How Blizzard Changed The MMO Genre

IncGamers has published a two-page editorial that proclaims Blizzard Entertainment as an innovator in the MMORPG genre, primarily because of the new "Dungeon Finder" system they introduced to World of Warcraft in the v3.3.0 patch.
Obviously, World of Warcraft falls squarely into the role playing camp. Blizzard was criticized, when it made WoW, for following its predecessors, and not innovating enough. Like their predecessors, they designed lots of quest lines, built elaborate cities, and installed systems that allowed people to craft mechanical squirrels and put them on the auction house. When you stop and think about how much time you've spent in Orgrimmar or Shattrath or Dalaran or wherever, you'll realize that you've probably spent more of your time with the NPCs than with the monsters.

Then, five years after WoW was released and became a huge hit, Blizzard has changed their game and stood it on its head. Now WoW is really, truly evenly split. The role playing stuff still exists, but for players like me, it's now an all-action, dungeon running MMO. And it's all because of the dungeon finder that Blizzard put into the game. Personally, I use that dungeon finder all the time. It's like crack.

Do I go into town? Yes, but only to sell my junk. Do I pick up a bunch of quests while I'm there. No, I don't bother. Do I run to the bank? Maybe, but not usually. Do I repair my gear? Yeah, and it takes all of 3 minutes. Do I try to pick up a nice item at the auction house? Hardly ever.

Why? Because I don't have to do any of that boring crap any more. Unlike any other MMO in recent memory, WoW now suddenly caters nicely to the action-oriented, dungeon runner crowd. I hit the dungeon finder button, and within 5 minutes, I'm down in some underground lair, killing bugs, zombies, and other evil miscreants. When that dungeon is finished, I hit the button again. And again, in 5 minutes, I'm killing monsters in some dank sepulcher. I do this a couple more times, and then I run to town to sell and repair. That takes 5 minutes, and then I'm back running another dungeon.