There’s been a lot of discussion about the silliness of WoW’s next expansion, or, more specifically, pandas. Spearheading the doomsayers, in a somewhat unlikely casting, Nils, who has been blogging almost nonstop about why he dislikes Mists of Pandaria. Some people support him, others oppose. At the center of the panda discussion seem to be two arguments “how can pandas not be silly?” vs. “How can they be sillier than gnomes?”
I agree, they aren’t. But I want to give a different point of view why I’m not a fan of pandas. That is a totally personal opinion, but maybe some people can relate.
Pandas are silly. Yes, gnomes are silly. Yes, space goats are silly, possibly even more. The point is: when I started playing, I didn’t like gnomes (incidentally, nobody did). When TBC was announced, I was furious about draenei. But at the time, I managed to live with it. It’s like a relationship. (Yes, dangerous comparison, yadda yadda, bear with me.) There’s always things you don’t like. Initially, you might not even realize them, ignore them, or glorify them. But even when they annoy you, you don’t immediately break up. You feel that those small annoyances are worth it overall. That works, to a certain point.
But then things start to cool down, and those annoyances start wearing on you. When your relationship ends, maybe not on the best terms ever, you might look back and wonder how you actually managed to live with all those small annoying things. And then you hear about her doing something stupid, and you go “wow, how COULD she?” And you might have a hell of a time slagging off with your friends. Over time, you’ll probably lose interest in that (you better do), but until then, it’s a valid strategy of coping with a breakup.
My MMO relationship with WoW is over, at least as an exclusive one. I have a lot of fun fooling around with other games at the moment. Maybe WoW will join their ranks again eventually. But most of the time, there’s a good reason not to “try again”. That’s for schmaltzy romance films.
Of course, Blizzard is not a girl. Blizzard is a company that wants money. They want me to come back, and many others like me, so you’d think they work for it. From the reactions I’ve read, they at least haven’t managed to amaze a lot of people who have been on the fence before. So that doesn’t look like a success.
The only reason why they wouldn’t want money from people like me, is if they assume they’ll get more money from other people not like me, and it’s a better deal overall. What Blizzard’s real business strategy is, we’ll probably never know. Whether it will be a success, time will tell.