Star-Fired Beef

Blizzard is just phoning it in now.


I couldn’t help but get caught up in Aywren’s excitement in January, for the Manderville Gold Saucer in FFXIV. The addition of a new area dedicated to entertainment rather than combat or grinding dailies, as the cornerstone of a major patch, was pretty impressive to me. The one thing that got my attention the most, was the chocobo racing. And breeding. It just felt like a serious effort to add a long-lasting, addictive in-and-of-itself activity that deepens the player experience and enjoyment.

Contrast that to WoW’s latest 6.1 patch, which also added racing. At the one area of the game that is supposedly dedicated to entertainment rather than combat or grinding, the Darkmoon Faire. Yet instead of FFXIV’s intricate, in-depth system that pits players against each other in an exciting race to the end of the race, Blizzard has offered…a solo, time-trial experience. With no progression. No competition. No reason to repeat. No investment for the player. The WoW-chocobo mount is not yours to train, all mounts are exactly the same, and there are no rewards that affect future races (afaik).

When I first got wind of Darkmoon Faire racing, I was actually excited. Sure, it was yet another case of Blizzard trying to rip the wind out of another major MMO’s sails by blatantly copying their ideas, but usually there is a unique spin on it that adds value and makes it worthwhile. This, though…this is disappointing in the extreme. To me, it reeks of a major lack of care and commitment to quality from Blizzard. It feels like they are just throwing in whatever hot new thing they read about, with minimal thought and effort, just so they can point to WoW and say “look, we have it too!”.

It’s just sad.


10 thoughts on “Blizzard is just phoning it in now.

  1. That’s funny. I hadn’t really heard of this until you mentioned it.

  2. I wasn’t able to watch the video something about “my country” and “copyright.” Since that just piqued my interest cause I’m nosy I bought it on iTunes to hear it. I wonder if that’s some clever marketing scheme for nosy people, lol.

    I know nothing about how games are developed but I sometimes wonder how much the people who are gone influenced it, like Pardo and Ghostcrawler. I often wonder whether WoD would have been different.

    Oh, and I’m glad I bought it!

    • Oh my gods! That is terrible, I thought region-locking was history on Youtube. Sigh.
      I am glad you liked the early-90’s Australian rock, though! Now I will worry about wasting your money if I don’t include quality songs…>_>

      Have you tried the Darkmoon Faire racing yet, or do you have to wait until this coming week? Let us know your thoughts on it!

  3. I think blizzard has halfway given up, FFXIV on the other-hand is just getting started !

  4. I also hadn’t heard about this until this article. FFXIV didn’t make it a secret that this was in the works – even a year or so ago we first heard hints that the Gold Saucer was coming out. I don’t know if it’s really a case of WoW trying to imitate the competition, but it sure does seem interesting that they patched a racing game in about the same time as the Saucer rolled out.

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