Friday, May 27, 2011

Bloggers; nerfs; the evolution of WoW

I'm a bit fed up with all people.

To the point, I'm fed up with WoW bloggers. Even the smart ones blow everything out of proportion. Why is this round of nerfs any different from the steady stream of them we've gotten since Burning Crusade gear made Vanilla content blatantly puggable? Have you been asleep right the way through Wrath when Blizzard made it perfectly clear that the current tier was the only one that mattered at any given time?

Do you even remember the progression nightmare that was late Burning Crusade, in which each tier required months of farming the previous one to even begin? You better hope you never fell behind the gear progression curve because there was no easy and quick way to catch up.

I wish more people could enjoy the game for what it is; a game. You play it. You enjoy it. Or you don't. Making a big deal about deciding not to play is just fucking retarded. Like it's some huge major life decision. I think it takes a pretty shallow person to make whether or not you engage in a particular leisure activity a major part of your identity. But I suppose that's just people in general, isn't it. Little difference from anyone else who adheres themselves to a rigidly defined subculture to avoid having to actually define themselves in any unique way.

So yeah. I'm just sick of people.

I have pretty significant faith in the Blizzard devs' ability to design good systems. I understand the reasoning for making older content easier once the competent players have something new and better to work on. I understand how gameplay restrictions make the things that you can do more meaningful. I understand why class nerfs are necessary, even if it's a class that I play.

When I first read that Holy Pallys were being nerfed in 4.2 my first reaction was a to cry out in anguish, and my second reaction was to remember how ridiculously mana-efficient Paladins were compared to other healers and realise the nerf is warranted.

But that's not to say I think every change has been a positive one. I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.

I don't think it's a big stretch to conclude that Blizzard has been been trying to please everyone for the last three years or so. I just don't think it's at all reasonable to expect a company, no matter how well-resourced they are, to create a single product that consistently satisfies twelve million people. But dammit if they're not going to try.

I think that's the issue, really, with the evolution [or perhaps devolution, depending on your outlook] of WoW recently. It's become too big and too valuable for Blizzard to concentrate on developing it as a quality game experience without being distracted by trying to keep from losing customers who by definition have little interest in playing the game as Blizzard intends.

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