Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Can WoW get back on track?

I did one of my rare heroics last night but it was a guild run, so no horror stories about it.  It was smooth and fun.  We where talking on vent more then we where paying attention to what we where doing.  It meant one wipe.  Oops, pulling when someone is away is a bad thing.  We laughed about it. 

That is the beauty of a guild run.  Mistakes happen, with guild mates it is acceptable, in a PuG it is not.  Why does a PuG have a higher expectation of success then a guild run?  A guild run I am with people I have known for years.  Someone says, brb wife aggro, we just chat on vent waiting for them to return.  In a PuG someone says, brb wife aggro, we start getting antsy 30 seconds later if they are not back.

The reason is, I do not know these people.  I do not care who these people are.  I do not want to socialize with these people.  I want to get in and get my heroic done and move on with my day.  You are 4 other random people.  You are not my friends.  While I do not mind waiting, I am reasonable, I do not want to have someone else saying brb after every pull.

Our run last night took an hour and a half.  It was a long run because we took breaks for people three times.  I had nothing else planned so it did not bother me.  Same situation in a PuG I would have called it an annoying run.  Sure HoO is long but there is no reason it should take an hour and a half with the gear level everyone should be at now.  Maybe an hour max for all 7 bosses.

This is what WoW needs to fix, part of it at least.  It has forced people into doing guild runs to have any assurance of success in a heroic run.  Running with guild mates, while more fun then a PuG just means we learn to have less and less patience with PuG people.

Making the heroics have a level of difficultly that the average player can not handle is another reason why there is a problem with the game now.  If I go with a new guild mate and he/she makes a mistake I explain, oh, btw, you need to move when the boss does so and so.  They say okay, and there you go, no problem any more.

Have you tried telling a PuG that same thing?  Even if you do it as polite as possible you are usually going to get one of two types of response.  I know what to do, just made a mistake so chill, or a massive nerd rage that usually includes something like, this is an alt, I've done all raids on hard mode already you noob.

You ever notice how the only people you ever see in dungeons are on an alt and everyone in the game had downed hard mode raid bosses 3 days into the expansion.  I can't stand these people.  These people are jerks, liars, and over all shitty people, probably in real life too.

You might say that is not Blizzards fault.  You would be wrong.  Blizzard can not change people.  People will be jerks.  They can change mechanics however.  There is no reason that there should be any mechanic in a heroic that can kill anyone nearly instantly, even a retard.  If they stopped trying to make things harder then there would be no mistakes and there would be no need to try and give someone advice and there would be no nerd rage to follow from someone on their alt that is better then you can ever imagine to be.  See, it is Blizzards fault.

Making the game harder, in theory at least, has destroyed the game.  This is not an opinion, this is a fact.  Look around at the blogs all over the net.  I read dozens of them, at least 20% of them have writers that have been playing WoW forever that are either quitting outright or taking a break to try something else. Blog writers love the game, probably an unhealthy amount, if they are leaving left and right what do you think the average player is doing when they do not have the public display of affection out there like us bloggers do?  They have nothing holding them back.  No one will question them if they just get up and leave.

Wrath was the biggest success in the history of WoW.  Based on sales numbers more people subscribed during Wrath then ever did in Vanilla and BC combined, times three.  It does not take a business degree to figure out that the play style of Wrath hit the nail on the head and that is the style of game they should continue to offer if they want on going success.  Wrath sold itself to the average player.  The average player wants a small challenge.  Something that will not be super easy but at the same time is easily doable.

Lets use a classic example in the history of business to explain it to people that do not understand.  Coke is one of the biggest soft drink companies in the world, has been for a very long time.  A while back Coke had a great idea for their formula and decided they were going to market a new coke for sale.  The really original people in their marketing department came up with the totally awesome and different name of, wait for it, New Coke.  Yeap, someone got paid big bucks to think that one up.  I want that job.

New Coke crashed and burned.  It was horrible.  It was not very good tasting and actually didn't really take anything like coke at all.  Their sales dropped like a rock.  People switched to Pepsi in droves.  Coke got the message.  New Coke was an awesome idea maybe but it could not replace the Coke everyone has come to know and love over the years so Coke came back in its original formula and it started to win back some of the customers it lost.  It is a well known fact that it took Coke years to repair the damage they caused by changing Coke to something the masses did not want.

This is exactly where WoW sits right now.  Cataclysm is the new coke.  People fell in love with Coke (Wrath) and do not want New Coke.  The damage has been done just as it was done with coke.  Will Blizzard be smart enough to realize that their New Coke is failing even if some people say it is great and bring Coke back soon?  It took years to repair the damage releasing New Coke did for the Coca Cola company, it could take that long for WoW but I doubt it.  Gamers are a different breed, they would be quicker to forgive and forget as long as they got their Coke(Wrath) back.

In my 5 man last night we had all 5 guild members that are all excellent players.  Some have been playing since Beta.  While we were talking we went over things we think are wrong with the game.  Oddly enough, I was not alone in my displeasure growing more and more by the day.  It seems everyone, even if they are not talking about it, has been looking into other games.

We all said we are not planning on leaving WoW, all saying the same thing, too much time invested.  Sooner or later however no matter how much time you have invested in something there will come a point where you have to give up.  Each day more and more people are giving up.  It can be fixed, if Blizzard wants to.  I just do not think they care any more.

No comments:

Post a Comment