Be Careful What You Wish For…

I admit it, I was excited when I heard that the newest patch (1.5) would add 12 new instances to the game.  Twelve new instances!  At first thought that is something to be excited about.  But, the more I think about it the less excited I am for them.  Let me explain.

Instancing is killing WoW.  Yeah, I know, I’m crazy.  I may be crazy but I am right, at least for us old-time WoW players.  You know, the ones who long for “vanilla” WoW.  I look on those days with nostalgia, nearly as high as I have for DAoC.  So, what changed for me from those halcyon days of yore to the current WotLK version of WoW?  Instancing.

Yeah, I know there were instances in “vanilla” WoW.  Quite a few in fact, but they never seemed to be so prevalent.  They never seemed to be so…world consuming.

These days everyone is in an instance.  A 5-man dungeon, an Arena, a battleground or a raid.  Doesn’t matter what instance, at any given time over half the population seems to be in one instance or another.  Consequently, the larger world seems dead.  Especially at level cap.  Most of the time when you do see someone outside an instance they are either in Dalaran or on their way to an instance.  That seems to be the only thing to do at level cap.  If you like PvE the best loot and rewards come from instances.  If you enjoy PvP the best loot and rewards come from Arenas and battlegrounds.  Everyone goes because thats where the loot is.  Combine that with all the meeting stones, easy summons and flying mounts and you rarely see people running around on the ground.  WoW has become a large social chat room with mini-games (instances) thrown in for fun.

So, the world seems dead.

WAR almost made the open world relevant again with its Public Quests feature.  Then Mythic did a completely counter-productive move by making leveling easiest in their Scenarios.  So, instead of a busy, populated and “alive” world, we got a dead world where no one did anything outside of instances.  The Public Quests sit there empty and dead and WAR suffered for it.  Mythic tried to rectify that with later patches but much of the damage was already done.

I do not want Aion to turn out like this.  I want an active and populated open world.  I don’t want the only people I see outside of cities to be either leveling or on their way to an instance.

Sure, put a few instances in the game.  I like instances, they can be a fun distraction at times.  Key words there are: distraction at times. Don’t make the entire end game revolve around instances, be it dungeons, raids or PvP.  Make the open world compelling and profitable.  Make the open world fun and competitive.  Make the open world alive.

Luckily, most of the endgame still seems to be fully focused on the Abyss, and thats a good thing.

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11 Responses

  1. […] But, the more I think about it the less excited I am for them. Let me explain. Read the rest right here! Thanks! __________________ My Aion blog: […]

  2. Well from what i’ve seen the focus on Aion isn’t on these instances, their more of a side thing.

    That and Aion fetures the true love of any eastern MMO, world bosses ^^, this is something WoW should never have gotten rid off.

  3. […] Put up a new post on my Aion blog. Take a look and let me know what you think! Read the rest right here! Thanks! I think in Aion the only thing that can kill this "living world" is instanced […]

  4. […] Naamah of Aionic Thoughts heard that Aion’s latest patch (1.5) would be adding a cool dozen new instances, and he had a sudden thought: Instancing is killing WoW. Do we really want Aion to go down that same road? […]

  5. […] Put up a new post on my Aion blog. Take a look and let me know what you think! Read the rest right here! Thanks! Hmmm. Not a bad assessment, but to be honest so many things are leading to WoW being a […]

  6. If Aion’s focus is on PvP then it will have the same level of success as WAR. The problem with a PvP focus is you need end-game PvP incentives. Also without players you have no PvP so during non-peak times what are the online players going to do?

  7. I totally agree with this article. I especially love the comment “WoW is a social chat room with mini-games (instances)”. That is great.

    I hope they keep raids and PvP (including fortress sieges) open world. If WAR never had Scenarios, it would most likely be the best MMO currently. If they have most of the end-game content like raids and fortresses in the Abyss and in a open-world way. Then it will make the game so much more better. There is nothing like organizing a group to go and crush some enemies as they take over you’re fortress, or push with you’re group towards their main fortress to take out reinforcements. I hope Aion really takes the strengths it has and turn them into what they deserve to be. And not make everything appeal to casual players like WoW and WAR.

  8. […] Like NCSoft agrees with me. I recieved a lot of feedback about my last post, both agreeing and disagreeing with me.  One of the common misconceptions people had with that […]

  9. My belief, in retrospect, is that the introduction of cross-server battlegrounds turned each WoW server from an MMO into a glorified battle.net hub. As you said, it’s only gotten worse since, as everyone is either an arena, BG or raid now. Hell, even the “open world pvp” Blizzard tried to add is going to be an instance next patch, limited to 100 per side.

    Of all the things I saw in the closed beta, probably the one I was most fond of was the open world Tursin dungeon. I don’t even like PvE but it was so refreshing to see group content out in the world after returning to WoW for a couple weeks, where even the 5 person group quests from 70-80 can be soloed by many classes.

  10. […] I really dislike too much instancing, matter of fact I ranted about that elsewhere on my blog. Here as a matter of fact!!! __________________ My Aion blog: […]

  11. […] feelings on this are located on Aionic Thoughts, here!!!!! That is all! __________________ My Aion blog: […]

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