Daily Archives: June 27, 2016

WoW and the Nostalrius Survey Summary

As noted previously, the team running the Nostalrius private/pirate vanilla WoW server, which was effectively shut down by Blizzard back in April, an event which caused a good deal of attention to be focused on the whole nostalgia server question.

Ever mindful of the mob… see flying in Draenor… said they would at least consider the whole alternate server idea, inviting Nostalrius to come speak to the Blizz team in Irvine. (I keep putting Blizz in Anaheim in my head, because that is where BlizzCon happens, rather than in Irvine, which is on the other side of Santa Ana, where their offices actually are.  It’s not that far away… it is all in the OC… but is incorrect.)

Give the opportunity to meed with Blizzard, the Nostalrius wanted to have some data to hand beyond their server stats, so put together a survey to get a sense of their community.

Surveys are misused constantly, so I am always dubious about generalizing too much from results.  But Nostalrius did get 50,000 respondents to their survey.  20,000 responses had to be culled from that batch as they gave what were called “incoherent” responses, where the respondent gave conflicting information.  Examples were indicating that they had played a given expansion on a Blizz server but indicating elsewhere that they had never played on a Blizz server.

That still left 30,000 responses.  And while that is largely from an admittedly self-selecting group, so long as you treat it as such… don’t, for example generalize out to “all WoW players” from the results… you can gain some insight, or at least food for thought.

Of the respondents , the majority of whom are in their 20s, have played retail WoW at some point, and were not playing retail WoW at the time of the survey, money was not a listed as a major factor for most.

Figure 8. Left Retail Because...

Figure 8. Left Retail Because…

Additionally, when asked which expansions they had played on retail, over 60% of respondents indicated that they had played any given expansion.

Figure 6. Players per expansion played on retail

Figure 6. Players per expansion played on retail

So this is not necessarily a batch of freeloaders seeking a cheap time, something players on private/pirate servers have been painted as previously.

One of the side details noted in the survey results was that the age range of respondents indicated that many of them were likely too young to have actually played vanilla WoW back in the day.  For them, seeing vanilla is only an option through such server.

The ranking of the expansions (0 to 10, with 10 being the best) was interesting, but unsurprising for this group.  Basically, Cataclysm is viewed as the breaking point.  Before Cataclysm, vanilla and the two expansions, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, are rated very favorably.  But Cataclysm and beyond are rated much less favorably, with Warlords of Draenor at the bottom of the list.

Figure 9. Four expansion ratings compared

Figure 9. Four expansion ratings compared

Wrath of the Lich King, the worst ranked of the first three phases of the game seems pretty well liked when compared to the Warlords of Draenor.

Figure 10. WotLK ranking vs. WoD

Figure 10. WotLK ranking vs. WoD

I would imagine that WoD gets an extra helping of negative due to it being the current state of the game, but that is still a pretty negative view from this particular group.

Of course, one of the things that this highlights is that there are differing views as to where nostalgia really lies, as I note previously.

And then there is the question as to what, if anything, Blizzard will with any of this.  My bet still rests on, “little to nothing.”

Anyway, the charts I used above are all part of a nine page summary of the survey, available as a PDF file here.  There is more in the summary, I just cherry picked a few items that interested me.  The full report is said to range out to 80 pages and will be made available at some future date.

Hat Tip to Massively OP

Foothold in Pure Blind, Path to the Future

Summer has arrived! Following the closing of World War Bee, the north continues to be quite active…

Updates Blog, June 20-26 Summary Post Opening

I am still not convinced that one side in a war, much less those calling things safely from the sidelines, can declare a war is done and pretend that ongoing fighting is something else entirely. (That said, I am happy to see the return of Updates Blog activity.)

Perhaps one might say that the operation, styled as “World War Bee” by one side, is over?  Some of us in the north have been fighting since before that name was even a thing, and we carry on fighting now that the operation has been unilaterally declared done.  Certainly plenty of individuals have said they are done with the war, but some of the same old names have carried on since January.

The again, we haven’t been doing ourselves any favors when it comes to reminding people that the war is still ongoing and that we form up every night.  The Mittani dot Com, or however you’re supposed to write that out (I usually just refer to them as TMC), has barely made a passing reference to the war in the last few weeks, with the last actual post about the war being Matterall’s article way back on the third of June.  Some organ of the state we have there.

TMC seems far more focused on its streaming channel.  Even there, the Meta Show this past weekend was more focused on TMC’s ArcheAge promotion than anything in New Eden.

Of course the flip side of that is, if some of our foes wish to declare the war over and move off to other places, that certainly seems to be to our benefit.  Maybe letting the war be “over,” for whatever definition of over one might care to choose, is a better plan.

And on the “over” front, Pandemic Legion has been reported to be pulling out of Saranen in what one wag over the weekend referred to as the “PLExit.”

The most common response to this pull out that I have seen is that PL always holes up some place to prepare for the Alliance Tournament.  Of course the dates for that were just announced, putting the whole thing out in November.  Does PL really go dormant for a third of the year over an event that requires maybe 50 people tops out of an alliance of more than 2,000 characters?

Anyway, war or not, tournament or not, the pressure on Saranen has relaxed noticeably, leading to GSF taking a system in Pure Blind over the weekend.

93PI-4 is on the other side of Saranen’s gate to null sec, and was once PL’s base of operations.  Now it is in Imperium hands, the station, ihub, and TCU having been taken and held.

Close to Saranen

Close to Saranen

A small start.  We shall see if it develops further.  NCDot is still in the neighborhood and we continue to fight them on a nightly basis.

Meanwhile, in another corner of Pure Blind, Imperium alliance LAWN, whose numbers were cut in half recently when the corporation The Graduates moved over to The Initiative, taking 368 characters with them, still managed to find the wherewithal to take not just one system, but a whole constellation in the region.

LAWN's 300 hold this

LAWN’s 300 hold this currently

Dare we draw hope from these minor gains?

I doubt we will have the forces to reconquer even half of the space we lost over the last few months, and all the more so if we plan to do it the hard way.  I have said in the past that I am not a fan of The Mittani’s book of grudges, where he has declared we will seek revenge on every last group who fought against us.  That isn’t practical, and even the new occupants of our space, who complain loudly and at length when called the CFC 2.0, are still blue-ish to each other.  They are okay fighting each other, but territory is inviolate, indicating that the age of coalitions and agreements is far from gone.  Different, but not so different.

There will have to be some coming to terms with the new state of affairs in the north, and we will have to have the flexibility to make new agreements if we can.  We are going to want some territory back, one way or another.  The only group that is completely beyond the pale is Circle of Two.  I would personally endorse any agreement or alliance that allowed us to send them packing after their betrayal.  I would ally with TEST or anybody else and forswear any claim on Deklein to take Tribute.  But that might just be me.

And any of that is all out in the future.  Nobody is going to deal with us because we captured a system or a constellation.  So we form up every night to press forward.  The war still goes on for us.