My biggest fear tomorrow, as I prepare for bed, is that the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion will be a "DLC" expansion, versus a traditional MMO expansion. My fear is that they're going to say, look, we know you're not happy with Warlords. We're going to give away a free or low cost expansion to fix these issues. This will count as an expansion and will only fix a limited number of issues since we're not going to essentially do a full wipe, but instead, just modify this expansion severely. I call this the "New Frontiers Dream" where a developer decides to move in, offer a free update, and then make everyone swallow the harsh reality that changes are coming and they're not a solution to the issue.
In Dark Age of Camelot, "New Frontiers" was a solution to post-Trials of Atlantis disgust with the game. It was this idea that if they made RvR more fun that it would be totally makeup for the fact that many of the playerbase, at least in my experience, was very upset that ToA was basically Everquest vomitting harsh into the game as players had to camp 24/7 for various items to drop and grind enemies endlessly for scrolls. New Frontiers was the stopping point of my adventure in DAoC, after a bad expansion, a un-neccessary update to the RvR dynamics didn't make up for the fact I wanted the RNG out of my RvR.
For WoW, I fear, that they're just going to say look, we know you all feel like WoW is basically Animal Crossing with your Garrison and you're all tired of midnight bug farming, so we're just going to revamp the entire endgame. We're going to take dungeons, and remake them, and then they're going to be awesome. The entire raiding dynamic is going to be changed and it's going to be accessible to everyone!!! This amazing free update, available to everyone, is going to be the hypest thing any of you have ever seen, oh and look forward to Blizzcon, when we announce the upcoming expansion, that'll be due out in about a year.
That to me, would be the death knell of WoW, the final sunset for the game, when the population rolls their eyes and secures Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone as the frontrunners. It could come in other flavors too, where the expansion is say a free PvP expansion that's going to remove every battleground and arena and start over from scratch. There is a lot of alternatives, which all return to the same point, that such an activity is amazing for games that their population is happy, but for a game shedding over a million subscribers a quarter, not so much.
I honestly hope that tomorrow, we see the savior of WoW come, an announcement that makes sense and will be implimented well, and bring the game back to it's expansion launch glory when the energy was positive. At the end of the day, remember, no matter how much you might hate WoW, it's a good thing for MMOs and exposes the genre to a lot more players than you'd think.
Guess we'll see in about tweleve hours...
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