On November 13, 2014, Warloard of Draenor, the fifth expansion pack for the King-Of-The-Hill MMO launched to great anticipation, and then promptly proceeded to fall flat on it’s face. The servers were unstable, the quests were bugged, the mad rush to 100 by millions of players resulted in the great story metamorphose into rabid click-fests, and to top it all off, a DDoS by script-kiddies strained the server infrastructure even further. The servers were population-capped to deal with some of the stress, which resulted in up to 10-hour queues. I myself sat in a queue for 7 hours and 20 minutes. The fault is not entirely Blizzard’s. In fact, network technicians pulled all-nighters to stabilize the situation. But this is not WoW’s first rodeo, launch stress is not exactly unprecedented, and players flocking to starting zones is not news.
On November 19, 2014, Blizzard announced 5 free days of game for one of the most embarrassing expansion launches in the game’s history.
On November 20, 2014, Blizzard announced that subscriptions were at 10 million, a 2.6 million increase since their last reported number, much to the dismay of competitors’ 10-year quest to see the titan dethroned.
But let’s look at those numbers for a second. 10 million subscribers, at an average of $15 a month is $150 million. If 5/30 of those days in the month are free, that is a flat $25 million dollars. 5 days of game time may seem a small concession to some, but the company has lost $25 million dollars in a heartbeat to try and appease its re-surging customer base.
For those of you coming to the blog for the first time, I have ranted and raved about this brave little title from Telltale Games, on quite a few occasions. The final episode of season one comes out on Tuesday/Wednesday, and will conclude the story for Lee and Clementine. Jim Rossignol over at RPS claims that most players that play the game are good guys, since they tend to make the “right decisions”. I cannot speak to the validity of the truth of said statement, simply because I think there is a critical factor at play here that Jim may have overlooked.
This season of the Walking Dead is a poignant, emotional story, with Lee and Clementine at its very core. Increasingly, I have found myself making decisions that benefit these two (and largely the group when the interests coincide). This is a real achievement for the studio, where they give you the choice to do something, but through the tale they compel you to the point that almost don’t have a choice. I think part of the reason that the statistics trailer for Episode 4 shows most TWD players to be the good guys is because most of them have been compelled by the game to do so.
Unfortunately, I never played the original XCOM. I have played the sequel though, and I am about to embark on my second playthrough (on classic difficulty this time).
It got me thinking: what classic game I would love to play again. One of them is Earth and Beyond, a short-lived MMO that came out in the early 21st century. Another would have to be the original Fallout in an isometric perspective.
What game would you like to see revived? And when I say revived, I mean in the same vein as the excellent rendition of XCOM that has resulted in the acute lack of sleep in my UFO-raiding-filled nights.
Welcome to a brand new monthly segment here on Are We New At This called “This Month in Gaming”, where I will discuss why this is a great time to be a gamer, the games I was privileged enough to enjoy the month prior, and what I am currently playing.
October 2012 holds the dubious honor of being the first month since at least August 2004, when I did not play an MMO. Not a single one. I even sought public opinion on whether I should play Guild Wars 2 or The Secret World, which garnered a very large number of opinions. The Secret World won in the end, but for some strange reason, even though the installer sits in my downloads folder, I cannot quite bring myself to play it just yet. It is an odd feeling. I have this inkling to get my grubby paws on whatever MMO I can find and play it, just to satisfy the itch. But then I look at the list of everything else I was able to play and enjoy this month, and I realize that maybe this is a good thing!
First, just the list:
- Faster Than Light
- Of Orcs and Men
- The Walking Dead: Episode 4
- League of Legends
- The WarZ (alpha)
- ARMA II: Army of the Czech Republic
- Mark of the Ninja
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Aside from XCOM and Mark of the Ninja, I “finished” every other game on that list. To put a long story short, October 2012 was an amazing month for gaming, with some of the best, original and refreshing titles I have had the pleasure of playing in recent years. Check after the jump to see what rocked, almost rocked and flopped altogether!
I have been playing a lot of XCOM: Enemy Unknown lately. If the following is happening to you, you’re doing it wrong! (Via Nerf Now).