WoW expansion development speeding up to cut subscriber churn

Blizzard's planning to put World of Warcraft expansions out faster so fewer subscribers are lost after exhausting the new content.

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Speaking at Activision's earnings conference call last night, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime revealed that the developer is planning to hasten development on World of Warcraft expansions to reduce the amount of subscribers lost--the "churn" rate--once the new content has been exhausted.

"What we have seen so far is that people have been consuming this content very quickly and so the subscriber levels have decreased faster than in previous expansions," Morhaime said, speaking about WoW's latest expansion Cataclysm, which was released in December 2010.

Morhaime noted that WoW now has "more than 11.4 million subscribers worldwide," down slightly from 12 million in October 2010. As ever with these figures, do bear in mind that Blizzard's definition of a "subscriber" isn't strictly limited to people who themselves pay subscription fees, also covering active accounts in Internet cafes and the like.

"As our players have become more experienced playing World of Warcraft over the many years, they have become much better and much faster at consuming content. And so I think with Cataclysm, they were able to consume the content faster than with previous expansions," Morhaime explained. "But that's why we're working on developing more content. We launched our first update last week and we have another update that's already in test."

"The response that we've gotten so far from players has been very positive and we really think that we need to be faster at delivering content to players. And so that's one of the reasons why we're looking to decrease the amount of time in between expansions."

Morhaime noted that "we're not ready to talk about the content expansions at this stage but we are looking at ways to speed up the development process."

WoW's first expansion, The Burning Crusade, was released 26 months after the MMORPG launched. Wrath of the Lich King followed 22 months later, then Cataclysm arrived 23 months after that.

Morhaime also addressed the effect WoW latest competitors, which include DC Universe Online and Rift, have had on subscriptions.

"We knew that this year was going to be a year where we faced new competitors. It isn't the first time, though, that we have strong competitors enter the MMO market," he said. "What we have seen in the past is, we tend to see our players leave for some period of time, perhaps try out the new MMOs, and then good percentage of them historically have returned to World of Warcraft. And so, so far I haven't seen anything to indicate that this will be different."

For the distant future, Blizzard's also working on a new, unannounced MMORPG codenamed Titan, based upon a new IP.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 10, 2011 9:15 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, WoW expansion development speeding up to cut subscriber churn.

    Blizzard's planning to put World of Warcraft expansions out faster so fewer subscribers are lost after exhausting the new content.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 9:20 AM

      Well it's true. I played WoW solid through Burning Crusade. When Burning Crusade came out, I lasted well over a year, leaving after I had played through the Sunwell stuff. When Frozen Throne came out, I didn't last more than 8 months until I unsubscribed. Now with Cataclysm, I've unsubscribed after 5 months. Getting through Cataclysm to the point where I had to run 10-25 man raids was very easy to do.

      I know several people with even shorter cycles than mine.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 9:22 AM

        as much as I loved Frozen Throne, they just seem to be making it easier and easier

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:24 AM

          Frozen Throne.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:31 AM

          They upped the difficulty again with Cata. At least it was at launch I don't know what heroic dungeons are like now with the additional gear and such. I have heard heroic raids are still quite a challenge.

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            May 10, 2011 9:37 AM

            i've only done a couple of heroics, but getting to 85 was stupid easy, getting the 'proper gear' to get into heroics was a mind numbing instance grind

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              May 12, 2011 1:55 AM

              so you're upset that there wasn't enough grind to get to 85 but to much to get into heroics?

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            May 11, 2011 3:41 AM

            The Cata heroics were interesting for the first 2-4 weeks, now its just a simple run through like with WotLK, only exception are maybe the Deadmines because they are a bit longer. Most players though leave the group with the random group finder if you start in Deadmines.

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          May 10, 2011 9:33 AM

          Frozen Throne

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:33 AM

          Frozen Phone?

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:36 AM

          Reign of Chaos?

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:51 AM

          Frozen Calzone

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:53 AM

          Broken hoooooooooome

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:58 AM

          Throne of Oblivion

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 8:08 PM

          I stopped after Lord Of Destruction.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 9:23 AM

        Yeah Cata didn't really have a lot to do after you hit the heroic gear cap.

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        May 10, 2011 9:39 AM

        WOTLK was the low point imo. Lots of trash, everything was AOE pulls, no CC, no thinking. it was boring and i left. Plus they took forever to release new raid content. You can only do so many naxx runs before burnout happens.

        But i'm still subscribed for Cata and I like it alot more. If they can get 4.2 raids pushed out fast enough, i'll probably stick around for a long time.

        And it helps that my guildies are awesome people. :)

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          May 10, 2011 9:47 AM

          I agree it was the low point.

          My biggest problem with WOTLK was that it gave people an expectation that heroics should be fast and easy. When Cata first came out no pug group at least would be patient and cc. Back in vanilla and BC, not rushing and cc was just the way to beat stuff so no one question it. Made for a horrible time I would almost never pug anything just wait until my friends were on or free.

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            May 10, 2011 3:40 PM

            I dont know about easy, but it should be kinda fast. more than 2 hours for a damn dungeon is dumb.

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          May 10, 2011 10:55 AM

          WOTLK was fun as a healer.

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            May 10, 2011 12:55 PM

            for real. i would've said WOTLK was the HIGH point. at that time, they still understood that mana management isn't fun

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              May 10, 2011 8:14 PM

              And people could drink from my paladin water cannon of healing.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 3:53 PM

        I was a FIEND through Vanilla/TBC. Wrath and cat i played for maybe 2 months total...

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      May 10, 2011 9:31 AM

      I just got bored of the same rehashed outfits, bosses and areas.... Burning Crusade was amazing and I think thats where they began to lose focus on the core elements by beefing up every class each time someone whined about it.

      Nerf, buff, nerf, buff, buff, nerf.... it got old and stale and the key part to making expansions work is to make them challenging... Black Temple was extremely challenging and took some time before it was completed by many raid groups as where Icecrown was cleared in a matter of hours after it was opened because everyone was already OP from gear they could get elsewere. I thought the endgame events were supposed to be where you get your pivitol gear to be the best. Unfortunately with the combination of PvP and PvE gear people were able to make unstoppable builds and the game got stale.

      I played from Vanilla to Lich King and got bored after the new Necropolis... Hopefully with their new IP they learned from their mistakes on killing the enjoyment of WoW and stick to the basics of MMO's and give us an enjoyable experience with ever increasing challenges and far less class tweaking to cater to those who have 20 hours a day to spend playing. Remember Blizzard... you have a base of 11.5 million with maybe somewhere around 250k being in the top elitist tier of Raiding and PvP..... you cater to them and those who are casual players will get bored when they cant get in on the good parts of the game because they dont have the time or resources to spend countless hours grinding and raiding with others.

      I'm not going to go and praise any MMO I've moved on to because this isnt the place for that... I just hope Blizz learns from some of the new MMO's out there and gives their core fanbase something to enjoy long term and not something they will get bored of within a few months.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        May 10, 2011 9:39 AM

        I think far fewer people care about that stuff than you imagine. Games just get boring after a while. Each expansion is going to have a shorter "lifespan" than the last as the game gets older, especially one with a heavy emphasis on lower level content.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 9:33 AM

      I demand that a mount vendor be put in the game so I don't have to form groups to get the cool old mounts anymore. I want a twilight drake.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 9:38 AM

      So in other words, thanks Activision!

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 10:10 AM

        Yeah, players leaving has nothing to do with the game being almost 7 years old -_-

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          May 10, 2011 10:21 AM

          I do love how the forums are proclaiming WoW is dead because of the ridiculously massive number of people who left.

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          May 10, 2011 10:46 AM

          Yeah I think that is really it for a lot of people leaving or only trying it for a short period. It's nearly 7 years old, redone stuff and I'm bored with it however the game is in its probably best state it has ever been.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 7:17 PM

        Unlike every other company Blizzard doesn't care about stemming subscriber churn...

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 10:06 AM

      Of course it's not all sad news, profits are up. Yay pet store.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 10:26 AM

      I think 600k is just the start, once TOR comes out they will lose more. Don't worry fanboys your WOW isn't dead, just fewer players. I left because it just got boring. Cat was good for about a month and a half, then i was just standing around in Stormwind while i watched TV. I finally uninstalled it after having it on my computer, and laptop since release. I gave all my gold, and mats to random players, and have no plans to return.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 10:29 AM

        Those 600k were the lynchpin. What will those remaining 11.4 million people do?! Oh the humanity!

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 10:46 AM

        Except for all the people resubscribing when 4.2 hits, and for the next expansion that probably hits around the time TOR does, and then some of those who leave for TOR will come back once they grow tired of TOR (like all other MMOs), etc etc. It goes up and down for everyone.

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          May 10, 2011 10:50 AM

          No one ever resubscribes. Ever.

          Except me. I'm on my third or forth go.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 1:14 PM

            I historically have resubscribed for less and less time each expansion. I enjoy them, at least until I run out of stuff to do, and I'm not a big alt person so I run out pretty fast lately.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 11:06 AM

        Y E S Y O U C A N H A V E M Y S T U F F' D

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 12:56 PM

        " once comes out they will lose more."

        never happened.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 1:29 PM

        "Don't worry fanboys your WOW isn't dead, just fewer players."

        Fairly antagonistic?

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 10:31 AM

      I get bored once I finish leveling. So I wind up canceling after I max out.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 10:37 AM

      Churn out more game faster... yeah that's the ticket. Faction and class balance? Nah, those are sociological issues.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 11:05 AM

        I've often wondered how people propose they fix a faction imbalance. They've limited people from creating characters of a certain faction before, and they've also limited server transfers for factions. Server mergers? Perhaps, but then you run into issues of Server First achievements, character's names, the name of the server itself, etc. They could do a lottery of sorts... those chosen and forced to switch to the opposing faction, but LOL, good luck with that.

        Do you have any suggestions/ideas?

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 12:54 PM

          Doesn't a simple server transfer already have the problem with server first achievements? What if I am server first and transfer to another one where there is already one with that achievement? Doesn't make that much of a difference.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 1:01 PM

            Yes, but at that point it's the players choice to transfer, so more of the "blame", so to speak, falls on them. A forced merger would certainly... heighten any ill-feelings toward Blizzard.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 3:05 PM

          They'd have to balance out things that are different per faction. This is a massive amount of work and they're already convinced it isn't real anyway (as per their quote sometime last week where they said the differences were "sociological" instead of actual game balance).

          So to fix it, you'd need to replace some of the devs with others that have a preference for the other faction. But then you'd have the issue of dev skill and training.

          At this point it's pretty clear they wont' change. And now that they're incorporating the Activision way... game over in a couple years anyway.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 12:22 PM

        Class balance is constantly being tweaked.

        Faction population balance is much harder to do, and really can only be done with three factions (allowing the two weaker ones to gang up on the third).

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 3:07 PM

          Class balance is constantly being tweaked in the same imbalanced way it has always been:

          Tier 1: Rogue/Warrior/Mage
          Tier 2: Others

          That's not balance.

          For faction population to be balanced, they'd have to admit there's a problem with game balance between the factions.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 12:24 PM

      It's not that players are churning through new content faster; Cataclysm simply didn't have that much new content. For players who don't want to reroll their characters, there's only the miniscule 80-85 content.

      Blizzard spent too much time on stuff that long-term players won't care about, in hopes of inviting new players. But I think that at this point there's not too many players who haven't tried it yet, and they need to focus on retention rather than growth.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 12:50 PM

        ding ding ding!

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 12:58 PM

        I believe you may be right. I had a bad feeling about Cataclysm once they announced it would be 80-85, instead of 80-90.

        That being said, they have 11.4 MILLION subs right now. Even a very successful MMO usually peaks between 500-800k. Blizzard is fine. If they lose ~600k subscribers per expansion, they still have, what, 10-12 years left?

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 1:22 PM

          Number of levels really has nothing to do with the amount of content. They could have changed the experience required to level or experience given and made the exact same content stretch from 80-90.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 1:33 PM

            Yeah, 80-85 was really fast. IIRC, my DK went from 80 to 85 in the span of just a week or so of playing a few hours a day, and that was with skipping most of Uldum and all of Twilight Highlands (as I hit 85 before finishing Uldum).

            And hell, that was without any of the Guild XP bonuses, or the BoA bonuses.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 1:38 PM

        A huge portion (I'd guess 90%+) haven't even see all of the current content.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 2:15 PM

          They've probably seen Magmaw, Halfus, Four Winds, and Defense System!

          ... and lost many hundreds of gold to them all.

        • reply
          May 11, 2011 3:45 AM

          90% play WoW because of levelling alts and chatting with friends etc, they don't care about raids.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 5:39 PM

        That is pretty much what happened to me. I mean I loved leveling from 80 to 85. But I got the Loremaster of Cataclysm achievement a mere 5 days after the expansion came out. Then I spent two months running heroics, until there was no more gear for me to get. Then waited a good month for my guild to gear up and do raids. Then that got boring after a few runs and getting a decent gear set. The new firelands stuff looks interesting, but it should have been out two months ago, or even at Cataclysm's release.

        What I want to see from Blizzard is for them to ditch the expansion pack model, and instead every single month have a major content patch that adds new areas and dungeons and raids. Then every three months raise the level cap by 5 and add a ton of class changes (new abilities etc) alongside a larger amount of new areas. Also do all this for free with the existing subscription charges.

        The only problem is they simply can't work fast enough to implement all this at that speed, and they always want more money so they won't ever stop the expansion model. Plus they way the game is model really doesn't allow for it anyway.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 11:17 PM

        yeah i only leveled one new one and didnt see a lot of the new 1-80 stuff (although what i did see was pretty great)

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 1:24 PM

      I'm in this camp. Seem to have lost interest with WoW, but not really due to lack of content - mainly because it's the same old thing since I started playing and just gets tiresome.

      I've loved it for years, and while it's still a fantastic game I just don't get that super happy feeling anymore when looting a new purple item which was my main draw. That and the ~35min DPS queue times for heroics killed my motivation to casually play.

      I heard they fixed that with the last patch though?

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 1:32 PM

      I think WoW was at its best during The Burning Crusade, despite lacking some of the gear/spec balancing and other features done later on.

      The new world was such an adventure, and people were enthusiastic about exploring it. Thematically they're still my favorite zones (haven't bought Cata or subscribed since last summer, but went through beta), and apparently they were built according to a methodology that was dropped from WLK onwards.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 1:35 PM

        Other than Hellfire, I agree, the BC zones are pretty amazing. The only LK zones I like are the early ones...I hated the troll area, and the Storm Peaks/Icecrown zones just look too similar.

        I could do Zangarmarsh and Nagrand over and over, and hell I've never even seen more than a small part of that final zone in BC.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 3:21 PM

      hijack. did the shack wow guild die? life support still?

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 3:41 PM

        Still running, but yeah, there's maybe 5 or 6 people on at a time. It'll never die completely, because fuck losing out on all the awesome guild bonuses.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 3:52 PM

      Elitist Opinion

      How many people have actually exhausted content? All heroic raids and Sinestra on farm? I raid three nights a week and we've only got about 6/12 heroic bosses on farm. This sounds like we're going to get more casual content at the cost of making high-end raid content obsolete before your average raid guild can clear through it.

      I miss the Burning Crusade style where you still had to work through the old instances to gear up for the newest content. Wrath plus patches pretty much make the old content pointless.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 3:55 PM

        Burd, after our TBC glory, nothing was the same.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 5:29 PM

          This is the truth. Although, we've created something pretty good with Cloudyeyed. A little less raw than Absolution but still fun.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 3:57 PM

        Still have to do t11 raids to get the new Legendary staff. People will still do them for achievements.

        What is the point of forcing people to grind those instances just to do the latest ones?

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 4:29 PM

        They consumed the "casual" content.

        At the end of WotLK, everything was casual content. PUGS were clearing the top-end raids. You could buy top-end epics with heroic currency. People were geared to shit and steamrolling everything.

        Now, all end-game content is still progression. You won't see effective PUGS for current raids until people are able to max out all of their epics with jp's, and have some number of stuff from vps/crafted. As a result, there isn't a lot of "casual" top-end content beyond regular or old heroics. They consumed all of the "content" available to them.

        People are comparing it to the end of WotLK where you needed an average gearscore beyond what the instance offered to even get into a PUG. And you could get that level from running heroics. Cataclysm is not at that state right now, nor should it be.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 4:40 PM

          I dunno, at least on Mal'ganis I'm pretty regularly running into people asking for linked achievements for clear or almost clear of the raid they're running and/or ilvl 356 or so...both of which you really can't get without already having a group of people to run the raid with.

          It's especially frustrating since the Shack guild hasn't got enough regular players to do this now.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 4:45 PM

            Right, but my point was you couldn't get that from the vendor in ~2 days. At the end of WotLK, you could (save the achievement, obviously).

            Sure, on my server you're seeing alt runs (ilvl 353+ + achievement from a main) and achievement-required runs being successful, but those aren't the norm nor could you take a new character to that requirement inside a week.

            • reply
              May 10, 2011 7:43 PM

              Well, the 4.1 stuff makes it pretty trivial (assuming you've got a group enough to do dungeons quickly, or are a tank/healer) to get to 353.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 5:36 PM

          [deleted]

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 8:08 PM

            Try harder or join a better server?

            I joined not too long before Cataclysm's launch, and was able to pug normal modes for everything. This was starting at level 80.

            • reply
              May 10, 2011 8:09 PM

              err... level 70.

              I skipped WotLK until ~Aug/Sept of last year.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 8:10 PM

            It's not really fair to compare Cata, which is still on its first tier of raiding, to WotLK in the months before Cata launched when yes, things were made very easy and getting geared @ 80 was very simple.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 5:25 PM

        I don't really consider the heroic modes "content," content is seeing and experiencing new shit.

        10 minute battles where you constantly nail your dick to the wall and wipe because one person fucked up or bugs out isn't fun to me. It's the same thing as rep grinds in my opinion.

      • reply
        May 12, 2011 2:00 AM

        yeah, i really started playing in bc, we actually had a guild that was working their way through the content at my gear level and it was heaps of fun, however i think there was a lot of player who couldn't get into raids because they couldn't get groups for lower level raids.

        It's all well and good to say work your way through, but if no-one is doing it then you might as well say you can't play if you havn't been doing progression since the content came out.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 5:16 PM

      I think the biggest downside to me are people. People in this game are absolute assholes. People will be the end of it as well.

      Sure I can play with guildies, run raids, craft items, learn heroics .. all good .. except I can't commit myself to 4 hours on wednesday and 4 hours on saturday at very specific times.

      I probably play 2 times more than a regular raider in my guild yet I can't play at the times they want me to. Good bye high end gear

      Fair enough, that's my problem. There are still other things I can do that are enjoyable (like run heroic).

      Not a tank ? Good luck. Don't know fight ? Good luck not being voted out. Wipe once? Good luck keeping that tank. Get a random instance after 30min wait that the tank doesn't like? Good luck.

      Meh

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 5:39 PM

        [deleted]

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 7:11 PM

          Yeah. The CoD players will turn on you just as fast if they feel you aren't "pulling your weight" and getting enough kills. Same of Gears and Halo.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 5:54 PM

        This is why I'm excited about Guild Wars 2. They're addressing this exact type of shit.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 6:10 PM

          How's that?

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 7:59 PM

            No dedicated tanks or healers I believe. I feel it will lead to trivial content.

      • reply
        May 11, 2011 1:15 AM

        I have no problem running heroics if I don't know a fight. I just let everyone know to go over the boss battle before doing it. 99% of it is don't stand in shit and kill the adds. You do occasionally get some assholes but for the most part I've done fine with Heroics and Pugs.

      • reply
        May 11, 2011 2:49 PM

        What sucks the worst is a lack of punishment for random group droppers. I'd like to see tanks who drop immediately upon zoning in have a 3 day lockout from using the random finder again.

        I've got 4 tanks, and every one of them seems to endlessly get Halls of Origination. I don't hate HoO, but god damn is it ever long. And yet, I know those DPS waited a solid 20 minutes+ to get into it, so I stick it out.

        The call to arms thing is helping with DPS queues, even if you get the odd horrible tank.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 5:37 PM

      Classic servers would be nice, with servers for Vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Lich King. It wouldn't have to be a lot of servers.

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 6:11 PM

        I would totally play a Vanilla WoW server

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 7:31 PM

      So wait, they think putting out more expansions is the better option than accelerating their release of new content? You know the new content that the monthly fee is supposed help pay for? And how do they expect to churn out expansions quicker when they can't even get major content patches out the door at more than a glacial pace?

      But if they are losing subscriptions at a high pace and get the numbers up higher with all the buzz when expansions are released, I guess that's what they'll do. But it'll be a bad deal for players if new content gets released at the current pace, but need to pay $40 for each of the faster expansions.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 8:02 PM

      they made everything so much easier

      ... and they wonder why ppl go thru content so much faster


      • reply
        May 10, 2011 8:06 PM

        They didn't, though. This tier of raid content lasted longer than any other, if you exclude any mandatory lock-outs (ex: "do X amount of shit to unlock the next boss!"). World-first guilds said it was the hardest, and most brutal they've seen.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 8:14 PM

          I think Gapyro is referring to casuals not raiders. This was my first xpac where I planned to play fully casual with no hope to raid and I burned out in three weeks. Maxed 3 toons, played through new 1-60 with a new alt, decided I didn't want to grind dailies for months on end. My sub is still active though since I forgot to cancel a three month recurring >.>

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 8:21 PM

            They've changed enough of the raiding-stuff to make it easy to casually raid. My guild does 2 hours a night a 2-3 times a week, and we're 10/12 normal mode... largely because we haven't started extending raid locks yet.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 8:50 PM

            [deleted]

      • reply
        May 10, 2011 8:13 PM

        Yeah, the only thing easy about Cataclysm is leveling to 85. Anything past that is pretty rough compared to TBC and WotLK.

        • reply
          May 10, 2011 9:32 PM

          The problem Cat has is the huge Chasm between hitting 85, and grinding up to Heroic level gear. It probably isn't as bad now. At launch many PUGs were struggling to finish normal dungeons in Cata because they started playing in the WotLK days, things like CC, and Kill order were foreign concepts to them.

          • reply
            May 10, 2011 9:56 PM

            Yeah that lasted like three weeks.

            • reply
              May 10, 2011 11:58 PM

              Yeah, even in the new dungeons I'm finding my hunter is rarely called upon to CC. Maybe for a few tough pulls, but usually I'm about to toss traps and they just pull and we get through fine.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 8:38 PM

      This was the expansion where they bit the bullet, revisited the early parts of the game and did an outstanding job improving the player's experience as they progress through the first 60 levels of the game. Really, the time, money and attention spent to the old world of Azeroth is astounding. And yet, if you weren't interested in creating a new character from scratch, you can't help but feel short-changed by the relative dearth of interesting and unique things to do at max level.

      I think the 4.x patches are going to introduce a lot of what Level 85 players are wanting to see, and I also think now that they've gone back and given the early game the facelift it desperately needed, future expansions will focus on max level opportunities to the community's satisfaction once more.

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 11:16 PM

      i think they made stuff easier too though

    • reply
      May 10, 2011 11:57 PM

      To me, it feels like the next expansions should be doing something drastic if they want to keep people playing. More than adding more of the same, no matter how exceptionally made. I enjoyed Cataclysm for a couple of months, but each expansion I've left the game sooner and sooner after the expansion being published. 7+ years is a huge amount of time to be playing with basically the same mechanics, both game play wise and game design wise.

      What do I mean?

      -Add real world PvP. Forts and zones that people can take. If it takes rewriting half the bloody engine to make it work, then do it.

      -Rethink how raids work. I'm not saying remove traditional raiding, but add something new, instead of just tweaking the number of participants etc. Make something like Darkness Falls in DAoC, for example. Make the parts of the game that are troublesome to access easier to access, instead of making the parts that are already easy to access even easier to access and complete.

      -Make content for 2 player "teams". Going to a random HC with a friend isn't much fun after the 30th time, especially considering the likelihood of getting some retards in the group. There should be dailies / dungeons / PvP challenges / whatever I could do with just one friend. I just don't have that many friends playing the game anymore, and out of those who do play it, most play relatively little and aren't online at the same time too often.

      Etc etc. Change the face of the game. Then again, I doubt they'd do any of this, as I'm sure they don't want to compete with the own upcoming, new MMO.

      • reply
        May 11, 2011 1:43 AM

        "instead of making the parts that are already easy to access even easier to access and complete. "

        This is very true and WoW's main problem: in earlier WoW versions you could spend a lot of time leveling and trying to do PvP or try to get into heroics (like in BC)

        now leveling is too fast, instances are too accessible and all that's left is raiding which in its current form is a shitty appointment aka burden which is not how I would define fun.

        The trinity/coordination gameplay of raids is not at all mainstream, WoW wants to be uber-mainstream however. They should look at GW2 and ARPG gameplay imo.

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        May 11, 2011 2:31 PM

        World PvP never works what with faction imbalances. I don't know why people always ask for this. One faction always has a huge upper hand and the other loses interest quickly because participation is pointless and embarrassing for them.

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          May 12, 2011 12:03 AM

          I ask for it because I've played MMOs with working world PvP, and it's effin awesome. Sure, there are other challenges in addition to the servers as well, such as population balance, but it's certainly not impossible to get world PvP in to WoW, and as far as I'm concerned, it would be the greatest addition possible to the game that is known amongst PvP players are repetitive and pointless.

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            May 12, 2011 2:05 AM

            tbh i don't see how they can do world pvp and make it not suck. it would be easier to make a new game and put good world pvp into a new game rather than try and shoehorn it into wow, at least that way you'd get people who are actually interested in pvp in there rather than forcing it on those who don't.

    • reply
      May 11, 2011 12:31 AM

      instead they are going for developer churn

    • reply
      May 11, 2011 2:58 PM

      If I cancel my account, it will mostly be due to dissatisfaction with PVP. Leveling gear to be able to move from questing to dungeons to raids makes at least some sense (even though it's annoying for people who just want to do raids), but leveling pvp gear is dumb. The way it has been, it's too hard for a casual player to compete because they not only have less practice, but also a big disadvantage from gear, which makes it 100 times worse for casual players who can't play every day for hours a day to get the points. It's not as bad right after a new expansion when nobody has the high level pvp gear yet, but it gets worse as time goes.

      They should look for some other incentive besides gear to keep people playing pvp because most people are too lame to just play for fun, which I think is the biggest problem with Wow. It's all about the rewards rather than just playing for fun, but I guess that's what's made it successful. The other annoying thing is having to do quests to repair your gear. I go to work every day to earn money to play the game, I don't want to do work in the game too to be able to play it.

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