Tobold's Blog
Saturday, December 31, 2011
 
New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve, and another year gone, it seems as if they are going faster and faster. I wish all my readers and their families a happy new year 2012, the best of luck, and may you have fun with whatever game you are playing.

There were three quarters of a million visitors to my blog this year, bringing the total up to over 5 million. As my blog can also be read entirely by newsreader, I'm not quite sure how many overall readers I have. Feedburner claims I have over 4,000 feed subscribers, but there is no measure of how often they read my blog posts. Fortunately I'm not writing for the money. My "conversion rate", in internet marketing parlance, is abominable. I got 20 donations with my "buy Tobold a coffee" button over the whole year.

Interestingly the number of readers somehow mirrors the general interest in MMORPGs, which after all isn't all that surprising for a MMORPG blog. Reader numbers dropped in the first three quarters of the year, while people got bored of Cataclysm. But in the last quarter the visitor numbers went up by a lot. I had more visitors in December than in any other month of this year. Assuming that my writing skills didn't dramatically increase last month, I can only point at SWTOR getting people interested in MMORPGs again.

2012 promises to be an interesting year for online roleplaying games. We will see how Star Wars: The Old Republic evolves; SWTOR will have their first "The Empire strikes back" moment when Blizzard releases Diablo 3 in the first quarter. Funcom's The Secret World will probably be the next one to launch, followed by a very interesting looking Guild Wars 2 from Arenanet. And somewhere in the second half of the year (personal guess would be last quarter), Blizzard will release Mists of Pandaria. Right now it is extremely hard to predict who will win that struggle. Possible scenarios range from SWTOR falling to under a million subscribers by the end of 2012 under pressure from all that competition, to Mists of Pandaria becoming the worst-selling World of Warcraft expansion ever. I think it is inevitable that WoW will continue to lose subscribers until MoP is released; but how many of those they can regain with the expansion, and whether SWTOR can establish itself as the second multi-million player game in the West is still in the stars.
Comments:
I would love to buy you a coffee, however I don't have a paypal account. Maybe if you had an iphone app, like some podcasts do, that is charged at like 5$ just for ppl who want to donate, it'd make life easier for ppl to donate.
I love the blog and read it about 2 times a week.

Cheers
 
Happy new year to you and all the other readers.

May 2012 bring new revolutionary MMO ideas, games with friendly payers and no assholes and the death of levels and daily quests.

BTW my guess is that Pandaria will 0wn the rest hard, suffering exactly the same fallout seen in Cataclysm after the initial spike. SWToR will not go F2P in 2012, but it will sink brutally and I still won't play it. GW2 is the one I'll probably go and buy, having missed GW.
 
You know what? I never noticed there was a "donation" button... until now. I think you should make it a little more "standard" and on par with other "donate" buttons. That would help for sure.
 
Not sure how typical a player I am but I quit playing WoW a few months before SWTOR was released and have no plans of returning to WoW even if I ToR becomes dull with time.

I'm really looking forwards to both D3 and GW2 and am planning on being broader in my game focus rather than have the single-focus of the last 5 years MMOing.
 
I’m sure you know the story of how a Pope picked January 1st as New Years Day and inadvertently created April Fools Day.
Here’s a YouTube LOL Pope music video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfNJWOZPbSw
 
Happy 2012 to you and your family, Tobold.
*looks for a "buy Tobold a beer" button*
 
Keep doing what you do Tobold, and don't let the trolls get you down. :)

2012 is going to be an interesting year for MMO's. How successful will SW:TOR be? How will Blizzard address this first real challenge to their dominance in several years? Will Guild Wars 2 even come close to the expectations that have been built up around it? Will some lesser known challenger (The Secret World, ArcheAge, TERA) surpass expectations and enter the top tier of games? Will there be a WildStar beta in 2012 and will I get an invite? Ok, so that last one is probably just me. :)
 
I've followed your blog for a while, but only this year started regularly reading. I don't use feeds. I go to the site directly with my bookmark. I hope to see a lot of interesting Tobold posts in 2012 (hopefully not all about SWTOR though. :) )

I don't think Diablo 3 will affect SWTOR much. It's neither sci-fi nor MMO. Certain things are MMO-like, but it has a very finite amount of content. There's certainly a lot of repetitive gameplay for players that want to get the best gear, but nowhere near as much real content. Everything is basically finished by level 30 (the whole story, all skills gained).

Pandaria is harder to tell since it will be so much different than the previous expansions. WoW has lost 1.7 million so far. I can see that going up to 3 million by the time the expansion releases. Pandaria will probably pause the losses for a few months, with minimal effect to SWTOR (temporary lower activity). I can't see Pandaria reversing the losses. Blizzard really can't do much more with WoW.

As for SWTOR, that 1 million announcement only covered roughly 1 week since release, so I expect the playerbase to keep growing up to 3 million by the end of the year.
 
Keep the writing coming! I don't get to play games online as much as I would like any more. However I do enjoy reading about other games and hopefully in a year or so I'll be able to get back to gaming again.

Happy New Years!
 
you know, personally (and I'm sure EA feels differently, but nonetheless) I'd settle for SWTOR becoming a niche game, retaining their projected minimum of half a million subscribers that they need to be profitable. I fear that the quest for Mass Appeal will end up in the game losing some of its unique feel and becoming WoW clone in truth.
 
Happy new year to you and all readers!

Tobold, I'd love to be able to flattr you: It's a "social micro-payment system" where you put a small widget on your site which allows flattr.com users to one-click donate to you.
 
SWTOR is interesting in that someone I know that hates the thought of MMOs surprised me a lot by buying it (and seem to play it a lot too :)). He only wanted to play it since it was the Star Wars universe (which he likes). So atleast 1 SWTOR player isnt an ex-wow player :)
 
I read an interesting theory on why the years seem to go by faster and faster as we age. It is very simple. Each year represents a smaller and smaller percentage of our total life. So, one year to a 10 year old represents almost 10% of all their experiences. While to a 50 year old, that year only represents arould 2%. So each year really does seem faster since it 'expands' the whole by so much less.
 
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