This is just a minipost to point out a distinction that may not be clear in my other writings. I love World of Warcraft. I love the art direction, the animation, the music, the lore and the game itself. It’s not perfect, and I can find many ways to make it better, but when all is said and done, it is a remarkably accessible game that is thoroughly fun to play.
I do not, however, love the business aspects of the game. To my mind, the subscription model is an unnecessary barrier to entry, a limiter on innovation, a constraint on design, and a dishonest representation of the costs of the game. This is a systemic complaint that I have with the MMO genre, and not something specific to WoW, though WoW does have some unique troubles within those broader complaints.
This dichotomy is why I’ve written that I would pay good money for an offline version of WoW. The game is that good. I simply refuse to support a business model that I see as ill-advised froma game design standpoint, and unnecessarily expensive from a gamer’s standpoint.