Is this it, nothing but a gear grind to get more gear to get the next set of gear? Are we nothing more than the steady increase of our combined ilevel values?
It suddenly sounds pitiful, doesn’t it? Oh sure, people can bash virtual accomplishments as being that: virtual. Still, it does take coordination, planning, dedication, some amount of knowledge or skill, and time, to down a raid boss or be on a very highly ranked arena team. There are no cheat codes, even if you recognize the class imbalance.
I remember complaints by hardcore raiders when BC PvP gear was added and it was equal in ilevel to raiding gear. That was as actual complaint. It wasn’t better for raiding; it was equal in some magical rating system that most people probably don’t know exists. Apparently it cheapened their accomplishments. A little number was enough to entirely ruin their raiding accomplishments.
I complained about the badge gear, as did many others. It was a trick, a false nod to casuals. It was nothing more than high ilevels thrown at us with no accomplishment, no inner feeling of reward. Last time you made up gear for casuals you created dungeon two and an associated quest chain. It was very expensive and took a long time, but it was a lot of fun. The story was a little strange, not directly related to the lore we normally see, but it was told so well and brought with a powerful experience. It showed the world to us, a less heroic world without the great figures we know today, but it was our world. The gear was neat, but the stories were better.
What happened to the world in world of warcraft? It’s all just gear grinds and e-peen flexing now. There is no exploration. The stories are badly told, if at all. The actual world even feels smaller. Oh sure, portals from everywhere to everywhere and flying mounts make playing more convenient. The tightly-packed quest areas with demons 300 yards away from the Illidari they are supposed to be at war with are convenient, but they make no sense. It’s not believable.
There must be something more Blizzard can do. They made Azeroth, they told amazing stories, why can’t they do it again? I realize it is a lot more work to make a world filled with stories rather than efficient, convenient gear grinds, but what do we pay them for?
Blizzard, throw away the e-peen lovers. Throw away the grinds and ilevels and anything else that is not fun and does not tell a story. Get a million writers and a million zone designers, pair them up. If that is too expensive, get a million monkeys, throw out the Shakespeare, and pair them with kids with MS Paint.
Remember the stories you wrote and how you told them? That’s what zones should do. Have story zones. When I go to the Plaguelands, I know that it is corrupted, that something terrible has clearly happened, and I want to discover more and do something. Where are the story zones in BC? Netherstorm is pretty good, makes you wonder why it is blasted to pieces. SMV is a little better, especially once you get Spectrecles. But then there are the blasted lands, scorched, barren, subject to constant lightning, inhabited by invincible servants of evil being, and all pointing towards that ominous portal. Oh yea, and there’s the orc ghost who warns you on your way in and eventually sends you all over the world on inconvenient quest chain. That is one of the most amazing chains ever.