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Reader Comments (91)

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 8:43AM SirUrza said

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@(Unverified)

I think they're talking about guild wars 2 and not swtor. ;)
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:31PM smartstep said

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Whole WoW is too linear and too streamlined and beyone saving at this point. (yea yea I know it is biggest and don't need saving, I mean reversal of losing subs in NA / EU is impossible imo).

There are much more things beside 'linear' that trouble WoW and some of them just lie at current core and gameplay and it would be impossible to remove them without seriously angering current playerbase so....

In other world - Blizzard - WoW will lose subs and in year or two it won't have SO big advantage over next biggest title on the market.

There are few smaller and bigger fish that are coming to pond soon.

Really really hope that this is start of mmorpg being more diverse again, even if most upcoming games does not offer revolutionary changes. Hope next batch that will come after them will.

Posted: Jan 15th 2012 10:11AM (Unverified) said

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@smartstep I have to agree that WoW has some issues that lie right at the core of the game itself, its understandable of course the game has been around for a few years now and some of the mechanics are showing their age.

Actually a drop in subs isn't that bad of a thing, one of the reason (beyond age) why WoW hasn't seen any massive innovation (mostly progression and refinement of existing concepts) is because they've had a tried and tested formula which has been working for so long but if people start leaving they'd be forced to actually put that extra effort into the game that's been missing.
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Posted: Jan 15th 2012 11:52AM Sorithal said

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WoW's time -is- starting to pass away. The age of the game is showing quite a bit now as Blizzard seems to have this odd formula of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" for end-game stuff, yet... for classes? "If it isn't broken, let's change it up anyway" seems to be their mentality.

Also, it feels to me like the story of World of Warcraft has just progressively grown worse. As the player characters grow in levels, they're able to do more ridiculous things each time. At this point in WoW, every major lore character from Warcraft 3 who turned villainous was killed by us already. At least one who was thought dead ended up with the cliche amnesiac survivor story. We -killed- the Aspect of Earth/Death (who was feared like none other up until that point) and was able to stop him from destroying the world completely. And now the Elv- I mean, Night Elv- I mean, Dragon Aspects, lost their immortality.

So basically at this point all there's left to really defeat is the Burning Legion fully. Unless someone comes out of nowhere and brings back all the dead characters to get revenge against us or something, there's no real major remaining villains in the existing lore who haven't been killed off.

And the Mists of Pandaria seems to be a reflection of this. Blizzard's basically needing to buy time before they inevitably have the players kill the equivalent of Satan. If that day ever comes that players can kill Sargeras. Hopefully he doesn't devolve into a tentacle monster like Deathwing where all you do is DPS his tentacles down when he tries to destroy the world, lolz.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:31PM Utakata said

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*Perhaps it seems the prospects of GW2 and Wildstar is making Blizz HQ a bit nervous in this regard. Which is offering a very latitudinal approach to it's game.

*Note: Not sure about SWTOR, since I get the sense even with it's moral choices, it's still a bit on the rails. But to be honest and fair, I am not playing that game, so I can only speculate at this time.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:50PM (Unverified) said

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@Utakata

You're spot on - SW:TOR's questing is as on-rails as its space gameplay.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:39PM hami83 said

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@Utakata Aside from the datacrons that you can go looking for, Old Republic is nothing BUT an on rails game through different themes.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 10:06PM Irem said

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@Utakata
It looks to me like they see which way the wind is blowing regarding trends in the crop of upcoming games. It's good for the players that they want to change to stay relevant, but admittedly I'm a little bitter that they couldn't be bothered to think of or implement this stuff back when I was playing and there was no impending threat from a lot of competition. Especially since lot of the things they're planning for MoP, or that they've implemented recently, have been asked for by the playerbase for a long time.
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Posted: Jan 15th 2012 4:13AM Utakata said

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@(Unverified) & hami83

I don't think I can say in words how disappointing I am to hear that. You'd think with all that open space (no pun intended) I keep hearing about and dynamic story telling, BioWare could at least have some assemblence of non-linear progression and character in their game. I guess I won't be playing SWTOR unlesss I get really, really bored.

@Irem

I couldn't agree with you more.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:36PM toychristopher said

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Well they are right. They did make it too linear. It might not be so bad if they were capable of telling a good story.... but they aren't.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:42PM infinityv said

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Don't worry, with the new generations of MMO's coming out this year Blizzard will have a whole new array of features to steal.... err barrow and import into WoW. >.>

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:00PM (Unverified) said

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All I could say when I saw this headline was:

"YA THINK??!!"

hehe

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:46PM (Unverified) said

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I absolutely hate what Cataclysm did to the old world and the linearity of it was only the icing on a cake of ridiculously easy questing, stupidly fast levelling and 'comedy' characters and questlines that way overstayed their welcome and ruined any atmosphere some zones might have been able to build up.

When I came back I decided to level up a new character to take a proper look at the new zones, and almost quit during Hillsbrad because it felt like a parody of WoW... and not even a clever parody.

Honestly I'm not very enthused about Mists, but if Blizzard announced another expansion that restored the pre-Cata old world I'd preorder it today.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:54PM pabswikk said

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Going to go ahead and play devils advocate here. I think Cataclysm was possibly the best expansion for WoW to date, possibly for any MMO for that matter. Ambitious, huge, and world changing. Sure it had it's flaws, but I think the whole package was great overall. Plus the quest design, while some called it too linear, was in my opinion just perfect. It gave you choice in which zones to go to, and then when you went to those zones gave you a story to lead you through the zone at a steady pace. Levelling was a bit too quick at points, with you too easily out levelling the quests you were doing, but fixing that is a simple matter of changing the rate at which you gain XP.

As for phasing, I'm sorry, but anyone who claims it ruins or ruined WoW is simply wrong. The phased areas are, firstly, excluded to areas of the game where specific story-driven sections occur, so the apparent problem some people have (that they never see other players) is just a lie. Important cities, quest hubs, and the vast majority of the game are not phased. Also, by the time you get to endgame phasing is a non-issue as you've completed the same content as other players. Phasing is the solution to a problem people have had in MMOs for years, that you could never see the effect your quests had on the world.

The complaint that WoW is too linear ignores the core design of the game. This isn't a sandbox game where they've created a world and simply let the players loose. This is a quest-driven game, where the overall world's story progresses regularly via patches. If that's not your cup of tea, then fine, but if Mists of Pandaria (and I'm not saying it will) suddenly changed the game into a sandbox., it would be a cheap imitation of what a Sandbox should be. Fundamentally liking WoW comes down to whether you:
a) Like this particular themepark design of MMOs (Essentially solo content with group-dungeons until endgame, where it becomes all group content)
b) Like the world of Azeroth.
If you don't like both of those things, you'll never like World of Warcraft. If you do, then lucky you. Hopefully Blizzard don't go ahead and ruin the story/ core game design.

Sorry for the rant, it's just that whenever I read the comments sections on this website it seems to be a group of negative thinkers who are determined to hate every piece of news that comes out of an industry of which they are supposedly fans.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 10:21PM Irem said

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@pabswikk
Plenty of people both enjoy the quest-driven themepark model WoW uses and disliked Cataclysm's level of enforced direction. The game was always linear, but apparently Blizzard went over a tipping point at which many people felt that it was TOO linear. I don't see anyone here asking for a WoW sandbox; hell, I used to use those quest guide addons because sometimes it was nice to just follow the line and knock out a bunch of quests in one go in as efficient a manner as possible, and so did a lot of other people, so there's obviously some appeal there. But I always had enough choices going from point A to point B to feel as though I was making my own way.

Scolding people who dislike the changes for expecting WoW to be something it's not is a little ridiculous considering how recent all of this is. Since Blizzard apparently agrees that it was a bad design decision, it's possible that enough people decided that WoW had become something they weren't charmed by or interested in enough to keep playing it. When things change drastically and people are basically given the choice to either deal with it or leave if they don't like it, nobody should be surprised if they decide to leave.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 10:41PM (Unverified) said

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@pabswikk

I'm finding the main problem with the linear level design is that when I want a challenge I can't get one. To give an example: I'm running on a lvl 33 warrior at the moment in Hinterlands (30-35 level range) and I'm basically invincible. I don't use my potions. I don't use my cooldowns. I don't need to. I just wander around destroying all the lvl 33 to 35 enemies I encounter. I don't think I've died in the open world since level 10 or so... and it's really boring.

Pre-Cata when this happened (and it happened much much later - like level 50) I just went to the next higher level zone, but I can't do that anymore, because the quest givers in Western Plaguelands won't give me any quests until I'm within 1 level of that zone's 35-40 range - and I will rapidly end up overpowered there as well.

I like levelling in WoW, or did, but this has just taken all the interest out of it, because unless I intentionally play very badly I know that it's very unlikely anything other than an elite mob will be able to kill me in the open world.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 10:42PM pabswikk said

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@Irem The people I'm complaining about are the people who argue that WoW is a terrible, linear, themepark catastrophe but don't actually like the core concepts behind the game. Sure, if you've been a longtime WoW fan and then Cataclysm in your opinion ruined the game, then that's entirely different. Your opinion then represents at least part of the playerbase that Blizzard is trying to keep. However, I personally don't think WoW is losing subs because Cataclysm made poor game design choice, I think it's losing subs because it''s an ageing game. Some people have simply grown tired of Azeroth and are moving onto newer pastures, or away from MMOs completely.
Furthermore, I'd argue this change isn't recent. WoW has been making the progression to it's current state since TBC, and Cataclysm was the next logical step in that progression. The writing was, as they say, on the wall.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 11:09PM The Ogre said

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@pabswikk "However, I personally don't think WoW is losing subs because Cataclysm made poor game design choice, I think it's losing subs because it''s an ageing game."

So, it's just a huge coincidence that they started losing subs (beyond the normal between-expansions drop you'd expect) just after Cataclysm was released, eh?
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 11:29PM pabswikk said

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@The Ogre Essentially. Correlation does not equal causation. In fact, in terms of how humans think, it is quite reasonable to assume that people didn't necessarily leave because Cataclysm was bad, but because Cataclysm is an expansion, a convenient point at which to stop playing the game due to it being a large update. It's perfectly reasonable that a player who is fatigued from playing WoW for seven years would see an expansion as large as Cata as off-putting, as it require time and effort they are no longer willing to put into the game.
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Posted: Jan 15th 2012 1:50AM JuliusSeizure said

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@The Ogre

I left because I couldn't stand the community anymore. It absolutely was a coincidence for me, because I enjoyed Cataclysm itself. My only complaint with the expansion content was the extremely literal and uninspired Raiders of the Lost Ark questline.
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