Vanilla Ice With Hints of Disappointment

I’m just going ignore the conspicuous lack of activity here and shout into the void. Shout with me (or whisper softly in case you’re afraid of waking up your significant others or roommates).

There’s a considerable amount of buzz surrounding the release of classic servers for World of Warcraft. As someone who grew up with the game and ended up quitting in the beginning of the third expansion, only to return to playing on vanilla and TBC private servers years (decades) later, I feel intrigued and compelled to thought. Am I excited about the prospect of reliving vanilla on servers executed by a professional gaming company, accompanied by all the modern media/social buzz we didn’t have in the past? Only as much as my past gaming buddies and real life friends are. They are the driving force, I remain forever the sceptic.

Do you dare?

Hail to the King!

I’m sort of ashamed to admit, but I relapsed. I went ahead and done the biggest mistake a nerd can make. I resubbed to WoW.

It all started with a friend sending me the new scroll of resurrection thing, asking me if I’d be willing to give the MMO another shot and possibly subbing for a bit, so he could get the special mount as a reward. The offer was quite lucrative as the scroll enables a free upgrade to Cataclysm and the option of instantly leveling one character to 80.

I decided to stop being a pussy and downloaded the game. For reference; I originally left WoW a few months after Sunwell came out (pre-WotLK) with a bitter taste in my mouth. I haven’t had any desire to go back since.

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Oh Blizzard, you crack me up

You’ve probably read this news somewhere else today, so just a quick summary. Blizzard announced that the drop in subscription numbers WoW experiences after every expansion is increasing with each expansion. Which isn’t surprising. What’s surprising is how Blizzard are handling this.

Their reaction isn’t:

“We should probably have a look at the expansion development process, maybe we’ve changed a few things there that negatively impact our subs, or alternatively examine the possibility of making a few changes to our expansion development process in order to stop the subscription drops.”

No, their reaction is pants-on-head retarded:

“Clearly, there’s nothing wrong with our development process, which means that the only thing that will fix the subscription drops are more expansions. Let’s simply develop more of them in a faster time frame.”

Yes Blizzard, clearly the way to amend the problem of the public being dissatisfied with your content is to produce more of it. Which will inevitably result in corners being cut in the development, which will make the content even crappier, which will in turn shorten the lifespan of the game even more, which will mean Blizzard will need to churn out content even faster, which means even more corner-cutting,… you get the idea. Now where have I seen this before?

Ah, yes, any other entertainment outlet. Sitcoms, pop music, Hollywood blockbusters, etc. Quantity over quality, that’s how you make money. And Blizzard know it. Milk the cow until its udders fall off, etc.

I could be completely wrong of course, and Blizzard saying they’ll shorten the development cycles means that they will use more manpower to do the same amount of work in a shorter time frame. But because that directly cuts into their revenue, I’d say that’s a long shot. The length of one of my body parts long. It’s a very long body part, I can assure you.