Wednesday, July 8, 2015

World of Warcraft: Regarding the Recent Interview...

In this video, I discuss a recent interview that announces that Hellfire Citadel is the last planned raid of the expansion, among other statements that have once again caused an upset within the community. I am personally disappointed by this news and by several other statements in the interview.
I've made a lot of statements regarding the interview, some of which I've compiled here in the transcript below:

Is the sky falling? No - while people have quite a lot of reason to be upset I would suggest stepping back for a moment to calm down and after that, provide detailed feedback on what's wrong with Warlords, the game, Blizzard, etc.

Overall, upon reviewing the interview, I can't really agree with making Hellfire Citadel the last raid tier of Warlord and 6.2 potentially the last major patch, even if it's not all that surprising. One specific point I want to set straight since 6.1 is said to be a major patch according to the interview is this:

While I might defend 6.1, I'm not going to pretend it was a major patch - it kind of wasn't even with BRF accounted for, meaning that particular statement on 6.1 being a major patch was a botch/fail.

On another note, I'm not about to buy into the conspiracy theories that Blizzard is releasing less content at a higher price on purpose to (further) squeeze money from consumers. However, there is a grain of truth in that statement worth going over, which is that Blizzard's actions help to drive such a perception, which leads to the following statements:

A new expansion will not make the problems go away. Releasing a new expansion at this point will likely make a sizable number of people unlikely to buy it due to a loss of faith in Blizzard on the grounds of suspected attempts at a "petty cash grab." Such an action is effectively consumer-unfriendly in the face of so much negative feedback on the content of this expansion, especially since is was more costly than previous ones (admittedly there is cause for the price increase, but the aforementioned perception casts doubt on Blizzard's financial practices not to mention even at the typical expansion price Warlords of Draenor still lacks in value compared to other expansions in terms of both quality and quantity).

I seriously urge Blizzard to rethink this and push the next expansion back a little bit despite the probable plans regarding said expansion that may already be set in motion, throwing in another patch or two (ideally with another raid tier unless there's plans for side-grade raid content such as more world bosses or something potentially more innovative than that) to make this expansion more content-rich and try to address more of the issues that this expansion brought. The release of a few decent patches alone will at least resolve the perception that Warlords is lacking in content, which in some respects is true. It will help restore faith in the customer at the expense of an investment of some development time, which would theoretically be repaid for in sub time and more people buying the next expansion.

I plan to review my list of suggestions and how patch 6.2 shaped up against it, which should touch upon some issues with Warlords of Draenor. The list I make, along with the feedback of many others could serve as helpful either in this expansion or the next, but it really needs to be this expansion based on points made above.

One thing I do want to address that was in my suggestions and is highly relevant to the interview and my suggestion to implement more content for Warlords of Draenor is Blizzard's content release practice, which is known to have lengthy intervals to the point we have year-long Siege of Orgrimmar and the like. I know Blizzard said they want to release expansions faster in order to "release content faster" and I am also aware Blizzard has gotten a bit better with how they're pacing out content releases, as shown for most of Mists of Pandaria. However, as I said in my list of suggestions, I urge Blizzard to change this further and go for monthly releases of smaller installments of content, such as a couple quest lines one month and a dungeon in the next, as detailed in this article, in addition to the larger patches that add more content such as raid tiers and new zones.

As it is, I was going to criticize that Blizzard (over)prices their cosmetic goods (and services) explaining the impact of doing so especially in an industry where fighting for the consumer seems to be a very big deal and one I inherently support due to the practices of some corporations in and out of the gaming industry. This sort of practice, while I would like to think it's not as dodgy as it looks, is definitely pissing off some consumers and I'm not happy as well (nor have I been with such practices). This will likely be the content of the next video.

Until then, stay graceful and classy - don't be one of the many angry, aggressive voices that will just be drowned out and ignored. Also, try to be constructive and detailed with feedback if possible and all that. Cheers.

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