- There is a lot of finger pointing going around lately as to why people are dissatisfied with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Wolfshead started us off with his long expected denunciation of the expansion, describing Blizzard like suicide bombers trying to take down the MMO industry. Lonomonkey tried to parse out the reasons why people are turning away from the game so soon, coming to the conclusion that the theme park is now much to theme parky. And Larisa tries to put the brakes on the Hyperbole Express while pointing out that this cycle has already happened before. As such, I think she hits a lot closer to the mark.
- While any number of people want to blame Blizzard for some perceived failure, I think we all need to take a long look at ourselves and the role we play in how we feel about a game. When Cataclysm was released, it was greeted with high expectations and the highest of praise. It was hard to turn anywhere without seeing "the best expansion yet." Based on where the game has been and where Blizzard wanted to take it, I agree. Cataclysm is the apotheosis of the Blizzard-style MMO.
- The problem comes from whether you still like the Blizzard style of MMO. Many people do not. Some don't yet realize that fact, so they blame the game they have played for months or years for suddenly failing them. Wolfshead seems to glee in how terrible the game is now. The game has changed over time, to be certain, but never to become unrecognizable from how it stood in 2004. But we, the players, have also changed.
- I sometimes wonder about the expectations of MMO players. In what other type of game or any other form of entertainment do you expect to receive years of enjoyment? A movie will last two or three hours, a book a few days to a few weeks, a television show will give us 11 to 24 hours for maybe a few seasons if we're lucky. But we expect that an MMO will continue to be entertaining month in and month out over the course of years. That is unrealistic.
- I know Tipa has one again issued her MMO Challenge wherein you dedicate yourself to a single MMO for a full year. These games do require an investment to get the most out of them. But at the same time, you are asking quite a lot from a developer to keep you entertained for hours on end over the course of twelve months. (Please note: I understand that the true purpose of the challenge is not to suck the marrow out of an MMO's bones, but instead to get players to invest in the community. However, I think the point is still valid.)
- If you are feeling a little lost in your current MMO, take a moment to check your total play time. Across my three main characters, I have about 100 days of time played. Is it really surprise that I'm burned out on the game? Cataclysm was enough to get me excited again but it is still the game I burned out on months earlier. That is not Blizzard's fault. I just don't need WoW to be my one true game anymore.
© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.