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Community Blog Topic Results: What's wrong with WoW

Last week, we asked "What's wrong with WoW?" After four blog posts and over 300 comments, it is obvious that quite a few people have very strong thoughts on the subject. We specifically asked what people thought were the reasons that World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers were declining, so I'll be highlighting some of the responses that focus on that.

Age

Carmelo at Clever Musings touts WoW's age as being its biggest problem. 8 years is a very long time for a game, even though it does change every two years with expansions. I'm sure that some people are leaving to play shiny new games with prettier graphics.

Dailies

Over at Halbert's Cubicle, Harold cites dailies as the biggest issue.
Locking content behind daily quests limits the appeal of that content in the long term, on top of being obnoxious to players who can't play every day.
Other than gating certain aspects of the game behind dailies, just the sheer number of possible dailies is overwhelming, and Samutz agrees.
Not just the daily quests that you do everyday for weeks just to get some faction to like you, but also the daily heroics, the daily auction house management, the daily (ranch) farming, the daily mat farming for my professions, the daily leveling of an alt, etc
KevinWilliams says he doesn't have enough time to both do dailies to keep up with raid gear and do other fun things. While Satori commented:
Repetition on all levels and in all content and just not enough content otherwise.
Players

JeffLaBowski at Sportsbard says that the playerbase is both what's wrong and right with WoW. While there are funsuckers mucking up public chats and instance groups, there are also people that make one's experience in Azeroth more fun. But enough bad experiences and some people just want to play something that doesn't expose them to That Guy.

While many people in the comments complained about funsuckers, MrMassPanic complained about whining. Whether in battlegrounds or LFR or on the forums or whatever, people are whining too much for him to enjoy himself as much as he would like.

Lack of new players

Many commenters including vthemechanicv suggest that Blizzard is not doing enough to attract new players and that the funsuckers chase them away. To solve this problem, Dickece suggests a gear/skill scaling system to allow friends of disparate levels to play together, much like City of Heroes used to have.

Alt unfriendliness

Myramensgone at Insert Raid Here talks about the rep and valor grind that is already lengthy for main characters must be repeated for alts, making it very difficult to rotate different classes in the endgame content. Quite a few of the commenters claimed this as well.

Questing with friends

In the comments, Barleyhop says
Long story short: for a game that focuses so much on questing, Blizzard made it really hard to run quests with your friends. Too many linear questlines, too much phasing.
As much as I love the revamped quests that were introduced in Cataclysm, it's true that leveling quest chains in particular seem to be meant for solo players only. Friends will want to play games together that allow them to actually play together.

Not a unique experience

One of the things I love about Star Wars: The Old Republic is class questlines. Add them to more customization choices for each character and a wider range of clothing one can wear, and you have characters that don't all look the same doing the same exact thing. Drindaar_Lightbringer agrees
Not enough individuality. Players look the same, do the same quests, have the same storyline. Blizz needs to make the experience feel unique to the individual.

Low population servers

yocraigst cites low population servers with the steep cost of $25 to transfer each character as instrumental in lower subscriber numbers. Cross Realm Zones only do so much to alleviate the problems with low pop realms and do nothing to help the local economy. Many, many people in the comments agreed with him. In fact, it is probably the most common complaint.

Lore

Unresolved storylines and changed characters are why lib.feathers no longer plays
The characters that drew me in are gone or nearly unrecognizable. The stories that brought me here no longer exist. The game for me has become nothing but killing things and collecting things.

So maybe what would bring me back would be if they tied up some loose ends and breathed some life back into the characters I once adored.

Time-wasting mechanics

Blaming the subscription model, hunterkiller37 thinks that all of the activities intended to make people spend more time in game are what's hurting WoW. I'm an old-MMO-fogey so I remember the excruciatingly long boat rides and corpse runs in Everquest. Nothing in WoW makes me waste my time more than most things in the early years of EQ.

Pandas

Many including eroninja1 say that the pandaren race are the problem. Too many people think that pandas make the game silly or at least difficult to take seriously.

Not enough "sandbox" content

Discussing the difference between sandbox and theme park content, grendalsh suggests that the lack of things like player stores keeps people from staying with the game.

Raiding

Quite a few people feel that the grind necessary to raid and the difficulty of the raids other than LFR is why there is a decline in raiding guilds. As MichaelDrake said
Raiders want to raid. We don't want to do dailies. We don't want to farm rep. We don't want to farm mats to make gear or food. We don't want fake raids (LFR). We want to kill bosses that take up half the screen and taunt us with bad grammar. Finally, we want to show-off our (non-LFR) successes with shiny loot, mounts, and titles.
All of the above

In the comments, tobyragg cited many of the above issues as being parts of the whole problem.
The real answer is probably "death by a thousand paper cuts" and yes -- many of them seem quite self-inflicted these days. I really believe it is time for new leadership at the top of this game, a new direction, guidance from someone who truly plays and loves this game for what it is. We don't have that now, and it's showing.
And that makes sense. People quit for different reasons -- there isn't just one that stands out, though complaints about low pop realms and dailies were certainly common. There were also a lot of people who listed things they'd like to see changed in WoW -- wishlists abound -- but we'll save that for the next Community Blog Topic coming soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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