MMO Week in Review: World of Warcraft’s subber casualties

    
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World of Warcraft had quite a week: It began Shadowlands’ alpha, opened a Classic test server, and took heavy subscriber casualties over the last few months. We’ve also just begun a re-look at all of WoW’s expansions, starting with The Burning Crusade this week, so stay tuned for more!

Plus we got a peek at the new Funcom launcher, FFXIV dropped its next shiny thing, we fretted over New World, said a final farewell to Project Nova, and side-eyed Daybreak.

Read on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday in Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES

THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS

The MassivelyOP Podcast will return this week!

Every week, get caught up on the MMO genre’s latest news and Massively OP’s best content in our MMO Week in Review! Want more roundups of content? Try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing highlights, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up, which mops up all the bits of news we didn’t cover anywhere else.

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Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

Nice “Classic” TBC picture. A hint of things to come (again)?

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Danny Smith

Its been genuinely fascinating over the last 6 months or so to watch the down with the ship consumers that seem to equate Blizzards brand identity too much with their own self defined identity treat “Company turns into dirtbags and puts out bad products” like some combination of religious crisis, political debate and someone whos significant other got drunk and said some real abhorrent stuff at a wedding or something.
They are going through this strange list of mental hoops to trying defend the company to others as though its a friend who got caught cheating on their partner or like they cannot imagine life without T H E B R A N D in their daily lives and as someone who finds marketing, particularly american corporate marketing fascinating -go read The Omnivores Dilemna about the beef barons, high fructose corn and america going ‘how do we actually find enough food to feed a continent?’ as a good example- and the modern idea of “the brand is my ally, the brand is my friend, attack on the brand is attack on my friend and me” stuff is horrible but also really interesting to me. Its videogames but with companies like Bioware, Bethesda, Blizzard, the 3 b’s in general where people grew up with them and its like people who really like a musician or actor who turns out to be a dirtbag who cannot deal with all the time and money dumped into someone/something who let the mask slip.

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Munchmeat2

I think it is mainly sunk cost fallacy for many of them at this point. Many of them have a bit of cognitive dissonance too.

WoW in particular has a very rabid fanboy base. If you spend any time on the r/wow subbreddit or WoW’s official forums you will see what I mean.

It is crazy to me, the lengths people will go to, to defend and justify a lot of the poor game design that has crept into the game, namely just to milk people of their time and money. It is so on the nose now it isn’t funny, but people still can’t see it.

The blind devotion to the company is an interesting facet for sure as well.

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Danny Smith

I remember back when WoW was at its peak mainstream popularity and there were lots of documentaries about WoW addicts and it was almost like “this is the power of the best mmo there is!” weird reverse psychology marketing. But like famous CoD lolcows like Wings of Redemption they never change their habits and most are still there. But now they can’t be used to push how fun and addictive your game is when it borrows most of its new systems from mobile games designed to form a habit and in fact could only be a detriment so like a public secret shame they are still around but not mentioned anymore because nobody wants to risk that mirror being turned on them anymore.

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Munchmeat2

8.3 was pretty lean on actual content and heavy on more grinds, no surprise people are losing interest in the game. WoW Classic probably lost some subs too, but I keep hearing that Classic is still going strong.

I think the current developers and the game lead just don’t have the talent or the know how to make an immersive MMO experience.

The game is full of gimmicks and the entire game feels like it has been designed by hardcore, theory crafting raiders and the bean counters at Act-Blizz.

The skinner box is real with this one now.

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Sarah Cushaway

Part of me remembers what old Blizzard was like, how great their games were (even if not always very original), and I get really sad to see what’s become of that company.

But then I remember all those who made it great are long gone and how Blizz-Activision just shits all over their players, and has for quite a few years now, and I feel an immense schadenfreude. Years ago when WoW was the undisputed King of MMORPGs and seemed untouchable, folks predicted no other MMO would kill it– it would kill itself.

Well, they were right.

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Utakata

Everything is fine says Mr. Oleg. He isn’t wrong says Mr. Bannex. So we should all take this with a grain of salt and a cup of coffee…

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Armsbend

Do you know that if you put a pinch of salt in a bitter cup of coffee that it will cut the bitterness? It is true. Every time I make a not so great batch I put a pinch in my coffee cup before I pour and it is decent. Not great; but decent.

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Utakata

Not really. As mine comes in the phat mocha variety…

…although, that’s not surprising. People I was staying at one time where showing me how sprinkling salt on grapefruit is better at taking the edge off it than sugar. And to a degree they where right when I tried it out. But the thing there was, I much prefer my grapefruit with it’s edge and sugar. :)

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Utakata

PS: …and this entry was put into “waiting for moderation” mode last night. And I thought the only thing that would put it there where those…er, words that rhyme with Lady Gaga and dump. >.<

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Ironwu

I guess I am to sensitive. I tried that and the coffee tasted like crap. Not salty, just bad. Then again, I drink my coffee straight up and I usually make it 1.5x or 2x brewed strength.

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Armsbend

Just a teeny tiny pinch – not enough to be noticeable.

But you may have a more sensitive palette than I it is true. I ravaged mine by over two decades of needless smoking.

I drink mine black as well – but I enjoy a weaker coffee. But I’ll also drink it all – everywhere on earth.