I’ve been playing 6 years since launch and honestly have done it all…end game pvp, end game 40 man, 25, 10, social, solo, raid lead, guild lead, just one of the hombres….etc etc. Honestly…nothing has changed about the game itself. The player base hasn’t changed in its pool either. You still have any and all of the following (Profile, description, named achievement that they will in fact have completed)….
- What can I do to help – the give everything un-selfish players, love vanity pets – Lil game hunter
- All your loot are belong to us – the loot whores who want any and every piece they can possibly equip (aside: why does it seem those are always DKs or Hunters?!) – Greedy & Needy as well as any and all looting achievements completed.
- Raiding is serious business – players who yell and scream when someone makes one mistake, no matter how minor or understandable – Highest achievement score in the raid.
- Captain Awesomesauce – these guys are the best at whatever it is they are doing at that moment, no one is better than them, just ask them. Battlemaster.
- Just happy to be here – never has gotten this far in this raid before, “I’m just happy to be here! *SQUEE*” – Remarkably have never defeated Flame Leviathan
- Can’t we all just get along – the peacemakers who don’t want anyone to argue – Exalted reps at 40+
- HURRY UP ALREADY – the pull faster, less talk, forget a bio, use a cup players – These players will always have the “Leeeroy Jenkins” achievement
- BRB! One sec – The take a break every other pull for 10 min at a time – It’s happy hour somewhere
- Drama!!!! – the drama queens, “Why is that person bringing an alt, I want to bring an alt too!” – Mountain O’ Mounts
So what has changed? The player expectation…and changed A LOT!
The overwhelming majority of the player base has a “Fast Food” mentality. They think WoW is a fast-foodMMO. Blame it on the Wrath babies? perhaps…but I saw this in BC too. That was when it changed…Vanilla to BC. I have had people rage over not being included on a boss fight when they want an item that is in the loot list. My response is, “Everyone wants something on the list…and I am not making up the roster based on the off-chance YOUR item might drop.”
They don’t understand the Vanilla raiding days of 40 people, 3-4 drops (maybe 5 or 6 on certain bosses – but not all tier gear either!!!). They didn’t have to spend 4-5 days a week in MC and BWL for 6-7 months and NEVER get their item, not because it didn’t drop (though that was sometimes the case) but because there were 4-5 other people in line for it too. So whether you did open rolls, suicide kings, dkp, whatever…you just seemed to miss out each time.
That was the big change IMO. Honestly, I think Blizz does a great job of trying to appease the primary player base – which is of course 10 man casual raiding/pvping. Paragon, Vodka, and the like can claim they are at the front of the plane in 1st class, sure. But the majority of the seats are filled with coach class passengers, and they really cover the cost of the flight.
I also think the issue you are seeing is guild cannibalization. People swap and leave because they think they can find better, or think they can do better! Guild stalled at Maloriak? Well, the main tank isn’t going to blame himself and his inability to kite the adds, it’s all YOUR fault – I’m out! Can’t handle Chimearon? The healing core is not going to blame themselves….they’ll gquit and go elsewhere and say it was your fault for not bandaging during feud! When folks feel you as the GM or RL aren’t doing it right, they assume they can do better.
And maybe they can, maybe they can’t. I don’t know. What I do know is that 40 man days saw far more patience and understanding of the player base. Everyone was still a little green, and had very low expectations. The reward was the game play, not the loot you got. BC began the change to seeing higher and higher standards of tangible rewards – i.e. LOOT! Wrath just made it worse with the wonky loot/tier system implemented. Cata brought the raid difficulty and commitment back similar to Vanilla for sure; but kept the loot/reward system more like Wrath. That’s a bad combo in my book.
We as a player base need to adjust our expectations. Not just in the game, but of one another.