World of Casualcraft?

WowInsider posted recently that a well known raiding guild was giving up on raiding content until the expansion. There are plenty of interesting comments on this story, but to my mind the situation is even more complicated than most people think.

On the one side you have heavy duty raiding guilds who want new content, big challenges and who want their hard fought wins to be a big deal. The fewer guilds that are able to complete certain instances or certain bosses the more epeening the guilds that do manage it can do. And the more rare and special the gear those bosses drop is. That’s the sort of thing that makes a guild feel special, and there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

On another side are the more casual players who want to have fun and get cool items without going through all the trouble for attuning for an instance. Since they don’t have as much time to sink into the game, they don’t have as good equipment and don’t play their dictated roles for every boss as exactly. They just don’t have as much time for practice and don’t have the same expectations that bosses can only be completed by perfect timing and synchronization among 10 individuals as well as Leet Purple Gearz. Blizzard certainly is not going to ignore them since they are a pretty large portion of the playing population, and there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

Another side of this I usually wonder about are the new players. Blizzard wants someone just starting the game to feel like they can advance fast enough so they don’t get discouraged by being repeatedly pwned by twinked out alts of people who have been playing for four years. And each new expansion is going to make this trickier. Each ten levels added to the cap will mean ten more levels a newb has to fight through to reach that magical event known as ‘Your First 70!’. I know this was a really big deal for me. And how many ‘another ten levels’ can Blizz add on before the fight to get to the top becomes climbing Mt. Everest for new players. Or how much faster can they make leveling before the process of leveling becomes essentially meaningless until the higher levels because so little effort is put into each level that the act of leveling doesn’t feel like an accomplishment.

And Blizzard has to keep everyone as happy as possible. The hardcore players emotionally invest themselves in the game. They do the Blogs and write the guides that help people learn how to play better as well as making the cool music videos and movies. And web comics. The casually players bring in alot of money, it’s true. But they also help make WoW a community instead of just a small fringe MMO with a small group of rabid players. The new players are the future hard core raiders, casual chatters that bring new blood and ideas to the game. I really don’t envy Blizzard trying to balance all this.

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~ by tsukikoh on March 11, 2008.

One Response to “World of Casualcraft?”

  1. The good thing about WOw is the time investment from the first raids that were in game to what is no planned as dropped dramatically. No more 4-5 hour runs to clear part of an instance.

    The more they change instance runs to include the majority of players (which they are doing) the more popular the game will become. I forsee at total of 15 million subscribers at the peak of this games success…

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