In a surprise move (or not if you saw the cinematic), Blizzard has announced that 6.2 contains the final raid for WoD. This is odd for a few reasons.
Lack of Known Future
Aside from knowing that flying is coming in a “future patch”, there is absolutely zero information on what else is in store for WoD aside from raids. Best bet is that Blizzcon has an expansion announcement and that’s in November, 4 months out. And unless they drop an open beta that that point, it’s another 6 months until something releases. I refuse to believe that they would let another 12 months go between content patches.
Lack of Devs
Tanaan Jungle was supposed to launch with the game and in the last few months was pulled back to polish it up. Resources were moved around within Blizz to meet dates and quite evidently focus on Hearthstone, HotS and Overwatch. WoW seems like the least profitable of the bunch, or at least the one they are investing the least into.
Lack of Content
WoD will clearly be marked as the expansion with the least amount of content since launch. 2.5 raid tiers, 8 dungeons, no races, no classes, Garrisons, which killed cities, Ashran which put the final nail in open world PvP, a near-complete destruction of crafting. But we got selfies.
Items that were supposed to be in this expansion (from their Blizzcon): Shattrah raid, Bloodspire and Karabor (cities), Farahlon (zone/pvp). You’d think that would be at least 1 more content patch worth.
Well aside from the already known largest subscription drop in the game’s history, I’m certainly curious as to what the Q2 numbers are. I don’t see this news as inspiring any faith in the community and one of the most tone-deaf announcements of the year. ESO just finished launching on consoles, Wildstar announces a swap to F2P, FF14 just launched an amazing expansion, SWTOR announced a big expansion in the fall. This just seems like that kid in the corner eating crayons.
Edit: As I posted this, I received an invite from Blizzard for a free 7 days of game time. Irony, I love you.
Other Blogs Related
- Murf Vs
- Alternative Chat
- In An Age, and a follow up with numbers
- Balkoths’s World
- TAGN (sort of)
Regardless of whatever plans Blizzard had for WoW prior to the launch of WoD you would have thought that the response the expansion received would have galvanized them and showed them that there was life in the old horse yet.
This is just bewildering, and really smacks of hubris.
Good point. That’s one of the most head-scratching parts of this entire chain of events, at how tone-deaf WoW devs have become.
I refuse to believe that they would let another 12 months go between content patches.
How many times have we heard that one before by now? 😀
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Though in fairness, this is the first time they’ve announced a lack of future content after the previous content had launched and with no possible announcement date until 4 months down the road.
There’s zero information on any potential 6.3 and it’s not like they are going to announce an expansion before Blizzcon. Surreal.
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I don’t think this is exactly fair:
“WoD will clearly be marked as the expansion with the least amount of content since launch. 2.5 raid tiers, 8 dungeons, no races, no classes, Garrisons, which killed cities, Ashran which put the final nail in open world PvP, a near-complete destruction of crafting. But we got selfies.”
1, WoD launched with Shadowmoon Valley/Frostfire Ridge (I’ll combine them as they’re mostly faction specific even though they each took an entire’s zone of work), Gorgrond, Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand. So that’s five “main” zones for leveling and I’d also point out that many of those are larger than past leveling zones.
BC launched with seven, best case — Hellfire, Zangarmarsh, Terokkar, Nagrand, Blade’s Edge, Netherstorm, Shadowmoon. Terokkar/Blade’s Edge were both smaller zones and Netherstorm/Shadowmoon were mostly intended for max level (while in WoD specific segments of those five zones were set aside for max level to continue previous storylines). So even if you argue that BC had more in that regard, it’s not substantially more.
In theory, WotLK had eight…except two are basically mutually exclusive (similar to Shadowmoon/Frostfire in that regard), Grizzly/Zul’drak were smaller, and Icecrown/Storm Peaks had mostly max level content.
Cataclysm hit us with Vashj’ir/Hyjal (same mutually exclusive thing), Deepholm, Uldum, and Twilight Highlands. So that’s five absolute best case, more like four if we compare to WoD (though, in all fairness, they did need to revamp all the earlier leveling zones in Azeroth).
MoP had six best case with Valley/Krasarang really “one” zone rolled into two names, size/story wise.
Put that all together and WoD equaled or exceeded MoP for sure, definitely exceeded Cataclysm (though leveling revamp), was about equal (maybe slightly smaller) than WotLK, and about the same as BC.
2, the raid tiers have 30 bosses between them (also note that Blizzard has explicitly said they want to get closer to a year between expansions, which means you can only realistically HAVE two raid tiers if they have like 12+ bosses each (about six months for each) so expecting more than that means also have to take issue with Blizzard’s expansion goal) — and we’ll lay aside quality for the moment (since it take massively more amounts of work to not only design modern bosses compared to something like BC but also to balance them for multiple difficulties — LFR doesn’t take careful tuning but Normal/Heroic do and Mythic is very tight tuning).
BC had three bosses in t4, 10 bosses in t5, and 14 bosses in t6. That gives us 27 total (not counting Sunwell since that was planned for WotLK and only introduced to avoid too long of a wait — hence something like that could technically happen for WoD still). That doesn’t include the 13 bosses in Karazhan (if we count every Opera boss individually) or 6 in Zul’Aman but the raids were also designed for only one size (and difficulty, but we said we’d leave difficulties/tuning/quality out of it for now). Overall, though, absolute best case we have 52 bosses for 22 months of BC (counting Sunwell) compared to (theoretically) 30 bosses for maybe 13-14 months (hopefully) of WoD. Ratio of 2.36 for BC and 2.14-2.31 for WoD which isn’t far off.
WotLK technically had 15 bosses in Naxx (though given that they literally just adjusted some numbers and the tuning was laughable I’m not sure how much that counts), 1 in Malygos, 14 in Ulduar, 5 in Trial of the Crusader, and 12 in Icecrown Citadel (ignoring Ruby Sanctum since it was added as filler and literally was only 1 boss anyway, wouldn’t even make a significant difference). So best case (with Ruby Sanctum) we’re looking at 48 bosses for 25 months which is a ratio of 1.92…which is drastically worse than both BC and WoD, especially given the lack of effort needed for Naxx.
Cataclysm had 28 bosses TOTAL counting Sinestra. That’s just flat out less than WoD.
Mists of Pandaria had 42 bosses for 25 months, or 1.68 ratio…not exactly a “good” ratio there compared WoD.
The funny thing is that people didn’t complain about the lack of overall raid content in WotLK/Cata/MoP despite the fact the ratio was “lower” than BC — they really only complained about super long final patches. And that “ratio” can’t even afford to get too high — guilds can only go through raid bosses so fast. Even if Blizzard could drop a 10 boss raid zone on us every month it wouldn’t make any sense to do so, we can’t consume the content at that pace.
So really, the only reason you could complain about the “lack” of raid content in WoD is if you want the time between expansions to be longer than Blizzard’s stated goal…which I guess you’d do because you’re concerned about the one-time expansion purchase fee or something?
3, no races/classes. This is completely a matter of personal taste — I don’t want new classes and I don’t care about new races either. Remember that a new race also means every piece of gear needs to work for that new race too and a new class can cause major issues (balancing 11 classes is already a major problem — and I don’t mean Blizzard is incompetent, I mean that it’s really hard to do). I admit it kind of feels like the people usually wanting new races/classes are the people NOT doing high end PvE/PvP. I’m not saying you’re “inferior” or something if you don’t engage in either of those, just keep in mind that our perspectives are vastly different about some things.
4, Garrisons. I honestly don’t know what “killed cities” means in this context. I didn’t pay attention to other players in cities before and I can still meet people in many locations (including garrisons AND cities) if I want. The only times I really recall cities “mattering” are…
Vanilla: people tried to show off gear on Ironforge bridge and people spammed trade for groups.
BC: people spammed trade for groups.
WotLK: people spammed trade for groups.
Beyond that?… I mean, I guess people sometimes people spammed trade for actual trade…but that still happens today too.
I interact with people in guild chat, group finder (as in pre-made raid group tool), OpenRaid, and blogs mainly. Cities never really played a role.
5, Ashran. I’ll admit I don’t really follow/participate in PvP much these days so I’ll just skip this point. Maybe you’re right, we can try to discuss it if you want, but I’m not sure it’s really important in the grand scheme of things (aka, even if you’re 100% right on that I don’t think it would matter if you weren’t right on everything else).
6, Crafting. I honestly don’t know what you want. Vanilla/BC crafting was terrible — complete RNG for rare open world drops for the most part, some raid drops I think? I got a rare tailoring belt pattern in BC and had a monopoly on it for a while since only I could provide the primals. Made me a lot of money but I don’t think it was a good system. Saying that everyone can slowly work towards items with daily cooldowns seems to generally have been the best system yet. Yes, it does mean that there was little people could do outside of the daily cooldowns. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but what crafting system in WoW was better? Remember, you said it was a “near-complete destruction of crafting” 😛
7, selfies. I’m pretty sure a Blue posted that the vast majority of the “feature” was done by one employee over a weekend or three. If I’m wrong I will gladly retract this statement but I seem to recall that. And as a programmer myself I can assure you that adding the “selfie” feature would not have been a major ordeal. We didn’t lose a raid tier because of selfies. The music jukebox honestly probably took more work but you don’t see people complaining about that.
You say “they want to go a year between expansions” like that’s a good thing. Faster expansions just means paying for expansions more often. Considering that this was the most expensive expansion they’ve ever put out and how little per dollar you got out of it, the idea of paying more often isn’t exactly a feature.
That’s also the problem with your ratios – you look at content over time. Look at content over expansion cost instead and it comes out far worse. But hey, selfie camera?
Honestly at this point I don’t think you can even call WoW a MMO. There is no world to speak of. People level up, then sit in garrisons until the dungeon finder shuffles them off into a PUG where nobody socializes. That’s functionally little different than Call of Duty. If you are calling it a MMO, comparing it to other recent MMO expansions like Heavensward is making Blizzard look real bad.
You kinda left dungeons out of your counter-points, presumably because Warlords is extremely sad in this regard. Warlords got 8, Mists had 9 (plus 14 Scenarios), Cata had 14, Wrath and TBC both had 16. Nevermind how Warlords dungeons were obsolete the instant they were released and there is effectively no reason to run them beyond the legendary quest line.
“You say “they want to go a year between expansions” like that’s a good thing.”
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but that’s actually what most people (as in players) want. Think of all the people who level characters, do normal/heroic dungeons, and maybe do some LFR. Do you think they care about having a patch last six months? No — they’re done with the new content of a patch usually within a month. It’s the raiders (which includes me) that are doing normal/heroic/mythic and actually progressing through the raid who want enough time to beat the bosses. PvPers also want time per season to play matches/establish their rankings/etc.
On top of that, those players tend to care a lot more about new levels than new gear since they know they’re going to be replacing those items with the next expansion anyway (because they view loot as a reward rather than a tool — it’s not WRONG to do so, just different from serious raiders). They’d rather have a new expansion with a new continent and lots of leveling content at a more rapid pace (think about the relative amount of solo content at the beginning of a WoW expansion compared to patches during an expansion). There’s a massive amount of players who play WoW for a month or two at the start of the expansion, unsubscribe, and then resubscribe for a month every patch. So in something like MoP they might play 2 months at the start, 1 month for 5.1, 1 month for 5.2, 1 month for 5.3, and 1 month for 5.4. That’s like 6 months of subscription for a 2 year expansion…so for all those players care the expansion COULD have lasted 6 months with nearly a patch per month. But that would piss off the raiders if you threw a new raid with 10+ bosses at them every 2 months.
Basically, Blizzard is trying to cater to both parties — give the people who don’t care about high end raiding/PvP more frequent expansions that they want while still giving raiders/PvPers time to fully “play out” each patch in THEIR content.
“Considering that this was the most expensive expansion they’ve ever put out and how little per dollar you got out of it, the idea of paying more often isn’t exactly a feature.”
Out of curiosity, have you looked at inflation since WoW launched? WoW should be charging nearly $19 a month rather than $15, technically speaking. So hey, if you’re subscribed for a 12 month expansion that costs $60 at the current rate that’s cheaper than the alternative (12 * 15 + 60 = $240 a year vs 19 * 12 + 40 = $268 per year). Plus, more expensive expansions is “better” for Blizzard in terms of all those people who don’t stay subscribed anyway.
On top of that, as WoW’s playerbase gets older and has more disposable income, people are less concerned about cost and more about fun (because the cost of WoW is tiny if you’re middle or upper class, at a minimum — likely for a decent part of the lower class too). Lots of people happily drop $40-60 every 2-4 weeks on a brand new game, if you’re not aware. You might think that’s crazy…but it’s very common.
“People level up, then sit in garrisons until the dungeon finder shuffles them off into a PUG where nobody socializes.”
Am I imagining raiding several times a week with my guild in a social environment or running a weekly OpenRaid group designed for the casuals of the guild plus various friends people in the guild have?
You might choose to play that way but I sure as hell don’t.
“You kinda left dungeons out of your counter-points, presumably because Warlords is extremely sad in this regard.”
Actually, it’s because I accidentally skipped over them. Your numbers sound about right so I won’t rehash that. I will say the main thing is that you also need to keep in mind the change in role dungeons have had.
In Vanilla, dungeons WERE end-game content for most people — who in the world would try to do a 40 or even 20 man raid, right?
In BC/WotLK/Cata, they existed to dispense badges to buy new gear that was added to vendors (after the initial few weeks). Run the same dungeons for the entire expansion, get badges for gear.
Mists tried to shift away from this for a number of reasons (like: getting raid gear from faceroll five mans probably wasn’t the best idea and it was a pure grind, not fun). They also tried adding in scenarios to see if faster queues and new style would appeal to people (result: most people hated scenarios). They also added challenge mode dungeons with very desired cosmetic rewards where getting more gear (theoretically, wasn’t perfect) didn’t help.
WoD continued the trend MoP started with the goal of having dungeons not be important for gear past the initial launch and offering challenge modes for cosmetic rewards (which are very popular).
One of the whole points/goals of LFR was to shift away from the BC/WotLK/Cata model and give the people who WOULD be doing dungeons the opportunity to “see” the current raid. Then Blizzard realized a large chunk of that crowd hated LFR for the facerollness and lack of accountability/socializing and thus introduced Flex mode in SoO…which led to the current paradigm of dungeons for initial gearing, normal raids for PUGs and beginning players, heroic raids for more serious PUGs and better skilled players, and mythic for the dedicated/top PvE players. The idea being that people who weren’t “serious” raiders (who were the only ones that raided until late Cata) could have NEW stuff to do rather than the same dungeons the whole expansion.
Now, you can argue that paradigm is flawed/bad/etc if you want…but THAT’S why there’s a lot less dungeons and why new ones aren’t introduced per patch. They’re also REALLY bad time investment wise for Blizzard (especially prior to Challenge Modes) — people usually “finished” a dungeon in an hour or two at least so even running it a dozen times could be done in a few days.
I’ll hit on garrisons and crafting, as the other ones are pretty clear.
Garrisons took people out of the game world where other people are playing. Every expansion had at least 1 city where people met and you could actually see people. Once you hit 100, there was little reason to see another person again, outside of LFD/LFR.
Crafting. Well, crafting as a skill is mostly useless (aside from the 3 pieces you can wear) and everything that was used before WoD has no application. Gathering skills were also not worth it, given the garrison. Most everyone dropped their gathering skills and 6.2s changes are pretty explanatory that crafting needed a pretty big retooling. It feels like crafting was a redo from everything before it. Passive skills, the way skills were gained, the things you could actually make…all of it a redo and it didn’t jive.
But in the end, if you feel that WoD gave you more than the other expansions, more to you. The rounds on the interwebs and various blogs would indicate otherwise, as a general feeling. If you think it’s worth the money and you’re having fun, who’s to stop you?
“I’ll hit on garrisons and crafting, as the other ones are pretty clear.”
By that I’m guessing you’re not agreeing with me, right?
How is it clear on raid content, for example? WoD literally has more raid bosses than Cataclysm did. Surely you’re not counting just raid tiers, as that would mean that four tiers of five bosses each would be better than three tiers of 14 bosses each.
“Once you hit 100, there was little reason to see another person again, outside of LFD/LFR.”
Er…challenge modes with friends/guildies? Progression raiding with my guild twice a week (or more for most guilds)? Weekly social OpenRaid run I host for casuals/socials/friends? And that’s all on the PvE side, not even counting Arenas/Rated BGs (or even Ashran). It’s not counting a bunch of other more minor stuff either. Hell, I had my BTag list completely full at 99 people and was constantly frustrated because I kept having to figure out who to delete in order to add new people. They’ve now upped it to 200 which will temporarily help but will likely become an issue again.
Honestly, your statement there is extremely revealing as I’ll get to later on.
“Well, crafting as a skill is mostly useless (aside from the 3 pieces you can wear)”
Again…how is that different from before? Your claim isn’t that crafting isn’t very good in WoW (which I’d agree with), your claim is that WoD made crafting worse than before. Two different topics.
“The rounds on the interwebs and various blogs would indicate otherwise, as a general feeling.”
Yes, and the vast majority of them fall into your category. There is an enormous difference between “lack of content” and “lack of content I’m interested in.” I’m now working on a blog post about the subject.
If your goal is to do solo content, some five man normal/heroic dungeons, and then an occasional LFR…then yeah, WoD would suck for you. Very little max level solo content (mostly a weekly quest chain that took probably less than an hour per week), quickly obsoleted normal/heroic dungeons, and LFR intentionally watered down to pure tourist mode.
On the flip side, if you’re interested in Normal/Heroic/Mythic raiding then raiding has literally never been better or easier to get into, for example.
I mean, imagine if Blizzard had launched WoD with 100 additional Mythic only bosses. That would be like six times as much content for Mythic raiders as any other expansion. But it wouldn’t be any additional content for you (or 98% of the playerbase). See the difference?
Ok, I’ll bite. Clearly I disagree with the majority of your points, otherwise I wouldn’t have written a post about it in the first place. I wrote many points about the lack of content and your focus is on raids, so let’s go there.
Let’s just look at MoP to make it simple to start. Mogush’an Vaults(6), Heart of Fear(6), Terrace of Endless Spring(4), Throne of Thunder and Siege(13) of Ogrimmar (14) for 5 raids total and 43 bosses. Cata had 6 raids and 31 bosses. WoD has 3 raids and 30 bosses. Math is math and WoD has less.
I am not arguing if people are having fun, I am arguing the objective count of pieces of content as compared to previous expansions in order to justify the higher price tag and lack of future content. If you’re having a blast, then all the more power to you.
Well, I originally responded to most of those points (accidentally skipped dungeons as pointed out above, whoops)…and you just dismissed it with “the other ones are pretty clear” rather than explaining (even briefly) what you thought was wrong about what I said.
Yes, WoD has less total bosses than MoP. I’m not sure why you expect it to have more with fewer tiers. Because your argument (and the argument of the other people you reference) wasn’t “WoD was too short” but rather “WoD didn’t have enough for people to do.” People outside of LFR can only get through bosses so fast and thus raid tiers have to have a certain time/length ratio. If you want to switch your argument to “Expansions coming out every 12ish months is a monetary rip-off by Blizzard because paying the expansion fee that often is too much” then you can argue that…but that has nothing to do with PACE of content within the expansion. I mean, by your logic if WoD lasted 4 years and had a 12 boss raid tier released every 12 months then it would have more raid content than MoP. That would technically be true…it would also be completely terrible.
Cata had BWD (6), BoT (5), TotFW (2), Firelands (7), and DS (8). That’s 28 bosses. If you want to count the world bosses then that takes us to 32 (three in Tol Barad and Onyxia). WoD had HM (7), BRF (10), and HFC (13). That’s 30 bosses…with another 4 world bosses for 34, which is still 2 more bosses than Cata. So no, whether you count the non-main raid bosses or not WoD still wins.
“I am arguing the objective count of pieces of content as compared to previous expansions in order to justify the higher price tag and lack of future content.”
You never once mentioned a price tag or expansion cost in your original post. Your main three points were “We don’t know what’s coming” (true), “WoW has lost devs” (speculation), “WoD doesn’t have enough for people to do and is missing some stuff originally ‘planned’ to be in” (the first half is what I’m talking about and the second half is problematic to argue about — Grom was originally supposed to be the final boss too but you didn’t complain about that). You also said (earlier)
“The rounds on the interwebs and various blogs would indicate otherwise, as a general feeling.”
Said rounds on the interwebs/blogs are usually people saying they feel they didn’t have anything to do in WoD during 6.0 and 6.1 once they finished leveling. And if they weren’t raiding, PvPing, or chasing achievements then they were absolutely right — WoD initially lacked the solo content that most other periods of WoW had (so did start and end of Cata, to be fair, as an example). You leveled up, and then…did a few garrison missions per day? Spent 1-2 hours a week on a quest chain that was time gated? Take 5-15 minutes for daily profession stuff? That was pretty much it. That would have sucked. I wouldn’t have stayed subscribed if that’s all I was doing either.
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Definately a disappointing patch. Hopefully the next expansion will be better!
Fingers are crossed that they announce something this weekend, or at Gamescom in August.
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