Monday, July 22, 2013

Any Other World

Ask, and you shall receive...

This weekend was quite the talking point.

I've been picking up the odd comment or two on Twitter starting from last week: innocuous things, really. One guy lamented the signal to noise ratio on his feed, another girl lamented just not feeling Warcraft when she logged on. Then, at the weekend, I experienced my biggest single portion of unfollowers in a single hit since I joined the platform. The reason, I surmised, was pretty simple: I got excited about the Warcraft movie 'trailer' that was shown for the first time Saturday and a load of people realised that actually, they didn't want to share my enthusiasm, and so they left. Normally I'd not take that much notice to people unfollowing, but it was enough people to make me sit up and take notice. Was this something I should be concerned about?

Yesterday I also picked up a pretty unhappy vibe: people were lamenting spawn timers, respawn rates and generally getting annoyed (I'm blaming the heat) that they couldn't do what they wanted in what I'm assuming was a limited timeframe. So I asked the question above, and people responded. I'd wondered how many people might if I asked the question directly, and I was genuinely surprised at the honesty. One compared 5.3 to a conveyor belt, and the fact it's not worth staying on for that one drop when there is better stuff to do. Others have far more important issues to look forward to (new jobs, impending parenthood) and these things are inevitably part of the 'natural wastage' the game suffers from regardless of the time of year. What did surprise me however was the lack of positive responses.

I hear people being thrown out of LFR for wearing them... ^^

Of course, my small sample of the Warcraftverse is just that, a tiny drop in what remains a pretty huge ocean. Clearly from comments elsewhere a lot of people are justifiably excited about the film, but I'm seeing an increasing number of commentators wondering if this was just a publicity exercise to keep Warcraft in people's minds before the film goes into production proper. There's also the very real issue of time being  possibly the most important factor to overcome when playing the game at present: this isn't going to be helped with the announcement of iLevels in the 5.4 raids either. However, the biggest single issue right now isn't what 5.4 will do to the game, it is when.

I'd kinda expected the Warcraft Movie trailer to be launched in a blaze of glory across the Internets as soon as it was debuted at SDCC, but that's not happened, and I find myself wondering what Blizzard's next move is. Are they quietly doing what many of us are and settling back for the Summer, or can we expect a bunch of news today once business opens on the US west coast? Should I be concerned with the change in attitude of the group of players around me or am I simply living in a part of the World of Warcraft that's simply coming to the end of its affair with the MMO?

I think the next six weeks may be very significant indeed, not simply in terms of who stays around to play across the summer...


Saga said...

I've definitely been in a funk lately in regards to WoW, but I can't put my finger on what it is really. Because I have no complaints about the game in general, I just don't have the energy or interest to actually login and do something useful.

For now, I'm going to blame it on the heat though. Because that's definitely an issue *lol* During last night's raid my PC over-heated about 3-4 times, crashing everything. Frustrating, to say the least ;)

About the WoW movie. I still would have preferred it as CGI, like the big WoW trailers.. but I'm still excited about there being a movie at all. :)

TheGrumpyElf said...

I've taken to starting on a new server with a new army of low level characters to beat the funk for a little while.

Getting away from the level cap rat race is about the best thing anyone can do. Even more so when you realize that in 5.4 there will be an added level of gear and raiding which means... more rat race.

Anonymous said...

You may be getting more negative responses due to those enjoying the game playing it rather than complaining about it.

The Godmother said...

I'd give that comment more credence if it wasn't anonymous :D #JustSaying

Anonymous said...

I do find that in-game activity seems to be down lately, at least among folks on my friends list. They're often logged in but sitting in cities or AFK. Not engaged.

I've been spending more time than usual with my army of alts than on my main server where wasted time feels "unproductive" (more a personal feeling than a fact). Goofing around on toons that I don't have plans for is relaxing so I've been enjoying doing that.

I can see that there's a bit of a blah going on but that's a cyclical thing and we're dealing with a nasty combination of a hot, dry summer (for some of us, at least) and the month or two before a major content patch, both of which are prime indicators that a lull is likely and both simultaneously basically assuring it. So, we're experiencing a lull. No shock, really.

I only know one person personally who's considering letting his subscription lapse and he has barely logged in for 6 month so he may as well be unsubbed as it is... everyone else I know in-game will be back if they aren't active right now. I'm not worried.