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Reader Comments (132)

Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:03PM Vanir said

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In Before - Desparate...

Amazing promotion. That is all.

Contacting multiple friends.

Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:04PM Vanir said

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@Vanir

Learn to spell nub. Desperate*
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:18PM (Unverified) said

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@Vanir but you have to admit, this kinda reeks of desperate, right?

If this was SWTOR, this forum would melt down.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:25PM Vanir said

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Label it what you want.

The people who hate Blizzard and can't accept anything "good" could ever come from them will label it as "Desperate" due to their wanting Blizzard to fail.

I see this as a promotion to get players back in the game.

I would call it Desperate if they had gone down to around 4 million active subscriptions. But they are still over 10 million. This isn't Desperate, this is offering players a chance to come back and enjoy the game.

It's an incredible promotion. It addresses a lot of the reasons players don't want to come back and play.

So, in short. If you're a gamer who enjoys video games and MMO's specifically, and you look at Blizzard with a neutral outlook, you will see a pretty amazing promotion to get you back into the game and enjoying Azeroth again.

If you're simply filled with hatred because you want to see the most successful Development Studio crash and burn. Then you'll label it as Desperate.

Either way, it will bring players back. Quite a few of them, and Blizzard will be happy, those returning players will be happy, and their friends will be happy.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:30PM (Unverified) said

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@Vanir
Sorry, it is desperate. They lost 2 million subscribers immediately following the release of an expansion. They even lost subs AFTER sacrificing nearly 1 million Diablo 3 sales in a promotion to keep from losing even more subs (The Annual Pass).

And we aren't Blizz haters. We are Bobby Kotick haters. The man ruins any gaming he touches. Why should this offer entice anyone to come back? There is no new content. Nothing is coming in that they promised and then turned around and cut. Why do I want to run around with level 80+ players who don't know the class they just bumped from 1 to 80 in less than a second?

If they were to say "Hey, we understand we made mistakes, here is the things we talked about and didn't do, but we are going to do them now", that would make me go back. Not a few meaningless baubles that only make the problems worse in the long run.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:37PM (Unverified) said

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@Vanir

What? It addresses a lot of the reasons people don't want to come back and play? What, they quit in the first place and their friends moved on to other servers? So you are saying it's their friend's fault for moving and them wanting to come back and play with them is deterring them?

Was it that they quit at 70 and getting to 85 takes a year? No it takes like 2 weeks max.

This doesn't address issues people didn't want to come back. People that wanted to come back could have done so easily. All this does is offer a bunch of free stuff to try to talk your friends into coming back.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:44PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

lol, good example of a bliz hater who can't accept things or see from a neutral stance, and he even got facts wrong. lol made me laugh
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:48PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
Mind being specific on who you are referring to (Massively needs to fix their posting system) and what facts you refer to?
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:50PM potaco said

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In an MMO like WoW, SWTOR, etc, it doesn't really matter if someone learns to play their character by leveling them up for X levels. You will find countless terrible players at the level cap regardless of whether they "bought" that character or not. Most of the endgame specs are going to be different than the leveling specs anyway, so it's not really directly relevant.

Blizzard is trying to level the playing field. With games like RIFT and SWTOR having only recently been released, they don't have the same expansion barrier to entry that WoW does. If you buy those games, you've got it all. If you buy WoW, you also have to buy WOTLK (TBC is already free, IIRC) and Cata. They're just letting old players jump back into the action by resubbing and not worrying about the extra purchases.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 4:58PM (Unverified) said

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@potaco
Yes, the leveling process really does matter. You haven't played WoW for long, if at all, if you can't tell the difference pre heirloom and now. They also removed a lot of class specific quests to learn certain skills.

And it's not just learning your class, although that is very important. Leveling is suppose to get you into the story so you know WHY events are happening when you hit max level. An immersive MMO, which WoW was designed to be, isn't suppose to be a race to max level, ignoring things along the way, and just killing nameless mobs to get shiny purples.

People can say all they want that "this is how you get casuals" but you know, casuals didn't break EQ's sub records on day one. When the story mattered in vanilla and BC, they grew quickly to 11.5 million. Since they tossed the story aside, the only growth they saw was 500,000 in China where they had been on BC for nearly 4 years, and they quickly lost that.

As for the expansion issue, well yes, of course a new game is going to have that advantage. They will have a lower level cap (although I wish games would realize they do not have to raise it every expansion). But the problem with WoW is they have driven off the Warcraft fan who would stay with the game if it still revolved around the story.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 5:18PM potaco said

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@(Unverified)

I've played WoW since vanilla. I'll agree that there is definitely a HUGE difference between leveling back then and leveling now. The ways things are now, the level skippage doesn't really mean much.

As far as the lore/story goes, I'd guess that's part of the reason they're putting you at 80 instead of 85: you get to experience the most recent content. The WOTLK content is largely irrelevant now (with the vast majority of the leveling based around defeating the Lich King, who has already been defeated in Cata), so returning players don't really miss much story-wise.

I also wouldn't necessarily agree that they've lost subscribers solely because of the lack of focus on story (the last two expansions have been even more story-based than vanilla and TBC). The drop in subs is more likely due to the age of the game as a whole coupled with the overwhelming number of both pay-to-play and free-to-play options out there now. While WoW is still the "top dog" in terms of numbers, it's no longer seen as the "only' triple-A MMO option.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 5:28PM NeverDeath said

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You can call it what you want to, the fact is that Blizzard hasn't had to do anything promotional for years, and until the past few, never really did. Now they're trying all kinds of tricks and "promotions". It doesn't necessarily mean they're desperate, but it does mean that the aging game has lost its edge, which while not surprising to logical people, might be hard to accept for its fanboys.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 5:35PM (Unverified) said

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@potaco
But here's the issue. When the redid the old leveling zones they were going to completely redo them. But when people started screaming "Don't take this quest/dungeon out", the zones were half pre Cataclysm and half post Cataclysm.

And the fast leveling has made things worse. Never in vanilla and BC did you see mages walking around with agility enchants or strength gems (BC as vanilla didnt have gems). Mages knew what sheep was for and knew how to use it for the most part. But once the leveling process got faster, and class specific quests which helped teach skills were removed, you got people who didn't know their classes. I'm sorry, but level 85 warriors walking around with intel gems and enchants is a clear sign that someone doesn't know their class.

And no, the past 2 expansions have not been more story based. The past 2 expansions have been the ones where you could skip the story and go straight to raiding the current highest tier level. About half of the content talked about in Wrath beta never made it in and much of the story revolving around Arthas made no sense. I can go into detail if you wish.

Cataclysm was much worse. ZA was only added back to bring the bear mounts back. ZG had a little updated story, but one that made no sense. Abyssal Maw was canceled completely leaving the plot point hanging. Kul Tiras never made it in as was talked about. Danath never went to Arathi to confront Sylvanas. There was no advancing of the storyline of the conflict between the Argent Crusade and The Forsaken. If anything, Cataclysm had precious little actual Warcraft story. People who were new to Warcraft had no idea who Deathwing/Neltharion/Daval Prestor was and nothing in the game explained it.

And when you look at the fact that outside merchandise is failing, that's evidence the core fan is leaving. If it was the casual fan leaving, the core fan would still be buying comics and novels and such, but much of that has been cancelled due to awful sales.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 5:42PM NeverDeath said

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@(Unverified)

You are 100% correct. I feel the same as you do, and most of the people I know who play MMOs also feel this way.

One of the funny things to me was that Blizzard always offers the same tired response when asked about "rollback" servers from vanilla/BC, or even wotlk for the wayward people who would want that - saying that nobody would want to play the game if it's stuck in stasis without updates, or that people essentially misremember how great things used to be, because nostalgia glorifies things in our minds - essentially calling us idiots or suggesting that they know better than we do in regards to what entertains us.

The real problem in my opinion, and the primary reason they would never do this is that it would be a form of indirect admission that their design choices alienated people and ruined the game for a lot of them, and that for many the game was simply better at previous stages of its life.

People like me don't want encounters that are so stupidly simplistic and easy, or specs that are so optimized and simplified that they play themselves, or talent trees that allow for almost no customization and glyph systems that give 1 good glyph per glyph slot per spec so that every fury warrior has the same talents and glyphs, essentially defeating the purpose of both systems. People like me miss when alterac valley was localized to one server and you got to face your rivals time and again and the battle didn't end on time constraints, it ended when it was over. The list of features which have ruined the game for me is almost as long as the list of features which the game used to have that have long since been abandoned. What they call evolution and improvement, I call the slow and steady decline into facebook-gamehood.

The fact that people would play it is embodied by some of the vanilla/BC ruleset private servers which are inhabited by thousands of players. From what I've experienced, the scripting is either not correct or not well-executed in most boss fights, largely because it is done by amateurs - but if Blizzard were to introduce rollback servers, I know a lot of people just in my circle who would have played on them... Though the time for that, too is drawing ever shorter as much greater games have recently and continue to release.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 5:46PM NeverDeath said

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@NeverDeath

Also to specify, my agreement was directed to Lilkitten, not one of the 80 other unverified accounts. I agree with their post.
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Posted: Mar 6th 2012 8:57PM toychristopher said

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@Vanir I would agree with you if there was something new to enjoy... but they are asking people to come back and enjoy the game at the end of an expansion... possibly the worst time to start playing again.
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Posted: Mar 7th 2012 7:57AM tenfootgoatman said

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@Vanir English may not be his first language .

Also I dont think you used the word nub in its proper context .....

noun

1 (the nub) the crux or central point of a matter: the nub of the problem lies elsewhere
2a small lump or protuberance: he pressed down on the two nubs on top of the phone a small chunk or nugget of metal or rock: a nub of gold

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones .
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Posted: Mar 7th 2012 9:17AM TheColonel said

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@Vanir
Sure it's desperate, but it's also fiendishly crafty. I can see thousands of people taking up Blizzard on this offer. Blizzard can't lose, either - everything they are offering costs them nothing, and former subscribers make them no money, so signing up even one person for a new sub makes them a profit on the whole venture.
Not myself, though. For me WoW has run it's course and I'd prefer to remember the good times.
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Posted: Mar 7th 2012 2:46PM (Unverified) said

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@TheColonel
Actually, if you go to the WoW forums they are up in arms over it. This might backfire on them.

There is a lot of people who don't like all of these freebies for people who left because it makes them think they who stayed don't matter. There's even some who see it as Blizzard selling in an indirect manner a power leveling service, which is sort of true. They are selling a free 80, over 7000 gold in freebies, and $55 in transfer services all for the cost of doing nothing but paying for a single month.

But let's say someone like myself used this Scroll. What benefit am I going to get going back? All of the freebies are cosmetic, there is no new content. It's still the same lacking game.

I don't know, I think, while you are right it seems like a win/win, that this may just turn out to be a lose/lose.
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Posted: Mar 8th 2012 11:34PM OutThere said

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@NeverDeath

Yes, entirely.
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