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5-24-2011 @ 9:21AM
I'm not generally a Blizzard-apologist (though I am a fan, sometimes a critical one . . .) but I can understand some of the balancing issues and trying to present new (and what SOUNDED like good) ideas. And I have some sympathy for them since probably at the time, the changes must have seemed pretty solid.So, people complained about "OH EZ-MODE! FACEROLL LOL." OK, probably a small, loud number of people (I know some very good players and through Wrath, I didn't hear THEM complain about it being too easy). I heard people say how nice it would be to see the world change as you progress through zones. And really, having the same gear drop in 10s and 25 mans gave the smaller guilds a better chance at the best gear. And they've tried to make Guilds more relevant and guild-hopping less desirable, with the leveling system and perks.A lot of that sound great. In theory.The fallout has been . . . .- The more casual raiding guilds that flourished in Wrath were coming up against such a severe wall, many people just gave up . . . and even if the new Zandalarian instances (available now), new gear from Hyjal quests, and the easier to obtain Tier 11s that we'll see more of in 4.2 are accessible to more people, will they come back? THAT may be the challenge for Blizzard . . . getting the discouraged to come back and give it another try.- A more solitary, overly-linear feeling in questing zones. I went through and completed the various quest lines (EXCEPT Vashj'ir) on my main but I've been dragging my feet with my alt, since the grind is long, and I have to pretty much finish EVERYTHING in some zones to get the full benefit. And you can't just drop in and help friends kill things and what not as the Phasing will keep you isolated from each other.- Decrease in PuG raiding. While in Wrath, the more serious raiders could do the 25 man versions with their guild, they were free to do the 10-mans in PuGs or bring along the more casual friends who might appreciate a chance to see some of the content that they night not otherwise. And with the raids being so difficult, I think guilds are more reluctant to bring in non-guildies, especially when you wanted GUILD groups for the perks anyway.And I read above several comments regarding the difficulty of healing. I think that is a HUGE problem. A lot of people who enjoyed healing in the past either no longer heal or haven't played in months. I have seen a few people BECOME healers but they have no desire to PuG instances, much less raid. While it may be less challenging, I think it would be better to have healers having a good time rather than feeling stressed out every time they ran something. I wouldn't mind seeing a few fun "single boss" raids either. Maybe they should make those have same gear but separate lockouts for 10 and 25, since even if people were to run them multiple times, it wouldn't create a huge time sink. And it might allow chances for more PuGs or "friends" groups to do raids again.While some of what I wrote don't have a direct connection with keeping guilds alive, I think keeping people interested and playing, and having fun instead of running into constant dead-ends week after week, WILL keep the guilds more alive.If Blizzard changes things, I DO hope they market toward people they want BACK, rather than just people who've never played the game, to convince them that the game is fun and more of the content is accessible again. I still love the game and still see potential for it to keep many people happy, if some of what ails it can be fixed.
5-24-2011 @ 10:29AM
I think that if Blizzard did a Dominoes-Pizza-style mea culpa advertising campaign featuring a new and more accessible game design focus that they'd get a lot of those 600,000 lost subscriptions back.
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