Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The End of a Century

Survey by MMO Champion. Answers by the Internets.

This is traditionally the time of year where media sit down, strike a /thoughtful pose, and consider the best of the year, normally because no-one in their right mind would try and release anything meaningful over Christmas.These results from MMO, frankly, shouldn't be a surprise to anyone as a result; however what this poll fails to illuminate is WHY 5.4 is the most popular expansion. Is it the lack of questing, or is it the free loot? No, seriously, I want to know, because with 5.2 close behind (which has an absolute BOATLOAD of  'organised' content including scenarios) if it is really the free loot that's pushing the buttons, we're all in a lot of trouble. No, really we are.

That's the problem with polls: you gotta ask the right questions. You also ought to consider that 5.4 is the most current patch and is therefore uppermost in everyone's memory. What might be more interesting is to remove The Timeless Isle completely from the questioning and ask what one that didn't give you free stuff without some work was most popular... where would those 22,000 votes go then? What if a completely different 'news' site was asking the question, based in another area than MMO's 'core' audience? As we established last week (and indeed the week before) it's all about your sample size. Then it's go nothing to do with size, but what you do with the results...

However, this remains the end of Pandaria's term, even if we have seven months left to hit our heads against the end-game wall. Is it time for a report card? Should I even be trying to give the thing a mark out of ten when gaming 'guides' have become a bit of a standing joke? The biggest indicator of success, undoubtedly, is the number of people buying the game or subbing at any one point, and we have established the stampede away from Azeroth's being stemmed... in fact, cheap deals on the pre-Panda expansions seems to be wooing a few people back to the fold. However, we've been steadfastly guaranteed no new material until the Expansion, so it can't be the possibility of that making people curious. Could it just be, that after all this time, there's simply the variety of choice within the game that's making people want to play it all over again?

Killing things attractively, a lesson in positioning.

Part of my problem in game, especially this Expansion, has been making the decision on what gets done first. There is SO much you can potentially achieve, in any given timescale, that the enormity of choice is overwhelming. That may make things difficult for me but for someone returning to the game, that curse can become a genuine blessing: take the guildie couple who have been gleefully running all manner of old content in the last week or so, even to the point of apologising for Achievement Spam in Guild. You shouldn't be embarrassed if you enjoy something so much you want to keep running it, that's a great testament to the longevity of the content. It makes people like me realise the importance of organisation, and not getting stressed if RL comes and disturbs that (yes,  I've missed some Jard's transmutes, I'll remember today's though) and reinforce the point that the game is what YOU make of it. No wonder perhaps then that a place where you can get something when you only log for a limited number of hours a day is the most popular part of an Expansion which defined the concept of time management for players.

When all is said and done, as long as those subs keep on rolling in, this is the only measure of success that really matters. No-one's been doing things this consistently well for nine years, after all, and when we hit 2014... that's double figures, and there's no way we're going to be allowed to forget that Anniversary in a hurry.


Belghast said...

I actually voted in that poll and chose Timeless Isle for two key reasons. Firstly because I missed all of the other patches, and secondly because I see it as a glorious opportunity to gear my army of alts... which has made recent push of leveling characters to 90 all that more enjoyable and alluring. Quite honestly I do like the Timeless Isle because it is the WoW version of my favorite content ever... .Ember Isle in Rift.

MuttleyXIII said...

Personally I really enjoyed the initial batch of dailies and the structure that it gave. I know I may be part of a small group in thinking that, but it did give me something to settle into with my gaming time, a task to do and complete before moving on to the next.

Having said that, I'm really enjoying the Timeless Isle because it isn't very structured and I can go and hit things for a bit and still get something useful for the time spent.

I definitely think that come Warlords a variety of content is the best mix, with some of the more structured story telling dailies and some of the random killing of things, which gives a reward, gives more people stuff to do in the time that they have.

PS: as ever a great blog. :)