The Decline of the World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft's subscription base has been in steady decline for years, however 2013 saw a greater reduction than ever. As far as creators Activision-Blizzard are concerned, there is no problem, but a logical examination would surely conclude that something is gravely wrong in the World of Warcraft.
The game's current subscriber base is estimated at 7 million people, a number so low that it hasn't been seen since before the launch of its first expansion, The Burning Crusade. This is just over half of it's peak 12 million subscribers in Wrath of the Lich King. When Mists of Pandaria hit, the game was sitting at 10 million, which means it lost 3 million subscribers in about a year. Quarterly closing statements are seeing a steady decline in stock value as the turbulence sparks doubts with investors.
As a longtime player, I have seen most of my friends quit before recently giving up myself. Avid players are leaving left and right due to developer's efforts to make the game more accessible to everyone. Ironic, right? But really- does anyone remember when the game used to offer a challenge?
In Vanilla and Burning Crusade (heck, even Wrath on some servers), full raid gear was reserved for those in top raiding guilds. It took practice, patience, skill, and determination to finish raids and get the best boss loot. It was a privilege, not a right, and had players striving to better themselves and their groups in hopes of attaining it.
Slowly, as developers gave in to the cries of the unskilled, mechanics became easier and raids were often nerfed. In Cataclysm, the Raid Finder tool was the final blow, allowing anyone and their blind dog to fap their way through raids to earn some pretty decent gear.
PVE and PVP alike have always suffered with the overpowered flavor of the month, which really became a problem in Wrath. Patches intended to even out the classes produced a somewhat opposite effect. Classes and specs became obsolete at the turn of a hat while a few overpowered classes dominated the boards.
By decreasing the challenge, the reward is decreased as well- a greater sense of satisfaction comes from defeating greater challenges. Developers, by nerfing the game at the whim of the community, took away the need for a player to develop skill before reaping rewards. This makes the entire community suffer as players grow bored and the game becomes stagnant.
I will just put this out there, Pandaren look stupid. Worgen were iffy, but Pandaren are ridiculous. Their whole continent just gives me the creeps. I leveled an alt in dungeons and battlegrounds rather than explore those areas again. Then, dinosaur bosses in Pandaria. It looks as though developers are at a loss for ideas with which to form a cohesive storyline.
In a way, this post could be perceived at the same whining that screwed up the game in the first place, or just another obnoxious forum post on "why i quit wow." However, I am still subscribed, I will even do a battleground on my rogue every so often and I am also likely to give a new expansion a try. In reality, this post is probably due to junkie-like withdrawals and bitterness toward my supplier for a shitty product.