoW formula, it's no longer WoW. Keep it the same, and it tires. It's just the nature of gaming. We all knew it'd one day be dust on our hovering bookshelves in our space shuttle libraries =)
Only thing I have to say about this is Counter-Strike. That game is old, and hasn't changed a bit, but the player base is still thriving. Same goes for StarCraft. How did StarCraft survive so many years without being drastically changed. I know they are 2 different genres, but in my opinion, age doesn't kill a game. Ways to save WoW are simple, Blizzard actually needs to split up the communities rather than get them together. By this, I mean PvP, PvE, Hardcore and Casuals need to be split up. Heroic Modes are a good way of splitting this divide for Hardcore/Casuals, but PvP and PvE still need this divide to be made. If Blizzard took the abilities and made them act differently in PvE and PvP (similar to Guild Wars and similar to Bosses from Normal to HC modes), then the game would be easier to balance. Also, I feel that brining the class DOES matter. Cataclysm allows players to come as any class because nearly all have interrupts and buffs are cross-class. Bringing back class uniqueness will be better for PvP and PvE.Just my thoughts.Kieran
I think people are getting bored faster than they did in the past. I've heard people complaining about how they're sick of the 5 man content and were annoyed that 4.2 didn't include any new 5 mans, and I'm like, really? You do realize that there were no new 5 mans in between Dire Maul in March '05 and BC? Or between BC launch and 2.4? Or between LK launch and 3.3? Getting the trollrics so soon was really a pretty nice surprise.I'm honestly kind of curious how many people go from WoW to another MMO long-term as opposed to just dabbling. Do other MMOs really have unique features that would keep a player who's grown bored with WoW, or do they just feel like WoW in a different skin when the newness has worn off?Perspective on how old WoW is: I was pregnant for the first time when WoW launched. I went to first-grade back to school night for said child last night. FIRST. GRADE. WHAT.
No matter what people think about Cataclysm, or how nostalgic they get for previous expansions, no matter whether people are complaining about class balance or not, no matter how many more years World of Warcraft survies, it has been, and still is, a massive success of indisputable magnitude. Gamasutra's candour is to be appreciated, but at the same time it almost feels like an eulogy.
I can explain why I dislike Cataclysm and have, although many of the posts on the official forums that I participated in where often deleted.To sum it up, Blizzard didn't really try anything new. You can't just refine your formula over and over and expect it to be a success.
But if we are bored of the most successful mmorpg( if i might say) will there be another one who can satisfy our thirst for online gaming? It might end up that WoW actually is killing the mmo genre as we speak. New content comes rather frequently but we are given so much time in between that we grow bored of it in mere hours. Dunno if it's lack of complexity but i am taking a rest from wow during the summer cuz i had nothing to do ingame anymore. My guild cleared everything on normal and struggling with a few heroic modes but there was nothing new for me. And the firelands quests and raid didn't introduce much.... more quests(seen them before completed them a thousand times) and a raid(since valithria i havent seen a unique boss encounter worth mentioning). I really like the game don't get me wrong but i don't have motivation to play it anymore. After a few months of new things it will catch my eye again i hope :)>.
I hate Cata because it made all the guilds on my server EXTREMELY insular, which killed a lot of raiding and almost all roleplay on my server. It has nothing to do with the age of it.
Gamasutra reached, with far more research and collection of evidence, a thought that I'd voiced back in Wrath: The age of the game is the primary reason people leave. There are games that people go back to for nostalgia's sake, but gaming tends to be a progressive entertainment - play it for awhile, move on to the next big thing.What sort of makes WoW different is that so many people kept coming in, even though its core design wasn't really new. But that's a double-edged sword: Change that formula to try and refresh the game and you risk losing people and not replacing them. Regardless I think Blizzard is to the point where it's seen its top numbers for the game's player base, and the game's age is showing to the point where we'll see people start to drop away steadily.Someone mentioned Counterstrike and Starcraft. I've never played the former, played the heck out of the latter. But it's not necessarily a valid comparison. How many people are really playing Counterstrike? While there are numerous private servers, Steam indicates that their servers have an average audience of 50-55k. Starcraft seems to average anywhere from 20-25k players at a time.That's a far cry from keeping the interest of 9-11m players. I'm not disparaging those games in an way - it's just that the comparison won't be valid until WoW actually reaches the point where most of its subscribers have left for other games, and there's a small, core audience still signing on. Given the total number of subscribers in the game's history, I think that WoW on its "deathbed" will still have more regular players than many other MMOs out there.
Frankly, WoW's subscriber count could probably use a diet.Hopefully if it drops to 8 million, the 3 million that leave will be all the trolls and morons that are ruining it for those of us that are actually having fun.
I think one of the ways WoW could keep itself relevant is through its redesigning on the tanking role in the game. Characters geared specifically as Tanks have been in increasingly high demand, while DPS have been a dime-a-dozen. Not only has it made it harder to form groups to go do content, but it's created a nasty environment where Tanks are bribed to go join groups while DPS are treated as second-class citizens who can be kicked from randoms without hesitation because they'll be easily replaced. So why don't we deal with both problems by making more DPS specs capable of tanking?With the recent changes to threat, Tanks no longer have to go out of their way for stats or talents which increase their threat generation, so why not add some survivability talents/abilities to some DPS classes and give them the ability to switch into a "tanking mode" when needed? For example, Hunters and Warlocks already have pets intended for personal tanking, why not emphasize that and allow Beast Mastery Hunters and Demonology Warlocks to use some different talents or abilities than normal and let them tank through their pets? Enhancement Shamans could, feasibly, link their totems together to create some kind of damage-absorption field. Combat Rogues could enter some sort of mode where they become dodge/parry "tanks", maybe even the ability to perform "half-dodges" where they take reduced damage from hits to make up for their inability to wear stronger armor.The primary problem with Cataclysm itself has been the distinct lack of endgame content. Raids have been small and short on bosses, especially compared to the gargantuan undertakings of Naxx and Ulduar. We have half as many heroics to choose from, and if we want the best rewards, we're limited to the same 2 heroics over and over each week. Without a reason to leave Orgrimmar or Stormwind, zones are empty and random interaction with other players is low. Without world PvP objectives, PvP is relegated to a niche undertaking exercised almost entirely through battleground queues. This is the WORLD of Warcraft, and endgame is where it's at. We as the players need to feel like there is more of a world to participate in.
Gamasutra gave one of the best blog articles I have seen, reaching out to people who have done real market research and drawing some interesting ties to popular games (Minecrat) that offer opportunities and parallels. To expand that point let me offer 2....1) I think we need to see, with all the risks it entails, guild housing. I know. Big time risk. It is hard to manage (just ask Ultima Online). But it you want to give people "something to do" farming for mats, recipes, and some sort of creative opportunity lay out the bling would bring back some players who are tired of the same old same old. Even better would be to think about some of the coding that is behind minecraft and determine how hard it would be to allow for player created items.2) A truly persistent multi-server PVP area. Yes, we have TB. Yes we have battlegrounds and arenas. But a way, perhaps, to bring things back is to create a battlefield in which wow players pushed back and forth across a vast front. Balancing would probably require SOME sort of gating - or the provision that at some point the computer would issue for reinforcements to help the losing side. But I am thinking here of SOMETHING like World War 2 On-line. If you believe Gamasutra the conclusion is that size, age, and the internet have created a vicious feeback loop - in which content is so quickly solved that designers are forced to chase their own tail. One way to overcome this is to create new game mechanics that are a bit outside. Idea #1 simply extends Gams ideas in a way other than player created dungeons. Idea 2 recognizes that A.I. is not as smart as players and if you want "new" challenges that are hard to overcome through 2000-3000 players onto a battlefield at the same time.**** I am assuming that something radical would need to be done to spell animation and other data to handle that much data or else FR would crash horridly.
WoW's development is an iterative process. They try new things from Tier to Tier, keep what works and improve on or dismiss the things that don't. I think one of the big "things that didn't work" for Cataclysm is the divorce of 10 and 25 man lockouts. It goes both ways; I know there are players in my 25 man guild who would -love- to get together in a 10 man environment and push some content that we don't have the time to do on our normal 25 man nights. There are also those 10 man guilds who would love to group up with other guilds and pugs and try and get some 25 man content down.Go ahead and keep the same loot drops, but allow people to do both again in the same week. I still love the game, but I'm down to raiding my 3 nights per week and... that's about it.
One day this game will die like everything must but I hope blizzard will make world of warcraft 2 some day and continue the lore because its such a massive universe and a lot of aspects you can really emerse your self in.Warcraft will I hope continue one day.
Always thought the "lonely world" problem could be solved by one small change - stop xp gain in dungeons. With the lfd feature, you can sit in the q for the dungeon without barely leaving your start zone or can be continually run through with a level 85 guildee pulling the whole instance and one-shotting everything in front of the final boss.Instances for loot only, world quests for experience and levelling.
In my opinion one of the problems is class uniqueness. I personally don't like paladin's BoM stacking with Trueshot Aura, a deathknight's Abomination's Might, and a shaman's Unleashed Rage. There is plenty of more examples. In WotLK I liked having kings, might, priest buff, MoTW and others all on at the same time, now I can't have that. This class uniqueness being taken away is something that I really hated about cata.