This will be the second time I’ve written about quitting WoW since writing here at Time to Loot, but only the first time while actually… you know… playing WoW. Although I suppose whether I am in fact playing, or had already quit, could be up for debate. I haven’t logged into WoW since we downed Heroic Denathrius after all, haven’t missed it at all, and removed it from my sidebar as a result.

But I’m still going to say this counts as nominally I was still ‘waiting’ for 9.1 with an intent to return for the raid tier.

More renown to chase? Oh boy, Blizzard, you shouldn’t have!

And now I’m not.

It has simultaneously been a slow burn decision and a foregone conclusion. I think at some level, I already knew I wouldn’t muster the requisite excited energy to make a return this tier.

But I tried nonetheless. And so I’ve been sitting on making the actual declaration for at least the last couple of weeks while I endeavoured to find something to latch onto and drag my weary attitude towards the game into something at least resembling an interest in kicking everything off again for 9.1.

It isn’t to be though, so I put a message to the guild discord today bowing out for the forseeable future.

My Leaving Rant

I think doing one of these is essentially mandatory, right? Pretty sure it’s written into internet-law somewhere. Since I don’t want to get into trouble with the internet-police, here we go.

Although… It might be a bit of a tame ‘rant’. I learnt long ago that I can never be certain that I’ll never ever, ever return to WoW when I quit. At best I can say that it’s no longer a given that I will be back, either.

My Shadowlands mage, in his Fire Form.

That caveat given, I will put it out there that this is the most certain I’ve been that I won’t be going back since I’ve come to the realisation I can never be certain.

Kaylriene recently posted on the popular player refrain that it seems like the developers just don’t care and the emotional hit that can have upon a developer receiving that type of ‘feedback’.

I… wouldn’t go so far as to say that Blizzard doesn’t care. I don’t think they’re occupying the same rung as shovelware, asset flipping developers out to make a quick buck. I do believe, though, that there are conflicting items higher up their priority list than ‘player fun’. Specifically, extending retention of player subscriptions, leading to a high priority focus on determining just how much players will tolerate in the way of grind or time gating before being allowed to do the things they might otherwise want to do, e.g., raiding at even a remotely competitive level.

For myself? They’ve passed that point and haven’t shown any inclination toward turning this bus around.

So I’m out. I won’t go through another round of ranking up legendaries, grinding anima power or levelling up renown. I just won’t.

WoW Expansions Have Been a Missed Opportunity

This isn’t WoW, this is Black Desert Online. A game making strides toward removing the most egregious elements of grind, lately, but not the reason I reference it here.

It isn’t exactly a new thought to lament the fact the Blizzard tends to throw away the efforts of the previous expansion with the launch of the current.

But I’m not sure that I’ve ever really stopped to consider the cumulative impact of having done this. To consider the alternate reality where Blizzard instead continued to develop their systems, layering them, adding maturity and depth.

I put an image from Black Desert Online at the top of this section for a reason. If you’re unfamiliar with BDO, you might not know that there are many distinct ways to play the game. Sure, there’s your typical MMO adventure level and gear progression game. You can literally pick story paths through the game that maximise your time in combat on kill quests if that’s your thing.

But there is also a notion of building up access to various nodes across the map — ranging from adventure spots, to farms, mines, fishing spots or other resource nodes to full towns — over which you can develop a worker empire, collecting and crafting for you, or a trade network where you can jump in a wagon (coming of course, in various sizes and classes) and transport trade goods to places of need, building up your trade knowledge and bartering skills as you go.

Some of the map nodes on the main continent. There is the sea to the North and far more land I hadn’t yet explored when I took this screenshot to the East. (Note: With how zoomed out this screenshot was, will probably need to click through and zoom in to get any kind of sense from it. You can of course zoom in and scroll around at will in-game.)

Or you can get way more hands on with crafting and gathering, working on your own alchemy or cooking skills. Maybe you want to train and breed horses.

Ships and seafaring, discovering islands and distant ports more your deal? BDO has you covered there, too.

And these are all fully fleshed out systems with more depth than most of what WoW has to offer. Each have been further worked on and refined since BDO’s launch, with new systems joining them here and there as well, in addition to the more standard fare of new classes and landmasses.

BDO has plenty of faults still; don’t get me wrong. I highlight it here though to provide some reference as to what I think WoW expansions could have done for the game. In the alternate reality, where we imagine Blizzard continued to develop on that they had as a contiguous whole…

What might that game look like?

I wish we might one day find out, in this reality. But it would take a major shift in design philosophy on the part of Blizzard.