March? April? It's May as far as I know and it's f*****g hot right now. May = Summer. A lot of my mates are going on holidays after we graduate in High school... and a lot has already canceled their subs 'cause of graduations and holidays. So this is a valid statement.
The earning's report was from January - March is what he meant i think.
Its not that players went through the Cataclysm content faster than expected. Its that the content wasn't there to begin with. A lot of Cataclysm's development was spent on redesigning level 1 to 60 leveling content. I don't know about the rest of you but I buy expansions expecting to play new content on my main, not to go back and do all the level 1 to 60 areas. I wonder how much more we would have had if they hadn't of done that ? That and putting the A Team on Titan.
Not to mention that the revamped content takes about a day to get through until it's time to go to Outlands.
I find it incredibly amusing that at least 15 people have posted with the "real" reason that they lost subs, and each one of them has a different reason. It's the PvP balance/homogenization/10 vs 25 man raids/heroic raids/heroic 5mans are too hard/too easy... obviously. Probably all of you are right to an extent, and Blizzard themselves are right that there's a certain amount of churn from seasonal factors and content release times. Personally I haven't quit, but I've been playing a lot less. Not becasue the content is too hard, too easy, or anything else. I'm just tired. I've played this game for years, it's starting to lose some of the magic for me. It's not anything Blizzard has or hasn't done, I'm just moving on.
Yeahhhh. Less than 5% of the player base made it past Raz. Content that was over a year and a half old when TBC was released. I could have gotten another year+ enjoyment out of Vanilla and I only made it to twin emps(no, I didn't kill them). Even after you got your gear upped to current content level, current content was still challenging. Not hard, but the bosses that were meant to be gates still acted as such and if you didn't bring your A game you would wipe to them.
Blizzard is right to an extent about the churn, but never have the minor balance issues that people QQ about constantly caused a huge sub loss. Also I see a lot of people posting with an opinion similar to yours as well. Most of the problems I see with the game are systemic, not balance related.
The major problem is that a lot of these changes are coming from a group I like to call "moderate elitists". Which means blizzard is attempting to cater to all sides of the spectrum at once, and they can't do that. No one can. The closest its ever been was somewhere in between Vanilla and TBC and even then I'm fairly certain it was accidental. There was a period in WotLK where they came close again, but in a different fashion that wasn't so great because it more or less invalidated a lot of content.
40 mans forced people to take bad players and train them. I know, I did it. In TBC+? Bads just get booted. We had 20+ good players already no problem. Its not a huge feat to get 20 good players. fill in the other 5 with people that don't suck too terribly and you're good to go. No incentive to train, no incentive to help, and much less room to carry people. I saw some of the worst players turn into top 5-10 DPS consistently in 40 mans.
Itemization is also a problem. There was never a problem for us getting people to go back to MC to either gear up alts(giving those players something to do) or gear up new players. There was always one or two awesome drops that folks didn't have yet. our second tank didn't have his TF, the token ret pally didn't have hand of rag, two or three of the rogues wanted a brutality blade. Etc. Even into AQ40 progression getting people to help others was easy. Out of 100+ possible drops the good consistent raiders wanted 10 or so of them, and the remainder of items were still big upgrades for whoever we were gearing out.
This, while a lot of people(wrongly) say it was catering to the "elites" was, although I think accidentally. catering to both at the same time. TBC's major saving grace was Kara, and later ZA. I don't even know how many hours I spent in those two. A large portion of the player base never raided anything much beyond those two. WotLK's saving grace was double lockouts. Cata.... has no saving grace. Thats why its getting so much flak. There's no room left for maneuvering. You're going to play the game the way they want you to play it or not at all. Unsuprisingly(myself included shortly I think, unless firelands fixes a lot of systemic issues) a lot of folks are choosing the "not at all" option. As for sub numbers, thats just 600k that have canceled. Of my entire friends list most log on maybe once a week at best. Several haven't logged on in weeks and its just a matter of them taking the time to cancel their account when they realize the game isn't fun and they don't want to play anymore. In guilds etc. I see on my server 80%+ activity decline. A lot of guilds are being forced from 25 mans altogether, having to do 10 mans. Its the same on both factions.
Another problem is the LFD tool. It basically rendered anything that gets put into it "inconsequential content". Crap thats meant to be easy, and thus provides little value. The LFD tool was good when it was realm-only. There were still consequences for terrible players. People had more incentive to try to help someone out simply because they were liable to be grouped with that person again. Cross-realm LFD is and was a terrible idea and whoever actually pushed it through the door at blizzard is responsible for one of the most major systemic issues with WoW at the moment.
I'm not saying Vanilla was perfect, Vanillas list of problems were generally simply a lot smaller than what has been created since then. Albeit the list was a bit longer, the items on it were of less consequence.
Note: Cata is not too hard. I have a 95%+ success rate for random heroics with pugs. Most of the complaints seem to come from folks who run with guilds all the time who can't handle stuff that isn't exactly as they expect it to be IMO. Bad players are bad players. Deal with it somehow and move on, it won't kill your run.
What I would like to see:
As a Band-Aid:
Vanilla realms, and TBC realms for those who liked that xpac better.
To fix issues:
Removal of cross-realm LFD. Lockouts returned to 10 man and 25 man. Hardmodes eliminated, and a return to gated progression systems in which there was a real sense of progression rather than a "Well.... we cleared all there is to clear... wanna do it again for slightly better loot and epeen?" (Hint: Most guilds are choosing not to do heroics, either directly or indirectly due to their players not wanting to crawl through the same crap but harder. Its not due to a lack of competency for many of them).
Last, but not least. A return to 40 mans. I put this one last, because its more opinion and anecdotal evidence related than the rest. However most folks I've talked to that played through the 40's in Vanilla agree with me. The guilds that failed to do 40 mans were often the guilds that weren't worth playing for anyways as they wouldn't help their own players out.
It's roughly $150-170 MILLION a month... Somewhere between $1.5 and 2 BILLION a year! Blizzard couldn't care less about losing a few customers, and their line about faster deployment of new content is a joke. If they could have rolled out new content you would think they would be doing it already as people are crying for new content for more than a year. I highlighted new because rehashing old content (Naxx / Deadmines / SFK / ZA / ZG / Ragnaros with legs.) just doesn't cut it for players that were here for vanilla and BC. They have seen the content sometimes hundreds of times only to have to do it all again to get new loots...
11.4 mil is very nice number, more than any other paid subscription MMO out there. But it is less than it was two years ago with WoTLK's release (11.5 mil) which does show WoW is in a slow decline. While WoW isn't dying, it's not increasing either as new MMOs come out they'll continue to chip away at WoW's population base.
Ok. Cataclysm isnt easy in raid HC terms. But WoW is easy in overral. Game mechanics are easy. Tanks are almost same. Warrior and Paladin 95% are same. Tanks have same defensive abilities. Healers are almost same. Same spells. Etc. And this is bad.
TBC model was best. It wasnt HC as Vanilla. It was more accesible for players then Vanilla. But everything was slower. Reputation was slower, gearing was way slower. HC players had top tiers raids. And casuals did they reputations, HC dungeons and sometimes low tier raids. Everything was in "balance".
Now? You hit 85. You log in, touch one button and you are in dungeon. You dont have to do anything for it. No key, no reputation nothing. After dungeon ther is nothing to do. Only log on your alt. In this game you have everything TOO FAST. That why is there boredrom.
Sure, $8,994,000 US per month is no big deal at all! I sure wouldn't complain about losing that much of my investment right after an expansion. Clearly, nothing at all is wrong with the product. By Jove, products are supposed to lose colossal amounts of money every month!
Blizzard strategy, rip off you much and cut off investments, every single expansion amount of raid dungeon drops, they just doing HC modes or something similar instead of new content , also recycling old content is short and cheap way .
They saying way more than any times before but doing nothing. They were so happy like month ago saying they dont want release firelands too early but it looks like they dont want to spend money on developers.
Also rift may have very smal % in that amount, wow is better than rift but dont mean rift wont be same good soon.
LOL at all of the people that can't count, "wow gains 3 people for every one of you lolcasuals that quit!". Guess not, hope this is a ake up call for them. And for the retards saying it is only 600k and that is not a dent you must realize that china does not pay $15/mon they pay by the hour so if the 600k was monthly subs than that is a shit ton.