For me, World of Warcraft brings about a plethora of mixed emotions: happiness, sadness, rage and everything in between. But above all else, nostalgia. For those of us who have
wasted dedicated countless hours throughout the game’s lengthy history, the game has had its share of memorable moments. Since its release in 2004, I’ve played the game on and off, but have been very resistant to the two most recent expansions. And the reason is pretty simple: World of Warcraft just isn’t the same anymore, and it never will be.
In its efforts to remain innovative and exciting, the World of Warcraft development team has made a very long list of questionable design choices that have completely alienated its original core player base. While the gameplay changes and content updates have kept World of Warcraft at the forefront of the MMORPG battlefield, the game’s rapidly declining player base is a clear indication of what’s to come.
But don’t get me wrong, World of Warcraft is still an excellent game and I applaud the team’s efforts to release new and refreshing content year after year. The game has certainly become very accommodating to new users and its casual player base, but I personally feel like the game has lost its competitive edge. As a hardcore raider that participated in more than a few races to world first kills, I’d have to say World of Warcraft in Vanilla, TBC and partially WOTLK was the most enjoyable.
The changes to talents, spells, skills and general gameplay modifications that came with Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria have certainly transformed the game into something else entirely. If you take a look at the Hunter class (one of the main classes I’ve played throughout the years), you can get a sense of the gravity of Blizzard’s changes. The Hunter was once a complex class, very easy to play (hence the birth of the Huntard) but fairly difficult to master when you consider mana management, optimal shot rotations, static shooting/casting, the “deadzone”. Now, Blizzard has tossed it all aside to make way for simpler, more user-friendly gaming. (And Hunters certainly aren’t the only ones) Whether overhauls like these are a positive or a negative change is still a highly debated topic.
For me, I’m hoping Blizzard’s Titan project blows its previous MMORPG out of the water.
Gladiator Tuan Mai