Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dead guilds and players

A week ago I bought a lolguild named Tractor Inc. After kicking the 1 month inactives 68 accounts left. I made it clear in the guild message, the guild info and several times in /w that the guild will be closed. Yet 41 accounts are still there (one is mine). When I whispered the people the answers were mostly "dunno", "idk" and "lol" or absolute silence. These players did not show the signs of intelligent lifeforms. Since a guild over lvl 3 cannot be disbanded, I simply demote everyone to the rank "GO AWAY" and give no rights to this rank, not even guild chat. We'll see what happen.

I'm afraid that in the "everyone invited" or even mass-invited guilds serious part of the active playerbase are farmbots, very young kiddies whose parents turned the chat channels off, and completely non-English speakers. They are dead for the game and the other players even if active.

I bought another guild, Suomislackers. Their name ringed familiar, in T11 they had 2/13HM and active raiding. Armory roster shown 140+ players. When my little alt was invited I was really surprised:

Out of 86 accounts only 17 left after kicking the 1 month inactives. And this was a progressed raiding guild. The players did not leave the guild, they just went inactive. I see the same with our guild, vast majority of player loss is not via gquit but via gkick after a month inactivity.

I keep buying guilds and see what it will change in the server, but I'm afraid most of the "really active" players just left WoW, and most of those who remained are random lollers who just wander around aimlessly and worth nil for any kind of group activity.

I see it in Tol Barad too. I participated in all battles in Sunday, winning them all of course, seeing 20-30 players. In weekends it used to be 2 full raids. However the times of crisis are only the times of crying for the forever-poor people. It's the time of buying and restructuring for Businessmen.

"omg WoW is dying" is for the losers. WoW is a $billion+ cash cow of Blizzard. Maybe they carelessly cut back on the design team. Maybe they listened to marketing guys who never played an hour in their life wanting to shift focus to the "more casual" players. The obvious, and even acknowledged drop of subscriber count will force them to fix WoW or they lose their cash cow very fast. WoW will be fixed. The guilds that weathered the storm, gathered enough players to survive, will be the biggest and most successful when the tides turn and the players return. I already see it: 10 new members joined us this weekend, because in the server we are have unique and "awesome" qualities: we still live, raid, rbg. In times of collapse, simple existence has serious marketing value.

36 comments:

Sum said...

"When I whispered the people the answers were mostly "dunno", "idk" and "lol" or absolute silence were. These players did not show the signs of intelligent lifeforms. Since a guild over lvl 3 cannot be disbanded, I simply demote everyone to the rank "GO AWAY" and give no rights to this rank, not even guild chat."

God I feel a little sorry for these guys. They're in a guild for the perks, doing their own thing, when someone shows up and starts harassing them, saying they have to leave? Is it any wonder the response is less than enthusiastic? It's not a sign of their intelligence, just that your agenda is not theirs and they have no reason to care about what you want them to do.

I don't understand the point of this - you buy guilds and make everyone leave? What's the gain? It just seems like a form of trolling to me.

Anonymous said...

Why not guild kick all the active players?

Gevlon said...

Because I'm curious how many stays in a completely useless guild.

Sum said...

Their guild was completely useless guild before right, outside of the perks?

What's changed besides you actively trying to drive them away to make the guild more useless?

Coralina said...

I think you have it all wrong my friend.

I think Blizzards marketing strategy of aiming for a more casual audience was correct. At the start of Wrath WoW was already an old game relatively speaking. Many of its original player base had gone or were leaving through natural wastage – they had been playing the same game for years remember and at the level many played it was intensive and not compatible with other life activities that one might wish to move onto as they grew up.

I’d also say the game had reached close to saturation point as far as the stereotypical “no life geek” mmorpg demographic was concerned.

To expand and replace those leaving through natural wastage they had to tap into a wider market. Something Nintendo had proved was possible with its Wii just a few years earlier.

You have to say it was a success as Blizzard were able to replace those original players that had moved on and expanded past the saturation point of the core market. The Wrath expansion was profitable – the raid content and 5 man dungeon content were heavily used by a large amount of accounts and therefore provided a good return on the development time/cost in terms of retaining subscribers.

It was in going back to catering for a more hardcore audience in Cataclysm that Blizzard blew it. The people playing now are mostly not those that were around in Vanilla or TBC. Those guys are a dying minority. We now have a situation where the development time/dollars spent on current content has gone to waste. Very few accounts relative to Wrath are bothering to even enter this content as you yourself pointed out in a previous blog. Blizz made harder content and the player base don’t want to do it. It turned out it was just a tiny unrepresentative minority on the forums with extremely large mouths that wanted it.

Having rejected the content Blizzard provided most accounts just sit in large guilds for the perks. Many are inactive with cancelled subs. A large number are still subbed but never log. Others just farm gold waiting for Blizzard to start making content its CURRENT customers actually want. Then you come along and ask them to leave as you desperate cling on to the dream of resurrecting the old business model that catered to the old players who no longer exist. As you also observed many raid guilds are struggling for committed recruits. Why? Because the players they need are now married with kids and don't play anymore. The current players just aren't interested.

So what did you expect them to do when you go in buying up guilds and asking people to leave?

I think you are wrong about the guilds that will thrive. When Blizzard make content that people want (and fix the guild perk system) people won’t need the big guilds that weathered the storm. They will go back to raiding in their smaller social guilds. I wouldn’t be surprised if many opt to just pug in the new Raid Finder. I suspect that many a raid guild will be killed off as half its players say “screw all this commitment, I will just run easy mode with pugs”.

Btw my interest in all this is as an ex hardcore raider that grew up and went casual. I moved with the game until it did a U-turn. If I get kicked out of my level 25 guild I will join another one. If I can't find one I will join the millions that have quit. Once the game is fixed I won't be raiding in my current guild or any of the hardcore guilds on my realm, those days are behind me.

Grim said...

@Gevlon
I think Sum has the right of it.

Also, you can't take away their guild perks. If they only want those, they won't leave.

Anonymous said...

I recognize the guild that has lots of members that stopped logging in.

The same happend with my raiding guild. We just didn't care for raiding anymore.

Most of us were hardcore raiders since Vanilla.

Even if WoW is a nice game, most people will completely stop playing it after some years.

The non-challenging Cataclysm expansion definately pushed it.

Steel said...

Depressing read… I wouldn’t bet all my gold just yet on the fact that Blizz knows what they are doing, or that eventually will know what to do.

I mean lets take an example dear do both our hearts. Go to any forum poll, what was the best raid Blizz ever designed? Even the “WotLK was crap” people will say “ya, except for Ulduar, that was the best raid ever made”. Next on the list is Kara, Naxx40, BT/SWP etc. So how hard would it be to look at it and say – aha, that’s the winning formula, lets (out)do that again. Grand scale, epic music (with each boss having his own theme!), richness of detail - with totally crazy, “doing it for the art” design (imagine if Freya or Mimiron just sat around in a square empty room with floral textures on walls and a potted plant in a corner), immersive lore and story, and memorable encounters. What did they do instead? BoT( you said it yourself it stinks of fast work), BWD(not even an NPC text with a little bit of lore), To4W (not even voice acted), etc. Of course, it’s difficult to create such epic stuff when your main development team has moved on to other projects.

They seem trapped in a death spiral of digging the hole ever deeper. Players get bored by crap content fast? Lets turn even crappier content even faster. Players only care about “progressing their character” because the “MMO world” is too boring? Simplify the world even more, and wisk players as fast as you can into arcade raids, where they wipe 300 times to a dance boss with no lore or significance. Then lets kill off progression itself with more gear resets, and more simplification and streamlining. What’s up with the upcoming Raid Finder – and this “everybody must go raid” mentality? I’m a hardcore(ish?) raider that wiped 300 times on H Cho’Gall 25, and all I want right now from a new patch is a Storm Peaks 2.0 zone, complete with a grand 100 quests story and soul-shattering music, where I can fly for an hour with no destination in mind, just to be immersed in another world.

4.3 seems like a mixed bag having some parts that seem promising and other parts worrying. I guess we’ll know for sure when it comes out. I’d really like to discuss more about the arcade vs MMO philosophy of the last couple of post, as I found the subject fascinating, and I believe is very relevant to the current situation. What did you think of my last reply to “How to save WoW raiding”?

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, Sum makes a good point - these people are only in it for the perks anyway. They know the guild can't be closed, so they'll hang around and enjoy the perks until you /gkick them, in which case, they'll go find a new guild to take perks from. That sounds like a very asocial attitude to take to me.

Riptor said...

When the raiding Guild I stopped the raiding Circus, i saw the same phenomenon. It was interesting to see how few actually went looking for another raid and how many switched to doing something else (LoL, SC2, FPS, etc) and just went inactive. The Guild currently is a Level 25 Guild with 125 members. Of those only roughly 15 remain active.
If WoW is declining in subscriptions because of lack luster content or bad marketing decisions I cannot say. What we however have to consider is the fact that in gamers-terms WoW is old. In an industry that every quarter year spits out so many awesome Games, WoW has managed to somehow stay around for a very very long time. Especially taking into consideration that it has only been expanded and never redesigned.

Anonymous said...

I see Blizzard taking some action on this at some point, don't be surprised when you have a temporary ban for this behaviour as it does seem like a TOS issue. The < 1 month players who are still active are probably in these guilds purely for the perks, buying guilds to deliberately kill them by forcing all players out I think would be classed as harassment or griefing. It will be interesting to see what happens either way.

KhasDylar said...

What did you whispered them? I mean, word by word. This is very important to understand their reaction. I get 2-3 whispers every week (yeah, I'm lucky with only so few) from lvl1 characters named like "BilzardzGM", telling me that my account will be suspended, 'cause whatever reason. They are completely unknown to me, sometimes I /who them (I already bumped into not lvl1 ones!), but apart from that, I just report them. I don't even bother ignoring them, they come back from another account.
What I want to say with that? You, the Guild Master of their guild, are completely unknown to these people. They don't know you and trust me when I say, they don't even bother to /who you to even see that you are in the same guild. I would bet a considerable amount of money, that they don't even know their guild was sold and now defunct. By demoting them to the no-guild-chat rank, you didn't strip them from anything: they probably never ever used gchat anyway. If you would kick them from the guild, you would technically strip them from guild perks, but in truth, you wouldn't strip them from anything again. Most of these are not playing WoW and paying the subscription fee, because they want to raid or do RBG or anything related with the goals of the game: most probably they play WoW because their neighbour, their school friends or just because 11M+ players are playing WoW - and as such, playing WoW is cool. They consider "playing = logging in", which is of course a complete nonsence - imagine that we would get our salaries by only going in to our workplaces and just sit there 8-10 hours a day, doing nothing.

Blizzard failed in the part, that they wanted to serve this amorphous group (or to be more precise: some loud voices from that amorphous group) and they didn't realise, that they serve them by providing the login servers and offering something to admire: difficult high end raiding. This was a very simple process: in Vanilla and TBC raiding was hard, high end raiding was even harder, not everyone could do it (in the lack of skill or lack of time - it doesn't matter here). So those who could not do it, started to admire those, who provided world firsts. Some of that later group, the best of them, got sponsors, the fanboys even more admired them, 'cause "omg they even get money for playing, they must be sooo much leet!". In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard introduced casual raiding - this wasn't a mistake, this was one of the best moves in the lifetime of WoW and subscriber numbers prooved this. The mistake happened, when this casual raiding was not separated from the high end raiding.
This is the very same as with football. There's the World Cup, where the very best play against each other, they have sponsors, they are "soooo leet omg!", millions of people are watching the World Cup all over the globe. And of course there's another way of playing football: collect some friends, buy a ball and go down to the ground and just have fun. This is not even the "real way of playing football", there are some homemade rules, like less members in each group. One doesn't need to have a diploma in rocket science to know that these two way of playing football shouldn't (and in real life, can't) be mixed, it would be a disaster: and who would be the first ones to leave it? Yes, the high end professionals. They would recognise this as it is: not football, something else, which only remotely resembles it. For the casual players this would be at first the most awesome moment in their life: they are playing in the same league with those who they admired. Remember the guy on Youtube, who asked his mother to record their Lich King kill with a hand camera (say hello to Fraps?) and when the boss dropped the bow, he jumped around like a madman from excitement, telling his mom how great deed this was from him (!) and noone else can have that weapon.

Jana said...

It isn't a ToS issue, since every action was done by both sides being aware of the agreement. One side agreed to give other side a sum of gold, for what they transfered the guild leadership to the gold-giving side.

/Gkick has been always a RIGHT of a Guild Master they can excersise any time at will for any reason.

The only case this would be against ToS, if there would be strong evidence that either side was compromised by a third party (e.g. "hacked") during the whole transaction.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Coralina; I see it as Blizzard listened to the vocal commenters and created a game that many fewer people were interested in playing. If the main max-level activity in WoW is raiding, what business good could come from making it harder for millions to do?

Besides, there is such a gear reset. There is little difference between someone newly 85 and who was doing HM content 5 months ago. I also think the changes have engendered less guild loyalty.

Anonymous said...

I have got 5 Level 25 Guilds on two german realms... everyone can invite... no rules... do whatever you want. Its easy gold and people dont give a shit cause they are only there for the perks. Nothing wrong with that. Level your alt then switch to anouther guild or stay cause its your farmingalt. Kicking people every now and then to make room for new active people but thats it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with steel on this I think, though some other good points have been made. Namely that the length of time this game has been up, its impressive people are still here.

Still I was before wow a long term strat gamer, origanal civ, col and panzer general. I played masters of orion 2 for years until Windows refused to run it for me any more, master of magic, birth of the federation, Imperalism1/2 and every CIV title you can think of.

My last games were hearts of Iron and Europea Uni3, I went looking for an alternate game today in "game" a video game store. You know what I found? nothing. Nada. Squat. My genre is dead, theres nothing for me anymore. No more ruling the world, no more take your small tribe from the desert and conquer the world or your small planet and take over the galaxy. I can run around as a solider and shoot people real time in the face (and what the fuck is with that? really? fking psycopaths) or I can play WOW and try to save/kill dragons. All the time I Play this rubbish and tolerate the crap from the rest of the filfth that resides on the internet I wish so much that I could get MOO2 to work on vista.

Nightgerbil

Paul said...

I don't think these changes were forced on the dev team. They have the look of self indulgence rationalized with business goals. Did the game REALLY need a revamp of the old world? Were people REALLY looking for more challenge (nothing in the stats from Wrath would support that)?

I see not a sign they are taking the first step to fixing things: getting rid of the people who put the game in this state.

Instead, all we hear from the dev team is eager pablum and canned excuses (it's summer, some people are just burned out, they'll come back from Rift), and very little about the real mistakes that have been made. Not really too surprising, if they are the ones to blame for costing their company hundreds of millions of dollars.

I have a theory that the dev team did marketing research (or, more accurately, did "research" to rationalize choices they wanted anyway) by simply counting up comments on their forums. More people say they want hard content, so off we go! Of course any marketing professional would tell you this would be ludicrous, due to various biases.

Dev said...

A few months ago my guild moved to a different server. Of course, I didn't move all of my alts, I don't play them all that much and it would take too much money.

I still play those characters from time to time, mostly just to get the feel of the class. A few days of random BGs or pug instances, maybe getting them to max level and such. With the perks, you get a ton of bonus experience, honor and JP, so it's silly to do these kinds of things while not in a guild.

So, every time I feel like playing an alt I join a random level 25 perkguild for the bonuses, play for a few days and leave the character again. Even now I have at least 5 alts in various guilds with 1 month+ afk, if they haven't been kicked yet.

My guess is that most of the abandoned characters you see in your bought guilds aren't casuals who quit the game or something, they are just the FOTM-leveled alt of someone who's probably playing on his main now.

Coralina said...

@Khasdylar 10:58

What on earth are you talking about?

Do you really think the non raiders “admire” the hardcore raiders? I’ve mingled with both groups and know how each view the world.

I think the problem is that you are trying to view the world through the eyes of a casual player but are failing because you don’t know how they feel and are instead merely stating how a hardcore raider might view these guys if looking up at them.

In reality the non raiders pity the high end raiders. They view them as the poor little kids they used to bully and beat up at school. Granted they are possibly stereotyping but that is how they view them – spotty, overweight and with no social lives. There is absolutely no element of admiration believe me.

The casual players are far less vocal than the raiders too. They vastly outnumber raiders in game but are a minority on forums. The minority raider group are the guys with the biggest voice on the forums & blogs, Blizzard tend to rely on their own statistics to hear the voice of the casuals.

This is why raiders are confused by such things as FL nerfs. In the raiders world of the WoW forums the FL normal raid is a week one 7/7 faceroll before they moved onto HC.

Yet in the real world of Blizzards stats the FL normal raids are practically empty compared to those in Wrath with many guilds hitting a brick wall very early on and not coming back.

They also don’t play WoW “because it is cool”. In fact they generally keep it a secret in work or amongst many of their non-gaming friends out of embarrassment. They do log in to play with friends but when the content is tuned such that they can’t do this they tend to quit, indeed many have.

Many others were too lazy to cancel the subs as they “might come back” so are offline but still count as subscribers. Others are just logging on to earn a bit of gold for use if and when the game changes and others log for a quick 5 man or seven to get some VP gear so they don’t fall too far behind.

Also what do you mean by “separating” the raiding? Different dungeons or a third difficulty level? The former isn’t cost effective and will cause further problems. The latter is the ideal solution as in trying to cater to 95% of subscribers with one mode (normal) they ended up only catering for a shrinking demographic of whom most left years ago.

Derkhan said...

I don't always get what Gevlon is on about, but I like his experiment here. Random invite guilds are really silly. As a person who has leveled up through Guild Level 25 twice with the same character and exalted, I can honestly say that Guild "perks" for the solo player are nothing important. In fact the extra XP is sort of a drag when you are just leveling alts to see the restructured zones, you level too fast really. The only good guild perks involve group participation. I have to laugh at people who say the players are being taken advantage of by Gevlon. They did not care when they joined the guild and they really don't care now. They can always join another guild to not participate in, Its a interesting idea to see how people react.

Jumina said...

@Coralina

"In reality the non raiders pity the high end raiders. They view them as the poor little kids they used to bully and beat up at school."

You almost make me think HC raiders are right when they describe casual players as lazy idiots. But I still hope there are inteligent people who are able to digest fact they are not able to perform well in an irrelevant video game.

"The casual players are far less vocal than the raiders too. They vastly outnumber raiders in game but are a minority on forums."

No, top raiders never whine on forums because there is nothing in it for them. People who whine about nerfs did not defeated the boss yet and now feel the possibility to kill it was stolen from them. Or they are just the trolls.

"They do log in to play with friends but when the content is tuned such that they can’t do this they tend to quit, indeed many have."

If they play with friends why they tend to quit? Of course I know the answer. Because they log and think some "friend" will organise the fun for them. But the organizers are always "hc raiders". And such players want to progress and if there is no progress they leave for better guild. And the causals suddenly find "their friends" will do nothing for them. And so they start to whine on forums about how Blizzard screw the game. And now they are the vocal minority on forums.

thehampster said...

When Blizzard attempted to shove Real ID down everyone's throats, I called it as the beginning of the end of WoW. It was the herald of a major change in Blizzard's approach to WoW. It showed that the game was no longer being designed by mmo players, but by marketing exec's with no clue. They've done so much damage since then that it'll be a miracle if WoW ever returns to what it once was. The main issues that caused many to quit are:

1. Class Homogenization. Blizzard's obsession with balance finally got the better of them when they decided to just balance through class homogenization. This took so much of the fun out of both the PVP and PVE end games. In Vanilla and TBC, the wow devs would never have dreamed of such a thing.

2. Loss of community. Like it or not, LFG really changed the community. Servers used to be like small towns where everyone knew of each other. That's still true to some extent, but nothing close to what it once was.

3. Linear and streamlined designs. This applies both to instances and quests. Blizzard slowly changed from designing massive, interesting, and complex content to focusing on making things small, streamlined, and simple (maybe with a light show at the end). Sure it wasnt' fun to get lost in Sunken Temple or BRD, but there was great replayability. It was challenging and rewarding to master the dungeons and all interesting associated quests. Quest lines that led up to raids were always extremely interesting (although I'll admit some raid pre-req's were kind of over the top, like needing to kill vashj and kael for Hyjal). Currently, there's not much interesting about most new dungeons.

4. Likewise, Azeroth has been changed from an amazing open world into a bunch of disjointed phased single player zones. Really, if anyone had told the dev's during vanilla WoW what the plan for Azeroth quests, dungeons, and raids was going to be in Cataclysm, they probably would have punched them.

5. And Gevlon you're absolutely right that raid design has gone downhill big time. Since WoW doesn't seem to be designed by people who are players anymore, you can only guess how the "creative" team decided to design them. They probably used some market analysis to determine that "players liked the dance in Naxx, so lets make all raid content dances . . . "

One thing that really annoyed me about Chilton's description of the 4.3 patch is how amazing the new Deathwing fight will be compared to Golem's in Molten Core. Molten Core was ten times more fun than anything I saw in Cataclysm.

Wilson said...

"The players did not leave the guild, they just went inactive."

In the screenshots, I see no ranks other than "casual", "your alt", and "council alt". I don't see any "council", "officer", "raider", "uberleetbadass", or anything else that indicates a character that was involved in raiding at any level. In my experiences, when a raiding guild breaks down for any reason, there are always a couple of raiders still hanging around, reminiscing about the old days. But here, there are none. Zero. Zip. To me, this looks a lot more like all the raiders transferred out as a group (to another guild? another server? doesn't really matter) and left some alts and non-raiders behind. From the information provided, I don't see any reason to think they left WoW, they're likely just playing somewhere else.

Coralina said...

@Jumina

You see you conform to the stereotype. The casual players laugh because you believe that someone who doesn't commit a lot of time to a computer GAME is a "lazy idiot".

Don't you get it? The casual players believe that people who devote so much time and effort to computer GAMES are "lazy idiots"! Actually so do the majority of the worlds population, it isn't just a gamer v gamer thing!

The players whining on the official WoW forums are generally not world first guilds but a lot of them are progressing into HC modes - check their armoury. That puts them into a very tiny and unrepresentative percentage. The fact that they even found the forums says something as a large proportion of the player base don't even know they exist.

Again you further demonstrate how out of touch you are with the casual demographic. They were more than capable of organising their own raids. They did so in their droves in Wrath.

Again lets emphasise the point - in Wrath lots of people were raiding. Lots of social/casual guilds were putting raids on the calendar, getting sign ups, logging onto vent and raiding. They didn't expect someone to do it for them.

As I have said many times on Gevlons blog, these guilds consist of diverse social groups from ex hardcore raiders like myself to the 40 year old woman at work and her 43 year old sister I got interested in the game. The players like me were offsetting the weaker outputs and mistakes made by the others. Both types of players put in their share of organisation - indeed some of the weakest performers were the best at organising and arranging such events.

Cataclysms mechanics and tuning have massacred those guilds. My friends no longer play so those that remain (me) just sit in any old level 25 guild so I can get additional procs from professions or more JP,HP and rep.

The problem with raiders and their personality types is that they unable to see the world in anything but black and white. The casual scene covers the vast majority of Blizzards paying customers and is far more complex and diverse than you are capable of imagining.

I just don't get what Gevlon hopes to achieve. You can't make people care about a game that at the beginning of December 2010 told them in no uncertain terms to change the way they play or "**** off". Indeed that is pretty much what Gevlon is doing now. You can see how well that attitude worked for Blizzard with their subscriber figures (activity levels are even more depressing) and I don't see it working any better for Gevlon.

Rather than piling on more misery you need to start asking why so many players (even including many like myself who were clearing hardmodes and HC raids in Wrath) are suddenly so appathetic. You need to think more about what motivotes people to play and that is hard for that tiny insignificant percentage of subscribers called raiders who form organised selection based groups which whilst not as extreme as Gevlons guild are still technically speaking a-social.

Maybe it is just too alien for the a-socials to comprehend? Much like the "lazy" issue...

Anonymous said...

Why bother to scare people out? Everything they do will slowly generate money for the guild, which you now control.

Rem said...

You seem to be unaware that Blizzard's plan to "fix WoW" is to drive it even more towards the casual/non-committal end. It's not going to die as a cash cow any time soon, but I wouldn't bet on it returning to any semblance of greatness as a game.

Anonymous said...

@thehampster : I just wanted to say I agree with everything you wrote. Those things you mentioned are the major reasons why WoW turned to an online amusement park rather than a great multiplayer RPG.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people leveling these days. The random bgs pop quickly, the instance queues are short. Most players I group with have heirlooms and full pvp sets. They aren't new to the game.

I have a few toons that are in guilds for the perks. I put guild chat in its own tab so I don't have to read it. I would turn it off but when I get achieves, people often say "grats" and I feel like I need to say "ty". It's stupid but there you are. If I were blocked from gchat, I'd be thankful. I'm not in these guilds to talk to them or play with them.

If you told me my guild would be closed and I believed you, I still wouldn't do anything. Your threats make no difference. If you kick me, I'll find a new guild. If you buy all the perk guilds and kick everybody, you're griefing but it doesn't make that much difference. I'd play guildless or change servers before joining any guild at the level cap. I'm not interested in raiding or rated BGs. I'm useless to you and I'm having fun. I'm not considering cancelling my subscription so gg.

Campitor said...

but I wouldn't bet on it returning to any semblance of greatness as a game.

Greatness is a subjective opinion and one that doesn't require a "uber raid model only" to achieve. Back in vanilla wow the 5-man dungeons were fun to run and had an epic feel: strathome, BRD, LBS, UBS. MC raiding was fun the first few times but became stale - who wanted to see a cave every night for 5 days a week?

But I honestly believe the game can cater to both crowds (casual vs hc-raider). I used to raid but life does change. Work, marriage, and limited time all affect a veteran's and hard-core player's ability to commit to expansive raid times. Bring back the epic-looking dungeons, scrap the "boss in dark cave with lots of fire" model, and make 5 man dungeons similar to BRD and not so much a "carnival car on rails" model.

And 2 guilds on 1 server isn't a sufficient pool size to accurately judge why people stay, leave, or MIA in a guild. Every server has it's own unique social culture and I'm sure it's own reasons for MIA guildies.

Coralina said...

@Rem

Interesting that you bring up the issue of "fixing" WoW by making it more casual.

Didn't Blizzard try to "fix" WoW at the end of Wrath?

Yet I bet Blizzards senior management would give their right arms to have the near one million extra "problems" that they had back then but which they successfully "fixed" at the end of last year!

Basically they introduced a fix onto live servers without properly testing it. Once it had gone live they discovered that it had a number of critical bugs and are now in the process of rolling back their software to the previous stable version.

Not sure why Gev is betting his gold on them going in the opposite direction and killing guilds that would have been nice steady earners and no threat at all to his guilds ranking.

I mean the next expansion is likely about Pandas.... Does that sound like a game heading back in the more hardcore direction of TBC/Van?

Forget Mr T and Ozzie, I can just picture the new commercials on TV with squeeky voiced little Pandas dancing around. Guess what type of person will be replenishing the ranks and bringing WoW back to 12mil!

If I was Gevlon I'd buy a guild with a cutesy name and just start spamming adverts highlighting the level 25 perks, family/child friend atmosphere and welcoming newbies. Maybe even start running treasure hunts and stuff. Then sit back and count the gold as it pours in. Imagine all the revenue from a dozen massive guilds...

Jumina said...

@Coralina

"The casual players laugh because you believe that someone who doesn't commit a lot of time to a computer GAME is a "lazy idiot"."

No, somebody who does not spend 15 minutes reading tactics and watching one video, than comes to raid with attitude: "Hey are you happy to see me!" is the lazy idiot. That is how the raiders see it because they saw this behaviour so many times.
So called "casuals" often cannot cope with the fact the raiding is about your own brain and a little bit research made before they log on. They think they should be rewarded by the rest of the raid just for showing up. And when other players criticise their performance they call them nolifers and other names. Well, I am not interested what some angry kid thinks about me.

"The players whining on the official WoW forums are generally not world first guilds but a lot of them are progressing into HC modes - check their armoury. That puts them into a very tiny and unrepresentative percentage."

Players who say the game should be harder are usually average players. Not the bad ones. The so called "casuals" say the game should be easier. And they are the most whining players now.

"Again you further demonstrate how out of touch you are with the casual demographic. They were more than capable of organising their own raids. They did so in their droves in Wrath."

To organise a raid takes more than just invite 24 people to the raid. In WotLK the normal raids were so easy and forgiving you did not need to organise anything. You just took the people and killed the boss. Some players think its fun some not. But I do not understand why must people whine about difficulty of the raids if there is so many other games around here. Blizzard decided to change the raids. I play what is here. When I stop to enjoy it I just quit. I don't understand why should I write post about how evil Blizzard is. Its just their product. Take it or leave it.

Anonymous said...

I have played this game since year 1. During BC I was in an HC raiding guild. There reaches a point when you are playing 4-5 nights a week that the game is more a job than fun. I gave up that game and went back to a casual guild that raids. We are a large guild that has a number of ex hardcare raiders. Age has crept up so most are over 25 in the guild. The focus has changed. We are organized and do 1-3 raids a week. We carry some once we have conquered the content but it is all in fun. We typically get close to clearing the current tier on normal with a couple of heroic modes thrown in. The current nerfs to FL content were not something we were anxious for as we were close to finishing the normal mode...1 or 2 weeks based on our schedule.

The guild itself has a number that have left the game but they keep coming back after a few months of inactivity or with a new expansion. The game that Gevlon seems to want isnt what I think the majority play. Raiders are a minority. Heroic raiders are even a further subset minority. Lots just log in and do nothing.

Andru said...

It may be that the changes are intentional.

MMOs were always exclusive leisure activities. WoW was the first that made that inclusive.

However, that has run its course. Why? WoW is old. DAMN old. You know who the most loyal customers are? They are the hardcore, the elitists, the jerks, and so on. Call them what you want. What has actually happen is that Blizzard is not paying for Cataclysm's mistakes right now. Oh no. They are paying for WRATH's mistakes.

By changing the policy to a revolving door policy, they just managed to keep the game floating in Wrath. Who were those replaced with baddies...err...sorry, CASUALS? The hardcore, that's who. Their numbers started slumping in Wrath, but they were replaced with casuals, so no one cared.

But casuals care about only the latest shiny game. Their retention rate is abysmal. They are like locusts, consume the 'casual' content, then move on.

And since WoW is an aging game, it simply means that there's less of them interested in the game NOW no matter what you do. After all, their 'bros' would look down on them if they see them playing a game that's over 5 years old.

The revolving door has broken. Once WoW stopped catering to its original demographic, the growth slumped, there's little new 'casuals' replacing the lost casual+hardcore players.

What might save the game now is a return to catering to hardcores. IMO, the developers should take a hit to subscriber numbers now, and strengten their playerbase before other new-gen MMOs hit. So far, they've been lucky due to the fact that other MMO company are complete dunces. That is NOT going to last forever.

Developers should just say: So you can't handle raiding that you're a casual? In the words of Cave Johnson: "You're fired! Out the door, parking lot, car. Good bye."

What I'm seeing now is a half-attempt at still retenting their increasingly jittery 'casual' playerbase who is not by any stretch of imagination loyal. Instead of appeasing the 'vocal minority' hardcore fans who are die-hard loyal.

I predict the slump will continue, and perhaps even accelerate at this rate.

They're really between rock and hard place. If they want a game that will last a lot more years, they'll have to take a cut from the 'casuals' now in order to guarantee a flatter subscription line later.

If, however, they're going to race the cash cow's death, by milking it as fast as possible, we're going to see more changes like the LFR one aimed at keeping close the baddi..err, 'casuals'.

And I don't care how much of a pompous fool I sound by saying that. Or how much of a hypocryte.

Anonymous said...

@Nightgerbil

If you really want to play MOO2 (awesome game BTW), in vista, all you have to do is install VMWare or if you have vista bussiness, you have the same from microsoft, it will create a virtual machine with the specs and OS that you want. That is what I do whenever I miss old win98 games.

Anonymous said...

@Andru
You know who the most loyal customers are? They are the hardcore, the elitists, the jerks, and so on. Call them what you want.

The hardcore might be "loyal", but they still only make up a tiny portion of their total user base. Just a look at raid statistics compared to total subscribers will tell you that much at least.

Also, pretty much any "hardcore MMO"-type gamer has at least played WoW at some point or another and gotten bored/burnt out. Getting them back is much harder than grabbing new casuals. I think you're dead wrong, on everything.

Anonymous said...

If I was in that guild you probably wouldn't have gotten a reply. If you seemed worth replying to, I'd have told you that I didn't give a shit about the guild, played with guild chat + announcements off, and was basically just there so I wouldn't get spammed with "want to join my guild" as well as for the perks.

No guild is completely useless.