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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 6:15PM (Unverified) said

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Sadly...I agree with everything he said. Not that im going to cancel my er...4...can that be right?...different game accounts but now I feel much sillier for having them. I have personnally run into his last and most pressing point many times. I know city of heroes has a apprentice type system, but having tried it the "apprentice" is almost always incredibly underpowered even with the boost. This has led me to not be able to play with many of my less (or in some cases more) dedicated friends, most notably my girlfriend.
The guy has a number of really good points.

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 6:15PM fairyfay said

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this was a nice article or blog, did put up some good points, but there are many other reasons i dont play mmo's anymore. from starting with the best back in the day with SWG, and after about 7 years of playing games and hoping for good changes i haven't seen any happen. but there are a few new games coming out soon ill have to look at. but for now, there all lost to me.

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 6:38PM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, it's more like "Five Things I Don't Like About WoW, and Have No Idea How to Fix".

And he misses the biggest issue (in my opinion): Games like WoW keep piling content on to end of the game and leaving the rest be. If I jumped back into WoW and started a new character, I've really got nothing new to see for those first fifty levels. That, more than anything, keeps me from going back.

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 6:43PM Critical Mass said

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I would like to know what the prospects are for improvements in internet data transfer or handling.

Iirc, a dev from Age of Conan claimed long time ago that internet technology is not ready for complex and speedy interaction in a (their) mmo.

I'd be happy to (try) design the ultimate mmo, but it would require a solid and responsive combat system in regard to data transfer and handling. :)

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 7:04PM ultimateq said

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"Problem two: Why do I have to install Omen again?"

I agree, the whole idea of Omen defeats a lot the mystery in the game. And I find it rather insulting as an old school EQ raider that people don't think I know how to manage my own agro.

"But its to help you maximize your DPS!"

Its a lazy way to win. Pure and simple. You set up a macro so all you have to do is stand there mashing 1 button over and over and over, while making sure your threat doesn't get to high. Screw that. Take macros off, take omen off, make people actually PLAY the game.

I can't decide whether WoW is helping or hurting the Genre. Yes it brings MILLIONS of people into the world of MMOs that could potentially help support future games, Hooray! But it also instills a sense of laziness into people, because with all of the plugins and the macro system, the game practically plays itself.

I think I would rather live with a few million less MMO gamers if it meant not having WoW's influence, or rather dominance over the MMO genre.

Posted: Jan 29th 2009 3:54AM wjowski said

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So now we're holding WoW accountable for third-party addons? Ridiculous.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2009 4:01AM ultimateq said

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Yes, I hold Blizzard and WoW responsible for allowing addons to assimilate so much data, and for allowing them to execute such extensive amounts of code.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2009 10:31AM Holgranth said

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I agree with Q, my biggest beef with Blizzard is while some addons are ok (Guild calanders ect.) a lot of them A. make the game WAY easier because they do the thinking for you and B. trigger UNFAIR advantage alarms, at least for me, when it comes to pvp. (The ones that tell you when your debuffs have worn off or play a sound when your cool downs are up or quest helpers)

And then there is Omen and all the raid addonds that tell you when bosses are going to be able to do this that or the other. It REALLY pisses me off that Blizzard allows them. They are (IMO) the REAL reason people are finding raiding so easy. Its a lot harder without 5000 addons telling you exactly how to play.....
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Posted: Jan 30th 2009 7:19AM wjowski said

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If you don't want to use mods...don't download them? The UI works fairly well right out of the box. Trying to hold Blizzard responsible for third party addons is an absurd position that honestly makes you look like you're grasping desperately grasping at straws for any excuse to bash the game.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2009 8:43AM ultimateq said

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You didn't read my comment. Obviously I don't need those plugins to enjoy any game. The point that I thought I made obviously clear up there, is that many people are relying on them, accepting them as the norm.

Now people NEED games to hold their hand. Everquest 2 has instituted a threat meter of their own, probably because Omen has more individual users than all SoE games combined.

There are various addons that are useful, like map plugins that allow for waypoints and places of interest, DPS parsers, various class addons that can help un-clutter your UI. Specifically the plugins that give you an advantage over the game's mechanics are what I have a problem with.

Its no longer about playing a game, its all about staring at numbers. There is no mystery and no thrill left. It is making the large majority of MMO gamers lazy, and its starting to leak into "innocent" MMOs. That irritates the living crap out of me.
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Posted: Jan 28th 2009 7:13PM (Unverified) said

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Unfortunately, little credit can be given to Mr. Chick's article, no matter how 'well-respected' he may be. When one uses a single game to define an entire genre, it becomes glaringly obvious that his argument isn't well constructed at all, and thus renders the exercise of analyzing MMOs moot.

To that end, I would say that World of Warcraft has certain flaws I would like to see fixed: in particular, new content for the 1-60 "grind" and easier ways to play with higher level friends in the way that "sidekick" mode has been implemented in other MMOs. Despite his lack of actual journalism in his article, I must agree that the level disparity problem is a large annoyance, but is one that CAN be solved.

Posted: Jan 29th 2009 12:25AM wjowski said

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Uh...except for the fact that, with few exceptions, most of WoW's flaws are mirrored by almost every other MMO on the market.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2009 2:30AM (Unverified) said

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And yet some of the problems he mentioned are adressed by WoW and some other MMOs. Not yet the ultimate solutions, but in right directions.

Although I somewhat agree on his points, this writing was just some easy shots with very little research or anything insightful.

Also.. if you don't hold the answers, why heck put "how to fix it: i don't know" everytime. He could have left at least that out and the reading would have been a little better.....
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Posted: Jan 28th 2009 7:26PM archipelagos said

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I do think there are still a lot of MMO design staples that get used over and over, time and time again. He commented on a couple (the (un)holy trinity of tank, healer and dps needs vaporised) but there's loads: the genre does need "shook-up" in my humble opinion.

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 7:38PM (Unverified) said

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Let me summarize the whole article for the people that don't want to read the whole thing -

I don't like MMOs and I can give no constructive advice on how people can make me like them.

This guy is a tool.

Posted: Jan 29th 2009 12:26AM wjowski said

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You're an idiot. His criticisms are quite valid...not that you bothered to read them.
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Posted: Jan 28th 2009 10:59PM Snow Leopard said

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I'd have to agree with this guy on all five points although I wouldn't go as far to say mmo's are broken when there are a lot of people who enjoy this genre of play.
What I'd take from this is he addressed a lot of the issues that keep people outside of mmo's from joining in. Even my own twin brother, who plays a wide variety of game genres from rts to fps, detests the idea of having to level up for hours just to play with me and our friends. The idea that a guy who is ten yards away won't start shooting at you is also equally foreign to him.
To be quite frank, I really don't know how to respond to these concerns my brother has other than telling him the overall experience makes up for these strange yet somehow necessary mechanics. After all you can't really get the same feeling of exploration or vastness out of a Rise of Nations Match or a Halo co-op mission. I just wish someone would shake things up more in this genre to the point where getting a new friend to hop in and join my wow party of people who have been playing for years would be as easy as someone joining a call of duty match.

Posted: Jan 29th 2009 5:09AM (Unverified) said

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Sorry but that was a waste of 5 minutes of my life.

I'm all for asking questions and provoking debate but all his "conclusions" consist of is him going "I uh oh" and shrugging his shoulders. Instead of doing that, how about raising some points for discussion and making some suggestions?

Posted: Jan 29th 2009 7:48AM Sephirah said

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Useless article.
He wrote (Problem/Solution):

"The problem: subscription fees
What needs to be done to fix it: I have no idea how to overcome that sort of fiscal momentum. I have no answers here.

The problem: aggro
What needs to be done to fix it: Search me. Someone hurry and invent a new gameplay model that doesn't rely on aggro.

The problem: button lock
What needs to be done to fix it: Can someone replace all the math with action? Is there some way to do this? Is it even possible? Or should I just stick to Diablo?

The problem: static worlds
What needs to be done to fix it: Beats me. You can't very well have evil get vanquished by the first hero to come along. Is this just an innate problem by virtue of the word "massively" in the genre?

The problem: you can't play with the people you want to play with
What needs to be done to fix it: Something. Anything. For pete's sake, if I can't play with my friends, I'm just going to go mess around with horde mode in Gears of War 2."

So, should he wrote a MMO, he'd do a game with an unknown paying system, with an unknown algorithm for which mobs attack players, with lot of action like a FPS, where you don't find anything to do cause somebody killed all the bad guys before you and all players can play together indipendently by level/gear.
Would anybody pay for such game?

Posted: Jan 29th 2009 8:37AM Tom in VA said

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I found Chick's article to be uninspired. First of all, he needs to look beyond WoW, since several other MMOs have addressed a number of the issues he is wailing about.

The bottom line is whether or not an MMO is fun to play. Based on the tenor of Chick's article, I'm guessing he's not having fun. So, maybe the "solution" he seeks is to go take a walk perhaps? Play some tennis? See a movie? Or, here's an idea: try a different MMO? Sheesh.

Five "problems" and no solutions offered (even when many solutions are in fact available in other games). That's just laziness on the part of Chick, imo.

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