It’s almost been seven days since Argus became accessible to players, and it is time to look at last week’s poll which asked you to tell me where you’ve been since the Expansion launched. To be honest, with nearly 400 votes (and knowing from a statistician friend that this is as close to an optimum sample size for what is know of ActiBlizz’s current subscriber numbers as is needed) it is clear that Legion has been an enormous success, far more so than many will have considered. Assuming everyone really did take ‘launch’ as meaning 30th August 2016? To have so many people still playing a year on is, quite frankly, beyond a triumph.
The questions here weren’t as clear as they might have been: resubbed for 7.3 and took a break could be considered as the same thing, when all is said and done. However, these options were given for a reason: it makes a clear distinction between players that left and have come back, and those who have not been playing at all since Launch but have been incentivised to return. Certainly the range of catch up mechanics make it far easier to start from scratch than was ever the case last year, particularly with the loot piñatas that World Questing, the Broken Shore plus Argus present. There’s a lot of very easy means to gear quickly and easily without ever stepping foot inside an instance.
There’s also a distinct buzz about 7.3 that I don’t recall from 7.2: maybe because there is still so much stuff left to do, or perhaps it is that raiding has returned to being a genuinely hard part of gameplay. Looking at the figures today, there’s still only 31 Guilds who can say they’ve Tomb of Sargeras complete on Mythic. One assumes thanks to increasing week’s worth of potential upgrades that number should slowly expand, but if it doesn’t, there’s the understanding that End Game’s appears to have become considerably less faceroll in the last twelve months. For the rest of us, gearing and catchup has undoubtedly become an awful lot easier. Allowing the gap between casual and hardcore to widen might seem a bad idea on paper, but we know 3% of our survey never played the game until now.
If I were the Dev team, I’d take that number of new players as encouraging, but not great. Considering the number of people I know who have left for good in the last year, there needs to be more incentive to pick up Azeroth from scratch. The much-touted changes to levelling from scratch still haven’t materialised, despite assurances that was a priority in Development. As we know this is the last major glob of content in Legion, and that an Expansion announcement is likely to be the only thing anybody talks about in November (ONLY EIGHT WEEKS AWAY PEOPLE) one assumes there’s a lot of information coming that may yet convince more people to return.
It will certainly make talking about this game in the run up to Blizzcon very interesting indeed…