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  1. #881
    Quote Originally Posted by Relapses View Post
    Careful now, you used the n-word that Classic players don't like. :^)

    Jokes aside, I think this is the most fair way to assess the data. We don't know whether Classic or retail are saving Blizzard's ass and it does seem somewhat unfair to compare what used to be a single game's subscribers to that which came after from the perspective of a player. (Side note: From a business/developer perspective I think this distinction is fully useless. Considering this slide came from a developer talk, I think this debate sorta misses the forest through the trees.) That said, it's still entertaining to talk about and even if we will never fully agree on the accuracy of the numbers on a graph whose y-axis was deliberately left ambiguous, it's nice to have a graphical representation of the data we've seen in the QRs and it's even better to learn that the doomsayers were largely very wrong about the rumors of WoW's impending demise.
    I think it's fair to say that Classic WoW cushioned the blow that was Shadowland's failure. Surprisingly TBC and WotLK Classic didn't do much for the sub count, which means one of two things: Retail bled more subs and they all went to Classic or Classic failed to gain a lot more players. I'm willing to bet the latter is the case, as people who want to play Classic already are now.

    It wasn't until SoD launch did we see another 'unexpected' jump from a non-expansion source.

    I'm sure Plunderstorm (to a lesser extent) is in that same boat but it's too new to know, probably not as much as an expansion release or SoD though (I could be grossly wrong). But in any case: Classic helped, but it has sustainability issues. Even the devs working on reintroducing Classic know this: Because anyone who knows anything about private servers and Vanilla / WotLK (RIP TBC) is that they have consistent numbers but fail to pull in anymore than it continually supports. It always falls back down to a 'comfortable' level. IE: Server starts with 10k - 20k, falls down to 5k-8k after the Naxx patch for a long time. Sometimes even continues to die off (or gets rebooted with a new progression server under a new name).

    That's why the original 'Seasonal' server idea was pitched before we got SoD as we have it now. As time goes on I'm sure we will see dedicated re-releases of Classic > MoP (at least) progression servers. But that can only be done SO many times and the audience of these servers will dwindle. No MMORPG to this date has had infinite regrowth with their progression servers releasing over and over again (They may have small growth though). I said this years ago now (And to no surprise it's what Blizzard is considering), they're gonna most likely keep this seasonal idea going and having an 'OSRS' style of realms where all the good ideas go to - while preserving the original game in some form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pann View Post
    Given that the graph clearly shows that WoW has performed below their expectations I suspect that there has not been massive growth and that the graph represents Western subs.
    China's way of earning money is also radically different compared to the west. Shorter forms of subs, heavier cash shop influence, internet cafes, etc. etc. - the changes between versions make this kind of graph useless if you try and talk about both versions at the same time.
    Last edited by PenguinChan; 2024-04-02 at 07:35 PM.

  2. #882
    Quote Originally Posted by Pann View Post
    I made this point a couple of days ago. Aside from no noticeable drop in subs at the time of WoW China's closure for the number to be accurate it would require that either WoW China accounted for a few hundred thousand subs or WoW has seen subs (more than) double over the last year.

    Given that the graph clearly shows that WoW has performed below their expectations I suspect that there has not been massive growth and that the graph represents Western subs.
    Yeah and considering Blizzard went crawling back to Netease after how awful they acted I highly doubt they would be doing it for such tiny amount of subs esp if they had 7+ million subs.

  3. #883
    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty123456 View Post
    Yeah and considering Blizzard went crawling back to Netease after how awful they acted I highly doubt they would be doing it for such tiny amount of subs esp if they had 7+ million subs.
    Agreed, the fact that they are looking to renew their relationship with Netease suggests that WoW China was significant both in terms of the number of subs and revenue.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinChan View Post
    China's way of earning money is also radically different compared to the west. Shorter forms of subs, heavier cash shop influence, internet cafes, etc. etc. - the changes between versions make this kind of graph useless if you try and talk about both versions at the same time.
    Regardless of payment models both Western and Chinese subs were counted the same in Blizzard's official figures.

  4. #884
    Quote Originally Posted by Luthorite View Post
    I doubt it. Cata's considered the turning point into the game we have today.
    Cata itself isn't the turning point, but that the internet culture was literally changing rapidly. Suddenly we've got Facebook, Twitter, and more online games were flooding the market, and most of them weren't under a subscription model like WoW.

    Cata does have problems, like nerfing Heroic dungeons was the biggest mistake they made and some of the nonsensical stories in some quests had, and how they practically strained themselve to revamp EVERY ZONE with new questlines and reconstructing everything for the sake of flying... but these were all things players were hoping for as well at the time "Why can't I fly in Azeroth?" "Why are dungeons so hard?" "Why are these questlines so boring and confusing?"

    A lot of those problems can be pointed back to Wrath because it was when they made the game much more accessible for people.. leveling was easier and more thematic than "get me ten bear pelts, don't ask why", Dungeons made easier, difficulty adjustments for raiding.. PvP Vehicle combat (who cares if your gear is trash, hop on a turret and start blasting.), Naxxramas too difficult? We'll remaster it and make it easier for newer players.. (It's also worth noting that Activision didn't get involved until they started working on Wrath.)

    So again, the issue isn't Cata itself.. but that the market trend was shifting and this is when stuff like League of Legends and FPS and MLG was slowly becoming the next big thing while MMOs were seen as out of style.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by AudibleEscalation View Post
    I'd be very surprised if Blizzard lets this through into the release of Cata. They must know it's going to cause problems.
    Probably now they have the foresight.. but if not, then the guild pyramid schemes will make a return.. and if there isn't enough players interested in Cata Classic, you're gonna see a huge surge of bots all in the same guild and killing mobs in random locations just to get the money sent to the guild bank.

    Botting will get even WORSE than before.

  5. #885
    Quote Originally Posted by Sezerek View Post
    You mean BFA I guess? Because BC and Wotlk during SL didnt really do shit.
    We don't know that from this graph.

    Maybe you're right and BC/Wrath didn't bring in a single new subscriber and nobody quit subscribing to Retail. But maybe tons of people resubbed for both BC/Wrath but it was offset by tons of people quitting Retail.

    Reality is somewhere between those two extremes but we have no way of knowing where, this graph does not provide that information.
    He/Him

  6. #886
    Quote Originally Posted by Woggmer View Post
    Cata itself isn't the turning point, but that the internet culture was literally changing rapidly. Suddenly we've got Facebook, Twitter, and more online games were flooding the market, and most of them weren't under a subscription model like WoW.

    Cata does have problems, like nerfing Heroic dungeons was the biggest mistake they made and some of the nonsensical stories in some quests had, and how they practically strained themselve to revamp EVERY ZONE with new questlines and reconstructing everything for the sake of flying... but these were all things players were hoping for as well at the time "Why can't I fly in Azeroth?" "Why are dungeons so hard?" "Why are these questlines so boring and confusing?"

    A lot of those problems can be pointed back to Wrath because it was when they made the game much more accessible for people.. leveling was easier and more thematic than "get me ten bear pelts, don't ask why", Dungeons made easier, difficulty adjustments for raiding.. PvP Vehicle combat (who cares if your gear is trash, hop on a turret and start blasting.), Naxxramas too difficult? We'll remaster it and make it easier for newer players.. (It's also worth noting that Activision didn't get involved until they started working on Wrath.)

    So again, the issue isn't Cata itself.. but that the market trend was shifting and this is when stuff like League of Legends and FPS and MLG was slowly becoming the next big thing while MMOs were seen as out of style.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Probably now they have the foresight.. but if not, then the guild pyramid schemes will make a return.. and if there isn't enough players interested in Cata Classic, you're gonna see a huge surge of bots all in the same guild and killing mobs in random locations just to get the money sent to the guild bank.

    Botting will get even WORSE than before.
    I mean - WoW was already 6-7years old when Cataclysm came out. Even today - I have hard time imagining any game that is relevant after that many years. The exception is LoL, DOTA, CS, COD - that's like out of millions of games.

    They could had rearranged the order of expansions and even fan favourites like WOTLK or Legion wouldn't keep same interest of people.

  7. #887
    Quote Originally Posted by Woggmer View Post
    So again, the issue isn't Cata itself.. but that the market trend was shifting and this is when stuff like League of Legends and FPS and MLG was slowly becoming the next big thing while MMOs were seen as out of style.
    lol what? That's currently.

    The time you're talking about was when everyone and their mom was trying to shit out MMOs to chase the fad. The period you're talking about following cata was a 4 year window that saw the release of FF14, Rift, Wildstar, Star Wars the Old Republic, GW2, Elder Scrolls Online among others.

    Don't know where this revisionist history that MMOs where out of date around cata is coming from, they where the hot genre on the market everyone was trying to get into. It's actually the more recent trend after a good chunk of all those MMOs flopped that they are now the boomer genre no one else is investing in outside of people already supporting their own.

  8. #888
    Ah seems sorta suprising subs would be at legion launch levels.

    But then again season 3 in df is the most played season out of all m+ and with blizzard shutting down SoD servers I doubt that's keeping the number up after phase 2 sucked balls.

  9. #889
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech614 View Post
    lol what? That's currently.

    The time you're talking about was when everyone and their mom was trying to shit out MMOs to chase the fad. The period you're talking about following cata was a 4 year window that saw the release of FF14, Rift, Wildstar, Star Wars the Old Republic, GW2, Elder Scrolls Online among others.

    Don't know where this revisionist history that MMOs where out of date around cata is coming from, they where the hot genre on the market everyone was trying to get into. It's actually the more recent trend after a good chunk of all those MMOs flopped that they are now the boomer genre no one else is investing in outside of people already supporting their own.
    And that fad was dying out by the time Cata reached its midpoint and people were moving on to the MLG craze and when games like CoD and Minecraft were breaking new ground... Nobody had time to play an MMO. All the other MMOs that came out after were late to the party while WoW was getting the full limelight.

    But all you're doing is proving my point that WoW's downfall wasn't Cata itself, but that the trend was shifting, MMOs weren't as mainstream.. and people were moving on to other things.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by HansOlo View Post
    I mean - WoW was already 6-7years old when Cataclysm came out. Even today - I have hard time imagining any game that is relevant after that many years. The exception is LoL, DOTA, CS, COD - that's like out of millions of games.

    They could had rearranged the order of expansions and even fan favourites like WOTLK or Legion wouldn't keep same interest of people.
    I don't know if re-arranging the order of expansions would've helped much in the long haul. Though if they did... we probably would've had a timeline where instead of Sylvanas being a puppet to the Jailer, it would've been Garrosh.. especially in the War Crimes novel telling us that he saw himself similar to the Lich King. And one of WoD's earliest concepts being that he would've gone to Outland (not AU Draenor) and revived the Warchiefs of the old clans as angry spirits to do his bidding and conquer a decaying Outland.

    Though they probably would've had to hold off on the Legion at that point, but MoP already hyped it up with the Wrathion questline so there was no turning back at that point.

  10. #890
    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty123456 View Post
    Yeah and considering Blizzard went crawling back to Netease after how awful they acted I highly doubt they would be doing it for such tiny amount of subs esp if they had 7+ million subs.
    Yeah because everybody knows companies are famous for saying "you know what we have enough money now" LMAO

  11. #891
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech614 View Post
    lol what? That's currently.

    The time you're talking about was when everyone and their mom was trying to shit out MMOs to chase the fad. The period you're talking about following cata was a 4 year window that saw the release of FF14, Rift, Wildstar, Star Wars the Old Republic, GW2, Elder Scrolls Online among others.

    Don't know where this revisionist history that MMOs where out of date around cata is coming from, they where the hot genre on the market everyone was trying to get into. It's actually the more recent trend after a good chunk of all those MMOs flopped that they are now the boomer genre no one else is investing in outside of people already supporting their own.
    …That would just prove his point that people were trying other things and moving on from WoW as they wanted something new or better in their eyes. Don’t forget TERA either, or the countless schlock Korean / JP MMOs lol. The genre exploded around WotLK times. Not counting the older MMOs that also failed or became irrelevant as well around the same time WoW launched. (LotRO and EQ2 come to mind).

  12. #892
    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinChan View Post
    …That would just prove his point
    The point he tried to make was claiming MMO was an outdated genre in 2010 when it was actually as hot as it ever was. The only thing I proved was his complete lack of understanding about anything he was talking about.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Woggmer View Post
    And that fad was dying out by the time Cata reached its midpoint
    Did you miss the point where I was listing stuff releasing up to 4 years AFTER Cata?

    Fad sure died out bro /s It's quite sad to talk so confidently talk about things you have no clue about. We're talking around 2016 for the time period when MMO is a washed genre everyone isn't chasing anymore and you're trying to act like that happened in 2011, only off by half a decade bro!
    Last edited by Tech614; 2024-04-03 at 02:05 PM.

  13. #893
    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinChan View Post
    I think it's fair to say that Classic WoW cushioned the blow that was Shadowland's failure. Surprisingly TBC and WotLK Classic didn't do much for the sub count, which means one of two things: Retail bled more subs and they all went to Classic or Classic failed to gain a lot more players. I'm willing to bet the latter is the case, as people who want to play Classic already are now.
    If you're going to frame it that way you should say BFA's failure. People are talking like there must have been some sort of negative peak counteracting the classic expansions release dates, when this new data tell us if anything, Classic & Shadowlands releases exceeded expectations while BFA & the Classic Expansions underperformed. BFA might have been "fastest selling" expansion ever but that was just for the Allied races: The premise didn't bring in more subscribers. While Shadowland's premise was at least intriguing.

    Really, if you look at subscription trends overall, Classic simply brought in half a million players. You can argue a lot of people simply switched from playing retail to playing classic entirely, but that's as much as Classic's introduction is worth: During a content drought Classic is flatly worth half a million subs.

  14. #894
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech614 View Post
    The point he tried to make was claiming MMO was an outdated genre in 2010 when it was actually as hot as it ever was. The only thing I proved was his complete lack of understanding about anything he was talking about.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Did you miss the point where I was listing stuff releasing up to 4 years AFTER Cata?

    Fad sure died out bro /s It's quite sad to talk so confidently talk about things you have no clue about. We're talking around 2016 for the time period when MMO is a washed genre everyone isn't chasing anymore and you're trying to act like that happened in 2011, only off by half a decade bro!
    I really don't care for the actual logistics since it still proves my point. The point still remains that WoW's subscriber decline wasn't because of Cata itself but because of other outside factors. Whether it be trend shifting, more MMOs coming out, or that people were getting sick of MMOs.. It wasn't Cata's fault as the start of "decline".

  15. #895
    Quote Originally Posted by Woggmer View Post
    I really don't care for the actual logistics since it still proves my point. The point still remains that WoW's subscriber decline wasn't because of Cata itself but because of other outside factors. Whether it be trend shifting, more MMOs coming out, or that people were getting sick of MMOs.. It wasn't Cata's fault as the start of "decline".
    If the sub loss was due to outside factors how do you explain subs growing to 12million just prior to Cata's launch and then falling as soon as players had experienced it?

  16. #896
    Quote Originally Posted by Woggmer View Post
    A lot of those problems can be pointed back to Wrath because it was when they made the game much more accessible for people.. leveling was easier and more thematic than "get me ten bear pelts, don't ask why", Dungeons made easier, difficulty adjustments for raiding.. PvP Vehicle combat (who cares if your gear is trash, hop on a turret and start blasting.), Naxxramas too difficult? We'll remaster it and make it easier for newer players. (It's also worth noting that Activision didn't get involved until they started working on Wrath.)
    Vivendi merged Activision into its gaming division about four months before WotLK released and they laid out rules that kept Blizzard as a mostly autonomous entity (hence the holding company being Activision-Blizzard with Activision and Blizzard being two separate subsidiaries.) It would have taken a while for Activision's corporate culture to bleed into Blizzard's and direct influence didn't come until Acti-Blizz bought themselves out 5 years later. The changes made in WotLK were totally down to feedback from TBC and Vanilla, for example the faceroll nature of dungeons were made to emulate the AoE heroic runs that raid-geared players were doing for justice badges at the end of TBC.

  17. #897
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech614 View Post
    Nobody is talking about the graph. The graph did not have numbers attached to it. Bellular ass pulled a number and put it on the graph.

    The actual number could be higher or lower, it's irrelevant and wasn't the point of showing the graph. Bellular just click baited that he figured it out when really he did no such thing.

    The 5.8 mil number is from him linking to a financial report where they say legion performance is slightly above that at WoD at the same point and him linking that to subs. When in reality it's just revenue and a lot of factors can lead to higher revenue without the same or more subs.

    -more people paid up front for longer subs, more revenue that quarter
    -more people bought store mounts or pets, more revenue that quarter
    -more people bought WoW token than normal, more revenue that quarter

    People are right to call out his complete ass pull and acting like it is factual.
    It's staggering that people are so incredibly stupid that they can't use two brain cells and put this together. It's obvious when you watch the video. Why the fuck would "performance" in an investor call mean players and not revenue? Actual brain rot.
    Last edited by Echo of Soul; 2024-04-03 at 11:18 PM.

  18. #898
    Quote Originally Posted by Pann View Post
    If the sub loss was due to outside factors how do you explain subs growing to 12million just prior to Cata's launch and then falling as soon as players had experienced it?
    Marketing. Do you remember the insane ads they did for WoW? They got ads for cars, paid celebrities, a trading card game, comics.. In retrospect, Wrath should've flopped, but it didn't. Places like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter were still in their infancy and WoW was part of that early culture, even news outlets were talking about how much of an influence WoW had on the younger generations and how popular it was getting that it even had mothers concerned. Get so much attention that it draws people in to see what the hype is about.

    Especially in retrospect Wrath did things that people would never forgive Blizzard if done today. "We're gonna re-release Onyxia as a level 80 raid!" "Our newest raid at launch is a fan favorite, Naxxramas but there are no new questlines or legendaries from it and no T3 sets." "We've got a special troll raid in the works [scrapped]" Imagine if right in middle of Shadowlands, they re-released Bastion of Twilight as a brand new max-level raid, the fights are all the same just scaled up, and it released right after Sanctum of Domination before we even set foot in Zereth Mortis.

    The real question to ask is, what made people start playing WoW during Wrath? Was it because they were long time fans of Warcraft and wanted to see Arthas? Or were they joining during the WoW craze at the time?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhrizzle View Post
    Vivendi merged Activision into its gaming division about four months before WotLK released and they laid out rules that kept Blizzard as a mostly autonomous entity (hence the holding company being Activision-Blizzard with Activision and Blizzard being two separate subsidiaries.) It would have taken a while for Activision's corporate culture to bleed into Blizzard's and direct influence didn't come until Acti-Blizz bought themselves out 5 years later. The changes made in WotLK were totally down to feedback from TBC and Vanilla, for example the faceroll nature of dungeons were made to emulate the AoE heroic runs that raid-geared players were doing for justice badges at the end of TBC.
    I see, that clears up things up a little so thanks for the info.

  19. #899
    Quote Originally Posted by Woggmer View Post
    The real question to ask is, what made people start playing WoW during Wrath? Was it because they were long time fans of Warcraft and wanted to see Arthas? Or were they joining during the WoW craze at the time?
    When something is popular, there are a lot of tourists. I wager that attrition in WotLK was actually much worse than it has been in recent expansions, the reason the sub numbers stayed steady is that there was always a steady influx of new players to replace the ones leaving. The gradual decline of overall WoW subs from Cata and beyond likely had more to do with there simply being fewer new players to replace the ones quitting. We also know from Ghostcrawler that players very rarely unsub specifically due to design changes, so I'm inclined to say that's slightly more than just a hunch. But really, that's the boring reality of the situation: WoW didn't have a huge quality drop-off, people just drifted away from the game naturally. Unfortunately, statements like "lol Cata sucked dick lol bad expac DAE think Dragon Soul sucked omegaLUL" are far more likely to be engaged with on forums like this so that's a majority of what passes for discourse around here.

    That said, since Blizzard has never released their actual attrition/new player generation numbers, I believe anybody who is trying to convince people that the reasons for subscriber growth or contrition had much at all to do with the quality of the expansions themselves is straight-up full of shit.
    Last edited by Relapses; 2024-04-04 at 02:21 AM.

  20. #900
    Quote Originally Posted by Ersula View Post
    If you're going to frame it that way you should say BFA's failure. People are talking like there must have been some sort of negative peak counteracting the classic expansions release dates, when this new data tell us if anything, Classic & Shadowlands releases exceeded expectations while BFA & the Classic Expansions underperformed. BFA might have been "fastest selling" expansion ever but that was just for the Allied races: The premise didn't bring in more subscribers. While Shadowland's premise was at least intriguing.

    Really, if you look at subscription trends overall, Classic simply brought in half a million players. You can argue a lot of people simply switched from playing retail to playing classic entirely, but that's as much as Classic's introduction is worth: During a content drought Classic is flatly worth half a million subs.
    Realistically speaking Shadowlands kept losing subs and Classic was cushioning the failure that was Shadowlands. It did so with BfA (Clearly) and Shadowlands at best couldn't gain subs but Classic could (Makes sense: No new content at all until Dragonflight). Even if you assume the best out of retail, it still was well below BfA or Legion numbers lol. Which is bad - real bad. And we all know it wasn't just Shadowlands - the allegations had a huge impact on Blizzard for a little while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relapses View Post
    That said, since Blizzard has never released their actual attrition/new player generation numbers, I believe anybody who is trying to convince people that the reasons for subscriber growth or contrition had much at all to do with the quality of the expansions themselves is straight-up full of shit.
    No, but we can at least speculate to some degree. The graph kind of confirms what we already knew though, that Classic definitely helped WoW stabilize at least post BfA into Shadowlands. But also realistically, Shadowlands lost a lot of players (as did Classic to some extent) due to people getting bored / lack of content - and the allegations.
    Last edited by PenguinChan; 2024-04-04 at 03:56 AM.

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