WoW subs.

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So this topic is obviously all about the image above. So what we see of the past expansions all of you probably knew. The subscriber base kept on climbing and reached its peak in Wrath of the Lich King and then faced an immediate drop after the release of the Cataclysm. It has since then kept on dropping only getting spikes going up when the release of a new expansion was upcoming.

What I wasn't prepared for however was how remarkably fast the subscriber based dropped. In fact it has never dropped this fast EVER so you might say whatever you want about what your favorite expansion is but from the consumers viewpoint Warlords of Draenor is the worst expansion so far. In fact World of WarCraft is back to a subscription number it had back in vanilla.

The question I want to ask you is did you expect to see this? In my opinion it was inevitable that WoW was going to lose subscribers but the rate at which it's losing its costumers surprises me.
 
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I don't know if I expected it, but I'm not surprised. There is a core group of addicts that will stay with the game, slowly winnowing away perhaps. But Blizzard faces an unbeatable dilemma: the game is so old that the core mechanics are now boring for many many people, but if they change them they will lose the addicts who don't like change.

At this point, people have been playing rogues and opening with Ambush, SS, Eviscerate for literally 15 years. At some point that just gets boring.

They have two options I think. A) keep the game the same with some added updates and cool new stuff to get bursts of resubscribers so that they can continue milking the cow for a few more expansions. Or B) try something really risky and fundamentally change the game in some way, e.g. persistent mounted combat, GM-led events, real world housing, faction splinter, and so on. That might bring in a second wave, but it's also likely to be interpreted as Blizzard flailing about trying to get new customers and sink the ship even faster.
 
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It's because lack of story and content. Seriously, story didn't advanced much in 6.1, raiders have 2 raids and therr is no new place to descover. Yes there are many who continue to play, because they are addicted, can't be bored that easily, or didn't finish content. Keep in mind that some people are busy anx don't have time to play the game at the moment so they unsubed.
I'm sure that Taanan jungle will raise subbscription again, but I'm not sure if it will stay that way.
 
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I'm sure that Taanan jungle will raise subbscription again, but I'm not sure if it will stay that way.

I'm doubtful so far the only patch after the release of Cataclysm that has ever raised subs was 5.4. And lets face it Timeless Isle was freaking awesome. But unless they make Taanan Jungle the new Timeless Isle I don't see that as likely.
 

Chaosy

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WoD is far from crap. They made the best leveling experience ever. It's just about 2-3x as good as all pre-mop zones.

The ONLY reason WoD is failing is because of garrisons being too good and the delay between patches. However the delay between patches wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the garrison speeding everything up.
But even then I don't think WoD is bad. The game is old, it will fade away, you can't expect it to keep that insane subscription number for eternity. The main cause is WoW being outdated, not because WoD itself is bad.
 
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Chaosy

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Garrisons are good in the sense that they make many people log in a few times per day while the normally maybe wouldn't. But you get way too good rewards for it.

In early WoD I got full 645 by only doing garrison missions. That's better than LFR gear. Not to mention that I make 300-500 gold per day from it, depending on how often I log in. (and a tad of RNG of course)
 

PurgeandFire

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I expected it to be low. The newest raid content was released in February (3 months ago!) with absolutely no additional content (besides garrison junk). And the PvP season has still been going on since the start of the game, with hardly any changes that people wanted to happen. And ashran has no appeal.

I'll play a bit more when the end of the first season is announced, just to grind for a title. And I'll probably play for a bit in the start of 6.2, but I'm actually having a lot more fun on nostalrius. Keep in mind that these are only the first patches of WoD. Traditionally, the first patches have been gone through pretty quickly, and they were pretty content heavy opposed to the last patches which would usually be designated for final raids. But man, the game is stagnant at the moment, and with things like pruning, it isn't even fun to play your class.

But I think the overall subs will increase a bit once 6.2 is released. Although, I think WoD overall failed to meet most people's expectations. :( No doubt, they made a lot of GOOD changes--the questing was great, garrisons were enjoyable for the first char, dungeons were fun, but they homogenized so many things with the prune--and I really don't see them making any dramatic changes to fix gameplay.

Mythic dungeons and those bonus weekends/timewalker stuff will be fun though. But I have so many complaints about the state of the game, so it makes it difficult to be excited about those things. :(
 
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I know this is true for many of us old Warcraft Lovers... sad but true.
Well i dont really play old servers. I mostly play MoP, but Nostalrius Vanilla is fine too, but i play it rarely since it has few huge flaws, but WoD feels like playing a private server with 2x-3x rate since its so fast to kill monsters. And one thing was funny. I have played on Nostalrius for like a hour and the xp rate is 1x. I always whined how leveling was slow even in 1x MoP, but when i now played 1x Cata server suddenly the leveling was super fast. I first thought the server was like 5x, but it was 1x. So its pretty funny how fast you get used to Vanilla leveling speed and then newer expansions feel so fast and easy.
 
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PurgeandFire

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@Zaramorus: I definitely agree on that one. I went back on retail to level my monk, and it was funny how I'd get a few levels (at mid 30's) just by doing a few dungeons. It literally felt like a 10x rate private server.

But I actually enjoy the slow leveling pace. It just amplifies the RPG aspect by a million--you feel a lot closer to your character, and you feel like you know it inside & out. Whereas other people would be concerned with endgame progression, leveling was a progression in itself. And the slow pace gave you plenty of time to stop and smell the roses--run a few bg's here and there, explore places, try to find a dungeon group to get that last chunk of XP.

Sadly, I don't think the game could ever return to that state, even if they tried. The damage has already been done--most people have plenty of alts at cap level or near cap level. It isn't necessarily a bad thing--technically I could just go and level an alt without heirlooms and just make the game fun on my own, but it really isn't the same. Blizzard thought that by making things built-in and convenient (e.g. quest helper, auto-spell learning), people would have a better leveling experience. Maybe that is true for newer players (since they have no reference point), but leveling has become trivialized to the point where it is a chore. There is no difficulty. Maybe that is how Blizzard wanted it? But that is one of the worst reputations to have as a game. No one is interested in a game that is too easy. Its the struggle that makes the gameplay worthwhile. That "struggle" still exists in endgame, but it is a bit sad that it is nonexistent earlier than that.

I keep hoping that the game will become more like the one we all know and love, but its gotten to the point where they may be in too deep to go back.
 
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I keep hoping that the game will become more like the one we all know and love, but its gotten to the point where they may be in too deep to go back.

They definitely have, I think that today the majority of the hardcore vanilla gamers have left. And if you want proof what happens to an MMO that tries to sell hardcore just look at Wildstar which didn't really make that much money.
 

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They definitely have, I think that today the majority of the hardcore vanilla gamers have left. And if you want proof what happens to an MMO that tries to sell hardcore just look at Wildstar which didn't really make that much money.

I thought Wildstar had issues because it's PvP only, as far as I know there is no PvE content at all.
 
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That is if you bother to pay. I currently am unemployed, and I don't have a credit card, so I'm not going to be P2P anytime soon.
I didnt know you need to pay in private servers...
Oh and other reason why WoD sucks is that PvP is dead. I read from facebook that over 100k botters were banned for like 6 months and i actually remember watching a video where one guy did a bg and like half of the players or even more were botting.
 
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I didnt know you need to pay in private servers...
Oh and other reason why WoD sucks is that PvP is dead. I read from facebook that over 100k botters were banned for like 6 months and i actually remember watching a video where one guy did a bg and like half of the players or even more were botting.

You have no idea in random bg's I'm constantly playing Altarec Valley and 40/40 of the enemy players are literally ALL from Russian realms.
 
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Yeah, but that shows how shitty community WoW has (well atleast it has 5 times better than LoL community).

Well, in that case I'm glad I didn't waste any money :razz:

Bite my head off, but when I do get a credit card & a job, I may actually go P2P for SWTOR for a month or so. I'm not going to bother to do this in WoW because the level disparity, complexity, and item requirements are just waaay worse.
 
I'd say Blizzard is trying to milk the cow while they still can, funnelling all the income into new products.
In fact, that's exactly what they do, judging from last blizzcon.

They know that they can't restore the life into a decade old game. And why should they? It's time to let it die in peace and move on.
The MMO genre has been long dead from complete lack of innovation. MOBAs are the next big thing. The only surprising thing for me is how long Blizzard waited to jump on the bandwagon. It's almost like they are hopping on board while the ship is already sinking.

I honestly don't know how multiplayer games will look like in the future. All I see is that RPG'ification is everywhere and the trend to mix up genres more and more is only getting stronger.

So, honestly, I doubt we will see a Starcraft Online or a World of Warcraft II in the future. The days of giant MMOs are over. However, I could imagine some neat new hybrid game formats, making use of mobile phones, adding browser-game elements to big budget productions.

Basicly a jack-of-all-trades format, combining gameplay elements of FPS, RTS, RPGs and browser games, bringing gamers of all kinds together in one single game. After all, this is almost exactly what Star Citizen is going to be...
 
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that curve is almost vertically sloped hahahaha! i think what they did was, they got all the good people on their team to work on hots and overwatch and left the derpy interns to play around with wow, of course there has been some professional things but its obvious that who ever is in charge now has no idea what theyre doing

if i had to make a prediction id say that by the next quarter the game will be down to 5 mil and this is if youre optimistic, if this does happen theres no turning it around
 
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5.6 mil damnit missed it by 600k

In case you don't know this is a reference to the amount of players that still remain subscribed to WoW after this quarter of a year has passed. For more information regarding the amount of players within the game and how the community has developed take a look at this image.



And in case you don't understand just how bad that is a few months after the release of WoD WoW had 10 000 000 subscribers which means they've lost almost half of its subscribers that's a bigger loss in both percentage and numbers than in any other expansion even more so than the abomination called the Cataclysm. But what is the most haunting thought of all is that the subscriber numbers was balanced by the release of patch 6.2 which came out a few weeks ago so the players who bought a month after the release still have game time. If they would have taken this timer a few weeks earlier or a few weeks later subscribers would probably be down with over 50%.

This is in addition the lowest amount of subscribers we've had since December of 2005, yes that's one year after the games release.
 
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And still people are saying WoW is dead even though WoW has still like 5 million players... My guess is WoW will die by 2020-2025 or just falls to like 1 million subscribers unless the incoming expansion is as good as WotLK. Unless if im totally wrong and WoW doesnt die at all and becomes immortal like the simpsons.
 
And in case you don't understand just how bad that is a few months after the release of WoD WoW had 10 000 000 subscribers which means they've lost almost half of its subscribers that's a bigger loss in both percentage and numbers than in any other expansion even more so than the abomination called the Cataclysm. But what is the most haunting thought of all is that the subscriber numbers was balanced by the release of patch 6.2 which came out a few weeks ago so the players who bought a month after the release still have game time. If they would have taken this timer a few weeks earlier or a few weeks later subscribers would probably be down with over 50%.
Actually, that is just one interpretation of the graph. From my point of view, the amount of subscribers just went back to the slowly declining trend it had before the release of WoD. If you extrapolate the curve from 1-2 months before WoD, you will roughly reach the same amount of subscribers it has now. I'd say the curve will follow exactly that extrapolation. You can see something similar in Mists of Pandaria, where the trend continued almost linearily after a small peak at release for 2 months.

Basicly, every new expansion will create a 2 month peak before the number of subscribers goes back to the circular curve. It's almost astonishing how "clean" this curve is. This means that Blizzard can basicly do nothing to stop this trend, as it's independend from the quality of the content they create.
Cataclysm and Mists, which were both considered "bad" expansions had relatively minor peaks. WoD on the other hand created a huge peak almost back to WotlK levels. Then dropped back to what it was at before. This means that a high quality expansion will only create more sales of the physical game copy (which is already great from a business point of view, considering each expansion is 40$), not more subscriptions.

This basicly leads to two conclusions:
1) A new expansion scheduled for end of 2016 will have roughly 4 million subscribers at release, peak to around 5-6 million, then goes back to 3.5 million after two months to follow the curve
2) WoW might not have more than 2 more expansions unless they make a non-gameplay related change, like turning WoW into a F2P-with-microtransaction model... which is what I assume what will happen sooner or later. I expect this to happen very soon; probably in combination with the 2016 expansion and the Warcraft Movie, for PR reasons (imagine a WoW-is-now-f2p ad directly in front of the Warcraft Movie).

EDIT: Actually; this leads to another conclusion: WotlK was a "bad" expansion compared to WoD. It did not create a sudden huge peak in subscribers, just continued the slowly rising trend from BC.


I attached a sketch of the implied curve to illustrate this. As you can see; Cataclysm and Pandaria weren't actually bad expansions from a subscriber point of view. They are in fact almost completely in-line with all the other expansions, with some extremely minor fluctuation. WoD on the other hand managed - for some unknown reason - to draw in a HUGE amount of returning customers. But WoD couldn't hold them for longer than the trial period. I think this has a lot to do with the age of the game. The graphics are just horrible and nothing will change that. Many people (like me) who quit back in WotlK tried out several F2P mmos with WAY better graphics; like Tera, Archeage, Wildstar or even Rift. Those customers came back with WoD and noticed how dated this game looks in comparison. Believe it or not: graphics do matter to some extend.

The next month will be critical: will WoW manage to follow the curve further or will the amount of subscribers actually drop below the implied progression of the curve. If so, Blizzard will be forced to change to a F2P model very soon. If not, they can postpone this until the next expansion and release of the warcraft movie for combined press synergy.
 

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Actually, that is just one interpretation of the graph. From my point of view, the amount of subscribers just went back to the slowly declining trend it had before the release of WoD. If you extrapolate the curve from 1-2 months before WoD, you will roughly reach the same amount of subscribers it has now. I'd say the curve will follow exactly that extrapolation. You can see something similar in Mists of Pandaria, where the trend continued almost linearily after a small peak at release for 2 months.

Basicly, every new expansion will create a 2 month peak before the number of subscribers goes back to the circular curve. It's almost astonishing how "clean" this curve is. This means that Blizzard can basicly do nothing to stop this trend, as it's independend from the quality of the content they create.
Cataclysm and Mists, which were both considered "bad" expansions had relatively minor peaks. WoD on the other hand created a huge peak almost back to WotlK levels. Then dropped back to what it was at before. This means that a high quality expansion will only create more sales of the physical game copy (which is already great from a business point of view, considering each expansion is 40$), not more subscriptions.

This basicly leads to two conclusions:
1) A new expansion scheduled for end of 2016 will have roughly 4 million subscribers at release, peak to around 5-6 million, then goes back to 3.5 million after two months to follow the curve
2) WoW might not have more than 2 more expansions unless they make a non-gameplay related change, like turning WoW into a F2P-with-microtransaction model... which is what I assume what will happen sooner or later. I expect this to happen very soon; probably in combination with the 2016 expansion and the Warcraft Movie, for PR reasons (imagine a WoW-is-now-f2p ad directly in front of the Warcraft Movie).

EDIT: Actually; this leads to another conclusion: WotlK was a "bad" expansion compared to WoD. It did not create a sudden huge peak in subscribers, just continued the slowly rising trend from BC.


I attached a sketch of the implied curve to illustrate this. As you can see; Cataclysm and Pandaria weren't actually bad expansions from a subscriber point of view. They are in fact almost completely in-line with all the other expansions, with some extremely minor fluctuation. WoD on the other hand managed - for some unknown reason - to draw in a HUGE amount of returning customers. But WoD couldn't hold them for longer than the trial period. I think this has a lot to do with the age of the game. The graphics are just horrible and nothing will change that. Many people (like me) who quit back in WotlK tried out several F2P mmos with WAY better graphics; like Tera, Archeage, Wildstar or even Rift. Those customers came back with WoD and noticed how dated this game looks in comparison. Believe it or not: graphics do matter to some extend.

The next month will be critical: will WoW manage to follow the curve further or will the amount of subscribers actually drop below the implied progression of the curve. If so, Blizzard will be forced to change to a F2P model very soon. If not, they can postpone this until the next expansion and release of the warcraft movie for combined press synergy.
If WoW would become f2p i think the amount of players would increase by 3-7 million even though the expansion is shit. Ive read alot in youtube. And the subscription seems to be the main thing people dont play WoW so making it f2p would insanely increase player numbers, but that would also mean they wont get money anymore so much and they can not host so many servers anymore. And i cant really say that WoW having bad graphics is a bad thing. Its actually a good thing, because im pretty sure there more people with laptops or just low spec pcs rather than high spec pcs or laptops, because they cost shit ton of money. But i doubt WoW will become f2p anytime soon. And if it will then the only thing that would still keep up the servers would be players buying from the ingame shop, but i still think they would lower the amount of servers and that means there will be huge queues. I mean i have no problem with WoW going f2p, but it will be a problem for Blizzard and the players that have played from like vanilla to today have spent so much money on WoW and it would be unfair for them. Unless they get some really insane awards.
 
If WoW would become f2p i think the amount of players would increase by 3-7 million even though the expansion is shit. Ive read alot in youtube. And the subscription seems to be the main thing people dont play WoW so making it f2p would insanely increase player numbers, but that would also mean they wont get money anymore so much and they can not host so many servers anymore. And i cant really say that WoW having bad graphics is a bad thing. Its actually a good thing, because im pretty sure there more people with laptops or just low spec pcs rather than high spec pcs or laptops, because they cost shit ton of money. But i doubt WoW will become f2p anytime soon. And if it will then the only thing that would still keep up the servers would be players buying from the ingame shop, but i still think they would lower the amount of servers and that means there will be huge queues. I mean i have no problem with WoW going f2p, but it will be a problem for Blizzard and the players that have played from like vanilla to today have spent so much money on WoW and it would be unfair for them. Unless they get some really insane awards.
Fair. Unfair... Blizzard is a profit orientated company. They don't give a shit about fairness.
F2P is a lucrative business model. Actually, F2P done right has proven to be more lucrative than the subscription model. That's why all new games release nowadays more or less are F2P right from the start or turn F2P very fast (i.e. Wildstar will turn F2P soon).

Blizzard would be dumb not to turn WoW into a F2P model while it's still a hot iron. F2P as a saving grace for a dying game has been proven to fail. You actually need to apply a F2P model when the game is still hyped, not when it's already dead.

Again, I predict it: Next expansion will turn WoW into F2P model. We will see if I was right tomorrow.

Here's my prediction on how the graph will continue. The red curve features my prediction if WoW does in fact not go F2P:
 

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Fair. Unfair... Blizzard is a profit orientated company. They don't give a shit about fairness.
F2P is a lucrative business model. Actually, F2P done right has proven to be more lucrative than the subscription model. That's why all new games release nowadays more or less are F2P right from the start or turn F2P very fast (i.e. Wildstar will turn F2P soon).

Blizzard would be dumb not to turn WoW into a F2P model while it's still a hot iron. F2P as a saving grace for a dying game has been proven to fail. You actually need to apply a F2P model when the game is still hyped, not when it's already dead.

Again, I predict it: Next expansion will turn WoW into F2P model. We will see if I was right tomorrow.

Here's my prediction on how the graph will continue. The red curve features my prediction if WoW does in fact not go F2P:
Eh i wanted WoW to turn f2p so i can play it, but not anymore. I wanted that back in MoP. Now the game is just not good, but i guess ill wait from asmongold and nobbel to tell if the new expansion is good and how is the lore and ill see if i will try it if it turns f2p.
 
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In my personal opinion, for as long as World of Warcraft has over 1 million subscribers, it is a very successful game with a large player base because 1 million subscribers is a huge amount of people.

Also from what I can tell, a lot of things are going to change in Legion, which I think will be cool, I just hope its all great.

One thing I wish Blizzard had were expansion dedicated servers which I think could be good. I would start a character on a vanilla server, grind fest my way to level 60 just to see how hard it actually was, then transfer my character to a BC server than Wrath server just to experience all that great endgame content some of the expansions had.

Its almost impossible to experience ICC or Black Temple the proper and hard way anymore which is one thing I don't like about wow. You can't go back and do proper raids that you once did. I like the Timewalking dungeons but I miss ICC.

I wasn't going to write all that but I just got into it.
 

PurgeandFire

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In my personal opinion, for as long as World of Warcraft has over 1 million subscribers, it is a very successful game with a large player base because 1 million subscribers is a huge amount of people.

Also from what I can tell, a lot of things are going to change in Legion, which I think will be cool, I just hope its all great.

One thing I wish Blizzard had were expansion dedicated servers which I think could be good. I would start a character on a vanilla server, grind fest my way to level 60 just to see how hard it actually was, then transfer my character to a BC server than Wrath server just to experience all that great endgame content some of the expansions had.

Its almost impossible to experience ICC or Black Temple the proper and hard way anymore which is one thing I don't like about wow. You can't go back and do proper raids that you once did. I like the Timewalking dungeons but I miss ICC.

I wasn't going to write all that but I just got into it.

Heheh, people have been asking for that for quite some time! And I personally agree. I played on Nostalrius (Vanilla) a bit and am currently playing occasionally on warmane (WotLK), and those servers are lovely. Fantastic communities, and the experience is pretty authentic aside from the fact that knowledge is publically available/minor bugs/people aren't as noobish as they were when the game was first around.

They've actually been getting a lot of recent attention now that the private servers are of much higher quality (both the servers I mentioned are practically full around peak time [~8k players, which is pretty insane]), and 'blizzlike' and content progression is getting more popular (for example, warmane started off with a lvl 60 cap, and is currently at lvl 70 cap, and in a little bit it'll have an 80 cap and unlock raids/PvP seasons one-by-one).

Now comes the big question: if there is so much hype, why doesn't Blizzard do it? A lot of people would pay for it. There really isn't a risk to it as far as profit goes--but I think the big reason is that it divides your community. Blizzard's mentality is that you should be playing their latest xpac. That is what people come back for, it is continually updated, and they'd rather not divide players further (e.g. if one's friends moved to a particular xpac server, they would feel inclined to play on that server). The newer xpacs are far more maintainable, etc.

Lore (Blizzard's community manager) talked about it briefly. He mentioned that it was a risk-reward thing--was it worth it to devote so many people to updating/maintaining a legacy server vs. having them work on current problems?

Personally, I don't think publicity is an issue. People say that legacy private servers are only popular because their free, but I don't think that is the case. I would pay my sub for an official legacy server. Other people have said the same. I think the biggest problem is that it would take away from the current servers. If it was announced, people would flock to the server. We'd see resubs everywhere, at least for a while, and it would definitely hit 'full' on all the servers they support for it. However, the question is: how long will it last? What will happen to the side servers?

For the longevity thing--it probably would last a few years. If they do it progression-based, then they could definitely stretch it out. However, after that it would probably settle down once enough people have experienced their fill of the content. Personally, I played Nostalrius until about lvl 51 and lvl ~30 on an alt. I might return eventually but for now I'm on hiatus.

During retail (current) troughs in activity (e.g. right now, where basically everyone is waiting/preparing for Legion), those servers would probably see a lot of activity. When retail gets a new patch/new content, the current servers would get big boosts in activity. In a sense, one potential problem could be from legacy servers 'stealing' people away from retail servers, and this would probably cause unrest (no one wants to play on a dead server).

My personal thoughts: I would play it if they did it. 100%, no doubt about it. I can see why they wouldn't do it though. It is definitely risky--not necessarily profit-wise, but companies generally try to avoid competition within their own company. That is why they have quarterly based releases that are usually separated from one another. I would love to see it, but I doubt it will happen. For now, I'll stick to these private servers until Legion launches.

P.S. Sorry for the wall of text & the discussion of private servers. But it is an interesting topic, and I couldn't help but give a substantial reply. :3
 
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My personal thoughts: I would play it if they did it. 100%, no doubt about it.

I can't say I've played on private servers but if they were to sell me Wrath of the Lich King old school experience prior to patch 4.0 I would pay for that. I would probably play an arcane mage (just because it was easy as shit) and a blood DK which at the time was a DPS spec.
 
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I can't say I've played on private servers but if they were to sell me Wrath of the Lich King old school experience prior to patch 4.0 I would pay for that. I would probably play an arcane mage (just because it was easy as shit) and a blood DK which at the time was a DPS spec.

I miss DPSing as a blood DK, I started playing again after a long break and everyone was upset at me for using Blood Presence then I realized what the description of the ability was saying.
 
Just an update from me now that we know much more about Legion:
With the complete lack of innovation that is the Legi-yawn expansion, I don't expect anything to shake the downwards trend of WoW subscriptions.

Obviously, Blizzard wants WoW to become a legacy product over the next two years, as they are trying to play it safe at any cost.
I'm fine with that. The world could need a new blizzard franchise.
 
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Who knows. With this expansion dealing or starting to deal with the Legion we might be nearing the end of major expansions because once the Legion and Old Gods are finally dealt with all major enemies are gone.
 
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Who knows. With this expansion dealing or starting to deal with the Legion we might be nearing the end of major expansions because once the Legion and Old Gods are finally dealt with all major enemies are gone.

Good luck with the Old Gods though we still have two with their physical form left and two with spirits that still exists.
 

PurgeandFire

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Just an update from me now that we know much more about Legion:
With the complete lack of innovation that is the Legi-yawn expansion, I don't expect anything to shake the downwards trend of WoW subscriptions.

Obviously, Blizzard wants WoW to become a legacy product over the next two years, as they are trying to play it safe at any cost.
I'm fine with that. The world could need a new blizzard franchise.

They'll be able to live with a minimal subscriber base for at least a decade or so (assuming they keep releasing xpacs). But the game is definitely getting bigger and super disconnected. They tried to consolidate things in Cata a bit, but after the immense work--little gain ratio, they decided to just ditch that approach and keep adding content. I'm honestly surprised that people still get into the game (as a new player, I mean)! I know it is rather intuitive and things are pretty easy now (leveling-wise), but I've read some posts and the disconnection once they reach outland/northrend/cata zones/MoP is confusing to most of them.

I think I'll keep trying out their xpacs. I have too much nostalgia for the game, and I always feel the need to at least give it a shot. I always enjoy the new content for at least a patch or so, too. PvE'ers are pretty content because bosses are getting a lot more interesting. And for most people, new raids/dungeons are enough to keep them subscribing. As for PvP, there isn't any MMO that can compete with WoW's arena (Blade & Soul is pretty decent though), so there will be a bunch of reluctant players who continue to sub for lack of better option. There isn't much that Blizzard has to do to please us, heheh.

I would certainly like to see another company (or Blizzard themselves) step it up with a new MMO. However, the MMO genre is pretty rough to be in (mostly because of WoW), and MobA/FPS is the "place to be" at the moment. And there would have to be a big movement to that game for it to have similar success as to WoW. Even a game like SWTOR ended up falling a bit short. I feel like if anyone were to rise over WoW, it would have to be Blizzard/Valve/Riot. Someone who already has a massive following.
 
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I would certainly like to see another company (or Blizzard themselves) step it up with a new MMO. However, the MMO genre is pretty rough to be in (mostly because of WoW), and MobA/FPS is the "place to be" at the moment. And there would have to be a big movement to that game for it to have similar success as to WoW. Even a game like SWTOR ended up falling a bit short. I feel like if anyone were to rise over WoW, it would have to be Blizzard/Valve/Riot. Someone who already has a massive following.

I doubt anything will rise above WoW, the only reason it might fall behind is due to the price tag, if you ask people who play MMOs they will either say I play WoW or I would play WoW instead had it not been for the price tag. I don't think MMOs are a dying genre, there were definitely a drop in players since it is no longer mainstream I think there are actually more MMO players today than during WotLK only that today they have a much larger library of games to choose between. I think however that the idea of a subscription based MMO is a dying concept considering how many games there are that aren't subscription based. Not least of all Star Wars the Old Republic that cost half a fortune to develop and still allowing players to play up to level 50 for free,
 
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