Failure to launch


Normally I don’t do posts with math in them, it’s just not my style. Today however I think I am going to make an exception. I am going to do a bit of real life theorycrafting.

Before I get into what some might simply call Blizzard bashing I am going to point out that I am not complaining. I am simply calling things as I see them.

Blizzard, particularly since the Activision merger, has been much more of a presence on the forums. For all they do and say there however, not much really is happening with the game as a whole.

Remember, generally when someone spends a lot of time and effort telling you things are great there is a reason. Like, for instance, things are not great. Perhaps with a good PR campaign and a little smoke an mirriors can buy some time for things to turn around. Think used car salesman.

Another thing to remember is that they are a for profit company. While WoW is most certainly the cash cow of the moment it is their past, not their future.

The mission of the company is not to keep us playing WoW forever, they know that cannot happen. There is a WoW killer out there, somewhere, in development right now. Their job is to make sure that they are the ones who produce it.

I get that, I really really do.

They need to make sure that we go from WoW to their next generation MMO. That’s how they are going to keep getting paid. In the long run, if we all go elsewhere there are folks developing for WoW right now who will be out of a job.

That would suck, and I don’t wish that on anyone.

Blizzard states that there are over 11 million subscribers to the wonderful World of Warcraft that we all play. That is a beautiful thing. After all at $15 a month each that means they are pulling in 5.5 million dollars a day on subscriptions alone.

Surely a good portion of that money goes into developing new content and maintaining the hardware that allows it to function, right?

Something tells me no.

launch

Please send one of the interns down to Best Buy and pick up a few more instance servers.

 

What I think we are seeing with Wrath is an attempt to string us along, spending as little as possible, until their next game can be launched.

Once it is I fully expect it to slowly get worse, not better.

Why, you ask?

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. They don’t want us playing WoW a few years from now, they want us on the next gen MMO.

 

Think of them as farmers.

If they don’t rotate their crops to a new field every so often the fields will slowly stop producing as all the good in the soil is used up. If that happens the harvest fails than the kidlets starve.

World of Warcraft is the old feild, and we are the crops.

They are pouring just enough fertilizer into the field to keep us going while they get the next field ready. Soon it will be time to transplant us over, the better to farm us.

The new field will be all shiny and new, with brand new equipment and fertile soil. The crops will be much happier there.

The old field will be left fallow, perhaps with the occasional truck full of fertilizer spread out on top.

Just remember what fertalizer is made of.

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3 Responses

  1. Or maybe… it *really is* hard to manage the kinds of scale that WoW uses, and *really isn’t* just a “doood just buy some more ram/more servers/my brother’s core2duo could run it” kind of thing at all. Like, the kind of thing that people who are already into hardcore networking and server performance are intimidated by. But hey, you could be right and they just don’t want to fix it.

    I will however, agree that the usage and availability should be pretty well known by now by blizzard, and they should come up with maybe some kind of incentive or alternate things to do to keep all eleventy jillion people from trying to get into the same new five man at the same time. But knowing there is going to be a problem is different from necessarily being able to fix it, regardless of intentions.

  2. The “additional instances” error hasn’t been showing up for awhile on my server. Until last night, when my guild flew into the Ulduar portal only to be dismounted (some way in the air) with the error. Those of us who were closer to the ground were quickly dispatched by the horde guild who was ALSO trying to zone-in.

    I tend to side with Blizzard in all this, though. Are they moving WoW into a “maintain” mode? I think they are moving that direction, yes. Are they unwilling to fix glaring problems? No.

  3. Apparently I fail at sarcasam.

    Yes Wow is a damn big game.

    No it’s not a simple as grabbing some more ram.

    Yes I do know a bit about networking. I work maintenance on a network now. I have also been to classes on it and I am working on my CCNA as we speak.

    Well, as we speak I am actually typing. You know what I mean.

    That being said the point I was trying to make is that, In my opinion, the primary focus of Blizzard as a company is no longer on developing Wow.

    Wow is in a maintenance pattern, being updated just enough to keep us all going until the next MMO is ready.

    Where the real work is going is towards making sure the MMO that finally grabs people away from Wow will be a Blizzard product.

    It’s a view of what I percieve their longer term goals as a buisness to be. I can also honestly say that I would be doing the same thing in their place.

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