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  1. #1

    WoW being more hardcore oriented = more popular?

    Short answer: no

    Long answer: No, because when this game was at the height of its popularity during Wrath/early Cata we had near constant complaints about how the game was "too casual" now with the removal of things like attunements, non-degrading honor, LFG, normal dungeons/raids etc etc. Basically, the main storyline/key elements of the game were now more accessible, and this pi$$ed off a minority of hardcore players at the time.
    Even late TBC had folks moaning about even the slightest dip in their perceived difficulty.

    If the popularity of the game was inherently linked to how "hardcore" it is (a vague definition/concept) then Blizz would make it more "hardcore". It's simple market economics. WoW is a product (always has been) and every time you play it/buy a sub you are being sold something.

    In short: you cannot over do it on the hardcore sauce. Doesn't work.

  2. #2
    Finally one interesting topic MMO-C has been kinda slow lately for some reason
    I agree!
    But the game seems to be on the direction of min maxing and optimization (new Mythic Dungeon rating system in 9.1 and such)

  3. #3
    I'd wager most people who are still playing are closer to hardcore than casual so my general answer would be: yes.

    You are drawing wrong conclusions as to why the playerbase is waning. The most important factor is - because the game is 15 years old.

    People who are still playing are mostly compulsive gatherers (mount/mogs/toys/pets/achi points collectors), super try hard pvpers or raiders/m+ pushers. I think you are horribly wrong thinking that people who still play this game after 15 years would be happy doing slow and boring content (as you can see by classic wow that is mostly populated by hardcore crowd anyway).

  4. #4
    ideally the game should cater to hardcores, casuals and everything in-between but there's always going to be the casuals who resent the existence of hardcore content and the hardcores who resent the existence of casuals so even if blizz somehow managed to get that balance right, there would still be a vocal minority complaining

  5. #5
    Fresh take you've got there.

    I think the problem is entirely different, I think one of the problems wow has is that it has misunderstood difficulty. Every type of player wants things for them, some people like a real challenge, others don't, BUT, and this is the important part:

    Noone wants content you can't lose
    Noone wants content you can't win

    Look at something like the bastion covenant arena thing, who is that for?

    For the players that like less challenging content, the fights might be too punishing, and you risk wasting all your effort collecting materials for the challenge.
    For the players that enjoy challenging content, the hoops you have to jump through before you can do a single fight might be too many, and what you really want to do is get more tries in.

    I think in some ways the game has removed too many little hurdles that made the easier part of the game more enjoyable, note here that I'm not saying difficulty, I'm saying small hurdles to overcome.

    Another example, Mor'ladim in Duskwood, he was a high level elite patrolling around the graveyard area. Sometimes he'd find you from afar and chase you down. I still have pleasant memories from when I was a young new player nearly jumping off my chair when he started chasing me down. And this wasn't some massive skill check, you simply stayed away from him, keeping an eye out. You could come back 10 levels later and kill him if you were curious about what he dropped.
    In an effort to make the game more friendly towards newer players blizzard removed him along with many other things, I'm sure they saw in their data that most people didn't kill him, but did that really improve anything?

    I believe the players that like things on the easier end of the challenge spectrum need some small hurdles, something that puts the game nicely between something they can relax while doing, but more engaging than watching a movie.

    For the more challenge oriented players the game works better, but sometimes challenges are hidden behind tasks that a player that requires a challenge might not at all enjoy doing.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sialina View Post
    Another example, Mor'ladim in Duskwood, he was a high level elite patrolling around the graveyard area. Sometimes he'd find you from afar and chase you down. I still have pleasant memories from when I was a young new player nearly jumping off my chair when he started chasing me down.
    I question your association of emotion to memory if this is a pleasant memory for you.

    Also, no MMORPG in existence doesn't expect you to do trivial, periodic content to progress. That's complaining about a genre, not a game.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Shadows View Post
    Short answer: no

    Long answer: No, because when this game was at the height of its popularity during Wrath/early Cata we had near constant complaints about how the game was "too casual" now with the removal of things like attunements, non-degrading honor, LFG, normal dungeons/raids etc etc. Basically, the main storyline/key elements of the game were now more accessible, and this pi$$ed off a minority of hardcore players at the time.
    Even late TBC had folks moaning about even the slightest dip in their perceived difficulty.

    If the popularity of the game was inherently linked to how "hardcore" it is (a vague definition/concept) then Blizz would make it more "hardcore". It's simple market economics. WoW is a product (always has been) and every time you play it/buy a sub you are being sold something.

    In short: you cannot over do it on the hardcore sauce. Doesn't work.
    1. WoW was never hardcore friendly.
    2. Subs stagnated in wotlk and started to fall rapidly in cata.
    3. Attunements are casual content removing them hurts casuals more.
    4. lfg/lfr diminshes whatever you're doing(watching a youtube video about skydiving is not the same as actually skydiving, same applies to every experience including video games)
    5. Dungeons having multiple difficulties: *see 4* (ideally there would be one difficulty somewhere in the middle and instead of having a stupid amount of mechanics the difficulty could be put back into playing your class instead, which would allow better players to carry worse players but the worse players would still experience the fights as they were intended)
    6. WoW was most popular when it catered to people who actually liked rpg games, even if it wasn't the best/most rpg-ish game the added social aspect made up for it. Destroying the world and making non instanced content feel more like you're in a main menu in some online game waiting for a queue instead of a rpg ruined it, had nothing to do with it being more hardcore or casual.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by melzas View Post
    I'd wager most people who are still playing are closer to hardcore than casual so my general answer would be: yes.

    You are drawing wrong conclusions as to why the playerbase is waning. The most important factor is - because the game is 15 years old.

    People who are still playing are mostly compulsive gatherers (mount/mogs/toys/pets/achi points collectors), super try hard pvpers or raiders/m+ pushers. I think you are horribly wrong thinking that people who still play this game after 15 years would be happy doing slow and boring content (as you can see by classic wow that is mostly populated by hardcore crowd anyway).
    Your 3rd paragraph nails it, at least for me. I was a compulsive gatherer/ alt player. Then I realized, levelling 36 toons every expansion is insanity, and the collector game is over (mount collecting ends at 400 apparently, I'm at 530 unique and some folks prolly have 100 more than I do). It's over.

    It kinda makes me sad,.I like to play alts but leveling is way too damn slow (I'm talking after alt 10 here, so don't flame because your 2nd 60 seemed fine). Also 4 dungeons over and over and over, gross.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaetha View Post
    I question your association of emotion to memory if this is a pleasant memory for you.

    Also, no MMORPG in existence doesn't expect you to do trivial, periodic content to progress. That's complaining about a genre, not a game.
    No need to question, not being an unstoppable killing machine straight from the get-go can't be that hard to imagine can it? A sense of some danger that you can avoid can be exciting for people, the game never asked you to kill him either, it simply had some danger patrolling around.

    I also didn't say trivial content should be removed, I'm saying content that is nothing but trivial from star to end won't satisfy as many people as it could.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sialina View Post
    Noone wants content you can't lose
    I think we learned from the LFD fiasco in cata and from LFR that a large minority (and if you'll permit me to be a bit spicy, possibly even the majority) of players absolutely do not want to be able to fail premade instanced content.
    Tonight for me is a special day. I want to go outside of the house of the girl I like with a gasoline barrel and write her name on the road and set it on fire and tell her to get out too see it (is this illegal)?

  11. #11
    Are we just going to ignore the inclusion of things that have been implemented that has at least aimed to benefit Casual players?

    Exile's Reach
    LFR
    Timewalking
    Chromie Time
    Boss Indicators for those without addons
    Portal Room
    UI Improvements to quest direction
    New Race customization options
    New race-class combos
    Leveling and Catchup Gearing events (Legion Invasions, Korrak's Revenge, etc.)
    Bonus Objectives
    Treasures
    Toy Box
    Transmog & Wardrobe
    Pet Battling
    Scenarios
    Warforging & Titanforging
    Artifact Research
    Weekly Chest
    Corruption
    Visions
    Torghast
    The Garrison
    Islands
    Warfronts
    The Level Squish
    Warmode allowing PvE players to opt out of being griefed

    All these features and more aren't strictly there to appeal to the power rush of hardcore players. A lot of these features serve as content for casual players -- catch up, things to do -- and often help them more than hard-core players. While not all of them have been as successful as others or remained main-stays, others have been.

    But yes, more can always be done to improve the Casual experience.
    More should always be done - they represent supposedly the bulk of the player-base.

    It's not like ALL content is hard-core end-game raids and nothing else. There are a lot of power-avenues in the game, but many of them can be considered casual-oriented. It's really rare we see features that are entirely hardcore-oriented like the Mage Tower.

    Some things have been going by the wayside lately, like the Flight Whistle and Flying in general being less accessible than in previous expansions. These are the kinds of things that could be looked at going forward. More can always be done to improve the experience not just for Casuals, but for Hardcore players as well. Appeasing everyone isn't easy, but all people who play the game are players and everyone deserves a voice and a chance to have content that appeals to them. A game that appeals to a larger audience should be able to capture all sorts of players, not just the general audience. It's obviously imperative that they keep it in mind so they can at least do that much. It isn't the be-all-and-end-all, because the goal is larger than that -- the game should strive to appeal to everyone, not just one audience. If the game was purely fit for casuals we'd have a very casual game. The variety allows WoW to reach a wider audience.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Shadows View Post
    Short answer: no

    Long answer: No, because when this game was at the height of its popularity during Wrath/early Cata we had near constant complaints about how the game was "too casual" now with the removal of things like attunements, non-degrading honor, LFG, normal dungeons/raids etc etc. Basically, the main storyline/key elements of the game were now more accessible, and this pi$$ed off a minority of hardcore players at the time.
    Even late TBC had folks moaning about even the slightest dip in their perceived difficulty.

    If the popularity of the game was inherently linked to how "hardcore" it is (a vague definition/concept) then Blizz would make it more "hardcore". It's simple market economics. WoW is a product (always has been) and every time you play it/buy a sub you are being sold something.

    In short: you cannot over do it on the hardcore sauce. Doesn't work.
    Short answer: yes

    Long answer: Yes, because casuals are tourists who don't stick around. Designing a game for people who barely play the game and are quick to leave is stupidity.

    And a little bit of history: This game was growing fastest when it was considerably less accessible.

    Also I feel that a lot of people who self identify as casuals are anything but.
    Last edited by enigma77; 2021-06-22 at 08:23 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Long answer: Yes, because casuals are tourists who don't stick around. Designing a game for people who barely play the game and are quick to leave is stupidity.
    SL made more in box sales than all of BFAs sub fees put together. Blizzard doesn't need you, blizzard only needs to hype you up/ nost bait you hard enough to drop a box sale every two years.
    Tonight for me is a special day. I want to go outside of the house of the girl I like with a gasoline barrel and write her name on the road and set it on fire and tell her to get out too see it (is this illegal)?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    SL made more in box sales than all of BFAs sub fees put together. Blizzard doesn't need you, blizzard only needs to hype you up/ nost bait you hard enough to drop a box sale every two years.
    Semi-true (I doubt that all of the BFA subs are less money than just the SL box sales, but yeah box sales are big) and then they make the rest of their money by making sure people stick around and stay subscribed.

    Casual tourists don't stick around.

    One of the grand misconceptions of gaming, but particularly mmos that you hear to this day being presented as truth is that you make a great game by making it for the casuals. No, the casuals will not stick around and play your game. They'll leave in droves no matter how noob friendly your game is. They'll chase the next new release and never look back. Dedicated "hardcore" gamers are your actual audience and these people don't want a bland, superficial game made for people who barely play it. They want depth, they want challenge.

    Games like Path of Exile prove that. And yeah I know it's not strictly speaking an mmo.
    Last edited by enigma77; 2021-06-22 at 08:30 PM.

  15. #15
    TBC (which was more hardcore oriented, like you literally could not get into t6 for an entire year if you did not kill both Kael and Vashj) and WoTLK (where everything was easily accessible to nearly everyone) are pretty much proof that this is not the main reason of failure/success, though Wrath was headed for failure if they handn't introduced hard modes and then heroic. The game has been increasing in subs count in both, sure there were other factors lile the game still being new and WC3 characters (especially lich king).

    I believe that the main reason for popularity is the quality of the content and the engagement mechanism. Right now and for the last 3 expansions it has been an exhausting and annoying treadmill. Back in those days you had useful crafts, useful reputations, hell even useful questlines .. it simply was worth doing stuff. Now .. aside from raiding, m+ and rated pvp, everything else is either optional or a very annoying grind, like soulbinds and ap.
    Last edited by kranur; 2021-06-22 at 08:36 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Semi-true (I doubt that all of the BFA subs are less money than just the SL box sales, but yeah box sales are big) and then they make the rest of their money by making sure people stick around and stay subscribed.

    Casual tourists don't stick around.

    One of the grand misconceptions of gaming, but particularly mmos that you hear to this day being presented as truth is that you make a great game by making it for the casuals. No, the casuals will not stick around and play your game. They'll leave in droves no matter how noob friendly your game is. They'll chase the next new release and never look back. Dedicated "hardcore" gamers are your actual audience and these people don't want a bland, superficial game made for people who barely play it. They want depth, they want challenge.

    Games like Path of Exile prove that. And yeah I know it's not strictly speaking an mmo.
    Herm....

    I hope you are saying the majority are hardcore BUT extremely bad players at the same time.
    or
    Majority is hardcore BUT doesnt care about being a good player

    Because...every number points to only a vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvery small % of people completing hard content...we all know this.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Roanda View Post
    Herm....

    I hope you are saying the majority are hardcore BUT extremely bad players at the same time.
    or
    Majority is hardcore BUT doesnt care about being a good player

    Because...every number points to only a vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvery small % of people completing hard content...we all know this.
    That's why I paraphased hardcore. The definitions of hardcore and casual are very vague.

    I personsally consider casuals players who sub a month or two once a new patch comes out, do a bit of LFR and unsubscribe. "Hardcore" is anyone who does Heroic raiding, Mythic + and Mythic raiding or actively pvps.

    I guess a better word would be active player.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Roanda View Post
    Because...every number points to only a vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvery small % of people completing hard content...we all know this.
    I mean...isn't quite often a hallmark of something difficult that not everybody manages to complete it?

    I'd argue that one can enjoy an MMO even without "completing" everything, people enjoyed Vanilla even without killing KT, same goes for TBC and Wotlk.
    The crux is, you should have a mix of content that caters to different levels of skill and preferences, multiple levels of difficulty frankly aren't the magic answer to everything in my opinion, as some people simply don't view it as additional content.
    They do a dungeon / raid at their chosen difficulty, clear it and leave it.

    The approach "everybody should complete everything in our game" seems frankly more the approach of a businessman than one of a game designer, because it's more the business side that cares about participation rates, at least for games that aren't completely focused on the story.

    In the same vein, i also don't think WoW needs to throw everything at raids, i consider it frankly pretty much wasted resources when artists create a catalogue of new assets for a raid, only that said raid lands in the bin 6 months afterwards because the games moves onto the next.
    I think Blizzard should take lessons from Classic / TBC and rather attempt to re use existing assets to create raids, then use those resources to create more content elsewhere.

    I think a healthy mix is important, the issue is that WoW nowadays creates this mix artificially with multiple levels of difficulty.
    Last edited by Kralljin; 2021-06-22 at 09:16 PM.

  19. #19
    Who said this? WoW has always been a casual MMO compared to the games that came before.


    Also early Cata days were a complete shit show, I don't know what your talking about. They made heroic dungeons more challenging than usual and the crying was unbearable.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Long answer: Yes, because casuals are tourists who don't stick around. Designing a game for people who barely play the game and are quick to leave is stupidity.
    Designing a game solely for the people that were expected to buy it anyway won't keep the doors open. Look at Wildstar.

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