It’s been all over the internet for the past few days and I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that WoW is still hemorrhaging subscribers. We all know that they’re now down to right around the 8 million mark and we know they will continue to lose subscribers over time. The game is, in effect, spiraling downward.
Just about every major gaming publication on the face of the planet has reported these facts. What they haven’t reported – for the most part – is why.
Well, I’m going to call it like it is. This is something that I have been saying for a long time and it seems, based on some comments I’ve read from long-time WoW raiders, that I was right all along. Basically, the game’s become too dumbed down. It’s now nothing more than a grind fest / DPS race / farm fail game.
I know the vast majority of people who will read this article have no idea what World of Warcraft was like before Blizzard broke it so I’ll break it down for you. Back in the day (once they got all the launch bugs, server crashes and all that out of the way) it was actually a lot of fun. There was a ton of stuff to do and not all of it was about farm, grind, farm, farm, grind ad nauseum. Sure, there was some farming going on but there was a LOT more to do.
Over the years though, the constant call from the casual gamers to dumb the game down has shaped the game into something terrible. Something the game was never intended to be: a big, long, monotonous grind.
I know, I know. The fires of hate are building and I’m wearing a gas-soaked jock strap. The casual gamers are aiming their ire at me right now.
It is a fact, though. The game has been dramatically dumbed down and modified to appeal to the mass market which is made up of casual gamers. The big mistake Blizzard made is that they have begun to turn some of their casual gamers into hardcores – the guys who want more strategy, more tactics, more critical thinking, more planning and less pew pew DPS race, gear score dependent rubbish.
Unfortunately I think it’s too late for Blizzard on this one. CEO Bobby Kotick rests on his laurels and has basically said WoW is still “the No. 1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world” but someday he’s going to have to realize that’s not enough.
Think, Bobby. The bigger they are, the harder they fall; and it’s a LOOOOOONG way down for you.
If you want some advice, try stopping with the cutesy fucking lala bullshit and lets inject a little bit of darkness back in to the game. Make it difficult again. Make the challenges worth it and stop this communist philosophy of everyone being equal. They’re not fucking equal. Those who work should get the spoils. Those who click the dungeon finder button should get nothing special.