VII – The Post That Almost Wasn’t

olympics

Today I managed to almost forget to post. Blogging every single day is a tad more insane than I thought. This is especially true when during Olympic season. I played a little Albion today, but I have been glued to the TV watching the world come together in the name of sport. It is a good distraction from politics and bored gaming. It is also good for inspiration.

Not only have I played Albion on the Fit Desk, but I also went for a short bike ride on my Mongoose. I don’t have a helmet that fits so I didn’t go for a long ride, but a ride nonetheless. Being the nerd I am, I instantly started looking at apps and ways to track distances and such. Of course, Pokemon Go!

Either way, I need to do something to get less fat, and I need to get back to watching the Olympics. Hopefully the inspiration to bitch and moan hit me soon. Right now, not so much.

 

VI – Albion Online

albion

In the quest to combat boredom while waiting for Legion, a co-worker asked if I had tried Albion Online. That is as good as holding a gun to my head and making spend money on a new game.

I had heard of Albion Online, but never explored it too deeply. I watched a couple of streams but that was it. I didn’t figure I would like the cartoony isometric graphics. I knew the devs were doing that so they could release it on multiple platforms, including tablets, but honestly didn’t give it much of a consideration. As I began watching videos on YouTube I started to dig it.

Long story short, I bought the damn game. The $30 package is all I am committing to unless this things turns out to be stellar. I like the crafting and open world sandboxy type feeling it instantly gives. The quests I have found so far are more like objectives. “Build this, then that.” Which progresses you up into the skill table thing they call a Destiny Board. Perform the actions to fill in this monstrous thing. There are a ton of things on that board to keep you busy for a long time.

It wouldn’t be fair to compare it to Ultima Online, and I never really played Runescape, so I don’t know how to describe it. It has the movement and controls of Diablo. While it has a sort of simplistic combat, I can see it gets much deeper. There are dungeons, even solo ones, but I’m not sure what you are supposed to do. I know it has a huge world map broken up into colors that state what kind of PVP is allowed. It works kind of like EVE Online’s security rating. At first you are totally safe. Then you can venture into a place where PVP is allowed if you flag, but you don’t drop items. Next is a flaggable area where you do drop loot. Finally there is full PVP with full loot. You die there, everything is gone. You are constantly gathering resources in this game, so of course the deeper into these dangerous zones you go, the better the resources.

The $30 investment is well worth with. I can’t say I will spend thousands of hours playing, especially because I can’t get it to work on my older Samsung tablet yet (and due to the way Apple’s app store works they can’t release it there until it is launched). After launch, and when I can test it on a tablet, my opinion may change. I’m going to play it this weekend and see how I feel. If they can actually give me an MMO I can play on the PC, then pick up and play on my iPad from bed, they may be onto something major. Only time will tell.

V – Killing In The Name Of Consequence

shark

Blaugust has me posting five days in a row. Holy moly! We are five days in and August has already been my most productive month since back in the Warhammer Online blog days.

When is world PVP good, and when is it bad? In my humble opinion, it totally matters on the ramifications of death.

A stiff death penalty makes everyone think before they act. Chances are, if the player is advanced and sees a noob as nothing more than a mouse they can slap around, typically they do it. There is no consequence because there is no chance the noob could turn out to be the Loch Ness Monster in disguise. However, if the death penalty has some very negative side effects, players think before they attack. Their brain weighs the pros and cons. They have to determine if the spoils of war are worth the chance of defeat. This makes for much better gameplay.

In a level based game, such as World of Warcraft, world PVP is almost always terrible. That’s right, I said it. It is far too easily abused and serves zero purpose other than griefing. Without control points, or reasons to control zones, it is merely a tool to piss the other side off. It is beyond stupid to make a design decision where a level capped character can attack and corpse camp someone a fraction of their level. Sure, you may have an explosion of level capped toons duking it out in retaliation, which is arguably more fun than battlegrounds, but let’s be real. How often does that happen nowadays? I guess the argument that it breaks up the monotony can be used, but piss on that hollow ass excuse.

World PVP is usually enjoyable in a skill based sandbox game like EVE where you can stick close to safe zones and slowly venture further out at your own discretion. The difference is it is up to you. You don’t just run out of objectives to do, thus forcing you into a compromising situation where any level capped player who is having a bad day can annoy the shit out of you. On top of that, the thrill and exhilaration is real. Having the knowledge your death is going to be a major setback puts you on the edge of your seat. When you escape a gank attempt it feels amazing. When you are the one ganking it leaves you with a real sense of loss when the mouse gets away. The pendulum swings much more emotionally, thus the satisfaction is much greater. Likewise, if there is an actual war effort built into the game, world PVP makes sense. Controlling a zone for resources needed is an obvious winner here.

Don’t confuse my post. Tarren Mill battles were fun. Stranglethorn gankings were not. If the game is built around a world where danger is everywhere, everyone stands a chance, and everything is at stake, world PVP shines. In a game with zero consequence and zero purpose, world PVP is a waste of time. Wanna fight? Comment below.

IV – 21 Jump St., Old Town, Stormwind City

GoldshireInn

Playing off yesterday’s housing theme, if Blizzard ever brought housing to World of Warcraft, what would be the correct implementation?

This is a tricky question. As I illustrated yesterday, WoW doesn’t need housing. It isn’t a craft-heavy game where the building would serve an actual purpose. Therefore we would have to build the purpose. Blizzard attempted this with the garrison, but they put so much purpose into it, players revolted. When the garrison felt like a necessity, a majority of players voiced their displeasure about it. According the the thought process of yesterday’s post, having a purpose is the entire reason why housing is awesome, so where did Blizzard go wrong?

Customization.

Sure, you could move buildings around but you couldn’t decorate said buildings. You lacked the fundamental ability to make them feel like your property. It was a cookie cutter where every player was looking at roughly the same thing. Plugging a different building into a socket is not nearly the same as placing a particular carpet on the floor, or painting the walls a certain color. Blizzard swung for the fences by giving players housing with purpose, but didn’t offer the customization. The result was this solo-city thing that was basically mandatory. As if forcing you to use it wasn’t bad enough, you had a small set of options to make it feel like yours. (I won’t mention the scope Blizzard announced versus what they actually launched, not that I am bitter or anything.)

So what would be the proper way to do housing in my gloriously amazing opinion? Make it small and phased, like the farm in Pandaria. Take a couple of slightly used buildings in major cities and renovate them. If the player leaves the house they are in the main city with everyone else. Better yet, phase it in a way so if looking out the door you can see someone run by out on the street. Inside, make it like Wildstar where you can customize the bejesus out of it. Load up raid bosses and pvp vendors with things you can hang up, things you can place, stands to show off armor you have collected, etc. Build in options for professions, but don’t make it mandatory. For example, let’s use specialized cloth. You can go to a workbench in the game world to create it, or you can create it in the house, assuming you have used your professions to unlock the workbench. Don’t make it mandatory, but give me a slight reason to use it. That way the player decides whether or not they want to spend time working on it. Blizzard’s excuse could be “why develop something that is totally optional?” To that I answer “Put housing shit on the in-game cash shop. You’re welcome.”

All in all, I still think WoW redefined “MMORPG” and broadened the scope. When I play WoW I am popping in and out, thus not tied to the game world or server like I am in another, slower paced game. If I don’t need it, the developer had best make it as shiney as possible with tons of customization because it would simply be a time sink while I wait for a queue to pop and teleport me away. Just do it in a way that I am still around other people and feel like the MMO part still exists.

Oh, and hindsight is 20/20, but don’t make neighborhoods like Lord of the Rings Online and some other games. Those things were great ideas on paper, but always tend to be ghost towns dislodged from the actual core game. Tie it all in together, or make individual housing in the actual game world, which can also lead to ghost towns. It is a tricky bitch. Just stop being like Blizzard. Don’t promise me an apple pie and then hand me an apple.

III – Housing A Dollhouse

housing

Player housing is something people believe is either a worthless Barbie playhouse, or an integral part of an MMO. I am of the train of thought that it totally depends on the game.

In a game with deep immersion and purpose, housing is a necessity for the game to feel alive, so to speak. Housing done correctly is your virtual home in a breathing world. It is where you keep your wares, do odd crafting jobs, display your triumphs, and just unwind. It can, however be much, much more. In a game like Wurm Online it is a necessity. You are apart of an ever changing world. You not only need a base of operations, but you need a shelter to protect your items. On top of that it stops your items from decaying, or disappearing from the gameworld forever. In Wurm I not only have one house, but I have many buildings. All serving a purpose. I have a house with a bed to sleep in and gain rested bonus. I have a boathouse to contain the boat I am building and the various bulk items I will need to make it. I have a blacksmith building, a carpentry building, etc. If the game requires you to have a central point of focus, housing not only make sense, it becomes a primary mechanic.

For World of Warcraft, housing is dumb. There, I said it.

While I am eagerly awaiting the release of Legion, let’s call a spade a spade. WoW is the Call of Duty of the MMORPG genre. You don’t need a house. It would serve no real purpose other than to be a gold sink. Sure, it would be cool and I would totally rock one if available, but in a game where you just teleport into and out of dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, and main cities, how would a house really add anything? Plus, you have huge bag space and a huge bank. Without encumbrance, you don’t need to go back to a chest in your house. You can just walk around with hundreds of heavy pieces of ore, sets of gear, and whatever else you happen across. This is not a bad thing, it is just a different style of play. WoW is about action. I can bounce in and out of action items with no effort. Travel is not an issue and all the banks are connected. For me, this makes WoW feel less like a classic MMORPG, and more like some sort of hybrid action-MMORPG. The world is fairly static aside from the big patches, so not having a house is not a big deal. Besides that, look at the garrisons… That is a prime example of housing done wrong. Instead of functional house they gave us a functional solo-capital city. Total overkill, but worked due to the way WoW is structured. Maybe I am in the minority, but WoW is a collection of maps linked together seamlessly. It doesn’t feel like a world I can go anywhere at anytime. Therefore there is no desire or need to live in that world.

In games like Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Wurm Online, and even Minecraft, housing isn’t optional. You pretty much need it to advance in the game. Your digital residence is a main point of the game, which is built around it. Any of the new age quest and level based games don’t really need housing. Wildstar took a stab at it and while it added a neat feature, you could just skip it and I don’t feel you miss too terribly much. That said, I want housing, but I want it to mean something. A lot of those older MMORPG’s had your survival being dependent on shelter. A lot of the newer survival games tickle this same itch, but games like WoW, Wildstar, and SWToR, meh. It’s not needed and that is ok with me.

II – Ketchup Post

sleeping-Gamer

I am a huge fan of the Starz show Black Sails. Each of their episodes are simply named for the Roman numeral of that episode. I am stealing that idea for all of my Blaugust posts. If anything it will hopefully help me plow forward.

Today’s post is simply a “catch up” of what I have been doing lately. It may spark further posts, or it may just be a self-centered brain dump to help me figure out my focus over the next month.

Waiting for Legion is hard. I have zero interest in playing anymore of Warlords of Draenor. The legendary ring quest was supposed to still be live so long as you had already started the chain. After the patch dropped I logged in, looked at the shiny newness, messed with the talents and skills, then went to continue the ring quest. DOH! Gone. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Oh well. I’m not even tore up about it enough to open a ticket.

The problem with waiting for Legion is the disinterest of starting something else up. A lot of people I know who called themselves oldschool WoW players are off playing Final Fantasy XIV and having a blast. While FFXIV is having a welcome back event where you can play 120 hours for free, starting back up seem pointless. This goes for a lot of other games as well. Why start something knowing the Legion is going to suck me in at the end of the month?

Wurm Online always has a special place for me. I get ramped up and play the hell out of it for a month or so then die off. I was at the end of my upkeep for the deed, thus it was decision time. Do I let it drop or pay to keep it going. When I logged in and paid up it sucked me in for a month or so. Then the same ole burn out happened. I went away for a weekend getaway to the beach. When I came home I just didn’t feel the desire to log in and grind. It sucks. I wish that game had more horsepower on the action side of the house.

I have been playing a bit of Shroud of the Avatar, Richard Garriott’s spiritual successor to Ultima Online. They had their big not-release event where the servers were wiped one final time. Now the world is persistent, though very unfinished. The hardcore surrounding that game are all about it. Again, I didn’t drop serious cash into it to get a tax free deed, so for me it is about playing the game as it is, which is still very unpolished and messy. The game mechanics seem like they will be fun, but right now rocking 20 frames per second isn’t. I’m due to upgrade my system, but for as unfinished as SotA is, I can’t justify spending the cash just for that.

The kids and I did rock out some Pokemon Go when it first came out. I admit we haven’t done much since, mainly because every damn time we would try to play the servers were down. Plus, having it come out in the dead of summer was pretty dumb. I’m thinking once the servers become stable and Fall rolls around we will down at the park more often trying to catch them all.

Now back to staring at my Steam account, Battle.net account, MMORPG.com, and MassivelyOP.net in hopes of something jumping out at me.

BLAUGUST!!!

Blaugust2016

It has been a while since I posted. I haven’t really been playing too many games lately, but I do want to blog. Chalk it up to being lazy. So lazy, in fact, I couldn’t even come up with an excuse to play games and write about them… Yeesh.

What better excuse than Blaugust?!

For those not aware, Belghast over at Aggronaut.com puts on a yearly initiviate to blog. In years past it has been a daily activity to see if you can survive. This year he decided to take a more relaxed approach since so many would go all out for the month of August and then go dormant for a while. This year is about pacing.

That said, I haven’t blogged since the Warcraft movie, almost two months ago. Do I have it in me to blog every day? Probably not, but I kind of want to give it a shot. Standing on a soapbox is a pastime of mine, as anyone who remembers Pugcast and Dregcast can attest to. I always want to blog, I just never stick with it. Maybe if I post for 31 days straight (or try to) it will click and I will just keep going. Who knows? I doubt I even have enough to talk/complain about. On top of that worry, I also have some pretty bad A.D.D. when it comes to gaming and such. As a result I will give myself a 2.7% chance to make a full pull. The only way I survive the whole month is to keep them short and concise. …I can hear you laughing from here…

Hopefully I will come up with 30 topics to write about. By the way, if you actually understood the full pull reference, you may have been to a county fair or two.

SilverScreen: Orcs & Humans

durotan

This past weekend I saw the Warcraft movie not once, but twice. Friday was date night. Moxie, from BattlePriestess.net, put together a raid party consisting of my wife and I, her husband, and two other couples. We faced the Cheesecake Factory gear check, then downed the IMAX boss that night. Saturday afternoon I put a low level dungeon group together when I took my kids to the 3D showing.

Was the opening paragraph too nerdy? Screw you! J You’re reading (probably not) a blog about MMO’s…where I am currently talking about WoW, but I promise to talk about other games eventually…

movieguldanWith all of the negative critic reviews, how was the movie? In my opinion, great. Was it the greatest movie of all time? Not even close. Was it a fun ride in the universe of Warcraft? Hell yes, and that is all that really matters to me. I don’t buy in to all of the movie snobs who are looking for some massive artistic piece with phenomenal acting and an insanely deep, edge-of-your-seat plot. I wanted to see Orcs and Humans on the big screen, battling, and ultimately neither being good guys or bad guys. Mission accomplished. That still doesn’t mean the movie was perfect.

Without spoilers, let’s get into it.

Director Duncan Jones was told by the studio the movie was too long. They forced him to cut 40 minutes to bring it down to the two hour mark, 2:03 to be exact. You can not only tell this, you can literally feel it. Some scenes feel rushed, cut at odd times, or no explanation of what was going on. I still feel it did a good job of grabbing you and slamming down on the throttle, but I know this is a major complaint from some people. They want to know all of the little details but the details are likely on the cutting room floor. This may be a case where the Director’s Cut should have been the actual movie. Hopefully we get the chance to see this with the Blu-ray release.

Some of the people complaining know a bit about the lore and are claiming “it doesn’t make sense why X is acting or doing those things because they didn’t give Y as the explanation.” No, you’re wrong. For example, a large piece revolving around Medihv is not even whispered about. It didn’t need to be. They can address it in a later movie. Would it have been better to explore it? As a fan of the lore, absolutely! Warcraft was already trying to achieve ton of things, so to even mention it in passing would have required a lot more storytelling. This was about Orcs vs Humans and the why’s. The how’s can be explored later but I do not think it hurts the plot of this particular movie. There is also another fairly huge piece at the end that was left out, but they could not have ended a one-off movie like that. It could be the very first scene of the next movie if they get to make it. However, if they do not get that opportunity it would have been a terrible cliffhanger that never got explained, making people hate on the movie even more. They are not assuming they will get a second movie. Besides that, I have spoken with a few people who know nothing of the lore or the games. They didn’t even know anything was missing.

The lore changes were pretty drastic in a few places, but the overall narrative was left intact. The characters that die still die, but not in the exact series of events according to the games and books. The reason for this is simple, it is a movie. The games have had over 20 years to tell you a story and flesh out subplots. The movie had two hours to get a ton of things done. It did feel like a complete setup for future movies, almost as if they wanted the foundation laid so they can take their time with other, more intricate storylines. Again, I am fine with this.

movie-lotharActing was a bit of a sore spot for a lot of people. The general consensus is that the Orcs were amazing. They had a lot of depth and felt very believable. Meanwhile, the humans were flat and boring. I can’t totally disagree with this, but I also don’t think they were as bad as some of the movie snobs are making them out to be. Travis Fimmel’s portrayal of Lothar was very Ragnar-like from the show Vikings. He had little quirky movements and attitude. There is one scene in particular I feel like he failed miserably, but I also understand why they did it. If the scene had more emotion it could have hurt the idea of “any sacrifice to protect the realm,” so to speak. I won’t argue with the critics if they claim the Orcs stole the show, but I also feel that had to be by design. Viewers would naturally associate with the humans. Duncan and crew wanted us to feel the tragedy of the Orcs. They wanted to make sure the Orcs were not the bad guys. It does come across all shades of grey, so maybe that is why they toned down the humans a bit, to level them off for casual movie-goers. Let’s be honest, a normal movie viewer will see the Orcs and instantly think they are the monsters coming to take over. That said, and if this is really what they did with the acting, it did fail. The human part of the saga could have had more emotion simply because they nailed the Orcs so well. Durotan does feel like the main character for most of the film, which also makes the ending a little hard to digest because it almost portrays Stormwind as the main character. The acting is arguably the most important part of a movie, and sadly in Warcraft’s case it was the part they missed on the most.

The computer generated characters and effects were pretty amazing. The very first picture of Durotan looked like we were seeing a real-life Orc. There were moments when the movie felt cartoony and fake, particularly when viewing in 3D, but that is Warcraft. It is cartoony. Damn anyone who forgets that. The orcs looked like the incredible hulk because they are. In the games they are roughly the same size as the humans, but they have massive shoulders and huge hands. I don’t understand the complaint against the proportions. The film’s take of a cartoony artistic style and converting it to “real-life” felt spot on. The sets all felt exaggerated, just like in the games. It was possibly the best mix of in-game artistic style with real-life any game movie has ever achieved. The spell affects were awesome. The Orcs were awesome. The CGI was awesome.

Overall I feel the movie was solid. With confidence, I will proclaim Warcraft is the best video game movie ever made. I know the bar is currently set extremely low, but this will raise that bar a bit. Hopefully more movies are made and the bar keeps going up. The movie almost feels like a proof of concept designed to feel out the audience and test methodology. Hopefully there are more movies and they nail the formula when telling the story of Thrall and/or Arthas. Those two will be much easier stories to tell and likely lend themselves to the screen much more.

I give Warcraft a solid B+, or 89/100, or 4/5, or whatever scale you want to use. I highly recommend it. It has some issues, but it gets a lot more right than wrong. Most importantly, it was a fun ride. If you disagree, good for you! Just stop taking life so seriously and expecting everything to be an instant classic or top movie of all time. Sometimes, movies can just be fun.

So there you have it. Opinions are like assholes and you’ve just seen mine. Share yours in the comments!

Warcraft: State of the Franchise

Warlords-of-Draenor

The Warcraft movie comes out in three days. The critics hate it. I won’t go into it because fuck the critics. I have never understood a “professional”movie opinion giver. Basically anything I can say has already been said by Moxie over at BattlePriestess.net. The fans have spoken and the movie is good. It remains number one in Germany and number two in Russia. Since launch outside of the US it has made $69 million. It opened in China a midnight last night to the tune of ¥55.4 million, which is around $8.4 million. That is for one time slot and it tops Furious 7’s all-time midnight release record.  Hopefully the US launch this weekend is equally strong. They tagged on “The Beginning” to the title so hopefully that means more movies are coming.

suckmyballsEnough of the movie itself. This post will be about the state of the game at the end of Warlords of Draenor. We sit in the midst of a massive lull created by what feels like an abandonment. The development cycle just doesn’t feel complete. It is as if they took us back in time simply so we would associate more closely with the movie. WoD has been a mental trainwreck right from the start. In the middle of the expansion Blizzard decided it was junk so they reached up and slammed down on the abort button. That is just my guess. Hopefully they can clean up the story with the retcon of Illidan and the Legion. The tools used for storytelling remain the highlight of Draenor.

The expansion’s launch only saw me play a bit. There was no part of me that got hooked. I do not have an explanation as to why. Maybe it was the movie, or Legion, or the combination of the two that pulled me back. It is more likely my friends at work that started playing again which helped set the hook in my mouth. I can say with certainty, I have not been this enamored by WoW since early WotLK. For shit sakes, fishing dailies are even getting done! It could have been my personal long lull of serious play that let the game become foreign to me. I am discovering things all over again.

It was a slow climb up to heroics. The gear score requirement was putting along until I hit that magical 610. Once that happened I ran the piss out of dungeons and watched the gear score climb. Looking For Raid is still a joke, but I’m addicted to it. While I am indeed running LFR, I wish it were never introduced. It feels so cheap and dirty. Alas, the gear pushes me forth. The treadmill is going stronger than ever in the Jeg household. When not in LFR I am doing the heroics and capping valor. I didn’t run this many heroics back when the Lich King was the ultimate threat. All in all, the treadmill feels “normal” and nothing I can complain about. When I get tired of running in random groups I can stay busy enough on my main toon to not even come close to bored yet, granted I didn’t play the first year it was out.

palmsanderMy main gripe with Blizzard comes in the way of the garrison. Now I know there is a lot of hate out there for the garrisons, and frankly I disagree with some of it. I fully admit I am not maximizing the garrison like some. Maybe I am not advanced enough to see what people are actually complaining about. I hear the mission table being the biggest enemy. Why? I log on, do my missions, and leave to do other things. The mission table should be a part of the mobile app. Come on, Blizzard! You put the softball in the air and struck out hard. Not once, but twice if you consider the shipyard. Some days I look at the mission table and don’t see anything worth my time, so I just ignore it. Then again, I’m a bad player.

The main problem with the garrison is that I never have to leave the god damn thing. It keeps me busy enough between queue pops. I find myself teleporting back to Stormwind just so I know it is still there. It is insanity. Blizzard wanted to do player housing but better. Instead they did mini-solo-city. I know they claim we have customization, but let’s not lie. We can plop pre-fabricated buildings into hooks. Yippie. No seriously. I am beside myself with joy. This ranks just below shaving my pubes with a palm sander on a scale of fun. This is worse than the Lord of the Rings Online housing hooks! The garrison is NOT housing. It makes WoW feel like a single player game that intermingles with others for dungeons. At least there are no jackasses on giant elephants standing on the mailbox…but at least I am cussing a real human when that happens.

The WoW Token is a nice addition. Thought I would never say that? Hey, screw you! I am a busy husband, father of four boys, and a baseball coach. I don’t have countless hours to grind gold. I have never and would never buy gold from a thief. I despise that kind of action, but looking at EVE Online’s system, Blizzard did the right thing in copycatting. It doesn’t net you a huge amount of gold, but $20 for 48,000 gold on Dalaran is ok by my book. I am not worried about a 2,000,000 gold mount, but I am worried about 1,500 gold to upgrade a piece of my shitty garrison!

All in all, Draenor has been a failure. I am still new and slightly fresh. I can only imagine the level of boredom possessed by those of you who got to where I am currently at over a fucking year ago. This is unacceptable and no one, not even Blizzard can fault you for unsubscribing. Hopefully they get their act together and don’t squander the influx of players the movie and expansion bring in this summer. Only time will tell.

Tune in next time when I write on what player housing should be.

Legacy of the Boohoo

loadkalimdor

A day late and a dollar short, but let’s discuss legacy servers. I wasn’t blogging when the Nostralius news broke, so let’s go back in time shall we?

Blizzard shuts down a private server and everyone loses their fucking minds. The server was free to play on, so it clearly must have been totally ok, right? Bullshit.

That’s right. This is my first truly cantankerous post. The types of posts I thought I would be doing on the regular, but I’m really just a nice guy. Most of the time. Hang onto your butts because I’m about to rage. Please read carefully as I am in the middle. I’m not 100% for Blizzard, nor am I 100% for players.

A private server run by avid fans is meant to be viewed as an homage to the original game and developers, to honor what the game used to be. There is one problem. It’s illegal. I don’t really give a shit what sad story arguments can be made to defend the players. Boo-hoo. You miss oldschool WoW. That doesn’t give you the right to break the law. This is copyrighted and trademarked material we are talking about. The logic behind the argument is anemic. Your love for something does not give you a free pass to break the law.

So let’s get this failed logic straight. You love an old band so much, but hate their new music. For the sake of this analogy the old albums are no longer for sale. As a result you make copies of your old albums and tell the world anyone can have it. You think this is totally ok because of two major reasons. First, it’s not available anymore, and second you aren’t making money off of it. In fact, you love this band so much you are spending your own money to make these albums available. Sorry, but that band still owns the rights to those songs, not you. You broke the copyright laws and should be shut down. You have no argument to stand on other than a sob story like an obsessed significant other. The law does not agree with you, not even a little bit. Get the sand out of your underwear and accept reality.

Blizzard was in their full rights to shut the server down, but they are equally brain dead if they don’t hear the message people are screaming in their face. This would be a totally different argument if the server was running current WoW, because in that case the people playing there are simply too cheap to pay up. The fact this thing was oldschool classic WoW and had so many active players should open the eyes of the boys and girls in Anaheim. People do not like where WoW has gone.

sadbirdBack in my podcast days I would rail on and on about how I wanted content, not sparkle ponies. I disliked and disagreed with the direction WoW was going. Fast forward to today and look where we are. Not only are we still going through draughts of no content, but the garrison fiasco is upon us. In the effort of no real content, Blizzard implemented a Facebook style drag and drop questing avenue. Warlords of Draenor is highly regarded… as the worst expansion in WoW’s history. While Legion makes a lot of promises, Order Halls are dangerously looking like Garrisons 2.0 with tweaks here and there. People didn’t like it the first time around, then the devs slapped a new coat of paint on it and called it the Shipyard. Now the third coat of paint is Order Halls. The one piece of content a mass majority of people agree is the worst ever, yet Blizzard still thinks we want. What we want is to recapture the magic of classic WoW.

No. Legacy servers will not fix this. Design choices will. Blizzard can’t even release patches on an accelerated timetable. Why does anyone in their right mind want them to take resources away from the team to open legacy servers? We will play. We will level cap. We will raid. We will be out of content. That’s why I say NO to legacy servers. The whole idea is lazy. We should not need to go back in time and play the old game. Blizzard should get their shit together and make the current game scratch that old itch. There has to be a balance between all of the modern conveniences and the old sense of satisfaction. I refuse to believe it can’t be done.

There is something for everyone in WoW these days, which is great, but the over simplification of the game’s core has taken its toll. Everything can be done faster and faster, making players lazier and lazier. I see people bitching about garrisons because they can just click a few buttons and not go out into the world. Yes you can! Players are like water, they follow the path of least resistance. You have option A or option B. Both have the same rewards. Option A just requires you to click a button. Option B requires you to play the game. The answer is always Option A, because players are lazy. Blizzard has to get this through their thick skulls. It is arrogant of them to think they have all the answers when the subscription numbers prove otherwise. They are the enablers of this lazy mentality. They could simply separate Option A and B, reward them based on effort and be done with it. Oh but they wouldn’t be fair to the people with a couple of hours a week to play. So what?!? Half the time I am one of those players. Why in the holiest of all fucks should I be able to be almost equally geared as someone who plays eight hours a day? That whole logic makes my butt itch. Classic and TBC required effort, and rewarded us appropriately. This led to a sense of accomplishment. THAT is what people want. They want a sense of accomplishment, not shortcuts that make the game feel hollow.

I wholeheartedly think people would go back to WoW and stick around if the rewards felt like feats of victory again. On top of that it would buy Blizzard time. People wouldn’t be able to scream through the content in a month or two and consider themselves done. That said, mindless gating of content appears to be lazy development, and that isn’t the answer either.

And for shit sakes, Blizzard, you have to crank content out and stop taking so long between patches. Most guilds can’t endure this. You killed the social part of WoW and your subscriptions are showing it. Stop milking the cow and feed it!