[WoW] The million dollar question with patch 4.1/4.2

Today the patch 4.2 hype was released with not only a trailer for the upcoming raid instances, but also a timetable for future hype. Which is handy because now we can schedule it around the royal wedding (or around the unwedding TV timetable if you are not a royalist.)

There is a fair amount of stuff on the drawing board; in addition to the new 5 man instances which were released this week as patch 4.1. There is a huge new raid instance/zone (it sounds as big as a zone), more dailies, more lore, more loot, a new legendary weapon etc all aimed at max level characters.

Question is this: If you are one of the players who got bored of Cataclysm (and possibly left WoW), is this enough to pique your interest and draw you back in?

(And how popular exactly are casters going to be in raids now that there is a legendary item on offer …?)

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55 thoughts on “[WoW] The million dollar question with patch 4.1/4.2

  1. Honestly, it isn’t enough to draw me back. My problem is with WoW is more the systematic degradation of the game over the last several years, and my lack of faith that Blizzard. I lack faith that they actually care about the core problems the game has. Everything, including this latest patch with a good deal of recycled content feels like a bandage.

    Yeah I am biased and extremely jaded at this point. But I really cannot see myself returning to WoW. I think I am done with that style of play. While not completely done with MMOs in general, I certainly am not nearly as attached to one specific game as I once was with WoW.

    • “Healthy” is a relative term here, depending on which side you’re on :P

      I can’t help but think EQ2 is suffering far more than WoW due to RIFT; Flames has a whole (and very active) section devoted to RIFT, and a lot of people I meet (that’s the present tense; as much as I don’t particularly love RIFT I am actually playing it as a time-waster whilst PSN is down and TSW remains unreleased) are from EQ2. The “free level 90″ idea seemed very desperate indeed.

      Not that I’m particularly defending New WoW Blizzard, but the fact that RIFT players seem to love biting WoW in the ass whilst at the same time praising what is essentially the same game is getting old.

  2. “is this enough to pique your interest and draw you back in?”

    Erm… Not at all. My time with Cataclysm only showed me how much the culture had changed since I quit playing in early 2009 – and none of the changes that I noticed were ‘for the better’.

  3. If I come back to WoW then to do low level sutff like low level PvP. Since they successively destroyed the low lvl stuff I have been coming back ever more rarely over the years.

    • I kinda liked low level PvP (and me a staunch PvE soloist)… it really felt like playing WarCraft “in the trenches”, as it were. I like that aspect of the game.

      …then the heirlooms and twinking reared their ugly heads. Urgle. Give me normalized PvP, and I’d play it a lot more.

  4. Unfortunately, no, it’s not. My problems with WoW are far deeper than boredom with the content, yet they only address the issue of content with many of their patches (though admittedly not all). I’ll try the new dungeons with my friends (that I haven’t yet says something about how “excited I am” about the “new” dungeons. Good question, and I’m interested to see what everyone else says.

  5. Since it’s the over-emphasis (in my opinion) on raiding that’s really soured me on WoW, then no, a new raid instance isn’t going to draw me back in.

  6. Add me to the “Thanks, but no thanks,” group. Cataclysm, and the continued degradation of the community, chased me away from the game and nothing I’ve seen since I left has given me any reason to go back. Some of that is Blizzard’s fault, some of it is the fault of the community. I don’t think there is anything Blizzard can do to encourage me to return at this point. Not that they are losing any sleep over that.

  7. Bleghast and bits and pieces from other comments basically sum up my view as well. Raiding for its own sake is no draw to me (that’s not to say a good gear treadmill wouldn’t have me hooked, built WoW’s over-inflation, shite guilds, shite RP realms and shite dungeoneering experiences have turned me off for good.)

    I still defend WoW (or, rather, what I remember WoW as,) but I don’t see myself really playing it again. Next expansion, just to see the lore? Maybe; it depends whether WoWpedia sums it all up and if they plan on doing another Warcraft RTS.

    As my main game, my endgame game and my go-to game? No.

  8. Nope. I don’t have the time nor the interest to raid anymore, and WoW’s endgame is really lackluster without it. I’ll just watch one of the raid compilation videos later to get the lore and the eye candy.

  9. Hell yes it would…… I raided in Vannila, heavily in BC, like a maniac in Wrath, and due to my CO’s orders aka the wife…..not so maniac but still heavily in Cata. Maybe i still love the game and the direction of Cata because i dont spend 6-8 hours a day farming…. or doing every daily known to man like so many people do because they think they have to. Like everything in life it is what you make of it…. if you treat it like life or death… like “OMG OMG i have to do every daily ARRRR” then for gods sakes what a shock you got burnt out. Or even if your elitist thinking every previous Xpac was perfect….hindsight is 20/20.
    My guilds 12/12 reg, 2/12 hero, the bosses are fun and hard enough to illicit actual thought/common sense into raiding, and the lore keeps getting more and more interesting……so hell yes….the new raid would and is suckering me into playing my maximum 15 hours a week. In the mean time when im not obsessing over WoW, ill keep rocking my new playthrough of the orignal Deus Ex and wooing Anders with my fem Hawke mage, as my wife watches on confused as shit.

  10. The patch 4.1 and the hype around Firelands make me painfully realize that I should find a way to bow out of our struggling raid team and call it quits. I have no interest in recycled raids (I hear ZA is pretty much the same as the raid, which makes me grind my teeth), Firelands looks red and dull, and the legendary staff is not interesting to me at all.

    I think I am really done. My friend Caiters and I were discussing how we wish we still had the spark, but it’s gone.

  11. Not coming back I’m afraid. Still reading a blog post here and there, but that’s about all there is to it. My WoW passion is gone for good as it seems to me.

  12. I also feel I’ve finally had more than enough of WoW (especially the graphics), but you never know with Blizzard. Maybe they’ll invent something so awesome in a future expansion pack (or even a patch) that we just have to check it out.

    Or maybe my WoW batteries have recharged slightly when the next expansion pack is released in a few years and that will actually be enough to resubscribe. Again. I keep meaning not to, but who am I kidding?

    Either way, I’ll always have one eye open on e.g. MMO-Champion to see what happens in WoW.

  13. I won’t even read about their roadmap.
    However, I still think it’s a good idea, and agree its in response to competitive pressure.
    Technology companies do the same thing, they promise and outline future features before release so current users feel more inclined to remain.

  14. I didn’t get bored of WoW, I got turned off by their new “vision”.

    I might come back if I hear the fellow who came up with that vision was eaten by rabid wolves. Otherwise, probably not.

  15. Reasons why I quit after playing from launch:

    Dailies
    the word ‘bads’
    the word ‘newbs’
    the words ‘hard mode’
    the lack of any kind of progression beyond raids
    the death of pvp over the past 2 expansions (the way I liked it)

    In vanilla wow – I was able to run dungeons and complete sets that were semi competitive with tier 1 raid loot. I ran dungeons for the loot – not to collect badges. I then raided – when I didn’t want to raid (for a long time) I pvp’d with a real reward system. Very few people roflstomped the battlegrounds at that time until after AQ came out.

    In TBC I ground out favor so that I could run heroics – I ran heroics so that I could gear up and key for kara – I ran kara into the ground because it was hella fun.

    PvP was great until they introduced areans – and then the epeen stupidity and win/trading along with gear that gave people wtfpwn power made it wortheless to pvp arena – however BG’s were still fun.

    WoTLK – I did heroics to collect badges – I had raids that were tuned perfectly – nope sorry not riding the shortbus groupthink that ‘nax was too easy’ – I didn’t see people clearing nax all that easy – very few quilds have the achievements from nax.

    BG’s became worthless as you couldn’t get anything worthwhile from them. Wintergrasp was actually boring (to me) and arenas were the same old NOT FUN stuff.

    So you had nax that everyone only thought was easy because they ran 10 man to gear up and then run 25 man with gear 10x more powerful than was intended.

    And yes – I did a 10 man nax when saph was still bugged and did more damage to the 10 man (total raid dmg) than the entire 25 man – as a healer – and we won – *that* was something I was proud of. They fixed the bug 2 weeks later.

    Then the attitude started – ‘only the bads wipe’ – etc etc etc – all the whining about how nax was too easy – nevermind that almost no one defeated ICC until the buff was signifigant.

    And we get gearscore – the worst addon ever put into wow. Disgusting things are being said about people just because of a number.

    I find it fun to point out that my ‘score 42′ trinket from BC actually outperformed ‘score 500+’ trinkets in WoTLK but no one cares – GS is everything. Guildies are being denied spots now because they don’t have ‘teh gearscore’

    And with Cata we get blizz full on retard mode making everything stupid easy outside of raids (read: boring) and then stupid hard in heroics/raids (read: stressful/not fun) and then take the worst part of gearscore and *INCORPORATE IT INTO THE GAME* and you end up reinforcing the ‘bads are why we wiped’ mentality and I lost interest – for the first time sense launch.

    *sigh*

    • I agree with everything you posted here. i have been hanging on waiting for the spark, but so far it is a losing battle and i have been playing less and less.

      Props to Kara! Still the best (most fun) raid ever!

      • > Props to Kara! Still the best (most fun) raid ever!

        Especially since TBC was a terrible add-on related to the world. The world in Outland was very cheap and didn’t feel like a world. Everything was flat. I doubt even the Netherlands are that flat… Everything was in a single color. There wasn’t anything fancy like a small bridge which was just there to look nice. There wasn’t even grass or anything in the lakes. It was a very cheap add-on. WotLK and Cata both have a much nicer world, from the look.

        And Kara was the opposite. Detail rich and created with love. There were even hidden passages and locked doors without any actual use.

        Yes, it felt like a real place. Not like weekly target.

      • Oultands is very ‘themepark’ in it’s design, there is no organic-ness to it’s layout. I think WotLK did so much better in that regard, but stuff like DungeonFinder and GearScore just ruined things for me. Cata fixed the ’5-mans are all about braindead AOE’ but there is something in the current game’s design that just stopped clicking with me, and I don’t think it will ever change.

  16. I have returned to WoW for each expansion, each time my stay was shorter and shorter. For now I expect my attention will be occupied for some time exploring in beautiful Telara (Rift), its exciting to see how it will develop.

    Also, collecting shinies is time consuming ;)

    Found this site with screenies from Telara:
    http://travelingtelara.com/

  17. Yeah, all I need to do is remember the LFD experiences from Heroics to put me off ever going back to WoW regardless of new content. I’m enjoying Rift way more than I did WoW and looking forward to TOR at then end of the year, that should properly consign WoW to the delete bin of life.

  18. Fascinating that almost all your readers, Spinks, seem to have stopped playing but remained interested.

    I have a theory that Rift is “brain draining” veteran WoW players leaving WoW increasingly full of people who started WoW in the last 3 years.

    • A mildly interesting numeric fact: number of daily hits hasn’t really decreased hugely since I stopped writing about WoW so much.

      I think this has never really been seen as a WoW blog (even when I thought it mostly was), more as a MMO blog by someone who likes WoW, has played the endgame, and talks about it.

      Not so sure about brain drains, but I think 3 years in any game is enough for a) people to burn out b) raid groups to split due to drama and c) the game to change enough that people who liked it 3 years ago find it’s moving away from them

    • I doubt it’s Rift who drains us, I think it’s Cata who pushes us out…

      > leaving WoW increasingly full of people who
      > started WoW in the last 3 years.

      I think so. The good thing for Blizzard is that this gives them 3 years of content to recycle and no one will notice.

      • This. I didn’t leave WoW because RIFT was coming out. I went to RIFT because WoW drove me away.

        Oddly, I don’t feel anywhere near the same level of connection to RIFT, so if I drift away from it in a few months it won’t be with the same overwhelmingly negative feelings.

        I guess this is the downside of the addictive/codependent hook that kept me playing WoW for so long — when it let go, it transmuted into something rather dark, which is going to make me very reluctant to buy anything from Blizzard in the future.

      • That’s a good thought actually. Time for some human geography!

        In migration patterns, there are two generally reason archetypes why people move: push and pull factors (yes, really.) Push is the obvious stuff, no jobs, repression of civil rights and an unstable/unhappy existence in general; a migrant who leaves their home area due to push factors usually doesn’t have a particular desire to go a specific place, but, rather, feels that remaining in their current area would be detrimental. Pull is the idea that people leave, not specifically because they absolutely detest their current area/existence, but because they believe that a specific place is much better than their current area, and they’d like to move there. Hell, I’ll probably end up as a migrant to Australia because of pull factors eventually. I don’t hate the UK, I just like Australia a lot more, and I want to move there at some point.

        Methinks, as you said, that most of the ex-WoWers playing RIFT aren’t so much drawn to RIFT because it specifically has captured their attention, but, rather because they’ve left WoW because they dislike it so much (I fall into this camp.) Pre-launch, I was hoping to switch to RIFT for years to come, thinking it would be Vanilla WoW in 2011. Alas, that was far from the case, but nothing else is worth playing right now, so I’m playing RIFT as a filler until something better comes along that I can really sink my teeth into. Then, it’ll be a case of being pulled away from RIFT. As it stands, I’m simply being pushed away from WoW, which I feel will be a continuing state of affairs.

    • Honestly I have seen this to some extent. The people that Rift is really sticking with tend to be multi-game MMO veterans. I think its a matter of perspective.

      There definately seems to be a class of WoW player, that this was their first MMO, and in some cases even their first real game that they played regularly. For those people, the thought of leaving “their precious” for another time is tantamount to heresy. These players cannot imagine abandoning their holy of holies. These are the readers I have lost, and the folks who have unfollowed me on twitter.

      However for the majority of Rift players, it is just one more game in a long progression of games they have played and will play in the future. So yes to some extent, Rift is brain draining WoW, but not in the sense that it is pulling away the most hardcore raiders, or even the best players. It is draining away all those individuals that have MMO “institutional” knowledge.

      For most of us, we’ve been through the rise and fall of many MMO and are starting to see the telltale signs that WoW is well past its peak. Granted our time spent in that game was longer than most of the others we have played, but we realize it is the natural order of games to move on when things start to drop off.

      In my own guild, that I handed the reigns over to a friend. I have seen the “wow is the only game” crowd fearing the results of Rift, and the general malaise the veterans have. Thing is, I have seen far more people quit wow, just because they are done with it, than those who left for another game. If WoW is your only game, I can see desperately clinging to it until the bitter end. I saw the exact same thing when Everquest was dropping off and we were all leaving it. Players who don’t know that there are other fun experiences out there, tend to cling desperately to the first one they found.

      Anyways, that’s my two cents. To respond to Spinks, I know I never saw your blog as a “wow blog”, but instead a general gaming blog. But by similar token I have not seen a drop off in daily readers, but instead an increase since swapping to a more multi-game format. Aggronaut is pretty much whatever I am playing :) Currently, that means it is heavily rift influenced heh.

  19. While I still play, I don’t think this will really suck people back in. I honestly think the ship has sailed for a fair amount, I can’t think of anything that would drag them back. I think one portion of oldheads might be dragged back with a Classic server, though the folks happiest ”in the middle” are sorta boned either way unless they offered ”Classic” ”TBC” and ”Wrath” flavors of server.

    As for casters being more popular, given the fact that ranged has an easier time over half the time and an equal time otherwise, it would be welcome to load in more ranged DPS by giving them a shiny.

    (Of course they could well make a raid full of Screw-the-Ranged fights. Though I can imagine Screw the Ranged fights more or less need to purposefully be made. Even fights that ranged had a bit more of a headache in the past (Kologarn comes to mind), you still needed a load of them because those lasers, while a pain at ranged, were worse in melee.)

    At this point, while I can’t say WoW is dying(it’s far from it), it’s definitely, I feel reached it’s peak. It’s not careening downhill full stop(yet) but I do feel it’s sorta…It can’t go much other place but downhill at this point, unless something BIG happens. They might well pull something out of their asses-they’re Blizzard, they can indeed do that-but I dunno anymore.

    • “They might well pull something out of their asses-they’re Blizzard, they can indeed do that-”

      No company is infallible.

  20. I am an older gamer. I started WoW at the end of Vanilla. I am still playing and enjoying it very much. I run an random heroic every day and 99% of the groups are successful and enjoyable. I have friends that have moved to Rift. I thought about trying it. I just checked out the pics of Telara and I will get flamed for this but it looks SO much like WoW. Really 75% of the pics could have come directly from WoW. I still may give it a try but I will not quit playing WoW.

    • Crowelf, for all its similarities, for me RIFT has had a very different atmosphere than WoW. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with what’s actually in the game; it may just be an accident of how the player culture has built up around the game, and my expectations and how I approached it.

  21. I am not coming back when my subscription expires.

    My wife, our best friend, and I decided to quit as 2- and 3-manning level appropriate instances has become more tedious than fun.

  22. I actually gave Rift a shot and then let my subscription lapse after I did the initial levelling thing, just in time for the new patch.

    I enjoyed but it didn’t differ enough from WoW for me to go ‘Hey, I’ll play this instead’

    Though on a side note, I honestly wonder why more games don’t go for a cartoony graphic design, ala wow. Because the more ‘realistic’ stuff begins to look really dated really quickly and that’s something that’s an issue in an MMO

  23. It looks like a raid or die patch, honeslty. Beyond the new dailies (I’m sure they’ll be interesting) and the Thrall quest line, there isn’t much in this patch for us players who aren’t interested in raiding. So we’re out of the loop. Maybe Blizz just doesn’t want us to play their game anymore. /shrug

    • I don’t know, the new dailies look more involved than anything we’ve seen recently. It’s possible that they might surprise you (I have fond memories of the Quel’danas dailies in TBC and these look to be along the same lines.)

      But yeah, at the end of the day a daily quest is a daily quest.

      • You liked the daily on the gold island? I mean, you enjoyed doing them? Really?

        I think dailies are the worst part of the game. You’ll do them to reach a goal but it’s the last part I would associate fun with, ever.

        Are there people who love new dailies?

        When I read patch notes that mention a new daily quest hub my reaction is: great, new stuff I have to do daily that uses up time I could use to do something I enjoy.

      • You are right Spinks, as I mentioned that part has got my interest…so I won’t be hangin up WoW until I see what’s it all about.

        But keep in mind, Quel’danas came with one of the best 5 person instances. For us who had no interest and/or gear progression to enter the Sunwell…this was an Elune send. And made that patch much more interesting and inclusive to all walks of life in WoW. It doesn’t appear Firelands is coming with any 5 person whatsoever, making this feel like a playground only for those interested in raiding only.

        But as always, I’ll keep an open mind. Perhaps there’s something I missed.

      • The thing with the gold island is that I was intrigued as to what we were unlocking, I liked being part of unlocking new dailies, and I really liked the bombing run.

  24. The new dailies are very much like IQD. Apparently over 60 quests, a zone that changes over time based on how you personally progress through the dailies (but a minimal amount of phasing such that players don’t get split!). There’s also that solo questline that has mega lore around Thrall. The amount of stuff for a solo player to do this patch is (fro the sounds of things) more than we’ve ever gotten from a single content patch.

    Everybody who keeps saying that the patch has nothing for non-raiders clearly has not read the previews. Now, granted, that’s people’s perogative, and frankly, if you’re burned out on WoW I doubt a new shiny patch, regardless of content, will pull you back in. And that’s okay! As old players leave, new ones come in. I think Blizzard forsaw that many veterans were starting to show signs of irreprable fatigue with the game, and so revamped the early levels to draw and keep new players.

    Seriously, other than an MMO, or a game or sport like Chess or Hockey, who plays a single game for 3+ or 6+ years and not get tired of it, new content be damned? I don’t think this is a sign of WoW dying, nor do I feel that RIFT will be able to keep WoW veterans entertained any better than WoW itself did over the long term. No, I think said WoW veterans will likely tire of RIFT early and exit the MMO genre for an extended period of time after they realize the other MMOs just riff off of WoW.

  25. After reading through the comments I thought I would pipe in my two cents on why WoW is “broken.”

    I will admit that I am a “Wrath baby.” However, I started playing just after the expansion was released before the “WoW killer” hit. The WoW killer being the random dungeon finder. This tool is seemingly the best and worst tool to hit the game. With the tool you don’t need a guild to do your dungeons, or level. If you are leveling as a tank or healer you have near-instant queues so you can crank out dungeons at a pretty high pace.

    Where the problem lies is the player base. Now you are sitting on a pile of anonymous encounters that can be very bad or very good. It can even be extremely painful at low levels if you have a bunch of goof offs who don’t want to play properly. What is worse though is high levels and heroics where the content has been tailored for guilds or close knit parties. How easy is it to level from 1-85? The only thing it takes is time and without prior knowledge of this type of game you can cap out and have no idea how to play your class. I know when my first toon reached level cap I was extremely lost. Throw this lost person into a random heroic and they aren’t going to be greeted kindly. Well I won’t keep on about the player base but we have all been in that terrible PuG. More often than the great one.

    This brings us to guilds. Obviously there are still very big guilds out there that are into progression and socializing. This is what sucks you in. You have a team of friends who you love running dungeons and raids with. You guys have the goals to down the next boss and gear your characters or even roleplay and attempt rated PvP. The guild is what keeps people playing. If you have a buddy that you love to run with you don’t mind going through the content over and over again.

    The random dungeon finder and bgs have taken this all out of the equation. No longer do you need a guild to achieve your heroic runs and get your points and gear. And as bad as the PvE is don’t get me started on the treatment you will get in PvP if you aren’t performing the way someone else thinks you should be. Anonymity is killing the game. The friendly community is gone. If you want an example just ask a beginner question in trade and see how many troll answers you get before you get a helpful one.

    • Yes, this was exactly my feeling when the DF came out. It ruined the game as a ‘fantasy world’ and made Azeroth just a graphical lobby. The game started out as an RPG, but has slowly been shedding all pretense of that and becoming more of an action-adventure game in a fantasy setting.

  26. When they drop the subscription, I’m back in. Oh, and if BBB does another “Raid for the X” thing in September, I’ll come back for that.

    New endgame stuff won’t help me at all.

  27. Nope! My addicted love affair with WoW has declined much over the years. I’ve taken several breaks over the years only to return each time for a shorter and shorter period. To the point where the love affair is gone and has now been over for several months now. Cataclysm for me lasted barely 2 months. I don’t regret leaving the game which is now permanent.

    WoW has changed much over the years and not for the better in my opinion. The game has changed much and the inside game community has grown into something i detest and hate to see what it has become. I didn’t enjoy it anymore. I decided it was better to go play other MMO and try other things.

    So at this point it don’t seem to matter to me much what Blizzard does to put different flavor icing on the cake for WoW. It will never be enough to get me back.

    I still might play future Blizzard games, but WoW for me is not a game I have any plans to resubscribe to. I’ve given WoW 5 years and it won’t get anymore from me.

    • The community is the soul of a game. For some reason Blizzard has kept doing things that have encouraged the degradation of the community through things like GearScore, DungeonFinder, the Armory — things that were all PREDICTED when they first appeared by many people as to being toxic to game/server community and player interactions. However, that was irrelevant because ‘efficiency’ was deemed the Number One Important Thing, not only by the hardcore and min/maxing minority but by Blizzard itself, which in turn infected all the lower tiers of players into an entire culture based on that kind of antisocial, numbers-over-people value system.

      And that turned many people off. Maybe not enough to hurt subs, but it really did change the game to something many people who had been playing since before Day One (like me) were no longer enjoying.

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