Asmongold Calls Out WoW as Worse Than Ever
Asmongold isn’t the only player that’s fed up with WoW as it stands right now. When virtually all other games are thriving, WoW managed to lose 30% of its player base during the COVID era and the previous two years. This isn’t a situation I’m unfamiliar with either. As a player who faithfully played the MMO for about a decade, even as it grew more and more unenjoyable, Asmongold brings up a lot of fair points about WoW. Even despite this, people who are frustrated at best still log in almost daily. What’s going on? What’s really hurting the game? Is it actually an MMO that’s suffering?
This rant from Asmongold doesn’t really come from a place of anger. He’s someone wildly devoted to WoW, and wants it to be the great game it could be, that it used to be. He’s someone who has played since the beginning and it’s been a big part of his life. Some of us have walked away, sick of having our time wasted. Asmongold keeps up the fight where many have surrendered to the microtransactions and micro-managed, tedious mechanics.
Accepting Mediocrity in Our MMOs:
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands tried to bring the fans back with new mechanics and a trip down into the afterlife. They also continued to push WoW: Classic, and even a Burning Crusade version, which is well on its way. WoW has long since coasted on its name and a mediocre game design, and Asmongold spoke out via a Twitlonger.
Asmongold summed up my thoughts in one simple sentence, “World of Warcraft used to be a game that made you want to waste your time. Now it’s just a game that wastes your time,” and it’s a shame. We’ve heard for years now that the game is “dying”. Each expansion, no matter how good or bad, people throw it under the bus, heralding the end-times.
People used to flood the forums with complaints, huge essays demanding change. This went on for years. It still does, to an extent. It seems though, that people have given up and are just accepting things for what they are now. That players feel betrayed for weak expansion after weak expansion. Mechanics used in Shadowlands are just rehashes of the same stuff we were already accustomed to. Asmongold pointed out though that it’s really not betrayal anymore:
“Now, when Shadowlands systems like Soul Ash or Conduit Energy are coddled along despite resounding condemnation from the community, the feeling is no longer betrayal. It can’t be, because betrayal requires trust and that trust was broken a long time ago.”
On a personal level, the reliance on Daily Quests/World Quests, and mechanics like Soul Ash/Conduit Energy drove me away from the game. I come back at the start of every expansion, blindly hoping that things are getting better. They never are.
Is There A Solution?
What can be done though? Blizzard can understand they’re jerking their audience around and making them unhappy, and fix the game. Or they can keep the course, and make up revenue in microtransactions. That’s what’s going on right now. Sure, Blizzard lost about two million players for World of Warcraft, but microtransactions made up for that. More than made up for that, in fact. What’s interesting about Asmongold’s rant about WoW is the end.
He points out that, despite how fed he up is with the game, he’s likely going to keep right on playing. Asmongold wants to keep playing WoW because there are more positives to the game than negatives for him. But the negatives are powerful ones, and the game could be better. Not everyone seems to agree though.
Toweliee, a partnered streamer on Twitch commented with:
“Nice save at the end! At the end of the day you’re gonna keep playing, we all are. And by playing we will continue to shove more and more money in their pockets through our audiences yearning to play with us and others alike. I’m a way we are actually part of the problem.”
The major WoW streamers that continue to play even when the game is bad, could be said to be a part of the problem. They keep people hyped about the MMO and keep them going. These stream viewers want to play with the other big names and find the same joy. It does seem like Asmongold is feeling some conflict about WoW though, but that’s just speculation.
Players have been accepting a mediocre game for years, and that doesn’t have to be the case. Blizzard needs to stop adding Quality-of-Life changes as “content”, and giving us, as players tedious, frustrating systems. We’re supposed to want to waste our time, not have it feel like it’s just a drain. If the player base isn’t enjoying a system you added, something has to change about it.
It’s hard to say where I stand right now. Personally, I haven’t enjoyed WoW in years. I still come back every now and again, because friends play, and I want to do something with them. But I’d be a liar if I said I enjoyed what I did in the game. It’s very hard to tell myself “I need to log in and do World Quests, Dailies, etc” when I can instead play Final Fantasy XIV. In FFXIV, the dailies are not tied to progression at all. It’s something optional to do for growth in crafting, to get mounts, stuff like that. Several years ago, I wrote a piece, a roughly three-page blog post on WoW. I talked about how it managed to stick around and be a major player, and how it was going nowhere. Despite writing that, I was conflicted. This was at the time when I was really falling out of love. Perhaps I was trying to make excuses for myself.
If WoW improved and made a game that was worth coming back to, I would be an active player again. But having the game feel like a chore has certainly pushed me away from it. We’ll just have to see if Blizzard acknowledges the problem and looks to find solutions.