Account Wide Boredom

So I am seeing that Blizzard is planning to make Achievements account wide in Mists. No longer will players have to actually play their characters to earn achievements. If they have it on another character, all they have to do is level it to the appropriate level to earn them.

These kind of features always baffle me. World of Warcraft is a subscription based game. Blizzard earns money by players playing the game for many months at a time. Players are burned out and continue to demand features which allow them to not have to play the game, and Blizzard continues to implement them despite they are counterproductive to their goal of making money. Let's look at how many times they have done this:

Dungeon Finder: Players no longer have to spend hours looking for pug members for heroic groups. They can also simply teleport to the instance instead of having to travel there. While this appears more convenient, it means players burn out much faster as the time spent forming the groups and traveling paced people and prevented them from completing content too often and getting bored of it.  Content that once took many months to get bored of now takes two or three weeks tops. (This isn't to mention the other problems this thing causes).

Raid Finder: Same as Dungeon Finder. Seriously sick of looking Deathleg's stupid face. Plus you have to deal with 5 times as many cross realm idiots which makes the number of times you want to do it even fewer.

Strangely, the random BG finder doesn't have this much effect as you can have whatever kind of fun you want in a BG with little risk of getting kicked out.

Heirlooms: How long does it take to get a fresh alt to 85 now with heirlooms? Three, four days of constant playing? Maybe a week or two of casual playing? Not only does it kind of get rid of a lot of the playing time for alts, but it also removes much of the need for the gear roller coaster ride as many slots never need to be replaced until you get to 85 (this lack of gear swapping also has a whole host of other negative effects I won't get into). As another side effect of the current expansion, there is less end game content for players to do when they get to 85 because a great deal of Cataclysm's content was the redo of all the old world quests (much of which is also skipped because of the increased XP).

Flying mounts allow faster travel. However they also completely destroyed world PvP, as players can completely avoid any enemy players. I still think there are ways for Blizzard to fix this one so that players can keep flying mounts and gain back all the previous benefits.

There are other things such as talent tree streamlining meaning players spend less time choosing talents, but players just copied crap from EJ anyways so that stuff doesn't count.

The fact of the matter is that players are getting burned out severely on the game, and for some reason Blizzard has decided that features that let them not play the game are the best way to go when it's clear that the correct answer is with not just more content, but more varied and fresh kinds of content. Content like the Pet battle system and Challenge modes could breathe some fresh life into the game, but all of the different content needs a large amount to keep it interesting, and with each new "time saving" convenience feature, the amount of each kind of content needed to hold interest gets larger.

I've also heard that they are going to make pets and mounts account wide too which not only kills all the need to collect them on alts for the new pet battle system they are introducing, but also removing a very large gold sink as well in the form of mounts for alts. It also destroys that particular segment of the market for gold makers, though I don't think Blizzard really gives a shit about what auctioneers want.

Overall, it just seems to me that Blizzard isn't even trying to keep their game alive. Every move they make to try and keep things fresh is completely counteracted by another which removes reasons to play the game in the first place!

No wonder everyone calls these guys the B team.

Posted by Glyph, the Architect | at 5/01/2012 10:50:00 AM | 0 comments