Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jumping the Shark

I've been out of the loop with WoW, caught up in Warhammer, but I logged into it the other day to chat on vent with a few friends on an old PvP server I left behind long ago. They asked me to bring a toon back, but the only one I could bother moving was locked away on a PvE server. Much to my surprise, they told me that Blizzard has opened the floodgates from PvE -> PvP server transfers.

Coming from their numerous adamant threads that they're 'strongly opposed' to it (forum topics decay, and I couldn't find the "never gonna happen" ones that I remember from the past), I was surprised to hear them flip a 180 on the topic.

The community is obviously split on the topic, those having leveled on PvP servers upset, while those leveling in STV with no threat of gankage are thrilled to finally 'get their PvP on' and go gank noobs in Hillsbrad now that they're safely at the level cap. It's silly, because STV and Hillsbrad will have no significance for anyone that leveled there while /wink-ing and /flirt-ing with the opposing faction.

Things like this only further seem to water down the whole WoW experience (triple XP for refer-a-friend, bind on account items that level with you, xbox 360 style achievements). I feel like they're jumping the shark as boldly and ridiculously as they can, just to make way for the 'next big thing'... like they WANT people to roll their eyes at WoW, so when WoW2 launches, no one is left wondering if they should stick with WoW1 (a la EQ and EQ2). My friends that still play WoW offered to get me an account and 'powerlevel me to 70 on multiple toons for the coming of wrath', but the whole conversation just felt wrong... so many people from the old guild had just quit WoW altogether, and here was the few remaining diehards, running around in circles on the bank roof in Ogrimmar as we chatted on vent, eager to drag me back in full force.

I intend to look back into WoW with WotLK, just to see what's changed, but I can't see shifting WoW back into the 'main playtime slot'. I still feel WoW is techically superior to Warhammer in many ways, but it's just been run into the ground. Plus, with a newborn in the house, grabbing an hour or two of playtime when I can means leveling in Warhammer's numerous BGs is a more viable option than scheduling a 6 hour raid slot 3 or 4 nights a week. WoW had it's time, and that time is past. I recognize my leaving WoW doesn't mean the game is suddenly not popular, but the notion of finally caving in on PvE to PvP transfers just makes it feel like the devs feel the window closing, too, and are just pulling out every stop before the game begins to finally wind down. I'm sure Diablo 3 isn't the only project they have in the pipe, and I'm intereseted to see what it is, but WoW's all but done, at least for me personally.

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