The downward spiral of World of Warcraft

Alberto Statti

At its peak World of Warcraft was the biggest game in the world with a staggering 12 million subscribers. That number has been reducing at a rapid rate hitting 5.5million last year, based on the last quarter reports of 2015. Although the game is still making huge profits, $212 million in the last quarter of 2015, its popularity is clearly declining and there are many reasons for this:

Poor quality expansion packs

There have been 3 expansion packs released for World of Warcraft in the last 4 years, all of which need to be purchased by players that are already paying a subscription to Blizzard. This seems to have angered a lot of fans who believe these expansions haven’t offered much in the way of added gameplay, and aren’t very good value for money compared to the base game and earlier expansion packs. The content provided is scarce and they lack uniqueness making fans feel they are receiving a rehash of old content.

Subscriptions are outdated

In today’s economic climate people aren’t so keen on paying subscriptions for a single game, you wouldn’t want to have to cancel your favourite game because you were having a tough month. The micro transaction format is much more popular nowadays and brings in significantly higher revenues. Blizzard seem to be heading in this direction with its newer releases and could considering changing WOW to a micro transaction or free to play format in order to revitalise the game.

Parental concern

When World of Warcraft first launched it was perfectly acceptable to let your child play online with his friends and talk to them via a headset. As time has passed parents have become savvier to the dangerous of the internet and the abuse that can be flung around while playing online. A raid that is going badly can result in a lot of anger and aggression, and language that is definitely not PG friendly. This had led to many parents stopping their children and young teenagers from playing the game.

Game play changes

There have been many game play changes over the years some have been welcomed and some have not. Blizzard have altered a lot of the class specification in an attempt to make all classed equal, but this has taken away from the uniqueness of each class, and the reason you felt drawn to be a certain class to begin with is taken away. This lack of distinctiveness leaves the game feeling bland and lacklustre.

A quick guide to The Division

By Alberto Statti

Just like a standard third-person shooter, The Division has the same prospects, of course with more elements on MMO/RPG. One of the things you should know from the start is that XP doesn’t earn you new skills or abilities. To do that, you have to improve and expand your base of operations. For example, when you build a new medical wing or ward, you unlock a new healing skill. Nonetheless, this does not render earning XP useless because better weapons and gear means reaching higher levels easily.

The PVE difficulty in this game is based on how many people you have in your team. This is because The Division is easier to handle as a solo mission than when playing alongside a group of friends, three in particular. However, when you are playing in Hard mode, it is advisable that you bring on board at least one team member since the difficulties are increased in that mode.

For easy switching from cover to cover, always aim the screen towards the cover the hold the A/CTRL button. This way, you will be able to beeline to cover minimizing the time you are exposed to your enemy. Otherwise, a team member could use an LMG that suppresses your enemy thus enabling you to quickly move up and flank them from their side.

You can also do a roll out by double taping the cover button. This is very helpful when an enemy throws a grenade at your or when you are under heavy gunfire or when moving across uncovered spaces.

The maximum level is 30 when you are aiming at completing PVE, and Rank 99 when looking at Dark Zone, this enables you to focus on a level goal. Unlike other games, The Division does not feature the get-rich-quick option that allows the player to level up in record time. Alternatively, there are numerous opportunities to earn gear besides playing the story such as teaming up for side missions, locating ECHO sequences, completing random encounters and replaying missions on higher difficulties.

It is only with your Dark Zone rank 50+ that you will be able to have better weapons and gear. As such, the trick here is to kill as many enemies as you can, locate loot crates and kill named enemies. Take note that even with this strategy, if you die quite often, your DZ rank drops quite considerably, especially when you have gone rogue.