World of Warcraft players croon over glasses, riot over Burning Crusade Classic prices

    
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Let the dead bury their dead, they will come out in droves.

No matter where you turn in the World of Warcraft community these days, it seems like there’s a whole lot of depression and anger. Retail players are barely tolerating the bizarrely long wait until Patch 9.1, consoling themselves with datamined reveals like cosmetic glasses. Admittedly, the glasses are really neat (and long overdue). But glasses aren’t going to reverse a downward spiral all by themselves.

Over in the WoW Classic crowd, what should be a month of eager anticipation for the June 1st release of Burning Crusade Classic has gotten real ugly, real fast thanks to inflated prices for cloning services and a deluxe edition that doesn’t even include a game (since you get the expansion anyway). Even WoW’s biggest streamers are leveling strong criticism against Blizzard’s handling of these macrotransactions.

But hey, at least we’re getting amusing Bobby Kotick memes out of all of this? That makes up for it.

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Greaterdivinity

I hate the Kotick memes, I really, really do. Not rushing to his defense, but it’s WoW fans continuing to miss the bloody point.

It’s not Kotick that’s the problem, it’s Blizzard. It’s Brak and the rest of the leadership. It’s Ion and the rest of the WoW leads. Blizzard doesn’t need Kotick acting as a convenient shield every time Blizzard alone makes a terrible/unpopular decision.

I’m still genuinely impressed they managed to release an expansion and apparently have nothing in the pipeline for post launch. Like, going 8-9 months post launch before the first content update? What is the sub allegedly paying for anymore, other than folks who continue to pay it and play out of habit more than anything else?

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Bruno Brito

It’s both. Kotick has a huge ammount of blame considering that morale will never recover as long as he’s CEO.

That being said, Blizzard itself started in the path of self-fulfilling doom. They had completely authonomy, they were always owned by awful companies so the narrative isn’t new and only now it became a problem. Their design philosophies are terrible, their lead devs are only knowledgeable on a specific part of the game, they are adept of constraining their players to the most dumb limitations possible, and well, they refuse to look around to other games and learn from them, except to steal design and fail to implement in any competent capacity.

And most WoW players aren’t known for their capability for awareness. There’s a reason why some people say ( me included ) “WoW players are not MMO players.”

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Giggilybits

Are you saying the CEO of a gaming company has no say on the direction of Content or who is appointed to key positions? We have a saying in the field I use to work in, Shit rolls down hill.

I find it interesting around the same time Bobby boy became CEO( July 9 2008) that our next expansion not WOTLK (Nov 13 2008) would be Cataclysm and we all know how great that turned out to be.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m saying that blaming ‘ol Bobby for everything absolves Blizzard of any responsibility or agency in how the company has changed over the years. Notice how things seem to be getting worse in the post-Morhaime era? Almost like leadership within Blizzard can still effectively push back against Activision and try to stick closer to the “spirit” of the company, and that the change of leadership appears to have included a cultural shift within Blizzard leadership writ large.

And you think Bobby had that big of an impact in the 4 months before Cataclysm launched? Despite it being in development for like a year before it released? You think that’s where his first focus was? He was already Activision CEO, that was just when the merger was completed. Cataclysm was purely a Blizzard fail, they took some big risks with it and they didn’t pay off. He was more interested in continuing to push CoD and the Chinese market at the time since Blizzard was having far more success there than Activision was.

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Estranged

The CEO gets paid the big bucks to take the black.

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Giggilybits

Bobby became CEO around July 9 2008. WOTLK was released Nov 13 2008 so he had no affect on that expansion. CATA was released Dec 7 2010 so on that expansion he did. Now I’m not a pyshcic but I understand the inner workings of how companies work hence the reference shit rolls down hill and me being near the very bottom of the hill I know alot of the decisions and/or ideas come from the top. They just find yes men under them to carry out their vision. For example the Talent tree was a big change. It was incredibly dumbed down because I can assume someone up top said lets make this game more accessible so a five year old could play this game.

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Bruno Brito

It was incredibly dumbed down because I can assume someone up top said lets make this game more accessible so a five year old could play this game.

it was dumbed down because Blizzard already had 3 rows of “ultimate talents” already. Let’s use my class, Hunters, as example: Level 60 had Bestial Wrath, level 70 had Beast Within, level 80 had Exotic Training. WoW had got to a point where trees could not be expanded anymore, they would require complete reworks, and those would take a lot of time. Blizzard themselves reworked the trees into the cata version ( i agree it wasn’t good ), and as a bonus they locked you out of hybridization, because Blizzard HATED hybrid specs, them being awful to balance.

The argument of “accessibility” makes no sense. Cata wasnt accessible. It was actually over-complicated because of skill bloating and stat bloating. And dungeons were way harder than Wrath dungeons.

Look, Kotick has a shitload of stains on his sheet, but he’s not the sole cause of Blizzard’s downfall. Kotick doesn’t force players into farming Soul Ash, nor was he the one with the idea of Titanforging.

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Greaterdivinity

The notion that Kotick was somehow deeply involved in the design of Cataclysm is like, patently hilarious. Sure, some CEO’s that rose up through the ranks are still involved with games directly (IIRC Koei Tecmo and NCsoft CEO’s are still active with a few titles in addition to their exec roles?), but they’re rare.

I don’t think Kotick comes from a development background, nor do I think we even have any stories akin to Patrick Soderlund of EA going and playing Anthem and telling them that the flightless version of the game sucked and that the version with flying and pretty graphics was good (the two best things about Anthem come launch). Kotick is pretty much a pure executive, he’s looking at high level information and making business decisions, not determining how many guns will be in the next CoD or what new characters Blizzard will add to OW.

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Danny Smith

I think a lot of people won’t accept that Blizzard is entirely complicit until the see them do something outside of activisions control. Just Look at Bungie. It was all the activision boogeyman till the realised that the period with activision saw all the passionate, creative developers jump ship and the people left when the company left activision? were all the people who stuck around, they just wanted the whole pie from eververse for themselves. Blizzards lost its tools and talent to brain drain and the people left are the people who agree with activision. If activision closed its doors and blizzard went independent tomorrow its still missing all the people who left.

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Sarnaut Explorer

ActiBlizzen continues to baffle me. Ah well, I’ll just keep my fond memories of Burning Crusade and Wrath, and pass on this one I guess.

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styopa

I suppose it was predictable to anyone who’s read Gibbon that the ultimate WoW-Killer would be…WoW.

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KoboldWhite

But at least it’s going to survive in the East, right?

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styopa

Touche.