Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goodbye WoW, Hello Rift (a.k.a. The State of WoW)

Yes, you have read the title correctly, I'm saying goodbye to WoW and my druid.  I have canceled my account which runs out of time in November and I haven't decided what to do with it yet. (Honestly, I'm thinking of MMOBaying it and getting some money for it.) 

So you may be asking yourself? Redhawks, why?  Why is a beloved moonkin blogger quitting WoW altogether?  Now, first don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to say WoW sucks.  I have devoted almost 3 years of my life to this game and it will be around for a very long time, maybe even longer than Rift or other MMORPGs.  However, there are major reasons why I'm quitting WoW.

1) Money - It is amazing that $77 for every 6 months is still the price for WoW.  I know that people will pay it and the market drives price, but that is insane.  It comes up to more than $10/month.  As many people know, I was recently married and while I didn't think a thing about cost in the past, now I'm supporting another person and cost becomes a major factor.  Also, I realize they made WoW free up to level 20.  And while twinking out a level 19 rogue and ganking people in BGs sounds fun, I would much rather do something else.  Rift's current price is less than $10 per month if you pay for a year subscription, which I would gladly pay up front to be able to save the money in the long term.

2) Staleness - I know people still find WoW content exciting and I still like some parts of it.  However, even raiding a little bit recently made me realize that the content has been used over and over again.  Same mechanics, same ideas, same fights.  And while Rift is guilty of this too, there seems to be a freshness with it that I can't explain, but you just feel.  You can run expert 5 mans, group together with random people to do a daily raid rift, run raids, run PvP, run crafting rifts, do the world event, do zone events, or do dailies.  They have even just implemented on the weekends where they change a PvP map to another game and it was exciting.  In addition, you got massive amounts of favor for it.  Also, look at content updates.  Since Cataclysm released in December 2010, there has only been one new raid tier opened up in that.  Since March 2011, Rift has released 4 major patches, 3 raid tiers, Cross-Shard LFD and PvP.  And they are going back and putting in a starter raid between expert dungeons and Greenscale's Blight in patch 1.5. 

3) Grinding - This is more of just a personal argument, but I remember the 30+ day grind to get the Crusader title in patch 3.2 and I have no desire to do that again anytime soon.  I'm looking at you Fireland dailies.  It is absolutely insane that you have to grind out 30 days to get the vendors to get the new equipment, etc. 

In addition, doing ICC for almost an entire year killed my desire to go back.  There is only so much of one raid you can do. We did the normal raid.  We came back and did the heroic versions of the raid.  We came back a third time and did the achievements for Glory of the Icecrown Raider.  Week after week after week of the same raids over and over again.  And unfortunately, what people are going to find in Firelands is that it is going to be 10 times worse because there are only seven bosses.  With the exception of the Argent Tourney raid, which in my opinion is Blizzard's biggest blunder to date, all the other raid tiers had at least 10 bosses.  And people tired of Argent Tourney too and I feel a lot of people are gonna do that same with Firelands.

However, I'm not just talking about PvE grinding.  I'm talking about PvP grinding too.  Grinding for the latest season of gear.  And while there seems to be a variety of rated PvP games, the fact of the matter is it comes down to basically two.  Capture the Node/Flag or Capture the Relic. (And that's assuming they put Strands back in the rotation, which I doubt.)

Rift has dailies and factions to grind.  Rift has Prestige to grind in PvP.  However, the benefits seem to come at a faster pace than what they come in WoW.  Sure, you have to buy the PvP set with favor, but after that, you upgrade them for Prestige without having to spend a single point of Favor.  Then they have added PvP Rifts which encourage world PvP, something that has arguably been dead in WoW since Burning Crusade.  In addition, they offer alternatives.  If you haven't had time to grind out the head enchant, that's okay because there is a rune that you can use in the meantime that is not as good, but still will give you benefit.

4) Desire - This is maybe just a personal thing, but I have little to no desire to sign on to WoW.  Nothing in particular wrong with it, but if I get on, I may check my auctions and if I have time, maybe run an expert ZA/ZG as a tank.  But beyond that, I have no desire to do anything else in game.  The raids aren't PUGable.  PvP is not great unless you are in a pre-made.  It is almost like a feeling of completeness.  I defeated the final boss of Wrath and most of the hardmodes in ICC before Cataclysm and I feel accomplished.  On the other hand, in Rift, if I find nothing to do, I'm not looking hard enough.  There are people always looking to run raid rifts, expert rifts, expert dungeons, PvP, etc.  It at times seems almost like too much to do in the game and I enjoy that.

5) Excitement - This week, Blizzard got the copyright on the name Mist of Pandaria, which means more than likely, that is the name of the next expansion for WoW.  I'm not looking forward to grinding out more levels, fighting with people for quest items, etc. in order to grind my way to level 90 or 95, whichever they choose.  However, I also realize that in the year and a half it takes that expansion to come out, I will probably have a bunch more raids and more content in Rift likely before even the first expansion comes out.  And we know from prior history that in WoW, there are only two more raid tiers this expansion before the next expansion.  Two raid tiers in a year and a half doesn't cut it anymore in my book.

So these are my main reasons to quit WoW.  It still is a great game but it doesn't have the allure that it once held.  Will I come back one day?  I don't know honestly.  Even if Rift does end up failing, which I doubt at this point since it has been the most successful launch since World of Warcraft for an MMO, I don't know if I can bring myself back to WoW.  

To all my WoW friends, thank you.  It was a pleasure raiding with you, PvPing with you, and just hanging out with you in general.  And don't worry, I'm gonna still be blogging, although it will be heavy Rift focused.


Borsk said...

The number of tiers per year thing is completely subjective. Tier 11 lasted 6 months but only 2% of guilds actually completed the entire thing. Only about 50% completed it on normal mode.

The instance/tier release schedule has been consistent for WoW's entire history:

Tier 1: 23 November 2004
Tier 2 12 July 2005 (7.5 months)
Tier 2.5: 3 January 2006 (5 months)
Tier 3: 20 June 2006 (6 months)
Tier 4: 16 January 2007 (6 months)
Tier 5: 16 January 2007, only accessible after attunement. which was removed 19 June 2007 (6 months)
Tier 6: 16 January 2007, required attunement (completion of Tier 5), removed 25 March 2008
Tier 6.5: 25 March 2008 (9 months)
Tier 7: 14 October 2008 (7 months)
Tier 8: 14 April 2009 (6 months)
Tier 9: 4 August 2009 (4 months)
Tier 10: 8 December 2009 (5 months)
Ruby Sanctum: 29 June 2009 (7 months)
Tier 11: 7 December 2010 (12 months)
Tier 12: 28 June 2011

Blizzard screwed up twice in their history with releases: Not enough time for Original Naxxaramas and too much time for Icecrown Citadel.

You aren't playing the game anymore because Blizzard has changed things, you just don't like the game anymore. And that's is perfectly ok.

Redhawks said...


I do agree that the schedule seems to be approximately every 6 months, which is fine. Looking at your history, Blizzard has for the most part done something new for raiding every 6 months.

However, just for me, one new raid every 6 months when your biggest competitor is frequently updating doesn't cut it anymore. And Blizzard's subscription losses of recent history seems to side on that point that players need to have frequent updates to keep them around. Having only 7 bosses in a raid tier will not cut it for most players and my guess is you are going to see more subscription losses before Tier 13.

But the biggest point I can agree with you on is the last sentence. I'm just not wild about the new WoW.