Friday, October 3, 2008

C.asuals R.ule E.verything A.round M.e...

C.R.E.A.M; get the money; dollar dollar bill y'all...

The Wu assuredly had no clue what an MMO was back in 1993, because the internet as we know it didn't exist. They knew their video games though. I spent my summers in high school playing the Dreamcast/N64 and watching hip hop artist play the same systems on MTV (riveting television I know). They also knew about the power of currency, hence cash ruling everything around them. Blizzard got the same memo, as they have been making money hand over fist for going on four years.

It wasn't a difficult formula that made their first swim in the MMO ocean such a success. Take all the good things about old MMOs, drop the annoying parts, reward instead of penalize and polish to perfection. They didn't foresee having the population of a small country playing their game though (...Tunisia, WoW, Hungary...). So the initial product offered slower leveling, 40 player raids and an honor grind fit for a pimple faced shut in.

Burning Crusade brought faster leveling, 25 player raids and a more casual honor grind. The development focus for end game content still seemed to be hardcore focused though. Now Wrath of the Lich King is coming in a month and every raid will have a 25 and 10 player version and they are nerfing B.C. raids before the release. The game is leaning slightly more casual, but no were near what it should. Well according to the numbers at least.

World of War put up an article comparing the number of active players to ranked players to end game raiders yesterday. It is some back of the napkin math for sure, but roughly 1.5% to 2.5% are seeing the end game content Blizzard is building. That means at best 97.5% of WoW players aren't seeing all of Blizzard's hard work. There are some carrot on a stick shenanigans involved, but Blizzard seems to be waking up to their larger audience. Not on a Nintendo scale, but I'm sure hardcore raiders will need a box of tissues the first time Arthas gets ten maned.

1 comment:

Mehtul... said...

Honestly, after listening to some podcasts(wowinsider, BRK) and people actually playing, the game is taking a step in the right direction for my casual style of play. I am looking forward to seeing some end game content I normally never have a chance to participate in.

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