Timing is Everything: Awaiting Cataclysm

September 7th, 2010

Blizzard has prided itself on being a company that doesn’t release a product until it’s ready.  I’ve always been respectful of that, and I think it has a lot to do with their success.  If you release a product on time but unfinished, you lose some credibility.

But have they taken simply too much time preparing for the release of Cataclysm?

I’ve been a pretty big fan of the Wrath of the Lich King philosophy of 10/25 mans and hard modes, a clever way to allow everyone a chance to see all of the story-driven content, while still giving the more hardcore players a chance to feel special.  I would have loved to be able to see all the content in The Burning Crusade, but that was not in the cards for someone with a relaxed play style like me.  Now I’ve been able to kill the Lich King, even if it was only with 9 other people on regular mode.  Unfortunately, a downside to this mechanism is that you don’t get the same epic feeling when killing an old boss in a new way.

I look back on my post about Anticipation for WotLK, and my view was almost completely the opposite.  I didn’t want Wrath to come out because The Burning Crusade was still keeping me quite occupied! Now, I feel like this expansion has let my interests wander.

It’s been so long since Icecrown Citadel was released that pretty much everyone who was going to kill the Lich King has killed the Lich King, in one way or another.  There are plenty of people who are still working on hard modes, but a lot of us have decided that instead of seeing the same old bosses several nights a week for 9 months straight, it’s a good time to play some other games.  And while there is no harm in that, the longer Blizzard leaves us to play other games, the less chance there is for us to be brought back in for Cataclysm.  By letting us realize, “Hey, there’s a whole other world out here!” and “Quitting WoW isn’t that bad, actually.” They’ve lost a lot of loyalty.  I have no doubt that a lot of people will return to the game for Cataclysm, but I think the longer Blizzard waits to release it, the less committed the players will be to sticking around.

I never had any intention of not playing World of Warcraft this summer, it just happened.  I’d realize I just hadn’t logged in in weeks; I’d actually forgotten about the game.  And in a way, that kind of “quitting” is much worse for Blizzard than a forced quit, when someone still wants to play but has to stop.  My list of other games to play is growing so much that I almost dread having to commit my gaming time to playing Cataclysm when it’s released.

What I’m trying to say is: Blizzard better knock this expansion out of the park if they hope to regain the devotion they had during the prime of Wrath of the Lich King.

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7 comments to “Timing is Everything: Awaiting Cataclysm”

  1. I hear ya. I got a new hard drive almost a month ago, and did fresh OS install, I didn’t realize until 3 days ago that i never even installed wow, I’ve just had no desire to play.

  2. Yep i feel the same way. HAvent really played any new games tho.

  3. I agree, though I have still been playing, it isn’t the the extent I did in Burning Crusade. At the moment I’m levelling/gearing alts, grinding mounts, it’s not the most fun I’ve ever had, so I’m reading a lot, and Cataclysm couldn’t come faster. Though I hear we can now take back Gnomer/Echo Isles, which is great, a tiny slab of new content, and LotRO goes f2p I believe? I hope you come back for Cataclysm anyway :)
    Jaedia´s last blog ..Forgive Me For I Have SinnedMy ComLuv Profile

  4. If they want to knock it out of the park, they’d be better served by using TBC as their benchmark, rather than the often disappointing WLK.
    KiwiRed´s last blog ..WoW- Making Old Gear RelevantMy ComLuv Profile

  5. Great write up Braj, couldn’t agree more with your thoughts. It’s going on two months since I’ve logged on and I haven’t looked back. I’ve enjoyed the summer so much without being tied down with raiding schedules, and finding a couple amazing other titles to play around with at night has shown me how much I used to like other styles of gaming too. It would take quite a huge homerun for Blizzard to get me as into WoW as I used to be for all those years. To be honest, I’m not sure they will be able to pull it off, it seems so dated without major facelift changes now in contrast.

    Anyway, was quite the pleasure to meet some great people and have some great memories from WotLK. Catch you around! :)

  6. Glad to see I’m not the only one feeling this way! I am sure I will be playing when Cataclysm is released, I want to see the content for sure. But whether I will be back playing nearly as much as I was before or not and for how long is still up in the air now! I might end up being an even more casual player than I was before.

  7. Hai Chaos!!!