May 4th 2009 8:42PM Vanilla WoW died with TBC. The radical expansion and change in game-mechanics were its death-knell. Who raids BWL or AQ anymore.. and...why would you?
With each successive patch and expansion, the game diversifies, develops ways of appealing to more and different user groups moves further from the original game.
The original game was very simple in terms of its end-game objectives. 5-man, then 20 or 40-man raiding (or PvP). To get purples, meant that you were a core raider who had put in the hours and knew their class..... which is (sadly) a long long way from where we are today.
I guess that you can't turn back the clock. In trying to please so many, what appealed to many core old-school players has been degraded. If you go into Naxx today and compare it to what it was when it was originally introduced (what you had to BE to even get near that place... how little leeway you had to make mistakes)... well.. its not a shadow of its former self (set-excepted.. full marks to Blizz for the design-work.... awesome).
In the corporate setting there have been many articles about the effects of scale on growth and we are seeing the same forces at work here. From a development perspective, you move from very a very reltively simple goal-directed game-plan towards more concensus-thinking and a complex technology and development roadmap. The results may bring interim gains, but can often introduce dispersion of resources and systemic entropy.
The game is so big now, you have the luxury of finding what you enjoy about the game .. and concentrating on that. don't worry about the dead content.. go for the freshies!
Feb 27th 2009 7:11PM Yes Weta Workshops is in Wellington, New Zealand. Its the company that does most of the models, CGI and SFX / costumes for movies such as the LoTR movies, King Kong, the Narnia Chronicles etc. Its got a tight tie-in with Peter Jackson.
A great company.. and a great country.
You should come and visit us Mr Schramm.
Aug 21st 2008 6:43PM WoW has peaked, and from this point on the buisness that is WoW will be furiously massaging their subscription figures to try to maintain the profile of a growing business. The Zhevra ploy is a prime example of this stance being taken and tactics to support it being employed.
Yes .. WoW is the most popular online game there ever was. Yes.. Blizz Activision has enormously deep pockets... but the fact is, WoW has done its on-line equivalent of four-score-and-ten.. and then some.. Its very mature and Blizz's efforts to extend its longevity, have caused the game to slowly but surely loose its linear cohesion. The game experience is degrading.
Have you tried running an instance and finding a tank recently...(let alone a decent healer).
LFG is Flooded with Druids and Fury-spec'ed warriors in PVP gear.
As a T6 raiding guild in end-stage BT and SW, we struggle to find players with the gear and raid experience to replace the slow exodus of core-raiders.
Jul 8th 2008 12:14AM The levelling process has changed so much - that much of the old content appears to be broken beyond repair. Whereas in Pre-BC days I levelled with a group and planned my gear running instances and questing to optimise the use of my time, this approach has gone out the door. You can't easily find a group nowadays to run Mara or Ulda.
My lvl 35 Mage (with 7 recent blues) was in Theramore yesterday and there.. sitting on the Inn floor in front of me, was a level 57 mage decked out in worse gear than me....
How this toon had got there was testament to a lot of things... but good game design wasn't amongst them.
It was more like testament to Blizz propelling people through the old game without experiencing or really learning game play and its intricacies as fast as possible.
60 is the old 40.... soon to be 20....
Get used to it.
Jun 22nd 2008 6:17PM I don't agree with the absolute need for speed. Im in the software industry and getting out new content is the fight that every company is up againt. Its a constant battle. For any company that has majority market share, the thing that you have to do is constantly strive to deliver on your promise and strive to add even more value to your existing product to stay ahead of the competition. It becomes more and more imperative to think smart and get whatever you release RIGHT ... make sure it works... decrease the need for resource-hungry patches to meet impossable deadlines.
So.... I think Blizz needs to think smarter...bring out content and associated services that will add more value to the product... and bring in more revenue.
Q: Do Blizzard REALLY understand their users and their broader needs regarding the game in a "End-user-life-context"?
Feb 26th 2008 6:14PM Big-ups to Raid Rx - this is a fantastic site and I have to say devour every morsel of your article every time you write. Please keep it up.
Its a shame some of the previous posters haven't learned the subtle art of IRONY (or possibly reading?).. and failed to pick-up that the first half of the article was tongue-in-cheek.
The second half on the art of analysis is GOLDEN.
Using WWS has the potential to revolutionise your guild. In my guild we have banned meter spamming, as this generally only gives the top-line data... which tells you very little. To get the true value you need to delve down and analyse what is going on on a player-by-player baisis. We allow one spam of DPS and Healing at the end of the raid and then tell everyone to analyse the WWS post for the raid. We encourage discussion on game mechanics, spell rotations, builds, group-makeup, mods and healing styles to optimise each player's outputs. A classic case-in-point was a new guildy who had better gear than my own when she joined, but only managed 50% of my total output her first two raids with our guild. When analysed her WWS report , we spotted a few things. As a group, the guild worked with her on her build, mods and casting rotations, we pulled her up to within a few percent of me in 2 weeks flat (and now Im runnign scared :-). This is sort of improvement that equates to a full new set of gear if she'd continued player her old style... gear that you'd never get in two months.. let alone weeks...
WWS and other meters give you the information you need to maximise individual output for the greater good of all.
Keep up the fab writing Marcie ... "we are not worthy!"