7 votes

World of Warcraft Classic And What We Left Behind

2 comments

  1. Death
    Link
    One thing which really stood out to me in this video was the idea of "Social Dependency", and how the limited resources of the servers and the need for organization in guilds, may have encouraged...

    One thing which really stood out to me in this video was the idea of "Social Dependency", and how the limited resources of the servers and the need for organization in guilds, may have encouraged people to put up with the most toxic members of the community in order to access the higher-end content.
    I wonder if something similar occurred, at the time, in online communities, but from before the mid 2000s even. Back when the ability to create an online community was contingent on being able to operate a server, or at least know how to operate a phpBB board or IRC channel. So if you wanted to hang out online you might have had to swallow your feelings a few times to stay in the community.

    There's some discourse every now and again about how people are supposedly more sensitive to hurtful language and/or behavior. But I'm wondering if that's not simply a reflection of decreased social dependency. It's easy, now, to just create a new Subreddit or Discord server, and pull in members from other communities, when you can no longer put up with toxicity from your original community. It's become less necessary to put up with things since there's less barriers to simply starting a new social group.

    6 votes
  2. onyxleopard
    Link
    Great video! I really enjoyed the unpacking of the syllogism about how gamers justify the quality of games that they once obsessed over. It’s not quite a sunk cost fallacy, but it’s pretty close,...

    Great video! I really enjoyed the unpacking of the syllogism about how gamers justify the quality of games that they once obsessed over. It’s not quite a sunk cost fallacy, but it’s pretty close, and it made me realize why I was so surprised that so many people were eagerly anticipating and now actively playing WoW Classic. When I started playing WoW on release, it was because I had a friend group who was also into it. It was the first MMO I ever played for an extended period of time, so I didn’t realize how janky and bad some of the play experience was.

    As I grew up and my friend group changed, and I later went through a depressive episode where I had ample time get to the end-game and max out several characters and learn how the game ticked (and failed to tick), the game grew with me. But, looking back at it, the flaws are very apparent, and the way Blizzard addressed them was really haphazard and inadequate. The way that the game grew did not grow in the same way that I did, and, while I would occasionally (maybe once very couple years) re-up my subscription for a month and see where the game had gone, it never grabbed me like it did during the classic, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. The overwhelming number of things to do, and the chore-like addition of daily quests, made jumping back in not only daunting, but discouraging.

    Also, something that wasn’t addressed in this video that I think was immensely important to my losing interest in the game was the decision to implement cross-realm play and dungeon instancing. The way that cross-realm instancing was added made casual play much more convenient, but at the same time, dissolved the sense of community that I thoroughly enjoyed. Decisions about which realm to join, and what kind of community you would interact with were made basically meaningless. There was no longer a sense of faction community per realm. At launch, if you wanted to play with your friends on Firetree (where Alliance were the underdog compared to Horde), well, you needed to level an Alliance character on Firetree. Now, if your friends decided to start a Horde guild on Darkspear, you had a real decision to make: stick with Firetree and the friends you made there, or start from scratch on a new server where you might take a totally new path through the starting content and have totally different end-game raiding opportunities based on the population there. It was exhilarating. Also, the slow pace of progression made these choices feel meaningful and deliberate. Now, the choices seem trivial, and I also very much don’t have the time to spend to feel like I would get satisfaction out of the game. I’m happy to call myself a former-WoW player (and addict) now.

    3 votes