One of the recurring themes across various forums concerning WoW’s shocking 2.9 million sub loss is “Garrisons did it.”
Garrisons offer too much convenience. So much that Draenor went from populated to empty in a few short months. Nerf garrisons. (+239)
On the surface level, it’s easy to agree. Everything in this expansion pivots around the Garrison, from the 2nd Hearthstone to its more centralized location, to the mission system, and beyond. And as many people have pointed out, Blizzard went from being worried about player housing siphoning people from the capital cities and sequestering them into instances to… encouraging players to stay in their instanced Garrisons. Why leave? There are no daily quest hubs or relevant reputation factions to farm, and grounded travel limits your vision to the immediate horizon.
But then Grumpy Elf made me realize what was actually missing:
5) Valor / Justice:
This is the biggest, single most missed thing in the game right now. So much is connected to it that I imagine that you do not even realize it. Valor was a carrot, one we kept chasing each and every week. It was a motivator, something this game is lacking at the moment.
For any game of this type the key to success is to keep up running the wheel and points did that. Be it valor to get the weekly cap or justice when you wanted to convert it to honor or buy heirlooms. Collecting points was a good motivator. It gave content repeatability. At the moment you can hit 100 and really have absolutely no reason to do dungeons except to start the ring quest line but with valor, and associated valor gear, for a fresh dinged character it would once again be worth doing them, ring or not.
What’s the first thing you think about, in terms of casual content in MMOs? Raids? World PvP?
Or, you know, dungeons?
Grumpy Elf is absolutely correct here in pointing out that dungeons in this expansion are a joke. Why would you ever run them? You can bypass the gear check for LFR with crafted gear and questing, the former of which you can craft with… wait for it… Garrisons. And that’s what is going on: Garrisons replaced Dungeons. Where do you get raid-level gear this expansion, without having to raid? From your Garrison. Where did you get raid-level gear without raiding in every other expansion thus far? Dungeons. QED.
I can even see where Blizzard might have thought they were doing casuals a favor. Casual players are most likely DPS who were stuck with 40+ minute queues to do the one activity that allowed them character progression at the level cap. LFR certainly gave them a bigger target to aim for, but that’s only once a week. Dungeons were every day. The current system is also really good for alts, as who has time for multiple 40+ minute queues, right?
Well… it was a bridge too far.
The other possibility, which is really more alarming, is simply the lack of content, period:
- No new races
- No new classes
- No new battlegrounds
- No new capital cities
- No new profession
- Remaining professions gutted
- Farahlon cut
- Tannan pushed back to 6.2
- BRF pushed back from launch
- Ashran is a complete failure
- No daily hubs
- No reputation factions to work for rewards
- Only five new leveling zones (Shadowmoon and Frostfire are basically faction specific)
The original post is too large to quote in its entirety here, but “TiredOfYourShit21” makes an unassailable argument that WoD quite literally has less content than any other expansion ever released. And this time Blizzard doesn’t even have the moral excuse of Cataclysm, where people kinda forgot about the all the new 1-60 content when doing their calculations. For Warlords, expansion price went up, content went down. Maybe, maybe you can argue that the new character models represented a lot of “effort capital” that would have otherwise gone into the game elsewhere. But the truth is more likely that all that effort went into the Garrison instead of dungeons or anything else.
I dunno. I’m still playing for now, but it’s definitely more in the sense of completing a Bucket List than anything else.