I’m over it

There is an interesting post by Torvald, published a few days ago in the forums, in which he summarizes and analyzes most of the arguments others have made about Warlords of Draenor. Specifically, he points out why people are complaining about being bored and/or annoyed with this expansion. I recommend the post, and although I don’t agree with everything he says, one particular point really hit home for me:

Players are logging on, feel compelled to go through their Garrison chores, getting those rewards that are placed right in front of them… Even though that very content is not fun and drains their stamina for engaging in other content. It reduces their stamina for engaging in other activities that absolutely require large blocks of time to give a reasonable hope of success. And for activites that don’t absolutely require large blocks of time, so many of those lack structure that the player defaults to assigning them large blocks of time for what it would require to be “worth it” (i.e. very few players want to make a trip for an unstructured rep grind just to grind for 15 minutes).

This all leads to the ultimate result of:
Log in
Do Garrison chores
Feel unenergized to do more
Log out
“I feel bored, forced to do garrison chores, and like there’s nothing to do.”

And the longer this goes on, the more the player feels the lack of energy BEFORE they do their chores, because their mind is already anticipating it. Whereas before they felt lack of energy to do things after the chores, soon they feel a lack of energy as they are logging in. They start to feel like they are forcing themselves to log in to do something they don’t enjoy.

A series of RL “challenges” over the weekend — frozen kitchen water pipes, extended power outages — meant that I have not been able to log on for a couple of days. Far from being annoyed over it, I found that I was relieved(!!?!) Today things seem to be settling down, and I am able to log in, but I am putting it off, thinking maybe I’ll start on taxes, or do some laundry, or tidy up some of my web sites, or anything other than log in.

I think the one point Torvald missed is that most people who play this game have a finite amount of time to do so. If you feel like you have to do certain things every day, and those things take up more than half your allowed play time, you are just unmotivated to do much of anything else because of the time constraints. At least I am.

One other note that I have about Torvald’s post is the lukewarm, patronizing response Bashiok gave it. Kind of a “Thank you for your interest in game development,” or “What a creative drawing! Mommy’s going to put this on the fridge!”As I said, I don’t agree with everything Torvald wrote, but he put his finger on a HUGE problem with this expansion, and once again Blizz decided they do not give a damn about real player issues. Bashiok, as usual, missed a great opportunity to really explain Blizz’s philosophy for this expansion, and how it plays into future development strategy.

As it is, I have written this entire expansion off as a failed one. Thing is, I don’t even really care enough to rant about it any more, because I now realize it is so fundamentally flawed that no patch can fix it. I am in my end-of-expansion mode of playing, which is to say, log in to raid and if there is time left, do a couple things I think will help me in the next expansion.

After just three months, I am over WoD.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

4 Responses to I’m over it

  1. NetherLands says:

    The thing is, Blizzard may just be counting on ‘bringing out Expansions faster’ by producing WoD-like contractions faster, loads of people re-subbing and most importantly buying the box, and then leave after a few months anyhoo.

    In other words, they just might be changing WoW into a serial two-monther on purpose.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, interesting theory. You may be on to something. Seems like people are searching for explanations for Blizz’s bizarre behavior concerning this entire xpac rollout and implementation. If you haven’t already, check out Alt:ernatives discussion of another theory.

      The thing that is most fascinating to me about this is that Blizz has forced people to come up with explanations for what seem to be inexplicable decisions for WoD. I mean, why not tell their customers they are in the process of changing their business plan, or that they screwed up this whole expansion and can’t fix it, so they are moving to the next one as fast as possible? At this point, I would welcome any serious attempt to give us all a glimpse into their guiding game philosophy. If they have one, that is.

      • Earachis says:

        I think this is a classic case of everyone at Blizzard having to toe the company line because of some really bad decisions being made by some of the creative team. I think some of the senior guys who left Wow years ago to work on Titan were flicked back to the Wow team when that project was re-tooled. These people had fundamental creative differences with people like Ghostcrawler (hence his departure) and wanted to put their own stamp on the game and whatever the expansion was originally going to be got changed into WOD. This change in philosophy meant chucking out a lot of what had been already done and trying to piece together WOD as quickly as possible. This explains the huge SOO delay and the rushed/incomplete feel that WOD seems to have.

        The problem is these creative people have a lot of history with Blizzard and if you’ve read anything about the culture there you don’t question the choices of people with long tenure and relationships with senior management. The issue when something like WOD happens is that everyone has to go into protection mode to support the decisions of management as though they were beyond reproach because despite knowing it’s been a disaster if anyone says it they get canned.

        I’d liken WOD to what happened with Wildstar. A group of developers who were from WoW’s vanilla “glory days” tried to bring that culture and design to a game in the modern era. It failed because that mentality doesn’t work today. In Wildstar the developers quite arrogantly conducted themselves as being beyond question in their design decisions and now the result is job losses and server merges. I’m presuming of course most of the people they let go were not the ones that made the stupid decisions in the first place as is normal practice in a lot of companies.

        It will be interesting to see what the sub losses look like next quarter and it will be even more interesting to see how Blizzard tries to fix the mess they’ve created with WOD for themselves. I will be looking at it from the sidelines though because I burnt out on WOD even quicker than you did….and that is with levelling 6 characters to 100 all with level 3 garrisons epic followers etc etc. Either they sack the people who made the wrong choices and fix it for the next expansion or they continue with the path of denial and accept the losses. We’ll see.

      • Fiannor says:

        I think you summed it up very well. When there is a situation like you describe, you get what we see in this expansion — a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but no unifying theme, nothing to really “hook” people. I think Blizz just needs to write this one off and move on to the next expansion as quickly as possible. It really is not fixable, in my opinion. I suppose things like selfies and Twitter in game are nice if you like those activities, but to my mind they just look like distractions — as if Blizz hopes most people will be so engrossed in them that they will stop noticing how bad the xpac is.

        I’m not ready to unsub yet, but I am definitely done with WoD. With the exception of raiding and making some gold from garrison activities, I will be spending most of my time going back to other — more fun — parts of the game.

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