World of Warcraft

You know what you need to know about the current trajectory of WoW. Choose accordingly.

Just a memo for anyone who's still hanging around regularly indulging their anger on this subreddit.

It's clear Blizzard didn't expect BfA to land this way. If they had, they would not have released it when they did.

Most notably, they didn't intend Azerite to suck, for people to hate train Islands or Warfronts or any other back of the box features. We've seen that they've openly admitted to the flaws of those systems now that they're all so out in the open. The bones of these systems, though, are what we are stuck with for the foreseeable future. If you're enjoying them, or any aspect of BfA, you can basically stop reading now.

What follows are just some realities accounting for the workings of a multi billion dollar publicly traded company full of passionate devs who have almost always managed to bring their audiences games that they want.

Why We're Here

BfA: there was such a short (rushed) beta period that even if they had come out and said "yeah you're right this shit sucks," they would not have been able to fix it in time without pushing the expansion launch massively. I am sure some people on the dev team expressed concerns. I have no doubt Activision would not be keen on pushing that date due to how tight game release timings are, and them not wanting to eat their own lunch or cannibalize sales of COD / D2 Forsaken. So, we got it in August.

Given Blizzard's generally solid track record of reception, I don't think think anyone foresaw that #GamersRiseUp would turn a bum 8.0 –> 8.1 reception into an everburning trash fire of awful PR for four months in a row. This level of sustained rage is relatively new for them.

The Diablo Immortal debacle has made it worse, so has Morhaime's choosing to step down this year. Combine that with how quick angry gamers are to mobilize on the web now, how they are basically themselves a userbase, and it's an easier time than ever to take potshots. People can conspiratorially string everything together into a massive narrative of "Blizzard is fucked 2018", which drives tons and tons of Youtube views and articles, and this message now has an inescapable gravity.

The Pacing of Change

The WoW team cannot really pivot much faster than a 3-6mo cycle on features, and something as core to BfA as Azerite is not just going to get yanked out wholesale in 8.2 or some shit. This is really their first transition into trying out the whole "removing the rental item power source" thing and they fucked it up badly from the get go; they will know that they fucked it up badly and the future and I guarantee it's influencing their thought process hard for 9.0.

Read:  I'm not sure if it's been discussed, but we are headed back in the direction of new raid tiers completely invalidating previous tiers.

Setting Your Expectations

They have been pretty clear with where they are and what they are thinking. They are doing that because they're desperate and want to keep people hopeful. They've had multiple Q&As, the Reddit Q&A, the pre-Blizzcon 8.1 Twitch announcement and the Blizzcon presentations as well. At this point anyone who has been paying attention should know what to expect from them for the near future and on the timelines they're capable of. The only real black box is 8.3+ but if that's the point at which they turn everything around, it's likely they'd jettison a bunch of that stuff going into 9.0, so one could also be forgiven for skipping that and not wanting to get attached.

Your "Agency"

The decision to play or not to play is totally in the hands of everyone in this sub.

I'm not telling you to quit the game if you hate it, or leave the sub or anything. I'm just reminding you that whatever you do is your choice.

What you have here are many of us in sunk cost mode who don't know what else to do, when the easy answer is to peace, enjoy playing something out and come back when not ONLY has Blizzard learned their lessons from this (arguably they already have), but they have had the time to implement them in foundational ways.

I don't understand everyone here posting armchair design diatribes day after day like they think Blizzard hasn't seen that, for example, people are pissed about: class design, islands, warfronts, currencies, azerite, the story, war mode imbalance, allied race grinds. They know and have spoken to a bunch of that stuff already.

The great majority of 'constructive criticism' negative posts here contain no new complaints being made by the playerbase that Blizzard haven't already heard, spoken on and are either preparing to patch or not.

Ours is a Cycle of Hatred

Realistically, there is a lot of BfA that isn't that much different from Legion and I would really put people to task to point for point tell me how the things they were doing in Legion are worse, in detail, during every day of BfA than they are in Legion. Besides the friends lists going dark and being flat out unable to do it. The negativity has become this thing you can reference now without pointing to the root of it and everyone just accepts that stuff's bad. When negative shit hits Reddit, it is quickly upvoted as that's the snap judgment and by the time any refutations or counterpoints can even emerge in the comments people have moved on, or those are filtered down.

Read:  A small request that affects less than 0.1% of the playerbase

The cascading failures of the things I have listed above have caused this chain reaction where now everyone is woke and, in looking for more shit to be mad about, has begun to peel back the onion on all these other core systems of the game. Many of which were not bothering them when they were happily drugged under during better times.

So you have all these EXTRA posts about RNG, titanforging, WQs, and the like that they weren't hating on in Legion because people are just in an analytic hatefrenzy. The innocence has been lost. This is to say nothing of the insane rose-tinted glasses for old systems which have been removed, as if looking up the Icy Veins guide for which meta and colored gems to use on all your gear was fucking interesting gameplay or choice. It would be even MORE cut and dry now with sims.

The WoW team is a big battleship and it takes a while for them to turn around. I am sure that they eventually will. I don't think their most diehard fans are making it any easier in the meantime, nor are they doing themselves any favors with this stockholm syndrome "I do it because I love the game" posting on a daily basis.

tl;dr

Video games are ultimately a diversion and so 'progression' in them is illusory. They, like everything else in life, are more about the journey. You can walk away for a while and your life still has value. You don't need to be afraid of filling some void with another game or whatever if you quit. If you do fear that, it could be a call to action to get your life a little more in balance.

WoW isn't going anywhere and it will hopefully be more like what you want it to be in the future. Spend your time however you want until then.

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