I recently went on a bit of a tangent about how I'm worried the next WoW expansion is going to feel "watered down" compared to previous Blizzard expansions. From Ben and Ghemit it certainly felt like I was the only one with this fear and so after the show released I posted an acknowledgment that maybe I should have given Blizzard the benefit of the doubt. It tends to be a good practice really. I've only ever felt "let down" by one expansion and even then I spent almost, if not the entire expansion cycle as a subscriber.
However these doubts and concerns are back in full force again today. MMO Champion recently posted another summary of topics discussed by a developer roundtable from Gamescom. The original posting was from Vanion. Below are the relevant links.
Vanion - Original Article
MMO Champion - Summary
So why does this concern me? Going off of just the summary of topics alone we see Blizzard use "time would be better spent" (or some variation of it), talk of a feature being pushed back, cancelled, or facing an unknown future around eleven times.
That's a lot. However it is not exclusive to this interview, you hear it a lot. Why is this one of the most common answers that come from Blizzard interviews? Simple, it's our fault. We keep asking them about player housing, new racials, dance studios, new hero classes, new races, spectator modes, holidays, transmog options, soloing old dungeons, lore, offline features, trade skill improvements, cinematics, the list goes on and on.
If we could all just stop talking about that stuff, we'd be able to get much more interesting interviews from Blizzard. Will there be new quests and questing zones? Can we expect new raids? Will there be new bosses to fight? See, isn't that a better set of questions? Not really.
This is my problem folks. Blizzard is focused on giving us new zones, new quests, new items, new bosses, and new levels. That's all really good. I would be out of my mind to tell you it isn't, that is the backbone that makes up the game. However it is a backbone that takes time and effort. While Blizzard ramps up getting more and more of that stuff the list of other things we'd like to see grows and continues to be pushed aside.
If the only thing you care about are new raids then Blizzard is making a game that scratches your itch, but they continue to say they want to be more than that. Yes player housing and dance studios are silly little features. Expanding new hair styles to the barber shop is too. Giving players a new way to spend a holiday in WoW is very easy to cross off the list of important things, and Blizzard already showed us how important they think pre-expansion events are.
If it isn't really important though, why do people keep asking about it? Why is you have to give the "time better spent" response over and over again? It's because new content should always come first, it should always be the top priority, but at some point Blizzard you need to remember that WoW is about having fun and sometimes doing something stupid or seemingly unimportant, leads to the most fun you can have in game.
Remember I've been playing since vanilla, I host a podcast on this topic, and consider myself a total Blizzard fanboy. However being a fanboy doesn't mean that no wrong can ever be spoken about a thing. I write because I care, I criticize because I care, and I want WoW to be the best game it can possibly be. Ultimately it falls on Blizzard to make the hard calls, they are far better at it than me, but like anyone else out there, it's ok to have and to voice that opinion. If you agree, disagree, or just want to debate with me you can reach me at Revendawn@gmail.com