A comment on my post from yesterday questioned whether or not I am enjoying anything about WoW anymore, and I think that it’s a fair enough question in a way. But I feel that an assumption here is if you aren’t enjoying it anymore, then stop playing, and stop harping on about it. Stop blogging in other words.

This year a number of blogs that I followed, enjoyed, and admired, closed up shop for good. In almost every instance they followed a similar pattern: stop blogging for a period of time, write a post out of the blue which detailed how they were going to be much better bloggers from now on and keep everything updated, then once again silence for a good period of time, then perhaps they would call for contributors to their site, then some more posts from these contributors, and then the blog would be closed down for good.

In most of these cases it was pretty obvious that the blogger wasn’t enjoying or indeed playing the game anymore, but still felt some guilt at not writing for his painstakingly cultivated audience. It can be hard to let go after all that work and effort. But another aspect is how quietly they slipped away. I know for a fact that some of these bloggers were very unhappy with the game’s direction, but couldn’t bring themselves to continually criticize it.

Well, I can. And you don’t even have to play the game to criticize it. Look at totalbiscuit; he hasn’t played the game since April, (although he has been in the beta), yet this doesn’t stop him from his weekly 90 minute podcast rant. I feel that the gaming world is at some sort of critical point right now. We have had a glorious golden age for the past 20 years, where games have been made by people who love them for people who love to play them. But big money is changing all that. Now games are being made solely to generate income. Gameplay or creativity are not as important as they once were. Short term rewards and feelings of accomplishment, (when nothing of note has been accomplished), are the mainstay drivers of top games. Look at how the latest incarnation of Civilization has been butchered to cater to this instant gratification mentality. Go and have a look at some of the extremely long threads on CivFanatics where legions of long-term players are completely disillusioned with the new game.

I think back to some of the games that I have played and enjoyed over the last 25 years. So many of those games would not be made now precisely because of their difficulty and the effort needed to master them. So to see WoW coming out with new quests that a five year old would have difficulty enjoying, (but not any difficulty completing), makes me mad. So you can all expect me to keep on being mad for the forseeable future. But at the same time I would like to put out a call to my readers: what current games still adhere to the basic gaming principles of gameplay and creativity and are fun to play? Please don’t mention EvE as I don’t find logging on just to increase my toon’s skill level by no other action but being there as fun.

Your Noisy Rogue.