I find myself at a crossroad on the eve of this year wondering aloud, often times to friends in Skype, as to whether or not Mists will reaffirm my faith in Blizzard or not. I will admit that when I was first greeted with the news of Pandaria, at Blizzcon, I was less than pleased. While my thoughts were less than open to the idea of Pandas, I have found that I am coming to terms with the new expansion and am actually excited about the new talent system.
Some of the ideas put forth with MOP are both conceptually and mentally stimulating and I applaud the efforts of Blizzard for their venturing into new game ideals. However, all of this, regardless of its appeal, comes with momentous skepticism due mostly in part to my disappointment with the game in its current state. I myself unabashedly find PVP to be my main focus, and though I have recently enjoyed the new LFR tool and utilize it frequently, there is a lot of criticism to bestow upon the game's balance. For the better part of the 7 years WoW has been around I have found that the mental and instinctual competition that comes from PVP is nothing short of awesome.
However all during this time only a few times in my gaming saga do I remember the game being balanced, but this did not hinder me in any way until recently when I remembered something about Cataclysm. Cataclysm, I am assuming, was finished before it was announced, in fact there were multiple statements about the gear already having been planned out and implemented for each patch before the game was released. Therefore, though balance is a chaotically meticulous process, I am wondering how the assumed superiority of Lock/Healer synergy exists, why there is such a dichotomous nature to resto druids PVP vs. PVE stature, and most of all why there is not some frequent insight, other than Ghostcrawler's posts, into the process of PVP and PVE balance.
I would like to point out, without spite or maligned intent, that I perceive Blizzards focus in WoW has shifted away from PVP and truly hope this is not the case. My criticism lies not only with the games current state, but most importantly with the misconceptions that were, in my opinion, imparted to us prior to Cataclysm's release. I look at the way balance is addressed with Starcraft II and become jealous because of the nature in which it is presented. Even by reading the patch notes for Starcraft II I can see that the games balance is meticulously groomed to make it fun and enjoyable and would love to see that kind of response to issues in WoW.
It would be unfair to unload all of my concerns without some form of credit being given to the amount of work your team puts in to make the game the way it is, and that credit not only goes to the WoW team but also the Starcraft II team and anybody who has helped to make Blizzard's games great.