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Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy
Mark Kern, who left Blizzard way back in 2005 to found Red 5 Studios, is working on a new free to play, sci-fi MMO called Firefall -- and has some less than flattering things to say about the game WoW has become. His top complaint: that MMOs are now too easy. "When was the last time you died in a starter zone?" Kern muses. "Sometimes I look at WoW and think 'what have we done?' I think I know. I think we killed a genre."

The easier content, he argues, means both developers and players focus less on the content in the middle of the game and more on racing to get to the end game -- and by rushing through the game from level 1 to level 90, you miss out on a lot of the game itself. Of course Kern notes that his upcoming MMO has the mix just right -- and that by focusing on the journey instead of the destination, Firefall is a lot more fun.

While we are fans of new games -- and love the art style Firefall has going -- we're less convinced about dying in newbie zones as a gameplay necessity. Time will tell if Kern has the right of things -- Firefall's open beta is starting soon.

Filed under: News items

Draztal ends the "WoW is too easy now" argument in a long and beautiful post

It began with this "even though there is normal and heroic mode i dont see the challange there if it gets beaten in 48 hours" on a forum post. It ended with this: "In the end, what's important is what you experience. If someone else beats Throne of Thunder Normal in 48 hours... good for them, your experience is still intact. TLDR: Don't be lazy. Read the post."

If you are going to read one blue post this year, make it this one. Forget about the eventual blue posts concerning the next expansion, forget about the wit and sass that Ghostcrawler and Zarhym can throw out. Yes, even forget about the amazing sweaters Bashiok and Nethaera wear for Christmas and makes a blog post about. This is the blue post you want to read.

It's an argument we all hear way too often. "WoW is so much easier now, the content is cleared in 48 hours." While the facts behind statements like these are usually entirely wrong (it is here too -- Throne of Thunder hasn't been cleared on Heroic yet, despite guilds working around the clock to do so), the sentiment and perception remains somewhat true in the eyes of the beholder. WoW used to be more difficult, more challenging; but now it's just a joke because of the QQCasuals.

Draztal makes a great long reply to this, outlining just what's changed in the past eight years to lead to this perception, and why things actually are not harder than they are. It's possible to sum it up by just saying that there are a vastly large number of resources for players now, and that the difficulty of raids and progression has been switched into three tiers instead of one. It's now possible to enjoy the game however you want, not just being stuck into one (what ended up to be) insanely difficult progression path.

But really, we agree with Draztal. Don't go for the TL;DR version. Don't be lazy. Read the post.

After the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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