World of Warcraft lead designer says the MMO needs to go freetoplay

first_imgWorld of Warcraft will remain the most successful subscription MMO ever released for many years to come, maybe forever. But the game’s popularity is waning, with well over a million players walking away this year already. That still leaves 7.7 million subscribers filling Blizzard’s coffers every month, but it’s nowhere near the peak of 12 million a few years ago.Blizzard isn’t ignoring the steady decline, and lead designer Tom Chilton has told Polygon that they intend to do something about it. He points to the Mists of Pandaria expansion as an example of how World of Warcraft is being opened up to more casual players, but also that future expansions are planned and there will be new challenges for the hardcore players.Whether a new experience for the hardcore MMO crowd will be enough to entice long-time players back is unknown. There’s a lot of alternatives out there now, and a growing number of free-to-play options, too. But that is one area where Blizzard may also react.Chilton has stated that it actually makes sense for World of Warcraft to embrace free-to-play eventually. The problem is, it’s risky and there’s no guarantee it would make the situation any better. Chilton acknowledges that other games that made the switch saw player numbers increase substantially, but he doesn’t have data on how long that boost lasted or how profitable it ended up being for the long term.For now, World of Warcraft will remain a subscription-based MMO with new expansions in the works to support hardcore players as well as continuing to embrace the casual market. Then one day it’s likely we’ll get a free-to-play version. But by then, we might all be focused on Titan, a game Blizzard has said probably won’t be a subscription MMO.last_img read more

US warns citizens about crime in Honduras

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States on Wednesday warned citizens traveling to Honduras to take precautions against the country’s high crime rate, which includes the highest murder rate in the world.The U.S. government particularly is concerned about the northern city of San Pedro Sula, which it considers “the most violent city in the world, with 159 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011,” according to a State Department travel advisory.“These threats have increased substantially in recent years and incidents can happen anywhere,” the statement said, adding that drug traffickers and gangs are active throughout the country.The State Department said tens of thousands of North Americans travel annually to Honduras without incident, and there does not seem to be a connection between crime and victim nationality. Since January 2010, 24 U.S. citizens have been killed in the Central American country, and none of the cases has been solved, according to the State Department.The country of 8 million registered a rate of 92 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011, the highest in the world according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins 8 s

first_imgWashington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) steps back to pass during the first half an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The NFL’s quarterback carousel is a domino effect, only if there are multiple tracks of dominoes crisscrossing one another with no knowing which would fall first.There are free agents, trade candidates, buyout candidates and draftees on the board. For the Arizona Cardinals, tapping into a combination of those options to fill out their quarterback stable is probable.ESPN’s Mike Sando isn’t going to predict where each quarterback lands, but he did take a look at potential signal-callers on the board by how likely each was to end up on every quarterback-needy NFL team. Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: Mike Sando, ESPN NFL Insider Here’s a look at how he ranked them in regard to landing in the desert.Related LinksA quarterback rich 2018 NFL Draft awaits the CardinalsCardinals GM Steve Keim: Larry Fitzgerald will help QB recruitmentPlausibleKirk Cousins (FA): The Washington Redskins have moved on to Alex Smith as their quarterback. Arizona would need to open up cap space to sign Cousins, and while that’s not out of the question, doing so would strap the Cardinals’ ability to solidify other holes on the roster — like that offensive line that would need to protect any quarterback.Nick Foles (Trade): The Super Bowl MVP might not be expendable until the Philadelphia Eagles know when their quarterback of the future, Carson Wentz, can return from his ACL injury. The price to acquire Foles right now, when the Cardinals need a quarterback, is as high as it will ever be.Lamar Jackson (Draft): Everyone is jumping on ESPN’s Bill Polian — among others — who are calling for Louisville’s 2016 Heisman winner to change positions. The concerns over his accuracy, however, at worst will only be enough to drop him out of the first round. He probably won’t slide too far after that.Case Keenum (FA): A reasonably-priced, experienced-enough quarterback to play next season, Keenum could be a bridge option after leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. 14 Comments   Share   center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Baker Mayfield (Draft): The Oklahoma product’s height and a few behavioral issues might be red flags. He doesn’t have all the prototypical tools, but that might mean he is available in the draft when the Cardinals select 15th overall.A.J. McCarron (FA): The former Bengals backup doesn’t have much of an NFL resume. If other teams aren’t extremely needy, maybe the price tag isn’t so high.Dream onDrew Brees (FA)Long shotJosh Allen (Wyoming, draft)Blake Bortles (Jaguars, cap casualty)Sam Bradford (Vikings, FA)Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings, FA)Andy Dalton (Bengals, trade)Sam Darnold (USC, draft)Colin Kaepernick (FA)Eli Manning (Giants, cap casualty)Josh McCown (Jets, FA)Josh Rosen (UCLA, draft)Tyrod Taylor (Bills, cap casualty) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more