So, Warlords of Draenor.
I have had a long tenure with World of Warcraft. From hardcore raiding through Vanilla, multiple accounts, multiple licences, to guild leadership in a progression guild through WOTLK. Half way through WOTLK I gave up on WoW and the sub model. It remains the one game I have spent the most money on (historically/total) and I still go back each expansion to say “hi” to my more consistent/stubborn friends (who still play), get to the next level cap, and bid adieu.
I have a lot of emotional experiences in WOW – all positive. So many good gaming friends (that I miss – some still in touch with, but most have gone to non-gaming pastures of “real life”) and I would probably play WOW still if there wasn’t a subscription. There is a comfort and familiarity there that is still fun, and I find the 5 mans smooth. The 30 minutes in and out is good for my current lifestyle as well. I have invested so much time and cash into it they should probably thank me and give me a lifetime subscription. Customer Service is not the inter-webs strong point.
Couple Random thoughts on what I have learned about the expansion:
Mists of Pandaria lost me because you HAD to do daily quests to advance. In WOTLK you could grind reputation through dungeons, but not in MoP. I can’t stand doing dailies – its the WORST part of WoW for my playstyle. They are getting rid of them as a gating mechanism in WoD. Hopefully this is a push towards allowing players to enjoy the game the way they like the most. WoW gates at every step – at least let players choose which gate they have to walk through.
You get a free level 90 (any class) with the expansion. Waiting on specifics here, but EVERY new character should be a free level 90. 1-89 teaches nothing of the game anymore.
The best (and smartest) news I have heard is that they are pushing for ONE gear set regardless of spec – and that when you switch specs, the gear will switch intelligently to reflect the item budget you need.
I called this a good move in 2008.
If Blizzard really liked you (us) they would change itemization – not provide a double-grind to the already solid grind. Easy in some cases, harder in others. I like to use arbitrary numbers, so here goes. ONE raid gear set regardless of spec. Change how your character USES that set.
And my final initial takeaway, to make Wolfshead happy, is that WoW is down to about 7M members. The giant is dying. At the rate of decline, it will still be #1 for the next 5+ years.
I have been gaming all sorts of odd games – and I will be back to share some neat things I have sorted out, including what it is going take to make a MMO that captures the awesomeness that WoW (and MMO’s) were.