If you’re involved in either the FFXIV or the WoW community these days, chances are you’ve heard a lot of ‘this game vs. this game’ videos on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and other various forms of social media. It’s hard to avoid it, and I understand why people are tearing Blizzard apart these days. Today 9.1 drops, after months (and months) of waiting – and while I’m glad it will add things like flying in Shadowlands, it also doesn’t offer a lot for players like me. I’m getting a bit tired of the constant gear grind, there’s no player housing to satisfy any non-killing adventures I might have, and features like The Maw and Torghast always leave me frustrated by the end of it. Not to mention The Maw is VERY gated, after a small handful of quests I tend to already be Rank5 with the jailer which means it won’t be long until I’m dead. Not a fun way to play.
I feel like Blizzard has spent the past few years re-hashing and then trashing their own game mechanics. It doesn’t feel inventive, revitalized, or new. I feel like they’ve been missing the mark of the players for some time, and sure things like Classic will bring people back – but for how long?
I’m still playing WoW, albeit quite casually. I don’t feel like there’s a lot of progression for me as a casual player any more, and I’ve done pretty much everything I wanted to do in Shadowlands (note, this is pre 9.1). By instinct I turned to FFXIV because so much of that game is still new to me. I adore the crafting – and it feels relevant. When was the last time I actually felt like WoW crafting meant something in game. If anything legendary crafting just made a whole lot of spam on the markets and not enough of a demand to purchase all of the pieces you need to grind out. Not to mention we can only wear one legendary, and there’s a BiS for pretty much every class that people are going to naturally gravitate towards. Pet battles are lovely, but when that’s the only reason you’re playing, you start to question some things.
Then again WoW has also just been around for many years. It’s natural that once you’ve learned all you can about it you might get a little bored. I could see that being the case in my situation as well. For now, I continue to play – but I’m also using gold to fund my account and not really putting any money into it. Were that not the case, I’m not convinced I’d still be playing.