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8-09-2011 @ 8:43AM
There are a variety of factors at work in subscription drops, and yet it amazes me that so many people automatically assume it's because people don't like cata, or that Blizzard isn't doing a great job.1 -- the game is just simply getting old. Someone who was in their teens six years ago when they began playing might not be any longer and might be in a place in their lives where gaming just doesn't make sense for them any more. I am 30 now, and have noticed the time I have for wow is dwindling compared to how much time I had in my early 20's. It's nothing personal against Blizz, I just spend less of my down time playing these days.2 -- the US economy sucks and this issue has extended as a result to other areas of the globe as well. While this can be a cost savings expense for those who use to go out all the time and are looking to scale back forcing subscriptions to go up, it can also be one of the first things people cut out when trying to make every penny count right along with traditional cable, or internet access. 3 -- The game itself is very old. Not even considering people's physical ages and changed life circumstances.. Even with new expansions, at a certain point people lose interest in something they use to enjoy. Otherwise most of us would still be playing with legos and barbie dolls. World of Warcraft could make a ton of changes, but if people lose interest in the same ole, same ole .. no matter how many bells and whistles they add, people will move on.4 -- It could simply be the plateau effect. The game can only go up consistently for so long before it levels off. It may have artificially had too many players, and this is just the natural leveling off. 5 -- Okay, so maybe there are a few problems in the game itself. Some will resolve itself as Cata progresses, some will not. Cata has given end game players less to do. Hyjal dailies helped with this somewhat.. but by creating an obvious cap on valor, and limiting their players who do have the time to invest in the game to only running10's or 25's without the ability to run both except on alts limits how much people can play, or even have a reason to play. People lose motivation to run heroics when their valor is capped since JP are not really useable for anything which is worth much gold in return. For guilds who are suffering the summer blues, and have a natural drop in attendance raiding is out of the question since firelands on many servers isn't pug-able. This leads to a situation of boredom, since players are forced to run the same 2 heroics on repeat in order to gear up, and the forced cap to this progression lessens people enjoyment even with doing this.I often find that after Thursday, I don't even need to log into the game for the rest of the week as there is -nothing- happening for me. I know I am not alone, and dailies alone don't fill this gap. My predictions are numbers will continue to fall until they reverse this decision to either cap valor, or restrict players to 10's or 25's alone.
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