Friday, January 30, 2009

Bending over

Well, not me, but Blizzard might be on the way of doing that in the name of keeping the casual players online longer and more keenly. I mean, look at the blogosphere reporting how the game (WoW) has been dumbed down, how the raid instance in WotLK is too easy and how the hardcore players are quitting game in frustration because of the game getting too easy. 

At the same time the amount of subscribers is increasing or at least staying pretty stable: haven't seen the latest numbers, but I suspect the 11.6 million accounts being around still.

It's been also debated whether the Achievement system is in fact necessary and what use it is to anyone. It seems though that it has brought something 'valuable' for the levelling newcomers to the game, as people are hunting for the most peculiar ones there are. It was interesting to notice that the blogosphere first announced that the Tome of Knowledge in WAR was something that should be in WoW, and now that there is one, people are criticising it for being useless and for nothing.

Go figure.

Now in the last patch Blizzard took one step further to the direction of catering for the casuals: they opened the character creation of Deathknights to all servers as long as you have one character above lv55 on any server. DK's start from that level, so the 'assumption' is that you have already experienced the Old World content. But at the same time, the levelling speed is increased by tweaking the level requirements and gained exp, so NO ONE can experience the levelling content of the Old World in the proper level range...

I'm curious of one thing though: why on earth don't they open the lv55 character creation for all classes? That would take off the age old debate of power levelling through the old content for the thirteenth time and the veterans would be happy for a while. Of course this would require new, advanced starting zones for the normal classes to start from, but that couldn't be too hard to figure and code.

And where is the player housing and guild housing Blizzard promised to be ready right after the launch (at least that I have read about somewhere...)? That would be the ultimate casual trap, moving the game more into the social playground directio, I think.

Bend over, Blizzard! Hear our call!

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