WoW: The train wreck is piling up

This is what happens when you come crashing down kids; you start giving everything away in a desperate attempt to maintain.

It’s almost sad to watch.


PS: $10 says resurrected players count as ‘subs’ in the next quarter.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Mass Media, RMT, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to WoW: The train wreck is piling up

  1. Zyref says:

    Probably only if they resubscribe with an active subscription.

    • Everblue says:

      Yes, your friend needs to pay for a month.

      Not sure why Syncaine is so exercised about this – they lost a bunch of subscribers with Cata, they hope the expansion will tempt people back, they are leveraging that a little with the new offer.

      Makes sense to me.

  2. Giving people a chance to boost a character to 80? Can we illustrate the long term issues of a game based on levels any more clearly?

    This says that Blizzard feels you unsubscribed because you didn’t want to level up… or level up again… through all that “crap” they shipped before, so they will give you a one character free pass to boost you to level 80 so you can play the “good stuff” in Cataclysm.

    And yet my favorite part of the game is level 60 to 80 right now.

    • Zyref says:

      They just revamped the 1-60 game in WoW… and it is way better than the 80-85 game.

      I also agree that 60-80 is pretty fun, hellfire aside.

      • Yes, 1-60 was part of Cata, and something of a mistake in my opinion. But it is arguably better and broader than 80-85. You just level through it so fast that you can easily end up with gray quests in a zone before you have finished it.

        Which is, of course, another symptom of the levels problem. They redid all that content… some of which is really very good… and then seem intent on leveling you out of it as soon as possible because they are afraid that if you are not playing at or close to level cap, you might not be happy.

  3. steelhunt says:

    The prophecy! It’s coming true!

    “Patch 4.09 – Experience Has Been Removed
    After getting almost 11 million complaints regarding the rather onerous leveling requirements in the World of Warcraft, we’ve decided to remove the need to earn experience in Azeroth altogether. We think that asking players to earn experience is rather unfair to players and hurts the kind of meaningful game play we feel is important here at Blizzard. Players will now start at level 90 and have access to 80 talent points to spend as they see fit. We look forward to hearing your comments and feedback about this exciting new change!”

  4. coppertopper says:

    Whoever suggested this deserves a bonus. I never bought or played Cataclysm, but definately would love to run through the content. And right when the SWTOR shininess is starting to dull? Genius.

  5. spinks says:

    I think their new ploy is to throw ‘stuff’ at new/returning players to distract them from the fact they aren’t giving away much game time. I’m sure the scroll of res used to give more than 7 days free.

    It’s the sub they want, and they’ll throw more stuff at players (such as free copies of D3, in the case of the annual pass) if it’ll get the subscriptions up.

    • Rammstein says:

      IIRC, I used the scroll of res a year ago, and it gave 7 days of free time to the target. This is just run of the mill sparkleflation, imo.

      • Anonymous says:

        Iirc when I used it ages ago, the referrer got a free month. That’s what they aren’t offering now.

  6. Sparklight says:

    Want a scroll?

  7. Dril says:

    Suits me fine.

    I’ll get scrolled, get a free 80 and all that entails, get some free transfers, quit after 7 days once I’ve run out of content.

  8. mbp says:

    I haven’t played WOW since 2005 so I was initially tempted by this generous offer but I think I’ll hold out for a bit longer though until they thow in a free level 85 character with complete epic raid set.

  9. Dink says:

    You are foregetting you get Cataclysm for free, a free server transfer and a free faction change. Thats $27+$30+$25. Throw in a sparkle pony and I’m in. I’m quitting wow just to get a scroll. And scrolling my extra two accounts.

  10. Beerhead says:

    Regardless if it reeks of desperation or not, would you expect any company to go down without a fight? And the bigger question is will it work? I’m betting on yes.

    • SynCaine says:

      Short term gain (instant sub), long-term damage (sub has skipped a ton of content they would otherwise take time to consume).

      • Azuriel says:

        This promotion can only target lapsed subs, which principally would include people who:

        A) Already was sick of leveling content, or
        B) Quit because of the leveling content (never getting to endgame).

        Given that, I don’t particularly see the long-term damage. Well, aside from fan backlash.

        • Coeur-de-fer says:

          Arguably, the 1-60 revamp was done specifically for existing or former customers; for any true newbies, the experience was new to them, regardless.

          Frankly, I don’t see any major downsides to this particular offer. Rather, it seems symptomatic of the dilemmas inherent in their existing game model (which are many, though the existence of a discrete endgame, that differs considerably from the leveling game, seems to be a significant factor in this case). They don’t have many simple options that avoid major changes to the system.

        • Torcano says:

          Interestingly, they seemed to have realized the error of cataclysm.

          They thought they should target former players, a group much larger than the current player base but obviously smaller than computer gamers who havent played at all (or not for any real length of time to see any decent amount of content).

          Wow has experienced ridiculous churn over the years. Their subs grew because new/returning players continuously outnumbered leaving players. When they peaked however, the must have decided that it made more sense to target former burnt out players than new ones.

          This seems right, as at this point you’d think they already reached most of the potential players who never played. AND they actually listened to what most blogs/vets/etc asked for which was revamped leveling.

          Where this failed seems to be implementation or whatever but that’s irrelevant.

          They learned that the new player market will always be more valuable than the old player market. Kids, console gamers, etc becoming PC gamers or taking an interest in mmos will always mean that there are new potential players always growing the market, especially factoring in things like China.

          What is interesting is this concession to former players. Now they are simultaneously targeting both markets, which in my opinion is the Third Option that makes perfect sense,.

  11. bhagpuss says:

    If they can’t give me extra hours in my day to play it then I’m not interested. I already have more MMOs to play than I know what to do with.

    Level 85 doesn’t interest me in the slightest but I wouldn’t mind poking around Cataclysm just to see what’s changed and take some screenshots, but even If they went F2P I still don’t think I’d find a space in my schedule. If I had a schedule. Maybe I should have a schedule…

    • Technically, since they have the level 1-20 free to play, and since many of the changes in the game were part of the 1-60 experience, you could “see” a bit of Cataclysm.

      Hours in the day though. Let me know when you have a solution for that one.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I sent my old account a scroll and got a brand new shiny level 80 character, all geared in level 80 equipment (just green, but still), 450 first aid, cold-weather flying and artisan flying trained with a swift griffon mount. I think I will send my other two closed accounts scrolls.

    TBH, I think this is great. I have always played Alliance. Now, I will have three level 80 Horde characters to play.

    You call it desparate, I call it smart. Even after I re-cancel all three accounts, they will have gotten 3x$15 for the 3×1 month subs, plus another 3x$25 for each character transfer to my active account. In total, I will spend $45 plus $75 (or $120) to get three level Horde toons and three spectral mounts. My boyfriend is doing the same, and the fact that Blizzard’s website and log-in server all crashed with a few hours of announcing this deal suggest that we are not alone.

    Blizz will be boohoohooing all the way to the bank.

    • Shadow says:

      So what your saying is that a level 80 charcter’s value is $40?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sure, if you want to look at it that way. I can only tell you that having leveled more characters to 80/85 than I want to admit on the Alliance side, it is certainly worth $40 to me to have an insta-80 Horde character to play around with.

        If I had to start from level 1, I likely would stick strictly to Alliance. This way, I win, Blizz wins, seems win-win to me.


        • Coeur-de-fer says:

          Considering one of the main differentiating characteristics was traditionally the leveling game, if I were looking to explore “the other side,” I wouldn’t consider myself better served by skipping said content. Hanging out in a different capital, with a slightly different-looking, level-capped avatar, running the same instances as I did before, doesn’t strike me as particularly compelling. Perhaps if the community were noticeably better, or I had friends on the opposing faction, but not as an aid to experiencing the other side.

          In fact, the other faction’s quests are one of those things I wish I’d taken the time to see at least once before the overhaul, considering how much time I’d dumped into the game. Now, I passed on Cataclysm, so it’s possible the leveling game is no longer all that different; if that’s the case, it’s lamentable, and the above is a moot point.

  13. Doone says:

    All the things they thought they’d never do, they are now showing us they will do for a dollar.

    This is a moment of “wait and see” as far as blizzard fans are concerned. When the quarterly call comes in before MOP, if subs are still declining, this move will only be seen as the tip of the iceberg. Max level characters will likely go on sale at some point.

    I do think this is very smart marketing, but I also think this is just more evidence (if more was even needed) that shows they’re tired of WoW and have no intent to maintain the game. Consider this the life-support pre-order. Once all their titles launch this year, the crew will become skeletal once MOP content patch plans are finalized. The last bits of *talent* working on WoW will go 100% to Titan.

    On the upside, this game had an extraordinary run. I wish the development was taking the route CCP’s doing for EVE: Fix the old systems. Refine them. Bring in fresh ideas. Stay true to the original vision while gradually expanding the game into true internet space (Dust 514). Alas, the WoW franchise has been squandered.

  14. Bernard says:

    “Interns seem to be unable to copy/paste promotions correctly. Shocker.”

    Agreed – there needs to be more incentives for players to have multiple WoW accounts. That way you can get the 5% of players that are truly committed to inflate the rest of your numbers and give the impression of a growing community.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is hardly unique to WoW. My boyfriend and I each have two active WoW accounts and three inactive, all of which will be scrolled. I have three active EQ2 accounts, two lifetime STO and LotRO online accounts, and had, until LucasArts pulled the plug, no fewer than 12 SWG accounts, six of which were always active (my boyfriend had another 3, all active). Granted, we are hopelessly addicted MMO players, but I have met much, much worse. I agree it does inflate a game’s numbers, but I guarantee you, in happens in ALL MMO’s, so I suppose it all balances out.

      • Bernard says:

        If you don’t me saying, you don’t sound representative of the average player. 9 x simultaneous subscriptions for SWG? Please tell me that you guys multibox…

        • Anonymous says:

          We were a little SWG obsessed, I confess it. We sometimes 6 box and often four-box in WoW, but not so much in SWG or other games. Remember, though, that SWG and EQ2originally only allowed one toon per server, so multiple accounts were more “necessary” if you wanted to play different builds without giving up the old ones. Plus, I was the mayor of a city on Corellia and having that many accounts helped with the usual ebb and flow of other players in and out of the city over the years.

  15. Andrew Perry says:

    It’s Friday already?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I clearly need an edit button or more coffee… That should be:

    We sometimes 6 box and often four-box in WoW and EQ2, but not so much in SWG or other games. Remember, though, that SWG originally only allowed one toon per server….

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