Editorial: MMO Expansions

Hey Lusidarians! As I am sure some of you know, the fourth expansion of World of Warcraft came out this week. Entitled Mists of Pandaria, the new expansion gives players a whole new land to discover and a completely new storyline from the master story tellers at Blizzard. This also adds Pokemon- I mean- “Pet Battling” to the game, which if you know Lusipurr at all he has been trying to catch, excuse me, COLLECT as many as possible.

Final Fantasy XI Absolute Virtue Screenshot
A MMO done WRONG!

I will not go over the finer points of the expansion, partly because I have not experienced it for myself yet and partly because you should know by now the major add-ons it has. What I will go over however are my thoughts on expansions. If any of you read the editorial I posted when I first started playing World of Warcraft you will know that I was an avid Final Fantasy XI player back short before Wings of the Goddess was released. When it was released, it was a physical release, meaning that I had to first find a place that was stocking the expansion and then second of all go to the store and get it. This was a problem seeing as only one store in my area was going to stock the game.

I remember having to go into the store and explain to the twenty something working the counter what Final Fantasy XI was and that I had pre ordered the game, and that yes, it was being stocked in the store and that no I am not “punking” him. I finally got my game soon after when the mail man came in with the new shipment of games. I had a completely different experience when it came to getting Mists of Pandaria, I woke up, went to battle.net, logged in, payed for the expansion, applied it to my account, and started playing. Took all of ten minutes and then I was playing Mists of Pandaria. It is that simple! Thank you Blizzard, thank you for being just the best company ever.

World of Warcraft Crafting Interface Screenshot
A MMO done RIGHT!

I am be behind the times when it comes to MMO’s and digital distribution but I highly doubt that anyone is doing it as right as Blizzard is. When was the last time activating an expansion was this easy? Thankfully, Blizzard had the foresight to do a massive update weeks before MoP came out. What other companies do the day of release Blizzard put into the game early and made sure that everything was workable so it made the day of release as smooth as possible for people who just wanted to jump in and experience Pandaria. You all remember the time when Square Enix updates went on for days at a time, and it took weeks to fix all the pervious fixes, was that shit not tested enough or something? With WoW everything seems to work and when it does not work Blizzard updates the game as fast as possible and the fixes usually do not take months to download. Hell the game sometimes updates when you are in game. What other MMO before WoW did that? No game!

I know I am a few years behind the curve with MMO’s, having not really played one since 2009 but why could Square not do something like this back in the day? Was it because we did not have the technology? Was it because we did not have better internet connections? Why Square, why did you make us all do nineteen hour updates? The Blizzard ones are not anything to marvel at, but at least we can play other games on our battle.net accounts, sometimes for FFXI we could not even play Tetramaster. Did anyone really play that shit when the game was not updating?

All in all Blizzard still proves that they want to keep putting the effort into making a quality MMO and that they are welling to put the connivence of the consumer before the connivence of the company. I feel like my money is worth it when I pay my subscription fee every couple of months. I feel that my money is going to a product that I will enjoy instead of a product that I have to fight with to find the smallest bit of accomplishment. Even with the most recent updates simplifying the game even more I feel that Blizzard is still knows what is best for the player base and still has their hand on the pulse of the MMO market and still be the dominant factor in the genre for years to come.

4 comments

  1. Seriously, *ALL* I want to do right now is catch pets and battle trainers. But, all I have time for is work, meetings, committees, and presentations.

    It is so unfair that academia leaves no time for anything else. :(

  2. “…sometimes for FFXI we could not even play Tetramaster.”

    Not being able to play Tetra Master is a blessing, really.

  3. I wanted to leave a witty comment here, but I was too busy playing Warcraft to think of one. Actually, what I doing posting a comment? I should be collecting some pets or tending my farm.

  4. As a person who played several years worth of FFXI that hasn’t logged in since January, I still have my trial month of Tetra Master, and I’m pretty sure they pulled the plug on it. I hate shitty minigames in (usually) JRPGs. I imagine the inappropriately named chat rooms on POL are still alive and kicking though.

    SE has since switched over to digital only for distribution in FFXI because it’s cheaper and they don’t care about the game anymore. I’ve heard FFXIV is playable now though, so whatever, I guess?

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