How do I begin this one. Well, for starters, I’m seeing people left, right, and centre deciding that WoW just isn’t fun anymore, so they quit or cut down their playing time severely. I want to look at the reasons why. A lot of us have become a group of people who equally love Cataclysm for how well designed it is, but for some reason, we can’t get past how suddenly bored we became after just a month or two.
Wrath Killed Our Spirit
You can’t deny that Wrath of the Lich King was a bit of a spirit killer. Everything was so easy, handed to us on a platter, that it very, very quickly became boring. A lot of us ignored that, got into PvP, levelling alts, playing the Auction House, checking out other servers, trying RP, anything just to find some fun in the game again. A lot of us managed to, a lot of us didn’t, and those who didn’t quit, perhaps coming back for Cataclysm. But in the process, our spirits were definitely slaughtered and left to die, leaving just this one little spark of hope that Cataclysm was just around the corner and didn’t it look amazing? Many of us were relying on Cataclysm to bring the fun back to WoW. And rightly so, it really should have.
Linearity Sought to Squash The Hope
The quests in Cataclysm, while they are absolutely fantastic – they really did make you feel as though your character was important, and there are some great storylines to follow, and it’s not all about “kill 10 boars, bring me their ears” and then toddling off to bring back boar heads after 50 kills and much rage about why the fuck don’t boars all have ears – but it’s not enough. We’ve levelled our mains to 85, perhaps gone back and completed Loremaster of Cataclysm, and then just.. meh. Some of us managed to level other alts, some of us couldn’t bear the thought of doing the exact same quests again so soon. However, the questing wasn’t exactly the deciding factor, it was a large part of it, but at this point we still had these new hard heroics and raids and Archaeology to look forward to.
Heroics Are Fun, But Only With The Right People (Who Can’t Always Be Online And Up For It)
Hard heroics were a great idea, for some of us they still are with the right group of people, but you can’t pug them and enjoy them. I’m not saying that they aren’t doable in a pug, I am saying that they aren’t enjoyable, if they are, it’s so rare it’s hardly worth looking for. It’s all of the people running about with the Wrath mindset that has completely spoiled pugging, not that pugging has ever been seen as a good thing. There are still elitist fucks running around in LFD, calling people names needlessly, insulting people for not doing something right, breaking any CC that might be up, trying to AoE everything down, that kind of thing, being generally angry and unpleasant to be around – except you can’t get away with it now. LFD has become worse than it was in Wrath. At least back when everything was AoE’d down in 10 minutes you didn’t have to talk to the twats who would belittle you for simply breathing funny. It wasn’t so fun, but it didn’t make us want to tear our hair out quite so much.
The Mould Simply Wasn’t Broken
Yeah, I’ve mentioned this before but from a personal perspective rather than a general one. The fact is that it wasn’t. We’ve tried Archaology, and raiding, and PvP, and all the usual suspects, but what’s different about any of it? Everything is a grind. Who wants to spend their gametime just constantly grinding and banging their heads against the keyboards? A few, sure, but not many. Fair enough if you can do it with friends and have a laugh while you do, but that’s not always the case. At least in Wrath, as much as it sucked towards the end, the mould was attemptedly broken. We had achievement points to play with – giving us new reasons to do a boss a little bit differently (and sure, grind), and vehicle fights, as much as a lot of people hated those, they were different, Blizzard attempted something new and that was good. What did we get this time? A few minigames and a pile of cutscenes, which in Uldum get so ridiculous you find yourself screaming for it all to just stop already. Blizzard have redone our levelling experience and made things a little more challenging, and it was fun for a couple of months, but what now?
Is This It Then?
Is World of Warcraft reaching the end of its’ cycle? People are quitting without really much reason. Sure, it’s boring, for all of the reasons I said above and then some, but a lot of people will tell you that Cataclysm is great, it’s just not for them. And sure, a lot of people are still having fun, especially people who started playing in Wrath. But it’s there, the apathy. Have we finally found a WoW-killer?