Yes, folks, we reached it. It will have been obvious to anyone reading this blog recently that my patience with the direction of WoW has been wearing thin, and it's time to call it a day. The blog is entitled "The End" as a mark of respect to Veneretio, the finest warrior blogger I ever came across, and the theme is the same.
My subscription has been cancelled, and it's time to leave this game behind.
No doubt my comments will see the usual "kkthxbye" commentary that the asinine conjure and mistake for wit, but I'm comfortable with that. My small contribution to the game is meaningless compared to the contribution it made to me.
Friends for life.
My life partner.
Very happy memories.
But the game now is a shadow of what it was, in my opinion. Worse, the development team have shown that they simply can't handle the game properly and have yet to solve a single problem they caused by breaking promises left right and centre.
But those who know me, also known I'm a self-important jackass who will have his say. And it just so happens that I had my say and it received an overwhelming volume of positive feedback; practically a first for an "I quit" thread.
This is the original post, found on the EU General forums.
This is my follow up, based on the thread cap reached in two days.
This is the MMO-Champion thread, not started by me but has seen me participate.
Whether or not you agree with me is entirely up to you. I've said it countless times, and it's been ignored just as many; these opinions are mine and form the basis of why I need to leave World of Warcraft behind.
But I gave a lot to this game so, if you're going to "hilariously" troll me, you should read my commentary before doing so. If you can't be bothered doing so, yet choose to ignorantly comment anyway, you exemplify everything bad about the direction the best game I've ever played has gone.
Thank you SO much to everyone who've contributed to making me happy over the past four years. Both on this blog and in game, the passion some people have shared with me for our hobby is both amazing and inspiring. I can never thank all those people enough, so I'll just say that you've all contributed to my life in a special way.
My final point is a thank you to Blizzard. During my time in Outland and Northrend, you created a game that was incredible. It was fun, it was immersive, it was communal and it was rewarding.
It was wonderful.
Regardless of how I leave the game, my memories of it are almost entirely positive and I can't thank Blizzard enough for it.
Everything's for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.
"Zell has left the building" (Posted on the WoW EU General forums, 15th November '11).
So, that’s it then. It had to happen eventually and, after the best part of four years, it’s time for me to knock it on the head, unsubscribe from World of Warcraft and take my money elsewhere. It’s been a heck of a ride and, despite the way I know this post will be viewed by the community, I’m going to comment on why I’ve fallen out of love with a game that used to utterly captivate me.
Don’t forget that I’ve written many long, thought-out posts that were designed to contribute; mindless QQ frankly isn’t my style, and those arguing otherwise need only check my post history. That said, nobody is forcing you to read this; if you’ve had enough of these posts, the invitation is offered for you to move along now.
Brass tacks, then – the game is currently nowhere near as good as it was in the past, and there’s no way I can get onboard with the new “direction” it’s planning to take. Some of you will remember my recent post about learning to play or going away (locked for absolutely no reason) and, therefore, will be familiar with some of my thoughts on where WoW has gone wrong.
When push comes to shove, the “World” of Warcraft is dead. The world has been emptied in favour of quick access to a succession of mini games, with all effort, commitment and difficulty erstwhile required having been shoehorned out. The world will continue to shrink so long as insidious queues exist and players have no legitimate reason to travel, while Blizzard have amply proven that enough forum crying will make them change their decisions.
Most of all, however, the current development team are mired in the production of mediocrity, and the unfortunate rut of trying to manage failure. Here are some “highlights” from Cataclysm:
- A “mind blowing” experience is promised for the pre-expansion event, hugely watered down due to complaints about auction house access.
- A broken world is promised, with the delivery being little more than a few upturned zones and most of the world left largely untouched.
- Blue post confirmation that raids will be the only way to get epics, proven scarily wrong by easy to access crafters, vendors and auction houses.
- A levelling experience and length similar to previous expansions is promised, but most players take no more than two days to hit the new cap.
- The most dangerous of villains to this point, Deathwing, is relegated to bit-part zone burning and plays next to no active part in any of the content.
- The “War” in Warcraft will be returned… Except no world PvP is brought back, only faction-specific mobs that are part of the 1-60 questing.
- A “new and improved” 1-60 questing experience is promised, but it’s a streamlined shortcut in which new players learn absolutely nothing.
- A significant portion of the playerbase reports there not being enough zones in the endgame (five); this five zone model is announced for MoP.
- Ghostcrawler releases a blog entitled “Wow, dungeons are hard!” extolling the virtues of trying to improve – then nerfs dungeons into the ground.
- The “PvP arms race” is vowed to be gotten rid of, but actually made worse. PvP balance is now so bad, MLG has removed WoW from the circuit.
- Mike Morhaime states that players are clearing content faster than ever before, then oversees the trivialisation of a large amount of current content.
- Blizzard force players into a currency grind that pits players of vastly differing desires and abilities into the same queue. Mayhem ensues.
- Blizzard try to address a tank shortage by offering extra rewards. The result is a flood of bad tanks that exasperate the original problem.
- A new talent system is introduced to remove cookie-cutter specs. This abjectly fails, to the extent the entire system will be redone in MoP.
- The Vengeance mechanic, heralded to solve a problem yet unseen, is made completely redundant thanks to a baseline tank threat buff.
- A promise that crowd control will be brought back, only for the realisation to land that you can’t force CC on a random group that has none.
You get the point.
The sad fact is that the current development team have failed to solve a single problem they’ve set their hand to, actually making problems worse in many cases. At BlizzCon, they spent their time during Q&A sessions talking down to nervous (yet committed) players, arrogantly telling them that what they find fun actually isn’t and that they know best.
Since BlizzCon, they’ve spent time answering questions that are either meaningless, or have already been answered elsewhere.
At the end of the day, they’re not up to the job and the game is in decline because of it. In any business where numbers were tumbling as they are now for WoW, questions would be asked of those making these decisions and, if required, people would be moved on. Time will tell.
Of course, it’s not all their fault. One thing, more than any other, has contributed to the lack of quality in recent times and we probably all know what that is.
The dungeon finder.
In one fell swoop, server communities took an absolute hammering, the world shrank to the size of the most convenient capital city, and personal responsibility went the way of the dodo. If you want further proof of just how degrading the queue is to the community, take a look at what happened when they implemented it in Rift.
Exactly the same thing.
We all know what I’m talking about. You queue up, you take a chance. If you’re very lucky, you’ll get a group largely housed of players that outgear the content and will help to trivialise it. If you’re unlucky, you’ll end up with players whose unspeakably bad skills are accompanied by an unspeakably bad attitude. Ostracism and instant ditching are commonplace. New players are treated with contempt by players looking for “fast run plz”. And because Blizzard tried to force difficulty onto players incapable (or unwilling) of accepting it, they’ve altered the very face of the game to accommodate them.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a small list:
1) The aforementioned tank “bribe”, no longer demanding quality for the most important role in the group.
2) Party buffs, depending on how many random people are in the group, indirectly nerfing current content.
3) Threat significantly buffed for tanks, destroying a long-time show of skill for the role and devaluing it further.
4) Crowd control broken apart and altered for “convenience”, removing another potential showing of skill.
In other words, the best part of World of Warcraft (endgame PvE, not just raids) has been altered beyond recognition in order to accommodate players with no patience, no desire to learn and no understanding of the “other people” concept. What’s even worse is the fact the developers themselves have chosen to blame this on “casuals”. It has NOTHING to do with those who play less time. It’s purely to do with poor, aggressive and impatient players that can’t grasp the fact that rewards are only worthwhile when you earn them.
Watch transmogrification fail after the one-month novelty has worn off. Players are less in love with the way things look than they are the memory of how they earned those items. For me, the Shield of Impenetrable Darkness conjures the exhilaration of killing Nightbane for the first time and seeing it. My Sun-Eater reminds me of the feeling I had when I saw it after a painful two-and-a-bit-month daily Mechanar run. Sure, some items “look” nice and will see use as a result – but maybe, just maybe I’ll be proven right.
Isn’t it amazing that more people now are reporting nothing to do, when there’s never been more things available? The fact the developers cannot see that players want more endgame PvE when they report nothing to do is absolutely staggering. No amount of archaeology (frustrating), arena (unbalanced), alt-levelling (mindless) or achievement hunting (boring) will appease those who want to raid more than seven meaningful bosses a week. Heck, there isn’t even that any more after savage and unjustifiable nerfs ripped the guts out of the Firelands, a wholly underwhelming raid instance in the first place.
Rounding out, I recall Bashiok asking a player what he used to be able to do but now cannot. Oh, I wish I’d have been able to post on US forums.
I can’t see a skilled hunter chain-trapping mobs, yet contribute strong DPS.
I can’t see a skilled warrior changing stances to show the extent of that skill.
I can’t raid 10 and 25 man content in the same week on my main character.
I can’t stockpile my dungeon currency for when I want to use it now.
I can’t engage in world PvP without getting a level 1 whisper insults at me.
I can’t run multiple endgame dungeons to farm gear for entry level raids.
I can’t spend a night in challenging five-man instances for epic rewards.
I can't build a hybrid talent spec that fits a unique, albeit potentially odd, niche.
I can’t build up a server reputation as a good player by tanking for groups.
I can’t choose which endgame zones to quest in as there aren’t enough.
I can’t specialize my professions for more expensive, yet exclusive, options.
I can't level my guild beyond a daily cap that decimates newly started guilds.
I can’t do attunements that provide the backdrop to the raids I’m running.
I can’t do epic group quests that complete zones, like the Cipher of Damnation.
And more than anything else, I can’t justify paying the same monthly subscription for half the content.
So, what do I have to look forward to? The loss of level cap dungeons, despite the tremendous success of them in the past. The loss of challenging heroic dungeons as they’re made easier again. The loss of yet more buffs and debuffs to make the game simpler. The loss of group quests, being replaced by easy to complete “scenarios”. The introduction of a blatant Pokemon rip off that nobody wanted. A repeat of the five-zone Cataclysm model that I hated. Another talent revamp, stolen from the Diablo developers and implemented badly. Undoubtedly yet more dailies to grind.
I’m almost done now. At the end of the day, I’m in love with a game that doesn’t exist anymore and the current team seeks to move ever further from. I can accept that many players like this new direction, but I simply can’t get onboard with the dissolving of what I loved most about this immersive, enjoyable, massive and social game. Most players will never even know what the Scepter of the Shifting Sands is, or how wonderful the quest line to achieve it was. Frankly, I’m pained that the game will never see its like again.
In closing, I’d just like to add that never before have I seen such cynicism when dealing with (in my case) long term and loyal subscribers. As the starstruck masses chose to cheer Mr. Morhaime as he announced the Diablo 3 giveaway, people such as myself were seeing it for what it was. Against the backdrop of plummeting subscribers, I resent being bribed into coughing up another year for the disassociated mess World of Warcraft has become, by giving me a mount and Diablo 3 as a sweetener. This ugly move to stem the flow away from Blizzard’s MMO jabberwocky, honestly, made me ill in the realisation that I’ve given so much of my money to a company that would treat me in such a reprehensible way. Customer loyalty obviously doesn’t occur to those grubby individuals choosing to milk a playerbase that has been very, VERY good to them.
As I move onto gaming life beyond World of Warcraft, I take with me a slew of great memories and some special friendships that I’ll retain for the rest of my life; not least the introduction of my life partner. I’ll never forget my first completion of the heroic Shattered Halls having been told warriors couldn’t tank it. I’ll never forget the conversation with Azuregos as I set my feet against C’thun’s minions. I’ll never forget those first few tentative steps into Karazhan with the effervescent Luxtiamat as my dutiful off tank. I’ll never forget FINALLY seeing The Sun-Eater drop from Pathaleon after killing him every day. I’ll never forget what I still consider my best raiding achievement, finally putting an end to the Lich King atop Icecrown Pinnacle.
For all who’ve played a part, I thank you and will ever thank your part in my time. For those about to contribute little more than dumb trolling below this thread, you have my congratulations.
It seems Blizzard will ruin their own game to keep you.