C’mon, you remember the commericals, right? That damn little bunny just keeps going and going and going, no matter who tries to take him out.
I didn’t expect to be writing about the game today, but a few things came up in the last couple weeks that brought doom and gloom and the usual same old into the WoW discussions I’ve been reading on MMO Champion and other sites.
The first thing I started seeing were comments about how horrible Warlords of Draenor is, and how people wished we could go back to Mists of Pandaria.
This brought about a round of replies, and I’m paraphrasing here, taking the tack of “We hear this every expansion, OMG Burning Crusades sucks bring back vanilla, OMG Wrath sucks bring back BC, OMG Cata sucks bring back Wrath, etc, etc it’s always the same thing.”
I’d like to address that for a moment. Without putting any particular judgment on the merits of those feelings, those arguments imply that it’s always the same every expansion with the same people saying the same things so it’s just silly people being hypocrites, the game is always fine in hindsight.
That’s not factual. If you stop and consider that argument, what is being implied comes down to “the same people always make the same complaints and can be safely ignored.”
The truth is, there is nothing here to say that the same people are saying the same things. All we can say for sure is that whenever a new expansion is released, there are people who wish some things hadn’t changed.
On the contrary, the ever fluctuating subscription figures give us some indication that people join and people leave, and within those numbers there may be more unseen churn as people leave but are replaced by new players.
It’s actually possible that, after each expansion, some people who came into the game and really enjoyed aspects of the play that were unique to that expansion did not like how things changed with the next one. They continued playing into the new expansion, began feeling dissatisfied with the changes, and eventually left or grew accustomed to it.
Nothing says that those same people who adapted to the changes in their second expansion were the same ones in the third expansion bitching yet again and waxing nostalgic and wishing for the return of the very thing they once complained about.
There is nothing to say that. But it is implied in that rebuttal, and that takes the relevancy of those complaints out of the conversation, doesn’t it?
I would like to make the case that with every expansion many changes are implemented in all aspects of the game, from PvE and PvP content to the core functions of character classes and abilities. It’s not just adding some new places to go kill bad guys and a change in scenery. Many things change, sometimes it seems just for the sake of changing things so there is something new and fresh for everyone to have to learn. One of the sure ways to reset some parts of competition is to change things so that everyone has to learn how to play anew (to some degree) and that includes how to play the character they’ve raided or PvPed with for the last 8+ years.
Almost every large content patch we see includes a rebalancing or adjustment of character class abilities. That can have a large impact on how someone feels about the game, irrespective of any other content additions or changes. A discussion of how that can affect people is very valuable.
I think in each expansion some players that came in and grew to love some aspects of the game legitimately find that, when the new expansion brings changes, some of the things they loved were changed around them and they either don’t like the changes or are fine with them but can’t adapt to them and become unhappy.
That does not make them bad people, or people who don’t have a valid cause for voicing their displeasure. Not at all.
But just as with anything else, if you are in a situation where what was once great has turned sour, each person has to make their own decision as to whether or not to stay and hope to rediscover that love in the new stuff, hang on and hope that future changes will return what you liked and suffer through until then, or leave, and go find something new to love.
I’ve taken the approach of looking for something new amidst the changes to love each time. That’s the reason that I don’t play my Druid at all, except to level each expansion and then abandon. I loved the Druid, then things changed in the playstyle and I didn’t like it so much, and I spent an expansion trying Cat and Boomkin until finally I moved on to Hunter and Warlock. Then Warlock changed this last expansion and I pretty much hate it, but that’s what i raid with now and i can’t change to raiding with hunter on the team so I’m stuck with it, and I make the best of it.
When Hunters changed from using Mana to Energy, I know a lot of players didn’t like it any more than I liked the changes to Bear Tanks. I was very fortunate in that I liked the changes to Hunters even more. Others weren’t so lucky.
Other people take the approach of looking around, seeing that the fun they were having has gone for them, and shrug their shoulders and move on to a new game, whatever it may be. They just vanish.
And then you’ve got the folks that become unhappy, and can’t find something new to get really happy or excited about to counter it, and who choose to hang on hoping the things they loved (or something new to love) will return, and they are vocal about letting Blizzard know that they aren’t happy, why they’re not, and in a perfect world what they wish could be changed to bring them back the fun they miss.
I can only ask that you respect everyone’s right to handle change in their own way, and try not to dismiss the concerns other people have out of hand when you don’t share them.