In the beginning, when Blizzard created the original World of Warcraft, we were all immersed in a new fantasy world of stunning graphics, adventurous gameplay, friendly in-game social networking, and an easy to use intuitive interface.
But after a couple years, everyone seemed to be running around wearing the same high-end armor and there was not much left to do. There was a need for new content. Blizzard then created World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. This first expansion opened up new lands, quests, dungeons, adventures, races, flying mounts, and allowed players to become even stronger by leveling higher.
Still, the need for more content continued and the second expansion, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King was released.
Like a drug, players wanted to become stronger and to experience epic battles through dungeons and in player vs player combat.
But, was World of Warcraft losing its roots? Have things become too easy? Many veteran players who have played for years believe the expansions catered to the beginners and amateur players. It's much easier to take down a boss.. and who would have thought the Lich King would be that easy? Casual players these days don't have to work too hard to get what hardcore players sought after.
Yes, Cataclysm will end up changing all the lands and what we know of the physical Vanilla WoW, but there have been rumors Blizzard will turn up the difficulty to the level it was before.
Of course Blizzard has acknowledged that 40 man raids will no longer exist, and they also:
- already lowered the level which you can have a mount to 20 instead of 40
- lowered the amount of gold to buy an epic mount by about 80% (remember when it took weeks or months of farming a couple hundred gold for?)
- its much easier to make gold now
- easier to obtain pvp gear - it used to be incredibly difficult
- they added more graveyards and flight paths - saves a lot of time
- etc. the list goes on and on.
It was not uncommon to see a Vanilla WoW player who reached level 60 go months still wearing green and blue armor. Epic gear made you feel accomplished and so was downing raid bosses with 40 other players by your side in Vanilla WoW... and all for just a few pieces of epic gear that was given to a select few who were in the raid. There was a huge sense of camaraderie. Now you see almost everyone running around wearing purple. It's not exactly special or noteworthy anymore.
If the rumors are true that Blizzard will make things a little more difficult, I think it's the right approach. If anything, Cataclysm will open the game up to new/casual players as well as giving hardcore players a reason to keep playing.
Besides, what fun would it be if everyone easily achieved their full potential in WoWarcraft? I, for one, think it would be boring.