Week in Review: WoW slips to 7.1M subs [May 10, 2015]

    
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Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

World of Warcraft raised eyebrows this week as Blizzard revealed a three million sub drop in the last quarter, the sharpest three-month drop in the game’s history. The heavy losses don’t appear to worry MMO players, however, and they don’t appear to worry Blizzard, either, as the studio preps WoW’s 6.2 patch and enjoys absurd success with Hearthstone and Diablo III.

Meanwhile, Massively Overpowered — that’s us! — launched our Patreon campaign. We appreciate your support! Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

THE DAYBREAK SAGA
Landmark’s new island shapes revealed - If you are eager to scope out Landmark's new landscapes in order to find the perfect spot to construct your next home, you can get a headstart on your plans even while the servers are still down.…
Daybreak releases EverQuest progression server details - Daybreak has announced the results of its EverQuest progression server polling. The shard's name will be Ragefire, and the initial unlocked expansion vote was a close one with "classic only" winning out over "classic, Kunark, and…
THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
SWTOR players harass a BioWare dev and his family - [AL:TOR] What do you do when MMO devs mess with your favorite class? If you're a handful of Star Wars: The Old Republic players, you spam invective at BioWare systems designer John Jarynowski on social media. But…
Crowfall’s store is (partly) up and running - You have not played enough of Crowfall to form an opinion on how it plays. You haven't. It isn't playable yet. But that doesn't mean you can't start buying in-game goodies to have when you finally…
Why Eternal Crusade can’t do a global megaserver - The dream to create a PvP-centric game on a single global megaserver might be just that -- a dream. Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Senior Producer Nathan Richardson said that current tech can't support such a server,…
Talking with Trion about the future of Trove - If you dismissed Trove early on as an insignificant game or a thinly veiled Minecraft clone, then it might be time to take a second look. Trion Worlds' colorful sandbox has been growing by leaps and bounds…
Star Wars: The Old Republic cracks down on RMT ring - [AL:TOR]In the MMO community, shady websites selling game currency for real currency are considered especially heinous. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, these operations are shut down by an elite squad known as the Creditseller Destroyers.…
Neverwinter announces its next major update, Underdark - [AL:NW]Neverwinter is heading into a dark place with its next major update. Darker than dark, even. Tenatively dubbed Neverwinter: Underdark, the next module will bring players into the eponymous Underdark, exploring kingdoms of Drow and featuring…
TERA arrives on Steam with the Gunner class patch - [AL:TERA]TERA fans have been anticipating the game's newest class for a while now -- and today, it's here. Patch 31.04 debuts the Gunner, a Castanic and High Elf female class that wields a rifle bigger than…
LOTRO Legendarium: The return of the dungeon - [AL:LOTRO]While I've been playing Lord of the Rings Online as one of my main MMOs for almost a decade now, it's primarily been for the single-player experience through the majestic and detailed world. I suspect that…
THIS WEEK’S STREAMS
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Fantastico
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Fantastico

Oh no, how will they survive.

tenfootgoatman
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tenfootgoatman

I’m guessing the subscription numbers will continue to go down given people can play for free now if they put in the time . Would love to see a progression server in WoW but I imagine that’s a pipedream . Maybe it would be disappointing to try and recreate that time anyway because I was new to mmos then and the people who were around made it interesting .

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

adamph1974 SallyBowls1 Smiggins
post hoc, ergo propter hoc

It had something to do with it. How much? idk but I think the quality has about as much impact on the +3 Mill as the -3 Mill

We are familiar with this re WoW.  I have seen thousands of comments that the sub decline was due to WotLK being too easy and thousands saying it proves Cata was too hard. Same numerical facts “proving” opposite assertions.

PizzaDoh
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PizzaDoh

squidgod2000 Bannex19 Sadly even if SoE didn’t crumble I’m 100% confident we’d have the same end result.

Styopa
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Styopa

cromahr usagizero SallyBowls1 Smiggins usagizero’s response was simply wrong, that’s why.
Let’s remember that “wrath” contains a a fairly broad bucket of content patches.
Personally, when I say “wrath was faceroll” I wouldn’t mean that WotLK *as released* was faceroll, far from it.  It was a good expansion.  But the filler content intro’d later “during” Wrath – I’d point precisely at the Argent Tournament bullshit – was the camel-straw for me.  Instances where you just sit there and the mobs/bosses are FED to you?  Grindable dailies that give you participation ribbons (er, “tokens”) that let you buy nigh-unto BiS epics if you’re just willing to snooze through the grind?

Finally, let’s not forget that player numbers do have an inertia effect, driven largely by word-of-mouth.  If you want to see why player-numbers plummet, you can’t look at what’s happening when they’re falling, you have to look back a quarter or more (given the slow pace of added content/rules futzes) to see what changes were made that …after a few months… people just couldn’t stand any more.

I think WoD was a solid expansion.  I suspect a lot of people did.  I wouldn’t see the surge in subs, and then the loss of those subs, as anything but a comment on how people were hungry for the expansion, consumed it, and then recognized that what bothered them as being broken before was STILL BROKEN.  It was a content expansion, *not* in any sense a fix of the game. 

Personally, I’ve been playing on a vanilla server and enjoying the CRAP out of it.  One example that sticks: I’d finished a series of quests that took me into the cave at Frostmane hold, and I was exhausted.  I’d really had a crapton of fun at what, level 9?10?  In modern WoW you level so fast I’m not sure on the last trial toon I played that I even noticed I was level 9 for what, 10 minutes? Don’t get me wrong, it was repetitive: it’s not like I hadn’t “done” Dun Morogh a dozen or more times.  But it was *hard* even for someone who’s played the game for nearly a decade (I was a month 3 player, quit before Panda).

No, WoD was like a tasty bag of chips: quickly consumed, and then thrown away.   The rest of the game is still the dull easy-mode pap it’s become.

Slayblaze
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Slayblaze

Loyheta While the patch code that introduces tokens was added a few weeks back, the tokens themselves didn’t go live until just a few days ago, so I doubt they factored into any actual sub numbers. Still, that’s a really good question as to future subscriber counts versus players just using 30-day tokens.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

bryanjturner Hearthstone is way more absurd, but yeah D3 just launched in China too and made Blizz a ton of easy money.

Deepfred
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Deepfred

gotta be tough only making $105m in revenue a month…

bryanjturner
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bryanjturner

What absurd success are you guys talking about regarding Diablo 3, did they drop an expansion, or giant content patch I managed to miss; last time I checked they added seasons which are pretty underwhelming.

squidgod2000
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squidgod2000

Bannex19
The fact that smed has to clarify that next isn’t vaporware means that they are doing a terrible job at PR.

No, it means EQN–as planned/announced–is vaporware. I have no doubt they’ll release something called Everquest Next, but it won’t be anything close to what they’ve been promising for the past couple years.