People often ask me, what’s my favorite game. Without any hesitation or doubt in my mind, I always reply ‘World of Warcraft‘ in an instant. There have been times when such answer was met with utmost approval and satisfaction, and times, like the recent ones, when such opinion only forces a raised eyebrow – ‘are you still playing that mess of a game?’. I do! And I still consider it one of the best games that anyone can play right now. Just hear me out.
Battle for World of Warcraft?
Arguably, the most recent World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth didn’t quite hit the mark. Most of the players who had bought it were dissatisfied with the new expansion systems and features such as Heart of Azeroth and Azurite Armor, Island Expeditions, Warfronts, etc. Additionally, some minor content time-gating influenced many players to cancel their subscriptions, at least until the expansion will be coming to its end, or until World of Warcraft: Classic comes around in the summer.
Such players’ behavior had a snowball effect. Multiple famous YouTube content creators and Twitch streamers ditched the game, and masses followed. In a sense, it became popular to hate on the current World of Warcraft, so many easily influenced players started to do just that. Of course, Blizzard (with its overlord Activision) also didn’t help and kept on pushing store products, thus enraging the player community even further. Just take a look at the like/dislike ratio of their newest store mount trailer on YouTube – currently 1,7K likes and over 16K dislikes. And it’s not the first to receive such backlash.
Don’t get me wrong. I pay a monthly subscription to the game, so having a mount locked behind an additional paywall doesn’t raise my appreciation bar too. I hate these kinds of business decisions as much as the next player, but… hating on a game as huge as World of Warcraft for one feature that you don’t like is just stupid. Whatever that feature might be.
What if WoW was released today?
One of the biggest arguments I have when people ask me why I still consider World of Warcraft my favorite game, is answering back with a counter-question – what if there was no World of Warcraft? Imagine a scenario where World of Warcraft, such as it currently is, was released only a year or even a month ago. Would you still care for minor end game features as much as you do now, or would you awe to a sheer scale of the game? Would you complain about the loot chest not dropping your desired piece of equipment in the forums, or bitch about the ‘Looking For Raid’ feature and how it has destroyed the game? I doubt you would. I think that you’d arrive at a similar conclusion that I have – World of Warcraft is one of the best games of our time. Yes, it has some flaws. It would be weird if it didn’t, considering the size of it. But overall it’s still an epic experience from start to finish: spawning across multiple continents and telling numerous awesome stories with countless things to do in between.
World of Warcraft is not dying. It’s growing!
For years, old World of Warcraft players have been telling the same thing – WoW is dying or is already dead. To those who are new to this game, don’t believe this for even a second. Every World of Warcraft player has its entry point at which he or she started to play the game. To them, the game they played was the best it ever was or will be – some praise The Burning Crusade expansion, some loved Mists of Pandaria lore, and the majority of current player base keeps on telling that Legion was far better than Battle for Azeroth. Everyone has a different opinion about it but the fact remains – the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, broke the sales record in its first month.
This data can only show growing interest in the game – some players returned to check out what’s new, while some took their very first steps in Azeroth. Furthermore, with a World of Warcraft: Classic release in the summer, an even bigger audience might be tempted to try the game for the first time. Blizzard made a smart move with their decision to not sell Classic as a separate game and instead include the classic server option to the existing client, so players who would eventually get bored of Classic grind (it’s a game form 14 years ago… c’mon) could hop on to the current version without any additional monthly subscription.
To sum up, I, as well as the majority of the current player base, might not agree on some specific World of Warcraft design decisions, but that doesn’t mean that I get to trash the game I’ve loved for years. Throughout WoW’s lifespan, I found many things I love, as well as some of the things I hate. Every new expansion gives me more of both – the good and the bad. While the bad will eventually become history (‘member Garrisons?) the good stuff that World of Warcraft has to offer just keeps on mounting up. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just try the damn game.
And when you do, drop me a line.
– Weaselis form Kazzak realm.