All the blame, none of the credit

Can people please make up their minds? Are raiders an insignificant niche that devs should not spend time developing content ‘exclusively’ for or listening to, or are they so important that they are the reason a seemingly unstoppable social freight train went off the rails and is losing millions of subs?

How can it be both? Why would it matter if the content for 1% of your playerbase is too hard? And how, if said 1% wanted harder content, would that then be bad for the niche that raids, and also somehow translate into about 20% of your population leaving?

On a serious note, frequent readers should know my stance on this: ‘hardcore’ MMO players > casuals when it comes to impact/effect on an MMO. Every SynCaine is worth 20 Casual-Billy’s. When I leave, the mod makers, guild leaders, guide producers, min/max/exploit ‘discovers’ leave. And all that’s left is Casual-Billy looking around for ‘something to do’. And his ‘something’ is un-subbing after he exhausted the most obvious and fastest-consumed content.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in MMO design, Rant, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to All the blame, none of the credit

  1. Antivyris says:

    I think the most telling response in that is the quote from blizzard.

    There are more players that have played WoW and stopped playing than are currently playing.

    That turns 20% into, what, 50%-60%? But that puts the game growth in the 400% range. Makes World of Warcraft look less like the largest MMO and more like the town-bicycle of MMO’s.

    Perhaps one day Blizzard will post their exit-info in a graph, and we’ll actually see why people really left. Who knows, maybe most of them left for economy reasons? Though, I still hold that it was out of control development just like SWTOR.

    • SynCaine says:

      Eh, the “more people have left than are playing now” stat means nothing. I’m sure that’s true for every MMO out. Churn is natural. The rate of churn, the average length of a subscriber, how many players return, etc, all of these things count.

      • Carson says:

        Agreed. Seven years is a long time. I don’t you’ll find it unusual at all to find a young adult pursuing rather different leisure activities now to what they did seven years ago.

        But I agree with your stance on the importance of hardcore players. When a casual soloist quits a game, nobody even notices. When a raid guild leader quits, it can leave a whole bunch of people with no enthusiasm to play any more.

        The last time I deactivated my WoW account, for instance, was because my guild hit a wall after finishing all of the then-current raid content in normal mode, disagreeing about levels of enthusiasm to do it all again in hardmode, and then having all the leadership basically say “screw this we’re playing HoN instead”.

        Hardcore players have hardcore ties to other players.They give each other a reason to want to play, and that reason can be taken away.

  2. Syl says:

    I wonder if the answer isn’t really a little of both. I tend to see more and more reason behind the ‘the game got too hardcore’ theory, but there are still areas that I cannot wrap my head around…

    maybe I need to make a list sometime of all the things that got ‘worse’/different in later WoW and then decide for each “cui bono”?
    for back after vanilla, we were all quite convinced (around my raiding bracket) that it was the whining casuals who broke it all. but maybe that was just us utterly over-estimating our own status.

  3. Kobeathris says:

    God that post was so aggressively stupid. In all honestly, I think Gevlon is going in the right direction insofar as the changes to gearing and performance requirements really messed everything up. But, since Tobold only reads people he agrees with, he probably missed out on all of those posts.

  4. rulez says:

    Too whimsy casuals leaving during Cata can only be a good thing. However, raids are still getting nerfed all the time, so there must be enough casuals left to cater for.
    A lot will be back for the pandas I guess. The question should be whether this will be good or bad for the game?

    Anyways, if you care for some fun PvE come to SWTOR. They have actually put in solo content boss abilities that one shot the player if you e.g. fail to interrupt.Of course you need to stomach loads of 08/15 content to get to the fun part, but grind is an important part of being hardcore isn’t it? You can still wish SWTOR to fail after the “free” month.

    • Myn says:

      I’m suprised people can still say swtor has fun pve content. Collecting 10 rabbit hats is just as boring as the last time an mmo did it.. recording dialogue didn’t make it more fun.

    • Adam says:

      Enjoy interrupts while they last.

      All the “hardcore” raiders in every other mmo cry about having them until nerfed away because they interrupt leet dps.

  5. Adawde says:

    There isn’t one single reason or just a couple reasons why WoW is losing subscriptions. It was multiple bad decisions and mistakes all coming together early during Cataclysm. The result also formed a sort of snowballing effect that won’t stop until MoP is released and may continue after depending on Blizzard’s success in fixing the Cata problems.

    As far as I’ve read into the changes coming in MoP they don’t actually interest me in terms of resubbing.

    All the Hardcore/Casual talk aside what would interest me in returning would be a complete gear overhaul in general for WoW heroics/raiding. I’d love to see Raiding gear be tied specifically to the Raid they are in while keeping your heroic gear being tied only to your dungeons/world pve. Essentially imagine you couldn’t improve your current inslot gear pass the item lvl obtained in heroics. Your valor points/justice points would then go to raid specific gear for slots for each individual raid.

    With the gearing structure above you could easily add in a second tier of heroics aimed at more Hardcore progression. Without drastically nerfing the heroics as you add new raids and higher item lvl.

    Being able to solo que would also be nice for rated Bgs.

  6. Krelian says:

    Thank you for posting exactly what i was thinking. I removed Tobold’s blog from my daily visits, and will continue to follow yours. Keep up the good work.

    • Jay says:

      Tobold is all over the place with his blog. But then if you read about the way he played WoW you would understand why this is the case. Which is to say he wasn’t much different from your average wack-a-mole gold farmer. He certainly never had any sort of skill to make it in a raid.

      I am also thinking of unsubscribing from Tobold’s blog. I may not agree with 60% of what Syncaine says but at least he makes some reasoned arguments. More Eve Online talk and less SWTOR talk Syncaine. That pony escaped a long time ago.

  7. Bronte says:

    Casual-Billy is not amused. Neither is Moron-Matthew. Or Slacker-Steve.

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