The Come Back

“The idea of the extreme makeover is disturbing.”
Janice Dickinson

The Come Back

About ten years ago I was at a fast food restaurant called Popeyes. It’s fare is fried chicken. While at the counter, a customer came up next to me and showed the cashier her chicken, it wasn’t cooked inside. I was grossed out. I’ve never been back. Popeye’s lost a customer.

This kind of stuff happens, I imagine, to everyone. Enthusiastic about something, one cheerfully moves along until betrayal. Now, if you knew in advance that these kinds of things can happen, I think that you could get over it.

Our World of Warcraft has lost customers. Players were once happily playing along. Do you think that they felt betrayed when they left? Players play for a lot of reasons, it is not always a question of faith and belief in the company, I realize that.

My question is: how do you get them back?

I’ve never been back to Popeyes. To tell the truth, I don’t go to KFC either. The whole idea of fried chicken grosses me out. I once loved it! By the bucket!

Things can be fixed like Azerite Traits. Can mistakes be remedied after burning down our tree or a rough first raid?

Drug dealers give away their product to start. They get ’em on the come back, that’s what it is called; “the come back”. In some ways WoW is addicting but once you’ve beaten the addiction and walked away, why would you ever come back?

I think that WoW needs a make-over. Our mental image of WoW right now has been sullied perhaps. Not everyone, for sure, there are lots of happy players like myself. But when I do think of raiding, for example, it is coupled with two hours of gathering consumables for every one hour of raiding. In other words, I’d never recommend this game to my sister even as I personally enjoy it.

The perception is, from Legion, that you have to constantly invest in your character every day to keep up with the pack. Do you agree with that perception even if you don’t personally experience it?

The automakers in the United States had a problem a few decades ago. They put out cars that were crap and fell apart. The buyers lost faith and bought foreign, many still do. They had to do a complete make over starting with a higher quality product and then they had to change the perceptions of the customers. They are still at it today, trying to regain the customer’s trust; mostly by doing commercials bragging on awards.

I wonder if, when you married me, that if you knew in advance that I’d not be faithful, would you stay?* Expectations are powerful things.

I think that Blizzard has to change the perception of their game.

*Purely a rhetorical question. I am faithful and true.


7 thoughts on “The Come Back

  1. Great question and observation. I’m having a fine time, especially after my experiment, but I can easily spot, that this is not the case for all.

    I just do not get it entirely. Surely no one wants to wake up to news of Blizzard no longer existing. Yet so many appear to feed on the negativity, and relish in when it’s not going well for Blizzard. “That serves them right!” kind of deal, you know?

    I get it, this expansion might have flaws, but there were great intentions behind it. The story has taken too long to arrive and captivate, the systems have taken too long to work, I get it all. But when I watch a video with their game designers who made the Quests and cinematics, when I listen to Daughter of the Sea, when I look at the rainbows, and when I immerse myself in the ambience sounds…This expansion works for me. I see the passion behind it, I see the dedication.

    It’s a sad state of times, not just in Wow. Negativity seems to be the new black.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I got off track! You are right though. Wow needs a come back. I think we will see it. That “Wait for it” has been build up so much, and it makes me convinced that Blizzard thinks it will all be worth it in the end.

    But yeah. I expect player housing, factions grouping together, or something along those lines to get players to come back and have faith again. But a less lawyer talk and more “we were wrong” humble talk would do them well too. I have so much respect for people that own their mistakes (right expression?)

    Oh. Flying in the new expansion as soon as soon as you’ve done the story lines. If we are supposed to do repetitive contents then let us fly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The problem I think is that WoW has clearly focused in extra-hard on expansion-long gimmicks and Blizzard forces rebalancing due to the design of these elements. In isolation, I really liked the Artifact system and I would enjoy the Heart of Azeroth, but they are slotted into the game in such a way that they cause other problems – ability pruning to “make room” for the Artifacts or create design space for Azerite traits.

    While I enjoy that Blizzard wants to give us new things to do every expansion and to stretch the boundaries of the game by offering post-level cap progression, it bothers me that there is no permanence to it. I don’t care about my Heart of Azeroth level because the traits aren’t game-breaking, and so I’m 4 neck levels behind my best raiders because I’m not farming AP, and yet it doesn’t matter now, it won’t matter in a year, and when 9.0 comes along, it’ll be gone and then it REALLY won’t matter. I don’t know how you solve the problem of meaningful post-cap progression without it being a temporary solution like they’ve done so far, but maybe it isn’t that much of a problem anyways.

    I’m generally okay with pruning too, but I think they’ve taken too much out of the core gameplay and it leaves you pre-level cap feeling like combat is anemic – there just aren’t enough things I can do to meaningfully impact combat. My healers in WoW have 4-5 main heals and a big cooldown, but my two healing jobs in FFXIV have around 10 heals bound and a bunch of different utility buttons. I think that might be too much (My Astrologian job has 36 key binds!) but there is a happy medium of offering a mix of utility and interesting choices. If the core of WoW had a bit more meat on it for every spec, and the expansion-long systems added to that rather than subtracting from it to add back to it, I think we’d be in a better spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ” there just aren’t enough things I can do to meaningfully impact combat”
      I think that you nailed it right there. Esp. in Uldir, I felt that we merely survived the fights when the design should be that we kicked ass. The same in BoD but better, you don’t beat the boss — you beat the mechanics, which is game play but not heroic-feeling game play — you should feel like your efforts make a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s something that stews in my brain a lot – I wasn’t opposed to the GCD changes immediately upon announcement, but between them and the pruning from Warlords to now, I can only really spot that rotations are just barely there anymore and everything feels needlessly slow and bland. Fight mechanics matter more than player mechanics and so you could be any class or spec as long as you can hit your minimal button obligation while doing the obstacle course. Some fights do it well, but many in BfA (Uldir mostly) have not balanced that illusion well enough.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Guilds Wars 2 did it right i think, i wrote a post about what WoW can learn from GW2, the combat system does not change with expansion, but the game offer a way to change specs, progression in expansions offer useful traits like gilders and mounts so the content of each expansion stay relevant for a long time.

      Ever changing systems of WoW does bother me, but it seems Blizzard is not going to change its mind about that, that’s the game they want to make.

      Liked by 2 people

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