My Chars

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Slow going till Ulduar and "has WoW peaked?"

A combination of RL keeping me busy and slowdown in WoW have kept me from blogging much. My guild has slowed down raiding although we hope to start some OS+2 tries soon, if we get enough guild mates online and interested.
I've spent the time leveling up Faith's Hodir rep, doing the daily quests on every day that I could. Between that, the odd heroic run (still not exalted with Ebon Blade) and the occational raid I've managed to stay fully occupied without even the time to play on Solidstar or even level yet an alt /gasp :)

I spent one fun evening going with 4 guild mates and doing 9(!) BC heroic instances in one evening, for achievements. We had myself (healer), 2 plate-wearing DPS (warrior and paladin), and 2 hunters. We did manage to wipe here and there when people got a bit crazy with the pulls but otherwise it was no problem, didn't need a tank at all :)

Like everybody else I'm looking forward for patch 3.1 but I do have a feeling that WoW has peaked, barring Blizzard pulling a rabbit out of their hat and re-engaging current and new players. WoW is over 4 years old now, and long-time players, even dedicated ones, are starting I think to feel a little burned-out. Contending with annoying PuGs and lack of raids due to lack of interest and apathy brought about by the lack of new content vs. ease of exisiting raids has meant current level 80 players are losing motivation to login. Although Dalaran is as full as ever, there are many people just running around not doing anything.
Meanwhile new players have to deal with leveling 80 levels in a mostly empty world.

I don't know this for sure but looking at how long Ulduar is taking and considering the scope of the problem and that Ulduar is just a single instance, I would say 3.1 will help people for a while but will soon run out of steam, leaving raiders with the options of grinding Ulduar till the next instance is released or trying "hard mode" encounters which are just the same content made harder.

In my opinion while on the surface it seems Blizzard is still investing heavily in WoW it does seem like design and content is being added very slowely, maybe teams were taken to work on more "exciting" projects such as Diablo-3. Maybe Blizzard see WoW as a stable cash-cow without the need to invest as much in it as in a new game. Or maybe they have simply given up on WoW...

Personally I still enjoy WoW and will enjoy it for a long time to come (I hope). After a long day I'm not looking for too much hard-core action, either PvE or PvP. A bit of grinding, a bit of instances/raids, fishing, gathering, fun with friends. I'm not a Darkfall type :)

But if the world becomes too empty, if people leave in droves for other games, WoW will be a lot less enjoyable. Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there...


Longasc said...

I think the tried & true EverQuest formula adopted by WoW always manages to suck in new players, but how about "MMO veterans" that started playing when Ultima Online and EverQuest were released.

They also try to solve the problem to generate content for everyone. We just saw it in Tobold's Blog, there are guilds who do not make it past Malygos. But does this mean that the lowest common denominator is the best solution for everyone? For sure not.

As I mentioned already in Tobold's Blog, I do not believe that bonus achievements are way to go to make people what want a challenge happy. I believe you disagreed there, maybe it is working for you, at least I got the impression that you think it is a good compromise.

I hope Blizzard is going to deliver a completely different kind of MMO, less guided and less solo-quest driven, just to change to a massive multiplayer raiding endgame after reaching max level.

I guess I will have to wait 1-2 years, no MMOs that are not trying to imitate WoW and are valid alternatives are scheduled for 2009. I do not really like Aion or Champions Online at first glance.

Kyle said...

Great blog! I just want to put my thoughts in, I never played EverQuest, but I am a huge fan of the Eldar Scrolls, I would like to see a bit more customizability with the characters, like in that game, but with the same quality and broad scope that WoW has :)