August 30, 2016! Hooray!

Good news everyone!  Our long international nightmare is nearly at an end!

This is even more awesome news for everyone who obviously played on Classic servers because WoD was getting tiresome!  I know I was; I was absolutely forced to seek old content and with Legion coming I look forward to a MAXIMUM of 2 weeks of entertainment that I’ll never forget!  And Blizzard is releasing Legion in just over 4 months!  Just in time for everyone to have gotten back and leveled all their characters to 100 and raid the content for all that wonderful epic gear.  There’s plenty of things to do because everyone has had the raid content on farm since last summer, so get on back there and remember the good times!  (Disclaimer: There were no good times, only the first 2 weeks)

Why did Nostalrius go from 0 to 800k accounts from February 2015 (a full 3 months after release of WoD) through closure?  Of course 500k of them were banned Chinese gold farmers and hackers, but more obviously because WoD had such riveting content and new content never before seen in… oh wait.  Maybe it was the lack of new pet battles?  Garrisons were awesome content, totally optional for everyone because there was so much to do out in the game world.  If you didn’t truly get into them then you just aren’t a true WoW player!  And Ash-can, the “Heart of PvP” was DOA after Blizz saw people were having too much fun with it.  Raid content was totally built for everyone, not a single world guild fell apart this expansion.  At least we can still only count them on 2 hands, haven’t gotten to the toes yet.

This company has been the original Zin’Rokh since 2010.  Name a title in their IP that’s engrossing that’s not RTS.  Cataclysm started us off with an aptly named title, and then they had to go through an expansion to fix Diablo 3.  They listened to the playerbase, and the playerbase said we wanted to pay another $60 to get a game worth playing.  I’m sour grapes, because dammit I liked their video games, but anymore I feel like I’m digging a grave of broken titles $60 at a time.  And then the company has the balls to shut down a popular tribute server without so much as launching a lawyer bomb.  No apologies, censorship everywhere in their forums, and possibly the most heavy-handed-shove-it-up-your-ass-fans move a company can make.  At least we know they don’t invest a dime into PR.

This is probably why the only thing I really enjoy in current WoW is pet battles.  Because it is the last part of the entire game that’s actually somewhat interesting, and FFS it’s turn-based RTS.  Gold making isn’t even enjoyable anymore because it’s basically the metagame within the game for everyone.  I remember when goldmaking was considered the oddest thing you could do in WoW, and now everyone (with more than 2 brain cells) is basically doing it.

The reason people were playing on Nost wasn’t because they were bored with WoD, they were bored with WoW’s new mechanics and gameplay in general.  Some of us actually like long, tedious, meticulously designed games that take months and even years to complete.  Diablo 2 was built around this type of design, you would have to log weeks of play time to get the gear you wanted, and then months to years to perfect it.  Classic Warcraft was especially this way, with 40 man raids designed to take months to gear up in.  PvP grinding that took several hundred hours of play to get your pieces and ranks.  Drop rates and farming that didn’t come fast.  You could spend the next two months leveling a character and still not hit level cap.  No boosts or shortcuts, just that thrill when you could leave one zone and go into another after spending several hours every night for a week getting 40 to 45.  Hell, level 1 to 20 took a full day of play if you were doing it right.  There was a true feeling of accomplishment.  Sort of like being given a 1st place ribbon in a contest of thousands, as opposed to a participation trophy for everyone involved.

Enter today’s WoW:  Level 1-100 in a few days played, build a garrison, raid or PvP.  The only fun part about WoD was the questing experience, which seemed to go splat when you hit 100.  And then content releases that were hardly content releases – new raid tiers and one new daily zone.  Oh, and the boat game.  Tanaan Jungle wasn’t even a good attempt at a Timeless Isle, which was actually about the last time they hit paydirt with some content.

Why did I seem to have more fun in Classic?  Or TBC?  Probably because the carrot was always out there.  You were always collecting something between raids, you were always wanting to get better but there was a clearly defined line between average player and excellent.  You had to be SOCIAL in a MMO to get anywhere, and you know what I enjoyed most on Nost?  Finding groups to do most EVERYTHING and making new friends that weren’t on some server I never heard of and could be counted on to help you with things.  Today everyone is rewarded with purples for showing up, everyone has access to gear, there’s no incentive to really try harder.  You can’t unwind this.  As my daddy used to say, “Son, you just can’t put the shit back in the horse.”  We can never truly go home again, because Blizzard won’t let it happen.

Of course I could go nuts and try to find people to do dungeons, but the only people that do that are people interested in speed running and not enjoying the ride to get to the destination.  And of course, there’s no CC required, which is a huge downer.  CC was great because it required you to think about your pulls vs. your group’s makeup.  One of the first things you learned how to do in an MMO was pull properly, to take your time, and not wipe the fucking group because you could get labeled as a bad and never get invited to any reindeer games in the future.  LFG dominates because hurt feelings are bad, and our new generation of gamers cannot be anything but epic looting heroes.  I hate LFG most of all because I cannot kick people anymore.  I think I’ve been on perma-cooldown for Vote-To-Kick because I used to initiate more kicks than anyone else in the US.  As least the ignore feature still works, but then you end up with a full ignore list after a night of playing.  Thank you crossrealm.

Will Legion offer anything up beyond what we have in play today?  Without the obvious clickbaiter kings and queens whose very narcissistic existence relies upon the anonymous attention of thousands of people, and possibly their incomes as well, is there anything that will make this future release last beyond the shelf life of a jar of mayonnaise in the hot sun?  Maybe, but I’m not going to buy into any hype.  I only know one thing about Legion – it’s made by the same people that brought us Cata, MoP, and WoD.

I’m going to call it – by the time Blizzcon comes out you will hear the grumblings of people tired of Legion.  It’s unfortunate that a world I called home 10-12 years ago has devolved into something I don’t recognize anymore.  I also predict that within a month of release, they will nerf/change everything that people find interesting or wildly overpowered in the game.

Actually, that’s too easy, they do that in every single expansion.  As long as they don’t fuck with pet battles.  Then it’s war.  Because I’ll probably only buy the silly expansion for one reason – weekend pet battles.  I sure as hell am not buying it for the content, because we all know what they do with old content.  They burn it, deny it, and tell us we don’t want it.  And the “legion” of real fans tell us the same.

Thanks for stopping in!  – Zerohour

EDIT:  I’m definitely not alone.  Mark Kern of original WoW commenting on the state of the game.

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