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-   -   Is WOW beginning to die out? (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=72060)

D-Boy 2008-09-26 22:02

Is WOW beginning to die out?
 
To players, one of the most appealing features of MMORPGs is the massive community in the game world. In this virtual atmosphere, you can meet people from every corner of the earth and grind out levels for hours… but eventually we will tire. And that brings us to today’s topic – is the most successful massive multiplayer role-playing game, Blizzard’s epic World of Warcraft becoming less massive?

WOW has more than 10 million subscribers round the world. But this huge population is divided into countless servers, which “effectively” reduces the game community size. Moreover, WOW’s enormous landmass, which was highly appreciated by the players, now has begun to show its flaw. The players are scattered in the huge maps, reducing population density. The new influx of new players is starting to decline and the veterans are all stick to high-level regions.

When I started my WOW journey recently, omg… it felt like wandering round a ghost town. As most of players are either grinding in the dungeons or on the way to the dungeons, my newborn Belf paladin can hardly meet someone for help. It was more or less the same as playing a single player RPG to me.

Kyero Fox 2008-09-26 22:33

FYI

lol@stormwind & you

WoW... Beginning to die out?... I don't know... does Naruto not have enough fans?

DragoonKain3 2008-09-26 22:48

Maybe try again during the release of the new expansion pack? I myself only played WoW when the burning crusade came out, and there were plenty of newbies to play with. Also helps if you've got friends who are experienced WoW players, as some gave me free stuff (how much gold you need? 100? sure np) or just plain helpful in terms of doing some of the game's instances and/or quests.

Ithekro 2008-09-26 23:14

A lot of people get fed up with WoW over the last several months...basically saying they would come back once the expansion came out (if then in a few cases).

Others have stopped because they have a bunch of things they get to do, but are at 70, and with the potential of more leveling in the next two months, they've decided to wait until that XP can come back into play. "Easy" XP at that.

A final group is more or less just bored and waiting it out. I was sort of at that point for a month or two, but with the expansion's release date announced, I decided to go back and level an alt or two up to at least 55 and use them as a semi-basis for a Death Knight after I run through stuff with my lone 70.

Vexx 2008-09-27 02:18

Take a visit to the old Everquest world and witness desolate lands and cities galore.

Once a population stabilizes at the upper end levels, the game-devs would have to create reasons for the account holders to roll new characters. Having them redo the same development leveling storyline becomes painful.

WoW suffers a lot from "whine-engineering" .... (wah, its too hard! wah, I have to walk! wah, it hurts to die!) but most of the other MMOs have fallen to those whines as well over time.

sigh.... the never-ending quest for an MMO that emphasizes some thinking and you die hard if you are careless.

MidnightViper88 2008-09-27 03:01

I don't play WoW at all, but just as a general spectator, it must be dying out of they hire people like Mr. T and William Shatner to try to convince you that even celebrities have the time to play such a game...

Solace 2008-09-27 03:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vexx (Post 1936819)
Take a visit to the old Everquest world and witness desolate lands and cities galore.

Once a population stabilizes at the upper end levels, the game-devs would have to create reasons for the account holders to roll new characters. Having them redo the same development leveling storyline becomes painful.

WoW suffers a lot from "whine-engineering" .... (wah, its too hard! wah, I have to walk! wah, it hurts to die!) but most of the other MMOs have fallen to those whines as well over time.

sigh.... the never-ending quest for an MMO that emphasizes some thinking and you die hard if you are careless.

Everquest as a world died when they put in that stupid Plane of Knowledge - and ran with it. I understood the need for smoother transportation because of the expanding world but they went too far in my opinion. I'm happy that Blizzard at least *tries* to make the older areas relevant, through Holiday Events, revamps, quests, or forcing players to go back to old cities by not including vital services in expansion cities (auction house, trainers).

But basically the problem with most MMO's is that as more and more people reach higher levels the balance shifts from a lot of one group running around to another. People want to progression their favorite class further and further, and it's not productive to make another character and focus on that one, and another and so on. So once they cap out the level, they spend time gearing, experiencing high end content, and have little desire to constantly replay older content.

It's an age issue mainly. The initial high interest creates an artificial bloom of players that doesn't even out as newer players join. So after the bloom is over a few months after release, newer players don't get to experience the larger leveling population until the next expansion when the levels increase again.

It's a design flaw but only in the sense that leveling for many players is just a means to an end. They consider max level where the best parts of the game are, and everything else is just a stepping stone to that.

I will say this about WoW though - it's probably a bit too lenient about player mistakes but I do not miss Everquest's level losses and corpse runs one bit.

As far as server population goes I believe that's one of the larger flaws of a faction based system (it effectively splits a server in half), and honestly the faction imbalances have created a need for Blizzard to condense servers a little bit. Not because the population has declined drastically like a lot of people have proclaimed, but because the factions per server can be extremely unbalanced to the point of being desolate for some sides.

The servers that were released with The Burning Crusade had this problem, the amount of players rolling Horde for Blood Elves far exceeded the players rolling Alliance. Because many of these servers were PvP ruleset, players on the Alliance side eventually became frustrated with not finding groups, constantly being attacked and outnumbered by Horde players, and left for servers with better populations.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 (Post 1936905)
I don't play WoW at all, but just as a general spectator, it must be dying out of they hire people like Mr. T and William Shatner to try to convince you that even celebrities have the time to play such a game...

The WoW universe and its community are very heavy on pop culture references. The player base grows quite a bit every year, they really don't need Mr. T telling people to play. :)

2H-Dragon 2008-09-27 04:27

Warhammer online ftw? :D

Last Sinner 2008-09-27 04:28

Lore is a big part of maintaining interest in the WoW universe. They have now played their major trump card in Arthas. They may be doing the Lich King expansion as being the last one. Although they have hinted The Emerald Dream and South Seas could still hold interesting possibilities.

I think this is the critical expansion. Burning Crusade fixed so many problems with the original version. Lich King is the lore-fest and the resolution to burning questions from The Frozen Throne. It now falls as to whether the end of Arthas will equate to the end of the game for players. Blizzard have said Arthas will be the very last part of the Lich King expansion. But whether that is the end, full stop, time will tell.

But I will say one thing. Since the WoWyota commercial was voted as the People's Choice for Best Commercial of 2007 (as in best commercial in the US that year from all commercials), I don't think it's dead yet.

Aoie_Emesai 2008-09-27 04:42

I'd say for the general audience, wow is just a returning fad. We play a bit, we talk with our friends and we leave. Each expansion will be like that. The population of wow will drop as soon as the lich king ends and most everyone, like 70% of the users have gotten to level 80, gotten their new gladiatior gears and have pvp thier hearts out.

I'd say most players are like me, we pay our 15$ a month for a quick 1-3 hours worth of fun 3 times a week. We come to WOW to escape reality for a bit, have a bit of fun, then get off. 15 dollar is cheap compared to what I could have done if I was bored and drove off to my friends house. ^^

Nothing last forever.

Klashikari 2008-09-27 04:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Last Sinner (Post 1937038)
I think this is the critical expansion. Burning Crusade fixed so many problems with the original version.

The problem is BC also provided a lot of problems and mistakes.
As a lore lover, BC disgusted me a lot by its inconsistencies, retcon and especially absolutely idiotic extra (illidan and archimonde, notably).

To be honest, I feel like Arthas is simply sealing blizz's doom for the possible "main" attraction of wow, until they do a certain cheap way to make him revive or so, pretty much like what they implied with Kel'Thuzad

Aoie_Emesai 2008-09-27 04:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klashikari (Post 1937057)
The problem is BC also provided a lot of problems and mistakes.
As a lore lover, BC disgusted me a lot by its inconsistencies, retcon and especially absolutely idiotic extra (illidan and archimonde, notably).

To be honest, I feel like Arthas is simply sealing blizz's doom for the possible "main" attraction of wow, until they do a certain cheap way to make him revive or so, pretty much like what they implied with Kel'Thuzad

Just waiting for Diablo 3 now ^^

Narzia 2008-09-27 05:54

Even though i take their numbers (10 million subscribers.. come on.. ) with a grain of salt, i doubt WoW will ever die out before it's intended end is reached.

In case some peole don't know. Tigole (Lead Game Designer) was once an Everquest player and leader of Legacy of Steel, a guild with many world-firsts (which would explain why the game became the garbage it is now).
Another former EverQuest player would be Alex "Furor" Afriasiabi. Former leader of the EverQuest guild Fires of Heaven and now Quest Designer for WoW.

Anyway...
BC was a failure (in so many ways), many people left or took a break (like me) and i hope Wotlk will bring back the feeling i had once in classic, long long ago. If i remember correctly, Blizzard mentioned having a five year plan, with each year a new expansion.

Btw. thruth be told, NO ONE is ever in front of Stormwinds cathedral. Not even on full servers.

Solace 2008-09-27 06:06

Meh, the devs do take some shots from players (some of it warranted, some not). Those two were pretty "notorious" from the EQ days but they weren't the instruments of downfall many want to believe.

EverQuest is still going, so I think WoW will last just as long if not longer depending on what Blizzard's future plans are. The problems with Everquest mainly stemmed from a game not designed (either in code or philosophy) to last beyond the original game. This is ignoring developer philosophies of what players to cater to, mind you. << getting that statement in before people start complaining about things like Raiding. ;)

The numbers aren't inflated, they're world wide and don't include certain types of accounts (like the Asian cafe ones I believe). The actual US player base is something like 3-4 million. Still rather large either way you slice it.

Anyway, people grow and change with the game. It's easy to drop and pick up so the fickle nature of boredom and yearning for new things will always be part of the game. That's not to say that the numbers will drop, they will eventually. But many people like to play the "doom and gloom" game stating that the next new thing will kill WoW.

There's been a lot of high profile games that were stated to be WoW killers, and well, it's still here. It's just the cycle of things.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai
Nothing last forever.

Quoted for universal truth.

Last Sinner 2008-09-27 06:33

Well, they did make some mistakes in TBC. But the original was so heavily flawed.

Druids - One tree class and its one tree of any function was still weak. Took until Lich King for Boomkins to be proper, until TBC for Feral to be viable. Itemisation for Druids took until TBC to finally be proper.
Warlocks - Took a long time to be fixed, Destro wasn't a proper tree until TBC
Paladins - Another one tree class. Honestly, considering how good Protection has been in TBC and that Retribution will finally be a proper tree in Lich King....Even though Holy was always good, it was the only tree for so long.

Then there was the battlegrounds. Warsong Gulch...always a joke. Alterac Valley...matches that went for a week for stuff all honor/crap rewards?! Cmon...And their initial cock-up of Arathi Basin was pathetic. To give losing sides nothing was a huge insult. It took until TBC for AV to be a proper BG. However, against TBC is the mess that is Eye of The Storm. When you're routed into 20 already in progress matches that have been 4 capped, in a row, that's just ridiculous. And frankly, 75% of the players just don't have a clue how to play that BG properly. In their favour is that the current AV and AB grounds are balanced.

Instance wise, the 10 man runs in the original were just so bad. Too long, too much loot competition, medicore loot. Molten Core was more like Molten Bore. Blackwing Lair...ugh...no raid instance invokes more anger in me than that one. I only did it because I got into one of the high-end guilds just before AQ came out. That instance was insanely unfair on Warriors. As novel an idea as Vaelstrasz was, as well as the element drakonids...making plate users suffer even more was very stupid. The loot quality in BL was bad as well.

Things finally headed in the right direction in AQ. The fights were novel and fun. Ouro and The Twin Emperors are still in my top 5 of all time, those really sorted out the pros and the scrubs. C'Thun was a real downer. But loot finally began to work for more classes. Even though the lore was iffy, I didn't mind the atmosphere or what they were trying to do. AQ20 was a good concept but wasn't executed well.

Naxxramas - very good instance. But being released so close to TBC release was a bad idea. I am looking forward to seeing this instance again.

PvP before TBC was just a joke. Play virtually non-stop for 3 months to get your PvP set and then stop playing....I don't think so....What was the point?! You can't deny that PvP finally became a proper alternative to raiding in TBC and that casual gamers finally had a reason to play. Heroics and proper PvP rewards...they were a very good addition, as were the dailies. The #1 complaint I hear from people that don't play is that WoW is too time consuming and that you have to be a hardcore raider. TBC adressed that issue to a degree.

I never expected lore to be of much siginificance in TBC, so I was never disappointed. And frankly, I enjoyed seeing the Draenei more than Blood Elves. Belfs simply superseded Undead as my preferred gank targets. If anything, the one part of mid-late TBC that annoyed me was "MORE Belf instances/zones?!" They just became overused.

Klashikari 2008-09-27 06:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Last Sinner (Post 1937141)
Blackwing Lair...ugh...no raid instance invokes more anger in me than that one. I only did it because I got into one of the high-end guilds just before AQ came out. That instance was insanely unfair on Warriors. As novel an idea as Vaelstrasz was, as well as the element drakonids...making plate users suffer even more was very stupid. The loot quality in BL was bad as well.

I'm actually disagreeing here. BWL actually begun to change radically the way of instance bosses and such.
IN MB, aside of Ragnaros (which was style extremely ridiculous in fixed pattern, yet some random component), the rest of the bosses were awfully fixed.

They did some stuff about lore, but also versatile and changing pattern in BWL, even with some of the trash (the shifting weakness drakonids etc). Of course, boss like Chromagus were a bit annoying for their length, but Vael was at least something on the good way, despite the indeed annoying "mandatory death toll".

The loots were actually extremely good, at the given time. Speaking as a warrior, even if fury warriors weren't exactly gifted at that time (battling like nuts with rogues or even with hunters for the chromatic sword), MS and prot warriors could get serious stuff (bulkwark and ashkandi, to say the least).
These were actually up, compared to Molten Core "epics".
Quote:

Things finally headed in the right direction in AQ. The fights were novel and fun. Ouro and The Twin Emperors are still in my top 5 of all time, those really sorted out the pros and the scrubs. C'Thun was a real downer. But loot finally began to work for more classes. Even though the lore was iffy, I didn't mind the atmosphere or what they were trying to do. AQ20 was a good concept but wasn't executed well.
To be quite honest, I believe that AQ was extremely tiresome despite Blizz changed the direction of the instances.
The trash mobs in AQ were extremely painful, quick rewpawning and not really fun (especially the stupid spiked splash knock back).

Aside of The emperor and "maybe" C'thun, the rest of the bosses were extremely meh and gear dependant. Startura was extremely stupid, Fankriss was a freeloot, and Huhuran was a silly gear check.
Quote:

Naxxramas - very good instance. But being released so close to TBC release was a bad idea. I am looking forward to seeing this instance again.
I think that Naxxramas was the best instance they could provide, granted if they could fix the huge toll on Taddius (lag fest etc).
Even some zerking boss encounter like Gothik, Patchwerk and Faerlina were actually" fun" considering how it was not so straightforward and not ultimately "you fail at gear, kkthx bye bye".

Razovious was pretty much like vael, a very nice first experience, especially if you didn't spoil yourself (the first wipe because razovious just one shotted the MT was probably one of the most amusing (not sarcastic) wipe in raid I could remember of).

And of course, the ruthless yet clockwork and great 4 horsemen, though I hope for those who still play for WotLK that the event will get more polished triggers etc.
Quote:

PvP before TBC was just a joke. Play virtually non-stop for 3 months to get your PvP set and then stop playing....I don't think so....What was the point?! You can't deny that PvP finally became a proper alternative to raiding in TBC and that casual gamers finally had a reason to play. Heroics and proper PvP rewards...they were a very good addition, as were the dailies. The #1 complaint I hear from people that don't play is that WoW is too time consuming and that you have to be a hardcore raider. TBC adressed that issue to a degree.
You can say it is the inherent problem with MMORPG in general.
Quote:

I never expected lore to be of much siginificance in TBC, so I was never disappointed. And frankly, I enjoyed seeing the Draenei more than Blood Elves. Belfs simply superseded Undead as my preferred gank targets. If anything, the one part of mid-late TBC that annoyed me was "MORE Belf instances/zones?!" They just became overused.
That is probably because of the "legolas wannabee" that everyone expected the very moment they announced the blood elves. I still have hard time to swallow about the forsaken back when WoW was a its premises, but BE weren't exactly anything better than a forceful attempt to add paladins to the horde instead of balancing paladins and shamans so they can provide equal advantages without unabalance (which blizz failed big time).

Last Sinner 2008-09-27 07:09

I guess the perspective on BWL may be class dependent. For Druids, the upgrade was like a drop of water in the Atlantic Ocean. Only 3 pieces of the 8 were worth it. Whereas AQ finally gave Druids the first step to some proper love. Mind you, once I switched to Mage in TBC, it was a totally different kettle of fish.

I'll grant you AQ trash was annoying. But I personally think the trash in the Plague Wing of Naxx in between Noth and Heigan is the worst example of trash I came across before TBC. All it took was for one person to go AFK or d/con in that section and the raid would gradually get more and more screwed.

I am so with you on Thaddius. For a computer that would never crash on anything but that fight....it drove me insane. I also had major lag issues with the barrier splashes in Heigan. The only other thing about Naxx that annoyed me was erratic web bugs with Maexxna.

RWBladewing 2008-09-27 07:58

BWL was a pretty enjoyable instance for me, though as a huntard I didn't really have to do much besides kite on Razorgore and tranq shot a bunch of times. Having Chromaggus frenzy right before a breath was always fun, I was an expert at firing the tranq and then getting out of LOS within a split second (and the few times I screwed up I was toast because our healers sucked and had tunnel vision, we had many wipes due to all hunters dead since they didn't know how to heal anyone besides the tank).

The thing I found really funny was that for my guild, the Ashkandi dropped like, well, candy, and most of the other guilds on the server didn't even get 1. We had so many in fact that we started giving them to paladins and hunters.

I didn't care too much for AQ, the trash was pretty annoying and I still consider Huhuran the worst boss fight ever in the game. I used to dread the Twin Emperors as well, though that was more because of my guild than the fight itself, since despite its level of progression the guild had a lot of stupid members and one really small mistake could easily wipe the whole raid on that fight, and it did, MANY times. Wouldn't have been that bad but that fight was also extremely long comparatively, as was the run back, making wiping at a low % due to a stupid mistake extremely painful.

I stopped in Naxx after Maexxna (guild made it to Thaddius and wiped so many times they disbanded) but I can safely say I hated those plague gargoyles. Don't think I've ever wiped on a single trash mob so many times.

I don't see the game dying at all. They may actually lose some players because of making all PvP gear require arena points/rating, but I am 100% in favor of that change. I don't like arena at all nor do I think it should be needed to compete in battlegrounds, but they've stated the reasons for the change as trying to make PvE viable again and prevent everyone who puts 0 effort into the game from walking around in free epics, and that is reasoning I can definitely agree with. I think most of the players who would quit over this are the kind of players the game is better off without.

Narzia 2008-09-27 08:30

I hated Molten Bore, though the first time seeing Ragnaros is still one of the few epic moments i had in this game. Snorewing Lair wasn't any better. Yawn'Qiraj... uh i mean Ahn'Qiraj was finally something i enjoyed.. even though the area design was terrible dull.

Quote:

They may actually lose some players because of making all PvP gear require arena points/rating, but I am 100% in favor of that change.
I do not agree. It's a terrible change.
Unless you have top end raiding gear, you'll stand no chance against any form of pvp-geared players. And NOT everyone can get in a high end guild, or has the "skill" (or the druid partner) for a 2000+ rating.

Quote:

trying to make PvE viable again
Remove the ridiculous RNG Loot then, and replace it with more reliable tokens. In PvP, you can chose the gear you get, why not in PvE?

Quote:

prevent everyone who puts 0 effort into the game from walking around in free epics
Grinding 3 years long the same 3 (4) boring BG's for several hours a day.. i'd say that's quite an effort.


On a side note, i actually enjoyed old school AV. You'd join one, play until bed time. And the next evening the same battle's still going on. Awesome even though it took me a while to get my Ice barbed spear.

Ending 2008-09-27 09:24

Molten Bore? Snorewing Lair? What's next: zZz'Qiraj and Upper Grindrock Spire? :p

@ D-Boy

Referring to your picture about Stormwind cathedral, usually the mobs gather between the auction house - mailbox - bank triangle and since there is no such thing as a "player collision", there is no reason to spread out. It's pretty empty outside the the capitals, true, but guess it can't be avoided thanks to the instant teleportation spells.

IMO, it's a bit sad to see places like Stonetalon Mountains completely empty. I only stumbled there on accident when I was leveling up (I have no alts, mind) and it really felt like it was in middle of nowhere. I kinda wish they removed all but heartstone and mage's portals just to cheer up the traffic. Turning flight-points into caravans would probably help, too.

Quote:

Just look at Conquer Online, the Chinese style F2P MMO. As published 5 years ago, its 2.5D graphics are outdated. But when you enter in the main towns of the game, you can immediately see players all chatting, trading and dancing.
Tried it and it didn't compare to WoW: Conquer Online simply lacks the level of polish and strategy WoW offers. There's a lot of chatting going on in WoW, but most of it is hidden into whisper- or party-only channels. Trading goes through AH, which is superior to 1-on-1 trading. As to dancing... Well, that's hardly critical, is it? :D

Overall, Blizzard really should perk up the rate at which they update the game. There's so much potential being wasted ATM that it's almost infuriating, not to forget that many of the suggestions focus on issues we, the paying customers, view as important. Knowing that Blizz earns millions every months, money can't be an issue, so it all boils down to what they want to do. Unfortunately, it looks like they aren't that interested of developing their milking cow unless they get money out of it, hence the expansions.

Updating a multi-million MMO every three years is definitely too little while ignoring the true issues. I'll be coming back once WOTKL hits, but sooner or later the faults start glaring again if they aren't fixed. But hey: there are a few competing MMO's to try while waiting, such as 9Dragons, Perfect World, CABAL Online, Kathana 3, Lord of the Rings Online, and -of course- Warhammer. Who knows, maybe Conan also fixes the initial flaws and turns out good.


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