Blizzard is intent on reducing World of Warcraft entirely to a 10 man game.
Blizzard’s belief is that smaller group content caters to casuals and therefore makes their player base happy. This is a fundamental misunderstanding on Blizzard’s part. With the recent removal of 15 man rated Battlegrounds and the standardization of gear between 25 and 10 man raids there can be little doubt as to Blizzard’s focus on small group content.
The barrier has always been their grouping system. Not some visceral, antisocial hatred for playing with more than a handful of other players. The barrier has always been the way in which Blizzard forms groups. Blizzard seems to lack imagination and the willingness to innovate in this area. A Public Questing System is the solution.
Public Quests, such as those found in Warhammer, with open groups that automatically invite players, and those public quests now available in Rift have solved this problem. Allowing for large numbers of players to group for common objectives that keep players interested and rewarded equally for participation.
Blizzard should seriously consider these changes, as they represent a more inclusive, and ultimately more interactive way of introducing players to content. The five and ten man caps that are the basis of all current World of Warcraft content force guilds, like ours, to constantly tell guild members that they can not participate, even if they are well qualified to do so.
As a guild master I am tired of constantly telling people that they can’t come out to play with us. The nostalgia for Warhammer’s RvR lakes, where everyone could come out to play, and contribute in a meaningful way looms large in my mind. I had hoped that with Wintergrasp and Tol Barad Blizzard had seen the light and would move to integrate public quests and more world pvp objectives into their content. Sadly, it seems certain elements within Blizzard have forgotten the joys of Massive Multiplayer games. World of Warcraft seems more like Diablo with its 8 man instanced content, then a Massive Multiplayer Game.
Ruin Gaming has always been a Massive gaming community. Our emphasis on inclusive, large scale, group activities leaves us with few outlets in World of Warcraft. Tol Barad is one of the few areas in which we can gather the guild to engage in cooperative pvp.
Ruin will continue to remain on the lookout for games that will provide us with a more friendly environment to play together as a community. An environment that does not force a guild of thousands to divide up into hundreds of five man groups.