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The end of the world!!! (of warcraft)

Last response: in Video Games
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January 25, 2011 7:10:44 PM

World of Warcraft has been successful over the years for a few reasons. The first of which is that it is, at its core, everything that an MMO should be. It triumphed over its largest competitor, EverQuest, by providing a more responsive, changing, interactive, and balanced environment. Sure, WoW has never been completely balanced, but it has always been way better than EQ in terms of class balance. Another leading reason behind the triumph is that WoW has historically been much less buggy, and "exploits" are generally weeded out as soon as they appear. The detriment of all these situations, class balance, bugs, exploits, etc. eventually led to the slow death of EQ.

Today, WoW is generally in EQ's previously retained spot as king of the MMO's. It doesn't really have a legitimate competitor. Take note that it was exactly when EQ was at the top of the pyramid with no competitors that it became lax and unresponsive to its customers' needs, which is when most people quit the game and moved elsewhere with their time. I digress, WoW is top-dog now, and has been really since late 2007. Basically, the further Burning Crusade progressed, the more people transitioned from EQ to WoW.

By the time that Wrath of the Lich King was announced, WoW was at the top of the ladder, sitting pretty at the #1 spot. We are all aware of the results of WoTLK's release, it broke sales records, and set a new benchmark of standards for the MMO community. Bugs and exploits were extremely uncommon, gameplay was generally smooth, and class balance was, for the most part evened out extremely quickly (within the first month or so). However, after the first half-year or so, people started to realize that the game was going downhill. Game mechanics were so "dumb" and similar, with the majority of game mechanics being ignorable if equipped with gear 1/2 of a tier above the content, and the majority of game mechanics being impassible with gear 1/2 of a tier behind the current content, that people generally view the PvE aspect of the game as either being a joke or being extremely hardcore. (fellow raiders, remember the discrepancy in ToC 25 regular and ToC 25 heroic? regular mode being puggable with heroic only being completed by only the most hardcore guilds, etc.) PvP content was also really gimmicky after the initial luster of the first two seasons wore off. Arena teams either globaled you, you globaled them, or one of you were nearly invincible. (think wizard cleaves, melee cleaves, and double healer teams) That was just the way that competitive PvP was played, there was no inbetween in strategy.

These obvious flaws were well known, and the consensus of the community was that Cataclysm is going to fix the game and all will be as well as it was in vanilla and BC, when we all transitioned here from EQ.

So now Cataclysm is out. In the first 1.5 months of its existance, we've seen more bugs, exploits, and the worst class balance that the game has ever seen. Some raids were not only hard, but literally impossible to complete. High end encounters have literally had to be hotfixxed as guilds are working on bosses because certain mechanics were behaving "unexpectedly" and causing the encounter to play out differently than it was supposed to, an issue that is supposed to be fixed in beta testing. Class balance is not only bad, but is worse than ever. I'm not just talking about small discrepancies in combat log output numbers, I'm talking about certain classes being justifiably useless and others being blatantly crazy. (think hunters and priests in PvP, think shaman in PvE)

There are some startling similarities here between where WoW is at now and where EQ was when it fell. Just food for thought

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January 25, 2011 7:25:39 PM

Great post :)  Give it time. If enough people complain about the imbalances, the changes will be made soon enough.
January 25, 2011 7:51:24 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Interesting, so you're saying that because WOW is on top, Blizzard will no longer be as responsive and customer service oriented? That makes a lot of sense considering what happened to EQ. Well even if WOW goes the way of the dodo bird, they had one hell of a run!

That's generally what I'm saying. There are certain aspects of the game that just reak of poor testing. Also, there is a huge uproar right now because Blizzard had basically stated almost a month ago that they were releasing certain PvP items today, so people saved up resources for these items for weeks (the resource needed to buy these things has a cap to how much of it you can acquire over the course of a week), only to find out that the items had not been released today. There was no warning, no heads-up in the weeks of saving that people did. They basically wasted 3-4 weeks of alot of people's time with this deal. This is generally the kind of unresponsive, weak customer service that i'm referring to.
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January 25, 2011 11:02:18 PM

WoW isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It's a money making machine for Blizzard. Also, there are players that have a ton investited in the game as well and to expect them to fold or give up on it all together isn't a very reasonable outlook. I would expect the issues at hand to be sorted out and corrected rather than thinking that it is all going to come to an end anytime soon. WoW is at the top of the MMO game for a reason, it's simply the best on the market. You make valid points and have valid concerns, but I wouldn't expect WoW to be dethroned anytime soon.
January 26, 2011 5:35:40 PM

BeefBravo said:
WoW isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It's a money making machine for Blizzard. Also, there are players that have a ton investited in the game as well and to expect them to fold or give up on it all together isn't a very reasonable outlook. I would expect the issues at hand to be sorted out and corrected rather than thinking that it is all going to come to an end anytime soon. WoW is at the top of the MMO game for a reason, it's simply the best on the market. You make valid points and have valid concerns, but I wouldn't expect WoW to be dethroned anytime soon.

Of course the game won't go anywhere, WoW servers will probably still be running 10+ years from now regardless of what happens. What I'm trying to describe is a situation that is very much like the situation that EQ saw. As we all know, EQ didn't abruptly die out, but it definately saw huge numbers of players leave the game, and quickly lost its spot at the top of the MMO pyramid, and was no longer the household name for MMO's.

If there ever was a time for another MMO to steal market share from ActivisionBlizzard, now would be it (in my opinion).
January 27, 2011 5:05:57 PM

Sure, I guess a gradual decline is inevitable, but last I saw player numbers were increasing, not decreasing. Blizzard will have to make changes to the game to stay competitive, but with WoW being the cash cow that it is those changes will come. I think you're right, WoW servers will still be running 10+ years from now and I expect WoW to remain on top during these years.
January 27, 2011 7:38:22 PM

DAoC 2, bring back RvR with three factions fights each other. I hate this 1 vs 1. I miss 2vs1 or 1vs1vs1. Relic raids!
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