To try and put it simply (a first for me I know) the game has changed. It is much more friendly to those with limited time to play. Not quite to the point that it has become a single player game, but not far off.
More importantly, the people playing it have changed. At least the ones I know are older, mostly wiser, and generally better at what they do than before. On the other hand I find more and more people that simply use Wow as a really pretty chatroom. Doing quests, fishing, running an instance here and there.
The game has become much more about the social aspect and the folks I hang out with than about slaying critters and getting thier loot. Many people I have talked to have told me that if it were not for the friends they have in game they would no longer play.
It is hard to put this into words. Literally I have deleted the rest of this four times (as of now) and started over.
Since I cannot speak for everyone I will just speak about me. Actually I could try to speak for everyone, after all it is my blog, but meh. I’ll keep it simple.
I have leveled three characters to the cap. One still sits at 70 and semi retired, the other two are at 80. My next project is currently sitting 66 and climbing. I figure by the time I finish terokkar and negrand he will be 70 or so, assuming I keep plugging away at him.
Suffice it to say that I have leveled a couple of toons. I would love to try out different classes, and actually I am. My problem is staring at the sign on screen knowing that I have three months or so of my playtime that will have to be devoted to doing the same damn quests over and over again to level my latest prospect.
My next three highest alts, a warrior, pally, and druid are stranded in the bloodmyst isle/ashenvale grind right now. I simply can’t force myself to keep playing them through that tired old content again.
That brings me back to my 80′s. They are both geared well enough that I don’t need much outside of raid drops. Well, I could use some odds and ends, but what I have will do until I either catch a lucky drop or gather enough badges to buy it outright. Since Valor badges are what I need I am looking at 25 mans to get them. Ok, Emlon in 10 man Voa or anything in 10 man Uldar as well, but I won’t pug those.
I enjoy Wintergrasp, but it is the exception to the rule. I no longer do any other battle grounds. They are a waste of my time. I am sitting on 50k honor on at least one toon and about 45k on the other, yet there is not a damn thing to spend it on.
I don’t have an arena rating, therefore I don’t get to purchase any of the halfway decent PvP items. If I am not going to be rewarded for my time, I won’t waste it.
I don’t have an arena rating because I don’t have enough gear to have a fighting chance while I learn what I am doing.
I don’t have the gear because I can’t buy it.
I can’t buy it because I don’t have an arena rating.
Return to step one and repeat till you give up and go watch reruns of House.
Well, if leveling is either done or boring me to tears and PvP is a once every two hours thing for about 10 minutes, what does that leave?
Dailies are one thing I suppose, but remember that “I hate doing the same thing over and over again” thing from leveling? It applies here as well. Actually with leveling it’s not so bad, I only have to do each quest once per toon as opposed to once per toon per day. Other than the rep grinds for Ebon Blade and Sons of bitches Hodir I have not done a single daily since wrath came out.
I make enough money off the AH to never worry about cash. That leaves out farming, grinding, and questing for cash.
I suppose I could still do it, but for what purpose? I am sitting on about 20K gold right now spread amongst my toons with stuff in the bank worth probably 3-5k more if I chose to sell it all. Other than flight training for my upcoming level 66 hunter I am pretty well set for big expenses.
Now that I think about it, that pretty much leaves out everything but raiding and instanceing. Even leveling my latest project is just so that I can transfer him and go run instances and such with other people, it’s just a means to an end. Perhaps that explains why I don’t go on much anymore, and why I don’t miss it when I am off.
I can see it in game with fewer and fewer people I know online at any given time. (except raid time)
I can see it in the sweeping changes Blizzard is trying to make and the pacing of it’s patches.
I can see it in the number of bloggers who have simply gone silent.
To answer Kestrel’s question I would have to say Yes.
From my perspective, Wow is losing it’s hold.