The Day the Whole World Went…splat.

Apologies to Trent Reznor.  But it was so appropriate.  As followers of the blog know, I recently did my ten free days of WoW (since I never upgraded to Wrath of the Liche King), but despite enjoying a brief return to Azeroth,  I couldn’t actually bring myself to spend money on the game.  Which, to date, makes WoW the only MMO that I have not resubbed to once I left.  That should tell me something, but I’m not sure what yet.  Perhaps that class imbalances are more than just a pet peeve to me.  Perhaps that immature gamers can permanently ruin a game for me.

So I find myself in the contrarian position on this day.  As millions of fans crash the WoW servers and celebrate giddily the release of glorious new content and hope (foolishly) for a new generation of customers, I stand soundly on my prediction:  this is the high water mark for WoW.  From here, it is all downhill – both in terms of subscription numbers and in terms of quality and polish.  Why?

Veterans will eventually want the old areas back

Yes, even WoW gamers get nostalgic, especially as those young gamers who grew up on it start climbing through their twenties and into their thirties.  The logical step is to offer such rollback servers.  I think we all know what that would mean.

The lore has been altered…pray I do not alter it further

From personal accounts from friends, the Horde is not longer the “not bad, just misunderstood” other white meat.  Its truly *bad* now.  Evil.  If you think that won’t affect new players, alts, perception of characters, etc.  think again.  Those subscribers who left at Burning Crusade left by and large for one reason – they couldn’t stomache the perceived changes to the lore – the backstory – of the world.  Same at Wrath of the Liche King.

And the number one reason…

[insert drum roll]

Because Blizzard Can’t Go Wrong!

Or at least they (and many other people) think they can’t go wrong.  Which is usually the moment, corporately speaking, when the floor falls out from underneath you.  See also:  Enron, US Automakers, Indianapolis Colts…

Blizzard almost went there with their RealID fiasco this year, but pulled back right at the brink.  Its only a matter of time before they reach that brink again, and this time, they will have drunk so much of their own Kool-Aid, that they will plow right on ahead.  The funny thing about this is that is may not even be all that important a matter, but it will become one in the course of the steamrolling. 

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

9 thoughts on “The Day the Whole World Went…splat.

  1. Ghanur

    Activision is on it’s way out *g*

    (Back when realID hit, I ordered them to delete my account)

    Some days ago, I made a trial account (with a fake ID – if they cheat me, I cheat them too) and looked at the state of the universe…

    The game is plastered with bugs, minor ones and show-stoppers – that’s what ActivisionBlizzard calls a release, but those remaining fanboys(c) are happy.

    Not even CCP with Tyrannis was that bad *eg*

    Those fanboys(c) are a sorry excuse for a community – I never played an online game with such low standards in my life.

    WoW is the AOL of online gaming.

    Well, enough rant for today *g*

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  3. I played till right before Wrath of the Lich King so if I did reactive my account, I would have to buy LK and Cataclysm. If completely new people are coming to the game, do they have to buy all 4?

      1. That seems a bit ridiculous. The great part about EQOA is that if you were new, you could just buy Frontiers. For any player to start playing WoW, they would have to spend $90-100 (10 for original, 20 for BC, 20 for Wrath, 50 for Cataclysm?) on the software alone.

      2. I guess what I’m getting at is that the barriers to entry are much higher for expanding their market share. It seems like they’re settling with what they have and are just moving on.

      3. My understanding, and this could be wrong – is that Cataclysm is an expansion like any other, but that it is tied, lore-wise, into significant changes to the game world and mechanics. Those game world and mechanics changes are there for everyone, however if you want the new end game content and races, you’d have to buy the expansion.

        So if I jumped in game right now, I could start in the new undead starting area, and could tour the partially destroyed world, rebuilt Stormwind, etc. but couldn’t do any of the new raids/dungeons, creates a worgan character, etc.

    1. Ghanur

      Cataclysm only content are the new zones, and the new races, and level 85.

      With the base game only, one can use the content level 1 to 60, and the new classes for existing races (i.e. human hunter).

      Sony did a better job with Everquest, every new expansion contains the complete game.

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