As a few of you will know who have seen my recent WOW videos I have returned after a 3 year break to see what has gone wrong with the game I played 6 times a week for 6 years of my life.
One word can easily sum up what is wrong with WOW and that word is "IMMERSION"
When I played through Vanilla and BC many years ago this game was incredible, the immersion of the whole experience engulfed you so much that you literally could lose yourself for hours in the world of Azeroth.
To get immersion the one thing you need is a thriving world and WOW used to have that in abundance. Everywhere was busy, Horde and Alliance would often meet in random places as two guilds were on their way to various Dungeons and this small skirmish would often escalate into a large war.
The game was total sandbox, no one had any idea what would happen during your daily play time. Our guild would have a plan to maybe go to BRD but on the way we may be ganked by another guild, again this would start a war off which usually ended with both sides calling in other guilds for help. Then when you eventually got into the Dungeon you had to concentrate, use your class well and be prepared for at least a good hour long Dungeon.
Then we had the questing, quite often I would find my quest areas compromised by Alliance and have to send for help in order to get them to leave, it was great fun. Sure you sometimes were corpse camped but Azeroth was dangerous back then.
Sometimes we would be in Org discussing what we would be doing when 100 Alliance would storm through the gates to kill Thrall, it was just an amazing living thriving world, totally in the players control.
Now though it's totally different, the Cities are full but the towns and roads are empty. People don't need to leave their capital city, they can teleport everywhere like lemmings, striving to get gear but for what? So they can dual outside their City gates?
All over Azeroth the little towns and villages that attracted so much world PvP are now guarded with level 90 Guards. Instead we have to PvP either in the boring battlegrounds or try and find someone questing.
The trouble is why would anyone be questing now? They can level up in BG's and Dungeons without leaving the AH.
World PvP is the thing that brought immersion and it was immersion that brought the players and the players brought the money. If you look at a graph of the subscribers you will see a steady rise in Subs while wow was immersive during the Vanilla and BC times but then as WOTL arrived you will see it level off and then fall and it's falling fast now. This is because people left but more important, people left and told others how bad the game had become.
So lets talk solutions:
Blizzard need to swallow their pride, admit they got it wrong and give Azeroth back to the people.
Remove the following things:
All ability to teleport to Dungeons, Make everyone ride there.
Remove Flying mounts from Azeroth
Remove all high level guards from low level towns and villages
Buff Dungeons so that you actually need to play your class properly
Remove at least 50% of wind riders and graveyards, get the traffic back on the roads
Remove Ability to teleport into Battlegrounds, make us go to battlemasters as in the old days (just make more of them to avoid griefers).
Remove a lot of phasing as it ruins immersion when you chase someone and they suddenly vanish.
Add the following things
All future expansions should take place in Azeroth, do not add any more zones, just develop the story on Azeroth so it thrives once again.
Ofc none of this will happen as the tears that would be shed could possibly flood the world and wipe us all out. The new breed of player has no balls, has no ability to shake him/herself down after being ganked and certainly has no patience to ride from A to B. Can you imagine the wow players of today trying to survive in Vanilla, they would have a heart attack at how hardcore it used to be. No I am afraid MMO's now are so easy, so spoon fed that the players today simply could not cope with old wow.
From a business point of view Blizzard are currently their own worst enemy, they are killing the game by making it so easy and forgiving. If they opened a BC server millions would return, but this would be an admission of doing it wrong and the PR department won't allow that