Where should WoW go?

Posted by CoS_Ethan (27 posts) -

1. Dilemma of World of Warcraft

WoW is over 7 years, it still attracts more than 10 million players each year, I have to say that it's phenomenal and the game is a miracle. However, admittedly, the peak time of World of Warcraft already disappeared, and it's getting old, it has to face a powerful enemy---not others, but itself. As a game born in 2004, WoW needs fresh blood now.

In May, WoW subscriber numbers declined to 11.4 million, Blizzard took kinds of measures to prevent the falling of subscribers, including free-play for 20 levels and so on. But these measures didn't work well, subscriber numbers fell 10% to 10.3 million in 6 months, according to the numbers released by Blizzard this month.

2. Why Blizzard released "Mists of Pandaren"?

After Blizzard released Padaren, global gamers surprisingly found that this expansion pack was one full of oriental features (Chinese?), and totally departed from a European Fantasy style. You can see Asian characteristics from Pandaren, the problem is, why Blizzard surprised us with a such different pack?

Well, first of all, WoW is very old, fresh blood is needed. "Mists of Pandare" can be treated as a hard try for breaking through this predicament. Blizzard never follow others, they will not stick to one direction, it can be seen from the use of different cultural styles such as Egypt, Maya, Indian and North Europe in the world of WoW. Blizzard knows how to make changes to bring players fun and arouse enthusiasm among players. When WoW becomes old, the conventional style can not attract players any more, Blizzard has to change something again. This time, they put their bait on the Oriental territory, maybe old and magic Asian can bring them more players (Ironically, most of the players they lost come from China).

Secondly, Mike Morhaime once said that Padaren is a gift for Chinese players, though we can not say that Blizzard specially made a pack for Chinese people, but "Mists of Pandaren" expressed the respect and thank for Chinese gamers, 'cause Chinese contribute hugely to Blizzard's profits.

Finally, China is becoming prominent, Chinese culture spread out the world quickly recently, we can see this from the movie "Kung Fu Panda", Dreamworks pocked a huge success in China. Some people said Pandaren is a copycat of Kung Fu Panda, but this is not the point, the point is Blizzard is paving another way to keep WoW alive.

3. Can Pandaren save WoW?

Will the new pack stop the turnover of WoW players, the answer is no.The real problem of WoW is "aged", although Blizzard released some new packs, the framework and features of the game never change. What the new packs can bring us are new plots and contents, just a change in form but not in essence, players' fresh feelings can not last long if Blizzard refuse to do more.

I heard of some info about the new pack, but I am still waiting for its core content. It's not sure whether Blizzard will make some breakthroughs or modify the gameplay in the new expansion pack, but in my opinion, it's highly impossible to expect such changes, it's still a western MMORPG with some Chinese elements, and it's risky to make big changes, 'cause big changes need massive investments. In addition, Blizzard have to face many problems if they do that, they can not guarantee the updates once problems appear.

I'm not trying to say WoW is dying, but a deteriorating situation WoW is facing. It definitely needs changes, but the point is what changes will Blizzard make, they can not just reply on a Chinese Panda, right?

4. Will WoW go free in the future?

Old question again, although Mike Morhaime claims that WoW is still making a lot of money, Blizzard will not renew the operation mode of WoW. But, I must mention a premise of what Morhaime said, it;s "currently", but what about the future?

We all know that the age of Free Game is coming, many paid games are transforming to free games, and gamers are more likely to play free games. Next, though the 20-level free-play can not stop the decline, it worked--Some players joined the world of Azeroth after a 20-level free experience. What's more, Blizzard earned plenty of money by selling game gears, and Blizzard Store is a nice try for seling game stuff such as pets and mounts. Blizzard has no experience in running freemium mode, but they do pay attention to this mode, and clearly expressed that this mode is very interesting. Now have a look at the problem again, as players are continuously abandoning WoW, will Blizzard make WoW free to paly totally?

Probably World of Warcraft is an unprecedented miracle, but even a miracle has the possibility to fall through, Blizzard needs some changes, but how?

#1 Posted by CoS_Ethan (27 posts) -

1. Dilemma of World of Warcraft

WoW is over 7 years, it still attracts more than 10 million players each year, I have to say that it's phenomenal and the game is a miracle. However, admittedly, the peak time of World of Warcraft already disappeared, and it's getting old, it has to face a powerful enemy---not others, but itself. As a game born in 2004, WoW needs fresh blood now.

In May, WoW subscriber numbers declined to 11.4 million, Blizzard took kinds of measures to prevent the falling of subscribers, including free-play for 20 levels and so on. But these measures didn't work well, subscriber numbers fell 10% to 10.3 million in 6 months, according to the numbers released by Blizzard this month.

2. Why Blizzard released "Mists of Pandaren"?

After Blizzard released Padaren, global gamers surprisingly found that this expansion pack was one full of oriental features (Chinese?), and totally departed from a European Fantasy style. You can see Asian characteristics from Pandaren, the problem is, why Blizzard surprised us with a such different pack?

Well, first of all, WoW is very old, fresh blood is needed. "Mists of Pandare" can be treated as a hard try for breaking through this predicament. Blizzard never follow others, they will not stick to one direction, it can be seen from the use of different cultural styles such as Egypt, Maya, Indian and North Europe in the world of WoW. Blizzard knows how to make changes to bring players fun and arouse enthusiasm among players. When WoW becomes old, the conventional style can not attract players any more, Blizzard has to change something again. This time, they put their bait on the Oriental territory, maybe old and magic Asian can bring them more players (Ironically, most of the players they lost come from China).

Secondly, Mike Morhaime once said that Padaren is a gift for Chinese players, though we can not say that Blizzard specially made a pack for Chinese people, but "Mists of Pandaren" expressed the respect and thank for Chinese gamers, 'cause Chinese contribute hugely to Blizzard's profits.

Finally, China is becoming prominent, Chinese culture spread out the world quickly recently, we can see this from the movie "Kung Fu Panda", Dreamworks pocked a huge success in China. Some people said Pandaren is a copycat of Kung Fu Panda, but this is not the point, the point is Blizzard is paving another way to keep WoW alive.

3. Can Pandaren save WoW?

Will the new pack stop the turnover of WoW players, the answer is no.The real problem of WoW is "aged", although Blizzard released some new packs, the framework and features of the game never change. What the new packs can bring us are new plots and contents, just a change in form but not in essence, players' fresh feelings can not last long if Blizzard refuse to do more.

I heard of some info about the new pack, but I am still waiting for its core content. It's not sure whether Blizzard will make some breakthroughs or modify the gameplay in the new expansion pack, but in my opinion, it's highly impossible to expect such changes, it's still a western MMORPG with some Chinese elements, and it's risky to make big changes, 'cause big changes need massive investments. In addition, Blizzard have to face many problems if they do that, they can not guarantee the updates once problems appear.

I'm not trying to say WoW is dying, but a deteriorating situation WoW is facing. It definitely needs changes, but the point is what changes will Blizzard make, they can not just reply on a Chinese Panda, right?

4. Will WoW go free in the future?

Old question again, although Mike Morhaime claims that WoW is still making a lot of money, Blizzard will not renew the operation mode of WoW. But, I must mention a premise of what Morhaime said, it;s "currently", but what about the future?

We all know that the age of Free Game is coming, many paid games are transforming to free games, and gamers are more likely to play free games. Next, though the 20-level free-play can not stop the decline, it worked--Some players joined the world of Azeroth after a 20-level free experience. What's more, Blizzard earned plenty of money by selling game gears, and Blizzard Store is a nice try for seling game stuff such as pets and mounts. Blizzard has no experience in running freemium mode, but they do pay attention to this mode, and clearly expressed that this mode is very interesting. Now have a look at the problem again, as players are continuously abandoning WoW, will Blizzard make WoW free to paly totally?

Probably World of Warcraft is an unprecedented miracle, but even a miracle has the possibility to fall through, Blizzard needs some changes, but how?

#2 Posted by project343 (2825 posts) -

There are only so many gamers open to letting something as controversial as World of Warcraft into their lives. If you ask around the MMORPG fanbase, many have 'given their time' with World of Warcraft, and have moved on. I think this vein is mostly tapped-out, and those numbers will continue to decline over the coming years until they eventually sit in a measly puddle of a couple million subscribers--and ferment until they close 'er down. Or go free-to-play.

I think the World of Warcraft market is becoming the MMO market once again. The genre fanbase is divided, and balanced. The genre will need to evolve, however. It's looking like MMORPGs in particular are failing to maintain a solid long-term fanbase, and I think this is mostly in-part due to the failures of the gear-grind design. Hopefully MMORPGs move away from a rollarcoaster with a carrot strapped to the front, and further into massive worlds filled with creative people doing amazing things with the tools that they're given.

Ugh, now I'm starting to miss the glory days of Star Wars Galaxies. Back just after Jump to Light Speed released. Janky, but spectacular--just the way I like things.

#3 Posted by Herocide (440 posts) -

It's painful to see the same mistake made over and over again. It's "Mists of Pandaria" not "Mist of Pandaren." 
 
That being said, the Pandaren April Fools joke came years before Kung-Fu Panda, so it's not really a ripoff.

#4 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

@Herocide said:

It's painful to see the same mistake made over and over again. It's "Mists of Pandaria" not "Mist of Pandaren." That being said, the Pandaren April Fools joke came years before Kung-Fu Panda, so it's not really a ripoff.

I like the people who call Mists of Pandaria a "ripoff". It shows that none of them have played Warcraft III(Frozen Throne, at least). Probably because most of those people weren't alive back when that came out but they still make me laugh

Online
#5 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

People are tired of the mechanics. New content doesn't fix that.

#6 Posted by tekmojo (2302 posts) -

I'd probably have more fun going back to Runescape.

#7 Posted by CoS_Ethan (27 posts) -

@Herocide: Ha, I just missed an "s", I am a Chinese hardcore, but the Chinese elements have no attractions for me, Giant Panda is a logo of China, to some extent, I don not like it appearing in a western style MMORPG, it's just weird.

#8 Posted by Eudoxia (43 posts) -

@tekmojo said:

I'd probably have more fun going back to Runescape.

You would, just like I have more fun when I go back to Ultima Online.

#9 Posted by BlinkyTM (1054 posts) -

@CoS_Ethan said:

@Herocide: Ha, I just missed an "s", I am a Chinese hardcore, but the Chinese elements have no attractions for me, Giant Panda is a logo of China, to some extent, I don not like it appearing in a western style MMORPG, it's just weird.

We save your Panda! We can put it in our game!

#10 Edited by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

@CoS_Ethan: WoW declining isn't the problem.

People saying "Fuck it I'm done with MMOs and a 15 dollar monthly fee" is the problem. A lot of people played that grind bullshit and now they're done. They won't go back and even the new generation of high school kids who are exposed to HD consoles and free to play computer games won't put up with that bullshit either.

There are MMO fans, yes. But the sort of numbers you are talking about won't happen again. It's like The Old Republic stuff, MMO fans can't wait for that to drop. They think that everyone is going to hop on again and it's going to be a thriving community that Bioware is looking for.

It ain't going to happen. It's never going to happen again.

Again, I know there are people that like MMOs, but the sort of number you are talking about and hoping for WoW to go back to? It's over. Games have gotten too fucking weird for most people to slap on a credit card number for one game. They can get their fix somewhere else.

#11 Posted by CoS_Ethan (27 posts) -

@BlinkyTM:I just feel a bit weird to see a giant panda in WoW, what the hell....

#12 Posted by Deusx (1905 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

@CoS_Ethan: WoW declining isn't the problem.

People saying "Fuck it I'm done with MMOs and a 15 dollar monthly fee" is the problem. A lot of people played that grind bullshit and now they're done. They won't go back and even the new generation of high school kids who are exposed to HD consoles and free to play computer games won't put up with that bullshit either.

There are MMO fans, yes. But the sort of numbers you are talking about won't happen again. It's like The Old Republic stuff, MMO fans can't wait for that to drop. They think that everyone is going to hop on again and it's going to be a thriving community that Bioware is looking for.

It ain't going to happen. It's never going to happen again.

Again, I know there are people that like MMOs, but the sort of number you are talking about and hoping for WoW to go back to? It's over. Games have gotten too fucking weird for most people to slap on a credit card number for one game. They can get their fix somewhere else.

Listen to this duder.

I have played hours upon hours of at least 50 different MMOs both free and paid and I can confidently say that I'm NEVER going to play one of those again. I've moved on from that kind of gameplay. I really don't understand why people haven't realized the flaws and limitations of games of that genre.

#13 Posted by BlinkyTM (1054 posts) -

@CoS_Ethan said:

@BlinkyTM:I just feel a bit weird to see a giant panda in WoW, what the hell....

Yeah, that is weird lol.

What's he do?

#14 Posted by Winternet (8019 posts) -

To the pits of Hell.

#15 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

To war.

#16 Posted by Matt (963 posts) -

@CoS_Ethan said:

Both Blizzard and World of Warcraft are miracles

... what?

#17 Posted by AndyMacneil (76 posts) -

@ZeForgotten said:

@Herocide said:

It's painful to see the same mistake made over and over again. It's "Mists of Pandaria" not "Mist of Pandaren." That being said, the Pandaren April Fools joke came years before Kung-Fu Panda, so it's not really a ripoff.

I like the people who call Mists of Pandaria a "ripoff". It shows that none of them have played Warcraft III(Frozen Throne, at least). Probably because most of those people weren't alive back when that came out but they still make me laugh

Enough said. Pandaren were around before all of this.

#18 Edited by Gamer_152 (14078 posts) -

WoW subscriber numbers may have dipped but you can't take one tiny section of the overall figures and say "This represents that WoW is about to die". I'm sure the game must have peaks and valleys and it strikes me that the time it would most fall into one of those valleys is when it's been a long time since the last expansion. It might well be that when Mists of Pandaria hits those numbers fly way up and then steadily start falling until the next expansion. Unless you can prove that player figures are in continual decline, even despite updates and expansion packs, I don't think you can say the WoW player base is deteriorating.

Moderator
#20 Posted by CoS_Ethan (27 posts) -

@Anwar: Nope, just kind of pessimism, that's all.

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