There are obviously a lot of factors in sub numbers, but when you look at the subscription graph, its kind of shocking how it just flatlines as soon as wotlk hits after ridiculous growth prior to that. It was not a slow, gradual run off where many things slowly ate away at it. It was a very sharp, sudden halt to the growth. And to me the single biggest difference between wotlk and BC game design was that in many aspects, not just raiding, the game catered much more to casuals, which is why I attribute the decline to that.
Notice the flatline in late 2008 when wotlk was released:
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Last edited by ShimmerSwirl; 2013-03-19 at 10:26 PM.
*~To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.~*
You continue to be stuck on ceteris paribus stupid. Endgame difficulty is not the only way the two situations were different. BC was released into a market that was less saturated than the one Wrath hit. Subs could not continue to grow to infinity; why couldn't Wrath have been the place where saturation was achieved? And the experience in Cataclysm disconfirmed the Big Lie that difficulty was the problem: they tuned difficulty up, and the losses got much worse.There are obviously a lot of factors in sub numbers, but when you look at the subscription graph, its kind of shocking how it just flatlines as soon as wotlk hits after ridiculous growth prior to that. It was not a slow, gradual run off where many things slowly ate away at it. It was a very sharp, sudden halt to the growth. And to me the single biggest difference between wotlk and BC game design was that in many aspects, not just raiding, the game catered much more to casuals, which is why I attribute the decline to that.
*~To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.~*
I don't like how justice point are close to useless now
- My guild cleared all of MSV the first week it opened, which was before LFR was even available. It was completely doable in heroic blues and dropped better gear than LFR obviously. HoF and Terrace could be done in a mix of MSV gear and a few slots still in blues. Sure it was nice if you got really lucky and LFR dropped a piece for a slot you couldn't get from NM/HM kills but that was actually pretty unlikely considering the drop rates in LFR, you'd probably gear that slot faster in NM/HM on average.
- Now that ToT is out, if you are a NM/HM raider then you should have a mostly complete set of gear from the last tier. Any heroic piece will beat out any crap from the new LFR. And like all raids NM ToT is tuned for people in NM gear from the previous tier. So you do not NEED a single piece of LFR gear to start getting NM ToT gear (and eventually HM as well). And again, current tier LFR drop rates are so low you'd be pretty damn lucky to get an upgrade from LFR before one from NM especially since LFR only started unlocking a week after NM. LFR ToT is only 502 vs. 496 from NM HoF/Terrace so it's a minor upgrade in any case.
LFR is there for two reasons. It's so people who don't have time to raid NM/HM can still do some raiding. It also gives gear that might be a slight upgrade for NM raiders (not HM raiders though) so that if those people DO want to do LFR they still get some benefit out of it. But it absolutely is not necessary.
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---------- Post added 2013-03-19 at 11:58 PM ----------
Honestly, the one completely dominant factor that drowns out everything else is that WoW is OLD. What can you even compare it to? How many games can convince ~10m players to pay $15 a month after 8 years? It's hard to diagnose anything because it's unprecedented.
The sudden sharp halt to growth in 2009 may have been for the reasons you think--certainly a piece of it, not arguing that--but it's as likely that the economic hits in 2008/2009 in the US/EU had something to do with it as well. We both know that's really a really complicated thing so there's not much reason to poke at it a lot. I include game age and game culture as well plus I tend to think that later on the resolution of the 'Lich King' piece of the lore caused many to believe that it wouldn't get any better than that and was a good time to get out while the getting was good. Given what happened afterwards, they were right.
The biggest problem for Blizzard now is figuring out how to bring in new customers. Going towards hard core is realistically unlikely to work and I still think the principle barrier to entry in that respect is the sheer cost of getting started. I'd like to see expansions priced at around $30 (US) and a package to get in entirely including the latest expansion be no more ever than $60 (US).
Or maybe it's more simple than that and MMO's are a shrinking niche and there's nothing to be done about it.
Thanks for the reply.
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It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy...let's go exploring!
The current model is the best of both worlds, you don't have to rerun old raids like in TBC, and you don't have to endlessly farm the same 5 man dungeons like in Cata. Once I'm in all Epics, I don't want to run 5 man dungeons I was completing in blues/greens. Thats not fun, and I could care less about 'catchup'.
"If you look out of the window as a human being, at nature, all of nature is unconditionally and absolutely beautiful wherever it is. Whether it's a jungle. Whether it's a desert. Whether it's the Arctic wastes. Or even your own back garden. The only ugly things you will ever see when you look out of the window are things made by man." - Stephen Fry
My word of advice is to put him on ignore. I learned a couple of weeks ago from his elitist ramblings trying to ruin another game (Wildstar) that he's openly and unashamedly an elitist. This is in his own words, which you have amply seen in this thread, as he has stated that he is better than pretty much everyone else that plays the games and demands that he and those like him be catered to while everyone else be forced to be like them or have nothing. It's like me saying that my money is ruined because someone gave a dollar to a homeless person. I can't enjoy spending it because I see bums getting it for free. Like...really?
Thankfully developers are starting to not listen to people with that opinion anymore and we have things like LFR in the first place. To be honest with you, it's the entire reason why WoW still has my subscription. I left when the dailies were a nightmare after launch to go play Rift, because it is a very good game with a lot of content. I hit my a progression wall on my character pretty quickly and realized that as many side activities they have, it didn't feel like real progression.
Now I can see how in TBC and WotLK that dungeons could fill this void...I even ran them numerous times on my raiding character well into the life of those expansions. Blizzard chose to make their content more efficient (or lazy, however you look at it) and use raids for this purpose. So to be quite fair, being able to come back to WoW every patch and see ALL of the new content makes it feel more worth my $15 than other games. It was the factor that confirmed my decision to resub.
I don't care if there's better loot in normal modes, I wouldn't care if there was a special extra boss each tier, b/c I get to see the story and the encounters, the artwork inside of the raids, and the joy of getting gear (even if it's nowhere close to the level of real raiding). It makes my entire game experience vastly more enjoyable and they have retained a subscription because of it.
I'm sure there are tons of other people who feel the same way.
They are not dinimished.
Again, when i beat CVivilization on Warlod difficulty, my achievement, motivation and satisfaction is NOT diminished by another one beating it in the easiest difficulty.
When i raid ToT, my achievements, motivation and satisfaction are NOT diminished by someone getting READY to raid ToT faster than i did.
Because, you see, i have fun with MY PLAYING TIME, not with the others playing time wehere i am not even in their group.
The current model SUCKS. You need to rely on a weekly lockout full of RNG that can starve you for MONTHS to be able to play current content.
If you are in full epics, you dont need a catch up. You could care less about catch up, many of us care, because its an important part of the game.
Also, i do like to run 5 man dungeons in epics, i have fun doing so. But they dont develop new content for me.
This new model is the worst shit they have created in a long time, its just as bad if not worse then the Cataclysmic failure. And subs will show that to Blizzard and to you, they are alerady doing so, they lost in the first quarter the same amount than they did in the first Cata quarter.
As for the LFR, I know it is not going anywhere. Liking the loot drops or not is irrelevant. I am just glad the feature exists for people who want to play, but might not have 30+ hours a week to spend on a video game. I side with the people and their ability to have options. Whether they exercise those options or not is up to them.
Subs were slowly bleeding in 2009 as the expansion dragged on. Feb 12th of 2010 and August of 2010 China gets Burning Crusade and Lich King. Subs pick up again.
Cata released in December and returning subs push to 12 million. China is still working on LK. Cata released in July 2011 in China. Subs still looking good.
DS released in December of 2011. Everyone finishes it quickly, subs start to drop off because the next expansion is announced. Subs pop up for a while when MOP is released in 2012 which this graph doesn't show. Being able to retain this many customers after 8 years is unheard of.
Dont do LFR then - its not needed. From normal to normal works just fine, and from there to hc.
Yep cause all them guilds clearing content before lfr is even enabled are clearly using lfr gear, suck less and you won't need lfr gear to clear.
The fact they cap valor is insulting to me. I want to gear, I could have had plenty of great gear by now on my own, if valor wasnt capped.
1K a week is just absolutely absurd, your able to hit that cap within half a day and then the rest of your valor for the whole week is essentially turned to dust.