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  1. #1

    Please explain to me why the game felt more "alive" for me when there was <500k SUBS

    I remember starting WoW in Nov 2004 with a bunch of people I played SWG (star wars galaxies) with back in 2003/early 2004.

    The world/game in general felt thriving and huge to me...even coming from another MMORPG..

    I'd say this feeling lasted from 2004-2007

    NOTE: I am not saying the game was BETTER OR WORSE, im just saying it felt more "alive", the game is far better now...to a gaming point of view...tons more things to do, tons more features....a lot more things fixed...many useless things now playable...i am not denying this fact

    Now when I log into the game I just feel like im walking around in a museum or something....the game just feels dead...even though theres MILLIONs of more subscribers...I wish I could explain it better but I guess you sort of have to be around MMORPGs a long time.


    I am not talking about inner guild communities...thats normal..im talking about the community as 1 entity...it seems dead. And please don't think your private raiding guild chatter/banter makes up for this....i am talking about server wide community here.

  2. #2
    The Lightbringer Valyrian Stormclaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sussex View Post
    I remember starting WoW in Nov 2004 with a bunch of people I played SWG (star wars galaxies) with back in 2003/early 2004.

    The world/game in general felt thriving and huge to me...even coming from another MMORPG..

    I'd say this feeling lasted from 2004-2007

    NOTE: I am not saying the game was BETTER OR WORSE, im just saying it felt more "alive", the game is far better now...to a gaming point of view...tons more things to do, tons more features....a lot more things fixed...many useless things now playable...i am not denying this fact

    Now when I log into the game I just feel like im walking around in a museum or something....the game just feels dead...even though theres MILLIONs of more subscribers...I wish I could explain it better but I guess you sort of have to be around MMORPGs a long time.


    I am not talking about inner guild communities...thats normal..im talking about the community as 1 entity...it seems dead. And please don't think your private raiding guild chatter/banter makes up for this....i am talking about server wide community here.
    Because people actually had to walk on the ground to get around so you saw them riding past you all the time? Also, cross realm changes things.

    The game is actually more alive, you just don't see them in the way you did way back in vanilla.

  3. #3
    Guilds meant much more in BC/Cata than they do now. People also knew people on their server by name or reputation when there was no LFR, group finder, oQueue etc.

    Outside Heroic/Mythic raiding I can't think of anything you can't do with RL friends or people that you knew from a former guild/server that transferred.

    WoW to me is a series of oQueue groups and about a half dozen friends I've met through the service that I do stuff with regularly.

    I ignore everyone on my server since I gave up on them ever wanting to do RBG's, flex, old content etc. Spamming trade for an hour isn't fun to get three people. Finding a group on oQueue inside 10 minutes for anything I want to is.

    Honestly the only thing I use my server for is to sell things on the AH. Player wise it's worthless.

  4. #4
    Because the game was less than a month old so everyone wanted to be online 24/7?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyrian Stormclaw View Post
    Because people actually had to walk on the ground to get around so you saw them riding past you all the time? Also, cross realm changes things.

    The game is actually more alive, you just don't see them in the way you did way back in vanilla.
    Nah. But close. Early on, people were still leveling either their first characters or alts. Now (and for the last few years) most of us aren't leveling alts, especially not from 1.

  6. #6
    I think the amount of queue-able content created this feeling. I believe the game is functionally tons better than it has ever been, but it offers more convenience than it needs to.
    I'm not a defender of Blizzard, I'm an opponent of stupid.

  7. #7
    Because "alive" is a subjective value you made up based on your own personal experiences.
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  8. #8
    Brewmaster Xl House lX's Avatar
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    Community. WoW has grown in a lot of ways over the years, but at the cost of small tight knit communities that, as you said, made the game feel more "alive". Things like LFD/LFG/LFR/cross-realm bgs/servers being tied together, etc. have all taken away from the community in favor of ideals such as ease-of-life improvements and other shallow things that cater to more casual players.

    And at this point in time that community feeling will likely never return to WoW. I realized that (and a lot of other things too) and thats why I am done with the game. I still find myself here for Diablo 3/Hearthstone stuff, but every time I see WoW related news I just don't really get excited. If anything, WoW at this point feels like WoW: 3 or something. The game really changed after the end of WotLK.

    I know people will say "rose-tinted glasses" or something, but WoW truly was more fun for me back in 2007 when it was just Vanilla and BC. Everything seemed like a challenge back then. Leveling was way more challenging than it is now, and was quite time consuming (no XP bonuses/no heirloom gear), and max level content wasn't just readily available to you. You had to prove yourself worthy of doing the endgame content. You had to show your guild/PuG's you had what it takes to keep up with their raiding group. And if you didn't had what it took it meant grinding more dungeons, which meant grinding more heroics until finally you could start gearing up in Kara to do Gruul/Magtheridon.

    And back then if you were raiding SSC/The Eye (can't think of the name, the one in Netherstorm)you were in a good guild. If you were doing Black Temple or Sunwell you were in the best guild (on your server of course). Now most all guilds are capable of accomplishing normal raids. Most are even capable of progressing a little bit on heroic raids it seems. There is no sense of "prestige" anymore in the game.

    Anyways, I'm rambling. I don't like WoW for what it is today, and I know that it will likely never be what it was. I think nothing lasts forever and that WoW is getting into it's final years as the most popular MMO (it'll still be around for a while but something new is going to come up, whether it's by Blizzard or not).

    But yeah. Those are my thoughts from from someone who played from the first half of 2007 to the late half of 2013.
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  9. #9
    Probably for the same reason most people thought it was "more alive" in 2004, or 2005, or 2007, 2008, whenever they first started playing, they had more investment in it because it was a new experience. Like a new car. It was brand new off the lot, had that new car smell, the leather was still nice... now it's an old beater that's been riced up a few times, neon paint, stickers, seat covers, a giant wing bolted on to the trunk.
    OMG 13:37 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Cleave unto me, and I shall grant to thee the blessing of eternal salvation."

    And His disciples said unto Him, "Can we get Kings instead?"

  10. #10
    Ease of access, tons of conveniences, aged game, spoiled community, cross server everything via realm merges/CRZ and queue systems to name some. If someone is truly blacklisted on a server they will just namechange and/or server hop. Also can't disregard that people don't really care about reputation or being respectful with no penalties involved. The old world was largely gutted and streamlined, if we ignored absolutely everything else. People in general are much more casual and most play several other games, but in small portions. /shrug

    This one time at Brand Camp, I got Singed.

  11. #11
    The game is more automated than ever before, and there is little reason to interact directly with other people as there was when the game first came out. There is less sense of community now. Also, if you have been playing for that long it's likely you have explored everything in the game, and burnt out.

  12. #12
    Keyboard Turner Wyldbob's Avatar
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    Ah yes, back when you had to either know the right people or play the right class & spec. Back in the first years of WoW I played a feral druid when "everyone" considered them a joke. I didn't do any research outside of the game, nor did I have a huge guild. I just knew that for some reason no pugs were willing to take me anywhere. Then in BC I played a warlock for a while, but eventually returned to my druid to heal. Hey! Now I can get a group! Yay! If I had to get a fresh group for each dungeon run, I could get in 3-4 a night. Was it an EPIC time standing in Org begging for a tank for our groups back in BC? Not really. Did it feel like an accomplishment when you finally got a full group & journeyed to the dungeon? Well, kinda. I do remember having to delete a friend or two because I needed the room to friend another tank that wasn't a window-licker.
    Now I can do all that content within an hour. Not all night. And in between my 2 minute healer queue I can pick an herb or two, instead of waiting around in town watching people running in circles.
    It is just kind of sad that with being able to queue up by yourself, there is little to no reason why you have to behave like a decent human being. The end of expac trolling has already started. The last two dungeons I ran with alts weren't completed as one of the DPS was deliberately pulling extra things to try to kill us, and kept us in constant combat so we couldn't kick them.
    *shrug*
    Things change, and stuff that was new & shiny is more fun than things that you have had for a long time.

  13. #13
    Bloodsail Admiral Stevegasm's Avatar
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    It's because the game continually gained subscribers. You create a new character, there were a good 40 people in the zone leveling up. You hit the next zone, still the same amount of people. And on and on. Places like Desolace were always dead though, but you'd still run into the odd 10 or so people. Leveling also took longer. Less xp for mobs and quests, more xp to level, no mounts until 40. The game lacked quick travel and such. The lack of a queue system, and only one AH per faction centralized people.

    I think another important factor was the MMO audience of the day. When I first started this game, people were more than willing to group. People searched out group content. When you ran into someone doing the same quest, you both grouped. People seemed more willing to work together. Over the last four or five years, going into any MMO, not only WoW, is that players are much more about solo play. You run into a quest area, and you all need the same thing, it ends up being a competition. Everybody wants to grease up and AOE the mobs, or quick tag the named one in an effort to leave the others in their dust. Today's MMO audience seems more into the mindset of "get in, get my shit, get out" whereas 10 years ago, people got into it for the long journey.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevegasm View Post
    It's because the game continually gained subscribers. You create a new character, there were a good 40 people in the zone leveling up. You hit the next zone, still the same amount of people. And on and on. Places like Desolace were always dead though, but you'd still run into the odd 10 or so people. Leveling also took longer. Less xp for mobs and quests, more xp to level, no mounts until 40. The game lacked quick travel and such. The lack of a queue system, and only one AH per faction centralized people.

    I think another important factor was the MMO audience of the day. When I first started this game, people were more than willing to group. People searched out group content. When you ran into someone doing the same quest, you both grouped. People seemed more willing to work together. Over the last four or five years, going into any MMO, not only WoW, is that players are much more about solo play. You run into a quest area, and you all need the same thing, it ends up being a competition. Everybody wants to grease up and AOE the mobs, or quick tag the named one in an effort to leave the others in their dust. Today's MMO audience seems more into the mindset of "get in, get my shit, get out" whereas 10 years ago, people got into it for the long journey.
    Gotta love Blizzards bullshit philosophy on this. I know its not a provable fact but as they have continued to make all of these ease to access routs you can watch the subs dwindle.

  15. #15
    Herald of the Titans Kickbuttmario's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakujinbakasama View Post
    Gotta love Blizzards bullshit philosophy on this. I know its not a provable fact but as they have continued to make all of these ease to access routs you can watch the subs dwindle.
    I know we forum dwellers don't really got any right to use the "sub drop" argument since we don't have any charts or data to prove anything but it always seemed strange to me as well when they kept going and going more casual the last expansion. Dark Souls is an extremely good example I can use as it is where the developers followed their own design as much as they can, albeit going a bit accessible with ds2 with bonfires teleporting at beginning but point still stands. Sometimes I wonder if Blizzard could have sticked to their guns and not fall to the players complaining.
    I am KickButtMario. I kick butt because I am Mario. The coolest, longest, living, protagonist out there in the video game industry.

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by hakujinbakasama View Post
    Gotta love Blizzards bullshit philosophy on this. I know its not a provable fact but as they have continued to make all of these ease to access routs you can watch the subs dwindle.
    Closer to tinfoil hat than provable fact. Why does everyone insist on using their pet peeve as the "reason" for sub decline? Theres hundreds of reasons.

    @The OP. It was new and exciting then. Now you kind of know it all either through seeing it quickly or sneak peeks from outside media. Maybe all the people bitching about not being able to fly will get back that feeling you had!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevegasm View Post
    I think another important factor was the MMO audience of the day. When I first started this game, people were more than willing to group. People searched out group content. When you ran into someone doing the same quest, you both grouped. People seemed more willing to work together. Over the last four or five years, going into any MMO, not only WoW, is that players are much more about solo play. You run into a quest area, and you all need the same thing, it ends up being a competition. Everybody wants to grease up and AOE the mobs, or quick tag the named one in an effort to leave the others in their dust. Today's MMO audience seems more into the mindset of "get in, get my shit, get out" whereas 10 years ago, people got into it for the long journey.
    the mmo audience in general was willing to put up with it, because the genre was relatively 'new', or at least it had never been in such a graphically polished state before.

    videogames (and rpg's), however, always operate under strict chunks of time where the player needs to feel a sense of feedback, reward, and accomplishment. grinding out mobs for several hours to get 1% of xp to the next level filled that need originally, but eventually players got accustomed to the graphical bells & whistles, and realized the gameplay under the hood wasn't as fulfilling as they originally thought.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Norjak View Post
    The game is more automated than ever before, and there is little reason to interact directly with other people as there was when the game first came out. There is less sense of community now. Also, if you have been playing for that long it's likely you have explored everything in the game, and burnt out.
    I remember having to track down enchanters for enchants. While the convenience of having enchants in the AH is amazing...it's ruined the community since anything you need from professions can just be bought now.

  19. #19
    Herald of the Titans Kickbuttmario's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deja Thoris View Post
    Closer to tinfoil hat than provable fact. Why does everyone insist on using their pet peeve as the "reason" for sub decline? Theres hundreds of reasons.
    You got to admit though, there are way more destructive elements in WOW now as a MMO compared to Vanilla/TBC. There are now level 90 boosts which pretty much say "yeah we know our leveling sucks, but fuck off anyway and pay to skip it". Gear has become overly inflated to the point where it seems to be the attunement for higher difficulty of raids nowadays and queuing for a button just seems like crap impressively compared to finding 4 other players, running to the instance, summoning them via summoning stone (No idea why they still have this for 5 mans anyway) and possibly praising your group and yourself for clearing it.

    Just food for thought.
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    Currently playing WoW, Guild Wars 2 and Wildstar.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Yousend View Post
    Because the game was less than a month old so everyone wanted to be online 24/7?
    All these long, explanatory paragraphs from everyone and yet this guy nailed it in one sentence. You can use the content excuse, the dungeon finder excuse, etc etc. But the truth is, when WoW first started, everyone was leveling up at the same time and it probably felt like you saw a lot more people. Remember when BC came out and you couldn't even quest as a Blood Elf?

    It has nothing to do with quality of content now and then, nor does it have to do with how many people played.

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    Quote Originally Posted by valliant13 View Post
    I remember having to track down enchanters for enchants. While the convenience of having enchants in the AH is amazing...it's ruined the community since anything you need from professions can just be bought now.
    Right, let's bring back enchanters who charged outrageous prices for their services, that you had to portal to in order to get your enchant done, and god forbid you need a rare enchant and the only three people on the server who can do it aren't responding in trade.

    Buying enchants on the AH is worlds better than it used to be.

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