…and once again I am not going. But I am going to watch online.
I think this is a make-or-break moment for WoW. They need to generate some excitement, because its getting a little old. This always happens late in the expansion cycle, but I think more so this time because (1) the game is almost seven years old, and (2) there are more high-quality competing MMORPGs out or coming out than there have ever been.
I worry that they will focus most of Blizzcon on Diablo and Starcraft. In that case, I think that WoW’s death spiral may begin in earnest.
I think the biggest mistake they made with Cataclysm was that their changes remove or changed rather than added. Previous expansions added not just zones but also new avenues of gameplay.
- Burning Crusade added new races (Draenei and Blood Elves) and playable classes (horde got paladins, alliance got shamans). It also added expanded talent trees and new talents.
- Wrath of the Lich King added a hero class (Death Knight) and expanded talent trees and new talents.
- Cataclysm gave us
no new racesand no new classes (they did give us worgen and goblins. I overlooked them since they were purely cosmetic additions). It shrunk the talent trees and decreased the number of talent points. I know they had good reason, but it still becomes a “taking away” action rather than “adding”. It had only 5 new levels, which re-emphasized how the leveling game was being pushed aside in favor of endgame.