Vanilla WoW today would have more subs than current WoW

All the recent talk of vanilla WoW is right in my wheelhouse, and not just because its yet another feather in my giant cap of “things SynCaine was right about long before everyone else caught up”, but also because you still have certain people (Az, Tobold, and some commentators) that don’t understand why vanilla worked back then and why it would still work today (perhaps to a lesser degree, but perhaps not).

As I wrote on Az’s blog, Blizzard not running their own vanilla server is just New Blizzard being New Blizzard. They are leaving money on the table, in some part likely due to ego. Imagine if the vanilla servers were more popular than current WoW, and what that would say about what New Blizzard has done vs what Old Blizzard did? And while I don’t think that is a given, is anyone willing to say they are 100% sure vanilla WOULDN’T have more players than the now-we-don’t-report-it under 5m WoW has today? I’m not, especially considering the utter joke that current WoW design and support is.

It’s money on the table because if they charged $15 a month for vanilla (or even $20 since they could say its a ‘premium’ service), anyone who leaves new WoW to play on vanilla isn’t a lost sale, its a transfer, not to mention the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of players who don’t play the current abortion of a game but would play the good version (and likely play it for far longer than the current ‘one month and done’ content WoW produces via expansions).

Sky-is-blue stuff aside, the more interesting item here is the misunderstanding of why vanilla WoW worked and grew while current WoW is bleeding out. Az again is incorrect in thinking that the community aspect of a private server exists because everyone playing is a pirate. They are, technically, but put up a private current-WoW server and you won’t get anything close to a vanilla server community, because it’s not just about the people playing, but under what rules they are playing by.

FFXIV has the community it has because the game does an excellent job of weeding out ‘WoW kiddies’ very early. You must run dungeons, you must group, and you can’t face-roll forward like you can in WoW. That filters certain people out early, and the millions left are people who better understand and value the core principles of an MMO, resulting in far nicer and more successful pug groups, as well as just an overall better community.

Vanilla WoW is the exact same idea; the rules are such that they force people to play differently if they want to succeed, or at least progress at a more optimal rate. In a vacuum, spamming trade chat to find a group for a dungeon is worse than clicking a single button and being instantly ported inside with a group. But outside of that vacuum, having to work a bit more to find a group molds people long-term, where suddenly having a guild is more meaningful, and a successful dungeon run feels more rewarding. Leveling super-fast means in a vacuum players see that ‘ding’ more often, and more ‘ding’ means more fun. Outside the vacuum, levels meaning nothing erodes a core enjoyment of gaming (its why every genre today has levels), and all of the systems that rely upon levels meaning something also suffer. New Blizzard designs everything in a vacuum (or just caves in to player demand, which is almost always vacuum-thinking), while Old Blizzard saw the big picture much clearer.

Dismissing people wanting to play vanilla as nostalgia that wouldn’t work is either dismissing or outright not understanding that vanilla WoW was a better version of WoW. What’s crazy is the clock on the scoreboard of that discussion has long since hit zero, because while vanilla grew by millions, post-WotLK WoW has done nothing but bleed subs.

I do hope that at some point New Blizzard does get desperate enough (perhaps once Overwatch flops like HotS has) that they open legacy servers, if only to hammer the above home for people once again. Now I know certain perennial losers will just move the goal posts, but it would still be worthwhile. Plus, I wouldn’t mind running Strath or MC again in their true forms, just to check in on some old friends.

PS: You know you’re being really dumb when you have to follow SOE in the ‘good idea’ department. Not to mention the fact that legacy EQ2 is bringing back an absolute failure of a game, and even that works enough to justify a server, so imagine what bringing back an actually good game would do?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EQ2, Final Fantasy XIV, MMO design, RMT, Tobold being Wrong, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Vanilla WoW today would have more subs than current WoW

  1. Dobablo says:

    So your argument is that vanilla-WoW was better than current-WoW in part because it encouraged players that were a better strain of humanity?

    • SynCaine says:


      Social hooks are the strongest force to keep people playing/paying, and true leaders of men are the ones best capable of creating and maintaining those hooks. Drive away the best and brightest, and the plebs wander off.

      • Esteban says:

        ‘True leaders of men?’ ‘Plebs?’ Good grief. Being able to pull Stratholme doesn’t make one John Galt.

        WoW was, if anything, the safety/accessibility wunderkind MMO by 2004 standards, and I think it copped a lot of luck by (nearly) predating widespread social media. Frankly, for most everyone I knew in the game back then, the social hook was more or less equivalent to the social hook of a pub – have a pint, throw darts and whinge about United. With the social ice pre-broken by convention and joint activity, acquaintance-friends were easily made.

        The ‘content creator’ thing has some merit with regard to progression raiding, since that required a lot of leadership, management and dedication, but in vanilla serious raiding was relevant to something like 2% of the population.

        • SynCaine says:

          “‘True leaders of men?’ ‘Plebs?’ Good grief. Being able to pull Stratholme doesn’t make one John Galt.”

          Jokes my friend, we do jokes around here. (Although being a top-level tank AND raid leader did make one clearly superior to the rank and file, both in-game and in life. I’m living proof.)

          Fully agree that the scope of WoW’s early success was part good design, part luck (thanks SOE for EQ2!), and finally a large helping of social snowballing (if all your friends are playing WoW, you are going to play WoW too).

          The point here though is whatever % you attribute to good design, it WAS solid, and that’s lacking in WoW today (and basically all Blizzard titles for a while now). And a large chunk of why it was so solid was because of the social aspects. It was never EVE in that regard, but it might as well have been compared to the game it is today.

          The idea of someone dropping into WoW in 2005 and being ‘done’ with a large portion of the content in a month is absurd, while that’s exactly what happens today. Some of that is people knowing what to do and expect, sure, but that’s not really a major factor (after all, when TBC launched, people knew WoW by that point, yet we didn’t see any drop in numbers months after TBC was no longer new).

        • Esteban says:

          @Syncaine 15:14 – Well, yes. It was good social design, ready to make the best of WoW’s good fortune. You cannot foster social interaction that might lead to lasting bonds in your game if you give the vast majority of players literally no reason to group or guild up and in some cases punish them for it. (LFD random-queue bonuses, most ‘loot the thing’ group questing) Conversely, you cannot build a big critical mass of players if you insist on turning ‘undesirables’ away at the door to preserve some core MMO ethos, which at the time was EQ’s group-for-any-meaningful-progress model. WoW hit the sweet spot between those extremes.

          And, of course, you cannot crank up the faceroll to ridiculous. It erases the little dopamine hits that come from solving minor combat problems as one quests. It erases any perception of earned improvement, making gear rewards meaningless. It wrecks immersion by making mobs dead too quickly to get a sense of them as enemies. It makes content consumption both faster and less satisfying. But that stuff is universal. We unwashed masses get it, too.

  2. Blizz has never been a company to take a step in a direction that hasn’t been well trod or to take big steps when little steps would do. So them jumping to a Vanilla server, even if they could get past the mental block and do it without too much cost, seems unlikely.

    I think they would first venture into an alternate rules server test, something like a “hard mode” server. Crank up MOB damage and hit points, tone down exp gain, normal mode dungeons tuned up to not be face rolls, no transfers or insta-level characters, no heirlooms, flying restricted to only in Outland after 60 and Northrend after 68, and some bits and pieces like that. Throw in some special achievements… or maybe just a gold border on current achievements that you get when you do them in hard mode, and I bet that would be a draw.

    That is, after all, pretty much all SOE is doing with their nostalgia servers. SOE just had the foresight and/or was too lazy to redo all of their original zones, so it is no big deal. If Blizz had just not wrecked the world with Cataclysm, but invested their effort in making new content… even a whole new 1-60 content path… the idea of making a vanilla server would at least not seem like a technical hurdle.

    • SynCaine says:

      I think changes to zone design is a big deal though, and not just post-Cata with the silly phasing stuff or having one major gating questline per zone. Smaller stuff like having random elites, or quest lines end in elite/group quests; that’s the stuff that helps get people into the grouping/community mindframe, sorta like it does in FFXIV.

      I don’t think just making current design harder accomplishes that in the same way the old design did.

      • No, doing that clearly doesn’t scratch the nostalgia itch. But it is something Blizz actually could do that wouldn’t require all the technical hurdles they claim prevents them from getting back to vanilla. And, as I said, Blizz isn’t about breaking new ground without assurances that it will be fertile in advance.

        The main problem with the hard mode switch is that it too might prove more popular than they imagine. There would be bragging rights to be had, not to mention the lure of just having some new servers to start fresh in again. The starting fresh, with everybody back at level 1, is a big part of the thrill on the EQ/EQ2 servers. That alone is good stuff.

        But I doubt Blizz would even consider that idea.

    • tithian says:

      Isn’t Legacy Servers a direction that has already been well trod? EQ and EQ2 do it, and Jagex do it with multiple versions of Runescape (fun fact, the legacy servers are better money makers than the modern ones). All signs show that there is market for this, and that people actually like the feature.

      Your idea about an alternate HARD server wouldn’t work, mostly because the classes themselves have become abominations over time. Everyone can level solo efficiently, everyont has tons of utility, and buffs, and AoE etc. etc. Class homogenization has reached such a point where the only difference is now “Class Fantasy”, which is being touted over and over as a feature of Legion. A lot of the social interaction is gutted right from the start, when there is no niche to be filled by specific classes/specs.

      • SynCaine says:

        WTF is class fantasy?

        • tithian says:

          For example, “paladin is a warrior of light, that uses two handed swords to smite his enemies”. Stuff like that. Essentially the visualization of how one would imagine an iconic member of that class. They are essentially building the classes in Legion so that they fit their perception of “class fantasy”, by removing and tweaking abilities so that they fit into the “trope” they have selected.

          The problem is that each person has a different “fantasy” about his character, and some don’t even care at all. Making Survival Hunters a melee spec obviously fit the fantasy of the devs, but not the majority of the hunter players. And Shadow Priests aren’t exactly thrilled that their class fantasy revolves around the theme of Madness.

        • SynCaine says:

          So no more pali tanks or healers? Or is just one spec 2h focused?

          How is a survival hunter not just a rogue? Because of the pet?

        • tithian says:

          Nah, the paladin example is a very broad example, but generally now each spec is defined by its artifact. Holy Paladins still heal, and Rets are still melee DPS, but (for example) the “fantasy of Ret” is built around using Ashbringer (yes, everyone gets an Ashbringer).

          Survival Hunter is now all about using a polearm and fighting beside his pet. Marksman is all about the bow, no pet. Demo warlock now focuses 80% around his pets.


        • SynCaine says:

          Ah yea I remember hearing about how everyone will use one of the famous weapons, and those weapons level with you or something like that. Another idea that’s cute in theory, until you realize it also means you don’t care/get weapon upgrades, at least in the traditional way, and that’s another one of those “lets have everyone ding every second because people love dings!” ideas.

        • MaximGtB says:

          Relic weapons in FFXIV are essentially that, except much more grindy and probably less involved. I’d say they were hugely successful given that a lot of people get them even though there are better alternatives most of the time. So I wouldn’t count the Legion weapons as a bad idea out of hand.

          Regarding class fantasy, I don’t really get what the change is about. All differences between classes of the same role can be boiled down to either mechanics or “flavour”/fantasy or whatever you want to call it.

          Are the WoW devs planning to homogenize the classes so much that they all play the same, just with different ability names and graphics? Doesn’t seem likely, so… What? Tying mechanics and flavour more strongly, so that playing a frost mage is nothing like playing a fire one? From the hunter changes above, it looks like this is the case.

        • tithian says:

          Yes, they are trying to make the specs a bit different again, but they’re going about it in the wrong way IMO. They are removing skills and flavor that doesn’t fit their chosen spec “fantasy”, instead of adding more stuff and letting players choose their poison.
          A Marksman has no pet, THE END. Beast Mastery is all about the pet, THE END. etc. etc. They are trying to de-homogenize the specs, if you will, by trimming them down to the essentials. At least until the next expansion, where the artifact traits will have to be re-integrated into the core mechanics of each spec, and then we’re back to trying to re-invent the wheel.

  3. Azuriel says:

    […] is anyone willing to say they are 100% sure vanilla WOULDN’T have more players than the now-we-don’t-report-it under 5m WoW has today?

    I’m 100% sure. By every account I’ve heard thus far, getting onto a private vanilla server is easier than current WoW, and all of those people are F2P users. Paying customers would be a fraction of that, practically by definition.

    In any case, I have a vanilla challenge for you: level a non-healing paladin, druid, or shaman to cap. Vanilla did have a lot of social hooks, but it also had a lot of terrible, stupid design that it was successful in spite of. As evidenced by the same Old Blizzard devs changing it into TBC and beyond.

    • SynCaine says:

      “Paying customers would be a fraction of that, practically by definition.”

      Except your definition doesn’t include the tens of millions of former WoW players that don’t know private servers exists, or don’t want to jump the extra hoop to get on one (I wouldn’t play on those for the fact that they get shut down, and the character would go poof instantly, for example).

      I had a shaman and druid to cap back in vanilla (was horde so no Pali easy mode), what exactly is the challenge you are referring to?

      • Azuriel says:

        The challenge is to do it again. This year. Since vanilla is so amazing and good and would garner 5 million+ subscribers in 2016.

        • SynCaine says:

          Sure, soon as the official server is up, I’ll do it. Again though, what exactly is the challenge you think exists?

        • Azuriel says:

          Why wait?

          The challenge is actually doing it, which you won’t, because vanilla (and TBC for that matter) succeeded in spite of some of the worst class design ever made. You are saying that vanilla, which you can play right now, is so good that it will be 2-3x the size of FF14… but is too much of a hassle to boot up?

        • SynCaine says:

          Correct, I’m not going to torrent a copy of WoW just to do something I’ve actually already done. I know you didn’t play WoW in vanilla, but do you honestly think some minor class issues (you are talking to someone who did the plaguelands rep grind using a raid spec tank) would have that big an impact on what is overall far superior content and design?

          Remember, most people don’t run uphill both ways (you not using Steam for games that are on Steam) just to spite themselves on some weird bases of… I don’t even know why you torture yourself honestly, but it’s real weird.

    • “I’m 100% sure. By every account I’ve heard thus far, getting onto a private vanilla server is easier than current WoW”

      Having actually played on a private/pirate server, I would dispute this. The first big hurdle is obtaining the client, which private servers are often reluctant to host on their site, both because of the bandwith required for downloads and the whole liability question when it comes to giving away Blizzard software.

      So you generally have to go find a torrent to download a client, and you have to find the right one and not somebody’s trojan infected decoy that has the exact same description. After that you have to change the client to hook up to the new server.

      And beyond that you have to be willing to get past the whole “I am stealing” thing. When I did it for a while, I remained subscribed to WoW so I could at least say that Blizz wasn’t losing any money due to my decision. But people our regular group, who were very interested in playing on that server and enjoyed my few posts about it, couldn’t get past the whole technical details and dubious nature of the whole affair.

      So to claim “easier than current WoW” seems like a complete misinterpretation of the facts. “Easier” if you can get past the moral issue, can jump the technical hurdles, only because you don’t have to enter a credit card maybe.

      • SynCaine says:

        And the credit card is now even less of a factor than it was in 2004, both because paying a sub is normal now (or perhaps not, given all the F2P junk, but still), and because if you played in 2004 and are still alive/not-in-jail, you likely have a much easier time spending $15 a month today than you did in 2004.

    • carson63000 says:

      LEVELING a non-healing paladin, druid, or shaman was easy. That’s how they were intended to level. It’s just that you become a pariah once you get to level cap, and either respec healbot, start leveling an alt, or stop playing. One of the little things often forgotten in the nostalgia wave.

      • Jonneh says:

        A lot of people like being shoehorned into a role, FFXIV does it still and that is doing ok.

        • MaximGtB says:

          How does FFXIV shoehorn players into roles? Ever tried examining players? It’s pretty rare to see someone with less than one job maxed, and much less with at least a few classes halfway there.

        • Jonneh says:

          What is the difference between starting a different job in FFXIV and starting a new character in WoW?

          Didn’t see many White Mage damage dealers when I played it.

        • MaximGtB says:

          The differences are convenience and attachment to the character, off the top of my head.
          An no, you don’t see white mage damage dealers*, just as you don’t see holy priest or resto druid damage dealers. FFXIV’s jobs are more akin to WoW’s specs than classes in that respect. You just level them independently.

          * Healers in FFXIV can do very respectable dps, especially in aoefights, but that’s besides the point.

        • Jonneh says:

          No they aren’t, they are like classes. You don’t level up a spec in wow you level the class, in FFXIV you have to level the spec.

          Back to the initial point. The White Mage hits max level for the first time in FFXIV, what are their choices with regard to grouping?

        • SynCaine says:

          I would argue jobs are more like specs, because each job clearly fills a roll, while each class in WoW can fill multiple roles. No one in FFXIV goes to play a white mage because they want to tank, while someone who rolls a pali (back in good WoW anyway) could be doing so to tank, dps, or heal.

          Of course, in FFXIV your one character to do anything, while in WoW your Pali is always a Pali and can’t morph into a Druid. You can roll an alt, but that’s very different from switching a job (same friends list, same guild, same name, same backpack, etc).

    • Shintar says:

      Well, my pally on a private server just hit 60 the other day… :P

      Why “non-healing” though? Questing as a healer is very slow, and people put on their healing hats for levelling dungeons regardless of spec.

    • Jenks says:

      “I’m 100% sure.”

      You’re 100% wrong.

  4. Matt says:

    “And while I don’t think that is a given, is anyone willing to say they are 100% sure vanilla WOULDN’T have more players than the now-we-don’t-report-it under 5m WoW has today?”

    100% here. Vanilla WoW is never updated, so the ceiling is actually pretty low. There are only so many nostalgia tours one can undertake.

    If we’re instead proposing an alternate-universe Vanilla WoW that is continuously updated, then that ain’t Vanilla WoW anymore.

    • SynCaine says:

      I mean, the ceiling on vanilla was higher than the current sub count, so…?

      Plus, even if the server was like what EQ1 does, where they do the same content releases only on perhaps an accelerated schedule, just vanilla is still 2+ years of content release, and those 2 years saw more content than what passes for an entire expansion today. Not to mention the content back then kept people around far longer than the stuff today, and I think the last problem Vanilla WoW would have is feeling like its lacking in stuff to do compared to current-day WoW.

      • Matt says:

        No no. The ceiling was higher back in 2004 when WoW was a new game. Now you’re getting nostalgia tourists and that’s about it.

        A progression server still wouldn’t be new content, though it might entice some people that have never seen it before. It would likely turn off others who just aren’t willing to put up with the bad Classic WoW mechanics anymore no matter how good the memories.

        • SynCaine says:

          Vanilla WoW would be new to millions of WoW and general MMO players. Think about how many WoW players today never experienced it? Like someone who started in WotLK or beyond never actually saw the best version of WoW. You don’t think someone like that would at least try it (since all of their friends were anyway), realize “hey, this version is actually more fun”, and stick around for as long as they had content (so… years)? Even if only 10% of that entire group does the above, you still have a larger population than current-day WoW (far more than 50m people have played an MMO since 2006). And it’s not like vanilla WoW is some ancient beast ala EVE 2003; the graphics are basically the same today, as is all the tech (Guessing New Blizz still thinks its technically impossible to have 100 characters in a battle…)

          Plus this isn’t about whether vanilla was perfect (it wasn’t), its about whether vanilla was better than current WoW (it was, by millions and millions of fully paying accounts (not ‘asian subs’ mixed in with actual subs))

    • dynaform says:

      Yea, Nost was progression and it worked well. If the server paced these patches every 2 months or so you have quit a bit of content

      And if you release a new server every 4 months or so people will definitely reroll for that ‘fresh start’.

  5. Jonneh says:

    I had never considered trying a private server until all the furor began, quick google search and I was running around durotar 20 minutes later. Ironically the client I downloaded was stored on googles document store (it isn’t like a cracked game, it was always available for download from places like curse and can be uploaded anywhere, or you can just use your old game disks), just need to change the realmlist (1 line of text in notepad) and make an account on the website and you are good to go.

    I died at level 3 to some of those little fireball throwing bastards in the cave north of the orc starting area and started to fall in love again. Got my first group at level 7 on the troll island off the coast with a guy who kept going in and out of character playing a troll hunter. Most fun I have had playing an mmo since……well 2004.

    I have told 3 of my friends who are really looking forward to weekend to give it a try.

    The idea that £10 a month is a hurdle to entry is ridiculous, I earn substantially more now than I did 12 years ago (when it wasn’t an issue) and I have a sneaky suspicion I’m not in the minority. If Blizzard were to host their own I’d resub in a heartbeat, but it’s hard for a dev to explain his pay when all the stuff he has taken out is more popular than the garbage he replaced it with.

    I maxed a hunter and druid in Vanilla, neither was harder to solo with, druid was considerably easier to get a group for though.

    • SynCaine says:

      If Blizz put up a legacy server (done right anyway, knowing New Blizzard they’d figure out a way to out-SOE themselves and screw it up), not only would I play, but I can all but guarantee that the guild I’d start would easily be large enough to run MC and Onyxia again, and I have a hard time seeing us losing interest in a month or so.

      Only this time everyone with half a brain is rolling either a tank or healer (priest, no more shaman healers please…) so we don’t half the dps meter being confused with the agro meter in terms of results.

      • Kryss says:

        “Knowing New Blizzard they’d figure out a way to out-SOE themselves and screw it up)”

        I’m 99% sure they up exp gain, scrap world elites and attunements chain, add LFG, put some retarding phasing on top, mess with classes, do unmetionable and horrible things with dungeons and after that abomination sink smugly say “we told you”.

    • tithian says:

      My sentiments exactly, the only thing that’s keeping me from fully commiting to a vanilla server is the fact that Blizz could put their foot down tomorrow and the server would shutter. I’d be back on an official one in a heartbeat.

  6. carson63000 says:

    “is anyone willing to say they are 100% sure vanilla WOULDN’T have more players than the now-we-don’t-report-it under 5m WoW has today?”


    There would be an initial surge, but I am 100% sure that a month or two after launch, the official Vanilla servers would have far, far, far less players that the rest of WoW.

  7. maljjin says:

    I have issues with the idea that a Vanilla WoW server would be outrageously popular in 2016. It would means the market hasn’t changed a bit since 2004, an hypothesis I’m not willing to make. Would a Vanilla server bring some players back ? Absolutely. Could Blizzard make money out of it ? Probably. Enough to be viable long term ? It remains to be seen, maintening two code lines is rather costly. However, I’m not convinced a vanilla wow experience would bring masses of new players which would be the ultimate goal. In 12 years, the gaming crowd has changed. Expectations are differents, preferences have changes, the younger crowd doesn’t have the same gaming background and might not be interested at all in that kind of experience (or simply in a different proportion than the player base of 12 years ago).

    • Esteban says:

      Yes, pretty much. I miss a lot about the vanilla game but there were aspects of it which were terrible in retrospect. I like to think I have decent attention span, patience and tolerance for deferred gratification, but I can do without five-minute paladin-blessing reagents, hunter ammo, dwarf priests in PvE and undead rogues in PvP (with double-trinket AP-pyro mages not far behind). I can probably do without attunement chains, and grinding fire/shadow resist gear, and Decursive spam. More than one viable spec for some classes is a good thing. I’m sure you can fill in a sizable list of these yourself. A lot of that long-lasting content was busywork which would grate in 2016.

      Heck, I’d probably be more likely to put up with this stuff again if I were actually a kid yearning for validation via virtual world success. In other words, Syncaine’s idea of human refuse.

      • dynaform says:

        god forbid you play a buff class without having to buff or a solo god without having to lose a few bag slots. Human rogues shit all over undead rogues. Dwarf rogues shit all over undead rogues. Flame reflector shit all over pom pyro.

        Modern games are so balanced and without grind. When I’m done spamming heartseeker on these noobs in pvp let me do some dailys…

    • SynCaine says:

      In 12 years the market has gotten more favorable towards a good MMO, not less. In 2004 the idea of paying a monthly fee was still a newish thing to most, as was just playing an MMO or an online game. All of those are now standards for every gamer, not just every PC player.

      Plus look at the most popular games out right now. People play LoL for months if not years. Millions of people have played CoC for years (TH9+). There are millions playing FFXIV (basically vanilla WoW plus/minus a few differences), StarCitizen raised hundreds of millions on the idea of a deep MMO, and EVE still has 400kish subs (likely more right now thanks to the war).

      Yes, the market is different from 2004, but not in a way that would hurt vanilla WoW over current-day WoW. WoW today is bleeding subs not because people don’t want to play an MMO, its bleeding because its gotten significantly worse at keeping people interested in the game.

      • Eph says:

        If today’s markets are so favorable towards hardcore, non-facerollable MMORPGs, why did Wildstar fail so spectacularly?

        • SynCaine says:

          Because it wasn’t good?

          The market is (was?) very favorable to MOBA titles a few years back, so why did some of them fail? Because favorable market doesn’t automatically mean success. You also have to actually deliver a solid product.

  8. Eph says:

    “post-WotLK WoW has done nothing but bleed subs”

    I’d instead say that post-WotLK WoW has fully embraced the churn and ‘MMO tourism’. Hence the ever-increasing spikes at the start of every new addon, followed by decline until the cycle repeats. This is, of course, bad for guilds, communities and other social structures… but it is still a valid business model, one where revenue streams are gradually been shifted from subscriptions to box sales – perhaps in preparation for F2P?

    I know that, in case of Blizzard, one should assume incompetence first, randomness second and intent last, but if this pattern is actually a part of Bobby Kotick’s master plan, then that’s another nail in the coffin of official vanilla realms. After all, the whole point of playing vanilla is not buying boxes.

    • “After all, the whole point of playing vanilla is not buying boxes.”

      Um, no. The point of playing vanilla is playing vanilla because you miss what the game was like when it was vanilla.

      Besides, if boxes were really the focus, Blizz would probably make some effort to ship boxes more than once every two years of so. Meanwhile, 4 months of subscribing brings in more money than one standard expansion box and has a much lower cost of good sold in theory.

  9. Meanwhile, on another plane of existence, Jagex reports that after listening to what their customers were asking for, their RuneQuest legacy servers were work, but paid off and did not cannibalize their current servers.

  10. Cristi says:

    How about y’all fuckers stop paying for anything Blizzard so they can get out of gaming and sell their franchises to someone who still cares?

    At least that’s what I’m doing.

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