Friday, January 29, 2016

An Analysis of My Previous Suggestions: How is WoW Shaping Up?

Over half a year ago, I posted a large list of suggestions for World of Warcraft that I thought would improve the game in numerous aspects. It's not something I do frequently since I have a tendency to post shorter suggestions, most of which have been tied to analytical articles in more recent times, but at the time I felt a compilation of suggestions was necessary since I had so many thoughts I wanted to express at once. As I mention before listing the suggestions, I also did this some time ago for similar reasons. However, despite this large list of suggestions, my desire to make them doesn't seem sufficiently sated to the point I often end up writing lengthy posts on forums about World of Warcraft-related issues.

After some thinking, I've concluded that this behavior is because I feel the last list of suggestions was incomplete. Some reasons for this are because my understanding of game design (and other concepts) has deepened and changed somewhat, especially when it comes to what players are intrigued by. Also, I feel my suggestions might've missed the point in some regards and patch 6.2 and onward have rendered others obsolete. In addition, I've been meaning to review the suggestions and compare them to what patch 6.2 and onward have implemented since from this point until the Legion pre-patch, there appears to be a lack of noteworthy additions. To reiterate, in this article I'm going to condense my old suggestions, compare them to recent updates, and revise them if necessary.

Garrison Suggestions

The Garrison suggestions were broken down into a couple of sections that at the time I thought could be worth addressing during the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Note that these suggestions didn't really do much to address how rewarding they were. I will explain why at the end of this section. Until then, let's go over this rather brief set of suggestions:

Suggestions in Review
Improve the follower interface by adding a default form of Master Plan. In addition, add a RTS-like minigame to gathering resources from the herb garden and mine when they're level 3 to differentiate it from the gameplay style of gathering professions.
I am deliberately ignoring the quality of life parts because the Salvage Crate suggestion was addressed in a couple of ways while keeping the NPCs idle was not. Unfortunately, the suggestions I made to make follower and mission gameplay actually worsened in patch 6.2 because not only was the interface not updated (resulting in a painful few days without Master Plan when the patch hit), but the Shipyard added another layer of the same mission gameplay. I won't be too harsh on the Shipyard's addition, however, since it was made rapidly apparent on the PTR that the Shipyard was going to be more of the same and not have RTS-like gameplay or some other semblance of deeper interaction like some players were hoping for.

This suggestion can probably be safely discarded since the Garrison will hopefully lose relevance in Legion. However, it would be nice to at least have a default Master Plan-like interface for players leveling through Draenor or remaining at level 100.
Address Garrison isolation by allowing players to access Garrison invasions in other ways, such as by purchasing an event triggering item with Garrison Resources or Oil.
This suggestion was intended to promote group activity within the Garrison, which in turn would allow some other Garrison-related features such as monuments and building layout to benefit. While I am also a proponent of getting players to leave the Garrison, it can't be denied that it is effectively the player's hub this expansion, so why not make it a community hub instead of one populated by relatively soulless NPCs?

Unfortunately, 6.2 was more focused on getting players to leave the Garrison. This unfortunately made invasions largely dead content, which is especially saddening since as I anticipated later as I was learning about the Shipyard, Oil would become an overabundant resource. It also didn't help was that Tanaan Jungle mobs don't contribute to any Garrison invasion. What especially bothers me is that Garrison invasions were a pretty good idea in terms of bringing engaging solo and group content to a place that is otherwise impoverished of both.

Concluding Points

As I said above, these suggestions didn't do much to address how rewarding the Garrison was. At the time, I fully aware of how incredibly rewarding it was, especially since in addition to personal observation of my wealth before and after Warlords of Draenor, I was in the middle of a certain experiment. Also, it seemed Blizzard was and is well aware of the issue to the point I think they understand their mistake and wasn't prone to repeating it in Legion. Thus, I was more interested in improving upon the existing concept instead of tearing apart what was probably a lot of man-hours of work; the obsolescence can come later if necessary.

I may go into the issue into even more detail than I did in some other articles like this one, possibly tying it to an analysis of player perceptions and the mentality of greater efficiency in progression. However, I'll try not to mention it too much while reviewing my suggestions here despite how much the issue has affected World of Warcraft.

Solo Content

Solo content suggestions took up a huge amount of my suggestions. I often hear complaints about a lack of it, but in truth the issue is more that solo content seems lacking compared to other activities such as raiding. What's worth noting about the concept of solo content is that arguably features such as the Dungeon Finder are a form of it due to players generally acting independent when using such systems. On the other hand, they also require some form of group interaction which contradicts the idea of what solo content is.

Regardless, I feel I've learned a lot since Runescape (both of them) puts a heavy emphasis on solo gameplay. The game(s) even have a mode where one largely cannot interact with other players. On the World of Warcraft side of things, patch 6.2's addition of the Tanaan Jungle among other implementations made in the following minor patches improved solo content-related prospects. With these points in mind, let's go over the many suggestions I made:
Create a Timeless Isle-like zone with a high density of treasures, rare spawns, events, and other challenges that players can experience and enjoy. In particular, ensure the gameplay remains somewhat fresh by making one or more of the above types of content rewarding to do multiple times with a (short) cooldown period if needed.
Since I knew Tanaan Jungle was already close to completion when writing these suggestions, I specifically requested doing something about the scrapped Farahlon zone to further meet what I considered a design concept Blizzard wouldn't deliver on in Tanaan Jungle, which as it turned out was partially true. Since Farahlon is probably not going to be a thing, it's worth reviewing Tanaan Jungle in the interest of noting what to potentially improve upon and implement in a Legion zone.
  • Tanaan Jungle delivered pretty well on treasures. There was a lot of lootable gear, toys, and other things that added to the exploration and immersion of the zone. However, a lot of these treasures once again fall into the trap of being lootable only once, which is understandable in a lot of cases but disappointing due to a lack of creativity in terms of treasures worth looting multiple times. On the plus side, there are treasures that can be looted repeatedly, with some being random spawns.
  • The zone also delivered pretty well on rare spawns (and notable elites). There were a plethora of them but more importantly they could all be killed for loot once a day much like in level 100 areas, which frankly had a pittance of rare spawns. The problem with all these rare spawns however is that they're largely not worth killing repeatedly due to them dropping only gear or toys and not much else. Tanaan Jungle had a whopping total of four rare spawns that dropped anything worthwhile (some Oil and a chance at mounts and a consumable, unbound reputation token). Overall, I was rather disappointed.
    • It is worth mentioning, however, that this daily quest made rare spawns worthwhile to kill for a little while, but more for reputation gain than anything else. Personally I was looking for something a little more substantial like what Mists of Pandaria rare spawns dropped.
    • Patch 6.2.2 (technically they were on 6.2.1 PTR but that was rolled into 6.2.2) helped a little to address the rare spawn issue by adding some more in areas that require flight to get into. While some had drops that weren't that worthwhile beyond the first kill, others did in the form of pets. However, the amount of rare spawns worth killing still pales in comparison to Mists of Pandaria. Thus, to restate what I said above, I was disappointed.
  • Tanaan Jungle appeared to have a few events. These were largely associated with rare spawns (such as the Blood Moon) but I appreciated that they mixed things up a bit, even if some of the events were subpar or annoying to do (the latter of which describes the Blood Moon event pretty well).
Despite the tone of clear disappointment, I personally expected less from the Tanaan Jungle. I am actually rather optimistic about the future of zones like this. I also learned some things about the zone that raises a few additional suggestions, so here's a short reiterated version;
  • As I mentioned about rares, make a good number of them worthwhile to kill repeatedly by ensuring they are sufficiently rewarding (without injecting a ton of gold into the game economy). I'd much rather have a handful of rares that are than a boatload of them that aren't since the former is likely to retain the attention and intrigue of players for longer. 
  • Do the same for treasures, but keep a high density of them due it might be worth keeping the density of treasures a little higher since it would be interesting to have some competition for a large number of them. I've mentioned ways to add interest to the competitive nature by adding something of a tracking system and some possible challenges.
    • Also it may be worth noting that there probably shouldn't be a giant number of lootable pieces of equipment from treasures.
  • The suggestions for events remains roughly the same. It would be nice to see a special event-only boss or something on a grand scale and level of urgency that causes players all over the zone to flock to it. As it is Tanaan Jungle already did a fairly good job with that.
  • Detach bonus areas from questing a little. The open-ended nature of progressing through the objective of bonus areas should be more of the player's choice as opposed to something they do for the sake of completing a daily. Instead, assign more quests that take place in bonus area that allows for intentional double dipping by progressing two sets of objectives at once. If players feel like finishing the bonus area due to being incentivized by daily quests to do a large percentage of the objective passively, the gameplay feels a lot more rewarding without it actually being so compared to the system in place in Tanaan Jungle.
Here's to hoping for an improved version of Tanaan Jungle.
Create a zone with a region-wide progression system similar to the Isle of Quel'danas, with currency turn-ins and other ways to dump excess resources if necessary.
While I like the idea of having progression that every player feels like they're partaking in at the individual level, I concluded there's probably better solo-oriented features to implement than something this grand. I'd say at the moment it's better to leave this suggestion on the back burner and consider it later.
Allow players to repeat "power trip" quests and other quest-related experiences that may be enjoyable on the same character in the form of dailies or something else.
This suggestion hasn't been done yet and I've addressed other points of quest design in an above section. Just going to have to hope, though I would add that keeping an eye on quests the community would like/hate to do (again) may help to drive design decisions related to quest design in general.
Consider revisiting the Mists of Pandaria style of rare spawn hunting and apply it to both rare spawns and treasures. By making the hunt for both of these worthwhile due to them having some potential to be rewarding, it may serve as solo-oriented content that'll interest players.
I've already covered this point when discussing Tanaan Jungle above, but I would like to add an additional related suggestion to rare spawns in particular since it was brought up a while ago and I strongly agreed with it. Mists of Pandaria rare spawns have some mechanics that add a bit of a challenge to killing them, forcing players to use interrupts, crowd control, kiting, and evasive action to best them at times. This challenge seems to be a bit lacking in comparison for most Warlords of Draenor rare spawns, with some having no notable mechanics at all. I think adding some of these mechanics back would be a good way to train newer players to understand mechanics and rewarding them for successfully utilizing their ability.

Adding more of these mechanics to normal mobs than at the present time may also help to provide a challenge. They just shouldn't be as ridiculous as Kilnmasters, since their attacks weren't sufficiently telegraphed compared to the high damage output (they were too punishing by design, rare spawn attack telegraphing vs damage output was far more fair).
Add a structured matchmaking system for 1v1 PvP for players to hone their skill with minor rewards.
It's probably too early to say whether such a system will be implemented ever, but Blizzard did at least incentivize players to participate in arena skirmishing as part of a weekly event, which is pretty close to what I'm asking for. I still maintain that being able to do some 1v1 PvP is a good way to kill boredom that'll be somewhat fresh content due to constant balance changes paired with the highly variant nature of PvP.
Reward players with gathering professions by allowing them to participate in a weekly contest, thus helping to save those professions from obsolescence.
I still think this is a good idea but I've also made some other suggestions towards improving gathering professions here that should be addressed first since the base gameplay of gathering professions is rather dull, which might affect the success of gathering contests if they were to exist. With that said, Legion promises some improvements to said base gameplay.
Focus on content intended to retain player interest in other ways that have low downtime (including wait times for queues, etc). For the sake of convenience I will call this type of content "persistent content" (for want of a better term) since it is meant to have minimal diminishing returns on enjoyment and isn't subject to obsolescence by something like power creep.
I think Blizzard has partially succeeded on adding content that'll hold the interest of players in the more recent patches. While I was hoping Tanaan Jungle would be the content to accomplish this feat through being a Timeless Isle-like zone, it turned out the events that were added seemed to do a better job in the long run. It also helped that Blizzard helped the events system along even more by changing them from being a weekend affair to lasting most of the week.

This isn't to say that the events are that great. Some are rather underwhelming or uninspired, such as the Apexis Bonus Event and Battleground Bonus Event, which, even when accounting for the weekly quests that accompany them, are a mix of frustrating chore and relatively subpar rewards even with the addition of Valor. The fact that there's not a couple of events running during a given week also limits player interest since each week's event is likely to appeal to specific players, leaving most others who aren't interested in dabbling with a relatively uneventful week. Thus, it would be a good idea to have multiple events running each week.

Negative feedback aside, there was one thing I especially liked about the events: Timewalking. When I found out about this feature, it looked promising despite complaints from players about recycled content. I later reasoned that Timewalking was a really good feature because it helped to fix a problem of content being lost to power creep. Outleveling a dungeon and stomping it probably isn't going to be as fun as running through with a group, being somewhat challenged by the content, and earning relevant loot in the process. Furthermore, because gear is scaled down rather significantly, lower level gear suddenly becomes relevant in a big way. It's not outlandish to see players trying to run lower level content and purchasing lower level gems and other consumables to optimize for Timewalking, which further emphasizes the effect of the feature on reviving obsoleted content. On top of all this, the weekly reward is pretty good since it further helps in terms of gearing up.

Overall, I'm satisfied by Blizzard's progress into the creation of content focused on player retention. Might say more later if it's relevant to.

Concluding Points

I think this is the start of an era where Blizzard's focus on solo (and persistent) content is very significant. What is clear is that Blizzard definitely recognizes the importance of solo content and that it's more than just a supplement to the group content that tends to be the dominant force driving World of Warcraft's design. I'm still hoping to see a larger Brawler's Guild and great incentive to do the Proving Ground Endless Mode for more than just bragging rights. I'll probably post some more individual suggestions and analysis later that'll address solo content, particularly of the persistent variety (such as a discussion on parallel progression and solo encounters), but until then, here's hoping Legion continues to set the trend for solo content (and based on the link above, the future looks very promising indeed).


Much like with the short length of the PvP section of the suggestions and a general lack of articles discussing PvP content in World of Warcraft lately, I don't have a lot to say on PvP. More importantly, I don't consider myself qualified enough to provide input on topics related to high end PvP (except maybe a remark on the Human racial but that's being addressed in Legion so I'm not worried), so this section is going to be brief.
Make Battlegrounds more relevant by allowing activities to progress Draenor-related PvP objectives that are generally done in Ashran on non-PvP servers.
It's a bit unfortunate this change didn't happen and as far as I can tell, Ashran wasn't exactly the highlight of the 6.2 patch. However, Battlegrounds were made more relevant in a potentially lasting way through a Bonus Event exclusive to it, even though at the moment I don't think it's that great since it's not that rewarding for what one has to do (also on a general note, requiring wins as an objective instead of participation is an easy way to frustrate players - refer to this for more).
Bring back twinking in a big way by allowing exp-locked characters to match up with those who aren't. Numerous changes have helped to level the playing field between twinks and non-twinks so the potential for a frustrating one-sided slaughterfest are greatly reduced. Such a change will provide players with additional gameplay options if they get bored on their maxed characters.
There appears to be no change in sight that indicates that twinking in the PvP context that I imagined will see the light of day. It could be argued that Timewalking helped to make lower level content relevant to maxed players and is the replacement to twinking, but I feel that Timewalking fills a different niche. Therefore, I still would like to see this change happen for the same reasons I made initially.

Concluding Points

As I said at the beginning of this section, I don't have too many insightful things to say on PvP at the moment. I might in Legion though since additions such as the PvP Talent Tree interest me and when reviewing my Warlords of Draenor activity I found I dabbled in PvP during the early parts.

PvE Group Content

For those who happened to read the article before making some minor revisions to it, the title of this section of suggestions is now PvE Group Content since it more accurately expresses what the suggestions are related to. This doesn't mean I'm going to talk about raid content too much, though I do have some notable things to say regarding my existing suggestions.
Change the Proving Grounds entry requirement for Heroic Dungeons to only require an account-wide version of the achievement in question. This means a player would only need to complete Proving Grounds Silver in each role once.
This suggestion drew a bit of controversy from a friend of mine, resulting in a lengthy discussion about why it's better to be tested and, in my opinion, be punished for playing alts by effectively wasting time reviewing what is already known. Regardless, Blizzard didn't do much to address this issue directly, but the addition of Tanaan Jungle and its minimum item level 650 gear as well as Mythic Dungeons effectively allowed players to ignore Heroic Dungeons almost entirely, obsoleting the requirement.

This brings me to an expansion on this suggestion: Since it makes sense to ensure players are capable before doing group content, attach Proving Grounds-related requirements (or something else that measures player skill in some sort of way) to any matchmade PvE group content. This prevents players from gaming the system by bypassing it entirely using other content, which was a problem the moment LFR became available in Warlords of Draenor (since it had no requirement besides item level). Then, to prevent frustration through boredom and the like much like before, only require players to meet the requirements once per role per account since that's more than enough proof of ability as far as I'm concerned and personal experience will compensate beyond that.
Reimplement group scenarios largely by utilizing existing solo scenarios that are otherwise obsoleted once the quest chain is completed.
I legitimately did not expect Blizzard to do anything about group scenarios in this expansion, which was confirmed by patch 6.2 and every patch after so far. However, Blizzard's well on the way to repeating what they did in Warlords of Draenor with scenarios in Legion. This isn't a bad thing, especially since some of these scenarios seem largely related to the Artifacts system, in which I expected something grandiose. I guess if there's going to be no group scenarios related to Legion content, we could have Timewalking Scenarios (preferably with some Warlords of Draenor Scenarios mixed in)?
Prevent dungeons from becoming a time-consuming affair and add some over the course of the expansion instead of front-loading it with the release of an expansion.
Considering that patch 6.2 was about a month away and it was unlikely that a minor content patch was going to add dungeons, it would be rather unreasonable to expect either of these suggestions to be addressed. This is also why I didn't specifically ask for any additional dungeons in 6.2 and was instead hoping for another major content patch that doesn't appear to be in the works. Using this line of thinking, this suggestion is best suited for one of Legion's major content patches, which is quite a bit of time away. Hopefully the release dungeons won't be exceedingly time-consuming either, though I expect them to take a while to finish initially due to players being relatively undergeared.

Concluding Points

From the time I've started playing World of Warcraft, I've noticed that group PvE content has evolved quite a bit. However, while raiding content has continued to progress, non-raid content appears to have suffered noticeable digression in some respects. This isn't to say that the game is lacking in such content since Challenge Mode and Mythic difficulty exist, I'm just confused as to why certain concepts were discarded without attempting to approach them from other angles. The Legion expansion appears to have a running theme of revisiting old concepts and attempting to bring it up to date though, so maybe that trend will be consistent across the various aspects of World of Warcraft.

Content Release Rate

The rate at which Blizzard has released content has largely remained unchanged. Front loading content into giant patches can only succeed for so long before creating periods of low activity due to poor player retention that can harm the game state and financial return. Clearly times need to change and change soon considering this problem has been mentioned for a while (note the quoted statement from Morhaime here) with solutions recommended along the way. Fortunately some temporary solutions have been implemented in recent patches, showing Blizzard is aware and trying to address at least the issue of player retention in some aspect.

The temporary solutions I am referring to is the aforementioned persistent content in the form of events that happen on a weekly basis. Said events, supplemented by minor patches, have helped a little to reduce the deadening time of lower activity that's been happening prior to expansion releases that is the most notable consequence of Blizzard's style of major content patch releasing. This observation is a large part of why I push persistent content as a method for making up for the shortcomings of Blizzard's method.

However, there's still the psychological aspect of releasing content at such wide intervals of time that may leave players disinterested (though this could be resolved with communication). Furthermore, there's not going to be a sufficient amount of persistent content for quite a while even with the advent of Timewalking, the ultimate recycler of dead content. Thus, there's still good reason to consider the change to altering content release to match something similar to the article linked above to retain subscriptions.

Personally, I'd revise the recommended monthly model of the Engadget article to be more like this to account for recent developments and to help with a transition to a method oriented towards faster, smaller content releases. Note that all releases should be announced as publicly as possible, with heavy usage of social media, in-game announcements, and so on.
Month 1: Major content patch with new zone with gated content. Delay raid opening and new PvP season by one to two weeks.
Month 2: Begin ungating zone content, starting with quest lines that weren't available on patch day and world bosses over the weeks.
Month 3: Finish ungating zone content by opening dungeons and unlocking remaining quest lines associated with the zone that would've otherwise been released on patch day.
Month 4: Add new PvP content such as new or reworked Battlegrounds/Arenas. Optionally (also) release a small raid (one boss raids come to mind) since having too many Battlegrounds/Arenas to work with may stretch the community and development efforts to rebalance a bit thin.
Month 5: Add Pet Battle-related content and a few Scenarios.
Month 6: Release content that helps with the transition to the next content patch, such as a few quest lines. This will otherwise be the "dead" month content-wise to focus more on developing the next major content patch if needed.
Month 7: Start over at Month 1.
As I note on the revision, lots of content released in months following the patch would normally have been released with the patch. I also specifically noted the gating mechanic since there is precedence of Blizzard using it. Regardless, hopefully Legion promises further awareness of the issue of content release and retaining player interest.

Addressing Negative Player Behavior

Were I to provide a personal anecdote regarding humanity and its behavior, it would likely be jaded with bitter memories of experiences being bullied or witnessing negative interactions among others. It's hard to put aside this sort of viewpoint when analyzing player behavior in World of Warcraft and other multiplayer game experiences, but after discovering pile after pile of evidence proving the point, the issue of player behavior clearly goes beyond anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, as I've stated here and possibly elsewhere, my viewpoint has been tempered (or I would like to think it has) towards a balance of accountability and helping to reform negative behavior. Ultimately, my suggestion at the time seemed reasonable and it continues to at the time of this writing. With some recent events and deeper analysis, however, a few points are worth making:
  • A more extensive report option is becoming more likely. As I may have mentioned somewhere, Heroes of the Storm implemented a report system with more detailed options that could be relevant to World of Warcraft, such as Abusive Chat, Cheating/Botting/Hacking (because it's more detailed compared to the base report option), and AFK/Nonparticipation
The report options in question shortly after they were added.
  • Social interaction is very important to World of Warcraft (and other MMOs if not multiplayer games in general). While there's certainly other factors that contributed to an enjoyable experience in the past, I did notice a trend of greater enjoyment when there were a lot of players around to collaborate with for group content. Aside from this correlation, there's other evidence and lines of reasoning, such as guilds having to recruit talent for group content and fewer players equals less talent and the dreaded "dead servers."
    • By this logic, improving the health and quantity of social interactions would help to improve the overall experience of World of Warcraft. To this end I've made other related suggestions more recently.
    • Addressing the negativity would help in both respects since the quality of social interactions would ideally improve, making players (especially newer players) more comfortable when socializing with others. 
    • Players would also be less likely to be driven away by a negative experience, assisting with player retention (once again, especially in the case of new players). It is worth mentioning that being too harsh on negative behavior will also drive players away, so there has to be a balance when it comes to handling this (more on this in the next section).
  • As I mentioned at the end of the suggestion itself, do not be super aggressive about handling negative behavior. The general idea of the suggestion is more to raise awareness among players and to show a stance on the issue. 
    • When it comes to disciplining players, a variant of the penalty volcano paired with my remarks above on reform should work fairly well with more warnings. 
    • The reasoning for this softened action against negative behavior is something a lot of individuals will likely exhibit due to competitiveness or some other reason and thus probably require a slight nudge at best that effectively says "please try not to do this."
    • This system will also address repeat offenders who are likely to have a habitual issue with social interaction that may need to be addressed further.
Legion likely promises to bring something to the table in respects to gameplay,  but it may not mean much if the social aspect of the game is weak. While it is possible to influence social interaction with gameplay mechanics such as the increasing approachability in Wrath of the Lich King among other things too numerous to list, relying on these effects, especially with a declining number of players and the existing issues such as the problematic social interactions frequently mentioned in this section, is likely unfeasible.


In light of the apparent increase in inflammatory remarks against microtransactions of all kinds, I'm obligated to state that this section isn't a criticism against microtransactions in general (though in that case there's a nice video here), but just those in World of Warcraft on largely on account of them being overpriced. This stance hasn't changed much over since I mentioned it in my suggestions and I in fact go into more detail in this article and video.

To reiterate the stance I've taken, I think the microtransactions are overpriced because they are a heavy overestimation of the amount of work or are otherwise not reflective of the labor compared to the products and services of other microtransactions. I consider this overpricing to be the product of having a large, loyal fanbase due to reputable goodwill built over the years, a huge share of control of the (western?) MMORPG market, and other factors that otherwise imply towards the monopolistic practices of pricing at a premium for some easy money. In the relative short term, Blizzard will probably benefit, but considering the way companies such as EA are viewed, I am concerned about how people will view Blizzard over time. In addition, their attempts to "cash grab", of which the overpricing of goods are a part of, are an easy vulnerability to target when criticizing the company and its practices when they dissatisfy customers somehow (even if it's somewhat unrelated), helping to fuel the outrage and thus exacerbating the reputation loss suffered.

Since I made this statement, I also made some insights as to why the current state of services are problematic. Surprisingly, the price isn't the main problem, but instead it's the lack of a significant cooldown on the services that I think is harmful to the state of the game. In my post, I discuss how realm transfers and their reduction in cooldown over time, among other reasons, have caused many servers to figuratively wither and die. This loops back to my remark on how World of Warcraft's social interactions are pretty important since players are punished for not transferring to big, highly sociable realms since they won't have as many players to interact with. In my case, it's because of a mix of not wanting to leave a realm community I'm personally attached to and because I think the price tag on realm transfers is exorbitant, especially when it comes to transferring alts; I have to wonder how many others are in a similar position as me.

Aside from these points, I wasn't really expecting Blizzard to address this issue any time soon. They aren't exactly in dire straits to the point they need start taking radical measures to mend their relationship with their customers. I still hope they take the time to cover this particular weakness for the sake of long term benefit. As I've mentioned a few times already, this problem isn't likely to dethrone Blizzard, but it can make a bad situation worse.

Final Statements

This concludes my analysis of the suggestion list I made a while ago. I'll probably make more suggestions in the near future (such as Timewalking Raids) to help expand upon this article. Also, I apologize if the article lacks coherence in some spots since I wrote this over the course of the month instead of writing shorter articles in single sittings, which is why I haven't published anything notable this month either (though Runescape and family events also contributed to a lack of articles). For those who didn't read the entirety of the article, the short version is World of Warcraft seems to be looking better and hopefully Legion plus other future events improve the state of the game.

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