MMORPGs struggle to meet two contradictory goals: They want to provide stability, permanence, a world you feel you can always come home to, and they want to provide dynamism, change, a world that always has something fresh and new. Lean too hard to one side -- change too much or too little -- and the backlash from fans and former fans and future fans can be overwhelming.
That's something Blizzard
has never learned. With World of Warcraft
, Blizzard is constantly chasing different demographics to maximize its playerbase, and those different demographics typically want different things out of the game, be they veterans or returnees or hardcores or casuals. Most of the game's expansions have retooled combat and classes and specs in some way, but in Cataclysm
, and now again in Warlords of Draenor
, the class revamps have been so far-reaching that they actually manage to turn off both
veterans and returnees. Gamers, it seems, are willing to tolerate only so much dramatic change to their precious characters before rebelling.
This is a lesson City of Heroes
could have taught World of Warcraft
had Blizzard been listening.