There were two separate blog posts yesterday that hit the mark for me. They encapsulated two very core frustrations I have with the game and why I’m not keen to re-subscribe in a hurry.
Rohan talks about ammo and reagents, now largely removed from the game. I think these little items and the choices attached to them *were* important. It’s like the off the cuff list I gave in the comments of my post linked above – things like spell ranks and weapon skills. As Rohan says in his conclusion:
Fewer decisions make for a less interesting game. You can see this in WoW leveling. All those small decisions that you used to make while leveling have been smoothed away.
Milady has an excellent post on world simplification, which is another more pernicious type of ‘nerfing’ that came in with the Cataclysm revamp of Azeroth. I’ve tried to state this in blog posts and comments before but this one clear example of the Tower of Azora in Elwynn Forest neatly sums up the problem. It’s not that the quality of the storytelling in post Cataclysm Azeroth is necessarily bad, but that it’s all very obvious and direct.
So what is the use of the Tower of Azora to the traveler? It sparks her imagination. And, at level 21, she can get a quest from there. But she must have had to be directed there by some mishap or by another player.
I can’t really add anything to these two excellent posts – I’d recommend reading both of them and then answer the question for yourself; has all the streamlining of the game really made it better?