WoW – We want a Sandbox and we get a Litterbox

Now the title may sound a bit hyperbolic but it really depends upon what you want to do in a game.  The title is a metaphor to some features in Warcraft over the past few expansions.  The players ask for a feature/capability and we eventually get it but have to shovel a bunch of shit so to speak first.  Which is interesting because other aspects of the game the shit has been removed from the path.

Given my past posts it is probably obvious that I am talking about Flight in World of Warcraft.  Now there are other “features” and such to mention but the impetus was Flight.

Now for the other features I may as well mention the 2 multi-ton elephants that are not in World of Warcraft but most of the other major MMOs that compete in the same market do have.

Guild and Player Housing

I think this really stems from a couple of reasons and they are ultimately just excuses.  The main point is WoW does not really have any system where the players can just go and make a small part of the world theirs.  Even if it was a shared instance space where 20-40 player housing plots were located would still combat the main excuse Blizzard gives for features like this.  They like to have a populated world not the empty world with everyone staying in their garrison like in Warlords.  But all of this issues then fall to 2 things, ease of access to useful things, Bank/AH/Mail/Repairs/other similar features and the time it takes to get to them from anywhere.  In Warlords you could always get to most of that quickly if you built your garrison with the right buildings by hearthing.  The cost was the travel time back where you previously were.   Most of the time you would wait until good stopping point and then hearth, and log off because you were at a stopping point.

When LotRO was more lively, especially around holidays, the player/guild housing instances were very active.  As the overall population dwindled so did the activity so yes it is not going to be a feature that keeps players in the game indefinitely.  However having these features can help maintain population numbers during content drought.  We have people running 1000s of runs for the Baron mount, don’t tell me would would not have similar for some rare decoration on the outside of a player house or Guild Hall.  I always want to make my post long but to do so I end up writing over .5-3 weeks for a post at odd times when I think of something.  So I will end here and may follow up if another vector crops up.



Posted in MMOs, Other Games, World of Warcraft