Friday, July 26, 2013

Who Needs Coffee on a Friday?

I had pretty much written off this week's post because of work and the Summer blahs, but then Blizz drops this little nugget:

Activision Blizzard to be Bought from Vivendi

Looks like current CEO Bobby Kotick has decided to buy out Vivendi's share of the company, which means they'll be out from the massive conglomerate's thumb.  Not sure what that means as far as Blizzard's games, since it's far likely that the Activision bean counters would be more involved with decisions than Vivendi ever was, but it could mean that they'll look into monetizing WoW more.  (Read:  more cash shop stuff.)

However, the big stir has been in the MMO community that --according to Blizz estimates and the link above-- WoW is now down to 7.7 million subs.  As much as people would like to spin this, that can't be good.

World of Warcraft is now down 36% from it's peak number of subs in early Cataclysm.

It also highlights the driving force behind Blizz's push for a cash store in the game.


I also wanted to use this news to point out one item from the current patch.

I've taken to flying across Kalimdor and the Northern Barrens while I wait for a BG to proc, and let's just say that the Northern Barrens seem just as empty as before the patch dropped.  Wagons needing escorts are empty, just as the Grummies in Kun-lai Summit go unprotected.  Back in Wrath --and even in Cata with the Firelands-- you could find toons scampering about even when the content wasn't the most current.  Now, however, it's crickets.

A symptom of the overall problem, I suppose.


  1. I've done that weekly quest in the Barrens once (for the pet), it was painfully boring, so although subscribers might be down I can't help feeling people aren't in that area because grinding isn't fun.

    1. A guildie suggested that the gear rewards weren't worth the grind, which is another possibility.

      At the same time, however, Firelands was extremely grindy and yet I still saw people in there even when it was no longer current.

    2. Yeah, I can't explain it really, back in the day I spent a long time grinding Silithus for the rep gear rewards (my guild rarely did AQ20 and we were never good enough to go more than one boss into AQ40). I think gear is just so much easier to come by now that grinding a repetitive 'collect 150 of these' just doesn't seem worth it.

      I didn't play warcraft during Cataclysm, but coming back I actually did do some of the Molten Front which I bizarrely enjoyed (although admittedly never finished, still got to get the last one of the 150 marks)

    3. That should be another 150 to go, rather than just one more mark ;) Would be a bit crazy to just leave it with one more to go!

    4. Since I wasn't in a hurry to get through Firelands to go raiding, I didn't mind the grind there so much. Of course, I only did it on one toon, which may have had something to do to with it...

  2. Barrens was never meant to be a long-term thing for players in terms of progressive (not progression) content the way the Island was... and I still see folks on the Island 5 months later. Barrens is also going away in 5.4.

    Barrens was meant to be a spot for folks to grind mobs/lesser tokens/weekly mats. I do it while sitting in LFR queues or while watching TV and I usually get the weekly done or 2-4 toons per week depending on how much downtime I have. The i489 gear isn't great but for alts it's the easiest way I have to get guaranteed slot upgrades and the 200VP is a nice bonus, I can farm that weekly in an hour on quite a few toons at this point with a bit of luck with overturns/caravans. It's not optimal on a VP/hour basis but I try hard not to play based on that measure. Barrens also doesn't require 100% of my attention like group content does, if I get distracted and die I just rez and carry on.

    The Firelands, like the Island, was a progressive set of dailies with phasing and quest story progression. Barrens was never meant to be that. The 5.4 content apparently won't be like that either, for good or ill. I liked the idea of alternating progression/grinding but for some reason they aren't going that route.