I’ve been reading some blog posts recently criticising WoW players for various things – flying angst, unfair criticism of stressed out developers, unrealistic expectations, the Volkswagon emissions scandal etc. I notice that some of these posts talk about the player base and often direct the comments at “you” (me?) the reader. However, although I’m reading these posts I don’t identify with anything they are criticising or advocating – I’m firmly in the “I just don’t care” camp. I can’t even say I’m sitting on the fence – for me there is no fence, I’m just off somewhere dancing in a field. It’s causing me to have a little existential crisis (just a small one while the kettle boils). Why do I feel totally & utterly disconnected with it all? Am I completely naive and disturbingly apathetic or am I typical of the average WoW player?
My husband plays WoW – has done since Burning Crusade. He does not read any blog except mine (I made that a condition of marriage). He does not listen to WoW podcasts (he still thinks Randy is on The Instance). He never checks out specs/builds/rotations and when fighting in WoW pretty much just lines up all his abilities on the task bar & hits the ones not on cool down. He wanted flying in Draenor but after one rant about it said no more on the subject, accepted it & moved on. He is currently having a blast rediscovering pet battles because of the stone you get in the garrison that lets you level a pet to 25. He has no interest in the raiding end game or even 5 mans. He likes levelling alts, making money on the auction house & doing World Events. Is he typical?
I have played WoW for the same amount of time. I listen to The Instance while I iron, read WoW blogs and miss WoW Insider. I did not care about flying in Draenor. I do read up on my class to optimise my DPS if I intend dungeoning or doing LFR and in Cataclysm I even did some proper raiding with the guild I was in (but not too much due to my chronic crapness). I like levelling alts, taking part in some World Events and the occasional pet battle (get in there little level 2 squirrel). I am not bored at Draenor end game because I’m not there yet – my level 100 still has a ton of things to do and even if I get there I’m probably going to be too nervous to do all the proper grown up stuff. Am I typical?
Then there are the players who have done everything now (including flying). Some are currently holed up in their garrison twiddling their thumbs waiting for Legion. A few of these players regularly offer up well thought out critiques of what went wrong with Draenor & what Legion must do to right these wrongs. In these critiques they talk pointedly about (and sometimes to) the general WoW playerbase. They speak of the playerbases’ justified or unjustified (depending on their personal view) frustrations with Draenor & end game. Are they typical?
I do know that the latter group are not speaking to my experience but what I don’t know is if other people feel like me or am I (& husband) in the minority? I’m assuming WoW developers want WoW to meet the main needs of its player base – but what are those “main needs”? What is the view of the majority of players on Draenor? Was it a failure, is everyone bored, or are there people like me and husband still doing stuff with their level 100s, still levelling alts, still pet battling and still having fun?
Some of these other blog posts and articles come across as very angry – either at Blizzard or the playerbase in general. The anger surprises me. I’m not saying its wrong but personally I just cannot find that strength of feeling about anything either in or not in this game. I do not feel Blizzard owes me anything and they could never betray me – they are a games company making a game that I sometimes like to play. We have not exchanged fellowship rings or made heartfelt vows in some sacred space (although if they go F2P I will give them my heart forever!). I subscribe when I enjoy the game, I unsubscribe when I’m just not in the mood for it and I resubscribe when I miss it (I suspect Blizzard affectionately call me Bravetank the YoYo). Is there something wrong with me? Is the situation more dire than I appreciate and am I merrily fiddling while flames fast approach my toes?