Friday Morning Blizzard Roundup

It is Friday and Blizzard has announced a bunch of things this week, wisely waiting until after April Fools day. (Unlike CCP, which did a Dev Post on drones and Summer expansion forum posts on mining ships and Nosferatu upgrades on April 1st just to torment us. I am still not convinced they are real.)

Several of the Blizz are worth noting, but I am not sure there is a full blog post in any single one yet, so I figured I would just lump them all together.

Reaper of Souls Sales

Blizz reported that Reaper of Souls, the Diablo III expansion, shipped/sold over 2.7 million copies in the first 24 hours after going on sale.  They sold a bunch as pre-orders, but were only able to ship… well, unlock… and recognize revenue on last week.

I am not sure how to parse that number.

It is surely a big number, and probably makes Reaper of Souls one of the top sellers for March, even adding in all comparable platforms.  Go PC gaming.  That number beats The Burning Crusade, which managed 2.4 million copies on the first day.

But with an installed base of at least 12 million players on the PC for a game that has been out for nearly two years, that sounds a little shy of a “hopes and dreams” number for Blizz.  They will still be pushing a wheelbarrow of money to the bank, but they were probably planning to make a few trips.

Did the rough start or always online kill off interest in the game?  Or are a lot of us still playing fresh characters through the original game to soak in the full “Loot 2.0” experience?

The press release says that the expansion “breathes new life into Sancturary,” I am just wondering how much life.

Warlords of Draenor Alpha

Nobody out there is still holding out hope for a late spring/early summer release for this expansion, right?  We’ve all moved this to our “things to do over Christmas” list, haven’t we?

Anyway, Blizz said that the expansion is now in Alpha, which is no doubt a poke in the eye for those who were all ready for the beta announcement.  For those hoping for an early Fall release, Eldacar tweeted a graph showing the time from “Friends & Family Alpha” (are we even there yet?) to release for past WoW expansions.

F&F Alpha to Release

F&F Alpha to Release

The average is 6.6 months, which puts us nearly into November… if WoD is average and if we are at the friends & family start point.  So it is possible we’ll being playing on Thanksgiving… maybe even Canadian Thanksgiving… but Halloween will likely be free of such distractions.

And, as always…

Warlords of Draenor Patch Note Fun

Lest you think we’ll be bored waiting for Warlords of Draenor, Blizz has also published the first Alpha Patch Notes for the release, so that the hardcore fans can start panicking and complaining right now.

There is a lot to take in.  Even the TL:DR summary is 17 bullets long.  I have to spend some time digesting that.  But I can already see items in the summary that will make people run around screaming as though their hair is on fire.  This should be fun. (Is it really a return to Vanilla 1.0?)

The random perks thing sounds interesting.

And one key take away appears to be that the promised/threatened stat squish probably isn’t coming until the big pre-expansion patch.

Chat in the Launcher

Blizzard also updated the launcher this week.  I am not sure how widespread it is yet.  I got it when I downloaded Hearthstone, but not sure if it has been pushed to everybody.

But now, in addition to being able to see all of your online Battle Tag and RealID friends in the launcher, you can now chat with them as well.

So I’ll just add that to Steam, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Skype, Jabber, Microsoft Lync, Raptr, TeamSpeak, Mumble, and RaidCall as another possible way people can try and chat with me while I am AFK.

I think I finally stopped logging into AOL Messenger.  You can no longer chat with me there.  And ICQ.  I think I gave up on that at last.

Did I ever tell you I had a five digit ICQ number?  True story.

April Fools Forever

Blizzard put up a page that lists out all of their major web site April Fools jokes since 1999.  Call The April Fools Archive, you can go back and find some of their best stuff.  I love when a company takes the time to preserve and present things like this.  I wish SOE would take note here, as they seem to toss things down the memory hole on a regular basis.

Still, not everything is on Blizzard’s list.  I though the funniest thing this year was the fake WoW 6.0 Patch Notes.  It is one of those things that is for the community as it pokes straight at contentious items with a laugh.


15 thoughts on “Friday Morning Blizzard Roundup

  1. flosch

    Whee, my first twitter link! :D

    I read the notes at MMO Champion, and that idea just came to me. I then browsed the 15 (at that time) comment pages on that thread and was surprised nobody else had thought of that. Naturally, I had to, then.

    I really liked the fake patch notes, too. I even got most of the references. I think I missed one or two pop cultural ones, and I could only guess at a few game-related references. But since I still feel like I got most of them, I guess some jokes are classics by now. Which means I might stay part of the “extended community” forever.


  2. Isey

    I used to love the shaman class too when they had unique totems that had to be dropped at the right times. I get the homogeny… I do… but every time they take away a class defining ability its just more watering down.

    Hell, my druid was my main in Vanilla BECAUSE raids HAD to have innervate. Now, that’s not ideal either, but cmon, Remove totems being awesome for shaman, remove the one, class defining spell for druids.. what is next? Rogues a ranged class? =)


  3. flosch

    @Isey: I read Cynwise’s blog, and from his population distribution numbers, it almost seems like most players won’t even know what a rogue looks like any more.


  4. Isey

    HA! Fair enough. hopefully that just reinforces my point. Bland is blah, give classes something to be unique about and celebrate it! (going to cyn’s blog – I love pop numbers!)


  5. Jean-Mira

    “Reaper of Souls, […] sold over 2.7 million copies in the first 24 hours. […] But with an installed base of at least 12 million players […], that sounds a little shy of a “hopes and dreams” number for Blizz.”

    I am not sure why you compare 24h sales to all time sales. The equivalent 24h number for Diablo III itself was about 3.5million, 30% more. No need to paint such a grim picture. :-)

    Of course, it’s hard to know whether that’s will be short-lived rush or if it keeps up. But since both were digital releases, I see no reason (yet) to believe it won’t, considering WoW digital sales behave similar (for Lich King 2.8 million in 24h, over 10 million later).


  6. Jean-Mira

    Ooops, pressed the button too early…

    “Nobody out there is still holding out hope for a late spring/early summer release for this expansion, right?”

    Heh, why would anyone, to begin with? They announce every expansion at BlizzCon (4th quarter), no matter how far they are in development. And release is about a year later. And because I like numbers (curtesy of Wikipedia :-):

    2007-01-16 BC
    2008-11-13 WotLK
    2010-12-07 Cata
    2012-09-25 MoP

    “which puts us nearly into November…”

    Yepp, November sounds reasonable, considering they are running a bit late.

    Oh, btw, for those who like that stuff, don’t forget that the pre-release patch (which contains the game system changes), will be released a month earlier, usually:

    2008-10-14 WotLK
    2010-10-12 Cata
    2012-08-28 MoP


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jean-Mira – Not necessarily grim, but I don’t really know what the turn over should be in the first 24 hours. Pandaria sold about the same number of units in US/Europe at launch, but had an active audience of maybe 4 million users in those area. So I am wondering if this is a reflection of how many people got annoyed/disgusted and walked away from the game.

    As for ship dates, when I picked September 9th as my first of the year prediction, some vocal individuals considered that insane, that Blizz could not possibly take that long. I was called a pessimist, but I turned out to be an optimist!


  8. R

    I’ll be predicting a June 9 release until June 10 hits… and then I’ll be predicting sometime late November. :)

    I loved the fake patch notes, they took dead aim at a lot of overwrought hand-wringing. It was great.

    Re: RoS and @Jean-Mira’s comment, bear in mind that D3 sales were probably significantly boosted by the freebies that a lot of us got for the annual commitment thingie. I’d have been a borderline candidate for D3 without that and I have no interest in the expansion, I’m probably not alone in that.

    I can say that of my Battletag stalker list, most/all of them are playing D3 &/or Hearthstone on a regular basis, seems like I may be a rare exception. The non-WoW Blizzard games seem to be doing okay at the moment.


  9. Jean-Mira

    “when I picked September 9th”

    Oh, apparently I completely missed that, else I would have taken your side back then, already. :-)


  10. Matt

    Well, Blizzard made that statement of “farther along than MoP” back at Blizzcon, which turned out to be one they’d rather not have made. I imagine that’s what led to the optimistic expectations regarding WoD release date.

    As for the patch notes…not really much there. I mean there’s a lot there, but it’s all changes and removals of abilities. Nothing really maddening, but then nothing really exciting either. I see their problem, that WoW is basically “full” when it comes to new abilities or classes, but it still seems underwhelming. They need some new content updates for WoD, otherwise it kind of looks like the systems revision expansion.


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