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What was the exact moment everything went so horribly wrong?
I know a lot of people who agree the game has been in dismal decline now for ages, But at the same time those people don't tend to view the recent expansions / updates as the thing that 'killed' or 'ruined' WoW, But more the thing simply dancing on WoW's grave during the worlds most drawn out and depressing funeral.

A lot of them pinpoint it to some exact point during the first 4 Expansions.

What do you think happened?


Second half of wotlk is when shit started falling apart and you don’t have to look that hard to understand why, that year was the same year activision started gaining control over blizzard as a studio and started trying to make the game more accessible but since activision is filled with idiots that can only make the call of duty of course they don’t understand what accessibility in games actually means(hint it means shit like colour correction for the colour blind, quest and item descriptions for convenient understanding of how things work, designated hot keys for complicated commands, item stacking and stashes so inventories aren’t always cluttered that kind of shit)

In real life world of Warcraft is already casual and always has been, the problems started arising when activision started forcing blizzards developers to dumb down the games content and world even more than it already was and unsurprisingly wows user base started stagnating in growth at that point, everything after the subsequent merge was just more of the same with shittier and shittier expansions


Honestly gonna agree with this anon.
People point at Pandaria as some sort of dark tipping point. but honestly things started to get noticeably worse long before that.

I'll never forget (As someone who sorta liked the story and PVE more then raids - and usually just did 5 mans) how they left the Dranei and B'Elf starting areas UNCHANGED from their BC state through the entirety of wrath and cataclysm from what i remember.


it was never good, ya'll uyghas addicted


Oh boy, you just got me started! Okay, so I think there is a lot of truth to the ship of Thesius argument that it never truly "went bad" in some sort of tumble down a flight of stairs. Apart from Draenor that shat the bed, there is no xpac that was truly "worse" than the one before it. However we can all clearly agree that it went down hill. I'd argue this process is more like the sea polishing sandstone cliffs.

I have recently got into doing various private servers because retail became unbearable and classic TBC got boring, and it really showcased this point. Having now recently tried classic, TBC, WotLK and Mists (as well as retail, of course), I think a lot can be learnt from comparing how leveling "feels" in each of them. In Classic, its basically the entire first half of the game. Its rough, it is an actual test of endurance, there are a lot of annoyances but also adventures to be had, the dungeons matter a lot and feel special. Then comparing it to TBC, not too much changes, actually it arguably is better - some awful zones get reworked to feel better than before, classes are more balanced so most classes feel fine to level, there is a small xp earn boost that makes it less annoying to try and find what to do without removing the zone traversal and dungeons are just as relevant as before. But then you look at WotLK leveling, and oh my, it still is somewhat akin to what was, but you can already see it tear apart at the seams and see the origins of what will eventually become retail leveling. Class changes in Wrath were great, but they absolutely fucked leveling balance in the players favor, making it quite hard to actually die while questing. XP is boosted to a point where you start outleveling the zones - no longer do you get to explore all of the world, unless you want to do sub-par green quests with bad xp. Dungeoneering basically got blasted to smithereens from orbit with the LFG and no longer feels special, and more like a chore that theoretically is the most efficient way to level, oh and also its super easy now and you basically can't wipe. Not to say that it is all bad, some parts benefit from the faster progression, but in most its a determent, especially when you start dispatching previously difficult quest encounters with ease. In short, leveling can be seen to slowly become the "20 hour chore to get to "the good part", aka the endgame" like it is in retail. Finally, MoP leveling. At this point its permafucked and basically no different from how retail functions. All problems from WotLK are exacerbated with spells poorly balanced for early levels one-shotting everything, dungeons becoming almost soloable and xp gained being even more buffed. When you look at retail, its basically the same as MoP, just you get the option of getting to jump around to your favorite questing zones, which, sure, is more fun, but also completely destroys the last remnants of world cohesion and immersion that you previously could swim in during classic and TBC.

All of this is just leveling, but it tells a lot about how the problems came about for all the other systems. Mainly, things that worked before were overlooked, and changes to new things broke what worked in the past, and it never got fixed. Like the LFG system, which came in as a feature to get the mass of anti socials to experience more content broke what previously made that content feel great - the fact that it felt like an adventure of getting the gang together, entering these dangerous places and searching for treasure and that sweet dungeon quest XP. Changing of classes to the endgame rolled over the class balance in the earlygame. Same way in Legion the changes to "stop degenerative gameplay" fucked up raid loot into becoming the soulless piece of shit that is personal loot. Same way the new philosophy to make quests be more cinematic or "interesting" made the world feel smaller and less involving. Basically in every big issue you see now in WoW, there is an explanation for why it is that will boil down to "oh we thought change X will make the game better but this got broken in the process".

But if I truly had to put my finger on when it all went to hell, I'd say there are two contenders - WotLK and Legion, ironically both of the most popular xpacs. WotLK laid the foundations for most of the simplifications that bulldozed away what previously was WoW. LFG, Simplified raid progression by tiers and first signs of making the player characters be important story figures, instead of "the adventurers" and "the champions". Then Legion is basically the foundation of everything bad with WoW as it stands now, because in the end, BfA and Shadowlands both were just Legion 2.0 and Legion 3.0 respectively, just stagnated and hence mind-numbingly boring for everyone who did it all before in previous xpacs.


Sounds like what I said but in more detail
I’d also add in how blizzard lost track of who they were trying to appeal to because before it was just a bout shoving as much content and fun into the game to appeal to a mass audience of casual players and now they can’t figure out if the games meant to be hardcore or casual anymore


The very first game. WoW is trash from start to finish.


back in 2013 blizzard nerfed kil'jaeden's cunning because it was too fun and everyone chose it as their warlock talent. that's the moment it went wrong.


weren't you like 10 years old then


I was 13 :)


what adorno would've said about gaming


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There was no one single moment, one big problem that ruined the whole thing. WoW died a death of a thousand cuts. However, I think you can pinpoint the moments that started the trends that would stack up to WoW's undoing, and this actually started all the way back in the Beta.

Reversing the decision to make Undead player characters classified mechanically as undead, and reverting them back to humanoid like the other races. Set the trend of cowardly backtracking and homogenization instead of trying to make cool and flavorful ideas work.

Keeping the faction system after they redesigned the game from the ground up to be a PvE focused MMO with basically zero PvP mechanics at launch beyond the flagging system. Set the trend of clinging onto outdated mechanics or bad ideas well past the time they should have dropped them. It wouldn't be until TBC that they would finally recognize, for instance, that most people weren't rolling shamans and paladins to be healers. Some ideas they straight up never let go of, like the fucking faction system which is still around and they even had a whole ass expansion centered around it, when the game is arguably more PvE oriented than ever.

Professions becoming the forgotten middle child of the development team. Blizzard basically only updates the professions once every expansion and this was a precedent set all the way back in Vanilla when they basically allowed the professions to slowly slide into irrelevance, especially the professions based around crafting gear.

The use of cross-realm bullshit. Vanilla saw the first use of cross-realm for the instanced battleground content. Not so bad at the time, but little did the playerbase know at the time that this would be the start of Blizzard basically annihilating server identity with cross-realm bullshit which would eventually morph into super-servers, sharding, etc.

This is the first expansion that saw cash shop bullshit, including "heirloom" items that would basically allow players to speed through the leveling process

This is the expansion that saw the elimination of faction-exclusive classes with Draenei shamans and Blood Elf paladins. Not only did this snap the lore over its knee, including the existing story of the Draenei and Blood Elves, whose poor writers were handed this massive lore change last second, but this completely eliminated the sole reason for the faction system's continued existence. Set the trend of very bad decisions made essentially on impulse. Did give us the hilarity of the Draenei saying "I guess shamanism is the Holy Light too I guess lmao" and the Blood Elves sucking off a Naaru in the basement.

On a related note, added the Arena, a non-faction PvP mode. Not a bad development, but really highlighted what a completely useless, vestigial mechanic the faction system had become at that point, and would remain to this day.

Set the trend of sabotaging previous content, with Outland's gear having massively overinflated stats that starts at a 57 level requirement, easily outclassing most Vanilla raid gear and essentially ensuring that people couldn't just stick to Vanilla until they had gotten through Naxx, they HAD to buy the expansion.

In a similar vein, sabotaged the world's original selling point of being a seamless open world, by putting two very big, very noticeable seams around Quel'thalas and the Azuremyst Isles, all for the purpose of ensuring that lowly non-expansion players would not even be able to look upon expansion content. Even sabotaged the big capital cities Blizzard took the time to put together for the new races, since no one would ever visit them due the them being in a fucking instance.

This was also the expansion that introduced daily quests. It was originally confined to a single island and the idea was that it would allow players to farm gold for themselves, undermining illicit gold farmers. This format would eventually consume the entire game.

This is also the expansion that would see some flavor stripped from the classes, such as Divine Intervention removed from paladins and Ritual of Doom removed from Warlocks, a grim trend that would end in all the classes being stripped of all identity.

This was the expansion that started allowing players to teleport into instances instead of going through the instance portal, though you had to discover the instance portal first.

This is the expansion where "gearscore" became a thing. Admittedly, this was from the playerbase, but was essentially endorsed by Blizzard when they should have cracked down on it.

Also, IIRC, this is the expansion where they introduced quest markers and thus the destruction of exploration.

This is the expansion that introduced phasing, originally a neat idea that would essentially allow players to have a visible impact on the world after completing quests, this would take over and basically destroy all sense of this MMO actually being an MMO. It was the predecessor to shards.

Introduced "hero classes" with the death knight. Not as evolutions off of existing classes, but as classes that get to start at a higher level because they purchased the xpac.

First expansion to have flying mounts in a terrain largely devoid of verticality. Flying mounts in Outland were okay because Outland made full use of the Y axis, in Northrend they were just used to skip past content rather than explore it.

Dumbed down, "fast paced" content centered around spamming AoE. This is the expansion where people stopped using crowd controls and planning altogether and would just clear entire rooms with AoE spam. Mana started becoming a vestigial mechanic for many classes in this expansion.

LFG/LFR bullshit. Instead of assembling a party, sit in a fucking queue and wait your turn. Now with cross-realm bullshit and not even needing to know where the instance portal is, just teleport there the moment you're the appropriate level like it's a fucking game from ReBoot

This is the first expansion to really put an emphasis on running dungeons and raids to collect Good Boy Tokens instead of gear.

Got rid of 40 man raids, only 25/10 mans. We would never see 40 mans again.

This was the first expansion where they tried to give the game a coherent narrative. Seemed like a positive at the time in comparison to TBC's use of the Frozen Throne characters as raid fodder, but Blizzard demonstrated in this expansion that the days of Starcraft and Warcraft 3 were behind them and they had basically forgotten how to tell a coherent or compelling story, at least one that was compatible with the narrative up to that point. Blizzard trying to tell a story after this point would wind up being one of the world's greatest monuments to bad writing. For all the problems the Wrath narrative had, it would prove to be the peak of Nu-Blizzard's writing capabilities, which is sad.

Was also the first instance of Blizzard's official, in-game plot being heavily informed by it's thoroughly garbage "expanded universe".

Introduced the barber shop, largely destroying visual identity with characters and proliferating anime haircuts which clashed badly with the game's "power metal album cover" art direction.

The revamped the Old World, and unintentionally killed their golden goose. The original Old World was pretty masterfully put together by the original WoW team to hook players in and get them invested in the game world. The revamp made it more about speeding the player along to max level with quest chains that end practically before they even began and a ridiculous amount of handholding. Tellingly, this is the first expansion that saw a drop in subscriptions and Blizzard would never be able to recover it's Wrath peak.

Blizzard attempted to correct its course in regards to instanced content, restoring it back to essentially TBC difficulty and pacing from Wrath's spamfest, which they almost immediately backtracked on and nerfed to the content to be in line with Wrath's standards, an ultimate concession to power gamer dipshits that would forever cement Blizzard's direction as a MMO developer and seal WoW's decline.

It also introduced transmog, finishing what the barber shop started by completely annihilating visual identity and making player appearance almost entirely a case of dress up doll house where a technically in full plate armor can look like they're in a bikini if they have the right transmog items.


>Set the trend of sabotaging previous content, with Outland's gear having massively overinflated stats that starts at a 57 level requirement, easily outclassing most Vanilla raid gear and essentially ensuring that people couldn't just stick to Vanilla until they had gotten through Naxx, they HAD to buy the expansion.
>In a similar vein, sabotaged the world's original selling point of being a seamless open world, by putting two very big, very noticeable seams around Quel'thalas and the Azuremyst Isles, all for the purpose of ensuring that lowly non-expansion players would not even be able to look upon expansion content.
This is a bigger one than people realize. Nobody did old content after outleveling it, so nobody did any more past plot-relevant raids or dungeons, at least until timewalking. Even timewalking is a half-measure, as it feels completely disjointed from the main game.
If you ask me, what they should've done when wrath launched, or even when TBC launched, was that they should've scaled burning crusade content to be the same levels as classic content. The reason why is simple; because not only would it encourage people, especially new players who haven't experienced any of the plot, to continue killing C'thun, an incredibly important villain to vanquish, while also dealing with threats in the outland. Also, plot-wise, certain raid bosses have been confirmed to be more powerful than EACHOTHER, like Gruul having genuinely beaten Deathwing's ass before. Of course, Deathwing gained a suit of goblin armor during Cataclysm, but that's no reason why he shouldn't have been similar in power to Gruul. Another issue was how the Lich King was more powerful in his boss fight than Yogg'saron, when that makes absolutely no fucking sense except from game design based on patches and one-upmanship. The game became entirely centered around power-creep rather than plot.


World of Warcraft has more than enough content than it needs to reasonably last another five years without updates

What went wrong with wow was that they fucked up the core gameplay and kept inflating the game with shallow content to substitute a reason to keep players playing not for them to have any fun or learn about the world that’s where they fucked up at. Dragon flight did the right thing with copying gw2 flying mechanics and simplifying the scope of the expansion to just being another player wandering around a world you don’t understand and giving players the opportunity to do whatever the fuck they want and that’s what’s needed to keep the game alive, just small gameplay changes

It’s what they should’ve done all the way back in bfa it’s what should’ve been the primary focus of shadowlands after the horrible mess that was bfa. Blizzard doesn’t need an entire writing art and programming team for one shitty expansion what it needs is minor tweaks in its design and half the god awful gameplay features in it stop being god awful


Part of its just that wows horribly balanced as a game
Common and rare items have near the same durability
Profession skills are capped at level 300 than something reasonable like 60
You can buy your way to level 60(before it was 120 but thankfully they nerfed it) directly fucking pvp
Damage caps straight up don’t exist beyond soft caps that can be ignored with enough exploits
Mounts aren’t properly integrated within the level design of the open world meaning you can blast past massive sections of the games content and hence difficulty the moment you unlock flying or horses

It’s not hard to see with how much p2w and shitty balancing exists in the game as to why it feels so unfun especially in late game


Whops wrong thread


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>shay's wow 2: alt hist edition
>game starts in the same time period as classic but contains continents like northrend, outland and zandalar
>basically the plot revolves around the bad guys winning, however they are handicapped because they have to compete with eachother and the alliance and horde
>you're part of either the twilight's hammer, the burning legion, the scarlet crusade, the scourge, and perhaps the zandalari empire?
>the "allied races" system added in legion becomes crucial to the lore because you start out with only a few playable options for races in each faction. for example the scourge starts out with cult of the damned humans (the undead variety of human is optional), the legion eredar, nerubians in the twilight hammer (or qiraji maybe?), scarlet crusade humans (assuming they're a faction), and zandalari trolls
>allied races come into play as each faction either corrupts races, kills them and raises them from the dead, or forges alliances purely out of a lack of any capability of surviving otherwise
>for example as the scourge you can kill the blood elves of silvermoon and afterwards you can create a san'layn character. as the zandalari you might overtake teldrassil and force the night elves to join the faction as slaves or maybe as equals. as the twilight's hammer you might meet the nerubians and wrest them away from scourge domination, and as the scarlet crusade you might be literally forced to accept lesser races like the draenei into the faction purely because the naaru force you to.
>plots might revolve around ousting bad leadership, like killing the nathrezim perverting the scarlet crusade (but remaining crazy fanatics of the light) and maybe helping ner'zhul overtake arthas to allow the scourge to reach its full power
>also the game is made with updated graphics so it doesnt look completely outdated like wow 1 and also optimized to allow better performance rather than the ancient engine of wow 1
thoughts gamerbros?


>also there's playable demon races and playable old god bug minions


That sounds like wod with slightly more content


It would mostly be an excuse to remake the game with better graphics and create playable villains. Maybe even playable defias communists. I thought about it and i wonder what faction they'd be corrupted by or aligned with. Kel'thuzad had similar ideals to the defias in hating the aristocrats and monarchy, but perhaps the legion or old gods would try to twist them to help destroy stormwind.


This single image

Describes the past fucking decade of shit updates behind wow and the mentality blizzard as a studio, not activision has for the game since the old guys left. There’s too much shit in the game that you’ll never use and for a lot of casual players(you know the ones that made the game fun for most people that werent relying on g fuel as a source of hydration) all the features added in from release which also caused an identity crisis for the game up until BFA were the devs realized the game needed to dial things down and now we have a simpler expansion like dragon flight

Pet and mount leveling and progression
Asserite BS
The gem system and passive stat attached to gear
The level cap before it was thankfully reset back to 60
Mythic gear, dungeons and raids
Islands from BFA
The tower of tediousness
The visible over complexity of skill progression where half the skills do the same shit anyways
I can keep going and going but you get the idea, all of these pointless features are just there to make the game seem as if it has more depth than it actually does and I’m glad blizzard right now acknowledged this and made dragon flight way more fucking simple and straightforward than the past expansions


While it is absolutely true that there is a power and feature creep, what you didnt mention is that there is also a blizzard (and player) obsession with end game content and balance changes. As >>20664 said, instanced content became the norm, specifically expansion packs. While back in tbc and wrath they mostly existed to keep adding good ideas into the game, post-wrath saw xpacs become more about "release new continents every year to make players buy the endgame again so they arent left behind by all the other max level players". What's important to note is that world of warcraft is FULL of content. There's plenty of old raids that existed primarily for gold farming up until the gold drops were reduced in legion. There's plenty of old pvp zones like wintergrasp and tol'barad that are just collecting dust.
What blizzard SHOULD have done (and what i wouldve done) is ceased increasing the max level. Completely stopped it. Level 100 wouldve been a great stopping point. They also should have made all old end game content scale in level to be equal to new endgame content. Lastly, they should have allowed players to choose an expansion to play while leveling until they reached MAX (100) at which point they could experience ALL RAIDS and pvp zones from all expansions including classic in order to get max level gear and items.
Basically what im saying is that siege of orgrimmar wouldve been level 100. Ahn'qiraj wouldve been 100. Heart of fear 100. Tempest keep 100. black temple 100. All drops would be level 100 as well. This is possible with current technology using level and gear scaling.
As you reached level 60 you'd have the option to choose an expansion to experience. Everyone who chooses that expansion would share a server. The newest xpac would still be part of the game, so if you had trouble leveling youd have an option to do the newest xpac. This way people would still be motivated to do new content but without being forced to. Upon reaching max level you'd have access to any raids you wanted. This way people would be motivated to experience the storyline of each expansion pack and end game content would be filled to the brim with interesting raids. Call it "story mode" gameplay. As for how to farm gold without being able to solo raids the solution is again, gear and level scaling. ALL quests would scale to your gear and level, increasing all gold rewards and the cost of all quest item rewards. Things that cost absurd amount of gold would be balanced around this as well, such as the auctioneer dinosaur mount and the transmogrification yak mount. Timewalking dungeons would also include all past dungeons.
Think about it - the model of the game would fundamentally change but without any content being pruned or deleted, and people would be able to experience old content as if it was completely new every time they make a character.


That idea could work but only if shit like heirlooms, and item levels gets removed completely as that shit fucked with progression not to mention this
That would still see a visible gap between causal and veteran players

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