Goodbye, World of Warcraft

OpenEdge speculates today on how Wrath of the Lich King will sell. My reply is lengthy and tangental enough that I’m putting it here.

Over the long haul, I would expect Wrath to sell in numbers comparable to Burning Crusade. That will make it a massive hit. But you need BC to play Wrath, not just because it’s required for the unlock but because Wrath offers nothing to players without a level 55 character already, and not all that much for players without at least one character at the current cap of 70.

In this way it seems to me that Blizzard has kind of trapped itself – sales for WotLK will be higher than for BC only if large numbers of people who didn’t buy BC make the mistake of buying it. But the great majority of WoW players have probably unlocked BC by now. Any relatively new players are sure to buy the currently-available Warchest which includes it.

I am 95% sure that Wrath will be rock-solid. And there was a time that was looking forward to it and thought I could get a character at least to 60 by the time it came out. But alas, the only new gameplay element Wrath adds is an open-world PvP zone. To get to that, I would have to commit to another few months of grinding, and that’s a commitment I am simply not going to make for the sake of the kind of fun that’s available, and better, in the first fifteen minutes of play in Warhammer.

Of course, WoW has made leveling a lot easier – and, I think, with the triple-XP and free levels of the recent promotion, taken that too far. I’m unwilling to two-box with two paid accounts, my wife isn’t interested, I’m not willing to bully a friend into playing with me, and the notion of having to work for months to get another 25 levels attainable in minutes to those with money to waste leaves me utterly cold. And if Blizzard takes the obvious next step of just letting you create level-cap characters from the beginning because they have created a situation in which the only game is the one at the level cap… well, way to suck all the life and achievement out of your game, Blizzard.

Put it this way: I can read about people having fun in World of Warcraft and Warhammer. And then I can either go grind for months for the opportunity to take part, or start a new character today and have as much fun as all the talkers are having. Today.

I don’t see ever playing WoW again. Consider this post my final goodbye to that game. As I always said would be the case, nobody killed WoW except Blizzard.

But the WotLK release will at least provide an interesting barometer of something else. Since we all know that it will flush Warhammer out of the MMO news cycle, will WAR dominate it until then? For two entire months? And how quickly will Wrath’s buzz be washed away in the tsunami of Warhammer talk? And when will the last holdouts in the blogging community finally come around and play WAR already?

You know who you are. WAR is coming.

10 responses to “Goodbye, World of Warcraft

  1. I may or may not ever play WAR. I already play EQ2, and I can’t see giving that up to start over in some other game. I already played EQ, WoW, DAoC, FFXI, EQ2 and others; I think I am more or less done with the DIKU games.

    I read everyone’s WAR blogs, and now that I am also writing about WAR, I am beginning to understand them, but I still see nothing that would compel me to pat $50 for the game and sign up for another monthly burden for a game that it sounds like I would be bored of in a couple of weeks.

    There are innovative games coming out — Wiz 101 is out already, Spellborn soon, Champions Online and DC Universe Online look to have different but cool updates to the superhero genre, and Cryptic’s take on Star Trek Online looks significantly more interesting than the Perpetual version. With all these on the horizon and being DIFFERENT, I don’t have much desire to play the same thing all over. Even if I have friends playing.

  2. Like you, I saw nothing compelling in Wrath and was actually quite miffed at having all the end-game accomplishments, gear, rep, badges, instances, honor, and arena points become obsolete. Blizzard really needed to re-invigorate the old world and add content there; not take the easy way out and bump the level cap.

    I cancelled my accounts months ago and am now playing WAR. How long I stay is hard to say, but it is much more fun so far than chasing Blizzard’s carrot-on-a-stick game.

  3. And to think I almost reactivated my WOW account. Thankfully, my wife encouraged me to search for other MMOs. I found WAR and both of us have been playing since it went live. The ceath knell may not sound for WOW with this expansion, but has to be close. Removing honor/marks just brings them one step closer.

  4. Those who are bored of WoW hand have moved on; I don’t have a problem with your decision.
    As for myself, Wrath is coming out too soon; I still have not seen Illidan down, and I have not yet set foot in Sunwell, but I will be playing World of Warcraft for the forseeable future.

    Is WAR a better game? Is Wizard101? I don’t know, but I only have time to play one on-line game, and I’m sticking with WoW.

  5. It will be all about the PvP now.

    Is WoW’s PvP good enough to compete? Will the changes be worth it for those who have already maxed out?

    We can figure a majority of players already have BC (I have tried it twice and did not feel compelled to buy it), so it may not be any skin off their back to buy WoTLK.
    But, talk about gouging your customers. The price is insane, and the worth seems minimal.
    And the fact it is so old, I think we should ALL let WoW go.

    Now, if the “competitive” PvP is their selling point, and with my thoughts about PvP being the game people want now, and story taking a back seat (really, how much lore was changed for Wrath and how many people really care?), we could be shocked at how WAR’s numbers drop after Wrath launches.

    Lets revisit this by the end of the year, and see how it progresses…I am really interested in how this competition plays out.

  6. I think you’re right that the hobby is currently going through a sort of PvP Awakening. People are starting to expect at least PvP that doesn’t suck in their MMOs. But I don’t know that this is a death knell for PvE – WAR has pretty good PvE and that is part of its winning formula. I think that ‘pure’ PvE games in the vein of EQ and Vanguard are now going to stay in their niches, and no such game is likely to get the big development dollars ever again. As such, Vanguard is likely to be the last of the pure PvE AAA titles.

  7. WAR has a good PvE

    Really? This does not seem to be the consensus of the PvE regime…most any player that has been a PvE nut has NOT taken up the WAR mantle. And so many jokes are made about the multitude of the infamous kill 10 x quests.

    But, I still think your vision is clouded by the “CoW” mentality, and how grouping is everything in this game.
    And this is not a BAD thing…
    But, when someone does not have a group, they are lost.
    The PvE becomes rote and familiar.
    The OOC I keep hearing is a dead world, crafting is oh so, the AH is not working hardly at all (according to Tobold)
    These are mainstays of the PvE player.
    Of those I know who are PvE oriented (Stargrace, Aspendawn, etc..)…they have gone back to their games.

    Just want to make sure that you understand that the “high” only lasts for a while as all drugs do…
    You are sounding like a WAR junkie now…lol…
    Cheers mate!

  8. Yes, WAR has pretty good PvE. You’ll notice that I never called it ‘spectacular’ – it’s not as good as the PvE in the best PvE game out there (EQ2,) or the second-best (Vanguard) but it’s about on par with WoW; as I pointed out the other day, WoW is stronger in some aspects of PvE and WAR is stronger in others.

    Part of the reason for that is if you don’t have a group… well, it’s probably your fault. WAR makes groups very accessible. Solo, there’s stuff to do, but I still don’t feel that the majority of players are grasping the implications of open grouping yet. It’s my hope that this will work itself out over the next few weeks.

    Crafting is pretty rudimentary at this point; the two crafting professions that are currently in the game work fine and are cool, but they’re pretty limited in the kinds of things you can make. Supposedly it’s getting expanded, but no telling when that’ll happen. People for whom crafting is a major attraction will likely not be satisfied with the system in WAR as it is right now. The economy is also not really fully-formed right now. It’s untrue that the AH is working ‘hardly at all’ – I spent some time fooling with it last night. The searching is kind of borked, but it basically works. I don’t consider any of these part of ‘PvE’ per se, though. To me, PvE is questing, dungeons, mob grinding and raids – all this stuff touches both sides of the PvE/PvP divide.