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  1. #1

    2011 Subscribers Predictions & Trends

    It's hard to gauge the current subscriber status of WOW at the moment as Blizzard won't release their data. However, there is a website dedicated to tracking the subscriber population in WOW and that is warcraftrealms.com. With a dedicated band of volunteers, they take regular census snapshots of servers with a mod called "Warcraft CensusPlus UI mod". More info here:
    http://www.warcraftrealms.com/censusfaq.php

    One of the most useful parameters for measuring the health of WOW is "Weekly Activity". When WOW is expanding and attracting new subscribers, Weekly Activity goes up and when WOW is declining and losing subscribers, Weekly Activity goes down.

    Below are graphs charting the Weekly Activity over a 12 month period:

    Alliance:
    Original: http://www.warcraftrealms.com/weekly...-1&factionid=3
    Image Snapshot: http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/5...tyalliance.jpg

    Horde:
    Original: http://www.warcraftrealms.com/weekly...-1&factionid=2
    Image Snapshot: http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/2...ivityhorde.jpg


    The trends in the graphs match what I experienced in-game. At the end of WOTLK in December 2010, there was a sharp drop in player activities as people wait for the new expansion. When Cataclysm was first released, there was a huge spike in player activity as players returned. In the Weekly Activity graphs, this is exactly what happened in all Classes across both Alliance and Horde.

    The most concerning trend is in January 2011. As you can see, there is a very sharp decline in Weekly Activity from late December 2010.

    For a new expansion, this decline is very unusual. At this point in time, you would be expecting people to have already reached the level cap (level 85) and be working on the end game (i.e. heroics & raids). A declining trend probably indicates that people reached level 85 then stop playing; they are simply not doing heroics, raiding or end-game pvp.

    Currently, there are plenty of complaints on the forums about heroics, raids, TB and class balance and the data presented seems to support that there are very significant players' grievances about Cataclysm.

    The interesting part is how far this declining trend will go and when will it bottom out? Will the changes in upcoming patches affect this trend? How will new content patches affect it? The data will be most interesting in March and June when clearer pictures of player activity trends should emerge.

    Without any official data from Blizzard, this is most objective data we can use. It's not perfectly accurate but it does provide a reliable measurement of the current state of the game. If this thread doesn't get locked or deleted, I'll be back in a couple of months to update this post.

  2. #2
    Would be interesting to see the last 12 months before this chart, i.e. start of WoLTK and see the numbers if they are higher or lower than Cata.

  3. #3
    yea it is happening slowly I think a lot of people are quitting slowly. I know a lot of my friends left early january.
    World PVP and Arenas Are Awesome

  4. #4
    I'm beginning to wonder if anyone knows how to read a graph. A "very sharp decline" is not what this is, it's merely stabilizing back to a normal amount. Plus I find it very hard to trust any graph that states that during prime time hours across all US servers there are less than 200 of each class playing on average.
    Last edited by Xeraxis; 2011-01-30 at 03:23 AM.

  5. #5
    As xeraxis says this may be a stabilizing of the population. It will take a few more months to see if it is a definite downtrend.

    In saying that it has been very quiet in our guild this week and stormwind almost deserted at times (peak times too).
    Spicie-Dk-85 Belgarian-Lock-84 Kazarth-Retardin-85 Jalax-Mage-85 Gord-Rogue-85 Krynn-Druid-83 Shray-warrior-85 Scara-Shaman-85 Castrielle-Spriest-85 Tegne-Huntard-85 Laquiel-DK-85 Aminae-HPriest-85 Wulfrica-hunter-85 Bogdrop-Holy-cow-57
    All these 85's to pay for, no wonder I am always skint.

  6. #6
    Deleted
    Quote Originally Posted by Xeraxis View Post
    I'm beginning to wonder if anyone knows how to read a graph. A "very sharp decline" is not what this is, it's merely stabilizing back to a normal amount. Plus I find it very hard to trust any graph that states that during prime time hours across all US servers there are less than 200 of each class playing on average.
    First of all, its not only US servers. Second of all the scale of number of people online is probably not 1:1, for that matter it doesnt really matter if its in ones or in thousands. You are looking at it relatively.

  7. #7
    Do we automatically assume that every server has at least one person that has the censusuimod installed running it 24 hours?
    Data is collected using the latest version of the CensusPlus UI Mod.
    This data would be way off if that isn't the case.

  8. #8
    The primary thing your graph doesn't take into consideration though is people's time off of work. The end of December is of course going to see the highest rise in player 'weekly activity' because people have vacation time and obviously can play the game more. So judging this expansion based on two months when the first month is so skewed because of that vacation time really isn't a viable option.

    I mean look at the obviousness of the graphs prior to Cataclysm's release. You have the biggest drop of the year start during holiday times (at least in the U.S., I don't know holidays for Europe/Asia) and obviously it spikes back up when Cata is released. You simply can't judge WoW as declining when there's only two months to judge it with and one of those months has the majority of it's player base on vacation for two weeks.
    Last edited by sicness; 2011-01-30 at 03:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sicness View Post
    The primary thing your graph doesn't take into consideration though is people's time off of work. The end of December is of course going to see the highest rise in player 'weekly activity' because people have vacation time and obviously can play the game more. So judging this expansion based on two months when the first month is so skewed because of that vacation time really isn't a viable option.

    I mean look at the obviousness of the graphs prior to Cataclysm's release. You have the biggest drop of the year start during holiday times (at least in the U.S., I don't know holidays for Europe/Asia) and obviously it spikes back up when Cata is released. You simply can't judge WoW as declining when there's only two months to judge it with and one of those months has the majority of it's player base on vacation for two weeks.
    This is indeed a reasonable explanation, but I'm personally in the "people don't bother to play boat".

    So I guess there is nothing else to do then to come back in a couple of months and see if the holiday was the reason or if it will keep declining.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Risky_business View Post
    This is indeed a reasonable explanation, but I'm personally in the "people don't bother to play boat".

    So I guess there is nothing else to do then to come back in a couple of months and see if the holiday was the reason or if it will keep declining.
    If the graph showed a more than 5% decline I'd agree with you, however it's hardly a substantial drop at all and in my mind mostly related to the holiday season and nothing more.

    The graph is just way too skewed in order to make any kind of serious hypothesis out of it. The only reasonable comparison you could possibly make is in comparing it to WotLK launch and how it's January 'weekly activity' compared to the holiday numbers. Other than that though there's really nothing to support anything here.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by koistyle View Post
    Do we automatically assume that every server has at least one person that has the censusuimod installed running it 24 hours?


    This data would be way off if that isn't the case.
    It's sampling. You take a sample, then apply the results to an appropriate amount of the population. Reason being it's highly unlikely that say one server would have 1000quits, and 0 on every other (which would skew your results).

  12. #12
    So we have the following items in that two month sample:
    - Pre-Cata launch, when people are spinning their wheels, figuring no reason to play/expend effort that will be wasted when Cata launches.
    - Laucnh on Dec 7, with a corresponding spike in activity.
    - vacation time, showing a corresponding spike in activity.
    - January, slight decline as people go back to work/school/
    - 1/11 as DCUO launches, and the grass-is-always-greener crowd goes to check out the new hotness.
    - later January, as some people decide the new content or challenge isn't for them.

    We should expect to see the following:
    - slight declines through Feb as people decide to stay or go.
    - slight decline in March when Rift launches.
    - April should be fairly flat, and May on will see slight increases as people who left for Rift/DCUO come back to WoW, and as content/patches resolve current issues.


    If WoW is failing, as the OP tries to suggest, the above will prove incorrect, and the decline will rise at more substantial rates and be clear by May that their is a major issue. Until then, good luck.

  13. #13
    The Hedgehog Elementium's Avatar
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    As someone who's grown increasingly more "casual" with Cataclysm I can see it being right. For me it get's harder and harder to log on knowing I'm paying 15 bucks a month for 1 game when Xbox live is 20 dollars for 3 months of multiple games.

    While WoW is still great, it can't help but show it's age. New games are coming out left and right and all of us can't help but take a peek.

  14. #14
    Herald of the Titans velde046's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elementium View Post

    While WoW is still great, it can't help but show it's age. New games are coming out left and right and all of us can't help but take a peek.
    But still returning... I have seen several friends and guildies check out other/new MMO games or just taking a break but still see them return after a while.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ju2au View Post
    It's hard to gauge the current subscriber status of WOW at the moment as Blizzard won't release their data. However, there is a website dedicated to tracking the subscriber population in WOW and that is warcraftrealms.com. With a dedicated band of volunteers, they take regular census snapshots of servers with a mod called "Warcraft CensusPlus UI mod". More info here:
    http://www.warcraftrealms.com/censusfaq.php

    One of the most useful parameters for measuring the health of WOW is "Weekly Activity". When WOW is expanding and attracting new subscribers, Weekly Activity goes up and when WOW is declining and losing subscribers, Weekly Activity goes down.

    Below are graphs charting the Weekly Activity over a 12 month period:

    Alliance:
    Original: http://www.warcraftrealms.com/weekly...-1&factionid=3
    Image Snapshot: http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/5...tyalliance.jpg

    Horde:
    Original: http://www.warcraftrealms.com/weekly...-1&factionid=2
    Image Snapshot: http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/2...ivityhorde.jpg


    The trends in the graphs match what I experienced in-game. At the end of WOTLK in December 2010, there was a sharp drop in player activities as people wait for the new expansion. When Cataclysm was first released, there was a huge spike in player activity as players returned. In the Weekly Activity graphs, this is exactly what happened in all Classes across both Alliance and Horde.

    The most concerning trend is in January 2011. As you can see, there is a very sharp decline in Weekly Activity from late December 2010.

    For a new expansion, this decline is very unusual. At this point in time, you would be expecting people to have already reached the level cap (level 85) and be working on the end game (i.e. heroics & raids). A declining trend probably indicates that people reached level 85 then stop playing; they are simply not doing heroics, raiding or end-game pvp.

    Currently, there are plenty of complaints on the forums about heroics, raids, TB and class balance and the data presented seems to support that there are very significant players' grievances about Cataclysm.

    The interesting part is how far this declining trend will go and when will it bottom out? Will the changes in upcoming patches affect this trend? How will new content patches affect it? The data will be most interesting in March and June when clearer pictures of player activity trends should emerge.

    Without any official data from Blizzard, this is most objective data we can use. It's not perfectly accurate but it does provide a reliable measurement of the current state of the game. If this thread doesn't get locked or deleted, I'll be back in a couple of months to update this post.
    I agree the game has lost subscribers

    Many of the guilds are losing players...the game got too easy with not enough challenge. The fact that 10mans are the same as 25 mans really killed alot of teh guilds off. Rated BGs are pretty fail. No new hero classes or player housing...the list goes on and on. I log in just to make some money usually

  16. #16
    Deleted
    It's ridiculous to look at the January numbers and say "lol the population is declining". Yes, of course it is. We saw a massive influx of people both shortly before Cataclysm and in december after all.

  17. #17
    I don't mind the drop in player population. I don't think it will bother players who want to stick to the game. It will just lessen the pain in my ears whenever I hear someone QQ about something...hopefuly elitists quit...>.>

  18. #18
    The dip in decempber is due to people not getting Cata as soon as it came out

  19. #19
    Deleted
    ive quit as there is nothing to do in game. its hard to find a pug for a raid & the content isnt as good as wotlk _ i have no interest in levelling a new character to 'experience' the new whatever they change, simply because I already have 4 lvl 80's & only play 1 of them. I might come back in a few weeks & see what its like, but I'll be gone again once the new star wars mmo is out... and I think quite a few will also

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by SevenGirl View Post
    I agree the game has lost subscribers

    Many of the guilds are losing players...the game got too easy with not enough challenge. The fact that 10mans are the same as 25 mans really killed alot of teh guilds off. Rated BGs are pretty fail. No new hero classes or player housing...the list goes on and on. I log in just to make some money usually
    The game got too easy? I thought it became "too hard" that people started leaving.
    WotLK, THAT was easy.

    The reason why they didn't add a new class is because they added 2 new races. Watch next expansion, a new class will be announced.

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-30 at 05:54 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eggtastico View Post
    ive quit as there is nothing to do in game. its hard to find a pug for a raid & the content isnt as good as wotlk _ i have no interest in levelling a new character to 'experience' the new whatever they change, simply because I already have 4 lvl 80's & only play 1 of them. I might come back in a few weeks & see what its like, but I'll be gone again once the new star wars mmo is out... and I think quite a few will also
    See you in the galaxy far far away then.

    I will be playing both. Or at least, when I take my Wow breaks, I'll play.

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