1. #1

    World of Warcraft - Q2 2013 and Future

    Subscription

    Since the start of Vanilla the game has grown in numbers. Yes, we have seen subscription increases for over 6 years of its life (2004 - 2010). Which raises the question: Why is World of Warcraft bleeding subscribers since Cataclysm?

    My take on the situation is that there is no end game. Well there is but it gets consumed so quickly that people are left with nothing to do. Raiding has been butchered into pieces over the coarse of expansions since Wrath of the Lich King for people to jump into the game again and start playing with their friends/guildies without having to raid the previous tiers rather than take the time to progress from point A to point B and then finally to point C:

    (T1 - T2 - T3) RESET (T4 - T5 - T6)

    Instead we see:

    (T11 (SKIP) T12 (SKIP) go to T13)

    We started seeing Blizzard change this formula in raiding when they released Trial of the Crusader also known as (TOC) and it was clear that the game was not the same in terms of raiding. People could grind the easiest dungeons in the game to reek better rewards then the previous patch had to offer. This caused raiders to skip content like 3.0 and 3.1 to move on to newer content released (3.2).

    This formula is flawed and you may think not but it is flawed because their is no carrot on the stick scenario. You are not progressing anything since there is a reset every patch instead of every expansion like it's supposed to be. What happened to World of Warcraft's raiding?

    It's not about getting there. It's about getting the most out of the journey.

    2010: 12.000.000 active subscribers.

    2013: 8.300.000 active subscribers.

    Total subscribers lost to date: - 3.700.000 million.

    Future

    What's your take on this whole situation?

  2. #2
    The Insane Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
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    The raiding situation seems fine. The question is where this loss came from. A chunk did come from China, but not enough to cover the whole loss.

    As Blizz stated, casuals are playing the game increasingly less. Now someone like you may think that's a good thing, but as we saw today it's clearly not.

    Number one complaint from Casuals? "There's too much I have to do." Blizz even admitted that endgame is a confusing morass of mandatory activities when they made a guide on how to gear up for raiding or arena.
    You don't create "justice" by destroying. That includes buildings, cars, or the careers of the people you want "justice" for.


  3. #3
    Over 9000! Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dokhidamo View Post
    The raiding situation seems fine. The question is where this loss came from. A chunk did come from China, but not enough to cover the whole loss.

    As Blizz stated, casuals are playing the game increasingly less. Now someone like you may think that's a good thing, but as we saw today it's clearly not.

    Number one complaint from Casuals? "There's too much I have to do." Blizz even admitted that endgame is a confusing morass of mandatory activities when they made a guide on how to gear up for raiding or arena.
    Raiding isn't fine IMHO but that's neither here not there. They said it was confusing because it was opaque and wasn't clear. didn't mean they were going to make it more accessible in terms of time required. Did you see their blog of crap I had to do to gear?
    The hammer comes down:
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Normal should be reduced in difficulty. Heroic should be reduced in difficulty.
    And the tiny fraction for whom heroic raids are currently well tuned? Too bad,so sad! With the arterial bleed of subs the fastest it's ever been, the vanity development that gives you guys your own content is no longer supportable.

  4. #4
    If they keep losing %15 of subs every quarter its not good news and basically indicates that the game is going to die out in 2-3 years.

    We all know that losses bring losses, a lot of people play this game because it is a massive multiplayer game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious Leader View Post
    Raiding isn't fine IMHO but that's neither here not there. They said it was confusing because it was opaque and wasn't clear. didn't mean they were going to make it more accessible in terms of time required. Did you see their blog of crap I had to do to gear?

    Raiding isn't fine I agree, but heroic raiding is. In fact its the only thing thats fine in the game right now combined with rbgs(aside from some melee issues)
    Last edited by Rorschachs; 2013-05-09 at 06:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten Thage's Avatar
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    Blizzard's been very up front about how the 5.0 rep factions, intended to be a side-thing for casual players that like questing and for raiders that really wanted an extra leg up on valor, turned out feeling too mandatory, and that locking Shado-Pan and August Celestials behind Golden Lotus (which, again, they've been pretty honest turned out to not be a very popular faction due to a design whose intent and execution ended up going in different directions) wasn't the best idea. I think the main issue was that dailies felt required and 5.0 LFR feels required for a new 90 that wants to get into raiding, despite the design intent being that Normal raiders go from Heroics to Normal (this was less of an issue at release because LFR had a delayed, staggered release to keep first-wave 90s from feeling like LFR was a requirement for progression).

    Going forward, I doubt we'll see Valor/JP gear locked behind rep factions that aren't intrinsically linked with a raid (where the Valor gear can fill its role of a consolation prize/slot filler as intended). In 5.3 we've got an alternate catchup avenue with the Kor'kron gear sold for drop turnins in Battlefield: Barrens, allowing people at the level cap to farm Kor'kron mobs in the Barrens and farm nodes for oil/food/lumber rather than do the 5.0 rep faction dailies. In 5.4, like 5.2, I doubt we'll see any valor gear that's not tied to the Siege of Orgrimmar rep faction or free of any faction gating.

    As to what Blizz can do to stop the sub bleed, I think that's something they've been trying to fine-tune since MoP beta, after an entire expansion with one quarter of stable sub numbers amongst an expac's worth of sub bleeds. I think WoW's just encountering the same thing that happened to Everquest--we've passed that point where we're going to see multimillion sub gains. WoW's almost a household name now in all but the most pop culture-unaware areas in North America, never mind the rest of the world. WoW's also a game that still has a large number of graphic assets from 2005, not limited to the lion's share of the playable characters and most of the low-level armor. There's also an entire chunk of the game that still plays like it did at BC release, with an outdated questing system and dungeon mechanics among the rest of the game, which features more story-centric questing and moderately smarter quest rewards (and smarter dungeon mechanics once you hit level 70).

    I'm thinking we'll see subs drop, gain, and drop again as we settle into WoW's long-term playerbase and things stabilize--where the people who're in it for the long haul (for more reasons than there are stars in the sky) stick around and other players move on for myriad reasons (again, more than there are stars in the sky). I doubt we're going to see anything like the million-plus resurgences that stick around like we did when the game was building up its momentum as the juggernaut of the MMO genre.

    edit: At the end of the day, the genre's shifting. WoW's losing a lot of players to the Freemium business model, which tends to be more economically viable in Chinese markets due to how things are set up over there, and which has staying power in North America by allowing players to pick and choose what they want in their gaming experience for a modest fee (especially in Turbine MMOs, where entire content packs can be bought for roughly the same price of a month of WoW, with no expiration date attached). The market's turning away from a subscription model, and WoW's one of the last of an era where pay-to-play was the norm and free-to-play was often a red flag for subpar gameplay, unfriendly customer service, and an infrastructure held together by frazzled interns coding like crazy and the grace of God.
    Last edited by Thage; 2013-05-09 at 06:09 AM.

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