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Rollie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, I agree completely =)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The current numbers for June found in the link below do seem to corroborate TheDeamon's theory that the current downturn in player activity is simply a normalization after a post-expansion spike.

http://www.warcraftrealms.com/weeklyfactionactivity.php?serverid=-1

So far June looks to be shaping up to fall in line with the broad trend of steadily increasing activity numbers. According to that line graph, the latest information shows current activity levels to be back up to near where they were mid-march, which is not very far below the February peak. So perhaps the rumors of new servers within the month aren't so far-fetched after all? If someone with access the raw data could incorporate the numbers for mid-june into a new graph, it would be a great help.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll likely hold off on doing another run until the end of the month so we can have a larger sample size to pull from.

It does appear that average populations per server are on the rise according to the faction activity graphs. It is important to note that those graphs are based on average population per server instead of the average population across all servers. It can still correlate as long as the number of servers is fairly steady (as it has been for a while now).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically we are still waiting for something to hit the MMO scene that will actually affect WoW more than WoW itself...
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to post my point of view here.

I was a hardcore player. Once. I left the best EU guild to join more casual one as I couldn't follow up with all that lifeless people out there.
In the first place the question who finances those people will always stay a mystery for me.
Many of them play 24/7. With the style of gameplay of all possible hardcore players, I don't find it possible to work or have a family or a social life.

While I was student I could take 3 - 5 even sometimes hours a day to play. Now when I work it is absolutely impossible.
WoW has become nothing but a time sink. You go somewhere on the map, you farm, you spend farmed afterwards, you farm again, you spend farmed afterwards, you farm again, you spend farmed afterwards, you farm again, you spend farmed afterwards, you farm again, you spend farmed afterwards, you farm again, you spend farmed afterwards, you farm again, you spend farmed afterwards, ...... Etc.

In the meantime, Blizzard enhances your "experience" with exactly the same but visually different items, monsters and areas.
Yes, TBC has been pretty nice. It was also fun, BUT they are really out of line. Tier 4,5,6... 7? 8? 9? 10? XI? XII? XIII? XIV?
What is a follow up? Naming after big Warcraft guys like "Illidans armament" or "Dalaran Regalia"....

The point of all this is to give hardcore lifeless people a boost and while it happens that way, it leaves casuals FAR behind making those two groups in the game play separately.
Those who have some time but not as much as hardcore need, play PvP which Blizzard ALSO made insanely farm dependant. It made Arena which is again a farm place.

People then just quit.
Why did I quit 2 months ago? - I've migrated to a new server and as an xp player joined a best server guild.
Still... I was kicked for - inactivity - Why? Because I did not show up in the game for 3 days!
LOL - I've got back to game, told them what I think and immidiatelly deleted all my characters and canceled an account.


I've dumped pot farming at start of TBC and just bought gold to pot myself. Why? Because I work and can't afford farming.
Blizzard made one huge, huge mistake. They've made farming too time-consuming. You need hours to farm for hours to play in a more or less equal ratio (raiding I mean).

On my RL work I can work one hour and get $100. For $100 I can get gold with farm time of 7 hours. Do the math.
Still, I've decided $100 I've spent on game gold was LAST I will ever. It's just stupid to pay so much money for a game and to pay for Blizzard's mistakes.

If they've made it like everyone can get what he needs for let's say 1 hour of raiding in let's say 5-10 minutes, it would be a whole different.
Also, if they've made LESS trash mobs in Kara and other instances, it would also be much better situation.

One more thing which I've noticed and noticed many people did like me is that it's all about just sinking time to realize all your previous effort is pointless.
The best show is all that T1 and T2 gear which became a laugh on TBC.

I will always say this: WoW was good to patch 1.6. Then it all started to go the wrong way.


The only MMORPG I will ever play again will be pure PvP with absolutely no farming at all.
I want a MMORPG where I don't have character levels, where everyone can kill anyone just with the right tool.
I want a MMORPG which I do not have to play every day. Where I can log in and continue my exploration or other activities without feeling like being from the last century.
I want a MMORPG that will offer only skill and wealth build up, but which does not affect the game by rendering casual completely incompetent.

Not a single PvE MMORPG will ever be able to do it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheDeamon, you are by no mistake right. All games are a timesink in a way.

WoW was certainly one of the best games ever designed. 8 million peak is a lot for a game where you pay each month.

What I wanted to point out, is that WoW became a huge pointless timesink lately. Let me explain.

At the start of WoW, people would level up, WE would level up, team up, experience fear walking trough unknown Ally/Horde teritory, experience new monsters, completely different encounters, new spells, new abilities, new power.
We would raid cities, xroads (Smile) and feel good about fighting epic battles against people. I won't remember the best fun of WoW ever: 50 people raid on Menethil, blockade, messages trough Azeroth to gather forces to defend... reinforcements comming and helping... turning the tides fo war.
Later, going to kill some mobs to get better gear so you can pwn other player better in a next encounter.

Fantastic feeling for me.
Then MC came. It was fun at first, but after 1 pass it was boring. As hell. And like hell it looked. With a fire boss at the end.
OK, fine, the final instance is in the middle of the rock, burning in fire. Fun.

You need money only for repairs and rich players eventually get some pot to show supremacy.

Then it started to mess up. BWL... you started needing a lot more money. You started finding yourself killing the same fuking mob for the 99175th time. Why? To just be able to pull out a 6 hour raid.
Because if you want to complete MC, BWL and Ony in the given timeframe, you must start playing it longer. 1 boss a day was not enough.

Around that time they've also started **** around with the game balance. E.g. making mages good for sheeping and water. Only. Very Happy

Then, when BWL was trendy, people with no time to do it started to fall behind. Tier2 was way too powerfull compared to Tier1 or blues and it became apparent, there are two classes in game: poor-o-casuals and hardcore elite.
If you were a casual, your fun was in danger. If you run into a mage in T2 you would die. If you bring 5 of your friends you would still probably die.
If you were a mage in T2 you would just for the sake of boredom go around and kill non-T2 people.

Great? Not.
Slowly but firmly, the game became PvE only. They've added idiotic civilians into the game to stop T2 ganking and combined with virtually immortal guards made virtually all outdoor PvP pointless.

Many people started to play raid-only. Don't forget the farming.
The game became all about killing that stupid Nefarian and getting more items to kill him faster and look better in Orgrimmar/Ironforge. No real PvP value.
Then they've introduced battlegrounds. Instead of making parts of Azeroth the battleground itself, they've introduced sandbox for those pledging out for some PvP.

OK, it was fun. For some time. Because if you wanted to do that you had to do BWL. If you wanted to do BWL you had to FARM. A lot.
It became apparent that an average player would have to spend 3 hours farming, 6 hours raiding and 1 hour of PvP only cause of being too tired for more.

If you did not farm/raid you would just suck in BG too. BG items were nice but to achieve those you had to really be a lifeless prick.

What then? Fixed rating and BG items but gave us Naxx.... OMG Naxx.
All that farming and wiping for hours inside against stupid mindless mobs became enhanced by a triple.
Many gave up on that. Too bad in a way because Naxx was really nice designed but it was too much biased towards lifeless people.
I was lifeless. We crashed Kel the very first in the world. For what then? To finally realize there are no players that can mach us in BG while having all that Tier3 and Atiesh on our ass.

Outdoor Pvp? - Gone. Social life? - Gone.


So, in the end, Blizzard realized their mistake. They've introduced more 5-men (which really gave new life to the game) and reduced 40 to 25 men raid count which was supposed to do the same.

BUT. No. 5-men were fine. Heroic 5-men were fine, but Karahzan was an example of the very past of WoW: too much time for nothing.
A 5 hour raid just to clear an overcrowded palace (inside a small tower?!) and to realize all those items suck.
OK. Those items are better but not a huge leap. I've started to like the fact that I could easily match that and T4 gear with no problem by just working on my tailoring with no time pressure.

Fine. My feelings were split. I've felt good about raiding fix, but something was missing. By splitting the world and making it huge and also forcing people to pick a city, they've completely removed, killed, anihilated outdoor PvP.
Yes, it was found on farm places. Only.

Halaa is a joke. You need to spend 1 hour just killing guards with thousands of HP.
OK. Goodbye PvP. Hello Arena.
Arena was fun, in the first. But when you realize that once again you are instanced, sandboxed and actually playing game with two people at a time, you also realize it's not a MMO any more.
It's more like a normal server instanced multiplayer game.

You don't walk the world anymore, you don't encounter outdoor PvP anymore, BGs are just short fun, raiding Karahzan is boring as hell and you just slack due to boredom inside.
I found myself watching TV while raiding Karahzan!
Gruul? A bit more challenge so you can't watch TV most of the time, but still boring as a troll lair.

So, in the end I wondered what I'm left with? - An usual gear race which is fine, but also a completely empty world.
Occasional Arena matches with hopes for not encountering 2 or 5 warlocks and endless pot farming for Kara farming. Both boring as HELL.

Then Blizzard came up with an idea: "Let's nerf casuals a bit and boost raid items more to satisfy hardcore." - Great idea, go go go, kill what's left of casual players.
Make their arena items suck more.

But wait, it's no problem. They won't see you in game, EVER. You raid Kara, Gruul, Mag... they raid Arena. You can just show up from time to time, on failed raids when eople quit for boredom, just to show those Arena casual noobs their gear sucks and that your 7k pyro is way better than their 4k pyro.
Fine.
What when you have it all? Let's go to Black Temple? Sure.

You are too bored and have too much life to farm 3 hours to get a damn pot for a raid? - OK, /gkick
You can't raid on Easter? - OMGWTFNOOB /gkick

After that, I've found a way to entertain myself: let's login to game and just go around the world and find some Horde doing quests and fight them!
Yeah! Real fun and real challenge, to beat a HUMAN.

Flying... flying... flying... wtf, where is everyone?!

/1General: why there is not a single soul on a high populated server?
/1G:reply: LOL, NOOB! People 'r' farmin' for teh raid tomorrow.

(Flying to farm spot)... (kill a Horde priest)... he doesn't fight back??? What?!

Oh, he must be thinking "ok, I don't have time for this, gotta farm. If I sit, he will leave me alone eventually."

- DULL -

Whatever. I log off.

Guild: "hey dude, gonna show up for teh raid tonight"?
Me: "why?"
Guild: "to pwn nagas a bit, to pwn some phoenix gods"
Me: "why?"
Guild: "to be imba!"
Me: "why?"
Guild: "erm... so you can just be it..."
Me: "what after we're imba in T5?"
Guild: "we go for T6..."
Me: "why? what to use it for? just to be able to get T7?"
Guild: "erm..."
Me: "exactly. erm!"
Me: "i'm too bored. im going to stare point blank. goodbye"
(logoff)

A few days later:

(login)

Guild: "You are not in a guild for being inactive full 24 hours."
Me: "Cool. Let's gank some."

(45 minutes of searching a single target in Outlands) - None found.
(45 minutes of searching a single target in Azeroth) - 1 found: a lvl27 alt.

(logoff)

....

(thinking a bit...")

ctrl+A (World of Warcraft)
shift+delete (Confirm: yes!)
...


I must point out this is only my personal point of view and it is in no way a must for anyone. Also it may not be true. It may be a lie from the very first to the very last sentence.


Nax.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overworld Pvp on my server was always a blast, mostly because you'd have entire raid groups killing each other. Then again, my server was one of the few where for the most part horde outgeared and outnumbered alliance pre-BC so a lot of hardcore alliance guilds transferred there for the express purpose of having tough competition. Since BC, there still is some world pvp outside raid instances (Coilfang Reservoir is a complete warzone during prime raiding hours as of late) but it really has declined overall.

Back before they transferred Mal'ganis to new hardware, we had the server crashing problem a ton as well. That was pretty horrible.

Gear disparity is always the hard issue for a pve/pvp game. Arena gear may not have as much damage as raid gear, but it makes you ridiculously hard to kill. It's hard to balance that, because if pvp gear is better than raid gear, there's no point in raiding. And people get such stupid huge epeens about pvping that many people don't even like to pvp due to all the stupid trashtalking. So it's a tough balancing act to follow, but raid gear pretty much always has to trump gear obtained in other ways, due to the time invested. Back in the days of AQ40 and the PvP grind, High Warlord / Grand Marshal gear was excellent for both pvp and pve. However, it was because of the amount of effort required in getting to those high ranks was ridiculous, and comparative to spending time in raids trying to earn the gear you wanted. At least now with arena the points are so, so, so easy to get even if your team loses most of its games. I'm not saying it's a perfect system; it's far from it. I'd love for them to figure out a way to balance gear a little better. I just don't know if they ever will.

On the time issue, Wow definitely is a timesink, and always will be. But Thedeamon is right, it's the way that the company makes the most money. There will pretty much always be a contingency of hardcore players that have the time to continue playing the majority of the day due to not having other concerns. But that's kind of the way it goes. All you can do is keep playing if you enjoy it, or quit if you don't Wink
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Rollie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wall of text crits you for 10k ;p

Definite tone of bitterness there, but understandable also. There will come a point where everyone will look at the game and say 'What's the point?'. Until then though, just have fun doing whatever it is you enjoy doing.

As for overworld PVP, I do miss it. It was always a lot of fun.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't tell me a company that earns 120 million dollar per month can not upgrade hardware to support PvP? LOL.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Server hardware isn't the main issue for open ended PvP, the engine design both on the client side graphics and server side communication/session load is likely not very suited for it. Keep in mind that the game was initially designed entirely for PvE and PvP sort of crept into the design by way of duels etc. at a rather late date in development. Throwing hardware at the problem will likely not prove very successful.

The core engine used by WoW was very good, it just wasn't meant for open world PvP.

Hmmm, and I do think there is quite a bit of room for another big MMO that will draw measurable numbers from WoW. While WoW made PvE much more accessible than before it still leaves a lot of room for one or more games that steal much of the PvE mechanics from WoW but manage to do a lot better at open ended or team based PvP, my favorite here to date is clearly DAOC's RvR and if WAR manages to build on that it can easily draw a large chunk of players from WoW. Needless to say the engine is designed for open world PvP from the start Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Server hardware isn't your only enemy in an MMO either. The inherit network lag of the internet, coupled with lower update frequency for an MMO really hinders a 'twitch' style of gameplay which PVP is much more suited to than PVE.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmm, actually I never enjoyed the 'twitch' aspect of PvP that much, never really was a fan of Quake and that sort of games. The medium to bigger battles between maybe 20-200 players on each side as well as fights with maybe 10-20 fairly evenly matched sides gave me the most enjoyable times in DAOC, obviously those fight couldn't really happen in WoW. I'm hoping that the tactical choices you can make in WAR will reward teamwork and knowledge of how to play over reflexes, expensive hardware and low ping times but I might be expecting too much I guess ;P

Server hardware can do some things but when you're taking most of your performance hit from client session overhead and latency on each session playing absolute havoc making your heavy duty backplane that should be able to handle throughput in the terabit range behave like an old commodore 64 it doesn't matter how much money you throw on hardware. Optimizing and redesigning shards that are already in production is a really tough job and very few people have the skills, resources and perseverence to do it... and perhaps more importantly the time it takes makes it a pretty impossible sell to management and investors for a game already in it's prime.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the hell is going on with the Weekly Faction Activity graph? The intensity of the increase in activity makes me question the validity of the data. A change in the sampling trends/too few samples perhaps? If the data is accurate, what do you guys think is the best way to interpret this... can it really all be attributed to a post-content patch spike? or is something else afoot? I'd love to hear some ideas.
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