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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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast topic: Your biggest regret?


There are some things in World of Warcraft I wish I could have done differently. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like had I rolled a different class other than a priest. There are bosses that I wish I had killed before they became irrelevant. Alas, it all boils down to time that I wish I had. As both a GM and a player, it is difficult to foresee the results of your actions and you never know what the correct choice is. Even when killing bosses and healing my raider group, I've made crucially wrong decisions. And it sucks when I realize a global cooldown spent on a Pain Suppression instead of Power Word: Shield would've saved a wipe.

Have you ever experienced a moment or made a decision that you've regretted since?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Speaking up for what's right

This is a pretty insightful thread, from all sides, on what the forums and customer feedback are really for. Rekker on Detheroc makes a good point, and that is that while people will complain about anything, almost no one speaks up when things are working right. We talked a little bit about this on the podcast this past week: are Blizzard's decisions based on a player base that never seems to be happy, no matter what you throw at them, or on some arbitrary design guidelines that Blizzard has stuck with from the beginning?

Ghostcrawler, as you might expect, says it's a little bit of both. Blizzard doesn't just do what players say -- they consider player feedback and then make decisions from there. But at the same time, they can't ignore what players say, either. GC agrees that the forums are not the best sample of feedback, for the same reasons that Rekker gives: players go there because something is bothering them and they want it changed, not usually because they really love something in the game and want it to stay the same.

Of course, forums are not the only form of feedback from the community, and there are many places Blizzard can get feedback about things in the game that players like (ahem). But just like Blizzard does, whenever you look at the forums, you have to realize that you're looking at just a slice of the feedback. People don't make QQ posts about the stuff they appreciate and like having in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Buffs, Forums

He Said/She Said: It's a man's WoW

Welcome to another edition of He Said/She Said where Amanda Dean and David Bowers take on some of the deepest gender issues in the World of Warcraft universe. This time we discuss the expectations of men and women in guilds and how WoW reflects the larger society.

Amanda:
I don't know how many times I've heard of women flirting their way into raids or excellent gear. Perhaps this happens in some cases, but these are the bad apples. I find myself growing kind of tired of the stereotype that girls can't play WoW. The truth is that many women play WoW, and many of us are very good at it.

Because of the stereotypes, A lady has to work considerably harder in a guild to earn respect. It's like being guilty of being a twit until proven otherwise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, He Said She Said

Missing teen found after she ran away with her 27 year old WoW boyfriend

Morgon Douglas Jones, a 27 year old gamer, is going to find himself in a lot of trouble. He ran off with a 14 year old girl he met through WoW. They were found safe in a campground in Franklin County, Washington. We (and several of you commenters) have covered age related issues before: from age restricted servers to youths applying to raiding guilds.

I am amazed at some of the creeps who play this game, and Morgon Jones definitely falls into that category. 27 years old and running off with a 14 year old girl he met through the game. It's time for him to get outside and enjoy life while he still can, since hopefully there'll be some good ol' prison time coming his way.

Reader Basic sent us the tip for this story posted on the KTVB.com website, and you can read the full article over there. There is an error in the article however, where the author says WoW is a science fiction based game, when it is actually a fantasy game (unless the author was making a critique on Outlands being too SciFi for the game, but that's highly doubtful and not given at all in the context of the article).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Racism in arena names

I think there are few things more disturbing in the modern world than ill-conceived notions of racial, religious, and sexual divisions. For some reason parts of humanity continue to believe that just because one group or another looks and/or acts differently, they are bad. One of the reasons I enjoy WoW and just games in general is because it allows us to escape the problems this world gives to us, even if only for a few hours a week.

Unfortunately, some people find it necessary to bring their attitudes in game. We've covered some of this before, from border-line inappropriate arena names to sexism in WoW. However while playing an arena game recently fellow writer Amanda Dean came up against a team named "Rosa Parks Stole My Seat," and this name is possibly the most offensive one I've seen. Rosa Parks (for those of you who need a history lesson) refused to go to the back of a bus because of her skin color and continued to sit in the white only section of the bus, despite being told to do otherwise. She represented a key moment in the history of civil rights.

There are 65 arena teams with this racist name.

When Amanda ran into one of the teams she reported it via a GM ticket.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Arena

Mass Murder 101: How to be a hero

It's a fact that the majority of what we do in World of Warcraft is kill things. Nearly all the supplementary activities we engage in, from shopping to crafting, are all basically to help us improve the effectiveness of our violent capabilities. Many players have noted that if WoW were at all real, then nearly every one of our characters would be considered a genocidal maniac for all the people and creatures we have killed, and yet we view ourselves as heroes.

The idea is, of course, that most of the lives we take are really evil anyway, so we're actually doing the real good guys a favor. We kill tons of demons, ghosts, zombies, dragonkin, giants, and rabid beasts -- even most of the humanoids we kill are bandits or wicked cultists of one sort or another. This way we do lots of killing, but still feel as though we are heroes.

There are some situations in the game, however, that turn things around for us, in which our character is not the hero. While there are some higher-level instances such as the Black Morass, or the new Caverns of Time: Stratholme, in which one could argue either way whether what we're doing is good or evil, most of situations in which you are clearly the bad guy, as far as I am aware, have to do with the undead, and to a lesser extent the blood elves as well. Of course, you can argue that in general, undead are just misunderstood, and the blood elves are just tragically misled, but as in the case of quests in Hillsbrad that ask you to go slaughter human farmers, or help develop a new plague, there's really no denying that your character is doing something "morally wrong."

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Filed under: Undead, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, RP

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