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WoW Dev Outlines The Challenges of Catering to a Diverse Community

| 9 May 2016 20:06
legion 11

World of Warcraft is a massive game made up of dozens of "minority" players, which makes it really hard to cater to all of them.

"Why would Blizzard do this? Can't they see that everyone hates it?" If you head over to the official World of Warcraft forums, you will find this is a fairly common sentiment. The latest such post regards to an "absurdly" high gold cost on new cosmetic items introduced in the game's upcoming Legion expansion. However, rather than just brush over the issue, Blizzard poster "Watcher" has offered up an explanation of why so many fans feel that their complaints fall on deaf ears. In short, there are a lot of different types of World of Warcraft players, and its almost impossible to cater to all of them at once.

"Almost every facet of WoW is an activity that caters to a minority of the playerbase. That may sound odd at first blush, but it's true. In a sense, that's part of the magic of WoW. It is not a narrow game, but rather one that can be enjoyed in numerous different ways, by people with hugely diverse playstyles," he explained. "A minority of players raid. A minority of players participate in PvP. A tiny minority touch Mythic raiding. A tiny minority of players do rated PvP. A minority of players have several max-level alts. A minority of players do pet battles, roleplay, list things for sale on the auction house, do Challenge Mode dungeons, and the list goes on."

He said that these groups of minorities tend to clump together, and only really associate with the other players in their minority. Hardcore raiders, for example, aren't too likely to converse with hardcore PvPers, and a casual guild of friends is unlikely to talk with either group. Because of this, players get into the mindset that "everyone" hates/loves something, when in reality it is just within their "minority".

"If we have some special reward (be it a unique mount, a powerful item, a title, etc.) and we choose to associate it with a particular playstyle, almost by definition a majority of player feedback will be against that decision. For example, if an awesome mount comes exclusively from PvP, the majority of players who don't participate in PvP yet desire the mount would prefer that it were otherwise."

It's a really interesting read if you've got the time.

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