Endings and Continuations
Good morning children.
Today is a wonderful day. The reason for its glory, is due to the enlightening mood that I am in. Usually, I’m inclined to discuss a topic and present it in a cynical manner to allow the finer aspects of my ranting to take hold and tactically encourage readers to question the less common perspective.
However…TODAY there will be a change of programming. Today I will do as I’ve never done before!!! Today, I shall…gahhh fuck it. Who am I kidding? There’s not gonna be change in program. I’m going to reference you to something with a mildly informative manner, and then strike it down like a sith lord. However, this is an issue that repeatedly comes up when referring to gamers, especially when the majority of them have been marginalized to look as if they belong with the focus group I will be talking about today.
That group belonging to the ever popular mass-multiplayer-online-role-playing-game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft. It wouldn’t be completely outlandish to state that when thinking about the world of online gaming, one without a frame of reference tends to think of this title first. How could one not? With the vast amount of budget-destroying ads on television, or the previously known “11 million player” population that is swiftly approaching zero, it’s hard not to notice this game even without being a hardcore gamer. The problem is, for this being one of the “best” games online, it’s nowhere close to it.
To actual gamers, WoW started as a remotely promising online world, that gave the appearance of immensely large fields of land, hundreds of content updates, the possibility for limitless PvP, and the greatest lore ever put into a game to further increase the caliber of involvement that you as a player have in the story. What we received, was a fairly open, non-RTS based nightmare, primarily concerned with keeping former Everquest players from going back, and generic click-to-move MMORPG players from returning to the world of free gaming. The game was relatively new at that point, but less than 3 years later it became a grindfest of horrific functionality, a broken PvP system with classes nerfed due to a long series of complaints from every child under the sun who died more than once. The game that had spent so much time attempting to be better than their competition, had finally become their competition and disappointed anyone who wanted a different experience. WoW was not only a severe letdown to anyone who had been a major gamer for ages; the ideals of the game completely went against the point of the “Warcraft” series to begin with. Warcraft one through three are some of the most well crafted strategy games of our time, and the competitive spirit that they bring make any person fall in love with it.
This new game however, has brought forth an irritating and tasteless stereotype to all MMORPG gamers, because of not only the quality of community they have, but because of their focus group that they incessantly seem to drop the bar lower, and lower for.This group of overly-sensitive 12 to 16 years old have forced a systematic characterization of gamers as socially inept, morbidly obese mice with the spine of a snake. This ridiculously moronic archetype perpetuates so far that it doesn’t just bring shame to WoW gamers as a whole, but online gamers across the web.
The point I’m trying to make from this, is that WoW has slowly mutated into a disgusting form of social gaming rather than provide entertainment in the way it should, devoid of marketing schemes. The reason that World of Warcraft is so popular now, is not because of it’s idiotic commercials, or even because it’s accessible to almost any computer. It’s not even because the game is ACTUALLY worth playing. The reason WoW is so popular, is BECAUSE it is popular. WoW’s players encourage their real life friends to play so adamantly, that it forces the game to have a large community, even if the servers are mainly populated by part-time casual gamers with little to no interest in what it is that they’re playing.
I recently had a philosophical discussion regarding the current topic on the online game “Rift”. Many of these players are seasoned veterans of WoW, and have greatly informed opinions as to why the game is in stagnation. They agreed, that while WoW may not have been the greatest MMORPG of all time, it did have finer points than some games, and the innovation they started with made it what it once was. However, after a flurry of complaints and constant changes to the game regarding PvP dynamics and instances, the game has been reduced to a husk of games, including lesser titles that they felt had a single variable that trumped their game’s version of that function. The problem was, too many people got involved with serious gaming groups, who couldn’t stand not knowing how to deal with people who do better than they do in several PvP situations. Therefore, through a vast list of class nerfs, people have been reduced according to class popularity by the “moral majority” of WoW…
…which brings me to my point.
World of Warcraft brings to mind a single idea from my childhood, that it is comparable to:
WoW, is the America Online of the current day gaming world.
It’s so popular for all the wrong reasons, that it blocks out people from seeing any other games on the market that are much better. People are forced to see it day after day, and it’s shoved down their throats from such vicious marketing schemes that are celebrity endorsed to no end, that people don’t know that there are alternatives to the game. They assume just like many Americans did in the 90’s, that in order to be online you had to use America Online, not knowing it was a social application. WoW is the same thing. It presents itself as such a titanic competitor when in reality, the game has lost nearly 2 million players of its population in less than a year. People are beginning to understand now, that popular does NOT mean “good”, and that while the game was a major contender at one time for the king of MMOs, it’s now a wash-up boxer attempting to stay in the ring with its younger, and much more flexible rivals.
It’s time to kill World of Warcraft. You had a good run, and you had millions of people who were content with your realms and innovation as if it were the Television re-imagined. However, your reign as the RPG shogunate is over, and you must accept the fact that other games have sieged your castle for the past 2 years successfully. You are holding on now by gimmicks, and horrific advertising that is only a sign of your blatant desperation to remain in power. It’s going to be your downfall, and trying to milk players for 15 wasted dollars a month still is an exercise in futility in a world where gamers can get your experience for free, without having to pay a penny to your company. Failure to comply, will only ensure your inevitable demise, and games with next-generation graphics, new PvP experiences, epic lore, and the functionality of a sandbox title will snuff you out faster than the games you executed from 2005 to 2008. It’s only a matter of time, and when it happens gamers are going to realize they got fucked out of cash for a game that was exceptionally old, and outclassed by the rest.
That’s a brief history of the World of Whorecraft, in all its unorthodox shame. May Blizzard be happy that they’ve buried many gamer’s hopes for excitement beneath a mountain of parent’s wallets and the credit cards of millions of sheep.
(Oh yeah, and Fuck SOPA and PIPA. Fuck them right in their censoring mouths. Something like that).