“I have an affection for a great city. I feel safe in the neighborhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of the streets.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Legion turned out to be a pretty good expansion. Lots of stuff to do, games to play and fights to finish.
But this is an MMO, Massively Multi-player Online, and Dalaran is a ghost town. Our sanctuary city, home to both factions have only me and some cleverly animated walking NPCs. Sure there might be someone at the bank or a Blingtron 6000 by the place that we zone in.
Blizzard has some sort of technology. It doesn’t work.
At the start of Legion, Dalaran was packed and hopping and exciting. But the load screens were death, I’d check my e-mail while waiting and forget that I was playing WoW. And, I couldn’t find my friends, my guildies were in some other phase. I guess they had to turn the dial down on the population.
Their technology is seen all of the time. I can be over at the Summon Stone for the current raid, idling about and waiting for an invite. There might be two people hanging around. Then I get an invite and suddenly the place is packed.
This lack of seeing other players is a killer. The perception of no one else playing except for me makes me feel like no one else is playing. That is death to an MMO, I think, the preception opposite of an exciting place to play.
I have two favorite memories of playing WoW when it comes to this. The Commons in Iron Forge with it’s nice wide expanse of room and you can see everything and the Summon Stone at Black Rock Foundry where I remember several raid teams running around, excited to go play.
Splitting the classes to the Order Halls served a purpose and there are active players turning in their missions. But no one is showing off their pet and mount and tmog.
Immersion is great and important. Meeting your raid team in a cave next to a lava river is terrific. However, this is an MMO and we need to see that we are playing with a lot of people.
Whether WoW has seven million subscribers or two hundred thousand, we need to be seen.