Undoubtedly to address concerns from many that ActiBlizz have in the past been remiss over helping players, the second part to completing Pathfinder before 7.2 was published on Thursday. Having read it, my first thought was pretty much exactly this exchange found in the comments:
However, this does make a potent point. This is the first time I can remember where the default response from the company is not the reply that I’d here people lament when they spoke to a GM in game. Most of the time, you couldn’t ever get this kind of precision answer because, according to those in charge, it would ruin game play. Like it or not, for a long time, this was considered cheating. Not any more, it would seem, and this Glasnost between debveloper and fan sites is extending well beyond the Official Website. There’s Boss guides and Lore videos in the Launcher, too. All of a sudden, you can’t go anywhere without falling over something helpful, and you’ll never need to leave the Company’s own portal to consume them.
Those people who feel that the Company still fails to listen to either criticism or to learn from historical mistakes should take note of this major sea change. This is a huge step forward, and sees the website becoming less advertising medium and more helpful portal. This is in no small way as a result of those who suggested that too much work was being done by third parties, and that there should be more responsibility taken when the game’s content continues not to simplify, but become far more sophisticated. Sure, we have less buttons to press, and fewer things to remember when gearing, but the technical complexity of the casual side of game play is now such that without this data freely available, the Company really is disadvantaging its own player base.
I can certainly attest that completing the exploration portion of this achievement (done without co-ordinates /flex) was the most trying it has been for some time. Highmountain particularly has some pretty inaccessible spots, and getting there proved an exercise first in frustration, but then pleasure. The part of my brain that refuses to make this simpler only does so because that’s how I enjoy this game the most, when it is not spoon fed to me via a Guide. However, it is inevitable that a group of older players will find the effort of exploration too much hassle and would far rather type a set of co-ordinates into TomTom instead. If you don’t enjoy the journey and just want the destination? This gives everybody the choice. That, undoubtedly, is what will retain players or assist those returning after absence, and in the end, that’s what will matter more than any measure of independent endeavour.
I hope that this form of Guide is just the start of more useful information being archived and accessible on the Warcraft site.