My 2 cents on the Ghostwolf Hotfix

It seems a lot of people are really upset about Blizzard making the ghostwolves in Dustwallow Marsh untameable. I’ve seen it called unfair, a “nerf” (though technically, I don’t think this qualifies if I understand the meaning), and there’s all kinds of complaining about how folks had meant to tame one and didn’t get around to it, and now they can’t. It apparently required some expensive resources to tame these beasts, and some had already invested quite a bit of cash to prepare to tame them but had not yet completed the preparations. Ok, fair enough being upset about that. It certainly would have been much nicer if Blizzard had said, “Tame those wolves now, because they’ll be untameable after Tuesday.” But, generally speaking…

I actually think it’s cool that these were tameable for a limited time only. Blizzard (possibly unintentionally) put a really nifty beast in the game that was challenging to tame, and a bunch of people figured out how to do it and posted their strategies, allowing more folks to do the same. Now that they’re no longer tameable, anyone who DID do it has a rare pet, a trophy from a limited availability pet taming challenge. They get to keep the wolves — there is no loss to them. And to those who never trained one, this is in some sense like missing a world event, like missing the opening of the gates of Ahn’Qiraj because you weren’t high enough level, but on a smaller scale. Sorry, you missed the existence of that small population of tameable ghostwolves in Dustwallow, and the rest that remain are too wild, untrainable.

I think it would be cool if Blizzard did more stuff like this, beasts that appear for a limited time to be tamed by hunters (or killed by griefers, I guess). They could even work in something about the migration of these beasts into the world lore/ecology. This would be progressive content. I hear players say all the time that it frustrates them that what they do in game doesn’t have any impact on the in game world. You go kill the guy and collect his head (or two heads, if you’re grouped with another player), and then he just respawns to have his head harvested by someone else. I understand that parts of the game must persist, or else how can everyone experience the game? But it surprises me that when Blizzard does introduce something like this with the promise of some progression or change, people complain about it. Again, if your bank account has suffered from this hotfix, fair enough. But, to the rest, we have been fairly warned that “game experience may change during online play.” I like it.

It is possible that having these ghostwolves tameable was completely unintentional, and that it was taken away because it was a mistake and causes some problem. Or, was this Blizzard dipping its toe into the water, seeing how players would response to such a change to the world around them (and a very minor one, at that)? Is the WoW playerbase ready for progressive content?

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One response

  1. Pingback: Mania’s Arcania » Ghost Wolf Removal Roundup

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