Friday, July 3, 2009

Casually casual WoW

Blizzard surely caters to the group paying their bills. That's the thought I have from yesterday's questing around Valgarde. The thought hit me after I had fulfilled third questline in Howling Fjord (after fulfilling several in Borean Tundra): the questlines are all short enough to be completed in one session, with a nice shiny quest reward at the end of the rainbow.

I just don't remember who or when said that casual gaming is the growing disease in MMO's. In a way this is true, because being a casual means you cannot commit to the game fully: sure, you can commit to a raid schedule and leave everything else off. I'm speaking of my own experience, naturally, for I feel that my commitment to the game and my former guild was hindered due to the fact I didn't commit enough time to it.

But now Blizzard is catering more and more for the casual gamer, the guy next door who logins, kicks a few quests and logs off. Which is great for me, as I feel I can accomplish something within the short time I play. But the story-driven mind is crying: now I'm forced to read a set of mixed short stories instead of a good novel: I've yet to encounter the stories like The Missing Diplomat, Absentminded Prospector or the Darrowshire questline, which guide you through twists and turns and areas to a climatic conclusion (well, the Absentminded Prospector not so much...), and really make you feel the urge to uncover the next part of the plot.

Sure, us casuals are more abundant than the real hardcore raiders, who are catered with the latest content. So guess who is putting up the finances for the new development? And who should benefit more on this basis?

And of course, as a social gamer, this leaves me with only one question: what this means to the social aspect of the game or the guilds? There are already some posts in the blogosphere about this, and it doesn't look too good, IMO, if there is no connection with the people you're playing with.