So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:12 am

Pyrea wrote:
The funny thing is, Panda is going back to being more of a grindy experience, something Cata didn't have nearly as much of (except for that gawdawful MF zone). But the Panda grind is a casual one.

People seem to like grinds, if they don't notice they are grinds. Hence the unprecendented success of Farmville et al, some of the "grindiest" games ever released.


Ironic, since Blizz is adding Farmville...
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby degre » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:25 am

halabar wrote:
degre wrote:If WoW was released today maybe could have some competition, but isn't sure as the MMORPG crazed was started by WoW, and it's quite possible that would still crunch these numbers, maybe even more as nowadays machines are better than what they were back then and there more and more casual gamers.

To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.


If Vanilla WoW launched now, I don't think it would succeed. If WoW launched as what Pandaclysm is, then it might.

Vanilla launched now would have sure been different. Originally they started developing WoW with the idea of a game a la Baldur's gate or Diablo but I remember them mentioning you could go as up as 64 players, then with MMORPG like DAOC around with thousands of players on the same server they redesigned, which is why if Vanilla would have come out today it would have been very very different, cause with a different market comes different games design.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Teranoid » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:52 pm

halabar wrote:
Pyrea wrote:
The funny thing is, Panda is going back to being more of a grindy experience, something Cata didn't have nearly as much of (except for that gawdawful MF zone). But the Panda grind is a casual one.

People seem to like grinds, if they don't notice they are grinds. Hence the unprecendented success of Farmville et al, some of the "grindiest" games ever released.


Ironic, since Blizz is adding Farmville...


Which completely makes sense in two ways:

1)They realize they're starting to lose their original playerbase who are older now and are moving away from the game for whatever reason and they're keeping the game going by changing their target demographics.
2)People complained in Cata (myself included) that there is literally nothing to do in game. More options however dumb they seem are options nonetheless.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:55 pm

Teranoid wrote:1)They realize they're starting to lose their original playerbase who are older now and are moving away from the game for whatever reason and they're keeping the game going by changing their target demographics...


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Maybe I can get my wife to manage my Tillers farm...
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby bldavis » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:57 pm

halabar wrote:
Teranoid wrote:1)They realize they're starting to lose their original playerbase who are older now and are moving away from the game for whatever reason and they're keeping the game going by changing their target demographics...


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Maybe I can get my wife to manage my Tillers farm...

:shock: :shock:

maybe i can get my mother back in the game this way!
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby theckhd » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:45 pm

degre wrote:To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.


Keep in mind that "casual-oriented" is only one part of WotLK's success (and it's arguable how much - iirc numbers peaked during the first month or two of Wrath, before it really hit its casual-friendly 'lolheroics' stride, and steadily declined afterwards). Benebarba alluded to another factor earlier - Wrath was the last expansion that really covered lore from the RTS games, specifically WC3. Arthas was the big bad, in a sense. I know people who bought the expansion and resubscribed just to kill him.

Since then, we've more or less been forging new ground. Sure, Deathwing is old hat, but he wasn't a major plot point of WC3. Most of the actual story we're playing through now is either new material (as in, we're no longer exploring areas we saw in the RTS games) or material set up by the earlier WoW expansions (Twilight cult, Garrosh escalating the H/A conflict).

I know that I feel a closer connection to the first three expansions than to Cataclysm, just because of the nostalgia factor. I suspect that a lot of other players did too.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby PsiVen » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:03 pm

I was quite looking forward to Deathwing as a badass villain from WC2, but I've noticed that a lot of newer Warcraft players are totally unfamiliar with him. I can definitely see the Lich King driving subscriptions especially as the entire expansion was built around him egging you on personally. Cataclysm was certainly built around Deathwing, but to a lot of people I think it felt contrived rather than established.

Mists of Pandaria takes it in a very different direction, probably closer to Vanilla WoW or TBC, neither of which were all that villain-driven (Illidan as the villain of TBC at release didn't even make much sense).

That said, there's a limit to the amount that story drives this game or any other Blizzard title. I've mentioned before that I was displeased with MoP until I realized that I stopped caring a long time ago that the story sometimes loses my interest, because the gameplay is what I'm here for. I think the vast majority of WoW players feel similarly, and the fallout from people actually quitting over "ugh Kung Fu Panda wtf" will be negligible as long as they release compelling content.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fetzie » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:25 pm

as long as they release compelling content.


This is the point though. Blizzard has it entirely in their hands. They can make WoW a record-breaking resounding success if they make consistently high quality content. They can also hammer the coffin lid shut if they don't. I like playing WoW, I happily signed up for the annual pass and I don't regret that decision. But if Blizzard gives us another Dragon Soul for 9 months, my patience will wear out, and I don't doubt for a minute that other people feel the same way.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:31 pm

A couple of other feathers in the WotLK hat... It was that the first time that every class was designed to be raid viable in all of their roles. They also had the draw of a new class which I think gave a lot of people the chance at a fresh start with something very different that content alone really can't quite deliver on.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby theckhd » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:37 pm

PsiVen wrote:I was quite looking forward to Deathwing as a badass villain from WC2, but I've noticed that a lot of newer Warcraft players are totally unfamiliar with him. I can definitely see the Lich King driving subscriptions especially as the entire expansion was built around him egging you on personally. Cataclysm was certainly built around Deathwing, but to a lot of people I think it felt contrived rather than established.


I guess I didn't get the "badass villain" vibe about Deathwing from WC2. I remember the mission where we fought him, but he was just another dragon model by that point in the game. It could be that time has just dulled my memory of his badassery though.

Fridmarr wrote:A couple of other feathers in the WotLK hat... It was that the first time that every class was designed to be raid viable in all of their roles. They also had the draw of a new class which I think gave a lot of people the chance at a fresh start with something very different that content alone really can't quite deliver on.

I was actually a little surprised that Monks weren't a hero class. I guess they decided they didn't like the "start at a higher level" paradigm. But I think that the prospect of leveling a monk from 1-90 will turn a lot of people off of the class, at least as their main. Plus thematically it would have made more sense for them to start at 75, maybe with 75-85 on the Wandering Isle. That would have skipped the wonky story - "you're a level 1 pandaren monk from the wandering isle, now go re-live the cataclysm from a few years ago!"
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby rodos » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:09 pm

Fridmarr wrote:A couple of other feathers in the WotLK hat... It was that the first time that every class was designed to be raid viable in all of their roles. They also had the draw of a new class which I think gave a lot of people the chance at a fresh start with something very different that content alone really can't quite deliver on.

Northrend also looked fantastic, and had some cool music. The re-worked world in Cata has some great spots too, but apart from Uldum I found the actual new zones to be a bit visually disappointing (I know some people really love Deepholm, but it didn't do much for me). Pandaria has some spectacular scenery which, combined with no initial flight like all pre-Cata xpacks, should bring back some of the excitement of exploration and discovery to the game.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fetzie » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:49 pm

rodos wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:A couple of other feathers in the WotLK hat... It was that the first time that every class was designed to be raid viable in all of their roles. They also had the draw of a new class which I think gave a lot of people the chance at a fresh start with something very different that content alone really can't quite deliver on.

Northrend also looked fantastic, and had some cool music. The re-worked world in Cata has some great spots too, but apart from Uldum I found the actual new zones to be a bit visually disappointing (I know some people really love Deepholm, but it didn't do much for me). Pandaria has some spectacular scenery which, combined with no initial flight like all pre-Cata xpacks, should bring back some of the excitement of exploration and discovery to the game.



I know a lot of people don't like the swimming aspect of vashj'ir, but I still remember my jaw dropping when I saw the trench with Nes'pirah at the end of it. You can really tell that GC was a marine biologist.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:58 pm

I've had some time to think about it, and while beautiful, Vash'jir just creeps me out... I think it's the whale shark...

And as for Panda's travelling back in time... it won't be much different than "the world is falling apart because of Deathwing, oh wait, here, take this time portal to outlands where a lesser evil is being a pain, now go kill the Lich King and Deathwing will just chill out til you find the time to make it back to the present."

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about time travel, but it would be better if it was actually built into the storyline, instead of just happenstance because of how the leveling path works.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Worldie » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:56 pm

I'm afraid asking them to rebuild the whole game at every expansion would be just... "too much".
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Koatanga » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:53 pm

Worldie wrote:I'm afraid asking them to rebuild the whole game at every expansion would be just... "too much".

True, but humans still walk like they came from some 8-bit arcade game. It makes the game feel(look) old, and not in a classic way. There are other things like that. Many trees look quite terrible - poorly-joined flat pieces of texture.

What was "good enough" in 2004 looks tired and low-tech today. Maybe not a complete rebuild, but some sprucing up wouldn't hurt.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby rodos » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:22 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Worldie wrote:I'm afraid asking them to rebuild the whole game at every expansion would be just... "too much".

True, but humans still walk like they came from some 8-bit arcade game. It makes the game feel(look) old, and not in a classic way. There are other things like that. Many trees look quite terrible - poorly-joined flat pieces of texture.

What was "good enough" in 2004 looks tired and low-tech today. Maybe not a complete rebuild, but some sprucing up wouldn't hurt.

The water changes in Cata are nice if your rig can handle the higher levels (and the fgx drivers don't bug out). I actually installed Windows for the first couple of weeks of Cata so I could explore the news zones with everything turned up to max (Linux works fine day-to-day, but performance isn't great and the highest water detail is still buggy).

Are there any major graphics revamps in Mists? I thought I read something about new weather effects, but I might be mistaken.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:47 am

The trees are still made of overlapping flat planes, but they do look a lot better than they did a few years ago. Aren't we still expecting new player models during this expansion? They said Dwarves would have been ready for launch, but are held because the others aren't done.

(What I think they should do, eventually, for the levelling path? Rebuild Outland - not to quite the extent of Cataclysm - to cover a larger level range, perhaps 45-70 (the zones are huge enough to break up into different-level subzones, might need to add some extra small quest hubs), and have EK, Kalimdor, and Outland as parallel levelling paths that go all the way to 70. Allows players more choice, and they could speed up levelling to cap without actually making you rush even faster through the zones.)
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:41 am

Skye1013 wrote:Don't get me wrong, I'm all about time travel, but it would be better if it was actually built into the storyline, instead of just happenstance because of how the leveling path works.


At some point if they keep going that whole mess will wind up being CoT instances, where you go out for full blown quests on the old continents. That will allow for a rework of the "present time", but really you have that problem everytime you go to an old zone and fight Twilight Cultists.. it's like, didn't these guys get the memo, we killed DW 25 times already, I'm wearing part of his head, get over it and move on...

At some point they'll need to go through and do another quest revamp.

But yes, they need to improve the models. It's really really needed.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Worldie » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:47 am

As far as I remind they said they are soon(tm) done with Dwarves and plan to redo Humans and Orcs right after.

I suppose patience will give us proper models... maybe less bouncy nightelves.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby degre » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:01 am

theckhd wrote:
degre wrote:To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.


Keep in mind that "casual-oriented" is only one part of WotLK's success (and it's arguable how much - iirc numbers peaked during the first month or two of Wrath, before it really hit its casual-friendly 'lolheroics' stride, and steadily declined afterwards). Benebarba alluded to another factor earlier - Wrath was the last expansion that really covered lore from the RTS games, specifically WC3. Arthas was the big bad, in a sense. I know people who bought the expansion and resubscribed just to kill him.

Since then, we've more or less been forging new ground. Sure, Deathwing is old hat, but he wasn't a major plot point of WC3. Most of the actual story we're playing through now is either new material (as in, we're no longer exploring areas we saw in the RTS games) or material set up by the earlier WoW expansions (Twilight cult, Garrosh escalating the H/A conflict).

I know that I feel a closer connection to the first three expansions than to Cataclysm, just because of the nostalgia factor. I suspect that a lot of other players did too.

Well, yeah, it's one part, but it's a huge part when you think that casuals are the vast majority of players.

In Cata I can see the problem in the lack of content, when the expansion was released there was the fun of the revised old areas, but then we just lacked plain content.

I mean, in the first tier advanced players had Heroics and a nice tier of raids, once that was over we moved first to FL with its dailies and eventually to DS, with nothing. Raiders already want to cut themselves for boredom, for casuals was even worse, because heroics were hard for a lot of people, with no heroics and no raid what was left for them when Cata was released? Archaeology. Hurray.

To close, I'm not discounting other reasons and believe you and others have present solid ones, I'm just saying what I believe are the reasons behind the majority, old game, lack of content, the little content being totally unfriendly towards casuals.


PsiVen wrote:That said, there's a limit to the amount that story drives this game or any other Blizzard title. I've mentioned before that I was displeased with MoP until I realized that I stopped caring a long time ago that the story sometimes loses my interest, because the gameplay is what I'm here for. I think the vast majority of WoW players feel similarly, and the fallout from people actually quitting over "ugh Kung Fu Panda wtf" will be negligible as long as they release compelling content.

This very much.

And to be fair it looks like it's going in that direction; had a shot at the new instances and they're actually funny, entertaining.
The brewery is stupidly easy, in normalised gear (372 if I remember right) was a walk in the park but it amused me, there are nice mechanics that require you to move and keep your attention up, I loved how you have to drive the barrels on the first one, the bunny boss is a good laugh and the last boss actually has many a mechanic that makes it interesting.
The Jade Temple is not as good but I've still found it entertaining, and stepping up to Mogu'shan Palace was even upped the difficulty a bit in normalised gear, I've also found the last boss very entertaining with all the abilities and movement involved, nothing to compare with stuff like Madness, I've dozed off twice yesterday so much I was bored...

Plus all the other side content, scenarios, pets, dailies, farmville...
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:59 am

degre wrote:And to be fair it looks like it's going in that direction; had a shot at the new instances and they're actually funny, entertaining.

Plus all the other side content, scenarios, pets, dailies, farmville...


The question is, can they keep it up after T14?.. if not, I might finally be out.

There's a flip side to all that content too.. I'm nearly certain that only 2 of my toons will see 90 anytime soon in Pandaland. There's enough reps to grind and side content that there's no way I'm going to do all that content for the crafting reps on all the alts, especially since you can't level as easily by gathering... (I'm gonna miss leveling a toon to max by mining or herbing in Uldum).
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Worldie » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:07 am

For me (with my 16 lvl 85s) and most people, I doubt alts are going to see level 90 until most of those rep farming become obsolete. Which likely means in T15.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Lieris » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:33 am

Northrend should have been the final expansion. Everything after that feels like a step down.

The way different zones exist in different timelines is a mess that I don't know if they can fix.

Also Azjol Nerub should have been its own zone and had a raid! /broken record
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Shoju » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:37 am

I think that the grind is one of the biggest negatives for me in MoP. After looking over the changes to the classes, it was a big deterrent to think about how grindy the whole thing is going to be, and realizing that most of that work would need to be done over if I were to main change (shudder) because I find that I don't like my class.

The grind really killed the fun for me. Tabard championing reps in dungeons was a great addition to me, I loved it. Sons of Hodir, and Therazane style rep grinds (which seems to be the model they are moving more towards in MoP) just have absolutely no grab for me. That might be because The Argent Tournament sapped my joy, and then Cataclysm killed any joy left in questing for me, with it's linear model of zones, and lack of options in where to quest.

By the time the RDF was introduced into the game, I was blowing through dungeons as often as possible. When leveling (remember, I don't play pures) healing and tanking dungeons were just faster leveling methods, and once I was at max level, championing reps in dungeons kept me motivated to keep running dungeons, and once I was done with the reps, having BoE's I could sell from running dungeons certainly kept me running them longer than anything else.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:44 am

Shoju wrote:I think that the grind is one of the biggest negatives for me in MoP. After looking over the changes to the classes, it was a big deterrent to think about how grindy the whole thing is going to be, and realizing that most of that work would need to be done over if I were to main change (shudder) because I find that I don't like my class.

The grind really killed the fun for me. Tabard championing reps in dungeons was a great addition to me, I loved it. Sons of Hodir, and Therazane style rep grinds (which seems to be the model they are moving more towards in MoP) just have absolutely no grab for me. That might be because The Argent Tournament sapped my joy, and then Cataclysm killed any joy left in questing for me, with it's linear model of zones, and lack of options in where to quest.

By the time the RDF was introduced into the game, I was blowing through dungeons as often as possible. When leveling (remember, I don't play pures) healing and tanking dungeons were just faster leveling methods, and once I was at max level, championing reps in dungeons kept me motivated to keep running dungeons, and once I was done with the reps, having BoE's I could sell from running dungeons certainly kept me running them longer than anything else.


Uhh.. the reps really have nothing at all to do with raiding. For crafting, they are mostly mandatory, but for raiding? nope. MoP tabards are NOT for gaining rep, they are rewards (back to TBC model).

Personally, I get so sick of running dungeons over and over, regardless of the rep.

It does sound like MoP will be somewhat linear in the questing, as there are major storylines, but assuming you need the rep, you'll want to do it all anyway. Raiders can just smash dungeons to level and skip that if desired.
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:21 am
Location: <in the guild that shall not be named>

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