Monday, May 11, 2015

Why Am I Still Playing WoW?

As a WoW blogger, I am contractually obligated to talk about the drop in WoW subscription numbers. I guess it could be worse. Were I a sports blogger, I would be contractually obligated to talk about Tom Brady’s cheating balls, and really, nobody wants to hear that.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that WoW is back down to 7 million or so subs and that basically everyone they gained at the start of Warlords has once again left. This used to be the kind of news that I took seriously and worried about. What was happening? What would Devs do about it? Would WoW even be around in a year or two? But after years of watching sub numbers ebb and flow, I’ve just reached the point where I don’t care anymore how many subs WoW has.

Why Am I still subbed

The biggest reason I’m still subbed is I look forward to playing and when I’m in game I’m enjoying it. It’s really that simple. I’m in a guild with good people and we are having fun clearing content and progressing. Even the nights we wipe and don't kill many bosses, I still enjoy it. What we do with our free time should fill us with energy and ignite our passions. If WoW doesn’t do that for you, then it makes total sense that you stop your sub and find something else that does.

Each time I’ve left WoW, it’s been to go to another MMO. First SWTOR swayed me away. I’m such a Star Wars nut and I totally bought the whole 4th Pillar thing. I thought that was going to be a huge thing and for a while it was. Then I left again for Wildstar. It was so fresh and I loved the Sci-fi setting, the humor and the action combat. I was sure it was going to be huge -- HUGE. If I was any great predictor of the great MMO success by what I liked, Wildstar and SWTOR would be juggernauts. Clearly, I’m a sample size of 1.

Each time left, I ended up coming back to WoW, my first MMO love. I don’t know what another game could really offer at this point that would make me want to give up WoW to try it although I would like to try GW2 at some point (their Engineer class looks like a lot of fun).

I think I was always going to be an MMO player. If you remember, MMOs started out as a niche genre. A few months before WoW was originally released it was predicted that the MMO market would never get bigger than about 500k players. That ended up being a little off. I tend to think that even if MMOs had stayed niche, I would have played them and enjoyed them, so it’s no great shock to me that I still enjoy them even as they start to become a niche thing again.

Tokens

As I mentioned before, the token has really changed my game time. Everything I do in game feels like it has a purpose and is contributing to my ultimate goal of buying another token to keep me from having to pay actual cash for my sub. I’ve been tracking my gold for about 3 weeks now and it looks like I’m making a token’s worth of gold every 18 to 20 days.

At this rate, I won’t have to pay money for my sub again for a long time. A financial decision on World of Warcraft will essentially never come.

I’m paying for the game by playing it. Why not stay subbed? 

I do worry a little because I’m essentially making this gold passively through my two Garrisons. The Salvage Yard, Barn, Gem Boutique and Treasure Hunters are my major source of income. I do wonder if Blizzard will have to adjust the passive gold generation because if I can make enough gold to fully fund my sub in about 45 minutes a night -- then just about everyone else should be able to as well. I guess Blizzard doesn’t care because somebody paid real money for that token. It just wasn’t me. So to all you guys buying my gold, just let me say thank you for paying for sub! I appreciate it!

Garrisons

I’ve read several blog posts that have pointed to Garrisons as one of the chief problems with Warlords. It’s predictable that whenever sub numbers drop, people will pick their pet peeve as THE be all end all reason why subs are down. But prior to Garrisons, the number one thread on the Official forums was always about how Blizzard had to add player housing to WoW. Blizzard experimented with the Farm in MoP and then went whole hog and gave us our house, and our fortress in Warlords. It’s another example of MMO players thinking we want one thing but after the Devs give it to us, we realize it really isn’t what we wanted. I made this mistake with Wildstar in regards to 40 man raids and grueling attunements. I thought both would be fantastic ideas and in the end neither really was. I love my Garrison because it’s essentially paying my sub right now but I totally get how its isolated players from the world. Warspear needed to be another Shattrah, another Dalaran, but it never happened.

Big Screen

Will there ever be another uptick in subs? The greater likelihood is there won’t but you never know. There is the little movie coming out next summer which will introduce WoW to millions of people who may have never played the game. Will this herald a new generation of players? I have no idea, but neither does anyone else.

The bottom line is I have no idea what the future holds for WoW. As long as the servers are on and I’m still having fun, I’m going to keep playing, regardless of what the sub numbers are doing.


So how about you? Are you still subbed to WoW? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

3 comments:

Michael Green said...

Still subbed, still enjoying myself. Just leveled an alt. Still progressing in mythic raiding. The game is still fun for me most of the time. Garrisons do feel like a bit of a chore, but I enjoy the pet battles stuff in there. And doing some of the garrison stuff is necessary to prepare for the next tier of raiding. So there is stuff for me to do and I'm having fun. So no reason to unsub at this point. Also I enjoy hanging with my guild and doing fun stuff outside of raiding.

Savvy Mark said...

Leveling to 100 was fun, the quests were thorough and had good storyline. The cinematics were great. But this expansion killed it for alts. Garrisons are nice (for the main) but a chore for all the alts. Because there is no valor tokens, gearing alts is more of a chore than gearing the main.

Since I have friends on the Alliance, I have had no luck finding a class that keeps me wanting to play over there. On the Horde it's easy, my main (Enh/Resto Shaman).

This expansion has really seen the PVP shift dominantly to the Alliance (could it be the Alliance racials are better for PVP and that the Horde racials are better for PVE?) and the leading raid teams are Horde. As a result of this, I have not done much PVP this expansion other than arena with my hunter (after almost a full season I was just under 1300).

Like Honor's I am just playing the game to pay for subscription. I raid and enjoy the time I raid. WoW has been a means for me to stay in touch with family and friends literally all over the world (it's always amazed me that Australians are in the North American servers).

But there are many things Blizzard could do to fix things. Have the World Raid Bosses reward better loot (this should be adjusted by patch). Do away with the apexis crystals (they sucked in Burning Crusade and they suck now). Bring in valor gear. Have a conversion to Honor points from either those awful apexis crystals or gold (there is a lot of great old PVP gear for transmog that people have to PVP to get).

The problem with Garrisons is that they are too good. Just like the players that play the game sitting in a domicile, fat assing and eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew, the player doesn't need to leave the Garrison anymore. Unless you need to farm for savage blood and leather for Leatherworking, you can get everything you need in the Garrison. Hats off to Blizzard for making our toons as lazy as the players that play them.

Pike said...

Still loving and playing the game. Raiding for the first time since WotLK and loving it! :D I love garrisons too, no complaints there. I'm odd, I guess.