You know, for the longest time, I always thought Activi$ion was the poison of this game that was decreasing the quality (in my opinion... calm down and put down the flame throwers.)
Now.. while Activi$$$$ion is still a money sucking bottom less pit of greed, I don't think that's half the problem for World of Warcraft at all. I never used to be someone who read all of Ghostcrawler's tweets but since MoP I've been paying attention to them. He basically only has two kinds of tweets:
1) "Well basically we don't want players to do anything they don't absolutely want to do and don't want them to be forced to do it. We also don't believe they should have to rely on others to do something."
2) "We absolutely believe that there should be more social interaction and involvement in between players."
So let me get this straight... to accomplish #2, you believe the best way to go about this is implementing more of #1? Is this guy losing it?
I don't know if people realize this or not, but this game used to be considered a MMORPG. A "Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game", now it's a OLCG (Online Loot Collecting Game). He's taken away the feeling of massive by making travel nearly instant for anywhere you want to go, and he's taken away the term multiplayer by putting in so much solo crap and less dependent on other players that you can literally play your character and obtain BiS LFR gear without every speaking to another person in the game. The only exception: You might need some help on Change of Command. Maybe a tank has solo'd it before, but I don't know.
Ghostcrawler: I don't get your logic... I don't understand your design philosophy and I really think you're just running out of ideas on how to please the player base at this point. When you took your position, you had 12-13 million people to please. Shew.. that's a hell of a crowd to please and no, no matter what you do, there are going to be people unhappy. You could have everyone winning lottery tickets, cash them and they would still complain, but that's not the issue.
The issue is, you have no idea what you're doing anymore, I think you're just thinking up random ideas and random answers to questions asked.
Removing The 10/25 Separate Lockout: Why? Why was this necessary? Players felt "forced" to do both? Yeah, I think we can all agree Normal and Heroic raiders are both looking for more to do these days. I honestly didn't see too much complaining about separate lockouts, all the complaints were about one tier's gear being better than the other.
Nerfing Cataclysm Heroics: Why? People had to put CC back on their Action Bars and people actually had to not stand in fire or they would die? I absolutely loved Cataclysm Heroics because they required the use of SIMPLE, I mean MIND NUMBINGLY SIMPLE techniques to kill trash and bosses. People would have gotten over it and once they outgeared it, it would've gotten incredibly easier. Instead, you nerfed it from the get go and turned them into a joke.
MoP Heroics As A Whole: These feel like the most distant heroics I've ever seen to date. In BC, Wotlk and Cata, I knew what every single heroic was and every boss. When I zone into a MoP heroic, I have to remind myself or try to remember what the hell is in here. This expansion has less heroic content than ever but they don't feel heroic, and since launch, I've never seen a single wipe in a heroic (and yes, I use that LFDurrrrr tool).
Dailies, Valor and Gates: You see, implementing a butt load of dailies was NOT the issue at hand. The issue was making them REQUIRED for the current and up to date BiS gear. Not only that, but you put a retarded 1k cap on Valor and then taking that even further, you put a REPUTATION requirement on everything. Why? What in the world. This doesn't instill fun or encourage people to play more, this is just a clever trick to get people who are currently subscribing to stay subscribed.
*cough* A Test Of Valor *cough* *cough* Yes I know it's not 3k *cough*
I wouldn't change how you implemented dailies but what I would change is:
1) The ridiculous Valor Cap. Who the hell cares if someone wants to earn 10k Valor in a single week. Why punish players who want to play more by forcing them to play alts or stop playing until Tuesday just because of some ridiculous gating mechanic.
2) Implementing BiS gear at the start of an expansion via Dailies. I would make reputation rewards more fun, such as mounts, pets and BoA gear for alts so that once they hit the maximum level, they can simply purchase some starting gear for that alt if they're exalted with that daily faction hub.
Looking For Raid: Yep.. and now please allow me to put on my flame absorbent suit because I'm sure all the casuals and people who like to stand in fire will surely come knocking on my door. I wouldn't remove this feature, but it needs such drastic improvement that it would be better to start from scratch. This tool is such a piss poor design in my humble opinion. Did anyone honestly think this would improve gameplay?
Let me try to put myself in the mind of a Blizzard Thinktank executive before the idea is ever implemented.
This is basically the logic behind LFR
Jim: Hey Bob, I had the greatest Idea!
Bob: Yeah Jim?
Jim: Why don't we implement a tool to help people find raids easier!
Bob: THAT WOULD BE AMAZING! You know, people have been asking for that for a long time. I mean, myself, I play on a low population server so this tool would be such a big help since I can't find a guild and I honestly don't have the money to transfer or the time to re-roll.
Jim: Oh, I'm not done.
Bob: What do you mean?
Jim: Ok, well here's my secondary thoughts. What if instead of a normal raid difficulty, we make a third difficulty JUST FOR LFR?! We would eliminate the need to follow boss mechanics and we would make it so that half the raid can AFK and still receive a potential chance for loot.
Bob: Um... that doesn't make any sense. Why would we dumb down a normal raid? If people are forgiven for not following boss mechanics, not encouraged to play their class, not encouraged to learn their class and not encouraged to work as a team in a raid, doesn't that take away the point of raiding?
Jim: BOB IM A CASUAL PLAYER! I SHOULDNT HAVE TO AVOID FIRE, FOLLOW BOSS MECHANICS OR LEARN MY CLASS! I DONT PLAY THIS GAME 24/7 LIKE YOU DO
Bob: Um.. neither do I. I'm at work just like you. I'm just saying, WoW is built on a fundamental that raiders have a choice to complete challenging content or to test their limits in heroic challenges with a very carefully organized group.
Jim: Elitist jerk
Jim: Also, I believe players should receive raid adequate gear because it's not fair that people who do normals and heroics are getting gear and I'm not!
Bob: Oh.. well I work 10 hours more than you a week. You know what? It's not fair that you don't receive the same paycheck as me, how about we just give you a paycheck that is almost just like mine, but a few numbers lower so that way it's fair for everyone? You know what? Those 10 hour a week part time interns we hired, we should give them access to the same paycheck that you're earning too.. after all.. they're casual workers, they shouldn't have to do over time, spend more time at work or put in as much effort.
Jim: Whatever elitist jerk..
Jim: I told you LFR would the best idea ever!!!
Jim: Ok, you know how players are trading loot and loot is hard to come by when you join a group full of jerks who hog it all and keep it for their friends? I'm thinking, let's implement a Diablo 3 style loot system where the loot is your own and is individualized based on every class!
Bob: ...Wow.. that's actually.. pretty good. How are we going to implement such a feature?
Jim: Ok here we go! You see, when a boss dies, every player will have the exact same chance at everyone else of obtaining loot!
Jim: Then! Not only that, but if they fail to receive loot, they'll receive a bag with 28g in it? Later on we may add things such as a chance to add pets and other stuff that the majority of LFR users don't care about.
Bob: So let me get this straight.. let's say, everyone in the raid is the exact same iLvl and everyone needs an upgrade from all the bosses in the raid. Now, EVERYONE will have the exact same chance of loot, no matter what? No matter if they're dead, alive, good or bad?
So, can I go to a LFR, AFK the entire time and still receive loot?
Jim: OF COURSE! Everyone gets the exact same chance of obtaining loot!
Bob: That.. is ridiculous. That doesn't encourage people to play the game or learn their class at all. That'll just encourage toxic behavior because why should they care? They have the same chance as everyone else at obtaining loot.
Jim: OMG you are such an elitist. What do you not understand? NOT ALL OF US HAVE TIME TO MOVE OUT OF FIRE OR NOT AFK IN A LFR! WE ARE CASUALS BOB! WE SHOULDNT HAVE TO ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME TO REAP THE REWARDS!
Bob: I'm just saying, this system will only encourage AFKing and dying on purpose by standing in much AoE as possible. No one will have any sense of accomplishment after killing a boss or receiving loot, but instead they'll obligated to receive loot because it's like putting on a Halloween costume and going out tricking or treating. Why don't we just make LFR 'Normal' Difficulty and make it like the LFD tool. Hell, if they pug, I'm not even against putting in the 'Luck of the Draw' buff so that it's easier for pugs to complete but the design logic of yours behind LFR is absolutely stupid and will ruin this community even further and the gameplay.
Jim: Yeah well that's because you're one of those "hardcore" players who believes casuals shouldn't have access to gear!
Bob: Um no, I'm just saying casuals should have incentive to actually learn and play better to receive their gear. Besides, how did this definition of a casual player get so mixed up anyways? A Casual player just plays less than a hardcore player, that's it. You probably won't find a casual player sitting there with a spreadsheet trying to find which coefficient is better for their specific role in a raid but they still have incentive to actually perform.
A casual now days in the eyes of most players thanks to "content for all" means you shouldn't have to avoid fire, you shouldn't have to follow any kind of mechanics what so ever, you shouldn't be required to complete any kind of rep requirement for anything, there should be no attunements what so ever and there should be absolutely no challenge to this game other than fighting their parents for more time on the internet.
Jim: Yep.. lolol u mad bro? Luuul elitist lelelele
Bob: Yeah.. Jim, we're going to have to let you go...
Jim: WTF?! ELITIST NERD JERK HARDCORE CASUAL HATER
Bob: *sigh* people will never learn.
*Bob 6 months later is in an insanity ward trying to the cope with the demons in his head*
"I tried to tell them.. I tried to tell them.. they just wouldn't listen."
So as you can see, Bob has tried to express his dear concerns over the poorly implemented Looking For Raid Tool but sadly, the main decision maker just wouldn't listen.
I'm not saying this game needs to go back to any kind of "former glory" or anything like that. Hell, I don't really want to go back to playing 16 hours a day/7 days a week because I'm not a teenager living at home anymore. What I would like to see is bringing back the "Massive" and "Multiplayer" aspects of this game back though.
One last thing: FFS stop saying Cataclysm Heroics caused a lot of people to quit, no it didn't. The lack of end game content upon hitting maximum level was the reason a lot of people wanted to leave. Cataclysm was a weird expansion.. no one felt connected to the game at all and the majority of people I knew were like.. "who is Deathwing...?" The real and only interraction we got with him was while leveling an alt and being burned alive. Troll...
People in Cataclysm felt disconnected from the world and had nothing to do but fly around in Orgrimmar at maximum level.
Do you want to know what the worst part about that is though? Even though people had nothing else to do but fly around in Orgrimmar, there were still far more people online in Cataclysm. My guild is a casual/social guild of 1,000 people. I'm always kicking inactive people and adding new but at any given time there's only usually 10-20 people online. Back in Cataclysm, it wasn't uncommon to see 150-200 people online at any given time. I would like to say part of it was because of the chat... which.. well.. wasn't the best if you're what's known as a "carebear".
There, shew, those are my thoughts... I just had to get them out.
If someone agrees, please feel free to copy it to the WoW forums, I don't have my own Active account anymore, but I still play my friend's characters from time to time to test things out, see new patches and what not.