Result being this community can't even have a discourse about "What an MMO should be" because 70% of the users are 20 yearolds who've never had any concept of what an mmo was or could be, and perceives everything through the lens of the big 3-5 "MMOs" of the last decade+. To these people, every class must be equal in their "roles" and it is revolutionary to break from this in any cheesy uninspired way. There must always be stream of "content" for them and they think things like "This azerite system sure is a pointless grind but without it idk what id do! Ya gotta have something to work towards or youd just get bored!" ignoring that the true issue is that there's nothing inherently satisfying about reaching any particular milestone in an otherwise pointless grind.
WoW was the beginning of the end of MMOs. They introduced the idea of "there should be a million variations of every possible stat combination for every type of gear for every level" They introduced the idea of "You don't have to compete for the same resources in the world because most of what you want/need is in instances". They introduced the idea of "rotations" and added support for way too much information gathering from addons.
There is absolutely no reason why some bis item for your spec can't drop off some mid level rare. The idea that the items stats should be inherently tied to the item/creatures level ruins the uniqueness of any one item or any one mob, because you junk it as soon as you get one of it's million variations with +5 more lvls, and you ignore the creature/area forever basically as soon as you out lvl it, unless you need to go do some mindless pre-engineered grind.
It is not a necessity of an MMO that you constantly receive upgrades. Getting a particular item that completely enables a whole different playstyle should be a feeling of accomplishment, but that never happens with a million variations on every possible item. All you get is the empty "rush" of marginal increases in effectiveness mitigated my marginal increases in difficulty. It's a treadmill and it isn't even a necessary one.
You don't have to force people to PVP for everything but you also don't have to protect them from all competition. When you give everybody their own copy of the same instance, it matters less what anybody got from that instance. "Oh you just killed the main antagonist and got a super rare item today?" Me too. And it's not like casuals just have to be fucked over by this, there should just be enough shit on a server of a given population at any one time that no one hardcore group can reasonably monopolize all of it.
Every dungeon doesn't have to be a monodirectional tunnel from start to finish with the same guarenteed bosses spawned and waiting for you. Here's maps of
Lower Guk "Live side" and
"Dead side" and
Splitpaw Lair and Siren's Grotto 1, 2, 3. You go ahead and have fun with that topology, you might very well die in it. These are dungeons where just getting a crew that can even get to the thing you want is an accomplishment worthy of a cig break and a beer sometimes, and the mob you're looking for might not even be up when you get to it, you will have to hold the territory and spawn it yourself some nonzero amount of the time. Is this MMO perfect? Hell no it's filled with flaws that needed to be improved upon but never were. But who the fuck wants to crawl through a monodirectional tunnel? But ofcourse these dungeons are hard in non-gimmicky non-treadmilly ways, and so you can't just do them in an hour or two after work, you actually have to plan and execute. Boy that sounds awful /s
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