The last I heard of World of Warcraft was that it’s losing steam. Blizzard’s juggernaut finally stopped growing and has actually been on the decline. The Cataclysm announcement seemed to spark interest for some a while back but without a hard release date, it’s tough to keep ex-WoW players’ interest.
I was thinking today about my former days as a WoW player and I realized I haven’t heard a single thing about the actual game in at least a year. I fired up Chrome and made my way to the official site to see what I had been missing. As it turns out, not much.
The first two news stories are about new fan art and a couple new wallpapers. Further down the list you’ve got some news about the CCG and an announcement for a shamelessly branded wireless headset. The only game content story is about new Random Battlegrounds, which from what I can gather is just a way to queue for all the battlegrounds at once for some extra bonuses. It sounds like something that could have been implemented years ago.
It’s pretty tough to revisit WoW without thinking about the game’s eventual demise. At this point Cataclysm seems like a stopgap – just another way to buy time until the next great MMO. The revised leveling system and zones sound cool, but I’m willing to bet people will still burn out when they get to Outland/Northrend. Can you imagine leveling to 80 again? I know I can’t.