Anecdotal evidence doesn't mean much, but I know a few people who quit over the community; they felt, as a whole, the player base had become more aggressive, unhelpful, and spoiled than usual.I still play WoW casually -- have for 5 years, though I used to be a raider when I was a kid with no responsibilities. I do, however, have to agree with them. There were always your a-holes, but after hundreds of DF groups, I have to say that there is a significant portion of the player-base that's gone passive-aggressive to an epic degree. I mean, you're not going to see these people again, so why be polite, right? But I've noticed this trend even in people who share a server. Here's an example. With my mage, I never really cared, leveling, where my DPS was at -- I was just there to have very casual fun. When my mage was max-level, though, I was pulling crappy DPS in normal max dungeons (Origination, etc), and I decided that just knowing not to pull aggro from the tank wasn't enough. I wanted to be, well, at least decent. So, I went to guides, learned as much as possible, and tried to fix it -- learning a better rotation, replacing gems, getting to the hit cap, etc. Still I was doing terribly. In a DF group I had this pointed out to me, and I asked, politely, if anyone had any suggestions, because as far as I knew stat-wise I was fine. I got told "l2p" and was kicked "for being an ass." 'Well,' I thought, 'some people are just like that. Maybe they thought I was being sarcastic.' I appealed to my normally-kind guild instead, asking if anyone had time to look at my stats and gear and see if something was up. Yet again: "l2p" "if you don't know by now you don't deserve to play" etc, etc. Whoa, harsh! (As it turns out, by the way, I was just bad at keeping up with a fire spec. Like, sincerely, phenomenally bad -- I get confused easily, and I wasn't horribly skilled at anything outside of healing at the time. I went arcane instead, switched guilds, and now I'm rockin'.)Now, maybe if I do still suck at 85, I don't deserve to play -- whatever, not the point. But what if I was a new player who sincerely knew nothing about the game? What if that was my first 85? What if I still melee'd most of the time -- I don't think anyone would help me. It's upsetting, because I remembered being helped in BC and Wrath, when I was, respectively, a new player and a new raider. I specifically recall a mid-level PuG telling me when to use certain healing spells as a holy priest, for instance. That just wouldn't happen now.On the other hand, if someone is being whiny and/or belligerent about criticism and you're being polite, they don't deserve to be helped. But if you make some kind of passive aggressive comment in /p like "lol, tank can't hold aggro" and he's open to suggestions, why don't you whisper him and tell him a good guide or rotation? How will he lolholdaggro if no one helps the kid?What does everyone else think? Obviously a bunch of d-bags wouldn't make 800k people leave, but surely at least 1-2k are people fed up with the lack of real community anymore. Once I thought that implementing some kind of feedback system would be good, but with the way players act now, we'd probably all end up rating each other horribly just because we could.TL;DR: I think the community is turning on itself and that may be why we're losing some subs. I also sound like a whiny 12 year old when I type.
PinkDragon, I hear what you're saying about the community. I have run into my own share of dbags in DF.... though, I think I can thankfully say that overall it has been the exception and not the rule. But boy, when those exceptions popped up, it was like being woken from a sound sleep with a bucket of ice water. Some people just have no manners or brains, honestly. I haven't been on the receiving end of what you describe, but I have seen it happen to others. And, while I won't make excuses for their poor behavior or justify it in any way, I have my theories as to why they reacted the way they did... but that's not what this thread is about.To get back to the point, could we be losing some subs because of the dbags? Absolutely, I believe that's a possible contributor. What's to be done about it? Maybe Blizzard could make the tools for dealing with these people a bit more apparent. I have an ignore list full of people from other realms because they've been absolute jerks in groups. But, I know how to use ignore, and I have my own methods of dealing with the situation.And, while some people may say, "Oh, the sub is only $14.95 a month" in this economy, that could be the difference between a couple of days of eating and going hungry. My theory is that the economy has taken quite a toll on the subscriber base. I have no inside information to base this on... but it's just a guess.WoW has become more accessible, I think, and while some of the "hardcores" get burrs up their backsides because WoW is not so much of an environment in which they can pull out their epeen anymore, it will attract new players who, if they can get over the sheer amount of content already available, will take their places.
I think it's too easy and too short-sighted to sit here and say WoW is suffering because of this game, or that game, or because of failures in development or community. Blizzard has offered a solid, consistent product for 7 years. A product that was at one time groundbreaking, and is now the standard. In that seven years a lot has changed in the gaming community as a whole, as well as in the lives of the vanilla "hardcore". Console games have become exceptional, and gone are the days of saving 8 princesses and moving on. Console games have caught up with PC games in regards to creating long-relationship type game play, and still quality PC games continue to flood the market. On top of that, a lot of the early subscribers are growing up and moving on. Raising families, following careers, coming up with third things to list, etc. Time remains a commodity, and with so many other sources of distraction something has to give at some point. WoW isn't dying, and Blizzard isn't killing it. The rest of the world has just caught up. It's the natural life cycle of anything groundbreaking.
Looking at it from a purely analytical point of view, considering Blizz pushed out perhaps two of the best player friendly patches consecutively and offered up their yearly sub package and still were unable to stem the tide, has to be of some concern. The next qrtr numbers that come in during a notorious dead period, before a major expansion, could really make for some barren servers. The one thing about trends is that they have strong currents that are not easily turned.We saw population growth from Van/TBC...pop. stagnation in Wrath and now pop. decline in Cata.The dividing line is at the April qrtr of 2009. That is when wow hit it's all time high 12 million.(the release of Ulduar patch 3.1). By years end though it had retreated back to 11.5 and hovered around that till expansion end.I think Blizz has to review everything they did after patch 3.1 and compare it to everything prior to see what the hit and misses are. I think there is some insight to be gleaned by all of this for Blizz to really get MoP moving in the right direction. My opinion ..they need to return to progressive leveling on all fronts. That's the one fundamental change that Blizz altered with patch 3.2 and that's where it all changed growth wise as well.I truly think that not providing that feel of continuous character growth, has affect the longevity that players are putting into this game. Cata exasperated it by only having a 5 max level level increase instead of the typical 10 of TBC/Wrath.TBC kept that progression growth through 10 levels and then continued it into the raiding tiers. Wrath implemented the same until patch 3.2.With that patch they went for the reset progression/contents accessibility approach afterwards. They seemed to have given the player base what they wanted, but the subscription numbers didn't respond as Blizz expected. Every company looks for some level a growth no matter the size, so it would safe to assume Blizz has been disappointed, especially when in that same period other companies have managed to eke out some small success in the same venue.It's easy to say Blizz still has 10 mill costumers, but they have still lost 10% of their base and that is never viewed as a good business number. In these trying economic times and aging market(let's not forget how the market of the Guitar hero genre went from the penthouse to the outhouse), Blizz really can't afford to sit on its laurels.Blizz has to take the best of Vanilla and the other expansions and bring it all together in MoP.Good luck to them.
Or, by plateauing out at 10 million, they've got a solid base, and know that if there are increases from here on in, they won't be permanent, but as long as the numbers stay at the plateau, everything will be good for them.
It'll only get worse from here, I hear that there's this star wars MMO which is supposed to ki...owait
Throwing a sort of blasphemous suggestion out there: what if they somehow split up the game for those who like leveling and those who want to jump right into end-game content? I think that's another major divider. There's no one ever 'okay' with leveling -- everywhere you go, you're either hearing about either extreme.Is there some way they could make a server (or servers) where people could jump right into heroics and raiding, sort-of like the arena tourney servers? (You'd start out with basic blues.) You'd still be able to do end-game content on 'leveling' servers, and the gear would be the same, but the major factor here is that there would (hopefully) be a slight stigma in the community against those who jumped into it rather than people who worked all the way up from level 1. That way, it balances out -- either you level or you (again, hopefully) get the stigma for not doing so.I guess you could make it instead so that the gear is harder to get on the raid servers...eh. I dunno. There'd have to be a tradeoff, is what I'm saying.I'm trying to brainstorm, because I think Blizz does steal good suggestions (though I doubt this one is).As a side note, I know personally I would not get mad if there was a 5 - 30% increase in XP needed for leveling. It's actually way too fast, IMO. I should not outlevel a zone half-way through its quests...
I enjoy playing wow despite what people say about Cata its still fun and I enjoy doing End Time out of the new dungeons they put in and in my opinion I don't think they wanted Cata to be all that good but who know's just my opinion either way I'll keep on playing.
So how does the graph looks like? going down the slope every time a raid Nerf is announced =S wonder whats on Nov's patch note since 800k is the champ lol.Not really a positive news until its going upwards, 100k is lesser compare to the rest but the curve is still going downwards.
While I liked yr positive list Scotia...I still think the game has gotten way too easy and there is simply no challenge anymore. It was more challenging for me to find a good Lunar Festival addon quite honestly. ThePinkDragon was commenting on the $%^&*!@ quality of dungeon culture, etc. and why that is is because everyone just wants a fast run now. And that's what the game has become: a fast run. The last frontier is heroic progression and chievs, but even those don't feel that epic anymore. I don't inspect anyone's gear and go 'ooooh'. A mog maybe ;p But that's....yeah, I wouldn't want WoW to necessarily return to that sort of atmosphere because it was a wretched (tho rewarding) grind for many but they need to make it more satisfying. Its very unsatisfying now imo.
Agreed, and I do think that BLZ have been taken this into consideration for delaying the D3 deliberately.
I would say the numbers could decline more as soon as TOR gets it act together and begins to play like a decent mmo, so far its more of a always co op singleplayer game.
Little question, if 1 million people have the annual pass, and around 3/4 of those people might try out the new panda ptr (when it releases)......might cause some server problems no? xD
I tired SWTOR and got into mid 20s and quit, canceled sub. It's not bad but it's not for me or alot of people I know.I ended up going back to WoW and don't regret it. It's still really fun but then again, I'm in an awesome guild. I've tried different MMOs to get away from WoW (Aion, Rift, FFXIV, SWTOR) but me and my friends just end up coming back. I really think the only thing that's going to get the hardcore fantasy MMO players to leave WoW is if the launch of Everquest 3 is successful.
I'm sure somebody else already said the same thing, but I don't think 100k is too bad with SWTOR releasing this quarter. Obviously it's never good to lose subscribers, but it could have been a whole lot worse, given the hype around SWTOR in the MMO community.Cata was not their best expansion as a whole, and hopefully they've learned some lessons. A lot of people are decrying pandas and Pokemon, but it's a far cry from what we've been given, so I'm hopeful for its success.