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So, two good friends of mine decided they want to go back and give WoW another whirl, especially in anticipation of Cataclysm coming out (which, I'll admit does look rather nice). Talking with them about it, it occurred to me that it'd be fun to play to with friends again, and lo and behold there was a free "come back and see what we've been up to" 7 day trial awaiting me. Perfect! It turns out my friends can't come back yet due to an unexpected rl situation that has their funds rather tied up (hand surgery, casts, time out of work w/out pay and high hospital bills...hooray!), so I figure "well, let me give the game a look and I can just resub at the end if it's looking good.
Well, I have to thank Blizzard for the free 7 days, really, because they saved me money that would have led to nothing but profuse face-palming.
Seems that since last time I played, Blizzard has done the seemingly impossible and made playing WoW, particularly questing in this case, even more brain-dead, by adding a built-in quest tracker that shows you exactly where you have to go for each quest, exactly where the spots are where you have to kill mobs... etc. etc.
I mean... seriously? How much hand-holding to people really need? Are people becoming *that* lazy? Well.. that's a rhetorical question, I guess.
I looked for a way to disable all that but nothing I found seemed to work. I'd really rather just, you know, play the game and figure things out on my own withou being shown exactly where I need to go. Seems Blizzard's determined to make sure they leave out all sense of exploration or "figuring it out for myself"... heaven forbid I have to use any critical thinking skills in their game.
... relevant detour...
I mean, I had gotten a great indication of this during the 'outcry' about the Mankirk's Wife quest some time back. A large group of players responded to that quest with a chorus of, "What? We have to read and pay attention to the quest dialog to get an idea of where we have to go? BLASPHEMY!! You effed this one up, Blizzard!!".
I remember it being a joke of how much Blizzard "botched" that quest. Turns out, when I came around to doing it... it was freaking *easy*. Right in the quest text it says they were attacked on the Southern Golden Road... HINT ALERT! HINT ALERT!
Seemed to me that might just be the place to start looking... so I did. Lo and behold... found Mankirk's wife's lifeless body a mere 10 minutes after starting the quest from Crossroads. Yeah... Blizzard *really* botched that up by expecting players to - gasp - use elementary school reading skills to complete it.
It's not like I'm some brainiac with a PHD in Everything. I used basic common sense and about 20 seconds of effort to actually read the quest dialog. Apparently that's just far too much to ask for some. So in no way is this about me patting myself on the back for being "super intelligent". It's more about how damn lazy so many others are.
... end relevant detour ...
Anyway... back to my point.
So... at this point, it seems to me the only step left to take for Blizzard is to implement an "Autoplay" function, where you queue up the quests you want to do, hit "go" and your character will automatically go to each spot, complete each objective - fighting and all - and go back to turn the quests in... While you watch, like it's some kind of TV show where you're merely a passive spectator rather than an active participant.
Not sure that would work, though.. It might offend some people's frail sensitivities that they have to do "all that clicking" to queue up the quests they need to do. For them, Blizzard could just implement a checkbox that says "Complete All Active Quests" and, bingo. They've got potentially hours of passive entertainment where they don't need to do a thing. I get the impression that would be heaven for some.
Seriously, though... how much more brain-dead can Blizzard possibly make this game?
Anyways... again, I realize the game obviously still applies to millions so, yes, no one needs to remind me. It just astounds me that there are those who think being led by the nose to such a degree, so all they're doing is going through the motions is "fun". My sister, sadly, is one of them. I was talking to her about it last night and she was all "Oh isn't that awesome!! Now I know exactly where to go and dont' have to spend all that time running around with no idea what to do. That annoys the hell out of me". When I told her the quest dialog tells you what to do, she says "Yeah, but I don't bother reading all that". So... there you go...
Then again... perhaps it's a reason why people are becoming more and more bored with the so-called "casual MMO"... and don't even realize it.