9/5/15

Initial Reaction: End of The Hogwarts Era


Well... many of you know this, but here's my initial reaction anyways... Pottermore as we know it is closing down, but it is not going away entirely. We have some confirmed bits, rumors, and my speculation here after the break.



So, Pottermore, as we know it, is going to be undergoing a massive facelift, and in the name of formalities... let's recap what we know.

As we know now the following is confirmed:

  • Dueling and brewing is going away
  • There will be no more house cup
  • Moments will remain as artwork, but will have signifigant, but undisclosed differences
  • Certificates are issued to all accounts showing house and points
  • Pottermore advised taking screenshots of accounts. 
  • Pottermore is NOT closing, and certificates will be available till September 16
  • This is an "expansion" as Rowling expands the wizarding world. 

The following is unconfirmed, and rumored: 

  • "Plenty to enjoy and keep [us] entertained" (Pottermore did say this, but it is Pottermore that said it... so add salt)
  • Accounts will be going away
  • Trunks will be going away
  • Houses will be removed
  • Sorting will be removed
  • Wands will be removed
  • The patronus quiz will not be coming 

Now that this is out of the way, generally, I think that what we get next will be one of two choices. 
Either we get a sort of "expansion" where the site becomes more map-based, with moments and read about features being focused on location (with the map itself expanding across the world) or a very limited version of Pottermore with a basic "read about" page, a section for moment artwork, and maybe one or two game features, without points or house competion. 

With this being the case, I'm fairly certain that the major focus of this would be how Pottermore will soon be helping to promote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that gives more moments for pottermore and works especially well if the focus changes to an expanded map. This could be especially promising if we are to get information on the American Wizarding Schools, or how wizards in the United States manage in New York. This fits best with the idea that Pottermore will "expand" with the wizarding world, and to be honest a map would likely be easier for a site layout than a new gateway.

To address the other rumors in turn, the idea of plenty more to enjoy, there are ways I think it can be done, but without brewing and dueling, personally I think it could be dull to some extent.  Of the major things I would consider adding would be Quidditch, a care of magical creatures or a bit of "train the x"  where x is a creature from Fantastic Beasts. And perhaps partaking in some of the more skilled occupations in the wizarding world, where dueling may go and be replaced by auror work, which would be more tracking oriented.

As for accounts, trunks, sorting/houses, wands and the patronus quiz, to be honest I think we will be keeping most of it. Accounts I see staying, but trunks would likely be wiped clean and combined with the badge case, acting as a sort of trophy area (on that note, badges are probably going the way of the dodo, as they will be un-earnable). So from there, assuming accounts will be kept, part of me thinks that the new site will be better intigrated with the shop, with more links to purchase a book in moments and things of that nature. The accounts would then be an implicit way of shuffling people over to the shop.

Wands, sorting, and houses I think will stay for the most part but I do think that Houses will become a bit of a "stat." I'm fairly certain Pottermore may just allow people to sort multiple times on the same account, and may use this to open up sorting for other wizarding schools, if willing.

As for wands, I see that as being something they will continue with, as that was one of the more interesting features of Pottermore, and while the intelligence of the leadership is certainly questionable, there is no business sense in opening the site to all as a general encyclopedia and quiz site. The accounts allow people to save what matters to them, and probably helps gauge demand on Pottermore to some extent.* I would imagine that would outweigh the cost of the server space to some extent, especially anticipating yet another drop off in users. (There is but one other reason for Pottermore to make users have accounts for the site, in that it at least protects their information somewhat from the greater internet. While their "exclusive" content often will find its way to wikis and fan forums, the password protection and accounts afford them some defense on that end, should they need it.)

Essentially, I would say that Pottermore still isn't a happy place. The only time I would say it was truly a wonderful place would be during the first few months after people were let in, going through the releases of Chamber of Secrets up to Prisoner of Azkaban.

Prisoner marked a slow decent to lower standards and cheaper effort. So while many may say that it was really Goblet of Fire's end that marked the fall, it was likely a long time coming. We only noticed with Order because that was when it was clear. Goblet of Fire missed a lot, but it was a long book. Order of the Phoenix missed a lot, and much of it either should have been kept or expanded. Yes, during the time after Order, it was a technical whirlwind of releases, but none of them wow-worthy.

There was no Gnome tossing. No fight the dementors en-mass. No "outrun the dragon" no find the right prophecy. No duel with Voldemort. There's little there to work with, and little reason for users to be happy. Dueling overhauled, a spell that was useless, and while the monotony of full body bind was broken it failed to address the real imbalances in the game, the ones that didnt' account for strategy or actual meta-gameplay.

So, hopefully the site will emerge from it's ashes, and remember the damn silly things it did, that forced it to change so drastically. Because if not for the marked mismanagement of the brand, in quality, storytelling, and customer service, Pottermore may have been more impressive. Maybe, one day it will live up to the hype again. Hopefully.












*Pottermore used to poll users, and part of me thinks the marked drop off in activity that likely occured with the removal of comments gave Pottermore the leverage to begin the changes and "phase 2" faster than we may have. But that's just a theory. 

1 comment:

  1. Princess of Ravenclaw TowerSeptember 13, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    It seems to me that PM is basically going to become a non interactive Harry Potter fan website, where users can access exclusive content, look at artwork from moments (not sure if this includes common rooms as there will be no real use for cr after ther change) and get to buy books etc. There will be a little interaction, like getting sorted and getting a wand but this will be without a greater purpose, just a 'satisfy your curiousity type of thing' as there is no more brewing or duelling to use wands in.

    Why the drastic change? I believe partly because of the cheats which many of us kept complaining about, particularly in duelling. Also, someone else pointed out that as all books have been released in the moments, this signalled the end of house cups. Another point to consider is the non comptetive nature of the cup for Ravenclaw and Gryffindor. Those houses struggled to keep up with the other two this year; the eagles have a severely lower amount of students, and their lb is very weak. How could they have competed for the housecup? Call me a pessimist but I have seen how fewer of my housemates have large point tallies in comparison with the badgers and snakes at least. It seems sice the release of Book of potions concoctions i.e. Shrinking and beautification, the house cup would depend even a little bit, in the beginning, on how many people brewed part 1. This part 1 stuff enables the house with a large lead to stockpile for the next cup, and consequently this ruins the experience of a house cup somewhat. Pm musy have noticed this, no? Just my two cents.

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