WoW: feelings about resubbing

While I was away, Stubborn of Sheep the Diamond, wrote a great post discussing his feelings about whether to resub to World of Warcraft. I have to say I empathise a lot with this post and the powerful, lingering effect this monolithic MMO has on me as a player.

 WoW feels like an MMO home to me, a place to leave but to return to, and that’s not changed at all.

Like Stubborn I am considering resubbing again at some point in the future. The new flexi-raiding model that Blizzard has announced might be enough to tempt me back as it would offer a much more palatable way for me to progress the legendary quest line (which currently involves a good many Raid Finder or Raid runs). Personally I find Raid Finder to be an abhorrent experience and I find normal mode raiding too stressful (at least 10 man). There are also friends and members of my family who want to still play with me and that’s the biggest draw of all I guess. Like Stubborn though going back won’t be the same as it was in the past – my old friends & family guild is mostly defunct now. I played through Mists earlier in the year as a member of a larger more active guild but somehow it’s not the same.

Also at the back of my mind is my fundamental dislike with the direction the game has taken. The overemphasis on dailies and achievements, on grinding gear over exploring a world saddens me no end every time I play.

There’s also the problem that I simply find Everquest 2 and Guild Wars 2 to be better games (for me personally). Everquest 2 has a vast amount of content (like WoW) but it also has more engaging crafting, a superlative housing system and a lot less of the rabid simplifications that WoW has undergone in recent years.

Guild Wars 2 in contrast offers a beautiful, explorable world with the easiest “random play session with friends” experience of any MMO I’ve played. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s level is; there’ll be something you can do together with minimal preparation and regardless of actual group size. It also feels very different to play than most contemporary MMOs.

So I may at some point be tempted back to WoW, for the longer winter nights perhaps or the Christmas holidays when I’ll be with said family members, but I’m not seeing anywhere near enough creative effort from Blizzard to really tempt me back as a longer term customer.

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5 Responses to WoW: feelings about resubbing

  1. Balkoth says:

    “Also at the back of my mind is my fundamental dislike with the direction the game has taken. The overemphasis on dailies and achievements, on grinding gear over exploring a world saddens me no end every time I play.”

    Er…that’s been the case since at least BC (no achievements then, but dailies and grinding gear – world was explored extremely quickly with flying mounts). I’d even argue that was true during Vanilla.

    When do you think the game took a turn for the worse?

    “Everquest 2 has a vast amount of content (like WoW) but it also has more engaging crafting, a superlative housing system and a lot less of the rabid simplifications that WoW has undergone in recent years.”

    What rabid simplifications are you referring to? The game is more complicated than ever before at this point, both in terms of boss combat and player abilities.

    Let me describe the rogue combat rotation in Vanilla.

    1. Do you have 5 combo points? If yes, Slice and Dice
    2. Backstab

    Strictly speaking, you’d also hit Blade Flurry every two minutes and Adrenaline Rush every three.

    How about warlocks in BC?

    1. Do you need mana? If yes, Life Tap.
    2. Shadowbolt

    Every class and spec is far more engaging to play than it has been at any point in the past to my knowledge and boss encounters are as hard or harder than they ever have been as well. What simplification bothers you?

    • Telwyn says:

      There’s much more to an MMORPG than combat rotation. WoW removed weapon skills, ammo (grades), spell ranks, trainers, talent points etc. Some of this may seem like pointless complications, but to me they chipped away too much of the flavour of the game leaving just a polished but souless core.

  2. João Carlos says:

    maybe you can wait: sooner or later WoW will be F2P. It lost more 600 k subscribers last quarter. It is a slow death by bleeding, but I guess we will see WoW F2P in 2014 or 2015.

  3. Balkoth says:

    Well, let’s go through those.

    1. Weapon Skills. You’re a fearsome warrior – you’ve hacked your way from level 1 to 80 with a two handed sword. Now you find an incredible two handed axe. So you take this axe to swing it at an opponent…and completely miss him. So you swing again…and miss. And miss. And miss. And miss for several hundred swings. That doesn’t seem a bit…odd…to you? I mean, hell, I’ve never touched an combat axe in my life but I bet I could hit something with it if you held it in front of me. Especially crazy when apparently you can’t even hit a target dummy as an incredibly seasoned warrior.

    2. Ammo. How much did this add to the game? Did you ever do something beyond “Go to vendor and buy 2000 pieces of ammo?” Ammo matters in FPSes because there’s supposed to be a limited amount – that’s why you can’t kill every enemy with an RPG. It also matters if some of the ammunition is supposed to be special – like elemental damage in DnD. But what was the point of ammo in WoW? I am literally asking what benefit (if anything) you think it added.

    3. Spell Ranks. “Okay, good job learning how to Sinister Strike before. Now do the same thing…but harder.” Or are you complaining about not being able to downrank spells? I’ve literally never heard anyone complain about the removal of spell ranks before.

    4. Trainers. Do you mean not needing to go to the class trainer to learn a new ability? I can sort of understand that if so – sort of a “Well, you’ve gotten good enough that now I can teach you move X.” Still makes less sense when you start to outlevel your trainer, though I suppose you could keep the class trainers leveling up with the players or something.

    5. Talent Points. What’s your concern here – that they’ve made talents too complicated now in Mists? Because they certainly haven’t been simplified, they’re more complex than they’ve ever been. It was next to impossible to force you to actually make a choice in the old system, they can do that now in the new system – especially when the best choice changes depending on the situation and you continuously swap talents around. I think I changed my talents more in the first raid of MoP than I did in all of WotLK and Cata combined.

    I get that a lot of it is nostalgia and it might be hard to pinpoint specifics, but I think it’s worth thinking through this stuff. Remember the Edgemaster Handguards, for example? Level 45ish mail gloves with +weapon skill that were better than plate gloves from Blackwing Lair or AQ40 for DPS warriors. It might sound fun and stand out, but it really messed up gameplay.

    Are you upset about weapon normalization as well for things like Sinister Strike and Mortal Strike?

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