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5-09-2011 @ 7:05PM
12 million to 11.4 million is still a 5% drop in paid subscriptions. That's by no means a death knell and is more than likely a statistical outlier for the reasons you mentioned, but it's still a large enough chunk that investors will be annoyed by the news.
5-09-2011 @ 7:21PM
It's also a big enough drop where Blizzard is trying to do something about it...http://bashmyfacein.com/2011/05/06/free-game-time/
5-09-2011 @ 7:43PM
You're right; in the real world a 5% drop in paid subs for a 6 year old game doesn't sound like much to us, but in the business world, a 5% drop in userbase that could possibly affect up to $9mil of revenue per month is a very big deal (that's assuming everyone pays $15/mo, which is almost a statistical impossibility). So, that could be up to $9 million per month at risk and it may be trending downward (or upward) ... we don't really know. And to an investor, nothing is worse than *not knowing.* So yeah, this is a pretty big deal for the business folks, but Blizzard can point to new revenue streams in pets, mounts, race- and faction-changes to cushion the blow.But for the rest of us, it's business as usual. Well, if you're not totally fascinated by financial analysis.
5-09-2011 @ 7:52PM
I work for a SaaS-model application provider in the healthcare industry. If we saw a 5% drop in our customer base, we would be *damned worried*.
5-09-2011 @ 8:53PM
Just to take a quick look here:Heroic Instances at launch:BC - 15WotlK - 11Cata - 9Raid bosses at launch:BC - 24WotLK - 18Cata - 14It seems that as Blizzard gets more and more subscribers, they release less and less content. How long did they seriously think this would keep up?Cataclysm shortchanges you on content. What are we really getting in return for $15 (or more) every month?
5-09-2011 @ 9:14PM
Blacksen, do the same math with number of quests added per expansion; or indeed use any other measure of actual *content* added, rather than mere dungeons. You will find that you are talking out of your arse.
5-09-2011 @ 9:17PM
I also got a free week of game time. Even the incentives to Tank Heroics aren't enough for me to use the LFD Random Heroic feature. I am on my third day and already ready finding the game tedious. I my wait for Firelands, the armor looks cool.
5-09-2011 @ 9:38PM
@WolfkinThe thing is, how many players, at 85, are going back and doing all those quests?I'm not.Almost all the toons I'll ever play alliance side are above 40. That's a big chunk of quests I'll never see unless I'm as crazy as Sacco and roll up dozens of the same class... and I just don't see a lot of people out there doing that.
5-09-2011 @ 9:31PM
@BlacksenYes but the quality of the zones has gone up drastically, as have the dungeons themselves. Blizz made new zones for leveling, redid ALL of the vanilla content as well, and your going to bitch because they didn't crank out 15 sub-par dungeons instead of 9 good ones? Someones lost their grip on reality...
5-09-2011 @ 9:33PM
@Wulfkin:It can be assumed that it's safe to say that most people just care about end game content. The sheer number of quests added in Cata are mostly from the revamp of the classic content, which is not going to be interesting to most people. Not unless someone is leveling an alt, anyways; Even then, it's highly likely they're only going to see a fraction of that content as they just level through dungeons, questing during the queue times.All that to say, "he isn't really talking out of his ass."
5-09-2011 @ 10:30PM
That 5% is Larger than the entire player base of RIFT
5-09-2011 @ 10:38PM
Would 5 more 5-man dungeons have given the game a longer lifespan?I earned http://www.wowhead.com/achievement=4844 for doing all the Cata heroic dungeons on January 25. Over 3 months ago. Sure, I wasn't done running dungeons at that point, but I was done searching for NEW dungeons to run. After that, I ran the same ones over and over. How long would 5 additional dungeons have taken? A few days at most.Would 4 super easy raid bosses have extended the life of the current tier at all? No. Would 4 super hard ones have? Oh sure, but by the same token you can just take the current bosses and double their difficulty and BAM, longer raid tier.I don't think "more dungeons and raid bosses" is the miracle fix you seem to think it is. Especially considering that at the end of Wrath, when dungeon running was probably at it's highest, people didn't CARE what the dungeon looked like or what the bosses did. No, all they cared about was "How FAST can I get through it?" You suggest Cataclysm shortchanged us on content. That's not accurate. Cataclysm provided a lot of content in the lower levels. You're just not using it because it's not the content you wanted.All that said, it's equally silly to say that since the playerbase will blow through the dungeons, we don't need many at all. Why not just make one dungeon? That's shooting hyperbole in the other direction. What's the magic number? Difficult question. Without making this any longer than it is, I think BC had too many dungeons. Cataclysm probably has too few. Wrath was likely closest to "just right"...whatever THAT means.
5-10-2011 @ 1:09AM
Well, I did all the Eastern Kingdom quests for the Loremaster achievement. Saw a lot of the quests there.I gave up on Kalimdor however. Right now it seems too tedious (I took a Worgen rogue and took him from zone to zone until I got to Dustwallow Marsh. It is hard to get up the ambition to do it again).
5-10-2011 @ 2:10AM
"I was done searching for NEW dungeons to run. After that, I ran the same ones over and over." -SkarnThis is my problem with Cataclysm. Maybe it's not THE reason WoW has had a drop in subscribers faster than before, but it's likely A reason (I know it is for me at least):In Wrath, I ran heroics every day for a year.In Cataclysm, I stopped after a month.Which is sad for me, because I had every expectation that they would be as fun, and I want to want to run them. But last I checked, they were boring. The moment I could do without Valor Points, I refused to use the Dungeon Finder to find a group. Organizing a guild run when all I want is something to do and Valor points for my offspec was more trouble than it was worth; heroics became unforgiving, and big time commitments, for the same relative reward as before. And for me, it's no longer worthwhile.And the raids have a similar problem. I've seen guild raid attendance drop dramatically very quickly once people got tired of these raids. Which, this time, came before we were even done with them. I've always allowed raids to be wipefests before, but these have been the most unforgiving raids we've ever wiped all night on. And when we wipe all night three nights a week and make very little (if any) progress and get very little (if any) loot, it's no wonder we got sick of this game quickly. Wait, your guild never had a problem with any of the fights on heroic, so I and my guild suck? Shut up.I haven't unsubscribed. I still really like the game. I'm just not doing any endgame content right now. Because right now, it's all lame. The saddest part here is that I don't see it getting any better; those new heroics are just as bad as the ones Cata launched with, and I don't expect Firelands to be any better either. I am looking forward to the new quests and solo progression, though.
5-10-2011 @ 3:15AM
Avan, just a quick check. Who are your "most people"?Please can you point us to your primary source for your information - which should state how it acquired its population for its study, and how it avoided elements of self-selection and other biases in that population? Very happy if you've researched this. Otherwise I'll just keep a sneaking suspicion that your phrase "most people" is like "all right-thinking people"... a way of trying to justify "me, and I assume everyone else is like me."Now, where did I put that flameproof suit?... Ah, here we are. "Dustbin of Fire Resistance. Use: +600 fire resistance, movement speed reduced by 100%, you smell awful."
5-10-2011 @ 9:05AM
Keep in mind, the 600k drop ONLY counts those customers who have not only stopped their subscriptions AND have run out of time. That is why the February quarterly results didn't mention declining sales. Never-the-less, these numbers are down from PRE cataclysm numbers (12m was October). Anyone watching warcraftrealms census data has seen this coming for some time and knows it is actually much much worse than just 5% decline in the US/EU regions.With 3 to 6 month subscriptions most likely the norm to save a buck, the decline will likely accelerate over the next couple months as accounts lapse.For months I've said the cataclysm model was fundamentally wrong - by killing PUGs, making LFD frustrating, and eliminating social interaction while leveling - the developers have mad serious mistakes that will require a sledgehammer to fix.
5-10-2011 @ 9:29AM
It's interesting that WotLK actually gained a half million subscribers over the course of the expansion even though it launched right smack in the middle of the world's worst economic downturn in generations, and Cataclysm has already lost any gains it made even though the worldwide economy has been in recovery (albeit a mild and uneven one) for the entire time that it's been out.Food for thought.
5-10-2011 @ 10:42AM
If they admit to 600,000, the number is more like 1.2 Million.This game has been bleeding since they catered to the hardcore.I don't have the time to run a 90 minute to 2 hour fail PuG Heroic Dungeon.I would run with guildies, but our level 18 guild has been desolate for the last3 months.Keep Hardcore modes for Hardcore Raiders. Warith-a-lize the Heroic Dungeonsand the normal Raids. Allow PuG's to be able to Raid as well as Finish Heroics.Go with the KISS system. People are inherently stupid, they stand in whirlwind, fire,pooh, etc.....
5-10-2011 @ 10:49AM
@KaelI agree, its the wipefest that is endgame Cata which is ruining WoW for me. I "want" to be a raider but every time I go with my guild we never get anywhere and I detest wasting an evening running from the graveyard to the instance all night. I have all the heroic gear I can get for my mains but when the new Zul' instances came out I gave up. A few runs that took hours to run (I had to pug em) and I was already sick of them. I hate having to pay so dearly for other people that aren't on top of their game. The most difficult thing for me is that since I'm more of a casual altaholic its hard to find a core group to run things with. I've been playing, off and on, since the first open beta but I guess its time to take another break =(Oh well time to catch up on all the great games I have missed. First up, Dead space 2!
5-10-2011 @ 12:21PM
I am not sure what game everyone else is playing, but I have all three roles covered in three different classes. I am gearing up a warrior tank in heroics, have a pre-raid fully geared rogue and a gearing shaman just about ready to hit ZG/ZA. (No I don't raid yet, still waiting for my GF to gear up before we both commit to raid nights.)I run PUGs all the time, since my guild is raiding, I am left out (we are a 12-15 member guild we consider ourselves hardcore-casual). Except for a single ZG run, where the rest of the group was a guild learning the instance... I have NEVER spent more then 2 hours in a heroic. Usually my heroics take 30-45 minutes? Last night I got Grim Batol, and while two out of three of the DPS could not dodge the blitz (never been there) and I had to burn my CD's to heal them, we still killed the boss after only 1 wipe, on top of that, the tank wouldn't listen to my CC advice, we had only 2 wipes the whole night. This content is NOT hard. I am not sure what raiding looks like yet, but except for ZA/ZG, the heroics are easy, not too easy, but easy enough that I don't finish the night exhausted. I am personally semi-hardcore, but I use my GF as a benchmark, because she is as casual as they come. Won't change specs because she likes her pet's damage, doesn't use mods or macros because they confuse her. She listens to my instructions for a boss, takes a few tries to get the hang of it. She admits that she finds the instances challenging, but not impossible... ever. All we do is PUG together, with me tanking or healing. Can someone explain why these heroics are considered hard? ZA/ZG I can see, even my guild group was having a bit of trouble 1 shotting the bosses the first time. (That and the lag spikes we get post-patch are hard to deal with, our MT keeps lagging)
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