WoW Factor: A decade of Blizzard's bad habits

The funny thing about World of Warcraft - and I should note here that I'm using "funny" in this case as a synonym for "odd" rather than "hilarious" - is that the game has been around long enough to make a lot of design mistakes, fix those mistakes, and then make those same design mistakes again. I find the overall thrust of patch 6.2.3 kind of baffling, since it's bringing back a currency that should not have been removed in the first place for a purpose that almost no one liked, and hoping that this will get people to stick with the game for the lengthy gap until Legion arrives.

Ultimately, though, it's a symptom of some issues that the game has had for a while, a longstanding set of bad habits that have an awkward tendency to stick around long after it should be obvious that these are bad ideas. So just to change things up with the game's next expansion, perhaps it's time to look at some bad habits the game has long been guilty of and actually address them rather than just assuming they don't really matter.
I said what?

Relevance through the expansion and what people like to do

A few days ago on Twitter, based on another set of questions, I had started speculating about how many people had even gone through Normal mode Hellfire Citadel. I mean, this is the big show-stopping finale for the expansion. I didn't get great solid numbers, but based on the numbers that I and several others pulled, 10% through Normal seems to be about the upper limit in terms of realistic completion; 5% seems more likely

I don't need to go into depth about the mess that is the game's existing high-end raiding scene, which is basically producing expensive content for almost no one in the world as has been pointed out many, many times. There's a real bad habit in place here, and it's not simply the existence of raids; it's the existence of things built and tuned first and foremost for almost no one who is playing the game. And it puts me in mind of something that has been said by a few other people: that as an expansion's life cycle extends, it becomes less and less interesting.

To some extent, this is inevitable. But I've noticed an unpleasant course of events wherein the designers strive to provide a great questing experience, then a robust top-end experience, and nothing in the middle group.

In other words, it's an assumption that people who don't like to raid are going to leave rather than examining that those players leave because there's nothing to do.

Do I have things to do at this point? Yes, but absolutely none of them has anything to do with the endgame gear cycling. Mathematically, 300% of my time in game is spent on mounts, leveling alts, roleplaying, and stuff like that. There's a bizarrely backward cycle of feedback there wherein the assumption is "these people leave, don't give them things to do" instead of "give people things to do other than raid and they'll stick around."

"It can't be coincidence that the game's highest subscriber numbers came at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, when you could get a set of tier gear just by running regular Heroics for fun."
I mean, it can't be coincidence that the game's highest subscriber numbers came at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, when you could get a set of tier gear just by running regular Heroics for fun, can it? Or that at that point a given alt had about a dozen endgame projects you could run for cosmetics, for upgrades, or just for the simple joy of jousting? Perhaps there's a reason why everyone decided to leave when it became intensely clear that they were no longer welcome? That seems like a no-brainer to me.

For that matter, it was a no-brainer to the design team when they realize that the Sunwell raid was seen by basically no one. But over time, I think the wrong message has been internalized, and bad habits developed.
Write a new story.

Professions that do nothing and yanking things

My Shaman has been dedicated to Inscription since the profession was introduced, and at this point I'd really be happy if Inscription as a profession were removed altogether. It adds nothing of merit to the game. The initial promise of slightly tweaking your character's gameplay via glyphs has been lost amidst glyphs that are talents in all but name, the sheer irritation of researching glyphs and randomly hoping for what you want, weird pricing for cosmetic glyphs, and... really, right now, it's not doing anything.

I think Enchanting and Jewelcrafting could probably join it, at that. The idea behind removing the mandatory gem slots, reforging, and most enchantments was that it wasn't fun to constantly be re-purchasing gems and rearranging things, making each new drop a question of "all right, how do I shuffle this to make it useful" instead of just a straight upgrade. But the flip side is that now these features have politely waved farewell to even the most superficial relevance.

Jewelcrafting is particularly annoying because the solution of having a single sort of gem to worry about actually makes crafting new gems significantly more straightforward, which is kind of a hallmark of the game's approach to problem solving and one of those bad habits I'm discussing - never solving a problem one way when it could be solved multiple ways, in which case all of the alterations go in at once.

I've mentioned before that professions need a serious overhaul, and they honestly have needed that for quite some time; our existing lineup doesn't do a whole lot in many cases, and Garrisons have thoroughly screwed with the idea of dedicated crafters or gatherers having a major role. Some professions are rather uncomfortably bloated, and others have been marginalized into practical pointlessness.

And herein we see one of the last bad habits the game has: an unwillingness to address things that aren't disgustingly broken in the past. World of Warcraft is a game that has very much been about the now rather than what was, and while there are reasons for that, it means the game has a whole lot of uncomfortable and unnecessary crap hanging around in the background. The fact that there are two entire professions designed to work with one expansion that have never subsequently been changed to work with later developments doesn't help matters.

All of this can be fixed, and while it'll take some effort, it's not beyond the realm of acceptable work for a new expansion launch. The key factor, again, is that these are habits. These are elements of design and execution that Blizzard falls into out of practice, not out of necessity. The original maps for Azeroth proper weren't built to allow flight out of necessity because the game's team was small and the constraints of time were appreciable; the refusal to go back and update older content, or to only develop showstopping raids for tiny portions of the playerbase, are borne out of conscious decision.

Sure, bad habits are hard to break. But breaking those habits is important, and given the troubled history of the game over the past few years, now seems like a prime time to do so rather than overreacting with a violent swing in the other direction.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next time around, I want to talk a bit more about professions and what could potentially be done to remove the current mess from the game - which might not be ideal, but it would work.

War never changes, but World of Warcraft does, with a decade of history and a huge footprint in the MMORPG industry. Join Eliot Lefebvre each week for a new installment of WoW Factor as he examines the enormous MMO, how it interacts with the larger world of online gaming, and what's new in the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor.
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133 Comments on "WoW Factor: A decade of Blizzard's bad habits"

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FlyinDutchman
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FlyinDutchman

Until someone comes up with a functional AI that can generate dynamic quality content automatically I think the theme-park MMO is pretty Doomed. 

It's a business model that was always fundamentally flawed to begin with. However it's been wildly exacerbated by blizzard spending milllions and millions of the dollars they made milking wow players to buy movie studios and E-sports companies instead of spending it making quality content.

Honestly, when was the last time blizzard released a raid or dungeon on the quality level of Karazan or Nax? They haven't.... In damn near a decade.

pepinocantador
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pepinocantador

Legion had better do something amazing for the game. I came back to play with a friend, and there's so much about WoD that is just a mess. The free-to-play mobile title that is garrisons is embarrassing, and I was really excited for them pre-launch. People have asked for housing forever, and got identical plots of land to do timed, daily busywork on... Yay. Some of the fights in the Blackrock raid have been fun, but the other raids have been a solid 'meh' out of 10.

Gold is utterly valueless now, and with the addition of monthly subscriptions purchasable with gold, they've actually increased the level of gold spam and sales, since buying gold from the farmers and buying your sub that way actually works out cheaper, and you get about half the value in gold from selling the monthly sub currency as you would just buying gold outright.

PvP content really isn't worth bothering with, and their current stop-gap patch until legion is to basically put nearly top end gear in as dungeon rewards.

All that said, I'm still holding out hope for Legion. I don't know that I'm super keen on the whole one-weapon-with-slight-visual-variation-for-the-whole-expansion thing, but I am hopeful that shooting from 6.8m subs up to 10m then taking an almost 50% total drop within a few months has lit the fire under them to put out something good and make some needed changes.

Drewbob
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Drewbob

Balancing the game for that would ruin any incentive to group and further require every class to be able to function independently essentially ruining any distinctiveness or choice. We've seen this before, it's called GW2, and as everyone knows, instanced gameplay in that game is lackluster.
And indeed, nothing stops people from running all that old content solo once the expansion is older.
The game historically has had fun things for non-raiders to do, Blizzard just seems to be thoroughly unwilling to make the effort lately.

Alien Legion
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Alien Legion

Drewbob It's called choice.  The game IS dying.  Subs ARE dropping. Factor in the age of the game with Blizzard's enduring disgust at offering expansion and how could it hurt to offer a choice.

There are those of us who use to play in groups / guilds, but as many people attest to, those groups are gone and those guilds have dried up.  Why not offer people who would sub another reason to do so?

And if the article is even remotely close to accurate, upwards of 90% of the user base does not even see the current end game as it requires raids.  Make it solo'able, drop a blue or something just a bone and let everyone see the story.  Have it scale to any party size 1 - 40 and to any level.
Want to stomp Kara solo? Have a blast!
Want to get a 3-man and have Kara scale up to make it challenging again? Go for it!

c71clark
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c71clark

The game is in desperate need of a 2.0 treatment. If anyone has the money to take the best of GW2, Aion, Wildstar, Eve Online, BF4 etc... and combine it into a new monster MMO, it's Blizzard. But WoW 1.0 is a zombie, feeding on the guts of those (many) people who ALSO have a bad habit: playing WoW 1.0.

Shaigh
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Shaigh

The assumption that the quick epics during wotlk caused the highest point isn't true.

WoW had a 3M population growth during the course of TBC spread over all quarters, during wotlk the growth was zero untll the population peak that coincided with the pre-cataclysm patch. At best the EZ-mode epics kept the population around during WotLK but it never caused a growth of the population, that was thanks to the revamping of the world patch.

The sunwell patch was a really good patch, they created a quest-hub, a 5-man dungeon and a 25-man raid which gave everyone content to play. The ICC patch was also good, a quest-hub, three 5-man dungeons and a raid. With so much revenue blizzard has enough money to create content for all three types of gameplay.

Problem with cataclysm was that it was just more of the same, people got really bored of the game and new mmorpg's started to pop up left and right. During vanilla, tbc and wotlk there was little competition, most games that released had nothing on WoW, now we have bunch of decent f2p/b2p games in rift, swtor, tera, gw2 and eso. That's bound to hurt such an old beast as WoW.

Drewbob
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Drewbob

It's not and has never been a solo game. There are a lot of solo games out there. Diablo 3 is a solo game. WoW is not.

Drewbob
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Drewbob

Prior to becoming independent, the site that these writers worked for was owned by AOL, which also owned another site wholly devoted to WoW. AOL dropped both sites unceremoniously, and so both groups of writers formed independent sites devoted to the same interests.
There's no reason now that the massively op staff couldn't cover WoW, but I think they continue to respect that Blizzard Watch more than ably covers it, and also this community historically tends to trend post- or anti-WoW, and old habits die hard.

Drewbob
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Drewbob

I think if they want to retain more players, each major content patch should include a Molten Front-sized questing zone and at least two wholly new dungeons at a m

nveronski
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nveronski

Nicely put, I agree with every word he said.
It's time for Blizzard to address those issues it might bring back old players to the board.

cheesybites76
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cheesybites76

teppic Totally agree.  I haven't played WoW in some time, and of course it has its faults, but this site just harps on them constantly, and as you said, no interviews or info from Blizzard are even mentioned.
Oh, but there are plenty of articles praising Gw 2!! And any time they hand out any sort of awards, Gw 2 always gets several! Hmm, perhaps they are being compensated to promote it......no, no. That couldn't possibly be it.

Gangrel
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Gangrel

Giggilybits Eliot_Lefebvre Anyone remember the old 2nd ed "roll high to hit", but "roll low to save" stuff... yeah, it didn't exactly make a lot of sense, because a "bonus to save" actually *took* the value off your die roll, whilst a penalty to save (ie -5 to save) *added* 5 to your save roll.
I played *multiple* systems when I was younger, and yet the AD&D system threw me every so often.

wjowski
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wjowski

If you ask me, what the MMO genre needs (outside of a massive pruning) are more developers who have no experience with MMOs.

wjowski
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wjowski

Greaterdivinity wjowski 
Yeah but EA's the one that ended up hit by a class action lawsuit over it.

wjowski
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wjowski

Oleg Chebeneev 
"Guess what, then tons of other players who are hardcore raiders will threat Blizzard to quit." 
So what, 4500-ish customers and their alt accounts?  As compared to the millions who already have?

BryanCo
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BryanCo

Oleg Chebeneev ManastuUtakata  The raiding issue isn't entirely that they are 'too hard.'  It's that many people (myself included, I've done it in the past and had my fill of it) simply do not like to raid.  And if less resources were spent on raids there could be significantly more non-raid content to keep those players subscribing.

chosenxeno
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chosenxeno

I remember getting in to debates with people when I was saying Wrath was the best expansion(TBC was a consumable fest. Yea. I said it!! LOL a pretty awesome one but still). Now it's like the whole world has caught up. Wrath was great. The difficulty curve might have coined the phrase"Wrath mechanic" but to me it was perfect. The Raid setup had separate locks for 10 and 25. That means whether you were casual or hardcore you had to do some work. No LFR here. 
It also had a great Villain with Arthas and great patches throughout(especially the one with the Ice Crown dungeons). It has arguably the best Raid in WoW, Ulduar(A statement that would be argued by me #TeamKarazhan:P).
WoW to me is behind for one huge reason that everyone continues to overlook. It does not have a good "world". What I mean when I say that, is they don't have Rifts or Fates or W/e GW2 has. Just Play Rift or ARR and you'll see what I mean. Rift's world feels like there's an actual "war" between factions happening. There are mobs spawning from different faction that will not only attack you, they will attack other factions from other planes and in some cases corrupt things around them. That's a "world" of "warcraft". Instead of creating something dynamic, they decided to lock everyone into their own instance. This next expansion desperately needs to get rid of the static boring nature of WoW's "world". They have had the logical thing to do what Rift and ARR is doing forever. Let's put those Dimensional Portals to good use.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

ManastuUtakata Its not only about BLizzard decisions. Sub numbers will bleed whatever Blizzard does since people grew tired of WoW and there is huge competition in MMO genre. MoP was amazing expansion, still game lost subs.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

Eliot_Lefebvre quixadhal I disagree with anything you write on WoW and this post isnt exception. Blizzard in fact lowered randomness in WoW throught years. Removing items that heavily relied on procs (like mace with stun proc) and removing many abilities that were too random. Also giving players in raid chance to get what they want without praying on lucky drop. There is least randomness now then it ever was in WoW history.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

quixadhal ManastuUtakata Oleg Chebeneev Lol. Most players in WOW have at least one high level characters and many have several level capped alts. That *TONS* of content youre speaking about is irrelevant at level 100 and speaking of high level content there isnt much.

ntellect
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ntellect

Yeah yeah yeah. I feel at this stage in the game that the things said here are well known.  The real question is why doesn't Blizzard do anything about it?  I'd be very interested to hear and understand their answer.

Eliot_Lefebvre
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Eliot_Lefebvre

quixadhal Dude, given Blizzard's obsession with randomness in recent years, you really shouldn't type stuff like this. Next thing you know there'll be a slot machine determining which characters you're allowed to play today and whether or not you can enter a dungeon.

quixadhal
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quixadhal

ManastuUtakata Oleg Chebeneev It's not even a question of content being too scarce.  WoW had *TONS* of content, and it's actually very hard to chew through all of it.  Go ahead, make a brand new character and try to finish everything without using an autopilot addon (which almost includes the default UI these days).

The problem is all the content is the same %^@% thing.  There are only so many re-skinned "fetch me a spoon" quests you can do before you shut your brain off and do nothing but click buttons... or you unsubscribe and play something more interesting.

Blizzard got away with this up through WotLK, because the overall story was good enough to keep people doing those little side quests and whatnot, as they pushed to find out what happened next.  Since then, the main story just hasn't been all that good, and the filler material is even more obvious.
I speak, of course, for the 90% of the playerbase who isn't just obsessed with gearscore and wants to enjoy playing the game.  The vocal minority who raid or PvP would be just as happy if there were a slot machine at the raid portal they could pull until they got gear good enough to walk in and faceroll all the bosses.  Oh yeah, garrisons!

Ravv
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Ravv

szwierzy I find Skyforge to be a somewhat diverting game. The combat is fun anyways and it's free to play to try out. Tera also has some damned fun combat, the stories only so so though, also free to try out. Other than that I'm not sure there's much else out there without going to either the Russian or Asian mmo markets.

teppic
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teppic

While I'm sure WoW deserves a lot of criticism, I never seem to read anything but critical articles about the game on here. I also never see any interviews with Blizzard.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Cinaminson ManastuUtakata 
...did you know the Garrison comes with an irony gland building when it reaches level 3? It's located somewhere between the mission Town Hall and your chosen profession boutique. Be careful not to trip over it, or will explode. <3

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Oleg Chebeneev ManastuUtakata 
Yes...maybe for that 5%, but not for the rest who maybe are still struggling through the current *easier* modes. So in effect you are partially right, but with the wrong target audience. That is, the current casual/dedicated audience will be the ones seeing no real change in that.
That said, the delivery of content on a consistent bases is an entirely a separate issue from this debate and article. Beyond the fact that Blizz should be ones getting their finger out in releasing content on a reasonable and consistent basis, if they're so afraid of losing their players because they are left with nothing to do.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

ManastuUtakata Oleg Chebeneev Existance of challenging raid content is not the reason for people quiting

Cinaminson
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Cinaminson

ManastuUtakata Yeah because it's so hard to get epics in the Garrison. /sarcasmoff  Oh Blizzard...

Cinaminson
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Cinaminson

szwierzy WandaClamshuckr ESO is on sale right now for $20 on the Humble Bundle's site. It links to your Steam account too.

Madkitty
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Madkitty

I just hope someone at Blizzard is listening to you. Rather, that they are paying attention, and doing something about the state of the game.

szwierzy
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szwierzy

WandaClamshuckr szwierzy Funny you mention ARPG's.  Diablo3 Season 4 Hardcore has taken up most of my gaming time.  I think they finally got the game to a really good place with the last patch.  I think it might need a slight tuning to be a little harder (haven't had a max lvl character killed yet,) but still a really fun, and sometimes scary, experience.

I've keep flirting with ESO, but after feeling burnt on Wildstar I just haven't made the plunge. I was thinking of maybe waiting a bit and grabbing it during Steam's holiday sale.

WandaClamshuckr
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WandaClamshuckr

szwierzy Boned, eh?

You could take a peek at ESO.  I've tried and played all the games you mentioned, and generally agree with your sentiments on them.  Right now, ESO is a bit of filler, but it's decently engaging and graphically awesome.  It's B2P, so the investment isn't huge either.

However, I find myself playing ARPGs more and more these days.  I find the current MMO scene to be abysmal on so many levels.

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

Rumm Bobby Kotick has probably had a lot more to do with the downfall of WoW than people outside the company will ever know.

szwierzy
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szwierzy

I still pay wow for two reasons:  1.  Social Pressure.  It's the game my friends play.  2.  I haven't paid Blizzard a cent since wow tokens became a thing. Especially with gold being so easy to get nowadays.

Pros:

I thought the questing experience was excellent in WoD.  The flow was excellent and I really felt a payoff for completing the zones, but that content has long been over
I like raiding
Flying eventually came.  Not soon enough, but eventually.

Cons
I don't care about professions because why should I?
I don't care about pvp because right now it's either broken, stupid, lame, or all three
Blizz got the dumb idea that I magically stopped liking dungeons because I guess I was in them too much pre-MoP
Pandas are stupid
Alts are great for world of menu-craft as gold batteries, but that's about it
Shipyards had to be dumbest idea they have ever come up with
Long content drought cycles
We pay more for less content with every expac
Oh yeah-- last, but certainly not least...   ...the story is F#CKED.  Why is Grommash now my pal?  I can forgive most of the hackneyed writing, but seriously, why is, who was supposedly going to be the main villain, now my goddam buddy?  No narrative to connect this.  No resolution.  He caused 90% of this mess, but now he is my ally.  Nice going Metzen.  Way to spin a yarn.

Tom Chilton comes off as an arrogant dbag

So why do I still play?  Warhammer and AoC were hot messes.  Swtor was good, but not.  My friends won't give ffxiv a go because they hated most ff games.  I don't like TSW's combat.  Carbine thought it was still 2007 when it released Wildstar.  Sandboxes are a boring gankfest.  Rift was too much like wow.  I don't like GW2, and especially their fanboys.  I am not a graphics snob, but holy crap do EQ, EQ2, and Lotro look awful.  I like raiding.  So what's left?  Seriously-- anyone have any ideas?  I've tried all of the above and then some.  The only one I'd happily jump back into is ffxiv.  I think I'm just boned.

Risu
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Risu

Most of all you talked about is why I don't play anymore. After it takes me a few weeks to level up I run out of things to do and keep me excited.

Ceder
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Ceder

Eliot_Lefebvre Greaterdivinity BryanCole  One thing they've stated already that I don't like for Legion is that they plan to carry over the 3 piece crafted only rule that they implemented in WoD. Given BS wont get weapons to make(since only weapons will be artifact ones), its disconcerting to say the least.   They've lauded that the current professions team is the largest they've ever had but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be implementing anything that will make professions more relevant, econ balanced, and engaging for those that opt into them.

Eliot_Lefebvre
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Eliot_Lefebvre

ManastuUtakata "...there really should be a Peter principle version of upper management not getting it. /sigh"
That's mostly the regular Peter Principle.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Cataclysm, Cupcake:
"WoLK is what really worked, #Blizz"
"Yeah but, too may players where getting epics without real effort."
*Subscription bleeds*

The Great Wall of Dailies:
"WoLK is what really worked, #Blizz"
"Yeah but, too may players where getting epics without real effort."
*Subscription bleeds more*

Warlords of Garrisons:
"WoLK is what really worked, #Blizz"
"Yeah but, too may players where getting epics without real effort."
*Subscription continues to bleed*

...there really should be a Peter principle version of upper management not getting it. /sigh
Good read, btw!

Durenas
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Durenas

Eliot_Lefebvre Greaterdivinity BryanCole Agreed. I remember when WoD was released and everyone went gaga. I looked at it and had a lot of questions no one was able to answer yet; and yet people were just so gung-ho on it, because they wanted to believe things would get better than MoP. I feel Legion may be just more of the same.

Alien Legion
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Alien Legion

"which is basically producing expensive content for almost no one in the world"
 "it’s the existence of things built and tuned first and foremost for almost no one who is playing the game."
Every dungeon, raid, encounter should have a 'solo mode' of sorts.  Not everyone wants the endless treadmill of TierX+1 gear. How cares what your item level is?  It's 3 points higher than mine, you must be very proud.
Remember when games were made for the enjoyment of the game, not the endless gear grind.  Keep the raids for those who want the loot, let the rest of us who want the adventure run the content without depending on the most volatile part, other people.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

DarkWombat 
Instead of tone trolling, you could always not read any Eliot has to write on WoW. He's not going to stop writing about WoW no matter what you say, feel or think. Therefor, I don't see the point of your complaint.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Oleg Chebeneev 
Yet 5% quitting instead 95% would be the lesser of two evils...to put it mildly. /shrug

Estranged
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Estranged

I enjoyed the new 1-60 experience like a standalone RPG and split.

Estranged
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Estranged

They have poisoned the MMO well by fertilizing and growing this rush to level cap trend. Gear score, etc. More so than anything. The same mentality that almost destroyed a beautiful game in WildStar.

BrotherMaynard
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BrotherMaynard

Mind Flayer And with garrisons they also dropped the "MMO" part, leaving them with...

dwhisper
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dwhisper

corey1 Oleg Chebeneev Was coming to say basically the same thing. Let's go with an extreme assumption, that everyone who plays through a raid on Normal or higher would quit if they made that experience easier... in which case they would lose the 10%, max, that was stated above. Which is likely less than the fluctuation that they get just from having the lifecycle. 

The design simply isn't sustainable at the numbers they work with. The hardcore populace is consistently shrinking (life does that), and it's not being offset by a growth on the other end. While I'm not advocating that Blizz just go and kill off raids, I can totally agree with the author's implication that the focus should shift to the other content. 

He's spot on with professions, which have never been Blizz's strong suit anyway. They either need to go, which would be a shame, or be made relevant. WoD did more to damage that than every other expansion and patch of tweaking, so I don't even have a good suggestion for it... but it most certainly can be done.

corey1
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corey1

Oleg Chebeneev TBH, I doubt that most of the work in designing dungeons comes from creating only the higher level difficulties. The tiered difficulties are the way to go. Including metrics about how many people do Normal Mode is quite silly, because, number tuning and a few extra mechanics aside, all the same work that goes into art assets, and most of the general fight design also gets seen in LFR, which probably has enormously higher numbers of people playing through it. 

Your argument that there are "tons" of hardcore raiders who would quit is not really a threat to Blizzard, in terms of sheer numbers. The amount of people playing the Normal mode and higher raids are so danged tiny compared to the rest of the players. That said, my main point still stands, that creating difficulty tiers on top of a base LFR difficulty is likely way way less work than if they only put in LFR mode. Essentially, if you have the base there already (which a lot of people can experience) then building up to satisfy the smaller numbers of hardcore raiders isn't that much of a strain.

wjowski
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wjowski

Bannex19
Meanwhile two expansions later you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone with a kind word to say about Cataclysm

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

ThreeSpeed Mind Flayer What I think lost me was when they made a post along the lines of  "we spent time developing this content, it matters to us that you play it, so we will make you play it".....instead of going "we tried something, players did not like it, so we learnt from it.".....totally arsebackwards attitude.

wpDiscuz