All anyone is talking about these days is Winds of Pandaria. I desperately want to join in, but how? I don’t play WoW any more. I’m feeling a little left out.
But hey, why let that stop me.
I may not play WoW much any more, but I have played another game that was desperately trying to attract new players while keeping old ones — EverQuest. A game that is still going strong. At this stage in its life, where WoW finds itself today, EQ added a race of dragon people, a whole new accelerated leveling path. Later came mercenaries that allowed almost any class to easily solo. All this kind of stuff.
So, World of Warcraft is offering a kid-friendly expansion. This is — and I’m being entirely serious about this — a genius move. Many of the hardcore raiders of today are about to take on responsibilities, get families of their own, take jobs that require their attention and enthusiasm and so on. The kids of today need to be ready to take on the guild leadership and raid management that the previous generation is leaving behind. The Winds of Pandaria is Blizzard reaching out to kids just coming into the hardcore scene.
It doesn’t matter WHAT the new expansion was, people would pan it. Add a kid friendly expansion, then Blizzard is making WoW sillier. Just make another new high end raiding expansion and five extra levels, and Blizzard isn’t reaching out to new players. Completely revamp the leveling path, and Blizzard is ruining everything that was great about WoW in 2004. Everyone is a critic. Everyone could do it better.
Melmoth over at KiaSA thinks the whole “buy a year of WoW, get a new mount and Diablo 3” promotion might be a prelude to introducing some sort of free-to-play plan. That’s a cool idea, but I don’t see Blizzard letting people pay nothing instead of something anytime soon. Maybe when Titan is announced.
Asheron’s Call 2
Stropp has been enjoying the recent series of articles over at Massively about Asheron’s Call 2, the abandoned sequel to the early MMO pioneer Asheron’s Call. Stropp wonders if someone were to bring back AC2, or any other game that had been cancelled (Tabula Rasa, anyone?), would people would really play them? Aside from some hardcore fans, I’d really doubt it. People don’t wax nostalgic about game mechanics or leveling systems or whatever. They remember the community. And the death of a game has a chilling effect on the game’s community. What’s lost can’t be regained. Sure, a NEW community could form — but how likely is that?
TAGN has been keeping an eye on the EverQuest progression server, Fippy Darkpaw. FD is the first server in years and years to get their own dedicated GM. GMs used to be standard equipment for servers; they were an integral part of the server community, running events, mediating between raiding guilds, forming new guilds, officiating at player weddings and so on. When they got outsourced and became little more than call center personnel, something bright and wonderful was lost. Anyway, FD has a GM and the rowdy raid guilds have been forced into a raid target rotation. FD is up to the Velious expansion, and to earn the right to take down a mob, they have to kill Sontikar (the dragon outside the Temple of Veeshan) or Lord Vyemm (the gatekeeper of the North Temple of Veeshan, where all the cool mobs are).
The reason these raid guilds have to have a rotation is because there are no instanced raid mobs in Velious — nor in Luclin and originally, not in the Planes of Power, either. Guilds looking to raid had to race to every raid target, usually with a guild or two on their heels, waiting for them to fail so they could pick up the pieces. Instancing was eventually added to the Plane of Time, and from then on, raid targets were increasingly instanced. Nowadays, no guild progress affects any other guild, so there’s no competition.
Seriously? This is all you got?
Sorry :( Should have done this last night, but it’s morning now and I have to go to work. I’ll do better tomorrow!!!! Promise!