World of Warcraft: What Happened?

World of Warcraft: What Happened?

If you haven’t noticed, World of Warcraft’s subs are going down.  They even canceled Blizzcon this year.  I’d link you some evidence, but I’m too lazy.  While the game is definitely not dying, it appears to be on the decline.

Why?  Because they’re disappointing more players than they are recruiting, that’s why.  Long-time subscribers are leaving in droves, while newbies are merely trickling in.  Blizzard has underestimated their consumers’ willingness to deal with a game that seems to be more interested in pleasing potential consumers rather than current ones.

When you ask an older, disgruntled WoW player why he no longer plays the game, his response is generally, “It’s too casual now.”  Well, ‘casual’ doesn’t help Blizzard resolve the problem–it’s too vague.  And it’s personally offensive to Ghostcrawler, who wears t-shirts often.

I will now list exactly what elements have been removed from World of Warcraft over its 8-year lifespan, and why their removal led to its current decline:

 

EXCLUSIVITY

WoW is an MMO, which makes it a social game, which makes it a political game.  Everyone starts off wanting to be the best tank, or the best healer, or the best DPS in the world.  Sometimes they want to be the most mediocre of them all, in which case they’ll roll a Shaman.  –My point is that being the best doesn’t matter when it’s easy to be the best.  Modern WoW features an assortment of mods that do virtually everything for you, overly simplified character customization, and it keeps finding new ways to level the playing field with every patch, which narrows the potential skill gap and downplays a player’s ability.

There’s nothing wrong with accessibility.  WoW is built on accessibility–it’s why it’s the most popular MMO ever.  But there are limits.  There’s a huge, massive line between accessible and reducing a boss’ stats by 30% so that everyone can kill it.  Blizzard has sprinted across that line like a Kenyan.

Back in the day, when everything was inconvenient, there was no “Looking for Group” system.  If you wanted to do a dungeon, you had to gather your party OH, YES, FUCKING YES.  THAT WASN’T EVEN INTENTIONAL.  You had to talk to people, whisper them–you had to make friendships and play politics.  If a dungeon went well, you became someone’s go-to tank.  If you got a special key, you’d be that one guy with the key who didn’t have to fucking beg me to run back and open the god damn Arcatraz door for him every time he died.

Once upon a time, you could be special in WoW.  Now, WoW only has two special people in it: Affiniti of Blood Legion, the greatest healer who has ever existed, and that intimidating Norwegian chick who manages DREAM Paragon or whatever the hell they call themselves now.  She terrifies me.  I bet she whips her raiders.

The introduction of Looking for Group–and the much more recent addition of Looking for Raid–has turned WoW, an MMO, into a robotic, non-social experience where anyone can obtain virtually anything without actually socializing.  In order to obtain a small amount of new subscribers, Blizzard has willingly sacrificed exclusivity, an entire aspect of their game.

Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, a great deal of gamers play WoW for the renown and access to exclusive content, like a giant robot head that you can fly inside of.  God, this game is stupid.  –When renown cannot be gained, the game becomes significantly less interesting to them.

The removal of the requirement to socialize also breeds a community full of eerily silent players.  There’s no greater turn-off than entering a zone with a dead chat and passing player after solo player who are so shy that they pretend that you’re not even there.  I just described Japan.  The older WoW forced these players to come out of their shells, and they were better off for it.  The newer WoW makes being alone efficient, easy, and as boring as ever.

 

INTIMIDATION AND MYSTERY

Why do people play horror games?  Because it’s the easiest way to be emotionally affected by a video game.  Jump scares are so easy to create, and yet even the bravest and most jaded among us will often react to them.  Making the audience feel a certain way is one of the most difficult, but important feats for a video game to accomplish.  You may not enjoy Amnesia: Dark Descent because it scared the shit out of you and then showed you the mangled penis of a 300-year-old dead guy, but it certainly didn’t bore you.

World of Warcraft once intimidated players.  Newbies were dropped into a wide, completely open world, with only a simple tutorial to guide them.  Back then, there was no built in “QuestHelper” to tell you exactly where to go and what to do.  You couldn’t check Wowhead, MMO Champion, or Elitist Jerks (LOL who are we kidding no one goes there anymore) for the solution to your every problem.  WoW was a foreign, mysterious place.

Players were once required to conquer great challenges just to enter specific dungeons and raids.  They would hear whispers of what those dungeons contained, but they couldn’t enter them until they themselves were ready.  Talk about a carrot on a stick: An entire dungeon that could entertain you for months, locked away, with the key just within your reach.  The fact that more skilled and dedicated players were already plumbing its depths would spark jealousy in you, but excitement and determination as well.  What lay within?  Would your guild be good enough to kill the boss?  Would the boss kill your guild?

In modern WoW, virtually all bosses are progressively nerfed (weakened by the game developers) over time.  Part of the player’s emotional attachment to the game is severed when he knows that every boss will eventually be nerfed so that everyone will be able to kill it.  There is no uncertainty or incentive when, simply by waiting for the game to change, everything can be resolved.

One of the most feared bosses in WoW history is M’uru.

As you can see, M’uru is a fucking wind chime Christmas ornament–yet to this day, M’uru still garners more respect than Deathwing because M’uru didn’t get nerfed into the ground.  M’uru didn’t have an Easy Mode, or an Easier Mode.  You killed it as is or not at all.  Everyone hated M’uru.  I hated M’uru.  But it was the fear that made me shake in my seat every time we almost killed it, and it was the hate that made me spontaneously ejaculate when it died at our feet.

I don’t think anyone is particularly scared of Deathwing when you are guaranteed to fight and kill him by entering a queue.  Imagine playing all of your games with cheat codes that make you immortal.  Sound fun?  –Blizzard appears to think so.

When you know you’ll eventually kill every boss, there is no intimidation.  When you can immediately access every part of the game, there is no mystery.

 

WONDER

I remember the first time I stepped into Onyxia’s Lair.  I and 30 others descended into the maw of her cave, unaware of what we would find within.  We waited there at the entrance for 20 minutes, because the other 10 bastards were still downloading the patch.  Then we waited for 30 more minutes because the GM was just about to finish his Alterac Valley, and then 20 more minutes because one of our tanks hadn’t crafted his fire resist gear yet.  Ah, yes.  Those were the days.

16 hours later and with only 6 people AFK, we began our assault on the fiery depths.  When we reached the very pit, there she was: Onyxia, a massive, terrifying drago–oh–oh my god, where are these whelps coming from?!  HELP!  –FOR THE LOVE OF–JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!

Long story short, we murdered her.  And then we skinned her so that we could wear her skin and scales.  And then we sawed off her head and propped it up in our home city.  My god, why isn’t this game rated M?

But–something happened.  One day, a few years later, Onyxia… came back.

So we killed her again, skinned her, sawed her head off–you know the drill.  To ensure she stayed dead, we had one of our priests perform a purification ceremony, and then I impaled the bitch with a Sword of Obedience.

… but it wasn’t enough.

She came back.  –And so did her brother, Nefarian.  And you’re not going to believe this, but Ragnaros came back as well.  And this is going to be shocking, but the entirety of Naxxramas reappeared.  And then Zul’Gurub came back.  And then Zul’Aman came back.  And then new bosses came out–but they had the same models as Ulduar bosses, and the same mechanics as Ahn’Qiraj bosses.

This is a very conservative and incomplete list of assets that have been reused recently in World of Warcraft.  There’s nothing wrong with recycling, but when the majority of the new content is actually recolored old content, a great sense of wonder is lost.  Reusing content is certainly cost effective–but at what cost?  How many people have left the game because they know that, even if they stop playing for a year, they won’t miss anything?  They have, after all, seen it all before.  What are they going to miss?  A recolored Shade of Aran, but this time he’s named ‘Filbert’?

 

CONCLUSION, AND WHY WORLD OF WARCRAFT IS STILL THE BEST GAME EVER MADE

Imagine being a newbie to WoW.  Imagine that you’ve never played it before, and you start playing it today.  You’ll enter an impossibly wide world with more content than you can fathom–and the entire game was designed with YOU, the new player, in mind.

WoW must be a mind-blowing experience for those who have never played it before.  To them, none of the content is recycled.  To them, everything is out of their reach, everything is mysterious, everything is intimidating, and everything is wonderful.  This new player is Blizzard’s target consumer–but these strange aborigines are rare.  When was the last time you met someone with an interest in video games who had never played World of Warcraft?

The rarity of these consumers is why WoW is in decline.  As Blizzard caters to an extreme minority, they seem to have abandoned their majority: their long-time subscribers.  They have made the assumption that their long-time subscribers would be willing to endure years of unwanted change and experimentation aimed at a specific group of subscribers who do not yet exist–and that assumption is being proven wrong.

Mystery, intimidation, wonder, exclusivity, and accessibility.  These elements are responsible for WoW’s success, and the success of most video games in general.  With four of the five gone, WoW’s fate remains uncertain, and–if Mists of Pandaria is any indication–adorable.



  1. Dimitri Filichkin says:

    Brutal and honest, with emphasis on the brutal part. i hope you write more articles here.

    • mireina says:

      Be brutaller, IMO
      Mirrored every single sentiment I’ve had for a year or more now. Thanks

    • oldschool says:

      therebirth.net i do believe it is is a classic wow privately operated server that only operates on patch 1.13xxx So if you miss MC and BR then there you go, go check it out!

    • Drek says:

      You want to whine about whats wrong with wow you only have to wonder what genius decided to fall on his sword when conceiving the latest patch.
      If they lost customers before I can only imagine how many they will lose when MoP comes out and it retains the current system they have decided to commit suicide with. Yes the talent tree was a little to much to navigate, get one point out of place and people would be casting you from the group in disgust for your low dps. But you basicly have what 7 options now to determine how your character will be and typically if you still dont get it right you will fail miserably. You still have to grind for gear which is what made your character truely powerful or not. I think if blizzard wanted to fix things they would look at that aspect of the game. I’ll take a last stab in the dark here and guess it was the same intellectual dwarf who thought up transmogrification that spear headed this patch?
      I could go on with OP classes but typically if they abolished skills like the Dks lasso in Bgs then you would have countless masses who play DK’s whining about it. End of the day blizzard have to decide what makes a game truelly interesting.
      I’ve always seen blizzard as greedy but never stupid but now sadly I’m seeing both.
      I say release WoW 2 maybe a better graphics engine will help entice people back. Just don’t make it a guild wars 2 nice graphics new ideas, but talk about repetitive, and I thought wow was bad to grind. Not to mention failed healing system.

    • Impactus says:

      Great article, in my prime I raided during the wotlk days. When I came back during Cata’s release, so many things had been streamlined. Sure, it was way easier to do dungeons with the advent of the dungeon queue. But before, it gave you so much more enjoyment and satisfaction in being able to get your own group going, make your way to the dungeon entrance, and run it.

  2. Old School says:

    great article, this is why i stopped playing after clearing sunwell with patch 3.0 lowering the boom. nerfing everything repeatedly for no real reason. people who just want it easy will not stick around after they’ve finished window shopping. that is why no matter how people wanna say WoW has so many subs still, it is flat out losing them uncontrollably despite continued box sales.

  3. Tom says:

    I like your ideas, and your approach is somewhat humorous, but it doesn’t hold water in the eyes of someone who also played WoW, and wants to look at someone else’s viewpoints as to why it went down the shitter.

    Also, there wasn’t much organization. A lot of what you said seemed like just thoughts sent straight to paper with no proofreading, or eye to detail.

    Lastly, images shouldn’t be thrown there to look pretty. They should serve a purpose. Posting a picture of a raid boss, and then stating what that raid boss is (“A fucking wind chime”) doesn’t entirely interest me. To be honest, an image of the raid buff 30% stack would tell a lot more to a reader than a random picture of a boss.

    Good ideas, really unthoughtful and uninteresting approach.

    • ambisagrus says:

      I fully agree with all the comments and don’t really see a fix for the game as by giving the game and it’s content to people with no stamina or real interest in gaining an achievement or achieving a real boss kill they have stripped the game of what made it great and worth playing to those of us who enjoy a truly unique mmo….world of warcraft gave away it’s uniqueness, it seems, in order to claw in The pocket money crowd and in catering for these lazy, mardy pseudo mmoers turned world of warcraft into nothing more than another carbon copy of every half decent mmo out there…..turning world of warcraft from a truly great mmo into a half decent mmo, well I and many others would rather not play at all than play half decent….it is truly sad but goodbye world of warcraft rest in peace……todays game that goes by the same name is just the thin sick husk of a once truly magnificent beast.

    • Flash cast says:

      Do you work for blizzard? Everything this person has said is spot on, and yes it is drenched in humour. But doesn’t take anything away from the fact he’s talking sense…wow is now shit on a stick.
      Give my regards to your employers from the cunts counts at blizzard.

      No dis-respect

  4. Mike says:

    I absolutely agree with everything in this article. Exclusivity especially. That and the fact that the game is reduced to standing in Org queuing for shit at max level.

  5. Jon says:

    I would have to agree with most of your thoughts. Many of those reasons are why I stopped playing. The social aspect is so weak now that it is ridiculous. I had to drink to play most nights to just tolerating raiding anymore. Sad to say but it just wasn’t fun, and I don’t see it getting much better after playing the Panda Beta.

  6. Perkunas says:

    This is what I’ve been saying for bloody YEARS.

  7. JNH says:

    This article is full of a lot of subjective b.s.

    You want the real reason WoW is losing subs? THE GAME IS OVER 7 YEARS OLD. No king rules forever, my son ( lol )

    Exclusivity is not something that made wow good. Attunement chains weren’t fun after the first time you had to go through it. Now re-live that repeatedly as you had to drag new raiders / alts thru the same chai. yep. totally fun.

    LFG/LFR – Old WoW : Do you have a life and only X amount of time to get into a dungeon.. Well TOO BAD. sit in a city begging people to do that dungeon with you.. then of course everyone gets there and someone goes afk/quits.. repeat. Sorry but LFR/LFG system makes more sense and works for people who actually have jobs and lives. If you have all day to beg for a dungeon then more power to you.. but many don’t.

    Asset re-use : A lot of the re-used assets made sense. Only a very small amount of the playerbase ever got to do original Naxx40. why not bring it back for the other 99% who didn’t ?

    The first time Onyxia was brought back as part of a WoW anniversary, which was fine. Then they brought her and Nef back [ AS UNDEAD ] because it fit in with the return of Deathwing.. which was fine.
    Bringing back ZA/ZG on the other hand was a bit worse.. but hey trolls are cool, mon :)

    As for the exclusivity thing.. lets not even get into the special snowflake argument..

    TL,DR. WoW is old – that is its biggest problem.

    • Zeramas says:

      First of all,well said it’s a nice article and you got the points,i’d like to add more.Maybe lots of players gonna hate me but two new options pulled WoW under the ground .One of them is dungeon finder tool which serves it’s purpose really well but something is missing in it,oh yeah effort and being social ! When you queue for dungeon,it will create a party for ya and boom you got people from different realms(sometimes you can see one of the guy on your realm too)Then madness begins,when you started to fight with first boss you will see dps is unbalanced like,warrior and druid gives well damage but mage has same dps with WOTLK dungeon system and when you inspect him/her you will see plenty of PVP items and you will say what the hell is this ? Probably that she or he has lack of hit rating or another stat that preventing to do much dps or it’s potential dps.In old days,they would never take these persons to dungeon groups,that’s crue but it’s the right thing that to do.
      Second thing is,LFR which is a new tool comparing to dungeon finder,helps you out to do Deathwing raids easily with a pug i can say,difference is those people came from different realms.When you begin to fight with bosses,you will see they could not be compared with their normal or heroic version because even if someone does not know about tactics it does not matter,you’ll kill it anyway especially Siege Of Wyrmrest Keep ! Also you can see PvP items around on some of these players,but they are killin’ bosses.In old days,not so old return to WOTLK,there was an addon named gearscore,it shows the average item level of player,that helped lots of people when they are recruiting for raids(then jealous blizzard brings that in it’s interface)If you have not enough gear,you could not be in that group,i know that’s harsh but again it’s the right thing that to do.Cos that guy will have time to watch videos about bossfights and tactics and it will bring that formular Better gear+Better Skills =Less or No Wipe raid =Happy People
      Now if you go back really in time (like nozdormu)you will see Vanilla and TBC raids were the most effort needed raids in that game,everyone needs to be ready ,everyone needs to know tactics and they have to take their supplies such as food,flask etc. to kill those bosses in raids.Still best raiding content is TBC in my opinion,tactics,creativity,team work also nice looking items.There was also talent trees,they were different,most of them changed in these days,some of them removed or given as passive ability,in MoP they’ll be lost forever as a tree,there will be a talent tree but it does need to be checked like old trees.In old days like 2-3 years ago you have to choose right points at your tree,and you could find yourself like “Did anyone knows better dps talent for bla bla class or we have a mighty warlock in the guild,i’d better ask him about how can i do more dps than now”That is over now,no one will ask to someone else and in MoP i dont think most of the people will look at talent trees on the internet.So the effort needed elements are dying if effort goes then focus and intelligent of the players will going down and when the WoW reached to level 100 cap i’m afraid nothing will be left only mementos.

      • Yeah says:

        Nothing to see here but another whiny, special little snowflake who is mad a bunch of 12 year olds don’t “look up to him” on a video game anymore.

        Newsflash, games are for fun. Millions of people play this game for FUN, and to enjoy THEMSELVES, and the game is designed around that.

        If you want a game where everyone bows down and kneels before you in town because youre just the best raider and pvper in the world, thats not an mmo, its your twisted, megalomaniacal fantasy, and if you want to make a game like that, have at it! But how many people do you think will PAY to play that?

        Get it through your heads. No one cares you were world top 3 guild except the people fighting against you for it, so youre not that important, the game doesnt revolve around you. Move on with your lives, we will all appreciate it, and WoW will be better off without you. Have a good one!

        • Perkunas says:

          Actually, this is what MMOs were before mid-Wrath. The haves and the have nots. It’s what inspired people to get deeper into the game. The carrot on the stick that was always just out of reach. This current gaming generation doesn’t like to work for anything.

        • CoJo says:

          “But how many people do you think will PAY to play that?”

          WoW became the most popular MMORPG in history using the special snowflake system you’re crying about.

  8. Fred says:

    Using “The game is 7 years old” as a defense for losing subscribers is a pretty poor one, and actually confirms what this article says, Blizzard have given up on going after the long term gamer. And even though chasing the quick buck, Cataclysm was aimed squarely at the new player and casual market, has backfired they are still trying it. In a panic they’ve decided on aiming at yet another market, the young, proof of which is all the time and effort they’ve invested into the implementation of Pokemon (let’s call it what it is) into Mists of Pandaria. That’s more than convinced me not to return to WoW for this expansion, or buy into Diablo 3. It’s amazing that they would let their flagship product limp off into sunset like this, they must have a really strong conviction (how’d they convince Bobby ?) that Titan will save the day.

    • Yeah says:

      I’m glad you wont be buying D3, since from personal play experience, its an amazing game, and I sure as hell won’t miss people like you.

      Though I tell you what, if you decide to change your mind, you can come back a bit later, with your tail between your legs, and you can even snag some of the gear I farmed off the AH for cheap.

  9. John says:

    All that I could think of when reading this article:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WHptG35EWU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • Doctor Ynot says:

      Good point, retard! You sure showed him! The NERVE of having an opinion different from yours and voicing it!

  10. Lieutenant Dan says:

    I recently got a friend of mine to use that scroll of resurrection on me since I haven’t played since early WOTLK. Used to raid hardcore during BC so I share your Mu’ru pains.

    Anyway, once I started playing, I was quite shocked at LFR. With 24 other people in the raid I’d expect to see some form of interaction. Only form of social interaction I saw were either Player X says “afk” followed by a swift kick or, Player Y won a tier token that he/she already has and that followed by a swift kick. Not only that but after being away from the game for so long, it’s like they’re rewarding poor play.

    I’m not even sure if this is an MMO anymore considering all the things you can do solo now. Maybe I got used to the old style of WoW and FFXI grouping system where reputation actually mattered.

    You touched on the subject on why WoW is losing subs. This recent scroll I received made me question if this was the same game I used to enjoy. Will all the stuff Blizzard offered me to come back….. Thanks but no thanks. I can see why many older players are leaving this game.

    Instead of quality of the game, the marketing crew are the ones trying to bring people back which isn’t good news for WoW. In any business once the salesmen starts to be the revenue generator, the product goes in decline. So what does this have to do with WoW? Everything. The scroll of resurrection is a perfect example of this. Nothing new being added to the game, just pure bribery which did catch my attention.

  11. Dave says:

    Generally “articles” like this can be summed up in some form of the following: “Me and/or my guild are no longer gods because were the only ones on the server who can kill x. Blizzard needs to make more content for the 1% of us gods to see and let everyone else be content doing old stuff”. You know, because thats a great business plan and all.

    Vanilla wow was garbage. BC had improvements, but still way too many flaws in accessibility. This is from someone who was in a successful raid guild during Vanilla/BC. Wrath was when the game opened up for the masses to truly enjoy it. If that hurts you, or your guilds feelings that your no longer the gods/elite of the server, then perhaps Star Wars is for you.

    • Veronika says:

      I agree with Dave. All you’ve accomplished here is perpetuating the stereotype that progressive raiders are elitists and have huge chips on their shoulders. I’ve been a progressive raider since Vanilla 40 mans and tons of lag. When feral druids were rare, there was a difference between healing power and spell power, and your raid had to camp Azuregos, because his spirit hadn’t been created yet. Truth be told, it was more headache than it was fun. Now, the game is fun. You can still game the same old school way if you want to. Just don’t use LFR and LFR. Yet old school gamers still get pissed. What’s really going on is their playhouse is no longer needed. No one needs to kiss a guild’s ass anymore to get to endgame content, and it’s threatening.

  12. Tanenbaum says:

    Allthough I have to agree with bits of this article and some of the comments, for me personally the reason I left this game is because of the reduced MMO part.

    I have been playing Wow since open beta untill shortly after the LFR was implemented. What I enjoyed the most about Wow was the feeling you got when playing together with others (irl friends / guild). Achieving something, the team effort, made the game for me. teaming up with strangers through LFG or LFR does not provide the same experience as with guildies or IRL friends.

    An example of team effort was attuning for a dungeon/raid. Sometimes boring to do so, and as a “good guildie” helping others with their attunements for numerous times made it boring. But because we did it for the greater team effort (mmo!), getting that boss down in ulduar, it made sense and wasnt a real problem to do.

    I have allways been in a very social, semi serious, guild. No hardcore raiding, but still getting all the bosses down without the nerfs. (apart from the LK, when we got there the nerfing started) The bad thing was that we were on a medium (and later low) populated server (Dragonmaw EU). Maybe that was the problem for me, and maybe others.

    When the population of servers dropped, and It got harder to replace the occasional guildmember that left our guild, for me the real problem occured. We planned raids but could not get them full, so we were forced into 10′s. Trying to get 25′s going on was getting harder because there were no promising players on the server who could replace them. In the end it got worse and worse, leading to a point were we were not doing 25′s at all, and sometimes had to cancel 10′s because of this. Then people got tired of all this and left the game. In the end I quit as well because the guild was dead, and there was no chance to revive it on the server I played on.

    I know this does not explain the reason why the population on the servers drops.
    It sounds plausible that it is because the game is 7/8 years old. Other people might have left because the could not be “elite god’s” anymore. Or maybe it is because of the storyline after WOTLK, or even the reintroduction of dungeons/bosses which have been killed before. Has the game become too easy, maybe it has in cataclysm. (Personally I liked the wotlk system of normal and heroic especially for Ulduar) It’s probably the sum of all these, and more, causes.

    For ME, leaving players led to reduced players on a server, which reduced the ability to for decent raids, which reduced interactivity with others, which lead to even more players to quit, which led to….

    Merging servers would have solved some of the issues for me.

  13. Dave says:

    I’m not sure you can make the argument that the direction Blizzard took in Wrath made the game “better”. The game had 10 million subs by the time Sunwell came out and how many subs does it have now like 10.3 or something?

    All I know is that from a social aspect the game has a completely different feeling than it did 4 years ago. For those of you that played 4 years ago and still play today just think about it. I remember a time where even servers with very few raiding guilds had a thriving social experience. It was like a small town, everyone knew everyone’s gossip. At one time you could visit the realm forums and they were actually ACTIVE. Every server had those “unique” personalities and you would read about them on the forums and see them out in the world because back then people actually traveled around in the World of Warcraft. Go to the realm forums now and look through them. They are dead compared to BC.

    Is the game more accessible now? Sure. Does that mean it’s a better game than it was in BC? I’m not sure the answer to that is yes. If you define WoW as an MMORPG then I’d say no it’s not a better game in fact it’s failed horribly. If you define WoW as simply an online video game then I’d say it’s a success.

  14. renvi says:

    Holy crap, I think your rose-tinted glasses are causing a great amount of glare, it’s hurting my eyes. Stop.

  15. dvdv says:

    Would have liked to see a few times ‘I think’ or ‘I feel’ added since most of it is personal feeling and experience and not fact.

  16. Sergey says:

    What OP wrote actually rhymes with my feelings about this game. I’ve been into WOW since beta and quit shortly after the molten front patch came out. I just couldn’t make myself log into game anymore. Why? First off, there’s nothing to do out there other than raid or do dungeons if you’re max level, and the direction which Blizzard took regarding that aspect was what in my opinion killed the appeal of this game. First they implemented that horrible idea of 10/25/normal/heroic dungeons, which killed interest in progressing towards the endgame content. You wouldn’t be excited to steamroll thru M’uru and then bang against it for months just for the sake of clearing its hardcore version. Sure, someone would, but only because there’s nothing else to do untill next patch. See, when the boss is dead, it remains ‘dead’ in all other levels of difficulty, better gear is pure fluff after that point. Another factor is when you’re allowed to kill same content 4 times a week, it gets boring 4 times faster. Add multiple alts with which you can kill shit even more and content gets old in a month! But as if it weren’t enough, there is now LFD tool, with fine concept but not quite correct implementation. None would argue that it reduced social element of doing something in a group to zero. Plus it takes 0 skill and dedication now to kill anything with other 4/24 faceless bots, and where’s fun in that? Where is the sense of achievement that you bested boss X? Thumbs up for the ‘cheatcodes’ analogy. To sum my rather long post up, the way Blizzard decided to ‘improve’ the game actually too all the fun out of it, so now it’s a robust, polished, yet bland video game with multiplayer option, not an amazing and awe-inspiring MMORPG it used to be just some 2-3 years ago.

    P.S. I’m not an english dude, please excuse my grammar.

  17. Jay says:

    I think I literally disagree with pretty much every point you made; like others have said, you can do everything you did in Vanilla, go finish DS HC and get BiS gear if you want a challenge, there are still TONS of guilds so you can socialize like you did before. If your server is feeling empty, transfer to another server (went from medium to one that’s nearly full, it’s nice seeing orgrimmar packed even at 4 am). The game just got bigger, so now anyone can play it. People wanting a challenge still got HC modes, and casuals can log on for LFR, I really don’t see the issue other than people are bored with their lives and need something to complain about to maintain sanity. Oh, as subs going down, they are still around 10 million which destroys any other MMO in comparison, and the game is over 7 years old.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Shittiest article ever. Clearly you’ve never played WoW.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Athour ur are dumb nub, if u don’t like game go play ur shit SWOTR or GW2

  20. Ackbarspiff says:

    “Shittiest article ever. Clearly you’ve never played WoW.”
    “Athour ur are dumb nub, if u don’t like game go play ur shit SWOTR or GW2″

    These two comments is showing exactly how bad the community is in the game currently.

    I’m also not playing more, and mainly because of the reasons you stated in your article. Its sad how the game have changed, but i guess this is what the young gaming generation want in games nowadays… its just not for me.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “These two comments is showing exactly how bad the community is in the game currently.”

    Take your terrible sense of sarcasm and your “kids these days” attitude somewhere else.

    Blizzard is a company like any other, and any changes they’ve made to the game are a reaction to a vocal playerbase that doesn’t know what it wants.

    The game was “harder” in BC to the point where the majority of the playerbase complained that they never got to see the content. Hell, sunwell was admitted to seeing a dismal fraction of the subscribers. People were paying for content that, for a multitude of reasons (all of which Blizzard has at least tried to alleviate) they would never see until an expansion or two later when it became irrelevant.

    So then Blizzard decides to make an expansion that played directly into what their consumers were asking. Accessible content, 10-25 man differences (with different loot to motivate moving up to 25 man content), and heroic modes for people who genuinely wanted the challenge. Ulduar marked the end of a change in dungeon philosophy that seemed it carried on until Tier 11. After ICC had ingrained itself in player’s minds everyone completely forgot that heroic 5 mans are meant to be outgeared (because why do raids for better gear when the content you did three to four patches back will kick your ass just as easily as it did when you were in blues) over time demanded more difficult heroics.

    So that’s exactly what they got in Cataclysm. Heroics that required CC and actual thought, multiple raids within tiers that offered different challenges to 10 man guilds than 25 man guilds. Talk to many of the old standbys for classic raiding and they’ll tell you early Tier 11 content was at least comparable if not better than the often-touted Sunwell.

    But surprise surprise! Now the content is too hard! People don’t LIKE having multiple dungeons for different tiers because -they have to move their characters-. People don’t want having to go through “challenging” 5 mans because they should just be able to breeze through it to get to raiding!

    So what does Blizzard do? What Blizzard has always done. They see subscribers are dropping and cave to their concerns. They nerf 5 mans back into the killfests and Fireland’s difficulty gets a kick to the gut shortly after release. The funny thing is that even with these nerfs, people STILL can’t kill the bosses and STILL can’t see the content. So then you end up with LFR and revival of the term “welfare epics.” Dragon Soul becomes pitifully easy and 10 man is given no incentive to try recruiting for 25 mans because not only is the content easier, they also get the same loot. Even THEN, your average guild still can’t kill Deathwing on normal difficulty, let alone heroic.

    I’m glad that you stopped playing WoW. You’re being a responsible consumer and not subscribing to a game you don’t want to play, but what it all comes down to is that Blizzard is trying to service their players the best they can. As much as I wish the playerbase would buck up and try to do something hard now and again, but they just won’t.

    As much as I appreciate the article author’s gumption for trying to tackle this “everyone has an opinion” topic, I have to say I’m getting tired of reading these assertions that Vanilla-BC was the golden age of WoW, but I will say I’m sorry for using the comment section as a soapbox.

  22. Andrew S. says:

    Very interesting read. Well done and I agree. Ditched WoW after 6 years, playing Tera now. Would you be willing to write and article on Tera? I would certainly read it =)

  23. Anon says:

    This “article” reads like a ranty forum post. Filled with swearing, caps and just overall poor or in some cases nonexistent argumentation.

    You might wanna grow up a few years before you try this again.

  24. Perkunas says:

    There’s an ebb and flow with hardcore gaming. I remember when I was younger and the games like Contra and Megaman pretty much forced you to be perfect in order to complete them. As I got older gaming became more “mainstream” so they made things easier so the masses could take part in them. By the time EQ came out hardcore gaming had made it’s return and I folks like myself were happy to waste our lives trying to progress.

    Warcraft has moved toward the casual end of the spectrum and I don’t know if it’ll ever go back to being a hardcore game. I truly wish it would, but people don’t like to work for their achievements currently so it’s a pipe dream. Perhaps the next generation of MMOs(that aren’t associated with Activision or EA) will start the pendulum back toward our side. I’m hoping the next generation of gamers wont be as entitled as this current one is. If I never have to hear “We both pay $15 a month so we deserve everything you do” tripe again it’ll be too soon.

  25. Faline says:

    tl;dr WoW is great the way I enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it the way I enjoy it, you suck. I had to walk six miles barefoot across broken glass to get to a raid and I thanked them for giving me the opportunity. You young whipper-snappers don’t appreciate the value of a copper. If you can’t clear content the way I cleared content, you suck and shouldn’t be allowed to see that content…or live. You suck.

  26. Jeremy says:

    This is why I play on private servers that host old content. To me, WoW ended when the Lich King died. Of course I only came to this conclusion when badaclysm was announced. and now kung fu panda confirms it; Blizzard has completely lost their way.

  27. John says:

    Yet again more people whining about how “wow is dying” To be totally honest with you wows community is dying because of the idiots who can’t accept that blizzard are doing their best to keep the game up to the standards of idiots who just want more and more and more every time a new patch rolls around. Maybe step back and realise that they have put a hell of alot of time and money into this game and the game itself is amazing and MoP is looking even better than cata did during its beta. Maybe if the community would stop looking at the game as “reused” or “catering to casuals” (which btw im a hardcore raider myself whos wiped on sunwell bosses aswell) then maybe it would improve. The internet is full of trolls though so this will likely not happen..

    • sdfs says:

      blizzdrone confirmed

      “PLEASE BLIZZARD KEEP SERVING ME SHIT ON A PLATE I LOVE IT, I LOVE YOU BLIZZARD”

  28. Russ says:

    Amen. I played wow from 2005-2010 and 2012. yes I just stoped playing “again” I had a 8 month brake in 2011. and tought. cool to see whats new in cata, It looks cinda cool. but my god nothing new. Exept crappy new players who pretends they played for a long time. “Mount hyal was best raid back in BC” yea right Mount hayal was the most anoying, slowest, least progressiv and least gear boosing raid in BC

  29. Gasper says:

    I agree that the game was successful based on its mystery, intimidation, wonder, exclusivity, and accessibility. However some changes were for the better. Things like… discontinuing 40 mans because it was too hard to get a full, non-afk party.

    Also you really didn’t touch on the PvP which in my opinion was introduced to the game poorly and has led to a community of idiots, but it has never gotten the attention (from the developers) that it needed to be something truly wonderful.

    • Ricky Alvarez says:

      I don’t believe that the WoW community (or any community) has ever been “bad” as some claim. As someone who played the game for five years at every level of play (casual, raider, high-end raider), I did come across those who were impatient or unskilled, but those people always rose to the challenge if you demanded it of them. At the end of the day, WoW is just about avoiding obstacles and reacting to events–anyone can do any boss if they simply want to.

      Early WoW challenged players at all levels of play and rewarded them for succeeding–it taught people that they could accomplish anything (online and off) if they tried hard enough, even if they didn’t think they were capable of it at first glance. Modern WoW challenges only the players who seek to be challenged and offers instant, short-lived satisfaction to anyone who performs the feat of being a subscriber. It has definitely bred a community of bored, lazy, impatient players, but every single one of those players would excel at the game if the game simply encouraged and gave them the opportunity to. Their attitudes aren’t their own–they are a direct reaction to the way the game has changed.

      Yes, you may see outdated memes being spammed in WoW, but that is not something unique to the WoW community. Everyone in the world has the potential, the place, and the time to be “immature” (usually they’re just trying to be funny). The WoW community, the Lady Gaga community, the Reddit community, the Democratic community–every single community that has ever existed is so diverse, and changes so much so rapidly (especially in the Information Age of today), that you simply cannot judge any of them. They are, at the end of the day, composed of individuals whose outlooks and skills and behavior change every single day.

      As for PVP–Blizzard has admitted that, at WoW’s inception, PVP was an afterthought. My only comment about PVP is that it’s definitely better today than it was in early WoW: In Vanilla, being “good” in PVP meant idling in Alterac Valley for 15+ hours (this is a real value) minimum a day. Minimum. Compare to the 15-20 hours a week required to be a competitive, successful raider in early WoW.

      To the rest of you: I apologize for not being able to respond to every comment, but I didn’t expect this much of a reaction to an amateur writer’s satirical commentary.

  30. Fabian says:

    Good stuff, I only play for arenas but everything you wrote is true

  31. unify says:

    Not a very balanced view on it. Everything you wrote felt just like reading another endless rant about how the game has been going downhill. What would anyone expect out of a 7 year old MMO?

    As for Blizzcon, it was cancelled as there would be nothing to announce. D3 will be and so will MoP. Do your research.

  32. Spelunker says:

    I agree 100%. I’ve bought every single expansion, but the one next won’t be on my list. Started playing 2 months when wow launched.

  33. Vercinger says:

    Congratulations, you’ve now met someone who’s interested in video games and has never played WoW ;)

  34. Geddoff says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve play WoW since launch, and still play it. I’ve done everything from PvE and PvP and I can say that the OP has nailed every point he mentioned. While I still play the game, I don’t enjoy it as much, especially not PvE, since after the first few runs, the game feels easy and repetitive. I beat Deathwing (the first week it came out) on LFR, why would I want to spend countless hours wiping on it on heroic?
    The only thing I do right now in WoW is do some PvP. I used to love arenas, but I play on a dead server now and don’t get much action. Rated BGs are fun, but they take too much effort to get into or organize them. PvP rewards are either too easy, or to hard. In time, you get to have everything, but tier2 weapons. I liked the previous model of 1800 and 2200 weapons.
    Anyway, if you don’t agree with the OP, you are either new player, you are defending WoW without even considering what he wrote, or you’re just narrow person and can’t see the big picture.

    I used to think that I lost interest in WoW because the game just got old for me, 7 years is a big period, but it’s not that. It’s everything the OP said.

    • Brian says:

      These are exactly the reasons I left. By changing their target demographic from “mmo players” to “everyone on earth” Blizzard just ended up neutering their game into a giant pandering mess with no real vision behind it.

  35. Sweep says:

    Wondered how long it would be before the shrieking Blizzard fanboys invaded this post and started hurling abuse at the author, for daring to say negative things about their precious.

    Frankly they are welcome to their Post Cataclysm WoW-Lite-NGE, or whatever the heck you want to call the current incarnation of the game formerly known as World of Warcraft.

    The ‘hearnoevilseenoevilspeaknoevil nanananana’ fanboys can merrily stand around in SW and Org, waiting for their dungeon queues, while the original oldschoolers such as myself are busily playing on private servers running pre-Cata content.

    Segregation sure feels sweet.

    • Hex says:

      And you’re telling me you aren’t simply the polar opposite extreme? What a joke. You’re making fun of yourself.

      • Sweep says:

        Whatever you say Mr Unquestioning Fanboi. You’re WoW’s new target audience – must be great to be you.

    • Yeah says:

      Hows it feel running old content, in 2012, that I got tired of farming in 2008?

  36. Themaskedjackal says:

    I’ve played WoW on and off since the original Beta. That’s right. I’ve played Blizzard’s flag ship game for such a long time and seen so many changes its nothing like it originally set out to do. The problem overall is Blizzard have forgotten their lore, their story, their universe and instead appealed to young, new players who are just looking for a quick and easy slice of entertainment. That’s the problem with games today. People are so cautious about BS that they think twice before placing $60 down on a game. The content of games today are loosing that wonder, imagination, and story elements. I totally agree with everything in your article. I think Blizzard could redeem themselves if they made it free to play. I think that might jumpstart the community again but after seeing so many changes over the years that they have made the game more of a window shopping mall walk for the best gear/mounts and less on experiencing the Lore of Warcraft its sadly not so great anymore.

    I am deeply sad that Blizzard have gone this way. I loved Starcraft, I loved vanilla WoW, I loved Diablo 1 and 2. Unfortunately D3 is looking terrible, completely lost its atmosphere and wonder and looks like a top down WoW clone. I guess we all grow a little older so I can understand from a business perspective why they would want to go for new players. Its just a shame they let such a great universe fall to the side in favor of easy solo game mechanics. Ah well things don’t last forever. At least we got Dishonored, Dead Space 3 and Bioshock Infinite to satiety on.

  37. Themaskedjackal says:

    To add.. as for the next expansion.. I am curious about it because I love Blizzard’s art style.. but really I don’t see anything remotely good about it. Pokemon pet battles? Seriously? Panda’s? No word on pvp yet either.

    To be perfectly honest WoW ended for me just before Cataclysm. I say that because the last bit of social/community feeling I felt in the game was in the form of the elemental raids on capital cities. It was really cool to fight off waves of elementals during that time when Deathwing was released and the expansion was a few months off. I wish they would add that sort of thing back again. Give us 85′s a reason to defend the lower levels etc.

  38. Bunny says:

    Excellent article, covered most of the points I have been making in many conversations with other wow players.
    I still find it funny that people eat up all the new exp crap.. ‘the new exp will fix it’ , ‘it will be much better for casuals/pvpers/raiders (insert your exp here)’ and its the same old rubbish.
    I’ve started at the begging of tbc or not long after, your line about seeing raiders with all this cool gear and whatnot making you want to get better is so true and a point i’ve tried to make over the years.
    Blizzard continue to nerf this game and in turn make possible great players into average/bad/lazy. Like the people who couldn’t kill say archimonde in hyjal and then say lets go kill first bosses in BT for easy loots.
    Some people will act like that but others want to improve and get better.

    In tbc I started raiding ‘properly’ around kara, i had done bit of old instances and it blew my mind going into this place with 9 people from around the world to complete the same goal and maybe get some cool gear or just be able to say ‘zomg i keel le baus’ to others.
    When the raiding/hardcore bug bit me I went out of my way to progress my character and skills, websites, talking to others of my class. Talking to more progressed raiding guilds for any hints and tips for me or my guild, i wanted to be as good as these guys/girls.
    I was the best at my class by far but I was working my ass off to get better because if I wasn’t good enough I wouldn’t go going into help in bt or sunwell etc.
    There’s no more ‘i want to be as good as those guys’… top raiders are caleld no lifers or whatnot, people who have better gear than.. well thats not fair.. nerf the content so I can have it too.

    I stopped raiding hardcore after my guild killed raggy hrc last year, cba putting the time and effort into a game that just pisses all over the time and effort you put into it.

    I could go on all day here but I think most people who agree with the article here know that the game isn’t going to get any better. MOP will probably have some good bits to it but nothing that will keep you from wondering why you wasted good money on something that is gone to shit.

  39. Hysnalit says:

    I have but 1 question to ask you… You said:
    I remember the first time I stepped into Onyxia’s Lair. I and 30 others descended into the maw of her cave, unaware of what we would find within. We waited there at the entrance for 20 minutes, because the other 10 bastards were still downloading the patch. Then we waited for 30 more minutes because the GM was just about to finish his Alterac Valley, and then 20 more minutes because one of our tanks hadn’t crafted his fire resist gear yet. Ah, yes. Those were the days.

    16 hours later and with only 6 people AFK, we began our assault on the fiery depths. When we reached the very pit, there she was: Onyxia, a massive, terrifying drago–oh–oh my god, where are these whelps coming from?! HELP! –FOR THE LOVE OF–JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!

    Right? let me sum it up.

    I was sitting on my ass infront of my computer for 16 hours, waiting on ppl in my guild to get ready to raid, and i loved it?

    I’m sorry dude, I REALLY feel sorry for you, that you dont have anything more important to do, than sitting and waiting for 16 hours.

    • Benihime says:

      Pretty sure that “16 hours” was just hyperbole. Waiting for people to return from AFK or do their various WoW errands has a way of making time stretch, just the same way waiting at the DMV does, or how the last 15 minutes of the workday always go by the slowest.

  40. Firebyrd says:

    Sorry, dude, but I have to agree with the rose colored glasses. It amazes me that people already can’t remember just over a year ago. Do you really not remember the bitching and moaning and complaining, and yes, huge sub losses right after Cata came out? Do you remember what they were bitching and moaning and complaining about? Because they couldn’t do the end game content. Because the bad players were incapable of doing the new heroics or the raids. Because the jump in skill was so high between aoeing through the early Wrath dungeons in ICC gear and entering the new heroics at barely ilevel 329 that many couldn’t accomplish it. So dungeon queues were 20 minutes + for healers and 45+ for dps. It was difficult to find people to raid, run dungeons, anything, because everyone thought it was too hard. Then 4.1 hit. The dungeons? Still extremely hard for the majority of the playerbase. Firelands hit and they nerfed the T11 stuff. Finally people started going into the T11 stuff and killing a few things, but Firelands? Oh noes, we can’t do it! So there was more bitching and moaning until Blizzard nerfed it to the ground a mere three months after it came out.

    Given how many people left the game between Cata’s release and 4.3, which introduced stupid easy dungeons and LFR, I don’t think you have a leg to stand on. People left because they were either bored because of playing the game so long or bored because as a bad, they had nothing to do. And so now Blizzard is going to make everything stupidly easy from now on because when they tried to make things hard again? They lost over a million subs in less than six months.

    As far as I’m concerned T11 was some of the best content they’ve created, but we’ll never get it again, because there are just too many terrible players in the game. If you’ll recall, it took months for all the world firsts to happen with T11. Think about that and then tell me with a straight face that Cata lost people because it was too easy. Blizzard tried to give those of us with some ability to push buttons and not stand in the fire something to do and it bit them in the butt so hard, they’re never going to do it again. :/

  41. Coltaine says:

    Entertaining read, very true for the most part… I currently have the annual pass but have absolutely no intention of playing. I had initially thought I would play on and off again while getting Diablo III but I just can’t bring myself to play… If I’m reacting in this manner others likely are as well, imagine what will happen when the annual passes begin to expire.

  42. Gamingmuscle says:

    To much opinion without any substance to back it up.

  43. Xelophant says:

    When it comes down to it at the end of the day it’s a game. You play it to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, then don’t play it.

    The game is finally more accessible to people to enjoy and have fun with. I started late BC and have found the changes to be a huge improvement. Some of them I didn’t like, others I was happy for (My main is a Warlock so think about that). I think with the next expansion they will continue to fix a lot more problems and continue to smooth the game out.

    As for the social aspect. It is what it is. I am in a guild that interacts frequently, I talk to people all the time on my server, and I try to socialize with people in LFG and LFR. It all depends on the person and how you prefer to socialize. The fact that everyone wants to spread the internet hate to online games is a real shame honestly and it causes even social people to not interact with people hating on newer players that aren’t sure what to do and are scared to ask because of ridicule.

    You do make valid points though and wish you could have gone more in depth with it like a lot of the other comments have already stated.

  44. ambisagrus says:

    I fully agree with all the comments and don’t really see a fix for the game as by giving the game and it’s content to people with no stamina or real interest in gaining an achievement or achieving a real boss kill they have stripped the game of what made it great and worth playing to those of us who enjoy a truly unique mmo….world of warcraft gave away it’s uniqueness, it seems, in order to claw in The pocket money crowd and in catering for these lazy, mardy pseudo mmoers turned world of warcraft into nothing more than another carbon copy of every half decent mmo out there…..turning world of warcraft from a truly great mmo into a half decent mmo, well I and many others would rather not play at all than play half decent….it is truly sad but goodbye world of warcraft rest in peace……todays game that goes by the same name is just the thin sick husk of a once truly magnificent beast.

  45. Michael says:

    You could also include the lack of any interesting item. Vannilla wow had so many fun and interesting items scattered around the world. Like the tidal charm(trinket with ranged stun). Or the masterwork storm hammer with the chain lightning proc. Or the mithril black smithing boots that lacked stats but had high armor and the ability to instantly break all snare effects. Or my favorite,the dark iron pulverized, a slow,giant, mean looking hammer that had an 8 second stun proc. And you know what? I could probably list another 50 right off the top of my head. There were items that would allow me to change a play style so much that i eould want to make a new character just for it.Now items are just boring stat boosters.

    Pvp lost its flair when It was changed into a glorified version of dueling instead of battles with many people. Congratulations, you’ve rolled the cheesiest comp and learned the most effective way of blowing all your cool downs on one person.

    I can pretty much agree with everything that the author says in the article. Yeah,there was some crappy parts of about wow. But it was such a great game you could still have a good time.

    Instances were great. They were challenging because they required coordination and planning. You had to be careful how you pulled,make sure to cc, and understand what mobs did what. Now all you have to do is point and grunt occasionally while your team robotically goes through motions. Which made instances a lot less unique. I wonder if even half of the new players could get through scarlet monastery before it was nerfed into the ground. Oh, and as a plus,they were great pvp hubs. Anyone remember black rock depths and mind control :D?

    And I’m tired of hearing that stupid non argument “rose tinted glasses”. Wtf does that mean? Am I so stupid that I can’t objectively judge what was and was not fun at the time? I’m not wearing rose tinted glasses, you’re wearing blinders to delude yourself as to just how bland and mindless wow has become. Enjoy your Kung fu panda and pokemon battles.

    Anyways rant over.

    Rest in piece World of Warcraft. You were a real champion before blizzard tore out your soul for a quick buck from the tasteless masses.

  46. Beargarden says:

    Um, this is all fine and well, but for those of us who are on “dead” servers, removing things like LFR and LFG would basically remove servers. If Blizz doesn’t want to consolidate it’s smaller servers into better, more efficient playing machines, the automation has to do. Or have you not rolled a toon on Ysondre before? It’s not easy being us. Most of us know toons by name. On BOTH factions. It makes for better, sometimes a little too intense of rivalry, but it also makes for difficult progression. Only 2 Horde guilds are 6/8 H DS. Too easy? I don’t know about all that…

  47. Grimmy says:

    “I remember the first time I stepped into Onyxia’s Lair. I and 30 others descended into the maw of her cave, unaware of what we would find within.”

    LOL :O you did a 40man raid with 30 people :/ and i guess someone wasn’t around long enough to remember thottbot? This masterpiece of special snowflake tears lacks the feeling of rational thinking. Because opinions are facts amirite?

    • Perkunas says:

      I automatically read “special snowflake” as “I’m bad at the game and unwilling to put any effort into it. People who are more successful than me within the game cause me emotional damage because my ego is so tiny.”

  48. sarge816 says:

    Nicely written and I agree with almost all of it. WOW was once alot of fun before the days of “gold for nothing and your epics for free.” I went to Blizzcon this last year and saw the presentation of the Kung Fu Panda/Pokemon expansion, LMAO. What a joke, literally. After Blizzard used the Pandas as the butt of April Fool’s jokes two different times it is rather hard to take any of this new expansion seriously. My favorite being Pandaren Express – I’m so back in the game if I can order Chinese food while raiding. And Pokemon inspired battle pets? lol, yeah. No comment necessary. And before any moron starts spouting off how the pandas are in lore, save your breath. I know this. I was around when the joke was on the Blizz website and then LATER translated into the lore due to the request of many tards. It was a joke then and it is a joke now, even Blizzard was amazed people wanted them in the lore. And now they are the centerpiece of the new expansion, which just shows how WOW has truly jumped the shark. And with all the problems recently (dropped subs, no blizzcon this year, layed off employees) it looks like there are many people who agree. Still love WOW, but now on Private Servers.

    @ Grimmy: “I remember the first time I stepped into Onyxia’s Lair. I and 30 others descended into the maw of her cave, unaware of what we would find within. We waited there at the entrance for 20 minutes, because the other 10 bastards were still downloading the patch.” Must suck to be so fucking stupid you cannot even read the paragraph just a little further to keep from making yourself look like a complete idiot.

    • Art says:

      I apologize in advance for the wall of text. This subject has been on my mind for years.

      I agree with the author 100% on all of his/her points. They are spot on and accurately reflect my frustrations with the current state of WoW. It’s amazing, though. The author writes a bit about exclusivity, and makes a whole bunch of other points (all valid, by the way), and somehow some people interpreted the entire article as being centered around “I am just mad because I want to stroke my epeen and I want to be a god among other WoW players”. This is such pathetic reading comprehension it would be shocking if internet forum posters weren’t known to have such a high concentration of idiots.

      Maybe some people have ego problems that play WoW, but that issue is rampant in just about ANY activity in life. I personally miss most of the things in Vanilla WoW. It has NOTHING to do with being an elitist or being “above” anyone. It has to do with being rewarded for spending a significant amount of time and effort trying to beat really difficult and intense challenges. It’s a GREAT feeling to be able to kill a raid boss you wiped on for months because an encounter demanded all but perfection. I miss attunements and the truly epic quest chains Blizz removed for no good reason. I miss hunting the four nightmare dragons in Seradane. I miss the old Western / Eastern Plaguelands and the classic Scholomance and Stratholme and Naxxramus instances before Blizz absolutely gutted them. Yes, Blizzard has made many “quality of life” improvements to WoW, and many of them were pretty good changes. I admit that. But some of the things they improved on were really not necessary and in the end they sacrificed the true essence of what made WoW great to begin with. The feeling I got when my paladin first obtained his charger was far better than any feeling I ever got in the wotlk or cataclysm expansions. New paladins are now robbed of that questline. The charger is just bought for a few gold pieces. Killing Muru pre nerf was far better than killing any raid boss in wotlk or cataclysm. They made raiding a complete JOKE ever since wotlk (hard and easy modes = complete fail) and the game has been declining in fun ever since. What was ever wrong with physically going to a dungeon, or putting together your own group? What was ever wrong with doing an epic quest chain to become attuned to end game content? The original (harder core) players that Blizz has been so hell bent on alienating were the ones who made WoW fun. These players are the ones who stuck with Blizzard through all the bugs and made the game the financial success it is today. But what the early generation of players wanted in an MMO seems different than what the newer generation players want. Blizz (really Activision) decided somehow that the newer generation players are the only ones who matter and it looks like Blizz thinks they are very lazy who won’t play unless they are consistently given things.

      I finally gave up on the existing version of WoW. I just couldn’t force myself to log on anymore to the same BS of watered down instances, easy, instant gratification raiding and BORING questing the game has become today. I went to a private classic server and now I’m back to doing Vanilla WoW gaming and I am finally happy again. More than happy, I’m ecstatic. Once again the game feels relevant. Leveling is a journey, killing elites isn’t faceroll and the storyline finally feels epic again. Yes, it’s a grind but it’s a lot more fun than picking a DK and –bing!- I’m level 55! I will never go back to the current official version of WoW and haven’t regretted switching to a private classic server for even a second. And for all the simpletons who STILL think people who miss Vanilla WoW are all about epeen: my gear is all greens. It’s nothing special and that never bothered me. I’ll probably never clear Naxxramus on my current server because I simply don’t have enough time to devote to it. I’m okay with that. But I’ll tell you what’s refreshing: seeing level 60 characters decked out in all blues and an occasional epic or two. Where epic gear is truly epic. You can have your lfg, your tyrael’s mount, your darkmoon faire, your hyperinflated economy, your kungfu panda and all the other nonsense. I’m going to go try and get my new paladin his charger!

  49. I apologize in advance for the wall of text. This subject has been on my mind for years.

    I agree with the author 100% on all of his/her points. They are spot on and accurately reflect my frustrations with the current state of WoW. It’s amazing, though. The author writes a bit about exclusivity, and makes a whole bunch of other points (all valid, by the way), and somehow some people interpreted the entire article as being centered around “I am just mad because I want to stroke my epeen and I want to be a god among other WoW players”. This is such pathetic reading comprehension it would be shocking if internet forum posters weren’t known to have such a high concentration of idiots.

    Maybe some people have ego problems that play WoW, but that issue is rampant in just about ANY activity in life. I personally miss most of the things in Vanilla WoW. It has NOTHING to do with being an elitist or being “above” anyone. It has to do with spending a significant amount of time and effort trying to beat really difficult and intense challenges and being appropriately rewarded for it. It’s a GREAT feeling to be able to kill a raid boss you wiped on for months because an encounter demanded all but perfection. I miss attunements and the truly epic quest chains Blizz removed for no good reason. I miss hunting the four nightmare dragons in Seradane. I miss the old Western / Eastern Plaguelands and the classic Scholomance and Stratholme and Naxxramus instances before Blizz absolutely gutted them. Yes, Blizzard has made many “quality of life” improvements to WoW, and some of the improvements were pretty solid changes. I admit that. But some of the things they improved on were really not necessary and in the end they sacrificed the true essence of what made WoW great to begin with. The feeling I got when my paladin first obtained his charger was far more gratifying than any feeling I ever got in the wotlk or cataclysm expansions. Newer paladins are now robbed of that questline. The charger is just bought for a few gold pieces. Killing Muru pre nerf was far more satisfying than killing any raid boss in wotlk or cataclysm. They made raiding a complete JOKE ever since wotlk (hard and easy modes = complete fail) and the game has been declining in fun ever since. What was ever wrong with physically going to a dungeon, or putting together your own group? What was ever wrong with doing an epic quest chain to become attuned to end game content? The original (harder core) players that Blizz has been so hell bent on alienating were the ones who made WoW fun. These players are the ones who stuck with Blizzard through all the bugs and made the game the financial success it is today. But what many of the early generation of players wanted in an MMO seems different than what many of the newer generation players want. Blizz (really Activision) decided somehow that the newer generation players are the only ones who matter and it looks like Blizz thinks they are very lazy who won’t play unless they are consistently given things.

    I finally gave up on the existing version of WoW. I just couldn’t force myself to log on anymore to the same BS of watered down instances, easy, instant gratification raiding and BORING questing-on-rails the game has become today. I went to a private classic server and now I’m back to doing Vanilla WoW gaming and I am finally happy again. More than happy, I’m ecstatic. Once again the game feels relevant. Leveling is a journey, killing elites isn’t faceroll and the storyline finally feels epic again. Yes, it’s a grind, but it’s a lot more fun (for me) than picking a DK and –bing!- I’m level 55! I will never go back to the current official version of WoW and haven’t regretted switching to a private classic server for even a second. And for all the simpletons who STILL think people who miss Vanilla WoW are all about epeen: my gear is all greens. It’s nothing special and that never bothered me. I’ll probably never get attuned to Naxxramus 40 on my current server, let alone clear it – I simply don’t have enough time these days to devote to it with my current job. I’m okay with that. But I’ll tell you what’s refreshing: seeing level 60 characters decked out in all blues and an occasional epic or two. Where epic gear is truly epic. You can have your lfg, your tyrael’s mount, your darkmoon faire, your hyperinflated economy, your kungfu panda, that silly golden dragon mount thing that you can buy on Blizzard’s website now, and all the other nonsense. I’m going to go work on getting my newly minted 60 paladin his charger!

  50. Parl says:

    I miss the old wow. Flying mounts, dungeonfinders, meetingstones, crossrealm bgs, factionchanges made the game into what it is now. No reason to socialize and make friends, no reason to go out in the world, worst part is that every server has like 90/10 population so they cant even revive the game anymore. I still play the game casually, its still timeconsuming enough to be worth my money, but raiding 5 days in a row to get realmfirsts, no thanks. Got enough of that.

  51. Atlas says:

    I quit WoW a long time ago, I hate how nobody socialises anymore and everybody is out to jew each other rather than have fun

  52. Loz says:

    Excellent article…don’t worry about the fags that are screaming shit like “rose tinted glasses and special snowflake” just 12 year olds jumping on a lobotomy bandwagon. If Bobby Kotick could put wow into Facebook and Angry Birds he would, and half of these idiots would be licking his balls for it.

    Wow died in 2008 RIP and it took the MMO genre with it.

  53. Altaranalt says:

    Loved the article. Will be sure to pass it along to my friends.

  54. madatom says:

    should do an article on why pvp is in the crapper too

  55. Tecmessa says:

    I can see everyones point of view tsome extent,but I have to agree with the majority. WOW has become mind numbing. The game is still a little bit of an addiction or just a habit for me but the enjoyment is not the same.
    I like a challenge, I like the use off crowd control and not running in and aoeing things. I like the fact that I might not get the gear I want tonight or this week. I like running instances and raids with people for both the social and fun elements. If it has those two elements then doing the same content a few to may times is not a hardship.
    I am split on the lfr and lfd issue,theres is no way to do the content with out those features but at the same time we do loose the ability to play with ppl on our own realm and forge those friendships and contacts for future runs.

    I like the fact when I did do the content I had a sence of accomplishment. But to be honest I can level a toon to 85 in a week and have it fully raid geared within 2 weeks. I can do this solo with the use of LFG with out a guild.
    I imagine it is very hard to keep a game going for 7 years. I know you can not please all the people and some of the new content and ideas are great ones I just think they swung the pedulm a little to far to one side.

    Maybe if they split the game to wow 1 and wow 2. Have one for the casual player who wants things given to them with very little effort or time due to RL and another one for the old players who still want a challenge and not have things repeatedly nerfed for the plyers that have the time and patience to try things and work with others to achieve the goal.

    I apologize for my spelling and lack of correct sentences. But just wanted to vent and share my pint of view

    If a patch or expantion comes out and a guild (no matter who they are)can beat end game content within a few days of said expantion/patch then things are to easy.

  56. Elementor says:

    You can be sure i’m not paying next month.

  57. Nnoutaja says:

    I’m a gamer who was playing a lot of WoW in my two year career, I started around middle of BC and only got to down one boss in BT and train on couple before the WotLK came, but I worked for it. I liked to put the effort to be the best or among them. It strove me to try harder, there was something to achieve in the game. I loved the attunements and all the quirky quests that you had to do, but they removed the necessity of the attuning. I played when having a title meant you had done something. The first title you could earn was with the attuning to the SSC, and I wore it and I was proud to have. It meant something. Granted I didn’t have alts waiting for the attunements to BT so I cannot say for sure would I have liked to run all those allts through the hoops. But for me there was something more in the game than just sit in LFG and afk in town. There were still places to explore and things to do. I downed the separate dragon boss in first WotLK patch on hard 25m and it was a challenge, but the reward was also there. The joy of accomplishing something difficult. Ulduar was the best place I have ever worked on, after that it was all down hill for me. LK was decent, but there was something missing. Was I getting bored of the game, or was the content just so simplified? I cannot say for sure, but the feeling was gone. WoW had shifted from the early skill based form to a all-around test who has the patience to repeat all the easy things time after time.

    And I wasn’t in the 1%, I wasn’t even in the 5% but I dare say that I was among the 10%. There were places I couldn’t get into, but that told me I still had things to do in this game. I knew I probably would never get to see Sunwell, but I talked with my friend who did and I though. “Damn, that’s cool. Maybe someday I will be there too.” I’ve listened to things about the old 40mans and 5min blessings for the whole group, so there has been improvements, but Blizz just didn’t know when to stop. When a kids cries for candy, will he stop when you give it to him, or will he just ask more until his tummy hurts? I think the casual gamers are starting to get a tummy ache and leaving the game.

    I’m an elitist, I freely admit. I liked knowing I was better than the newbs and noobs and in a way I think it is a mixed blessing for them. On one hand they looked up to us and though “damn, I’d like to have that armor/weapon/what ever” and on the other hand it must’ve frustrated them to know that they will probably never get it. So they raged and Blizz listened.

    I agree it seems like a stupid thing to cater for the 1% of the players, yet it worked in the beginning. Would it work still? I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t like the watered down WoW and I stopped playing. It wasn’t for me anymore. I have other games now. There seems to be plenty of players willing to pay for it still, so I guess it’s kinda working for them.

  58. Trueshot says:

    Besides the content – the cross realm dungeons destroyed all sense of community. Of meeting people for a dungeon, then for some elite quests, then adding them as friends, knowing every guild on the server, knowing the best tanks. This is a huge loss. No amount of content can fix this. Blizzard should renounce cross realm dungeons (and instant dungeon teleport), and concentrate on fixing low pop servers (free transfer or merge).

  59. Otherland says:

    This is a great post. I might even be willing to pay $25/per month just to have the first 2-3 years of WoW back. Sense of community and player accountability has been destroyed with all this cross-realm LF dungeon/raid/server crap. You now enter dungeons and you have idiots pulling whole instances and leaving group. Why even have servers? Each server used to have it’s own community…not anymore. Some servers were 99% asshole free. Not anymore.

    There is no sense of accomplishment in WoW anymore. How can it be an accomplishment (achievement) when everyone can do it? Granted you have heroic kills and “pre-nerf” kills, but these just aren’t nearly as emotionally rewarding as they once were. It’s my understanding they’re removing rating requirements on PvP gear also. Yet another step in diminishing that sense of accomplishment.

    You mentioned jealousy as being the spark that drove players to accomplish more. I completely agree. There are 2 types of players in this game: the player who is comfortable with the status quo (casual, nothing wrong with this), and the one who wants something more (dedicated raiders, strong pvpers, etc). I feel Blizzard has been very disloyal to its loyal player base. Those first 3 years are what got this game going…why change that formula? Blizz keeps trying to make everyone happy which is a big mistake.

    Enforcing a strict “fuck you” policy on Blizzard’s part, ironically, would be great for the player base. It would preserve the values that made WoW great to begin. These values shouldn’t be whored out, but they are, and at a rapid rate, and the results of these actions are starting to hit them in their wallets.

    To sum it up, the uniqueness of this game when it first came out is what made it so fantastically amazing. The uniqueness of each classes’ abilities/buffs added flavor to the game. Server communities were just that…communities. That’s all but gone and it’s a shame. Could go on about this for days, but I won’t. WoW just makes me scratch my head now.

  60. penis mcflurry says:

    Derp derpity derp derp derp derp

  61. Russ says:

    Totally agree with all of this. I quit right when BC was released and came back for maybe a month to give it a shot. It was so nerfed, and all those epics that took 40 man raids to get were replaced with greens of a newb.
    Even legendary weapons were replaced by some gear a simpleton newb could get at a quest next expansion.
    The game got so super dumbed-down that everyone could get gear and burn through content like it was nothing. There was no sense of achievment.
    Flying mounts further led you away from traveling the world and picking up random friends that were adventuring in the same area.
    Ask anyone now if they raided during vanilla. They all left and most of them were intelligent adults such as myself.
    Now you have a community that is magnetized by easy-mode content and “stfu-newb” syndrome and blaming it on nastalgia, when we just want a “game”. Games have winners and losers, not winners and winners. The cheat-mode reference is spot on. Wow became popular during vanilla, it just didnt catch on as hard until bc was released and everyone else felt what the old schooler’s thought. If they dumb it down anymore it might as well be called second-life (grinding edition).

  62. JustTheTruth says:

    I’ll share a unique perspective with you. I’m a veteran game artist and recently was contacted by Blizzard for an interview. The entire time they focused more on pedigree and my past rather than my portfolio, directing strengths and how I can help improve a game that look like a piece of shit. The real shame is much of the content can be substantially improved with very little to no hit on frame rate. But you can’t polish a turd, and WOW is currently a big turd IMHO. But for me to suggest those changes means going up against team leads and art directors who think their shit doesn’t stink. The politics alone in making serious changes would be monumental without removing top brass… Good luck with that. Nope sorry fellas, you missed out on some serious talent that could have made a substantial difference. No amount of money will woo me to join WOW.

  63. Leatum says:

    Now its dropped to 7.7 million players and LOL has become the most popular game ever i think this article has more meaning then ever

  64. Shepard Gallway says:

    Has anyone noticed all this stream lined recycle bullshit started when Activision the king of bullshit recycle garbage that’s not only non unique but it’s been ridden out to exhaustion acquired Blizzard. They make the same game and sell it to you for 60$ every Christmas in sure they figured they could do the same with WoW. It’s so fucking boring now. Been playing since AQ dropped been bored since 4 months into cata >,<

  65. Trais says:

    While I’m not a fan of the language you used in this article you are spot on with most of what you’ve said. I think WoW was at it’s height right before Dual-spec and Dungeon finder. After dual spec then you were no longer had a specific specialization. After dungeon finder it seemed most of the social aspect of the game vanished. Having to make aquaintences and gain a reputation on your server and having to actually go to a dungeon entrance to get in made the game much more epic. It’s rediculous that you’re just instantly ported there. And once you get there it’s usually with a bunch of strangers that have nothing to lose if they’re ignorant to you. You use to have to try to make friends and be nice to people to be included in a group. Eh well. Hopefully someone will come up with a new game that brings all those elements back. I don’t think they’ll ever go back to those days with WoW.

    • TresTresChic says:

      I’ve looked at a few other MMO’s and sadly, imo, none of them come close to the WoW most of us loved at one stage or another.

      Why Blizz has doggedly chosen to be deaf and blind, is beyond me, but is it any wonder an increasing number of people are turning to private servers so they can enjoy the game the way it used to be?

  66. Aregin says:

    This article kind of reeks of rose colored assumptions… Some I even agree with, at least in principle.

    That being said… I agree with the sentiments as to why the author dislikes WoW now, they are the same as mine. Everything but the idea of exclusivity I agree with.
    The eerie silence of a LFG dungeon just isn’t the WoW I grew to like. I quit WoW during Cata at lvl 84 I was close to max lvl and was thinking about doing the top end pre raid Dungeons. I thought “OK, I guess I would just que for the dungeons and gear up my pre raid BiS” then I got an odd hollow feeling, that feeling you get when you realize you are going through the motions and what you are doing you no longer want to do. I then rememberd the simpler but less convenient Vanilla content (lets be honest, only the CC needed for trash made vanilla harder later expacs had bosses with more and more non tank’n’Spank nuance) and the guilds and circles of “friends” that I just didn’t have in the more current Cata times. As you didn’t need them.
    I realized “I have no ties… I can finally quit” So I did, ended up playing a lot of MineCraft on various servers for 2+ years.

    Now I am trying my hand at WildStar, so far the content is sparse (only 4 dungeons and 4 “Adventures” which feel like CoT dungeon runs) but more challenging. Sadly the WoW LFD malaise is still around. As the population is… small, LFG ques becomes a necessity for 5 man content… Then again I have still yet to seriously look for a top lvl guild so it remains to be seen.

    I am actually starting to think it’s not WoW that’s in decline but the interest in the MMORPG experience. Players have had their wide open worlds to explore, made their crack team of dungeoneers and raided the biggest badasses around and taken names and heads along with them.
    Perhaps players are looking for a more insular solo experience nowadays. Or smaller, quicker more bite sized game play offerings. It would explain Blizzards Fast food raid philosophy adopted over the years.

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