I suppose the quotes speak for themselves. I’m linking what I was writing on forums in 2014 (but also long before that, I just don’t care enough to dig deeper), and Blizzard, in 2016, finally get that kind of trickle-down insight too.
2014 forum discussion.
The faster leveling means that all the quest progression was completely broken. I couldn’t even advance on SINGLE quest line without outleveling it. And if I dared do a dungeon run I’d have to basically skip entirely to a different zone.
Racing through content may be good on paper, but it completely destroys the experience.
Fine, but then don’t say the game loses subs because it’s “old”. It loses subs because it systematically destroyed all the good things it had, without even introducing something new and appealing.
pre-Cataclysm WoW had an excellent balance with quest progression and leveling. Post-Cataclysm this balance was carelessly destroyed in the name of SPEED, NOW, MORE LEVELS. FAST FOODS.
But if they knew they were going to cut so much the leveling times then they should have rebalanced the quests accordingly.
Instead it seems the speed up was an afterthought and no one cared if they broke the perfectly crafted balance and one of the major features of the game. To me it feels like they handed a perfectly crafted thing to some new guy, and this new guy didn’t even remotely understand why the thing worked so well in the first place.
It’s not up to the player to balance this. If the game even lets you then it means there’s something fundamentally broken.
The point here is that pre-Cataclysm WoW was perfectly balanced, and, imo, the real BIG reason why it became hugely successful: WoW’s secret sauce was that the quest flow removed the feel of the grind you’d get in EVERY other MMO those days. But by speeding up so much the leveling process and disrupting all the quest chains and normal progression they simply destroyed their main feature. They TURNED BACK the game into a grind, with most players just burning through content without even looking at quest text or whatnot (or simply do dungeons and bypass all that).
WoTLK was the last good expansion and this is not my personal opinion. It’s just what pretty much everyone agrees with. Game design has taken a nosedive (and this is my opinion), WoW became just an affair for raids, and we know what happens when you specialize to hardcore players while leaving everything else behind. WoW’s leveling pace in now lightning fast, and the experience so bland and shallow, just because it’s all just at the service of the raiding game.
Blizzard 2016. Paid jobs.
Basically, low-level players now plough the game, killing everything easily in unsatisfying combat so they spend comparatively far more time simply running between objectives.
Some of this is down to changes made with the end-game in mind.
“There have been a lot of trickle-down effects from balances changes made to the max-level game. Things that used to be talents we now bake in as passives, we buff abilities, we move things that used to be high-level abilities down to make them available at level 10…”
we made levelling through the prior expansions a bit faster, and a bit faster, and a bit faster, because we didn’t want levelling to be such a barrier to entry.”
you shouldn’t be out-levelling zones before you’ve finished their story. You shouldn’t be doing one dungeon and finding that the zone you’re in is no longer relevant to you at all.”
the levelling-up experience through older zones at lower levels is “pretty broken right now. It’s not really very well tuned.” He added, “It’s not even about difficulty; it’s about pacing.”
But as the Warcraft development team focused on the live game of World of Warcraft, it definitely has shone a light on some deficiencies and areas where the game has been lacking recently, and that’s something we want to do something about.”
Good job? Round of applause?