There are two ways to take the news that New Blizzard is finally learning from Old Blizzard about how to make an MMO.
On the one hand, maybe it gives you hope that New Blizzard can turn Retail around and make it into something worth playing for MMO players.
On the other hand, its infuriating to see New Blizzard be this dense about MMO design, to the point where only AFTER millions of players show them why Vanilla worked that they wake up and go “gee, maybe faceroll easy everything with autogrouping isn’t the solution for everything?”
Also, considering who the audience is that plays Retail today, I could see this design pivot backfiring; current Retail players WANT an sRPG that is faceroll easy and occasionally auto-groups them with silent bots that happen to actually be controlled by real people. That’s what they are paying/playing today, and while most of the overall playerbase has quit WoW due to this direction, the CURRENT playerbase presumably likes what the game is today. They don’t want Vanilla and all that it brings, as we saw when those sRPG players tried Classic and still went back to Retail for whatever reasons.
Of course the biggest mistake in all of this now is spending time/effort on Retail over Classic, but Shadowlands was already far-enough along that Blizzard might as well finish it and push it out the door. Hopefully it wraps up the amazing and cohesive plot of Retail, that version goes into maintenance mode, and Blizzard can focus on the real breadwinner of the franchise. (s/ but not really…)