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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:28 PM 
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Xsky was off on his numbers a bit, but the userbase is falling for Warhammer.

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As part of its grim earnings report yesterday, Electronic Arts announced that it lost $641 million during the October-December quarter of last year. One reason behind the shortfall was the declining subscriber base of the Mythic Entertainment-developed Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Though the game hit 750,000 subscribers three weeks after the game's launch in September, EA said yesterday that the North American and European base had fallen to just 300,000.


I really don't care about the numbers. My server is very active, and I had a good time yesterday with the new world event. PvP MMO's are a niche market, and they will never have the numbers of WoW (even though there are a lot of PvPer's in WoW etc).

Axe drops at Warhammer dev as subs sink to 300K


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:10 AM 

Even if the game begin fluxuating between 250 and 350k, that's still a pretty successful game. Regardless, I have quite a few friends who play where I work across 3-4 servers and they all say each server is healthy, active, and full.

Just as FoH boards have been saying as of late, this game is great for me right now and probably the best game out, excluding WoW's popularity. I'm loving the game right now and the live event. Now that we are getting settled in T4, I hope to expand our guild to some choice members.

Skull Throne has been booming and we've defended IC twice now. Great thing is, I had the opportunity to smash Dashal!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:23 AM 
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250,000 is not a successful game -- even in MMOs. That's considered a flop. Especially considering what they spent to develop it.

Get over it, Muligan. It's not exactly everything they said it'd be, and that's why it's failing and not considered a good game.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:44 AM 
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I'm with ya Muligan :) I like how they added voice samples in the Live Event Page in the ToK for Night of Murder. Very cool touch, and the event has been great for Keep raids too (RvR in general...bigger turn outs). The Skull for Destruction is pretty sweet trophy I might add ;)

The Bitter Rivals event will have a new Exclusive Scenario which sounds like a lot of fun. Good stuff all around, and a head start on the Choppa and Slayer careers.

I can't wait to see the new RvR-gated dungeon zone. Call to Arms: Rise of the Tomb Kings and the Land of the Dead content will be a great addition to the game. The next few months will be a blast in Warhammer!

P.S. The game had over 750,000 users, xSky lol I'm sure the numbers will pick up again once all the bored players leave WoW again (a lot of folks left for the expan, and will leave after the content dies out). I only log on to do the world event achievements and dailies, and then I go play Warhammer. If I closed my account in WoW, I don't think I would miss it really. I'm thinking about getting back into the Arena and BG's, but I enjoy the RvR in Warhammer too much to focus on WoW's PvP right now.

We will see what happens, but with all the new content coming out...its going to be harder to get back in WoW other than the Jewelcraft/Cooking dailies to make easy money lol


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:45 PM 
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xskycrasherx :

the VAST majority of MMORPG's never see subscription numbers over 250,000. Most coast along at 100k or so. Only EQ and WoW (and to a lesser extent, Lineage/Lineage2 and Runescape) have been above that number.

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:22 PM 
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Well xsky thinks you need 11 million users to be successful :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:37 PM 
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No.

I'm just speaking in terms of sales and active subscriptions, 250k isn't that much. This is compounded when considering how much they spent developing it, and the hype that surrounded it. Simply put, it is a failure in all counts available.

The reason most other MMOs don't have more than 100,000 subscriptions is another easy one to answer: they're not good either.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:53 PM 
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Miley Cyrus makes awesome, quality music and is an excellent actress.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:28 PM 
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Doesn't matter if you like her or not, millions of other kids do. Just like video games. Regardless of whether she has any talent or not, she's still successful.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is a total complete failure.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:26 PM 
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I think as long as a game makes enough to stay afloat (i.e. maintaining/balancing current content and writing solid new stuff), and pay off its development costs within say 5 years, it's a success.

I think Warhammer meets those criteria.

Vanguard? Probably not. Although I'd like to see Sony's books... it's possible even a flop like Vanguard was a money-maker. You industry heads would probably know better than I how the subscription revenues compare to development costs, and what it takes for a game to make money.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:59 PM 
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Not everything has to be the biggest and best in order to make a profit. City of Heroes/Villains appears to be running strong within its niche. My friends who play it still enjoy it, and I haven't ever heard them talk about server mergers, so it sounds like it has a stable, loyal, niche player base.

I don't think anyone's become wildly rich off of it, but as long as they meet NCSoft's profit targets, I'm sure it will stay up and running.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:13 PM 
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Warhammer only meets those criteria cuz they're slashing jobs. They're bullshitting about the reasoning behind it, duh. If the game was as successful as they projected it was going to be, they would have kept those devs. on -- but they see it's a sinking ship that won't turn a profit unless they lay off half the staff.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:46 PM 
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And Blizzard needs to add about two times their amount of staff to keep up with the demand for new content. TWO expans in 4 years is a bit too low in my eyes. And, look at Warhammer...it has added a few new BG's and its only a few months old. I'm a PvPer, and I really don't enjoy PvE. This is one of the reasons why I'm having a hard time finding things to do in WoW.

HOW many years did it take for them to release new arena maps and BG's LOL Give me a break, and their PvE content takes forever to be released too. I bet most of the high end guilds are bored of the Lich King and waiting for patch 3.1 because there is nothing to do. WoW is far from perfect, xsky!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:04 PM 
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Who compared it to WoW? Certainly not I.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:51 PM 
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Oh my bad then lol


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:03 PM 
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Nobodies hands were clean from last year. Everyone released early and half-ass. Warhammer was lackluster, Age of Conan sealed it's own fate. WotLK was great until you blinked and it was over.

Normally I would just shrug at the layoffs they did over at Mythic except for two points. One, you don't dump upper end devs unless you're canning a department and shifting workload and two, it's EA. Mythic dodged the first round of layoffs they did last time and I guess their time just came up. Second, of anybody overseeing a mmorpg project nowadays, EA is the first I would expect to cut a loss and can a project. I really hate to see them in the mmo scene. They really expect instant gratification and are quick to cut and run. Ultima Online is pretty much free money for them, but they wanted to shitcan that.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:07 PM 

Not considered a good game? By who and what consensus? For the most part, nearly every online article, review, PC Gaming Publication touts WAR for being the PvP alternative to WoW. Pretty much, WoW and WAR are the only two games really running right now if you went by most resources.

However, all this is in the eye of the beholder. I do not agree though that a game is "not successful" or a "failure" because it doesn't live up to the generated hype or our personal standards.

We were discussing this tonight, and most of us agreed that WAR was probably the best game we had ever played in terms purpose and accomplishment. There are times when WAR appears repetitive and i'm not going to argue with the "keep swapping" people but, this isn't putting a mob in a corner with a main tank and a group of healers spamming a button. This isn't camping hours on end for a "piece" of a quest. This is about conquering armies and even zergs of people. It's incredible especially when strategy wins over numbers. The numerous avenues you can play are a great change up as well. Regardless if it's Scenarios, PQ's, Quests, or just travelling around, there is always something to do to get you out of a rut and each path is rewarding.

Once again, enjoyment is in the eye of the beholder but, I do not think WAR deserves a failure stamp. If you really want to make that point, post the losses from the bottom line of their financial statement and show that it is directly tied to WAR and then you can say that sky. If you want to justify your point outside of an opinion then show that WAR is causing EA/Mythic detrimental losses and their financial moves are not due to over extending their buyouts or cashing out too many salaries. Let people enjoy their games and bring some relevant next time. If you want to throw opinions out and call them gospel, then give other opinions the same credit.

Time for bed... Order wins another night. Bleh on Dashal


Last edited by MuliganVanJurai on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:11 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:46 PM 
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I dunno if holing up 10 bright wizards and aoeing through Z axis on top of entire raids/through doors is strategy. That was all everyone did when I quit. :P


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:27 AM 
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Is tanking still shit to do? Seemed impossible to tank multi mob pulls. And by multi I mean 3.

And have they announced any changes to the city raids and loot distirubtion? I still hear it takes fucking forever to put together an invader set, and Tier 1 city raids are nothing but burning 100 barrels and tables then killing 6 elites and a champ.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:41 AM 
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BW's got the dps nerf bat while back, Sorcs soon get theirs thankfully, Pit of Shades stacking is so brokenly op'd atm.

City raids need retuning stll some Givin, if you don't put together a AE contribution group of BW's ENG and WP's as far as order goes anyway, then you aren't gonna get any shot at Invader set pieces, and the purple loot bags from city pq's are terrible.

are you talking tanking as in terms of pve ? I can tank spec on my Knight alt and handle multi pulls easy, in Lost Vale
most of the pulls are groups of 3 or 4 and I can usually pull 2 groups at once, but most groups usually run 2 tank classes
in LV like we do, IB and a Knight.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:47 PM 
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I don't know about an overall failure, but I can easily pinpoint how Warhammer failed me specifically.

First and most important is the very shallow siege features. It was ok in DAoC, it isn't now. Matter of fact, Warhammer is near identical to DAoC keep warfare except the guards are weaker. Picture this, the Warhammer universe with all its keeps and castles with Lake Wintergrasp siege mechanics where you really fight for control of this keep. Warhammers combat pacing was fine. It just needed some extra pep.

Second, and this was only an amount of time, was the way contribution points get calculated. We all know how much of a bullshit method it was. You could run in and blow your load on a boss and scoop the gold bag quite easily sometimes, er most of the time it seems, over people who had been in that PQ the whole time, or even across multiple attempts. I heard it's also just as easy to rig your chances at getting gold bags in sieges with the perfect group makeups. Here is a perfect place that could have benefited from a token loot system.

I don't know if they fixed shit or not, but at launch the higher end system you had, the worse the game played. An 8800 actually hindered you over a 3 year old card in some cases. I know it was more CPU intensive rather than GPU, but still. I had that covered more than enough and it was pretty bad lots of times.

About the tanking, it was just weird. On my chosen it was cake because I would just keep switching auras with a G15 macro key. It sucked to do it manually. I could easily hold agro across multiple targets. Black Orc was also easy. Lots of AE attacks. Ye Ole Ironbreaker tho, it was hard. I don't recall getting many ae tools other than the taunt at 20 I think it was.

If I ever played again I would just pick my Squig Herder back up. He was pimp, even if he was complete shit in PVP and only useful to pick people who were already 3/4 dead off, or harass people.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:58 PM 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:22 AM 
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I dunno if holing up 10 bright wizards and aoeing through Z axis on top of entire raids/through doors is strategy. That was all everyone did when I quit. :P


Really interesting that you could do the very same thing in DAoC like what, 8 years ago or something?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:20 AM 
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In nearly the exact same keep design. Warhammer did nothing at all new except put a fresh coat of paint on DAoC.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:31 AM 
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PVP-centered games are fun when there are tons of other people to play with. Once I hit level 20 I started running out of things to do. PQs were empty, etc, it's all been covered before.

I think the solution is to do away with the server concept. Identifying with servers and the culture of a server population was only really useful in EQ, when you had to compete for mobs. Maybe it's better at high levels, but for some of the content, if they could find ways to fit you with people that wanted to do that PQ, regardless of which server you were on,I think they might have had more success. I really enjoyed all of the social elements of Warhammer, they just stopped way early. And yeah, keep warfare got repetitive very quickly.

Maybe being on a specific server gets more interesting at higher levels when you start doing guild on guild wars - does that even happen? Otherwise, what's the point of limiting your ability to do PQs and tiered instances based on the server population?

In WoW, back in TBC when it started getting long in the tooth, I kept hoping they would implement a battlegroup-like system for instances. I still wish they would. What would be the longterm negative impact of making all puggable raids and dungeons cross multiple servers? It works well for BGs. If you took the idea far, would be interesting to see if you could create a tiered rating system like the arena, so that you could find pugs with people reasonably close to your "skill" or gear. /shrug


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:46 AM 
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How many subs did EQ have around 1999-2000? I'm guessing even fewer than 250k, and it was considered quite successful(even back then). Doesn't quite equate with the way things are now, but you don't need a shitload of subs to be successful. There have been many niche MMO's out there that have had their share of success with subpar numbers... DAOC comes to mind. Great game, gameplay, and enough subs to keep it afloat and even allow Mythic to move to the next step with Warhammer. Just because they cut some jobs doesn't mean there haven't been a few people that have made some serious money off it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:52 AM 
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I'd be willing to bet that EQ had a lot less money spent to make than Warhammer, though. Making a successful mmo these days is as much a financial challenge as a creative one. Not so back in the late 90s.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:01 PM 
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And Blizzard needs to add about two times their amount of staff to keep up with the demand for new content. TWO expans in 4 years is a bit too low in my eyes. And, look at Warhammer...it has added a few new BG's and its only a few months old. I'm a PvPer, and I really don't enjoy PvE. This is one of the reasons why I'm having a hard time finding things to do in WoW.

HOW many years did it take for them to release new arena maps and BG's LOL Give me a break, and their PvE content takes forever to be released too. I bet most of the high end guilds are bored of the Lich King and waiting for patch 3.1 because there is nothing to do. WoW is far from perfect, xsky!


There's still plenty to do on the PVE scene, honestly, especially if you have an alt to be geared up. I've been busily prepping my characters for 3.1, keeping a focus on my main char so he's ready for Ulduar. Indeed, content is being released quite slowly, but there's still a lot to do(especially if you enjoy BOTH pvp and pve content). I do the achievements to a degree, but mainly only if there's some tangible reward involved such as a mount. I'm still working off and on towards the heroic red protodrake(fairly close, just a couple more achieves).

PVP is still enjoyable to a degree, especially if you enjoy a little of all: Arenas, BGs, and WG. I'm always disappointed in the fact that they release so few new battlegrounds, so I won't argue there. Still, I would say I've seen some very intense arena pvp and it's particularly interesting to see how all the new abilities have played out. It happens quickly because there's a shitload of burst, but it's not quite unmanagable either for a quick player.

I can certainly sympathize with people bored of the game, but it's not the worst amount of content I've ever seen.

Most of the people I've seen who are bored already are single-boxer, single-character players who have maxxed out - understandable, but variety is the spice of the game and there's no shortage of it when you enter zones from a completely different perspective with even more differing abilities and roles since level 70.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:03 PM 
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I'd be willing to bet that EQ had a lot less money spent to make than Warhammer, though. Making a successful mmo these days is as much a financial challenge as a creative one. Not so back in the late 90s.


That's why I said it doesn't equate with the way things are now. But, even so, I think Noojen's description comes close to hitting the mark. If someone is making money on a project and it's staying afloat over a significant period of time with a playerbase, I think that's a success.

It seems a bit presumptious that this would not be the case simply because they are cutting jobs, especially if we're talking over the long haul and not looking at it under the lens of this current recession.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:32 PM 
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Not that I'm bored, I actually enjoy WoW currently, but alts are kind of a bad example. My tank got all epics minus rings in about 5 days after hitting 80. My priest got 11 drops on first Naxx run. It's just ridiculously easy to get geared up. Max tradeskills, maxed reps, all I do is dailies and farm.

I could do the PvP grind, I mean its there. Its not exciting to me anymore though. I did nothing but PvP the first 4 years of WoW. AV just got worse than it was. Gone are the days I could fend off 2-3 people in a bunker solo. :P Alliance just bumrush to victory and half the team is AFK. People are still dumb and fight in the middle of WSG while one or two people go for the flag. I bitch in guild chat about getting shield slammed for 7k and shockwaved for 5k back to back with conc blow and revenge stun.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:35 PM 
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Cleared all content, including Sarth 3D, as of last night for the entire week. Talking about doing alt runs now just to stay interested. And going for achievements next week hard. /sigh


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:50 PM 
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Not that I'm bored, I actually enjoy WoW currently, but alts are kind of a bad example. My tank got all epics minus rings in about 5 days after hitting 80. My priest got 11 drops on first Naxx run. It's just ridiculously easy to get geared up. Max tradeskills, maxed reps, all I do is dailies and farm.


Very good points here. Maybe this is why I felt there was "always" something to do in EQ. I remember it took a lot longer to max your chars out there. Gear, Rep and tradeskills did not happen over night. Hell, I spent 2K+ to level up my Jewelcrafting. Want to know how long it took me? About an hour I think to go from 1 to 400+ a joke really.

WoW is too easy, and people burn thru the content too fast I think. Yeah, Blizzard did not plan their game well, if they think alts are the way to go once your char is maxed out.

I do enjoy making money on the AH selling Northern Spices and Dragon's Eye tho lol. Amazing how fast you can make money without farming stuff. That, and working on the World Event Achievements for the 310% mount is all I'm pretty much doing in WoW these days. Once I get my Shaman in Warhammer to rank 40 and a good amount of renown with some good gear, I might focus on the arena in WoW again. We will see


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:23 PM 
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Hey Givin or Sky (or anyone else who knows about the industry), can you give me a ballpark figure of how much a major MMO like Warhammer or AoC cost to develop? Alternately, do you know where I could get actual data about development costs? I tried googling around, but every search results in a billion blogs and forum posts.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:24 PM 
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Also isn't it normal for a software development project to cut jobs after launch and the first wave of debugging? I mean maintenance just doesn't require as many programmer hours as development, ya?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:13 PM 
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Depends on how ambitious it is really. How bleeding edge are you with your build engines, what hardware do you have to work with, dealing with external IPs. Lots of shit. But I would wager a good guess that nobody will even come close to the amount of cash that got tied up through Age of Conan. If the rumored 60 million dollar investment is true, that is a travesty seeing as how they are rumored to have lost 20 million their last quarter.

If I had to throw a number down, I would say you could do an in house job for 1 to 2 million easy if you handled a lot of your initial work. If you got picked up by a studio, and the project became more ambitious, 2 to 5 million. Payroll is pretty standard. Devs and programmers are your low end. Gets more expensive the more graphic and model guys you add on. These guys don't work cheap. Probably why you see so few of them ona project. Don't know much about sound guys.

But when you see the numbers, it is no where near tens of millions of dollars, if it is even near 10 at all.

And 250,000 is a very real number for success. It's actually the upper end of most projections. You can say Warhammer failed, but saying they did so because they only have 250,000 subscribers isn't valid as that is still a healthy number. It would be more accurate to say that they sold a million box copies, and only retained a quarter of that in its first six months of life. That is a bad thing. They just need to do the same thing every other company does and stop the hemeraging before they drop below 150k, especially not even close to a year out of release yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:44 AM 
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Not that I'm bored, I actually enjoy WoW currently, but alts are kind of a bad example. My tank got all epics minus rings in about 5 days after hitting 80. My priest got 11 drops on first Naxx run. It's just ridiculously easy to get geared up. Max tradeskills, maxed reps, all I do is dailies and farm.


Depends on how many alts and how many specs you're working on gearing up really. My warrior is in nothing but 25-man stuff for dps, some 25-man stuff for tanking with 10-man mixed, and I'm still working out my pvp set(about 500 resil, which is a little low for fury warrior pvp). I'm also working on gear for my 80 pally, mage, and warlock. I have a couple 70's also ready to level up. I really enjoy seeing the game from those different perspectives, as well as using them in various 2box setups.

Certainly if you're just going for 2 characters 1 spec each I can't imagine it would be hard to fully gear out. But that's more or less like playing through a Bioware RPG and only trying one class/morality tree and saying you've experienced the whole thing.

I won't say it's hard, it's more or less a matter of time. But, the content is there to a degree IMO. Quests, dailies, reputation, achievements for drakes, tradeskills, BGs, Wintergrasp, arenas, 10/25-man raids. On top of that, if you're into achievements for their own sake there's an absolute shitload to do. I'm not huge into them, but I am working on things like the Holiday quests for the eventual violet 310% protodrake.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:05 AM 
For the old school!
For the old school!
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Tonight on my server IC was under attack, and I was too low to help defend it :( Rank 29 and I need to be 30+ sigh. My guild was having a good time, and we were doing very well. Time to level up fast, and get to play with the big boys


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:50 PM 
Cazicthule Bait
Cazicthule Bait

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Did Warhammer EVER give away free trials before those that were just offered? I think that's the biggest failure of current MMOs. They don't offer free subscriptions at launch.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:30 PM 
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EQ1: Givin
WoW: Tacklebery
That would be a stupid thing indeed seeing as how they would lose out on tons of initial retail box sales.

Open beta takes care of that need anyway, and this game only had what, four of them?


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