Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 04, 2008
Stating the obvious

Via pΘtshΘt I got the news that Activision Blizzard filed their preliminary proxy with the SEC. This is a document to inform shareholders of all the details of the Activision Blizzard merger. As you can get into serious trouble if you file misleading or incomplete information with the SEC, such documents tend to be truthful, but long, with a lot of statements of the obvious. As pΘtshΘt remarked, one interesting part is the Risk Factors, where Activision Blizzard states what could go wrong with their business in the future. I'd like to quote some of them here:
Vivendi Games is dependent on Blizzard's World of Warcraft franchise.

The majority of Vivendi Games' total net sales are derived from Blizzard's World of Warcraft franchise. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2007, and the years ended December 31, 2006 and 2005, Blizzard's World of Warcraft titles accounted for approximately 85%, 62%, and 48%, respectively, of Vivendi Games' total net sales. Vivendi Games is the current leading global developer, publisher and distributor in terms of subscriber base and revenues in the subscription-based MMORPG category, due to the popularity of World of Warcraft and related expansion packs. To remain the leader in the MMORPG category, it is important that Vivendi Games continue to refresh World of Warcraft or develop new MMORPG products that are favorably received by its existing customer base and new customers. A number of software publishers have developed and commercialized or are currently developing online games for use by consumers over the Internet which pose a threat to the popularity of World of Warcraft, and Vivendi Games expects new competitors to continue to emerge in the MMOG category. If consumer demand for World of Warcraft games declines and Vivendi Games has not introduced new MMOG or other products that replace World of Warcraft's potentially decreasing revenue, or added other sources of revenue, Vivendi Games' financial condition could suffer. Additionally, if new technologies are developed that replace MMOG games, if consumer preferences trend away from MMOG games or if new business models emerge that offer online subscriptions for free or at a substantial discount to current MMOG subscription fees, Vivendi Games' revenue and profitability will decline.
85% of Vivendi Game's sales are from World of Warcraft, that's both impressive and scary. Note how the numbers are going up from 2005 to 2007. It is interesting that they see other MMO games as a threat, and see both "refreshing" WoW or a new MMOG as the solution to "World of Warcraft's potentially decreasing revenue".
The development of MMOG products requires substantial up-front expenditures. Vivendi Games may not be able to recover development costs for its future MMOG products.

Consumer preferences for games are usually cyclical and difficult to predict, and even the most successful titles remain popular for only limited periods of time, unless refreshed with new content. In order to remain competitive in the MMOG market, Vivendi Games must continuously develop new products and enhancements to existing products. Because of the significant complexity of MMOG games, these products require a longer development time and are more expensive to create than traditional console game products. In addition, the long lead time involved in developing a MMOG product and the significant allocation of financial resources that each product requires means it is critical that Vivendi Games accurately predict consumer demand for new MMOG products. While World of Warcraft's popularity allowed it to recoup its production costs, if future MMOG products do not achieve expected market acceptance or generate sufficient sales and subscription revenues upon introduction, Vivendi Games may not be able to recover the development and marketing costs associated with new products, and its financial results could suffer.
In other words, while World of Warcraft is extremely successful, Blizzard does not have the recipe for the secret sauce of MMO design, which would guarantee their next game to be successful as well. The danger here is developers being scared from moving away from what worked in the past, with the next game being something too similar to World of Warcraft.
A substantial portion of Vivendi Games' revenues are derived from subscriptions paid by World of Warcraft subscribers. If these customers cancel their subscriptions, Vivendi Games' financial condition could suffer.

A substantial portion of Vivendi Games' revenues are generated by subscription fees paid by consumers who play World of Warcraft. Typically, World of Warcraft subscribers purchase one (1) to three (3) month memberships that are cancellable, without penalty, at the end of the membership period. If World of Warcraft subscribers become dissatisfied, they may chose not to renew their memberships in order to engage in other forms of entertainment (including competing MMOG offerings) and Vivendi Games may not be able to replace lost subscribers. Additionally, if general economic conditions decline, consumers may decrease their discretionary spending on entertainment items such as MMOG games and users may choose not to renew their World of Warcraft subscriptions. A decrease in the overall subscription base of World of Warcraft could substantially harm Vivendi Games' operating results.
This one disappointed me a bit, because it just states the obvious, without offering a solution. What does Blizzard plan to do if "World of Warcraft subscribers become dissatisfied"? Later in the document the current development of the second expansion is mentioned, and "Additional content is expected to be provided in future years to bring new features and gaming experiences to the game's players, both through regular downloadable patches and through periodic larger expansion packs, such as the recently announced expansion pack World of Warcraft: The Wrath of Lich King." I would have loved to hear whether Blizzard is planning to invest more into such additional content, to get expansions out a bit faster than now.

Nevertheless it is pretty clear that at least 2008 will be another record year for Blizzard if they manage to bring out the Wrath of the Lich King before christmas. And World of Warcraft will probably remain king of the hill for 2009 as well. But as the game ages, some erosion of the player base is inevitable, and I wonder what we will see in either added content or new Blizzard MMORPGs. And some serious competition from another company would probably do them good.
Interesting stuff, despite being obvious.

In some ways Blizzard's position is rather unenviable (piles of cash aside, obviously). They have over 3000 employees now, which makes them an absolutely gargantuan developer in terms of headcount. All those people, depending on the continued success of WoW...

And as market leader, they've got to be careful not to compete with themselves by announcing too much about upcoming non-WoW products (you can bet they're long into development).
all those money and 3000 employee doesnt guarantee the quality they put back into WOW.

Where is the horizontal leveling process for casual ppl ? why focusing only on raiders ? the way to retain ppl is thru more effort to liven up the current and exisiting content, instead of adding MORE-OF-THE-SAME stuff and devaluing existing content

WoW will fail, time and shortsightness of its dev will be the cause imho

ex-wow player
Community is one of the strongest factor for retaining subscriber. WOW need more GUILD function.

for example :

imagine if a GUILD have some kind of level and the only way for a guild level up is thru team effort.

now this will include effort from raiders, from pvp-er, from casuals, from all level of players.

imagine what this will bring to the guild community ??
> why focusing only on raiders

bitter ex-wow, this isn't true by a long shot. Every recent patch and in fact TBC itself have brought about many non-raiding-related goodies.

Examples go from Heroic 5-man instances introduced in TBC to the latest 2.4 goodies, including but not limited to:
* summoning people from inside instances,
* new 5-man instance
* new quest hub
* pvp improvements
* Fishing daily quests
(and ALL of the above are just from 2.4!! Don't get me started on the goodness from previous patches :))

"horizontal leveling process for casual ppl" - I would say heroic, rep grinds, improved crafted items (still a lot to do there), daily quests - all these are not enough? improved+added lower level content in level 40+/-? Improved lower-levels instances loot? faster leveling from 20-60? What exactly are you complaining about?

Just to give an example, a person collecting the best rep+heroic+crafted gear in the game can *easily* compete with any T4 raider in terms of quality of gear. And don't get me started on the PvP epics... :)

Tobold, great post! Truly I find the 85% number scary. It means the suits at Vivendi Games will be very scared to make any major change to WoW, meaning we're probably stuck with the basic faults of the game as they are. I hope Blizzard do a better job in their next MMOG and in parallel diversify their revenue stream. I guess only time will tell...

Before BC launched 5 mans were run regularly. NOT NOW. Before BC launched there were pug raids of MC, AQ20, ZG, an on some servers even BWL. almost no pug raids now.

The only thing that BC gave casual players was more solo content and arena gear. They broke grouping. By tieing the 5 mans to rep grinds they ruined the 5 mans. There is almost no reason for anyone who has thier gear and rep to ever go back and run the 5 mans. Pre BC it was a common thing.

I'll give you they tried to give stuff to casual players. But my response is they broke grouping and most of the things that were holding the game together socially. And the game community has suffered ever since.

While as a casual player because of my RL schedule I appreciate that I can solo. It is ridiculous that soloing to endgame is the most efficient way to get there.

Casual's like all the stuff in the middle. And that's the stuff they screwed up. Even EQ2 realized there was a problem and added AA's and mentoring to give people a reason to go back and run old content.

If WOTLK is the same model as BC then the next game that really hurts blizzard won't have to be as good as wow. It'll just have to be close.

We at launch were promised dynamic changing world content. To this day that has never happened.
First of all you say "The only thing that BC gave casual players was more solo content and arena gear."
What about all my other points? What about rep gear, heroic gear, BG gear?
What would you have Blizzard give casual players apart from more 5man and solo content? You rant makes no sense...

Nor do I agree that BC broke grouping. Yes there are fewer entry-level raid instances so only PuG Kara instead of PuG MC+ZG. Frankly I can't imagine a PuG AQ20 and wouldn't want to be in one at level 60... :)
But Kara PuGs *are* done regularly on my server. So are all the level 70 instances. Maybe you're talking about pre-70 instances where I agree it is hard to get a group. Your comment about the EQ2 mentoring system seems to imply this also. Yes pre-70 instance groups can be hard to find. News-flash, this was true pre-TBC also. Just to a lesser extent due to the game being newer and the max level being lower. Read some past Tobold posts on this subject, he covers it well :)

You appreciate the ability to solo to 70 and complain about it being effective at the same time. GG...

"Casual's like all the stuff in the middle." - nope you do, I'm a casual and I know many casual and we like the start, middle and end. Don't decide my taste for me please. If you like the middle so much, roll 10 alts on horde and 10 on alliance and go have fun leveling them :)

Dynamic changing world content was promised for WotLK, not before.

As always, remember that Blizzard need to balance between limited dev resources (3000 people != inf devs) and the desire to add new content (without which the game would grow stale). As a result, upgrades to existing content suffer. Yes, Blizzard could have done a better job at keeping the value of past content but lets face it they could have done a worse job too :)

spoken like a true hardcore raider..

hardcore raider : wooot a new raid instance, im happy blizzard is focusing their effort on us.. long live raiders

casual : what about us ? where is housing ? where is exploration ? i dont want gear gear gear , i want other way to hav fun.. heroic is not fun.. daily quest what is that ? is there no other way for me to have fun other than upgrading my gear ? read my lip , i dont want PURPLZ GEAR !! I WANT OTHER WAY TO HAVE FUN AT ENDGAME

Hardcore raider : look , just eat your crumbs and shut up, or quit and join LOTRO

casual raider : already quit , joined lotro and happy there.. blizz you lost another customer bye
look solidstate, WOW already grown stale. and the existing content is destroyed by TBC. its funny, instead of enriching WOW by adding TBC , the expansion really shrunk WOW.

and faster leveling isnt what best for WOW. faster leveling means blizzard want ppl to reach levelcap to have fun. as if there is fun at level cap lol

WOW is successful because of its 1-60 polished design. throwing away that fun means the clock is ticking for WOW's downfall *shrug*
If you read the silly little articles on quite a few game sites, that are fairly erroneous and dont say much - you will however learn that blizzard is developing another MMO, they just wont tell anyone what it is yet.

Which is interesting, although i expect it will have a long development cycle.
Developers waste so much energy, it's astounding. The previous comment about 1-60 is spot on. A new expansion should never kill interest in previous expansions. They should, in fact, revive interest in old content - but that's not what's happening. As the number of "empty zones" increase, the problem continues to accelerate.

Blizzard is wasting old resources by continuing down this path, just as SOE does with EQ. Eventually players catch on, and realize that all their work is for nothing, because the new expansion will immediately devalue the loot they are currently busting their ass to get.

This is called mud'flation, but I call it something else - zone'flation, which is a better way to describe it. It's bad enough to outdate a player's hard earned gear, but to outdate zones that took enormous resources (time + money) to create is self defeating - and just like SOE destroyed EQ, Vivendi will destroy WoW, by making the same mistakes.
"I would have loved to hear whether Blizzard is planning to invest more into such additional content, to get expansions out a bit faster than now."

Looking at it from a business-kind of view:
Expansions equal a huge pile of money. And they would get bought if you hand them out once a year or once every one and a half year. Therefore if they could hand them out faster, they would do it.
That leads me to one conclusion: The costs for additional programmers etc (to speed up the progress) exceed the potential gain of one additional expansion per 5-6 years (I guess they would hand out about 6 expansions in 6 years instead of 5 expansions in 6 years).
So I wouldn't bet on a faster addon cycle.

"[...]or develop new MMORPG products"
Reminds me of the persistant rumors of Starcraft Online flying around ;)
On the one side they would be nuts not to develope a new MMO, considering how rich they got from the last one.
On the other side chances are that they would steal their own customers.
I'm really curious to hear their solution to this dilemma.
Or Kiseran, one could expect them to do what they said they'd do originally and have a team dedicated to keeping up the game and mixing it up with ever changing dynamic content to keep people busy and happy while another team works on the expansions and yet another does the super secret new stuff for when this game finally does die.

Call me crazy but I don't see a downside to doing it that way. But when you see blue talk about it. Touching the old content is talked about as if it were a complete utter waste of development work time.
Nothing will give Blizzard a bigger attitude adjustment than Age of Conan or Warhammer Online being huge hits.

WoW is vulnerable on two fronts, ignoring players who don't like raiding, and the release of new content at a snail's pace.
maybe warhammer. But Age of Conans system requirements alone keep it out of the running.

But if they get everything worked out I can see warhammer hurting them. Especially since they shoved all the casuals towards pvp for gear.
Doesn't predicting the downfall of WoW get old for some of you? We're constantly beat over the head by people like bitter exwow who sound like the crazy man on the street telling us the world is ending, only to have Blizzard make announcements a month later showing that their numbers are still astounding.

Here's the truth. WoW will eventually fail. It has to, all MMOs do. Claiming that the fall is coming doesn't make you look smart, it makes you look kooky. If you keep claiming the end is nigh, you'll eventually be correct though. The real truth is that if you're so put off by the current state of WoW, you're in the minority. People keep paying and playing, and the majority of players would concede it's because it's the best on the market still.

Enjoy LOTRO. It sounds like it's more your speed which is great. More power to you. Now quit treating WoW like an ex-girlfriend. Move on with the new chick.
I've seen and made a few post here that wow could have competition. Don't remember seeing that it was going down in flames anytime soon.

And if you poke around you'll see most if not all of the growth is in thier least profitable areas. Namely Asia.

Not dieing not going away tomorrow but definitely stagnating.

But till someone else kicks out something with the same polish and quality in their PVE game. your stuck with all us 1/2 satified players. Who post thier thoughts and generally here thoughts on how to improve the game.
I find it funny that raiders think they are qualified to comment on the supposed quality of casual content and yet also believe that casuals are not qualified to comment on endgame raiding.

The argument is getting so boring now!

To the poster who said casuals should be happy because:

1 summoning people from inside instances,
2 new 5-man instance
3 new quest hub
4 pvp improvements
5 Fishing daily quests

1 Please... more comedy.
2 why not a causal friendly raid instead of a raid that 9.6 million people will never see.
3 I assuming you mean the one that casuals do to allow the hardcore to raid. More comedy sir.
4 You mean the collision detection and daily working out of rep? Great casual content buff! More comedy Sir, it gets better!
5 Awesome, us casuals get more fishing quests! Now I know my subs are well spent!
In china, WoW isn't handled by Blizzard/Vivendi but it's another company called The9.

Under chineese regulations, such company, had to provide a similar prospect....

Reading that you could read things like....
Revenues could significatly change in case of disasters or other things not under control... including aviary deseease and so on....

I think that they have to include such statements warning investors... but they don't necessarly need to have a plan to counter every disaster :)
Imho WOW is stagnating already in US/EUR. I do hope Warhammer and AoC will be successfull and pull lot of ppl from WOW. Do i want WOW to fail ? no , i just want Blizzard's DEV to start working HARDER and catering for other ppl. i wont go back to WOW when WOTLK come out because there is noting more but more-of-the-same stuff, unless other endgame activities is created for casual player (who dont want gear / raid / heroic).

do i sound bitter ? off course i do. With all those MONEY and RESOURCE, blizzard can do EVERYTING they want to revamp old content and make it FRESH and stop the mudflation/zoneflation. But instead of going the hard way, bliz dev is going the EASY way that is adding more-of-the-same stuff (gear grind, more raid). its as if they want ppl who dont want to raid to just hit the wall at level cap and quit the game.

competition is good, with AOC and WARHAMMER coming out , i with vivendi will pressure blizzard to get off its comfort zone and do more to inject life in WOW. and to pressure that ex-eq guild/raid leader to lay off the raid game and push for balanced end game.

@albatros: now now, i never insult you, why you insult me so ? calling me names ? you know tobold's rule in posting dont you ? you can say your opinion and debate each other but dont start personal insult.
Your conclusion about WoW remaining the king of mmog for 2008 is pretty much the same one I've come to as I've been checking out the competition.

Age of Conan is too PvP for my taste (and for many other players too) and the system requirements for it are just ridiculous where as Warhammer Online just doesn't look good to my eye for some reason (I mean in my opinion it looks plain ugly), even though it does pretty combine pvp and pve in an interesting way I'd like to try out.

As far as I've seen the competition though, the game I'm anticipating most likely to challenge WoW would be the Chronicles of Spellborn (, which I think you haven't mentioned in your blog yet. Though with them stupid NDAs and such, you might be betaing it already :). Funny though, since I'm not, I can talk about the game freely ^^;.

In my opinion the game looks good, has enough new (like the deck combat system, which is I think something similar you talked about at some point) and enough old to gain some valuable points from WoW generation. The lore seems worth checking too, so all in all it's a pretty good package, from what I can tell from the hype I've heard so far.

Anyways the way I see it at the moment is that WoW will stay the king at least until TCOS comes out, maybe it'll stay king even after that, I don't know, but TCOS is the next game I'm waiting for (and yes, I mean I'm really waiting, like I'm waiting WOTLK) :)
This is probably a rough time to be Lead Designer for WoW. Imagine showing Northrend to a group of Goldman Sachs suits, trying to explain the cool and the fun when all they want is retention forecasts.

Wall Street likes growth, and I can't imagine that WoW subs will continue to rise indefinitely. I have a hard time picturing 20 million WoW players.

And yet the pressure will certainly be on to continue to grow WoW's sub base (a monumental task) or even worse, come up with some black magic that *surpasses* WoW.

Blizzard has said on many occasions that they were shocked by WoW's success, and now they have to do *better*?

My prediction is a lot of new studios forming from the best ex-WoW designers, while the hacks stay on to squeeze the franchise dry.
the current blizzard's strategy of customer retention is flawed. Adding 1 expansion per year while making old zone irrelevant is definitely a stupid idea. its an idea born from laziness and lack of competition, its an easy way out.

Ask any blizzard people and even they dont know what make WoW such a runaway success.. Without knowing the right formula, even blizzard's new MMO dont have same chance of success compared to WOW.

Warhammer and Conan and other new MMO wont dethrone WOW's reign. but surely they will deflate their pride a little, and i predict blizzard will copy stuff from Warhammer and conan just like they hav copied stuff from LOTRO. Blizzard isnt known for its innovation, but it is known for taking other people's innovation and then polishing it, the so called 'blizzard polish'.

the only thing blizzard cannot fight is time, in time everyting will be old and forgotten, ditto with WOW. it is folly to think that WOW can survive with just 1 expansion per year. what happen when WOW reach its 3rd expansion ? when level cap is 90 and zone 1-60, zone 61-70, zone 71-80 is bereft of people and only zone 81-90 is populated ? This is what going to happen if Blizzard continue to take the easy way out. What happen then ? instant level 80 ? faster leveling by increasing 1-80 xp ?

Please understand, this is a financial document. The point is to outline every conceivable risk that Blizzard's financial group can come up with that might harm the company. It is pretty traditional in these to include things like "locusts might swarm and ravage our headquarters, causing us to lose all paper documents."

In the US, at least, if something happens to your business you foresaw, and didn't disclose, you can get sued (and lose). If Blizzard doesn't say (e.g.), if our customers cancel we'll lose money, and the customers *do* cancel, and there's some internal memo that says "We'll make a bunch of money next year, of course, assuming we keep all our current customers" then there's proof they knew it was a risk and didn't disclose.

Imagine if you had to make similar disclosures about your personal life, trying to document every conceivable risk. "Well, my house could burn down." What have you done to prevent that? Well, probably everything you can think of, but that doesn't mean it still won't happen. So, I wouldn't put a lot of stock into the specific things they list, here. This is basically a big list of butt covering. Just because it's in it doesn't mean they're particularly worried about it - just that it's something that they obviously should be worried about. This is not the place to "offer a solution". This is the place to list all possible problems so they can't be charged with covering up the risks, later.
"Or Kiseran, one could expect them to do what they said they'd do originally and have a team dedicated to keeping up the game and mixing it up with ever changing dynamic content to keep people busy and happy while another team works on the expansions and yet another does the super secret new stuff for when this game finally does die."

As far as I know, Blizzard *has* different teams for different games. Or at least they had before WoW went through the roof.
But if I look at it from the side of an asshole-desicionmaker again: Are the costs of two different teams lower than the potential loss of money from customers leaving dissapointed because we stick to static leveling and only improve the endgame?
Somewhere in Blizzard-HQ are people with questions like this and I bet they not only ask those questions but also make the desicions we think of as so bad. Otherwise this new company wouldn't be named "Activision Blizzard". was Activision and Vivendi that merged. Of course it wasn't Vivendis idea that their name should vanish. And I don't think Activision cared if the company is named "Activision Blizzard" or "Activision Vivendi". Somewhere at Blizzard is someone who wanted their name to be at that place and that guy sure matters. Can you imagine that guy is a geek who simply wants to create good games out of sheer goodwill? They may claim that..
This guy wants money. Huge piles of it today, and even huger ones tomorrow. He doesn't care if we are happy or only half-happy as long as we pay.
I see a butt load of crap about non raid end game, hate to say it but raiding is end game, it will have the best loot and challenges. I am not a raider, and there is no way to compete with them. What would happen if you could get tier 6 quality gear soloing? No one would be raiding.

Because the amount of effort players have to go through to take on a 40 man raid Blizz has to make sure the rewards are worth it. Besides, raiders continue to do all the non raiding content too. Raiders will always be ahead because they do the non raiding content between their runs. Unless you find a way to actually prevent raids from taking part in certain content (not a sound business plan) the Raider will always be happy.

If you don't like to raid, that's fine. But don't cry about how much better they have it. Raiding is a huge pain in the ass, enjoy the fact that your play time is not bound to a schedule where you might not get anything out of except a huge repair bill.
If WoW was a pay-for-content model, I would probably see casuals in general agreement with the last poster.

But I think that a general perception of the casual- or non-raiders commenting here is:
"Why is raid content developed knowing that only an estimated 3%-5% of players will ever even see it?"

And then they point out that the 95%-97% are subsidizing the 3%-5%.
Because there is certainly significant cost to design & artwork, plus development and balance and testing of an additional endgame raid release with every patch .
And that means effort *not* spent on more casual content.

That is the reason that casuals are bothered by this (from my vantage point anyway).
If you are a casual player bothered by Blizzard's raid bias you should consider voting with your feet.

If you are still playing the game, then things can't be all that bad content-wise, can it?

If you want your dissatisfaction to be heard loud and clearly, easy! Just stop giving them your money.
"If you are a casual player bothered by Blizzard's raid bias you should consider voting with your feet."

That's one option. Another option is constant, consistent and vociferous feedback (AKA "crying"). I'm sure, 100% positive, that Blizzard would rather people complain and stay, than quietly leave. It's obvious that feedback works - look at how "Raid or Die", was the mantra of WoW Classic, and not so much for BC.

It's no secret that the folks who designed WoW have a strong raiding background, and it's equally obvious they designed the game they'd love to play. Kudos to them. However, as WoW moves towards becoming a mass-media conglomerate, I think decisions on content will match the demographic of players, as opposed to the demographic of designers.

That's not to say raiding will go away, because obviously many love it. However, I suspect the percent of raid content will more accurately reflect the percent of people who can access it.
At the risk of hijacking an discussion that has already devolved into hardcore v. casual, readers may also be interested in a few other sections.

Vivendi games financials statements (and the notes to those financial statements) contains an unprecedented amount of information about Vivendi Games and Blizzard since such information is not generally required to be disclosed to the same extend at the ultimate Vivendi parent level.

They've got segement information since 2004 relating to Blizzard and Sierra.

Likewise, a read through Allen & Company's Opinion of Activision's Financial Advisor provides some interesting views on the industry and valuation.

Note they evaluated this deal in light of valuations specifically for EA, THQ, Take Two, Ubisoft and big entertainment companies as well which they found comparable.

Again, this isn't necessarily information that would have been readily available outside of the investment banking community until its included in documents like this.

Finally, this document is subject to comment by the SEC. The SEC may ask Activision to include additional information or more specificity on all manner of items.

Anyway, back to hardcore v. casual and WoW v. the Universe.

Thanks for the link Tobold!
mr arrow

you are reflecting the narrow view of most hardcore raided. you think casual ppl who dont raid want T7 handed to their lap in an easy quest ? you couldnt be more wrong. i dont care about gear, i just want to do thing OTHER THAN RAIDING. you all who raid deserve best gear , i dont begrudge it. i just want blizzard to know that there is other ppl who want to do other thing at levelcap.

off couse i vote with my money, i walked out of WOW and currently happy with LOTRO. but i will go back to WOW if blizzard put more casual / community stuff other than raid raid raid gear gear gear endgame.
Mr. Bitter.

I am not a hard core raider, i'm only ever done Kara and have never seen it to completion. I too have also quit playing wow do to poor management and total lack of anything hew to do, at both 70 and leveling up to 70. Raiding is the last option one can do at 70.

I support raiding as there needs something to keep the game epic. Imagine the game without any instances, a game where you could do everything by yourself. Boring. Seeing monsters that are so powerful that you need 39 other people and expert tactics creates a worlds where you aren't top dog. without a massive amount of a group effort, the game stops become a MMORPG and more of a Social RPG.

That being said I agree that there is not enough end-game content. The problem it that we are trained to be looking for better gear and to lvl up. What good is that gear if there is nothing to do with it? Unless you really enjoy PvP, you quickly run out of things to do. I can honestly say I have no idea how to make endgame fun. I do know that it should be at least one third of the entire game, and out of that content rading should only be 10% to 20%. What the MMOPRGs of the future need to think up is new ways to reward the player without it being gold, gear or exp.

The point of the original post is that no matter how much new end game stuff is added, Raider with always have the most content to enjoy. Trying to compete with them is pointless, they will always be one above the rest. Now having more options at endgame is I cause I can get behind. I guess what I'm saying is hate rading, not the rader.
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