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View Full Version : Has WoW finally hit its high point?


Flawless
11-02-2010, 09:21 AM
http://kotaku.com/5469238/most-world-of-warcraft-players-dont-go-past-level-10

Not the best of days for World of Warcraft news, this, with the announcement of the game's stagnant userbase followed by a revelation most WoW players barely scratch at Azeroth's surface.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said earlier today that 70% of World of Warcraft players fail to progress past level 10 in the game. Considering you can advance your character all the way up to level 80, that's not very far, indicating that most WoW players either hang around doing nothing or, as seems more likely, don't stick around too long.

And that suggests the game has a fairly high turnover rate at the moment, perhaps explaining why WoW's subscriber base hasn't moved past 11.5 million in over a year.

If Blizzard can't address that in the game's upcoming expansion pack, Cataclysm, we really could - finally - be looking at the game's tipping point in terms of popularity. Not its end, of course...just the point where the end is closer than the beginning, and that almighty playerbase begins to contract a little.

Coven
11-02-2010, 09:25 AM
11.5 million. That's a poor subscriber base. Blizz must be sh*tting it.

But, meh, Warhammer 40K MMORPG ftw.

Turiel
11-02-2010, 09:50 AM
Yeah it's interesting to see what the peak is. Everyone, including Blizzard, expected it to come a lot sooner. Still peaking after 5 years is an amazing accomplishment.

As for most players not making it past level 10, I have trouble believing that. If you include all the characters on an account, absolutely. I'm sure a huge amount of characters are unlevelled alts. But if you count the max level on an account, I very much doubt that you have most players <10.

Although, perhaps if you take into account the hundreds of thousands of bot-created accounts...

Fnurgle
11-02-2010, 09:50 AM
Is that 70% of accounts or 70% of characters? I find it really hard to believe that 70% of all registered, paying customers would not spend more than the few hours on the game that it takes to get to level 11.

Fnurgle
11-02-2010, 09:55 AM
Found this quote by the way:
"Our research shows that trial players who play World of Warcraft pass level 10 are much more likely to stick with the game for a long time. Currently, only about 30 percent of our trial players make it past this threshold. So anything we can do to improve the new player experience is a huge opportunity for us, he [Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime] said.

Metakerk
11-02-2010, 10:08 AM
Hence the changes to newly started characters (improved tooltips, no water in bags, no autoattack for casters, faster HP/Mana regen on very low level).

Coven
11-02-2010, 10:36 AM
It may just be that starting at 1 to get to 80 for existing and new players seems like a chore. The game has progressed massively since I started playing 5 years ago and the benchmark has continually been improved, by Blizzard. What I would happily put up with 3 years ago, I'll soon lose patience with now.

As the majority of active players are higher levels, it's more than understandable that Blizz concentrates on new higher end content, as that's the way to keep most players happy.

It might be interesting to know whether or not Blizz have/may consider allowing any account that has at least one level 8o player to start a new alt of any class at level 55 like they did the DK's.

The 1-60 zones all need a revamp if they are to be as enjoyable an experience as the newest content at get us old timers going back for more. I'd happily roll a level 1 alt if:
- Gear dynamics were more interesting
- Each class started with a weapon that progressed as he/she did (much like the heirlooms) to become something worth keeping until you enter heroics.
- Levelling time was in some way truncated
- It was fun to PvP/Arena at lowbie levels
- If the zones were condensed in some way - quest lines were mini story lines that progressed you in a more narrative way to the higher tier zones; maybe personalised class quests so we all needed to kill/search for the same things, just for different reasons.
- If gear reflected your class/race and gear rewards were worth having.
- If the zone loot tables were improved to match those like we saw in the Belf starter zones etc.
- Important things like additional bag storage was easier to gain (for new players)
- Lowbie crafting could make gear for your level that didn't suck, with mini set bonuses and from items you could realistically get from mob slaying at your level.

There's loads of things besides raiding or repetitive grinds for titles that could keep me entertained at a very low level, even wanting to stay at a certain level range. Slow levelling progression because players LOVED a zone would massively delay burn-out.

It's whether or not they can be arsed and have the resource though I guess.

It would be interesting to see how Blizz would approach creating WoWII from scratch and having 11.5 million+ players all at levels 1-10 :) They have hinted at their next gen MMO...

thurlog
11-02-2010, 10:51 AM
"Our research shows that trial players who play World of Warcraft pass level 10 are much more likely to stick with the game for a long time. Currently, only about 30 percent of our trial players make it past this threshold. So anything we can do to improve the new player experience is a huge opportunity for us,” he [Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime] said.

the other 70% are spammers

Turiel
11-02-2010, 10:56 AM
It might be interesting to know whether or not Blizz have/may consider allowing any account that has at least one level 8o player to start a new alt of any class at level 55 like they did the DK's.


There was a blue post on this only a few days ago, and the answer was no way. And I agree, you learn how to play a class better if you start from level 1. There are a ridiculous amount of DK nubs at level 80, but god help you if you try grouping with them from 55-79. Some of the worst players I've ever grouped with.


The 1-60 zones all need a revamp if they are to be as enjoyable an experience as the newest content at get us old timers going back for more.


And I'd rather they didn't waste all their time revamping content that we've all done before. Doing this means less raids, zones, etc at max level.


I'd happily roll a level 1 alt if:
- Gear dynamics were more interesting


Interesting and complicated go hand in hand. Gear dynamics will probably be LESS 'interesting' in Cataclysm, not more. You might want to theorycraft your level 30 gear (really?) but I guarantee the new player doesn't nor most old ones.


- Levelling time was in some way truncated


You mean, like the 4x increase that's already been implemented?


- It was fun to PvP/Arena at lowbie levels


Its pretty fun to BG at low levels. There's no twinks in the levelling BGs anymore. No arenas though.


- If the zones were condensed in some way - quest lines were mini story lines that progressed you in a more narrative way to the higher tier zones; maybe personalised class quests so we all needed to kill/search for the same things, just for different reasons.


1-60 takes less than a day of playtime (for an existing player). Again, how much content would be lost at max level for these epic questlines that you run through in 10 minutes?


- Important things like additional bag storage was easier to gain (for new players)


Having just levelled from 1-70ish, I can say that there are no problems getting bag space. 16 slot bags are trivially cheap, and you make ~100g by the time you're level 30 with some professions. And of course, the bank space bag cost was reduced too.


There's loads of things besides raiding or repetitive grinds for titles that could keep me entertained at a very low level, even wanting to stay at a certain level range. Slow levelling progression because players LOVED a zone would massively delay burn-out.


Okay, but one of the specific reason for reducing Cataclysm level increase to 5 from 10 was that a large section of the playerbase simply don't like levelling at all and have no interest in it, regardless of the zones.

Coven
11-02-2010, 11:07 AM
Gear Dynamics - I mean having items drop that are actually of interest, rather than "Of the Gorilla" and the like. Lowbie farming for a 3 green set item bonus in lowbie zones. Nothing overly complex, just gear (or crafted items) that seem to have a value. WAR did this quite well at lowbie levels.

Lowbie zone revamp - Yeah, I agree many players want to raid, but there is an army of casuals that dip in and out that may never raid, or even have the inclinaction. It may attract me back to the starter zones to help populate them if the content was updated and more interesting is all I was really getting at.

4x Speed increase - all that really does is help speed you to 80 faster, it doesn't make the experience any more enjoyable. More involving quests would be a better experience to make levelling far more enjoyable and much less of a max XP grind.

Saha
11-02-2010, 01:05 PM
Could as well be "ceiling" for MMO market. At least outside Asia it barely grew in last 2 years after big boom connected with WoW release.

Lvl10 @ trial stuff is just bunch of crap. Hi gold spammers.

Rhomburr
11-02-2010, 02:04 PM
Data from Free trials is skewed to meaningless your probably get better information about the gold selling market. But in the world of free stuff if 30% are playing past lvl 10 that surly a good result.

Im not surprised wow has peaked now its been the leader of MMORPGs for a long time but the others are getting better Star Wars: The Old Republic should be worth a look in October or sooner if u got beta. MMO market has been squeezed by the slow growth in PC gamers while the console market is growing much faster now.

Now blizz will have pressure on them to try and reach new markets or put the price up. Added value armoury where you pay for offline auction access is just a start and how long before character buying.

The new LFG system is the best thing they have done in ages its great for leveling and you can be mean & nasty to people you will never likely meet again or nice to them or just ignore them and call them by their class or shape if they are a druid "cat gif motw"

But don't make the game to easy for trials because if they have difficulty at lvl 1-10 then what they going to be llike at 80-85? 71-76 point all in 1 talent tree and no gold for repairs!

Fnurgle
11-02-2010, 06:18 PM
Steering off topic here, but aren't the trial accounts pretty useless for gold spammers? I thought they couldn't use public chats or mails etc? Probably more limits too

Jimmy the Necromancer
11-02-2010, 06:40 PM
I doubt WoW will stop being the leading MMO on the market unless they royally fuck up Cataclysm, and I trust them to be smart enough to not compromise their main source of income.

Steering off topic here, but aren't the trial accounts pretty useless for gold spammers? I thought they couldn't use public chats or mails etc? Probably more limits too

[Jamielee] whispers: Hey :)
Jamielee - Level 1 Human Warrior - Elwynn Forest

Flawless
13-02-2010, 02:05 PM
bit of news related to this, TBC has finally got the go-ahead in china. Might see a small raise in subs because of it, might help the plateau stay level before WoW sub numbers finally starts to decrease.

http://kotaku.com/5470898/china-approves-warcrafts-burning-crusade

The Burning Crusade, the World of Warcraft expansion pack, has been cleared for launch by Chinese censors, a positive step in an oft-troubled relationship between the MMO and a country where four million people play it.

NetEase, the company that operates the MMO within China, had planned to block all new registrations while it applied for the license to operate The Burning Crusade, a delay expected to last a week beginning Monday. It wasn't clear if the Burning Crusade's approval means NetEase can launch that game immediately or if there will still be some delay.

But it's still good news for a game whose number of players - about 11.5 million - remained essentially unchanged from a year ago. Perhaps with this hurdle cleared Warcraft will see improvements in its Chinese installation base.

Jimmy the Necromancer
13-02-2010, 04:16 PM
Huh? I thought WOTLK was awaiting approval, not TBC.

Flawless
13-02-2010, 04:46 PM
Pretty sure TBC was released for a while then it had to get re approved after they switched from the other provider.