Dec 26th 2009 11:55AM Pick me! Pick me!
Nov 14th 2008 6:46AM Can has? Pwease? :D
Aug 20th 2008 10:26PM Well... yes, there should be. But people use the word "killer" when they should be using the word "competition".
WoW has for too long now dominated the fantasy MMO market. Blizzard has been complacent. They have been slow to release expansions, slow to add content, slow slow slow. They have not, in many cases, provided very good customer service. Being a virtual monopoly breeds contempt for the customer. Over the last 3 years their attitude has largely been "this is the way it is, you will like it".
I think AoC was a bit of a shock to them. It's a badly done game, really; and yet of the WoW players who tried it, only 40% returned to WoW. That means 60% saw fit to stay with a badly damaged competitor's product. It was only after AoC bombed, yet they did not retrieve a majority of their customers, that they really started trying to put a lot of "fixes" into WotLK.
By July, more and more press was leaking out about WAR. I suspect by then that multiple Blizzard insiders likely managed to get into the WAR beta too - don't you think for a moment there's not espionage going on. Blizzard realized that if a crappy game like AoC could steal accounts away, a better done game like WAR would actually hurt them in the West.
Remember, the majority of Blizzard's 10 million accounts are in the East. North America, Oceania, and Europe account for less than 5 million. North America, Oceania, and Western Europe is WAR's target market at this time.
If WAR comes up with 1 million or 2 million accounts, you can bet that some significant percentage of those left WoW. There will be some WAR tabletop devotees who play WAR Online, sure. But most who join it will be people who already played an MMO - likely WoW.
Does Mythic have it within their power to take 25-50% of Blizzard's US/Oceania/Western European market away?
Aug 18th 2008 12:00AM On the Order side, I'll be playing a White Lion. On the Destruction side, a Witch Elf.
Aug 17th 2008 11:20PM Old EverQuest... various high level places, but always Kithicor at night. Willies every time. Never knew what the heck was going to jump out at you.
WoW... nothing is scary in WoW. It's just varying levels of cheese or annoyingly overscripted.
LoTRO.... getting lost in the Old Forest for the first time. Yes, I could have used my map to go home. But trying to find my way through there actually made me nervous and twitchy in a way I had not been since I quit EQ in 2001.
Aug 6th 2008 11:23AM I have to say, as much as I have been looking forward to the retail opening of WAR... I am a little concerned how much trouble these guys have getting out simple factual messages like a release date. Hopefully it is not a harbinger of things to come. :)
Aug 6th 2008 11:20AM It seems the beta client will be available for download on 8/15, along with the account registration website for Open Beta. So presumably Open Beta will begin on or shortly after the 18th.
Head Start will apparently open on September 15 at 10am EST, for all pre-order customers. Everyone else gets in on the 18th at 10am.
Aug 6th 2008 11:02AM @ILikePvPbuthatePvPers - Sure it did - Blizzard is not going to admit to you that some of us cancelled our accounts for LoTRO, but some of us did. AoC got some folks too - 40% came back, but 60% did not. What you have to understand is that no ONE game is going to overtake WoW in worldwide subscriptions. But SEVERAL existing and soon-to-come games, when put together, WILL take a sizeable chunk of WoW's Western sub numbers (North America and Western Europe). The West is WoW's oldest, and most fatigued, market. After spending nearly a year in beta in 2004 and then playing the live game for 3.5 years we finally just sort had enough of Blizzard's modus operandi.
@Caleb - Yeah, I think that a good number of the hard-core PvP players may certainly leave for WAR, or at least pay for both games simultaneously. After all, you only have to Arena for an hour or two a week, and unless you like raiding or faction grinding you have nothing else to do. Why not WAR? Nothing I have heard or seen about Lake Wintergrasp brings it in line with the large-scale PvP objectives in WAR. It is Halaa with siege engines and a reset timer.
At any rate those of us who actually liked the old honor ranking system will be powerfully attracted to WAR and its reknown system, and the constantly available RvR (presumably without 20-50% of the players in the RvR area afk humping a tree).
Aug 5th 2008 4:31PM MechChef, you nailed it right there. These won't be true referrals for the most part. It will be people buying two months' account time in order to get the mount.
I'm sure they will try for a subscriber increase though. They did lose customers to AoC and they will lose customers to WAR. Though it tends to fly under the radar around here, Mines of Moria will also be out in the late fall for LoTRO which has shaped up to be a really excellent game.
Aug 5th 2008 4:25PM Hmm. So it is JUST NOW occurring to you that Arena's sole reason for existence is just another long-term grind to keep you paying your account fee?
I dislike the Arena system intensely for a few reasons.
First, because of the class balance issues. As pointed out in the article, certain classes pretty much always come out on top. I'd quite frankly be willing to bet some money that if you took a survey of all WoW players, you would discover that the majority of the ones who really love Arena are the ones who play classes that thrive there.
I do not think Blizzard is ever going to be able to reasonably balance the classes. Four years in they have not figured it out - never gonna happen.
Second, the negative impact on the PvE game is so tremendous it can't be understated. Raiders felt forced to Arena for s2+ weapons simply because better stuff either was not available in raid instances, or hardly dropped, for example.
Arena has made the BGs terrible places to spend time. In order to bring a new character into competitive arena play you have to grind a couple hundred thousand honor in BGs to get the last season's gear. The result: some of the most creative AFK'ing I have ever seen in an MMO, which diminishes the BG experience for all the people who actually WANT to play and win the BG. I would gladly go back to pre-BC days with 5 people afk in the cave, but 35 actively playing, instead of trying to guard a flag cap while the paladin next to me is afk jumping and there is a mage who is botting his toon up the valley til it dies to an NPC, only to start the bot run again.
Then you get all the people who in summer 2007 realized they could go Arena for 1 hour a week and get epix, so they all dumped their raiding guilds (why spend 15-20 hours a week for a chance at a reward, when you can spend 1 hour a week for a guaranteed one?), thus creating the huge difficulties raiding guilds have had in BC with recruitment and retention. So a lot of players who wanted to see and experience end-game story content have had trouble getting that done.
I could go on but I won't. WoW was not originally designed to be a PvP game. They stuck it on because they realized that players were going to need something to occupy their time, since Bliz can't get an expansion out the door in less than 2 years. Arena has been a cheap moneymaker for them: for the price of some artists' work on armor sets, the one-time original effort into the Arena layouts themselves, and the code that tracks and updates points.... they've kept some of you paying $14.95 a month for the last 18 months. And as soon as you finish one season's gear collection it's "Oh hey here's a new set with minutely better stats and dubiously new art - grind a few more months, won't you please? :)
The effects of Arena have in many ways devastated the PvE game, and wrecked a good portion of the social community.