According to Blizzard, yes, World of Warcraft lost its way sometime after the launch of Cataclysm in 2010. With the recent release of update 5.2, the developers hope to get back on track with the MMO. To do this, Blizzard’s Greg Street says that they’ve made some design decisions that really impact the way that the game is played, and should appeal to veteran player nostalgia.
In an interview with IGN, Street explains how the company lost it’s way.
“We’d lost our way a little bit,” said Street. “We had some really epic quests and we’ve told some great stories, but the second-to-second combat out in the field wasn’t interesting…So we made an effort with the launch of Pandaria and we redoubled it with this most recent patch to make a lot of cool stuff for players to do out in the world. We still have great dungeons and other instance content, but we also just have fun things to do out in the world with your friends.”
Apparently this initiative is an attempt to reel in players that Blizzard might have lost over the last couple of years. Street says “It’s great to give those players a reason to come back and try it again, and appealing to their nostalgia is a good way of doing that.”
The Thunder King update is currently live.