April 15, 2014
After a several-months-long hiatus, I’m back. This is probably not something I will ever leave completely, but, well, as you (and a lot of my bf’s) have noticed, I do have commitment issues, ’nuff said.
First, a policy statement of sorts regarding Warlords of Draenor: I am going to do my best to look at the positive side of the entire xpac, even though to be honest every bone in my body is screaming that this will be an epic fail for Blizz, that they are jumping the shark with this one. Wait, no! This will be the best xpac ever, and players will flock back to WoW in such numbers that the account servers will crash from people wanting to reactivate.
See, that’s my problem, I can only think about 6.0 in hyperbole, not rationally. I think it’s because Blizz has done such a rotten job of rolling it out so far. They announced it about 6 months ago at Blizzcon, then basically said nothing at all about it for almost 5 months — except that they were working on the art (!!) and oh boy we were going to love it when we finally saw it — then about a week ago put out a massive data dump while saying there would be very little chance for players to get their hands on a beta version if and when it finally arrives. And oh yes, we are not to expect the live version until “before” late December.
Really? This is like Ford announcing a new line of George Jetson flying cars, getting people all hopped up about them, showing artist renderings at a special announcement convention, talking about how cool the new features would be without actually going into any detail on them, then clamming up for 6 months saying they are working on the paint schemes, and finally releasing a huge list of options that will be available. Dudes, it’s not about the paint or the options! It’s about the complete experience, the look and feel and how it is going to alter your daily commute in mind-blowing ways, how it will completely transform the way you look at transportation.
This is the part Blizz does not grasp. I want to know where the game is heading, I want to know that it is worth my $15 a month now and for years to come. I want to be excited about how it will transform the way I look at gaming, and that is not something I am going to get from pretty artwork and recycled farm plots.
So yeah, I am a little annoyed at the hunter changes announced thus far, and I am really afraid that the whole garrisons notion might turn into a Farmville gone horribly horribly bad, and I feel that making raiding the central feature of end game progression shuts out a large segment of the player base, but these are quibbles with the options packages. Mainly I am frustrated that I do not have a clue about where 6.0 fits into the grand WoW development scheme. It makes me think there are no strategic thinkers at Blizz, no one who can see where the game should be in 5 years or 10 years (other than in the “legacy games” bin), no one who can look at 6.0 as a step in that progression. It makes me think they are just desperate to not lose any more of their player base and this is the ill-advised shark-jumping episode they are banking on.