Thursday, August 25, 2011

QOTD: Meaningful Decrease is Meaningful?

Is there such a thing as "too much" meaning? I've been paying only divided attention to the information coming out about the whole Deathwing patch thing. After all, I still have plenty to do in the current raiding patch. We've yet to down our first boss.

Still, one of the things I keep seeing repeated is the following line:
"The next expansion should be released with a "meaningful difference" in the release timeline compared to previous expansions."
Maybe it's just me, but when I read this, several red flags go off in my head.

First of all, we're getting the Deathwing patch already.  Doesn't that seem fast to anyone?  I hardly feel like we've gotten rolling.  I suppose I expected to visit other elemental planes first.

I keep seeing comparisons to Ulduar.  Shouldn't we be making comparisons to ICC?  Isn't this raid supposed to be this expansion's ICC?  We're basically going, Naxx (The three initial raids), Uld (FL), no ToC, ICC (Deathwing).  Does anyone else feel like we're missing a step?  Not that the ToC step will be all that missed, but it did sort provide a chance to catch our breath and set up for ICC.  I wouldn't it mind it sped up, but having fully expected "steps" removed bugs me. 

Maybe that's an unfair comparison though. 

Another red flag is that they keep strongly hinting that we're going to get another expansion a lot sooner than in years past.  I think it's pretty safe to assume that they mean to announce it at Blizzcon and then perhaps release it next year.  That's almost a full year early.

Does that mean we're going to get a break on price?  Before, I was paying a large amount of money (in addition to a monthly fee) for (essentially) two years of content.  I'm okay with that, but is it fair to the consumer to expect them to pay the same amount for essentially one year of equivalent content (on top of a monthly fee), with no real explanation (other than: hey, faster is better, right?)?  At what point is this worrisome?

I'm not usually one to cry wolf around here.  I don't really like to complain about being "nickle and dimed" or anything, because I've generally felt like we've gotten good value for what we pay.   Lately, however, the cost per hour seems to be going up.  Drastically.  A strategic change like this would represent a 100% increase in expansion pricing. 

Maybe they plan to give a discount, though.  Or give some bonus, neat swag with the purchase (discounting the swag-free digital release, since isn't that just another patch?).  Maybe the quality will be completely superb, even better than we've become to expect (however, I think one could make a valid case that quality has been declining.  Still great, but perhaps a bit of a slide from what once was).  

At what point should red flags be waving?

I only ask because I've not see this asked elsewhere.  We all seem to be taking this projected news in stride without blinking an eye.  I'm not trying to be a cranky old-timer here, I just think I have some valid concerns about what seems to be a major paradigm shift.  Change can be good, but I'm always wary of it.  I'm willing to adapt and I'm not going to sit here and glorify the olden days, but when something is wrapped up with a "this is what you want" package, I find myself having to ask:

Is it really?

You tell me.  Surely, this has piqued other minds. 


  1. I'm so glad someone else is asking this. And I agree too, that I'm not normally complaining about costs. I like new game expansions, they cost money, monthly fee etc. That's all fine & dandy. What seems odd, is that Cata's cost was more than previous (inflation too of course)but with it, the expectation of long term playing enjoyment. I haven't finished the raiding tiers with school & family responsibilities, but I know I'll be thinking twice about the next expansion if it comes out much sooner, for the same if not more price.

  2. Yeah, something just seems off about this whole thing... and it's hard to put my finger on exactly what.

  3. When they were trying to reveal 4.2 when 4.1 came out, I was already annoyed because, screw 4.2, I want to see 4.1 right now and enjoy it. But I figured that was because people wanted a raid, and 4.1 didn't really have a raid (though a pug ZA can feel like one), so I let it slide.

    When 4.2 was barely out and people were already talking about what 4.3 was going to be, I though, "DAMN, SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE FLOWERS, WILL YA?" I mean...NO WONDER people get burned out, trying experience patches in like A DAY and then moving on to the one that's not even on the PTR yet. >.>

    I'm not a fan of this hurry up patch progression. I know they said it would be faster/more frequent, but I was figuring it would then also be smaller/less significant events introduced.

  4. Smaller events... yes. I totally thought that. That's a great point.

    Also, I don't mind it being faster, but they don't have to announce it so damn early. Like you said, it's really the "buzz" I take issue with. I wouldn't be bad if there were only like a week of buzz and then... whoa, here it is!

  5. It definitely does feel too fast. I've yet to finish up To4W/BoT/BWD, let alone make any progress in FL. I would have preferred smaller events leading up to Deathwing too. And given how much dependence on guilds Blizzard seems to insist upon having, I don't know if I'm ever going to feel "caught up".

  6. I hear you. I just felt like I got caught up and now I'm going to be behind again. I fine it hard to believe that a majority of players feel like this is a good pacing...

  7. what I haven't heard is if 4.2 is dead already. Are they already closing up shop on 4.2 and not planning to add any additional 4.2 content. As you mentioned, TOC brought along with it a new dungeon, with new mechanics. We had those ever so annoying mount fights that were the bane of my existence. As you mentioned Ful, other elemental planes. I thought I saw somewhere they had another fully developed water dungeon. I had envisioned it starting in the same area as the current Throne of Tides. Is that planned for 4.3 or maybe 4.2.5?

  8. It really doesn't seem like they're going to do anything else... if so, why overshadow it with other announcements?

  9. From what I read the "water" dungeon didn't work out or something.

  10. Hmm. So bump everything up? That kinda sucks if that's true too.