Tobold's Blog
Friday, July 06, 2007
Shadowing WoW

There is a distinctive peak in March, followed by a continuous decline to June. Still, there were more people around in June 07 than in December 06, so it's not all bad. Talking about the WoW subscribers numbers again? No, this is actually the description of the below graph counting visitors to my blog. Ignore the July numbers, those are "month to date", the graph only looks good on the last day of a month.
But the resemblance between this graph and the WarcraftRealms WoW activity graph is remarkable. Just like WoW this blog has been growing since its release, and has now gone into reverse, with a small decline. July numbers will be horrible because of my holidays, and then we'll see how it continues for the rest of the year. If I keep between 2,000 and 3,000 visitors per day, as it is now, I'd be happy.

Now I'm wondering whether the decline is just because I stopped playing World of Warcraft. I mean, I'm still writing enough about that game, it is not as if I could write about MMORPG design and ignore WoW. With an inherent assumption that everybody reading a MMORPG blog will know about World of Warcraft, it is easier to base examples of new ideas (like player-created dungeons) on that game. And with a firm intention to come back to WoW if the next expansion is any good, I'm obviously still interested and writing about World of Warcraft news.

So when I'm reading about gaming slumps on various blogs, it makes me wonder if there is something larger going on. Are people maybe less interested in MMORPGs than they used to be? Did my blog just lose the people who aren't interested in non-WoW writing, or has the traffic on WoW blogs gone down as well?

In the early days of World of Warcraft there was a lot of talk about the "rising tide lifts all boats" theory. WoW would attract new players into the genre, and when they eventually would leave, they would nevertheless stay with MMORPGs and just move to newer games. This is certainly happening to some extent. But there must also be people who played World of Warcraft until they burned out, looked around and saw that all the other MMORPGs had more or less the same sort of gameplay, and thus left the genre. The question is only how many people are staying with MMORPGs, and how many are going back to console games or whatever else they were playing before.

Part of the problem is certainly the "first love" effect. My first MMORPG love was Everquest (I never got that attached to UO), and all the MMORPGs I played from 2001 to 2004 just weren't as fascinating. Not before WoW did I find a game that I played for as long as Everquest. Now there are millions of people for who World of Warcraft was their first MMORPG ever, their first love in the genre. And the generation of games coming out now is probably appearing pale in comparison. Even Warhammer Online is far from being a guaranteed success. So maybe lots of people are currently disillusioned from MMORPGs in general, and that would affect game subscription numbers as well as blog visitor numbers. Either that, or my blog numbers are just shadowing WoW numbers. Not sure which of those is the scarier scenario.
Still the best MMORPG blog around!!!
Well since you talked about you moving away from WoW and the direct result of declining users here on the blog, it seems you picked up the WoW pace again. I think this is the reason people are starting to come back.
You managed to pick up the WoW writing again when people where still checking you out every few days.
Keep it up!
As long as some form of gaming is discussed, I keep coming back.

Why are the page hits so important, anyway?

BTW, any chance of starting a message board?
Remember there's a big different between "number of visits" and "unique visitors".
BTW, any chance of starting a message board?

No, because a) there isn't enough interest


b) I haven't got a clue how to do it.

Remember there's a big different between "number of visits" and "unique visitors".

Sitemeter only shows visits and page hits, not unique visitors. But to read my long texts you need to be pretty unique anyway. :)
I is certainly the best MMORPG-block and thanks for that!

Stil I personaly miss your ingame-coverage from WOW. As you often mention - WOW is the leading MMO - and thefore, any serious MMO-writer should be there.

But anyway I will keep reading your block every day!!!
There kinda is a forum anyway, in a sense anyway: the 'blogosphere' (now I feel dirty) in general. If you have a topic to bring up, you blog about it, and if you comment on someone elses blog you link back to your blog. Its what I do :)
Tobold, It just occurred to me that you'll be on vacation during E3, and Blizzcon is the first week of August, so I predict your blog hits will surge, once you get back, because they'll be so many things to write about.
It's not that people aren't interested in MMOs, but that there isn't any new info out there at the moment. I mean everything in WoW has been discovered or beaten and all of the new MMOs are still under NDA so we can't find out about them anyway.

I still <3 your blog.
I have made your blog and comments mandatory reading for our MMORPG dev team.
I don't believe the activity is tied to the game and how it is doing, but more if you are talking about the game.

Tobold, you were picked up by a lot of WoW websites before you hit it big. When you don't post about WoW for a bit, these sites drop you like a bad habbit.

When you stop having WoW in every new post and you aren't being linked to as much for WoW related material, the Google hits drop off a bit. It is all a very logical trend.

Now if your play and posting follow the trend of WoW player activity, then of course the graphs will match. Which seems to be your case.
You write because you have to my friend - and you know it. The hits could drop down to twelve and you would still enjoy sharing your theories with the dozen of us. :)

Don't let numbers make you second guess anything... and since you won't read this until you are back from the holiday, I hope it was a good one!
I'm an MMO addict and I could care less whether you write about World of Warcraft or Pretty Pony Online - if there's an MMO to be discussed, then I'm there!

I really enjoy the diversity in your post, it's something new everyday!
It's summer. I think you should expect a dip in your numbers until the fall.
I'm betting some of the drop is from the closure of Cesspit... I'm sure I'm not the only person around who used to rely on the Cesspit aggregator to keep an eye on all the MMO blogs.
WoW was my first MMO love and just like a woman its going to take a special MMO to take her place in my heart. I did get burned out, I dont have hours on end to devote to playing the game I did that for awhile but realizes I could not continue doing that without neglecting either my work or my family.
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