It was late in the year 2006 where I was held at Burt point by my friend and co-worker K- (k minus, there was also a K + one Kenny was smaller then the other and Burt was about a foot and a half taller then me with a good 40 pounds on me) to buy and subscribe to a little game World Of Warcraft. I gave him my wallet during their break (K- and Burt had an hour break since they were working a double and I was stuck with just first shift) and they went off to Walmart and bought me my first World Of Warcraft game. Later that night after I got back from my girlfriend (at the time) house, they helped me set up my account and I took my first steps in the world of Azeroth as a Troll Shaman named Tikitaki (who has stuck with me through every account I have had since).
Years have now passed as WoW Vanilla is no more. The first expansion Burning Crusade comes out. A lot of new people come in, us veterans bitch about things getting easier, the raids weren’t as fun, things like that. Rise and fall of guilds and accounts get hacked. I leave Azeroth. Wrath of the Lich King is bound to hit the shelves. Being the devoted Warcraft and WoW fan I am( during my time out of Azeroth, I read novels about Azeroth) I ended up having to start an account all over again. I bought WoW, BC and WoTLK. I enjoyed the new class of Death Knight, but I mainly stuck to my hunter: Anikinaki and his pet snow saber Hariki. After a while I got hacked again. I left Azeroth. Then on and off I played with free accounts, bringing back my old accounts for a week with free game time never really finding a reason to come back until Cataclysm.
Cataclysm was a nightmare. Classes that I have had specialized builds, classes I’ve spent long hours mastering all of a sudden changed. I had to re-learn how to play this game that I have been playing for oh 6 years? I called it quits for good. Then in the name of all that was holy Mists of Pandaria came out and I only toyed with a free account. I have since stopped playing all together and I still feel like there is an empty space inside me that misses that year of 06 and WoW vanilla.
This is my horror story. In the year 2010 World of Warcraft boasted 12 Million subscribers world wide with a world record to prove it. Just two years later that count has dropped to 8 million. In the first quarter of 13′ alone WoW lost 1.3 Million subscribers. I don’t blame them for leaving. I’m not encouraging it. But WoW is broken to me. The level cap is so high and the demands from the non casual players are so insane it isn’t funny. The ingame economies are laughable at best. (i saw 50 gold for a stack of linen which is the easiest to come by cloth material) The game itself provides no challenge. At level 20 you get your mount. In my day you didn’t get it till 40 and it took the help of your entire guild to get you your epic mount. Don’t even get me started on the Warlocks epic mount quest for the Dread Steed. Nightmares they were but the hardwork put in was satisfying.
Activisions CEO Bobby Kotick predicts the numbers will fall even farther and really challenge them as the back end of the year comes around. Though it is up there with age, the change in game play and the lack of challenge also promote the fall of the numbers. As well as the challenge of the Free-To-Play mmorpgs that are now floating around on the internet and in this up and down economy a solid fee to play a game is questionable. Some of these games are becoming top contenders and one (League of Legends) has surpassed WoW subscriber limit last year by a million or so players. All we can do is watch what happens with this game we all know that some loathe and some love.