There is one undeniable fact about World of Warcraft: as the MMO ages it’s becoming less challenging. For lack of a better word WoW is being dumbed-down as Blizzard feels they must continue to attract new subscribers. MMO luminary Richard Bartle predicted this problem a few years ago so I suppose it’s inevitable. One can’t but help wince as WoW keeps continually sliding down the slippery slope of convenience driven game design in order to appease the lowest common denominator gamers out there. In the end, good game design be damned — it’s all about revenues.
The upcoming patch for WoW is just part and parcel of this trend to make their MMO more accessible to casual gamers. Hearthstones have had their cool down reduced from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. Players now will be able to double spec and have access to two talent builds at the press of a button. With every patch, life in Azeroth gets simpler and easier for those poor, overburdened 11 million subscribers. In that spirit and to poke fun at the developers at Blizzard, I’d like to offer some possible future Mad Magazine style WoW patch notes.
Patch 4.01 – All Classes to Start at Level 55
We are very pleased with the introduction of the Death Knight hero class in the Wrath of the Lich King. We are truly grateful for the overwhelming response we received from the WoW community. In that spirit, we have made all classes available to players at level 55. Each class will now have its own specially crafted quest area along with access to rare quality gear and a special epic speed mount.
Patch 4.02 – Hit Points Being Removed
We have removed the idea of hit points from both players and NPCs. We feel hit points pose too much of a burden for players as it’s not fair that NPC’s and players have different hit point levels. As well as addressing the lack of skill of many of our newer subscribers, we feel this will also solve many of the PVP balance issues we have received. We are very excited about this new development and hope that our subscribers will enjoy these changes!
Patch 4.03 – Damage and Healing Removed
Ooops! After patch 4.03 we realized that since hit points have been abolished there is really no need for health points. Therefore we have removed damage and healing from the game. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion. We are overjoyed at the tremendous response we got from the player community after the last patch. Due to these important changes, the primate population at the zoo here in San Diego can now play WoW and that is something we are all extremely proud of.
Note: please visit the Blizzard store for our official autographed souvenir “Chimps Can Play WoW Now” lunch boxes.
Patch 4.04 – Finding Quest Givers is No Longer Required
Players will no longer have to visit questgiver NPCs to get quests. Instead, the player will be able to summon any NPC to them at any time. We feel that asking players to have to travel and explore was too much of an imposition. Players will be also able to summon questgivers to their side once they are finished a quest. We are quite thrilled about the implementation of this feature.
Patch 4.05 – Travel Changes
As of this patch, players will no longer be expected to walk, run or travel. Players will be given alien technology teleportation devices that allow them to travel at will wherever and whenever they choose. While we haven’t got the lore retcon worked out yet, we do hope that Chriz Metzen will cook something up soon in his bubbling cauldron of lore. We are excited about this new development and hope that our players will be too! As a way of celebrating this revolutionary change we have created a new cooking recipe called Scrambled Molecules available from radiated vendors in Gnomeregan.
Patch 4.06 – Perma Ghosts Introduced
Players will now be able to stay dead and play as ghosts if they wish. In the past we’ve received a lot of feedback from our Goth community and even the spirit world (thanks Houdini!) and they have repeatedly asked for this. Players will now be able to access the bank, the auction house and vendors as ghosts. Player ghosts will be able to log out in graveyards for special bonuses to be determined.
Patch 4.07 – Class Choices Reduced
Due to the fact that we have been experiencing great difficulty balancing classes for PVP and PVE, we have decided to eliminate all classes but the Death Knight. Finally everyone will be equally over-powered. We here at Blizzard are delighted that this change has finally taken place and is now available to our players. Due to these exciting changes we’ve had to lay off our lead class designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street. We’d like to wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Note: we are seriously considering eliminating the forums since 99% of the threads would be moot due to the removal of class balance issues.
Patch 4.08 – Simplified NPC Naming Convention
As you may know, our lead Quest designer Alex “Furor” Afrasiabi has been responsible for many of the cutting edge quest lines here in WoW. What you may not be aware of is that he loves to create NPCs that include his name as a way to massage his own ego. That said, he is very busy creating future quest content so we have decided to lessen the demands on his time. From now on all NPCs will be named “AFRA” in all caps order to simply things. Not only will this appeal to his narcissistic nature, it will also help expand our demographic by allowing babies and pre-school children to play WoW as reading will be purely optional in WoW.
Patch 4.09 – Experience Has Been Removed
After getting almost 11 million complaints regarding the rather onerous leveling requirements in the World of Warcraft, we’ve decided to remove the need to earn experience in Azeroth altogether. We think that asking players to earn experience is rather unfair to players and hurts the kind of meaningful game play we feel is important here at Blizzard. Players will now start at level 90 and have access to 80 talent points to spend as they see fit. We look forward to hearing your comments and feedback about this exciting new change!