WoW_Ladies: Girl Gamers of World of Warcraft


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Dear Blizzard,
mycat2
ausmac wrote in wow_ladies
I know you won't read this letter, but if you did, I'd like to share my thoughts and make some suggestions regarding what has been my favorite game.

(1) NO MORE SUBSCRIPTION - become free to play

This sort of speaks for itself. 

Pros:  there would no longer be a need to pay a monthly subscription.  We would pay our initial game installation fee and then play as much as we like, as often as we like.

Cons:  Less income for you.  This is true - however, your number crunchers could undoubtedly come up with ways to supplement your income on the one hand, and forever wipe away the majority of nuisance and threat of gold farmers.  You make certain aspects of the game paid - we want that fancy mount, that beautiful staff, that top piece of tier gear, that very useful enchant recipe? - we buy it from the appropriate vendor for gold.  And we buy gold from the in-game gold vendor for a very reasonable charge.

A free-to-pay system would, on the one hand, make all the subscribers very happy, and bring in/back a whole raft of casual players who are happy not to have that regular fee on their card, and may not need to pay for all the extra things you need to buy.

(2) UPGRADE THE GRAPHICS

With games like Guild Wars now available, and the upcoming Elders Scrolls Online, with their stunning graphics, WoW is starting to look even more and more outdated.  Its practically cheesy. 

Pros:  It would be a far more attractive game to play and a much more satisfying game experience.

Cons:  Loss of a proportion of players using older and slower PCs and laptops.  Also, the cost in revamping the game would be exhorbitant.

I know this one is iffy.  I don't even know if it could be done.  The alternative is to create a brand new game, with new state-of-the-art graphics, which would also allow them to implement a whole raft of changes to the style of play.  It could be the same type of game as WoW, perhaps on a new world with many of the same races and lore.  WoW as it stands would no longer be patched and would be maintained for a certain period of time until the new game started paying for itself, and then would be phased out.  You could perhaps arrange to transfer characters over to the new game, in some form.  I don't know if this is the answer, but I just don't know how long you can continue to tinker and fiddle with WoW as it is and maintain your position.

(3) MORE CREATIVE PLAYER OPTIONS

Your answer to providing more game options for players is to introduce more dailies.  I can't tell you how tedious this can get, especially for any of us Altaholics out there.  There has to be something else that players can do beyond dailies, instances and raids.  How about letting us build things?  Let us make our own small village, with a house and maybe a professions hub, a tavern, a farm, something we build and improve and spend time on.  Give us ways to adjust the game experience in some way.  Make more areas of the game non-flying (yes, I can hear all the screams out there, but for me I found having to explore Pandaria on the ground was much more fun and interesting than just flying over it).  It wouldn't be obligatory to enter these no-fly zones, but perhaps there is some particular achievement or mini-game (ala the sunflower pet) or whatever that could be done there.  (My ultimate dream is a variable instance - ie, an instance that changes every time you go in, with different mobs, bosses, shifting passageways, hidden traps and tricks you have to figure out, etc.  Is this likely to happen?  No, probably not I hear you say.  But it would be way cool.)

Pros:  A much more fun game.

Cons Probably take more servers.  Thats fine, combine some of the low population servers and use them.

Anyhow, thanks for listening, Blizzard.  Or not.  A girl can dream.....(-:

Yours in gaming,
Mac

i want a gay planet like SWTOR so my character can have same sex relationships (plus Quae and Kinelory can come live there) (and sassy hardwrench) (and those two death knights)

And Jadaar and Asric and maybe those two druid bros from the Molten Front dailies. Oh, and don't forget the cute dwarf/human lesbian couple in the Alliance temple.

1 - wow going free to play would be terrible. the old republic is a good example. more money for action bars? and the ~*~gay planet~*~?

2 - they have been improving graphics but considering how old and large the game is by this point its going to take a while

3 - tbqh the idea of a shifting dungeon sounds like the most terrible idea i've heard. i don't want to spend hours in a dungeon until i figure out which secret tile to open a hallway or whatever. there are also areas already in the game with ground mounts only. and if you keep up on the ptr patch notes, they are expanding our farms to be somewhat like you describe. otherwise maybe just play the sims or something...

Edited at 2013-01-23 11:40 pm (UTC)

wow going free to play would be terrible

That was my first thought too. I haven't played any free-to-play mmos, mainly because I've heard such terrible things about how other income sources for the companies really cut through the gameplay experience. Sorry, I'd rather pay $15/month (not that much, all in all--and that's coming from someone whose financial situation is really not great right now).


... Seriously, SWTOR makes you pay for action bars? A simple UI feature??? o_o

TBH my first thought was "Oh my God can you imagine how many MORE trolls there would be if they didn't have to spend $15 a month just to be a douche?!"

F2P is a terrible idea because it almost always turns into P2W (pay-to-win). In order to make money to pay for the fancy graphics and additional content the OP wants, they would have to start charging players for much more than cosmetic items. The would have to do what every other F2P game has done and start charging players for experience boots, extra abilities, extra combat pets, basic UI improvements (action bars, etc.), extra character slots, extra bank space, and possibly even gear. All of those things means that the user experience is going to be very crappy for people with less disposable income and by the time they nickel and dime us to death, we'll end up paying ~$15 per month for basic amenities anyway.

Plus it drastically detracts from the user-experience in game. You'll see stuff greyed out in your UI and vendor windows with extra buttons everywhere for you to "Click here to buy this with Blizzard Bucks" (or whatever they call their credit currency). It would get very annoying very fast. $15 a month is nothing. It costs almost that much for me to see ONE movie in the movie theater. It costs three times that much for my husband and I to go out to a nice dinner together. I spend $2 a day on coffee! So $15 per month for literally dozens of hours per month of entertainment is a steal!

TOR's F2P implementation is not a good metric; it's widely recognized as the worst -- by far -- implementation of a free-to-play tier of any game that has gone from subscription-only to tiered play. Compare... well, just about any other game that went that way -- Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Age of Conan, DCUO, and so on. Free players, in all of those games, still see some limitations, but TOR charges you for the ability to sprint (before level 15, anyway). And, on top of that, if you are a TOR subscriber, you can gain still more gameplay advantages over others by spending extra real-world money on top of your subscription fee.

I'm confident Blizzard could do a better job tiering out such things, but it still opens up the pay-to-win can of worms, which I'd rather not deal with.

Edited at 2013-01-24 03:08 pm (UTC)

I wasn't specifically referring to TOR. I encountered the same sort of things when I tried playing LOTRO back when it went F2P as well.

I haven't played TOR at all in like a year, but my husband still maintains his subscription as does one of my coworkers and the crazy thing is that they are now spending way MORE than $15 per month on the game, because they both opted to continue to pay the subscription for all the benefits that offers PLUS they both pay for a bunch of boosts and advantages that the regular subscription doesn't cover. It's quite ridiculous.

Glancing over LOTRO's comparison page, it still looks notably less crippled than TOR's F2P no-real-money-spent-ever tier. Still, point taken, and, yeah, that's sort of what I see happening, if Blizzard would go that route. They have no reason at all to do that, though; they're still sitting pretty on their NA/EU cash cow (roughly half of the reported sub numbers, and probably 75% of their revenue, and with development and support expenditures at between 40% - 50% of said revenue, going by information publicly available).

That said, WoW is likely over the hump, in terms of the size of its subscriber base; much of the underlying tech is still very much stuck in 2003 - 2005 or so, and newer MMOs that aren't carrying around all that legacy code and content are doing a good job of showing what kinds of things can be done in the genre. Subscriber numbers will be coming out whenever the next quarterly call comes around, and while MoP seems to be doing a better job of recapturing and retaining players than Cata did, it still didn't post the sales numbers that have been typical for prior expansions. It'll take years and probably another couple of expansions before it really dries up, to be honest, and it's been said by Blizzard people that they'll look at a possible WoW2 if/when they can't keep the current version of the MMO sufficiently update through expansions and such. (I can only imagine that they saw how Everquest did itself in at the height of its popularity and have no desire to repeat that fiasco.)

We played LotRO solidly for about 1-2years. We tried it out again this weekend. It's not the same game to the extent that my husband was really upset by it (we'd had some wonderful times in game originally), and I was totally put off it. We paid for the original game, and at least one to two expansion packs, which I now can't access and would have to pay for all over again, if I wanted to play them, and it feels so ridiculously restricted. Plus one of the starter quests shows you how to spend in the LotRO store. It felt far too commercialised, and that wrecked any immersion I once had.

Mmm, all your experiences pretty much match my suspicions. On top of that, I agree 100% with your comparison to other expenses. We pay ~$50 for our cable package and we play WoW way more than we watch TV. I'd cancel the TV package before I cancel WoW.

Agreed. I work for a gaming company that doesn't charge people to play.

BUT, they nickel & dime you to death.

Want that new piece of armor? Pay up.
Pop-ups in the middle of game play that ask you, DO YOU WANT THIS NEW PIECE OFGEAR? BUY NOW!
Like this quest? Either pay now to expedite OR it'll take you 3 months to complete

It can really get obnoxious.

AND, most players end up paying MORE for month to continue playing their game than what it costs me to subscribe.

So, thank you but no. I'll take the subscription to play as much as I want any day.

The only thing I can agree with is point 3. Especially since they're now dedicating time to update all the old player models (albeit slowly). I would love to have an Age of Conan type city, more player driven/built content, seiges and stuff like that.

Edited at 2013-01-23 11:45 pm (UTC)

I've always wanted them to add guild halls which I believe the age of conan type cities are guild cities right?

Hell NO on free-to-play. I came to WoW after playing a free-to-play game and it was horrible. The only way you could get anywhere or be competitive was to use real money to buy shit like armor boosts. The customer service was also horrible (account hacked? Oh, well!). I'm not saying the customer service for WoW is all sunshine and unicorns, but it's a million times better than the other game. No, no, no, no. Never again. Shuuuuuun. rofl

The Mac EverQuest server is still quite good, but after it went Free-To-Play, we got kind of an influx of... well, rather rude people, who went around messing with our server raid rotations. (Instanced raids are so much better.) Their guild eventually fell apart, though, so the schadenfreude is terribly tasty.

Aside from that, I, too, would be dubious about going free-to-play. City of Heroes went FtP and then went belly-up. *sob*

The alternative is to create a brand new game, with new state-of-the-art graphics, which would also allow them to implement a whole raft of changes to the style of play.

They're already working on this; its code name is Titan. I have no idea how similar or not it is to the Warcraft universe.

How about letting us build things?

The game designers have a certain vision so I doubt they will ever let players "build" without tight controls on what the results will look like. Otherwise we'll have penis-towers everywhere. See: Second Life. :D

Otherwise we'll have penis-towers everywhere. See: Second Life. :D

hahahahaha... so very true!

What I would really like to see, along the lines of improved graphics, is more options for character design. I'd really, really love to be able to adjust the height and build of my characters, like you can kind of do in Rift. I want my female draenei monk to have a thick, muscular body like a female orc!

Although I'd just be happy to see the "old" races updated to be as detailed as the goblins, worgen, and pandaren.

Seconding what a lot of other people are saying about the monthly fees. Without them, I think quality would probably go down a lot.

1.) So much nope to the no-sub. I know where you're coming from, but it's worth the extra money to get the content and the less frustration over the economy. I love me some Guild Wars 2, don't get me wrong, but I heartily dislike its economy. Besides, they still have a huge amount of subscribers and no real need to go free to play. There are a lot of pros to no-sub but also a ton of frustration.

2.) They're gonna make Titan instead of revamping WoW. It would be way more work than it's worth to completely update or remake WoW. People still play the game with these graphics and they've aged fairly well.

3.) More stuff to do would be nice, but building would either be messy or a phasing nightmare.

HELL NO to your first two suggestions, shrugs to the third...

1) Free-to-play means the game would go to shit and have too much stuff available only through the store, probably including weapons and other stuff to get you ahead in the game. No thanks. :(

2) The graphics get updated every patch and tbh, they're quite playable as is. I enjoy being able to play it on my toaster laptop just as well as I can my gaming PC. The cartoony graphics make the game what it is. An update to old content would be great, but if it came to new content vs. updating old content, I'd take the former any day.

3) I can agree with a lot of this, but I'd rather them spend more time making things I can work on progressively with people other than just myself since it's a MMO. I'd enjoy a farm/town to myself, but I'd enjoy it more if it was server-wide to progress or guild-wide, something.
Re: no-fly zones, I don't mind not being able to fly as long as nobody is able to fly. It's frustrating to be grounded until 90 and the grind from 85-90 (or at least 87-90) completely sucking ass.
Your dungeon idea sounds pretty cool!


I'm honestly not trying to pick an argument, but how would they be able to update art, player models etc if they're NOT getting subscription money? Not to mention, no, please goddess no... it is already hard enough to do certain things in game without people being able to make multiple free accounts just to harass others.

Trust me, the only reason I am playing is that a friend of mine gave me a 6 month game card for Christmas; otherwise, I'd not be playing at all-- I had to give WoW up for a year due to barely being able to scrape the cash up for food thanks to the US economy, but the SECOND wow goes free, I'm out of the game. And to figure they can do massive updates AND keep it free? Not seeing it happen.

Now I like your third idea; but we have that to a point and we'll prolly get more as time goes on; with transmogging, I have been able to make multiple "outfits" for my toons and have loved messing with that. I love the hair changes we can do as well. Yeah, I'd love a way to scale height and weight, but that's less important to me-- right now I have so many gear/mount/pet/vanity pet/hair changes I can do, I'm content. :D

But all that is just me :D YMMV

1) I've never seen a game go F2P after the fact without serious problems. SWTOR is a good example of how not to do it, but I haven't really gotten into any F2P games because you have to pay for so many customization options up front. I have a friend who plays EQ2 and would like me to come play with her and some of our other WoW friends that have gone there, but I don't care for any of the races that are available F2P, and I don't want to spend $5 to unlock a customization option. (Since I have 2 WoW accounts, another $15/mo sub is a pain. I still want to see some of the story content in SWTOR but it seems if I want to actually have a reasonable experience there, I need to sub again.)

The only game I have personally played that has done F2P well is Guild Wars, and they incorporated it into their game design from the very beginning.

2) Um. Plenty of people like the style of graphics as they currently are. The games that you've listed are in completely different artistic and graphical styles to begin with from WoW. They've been improving the graphics, but what it sounds like you're talking about is a complete overhaul, and that's something that would have mixed results, because there is a not insignificant part of the player population that likes the graphical style as it is.

They are updating the player models, though, and I suspect will allow an option to keep the old ones if people want (at least any other game I know of that has changed player models has done this, because people get really attached). They can't do the same thing with a complete graphical overhaul. It is just not technically feasible.

The brand-new game, as some folks have mentioned, is Titan. But there's been very little info about that.

3) I still want guild/player housing like they have in EQ2 where folks can visit your places. My friend who plays EQ2 does player house design as a good chunk of her playtime, and loves it.

I would squee so loud if they added EQ2 style housing to the game.

I would also like to point out that for years I begged them to add something like EQ2's visual armour sets, and viola. We got transmog.

So there's hope!

(1) You can already play for free to level 20. It's pretty crippled (and with reason), but it's there.

(2) The game's graphics and underlying technologies have improved dramatically over the eight years since the game launch initially. Seriously, the way the game looks on my DX11-capable graphics card is a massive improvement over how it looks on any other machine we have in the house that can run it. There's still a lot of old, low-poly models in the game, sure, but the game's art direction is so good that they still manage to look reasonably good.

(3) Eh. I can't say that it wouldn't be fun, and player housing has been a thing on the dev's minds for years, but I'd like them to continue to refine the core endgame rather than let it stagnate while they build something much more peripheral.

As far as updating character models, yeah it sucks it's taking so long. One has to remember though that for a new race skin, every single animated emote has to be remapped and animated, and then every single piece of gear (excepting alt color skins) regardless of age or current availability has to be reworked so that every new animation won't cause new boobs to burst out every Eviscerate. Then they have to do that for every other race. It would take me a fuck-ton of years, too.

Remember also that the entirety of the Vanilla world was reworked for Cata; we all know how well everybody appreciated the subsequent lack of endgame. I could see Blizz working on the physics engine, but I'm not holding my breath.

Another vote against free to play. The idea of having to pay RL money to get recipes and such makes me twitch. Better a level playing ground for $15/month for everyone.

I came into WoW from LotRO several years ago. Before it went over to Turbine, and before it went F2P. This last weekend we downloaded it, and played it for a bit. I found it a sad experience.

1) It was NOT the same game as far as I was concerned. You're so limited without paying anything, it's ridiculous. I bought several expansions when I was playing it previously - which I CANNOT ACCESS because I stupidly didn't transfer my account to Turbine when I stopped my subscription. I'm limited to bagspace, AH rights, expansion areas, I have a gold cap of 2g, and a huge amount of other restrictions. I would sooner pay my money each month to WoW for a full gaming experience than play a F2P game with such restrictions. Do not wish for F2P on WoW, I can assure you that it will only limit you beyond belief.

2) I was also surprised by the amount of fluidity that WoW has compared to LotRO. It's not as pretty, but it's more 3d - you can dive, you can fly, you can do a whole heap of things - LotRO felt flat in comparison. It might be prettier, but this weekend I found that attractiveness in a game isn't everything. Playability is.

3) There's so much in this game already, so many different aspects, I'd not want building. If anything, I'd like housing options with furnishing/decoration options similar to LotRO. But that's about it.

If you want Blizzard to potentially see and respond to your suggestions, you should post them on the official WoW forums in General Discussion. They are never going to read this here.

1 & 2 are completely at odds with each other. #1 is an idea I particularly disagree with. Just NOPE. I'll stick with my monthly subscription. Paying for gear? No thanks. This seems like it would create such a disparity between players in-game that it would cease to be fun for anyone except the people who could afford the best gear (if even them). Players would have an advantage over others simply because they can afford more gear. I enjoy the game as it is now, where everybody has roughly equal access to gear, mounts, etc because they are earned within the game not outside it. (Also-- while I find casual and hardcore pretty useless descriptors simply because they mean different things to different people- I think it's somewhat silly to suggest that 'casual' players do not like to spend their game time being competitive in whatever they do in-game or enjoy seeing the progression of their characters via gear upgrades, and therefore wouldn't be affected by needing to buy gear/upgrades.)

#2)... I am genuinely amused that a suggestion for improving WoW includes scrapping WoW all together. Not that I disagree that WoW can't last forever (I think it has one more expac left in it at best), but I just found that really funny. I don't mind the graphics as they are and I don't find them cheesy. I'm pretty psyched about the upcoming character remodels, though.

#3) I think there's a ton for players to do... I don't really care about building anything. There's a reason I play WoW and not Sims. Though I do believe the devs are considering player housing.

Can't say I agree with any of this tbh. I'd rather pay my £10 a month sub than have to shell out cash for features that should be readily available to me. Also as far as graphics go I don't think they're all that bad, and tbh as someone who is afraid of spiders I'm glad that the game isn't all that realistic and shiny graphics-wise, I have entire sections of certain maps blacklisted in GW2 because I cannot handle the spiders in that game. And I had to pick a Sylvari first as well, good going there self.

I am absolutely against Free to Play. (And I'm currently unemployed, so it's a challenge for me to pay my subscription each month. I still keep it going 'cause the game provides a great deal of entertainment for less than the cost of driving into town to have 'fun' in the city.) Many others have already given reasons F2P is Not a good thing. Personally, I'd rather pay a small monthly fee and have access to all the content and gear and features and stuff, than be able to login for free and then have to pay for everything required to actually enjoy the game.

WoW has been going on for many years. It stands to reason that the graphics will reflect the age of the game. Each expansion brings an improvement in graphics for the new content. Yes, the oldest areas are obviously 'old' but appearance isn't everything. My (frankly disturbing) Human male toons can still do the exact same content that the shiny new Panda toons can. Shiny graphics are cool and all, but I'd rather have fun things to do than pretty things to stare at.

While I agree this OMG-DAILIES thing Blizz has pulled with MoP is a pain in the tailfeathers, I really don't want to see players able to build things like buildings. (The penis-tower point was already mentioned.)
The Labyrinth Dungeon idea of yours is intriguing. (Can't help it..."changing passageways" makes me think of the movie with David Bowie and the puppets.) If done right, that sort of place would be fun.

1. I play several F2P MMOs and the main reason a MMO eventually goes that way is because it wasn't extremely successful to begin with (see: LOTRO, TOR, Age of Conan, Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online). With that said, the F2P MMOs that I play I do enjoy because every game brings something interesting to the market -- and most allow you to play a good chunk of the game without requiring you to pay up (many of the paid features are simply for convenience sake, or look pretty).

The game that has pulled off F2P pretty much flawlessly for me would be GW2. I don't get to play very much because other things, but yeah. Sorry, I dont' think Blizzard could do that. Keep it as-is.

2. Have you seen the game's graphics in MoP? Updating old-world, BC, Wrath, and some Cataclysm graphics would be a lot of work that would be better shoved into the new game they're working on. I'd like to at least see the character models updated, though.

3. Er... play Minecraft? That's really all I could think wrt this part.

>> NO MORE SUBSCRIPTION - become free to play
nothanks.

>> UPGRADE THE GRAPHICS
nothanks

I don't think WoW will ever be free to play. If you think about it, you're $15 goes towards paying GMs, developers, writers, customer service reps, tech support reps, etc. If you get hacked in WoW, chances are you could get items restored. If something with the billing gets fudged, it gets fixed. Instead of paying for features to enhance the game experience, Blizzard has a store where you could buy vanity items instead (mounts and pets). My friends that play F2P MMOs, not one of them said they were satisfied with the game's customer service.

(Would like make a side note that all of my run ins with some form of Blizzard customer support has been pretty stellar; can't really say I had an issue that wasn't resolved satisfactorily)

Going free to play is the worst idea I've ever heard of... no way. No. way. I'd quit. Free to play always results in some sort of scam else where, you have to pay for more quests packages, you have to pay for mounts, etc... no.

Definitely NO on F2P, mainly because it's a gateway to P2W.

As for the graphics: You don't want it to be TOO advanced, because part of why WoW is so popular is because it can run on a variety of machines, including (for example) my 4-year-old MacBook Pro. Yeah, I have to set the graphics engine down to "Fair", but it still runs. Make the base graphical ability *too* involved, and you limit it to nothing but the newest machines, effectively locking out those who can afford the $15/month, but not a couple thousand on a true gaming rig.

Also, while the art is a bit cartoony, that's part of WoW's charm. Unlike a lot of other fantasy MMOs, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and I *like* that. So much fantasy and sword-&-sorcery environments have this air of pretentiousness about it, and WoW has avoided that trope.

Why would WoW go free to play? I like the way The Secret World did it. But they only did it because they didn't have the subscription numbers they were hoping to get. But why would the MMO that is, by far, the most popular go free to play? Like, it would be a weird and boggling business decision?

These all sound like Guild Wars 2 pretty much. Which is a good game! But not WoW.

Though, the one thing from GW2 that really needs to make it over, especially since they started doing this with larger quest mobs in Pandaria... they need to just get rid of the outdated tagging system. You shouldn't be fighting your own faction to get dailies done, and CRZ has made this much more annoying.

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