A Skip Button for Boss Fights

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CritialGaming:

altnameJag:

There's always been hard games, and there's always been easy games, and it's not a coincidence that video games only reached saturation and became a multi-billion dollar industry after the quarter-eater mentality disappeared. The best selling games in the world, of all time, aren't about "overcoming obstacles", they're puzzle games anyone can play. Simulators of wacky everyday life. Simulators of a Quentin Tarantino crime movie.

Funny you say this but according to business insider the top 11 money making games of all time include several MMO's where people gather together to take on challenging bosses and play with their friends. Casual experiences do make a shit load of money, not denying that, but they aren't the top shit in video gaming history.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-11-top-grossing-video-games-of-all-time-2015-8/#4-world-of-warcraft-pc-2004--85-billion-8[

Yeah, why didn't I include arcade games and free to play MMOs and adjust earnings for inflation based on wikia reports when I'm talking about the highest selling games? Never mind that Tetris, as a series, has sold almost half a Billion copies, followed by Minecraft, then WiiSports, Grand Theft Auto 5, and Super Mario Brothers. https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2016/07/08/here-are-the-five-best-selling-video-games-of-all-time/#3206f39c5926

I mean, shit, you want to count arcade games? Most of the top grossing arcade games can't be beaten. A "skip level" button would just end up leading to a higher difficulty level. Which people would frequently use, by the way.

CritialGaming:

Xprimentyl:

So the temptation of a skip function would add a layer of CHALLENGE for seasoned gamers? I'd say that's ironic, but I shouldn't have to. Also in the vein of irony: a skip function is somehow over-accommodating making every game for everybody which they aren't, therefore devs shouldn't implement it to accommodate me... oh wait, is that my argument coming full circle to bit me in the ass?

I have a feeling there are some people in here who throw fits when a steakhouse has vegan options on the menu: "It's a steakhouse! You eat cow or you don't eat!"

No it isn't adding Challenge to seasoned gamers. It's adding a cheap way out. A temptation to say, "fuck it" and missing out on the experience of playing the game in the first place.

I'm sorry, the seduction of seasoned gamers is NOT an argument; that's just a silly cop out, hence my post. I don't blame the mistress alone if the affair she's engaged in breaks ups the man's happy home; they're each culpable for their own decisions, good, bad or indifferent.

And instead of going to unrealistic extremes and saying that the option to skip could run rampant and prey upon the weak wills of hardcore gamers (boo-effin'-hoo) and issue in a new era of defeatists and quitters, let's be realistic: no one (let alone everyone) is going to spend money on games just to skip them. Gamers buy games; we're not stupid; if we buy a game, we're going to play it. At the end of the day, whether or not I skipped O&S and enjoyed myself playing Dark Souls has no bearing on Joe OverThere who was stuck on O&S for 4 days and popped a boner when he finally "fun-challenged" himself through them. If I deny myself that sense of accomplishment, that's on me.

CritialGaming:
Now nobody seems to pay attention to this, but I've said over and over again that a cheat code is fine. A God-Mode is fine, because even with a guaranteed "win" the player still has to go through the motions, they still have to see the content, they still have to experience the game.

God-Mode is basically skipping, except you get to see it all happen, so you don't rob anyone of actual gameplay experience. (although if challenge is part of the experience you rob them of that, but it's less of an effect as a skip would provide).

As for God Mode and Cheat code alternatives you're ok with (as am I,) if someone really just wants to see the story or faff about in late areas of the game (i.e.: enjoy their purchase in a way of their choosing,) how are you or anyone else validated by them being forced to essentially do busy work? Should I be forced to engage in conversation at a bar because bars are generally social gathering places? Can I not take my drink to the pool table and shoot a game by myself? By the way, pool is supposed to be a two player game; should have to find someone else to play with me because that's how it's meant to be played? Is my wanting to be alone affecting the social butterfly over there who's talking to anyone who'll listen? Point is, if I pay the same for my drink and game of pool as everyone else, how I choose to enjoy them is up to ME, not an arbitrary standard set by "the norm." And the skip option is not "robbing" anyone of anything; that implies a deliberate, malicious intent when it's a choice an individual would make for themselves; if they miss out on something, so be it; their loss.

CritialGaming:
Then if you wanna use the argument of not putting a skip function in every game, then what determines which games or games types DO get the skip button and which ones don't?

Dark Souls gets a skip, does Mario Kart? If a race is too hard, should players be able to press a button and get the trophy?

Not what, WHO; the devs can make that determination on a game by game, IP by IP basis. The point is how you or anyone else chooses to enjoy your entertainment should not set an exclusionary standard for everyone. It's not that the option to skip is accommodating to making every game for everybody, it ALLOWS every game to be for everybody; is that a bad thing? Is it bad the erttheking's friend is enjoying Dark Souls even though he may be doing the heavy lifting? Is it bad she's enjoying Dark Souls in a way other than you or anyone else? It's entertainment; no one willing to support the industry with their purchase should have leveled at them a static rule on how to enjoy their purchase.

CritialGaming:
What about a skip in an MMO? Say the group can't beat one of the bosses in a dungeon...should they be able to skip it and try the next boss? I mean, does skipping a boss affect anyone outside that group? What about rewards for skipping? Does the treasure at the end still appear?

Where do the limitations go in? At what point do you say that skipping isn't acceptable? What purpose does skipping a boss or a piece of content serve in the first place? How does it enrich the experience for the "skipper"?

Say you skip in a single player RPG because you don't want to fight or can't beat a boss? Does skipping provide any experience, or special loot from the boss? What if a hard boss provides a key to a secret dungeon with more bosses? If I skip that boss do I still get the key? What about the rest of the bosses? What about the loot that often lies in chests around a dungeon or after a hard enemy, if I can skip does that affect the loot lying around? If so, then surely you can see the implications of having to do that extra programming right?

It's easy to say just provide a skip button, but it's a lot harder to put down ground rules for it.

I said in an early post that I didn't believe skipping should apply to the multiplayer games; those are truly tests of skill and buffs for weaker players would make the game a moot point. Though ranking systems are often used to ensure similarly skilled people are matched for a fair fight; that's the most I think newer players can ask for, that or play in private matches where they can set their own parameters with friends. I also said that I believed skipping should have a soft price, achievements/trophies don't unlock, additional/bonus/non-narrative critical content remains locked, etc. The idea being if someone is willing to skip, they likely don't expect much more than progression of the story and likely aren't questioning why they're not getting... I'm sorry... DESERVING of the "extra" stuff. There are any number of ways this could be handled most of which I imagine would not require a drastic restructuring of the game at the genetic level as you're positing.

And of course, not every game is going to lend itself to skipping, so if you want to suggest myriad hypothetical games/instances for which skipping wouldn't work, I can but agree with you; conversely, if I muster up a similar number of hypotheticals wherein skipping would work, could I expect the same in return?

At the end of the day, no side of this "debate" is gaining any ground save for what's collecting in the treads of our shoes as we dig in our heels. No one's mind is changing, but I think we can agree the reality ultimately is going to be somewhere in the middle: not all games will get skip features and those that do will not be mountains of ruin threatening the ideals of purity, honor and nobility that have come to define the gaming industry...

Xprimentyl:

As for God Mode and Cheat code alternatives you?re ok with (as am I,) if someone really just wants to see the story or faff about in late areas of the game (i.e.: enjoy their purchase in a way of their choosing,) how are you or anyone else validated by them being forced to essentially do busy work? Should I be forced to engage in conversation at a bar because bars are generally social gathering places? Can I not take my drink to the pool table and shoot a game by myself? By the way, pool is supposed to be a two player game; should have to find someone else to play with me because that?s how it?s meant to be played? Is my wanting to be alone affecting the social butterfly over there who?s talking to anyone who?ll listen? Point is, if I pay the same for my drink and game of pool as everyone else, how I choose to enjoy them is up to ME, not an arbitrary standard set by ?the norm.? And the skip option is not ?robbing? anyone of anything; that implies a deliberate, malicious intent when it?s a choice an individual would make for themselves; if they miss out on something, so be it; their loss.

Buy a game of pool and then try throwing the balls into the holes physically and see if anyone let's you "enjoy" the game however you want.

I am all for a person playing a video game however they want. So long as they are PLAYING. Skipping is not playing the game. If you don't wanna deal with the "busy-work" i.e. playing the game. Then go watch a youtube video, why spend you money to not play a game that is meant to be played?

The God Mode cheats still at least require the playing interaction with the media, despite loosing all challenge.

Xprimentyl:
Not what, WHO; the devs can make that determination on a game by game, IP by IP basis. The point is how you or anyone else chooses to enjoy your entertainment should not set an exclusionary standard for everyone. It?s not that the option to skip is accommodating to making every game for everybody, it ALLOWS every game to be for everybody; is that a bad thing? Is it bad the erttheking?s friend is enjoying Dark Souls even though he may be doing the heavy lifting? Is it bad she?s enjoying Dark Souls in a way other than you or anyone else? It?s entertainment; no one willing to support the industry with their purchase should have leveled at them a static rule on how to enjoy their purchase.

Does anyone really buy a game to skip through it? How does a skip somehow make a difficult game for "everybody"? It doesn't it just means that anybody can press a button to not play. That's the point that you, err, or anybody else on this thread fail to counter. SKIPPING IS NOT PLAYING! If you pay to PLAY and then choose to NOT play, then why did you waste your money? Because you are not enjoying something you are not experiencing.

It's like saying, "I've never had ice cream, but I really like Ice cream."

Xprimentyl:

I said in an early post that I didn?t believe skipping should apply to the multiplayer games; those are truly tests of skill and buffs for weaker players would make the game a moot point. Though ranking systems are often used to ensure similarly skilled people are matched for a fair fight; that?s the most I think newer players can ask for, that or play in private matches where they can set their own parameters with friends. I also said that I believed skipping should have a soft price, achievements/trophies don?t unlock, additional/bonus/non-narrative critical content remains locked, etc. The idea being if someone is willing to skip, they likely don?t expect much more than progression of the story and likely aren?t questioning why they?re not getting? I?m sorry? DESERVING of the ?extra? stuff. There are any number of ways this could be handled most of which I imagine would not require a drastic restructuring of the game at the genetic level as you?re positing.

And of course, not every game is going to lend itself to skipping, so if you want to suggest myriad hypothetical games/instances for which skipping wouldn?t work, I can but agree with you; conversely, if I muster up a similar number of hypotheticals wherein skipping would work, could I expect the same in return?

At the end of the day, no side of this ?debate? is gaining any ground save for what?s collecting in the treads of our shoes as we dig in our heels. No one?s mind is changing, but I think we can agree the reality ultimately is going to be somewhere in the middle: not all games will get skip features and those that do will not be mountains of ruin threatening the ideals of purity, honor and nobility that have come to define the gaming industry?

This is true, nobody is doing anything but digging heels into the dirt. However I wish that wasn't the case. I am more than willing to budge on any issue if someone provides a legitimate point, but so far nobody has done anything but say, "people should be able to enjoy things however they want." Which I've countered several times already and the moment someone can explain to me how not experiencing something is enjoying it, I'll be happy to budge and bow down to you.

Games are more serious and challenging than real life and you can't skip real life, so no skipping in games either.

altnameJag:
Weird, I remember dungeons getting harder in Cata, because raiders wanted more than tank-and-spank bosses, and I remember a lot of people leaving because Lich King ended the story set up in Warcraft 3. I know I dropped out in shortly after Mists because the story was busy crawling up it?s own ass, not because casual raids were a thing.

Did you even try that clusterfuck?

Raids did get harder in early Cataclysm. They were good. Then about a year into it, they introduced LFR in a patch. Most of my guild migrated over to the newly released SWTOR about that time. We gave it a go there, but many of us didn't like the SWTOR end-game, so we ended up disbanding.

I came back in Pandaria for a few months, and it was all about LFR. Large pug raids of mostly bad players or kids facerolling through trivialized easy content, all bickering and cussing at each other in raid chat. It was like Lord of the Flies. Awful. I tried to challenge/entertain myself by trying to finish highest on the damage meter, but after a month or two of that I parted ways with WoW for good.

LFR destroyed guilds and destroyed the community. It took away a lot of the incentive to organize, communicate, and coordinate together as a team. Everyone could just log on at their whim, jump into a queue, and faceroll to phat loot. And it was the same loot that you got in the real raids, minus a few stat points. The raiding guilds used to compete with each other for boss kills and were ranked on each server, but it just wasn't the same when everyone was killing all of the bosses in LFR daily upon release. And in LFR, stats didn't matter. Skill didn't matter. It was just going through the motions. Auto-win.

I never thought WoW had much in the way of good story. Warcraft 3 had one of the best stories in the history of video games, IMO. But WoW just took all of the characters from the WC3 story and made them into raid bosses, and milked that for as long as it could. There were a few cool stories here and there, but most of the rest of it was just fetch quests with some fluff. MMO's are a terrible format for story. Stories have a beginning and an end. MMO's don't end, they repeat.

Xprimentyl:
At the end of the day, no side of this ?debate? is gaining any ground save for what?s collecting in the treads of our shoes as we dig in our heels. No one?s mind is changing, but I think we can agree the reality ultimately is going to be somewhere in the middle: not all games will get skip features and those that do will not be mountains of ruin threatening the ideals of purity, honor and nobility that have come to define the gaming industry?

This I think we can all generally agree with. Hopefully the "somewhere in the middle" is much closer to my side of the debate. :)

Besides, this all originated from a click bait article. I haven't seen any evidence that devs have any plans whatsoever to start implementing this function at all, let alone it becoming the new norm. And it is entirely in the devs hands because despite what some people think they are entitled to, none of us own these games. We buy a license to play them in accordance with their terms and conditions. Their rules. And if they don't want to put a skip function in their game then all the wannabe skippers are just going to have to uh, you know... git gud or gtfo. It's their game.

Sure, as long as you can disable it at the start of the run (and can't turn it on mid-run).

Wintermute:
Games are more serious and challenging than real life and you can't skip real life, so no skipping in games either.

I don't know how I feel about this.

lacktheknack:

Wintermute:
Games are more serious and challenging than real life and you can't skip real life, so no skipping in games either.

I don't know how I feel about this.

I wasn't being serious. I'm not a "pro gamer" and I'd probably say fuck it and use a button like that after a while. I'm just glad game devs are leading this revolution, because I'm tired of being unable to skip movies, books, songs, etc.

CritialGaming:

Xprimentyl:

SNIP

Buy a game of pool and then try throwing the balls into the holes physically and see if anyone let's you "enjoy" the game however you want.

Ah, see, my throwing the pool palls WOULD affect others (i.e.: damaging a table I don't own, balls bouncing and hitting someone else, etc.,) so my analogy still stands, but I'll run with your counter: if I BOUGHT a pool table and chose to throw the balls around in my own home, then yes, the American Poolplayers Association may not agree, but it's mine to enjoy as I so choose.

CritialGaming:
I am all for a person playing a video game however they want. So long as they are PLAYING. Skipping is not playing the game. If you don't wanna deal with the "busy-work" i.e. playing the game. Then go watch a youtube video, why spend you money to not play a game that is meant to be played?

The God Mode cheats still at least require the playing interaction with the media, despite loosing all challenge.

Like so many internetz debates, this one may devolved into one far from the issue and into a battle for rightness and semantics. I said how anyone chooses to ENJOY THEIR ENTERTAINMENT; "playing" is implied, yes, but there's enough room for a distinction and differentiation. Even so, because you've this deep conviction they're not "playing" by skipping a tough bit, can you not still feel that way and the option to skip still exist? Again, how are you validated knowing that everyone is "playing" their games? If I buy a game disc and use it as a coaster, does that mean the physical version of the medium shouldn't exists in lieu of digital so games can ONLY be played? I appreciate you're a purist, but preferring everyone else be denied a harmless option because it doesn't align with your ideal seems unnecessarily rigid.

CritialGaming:

Xprimentyl:
SNAP

Does anyone really buy a game to skip through it? How does a skip somehow make a difficult game for "everybody"? It doesn't it just means that anybody can press a button to not play. That's the point that you, err, or anybody else on this thread fail to counter. SKIPPING IS NOT PLAYING! If you pay to PLAY and then choose to NOT play, then why did you waste your money? Because you are not enjoying something you are not experiencing.

It's like saying, "I've never had ice cream, but I really like Ice cream."

Again, semantics, but ok, "skipping" is not "playing," there; you're acorrect. However it IS using the medium one purchases as one so chooses to get their version of enjoyment out of it. And like I said, the idea that skipping would become a cancer and pervade all of gaming is a thousand miles from the nearest border of far-fetched. The vast majority of the games I own have some form of difficulty option, and the only one I've ever played on Easy was Dragon Age: Origins because fuck that game. A skip function would be the same way, there for those desperate/casual enough to use it and all but ignored by everyone else. "Why did [they] waste [their] money?" Not your money and, by extension, not your problem. My girlfriend bought tickets for her and a girlfriend of hers for a country music concert; I hate country music, but it was HER money; I don't feel country music should be banned from the music industry; I'll play my music while she's gone and we'll BOTH enjoy ourselves; see how that works? And your ice cream analogy is again exaggerated and reaching. Let's assume the person who chooses to skip a tough bit had to "play" long enough to get to said tough bit; let's further assume that they'll resume playing after skipping said tough bit; I don't think it's fair to say "they never [played.]" Did they miss a portion of the game, of course, but does that discount their investment, their personal desire to continue on with the game or their enjoyment? No, sir.

How does including a skip option make a difficult game for "everyone"? It allows anyone who wants to try it the opportunity to do so as they see fit. It's an OPTION (I've type that word more times in the past two days than I have in my entire life.) going back to Dark Souls again, if the game was literally just a series of boss fights ala Mike Tyson's Punchout where you literally just went from one boxer to the next, then yes, a skip option would be inane. Fortunately, Dark Souls has a world rich with lore, secrets and lesser battles to be enjoyed stuffed in between its bosses; the bosses are just overpowered barriers, fun for some, frustrating for most, but not necessarily surmountable by all. A lot of people gave up (myself included up until last year) and never got to experience much of the game beyond the Undead Parish IF they got that far. I personally wouldn't take issue if someone wanted to skip O&S to get to the latter half of the game. Do they get the achievements, souls or item drops from the battles they skip? No, but they can experience new areas, they can probably beat later bosses who're aren't nearly as tough as O&S, etc. And who knows, maybe after a little bit of confidence seeing the world and beating other bosses, they might want to play AGAIN, this time grinding out O&S with their newfound experience; maybe they'll buy Dark Souls 2 and 3... No one on the "nay" side of this seems to want to considering the potential positive implications of appealing to a broader (if less skilled) audience. After all, skipping doesn't detract from the difficulty; it's still there for the purists and hardcore; those folks can still wear their scars as badges of honor for any willing to ogle them in slack-jawed awe; it just allows other a peek beyond brick walls so they don't have to feel their money and/or time was entirely wasted.

CritialGaming:

Xprimentyl:
SNOP

This is true, nobody is doing anything but digging heels into the dirt. However I wish that wasn't the case. I am more than willing to budge on any issue if someone provides a legitimate point, but so far nobody has done anything but say, "people should be able to enjoy things however they want." Which I've countered several times already and the moment someone can explain to me how not experiencing something is enjoying it, I'll be happy to budge and bow down to you.

I don't know what else to tell you other than this whole debate started out as a discussion over whether an option to skip bosses should exists assuming that option would affect no one and nothing save those who might want to exercise that option and since has just become a sounding board for everyone to list all the reasons THEY wouldn't use it, and those reasons are fine and valid; what I haven't heard a valid, objective argument for is why anyone else shouldn't.

And I'm not looking to be "bowed to," c'mon; if nothing I say sways you or anyone else in here, that's fine. I'm just going to state my point on the issue as I see it, and that's simply that more options are never a bad thing, that's why I'm big into polygamy. (Kidding.)

Kerg3927:
With WoW, there are certainly other factors involved, but on the graph below, you know what happened in Cataclysm, right about the same time that graph starts going downhill? LFR (Looking for Raid) was implemented, trivializing raid content, making it faceroll easy, accessible to everyone, everyone could get all the loot, no need to learn to play, just hop in a queue and go, faceroll to fat loots. And then what happened? Most of the raiding guilds disbanded and all the hardcore and hoping to become hardcore players left. The game's evangelists left.

Millions more got bored and left afterward, and now they return only for new expansions, to spend a few months facerolling through the new content before they leave again.

The casuals wanted the phat loots that the raiding guild members had. But once everyone was able to get it, the phat loot ceased to have any meaning. An Olympic gold medal doesn't mean much if everyone is able to get one for no effort. Turns out, it wasn't the loot that they really wanted. It was the community respect and prestige that it represented.

image

...You know they balance LFR separately to the rest of the raid difficulties, right? So much so that LFR isn't representative of the actual raid (well, ok, not with Cataclysm, but Dragon Soul was a shit raid to begin with)?

Like, most of the guild burn-out during MoP was the fact that everyone was stuck doing Siege of Orgrimmar for over a year, not anything to do with LFR. And WoD had much the same problem, people were stuck doing the same content for too long, and the content got a bit dis-jointed in that we were promised one thing (i.e. a raid-boss with Grom) and got another (MORE BLOODY DEMONS).

And then you factor in things with LFR like how it doesn't give you the Heroic Achievements, the Mount rewards, Titles, specific loot appearances (to the point that in WoD they were different models entirely, not just re-colours), Realm First, WORLD First, Ahead of The Curve Titles for beating the raid in Heroic or higher while it's still current content (so no out-gearing), Challenge-mode achievements that you can't do on LFR, and entirely new encounter mechanics for final bosses on Mythic Difficulty (or, for Throne of Thunder in MoP, an entirely new BOSS on Mythic Difficulty).

So, turns out there's still loads of community respect and prestige that you can earn in raids, through gear, titles and achievements. Maybe your Raid Guild just wasn't hard enough to go for 'em? Lord knows I've found no end of hardcore raiding guilds still plugging away at Heroic and Mythic modes. Maybe pin the tail on a different donkey before you start blaming 'The Casuals' for shit.

...also wasn't this all about single-player games anyway? Who gives a fuck about casuals in a single-player game? You'd have to be some kinda real elitist prick to have a go at someone for playing a game a certain way when it has literally zero impact on you, that's for sure.

Xprimentyl:

How does including a skip option make a difficult game for ?everyone?? It allows anyone who wants to try it the opportunity to do so as they see fit.

I would simply argue that they aren't trying if they skip. And usually games have a difficulty curve right? Meaning the later into the game you go the more challenging the game becomes. Of course there are games with random spikes in difficulty, but typically this isn't the case. That's why I really don't like the skipping notion.

I get to a hard bit, say fuck it and skip it right. Once a person uses the skip once, it becomes a lot easier to skip the next "challenge" you hit in the game. It's the same principal that F2P games use. Once a person makes that first purchase (regardless of how big) it suddenly becomes a lot easier for that person to continue to make purchases in that game. It's a model that literally sustains the mobile gaming market.

Again, God Mode cheats, or Very Easy Modes, are just fine. Because you establish the kind of experience you want to get out of the game by making the choice to use those modes. That's totally fine and totally cool.

I want to touch on your Dark Souls example. Last year Dark Souls 3 came out and I fucking HATED it. There is a thread I made about that game around here somewhere. Basically what my problem was, was how brutally unfair the regular monsters felt. It was a struggle getting through basic exploration sections of the game because how bad the normal mobs felt to me. Yet when it came to the bosses that I encountered....well I defeated every single boss I managed to get to in a single try. They were the lulls in difficulty, not the high that one normally expects. That meant that the MAJORITY of my DS3 experience was miserably hard, and I stopped playing.

Then a couple of weeks ago I was talking to my buddy and the subject of DS3 came up and how much he loved the game. I told him my problems, and we got together and decided to do a full Co-op run of the game so that I could complete the game. With his help, we mostly breezed through the game together without trouble, though a few bosses still killed us and required several attempts. Last night, we beat the game and it felt great. Sure I didn't earn the victory on my own, and effectively used a "cheat code" but it still felt satisfying to me. Especially since my friend died in the middle of the final boss, leaving me on my own to try and beat the guy with 75% of his HP left. he laughed at me as I screamed and panicked through the fight, but then cried out in victory as I managed to hit him with my final 10% of my own hp left and no healing remaining. I got through the climax by the skin of my teeth and my friend's help up to this point didn't matter because ultimately I had to finish the job. It was fucking perfect.

The point is, difficultly is subjective as hell. Those sections that are hard for some, are cake to others. Which begs the question as to where would the skips be? I'd rather boss rush DS3 then deal with the trash, but I'm surely not in the majority of that. How pissed should I be if the game let me skip the "easy" bosses, but not the stuff that actually gave me a problem? @errtheking said he hated Blight Town and would skip that, but if the game only lets you skip bosses, then the skip doesn't help him with his struggles in the muck does it? It provides him nothing, and instead it show a game catering to someone else's problem but not his. So what then? Tell him to suck it up and get gud? If that's the answer then why can't that same answer be given to the person who can't beat the boss?

That's why skips are a bad idea. Easy modes and cheat codes provide the same experience for everyone that uses them, it levels the field to hopefully provide as smooth and simple, but balanced experience as possible.

The only way to make games "accessable" is balance. A skip is not that. A skip is a cop-out and nothing more, and I believe it causes more problems than it solves.

Wrex Brogan:

...also wasn't this all about single-player games anyway? Who gives a fuck about casuals in a single-player game? You'd have to be some kinda real elitist prick to have a go at someone for playing a game a certain way when it has literally zero impact on you, that's for sure.

Hey man I beat Kaizo Mario without a single death by turning on autoplay.

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

...also wasn't this all about single-player games anyway? Who gives a fuck about casuals in a single-player game? You'd have to be some kinda real elitist prick to have a go at someone for playing a game a certain way when it has literally zero impact on you, that's for sure.

Hey man I beat Kaizo Mario without a single death by turning on autoplay.

Congratulations! Did you enjoy it?

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

...also wasn't this all about single-player games anyway? Who gives a fuck about casuals in a single-player game? You'd have to be some kinda real elitist prick to have a go at someone for playing a game a certain way when it has literally zero impact on you, that's for sure.

Hey man I beat Kaizo Mario without a single death by turning on autoplay.

And take an estimate on who actually cares about that.

Wrex Brogan:

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

...also wasn't this all about single-player games anyway? Who gives a fuck about casuals in a single-player game? You'd have to be some kinda real elitist prick to have a go at someone for playing a game a certain way when it has literally zero impact on you, that's for sure.

Hey man I beat Kaizo Mario without a single death by turning on autoplay.

Congratulations! Did you enjoy it?

See post #191 above for the answer to your original point.

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

CritialGaming:

Hey man I beat Kaizo Mario without a single death by turning on autoplay.

Congratulations! Did you enjoy it?

See post #191 above for the answer to your original point.

...but did you enjoy it?

Wrex Brogan:

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

Congratulations! Did you enjoy it?

See post #191 above for the answer to your original point.

...but did you enjoy it?

Lol i didn't actually do that. So no I didn't enjoy it. I was trying to make a point.....nevermind.

Xprimentyl:
... going back to Dark Souls again...

The PC game is called Dark Souls: Prepare to Die. FromSoftware built the entire Soulsborne brand and freakin' game genre around being difficult and not having an easy mode. Suggesting that Dark Souls add a skip option is - to borrow someone else's earlier analogy - like suggesting that a steakhouse quit serving steak. Or a liquor store quit selling liquor. They'd be doing a complete 180 in design philosophy, and have to change their slogan to You Don't Have to Prepare to Die Anymore Because You Can Just Hit the Skip Button. Doesn't have the same ring to it.

I'd like to think that, if this horrible idea ever does gain traction within the industry, FromSoftware will be the very last developer to implement it.

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

CritialGaming:

See post #191 above for the answer to your original point.

...but did you enjoy it?

Lol i didn't actually do that. So no I didn't enjoy it. I was trying to make a point.....nevermind.

He was making a point too. The point being that if someone brags about beating a game via skipping it (fat chance) he doesn't care.

Kerg3927:

altnameJag:
Weird, I remember dungeons getting harder in Cata, because raiders wanted more than tank-and-spank bosses, and I remember a lot of people leaving because Lich King ended the story set up in Warcraft 3. I know I dropped out in shortly after Mists because the story was busy crawling up it?s own ass, not because casual raids were a thing.

Did you even try that clusterfuck?

Raids did get harder in early Cataclysm. They were good. Then about a year into it, they introduced LFR in a patch. Most of my guild migrated over to the newly released SWTOR about that time. We gave it a go there, but many of us didn't like the SWTOR end-game, so we ended up disbanding.

I came back in Pandaria for a few months, and it was all about LFR. Large pug raids of mostly bad players or kids facerolling through trivialized easy content, all bickering and cussing at each other in raid chat. It was like Lord of the Flies. Awful. I tried to challenge/entertain myself by trying to finish highest on the damage meter, but after a month or two of that I parted ways with WoW for good.

LFR destroyed guilds and destroyed the community. It took away a lot of the incentive to organize, communicate, and coordinate together as a team. Everyone could just log on at their whim, jump into a queue, and faceroll to phat loot. And it was the same loot that you got in the real raids, minus a few stat points. The raiding guilds used to compete with each other for boss kills and were ranked on each server, but it just wasn't the same when everyone was killing all of the bosses in LFR daily upon release. And in LFR, stats didn't matter. Skill didn't matter. It was just going through the motions. Auto-win.

Dude, c'mon. You can't say "LFR killed raid guilds" when your guild left before it had established itself. Did your guild come back at the same time you did? Did you look for an actual raiding guild?

You didn't have to use LFR, right? My old guildies only did when we were short a dude or two.

Kerg3927:

Xprimentyl:
... going back to Dark Souls again...

The PC game is called Dark Souls: Prepare to Die. FromSoftware built the entire Soulsborne brand and freakin' game genre around being difficult and not having an easy mode. Suggesting that Dark Souls add a skip option is - to borrow someone else's earlier analogy - like suggesting that a steakhouse quit serving steak. Or a liquor store quit selling liquor. They'd be doing a complete 180 in design philosophy, and have to change their slogan to You Don't Have to Prepare to Die Anymore Because You Can Just Hit the Skip Button. Doesn't have the same ring to it.

I'd like to think that, if this horrible idea ever does gain traction within the industry, FromSoftware will be the very last developer to implement it.

The whole "Prepare to Die" thing is mostly the result of the frankly weird marketing Dark Souls gets, seemingly born from the reputation it got in the community. But I'd argue that neither the marketing nor that reputation are actually representative of Dark Souls. The games always had plenty of ways to make them easier, summoning being chief among them, alongside certain builds, playstyles and items.

Point is, the brand built around Dark Souls isn't representative of Dark Souls. The game is mainly inaccessible because it explains itself poorly, it's even somewhat forgiving once you understand it. The game is absolutely not built around being difficult.

altnameJag:

Kerg3927:

altnameJag:
Weird, I remember dungeons getting harder in Cata, because raiders wanted more than tank-and-spank bosses, and I remember a lot of people leaving because Lich King ended the story set up in Warcraft 3. I know I dropped out in shortly after Mists because the story was busy crawling up it?s own ass, not because casual raids were a thing.

Did you even try that clusterfuck?

Raids did get harder in early Cataclysm. They were good. Then about a year into it, they introduced LFR in a patch. Most of my guild migrated over to the newly released SWTOR about that time. We gave it a go there, but many of us didn't like the SWTOR end-game, so we ended up disbanding.

I came back in Pandaria for a few months, and it was all about LFR. Large pug raids of mostly bad players or kids facerolling through trivialized easy content, all bickering and cussing at each other in raid chat. It was like Lord of the Flies. Awful. I tried to challenge/entertain myself by trying to finish highest on the damage meter, but after a month or two of that I parted ways with WoW for good.

LFR destroyed guilds and destroyed the community. It took away a lot of the incentive to organize, communicate, and coordinate together as a team. Everyone could just log on at their whim, jump into a queue, and faceroll to phat loot. And it was the same loot that you got in the real raids, minus a few stat points. The raiding guilds used to compete with each other for boss kills and were ranked on each server, but it just wasn't the same when everyone was killing all of the bosses in LFR daily upon release. And in LFR, stats didn't matter. Skill didn't matter. It was just going through the motions. Auto-win.

Dude, c?mon. You can?t say ?LFR killed raid guilds? when your guild left before it had established itself. Did your guild come back at the same time you did? Did you look for an actual raiding guild?

You didn?t have to use LFR, right? My old guildies only did when we were short a dude or two.

Well don't take my word for it...

The blame, it seems, lies with the introduction of Looking For Raid. It doesn't matter who you ask, if they've been playing WoW for a long time they'll all agree that the game was at its 'best' before the release of Cataclysm - and most will point to LFR as the cause for its decline.

Fellow YouTuber Zybak used be a dedicated WoW-er, but his interest waned to such a point that now he's quit completely. "I would say the lack of meaningful stuff to do," states Zybak as his reason for quitting, adding that, "I'm someone who hates LFR for multiple reasons, but part of a game is having something to reach for and with LFR everyone can kill the final boss - that kind of just kills it."

You've probably heard such a criticism of WoW before, but it's true: these days it is just far too easy, in all avenues of play. Zybak lists off a large number of elements that have been butchered by through oversimplification, stating features like dungeons, professions and even world content is almost entirely irrelevant these days either because of how little there is actually do with them or because they've all been taken over by the ease of LFR.

And it's not that there haven't been promising additions to the game either; Warlords brought with it compelling levelling with an interesting (and well-presented) story, and even the raids have been very well received. But the lack of extra things to tackle once you hit that level 100 mark is a detriment, while everyone quietly sits in their garrisons farming herbs they don't need and sending followers off on missions simply for something to do.

So therein lies the biggest problem: by making the game too easy Blizzard seem to have done away with the nostalgia-soaked 'good old days'. "If Blizzard are wanting to create content for lowest common denominator," says Az, "they always have to create the content for that denominator. So whether they're doing dungeons or raid zones, or bringing new areas into the game it - by their own justification - has to be doable by the worst of the worst players."

"It is too easy," he adds. "Call me old-fashioned, but I personally think that challenge is something that keeps me coming back to something because I know I do have something to work towards."

What's Killing World of Warcraft? (PCGamesN article)

Back in vanilla and Burning Crusade, at the PEAK of WoW popularity... people were complaining about exclusive content in raids that were too difficult and/or required too much guild teamwork and coordination for the majority of the server to see. WoW listened, and if the intent was for business reasons, it obviously didn't work. It's simply not a coincidence, IMO, that subscriptions have nosedived ever since.

What made raiding so epic pre-LFR was the feeling that you were seeing something that not many were able to see. Walking into a new raid area after beating a boss that barred progression was like opening King Tut's Tomb. It was like, holy shit! We fucking did it! We REALLY fucking did it! And the gear was unique, and when you walked into Orgrimmar, everyone knew... that guy... he fucking did it! And many people were driven to log on every day by the hopes that one day they, too, if they put in the effort, would get into a raiding guild and earn a spot and be able to experience that, too.

Sorry, but if everyone is able to open King Tut's Tomb and take the gold, with no effort put forth, then both the experience and the gold become worthless. You can call that elitist, but it's simply fact.

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

CritialGaming:

See post #191 above for the answer to your original point.

...but did you enjoy it?

Lol i didn't actually do that. So no I didn't enjoy it. I was trying to make a point.....nevermind.

...a point about how appealing to an audience with niche achievements only functions to create social credit when those niche achievements are a shared interest and goal of the audience? 'Cause, I mean, personally, I've never heard of Kaizo Mario, but I've never been one for platformers anyway. Maybe your point would've been better demonstrated within a more niche audience, to elicit the responses you desired?

All I care about is people enjoying their games. 'You do You', as they say.

erttheking:

He was making a point too. The point being that if someone brags about beating a game via skipping it (fat chance) he doesn't care.

To be fair, I thought that came across rather explicitly, but thanks for spelling it out, just in case.

Jesus, how weak-willed do you need to be to find some kind of skip feature as a "temptation" rather than completely irrelevant if you don't want it?

More Duke!

Wrex Brogan:

CritialGaming:

Wrex Brogan:

...but did you enjoy it?

Lol i didn't actually do that. So no I didn't enjoy it. I was trying to make a point.....nevermind.

...a point about how appealing to an audience with niche achievements only functions to create social credit when those niche achievements are a shared interest and goal of the audience? 'Cause, I mean, personally, I've never heard of Kaizo Mario, but I've never been one for platformers anyway. Maybe your point would've been better demonstrated within a more niche audience, to elicit the responses you desired?

All I care about is people enjoying their games. 'You do You', as they say.

erttheking:

He was making a point too. The point being that if someone brags about beating a game via skipping it (fat chance) he doesn't care.

To be fair, I thought that came across rather explicitly, but thanks for spelling it out, just in case.

From experience, there will always be people who fail to get irony or sarcasm. Some People thought A Modest Proposal was a good idea. Unironically

Kerg3927:
With WoW, there are certainly other factors involved, but on the graph below, you know what happened in Cataclysm, right about the same time that graph starts going downhill? LFR (Looking for Raid) was implemented, trivializing raid content, making it faceroll easy, accessible to everyone, everyone could get all the loot, no need to learn to play, just hop in a queue and go, faceroll to fat loots. And then what happened? Most of the raiding guilds disbanded and all the hardcore and hoping to become hardcore players left. The game's evangelists left.

Millions more got bored and left afterward, and now they return only for new expansions, to spend a few months facerolling through the new content before they leave again.

The casuals wanted the phat loots that the raiding guild members had. But once everyone was able to get it, the phat loot ceased to have any meaning. An Olympic gold medal doesn't mean much if everyone is able to get one for no effort. Turns out, it wasn't the loot that they really wanted. It was the community respect and prestige that it represented.

image

Logical fallacy, a huge one. Correlation does not imply causation.

If you try to show an specific cause, in this case, give a randomized sample of the about million subscribers more or less lost in the Cataclysm expansion. An article and talking to a couple of Youtube personalities is not a proof. You are impying a causaltion out of a correlation, one based on a graph with no actual numbers and no real proof. Ask the players. Maybe the 6 year time means those players where bored of the game, maybe they had financial difficulties (maybe having to buy a new expansion after a recession made some players think it wasn't the financial investment), maybe it is related to other changes and not LFR (for example going for Metacritic User reviews, http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/world-of-warcraft-cataclysm/user-reviews amore people site the levelling restructure than the LFR, for a dip in challenge, and many siting lore changes or burnout or simple unenjoyability anymore), maybe it is related to real life, mybe obsolete hardware, maybe moving out. UNless you can significantly can point a real study and not an interview, you have only some correlation (and a horrible graph that tells very little, as the axis are incorrectly labeled, without a correct scale in the x-axis and inconsistent amount of sampling points, like having almost no data between early 2009 and 2011 bwith three data points ut having six points between 2011 and 2012) and is no baiss to have a real conclussion.

kurokotetsu:

Kerg3927:
With WoW, there are certainly other factors involved, but on the graph below, you know what happened in Cataclysm, right about the same time that graph starts going downhill? LFR (Looking for Raid) was implemented, trivializing raid content, making it faceroll easy, accessible to everyone, everyone could get all the loot, no need to learn to play, just hop in a queue and go, faceroll to fat loots. And then what happened? Most of the raiding guilds disbanded and all the hardcore and hoping to become hardcore players left. The game's evangelists left.

Millions more got bored and left afterward, and now they return only for new expansions, to spend a few months facerolling through the new content before they leave again.

The casuals wanted the phat loots that the raiding guild members had. But once everyone was able to get it, the phat loot ceased to have any meaning. An Olympic gold medal doesn't mean much if everyone is able to get one for no effort. Turns out, it wasn't the loot that they really wanted. It was the community respect and prestige that it represented.

image

Logical fallacy, a huge one. Correlation does not imply causation.

If you try to show an specific cause, in this case, give a randomized sample of the about million subscribers more or less lost in the Cataclysm expansion. An article and talking to a couple of Youtube personalities is not a proof. You are impying a causaltion out of a correlation, one based on a graph with no actual numbers and no real proof. Ask the players. Maybe the 6 year time means those players where bored of the game, maybe they had financial difficulties (maybe having to buy a new expansion after a recession made some players think it wasn't the financial investment), maybe it is related to other changes and not LFR (for example going for Metacritic User reviews, http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/world-of-warcraft-cataclysm/user-reviews amore people site the levelling restructure than the LFR, for a dip in challenge, and many siting lore changes or burnout or simple unenjoyability anymore), maybe it is related to real life, mybe obsolete hardware, maybe moving out. UNless you can significantly can point a real study and not an interview, you have only some correlation (and a horrible graph that tells very little, as the axis are incorrectly labeled, without a correct scale in the x-axis and inconsistent amount of sampling points, like having almost no data between early 2009 and 2011 bwith three data points ut having six points between 2011 and 2012) and is no baiss to have a real conclussion.

I'm not trying to prove a theorem and win the Field's Medal. I said in the first sentence that "there are certainly other factors involved." Some people indicated that it is a poor/stupid business model to produce game content that the majority of the subscriber base won't be able to experience upon release. I disagree, and offered some evidence to support my opinion. No more, no less.

Kerg3927:

snip

I'm not trying to prove a theorem and win the Field's Medal. I said in the first sentence that "there are certainly other factors involved." Some people indicated that it is a poor/stupid business model to produce game content that the majority of the subscriber base won't be able to experience upon release. I disagree, and offered some evidence to support my opinion. No more, no less.

No ome is asking you to proof a theorem (which is pure deductive reasoning and nothing to do with statistic inherently) or much less do something for a freaking Field's Medal (which basic statistics would be far from a result) but you brought math to the table so be prepared to defend it. Beacuae if you want to claim it is evidence, then it has to be robust enough to defy basic scrutiny.

First, the quality of data. As mentioned before the seemingly random nature of the points where data is taken makes it hard to decern a real pattern for movement in player base as it severely reduces our resolution of data for almost two years.

Second, correlation vs. causation. You at most shiw a correlation between Cataclysm and the decline in subscribers, which you do mot do at any moment of time. That is why I provided mutliple other interpretations (and can probably find even qierder correlations if I wanted to)

Third, actual cause. While you try to shield with it "amongst other factors" the meat of the post and your argument is that a specific feature in the expansion caused the decline. As such first you have to proof point 2 and then show that the LFR feature is the main motivator for that decrease and not other thing in the expansion, as I also provided above.

If you want to bring "evidence" be ready to defend it. Beacuse I am not asking for a study here, but that it isn't ao flimsy it falls under the most basic scrutiny. This is no evidence and just a logical fallacy. You made the bed by quoting numbers and math, now you have to lay on it.

Edit: Hell I am not even disagreing with the point (which I do) I disagreing with the "evidence".

kurokotetsu:
... you brought math to the table so be prepared to defend it.

No, I didn't. The only information one needs to draw from that graph is more subscribers then, less now. A lot less. And if you don't think that graph is good enough evidence of that, then google it. There are countless other graphs and articles out there talking about the decline in WoW subscriptions. It's fact.

And that's enough to get you to correlation. Maybe not enough for you, but I don't care. I'm not going to jump through hoops to obtain your approval and meet your arbitrary threshold of statistical proof.

As far as causation, it is my opinion that LFR was part of the cause of the decline, and I didn't offer any math or data to back that up. I didn't intend to. It's my opinion based upon playing WoW 40 hours a week, every week, for 7 years, most of that as a GM organizing and running a raiding guild. I knew hundreds of raiders over that time, and the topic of the WoW raiding environment was often discussed. Most of them were not a fan of LFR. I also provided that article, which is not the only source on the internet making a similar claim, which states...

It doesn't matter who you ask, if they've been playing WoW for a long time they'll all agree that the game was at its 'best' before the release of Cataclysm - and most will point to LFR as the cause for its decline.

And that's all the evidence I've got. Take it or leave it. I don't care. I'm headed to go see a Texas football game. Hook'em Horns!

Kerg3927:

kurokotetsu:
... you brought math to the table so be prepared to defend it.

No, I didn't. The only information one needs to draw from that graph is more subscribers then, less now. A lot less. And if you don't think that graph is good enough evidence of that, then google it. There are countless other graphs and articles out there talking about the decline in WoW subscriptions. It's fact.

And that's enough to get you to correlation. Maybe not enough for you, but I don't care. I'm not going to jump through hoops to obtain your approval and meet your arbitrary threshold of statistical proof.

As far as causation, it is my opinion that LFR was part of the cause of the decline, and I didn't offer any math or data to back that up. I didn't intend to. It's my opinion based upon playing WoW 40 hours a week, every week, for 7 years, most of that as a GM organizing and running a raiding guild. I knew hundreds of raiders over that time, and the topic of the WoW raiding environment was often discussed. Most of them were not a fan of LFR. I also provided that article, which is not the only source on the internet making a similar claim, which states...

It doesn't matter who you ask, if they've been playing WoW for a long time they'll all agree that the game was at its 'best' before the release of Cataclysm - and most will point to LFR as the cause for its decline.

And that's all the evidence I've got. Take it or leave it. I don't care. I'm headed to go see a Texas football game. Hook'em Horns!

You kind of did do more . Let me quote the post

[Quote][...]happened in Cataclysm, right about the same time that graph starts going downhill? LFR (Looking for Raid) was implemented,[...][/quote]

That sentance, which starts your post is clearly implying a causation of the LFR feature with the decline of players. If you wished to say there was a decline there is no need for that graph, as ypubsay it is quite common knowledge amd easy to optaim information that there are less players now, and then in a separate sentamce state your subjective hypothesis regarding your subjective experience of it being related to LFR, but how you talk about it, you brought the math.

You provided an article amd your personal experiemce, but after attempting to quote numbers and not doing it correctly I both doubt your experiemce (especially simce you say raiders for the people that ypu kmow which means your sample is deeply biased, aside from.beim purely recollection based and filtered through a number of possible cognitive biases) and the article that quote two people, possibly with similar bias to ypur own. I leave your evidence, as it is week an unsustainable.

And I didn't even set a correlation coefficient, so although ot is arbitrary it would be on you to show what coefficient you ised, why amd why this is high for that type of study . You quote numbers and I will treat your numbers as they deserve, it is that simple. Don't want to do it? Perfect. But don't be suprised you are called out om it.

Enjoy you Longhorns.

Kerg3927:

kurokotetsu:
... you brought math to the table so be prepared to defend it.

No, I didn't. The only information one needs to draw from that graph is more subscribers then, less now. A lot less. And if you don't think that graph is good enough evidence of that, then google it. There are countless other graphs and articles out there talking about the decline in WoW subscriptions. It's fact.

And that's enough to get you to correlation. Maybe not enough for you, but I don't care. I'm not going to jump through hoops to obtain your approval and meet your arbitrary threshold of statistical proof.

As far as causation, it is my opinion that LFR was part of the cause of the decline, and I didn't offer any math or data to back that up. I didn't intend to. It's my opinion based upon playing WoW 40 hours a week, every week, for 7 years, most of that as a GM organizing and running a raiding guild. I knew hundreds of raiders over that time, and the topic of the WoW raiding environment was often discussed. Most of them were not a fan of LFR. I also provided that article, which is not the only source on the internet making a similar claim, which states...

It doesn't matter who you ask, if they've been playing WoW for a long time they'll all agree that the game was at its 'best' before the release of Cataclysm - and most will point to LFR as the cause for its decline.

And that's all the evidence I've got. Take it or leave it. I don't care. I'm headed to go see a Texas football game. Hook'em Horns!

...Well that's just factually wrong. I thought WoW was at it's best during Mists of Pandaria, if we're going by 'it doesn't matter who you ask'. Well, ok, MoP was the best until we were stuck doing Siege for a year and a half, oh boy talk about burn out. But besides that, it was good.

And I mean, opinions are opinions, but if we're throwing out 'how long I've been raiding' then I've been raiding and part of raiding guilds for... oh, almost 13 years now. And LFR was hardly the issue for a lot of people - oh, sure, it caused a lot of people mad about their lack of E-Peen to bugger off since the raids were no longer 'prestigious' enough, but 6 years on there's still plenty of raiders pushing Heroic and Mythic difficulties, so the prestige is still there. And given LFR both a) is an entirely optional mode to queue for and b) gives you gear that is barely adequate enough for NORMAL raid difficulty... well, let's just say I'm of the mind that LFR, despite a few hiccups on the way, was actually one of the better implemented 'easy modes' in a game, despite it being an MMO. And if people bailed on WoW simply because of LFR, then... maybe they just weren't hard-core enough?

Now, the Dungeon Finder, on the other hand...

Xsjadoblayde:
More Duke!

This series gives me life.

Wrex Brogan:
...Well that's just factually wrong. I thought WoW was at it's best during Mists of Pandaria, if we're going by 'it doesn't matter who you ask'.

The graph in question is tracking subscriber numbers, indisputably subscriber numbers peaked at the end of BC to the middle of Wrath and have mostly (expac launch honeymoon periods aside) been in decline ever since. Blizz used to include sub numbers in their quarterly earnings report, a practice they stopped in November of 2015, so we have reliable numbers from launch to near the end of 2015.

It's not a matter of when the game was "best", it's a matter of sub numbers peaked at point X and started declining at point Y which correlates with when change Z occurred. As has been pointed out, correlation does not prove causation, and no one is really going to seriously argue that WoW's sub numbers declining can be laid at the foot of any one factor in isolation anyway.

That having been said, I think it rather silly to dismiss the directional and structural changes that occurred from BC to Wrath to Cata as, at the very least, a factor in that decline.

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