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  1. #21
    The Insane Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimr View Post
    Right also don't forget MOBA's. They are continually rising leaving wow and other MMO's in the dust. It's only a matter of time before MMO's become a niche genre Not that there is anything wrong with that.
    I don't even like DOTAs (MOBA is just an attempt to not get sued by Valve).

    Give me WASD controls over right clicking any day.
    You don't create "justice" by destroying. That includes buildings, cars, or the careers of the people you want "justice" for.


  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Drithien View Post
    I have to disagree with the notion that the game is somehow "dying", as in being already in a bad condition that is only getting worse. Remember, or learn if you don't already know, that Blizzard's own predictions about the game, enthusiastic as they were, dictated that it would become the most popular mmorpg with a subscription; but that meant usurping the throne from Everquest 2 and its 200k subscribers.

    So, it was their hope for it to reach 300k-400k subscriptions; and, perhaps, if things went exceptionally well, at some point down the line, years after release, grow to 2 million; fingers crossed and everything. And it did reach those 2 million subscribers... in a few weeks. And continued growing, peaking at 12 million during Wrath. Right now it is at 6-7 million. And it will almost certainly see a rise in subscriptions once the new expansion is released. From a hopeful estimated 300k, to sustaining 6 million in its downtime. I am certain most studios would wish for their games to "die" such deaths.

    So lets not exaggerate. It is on a decline, sure. One worsened by increasingly debatable decisions, most likely originating from executive "directions" = orders by suits that are interested in selling their product, not the creation of good games. But it is not dying. Wait until it falls below the profit threshold of most mmorpgs before thinking of funeral arrangements.


    The game itself is of course on a decline, as mentioned; and part of it is the reason that you wrote about. I can attest to that, being a player ever since Classic myself. It's just so much easier to keep in touch with people nowadays; and it does come in handy when you decide to take a break, or they do, or you both do. You don't have to log in just to communicate in an easy manner. And there are so many other games to play together online, just so many. Which is another reason why the game had been so successful when it launched: it was the ideal time technology-wise; with dial-up and even broadband connections replaced by the staggeringly faster adsl ones, computers being able to handle vast three-dimensional worlds so much easier, people getting excited for these technological revolutions, and showing a hunger for their various usages, while being accustomed enough with them to be able to keep up with news of them.

    But now, it's been a decade since that time. Now we expect pc-of-the-time characteristics out of our phones, and internet access from almost everywhere. And along with them there are so many ways to utilise said gadgets and connection. World of WarCraft is up against the entire internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And it's not even so shiny and impressive anymore.


    Then there is the community of Blizzard fans, thanks to their impeccable work on WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo; as well as the massive following due to their embrace of Defense of the Ancients. Internet cafes were swarming with DotA matches, a completely free game that lets you play with/against your friends, with high re-playability, lots of depths to uncover; and offering such a potential for some intellectual self-strok... gratification in case of a victory. And most of those people, mostly teenagers, with lots of free time in their hands, or the ability to "create" said kind of time learned about the hype of the brand new game from the "creators" of their current favourite. You can't buy such advertisement.

    But now, there is League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Smite, DotA 2 even, and so many many more games; some of which attracted players away from DotA and/or WoW, but some that acted as DotA and/or WoW for a newer generation of players. There are fans of LoL that don't even know that DotA ever existed. At the same time perhaps Rift's, Star Wars: The Old Republic's, Wildstar's, etc numbers don't equal those of WoW's, on their own. But combined? They add up quite a bit (lot).

    And these losses add to the losses from other games' utilisation of the internet, and of all the applications using the internet in general.


    Then there is also the age of the game. It works is no many negative ways. It tires veterans. It burns out obsessive players that spend several hours each and every day on the game. It is leaves the game behind as players grow and inherit responsibilities that require their time, or even devour it whole. It makes the game look outdated, no matter the "face-lifts".


    And I am certain there are so many more factors.


    Last, certainly not least, and most probably the most important reason for me: this game has been so badly developed for throughout all these years, that it's as if its developers have very little idea on how to develop for such a game, or they just don't want to/can't due to the fact that they don't make such decisions.

    World of WaCraft is, at least supposed to be, a role-playing game set in an open world. Such a kind of game relies on the fundamental elements of its description. Character creation, customization, personalisation, and shaping as a role-playing game; as well as the fleshing out of the world of the game through the presentation of stories in the form of quests, and the ability to approach them in personal ways. And the existence of a vast world, with advanced interactivity, as an open world game.

    Classic was a flawed, but honest attempt at such a game. It was a mess; unfinished, buggy, and at times even broken; but the seeds along with some sprouts were there. And it could have blossomed so beautifully.

    But it didn't. Crusade offered such a smaller world, with so diminished variety, and a sudden increase in streamlining. From 38 zones to 8, from six main campaigns to 2; the scope of the world was reduced so much, the freedom, the small things one could find out of the main path, the variety; all were severely reduced. But the game did steadily great, because it still had the momentum of Classic, good word of mouth, and a still quite slow pace that made content last for most players, most were not even able to go into Outland at release because they still were not even close to levels 58-60. But this was the beginning of a worrying turn for the game; from letting players adventure in a vast world, to trying to shoehorn them all in instances, whether they were group/raid dungeons, or battlegrounds/arenas; luring them with easy epic-quality gear and lots of point systems.

    Wrath went one step further, by making raiding far easier, and PvP gear-acquisition far more streamlined and less grindy; while later on the Achievements system was introduced,playing on everyone's compulsions to "finish" things just because they are there to be finished. And it did work to make players not realise just how poor the game was in regards to its open world/role-playing elements; how the questing system was ridiculous, so simple, easy, guided questing, with no choices to be made, no riddles to be solved, heck, there were even markers to show you where to go in case thinking of directions' meaning was too much. In general even more pandering, easy rewards, and bars to fill/points to collect, in place of actual open world/role-playing content. But the illusion started to wear thin, which is why the game peaked in subscriptions at the time, why it stopped growing.

    And then Cataclysm came, with even less open world/role-playing content, even more streamlining and pandering; and harder instanced content to add to the mix. There is this notion that hard group-dungeons are to mostly to blame for the noticeable/worrying decrease in subscriptions at the time. What this notion is missing in the fact that ever since LfR was introduced things haven't been much better, on the contrary. What is more, even the promise of "melding" into a raid group to get carried to your epic-quality loot didn't do much to convince players to participate. Dragon Soul's completion percentages, even in LfR are testament to that. Most players are just not interested in instanced content. This is not such a rad notion either. Just look at most "WoW would-be killers', trying to copy WoW's present state, with an excuse of open world/role-playing content, but "a wealth of instanced content". A lot of the do both better than Blizzard actually. But players reach said wealth and get tired/bored because "it's more of the same as WoW". And leave to go back to what they at least are familiar with. If there ever was a metaphor for abusive behaviour. And a clearest indication that both "would-be killers" and Blizzard do it wrong.

    But of course that is not acceptable, because developing for a genuine role-playing game set in an open world is so much more expensive than developing for an instanced-focused one. And while Blizzard is perhaps the only company that could do that, sadly, the resources are not in the hands of the developers but their managers, and they are businessmen trying to "milk" their products, not videogame enthusiasts.

    Which is how Mists came to be. More alternatives to raiding/arenas than ever before. But not of the open world/role-playing sort; instead more grinding gameplay in various forms; and always pandering, taken-by-the-hand, bewilderingly easy and lacking depth, streamlined, rewarding-for-nothing to the point of numbness, and so on. Which expectedly drove people to get bored sooner or later. Because grindy, centralised gameplay isn't a good substitute of open world/role-playing content either.

    No substitute is. Games that embrace their nature, and seek to offer relevant content, increasingly improved and evolved, become massive successes, bith financially and critically: Grand Theft Auto, Rust, Zelda, Fallout, Red Dead Redemption, Yakuza; the game that evolved into a subculture that is MineCraft; and Skyrim, surpassing 20 million copies sold, in an age of rampant piracy nonetheless. Meanwhile World of WarCraft is trying to fool most of its players, those seeking a role-playing experience set in an open world, the very people that made it the massive success that it has been and partly still is, into thinking that dungeon-running and pillar-humping is the exact same thing as adventuring in a vast world filled with mystery and potential for exciting times. Only it isn't, and no amount of bullshitting is going to make it so; fans will be fans and will keep giving the chance, communities will be communities and will keep together for as long as things are somewhat enjoyable, and habits are habits and they die hard; but they already have started to die, communities to migrate, and even fans to stop caring. But who knows? Perhaps the same massive player-base that has made the exact opposite of what WoW is supposed to be, League of Legends and the like, such a grand success, will partly migrate to WoW and revitalise it; it does seem that Blizzard is gunning for them already, what with all the streamlining and obsession with balance and "pruning" that is going on.
    I would "like" your post if i could

  3. #23
    Not seeing what one thing has to do with another in OP's post. I started MMORPG's with Asheron's Call, which came out well before WoW. Some real life friends convinced me to play it with them and having never played PC games before, I had my reservations but was immediately hooked on the game. AC wasn't a replacement for a social life, I still actually went out and did things with friends but I enjoyed the social aspect of the game as well. When my AC guild started talking about WoW around the time it came out, I decided to check it out and see what all the fuss was about and once again, was instantly hooked.

    Since then the only people I know irl who play WoW with my are my husband and my daughter. I still enjoy the social aspect of MMORPG's and would lose interest quickly if I didn't have a good guild to hang out with in game. I miss the days when these games forced people to group up and interact, back when the MMORPG community was significantly smaller and the genre wasn't so popular. I don't find the genre any less appealing than I did 13 years ago, though I can't say I'm happy with all the changes they've made to attract a newer, younger audience.

    MMORPG's were originally role playing games that encouraged multiplayer gameplay. Does the environment itself foster socialization? Yes, but to say the genre is being phased out by FB chat is ridiculous since there is no comparison between the two.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimr View Post
    It's only a matter of time before MMO's become a niche genre Not that there is anything wrong with that.
    That was how this genre started, as a "niche", and frankly the community was better when it was that way.

  4. #24
    I don't think this genre is going to die... Like most things they just simmer down then it comes back into vogue. Take Call of Duty, that thing has been going for years and had a lot of competitors but almost every year, without fail there's some rehash or respawn and some dumb duck is gonna queue up to get it at a midnight launch. That franchise started in 2003... it's now 2014.
    I don't like FPS but someone will and they will go buy it.
    On top of that the recession was a couple of years so to save money people stayed at home and played games, if you look at the game industry as a whole the entirety just boomed from sales as people could either pirate or buy a game and be entertained for a month for minimum purchase and maximum the time. WoW is the biggest prime example of minimal spend and so much to do with the added bonus of socialising so people stuck to it for longer than they intended... Now the recession has lessened, people wanna spend money on things other then games...
    But with 6.8 million subscribers when they started off with like 1-2 million in Vanilla, I doubt they mind. After all, with 7m subscribers paying subscriptions... They are probably earning BILLIONS in a month... Go figure. I doubt that's a dying genre, I'd say that's one of the most invested companies.
    "If there is ever a zombie apocalypse. We're safe, stupid people don't have brains." ~~~ D:

  5. #25
    High Overlord TheJewishMerp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokoshne View Post
    ICQ was big back then as well IIRC
    Good god, I haven't thought about ICQ in...probably 7 years.

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  6. #26
    The Lightbringer Hubcap's Avatar
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    Young people aren't joining MMO's anymore. They are playing Minecraft and FPS'. Over 10 million Minecraft copies sold in N America alone.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokoshne View Post
    ICQ was big back then as well IIRC
    Oh memories...

  8. #28
    There were plenty of chat programs and ways to communicate online while WoW was in its glory days.

  9. #29
    interests have widened, players are growing older, games are more cheaply and easily available on stuff like steam. OF all varieties. India games are out there for quick fun. Multiplayers out there like Moba's, Co-ops, Vs, etc.

    Stuff that chips away at mmo's but does not mean it is ending.

  10. #30
    Elemental Lord Chickat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispersedshadow View Post
    Doesn't that still mean it's kinda dying...

    If I say "It's not that spandex jockstraps are dying, people just aren't wearing inorganic fabrics as much", the end result is still less people wearing spandex jockstraps; If the trend continues, spandex jockstraps will fade completely from the Earth, a pale memory of a long forgotten era.
    Yes its dying, but it is dying because the genre is dying and not because it is bad.
    Send me a PM and suggest a forum avatar based on my title, Immortal.

  11. #31
    Some people will be weary of MMO's. Others aren't - they really are just bored of WoW. I have no issue investing in alternate MMO's - some of which I consider to be far more enjoyable than WoW itself. I don't think the genre is dying at all. There's simply many more viable MMO's available and so a lot more people are spread out across them rather than the majority playing WoW and WoW only.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Drithien View Post
    I have to disagree with the notion that the game is somehow "dying", as in being already in a bad condition that is only getting worse. Remember, or learn if you don't already know, that Blizzard's own predictions about the game, enthusiastic as they were, dictated that it would become the most popular mmorpg with a subscription; but that meant usurping the throne from Everquest 2 and its 200k subscribers.

    So, it was their hope for it to reach 300k-400k subscriptions; and, perhaps, if things went exceptionally well, at some point down the line, years after release, grow to 2 million; fingers crossed and everything. And it did reach those 2 million subscribers... in a few weeks. And continued growing, peaking at 12 million during Wrath. Right now it is at 6-7 million. And it will almost certainly see a rise in subscriptions once the new expansion is released. From a hopeful estimated 300k, to sustaining 6 million in its downtime. I am certain most studios would wish for their games to "die" such deaths.

    So lets not exaggerate. It is on a decline, sure. One worsened by increasingly debatable decisions, most likely originating from executive "directions" = orders by suits that are interested in selling their product, not the creation of good games. But it is not dying. Wait until it falls below the profit threshold of most mmorpgs before thinking of funeral arrangements.


    The game itself is of course on a decline, as mentioned; and part of it is the reason that you wrote about. I can attest to that, being a player ever since Classic myself. It's just so much easier to keep in touch with people nowadays; and it does come in handy when you decide to take a break, or they do, or you both do. You don't have to log in just to communicate in an easy manner. And there are so many other games to play together online, just so many. Which is another reason why the game had been so successful when it launched: it was the ideal time technology-wise; with dial-up and even broadband connections replaced by the staggeringly faster adsl ones, computers being able to handle vast three-dimensional worlds so much easier, people getting excited for these technological revolutions, and showing a hunger for their various usages, while being accustomed enough with them to be able to keep up with news of them.

    But now, it's been a decade since that time. Now we expect pc-of-the-time characteristics out of our phones, and internet access from almost everywhere. And along with them there are so many ways to utilise said gadgets and connection. World of WarCraft is up against the entire internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And it's not even so shiny and impressive anymore.


    Then there is the community of Blizzard fans, thanks to their impeccable work on WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo; as well as the massive following due to their embrace of Defense of the Ancients. Internet cafes were swarming with DotA matches, a completely free game that lets you play with/against your friends, with high re-playability, lots of depths to uncover; and offering such a potential for some intellectual self-strok... gratification in case of a victory. And most of those people, mostly teenagers, with lots of free time in their hands, or the ability to "create" said kind of time learned about the hype of the brand new game from the "creators" of their current favourite. You can't buy such advertisement.

    But now, there is League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Smite, DotA 2 even, and so many many more games; some of which attracted players away from DotA and/or WoW, but some that acted as DotA and/or WoW for a newer generation of players. There are fans of LoL that don't even know that DotA ever existed. At the same time perhaps Rift's, Star Wars: The Old Republic's, Wildstar's, etc numbers don't equal those of WoW's, on their own. But combined? They add up quite a bit (lot).

    And these losses add to the losses from other games' utilisation of the internet, and of all the applications using the internet in general.


    Then there is also the age of the game. It works is no many negative ways. It tires veterans. It burns out obsessive players that spend several hours each and every day on the game. It is leaves the game behind as players grow and inherit responsibilities that require their time, or even devour it whole. It makes the game look outdated, no matter the "face-lifts".


    And I am certain there are so many more factors.


    Last, certainly not least, and most probably the most important reason for me: this game has been so badly developed for throughout all these years, that it's as if its developers have very little idea on how to develop for such a game, or they just don't want to/can't due to the fact that they don't make such decisions.

    World of WaCraft is, at least supposed to be, a role-playing game set in an open world. Such a kind of game relies on the fundamental elements of its description. Character creation, customization, personalisation, and shaping as a role-playing game; as well as the fleshing out of the world of the game through the presentation of stories in the form of quests, and the ability to approach them in personal ways. And the existence of a vast world, with advanced interactivity, as an open world game.

    Classic was a flawed, but honest attempt at such a game. It was a mess; unfinished, buggy, and at times even broken; but the seeds along with some sprouts were there. And it could have blossomed so beautifully.

    But it didn't. Crusade offered such a smaller world, with so diminished variety, and a sudden increase in streamlining. From 38 zones to 8, from six main campaigns to 2; the scope of the world was reduced so much, the freedom, the small things one could find out of the main path, the variety; all were severely reduced. But the game did steadily great, because it still had the momentum of Classic, good word of mouth, and a still quite slow pace that made content last for most players, most were not even able to go into Outland at release because they still were not even close to levels 58-60. But this was the beginning of a worrying turn for the game; from letting players adventure in a vast world, to trying to shoehorn them all in instances, whether they were group/raid dungeons, or battlegrounds/arenas; luring them with easy epic-quality gear and lots of point systems.

    Wrath went one step further, by making raiding far easier, and PvP gear-acquisition far more streamlined and less grindy; while later on the Achievements system was introduced,playing on everyone's compulsions to "finish" things just because they are there to be finished. And it did work to make players not realise just how poor the game was in regards to its open world/role-playing elements; how the questing system was ridiculous, so simple, easy, guided questing, with no choices to be made, no riddles to be solved, heck, there were even markers to show you where to go in case thinking of directions' meaning was too much. In general even more pandering, easy rewards, and bars to fill/points to collect, in place of actual open world/role-playing content. But the illusion started to wear thin, which is why the game peaked in subscriptions at the time, why it stopped growing.

    And then Cataclysm came, with even less open world/role-playing content, even more streamlining and pandering; and harder instanced content to add to the mix. There is this notion that hard group-dungeons are to mostly to blame for the noticeable/worrying decrease in subscriptions at the time. What this notion is missing in the fact that ever since LfR was introduced things haven't been much better, on the contrary. What is more, even the promise of "melding" into a raid group to get carried to your epic-quality loot didn't do much to convince players to participate. Dragon Soul's completion percentages, even in LfR are testament to that. Most players are just not interested in instanced content. This is not such a rad notion either. Just look at most "WoW would-be killers', trying to copy WoW's present state, with an excuse of open world/role-playing content, but "a wealth of instanced content". A lot of the do both better than Blizzard actually. But players reach said wealth and get tired/bored because "it's more of the same as WoW". And leave to go back to what they at least are familiar with. If there ever was a metaphor for abusive behaviour. And a clearest indication that both "would-be killers" and Blizzard do it wrong.

    But of course that is not acceptable, because developing for a genuine role-playing game set in an open world is so much more expensive than developing for an instanced-focused one. And while Blizzard is perhaps the only company that could do that, sadly, the resources are not in the hands of the developers but their managers, and they are businessmen trying to "milk" their products, not videogame enthusiasts.

    Which is how Mists came to be. More alternatives to raiding/arenas than ever before. But not of the open world/role-playing sort; instead more grinding gameplay in various forms; and always pandering, taken-by-the-hand, bewilderingly easy and lacking depth, streamlined, rewarding-for-nothing to the point of numbness, and so on. Which expectedly drove people to get bored sooner or later. Because grindy, centralised gameplay isn't a good substitute of open world/role-playing content either.

    No substitute is. Games that embrace their nature, and seek to offer relevant content, increasingly improved and evolved, become massive successes, both financially and critically: Grand Theft Auto, Rust, Zelda, Fallout, Red Dead Redemption, Yakuza; the game that evolved into a subculture that is MineCraft; and Skyrim, surpassing 20 million copies sold, in an age of rampant piracy nonetheless. Meanwhile World of WarCraft is trying to fool most of its players, those seeking a role-playing experience set in an open world, the very people that made it the massive success that it has been and partly still is, into thinking that dungeon-running and pillar-humping is the exact same thing as adventuring in a vast world filled with mystery and potential for exciting times. Only it isn't, and no amount of bullshitting is going to make it so; fans will be fans and will keep giving the chance, communities will be communities and will keep together for as long as things are somewhat enjoyable, and habits are habits and they die hard; but they already have started to die, communities to migrate, and even fans to stop caring. But who knows? Perhaps the same massive player-base that has made the exact opposite of what WoW is supposed to be, League of Legends and the like, such a grand success, will partly migrate to WoW and revitalise it; it does seem that Blizzard is gunning for them already, what with all the streamlining and obsession with balance and "pruning" that is going on.
    An excellent post. It deserves to be an editorial in a respectable magazine. Not that I agree with everything but the in-depth analysis is excellent.

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