WoW: What imbalance?

From a recent interview with Frank Pearce, Blizzard’s senior vice president of product development:

CVG: There’s surely going to be a mass influx of Blood Elf and Draenei characters when the expansion launches. Have you worked out ways to handle/tackle that?

Frank Pearce: Well, we’ll have to see what happens. I don’t think you’re going to see a big imbalance in terms of a lot of players rolling Blood Elves or Draenei and abandoning their existing avatars. People have invested a lot of time and energy into their existing avatars.

The… fuck? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! I read this, I’m thinking: Do not buy Burning Crusade on day one. Blizzard doesn’t get it.

Maybe that’s their grand plan. And I adore this part, too:

We’re working to improve our production methods, to try and be more efficient on delivering and creating quality content.

First they deliver the content… and then they create it! Surely, just a slip of the tongue, right? Right?

Well what I can see is a lot of new Blood Elf paladins and Draenei chamans appearing in older servers, desesperately looking for groups…

4 lvl 18 paladins, need one more and go WC…

I guess the bigger guilds are gonna piower level those characters to 60 in a few days, though.

I think he’s right. You’re adding tons of 60-70 level content. People will want to see that ASAP. They’re not likely to roll a new character immediately because it’ll take long enough for them to get that character high enough to go through the Dark Portal that they won’t want the added investment of time.

It’s more likely that the game servers will be crashing under the weight of all the returning players buying the expansion to come back and play their old characters for the first time in months. The queues will be back in force.

Exactly. We know that there will be the few rabid folks who will want to experiment immediately with the new races, but most people are going to be focused on getting their existing toons to 60. I know I’m working on getting some new toons to 60 so they’ll be ready too.

Lorini

Yeah, I agree with Dave. I’m sure the BE/Draeni newbie grounds will be crowded with people trying out the new areas, but I think people are going to spend a lot more time leveling their existing characters from 60 to 70. Even the large guilds will probably be a lot more interested in the new instances and drops (particularly on the “hard” setting) than in leveling up new characters.

And I don’t understand your point about his “delivering and creating quality content” remark. I assume you’re just trying to make a joke?

I think he’s right. You’re adding tons of 60-70 level content. People will want to see that ASAP. They’re not likely to roll a new character immediately because it’ll take long enough for them to get that character high enough to go through the Dark Portal that they won’t want the added investment of time.

I don’t know, lots of people in my guild at taking about re-rolling, most Blood Elf Paladins a few others are planning on re-rolling various other Blood Elves. There will definitely be an influx of new characters vast majority of which will be the new races and obviously the new class available to each faction.

It’s more likely that the game servers will be crashing under the weight of all the returning players buying the expansion to come back and play their old characters for the first time in months. The queues will be back in force.

I don’t know if it’ll be all that bad, again going by what’s been said in my guild a few people are planning on quitting once the expansion hits. They’re burnt out and don’t want to spend the money so it’s an obvious time for people to leave the game aswell. There’ll likely be more people coming back than leaving though but I’m not sure it’s going to be as big a hit to the servers as you’re saying.

I think if they’re counting on this to keep people playing the same characters, they’re miscalculating. Because of the changes to their itemization formulas and schemes, current gear, even if it’s very high end, is not going to be worth much at level 70. So people may believe that they’re very invested in their characters, but they’re going to quickly realize that they’re not, and that may inspire a lot of rerolling.

Still, I don’t see this as much of a concern. Like Dave said, earlier on I’d be willing to bet most people will be more interested in the new high-end content vs. the new low-end content. And it’s not like the game has never had a large influx of new players/characters in a short span of time before. They did launch it after all. It’ll be laggy and annoying, and probably with some qeueus, but that’s going to happen regardless of anything else.

Tigole said a few months back that he “thought” 25% of players had defeated Ragnaros.

Totally, totally out of touch. They’re absolutely clueless.

Looking forward to your 7 million subscriber MMO.

What percentage do you think have defeated Ragnaros? I’ve done it twice, just tagging along on guild LOL runs.

This concerns me more than estimates of the proportion of existing players starting expansion alts. Blizzard has consistently underestimated January and early February demand, and I’m confident they’ll be blindsided by the volume of players following the expansion and the Christmas season.

I cancelled my 3-month recurring subscription today (expires early December) and will renew in late February/early March…whenever I see a reduction in the number of Qt3 threads complaining about performance.

I think you need the hard-core mindset to kill Rag. You need to spend the time farming FR gear, the dreamfoil for the elixirs, the gold to pay for your reparis, etc. It’s a commitment.

I don’t think 25% of the players, nearly 2 million people, have killed Rag.

I have almost six level 60s, and I saw him spawned, once.

You might be mistaken. My guild is somewhat unusual, it’s actually two guilds but we essentially function as one. The division is between the more casual and the hardcore people. The casual side clears MC weekly, there are a few from the more hardcore group that still want MC loot and various people’s alts but we regularly take people who are very casual players and they see and kill rag regularly. 25% is probably a little high but it might be more than you think.

I think that 25% is about right esp at this point in the games life cycle.

My latest wowcensus readings on my server show 70% of all players on are 60. I think a lot of them have killed Rag but I have no idea how many.

I think tons of folks are going to start Draenai/BE and the load in the newbie zones for them are going to crash servers and Blizzard is going to go to the play dumb card again with ‘OMG we had no idea blah blah blah’

Perhaps you never played EQ. Sony/Verant was/is infamous for shipping expansions with deliberately unfinished content.

The census mod polls players logged in at the same time, not the number of accounts.

So, in this content, it is quite pointless.

It shows 70% at 60 because that’s where are the people who spend the most time in the game.

I’ll be re rolling a draenai shaman for sure. For twink 29 pvp… purge o rama here I come.

I have been playing WoW (for the first time ever) on one of those 2 week trials. Been at it for a week now, and its been silky smooth for me on 3 different machines on 2 different network connections. I mean, this isn’t definative, but I haven’t seen any problems in 8 days.

We’re talking about when the expansion ships. Right now everything is fine. I hit a queue of like 200 every now and then, but for the most part it’s a-ok. When the expansion ships, it’s likely that a whole pile of people will be back or simply be playing more regularly, hence the potential for problems will increase dramatically.