Blizzard: Listen To My Grandfather

I would love to preface this article by stating in no uncertain terms that I am being un-bias in my words and tone. I would to love to state that I fully understand both sides of the argument and that I “get” the reasoning that the World of Warcraft is trending away from its roots and ultimately its heart and soul. However that would not be honest and truth be told, very few if any of you that read this article and have a history with the World of Warcraft can claim anything other than some level of bias.

The fact is I am biased and I am frustrated that with every iteration of the game moving forward, we seem to lose a little bit of the magic that drew us to the game initially. I write these words as someone who has happily given thousands of dollars to Blizzard to enjoy their online world and I do not regret a penny. I also acknowledge that my investment into this game gives me no more right or claim than any player in regards to the direction or future of the game.

That said, it is in my right as a consumer of and advocate for online gaming to speak my opinion and point out what I see as oversights or just plain bad decisions as it pertains to the direction of this game.  One such oversight is the lack of care, respect and reverence that the “new guardians” of Blizzard have shown to the foundation of this game . I am not speaking of the tycoons and millionaires who sit on the boards and reap the profits from the 120+ million dollars in monthly revenue.

Quite the contrary, I am speaking about the true but unknown founders of the game. I am speaking for the founding artists, developers and content writers that poured their love and talents into this game, many of which no longer call Blizzard home. These individuals created some of the most unique items, stories and content that online gaming has ever seen and they did so with less resources and minimal tools than today’s legion of developers who seen to churn out pretty but soul-less content as though it were a Honda Civic assembly line.

I do not make any argument that in many respects the game is much better now. Content holes have been patched, the art has been revamped and class balance and viability is as good as it has ever been. I hold no illusion that the game was actually “better” in 2005 than it is now but I will present an argument that much of the character of the game has been needlessly abandoned.

Too many younger players who have not resided in Azeroth for many years will only look at the newest technology and features and state the game is indeed better in every way. However while I conceded that many of the new features have dramatically improved gameplay and accessibility I have to ask why the development teams felt it necessary to trampled of the memories of the classic game in the process; could they not have been incorporated and/or preserved?

Case in point… how many of you remember the long quest chain to receive the staff Benediction? This quest was long, arduous and certainly by today’s standards very difficult.  In summary the quest involved gathering three items:

1. Eye of Divinity – You get this by defeating Majordomo Executus in Molten Core, the final boss before Ragnaros.
2. Eye of Shadow – You can get this by farming high level elite demons in Winterspring or killing Lord Kazzak in the Blasted Lands, a 40-man outdoor raid boss.
3. Epic Quest Completion – Finally, after you have both Eyes, you are ready to do the quest that will complete the staff. This quest is done in the Eastern Plaguelands.

Unfortunately like literally dozens (if not hundreds) of other items and quests, this amazing quest and staff can no longer be obtained due to the restructuring of the Eastern Plaguelands, but why? Surely if the development team was going to take the time to completely revamp the area, they could find the few hours that would be needed to preserve the amazing staff which is as far as I can recall, the only item that actually has the ability to morph into another completely different weapon providing a “light”  and “dark” side.

Sure in today’s “stats rule all” world… of warcraft this item is useless like thousands of other items in terms of game play; but Benediction/Anathema simply oozed personality and now it is no more. What is it about old content, old raids, old artifacts and gear that is so seemingly despised by today’s leadership that it would be so disregarded and tossed aside. For all the new development tools, slick interface improvements, quality of life mechanics, pretty visuals and ten fold increase in developer team size, the current stewards of this game still pale in comparison to the life force that was breathed into our world in prior to 2007.

The current game is improved from technology no doubt, but the game now seems processed and without the foresight to at least attempt to preserve the character and soul that first brought prominence to the game and Blizzard. My grandfather used to tell me to “never forget to dance with the one who brung ya”, I never fully understood that saying… until now.



Gone but not forgotten



3 Responses to “Blizzard: Listen To My Grandfather”

  1. Bolsadecaca Says:

    My very first toon was a priest and I still, to this day, consider the day I completed the quest chain for Benediction to be the single greatest day of my WoW career.

  2. drennui Says:

    The feel of the story has certainly changed. While old school attunements and the like have certainly been simplified – and as a primarily solo-play player, I do appreciate that – I totally understand why they were there. Epic things need to feel Epic, like you actually did accomplish something that made you worthy of the reward, as opposed to something that you get after punching the clock a sufficient number of times.

  3. Adraesh - Burning Legion Says:

    Can’t agree more. And with the post above, that epic things need to feel epic, as if you’ve earned whatever it is.

    Now anyone can be a top level raider by marching through enough heroic instances. We all have the same gear, and we all work toward the same end.

    This blog has seriously been amazing, all the things I’ve felt and missed you capture so perfectly on this site.

    Give us back the characters. Give us back the challenges. Give us back Azeroth.

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