Why I'm Choosing To Cancel My Subscription

General
So, first off let me just say that I've been playing this game - on and off, but mostly on - since about midway through the Vanilla WoW days. I remember it was just after the release Battlegrounds, and my friends at the time were making a big deal out of the new PVP content, and showing me the recently added Zul'Gurub raid.
But before anyone accuses me of just wanting the game to be like it was 'back in my day' and telling me I should just play classic; I want to point out that I have no nostalgia for that game. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight I think it was honestly one of the worst games I've ever played. I'm happy that the people who want that experience will soon be able to get it officially and supported by Blizzard, but I'll personally never touch WoW Classic.

So yeah, I've been playing WoW for a long time, never at an amazingly high level but I got raids done; and even when I wasn't actively raiding, it was always at the back of my mind. My driving goal has always been 'I want to raid with people I enjoy playing with, and get the best gear I can.'
And I'd be lying if I said I stayed subbed religiously for all that time. I've let my sub lapse before, for all the usual reasons. Friends stopped playing, wasn't playing enough to justify it, just didn't have the money etc.
But this time is different. This is the first time I've ever actively chosen to unsub because of the game itself.

So, why? Why now, in this particular expansion? I could go over all the same stuff that others here on the forums bring up - not to mention many YouTubers, Streamers and other pundits - like the awful loot system, Azerite traits, endless treadmill-like grind; but I want to bring up the issues that are specific to ME. Especially because a lot of these are things the Dev team seems to be proud of or bring up as 'good' points, which frustrates me.

And maybe I am in the minority, maybe every post in this thread will be people saying how my complaints are dumb. But if even just a few people agree with me, I'll know that I'm not the only one who feels ostracised by an out-of-touch dev team.
Oh, and I'm choosing to post this on the forums because for some reason you no longer seem to get the 'why are you cancelling?' form whenever you unsub. Not that I think anyone ever looks at those anyway. So, let's begin.

1. Flying

Oh yes, this old chestnut. But first a little context: I capped my first ever level 60 about a month before TBC. I remember the hype around Flying Mounts, and I remember how it felt to finally get 70 and be rewarded with that shiny flying beast. And that's what it was, a reward. It was 'Congratulations, you finished the first part of your journey, have this awesome thing.'

But ever since WoD, there's been no reward. Flying now feels like the thing the dev team begrudgingly gives you back once they feel an arbitrary number of days have passed. And they always spout out the same old tired lines: 'We want you to enjoy the world,' 'We created all these lovely places and people just fly over them,' 'We regret adding flying because it took away from the feeling of exploration.'

And sure, all of that was true when WoW was new and different. One of the first truely MASSIVE MMOs. But come on, in modern terms it's not even that big a game world anymore, and it's certainly not graphically impressive enough to make anyone stand up and take notice. Unique and memorable sure - and I've always loved Blizzard's art style - but in a world of Witchers, GTAs, Fallouts and even other MMOs like Final Fantasy 14, it's a pretty mediocre-looking game.

No, I'm going to be cynical for a moment and say what I think: that the dev team is just scared that people will be 'done' with the game too quickly if they just allow flying as soon as you reach the level cap.I would posit that the opposite is true: I know I'd certainly be MORE inclined to do every single World Quest every day if I could actually fly to them and do them quickly, instead of having to schedule my whole day around them. Also come on, some of those mounts I paid real money for, let me use them properly darn it.

And sure, you can regret making it part of the game but it doesn't change the fact that it IS now part of the game. And the game still has to be designed with Flying in mind, so why not just let people use it?

But anyway, this leads nicely into my next point.

2. World Quests

World Quests are awful. Not the idea of world quests - FF14 has its Fates, Destiny has Public Events, Rift has... well, rifts - but the difference between all of those games and WoW is those are EVENTS; things that cycle around every 10-20 minutes and give a fairly constant stream of rewards and actually feel like participating in something.

World Quests just feel like a daily checklist. 'Go here, do that, click the thing, dispense arbitrary reward, rinse & repeat.' It's the old Daily Quest hub except someone sneezed the quest markers all over the map. And it's boring as heck. As I mentioned above, flying could help with that. It'd still be boring but at least you could finish quicker. At least, that was the case for me in Legion.

More interesting quests would also be nice. I still remember my Wrath dailies - as annoying as they were - because they involved things like harpooning dragons and manning artillery cannons and freaking jousting. Or maybe just go back to those quest hubs again, because they actually allowed for a tailored experience and themed quests.

3. Mythics and Mythic+

So, this is gonna be a little personal but it's needed for context. I suffer from depression & anxiety, and take medication just so I can function on a day-to-day basis. I didn't have it when I first started WoW and back then I was much more outgoing, looking for guilds, participating in chat etc. These days I sometimes feel the need to ALT+F4 just because someone invited me to a group.

Of course, I expect the first question from most people would be 'Then why play a social game that's full of people,' and the answer's simple: BECAUSE it's full of people. I like to feel like there are people around me, even if they're just virtual avatars on a screen; and an on-line environment is relatively safe, if I get overwhelmed I can just stop.

And I used to feel quite happy bouncing in and out of LFD and LFR and laughing with my friends about that one idiot that pulled the boss from across the room or whatever. But something changed when Mythic dungeons were added. Suddenly I couldn't just hop in a queue, I had to do the one thing that caused my anxiety to spiral out of control: actively seek out people and talk to them.

And suddenly the on-line environment wasn't 'safe' anymore, everyone was judging you, judging your gear etc. And worse: it felt necessary. It felt like it was something you HAD to do if you wanted the best gear, even more so in BFA.

Don't get me wrong, I love that Mythic exists. I loved doing the old BC Heroics back in the day with my Kara group, and it feels like a continuation of that. But it also feels like a gating system specifically designed to keep people like me out. And yes, I am in a guild, and yes I could do Mythic runs with them; however, my anxiety issues often mean that I can't even start talking to people unless I already know them fairly well, and most of my friends already have their own Mythic+ groups that they run every week.

I feel like there's no reason Mythic 0 couldn't be queued for. These days it's so easy even undergeared groups can blast through it in no time. And if I had to level a serious complaint at Mythic+ it would be the nature of the endless gear upgrades from it. Mythic+ felt like it was supposed to replace the old Challenge system - if that's the case why give gear at all? Why not give prestige rewards like mounts, pets, unique transmogs, titles etc.?

4. The Stat Squish & Level Matching

This is a minor one and just something I'm throwing in for completeness's sake; but I like feeling overpowered at the end of a game. It feels like I've actually progressed and accomplished something. But with the recent stat squish combined with enemies always being matched to your level, that's literally impossible. Even after massive gear upgrades the difference is imperceptible. I recently picked up Destiny 2 and boosted a character and one of the first things I noticed was how quickly the level 50 guys in Public Events were slaughtering everything. Which naturally made me go 'Damn I can't wait till that's me.'

In WoW when I see a max level player fighting my first thought is 'Oh he'll probably need a hand cos of the stupid scaling system.'

My point is, being max level used to mean something. And seeing a max level player should invoke a sense of awe in a newbie or lower-geared player. These days it's more like pity because they're gonna have an even harder time killing basic mobs.

5. The Lack Of Developer Interaction

And now we reach 'the big one,' the primary reason for my disinterest in the game and lack of desire to keep playing.

In the past it always felt like whenever I started losing interest or getting bored there would be a post or video or interview with someone from the dev team talking about the things that were frustrating players, or some big upcoming patch or presenting stuff in such a way that it felt exciting, felt like they were responding to feedback. Or Blizzcon would swing around and you'd have Chris Metzen prancing onto the stage like an excited kid about to show off his new toys.

But the current development team seems to do everything they can to avoid interacting with their players. And they seem literally incapable of admitting when they make mistakes. The flaws and problems with the Azerite system were highlighted during beta testing for BFA, and I remember a similar thing happening way back in the day with Path of the Titans; but instead of pushing on regardless, the dev team at the time admitted they couldn't figure out how to make the system work properly and just dropped it. This time it was like they felt they HAD to add another new system regardless of whether it worked properly or felt good to interact with, which just seems dumb.

Overall, the current dev team gives off an attitude of 'we know better than you, so just shut up and play;' regardless of whether that's their intention, regardless of whether they really feel that way - it's how it comes across when you never address concerns or feedback, literally ignore your beta testers, and when you do interact directly with your player-base, talk down to them or in some cases even indirectly insult them.

And while it's true that we as players don't know what the development team has to deal with, which systems they maybe can't fix or remove because they're now too integral to the game or what data they're looking at to inform their decisions; the fact remains that because there is almost zero transparency, people will just speculate and throw around conspiracy theories. Maybe if we knew some of those details, we could give more informed feedback other than 'This system is trash, get rid of it.'

As an example from the past again, I can remember the developers talking about things like backpack space and how it had been originally created in such a way that it couldn't easily be increased because the original dev team didn't consider that you'd ever need more than the default 16 slots.
Stuff like that makes us sympathize with what the development team has to deal with and the frustrations they feel when they literally can't implement changes because of problems with the game engine or a domino effect from interactions with other systems etc.

And yes, I know that Blizzard has addressed some of the current issues and are trying to respond more to feedback. Baby steps are important, but right now that's all they are - baby steps.

6. Azerite Gear, Titanforging and RNG

I left this to last because as I said above it's something plenty of others have already talked to death and I don't have anything new to add. Just to say that I agree with those who think these systems are awful and they factor into my leaving the game behind.

One thing I will touch on is the feeling of the Azerite system being a massive step backward from the Artifact System in Legion. We went from having literal weapons of myth and legend to... a crummy necklace that acts as a radio to a sparkly dwarf.

I feel like instead of just scrapping the artifact system, they could have tried to evolve it, refine it. What if at the start of BFA we get contacted by Magni and told we could recover the lost power of our weapons by infusing them with Azerite? What if we reforged them, made them stronger than before?
Sure, eventually you're still going to run into the problem of having to either remove or replace them, but it's better than just dropping the whole thing after just one expansion.

The same feels true of the Legendary system. By the end of Legion, many of the many issues - particularly as far as acquiring said legendaries - had been addressed and the system was in the perfect place to be further improved and refined. But instead the dev team just discarded it. And what we're left with is a broken, imbalanced mess that feels infuriating to interact with.

And as for Titanforging, well, I like to know what my 'goal' is as far as item level is concerned. Back in Wrath I was in a 10 man raiding guild. We didn't have the players for regular 25 man content and we could farm 10 man Normal and reliably get past Saurfang on Heroic. So I knew EXACTLY what the highest gear was I could get, and once my Rogue reached that point I was HAPPY. Ecstatic, even. I felt like I'd 'completed' the game on that character, at least completed what I was personally capable of doing.
But I didn't just stop playing, which seems to be Blizzard's main concern. Nope, I jumped on a Paladin cos my guild needed another healer and started gearing him, and I loved it!
Having no clear goal, no upper limit makes it impossible to judge your own progress. I'm not a Mythic raider but I can still TECHNICALLY acquire the same level of gear so that's what I should be doing, right? Even if I'm full 8/8 HC farming G'Huun like a pinata every week, my gear can still go higher, right? Start a new character? But that's impossible, this one isn't done yet!
It just creates a never-ending cycle.

So that's my 2 cents thrown on the pile. I'm not a professional game designer, so I tried to keep the whole 'this is what you should do to fix these problems' thing to a minimum. I just wanted to talk about my reasons for dropping my sub, that's all.
Ultimately, I'm not a YouTuber, or streamer or anything like that. I'm a customer. A customer who's dissatisfied with this product and will no longer support it.
Bye.
Sorry You feel this way, I hope you come back soon, I’m sure taking a break will do ou some good, seems to help me when I’m frustrated at a lot of things.

Good luck on what ever you decide to do!
right choice even its it is the hard one man :) just know you are not alone , my sub runs out in less than 1 hour :) ..

there is lots of us who are unsubbing which will return if they improve the game for the player not for themselves.

rejoice in the fact you are not alone in this decision and that it is the right decision.

all the best man :)
I'm sure they'll invite you back to try it again for free for a number of days in the future and you can see if anything has improved :)

All the best in your gaming adventures.
Well said. You put in words exactly how I feel.
Can I have your gold then ?
25/10/2018 15:06Posted by Hínáta
Bye.


You're a dick bro.
When i started reading i thought, omg another 'I am leaving' post' but when i actually read the whole think i felt every single bit you talked about.

Well said mate!
Great post OP i like the part about WQ and flying.
You take care and have fun and maybe see you again one day.

25/10/2018 15:19Posted by Fencho
Can I have your gold then ?


Words i can not use on the forum stop me from saying what i think of players like you.
When and where are you giving your stuff away? People always forget to put the only important piece of information in these posts.
I think you have made the right decision by unsubbing for now with what you describe and current game situation. Sorry to hear you feel that way and wish you to find a safe place on another game until they fix this mess (if they ever manage to).
Well every story have a beginning and an End ..
delete doesn't work
OP: Spot on. I read it all and concur.
1. Flying

I finally got my Legion Pathfinder (part 2) completed tonight, allowing me to fly, and for the first time in a very long time I started to actually have some fun in the game, I was zipping around on the Broken Shore, killing rares, doing WQ's, that kinda thing, I even quickly logged my 109 DH to get him to 110 so he can fly as well.

I was having FUN, at long last last, I even considered maybe buying BFA!!, which I haven't done yet. (I quit Legion fairly early on, during the Legendary debacle)

Then, I made a mistake...

I went to Argus,

Bad idea, very bad, turns out you can't FCUKING FLY IN ARGUS.

And I stopped having fun yet again, hit my stone back to Dally, got the hell outa there fast, and quickly reconsidered my BFA purchase, lol, Blizzard really do know how to suck all the fun out of a game...

Anyway, I'm just really sick and tired of all this no fly, fly, no fly, fly, Pathfinder nonsense, It's utter FCUKING CR@P
I'd appreciate a TLDR for each point because I'm not so much into novels and I want to reply, thanks.
Judging from point 3 maybe this is for the best and you should spend time gained from quitting the game on working on yourself

Flying is fine tho, beat the world before you can fly in it. Patch #.2 of an expansion feels too late to get it tho but I can get it not being available at #.1
I agree with most of your points.

Specially about scaling. I really like the RPG curvewhere you get stronger as you progress. Would be cool if there was a toggle for it in lower level zones, so those who want to play with their lower lvl friends can just turn scaling on, and those who want all the glory of proper RPG curving can just leave it off.

I prefer the design of the world quests in Legion. Specially The Kirin Tor ones. Those are really fun. The Tortollan world quets are !@#$ in comparisson. The Kirin Tor ones actually require some thinking and more memorizing. Also, I really wish they would remove the "a (%^-*ing) turtle made it to the water". Made me go on a turtle genocide run a few times.

Azurite armour just kill any sense RPG feel for getting new gear in end game for me, so right now I'm leveling alts without heritage, so I can get the excitement of getting new gear, without being bombarded by RNG.

Depression and anxiety is really tough !@#$. I hope you are getting the appropriate treatment for it, and I hope you get well soon.

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