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World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft 

General Discussion  » Who IS WoW's target audience?

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OP  9/10/12 1:32:57 AM#21
Originally posted by Vorthanion

The difference is perspective.  Hardcores find the game too casual, while casuals find the game, especially end game, too hardcore.  This is what happens when game developers think they can have their cake and eat it too.  Eventually, you end up alienating one segment of your player base over another and in this case, each expansion would swing wildly in one direction then back again, causing all kinds of frustration to the differing player types.  Blizzard's own philosophy is to draw in players with intially casual gameplay, then try to force or indoctrinate them into more hardcore play, such as the raids at end game.  What they didn't take into account was that those casuals would send a huge backlash after the Burning Crusade expansion and they realized their huge mistake and really started to cater more and more to casuals throughout the entire game, not just the earlier levels.

You know, I can't help but shake the feeling that "broad appeal" is it's own niche, but I'm not sure why...


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9/10/12 1:35:50 AM#22

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9/10/12 1:46:28 AM#23
Originally posted by Enigmatus
Originally posted by Johnie-Marz

So in the end, I would say Blizzard is going for a very Broad Appeal. Hardcore, casual, social, alt-o-holics, completionists, ADD, Easter egg hunters, young, old, first timers. Basically there is something for you to do in the game.

There target audience... Everyone (Whether you think that is good or bad is up to you)

You know what just struck me?

Broad Appeal, at least IMO, is actually also a niche.

After all, in broad appeal, you do a ton of stuff decently, but you don't really get any single area beyond good at best.

You make a good point. 




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9/10/12 1:54:11 AM#24
Originally posted by JimmyYO

Yea it's not like Blizzard is going to annouce a target audience or even had a meeting on it. The target audience is anyone with money who owns a computer.

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LoveMinecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer


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9/10/12 2:27:49 AM#25

The only thing I have to say is that once blizzard implemented, cross realm dungeons + tier gear FULLY purchaseable through currency the game went through a decline. This was about mid-way through wrath.

Why? People may ask, and I think the answer is simple. No longer did we have to go into the world, honestly. You could make an ALT and once it was 15 you can sit in a main city and dungeon to level 80-85. Or on your main you could sit in que for your heroics untill they popped. The problem created by this was that now the game is being played out more like a lobby based game then anything. People just sit in town waiting for it to pop and hope it is a success.

What used to be the norm, was you had to go out and find the dungeons for one, two you had to manually group up with people - sure this took time, often an hour + to get a group going for even a 5 man (if your server was dead, and not heroics, usually they were quicker), now the reason this is more of a good thing than a bad thing, is it made players accountable. How? Well, you need to communicate well to start a group/join one, and play in one. As all these players are on your server, being a troll actually has penalties. Also it was a great way to meet new players and such, and play with them later. 

Also, because the currency being able to purchase great gear right away, as it does now, it really puts a damper on character progression too me, and yet again the community. Why? Because you can skip obsolete content to get a higher level item, and also dungeons dropping raid level gear helps push foward character progression too fast, that players don't struggle to finish content but rather blast through it to catch up with the current high-end raid. Which is ok I guess but it makes the whole experience more menial, and it is hard to explain to a newer player how much fun you used to have struggling with that instance. Where-as back when people, no matter what patch, had to play catch up for a while with  - attunement or gear. Which help give players a sense of accomplishment lacking from wow now.

Now they have implemented cross realm raids, and now the game is even more "lobby-based" feeling. 


The push on PvP is mostly to instanced battles. Battlegrounds, Rated battlegrounds, arena, and TB are all able to be joined through a simple que, just as PVE is now. So, what ever hope for world pvp, or just being in the world in general, kind of died with pve cross realm grouping (IN MY OWN OPINION!) because it takes a substantial amount of players out of the world. I do miss dearly all the random world pvp (THAT STILL HAPPENED IN WOTLK) that would go on near dungeons and other key points around the world.


DID THIS RUIN THE GAME? No. It really didn't. IS THIS CONSIDERED A NERF? Well more so just on time spent in the game as all blizz did was really take a lot of the old grind out of the game. What this all did negatively though was take away a certain complexity, feeling of wonder, and EXCLUSIVENESS (yes, raiding the latest raid back even untill ulduar I'd say, felt awesome, because not every player could do it. Which is a big reason we play online rpg's, is to honestly be better then the next player! this isn't the only reason, but at times it really does come into affect even if you don't want to admit it. Even pvp gear was more difficult to get, so that has been changed to and feels a hell of a lot less exclusive.).


My final thoughts are:

WoW, uptill ulduar patch, was wonderful. You had to get out there to find groups to do what ever pve objective you wanted to, not everyone had overkill gear so when doing dungeons it was truely a challange, you had to pay attention a lot more, and you wanted to impress your group members, as you couldn't simple just re-que. So realm community was stronger. World PvP happened a lot because more people where out in the world grouping for raids and dungeons (REMEMBER THOSE TELEPORTING STONES GUYS? lol). It might not have been serious but it was pretty fun. Because gear wasn't purchasable entirely through currency not everyone had time to get insane gear, which kept dungeons hard while making raids exclusive. So a certain sense of accomplishment was there when you completed a goal. So how I feel is that, the content was way more enjoyable, the community was (barely lol) better, and there was just more to do (nothing different, just more of it.)

Now in cataclysm all I have to do on a new character right now, is sit in orgrimmar, que for dungeons, get carried, purchase w/e set I can, and start working on the valor set which I have a weekly cap on the currency to aquire. Then do the easy mode x-realm raiding. Then get to a guild and knock out some of the "hardest content available." Yawn. Seriously thats it, minus proffesions and all that is seriously it.

and PvP is roughly the same but with battlegrounds and honor points, once i got the full honor set of gear I farm for the conquest weekly till I have the set, then I can really be taken seriously in arena, yet again - yawn.


Also, I know WoW is not the only game that had this play style, I know it is not the first. WoW wasn't my first MMO (a little game called tibia was hahaha!), but it was the MMO that felt most right to me. The lore, atmosphere, art, gameplay... it just had/has the right aesthetics for me out of the competition.


At the sake of getting more people on the same playing field, blizz cut a lot of the in-depth part out of WoW imo. I'm not even a "hardcore" player, nor a casual, I'm somewhere between the two.  and because of this, I have no desire to continue playing wow every time i resub. I keep popping back in every few months, but can't seem to keep my attention on the game very long. I feel no meaning, no sense of accomplishment, no community to talk to, it's just so bland to me. However I am hoping that MoP may bring back some of my passion for wow, time will tell as I will be trying it out...


In the end this is why I am in love with gw2 right now, nothing feels like a choir above, dungeons are hard, and not having to worry about getting gear makes the game so much more enjoyable. Most of the time i wonder around aimlessly helping people out, crafting, maybe do some hearts, pick up on DE's where I can blah- blah. It is the better way to get more people on a fair playing level then axeing out old content like blizz undenyably has done. 


p.s. I hope people read this and when they do it makes sense, it's 3:30 am now and I am dead tired but really felt like typing this up. If you disagree let me know (politely! please, :)), but I hope a lot of xplayers/and current players at least can see where I am going with this.

edit: p.s.s. I know this is off topic from the title, but people had brought up some old wow content on the first page and my mind went one-track on this. I don't think blizz has one specific appeal at all though, all ages T+, all races, all types of gamers. They want to rack them into the game and eventually make all the realms interconnected. They are just looking for a high population count. Not on just one specific group.


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9/10/12 2:31:50 AM#26
Think you answered yourself. Originally WoW was a game for gamers. Now it's a game for whatever market will bring them more quantity of players. Currently they think the money is in the asian market, so they went with Pandas, oriental settings and monk class. They lost their principles and moralities along with the respect for their own creation over the years in favour of sheer greed.

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9/10/12 3:12:11 AM#27
Originally posted by Emerwyn
Think you answered yourself. Originally WoW was a game for gamers. Now it's a game for whatever market will bring them more quantity of players. Currently they think the money is in the asian market, so they went with Pandas, oriental settings and monk class. They lost their principles and moralities along with the respect for their own creation over the years in favour of sheer greed.

Just because they are making business, does not mean they lost their moralities and principles. Just because the setting is asian doesn not automatically mean it is any worse or lower standard than having a mediterranian setting or addidng bald-eagle-people as a playable race for the american market :-)


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9/10/12 5:05:35 AM#28

They took a hard look at the MMO's of the days, asked people who didn't enjoy playing them why, and removed or modified the mechanics to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

With each expansion they refined their product, further simplifying it when necessary to draw in an ever larger player base.

Sure, they discarded some play styles along the way, but it wasn't a difficult business decision to discard 200K hardcore raiders to pick up milllions of new, more casual players who were more likely to stick with them in the long haul.


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9/10/12 5:16:51 AM#29
World of Warcraft was created for the new people to MMO's and for those who wanted to play MMO's but didnt have 9-12 hours a day to spend. When WoW was launched every Major MMO out was a huge time sinch that majority of people did not have the time to play. EQ1 wasnt nicknamed Evercamp for no reason, you litterally had to camp a spawn point for days at a time to get the kewl loot. Then you had games like Lineage 2 where doing a class mission required a large raiding party and 5 hours of free time. Or games like Final Fantasy XI(Online) where you had a boss that took 1 guild 18 hours to try to kill(yeah Square-Enix patched the boss but still how many casual players can do 18 hours for 1 boss). If you read WoW's Original FAQ(that is if you can find it) or even the latest one you would have all of your answers.

"Possibly we humans can exist without actually having to fight. But many of us have chosen to fight. For what reason? To protect something? Protect what? Ourselves? The future? If we kill people to protect ourselves and this future, then what sort of future is it, and what will we have become? There is no future for those who have died. And what of those who did the killing? Is happiness to be found in a future that is grasped with blood stained hands? Is that the truth?"


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9/10/12 5:23:04 AM#30
WoW and GW2 have both the same audience - young, competitive crowd that wants instant gratification. GW 2 came and WoW popularity dropped by 70% according to xfire. Shortly after that popularity of GW2 went down and surprisingly, the popularity of WoW increased by the same amount. 



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9/10/12 5:37:02 AM#31

MoP targets a very very young audiance, you can see that clearly with their pokemon style pet battles + the panda's that practise kung fu.

They also started to move priority's to Asia, as it seems WoW EU servers are mostly ghostowns these days, with only 15 full servers it shows EU is done with WoW after almost 8 years.

They expand to Asia wich is a good move for them, bad for USA / EU.


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9/10/12 5:50:58 AM#32
Originally posted by Kyleran

They took a hard look at the MMO's of the days, asked people who didn't enjoy playing them why, and removed or modified the mechanics to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

With each expansion they refined their product, further simplifying it when necessary to draw in an ever larger player base.

Sure, they discarded some play styles along the way, but it wasn't a difficult business decision to discard 200K hardcore raiders to pick up milllions of new, more casual players who were more likely to stick with them in the long haul.


I agree with this.  Having played since Vanilla and contemplating coming back for MOP - I have seen WoW become smoother and smoother over the years, more stream lined, simplified in the right ways, but always adding the right type of complexity in terms of new content (professions, classes, skills, zones, races, ect.)

  However, it still has elements to keep the hardcore crowd happy.  Every new content sees a mad dash for world first kills - which are tracked by fansites like and  People still take a lot of pride in these type of PvE races and the top guilds are as "hardcore" as ever.

All in all, WoW has improved over the years.  Think of it like the Iphone, where you have your first version with all the cool features.  Well now you are at the Iphone 4S and it has added a lot more good, streamlined features and cut out the not so desirable ones.

Sure, world PvP in Vanilla was fun.  Battles in Southshore will always be a fond memory - but battlegrounds gave rise to organized PvP - where the best pvpers in the world began to make a name for themselves.  This was further brought on by Arena where the best players in the world DID make a name.  Not only that, but it forced Blizzard to really balance their game in terms of PvP - something that was completely missing in Vanilla and TBC.  It added an alternative to the chaos and disorganization of pre-battlegrounds and allowed people to test their skills in a more structured way.  This, viewed by the pvp community, was a good thing.

The people that act like Vanilla and TBC were the best times are just looking at things through rose colored glasses.  A prime example of nostalgia.



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9/10/12 5:55:37 AM#33

Who did it target?


As others have said, the EQ crowd and the new MMO player, of which I was the latter.


WoW continues to use this method to this day, this time targetting a much younger audience whose parents have credit cards and a want to plant their children in front of something to keep them occupied - I'm expecting headlines like 'Pedophiles targetted my child on WoW' but that will be Blizz's PR problem.


They're also targetting the Asian markets which, while less lucrative, bolster those all important sub numbers and get rich westerners into playing with the whole 10 million are playing advertisements.


Of course, their form of inclusiveness over the years has made WoW a massive success while gradually excluding many older veterans, like myself - what were the numbers again? 30+ million have played and given up WoW? Where all we can do now is wait for an old school game like classic EQ/WoW - only one of which I hear is being developed - or play on private servers.


MoP? No thanks, I'm no longer their target audience.


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9/10/12 5:57:56 AM#34
Originally posted by StanlyStanko
13 year old girls that love pandas

Pretty much this. 

WoW is a children's game with cute pandas and insect baddies.


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9/10/12 6:16:55 AM#35
Vanilla wow was casual.

It turned into a raiders game around a year after launch when they hired all those EQ guys.
This continued through bc

Until they went back to casual with wotlk

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9/10/12 6:58:06 AM#36
Originally posted by Mothanos

MoP targets a very very young audiance, you can see that clearly with their pokemon style pet battles + the panda's that practise kung fu.

They also started to move priority's to Asia, as it seems WoW EU servers are mostly ghostowns these days, with only 15 full servers it shows EU is done with WoW after almost 8 years.

They expand to Asia wich is a good move for them, bad for USA / EU.

Did you even think before you posted this? I always try to be as opet as possible to people answers and I do try look at them as objectively as possible but sometimes poster just hit a nerve with their nonsense.

Yes, they target much much younger audience because after all, they do have mastercars/visas/gold american express in their massive wallets. Because Pandas weren't in the game long before that "much younger audience" was even born. Because useless features such as pet battles are specifically made for 10 year olds, not as a enormous time sink for pet lovers. Because Kung Fu is clearly something that only kids love. And while we are at it, because Pokemon is so ridicuosly popular because of 5 year olds.

Abundance of ignorance in one post, just one.

Altho, I do agree they are slowly switching to Asian market, but then again why would they since west is where most of their revenue is.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/03/03
Posts: 1483

9/10/12 10:19:58 AM#37
Originally posted by Mothanos

MoP targets a very very young audiance, you can see that clearly with their pokemon style pet battles + the panda's that practise kung fu.

They also started to move priority's to Asia, as it seems WoW EU servers are mostly ghostowns these days, with only 15 full servers it shows EU is done with WoW after almost 8 years.

They expand to Asia wich is a good move for them, bad for USA / EU.

I would have to contradict that in my own experience as i am in my 40's and the majority of my guild are in their late 20-30's, with more than 50% of them that had taken a break returned in the last couple of weeks. Had been in the MoP beta since the phase 3 invites and have enjoyed it so far, especially as a bit of an achivement bod i am loving the pet collection stuff, was about time they made the pets a little more useful as the have always featured so heavily in the background of the game for now. As for the whole Panda thing, i have no issues with it as i am already playing an fantasy game with Orcs, Trolls and giant bi-pedal bulls/cows and the oriental theme works so well as well as the changes to cooking and the personal phased areas

It 'seems' or you 'know' that they are supposedly ghost towns? I am still selling through all of my auction items day on day and still only having to wait abount 5-6 minutes for a dungeon group when the mood takes me. According to the current realm status across europe there are 47 high population realms and 154 medium population realms, although there are 66 low population realms as well, but 201 high/medium population realms is hardly 'ghost town' status and not too shabby for an aging game like this one. What does that mean in terms of numbers or how the population is shifting, i have no bloody idea, i just know that i can get done what i want to get done when i log in.

Hey, what does it really matter, i will keep playing the game as long as it entertains me.

It must be Thursday, i never could get the hang of Thursdays.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/11
Posts: 870

9/10/12 10:27:35 AM#38
I am with webbing. The two us servers I am on are always high pop. New characters always running around. The guilds I am in are all 20'snaked and 30's. Most I know wanted pandarian brewmasters since the start and brew masters were always asian themed. AH's are strong. Lfg even for heroic lich king are strong. I think the haters just keep repeating that wow is withered to nothing so that they can believe it themselves.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/10/12
Posts: 16

9/10/12 1:53:37 PM#39
Originally posted by Greyhooff
Originally posted by StanlyStanko
13 year old girls that love pandas

Pretty much this. 

WoW is a children's game with cute pandas and insect baddies.

 And GW2 is complete opposite with Asuras, throwing cow poop and feeding hungry rabbits while angry ones kick you "quests" (sry hearts) etc. !


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 1977

"See how I reward those who fail me!"

9/10/12 1:56:27 PM#40

WoW targets a wide variety of players. Soloers, groupers, casuals, hardcores. Questing for soloers, dungeons, elite quests and raids for groupers. Casual players can do regular dungeons while hardcores can try their hand at raids.

My main complaint with how WoW divides its "things to do" is the lack of 5-man content for hardcore players. Even the heroic dungeons are casual, which sort of defeats the point of them.

Currently playing: Divinity: Original Sin, FTL, Hearthstone and Skyrim.
Eagerly anticipating: Camelot Unchained, Elite: Dangerous, Legend of Grimrock 2 and Star Citizen.

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