It was fun while it lasted, Azeroth

I had no friends when I started playing WoW. It’s only fitting my exit’s the same way.

 Believe it or not, the lack of friends is the main reason quit MMOs. MMOs come and go but WoW set a standard all the rest can only chase after. I’m confident in saying WoW will still be around 10 years from now. It’ll take more than new content to bring me back to Azeroth though.

Those were the last words I said in this post last July when I ragequit after a bad breakup with a former friend.

The difference between then and now is this time, I’m done with the game itself. Actually I take that back: I’m done with MMORPGs.

In lieu of my buying a six-month sub, I’ll   come back in July to take advantage of the Midsummer Festival’s EXP Buff. After that, I’m done until Warlords of Draenor goes live. I already upgraded my account for it and will buy a 60-day prepaid card so I can try it when it does go live. As I said in a thread on MMO-Champion a short time ago, I don’t see myself playing WoW by this time next year. It’s just as well given my attention has been elsewhere for the last two years.

Even though I’m calling it quits I have nothing but respect for Blizzard. Like my good friend Andiy, I will continue to write about the Warcraft universe in Fanfiction. I play Starcraft II and have recently started playing Diablo III again after getting the expansion. That said, I will keep WoW on my Desktop but will delete it from my Laptop after I’ve tried WoD.

Moving on, as I said earlier I’m done with the MMO Genre. I’ve played several MMOs over the last seven years. WoW was actually the second. The first was Second Life in 2002 when I was in high school. I’ve played Star Wars: The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls IV, APB (after it was relaunched), Everquest I and II, DC Universe Online, RuneScape and more recently I got Guild Wars 2 last summer.  The last six years have seen an explosion of new MMOs, most of them with the intent of being “The WoW Killer”. I remember when Aion, Rift and Warhammer came out. Folks jumped over to them of course but after they had their fill of those games they came right back to WoW.

Elitists will say Mists of Pandaria’s release was the beginning of the end of WoW’s status as the MMO King. Even I can’t deny more people left WoW during MoP than any other period in the game’s history. It also didn’t help many of the players who left during that nine-month stretch between Dragon Soul’s release and MoP’s release never came back. It was BECAUSE of that huge gap of no new content Blizzard promised the game will never again go that long without new content.

Historically, Blizzard has a track record of not updating the game until the pre-expansion event once the next expansion’s release date is announced. Warlords of Draenor was announced within a few weeks of Seige of Orgrimmar’s release. That was last fall. WoD is slated for release “On or around 12/20/2014”. Therefore, Blizzard lied. It will also have been 12 months since SoO went live and the WoD pre-event is added. As a reminder, the Theramore’s Fall scenario was MoP’s prevent.

That aside, for the second expansion in a row Blizzard will not bring back one of the big features introduced in an expansion. In Cataclysm, Deathwing’s return changed the face of Azerother forever, bringing a complete revamp of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. The tradeoff: Unlike past and future expansions, there was no new world to explore. Instead, you had five new zones and two new sub zones (I’m referring to the Goblin Starting Areas there) revealed by the Cataclysm on Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Blizzard decided this wasn’t equitable long term though personally I think adding or revamping zones mid-expansion can keep the game fresh.

Other MMOs figured out how to make it work so why not Blizzard?

In Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard announced the Neutral classification new Pandaren start with will be one-time only. I was one of the many who hoped this would open the door to the emergence of a third playable faction but now we have a firm “NO” to that from Blizzard. In fact, I won’t be surprised if they tweaked the Pandaren starting quest so that you make the choice much earlier but still play through the zone normally only you’re flagged as Alliance or Horde.

Anywho, overall I give World of Warcraft as a whole a 6/10.

If the way this blog post has been going wasn’t clear enough, WoW is showing its age. It’s managed to stay relevant nine years in, which is unheard of in this genre. At the same time, other MMOs have come up in recent years whereas before, if you didn’t play WoW you played Everquest, RuneScape or Second Life. Now you have dozens of MMOs to chose from on just Steam.

This is just my opinion on the matter but I think more and more folks have grown weary of the MMO Genre, which would be a surprise given as I just said just eight years ago the only big MMO worth talking about was World of Warcraft. Its very existence prettymuch made Everquest–the MMO that started it all, by the way–outdated. If Fiction has taught us anything, innovation would lead the way. Sword Art Online and .Hack/Sign come to mind. In both Animes, MMOs of the future are VR worlds players dive into. VR technology is not at that level of sophistication YET but it probably will be in about 10 years.

Anywho, I’m done with the genre at least for a long time. I haven’t played GW2 much since I got it but since there’s no subscription I can jump in anytime without feeling obligated because of a monthly sub. Don’t expect me to talk about MMOs much by the time next year. There’s plenty of other games out there that deserve at least a mention.

The reason MMOs as a genre is dying is not for the hyperbole reasons the vocal minority want you to think. Even I don’t know. What I do know is there’s nothing the MMO industry can do to fix it.

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2 Responses to It was fun while it lasted, Azeroth

  1. On behalf of everyone else I want to reach out and say, “Welcome to the ex-WoW club”

    I was in the same boat as you last summer, my Hardcore raiding guild dissolved at the start of Mists of Pandaria, while I was able to level through level 90 without friends I couldn’t find a proper reason to keep paying $15 a month especially with all the games I could buy with each passing Summer/Winter Steam sales.

    So with WoW behind you what will be your go-to game for most of your free time?

    • brendan2k5 says:

      I just bought Skyrim: Legendary Edition (comes with all three Expansions!!!!) earlier this afternoon this afternoon for the PS3.

      On the PC, I’ve barely touched GW2 in almost a year now. There’s also Age of Empires II HD and on my laptop, Diablo III.

      Prettymuch, I have several games on both my PC and all of my consoles to play through for years to come XD

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