Huge wall of text coming.
As with every new expansions until now, a phenomenon is repeating itself. For those of you who are unaware of what is happening, there is a huge outcry from the community related to the massive changes coming to World of Warcraft with the expansion Warlords of Draenor. However, I believe that if you read my post on Mmo-champion, you are quite familiar with this.
We cannot deny this: WoD is almost a complete overhaul of the old system. While Mists of Pandaria was already going along those lines, it was much more controlled. With mists, we had the new talent system, scenarios, flex raiding and the new daily system with bonus rolls. There was also item upgrades, which was a big part of the game. On the PvP side, we had the cross-realm arena and the removal of teams, along with a new queuing system for both the arena and the battlegrounds.
Now, if we all remember right, the announcement of MoP had the biggest outcry ever made by members of the community. As a proof, here is the Mists of Pandaria trailer:
If you look on the official page, you can see that there are currently 33k likes and 31k dislikes. Never, in the history of video games, did we see a trailer patch so disliked. However, we also cannot deny the truth - subscriptions have been dropping. Here comes the first step of misinformation - Mists of Pandaria was an issue on a few points, but not on the ones we think. Please understand that I am making a gross generalization and that we all agree that there was other reasons, but they are just not as big an issue as those were. Here comes the list:
- The storyline with Pandaren.
- The lack of real character progression, through leveling and patches.
- Dailies and the related forced grinding.
- The lack of novelty, and the game feeling old.
- The game being dumbed down and the new talent system.
Let's take a look at Warlords of Draenor announcement:
If we take a look on the likes/dislikes, there is already a huge difference. While Mists have it almost to 50/50, Warlords are more around the 95% of likes. That is no small feat - and it must mean something. Remember the list of issues I just posted about? Well, at least 4 of them are being taken care of, while another one is more or less fixed. Now, why such an outcry?
While it might seem hard to see, the issue is actually fairly simple. Novelty (or change, whichever you prefer). People liked in huge majority the expansion as a whole, but some points annoyed others enough to make it looks like the expansion is doomed. Let me be clear on this point: Warlords of Draenor is far from doomed and might be, in fact, the best expansion yet for Blizzard. But this is not the topic of this thread. Here are the points that are causing the biggest outcry at the moment:
- No Flying mounts until 6.1.
- Removal of Reforging.
- Gear being spec-wide.
- Character models not entirely done before 6.0.
- Removal of Hit/Expertise and Dodge/Parry.
- Instant level 90.
- Heroic (now mystic) raiding being for 20 man instead of 10/25.
For instance, the no-flying mounts until 6.1 will force player to rethink how they move on the map. We were so used to just mount up and go to the next daily hub/zone that just thinking of dismissing it is intimidating. But it'd be dumb to believe it is the sole issue: Some people love the flying mounts for bragging rights and visual look - the most prestigious mounts in the game are flying ones, after all. Now, the first part of the issue will be fixed quite fast – and the second one will eventually come back, too. You aren’t losing your mounts forever, are you?
Then comes the issue with the removal of reforging. I’d also like to link this with the removal of hit/expertise and dodge/parry. For some people, this is the ultimate way to dumb the game down and cater to a crowd of “brainless filthy casual players”. But actually, it is far from the case. How many of you are actually using Mr. Robot? How many actually (still) have a sheet of paper, with your abilities written down on them with a huge board for the perfect rotation and the perfect itemization? The fact is that the huge majority of players never actually wanted to take care of this – it was a hassle. Hence why some tools were created. Here was the problem: if we just asked a robot (see what I did there?) to do this instead of doing it ourselves, why keep them in the game? Their goal, which they fulfilled in the past, is no longer needed. The only crowd that I can genuinely agree with them is the hardcore raiders, but seeing how they barely represent 1% of the overall population… well, you see my point.
As for the gear being spec-wide, I can only agree on the fact that pure classes are at a disadvantaged. But you need to understand that you won’t lose your raiding spot for a few reasons. First of all, with the new flex raiding system, the issue won’t touch the regular raiding guilds/groups – there simply shouldn’t be any competition problems at all with this system. It was designed to be flexible (ha, see what I did AGAIN?) and be ready to absorb such problems. Now, if you’re in a mystic raiding guild, remember that skills > versatility. Also remember that having 20 players that can switch to a healing spec isn’t actually doing any good – heroic raiders will look for people who are the best at their job, with maybe 2 or 3 versatile players. So all in all, you are not in danger because of this system.
The next point I want to clarify is the point on the instant level 90. Some people are outraged about this. The issue doesn’t come from the fact that the old and returning players will be 90 instantly – it comes from the fact that new players who won’t know a thing about the game will hit 90 instantly. It’s a fair issue to which I agree entirely. I’m glad, however, to believe that this issue will be incredibly small, because for this to happen, it would mean that a new player decided to jump right into the game (without the friend incentive, because at that point I believe the friends will actually teach their friends how to play) and buy the basic game, Mists of Pandaria AND Warlords of Draenor all in one buyout, without even trying it completely before. I seriously doubt this’ll be a big issue.
I kept the biggest issue for last because it’s actually the easiest to explain. The change from 10/25 man mystic raiding to 20 man is incredibly simple. By having only one difficulty to balance around, this mean that the world first run will actually be fairer for any raiding guild. No more 10 man exploit or 25. No more balancing issues between classes. It also prevent any problems that the spec-wide gear could cause by assuring enough room for pure specs, but also make sure that the number isn’t as huge and hard to obtain than 25 man. It also prevent raiding guilds of making cut on certain fights (like it happened a lot on 10 man guilds) and make them stick with their main raiding group more easily. Some people fear that the small guilds will run out of people and have to call it. It is actually not true. True, it’ll require some efforts – getting back to recruit isn’t easy. But if you are serious about raiding on mystic, then it shouldn’t be an issue. The only problem is for guilds that run the new heroic mode and want to get into mystic. But then again, the solution is simple. With the new flex system, it is easy to build a 20+ heroic group and then move the core of it into mystic raiding. All in all, the issues are there, but not insurmountable.
I tried the best that I could to explain why the issues that cause such an outcry right now aren’t actually that bad in reality. I hope I was able to calm everything that goes right now on the forum – such things sadden me. I’m curious to hear your opinion and will be glad to answer what you have to say – who knows, maybe I am wrong on some points!
TL;DR: People are angry because they don’t know how to handle the changes coming. However, there are solutions to almost all of them and those that don’t are actually not as bad as some would say they are.