Tobold's Blog
Monday, April 18, 2011
Guitar Hero

I don't play Guitar Hero. That has nothing to do with whether the game is easy or difficult, or how good I would be at it (probably not very). But by just looking at the gameplay I can say that even if I was perfectly able to press all the buttons milliseconds after they flash up on the screen, I just wouldn't be very proud of that. Being able to press a button fast, without having to think *which* button to press, is not the sort of gameplay that satisfies me. I'd rather have some seconds to make an interesting choice which move to make, than having to make an obvious move as fast as possible.

For pretty much the same reasons I opted out of raiding in World of Warcraft. With every expansion raiding in WoW resembles Guitar Hero some more. The game, or some addon, tells you what button to press, and you press it as quickly and correctly as possible. That can be difficult, but the difficulty is all in the execution, and not in any hard thinking or decision making. If that is the gameplay you like, more power to you! But personally I'm not all that interested in Guitar Hero dungeons.

If you don't raid in World of Warcraft, you don't really need the rewards from heroics. That gives you pause enough to examine whether you actually like the gameplay of heroics, whether they would be any fun without the rewards. Unfortunately in Cataclysm the answer for me is "no". I am not having fun in heroics in Cataclysm, beyond getting a reward I don't really need. That stems from a combination of factors: Heroics in Cataclysms becoming more like "raid lite" with the same sort of Guitar Hero gameplay, the sheer length of them, and the bad behavior of other players. I even lost interest in running heroics with my guild after a guild mate chided me for wearing what he thought was a sub-optimal piece of gear, an event which showed again how few choices you get to make in WoW these days.

From quest instructions, to gear choices, to talent choices, to what buttons to press in a boss encounter, World of Warcraft has turned into a game where somebody else is always telling me what to do, and I am expected to mindlessly follow these instructions without thinking for myself. That is considered "hard" if either I'm just given a fraction of a second to follow that instruction, or following that instruction takes many hours. That is not the kind of difficulty that satisfies me when I overcome it. And if I make any choices on my own without looking up the optimal solution, I'm considered a moron. Where is the game in that?

My World of Warcraft subscription is running out in a month, and I decided not to renew it for the moment. I'm taking a break for summer, for single-player games, for SWTOR, for Guild Wars 2, for whatever, until World of Warcraft adds some content that again interests me.
OMG WoW-hater go play [game] if you think it's so much better.

I also call dibs on calling you a noob for being too skilless to raid.

And you're a Nazi.

I think that about covers things.
Yeah, Klepsacovic, nothing left to comment for the rest of the readers. You're so selfish claiming all the usual comments for yourself!
I understand and agree.

I can get a few more months out of playing the AH, but still...

I just do not understand why Blizzard would design an expansion that, IMHO, will clearly have fewer people raiding. while not providing any additional gameplay for people who do not want to raid. Achievements and PvP can satisfy a small minority, But when you and/or your guild have given up on raiding, wouldn't Blizzard still want their subscription?

Do you think that Blizzard did so little market research that they did not think fewer people would raid in Cata? Or they just did not care? Or cared but didn't have the resources after funding Titan?

P.S., alas I am not clever enough to figure out how you unsubscribing from WoW is further proof of your pro-WoW, anti Rift/EVE bias. :-)
I couldn't agree with you more on the guitar hero comparison.

I have also canceled my subscription in WoW. A lot of drama going in heroics and raids, so I quite doing PVE. I tried PvP. Was fun for a while, then became dull, kept going for the rewards until I got all the rewards I can get.

One of the strengths of WoW was the freedom it gives players on where and how to level their characters and there was a lot to do once max level reached.

Tobold, if its not too much to ask i would like to see a post outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each expansion. Starting from Vanilla and to TBC, Wrath and Cata.
I'd say that WoW has been like that for ages, what changed now?
I think what changed was that Cataclysm made heroics "more like raids". In previous expansions there was still a bit of room to try out nonconformist stuff in dungeons.
I think it is a negative consequence of what would otherwise be a positive development. Simply that now there is SO much information out there about what is good, what is bad, how to spec, how not to spec, etc. All the decision making has been boiled down to a "flow chart." If you want X, choose Y. In most cases, information is a good thing. We want to be able to make informed choices, and that goes for anything; in WoW, in life, where ever.

But the problem is that all that information has brought us to a point where there is a single "right choice," and everything else is, by definition, wrong. If you have a piece of gear that decreases your DPS 1% from theoretical maximum, you are "wrong." If you pick a "fun" talent over a more functional one, you are "wrong." Now if the only goal of the game was to hit that theoretical maximum, then maybe I could understand the need for such "choices." But an MMO is supposed to be about more than that.

In a sense, you could say WoW has lost its soul. And no, that is not a RIFT pun. :P
I am hoping developers of future and current MMOs will read this and find a creative method of rewards in the new crop of MMOs that are on the way.

Your post was succinct and a great summary of such issues.
Well that's not surprising the resemblance between GH and WoW , look at who's running the show for both ;-) . Probably Kotik somewhere telling everyone how to make them games a "business" and not "fun" .

We saw what happened to Guitar Hero in the end, right? It's dead. All they can do for years was push out the same game with different songs, WoW is doing the can only sustain that mentality so long.
I do agree that WoW resembles guitar hero in some aspects because it requires good reaction times and the ability to "learn the dance".

However, there are a lot of fights where planning/strategy and decision making is vital. In some raids, I had to adapt my "standard" healing style (e.g. Chimaerion), plan the appropriate times to use regen cooldowns (e.g. Nefarian), and so on.

What makes the Cata raids difficult is that the fights not only require "strategy & planning", but lots of "guitar hero" as well.
But if you mapped WoW gameplay into a Guitar Hero tab, the result would probably be too boring for fans of Guitar Hero. Design by committee can create compromises that nobody is satisfied with.
As much as I'd love to tell you that this is all just rose-colored glasses and WoW hasn't changed, but you have... You know I don't believe that.

However, I don't think WoW has changed that much between WotLK and Cataclysm; at least not in the aspects you mention. Sure, Heroic bosses require a dance now. And I agree that this isn't fun. But that can hardly be enough to make you unsubscribe (?).

I don't want to start talking about immersion and stuff here. But are you sure there's nothing else to it? Maybe the Tx -> T(x+1) set model is boring? Maybe the almost official declaration of itemlvls as the goal of the game bears some responsibility? Maybe too many badges, sorry points, make the game too predictable and boring? Maybe your guild attracts players just for the guild benefits? Maybe dungeons have become so damn boring, because you can run them whenever you want? Maybe the forth pillar was a big mistake?
Oh - and maybe the fact that a maxlvl char never ever visits the world again, except for resource gathering, which is mostly done by bots nowdays .. maybe the fact that for a max lvl char WoW is a lobby is a factor, too ?
Find yourself a teammate or two, and duo or trio old WotLK raids.

All prescribed strategies are useless, you will have to come up with your own strategy.

While there are fewer of you, your health is many times what raiders had at the intended level. Thus, the encounters do not involve nearly as much twitch.

Give it a try, it is a lot of fun.
"But that can hardly be enough to make you unsubscribe (?)."

In my entire life, I have eventually stopped playing every game I have ever played.

This is not because they all changed to somehow scare me off. It is just the natural progression. Eventually, I grow tired of everything.

Why would an MMORPG be different? Why is it assumed that if I like it, I will continue playing it forever (or until something better comes along)?

I agree with you that fundamentally, WoW is largely unchanged. All of the complaints listed in this post have always been true (to varying degrees), especially since WotLK. I think we should be analyzing why someone would play for 6 years straight.
Of course the decision to stop is always part of a personal development as well. A game feature usually isn't "boring" right from the start, but becomes so after having been experienced X times. And X can be a rather large number.

On the other hand most of the other possible reasons you cite, and the reasons I list, are also true for most of the other MMORPGs out there. I think it would be far more productive to discuss problems like "zones are abandoned once you outlevel them" in a more general context, instead of citing it as a specific WoW-problem, which it isn't.
The act of pushing buttons in response to visual and aural prompts is merely means to an end.

The real goal of rhythm-based gameplay is to 'get in tune' - that is, to trigger a euphoric trance-like flow state, during which the player presses correct buttons automatically before his or her conscious mind can process input signals. This elusive experience is highly enjoyable, so quite a few hardcore raiders are willing to endure hundreds of stressful wipes in exchange for a single magical moment when everything finally clicks together.
I think it would be far more productive to discuss problems like "zones are abandoned once you outlevel them" in a more general context, instead of citing it as a specific WoW-problem, which it isn't.

I absolutely agree; and look forward to your blog post ;)
First Larissa, now you and NYTimes is on subscription plan. What is a person to do in the early working mornings.

WoW is in a trouble if it cannot keep so much of the old guard. My subscription expired months ago for almost the same reasons.

Btw - if you are looking for a quick fix - there are some very strong indie games that came out in the recent months/weeks.
The new hero class the bard sounds more and more fitting for wow. :)
wow Tobold you impress me day by day..every day is like I read what I am thinking.You couldn't said it better.Games are now depend on lightning reflexes with the minimum thinking..

even if you ignore the boss fights system that game/addons tells you what to do and you must do it as fast as possible, like "INTERRUPT NOW!!" the characters also becoming that way..

Shaman - Shock and awe addon
Paladin - crlc retribution helper

almost every class have an addon to tell you what ability to do and you must do as fast as possible or you screw up the rotation..

someone will say that you are not forced to use this addons.. but the game is designed in that way that is almost impossible to compete without these addons.

and when your dps drops 1-2k because you don't use these addons while you are doing the best with your class you are considered a bad player..

I see an end is coming for all of us the old traditional RPG players..In the games that exploration of huge worlds and unique character customization give their way to linear character development, instant teleports everywhere and lightning reflexes gameplay with no thinking there is no place for us...

We didn't have Guitar Hero back when Planes of Power launched for Everquest in 2002. That, however, was where I first saw the beginning of the process you describe. That's when I first noticed that the "bosses" (and prior to that I don't recall anyone calling them "bosses") had scripts that players needed to learn and counter.

I realised very quickly that learning my lines in a script written by someone else wasn't for me. If MMOs are amateur dramatics, which I believe they largely are, then for me they are improv not High School Musical. Consequently I've done virtually no scripted content in any MMO since.

That's meant no raiding, by and large, and if it also means no "Heroic" dungeons then so be it. I won't actually stop playing MMOs until and unless it gets to all scripted content (hello SW:tOR ?) but fortunately I feel the trend is now going the other way.

Rift allows me all my usual solo, duo, explorer, crafter pleasures and adds simple one-click raiding in which scripts, if they are there at all, can be overcome with weight of numbers. Guild Wars 2 looks as though it will push the scripts back into the environmental structure, where they should be, leaving players to react to those scripts appropriately as they see fit, not by rote. We'll see if that bears fruit when the game actually arrives, but it looks promising.

Overall, though, I completely agree with you. Button-matching against a timer is not gameplay that piques my interest and MMOs that come to rely on it as the main thing they have to offer aren't going to be seeing my custom or money.

By the way, is the the first break you've taken from WoW? The first time you've not renewed your sub? Or is it something you've done periodically over the years?
The best thing about ffxi endgame content, despite involving equipment progression, is that boss fights are dependent on strategy and not dps.
In fact too much dps gets everyone killed. Furthermore there are multiple strategies depending on how many people and what classes you have available. More people tends to guarantee more drops of items but less people doesn't make it a worthless exercise. That's the kind of flexibility that's missing in wow. Perhaps it's a fundamental flaw in instanced content that everything ends up having to be done one way to very rigid parameters.

Can you please name said strong indie games? I would be interested to try out.
Completing the circle, Dungeon Runners had Sitar Hero, an in-game Guitar Hero parody in which you attacked the little colored circles as they came down the line.
This is one reason I cancelled my account last fall. After some initial raiding in LotRO, where there are no raiding addons, I started to feel different when raiding in WoW. I felt more in WoW like I was playing [insert raid addon list]. You call it guitar hero, I call it simon (i'm old).

And I also believe that the state of WoW's heroics and raids are due to these addons. Blizzard knows they are required by all the server-first and hard mode raiding guilds, so they know they can boost the difficulty. They may also have wanted to make it a bit harder for those players. Unfortunately, it likely hurt the more casual players who make up the majority of their player base and may not have used these tools as much.
By the way, is the the first break you've taken from WoW? The first time you've not renewed your sub? Or is it something you've done periodically over the years?

I have taken breaks in every version of WoW, that is in vanilla, in BC, in WotLK, and now in Cataclysm. The only thing somewhat different is that in previous expansions it took be a lot longer than half a year to get bored. Half a year to boredom is not a good schedule if expansions come out only every two years.

Can you please name said strong indie games?

I'd be interested too. Personally, I've been playing Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes on my PS3 this weekend, which just was released on the Playstation Network, being previously only available for the Nintendo DS. Basically no reaction time elements in that game, but you need to think about every move.
WoW leading you by the hand too much, gameplay moving away from thinking. Damn, wish someone had called that a few years ago...

Have I mentioned Rift plays like 2004 WoW? (Including the first world event ending in disaster+rage!)
About cookie cutter builds: if you only want to do heroics Cataclysm actually gives you way more freedom in build choices than Wotlk. EG as a rogue you can spec into Deadly Momentum for minimal 5man damage loss where a hardcore raiding rogue can't. Every spec should have at least 5 filler points that can be specced as you wish.

About the guy from your guild telling you to have insufficient gear... if you have the 20€ you might consider transfering over to the Greedy Goblin ;-) whom promises to only kick you for bad playing never insufficient gear. Now that would be a "game review" I'd like to read, Tobold in the Land of A-Sociality!
I think its a matter of being careful what you asked for:
By having fewer and longer quests, each quest could be more engaging, tell a better story, and have a better chance to find somebody else with the same quest.

This is what linear questing did in Cataclysm. Better and more interesting stories without all the useless side quests. You want to quest with a friend, go gathering or archeology until they catch up (I've done this, it works)

I'm not sure how WoW is telling you what gear to get. They simplified the stats so you could figure it out if you wanted to. You can run dungeons (for points and gear), crafting, archeology (granted that's rare), the AH (for BoEs or if you don't craft) or rep. I had a spreadsheet to help me map out my upgrades based on my ability to get gear. Its a fun little game. So is the reforging. I could have used an addon, I just used my head instead.

Talents and glyphs? Most people do use a cookie cutter build, especially when maximizing damage. But for utility, I changed talents and glyphs based on what I was doing or getting ready to do (soloing, dungeons, raids, part-time pvp). By paring down the trees and making glyphs permanent I found myself making my own choices more than I used to.

But I understand your concern about heroic bosses. A bunch of don't stand in rustling one-shot dirt spot, run away from the one-shot aoe, etc. The Guitar Hero affect.

However, there is one thing difference between the two games: WoW has other people, playing different classes. Its a level of variability that you can't plan for. And sometimes YOU playing better by making better choices (like all those buttons you don't always use) is a difference between a wipe and a kill.
Why not have both: execution and tactics? They aren't necessarily exclusive, and I'd figure in a game like an MMO where countless hours go into playing it, having a measure of skill progression beyond having stats go up would be a very good thing.
If you're not interested in raiding or heroics, and you're not going to level an alt through the 1-60 content, I would say that six months is about the maximum amount of time that someone could play WoW 4.0 without dying of boredom.
Tobold, I see a consistent theme in your not liking other people telling you what to do, whether it's WoW addons, or guildies criticizing your sub-optimal gear, or blog readers telling you what you can and can't write about. :)

To me, raiding has always seemed like a military operation, where command and control are important. Thus successful raiding teams have a clear leader who says what to do, and 9 or 24 soldiers following orders. If you're not the raid leader, someone is telling you what to do. Many people are ok with this system, as it's realistic in the military context.

As a raid healer, you were more insulated from that chain of command, as long as the twitch elements were missing. When you decide your own spell choice and mana conservation, you could play alongside the rest of the raid and not be as subject to an addon telling you when to move.

Conversely, single-player games put you into the role of commander. That might suit your present tastes better.

Given what Giannas said about every class requiring add-ons, how do you feel about the current Trion policy of no addons for Rift? I already know of your thoughts of Rift and while people have found ways around certain aspects of the game (ex: no dps meter) there are still many times that you are left with what the game has. As a side note I have not raided in Rift, nor have I run any of the expert dungeons. I am currently not against the no addons policy at this time, but I am not sure how I will feel about that later when I am more advanced in the game. Another note, I am apparently one of the few WoW players that use no addons.
If the user interface of a game is sufficiently flexible and customizable, what exactly would still need an addon for? Most of the addons I have are basically cheat programs, that is they make the game much easier. Another important class of addons are the ePeen addons, like Gearscore and Damagemeter. I can see how a game might want not to allow addons.
Have I mentioned Rift plays like 2004 WoW?

So what? As several other commenters pointed out, part of the problem is burning out from the same old, same old stuff I quite liked in WoW in 2004, but can't stand any more. Rift sends you on quests killing 10 foozles exactly like WoW. Rift has websites discussing what the best souls combination is, exactly like WoW. And if you enter a raid in Rift with "suboptimal" gear or spec or tactics, you'll be called a moron exactly like in WoW.
I know you weren't bashing Guitar Hero, and I know this isn't really relevant to your point (which I completely agree with), but:

The fun of Guitar Hero is not in pressing the right keys at the right times. The fun of Guitar Hero is the same as the fun in playing a real instrument (albeit greatly simplified) -- you have to hit the right notes to make music.

If you're going to compare the two, perhaps compare raiding with playing Guitar Hero with the sound off.
I guess as a classical pianist here, I have a completely differing view on execution. For me, execution is everything. And yes, Guitar Hero would be akin to playing off sheet music. Just with a digital toy in your hands with only 5 buttons (but don't knock it, it's still insanely difficult!)

I would say though, that WoW probably lost a lot of its magic when it started exposing more of its inner workings than it needed to. I honestly don't think that WoW has changed much over the years with respect to dungeon difficulty and their dances. Just that as people have played it longer and longer over the years, they've come to realize that it's just not the game they wanted in the first place. Lack of knowledge allowed them to live blissfully, whereas knowledge has made them weary.
as a musician, i'll second that ;)
Playing a script is not that creative. Can still be an accomplishment if it's difficult, to each it's own.

But i don't agree wow has gotten too scripted. It's rather the "medias" of wow (EJ, forums) that uncovered so much info the game itself looks determinist. I don't think it is, everybody's just following the leader.

And if you enter a raid in Rift with "suboptimal" gear or spec or tactics, you'll be called a moron exactly like in WoW.

Afaik, not (yet). There is so much noise and nonsense in the forums that nobody can claim an optimal spec. Also, the people are actually both less forgiving and less abusive than in wow. (in my experience) You are expected to have experience and play like a pro already :))
Re. Bryksom, I would donate through Paypal the cost of Tobold transferring to play in Gevlon's guild. I found Gevlon's blog from cross linking here at Tobold's. In many cases, I agree with Tobold, but I totally wish I could find a guild like Gevlon's on a US server. I'm not convinced I have the gold savvy to hang with them though.

In any case, Tobold, if you decide to experiment with playing in The PUG, let us know. I, for one, would fund that research in a second.
one of the big things about GH is also that you can play with a full group/band and everyone can pick his/her own difficulty ... which makes it a great party (no ... not the RPG party type) game.
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Lack of knowledge allowed them to live blissfully, whereas knowledge has made them weary.

One way this happened was when the armory was introduced, and especially when it could be datamined by progress tracking sites. Unexceptional players are now presented with irrefutable evidence they are nothing special. Tune the content back to "hard" again and they push the gamequit button.

What's odd is that Blizzard didn't see this coming. I wonder what weirdly incorrect model of customer behavior they designed this expansion under.
I can't stand raiding. I can't even stand 5 man heroics anymore. But I'm having a blast with rated BGs and making money with alchemy.

Blizz decided they wanted to make 5 mans "SRS BSNS." And I understand why they did that. They want heroics to be a stepping stone to raiding. And if you can't cut it in heroics, then you have no right to be raiding. And that makes sense. But the problem is, when you make heroics serious business, it ends up being very punishing for pugs and creates a situation where, for the most punishing roles (tanking and healing), players don't even want to play with pugs. So they just roll with their guildmates.
Come PvP with us! No buttons that you don't choose to press, nothing scripted, and the only thing that is a definite is this: you are intended to die at least once.
Why do I get this feeling that WoTLK heroics are about the same level of difficulty, but people outgeared them so long ago that they don't remember a time when it was ever hard?
Sounds like you might be taking a break from WoW? I just came back to the game after playing EVE for a while. I'm solo questing and herb gathering for the moment and liking it. Might even ignore heroics and raiding this time through. Casual play is working for me right now.

I agree with you Tobold MMORPG combat becoming more and more systematic and less strategic. Your Guitar Hero analgy is spot on.
Tobold, you need to PVP more. It's by far the most rewarding (and difficult) aspect of WoW atm.

No addons to tell you what to do, just your experience against xyz class combined with knowledge of how your teamplates play the game.

2v2 gameplay aside, imo PVP in WoW is more balanced now than it ever has been before.
"World of Warcraft has turned into a game where somebody else is always telling me what to do, and I am expected to mindlessly follow these instructions without thinking for myself. "

So... go find a game where people don't call you such? That has been working for me. It's so easy to leave Wow now because of "no-fun".

All and All it's nice to see you finally accept that Wow has sailed into un-fun territory now. [yeah I know opinions vary as to WHY but still it's sailing on Stranger Tides]

One more thing, lumping the whole fantasy genre and your unhappiness is shortsighted. Sometimes it is the game not the player who is the problem.

I was serious when I commented about "you like fantasy games". I still believe that most players are drawn to these types of games at a deep shared mythology/legendary level.

I'm agnostic play Guild Wars or Assassin's Creed, something at least medieval.
Tobold: I pretty much agree with everything you said about the frustrating illusion of choice in the game, except for the actual dungeon gameplay experience though.

Your class / role spec is so predetermined now that it may as well be a templated popup option that says "Go with your predefined spec for your class / role?" Without a doubt, your gear acquisition is pretty much just a check list as well with some minor choice options. However, the path you choose to acquire that gear can make it long or short. In addition, the support you have from other guildies can dramatically shorten the acquisition time as well. So all said and done, probably 80% to 90% or more of your gear is pretty much predefined for you, especially when it comes to trying to reach gear level requirements (i.e. heroic geared, raid geared).

With regards to the dungeon experience, without a doubt people are simply reading boss strategies guides and relying upon them. That in my opinion is where the problem originates though and it something we're discussing deeply within our own guild. If you just follow instructions (i.e. pat your head and tummy at the same time), you're not fully aware of why you're doing what you're doing. And this is exactly why people skip highly variable bosses like Drahga Shadowburner in Grim Batol because we are used to following set instructions rather than thinking on our feet. So in a weird sort of way, we've programmed ourselves to want this approach to gameplay, so we don't have to think. I mean that was WotLK heroics in a nutshell.

What I think we need is more variable boss encounters like Omnitron Defense System in Blackwing Desecent where you can't just follow a scripted approach but have to continually be thinking on your feet. This forces you to be fully aware and engaged, knowing why you are making the choices you are making. If you don't, you're dead. Still other encounters like Magmaw were complex at first (i.e. pillar of fire / parasites), yet with guilds testing variable approaches, it is now pretty much a tank n spank with a secondary tank taking care of the pillar of fire / parasites.

Without a doubt though, the one thing that I find that makes the game still bearable and enjoyable is my guild teamwork experience, even though that can be frustrating at times as well. In effect, the enjoyment doesn't come so much from the game as the experience collaborating and working on challenges with others. That's why I actually enjoy raiding so much. Of course though, it makes it somewhat easier when most of your guild mates are all fairly close real life friends. My guild mates don't chide each other about their gear, they actually step up to the plate and help each other acquire it. I've personally spent 30K or more in the last month, helping other guildies with gear, asking nothing in return. In effect, your social experience can make or break your game experience.
I've been rather bored with WoW, and not playing much. My general WoW malaise has been a long time coming though, and was hardly new to Cataclysm. Certainly part is that I just have other things I'd rather be doing with my time. =p

That said, I don't think anything about it is remotely like rhythm games (of which Guitar Hero is one). I think you fundamentally misunderstand how they're played and what makes them entertaining.

People new to rhythm games just press the button when you're told to, but you'll never get very good if that's how you play. Rather, you have to find the flow of the song and let the beat provide the timing.

Certainly cold reading the actions you have to take, is a skill that you develop. But it's far from the heart of those games.

(Says an old DDR fan-- of course with it you also get endorphins!)

In 2002? There were lots of rhythm games. Heck, there were even games with guitar shaped controllers by then.
Tobold, precisely my sentiments. There are no interesting decisions left to make. There is only act and react or die. Not quite the type of game I will spend hours upon hours "playing".
@Tobold "Yeah, Klepsacovic, nothing left to comment for the rest of the readers."

Ahh, but what of the grand internet tradition of auto-posting without reading to see if your points have already been made? :)
For when you have an Opinion and it has to be expressed right now.

@Hagu: I think Blizzard's intention was to grab new players, and inspire old ones to play through the new content they spent so much time on - 1-60. I don't think they anticipated how many weren't going to do that.

@Gundars Kaulins: Maybe try Wurm? I've only just started. The graphics are a bit dated, but effective enough. It is NOT n00b friendly (mechanics-wise - the players are newb-friendly, which helps) and it defines the term 'slow-paced'. Think Minecraft, except until you do it enough, you will fail every action you attempt at least four or five times before you succeed.

@Samus has the right of it. I think WoW has basically just reached its shelf-life for a lot of folks. They've read the same book/watched the same movie enough that they want to go and do something else now. Not because it's not a good book/movie... but because they've DONE it. It's DONE. I'm certainly there. I've done WoW. I might not have killed Deathwing, but as far as I'm concerned, I've 'finished' it. Same stuff, different models/textures.

And finally, @everyone who said, "Hey, you misunderstand why rhythm games are fun!"
Maybe he did, but that's not the point. The point is that he doesn't find them fun (regardless of why you do), and that WoW has turned into one.

My own point/question: I mentioned this before others' WoW-ennui had advanced as far as mine already had, but I suggest again: I'd love to know what kind of features/mechanics would bring the disenfranchised back to WoW.
The other analogy to GH is not one Blizzard would like. Is WoW also a franchise that is burning itself out, to the point that they will shut down the entire studio?

I looked into Wurm. Can't quit wondering why do developers design grind. If you follow definition that game is a series of interesting decisions, grind doesn't fit the picture. And i have very strong aversion to grind.

I realize that all activities can't be performed or available at the very moment you start the game. That would cause lack of feeling of progression and achievement, leading to quick loss of players' interest. But this can be avoided by adopting EVE like skill training, replacing "green bar" in resource gathering and crafting by other kind of restrictions (i.e. player creates crafting queue which executes during offline time, or limiting amount of wood you can gather by quick wear and destruction of axe etc.), leaving to player tactical and strategic planing and decisions, exploring, economics, socializing.

My quick looksie into Wurm so far lead to conclusion that 95% of in-game time is click-green bar-click-green bar grindfest both to acquire something or to advance a skill. :(
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I'm sooooo sick of the endgame in Rift and WoW... Churning the same content over and over again... I'm done with it. No more grinds for me.

I'm looking forward to SWTOR, but if it's endgame is just another grindfest - I'm not gonna touch it.
Yeah but what if you could make Wow keep playing your favorite songs as long as you kept killing the boss?
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