No Country for Old Blizzard

One of the more… persuasive talking points when it comes to World of Warcraft is that there is an Old Blizzard and a New Blizzard. The Old Blizzard are the people responsible for the most successful MMO ever created, and the New Blizzard is everyone that is sailing the ship into icebergs. The evidence for such a dichotomy seems almost, well, self-evident:

Whiplash.

Whiplash.

Syncaine, who is much a fan of the two phrases, likes to point out that the breaking point between the Old and the New came in Wrath of the Lich King. From the graph, that is when WoW stopped growing. There are also a few philosophy changes that occurred during that expansion, such as the introduction of the fully automated LFD system, a full embrace of the Badge system, “bring the player, not the class,” and similar things.

Personally, I think Cataclysm marks a much more sensible breaking point, but nevermind.

As I said before, the Old Blizzard vs New Blizzard narrative is pretty persuasive. Which is rather unfortunate considering how it is factually incorrect: Old Blizzard never left. Below are the Credits screens from vanilla WoW and all the expansions, focusing on Lead Designers or Game Designers. I’m formatting it this way because it’s better than a table that won’t fit on the page:

Apologies for the formatting.

Apologies for the formatting.

The source is the Credits screen accessed from within the WoW client (Character Select screen // Menu // Credits), which appears to be the only way to access the names. Luckily, you do not need a subscription to the game to access it. I typed it all by hand after taking screenshots, so feel free to check my work¹. Alternatively, just look at this Google Docs spreadsheet.

Notice anything? Like maybe all the duplicate names? In the spreadsheet, I highlighted anyone credited as a Designer in vanilla or TBC and who went on to be a Designer in any other expansion². Of particular note is the fact that of the 20 Designers of TBC, 15 of them went on to be Designers in Wrath. In other words, 68% of the design team of Wrath came from TBC. This includes Tom Chilton and Jeffrey Kaplan, both of whom were credited as Lead Designers in both expansions (and Designers of vanilla WoW besides).

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Rob Pardo is the missing link!” He was, after all, the Lead Designer of vanilla WoW and TBC before seemingly falling off the design map. Well, allow me the distinct pleasure of destroying your revisionist narrative dreams once and for all. See, Rob Pardo gave a rather sweeping interview back in 2009, almost at the midpoint of Wrath. The link points to the 1st page of that interview because it’s still that good, but money shots are on the 3rd page:

We had all these suppositions, and as the years went on and we had more and more experience living with WoW as a live game, we realized that they weren’t just truths. They might affect a hardcore minority, but the people we saw weren’t really as hardcore as we thought they were. If we reduced raids from 40 to 25, we saw, it makes it more fun. You might have some hardcore players who get upset, but keeping people out of content isn’t right for the game overall. We mellowed sometimes, and realized we were wrong.

The other piece is that the WoW playerbase is becoming more casual over time. People who were hardcore into MMOs, they joined us first, but the people we’re acquiring over the years are casual. They heard about the game from a friend of a friend, and maybe it’s their first MMO – maybe it’s their first game. The game has to evolve to match the current player.

And what did Rob Pardo think about the much maligned LFD system?

That segues in nicely to this question: Cross-server gameplay. It’s convenient, but do you think that it runs the risk of destroying server communities?

To be completely honest, [the Looking For Group tool] is a feature I wanted in the game when we launched the game. I was really unhappy when we didn’t have it when we first shipped, so it’s been 5 years coming. Maybe it wasn’t the number one thing I wanted in, but it’s definitely one of the top 5 things that I wanted in the game. It’s actually our third try at a proper LFG tool, and this one gets it right. With the Meeting Stones, we didn’t put enough attention into it, we just tried to jam it in, and people didn’t use it. The second tool, it ended up being compromised feature – we tried to cater to too many different audiences.

As for the community question, I used to … I think that 5 years ago, I would have answered this question differently than I would today. I was all about preserving the small realm communities, but already… Well, look at Battlegrounds, it’s a good case in point, because it doesn’t diminish social relationships that matter on a realm. Sure, everyone can bring up “that one guy” that they know, the ninja looter who stole his stuff. But I think your real community isn’t the whole realm, but it’s your guild and the friends you group with, and the cross-server LFG won’t undermine that at all. The Dungeon Finder – by the way, I think we just renamed it the Dungeon Finder last night – We designed it in such a way that it serves the need for guilds and groups and friends. You don’t have to always [join a Pick-Up Group]. If there are four guildies in a group who just need a fifth, they can do that. You can also use it if even you have a full five-person party.

Or, you can do it if you’re on your own and just want to run something, so I don’t think it diminishes it at all.

*mic drop*

*picks mic back up*

The argument I’m making is not necessarily that there hasn’t been a decline in quality WoW game design over the years. The argument I’m making is that there isn’t an Old Blizzard vs New Blizzard dichotomy. Tom Chilton has been at the head table every expansion. Jeff Kaplan was still Lead Designer for Wrath, and while he was absent after that, it was because he became the Game Director for Overwatch. Rob Pardo didn’t stick around for Wrath… as a designer. Instead, Rob Pardo became Executive Vice President of Game Design for Wrath and Cataclysm. And, don’t tell Syncaine, but Pardo is also Chief Creative Officer and Executive Producer of Hearthstone.

So who exactly is Old Blizzard again?

The alternative title I was going to use for this post was “the M. Night. Shyamalan Effect.” For those that might not know, he was the Director and Screenwriter to an enormously successful and critically acclaimed film called Sixth Sense – it is a cultural touchstone film still used in comparisons today. His follow-ups included Signs and Unbreakable… followed by 13 years of utter garbage. If you choose to believe in a narrative of WoW’s decline from quality, it is this comparison that fits. We would not say “Old Shyamalan vs New Shyamalan,” and we shouldn’t do the same with Blizzard.

¹ The one conspicuously missing name is Greg Street, aka Ghostcrawler. Greg Street is listed as Lead Systems Designer in Wrath, Cata, and Mists, and that role undoubtedly has something to do with design. However, the position doesn’t exist in vanilla, TBC, or Warlords, and there is another “Additional Designers” category I didn’t include either, simply because I can’t be sure what they do. In any case, they always say design is a collaborative process, so even if Greg Street is the cause of it all, that doesn’t get “Old Blizzard” off the hook.

² I have since color-coded all the designers who had carryover between expansions, and the results are interesting. For example, all but one of the designers from Wrath came over into Cataclysm, making up 91% of the final total. This is both baffling and makes perfect sense, assuming The Shyamalan Effect.

Advertisements

Posted on July 13, 2015, in Philosophy, WoW and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. I think the real split in World of Warcraft’s history is in the playerbase. Not really the hardcore versus the casual, but the older Blizzard fans or older MMO fans who initially flocked to the game at launch and then the waves and waves of new Blizzard or new MMO fans who steadily came after. Each group had different priorities, but only one was consistently (and exponentially) growing so Blizzard wisely began prioritizing them. After all, “The game has to evolve to match the current player.”

    Two specific problems arise from that change over time.

    You still have a hardcore minority embedded in the game, and I think they’ve managed to maintain a steady population or at least the illusion of one. They also happen to be one of the loudest, most vocal, and most obnoxious groups. If a fire has been started, I imagine they either lit or are fanning the flames.

    Second, I don’t know what World of Warcraft is or stands for anymore. The brand seems so dissolved, as they have systematically overhauled nearly everything since release, one big chunk at a time. I feel we’re reaching a Ship of Theseus problem of identity here. We can plot the evolutionary track of the game and its change over time, but we’ve thrown out all the original pieces in the process just so it seems like we are still playing World of Warcraft though we really aren’t.

    From a consumer standpoint, I am annoyed by the idea of equally or more expensive expansions with less content (and lesser content judging by how wishy-washy WoD’s design ended up being), all at a faster pace. But it may do the game good, since presumably it’ll stabilize and each expansion will focus more on content rather than rebuilding everything again.

    Like

    • The brand seems so dissolved, as they have systematically overhauled nearly everything since release, one big chunk at a time. I feel we’re reaching a Ship of Theseus problem of identity here.

      That’s both an incredibly clever way of looking at the issue, and likely true as well.

      The fundamental problem, in my eyes anyway, is the whole “design pendulum” method of game design; which Blizzard both acknowledges and continues to do anyway. The devs seem to throw new things at the wall to see what sticks, then they note everything that doesn’t stick and then do the exactly opposite thing the next expansion. Dungeons too easy? Let’s make them super hard! People complain about too many Reputations? Let’s have no Reputations! Blizzard does these things instead of more metered responses, breaking the design continuity in the process.

      It’s like… good for them for willing to shake up the status quo in the pursuit of better game design. At the same time, all the things that do work never get a chance to impact things long-term because it gets shaken up all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I applaud any developer for fixing what they feel is broken, but Blizzard keeps using the cleaver when a pairing knife is needed.

        It is borderline self-sabotage.

        Like

    • Had a long rambling post, figured I could distill it down to something much smaller.

      I am annoyed by the idea of equally or more expensive expansions with less content (and lesser content judging by how wishy-washy WoD’s design ended up being), all at a faster pace. But it may do the game good, since presumably it’ll stabilize and each expansion will focus more on content rather than rebuilding everything again.

      What I foresee happening if they go to an accelerated release cycle is smaller overall expansions that still readjust and rebalance classes (because that’s what expansions are for), but still have the direct potential to have long content droughts because of the way things work on the design side. If you look at Vanilla and all the content they produced with and during it, and then remember they had 3-4 years of development to do that, then the current system they do have which now produces the content it did, I still don’t see how they can have a tighter turnaround.

      I really wish I could see Blizzard’s group allocation since patch 5.1 to today, and then a follow up on planned allocation over the next year. Tons of insight there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If Blizzard really does have an entirely separate design team working on the next expansion concurrently with Warlords, that puts the total designer count in the neighborhood of 80. Looking at the spreadsheet, they already have around 17 brand new Game Designers in Warlords, which is pretty unprecedented; there were 20 designers total in TBC.

        Like

      • They’ve said they have two teams within WoW alone who work on alternating patches, even though there’s some implied fluidity between them. That probably accounts for Design Leads and Game Designers as I can’t imagine that they aren’t coordinated. Once the “second to last patch” is done at minimum they start the next expansion work, shifting the other team once the “last patch” is finished. So, with no “second to last” patch this next expansion is going to be a year into development by the end of the year.

        The implication from the four 6.2 interviews is that art is the biggest investment and limiting factor in content creation, perhaps as much as 70% I am thinking. Mythic at best adds 10% to content creation times, so LFR has to be that or more likely less, Normal and Heroic are essentially the same with different scaling, so…30% maybe for boss mechanics, making 35-45% for mechanics, and that might be overstating it.

        Furthermore, they let slip that the PVE/PVP gear set homogeny wasn’t just a “stylistic/philosophic” decision but a resource constraint; they couldn’t find either the time or people to make separate gear models in the previous 6 months. Tanaan had to be better than half finished. Did it really take 6 months to do Hellfire Citadel? Now, I’m not playing, so I don’t know how complex it really is, but I would think it had better have more detail than all the raids of BC to justify that if they have 37 designers and 60+ artist and ALL of them worked on 6.2.

        But I’m just being contrary to be contrary anymore.

        Like

  2. While interesting research, you basically provided the answer at the end; Old Blizzard vs New Blizzard isn’t so much who is at Blizzard, but what is being produced, which is exactly like M.Night. It’s the same guy, but that same guy is now producing garbage. Rob Pardo helped make Vanilla (Signs) and later when on to help make Hearthstone (The Happening) People change just like companies change. Richard Garrot went from making UO to Tabula Rasa to flying in space to selling $5,000 castles in an alpha…

    I think what would really disprove Old Blizzard vs New Blizzard is if they released a truly great game. HS clearly wasn’t that, D3 wasn’t it, and HotS is on the opposite end of that conversation. Overwatch being forgettable-at-best isn’t hard to predict, right? A studio can miss on a product and still be considered great if overall they still show they have it. When was the last time Blizzard did that, SC2 (maybe)?

    Put it this way: More likely to be amazing, the next Bethesda game (Fallout 4) or the next Blizzard game (Overwatch)? Would anyone even attempt to make a case for Overwatch that wasn’t a complete nutjob or working at Blizzard?

    I also think the sub chart is a bit misleading; during WotLK the China launch was heavily delayed, which hurt the initial spike but later helped keep the line steady (notice the large gap in reporting numbers compared to pre-WotLK data points). Launching in Brazil a bit after that again helped the chart look flat, when in reality current players were leaving in significant numbers and being replaced by new region players. Prior to WotLK, Vanilla and TBC did an excellent job at retaining people, which is the hallmark of a great MMO. I bet if we had month-to-month data, WotLK would look a lot more like Cata. If you limited the chart to US/EU, it would look even worse.

    Like

    • People change just like companies change.

      Well… I’m not so sure. Would you say people like Shyamalan and Peter Molyneux and Notch (etc) “changed?” Or would be more accurate to say that they were one-hit wonders that stumbled upon a successful formula that worked in a specific time and place? I don’t feel like Shyamalan et tal even have a place they can “return” to. They are just continuing to do what they did all along, but now the moment is past, and it is no longer working.

      That is why I don’t like the Old/New Blizzard connotation, as it implies that everything would be fine if Blizzard just “went back to the source,” as it were. Trouble is, Blizzard never left the source. There is nothing to go back to. Old Blizzard IS New Blizzard. It might seem semantic, but the distinction is important IMO.

      Re: Diablo 3, I didn’t like it much either (despite eventually beating it on the highest difficulty at the time), and the RMAH was a total fiasco, but… 88 Metacritic score, one of the best-selling PC games of all time, D3+expac sold more copies than MineCraft on PC, and so on. History is going to look at D3 as being another example of Blizzard magic.

      I also think the sub chart is a bit misleading; during WotLK the China launch was heavily delayed, which hurt the initial spike but later helped keep the line steady (notice the large gap in reporting numbers compared to pre-WotLK data points).

      I actually augmented the MMOData graph back in the day (2011) to reflect that. Here it is. I used the graph in a post asserting that WoW’s decline was inevitable no matter what Blizzard did, and I still stand by that assertion. The graph shows less growth/flat growth for Wrath, for example, but the growth curve was already severely declining even as TBC played out – vanilla WoW had 8.75 million subs, TBC increased it by a little over 2 million, and Wrath increased it by ~1 million.

      Like

      • I think there is a pretty big distinction being missed though, ambition. ‘Old’ blizzard had it in spades. I think a pretty strong argument can be made that Blizzard through the release of Cataclysm was hugely ambitious. After those ambitions failed to pay off in Cata they seemed to significantly scale back. After the old world revamp, has anything else they’ve done as a company struck you as anything other than playing it safe? So maybe they’re still doing the same thing, but when they first did it they were swinging for the fences and now they’re content to work the count for a walk.

        Like

      • Look at the one “straight” movie Shyamalan made, The Last Airbender, and it makes me wonder if he ever knew how to make a movie. But some directors get better over time and others have one amazing idea or work in them, and then just slough off after that, producing progressively less interesting material. Peter Bogdanovich is a good example. In the 70s he was thought of as this great up and coming director, certainly talked about in the same breath as Coppola, yet his long term output has been less than stellar. Maybe Blizz is a Bogdanovich or Shyamalan. They don’t do a very good job creating new content, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of BC and Wrath themes were designed and in development by the time Vanilla hit. There used to be a tin-foil-hatesque post on Wowhead that talked about the release gate of Wrath and that it was planned to be 2 expacs, not one. Wish I could find it, made for interesting reading.

        Like

      • @gitsi

        After the old world revamp, has anything else they’ve done as a company struck you as anything other than playing it safe?

        Well… actually, yeah, I still see ambition. At least until Warlords, which is the safest possible expansion. I do agree that Cataclysm’s old-world revamp is likely viewed now as a big waste of resources, especially considering how no one counts it as part of the content released in Cataclysm (I agree it shouldn’t). But Mists featured a dual-faction race, 14 Scenarios, and a theme that automatically invited Kung-Fu Panda references. It was ballsy, if not ambitious.

        Keep in mind that between 2007 and 2012, Blizzard was actively working on “Project Titan,” before scrapping it last year. It would have been the first new IP for Blizzard in years, and heir apparent to WoW itself. Since then, they ended up creating Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch (which was salvaged from Titan). Do those new franchises have the same Blizzard magic/quality as WoW, StarCraft, and Diablo? Maybe, maybe not. For what it’s worth, at a minimum Hearthstone has totally ruined any and all future digital CCGs for me.

        But if you are referring to ambition in terms of 2004 WoW, then no, I don’t see them being as ambitious. And frankly I don’t blame them all that much – it has gotten increasingly obvious over the years that they really didn’t know how or why the game was so popular in the first place. It just was, to the surprise of everyone involved.

        Like

      • Shyamalan had more than one good movie (6th Sense, Signs, Village), Molyneux had a lot of great games (Populus, Dungeon Keeper, Fable) while Notch just made the best version of “Legos: videogame” (Minecraft is WAY more luck and momentum than great game design, and already Notch’s second title has been shut down); IMO they aren’t in the same category. Blizzard made a lot of classics, and since around WotLK haven’t made one.

        D3 sold well thanks in large part to the expectation of it being like D1 and D2 (Old Blizzard), but that 88% is a total joke if its a review of the original release (not post RMT removal). Even the fixed, better version isn’t D2, or a game I think most would consider a classic. No one would be hyped for D4 coming off of D3 like they were coming off of D2, for example.

        Old Blizzard made classics, like Bethesda does today. New Blizzard makes meh titles (Hearthstone) or abortions (HotS), while riding the gravy train that is WoW into the dirt, being unable to put anything large together (Titan), and now going for the cheap cash in with a TF clone (Overwatch) that is about a decade late to the party.

        New Blizzard ISN’T doing what Old Blizzard did, not by a mile. Old Blizzard would NEVER have released something as highly flawed and comically shallow as Hearthstone. Hell, even Rock & Roll racing for the SNES had more depth than HS has. And if Old Blizzard was going to release a DoTA clone, it would have seriously challenged LoL/DOTA2, not been a laughable footnote in the genre.

        You are grossly shortchanging what Old Blizzard was. How great games like WC1-3, D1-2, and SC were at the time. New stuff like HS and HotS don’t even belong in that conversation, honestly.

        Like

      • @ Syncaine

        IMO they aren’t in the same category.

        Unless that category is “hasn’t done anything of note in over a decade,” or “embarrassingly bad follow-ups,” in which case all those people are in the same category. The Village was awful, but even if you disagree, it came out in 2004. Similarly, Molyneux’s most recent game is Godus. Fable 3 came out in 2010, so maybe he deserves another five-year pass for that one?

        Re: Diablo 3… I mean, okay, I even agree that D2 was the better game, personally. But nobody sells 20 million copies accidentally. It sold 12 million in the first year. Which, even if all those people were sucked into it over the course of the year (based on word-of-mouth from the 4 million copies of Diablo 2 sold), there’s still another 8 million copies sold after that.

        In any case, I would also agree that Bethesda is on fire whereas Blizzard is not, even if I enjoy Hearthstone. What I dispute is that there exists an “Old Blizzard” that is different from the “New Blizzard.” Instead, there is just… Blizzard: another Shyamalan, another Molyneux, another entity that raised the bar higher than it could clear in all subsequent attempts.

        Like

      • You mistook what I said about not in the same category; I meant Notch isn’t in the same group as the others, since he is a one-hit wonder, who’s one hit isn’t even all that special/creative, its just taking an existing product (Lego) and making the correct version of it on the PC. The rest, including Blizzard, are in the same group; people/companies who once made great product who now don’t. Old vs New. When Bethesda has a string of releases like Blizzard since WotLK, we can go back and identify when Old Bethesda died and New Bethesda started.

        Like

      • “No one would be hyped for D4 coming off of D3 like they were coming off of D2”

        I would. D3 was better than D2 in every way – and I say that as someone who LOVED D2 and spent more hours playing it than I had spent on any one game in the 15 years I’d spent gaming prior to that.

        Like

  3. I understand the common compulsion to claim, “Now they’ve done it. Decisions X and Y are terrible and they have wrecked the game. Look at the sub counts.” (How many times can someone cry wolf without looking ignorant?)

    Complaints can have merit. But all MMOs will have parabolic sub counts. I submit the relevant backdrop is to superimpose that sub chart over that of other MMOs.

    I’d bet money that WoW’s parabola is far less steep on the downside (and soars magnitudes higher) than any of the other monthly fee MMOs.

    (“Whiplash?” Seriously? You have a DECADE along that horizontal axis. 10. years.)

    This is a game, and one that requires ongoing payments. We should expect attrition. We should expect decline.

    If it weren’t for the quality of life improvements and the regular, large scale, modular upgrades Blizzard has provided the game, they would never have held onto 5 million+ players for a decade. Content alone wouldn’t have done it.

    I say they’ve done a very good job of keeping up with the times. It doesn’t mean they can kick back and relax, but they’re doing lots of things right.

    TL;DR: The now ritual bleating about Blizz’s “bad decisions” leading to the decline (and imminent collapse?) of the game have both a faulty premise and a inaccurate conclusion. I see WoW’s continued success as proof these criticisms are mostly bunk.

    Like

    • (“Whiplash?” Seriously? You have a DECADE along that horizontal axis. 10. years.)

      Ah, that. I copied the picture from another one of my posts, and the text below came over as well. The whiplash was referring to the ~3 million subscription swing right after the Warlords expansion. Said swing is covered up by the text bubble in the picture, but it made more sense in context.

      As for the rest, I actually agree in many ways. I too believe decline is somewhat inevitable; even the hitherto “exception to prove the rule” EVE has, by many measures, precipitously declined.

      The thing about WoW and some of Blizzard’s decisions is that the systems they are mucking with are the core components of the retention engine. Dungeons, dailies, reputations, and so on. Things that impact everyone at endgame, from raiders to solo players. Were all 3 million people that joined in Warlords fated to leave within three months? Maybe. Or maybe Blizzard could have retained more of them if there was any reason to leave your Garrison, any reason to run dungeons, any reason to do dailies, etc.

      Like

      • Definitely lots of time in Garrison. I question the idea that the game is less social now because of it, though. First, I never spent much time just hanging out with others in Ironforge, Shatt, Dalaran, SW, or the Shrine. Second, I’m still with guildies on Vent anyway. And the guild has been more consistently populated over the past year than any time since 2005.

        I do think the game has more lulls than before. For instance, the last half-year of Mists I barely played, and I expect something similar might happen with Warlords. Others will bore or move to something shinier much quicker than I would – hence the sharper drops post-content we’ve seen in recent releases.

        That said, I think the lulls are partly by design – Blizz wants folks to buy into Diablo, Hearthstone, HotS, etc. Looks like this is working out pretty well for them.

        Like

  4. Oh btw, that Wiki link to top selling PC titles is greatly inaccurate; Every recent version of CoD has been a massive seller and aren’t listed, to name one glaring omission.

    Like

    • Well, the Wiki page is for PC game versions. If there are no stat breakdowns for the PC versions of CoD then… it can’t really be listed. In fairness, that means I have to hold to the 12 million Diablo 3 figure as console versions of the game were released from 2013 onward.

      Like

  5. If I wanted a pithy phrase to describe the direction WoW has moved in, I wouldn’t be twiddling words like “old” and “new”. It would simply be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. It feels like there’s an immense desire to ditch and redesign way too many elements of the game which maybe aren’t perfect, but certainly aren’t broken.

    I can’t understand why they don’t just chill out on the systemic changes, and just settle down to “new expansion = level cap bump, half a dozen zones, ten dungeons, and a progression of raids in the expansion and subsequent patches”. Boom.

    Like

    • “It would simply be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it””

      Dude, they went from 12m subs to 7m. I’d say its real fucking broken.

      Like

  6. It wouldn’t surprise me if with that number of people working at the game, it is more a case of ‘factions’ within the game becoming more or less influential, too.

    For example, during alpha we had designers saying they wanted Crafting to be such that ‘the player really FEELS like making an arrow’, which accounts for the logs needed for campfires etc. in early WoW.

    On the other hand, later in the development stage they recruited some of the loudest EQ Raiders (Furor, Tigol etc.), and already some paradigm shifts took place. A cynic would say that the reason Vanilla WoW was more immersive and such a big draw was because they basically nicked the gameplay of early EverQuest but made it soloable, with the easy to grasp WoW lore making for a recognizeable world (which in turn has been…inspired a lot by franchises like Warhammer).

    Blizzard admitted that around the time of Cata they made the game squarely aimed at End Game, and as Niels (ao) pointed out they nerfed the world/levelling content to please the ‘hardcore’ Raiding crowd (who was out of college now and so ‘didn’t have the time anymore’ for all that RPG-nonsense’), but this also served the ultra-‘casual’ aka ‘console players’ aka players that perhaps shouldn’t be playing long-term goal/inherently Hobby games like MMORPG’s.

    In other words, like Beau Hindman put it: the demise of the core gamer – which is deterimental for MMORPG’s as by their very nature they are more ‘fit’ for ‘Hobby play’ than ‘Shelf play’ (to use the Games’ Workshop terms, still accurate close to three decades later IMO).

    PS: besides SoE’s Moorgard (who I sorta-like) , they now recruited one of the ‘Die filthy casual!’ Devs from WildStar http://massivelyop.com/2015/07/06/stephan-frost-is-now-wows-design-producer If it’s any indication I don’t think they’ll change their change of pace.

    PS2: HearthStone etc. are good games according to the idea that good games have more susb etc. than bad games. Personally I don’t subcribe to this but others do.

    Like

  7. http://www.darklegacycomics.com/496
    http://www.darklegacycomics.com/497

    A good response to all the “Vanilla was better” crowd :)

    Like

%d bloggers like this: