Lectures
Why Blizzard Should Care That I Quit WoW (Even Though They Don’t)

It should be clear before I begin that I fully understand that my list of grievances is essentially meaningless to Blizzard. The loss of a subscription, even if it was nearly five years old, doesn’t cause them a moment’s discomfort. This does not mean however that there is no merit in making such a statement. For one, simply illustrating the degree of disregard Blizzard has for their own customers is itself a endeavor worth undertaking. There is also the fact that while each “I quit” post itself carries no weight the collective message of all those who raise their voices, however eloquent or not, must eventually become an issue of concern for them.

There was never a point in my five years with World of Warcraft that I actually showered any praise upon it. Though I felt the game had promise from the start, it was not actually the kind of MMORPG that I wanted, and I knew it never would be. I came from Ultima Online which at its inception was a true persistent state world – something World of Warcraft was never even intended to be. The leveling scheme and race / character mechanics relegated World of Warcraft to being nothing more than an EverQuest clone. It was the best of what was available though and I enjoyed it for many years. I did just about all that you could imagine doing – I played on PvP and Normal servers, I dedicated myself to small group instances and pvp, I became a raider, and I eventually wound up leading a fairly large raiding guild. They were all enjoyable experiences for a time but ultimately even the spectacular group of people I had come to know and play with in my guild was not enough to merit continuing to pay for the game in the light of Blizzard’s ever more rapidly declining standards.

The decline in Blizzard’s standards has been an ongoing phenomenon essentially since the game began development. All that has changed over the years is the pace. Early in the life of the game I became obsessed with the fact that the overhead “minimap” showed strange artifacting and color blotches in areas beyond my sight over some hills. I was absolutely perplexed when I ventured far enough out in the world and realized it wasn’t artifacting at all but in fact a faithful rendering of what lies supposedly out of sight. Broken, untextured terrain lay just over every hill between zones and in uncharted areas of the map, areas that weren’t even particularly hard to see into from certain vantage points. Giant holes in the map just out of reach. Massively unprofessional work by ANY type of standards. As the years rolled on the snail’s pace of development continued to be a major letdown to all. The landscape to this day is littered with entrances to dungeons that were never opened – many of which were discussed as early as the original beta, but wound up relegated to expansions five years later either due to ineptitude or (more likely) scrimping. When the Battlegrounds first opened they displayed massive promise and were widely popular. Again, however, we would all be disappointed by the lack of development of new maps and the constant watering down of existing modes of play. A college kid in his dorm can hammer out a Capture The Flag map in a matter of hours – yet Blizzard is unwilling to even invest the time and money in that.

The answer to the question of why is simple – because they know they don’t have to. They won’t do anything about gold spammers or exploiters because trial accounts pad their subscription figures. Why would they invest money in development when they can retain subscriptions by lowering drop rates and adding “Reputation” gains that are time-limited by “Daily Quests”? You really think those daily quests were just a feature to give you more content? Of course not – most of the quests are nothing but gather / retrieve piffle. The key is that they allow Blizzard to control how long it takes to complete the provided (boring) tasks. For years people have been questioning why they can’t be allowed to fly in Azeroth. The answer lay at the start of this screed, they were too cheap to actually create a finished world map for RELEASE! If you could fly anywhere you’d see that behind the curtain is a mess of broken textures, jagged polygons, and holes in the world.

Which brings us to where I am now – a FORMER World of Warcraft player. I tried for months to hang in as many people are doing now. The frustrations I’ve been describing aren’t elusive or unique to me, they’re established facts that everyone playing World of Warcraft knows already, we simply choose to look beyond them waiting for the time when the game would be fun again. Many of those I once played with, who still continue to play the game, insist that they’re having fun despite the fact that I can see and hear the frustration every time they log in. They’re mistaking WAITING for fun to happen for the actual process of having fun itself. They remember a time when things were better, when they were having fun, and they’re holding on to the false hope that any moment now Blizzard will stop being so cheap and inept and will turn the game around. I’ve watched people log on only to raid, only to express the entire time how little fun they were having, and log off in frustration every night – and then claim when directly asked that they’re still enjoying the game. Eventually they’ll realize fun isn’t coming and there’s no sense waiting around for it to happen.

I know this to be true because I waited. I waited for months after it became apparent that Wrath of the Lich King raiding was a pathetic shadow of the original World of Warcraft raiding experience. I liked the people I was playing with and I didn’t want to leave them. If I could just make it to the next expansion, I thought, things will have to get better. Then Cataclysm was announced. Blizzard bumping levels on old content just to avoid making anything new. Flying brought to Azeroth – but because they’re too cheap to actually fix the entire map as they’d have to, they’d just “sink” it in the “Cataclysm”. Reading the description I literally could not believe what Blizzard was trying to sell me. We get more cheap table scraps while the masters gorge themselves on money by selling race changes and faction changes and gender changes and pets and whatever else they found that isn’t NAILED DOWN.

So, I bid my farewell to Blizzard, and while I know they don’t care – I’m hoping maybe a few of the people reading this will. There are so many of you out there confusing the anticipation of something fun happening for the actual experiencing of fun. Stop waiting. Quit now. There are plenty of genuinely enjoyable ways to spend your time. Don’t waste your money waiting for Blizzard to wake up and care. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Just more tunnel.

9 comments
eadipus
eadipus

This article is a poorly researched rant. Remodeling the original map for flying mounts would have been a massive job, wouldn't have added anything as there is no level 68+ content in the old world bar the CoT instances. Reputation grinds work because people like the feeling that they've "earned" something. If you could finish them in one play session there'd be very little satisfaction to completing them. Blizzard know the whole MMO genre works because of clearly defined goals which are achievable or where you can watch a little bar move across the screen. Raiding has gone casual which is a change I appreciate. I don't have time to play 4 or 5 days a week. Currently I can see end game content raiding once a week with my guild and logging in once or twice a week to PUG other raids and make some cash. The real beauty of your argument is that it was written 2 days after patch 3.3 launched which has done more to get rid of unneccessary downtime than anything else in the history of the game. I've been waiting an average of 2 minutes to get a full group, they've launched new content and made high end rewards more attainable. What else do you want? WoW probably isn't the right game for you and thats fine, but don't write a rant that makes you look like an idiot trashing i because of that. Play something else. Impressively you've managed to troll a website you're writing for.

Celes
Celes

Have to say, this is pretty whiney. I quit playing WoW months ago, but it was because I felt useless as my class for a long time. (rogue btw) This brought upon issues of finding a guild (doing top dps only goes so far). Other than this fact, I believe WoW to still have tonnes to offer those who wish to experience it. YES it's casual, it always was though. Only recent years have people snapped to this reality. Just take the graceful exit next time.

themo
themo

could you be crying anymore in this post, hating the game you've played for years cause the developers never followed your plan but instead expanded WoW and the entire MMORPG market to millions compared to the few 100,000 of Everquest and Ultima Online

Sayy
Sayy

This article is one terrible bit of writing. While the author has good command of his vocabulary, he tries far too hard to convince you he's eloquent in the first paragraph before degenerating into a scathing rant for the rest of the article. Besides that, I venture to ask the author what was so incredible about grinding skills for hundreds of hours in Ultima in comparison to WoW- which does have many redeeming qualities, even though the development of the game is stunted by all the money Blizzard has stuck in their ears.

Cody
Cody

I completely agree. I quit earlier this year after playing since beta after realizing the majority of my time in game was spent doing absolutely nothing other than shooting the shit with my guild. Blizzard has really sat on their laurels for the last couple of years and taken to simply watching the money roll in, rather than using it to provide entertainment to the people who pay every month.

Wow hater
Wow hater

Your a complete whiney tool bag baby pants. I can't believe I read half of this drivvel. The game sucks, you wasted your life, get over it and move on instead preeching to your empty internet soapbox, no one cares.