So… I was asked today where I was standing amidst all the “WoWpocalypse” vibe that seems to be floating about. First of all… let me say I told you so! Remember my Cataclysmic disease post back in January? Yeah, the one where I said something was off with Cataclysm and it was killing the mood? It still applies today.
Does that mean that WoW is doomed to disappear? Not at all! On the whole it’s still the same great game it used to be and I’d recommend it in a heartbeat to any new MMO player. Three things are happening I believe right now. First, some people are just reaching the end of their WoW careers. Every expansion there’s quite a few people who quit because you can only enjoy the same thing for so long. They did X before the expansion and they realise that WoW is still WoW and that a new expansion was not the answer they were looking for. No worries, old players quit and new ones come in all the time.
Second is that Cataclysm did change some aspects of WoW. I wrote about it before in the disease post and I think there was some poor decisions made. Some players are uncomfortable with the new changes and leave, finding it doesn’t suit their style of play. Again, not the end of WoW. New players will come in who like the new Cataclysm WoW.
Finally, WoW is in its sixth year! Every single game, hell, computer software has a life cycle that’s pretty similar. There’s launch, growth, peak, decline and finally death. WoW numbers have not really moved for the past two years wich is a good sign of a software in its peak phase. WoW has managed to stay at its peak for a very long time and I believe we might be seeing the first signs of the decline phase. It’s amazing that WoW has had such a long growth and peak period and I would expect the decline to be as long. Decline doesn’t mean the game is any less good, simply that after so many years, people want something new.
Where does the monkey stand?
I freely admit that I’m reaching the end of my WoW career. Most of the game, leveling, alts, achievements, hold very limited interest to me at the moment. The one thing I enjoy a lot is raiding and the fantastic crew of Eff the Ineffable. They are the reasons I still play and the day raiding stops or if something was to happen to Eff, I would probably quit the game for good. I also realized with Rift that my boredom goes beyond WoW and extends to the general Fantasy MMO genre. In essence, I need something new.
That said, I don’t see myself quitting WoW soon. I enjoy my time with Eff and I enjoy raiding with them so there’s no reason there to quit. I may spend less time in WoW but the time I spend I enjoy and in the end that’s what counts for me.