Good job Blizzard on more of the same. Each time I log into World of Warcraft it just feels lame. Shadowlands is the newest expansion and after 16 years this is no exception to what they’ve given us with prior expansions. World of Warcraft is lame and so is the Shadowlands expansion.
The question isn’t what’s broken – everything is, but what’s working. The gameplay, while stale at it’s age, is somewhat riveting. The fun in mashing the buttons to make your character do damage remains the same and the powercreep in the game means you get to do it faster and more often. But that’s all you’re doing, button mashing and avoiding puddles and pools. Besides this, everything else is broken – mash buttons and avoid stuff on the ground, it’s all clearly marked.
Traveling is Lame
What was a massive online role playing game is now just a walk in the park. You used to walk for minutes to a destination but now the game is built out with portals to far off lands and those lands have points of interest every few seconds. When you’re questing you never have to go far from where you picked up the quest. One thing is for sure, it’s no longer massive.
When there was a time you had to wait for a zeppelin to pick you up and take you to another continent today you can take a portal to a new world like it was no big deal. The wretched Sylvanas Windrunner has broken apart the Helm of Domination and exposed the after life – and we can get there and explore it with relative ease (spoiler).
Questing there, that’s easy stuff. Too easy.
Questing is Lame
In WoW Classic you were driven by the original story. While we’re being told a new and fantastic story we don’t believe it and there is no real reason to do the quests. We’ve been here, we’ve saved the world countless times and the questing is too easy for saving the world from the newly boundless afterlife if you ask me.
While there are hand holding add-ons for World of Warcraft, like Azeroth Autopilot, you really don’t have to have them. Blizzard is going to hold your hand regardless. Questing in the new expansion through the first level consists of doing nothing more than following the journey. When the expansion went live it gave you the first quest and all you had to do was follow it.
Coming from a history of a game that made you travel the world to complete your class quests this is watered down. Not only does the game guide you through the quest lines, even racking up achievement portions for you, but it shows you each step.
To find Mankrik‘s wife you had to search the Barrens without any clues. Now you are shown on the minimap where to kill mobs or where to collect quest items (that glow and are obvious, and respawn quickly). When the quest is complete, don’t worry, the game doesn’t just pop it up on your minimap like it used to – no, it will show you in 3D space where the quest turn in is.
Travel is fast and questing is easy. We could complain more about the fact that talents mean nothing and are easy to configure – but they’ve been ruined for years. Previously we had to at least level The Heart of Azeroth – but we digress. What the game has become is nothing but a collection of addons.
Now your game play is maximized by nothing you do in game. The real skill comes in having the right addons and configuring them properly. To be successful you have to cover at least 60% of your screen with addons – just in case you need them. What if your spells are off cooldown, you have items to sell or you’re standing in the fire (during a raid boss fight no less)? Don’t worry, you don’t have to play well, you just have to have the right WoW addon for it.
Wow Addons are Lame
You get it all too. Not only can you install Azeroth Auto Pilot to have the game further show you each step of leveling, but you can get neat addons like TellMeWhen that gives you giant visual indicators of which buttons to mash next. And if that’s not enough you can match those up with an addon called GTFO which tells you when you’re standing in one of those nasty pools or otherwise discolored marks on the ground (aka standing in the fire like a noob).
Don’t forget your bags!
If managing your items was too much like playing the actual game don’t worry there is an addon for that called Bagnon which will categorize your inventory for you. You know, all those easy item drops you’re getting. Organize it and understand what to do with it by using Auctioneer Suite in order to maximize your WoW gold profits. You must get this essential addon for World of Warcraft’s economic game play. Not only will it show you the current going rate of all your items in the auction house, you’ll know how each item ties into your trade skills with Trade Skill Master. TSM goes as far as skinning even NPC modals with a custom interface.
But WoW Addons Are Essential!
Yes and WoW addons are lame too. Remember kids we’re paying $15/month to play a massive multiplayer online role playing game. There is nothing massive about it when the travel times are squished along with the levels – and questing requires no travel at all. When it comes down to it the game is basically button mashing and making sure your interface options are setup correctly.
Paying for Games is Lame
Unfortunately for us, it’s the year 2020. While we know this is the lamest year ever we also know we shouldn’t be paying for a game like this. The industry has discovered other ways of making money and Blizzard has decided to gouge us and continue to seek other ways of making money too.
You can pay to move a character, change their gender (which should maybe be free, considering the political climate) and with a copy of the Heroic or Epic editions of Shadowlands you get a free character boost (for a premium price no less). They’ll even sell you a mount – and they don’t stop there.
Blizzard will continue to charge you $15/month on top of all this. You’ve been paying that price since the inception of the game, all told you’ve probably spent around $2,880 in monthly subscriptions fees for World of Warcraft alone. Of course being a loyal fan you’ve also purchased each required expansion at around $50 per release. Usually being disappointed each time.
You’ve now spent around $3,500 on World of Warcraft over 16 years and you’ve just ponied up the price of Shadowlands and Blizzard is still going to require that monthly subscription fee. It’s inevitable and you’ll pay it, but why?