Massively OP’s Mike Foster said something that resonated with me earlier this week when during a debate about World of Warcraft, he uttered, “I think WoW truly lost me when Blizzard got rid of Shaman totems.” I wanted to cheer, but I’m sad about it too. I’ve never fully quit WoW over its now many years of slowly watering down the flavor of my main class, and I won’t say I’ll never go back because I always do and I always have fun. But when totems became shells of their former selves, it sort of sank in that the gameplay I liked was gone, that this was the new reality, that the game’s philosophy had really shifted almost too much for me — as Mike put it, “It was the moment for me that said, ‘We want every class playing basically the same.'”
I wonder whether this is something that a lot of folks realize at some point in their gaming careers, especially those who’ve been playing “old” MMOs long enough to see them change over first-hand, sometimes into dramatically different versions of themselves. I certainly feel that way when I log into Ultima Online in 2015 — aside from the graphics, it’s so different from its 1997 version that a lot of folks wouldn’t even recognize it. There was never a jump-the-shark moment or anything; just a slow realization that oh, it’s over… oh, it’s something else now — damn.
Do you ever have MMO epiphanies like this? When do you know that the game is just too far gone, that you’re never going back to an MMO?