Has World of Warcraft Lost Its "Wow" Factor?

Source: Activision Blizzard. Edited by Kiesha Richardson

Source: Activision Blizzard. Edited by Kiesha Richardson

After playing World of Warcraft for 14 years, Battle for Azeroth is the first expansion where I took a break from the game for more than two weeks. Did “Battle for Azeroth” kill World of Warcraft?

Good things come and go. But World of Warcraft is one of those MMORPGs that has stood the test of gaming time. And Legion, while not perfect, was probably its best expansion to date. That’s why we had such high hopes for Battle for Azeroth. The hype was real when it came to the story and lore moving players forward choose their faction allegiance: Horde vs Alliance. But when the game was released, the hype was short-lived.

Battle for Azeroth, like Warlords of Draenor, had so much potential, but as it stands now, World of Warcraft is just not fun anymore. I cannot speak for other players, but here are a few reasons I did not renewed my subscription to WoW in nearly six months.

Gear

Source: Blizzard Entertainment via Digital Trends

Source: Blizzard Entertainment via Digital Trends

The purpose of end-game raiding is to work as a team to take down bosses—to beat the game, so to speak. But to what end? For me, getting and watching guildies loot new gear after a hard-fought battle was half the fun of raiding. But Blizzard took away that incentive when they reduced the amount of gear that drops from bosses and removed our ability to choose the type of loot system we wanted to use. Furthermore, they removed tier pieces and replaced with the ridiculous, under-powered, Azerite system. Azerite gear only comes in the form of a helm, shoulder or chest piece.

Another thing about gear: if you get a piece of loot that you don’t need and want to pass it onto someone else who could definitely use it, you cannot pass it along to your friend/guildie if its item level is at or below your currently equipped piece—if it’s not the stats you want or need.

Rewardless Grind

Battle for Azeroth feels more like a chore of endless grinding with no reward. There has always been a rep grind in WoW. But it always felt at least halfway worth it. This time, it just doesn't. Blizzard seems to be forcing players into a repetitive mythic plus system grind that is exhausting. Mind you, mythic plus is okay. But, having to spam run a mythic plus dungeon to get the key high enough to get the piece of gear that you need that’s not even guaranteed to be in the mythic chest isn’t fun. The endless grind for azerite power, reputation, mythic plus farming, gear drops—it was all too daunting.

Guild Trauma

My guild, Casual Cutthroats, was forged at the very end of Warlords of Draenor, just weeks from the release of Legion. While questing, I had a chance meeting with some of the coolest people on the planet—of Azeroth. We were all new to the Sargeras realm. At first, we decided to just be casual, create a friendly home for ourselves. After bonding, we realized we all had end-game raiding experience and kind of missed it. Well, we didn’t miss the hardcore raiding of our backgrounds, so we decided to give raiding a try. We worked so well together that we became a casual raiding guild. We were able to help each other gear up, ran mythic plus dungeons for fun, pvp’d for fun and just enjoyed the content. Of course, Legion was not perfect, but it was amazing for our guild.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment
We were in a dark place.

Then, Battle for Azeroth dropped. We had a difficult time figuring out where we stood as a guild. We were constantly grinding to try to keep up with each other so we could raid. Mythic plus dungeons became mandatory for gear. We stopped having fun. Were we casual or were we going hardcore? We cleared the first raid and people stopped logging on because it wasn’t fun. There was no joy. And two months after the release of B4A, the guild sank and I quit.


I get that no expansion is perfect. WoD had so much potential, but they put out content way too quickly and we got bored easily after clearing the last mythic. And then the cosmetic/transmog pieces in the WoW store makes it look like Blizzard is going to try to move us to more of a microtransactions system for transmog gear.

I didn’t see myself coming back to WoW until the next expac. This is the longest break I've taken in the 14 years I've played. It sucks because I absolutely love this game, but this expac just seems pointless. That being said, I am giving Battle for Azeroth another shot. Here’s why.

WoW Community

Most of my friends who took time off from the game came back and want me to play with them. One of the best things Blizzard did for this game was allow friends on different realms to group together. WoW is one of those games where you make long-lasting friends from the most unlikely places and situations. While the WoW community definitely has its share of toxicity, the community in general, is pretty close-knit, loyal, and super supportive.

Scenery

Blizzard developers continue to amaze me with how beautiful the game continues to become. It’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing games ever. There are places in Azeroth where I enjoy just sitting while talking to friends.

The Lore

WoW has the most intricate, enthralling lore of any video game I have ever played. And even though I have my issues with some stories, the history of the world of Azeroth that Blizzard has created is beautiful, heartbreaking, breath-taking, exciting—full of wonderment. During my break, I continued to follow the lore because WoW is a game that, once you’re invested in one story, you have to know more!

My Characters

I’ve mained a Holy Priest since I first began playing in December 2004. Though my first character was a warrior, I quickly learned that I sucked as a warrior. I created my Holy Priest, DirtyDiana, while listening to Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson. She was a Night Elf from 2004 to 2012. Then, she became Undead and I fell in love even more. The story of the Undead resonated with me more—outcasts, not feeling accepted so you forge your own space in the world. Then a friend asked me to play Alliance with him. I created another priest because my original priest was finally home.

Like many others, I put so much time and effort into my characters. Hours upon hours! I knew I would be back, but I had not planned on returning so soon. I still have many friends in Azeroth and I miss them. So I’m giving it another try in hope to rekindle my love for the game.

Has WoW lost its “wow” factor for you, too? Or are you still in love with the game? Take the short survey below and let us know in the comments.