I demand numbers!

| Sunday, September 4, 2011
Recent comments and posts have gotten me thinking about BC again. Specifically, what content were people seeing? My sense was always that just about everyone who had the slightest desire to do so had done some heroics. Similar for a place like Karazhan, especially when the attunement requirement was removed. After that, I feel like the numbers dropped off by a lot.

I wish I knew for certain, because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that my sense of things is not a particularly accurate measure of the overall situation. Hell, in vanilla I thought that raiding, at least at the Molten Core and 20-man level was accessible. But supposedly not everyone had done MC. I say supposedly because I don't remember what the numbers were on that, or whether I even saw them ever.

I'm sure Blizzard has these numbers. I want them! More specifically, here's a breakdown of what I'd like to compare.

Class distribution for each expansion
% of characters at max level and % of accounts with a max level character
How many people regularly ran the high-level dungeons in vanilla, comparing these with heroics in BC, LK, and Cataclysm
How many people killed a boss in any raid in each expansion

Wandering off from this, I wonder how much accessibility really matters. If content is made easier/simpler to get to, but not necessarily to beat, do more players do the content? Or are those who are driven off by an attunement not particularly interested in it, and would quit it soon anyway? Could barriers to entry actually be doing people a favor, by keeping them out of content that they would not enjoy enough anyway? I wonder who has more fun and is a more stable subscriber, the former raider or the non-raider.


Anonymous said...

I don't really think accessibility matters, what matters mostly is:
- are there are variety of things to do so that everyone has an option? (They don't all have to do the SAME things. If I have something fun to do, I won't care if someone else has something else fun that I can't access)
- how easy is it for more progressed chars to group with less progressed ones

Klepsacovic said...

Variety is key, of course. I wonder if variety has gone up or down from BC to Cata. I can't think of any activity that has been added or removed. I suppose dailies replaced mob grinding as the primary form of farming. While I don't like that change, I'm not sure if it counts as less variety.

"how easy is it for more progressed chars to group with less progressed ones"
That question has too many layers too it. Easy in what way? Currently anyone could join a lower tier, but there is little incentive, so socially it is hard. Then there's the question of what is progression. Gear might block raid transfers, but quest progress and phasing can block even more effectively.

Or maybe it's an entirely pointless question, based on my past assertion that playing with friends is overrated, and if they aren't friends, why would we be trying to play with players of a different progression level?

Nils said...

We should found a lobby group and push through a freedom of MMO information act.

Azuriel said...

According to Daxxarri, it was only a "dedicated minority" of players that were running heroics in TBC. If heroics was a minority activity, then raiding would have to be a minority minority activity.

Klepsacovic said...

"We saw a surge in the popularity of hybrid classes, especially druids and paladins, as running heroic dungeons became something nearly every player did instead of a more dedicated minority."
I guess it's a start. But how much can we actually get from this? "Nearly ever player", meaning nearly every player, nearly every character, nearly every player who reached max-level? Hell, even "nearly every" can range a lot. Same for minority, though I'm guessing he means somewhere around 25% (warning: arbitrary number).

This just highlights the problem: we don't have numbers. Even if he's using numbers to decide what to say, ultimately what he has conveyed is little more than a vague sense of what is going on.

But thanks for the link. It at least confirms that Blizzard has the data and has some sort of inclination to share it.

Anonymous said...

If heroics was a minority activity, then raiding would have to be a minority minority activity.

Well, if you leave out H. Mechanar, Karazhan was arguably easier than the heroic 5 mans.

Most people geared up in PvP, I suspect.

Syl said...

The accessibility talk is rubbish - a trained monkey could level a toon up to lvl 10 in WoW. of course the UI and concept must not be too frustrating, but erm...they aren't. -.-

I think early hooks are fast gratification, dynamic questing and there's potential in lore telling (although it's a tricky subject and clearly not present anywhere right now...okay maybe lotro, I dunno). variety certainly too.

the longer you play though, the social factor becomes big. so based on that you could say that the faster an MMO pushes you in that direction, the better. at the same time it must happen subtly, "optionally", rather than early co-dependence. I hated it when I couldn't kill a rabbit in FF11 by myself (and solo nothing from there after lvl 16)...

and I'll sign that numbers petition.

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