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Breakfast Topic: Is WoW too complex?

As I said the other day, we've talked about the dumbed-down argument quite a few times before, but I think this is the first time I've ever heard the opposite argument put forth so succinctly: Tadaa asks, over on the forums, "Is WoW getting too complex?" Longtime players will probably say no at first glance -- the game has been streamlined a lot since it first game out, and things that took up much of your time previously (tracking quests, looking up quest targets, dealing with respecs, and finding groups) now have systems built into the game that let you get past them easily. But think of what it would be like to step into Azeroth nowadays -- instead of just a chat channel where you can find groups, there's a whole system with terms like "damage" and "tank" in there. On first glance, it might be tough to figure out. And then there's things like resilience and Replenishment (which some experienced players don't even fully understand), and even things we think of as helpful features (getting pets and currency out of our inventory) can be super confusing for new players: where did that pet go that I just clicked on, or that badge that I just saw looted to me in the combat window?

Not to mention that there are more talents and specs to deal with than ever, more classes and roles to figure out, and more instances and areas (and things to do) than ever before. Given, not all of it gets thrown at players in the starting areas, but this is a really complex game, and with every content patch, it's growing more and more complicated.

So is it too complex? I'd say no -- there is definitely a lot of complexity in there, but not all of it is right in the player's face, and most of the crazier features (like the currency screen and the LFG system) are still pretty easy to explain once someone figures out to ask about it. And remember -- this is a game that, at its core, is about killing stuff and gaining experience and money, and that's never changed, even with all of the other systems and stats and balances and features added on. Is it more complex than when it started? Yes. But I don't think it's too complex. What do you think?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

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