Posts Tagged ‘world of warcraft


Quote of the day: Pandas

Seen in the comments of Gevlon’s blog, where he talks about World of Warcraft:

Don’t let the packaging (OMG pandas) fool you – look at the actual changes and you’ll see that Blizzard is redesigning WoW to make it much more accessible to people who cannot commit to a certain timetable in advance or to long stretches of gaming at a time.

And if you knew anything about gamers then you’d be well aware that this perfectly describes the 30+ crowd – has a professional life, is married, has children, social obligations, other hobbies, … significant disposable income(!) and keeps MMOs around as a guilty pleasure but can no longer commit the same hours as he/she used to in college.

Old-style raiding works great for the kids (who have more time than anything else, most notably more time than money) but doesn’t work at all for adults who actually have a life – they want WoW in handy half-an-hour chunks and are willing to pay for it (collectors’ editions, pets, TCG mounts, …).

[00:44:42] CCP Zinfandel > Some people treat EVE Online not as a video game but as a hobby. They enjoy investing in their hobby and find that it makes them feel more connected with their hobby. We want to support that for those players who want it.

^ this guy puts his money where his mouth is and bought a Spectral Tiger TGC mount for at least $500 via Ebay.

The “we want EVE to be a high value hobby comparable to golf, fashion, …” strategy is not as ridiculous as some players made it out to be (but imo it is at least 10 years early).

CCP’s grave mistake approached this issue in the wrong order – if you want to future-proof your game against demographical change and “cheap” competition you first have to accommodate adult players with a busy life through game mechanics and then you can start to sell them $80 monocles.

Someone who plays EVE for only half an hour at a time can either engage in mindless PvE (mission, mining) or go solo roaming (most likely without getting a single kill).

The only activities Mr. Busy Adult can engage in are isk-making activities!
The only thing he has no shortage of is real-life money to buy PLEX/ISK with!
What an absurdity!

The signature feature of EVE (large-scale fleet battles in an emergent context of player politics) requires at least 3-4 hours at a time – during which you have to listen on comms and can’t go afk for 10 minutes to change your baby’s diapers.

In contrast to CCP Blizzard is working hard to make their signature feature (raiding) available to a very busy audience by the introduction of LFR – which cuts the raids into handy slices, removes the need to do extensive research on tactics, rotations (priority systems^^), talent builds, … and is tuned so you don’t have to feel guilty if you have to go afk half-way through the fight.

Once Blizzard feels that they got the future-proofing of gameplay right, the monetization will follow.

Sad to say, but this fits me to a tee. You know you’re time-poor when you literally don’t even have enough uninterrupted time to safely orbit a button for ten minutes.

And yet, I do get snippets of time here and there at odd moments, and if there were a way to interact with Eve on my phone, I’d be all over it.

Heck, I might even start up my planetary processing again 🙂


Signs of Desperation

I noticed that Blizzard is getting desperate for players to resub:

World of Warcraft’s Scroll of Resurrection has received a rather considerable buff. The feature previously allowed currently subscribed players to invite a retired friend to come back to Azeroth for a time. Now, however, the resurrected player will be provided a treasure trove of freebies to further entice retired players back to the game.

The returning player will be able to boost one character directly to level 80, which seems pretty amazing in and of itself, but there’s more. Scroll of Resurrection will also supply its target with a free upgrade to Cataclysm, seven days of free game time, and free realm and faction transfers so that returning players can join their friend right away. So, retirees and recovering addicts, if you need a little more Azeroth in your life, now’s the perfect time to jump back in.

Compare this to the rewards that most MMO players get for multi-month subscriptions, and CCP’s handing out of implants, cerebral accelerators and other gunk. Past a certain point, you lose the respect of your player base, and I think WoW has reached that point.

Where do you draw the line between an incentive, and blatant bribery?