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  1. #761
    Quote Originally Posted by anyaka21 View Post
    So can we skip with point where people don't blame Cata as the problem when it seems pretty clear that with China losing subs at the same rate the rest of the world is that Cata is the problem
    The interesting question for WoW's future now is: has the dev team correctly identified the problem(s) with Cataclysm that caused the widespread negative customer reaction? If not, the decline will be hard to reverse.

    I'm not convinced they've done so, or at least been able to address all of them.

    ---------- Post added 2011-11-10 at 12:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by muchtoohigh View Post
    There was some data posted a while back from Activision's last earnings reports where they listed all their expenses, and server costs were so small they weren't even on the list, they were in a little asterisk below the real list.
    I'd be surprised if customer service costs didn't dominate the operating costs of the game. There's a reason the game can be so cheap in China, and it's not because servers are cheaper there.

    Also, if server/networks costs were high now, they'd have been ridiculous five years ago.
    Last edited by Osmeric; 2011-11-10 at 12:39 PM.
    "There is a pervasive myth that making content hard will induce players to rise to the occasion. We find the opposite. " -- Ghostcrawler
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  2. #762
    Dreadlord Adeodatus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberration View Post
    Hey "Dude", I know a lot of people that are re-subin in 4.3 for the new content.

    Everybody knows somebody who is doing something. Most of my guild is un-subbing after 4.3 to avoid MoP. Annecdotal evidence is pointless.
    "I'll tell you something, my Tenchi, you know the carnival comes and goes. But if you wait for a while, it'll always come back to you, Tenchi."~Ryoko TENCHIxRYOKO FTW!

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    The Force is the blade of the heart. All are intertwined. The crystal, the blade, the Jedi. You are one.

  3. #763
    Quote Originally Posted by Durzlla View Post
    How? Gw2 isn't designed to consume your time, it's designed to be fun, it's also being designed so that you can put it down for a while, days, weeks, months, and be able to come back and be able to experience a bunch of new things and not be left in the dust, so no, it's not really fighting for your time.
    When you only have 2-3 hours a week to play games, and lots of different games you might be interested in playing, they are fighting for your time.

  4. #764
    Quote Originally Posted by muchtoohigh View Post
    There was some data posted a while back from Activision's last earnings reports where they listed all their expenses, and server costs were so small they weren't even on the list, they were in a little asterisk below the real list.
    post it then. Until you can actually produce that as fact it's pointless to state it. I mean I heard a long time ago that it cost Blizzard $100,000 per month per server to keep things going, and that was during BC, and costs have probably gone up and add that they have added new territories now and as thus new servers. Because really, at this point, my post is as valid as yours.

    I've also been told that the majority of the products cost catagory in expenses is about maintaining WoW and it's servers.

    example: http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...a_monthly.html

    So, you've probably heard about or played World of Warcraft. If you don't play, did you know it costs 15 dollars each month? 15 dollars to pay for something you already bought. Sure, it's an MMORPG, so they're updating it, they're paying to run servers, they've got pay their employees, etc. There are 10 million subscribers. That means, even if 1/10 are paying every month, they are making 15 million dollars each month. That's 1.8 billion dollars a year. Do they really need that? Let's find out.

    They have to pay for their server maintenance, support, and ongoing content creation. Every year, they're spending around 120 million dollars a year. Server maintenance costs around 100 million, and support and content creation cost about 20 million. You've also got to take in to account the amount of money it took them to make the game in the first place. Most PC games today cost around 10 million dollars to make. That really isn't all that much. So, after their anual fees, they're still making a good 1.68 billion dollars a year. There is no reason they still need to charge you 15 dollars a month.

    Now, it is the top MMORPG ever created. Why? Because it is one awesome game. The people that play have no problem with paying 15 dollars a month. They obviously wouldn't if they didn't feel it was necessary. There's all sorts of quests to do, different races to be, different classes to bem and a huge map to explore. The game has a very addicting quality about it that helps with its sales. Give it a try, you'll see what I mean.

    example #2: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/a...s-75000-cores/

    It takes a lot of resources to host the world’s largest online games. One of the largest players in this niche is Blizzard, which operates World of Warcraft and the Battle.net gaming service for its Starcraft and Diablo titles. World of Warcraft (WoW) is played by more than 11.5 million users across three continents, requiring both scale and geographic scope.

    Blizzard hosts its gaming infrastructure with AT&T, which provides data center space, network monitoring and management. AT&T, which has been supporting Blizzard for nine years, doesn’t provide a lot of details on Blizzard’s infrastructure. But Blizzard’s Allen Brack and Frank Pearce provided some details at the recent Game Developer’s Conference in Austin. Here are some data points:

    Blizzard Online Network Services run in 10 data centers around the world, including facilities in Washington, California, Texas, Massachusetts, France, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
    Blizzard uses 20,000 systems and 1.3 petabytes of storage to power its gaming operations.
    WoW’s infrastructure includes 13,250 server blades, 75,000 CPU cores, and 112.5 terabytes of blade RAM.
    The Blizzard network is managed by a staff of 68 people.
    The company’s gaming infrastructure is monitored from a global network operating center (GNOC), which like many NOCs, features televisions tuned to the weather stations to track potential uptime threats across its data center footprint.


    So somehow with all that tech, I find it hard to believe that the cost of bandwidth, server maintenence, upgrades, etc... is cheap
    Last edited by anyaka21; 2011-11-10 at 09:44 PM.

  5. #765
    Dreadlord Traknel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    The interesting question for WoW's future now is: has the dev team correctly identified the problem(s) with Cataclysm that caused the widespread negative customer reaction? If not, the decline will be hard to reverse.

    I'm not convinced they've done so, or at least been able to address all of them.
    This is a very good point. Are they going to be able to actually figure out where they went wrong, and fix it, or are they just going to swing too far in the opposite direction in a knee-jerk reaction? I think a lot of the problem with Cataclysm stemmed from their developer's attitude of "we know what's best for the game, and we're going to make people like it or else".

    That kind of arrogant personality doesn't take too kindly to being told they're wrong.
    I'd really like to get my Special Snowflake Feat of Strength now. Just because I'm special. - Scummer

  6. #766
    Quote Originally Posted by anyaka21 View Post
    post it then. Until you can actually produce that as fact it's pointless to state it. I mean I heard a long time ago that it cost Blizzard $100,000 per month per server
    lolz aside but



    at 2 min onwards is shows the report. Its just under $20 mill a month for the servers, support and rental.
    This is the tale not of the Horde as it exists today, a loose organization of orc,tauren,forsaken,troll, and blood elf, but of the rise of the very first Horde. Its birth, like that of any infant, was marked by blood and pain, and its harsh cries for life meant death to its enemies.

  7. #767
    Judging from what we have heard so far about 5.0 and MoP it looks like they are going to make things even easier by reducing choices.

    Bad players can't be bad if Blizzard doesn't let them. Next step...fire that does not burn! Bosses who hand out loot and trash pulls that kill themselves!

    Oy-vey...I am so glad I am getting out now.

  8. #768
    The Patient Mynsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traknel View Post
    This is a very good point. Are they going to be able to actually figure out where they went wrong, and fix it, or are they just going to swing too far in the opposite direction in a knee-jerk reaction? I think a lot of the problem with Cataclysm stemmed from their developer's attitude of "we know what's best for the game, and we're going to make people like it or else".

    That kind of arrogant personality doesn't take too kindly to being told they're wrong.
    I really don't think Cataclysm had any deep flaws that resulted in this subscriber loss. Its main "problem" was the fact that it focused on the starting part of the game and not on the end, where all the players usually focus their attention. I keep hearing the moronic argument that Cata had little new content... in reality it was by far the expansion with the most new content injected into the game. It's just that it wasn't at the end, where some would say it really matters.

    I'm sure that Blizzard knew that this problem might arise, but also realised that they need to redo the entire starting experience if they want to retain new customers. So they took the risk...

    Also, it sacrificed new features in favor of a complete stat / talent / skills revamp. Again, something critical but that doesn't really count as a new feature.

    Funny thing is though, now, when MoP promises to be FULL of endgame features, people don't notice it because of one of the most ridiculous "hive mind going overboard" cases I've ever seen: oh noes, pandas!
    titanFocus.info -- news, predictions and place for discussion about Blizzard's upcoming next-gen MMO.

  9. #769
    Quote Originally Posted by Arnorei View Post
    So WoW had 800k chinese goldfarmrers? Come on, please, think with a bit of logic. 800k of chinese goldsellers?
    I think he was just kidding....

  10. #770
    The Patient Mynsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anyaka21 View Post
    post it then. Until you can actually produce that as fact it's pointless to state it. I mean I heard a long time ago that it cost Blizzard $100,000 per month per server to keep things going, and that was during BC, and costs have probably gone up and add that they have added new territories now and as thus new servers. Because really, at this point, my post is as valid as yours.

    I've also been told that the majority of the products cost catagory in expenses is about maintaining WoW and it's servers.

    example: http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...a_monthly.html

    So, you've probably heard about or played World of Warcraft. If you don't play, did you know it costs 15 dollars each month? 15 dollars to pay for something you already bought. Sure, it's an MMORPG, so they're updating it, they're paying to run servers, they've got pay their employees, etc. There are 10 million subscribers. That means, even if 1/10 are paying every month, they are making 15 million dollars each month. That's 1.8 billion dollars a year. Do they really need that? Let's find out.

    They have to pay for their server maintenance, support, and ongoing content creation. Every year, they're spending around 120 million dollars a year. Server maintenance costs around 100 million, and support and content creation cost about 20 million. You've also got to take in to account the amount of money it took them to make the game in the first place. Most PC games today cost around 10 million dollars to make. That really isn't all that much. So, after their anual fees, they're still making a good 1.68 billion dollars a year. There is no reason they still need to charge you 15 dollars a month.

    Now, it is the top MMORPG ever created. Why? Because it is one awesome game. The people that play have no problem with paying 15 dollars a month. They obviously wouldn't if they didn't feel it was necessary. There's all sorts of quests to do, different races to be, different classes to bem and a huge map to explore. The game has a very addicting quality about it that helps with its sales. Give it a try, you'll see what I mean.

    example #2: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/a...s-75000-cores/

    It takes a lot of resources to host the world’s largest online games. One of the largest players in this niche is Blizzard, which operates World of Warcraft and the Battle.net gaming service for its Starcraft and Diablo titles. World of Warcraft (WoW) is played by more than 11.5 million users across three continents, requiring both scale and geographic scope.

    Blizzard hosts its gaming infrastructure with AT&T, which provides data center space, network monitoring and management. AT&T, which has been supporting Blizzard for nine years, doesn’t provide a lot of details on Blizzard’s infrastructure. But Blizzard’s Allen Brack and Frank Pearce provided some details at the recent Game Developer’s Conference in Austin. Here are some data points:

    Blizzard Online Network Services run in 10 data centers around the world, including facilities in Washington, California, Texas, Massachusetts, France, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
    Blizzard uses 20,000 systems and 1.3 petabytes of storage to power its gaming operations.
    WoW’s infrastructure includes 13,250 server blades, 75,000 CPU cores, and 112.5 terabytes of blade RAM.
    The Blizzard network is managed by a staff of 68 people.
    The company’s gaming infrastructure is monitored from a global network operating center (GNOC), which like many NOCs, features televisions tuned to the weather stations to track potential uptime threats across its data center footprint.


    So somehow with all that tech, I find it hard to believe that the cost of bandwidth, server maintenence, upgrades, etc... is cheap
    http://investor.activision.com/relea...leaseID=622018

    Look for Cost of Sales - MMORPG and you'll have your bandwidth cost.

    TL;DR 181 million $ for the first 9 months of 2011, up from 168 during the same period in 2010
    titanFocus.info -- news, predictions and place for discussion about Blizzard's upcoming next-gen MMO.

  11. #771
    Dreadlord Traknel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mynsc View Post
    I really don't think Cataclysm had any deep flaws that resulted in this subscriber loss. Its main "problem" was the fact that it focused on the starting part of the game and not on the end, where all the players usually focus their attention. I keep hearing the moronic argument that Cata had little new content... in reality it was by far the expansion with the most new content injected into the game. It's just that it wasn't at the end, where some would say it really matters.

    I'm sure that Blizzard knew that this problem might arise, but also realised that they need to redo the entire starting experience if they want to retain new customers. So they took the risk...

    Also, it sacrificed new features in favor of a complete stat / talent / skills revamp. Again, something critical but that doesn't really count as a new feature.

    Funny thing is though, now, when MoP promises to be FULL of endgame features, people don't notice it because of one of the most ridiculous "hive mind going overboard" cases I've ever seen: oh noes, pandas!
    I would say the starting game and stat revamps are perfect examples of deep flaws. The starting game was because they completely misread their players, who didn't really want to spend a year re-rolling new characters and re-playing the same linear quest chains over and over, and the stat revamps because they changed them merely for the sake of change, and then have spent the entire expansion swinging wildly trying to find balance. In the end, both things were unnecessary and only caused issues.
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  12. #772
    The Patient Mynsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traknel View Post
    I would say the starting game and stat revamps are perfect examples of deep flaws. The starting game was because they completely misread their players, who didn't really want to spend a year re-rolling new characters and re-playing the same linear quest chains over and over, and the stat revamps because they changed them merely for the sake of change, and then have spent the entire expansion swinging wildly trying to find balance. In the end, both things were unnecessary and only caused issues.
    ...The starting zones revamp wasn't made for the existing player base (although a part of it thoroughly enjoyed it), it was for the future new players. It's not a coincidence that right after Cata they launched the Starter Edition. They've said countless times that they're not happy with their early retention rate and they think it's caused by the old content, which is far below in quality compared to what comes from level 60 upwards. So they fixed it and I believe it was a very good decision. It had to be made at one point.

    About the stats change, the discussion is too long here. I for one liked it as a whole, although I'm not sure if it should have been a priority.
    titanFocus.info -- news, predictions and place for discussion about Blizzard's upcoming next-gen MMO.

  13. #773
    Lets all agree(for arguments sake) that the majority of the WoW playerbase are casual players, most who log on to get their weekly valor caps done, do dailies, play alts/level new alts, raid but aren't too serious about heroic raiding, they do some achievements on the side or some pvping.

    Lets say a lot of these people do their "routine" mentioned above for a month or two on various other characters they eventually become bored, so they unsub until another 4-5 months down the line until the next patch comes out, they save 45+$ because they got bored of the routine then they repeat the whole process over again with the new content that lasts them another 2 months or so and then they unsub again only to repeat it again and again leading up to the next expansion and so on.

    Casual players, most of them don't care about heroic raid progression, seeing it on normal is enough, by the time the two month mark approaches in the middle of the current tier people are just bored of the "routine" and say SSDD etc etc. Each patch seems to take around 6 to 6.5months or so to release, each patch seems to only keep the casual people interested for 2-3 of those months, while the hardcores are sludging through heroic modes trying to get them down before they're obliterated with nerfs.

    This is why Blizzard has to throw a spoon in there to "stir the pot". This is why they're putting in pokemon, pve scenarios in MoP, although, how effective will they be? we'll have to see. The main problem is "the more of the same" is only keeping people busy for a few months, I don't think it has anything to do with people "blowing through the content" A daily is still a daily, a heroic is still a heroic, once you've seen one, you've seen them all and this is why they can't keep people subbed for extended periods of time because those things get old very quick.
    Last edited by Lordender; 2011-11-10 at 10:50 PM.

  14. #774
    Dreadlord Traknel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mynsc View Post
    ...The starting zones revamp wasn't made for the existing player base (although a part of it thoroughly enjoyed it), it was for the future new players. It's not a coincidence that right after Cata they launched the Starter Edition. They've said countless times that they're not happy with their early retention rate and they think it's caused by the old content, which is far below in quality compared to what comes from level 60 upwards. So they fixed it and I believe it was a very good decision. It had to be made at one point.

    About the stats change, the discussion is too long here. I for one liked it as a whole, although I'm not sure if it should have been a priority.
    I understand that the concept behind the starting zone changes was supposedly to attract new players. but again, I think they misread things. How many random people do you think are going to jump in to a 7 year old game where you have to buy multiple boxes just to get where everyone else is? You need to have a satisfied player base to bring new players in. Or at the least a massive ad campaign like they had in WOTLK. I for one have not seen a single ad for WoW since Cataclysm came out.

    Where are the new players supposed to come from? Guy walks in to Wal-mart, sees Cataclysm, and says "Oh, hey. I remember three years ago when that game was hot! I think I'll drop a hundred bucks on it, just in case they revamped the starting quests!"

    As for the stat changes, I played the role (Healer) and class (Hunter) that were arguably most affected by the changes. I stopped playing my Healers (Druid, Shaman, and Priest) because I didn't like the changes, and I almost stopped playing my Hunter. I feel that the healing homogenization and change from rapid response to slow, tedious resource management was horrible. And I think Hunters went from having a fun, priority rotation that gave you the opportunity to really adjust on the fly to a boring "push this button over and over to build up enough resources to be able to hit an interesting skill" rotation.

    But that's just me.
    I'd really like to get my Special Snowflake Feat of Strength now. Just because I'm special. - Scummer

  15. #775
    Bloodsail Admiral Scrabblet's Avatar
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    I'm just gonna say this: If 4.3 doesn't impress and motivate me I'm gone until Mists of Pandaria.

  16. #776
    Quote Originally Posted by Mynsc View Post
    http://investor.activision.com/relea...leaseID=622018

    Look for Cost of Sales - MMORPG and you'll have your bandwidth cost.

    TL;DR 181 million $ for the first 9 months of 2011, up from 168 during the same period in 2010
    well I definitely wouldn't call $240,000,000 chump change or even cheap to run and keep up servers.

  17. #777
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adeodatus View Post
    Everybody knows somebody who is doing something. Most of my guild is un-subbing after 4.3 to avoid MoP. Annecdotal evidence is pointless.
    That's clever of your guild then...not really.

    ---------- Post added 2011-11-11 at 12:26 AM ----------

    This must be one of few games where the players seem to take personal offense when they for some reason do not enjoy it anymore. They get angry at Blizzard, they get angry at other players that still enjoy the game, they get angry about the game moving forward and every single little thing that's not positive, they will blow out of proportion for as long as possible. It's just curious how they get so emotionally attached that even after they've stopped playing, they still rage and feel the need to bash and hate on the game.

    Just look at everyone being downright hostile in their words toward us that still enjoy the game and are looking forward to MoP and possible expansions after it...look at those trying to make over 10 million subscribers out to be "the DEATH OF WOW!" and then follow it up with a "good riddance" or something similar...

    I've never seen this type of behaviour with other games...sure, I've seen a few that quit The Sims 3 simply because it didn't WORK properly, but they don't haunt the forums writing posts about every little bad thing happening around EA/TS3.

    I simply think that the forums should make short work of these posters...the people leaving post after post flaming the game/people playing it are given a permanent ban, and those posts are not only locked but also deleted as soon as they occur. This forum SHOULD be for us that play the game and want to be able to "talk" with other players enjoying it, and not the army of anti-fanbois (they're just as bad, just very emo and SO ANGRY!!!) trying to find every single little thing they can to be angry about when it comes to this game.

    They can honestly spend all that free time making their own forums, if it interests them that much...

  18. #778
    Quote Originally Posted by Moomurr View Post
    lolz aside but



    at 2 min onwards is shows the report. Its just under $20 mill a month for the servers, support and rental.
    Think about this then. If guild wars wants keep up a rough size of WoW in the NA/EU market, then they'll need to effectively the same type of cost basis, roughly $20,000,000 a month, thus they'd have to sell 4m copies just break even on the server side costs

  19. #779
    Quote Originally Posted by anyaka21 View Post
    Think about this then. If guild wars wants keep up a rough size of WoW in the NA/EU market, then they'll need to effectively the same type of cost basis, roughly $20,000,000 a month, thus they'd have to sell 4m copies just break even on the server side costs
    WHere does it say it's 20 million to run servers only? Costs of sales could very much be technical and customer support. I can't believe they are spending 20 million/ month to run servers.

  20. #780
    Quote Originally Posted by Papavoikos View Post
    WHere does it say it's 20 million to run servers only? Costs of sales could very much be technical and customer support. I can't believe they are spending 20 million/ month to run servers.
    at 1 minute 50 seconds into the video. He shows Blizzard's annual costs, does the math, and it comes up to 20 mill a month.
    "Tell them only that the Lich King is dead... and that World of Warcraft... died with him..."

    Quote Originally Posted by BenBos View Post
    That's the ONLY reason you would post 9600 posts over 3 years: a mission of hate.

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