Monday, September 5, 2011

Woe! Subscriber loss! Calamity!

To be honest, I am a little tired of people making blog and forum posts about the game's loss of roughly 800,000 subscribers. I think this discussion has been largely quite silly for a whole bunch of reasons.

Probably the most prominent thing I scorn it for is that I don't see the point. Right now, the game is fun for me. I like the people I'm playing with. I like the raid content. I've started doing some arenas with my priestess, and I like that a lot, not least because I'm playing with my boyfriend and several of our guildies. There have, of course, been times in the past when the game wasn't fun for me. I took breaks during those times, varying numbers of months when I didn't play. Why can't other people do the same without all kinds of discussion about it?

If the game is fun for you, keep playing - what do you care that some other people stopped? If the game isn't for you, there are books to read, stories to write, recipes to cook, sweaters to knit, tabletop RPGs to play, skydiving licenses to earn, whatever! There's a lot of stuff to do out there, and people to do it with, even other MMOs! Keep in touch with your friends however you see best and go do other things, there's nothing wrong with it. You don't need to agonize or fret or analyze the recent patches or whatever. Just accept that it's not the game for you at the moment and move on.

All of that said, I guess I can understand the desire to talk about it, especially if you do still like it and still play. Part of why it's a compelling hobby is because there is such a large population of fellow hobbyists. If the place was a ghost town it wouldn't be very fun, right? But even then, we have no empirical data to talk about. Blizzard hasn't exactly released the statistics from all those cancellations. And even if they had, there are problems with them: every time my boyfriend cancels his sub for one reason or another, checks the "other reason" box and writes in "buff paladins". Keep in mind that he currently mains a shadowpriest for PvE and a frost DK for PvP (although he has spent a lot of time playing paladins, mostly holy). So even if we had empirical data, we'd have to be suspicious of it.

But of course we don't have that data. So what people are doing is saying "this perceived aspect of it bothers me, and that must be why all those people quit." Reasons that I've seen include, but are not limited to:
  1. Release/troll heroics too hard.
  2. Release/troll heroics too easy.
  3. Gear too easy to get.
  4. Gear too hard to get.
  5. Not enough to do unless you raid or do rated PvP.
  6. Too much to do outside of raiding and rated PvP (i.e.: overwhelming).
  7. New style of questing too linear.
  8. Get to level cap too quickly.
  9. Get to level cap too slowly.
  10. Should have been more like BC.
  11. Should have been more like Wrath.
  12. Should have been more like Classic.
  13. RDF for any of a number of reasons.
The funny/strange part is that no one seems to think "huh, all of these folks are providing mutually contradictory reasons for the loss, and they all seem to be based on their particular experiences. Maybe this isn't really relevant."

Instead, they argue amongst each other for their particular pet reason.


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