A new expansion of World of Warcraft is on the way to the beta testing phrase. I have not been keeping tabs on the development of this expansion as much as I usually do, but as usual Blizzard is expected to get a bump in subscription for that business quarter from people coming back to their game. Now that I am no longer playing WoW I am a part of the ideal demographic for Blizzard to advertise to get me back to play and subscribe to Warlords of Draenor. Today I am going to take out the middle men that comes from all the marketing studies and focus groups and I, a burned out WoW player, will tell you and any Blizzard employees reading exactly what Warlords would need to do to get this potential customer to get back into World of Warcraft.
First I want to start out with listing some features that are not be the main reason to get me back to playing World of Warcraft:
I am going to return because of the newest features and improvement to the game play. I have solo-leveled a mage through all of Outlands and I have raided as a mage from Wrath of the Lich King to Mists of Pandaria. During those times I was forced grind through some ridiculously long quests and I was asked change mage specs that I did not originally play as nor liked using when I was in the raid for the sake of doing the most optimal for damage towards the raid boss. If I were to come back to World of Warcraft I will play as a mage and if I want to raid I will find a way to raid. It does not matter to me if Blizzard changed the class mechanics or if they simplified the talent system again I will find a way around those hurdles so I can play as a mage again.
Secondly the lore and story of the expansion will not get me to pack my bags for Azeroth. This might be a big surprise for my long time readers that the lore will not get me to playing since I have written dozens of Be MOP posts about my love of the lore in the game and how I can draw parallels to other stories and events outside of the game but during my hiatus from WoW I have been playing other games and catching up on my comicbook collection. While I was playing those other games and reading the latest issues of Spider-man I realized how much quicker other games and media are able to tell their stories in the span of a few hours or a few weeks than the months or years it takes Blizzard to tell the full saga of what happened between the Horde and Alliance in the new world. If I hear the story of the game is interesting enough from my other friends then a quick trip to a WoWWiki will get me filled in on everything I need about the game without having to log into the game.
Now that we got those out-of-the-way I want to talk about the two things that would get me back into the game.
The first thing that might get me back to playing Warlords is another subscription bundle similar to what they did to lock players into playing the game during the lull between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. Way back in the early days of this blog (as a matter of fact the THIRD Be MOP post I have ever created) I wrote a wonderful post that broke down and game a dollar price value on everything that was in the first World of Warcraft annual pass. After doing a bit of math I decided that paying for one year of World of Warcraft was giving me enough of valued content where the actual cost per month to play WoW as just under half of the normal $15 asking price.
But the biggest feature that would get me to resubscribe would be my friends and a video game social network. After unsubscribing from World of Warcraft and letting enough time past to see why what kept me going and why I left without bias, the main drive for logging in was the my raiding group. Each weekend I would log in and group up with the same bunch of people to take on the next big raid boss and progress through the current raid. It was talking and socializing with my raiding and real life raiding friends, telling stories, swapping tricks and class secrets that kept me excited and invested in the game. That investment would show by logging in every day to complete the same dailies, spending hours farming cooking materials for the right ingredients to make the best fests and -most importantly of all- to continue to invest $15 a month into the game. The main reason I left the game was because the Cataclysm guild I belonged to dissolved somewhere between the transition from Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, once the guild fell apart I felt lonely because I was just playing WoW by myself and I did not want to go through the hassle of either spending more money on a character transfer or seeking out a raiding guild that fit perfectly in my existing schedule.
That being said, I do not think I will ever return to the game because the window of opportunity to really play the game has closed. Since I left World of Warcraft in the summer after I graduated college I have found a full-time 2nd shift job, I now have college bills to pay off each month and between those two I have the other games to get through on my Steam backlog and I have to keep up with my Twitch channel. I just do have the free time anymore to raid every weekend, let alone trying to fund the monthly subscription on top of everything I am currently doing. I guess this is goodbye to World of Warcraft for me, it took me the act of writing this post to realized that nothing Blizzard could do, save for during WoW free to play would get me to redownload the game client. I do hope that Blizzard the best for the newest addition to their game but it looks like I am not ever going to come back to my mage, which is a bit sad but at least I can thank Blizzard for the years of entertainment and the years of slowly training to be the component video game player that I am today.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays