It's been over four months since patch 9.1 hit WoW's live servers and drew players in rows to the new area of Korthia and the new raid, the Sanctum of Domination. After the slow start, the motivation of many players was high at the time and so the new area in particular was heavily frequented. You could see many players returning in the guilds and there was plenty to do.
Four months later, the picture is completely different. Korthia and the required grind have left their mark. Some gave up in frustration, others were simply done at some point, and with that, there was no reason to travel to the East of the Maw anymore. The Sanctum raid has also become largely stale. The bosses in it aren't bad, but they aren't highlights that you look forward to week after week. The great boredom moved into WoW. But then, yes, finally patch 9.1.5 was announced, which should make everything good again. What happened, however, could have been imagined beforehand.
Instead of bringing back motivation to the players, 9.1.5 killed any ambition to play. The simplifications for twinks and stragglers, the simplifications in Korthia and the many quality-of-life adjustments are all good and necessary, but they just seem like a slap in the face. For many players, the same is probably true as for the writer of these lines: Hardly anyone is currently benefiting from all the changes.
All the things that have now been simplified so much, many players have already done for a long time. The past weeks were not blessed with a lot of new content, so many players have already leveled up their twinks and equipped them. They have already completely exhausted Korthia and repeatedly played through all the Pact campaigns.
So for them, patch 9.1.5 brings de facto zero content in any way. Instead, they're shown, "Hey, if you hadn't played your favorite game in the past few months, we'd have totally awesome stuff for you here!" - so you're punished rather than rewarded for being loyal to WoW (buy now €14.99 ). That doesn't feel good. The Sanctum of Domination is not a bad raid, but it's not an outstanding one either. Source: Blizzard
In addition, patch 9.1.5 reminds us that patch 9.2 will still be a few months away. After weeks and months without any special new content, we know that the wait will continue for many more months. No wonder that not only in our guilds players are going on a WoW break in rows. The consequence of this? Raids are cancelled, M+ groups break up and the motivation to continue playing decreases visibly among the remaining players. I'm pretty sure, even though I don't have any concrete numbers of course, that this isn't just the case in my filter bubble.
So WoW Patch 9.1.5 has done exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do - at least in my world.
In the form of Legion Time Migration, both the Mage Tower and Mythic Plus Dungeon from the popular expansion return. Well, what can you say about that. The content is limited to two weeks and it's just ... not new content. What we get is a dusted off version of a challenge that many of us did extensively years ago with various characters. Thanks to the restrictions on pact abilities, Legendarys and the like, nothing changes - no new gameplay, no new feel.
And the M+ dungeons? They might actually be fun for some people. But not for me. For one thing, I already played them extremely extensively in Legion. The system was new back then and was a lot of fun. For another, the dungeons are rather lame compared to the following ones in my eyes. You could tell that Blizzard developed the dungeons first and then the Mythic Plus system. And again, we're talking about two! weeks of content for the rest of the patch.
How to solve this problem in the future, the developers have been racking their brains for a long time. Smaller, more frequent patches would be an approach that we hear more often and that could work. What does it help me that patch 9.1 is the most extensive patch for many, many years (O-Ton of the developers), if you have to wait many months afterwards?
Maybe the WoW of today is just not the game you can and should play every day for months and years. Times change - and with them the players and games. If you play less often, the content stays fresh longer. However, WoW is very competitive, even in PvE. If I don't play for three weeks, then in case of doubt not only my raid spot is gone, but I won't be taken into dungeon or PvP groups anymore because of a missing XY-fantasy-something rating. Doesn't have to be that way, of course, but happens to many players anyway. And at this point, I'm not even pulling the popular 13€ joker.
Despite all the negativity, however, the flame for WoW continues to blaze in me - and in very many other players in my filter bubble as well. So while I see black for the rest of patch 9.1.5, I don't see black for the rest of the expansion or even new expansions. All it takes is a little tinder on the fire and the flame will burn brightly again. That could be a cool new system in the upcoming patch or a new raid full of awesome bosses.
Or they directly announce a new expansion - with long-awaited features such as the removal of faction boundaries or a reasonable housing. That would be less tinder and more a bucket of gasoline for my fire. WoW will live a long time and my motivation will come and go for a long time.
How about you - has patch 9.1.5 also dealt you a blow, or have the tweaks been able to increase your motivation for Shadowlands?Support buffed - it will only take a minute. Thank you!
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