Damned If You Do

Are you considering changing the reputation system?  So many dailies are burning us down from the game.  Tabards back?

When we tried limits, folks said we were playing nanny.  When we tried nothing, folks said they didn’t have anything to do.

Blizzard has an interesting problem at hand.  This quote from Ghostcrawler, has a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” mentality to it and I can empathize to some degree.  When you have nearly 10 million clients, you can’t keep them all happy.  When you integrate disparate systems, you’re going to upset some people.

Excluding Lich King, most of WoW’s trajectory has been aligned with the more hardcore activity crowd.  Tangible goals and rewards.  This makes sense in terms of accomplishment and sense of place – makes a bit less sense from a financial perspective if you want to keep 10 million people playing.  The casuals clearly are the majority in games (even 80% of EvE players have never touched NullSec) and therefore subsidize the activities of the hardcore.  Blizzard’s challenge over the past few years was expanding on that casual market – which is has in terms of player ratios.  Keeping them around is a challenge though, especially when you have quality competition on the market (F2P for one).

So for years the hardcore have had the upper hand in terms of game direction.  This expansion is clearly not aimed at their efforts.  Kung-Fu panda and pets does not scream hardcore.  Yet in order to keep that group occupied, they integrated hardcore activities into casual content.  The best raiders have a “need” – real or artificial – to complete casual content in order to progress on the hardcore front.  A true shoe-on-the-other-foot issue if I’ve ever seen one.

Who do you please?  The casual market who is bringing in the dollars?  The hardcore market which consumes the most and gives you the highest visibility?  I mean, does anyone in their right mind care that the Will of the Emperor is a raid boss MORE than the fact that there are hundreds of pets to collect in-game?  The battlefront seems to have changed and you’re never going to please the masses.

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