So, as we know the news of the sub decline is all over the place now and endless throwing of words ensues from it.
But, lets talk here about what, seriously, happened in mists that caused such a decline. According to the charter shown on the other thread, well the decline in cata had begun, it did infact stabilize itself near the end of it, and it seemed to keep to a cool 10m players.
Mists has dropped it down to over 2m more players since cata, which you'd think would be a massive wake up call for the developers to look hard at the product.
So rather then mixing it into another thread based on 'omg 7.7 subs wow is dying', I'd like to simply ask what people think happened in mists that caused such a surge of losses in such a short space of time.
Myself, I think its a knock on effect from several reasons. As cata already had an obvious leak, whatever they did in mists didn't stop the leak, and infact only seemed to make the hole bigger. In cata, the complaints seemed to be things like not enough endgame content to do, there heroic dungeons were to hard, there were not enough zones and it was all spread out, and so on.
However, despite blizzard addressing certain issues said in cata, like giving more things to do outside of raiding in mists, and more reason to return to previous zones, and even something like throne of thunder, it still wasn't enough to stop the leak. Myself, I actually enjoyed mists a lot more then cata and its content. The raiding wasn't as exciting as cata, but raiding is only a small portion of the game overall.
My belief is, on several points:
- The endgame in mists, well it was fun enough the first time around, it was excruciating to repeat it on an alt. Even with things like rep buffs, having to do all those dailies in alts again after you did them on your main, it was to much. I believe the tabard system in wrath was always the best system, since it was good for mains and alts.
- The replay value of wow just doesn't have that replay value it once did. It seems strange saying this now since it would have applied to cata too, but given how its been over three years since cata, and the massive changes they made to vanilla wow, one of the biggest complaints about cata was how lineal the game had become. I honestly have no motivation to level alts anymore because of how boring it is, which ironically fits into what I just said about the daily grind.
I think, what blizzard seems to not understand, is how one of the biggest contributing factors of keeping players hooked on there game, is the reply value, as it is with any game. Alts are the reply value for wow, because once you've done something on your main you can't replay it. So, in what they've done with cata, and with mists, people simply don't want to play on other characters. They don't have anything to work towards on them because achievements are now account wide, so.. there i literally nothing to do outside of your main. and once you've done it on that, most would probably agree they'd sooner do the new content, not bother with alts, cancel sub until the next content patch, and then repeat.
Anyway, thats my two cent. Unless blizzard finds a way of giving replay value to there gamers and give them reason to play other characters, to have a goal to work towards on them.. this is how it will be.