The Daily Grind: Are you concerned about the future of World of Warcraft?

    
107

Given the week that Activision-Blizzard just had – capping off a record financial year by haphazardly firing 800 employees, literally provoking union groups to step up their organization and call for the head of the top brass – you might be wondering about the health of the company going forward from a gamer’s perspective.

One of the stated reasons for cutting so many staff across the global corporation was that Acti-Blizz is supposedly mandating a 20% increase in core development staff on big live games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch as well as upcoming games like the Diablo titles in production. I bet a lot of folks in our specific audience are thinking, sweet, cut back on esports, produce more actual content, what’s not to like? Of course, the cuts affected more than esports; it also affected art teams, QA teams, writing teams, and community teams, which aren’t as negligible as some commentators seem to think.

Plus, adding 20% more to a team you’ve just slashed isn’t necessarily going to result in an equivalent 20% more content (or faster content). I have serious doubts about the future: Even if those increased content producers materialize, can they turn around the games’ fortunes fast enough? And in WoW’s case, there’s an awful lot riding on 2019 and the success of WoW Classic. It makes me nervous as hell.

How about you? Are you concerned about the future of World of Warcraft and Blizzard’s other online titles? If you were concerned before, are you more concerned now?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

107
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Kevin Ho

Blizzard is trying to move into mobile and other fad games. Can’t blame them because as much as WOW is still a cash cow for them. It is easily surpassed by fad games like Fortnite where Epic made some obscene amount of money just on loot boxes, in-game items, and passes.

I’m sure Blizz debated about switching to F2P but they knew by doing so would easily kill the game and alienate their loyal fanbase.

They will most likely pursue mobile and F2P games as the next projects but keep Wow to subs and see how Vanilla plays out for them.

Reader
Ben Burton

Look, I’m the type of person that plays for community and story. People like me will always keep pulling together to create more communities and stories to enjoy.

There are realy no new stories just new points of views to tell them from. It is all just one big story, the story of reality.

Reader
Kelmor Thunderhorn

No, it’s already terrible. Many players don’t see how systems are tied together, and those are the reason we are stuck with things this way. One example is that players complain about RNG loot titanforging, but that is because they had to make a loot system to drive M+. And M+ has many other problems for raiders that are not doing mythic raids, as only a portion of those raids are doing M+ simply because they don’t like it, or don’t belong to a clique who are doing them, and Bliz can’t balance them well. So many players quit half way into the raid, as they fall behind others and are called out.

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

Not any more concerned than any MMO. By nature of the genre we are talking about games with a finite lifespan.

The fact that certain individuals want to characterize the loss if jobs as a “bloodbath” does a great in service to the thousands who suffer a similar fate in the business world on a daily basis. A-B stated their reasons for the cuts, and those cuts make perfect sense for their goals. Just like every other cut that happens after a game hits the wild.

Reader
Anthony Clark

Nope. Wrote them off years ago.

Reader
Roger Melly

I imagine there will be enough people in 10 ( or maybe even 20 ) years time to populate a few servers and keep the game profitable enough to keep going .

But its days of dominating the mmo market are on the wane now .

Reader
Danny Smith

Depends what you mean. I don’t think its going to die any time soon. I think theres probably enough sunk cost addicts -remember when people made documentaries about them like ten bloody years ago when online games were the boogeyman of the time?- who simply cannot stop. Even if the games just a second life style chatroom for them they just can’t stop.

That said even if its not going to die the state of it is worrying in so much as i played for like ten years and revisited each expansion once or twice. BfA in particular feels like a WoW mod designed to integrate a lot of lessons and mechanics from mobile games and loot gachas. F2P things designed to suck up your free time for a chance at a chance of a chance at an item upgrade, because since like wrath the gear treadmill has really been the only thing WoW does anymore. Hearing “most of our devs prefer mobile gaming” was a real “wow, that explains so much” moment when you look at the current state of world of warcraft and honestly if they follow that trend there is going to come a point where you can just play a mobile game for a better experience. Which y’know, probably is what they are hoping for in the longrun, but the jokes aside ‘raid or die’ exists as the core mindset that seems to keep people in the game to chase purple item names for the sake of it but the game as a whole is just chasing bigger numbers for bigger numbers sake and after azshara and the old gods are dealt with i think without any rts hooks left over thats going to be a lot less investing when it turns into ‘n-no now these are the true big bads out to end the world all along!’ and i dont see how a design ethos leaning increasingly to the korean mobage school of thought is going to keep people invested when theres no “I UNDERSTOOD THAT REFERENCE, I KNOW WHERE THAT THINGS FROM” LEFT.

Trouble is Blizzard has catered expansions to always be “jump into this epic final conflict of battlefield rages of war” which i guess really shows this is a game from 2004 in retrospect but it can’t last forever as a hook. I remember telling a friend about FFXIV’s Heavensward expansion where the hook is “this character was assassinated, you were betrayed and on the lam you head to this isolationist nation and get caught up in its own troubles” and they said “but how does that end the world?” and would you believe the only mmo they play is WoW?

Personally i got sick of the ‘world ending villain’ trope in wow with Deathwing after Arthas and it only gets less impressive in a boy who cried wolf way each time. Difference is now the mechanics are changing to such a stark degree that it may as well have a “pay 2.99 to refill your energy bar or buy a pack of gems!” and god knows WoW’s exhausted corpse of a story can’t support it without extreme changes.

and thats what makes me worry because i don’t think the current team has any desire to do anything but fart out world ending big bads on repeat while making the game even more of a “check in for 5 minutes to do the thing the app wont let me” as time goes on and thats not an mmo. Thats a mobile game parasite.

Reader
Josh

Yea, definitely agreed. WoW never really knew how to make small conflicts feel like they mattered, which is already hard to do when you play the apocalypse card as heavily as they have.
I think WoW classic is the best change Blizzard has to really maintaining much popularity as time goes on, but I think it’s a shame they never took the time to reboot WoW as a sequel within the same universe, similar to what Guild Wars did with Tyria (i.e. taking the same universe and lore, fast forwarding 250 years, then establishing new story arcs). I think that’s the only way for them to escape all the baggage of the world-ending boss threats and overly-RNG gear treadmills that their aging population just hasn’t been able to keep up with.

Reader
Robert Mann

Not really. It needs to die it’s slow death, and open the genre back up to new ideas.

Of course, the pain with that is that the $$ behind the games is… not so friendly toward such things. :(

Reader
Bannex

WoW is no longer hindering the genre. It’s death won’t herald a new dawn for mmos. I do not understand how people come to these conclusions.

WoW’s existence at this point is actually helping the genre.

Reader
Ben Stone

WoW isn’t going anywhere any time soon. No-one else is even in the same league as them right now.

Reader
Bluxy

cough… black desert is 10x better….. cough

Reader
Mallus

FF14 & ESO are better games.

Reader
Bannex

I 100% disagree.

ESO is a pedestrian experience aimed at getting you to spend money in the shop.

FFXIV would be a better game if it was streamlined a bit more as far as mechanics and menus. They’d also need to add more interesting races than big human, small human, cat human, human human and soon playboy bunny human. Even then, ffixiv still feels generally wonky as far as controls and movement compared to wow I don’t think it will ever match WoW in world feel.

Reader
Mallus

There’s absolutely nothing you need in the ESO cash shop, the game is 100% playable without using it at all. The only thing I don’t like is the sub requirement for the crafting bag. As for FF14 I didn’t like it on my 1st play through (made max level of about 40) but I’n on my 2nd play through and I’m absolutely loving it, the story is great, the graphics are awesome and the combat is better than wow at the end game. I’ve played almost every MMO in existance and every WoW expansion since release, I can say without a doubt both ESO and FF14 are better games period.

Reader
Bluxy

yeah enjoy your loading screens

Reader
Shawn Clark

Interesting the way things have changed so much from the vanilla days.
Since I still have my original disks and a few of the free play codes do i get to just upload those and start playing or are we buying the game all over again?
Do they plan on breaking it down like it used to be; different fishing zones for each level? Weapon skills requiring you to become proficient in each weapon? Grind to get the top rated weapon for you class, using the second most rated weapon… I.e. use a mace get it to a proficiency of 100 to get a sword and then go find a level 5 creature to start the proficiency grind up to 100.
Are they bring back talent trees? No more 10 levels with 3 selections.. Can we now go back and truely make hybrid toons?
This shall be interesting.. Running all over from one end of the barren to the other because you are missing one flight path and can not fly through or are they going to skip all that and give you flight paths??