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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » WoW vs. SWTOR viability - the key stat is new players

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  blackweb

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 15

 
OP  3/25/12 1:07:56 PM#1

The key to MMORPG viability is "how many new players are coming to the game?" or "how many players are leveling new characters?" when the starting zones are empty, its over for an MMORPG. Why are starting zone numbers so important to MMORPG viability?  Because without new players it is very difficult for guilds to recruit and form new guilds or replace losses due to attrition in existing guilds.   New blood is the key to guild and MMORPG viability.

Lets compare The number of players in WoW's Alliance starting zones on the Maelstrom RP-PvP server to the number of players in the Republic starting zones on the Ven Zallow RP-PvP server from levels 1-20 today, Sunday March 3/25/2012 at 11:00 AM CST. Both servers are medium population. Here are the numbers;

  • Maelstrom Alliance: 1-20 - 28 characters
  • Ven Zallow Repuplic: 1-20 - 88 characters.

The numbers speak for themselves. SWTOR is clearly growing twice as fast as wow by sufficient numbers more than replace any losses due to attrition while WoW is in maintenance mode at best or is slowly losing players.  Neither game is dying but SWTOR is clearly more healthy than WoW.  You will likely find similar results on most servers in WoW and SWTOR.

Edit:

Objectively, which is a better recruiting pool for guild leaders, 28 characters scattered across 15 zones or 88 characters in 3 zones?

I recruited 20 new players in one 10-16 zone, Courscant yesterday. Only about 1/4 of them were alts. Today in Westfall there were only 3 characters from 10-15. Yesterday on Courscant there were 20-35 all day.

 

Feel free to post your results from your server(s).  

  Damon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/04/03
Posts: 146

3/25/12 1:14:52 PM#2

I think there is a design flaw in SW:TOR.  The zones are planets.  On top of this, the fleet is the hub of social interaction.  So, most players do not intereact with new players and the starting areas are empty.  In contrast, WoW has starting areas just outside the major cities.  I think it is important to have starting areas around major hubs, then have the content designed to be progressively difficult the further you venture away from the hub.

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  blackweb

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 15

 
OP  3/25/12 1:16:31 PM#3
Originally posted by Damon

I think there is a design flaw in SW:TOR.  The zones are planets.  On top of this, the fleet is the hub of social interaction.  So, most players do not intereact with new players and the starting areas are empty.  In contrast, WoW has starting areas just outside the major cities.  I think it is important to have starting areas around major hubs, then have the content designed to be progressively difficult the further you venture away from the hub.

If new characters is the measure of good design, SWTOR is clearly winning.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3545

Hipster

3/25/12 1:17:35 PM#4
Originally posted by blackweb

The key to MMORPG viability is "how many new players are coming to the game?" or "how many players are leveling new characters?" when the starting zones are empty, its over for an MMORPG. Why are starting zone numbers so important to MMORPG viability?  Because without new players it is very difficult for guilds to recruit and form new guilds or replace losses due to attrition in existing guilds.   New blood is the key to guild and MMORPG viability.

Lets compare The number of players in WoW's Alliance starting zones on the Maelstrom RP-PvP server to the number of players in the Republic starting zones on the Ven Zallow RP-PvP server from levels 1-20 today, Sunday March 3/25/2012 at 11:00 AM CST. Both servers are medium population. Here are the numbers;

  • Maelstrom Alliance: 1-20 - 28 characters
  • Ven Zallow Repuplic: 1-20 - 88 characters.

The numbers speak for themselves. SWTOR is clearly growing twice as fast as wow by sufficient numbers more than replace any losses due to attrition while WoW is in maintenance mode at best or is slowly losing players.  Neither game is dying but SWTOR is clearly more healthy than WoW.  You will likely find similar results on most servers in WoW and SWTOR.

Feel free to post your results from your server(s).  

 

Was the server full, heavy, standard or light?, do you think the free trial weekend will have any affect on the starting areas population?
  blackweb

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 15

 
OP  3/25/12 1:19:49 PM#5
Originally posted by RefMinor

 

Was the server full, heavy, standard or light?, do you think the free trial weekend will have any affect on the starting areas population?

Both games are doing promotions this weekend so again, I am comparing apples to apples.  Both servers are medium population.

  killion81

Elite Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 915

3/25/12 1:20:16 PM#6

I would imagine that the emphasis of one game on repeatedly rerolling versus the emphasis of the other game on maintaining playing a single or main max level character has no effect on this scientifically supported hypothesis.

 

Edit: You may also want to count lvl 1-34 in WoW or 1-12 in SWTOR to maintain the same percentage of max level in both games.

  blackweb

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 15

 
OP  3/25/12 1:21:22 PM#7
Originally posted by killion81

I would imagine that the emphasis of one game on repeatedly rerolling versus the emphasis of the other game on maintaining playing a single or main max level character has no effect on this scientifically supported hypothesis.

Again, new characters are THE key measure of MMORPG viability.  As a guild leader, I can attest to that fact.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3545

Hipster

3/25/12 1:21:55 PM#8
Originally posted by blackweb
Originally posted by RefMinor

 

Was the server full, heavy, standard or light?, do you think the free trial weekend will have any affect on the starting areas population?

Both games are doing promotions this weekend so again, I am comparing apples to apples.  Both servers are medium population.

 

One has a permanent free trial and one doesn't, I presume you mean standard as thee is no medium in SWTOR?
  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

3/25/12 1:24:38 PM#9
Originally posted by blackweb

The key to MMORPG viability is "how many new players are coming to the game?" or "how many players are leveling new characters?" when the starting zones are empty, its over for an MMORPG. Why are starting zone numbers so important to MMORPG viability?  Because without new players it is very difficult for guilds to recruit and form new guilds or replace losses due to attrition in existing guilds.   New blood is the key to guild and MMORPG viability.

Lets compare The number of players in WoW's Alliance starting zones on the Maelstrom RP-PvP server to the number of players in the Republic starting zones on the Ven Zallow RP-PvP server from levels 1-20 today, Sunday March 3/25/2012 at 11:00 AM CST. Both servers are medium population. Here are the numbers;

  • Maelstrom Alliance: 1-20 - 28 characters
  • Ven Zallow Repuplic: 1-20 - 88 characters.

The numbers speak for themselves. SWTOR is clearly growing twice as fast as wow by sufficient numbers more than replace any losses due to attrition while WoW is in maintenance mode at best or is slowly losing players.  Neither game is dying but SWTOR is clearly more healthy than WoW.  You will likely find similar results on most servers in WoW and SWTOR.

Feel free to post your results from your server(s).  

Sorry, but your reasoning is way off: You assume that new characters mean new players. But that's not a valid assumption, certainly not in a game where making alts is considered "endgame". :)

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  Aori

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/06
Posts: 1824

3/25/12 1:30:23 PM#10
Originally posted by blackweb

The key to MMORPG viability is "how many new players are coming to the game?" or "how many players are leveling new characters?" when the starting zones are empty, its over for an MMORPG. Why are starting zone numbers so important to MMORPG viability?  Because without new players it is very difficult for guilds to recruit and form new guilds or replace losses due to attrition in existing guilds.   New blood is the key to guild and MMORPG viability.

Lets compare The number of players in WoW's Alliance starting zones on the Maelstrom RP-PvP server to the number of players in the Republic starting zones on the Ven Zallow RP-PvP server from levels 1-20 today, Sunday March 3/25/2012 at 11:00 AM CST. Both servers are medium population. Here are the numbers;

  • Maelstrom Alliance: 1-20 - 28 characters
  • Ven Zallow Repuplic: 1-20 - 88 characters.

The numbers speak for themselves. SWTOR is clearly growing twice as fast as wow by sufficient numbers more than replace any losses due to attrition while WoW is in maintenance mode at best or is slowly losing players.  Neither game is dying but SWTOR is clearly more healthy than WoW.  You will likely find similar results on most servers in WoW and SWTOR.

Feel free to post your results from your server(s).  

First off, you pick an RP-PvP server. Second Swtors only thing it has going is alt storylines. When selecting a new server in WoW to reroll on, 3 out of 5 servers had 100+ 1-20 characters on their respected factions.

  Coltaine00

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/12
Posts: 51

3/25/12 1:30:24 PM#11

I can't really speak to his choice of server, but I know on my (now former) PvP server Daragon Trail (SWTOR), there was no where near close to those numbers and the Fleet population was rapidly decreasing.  It would be extremely lucky to hit 100 people now on the Sith side (as opposed to 300+ 3 weeks post launch) during prime time.

  blackweb

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 15

 
OP  3/25/12 1:31:07 PM#12
Originally posted by Larsa

Sorry, but your reasoning is way off: You assume that new characters mean new players. But that's not a valid assumption, certainly not in a game where making alts is considered "endgame". :)

You are letting your personal bias interfere with your objectivity.   Objectively, which is a better recruiting pool for guild leaders, 28 characters scattered across 15 zones or 88 characters in 3 zones?

I recruited 20 new players in one 10-16 zone, Courscant yesterday.   Only about 1/4 of them were alts.   Today in Westfall there were only 3 characters from 10-15.  Yesterday on Courscant there were 20-35 all day.

  Zorgo

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2267

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

3/25/12 1:31:13 PM#13

I believe the industry is ripe for an innovation to keep the starter zones occupied so that entering players are not in a waste land.

I have seen games 'attempt' various things to combat this, however they  seem to have either fallen short or created a domino effect of unintended consequences.

For examples:

Soloability - I believe the reason people screamed for it and the reason it was implemented in many games, including but not limited to, EQ2, WoW, Rift, WAR, etc. At last, it is possible to level an alt or enter a game after the initial crowd levels.

Unintened consequences

- the initial 'crowd' upon release stopped grouping to reach max level. It may have provided those trickling in with the ability to level up and join the fun at end game, but it killed a major social element for everyone.

- leveling ceases to be the game, it becomes a process to reach the game; although soloability isn't solely responsible for end game focus, it drew a solid line between what had been a fuzzy transition before between leveling and end game.

- the game by design, is 'lonely'. Related to the first consequence, the entire atmosphere of an mmo is forever altered by soloability.

Mentoring:

Now your high level friends can come help you in newbie zones and have some benefit for themselves.

Unintended consequence:

It formalizes 'power leveling'. Where before this was a player-driven use of skills, and totally altruistic, it became a game mechanic. All of the fun of levelling is sapped right out as it becomes a zerg fest to by-pass the game for the end game. Perhaps not so much a terrible mechanic, but definately terribly implemented.

Fast leveling:

It will take me as long to reach max level as it did the initial crowd, no matter how many expansions.

Whatever time it took you to reach 60 in vanilla WoW, is very likely to be about the same amount of time it would take to max to 85 (or 90 soon) starting a new toon today. **RULE OF THUMB ; illustration of fast leveling theory/philosophy only**

Unintended consequences:

Too many to name but to highight:

- Newbs at end game: people reach 85 without mastering initial content

- Obsolete gear and questlines. Rememer that cool quest in the level 30 zone that got you that cool epic item? Yeah don't bother, a green drop from the lvl 30 zone in the new expansion will be twice as good.

- Starter zones needing to be completely re-worked to make since with a game with twice the levels as release.

Cross-server dungeon finders:

At last a group for the level 12 dungeon.

Go to any forum about mmo's and get your popcorn for the unintended consequences.

 

-So what is next? Those either don't work, change what an 'mmo' is, or are very poorly implemented. But hey, at least they're trying.

  echose7en

Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/10
Posts: 59

3/25/12 1:39:28 PM#14
Originally posted by blackweb
Originally posted by Larsa

Sorry, but your reasoning is way off: You assume that new characters mean new players. But that's not a valid assumption, certainly not in a game where making alts is considered "endgame". :)

You are letting your personal bias interfere with your objectivity.   Objectively, which is a better recruiting pool for guild leaders, 28 characters scattered across 15 zones or 88 characters in 3 zones?

I recruited 20 new players in one 10-16 zone, Courscant yesterday.   Only about 1/4 of them were alts.   Today in Westfall there were only 3 characters from 10-15.  Yesterday on Courscant there were 20-35 all day.

You are comparing a game that was just released to a game that has been out for 7 odd years, mmos after so long tend to be top heavy level wise.

Just becasue thats what you encounted on that server with your guild does not making it fact across the board, one of the biggest thread on SWTOR is one complaining about their servers being dead and that is a new game thats not been released long, not a good sign.

  blackweb

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 15

 
OP  3/25/12 1:42:30 PM#15
Originally posted by echose7en
Originally posted by blackweb
 

You are comparing a game that was just released to a game that has been out for 7 odd years, mmos after so long tend to be top heavy level wise.

Just becasue thats what you encounted on that server with your guild does not making it fact across the board, one of the biggest thread on SWTOR is one complaining about their servers being dead and that is a new game thats not been released long, not a good sign.

 

Again, just because facts disagree with your closely held beliefs does not make them wrong.  Go take a look on your server(s), prove me wrong if you can.   I think you will find a pattern across almost all WoW and SWTOR servers, SWTOR is growing, WoW is in maintenance mode at  best.

  tixylix

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 1144

3/25/12 1:55:04 PM#16
Originally posted by Damon

I think there is a design flaw in SW:TOR.  The zones are planets.  On top of this, the fleet is the hub of social interaction.  So, most players do not intereact with new players and the starting areas are empty.  In contrast, WoW has starting areas just outside the major cities.  I think it is important to have starting areas around major hubs, then have the content designed to be progressively difficult the further you venture away from the hub.

Yeh and in beta it was like that with the Capitals being used until they added fleets in which ruined the game.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3545

Hipster

3/25/12 1:57:40 PM#17
Originally posted by blackweb
Originally posted by echose7en
Originally posted by blackweb
 

You are comparing a game that was just released to a game that has been out for 7 odd years, mmos after so long tend to be top heavy level wise.

Just becasue thats what you encounted on that server with your guild does not making it fact across the board, one of the biggest thread on SWTOR is one complaining about their servers being dead and that is a new game thats not been released long, not a good sign.

 

Again, just because facts disagree with your closely held beliefs does not make them wrong.  Go take a look on your server(s), prove me wrong if you can.   I think you will find a pattern across almost all WoW and SWTOR servers, SWTOR is growing, WoW is in maintenance mode at  best.

 

I bet WoW's percentage fall in Q1 2012 is far far less than SWTOR's
  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

3/25/12 1:57:42 PM#18
Originally posted by blackweb
Originally posted by Larsa

Sorry, but your reasoning is way off: You assume that new characters mean new players. But that's not a valid assumption, certainly not in a game where making alts is considered "endgame". :)

You are letting your personal bias interfere with your objectivity.   Objectively, which is a better recruiting pool for guild leaders, 28 characters scattered across 15 zones or 88 characters in 3 zones?

I recruited 20 new players in one 10-16 zone, Courscant yesterday.   Only about 1/4 of them were alts.   Today in Westfall there were only 3 characters from 10-15.  Yesterday on Courscant there were 20-35 all day.

You better not make assumptions about my bias, you don't even know what my bias is.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  killion81

Elite Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 915

3/25/12 2:04:07 PM#19
Originally posted by blackweb
Originally posted by echose7en
Originally posted by blackweb
 

You are comparing a game that was just released to a game that has been out for 7 odd years, mmos after so long tend to be top heavy level wise.

Just becasue thats what you encounted on that server with your guild does not making it fact across the board, one of the biggest thread on SWTOR is one complaining about their servers being dead and that is a new game thats not been released long, not a good sign.

 

Again, just because facts disagree with your closely held beliefs does not make them wrong.  Go take a look on your server(s), prove me wrong if you can.   I think you will find a pattern across almost all WoW and SWTOR servers, SWTOR is growing, WoW is in maintenance mode at  best.

 

Right, those well grounded "facts" you have presented disprove any possible counter.  Good luck with that.  Looks like a typical forum "discussion".

  alexhpy98721

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/09/10
Posts: 246

3/25/12 2:06:23 PM#20

When i quit i did so because most of my friends list had not logged in for a while, my guild went from 16 man nightmare to not having enough people for 8man.... 

 

If there are new players joining so much it explains why they still have 1.7 mil subs, even tho compared to launch population after 2 months was MUCH lower, my server had 5-6h queue on launch, after 2 month it was on standard and it was one of the servers that were still considered populated... people were rerolling on it like crazy.

 

Maybe the US servers are doing much better, but they lost a lot of subs in EU... could be that new players made up for the loss...

 

 

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