World of Warcraft needs a complete, Realm Reborn-style reset in the style of rival MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, one of its top Twitch streamers says. Zack, best known as ‘Asmongold,’ has been one of the most famous faces in the WoW scene for many years, but says that the amount of bloat and complexity in modern World of Warcraft is off-putting to veterans such as himself as well as potential new players.
“With WoW, I’ve kinda just been taking a break,” the longtime YouTuber and Twitch streamer says, “and it’s not like I hate WoW – I don’t want anybody thinking I hate WoW.” However, he says he hasn’t really felt much reason to play it of late. He points to several potential issues, including the sheer volume of stuff that players have obtained over the years, and an increase in the complexity of fight mechanics.
It’s certainly true that modern boss fights can feel like an ongoing arms race between people making the best WoW addons to help you follow and solve mechanics, and the game’s designers attempting to make something that existing tools aren’t able to automatically parse. This has led to situations where players can end up with literally dozens of buffs or debuffs applied to their characters at once.
“Here – what the f**k is going on,” Asmon says, highlighting a player’s status icons during a modern-day WoW battle. He pulls up a shot of Classic WoW to compare, showing just a single icon. “What’s he got on him? Frostbolt? That’s it.” It’s an extreme example, but it makes a stark point. He moves back over to the modern fight, exclaiming, “Twelve debuffs on one person – and this is a clean UI! This is the problem with the f**king game, right here.”
“I think that, for me, what really caused me to stop focusing on it a lot – I feel like the game is too complex, and the complexity of the game is exhausting.” Asmon continues, “You can’t even understand what is happening in the game and it’s just exhausting to play. It’s not that I can’t play it, it’s that it’s just tiresome.”
His solution, then? “I think they need to reset the game – just completely reset the game, Realm Reborn this s**t,” referring to how FFXIV shut down its 1.0 version and came back with a completely new game and a fresh start. That obviously proved very successful for the Square Enix MMO, but it was a dramatic move – and perhaps an even more necessary one, given the overwhelmingly negative reception to its original effort.
That sounds extreme, but Asmon is insistent that a full reset, while it might be painful, is Blizzard’s best chance to truly breathe new life into Azeroth. “Delete everybody’s mounts, their pets, their transmogs their toys – delete everything,” he says, “Get rid of a game that’s had 15 years of FOMO [fear of missing out] that people don’t want to get into because they haven’t been playing it for 15 years.” He does suggest that players could be given a Garrison that they could keep all their old stuff in, but that it shouldn’t be present in the new-look version of the game.
Of course, saying, “Just make the game from scratch” is a lot easier than the process of actually doing that – remember that Blizzard did at one point intend to build a new MMO, codenamed Titan, before it was officially canceled in 2014. The assets created for that project were instead gathered up, and used to build a completely different game – Overwatch.
We also, of course, got WoW Classic – another attempt to ‘recapture the magic’ – although it itself suffers from all those years of built-up knowledge among the players. So there’s no question that Blizzard has been thinking long and hard about what to do with its iconic, lumbering behemoth. Perhaps one day they’ll find an answer.
In closing, a member of Asmongold’s Twitch chat asks of his fresh-start idea, “Would you trust them [Blizzard] to not f**k that up?” His answer is simple: “How could they f**k it up more than what they’ve already done?”
If you’re not yet done with World of Warcraft, take a look at our WoW Dragonflight tier list to see which classes are looking strongest right now. You’ll also want to make sure you don’t miss out on all the WoW Trading Post rewards for July.