Thursday, October 30, 2008

MMO downfall...AoC and WAR

XFire time again kids...

"What does Xfire show us little ones?"

"It shows trends."

"That's right."

"And what trends do we see?"

"These two games are major downers...WTF!"

Age of Conan

Warhammer Online

The downward spiral of AoC and WAR continue. It seems no matter what is done, people still go back to the best crack on the streets...


Look at the same chart for WoW and we see an upward trend...

World of Warcraft

Whaddya know.

My challenge is this. Can any MMO make a worthwhile competitor that can garner just 1 million scrips.

That is all I ask.

I will pay for 6 months time upfront for any game that can reach that milestone. If 1 million players stick it out, then it MUST be good.

And we are discussing Western MMO's here (no Lineage 2...sorry...been there, done it, did not like it)

I wonder what MMO can be up to that challenge?

Now, back to Fable 2. I just had a BABY@!...uh, my wife did that is...


Tipa said...

AoC and WAR are PvP games. Put a good PvE game with WAR's polish and innovation against WoW, and I think you could get a million. That's what EA is planning to do with their next MMO, SW:ToR. THAT'S the one -- not WAR -- that they plan to kill WoW with.

Oh. joy. Now to go through the Select profile BS again :/ I hate Blogger.

Ardwulf said...

This is one of those situations where I think you're reading too much into the numbers. First of all, the AoC trend looks fairly stable to me over the course of the month. That WAR is dropping should be no surprise - the initial frenzy is over and the people who bought the game in the first couple of weeks but who have decided not to continue playing are starting to trickle out. And with WoW's expansion only a couple of weeks away, the buzz is peaking and people are playing again in preparation.

Part of the issue is that Xfire doesn't track numbers over longer periods of time than this, unless you're logging their numbers on your own every day. And at any rate WAR's history is not really long enough to draw any legitimate conclusions from, I think. It's not as if a drop after the initial surge is unexpected, after all.

I still think WAR has a good shot at a million. Remember that even the most optimistic pre-launch predictions had them hitting that very late in the year or some time next year. But it's certainly true that Mythic has to make some things happen for that to pan out. The added classes coming shortly are a good start, but not in themselves enough.

Openedge1 said...

And I disagree on WAR hitting that million.

Mark has stated over and over, if he has numbers he will state them.

So far we have the 750k mark within their 30 day window.

We have no retention numbers yet.

AoC had 800k "sign ups" and only 450k stuck it out in their last report.

I DO agree it is still early. But, the drop is evident.

As to using Xfire. We have been through this before with AoC, and the trends match the servers.
If Xfire trends go down, server pops go down.

Example? LOTRO is trending upward as players try to finish their Book 14 quests to be prepared for MoM next month.

As Tipa states also. WAR was too much of a PvP game, and as such shuns a majority of PvE players with a less than adequate quest side of the game.
Crafting is mediocre also, which pulls in PvE'ers.

I am not calling WAR a failure by any stretch. But it sure will NOT go a million either.

As to commenting, I am sorry, as I opened up commenting to allow many people who did NOT want to use OpenID or sign up for an account to comment...but if it is causing a hassle, I will turn it back on.

As to Wordpress, I am not quite up to paying for my blog yet, and does not offer the features I need.

I am trending though (hehe...word of the Obama is trending upwards...woot) and if I feel my visitor ratios warrant a "paid for" blog, then I will do it.

For now blogger has what I like with addons and seeing I have about 95% of my stuff in Google (docs, calendar, email)...I will stick it out for now.

Shamutanti said...

"shuns a majority of PvE players with a less than adequate quest side of the game."

I've actually found myself engaging more with WARs quests than I have been doing with WoWs quests for the last 6 months. The difference between WAR and WoW PvE is pretty slim. It's the other things concerning WAR and how it goes about (or doesn't go about things) that players are drawing conclusions on and thus summing up where WoW > WAR, etc.

Openedge1 said...


I think the reason for that quote is really the fact that there is no difference between the quest systems.
Play WoW quests, play WAR quests...what do you get?
They are repetitive.
Kill 10 of this, go fetch this. And crafting is mediocre as well, not requiring much effort or being too worthwhile. Another PvE feature that just does not give a player options..
That is key.

Otherwise, is new, so I can see how it is "fresh".

I do not see it holding players for long is all (as has been noted by many bloggers already...Hudson, Tobold, Myself...etc..). And it is not the purpose of the game.

PvP and RvR are the focus, so PvE will probably be ignored for the time being as well.

I am glad you are finding it fun though.

Shamutanti said...

I wouldn't say fun per-say - i'm pretty much done and dusted for PvE because of WoWs system, then Vanguards, then Eq2, etc. etc. etc. but I've not found it as much as a chore in comparison to the said mentioned.

Which ultimately I think WAR does well (currently) with this idea that PvE is a simple means to an end because players expect and thus want. Yet it's not the best choice they could of made I feel.

A better PvE idea would be to simply incorperate questing into the PvP sections of the game (but limited the kill 10 gribbles instead for players etc.) and thus broaden your RvR areas and that in turn should have a fairly big impact upon oRvR in comparison to the closed ones.

Unless you specifically develop PvE to work inside the PvP format you're never going to get an effective PvE game that will live up to trend of PvP at the moment. Where as I wouldn't say WAR bolts on PvE like WoW bolts on PvP, the effect is gradually showing to be the same. They don't coexist well unless they're designed to fit into each other's hand. Having them running parallel achieves nothing in the long run.

Crafting is a different issue. In my mind crafting isn't PvE/PvP/RvR but its own seperate section and in truth I would happily do away with crafting all together. It's a third chef in the kitchen at this moment in time (for most mmorpgs out there) and thus provides too much of a problem. Remove it. Rework it. Consider if it needs to be actually be implemented. Same goes for all current and future mmorpgs. Exception? Eve. Because PvE is the ugly red headed step child of Eve online and thus becomes a seperate issue from this one.

Openedge1 said...

I agree on the crafting.
Seems every game I have been in since EQ2 has tacked on crafting for the sake of it.
As I have noted here, my time outside of MMO's make me think of things like....

Make crafting an interesting mini game if you need to have it.

Or let someone else do it like in Guild Wars,
where you are relegated to gathering the items, breaking down junk equipment, and turning them in for the crafted piece.

Then maybe it would not feel so forced.

The reason I put Crafting and PvE together is the fact that a majority of players who do PvE usually are casual (except for end game PvE), and as such, crafting is considered a diversion of the casual player, and is usually lumped in as a PvE mechanic.

PvP'ers usually do not care about "fluff".

If we look at the many styles of PvP, say like an FPS online (Call of Duty, Halo 3) or the made for PvP MMO (Lineage 2 has VERY limited crafting), we see it is either an afterthought (L2 has it now, and it is very weak) or none.

As to the PvE in WAR, it does seem odd to read so many bloggers, and various press discuss the fact that if the player goes into WAR expecting PvE, they will probably not be there long.

As I have stated, this is why I feel the PvE is weak. The player cannot go into WAR, and spend a session of JUST PvE which is why I have used the word mediocre to describe it.

Let me rephrase...yes, you could do PvE, but if I played for 2 hours of just PvE in WAR, I would scratch my eyes out.

It is that mind numbingly boring.

This is probably why the PvE seems acceptable as it is, because it is not the ultimate "goal" in WAR. Players are there to PvP as well as PvE.

This is why WoW does this so much better, as a player CAN go in and just PvE or JUST PvP.

Anyways, thanks for the comments, very good conversation.