I've been looking around for exact numbers, even estimated numbers, but I can't find anything concrete so I'll have to work with what I can. Looking at sites like guild ox and wow progress, if they are indeed accurate which I doubt, it would seem that around 700,000, estimated, characters have killed morchok on normal difficulty. I'll take this number with a grain of salt because I can not be completely certain of its accuracy and I suggest you do so as well while reading this post.
Even more than not being certain of its accuracy is the issue that I find it amazingly hard to believe that only 700,000 people have defeated the easiest first boss of any raid ever in the history of warcraft.
If the 10.2M number of active subscribers is correct and only 700,000 characters have defeated the entry level boss this late after its release we have to believe that the true number of raiders is very small.
Remember, sites like guild ox and wow progress only count what is entered to it, which can skew the results. They also only count characters, which can skew the results as well. Just think of people like myself with at least a dozen 85s that have killed morchok or further on all of them. My 12 characters that have done it are counted as 12 of that 700,000 and not one, which would be more accurate as all 12 of them are indeed just one person, me. There are at least 15 people in my guild alone that have done DS with at least 5 characters. I would say the average raider has at least 3 characters that have, or are capable of, defeating morchok.
So that skews the results as well. The 700,000 number is not accurate when looking for the actual number of subscribers that have downed at least the first boss. Those 700,000 characters that have killed morchok should be divided by at least 3 to reflect people, otherwise known as subscribers, and not characters. Possibly even divided by more, being there are people like me that have done it on way more than one character. Then we have to consider all those people that have downed it in guilds not listed or people that are guildless.
So if we are looking for subscribers we need to lower that 700,000 number because of multiple characters being played by the same person and increase that number because of people that killed it that are not listed. So for arguments sake, lets play pretend and say that lowering it for one and increasing it for the other makes it what it is, 700,000.
If, remember this number is pure speculation and probably not even close to accurate, 700,000 people, not characters, have killed morchok that means that out of a subscriber base of 10.2M people that under 7% of warcraft's player base has even killed the easiest boss in the last tier of raiding this expansion.
Lets get even more angled on that. Less then 7% of subscribers in the game have killed the easiest entry boss ever in the history of the game even with a 20% reduction to the abilities of the boss.
That is an insanely low number. At least to me it seems like it.
While I understand the numbers I fetched from guild ox very well are inaccurate, at the very least, they are accurate to the people that actually care about having downed the boss. People that are in guilds that actually care most likely have looked up their guild on one of those sites which means their data is there.
So we could refigure this number a little by making a few more unqualified assumptions. The 700,000 characters are characters from people that care, so lets divide that by our guesstimated third to cover most people having done it on at least three characters. So that would mean around 230,000 subscribers.
Using that number makes it even more crazy when looking at it compared to the 10.2M subscribers. That means a little over 2% of the subscriber base, the ones that actually cares about progression, have killed at least the first boss.
Are you F'N kidding me? 2% of the subscriber base actually care about raid content. That is it? They might be numbers based on inaccurate statistics because that was all I could find but I find that amazingly hard to believe. Yet, has hard to believe as it is, it does seem to sound somewhat reasonable.
So I ask the question, is raid content really compelling content?
If only 2% of the people actually care enough to do it then the answer does not need to be said by any of us. It is staring us right in the face. No, raiding content is not compelling content.
Don't get me wrong, I love to raid. The only time I have logged in on my main all week was to raid. I will log in to raid new content, old content, any raid really. I like to raid. I guess that makes me part of the 2%.
So you have to look at why that is. Why is raiding not compelling content?
I've got a few ideas on why that is and I'm going to share them.
1) Looking for raid:
If you will notice my numbers where based on the raid with a difficultly of at least normal. I did not include looking for raid. Even if we did include looking for raid I am left to believe that the number would not be much better. About a month ago ghostcrawler made a post about how around 2.5M characters have at least the looking for raid achievement for killing deathwing. He mentioned it as if it were some sort of triumph. But he was playing the accounting game with those numbers. Saying one number to make you think it means something else.
When he said 2.5M characters have completed it on at least LFR difficulty he wanted you, me and everyone else that read that to think that 25% of the player base has finished it. Even 25% is not a lot when you think about it but that would be a completely false statement. Just as I explained before 2.5M characters are not 2.5M players. Each and every one of us has probably finished it on at least 2 characters. Some weirdos like myself have completed it on at least 10. Some others have done it on even more. So 2.5M characters is no where even remotely close to 2.5M players.
So now that we see the LFR numbers in and of themselves are not all that impressive we need to add to that the fact that a great deal of people have completed it on the LFR difficulty and now have never even tried it on normal because they have already done it. This could very well be another reason for the low, extremely low, numbers we see from the people actually raiding at even normal content level. If anything, I am completely sure that is the reason there have been so few people having killed the easiest boss this tier on normal.
Removing the looking for raid option would make the normal raiding content more compelling. If people wanted to see the raid they would actually have to do it.
2) 10 and 25 man lockouts.
This is probably the biggest reason why raiding content is not all that compelling and we are seeing less people doing it. The way it was in wrath was you would run 10s (or 25s) with your guild on the week and 25s (or 10s) on the weekend in a pug. Now, with only one lock out you always have to save yourself for your guild so you run less.
This also means that the better players on their better geared characters run with their guild and are done for the week. In wrath the top guilds on the server would run their guild run on the weekdays and set up a pug on the weekends. Those better players would then be able to carry some lesser players and teach them. It allowed for more decent players in the mix which in turn made for better pugs with a higher chance of success and actually taught people how to play, which is the exact opposite of what looking for raid does.
Two lockouts also made people want to raid more because they could raid more. If we where raiding 10 mans on Thursday and there was a Tuesday pug going on for a 25 I would, or could, jump in on it without effecting my guild run. It made me want to play more because I could.
Not to mention if I know I was running on Thursday I had a reason to be on other days. I would be on trying to get into a 25 because I was running the 10 later. Now, I did not log on until Thursday because what was I going to do? Nothing. There was no reason for me to log on because I want to raid but there was nothing for me to raid.
10 and 25 man lockouts returning would make for more compelling raiding.
I have absolutely zero complaints about the difficulty of dragon soul because there really wasn't much of any. I think I wiped more to the ball bugging out those first few weeks before it was fixed than I have on all other fights in there combined. Mind you, my guild is a decent guild but it is not as good as dragon soul made us look. We looked like we could be a hard core group if we stepped it up with the speed we went through there.
So I do not think the difficulty is high at all but looking around at the people in the LFR and the 2% number that have actually killed morchok it sure has hell seems like the majority of the player base thinks that the difficulty is too high.
If they added another difficulty level, something like a LFR difficulty but one you can assemble and not a random version, it could be compelling content.
What can be done to make raiding compelling content?
If that 2% number is correct, raiding is not compelling content.
If that 7% number is correct, raiding is not compelling content.
Even if that bullshit 25% number ghostcrawler tried to throw at us when talking about the looking for raid being a success proves that raiding is not compelling content.
If only 25% of the player base even cares to do a certain amount of content then that content is just not compelling and as we know, by GC's own numbers that 25% counted characters, not players, so it is really much lower.
What do you think needs to be done to make raiding compelling content and get more people doing it?
Two lockouts per week?
10s and 25s being separate lockouts?
Allowing people to do it more than once a week but only be awarded loot once a week?
Normal and heroic being separate lockouts?
Adding a new easier difficulty for assembled groups?
Awarding more loot?
Something needs to be done because to answer my own posts question, no, raiding is not compelling content for a large majority of the player base.
What would you suggest?
Gear. Again. Still.
32 minutes ago