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Reader Comments (19)

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 12:23PM Angelworks said

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Old story and everyone thinks this is hilarious, but I submit to you that any game you play for over 20 hours each week probably looks hardcore to the watching public.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2009 11:43AM Crsh said

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I'll echo the others here and say Forbes has no idea what a hardcore gamer is; being able to put 20+ hours into a game every week isn't representative of one's play skills (however you want to call it).

WoW is one of the most accessible MMOs out there, Blizzard does a fine job at streamlining the complex mechanics that drive a RPG; sadly, it's perhaps too accessible for my taste these days, it's turning into a frickin' kindergarten.
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2009 1:12PM regn said

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This article shows exactly why Runescape is the only other MMO in the with over 1 million subscribers in the US, it's simply designed and quick to pick up. The problem is that it's too simple though, and there's not much beneath the surface.

I disagree with the above comment and idea that simple and "easy to jump into" design can be too accessible. True, any successful game is going to come with riff raff, but games should be quick to pick up and at the same time difficult to master. I feel like WoW does a good job of this and that's why so many people play it. I don't think a game qualifies as "hardcore" just because it takes a 4 hour tutorial to figure out the poorly designed interface and game mechanics. That's just bad game design.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 12:45PM (Unverified) said

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LOLWUT???

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 1:00PM RogueJedi86 said

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I actually kinda agree with their assessment. When you hit level cap in WoW, the only thing left to do is raid with 9/24 other people. Sure there are dailies and quests and 5-man dungeons, but Blizzard mostly focuses on adding raids. Every big patch (x.x.0) focuses on adding a raid, and not a 5-man dungeon or questing hub or anything. Your casual player can't do 10/25-man raids every week.

They're also removing 2 mount rewards from 2 achievements in the next big patch, because people who raid the higher content will find those achievements easy to get. If you're a casual who raids very slowly, those 2 mounts are now denied to you, despite the challenge still remaining for you. That's content removed for casual players who like to collect pets and mounts. So yeah, hardcore raiding is what primarily drives Blizzard's hand these days.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 1:57PM engrey said

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Exactly,

Even some newer and older games you could allocate which skill points went where. In WoW it is all predetermined for you. The only choices you get to make is what skills you want to use.

@Wasuermono

The article talks about people that are not a custom to MMOs not games in general. Have a gamer pick up WoW and it is not hard. Have someone who does not play games pick up WoW it could be very hard.

The same analogy works for someone that does not watch a certain sport. Trying to explain football to someone with all the players and rules is hard. But tell it to someone who watches sports and they would probably know.

Besides a few exceptions WoW is almost the easiest MMO to pick up and play. Hence why the game is so popular.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 1:04PM engrey said

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WoW is complex? Really? Go play EvE and tell me that WoW is complex. WoW is like the Hello Kitty Island Adventure in the MMO genre.

Most MMOs that come out are much more in-depth then WoW is. Sure you can get hardcore with the game but it is really not that hard. This is why so many "casuals" play the game.

If anything the hardcore crowd left a long time ago, now its just content that is more accessible.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 1:12PM toychristopher said

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I'm pretty sure hello kitty island adventure is the hello kitty island adventure of mmo games.

WoW isn't complex to video gamers but sit down and try letting someone who's gaming goes no further than bejewled or online poker and you will see their brow wrinkle. Part of it is the presentation-- you have to go outside of the game to be able to play well and that is something most people aren't willing to do.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 1:18PM Angelworks said

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I'd say it goes back and forth actually. Most eve stats are pretty easy to understand, and its easy to buy all the stuff you need for a particular fight as long as you have the skills. In WoW if you need something for a particular fight it has to be sought after in a dungeon typically - which is far more painful.

Combat in Eve is dreadfully simple compared to WoW. Every single fight you can zerg to your hearts content (this is how goonswarm started out...) - as long as you have ships you can outlast your enemies. You can bring as many players to a system as the node can handle. PvP is still a case of of whoever has the most roots/stuns and lastly damage wins (bubbling/jamming in Eve).

Compared to WoW - there are very few fights you can zerg - most bosses if you die that's it. You're limited to how many people you can bring to any fight (pvp or otherwise - and yes I think its bs sometimes).

I've heard of people who play eve without even logging into the game. They find much more enjoyment from meta-gaming (hacking corp forums, trolling the eve-o forums etc) than actually playing the game. I think the only thing really complicated about it is its skill system (and even that is getting easier) and economy.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 1:39PM (Unverified) said

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@Verit

EVE is far more complex than you think it is. Besides bubbling and jamming in for PvP fights. There's hull upgrades, armor upgrades, repair units, extenders, and much, much more. The same thing goes for the crafting system and other things in the game.

And the stats are not that "easy" to understand, especially when standing up against the very simplistic WoW stats.

And, the most specific things about EvE: When your ship dies, you don't just spawn with a debuff, it's gone! Buy a new ship, cause yours is completely destroyed (well, except the cargohold when you die will stay there for less than an hour). And, if you're podkilled, that's worse because unless insured a player can lose skill points and valuable skills could be lost!
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 4:28PM (Unverified) said

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WoW is only as hardcore as you make it. It's a very simple game to play but it's also very hard to master on a really high level of play. It takes a lot of dedication and time to compete against the best at the very top in the arenas. When you have a ton of people (understatement) all competing for a shot at going pro the bar in difficulty gets raised almost everyday.

Like I said though for the average player (probably everyone that reads this site) WoW is very simple to pick up and play.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 5:49PM (Unverified) said

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WoW has always been a game with a very long, sloping curve of difficulty. Its genius was in its ability to successfully initiate people who'd never even played video games before into the mysteries of high end PvP and raiding.

Articles like this often bring out the EVE... enthusiasts. Methinks they, as ever, doth protest too much. In terms of mind numbing tedium and flagrantly unnecessary difficulty, the game does rate as more hardcore. On the plus side, EVE's intricate economics system, which is entirely player driven, fueling grand rivalries and microeconomies is very worthwhile. But this probably doesn't appeal to the sort of person who wants to play a game two hours a night to unwind.

WoW is not an entry-level game (on balance) due to its endgame content, but there's no question that it's still probably the best MMO for neophyte players (although LotRO is a close study of WoW's difficulty curve and comes up about even with it. It's also wonderfully forgiving for newer players). Making an MMO with content that caters to a softcore set from start to finish might be a good idea, but again LotRO is already doing this. LotRO's raiding endgame is somewhat challenging but is not an endless series of 24 person raids through more descending tiers than Dante's Inferno.

Ultimately, though, Mr. Hutter is making the same mistake every MMO developer makes these days. Comparing themselves to WoW. This is increasingly becoming the kiss of death in this industry and is essentially handing rope to your opponents for them to hang you with some months/years later. Anyone remember Funcom's infamous 'steak and wine' line? Good times!

WoW is best used as a private benchmark. Blathering about it in public invites unwelcome and unpleasant comparisons when the klieg lights fall on your Big New Game. Invariably, they won't measure up. These folks need to find a better way to manage expectations.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 6:14PM Holgranth said

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What he said. Imo its people like this who say WoW is hardcore that then make games that LITERALY can be facerolled.

I'm sure I could teach my Great Aunt how to play WoW if I had to.... the learning curve is slow and steady. You DO have to have a good knowledge of stats/speccs/gear ect to be a high end raider or elite arena player but you sure as heck don't NEED to know that to play the game.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 7:44PM (Unverified) said

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I knew a 76 year old great-grandmother that played WoW. Hardcore indeed.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2009 8:04PM (Unverified) said

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I find this an EXCELLENT article and example of how far most mmorpg players have drifted away from reality.

ANYONE who plays one particular game for 250 hours+ is a hardcore player of that game. Period.

That's how the public sees it. And in Wow (and any other mmorpg) that means ... hardly 10 days.

So anyone with a maxed out character in Wow is a hardcore to the "masses".

OF COURSE MMO's can be much, much and much more simpler than Wow and still could be considered too difficult for the masses that play DS, Wii games in its basic forms.

Look into the mirror guys and just know that the number of info on Wow insider and massive alone would be staggering for all "normal" players.

To those who think Wow is easy... easy to learn to play, difficult to be a PvP master in it.

Are YOU by any chance already Gladiator ? :)))

People still think that "hard" mode is the equivalent for "bad programming with a dreadly long grind in mind".

Hard mode these days is getting some achievements and titles based on skill both in PVE and in PVP, rather than grind.

And Wow is FAR too difficult for the normal masses who play Sudeko and Stratego.

All mmorpg's are nerds in this respect. Look into the mirror.


Posted: Mar 23rd 2009 6:54AM (Unverified) said

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WoW isn't complex if you are running around the Barrens beating up dinosaurs but if you want to raid you'll be asked and in some cases REQUIRED to load several addons.

Deadly Boss Mod
Decursive
Healbot
Grid
Atlas
Questhelper

And don't forget Ventrillo or teamspeak!

That simple game got a bit more imposing to a casual player.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2009 12:36PM RogueJedi86 said

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Don't forget having to spend extra money to buy a headset/microphone to use voice chat programs for raids. You have to invest real life money to raid in WoW. Definitely not hardcore at all is it?
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2009 11:20AM Arkanaloth said

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I think it's pretty safe to say that Forbes has absolutely no idea what "hardcore gamer" means. "Hardcore stuffy business suit" sure.. they know that one down-pat, but having Forbes comment on gaming is kinda like going to a French Restaurant and wanting to get a good old fashioned mega-doublecheese burger...

Posted: Mar 24th 2009 9:14PM (Unverified) said

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Can one even call something simpler than WoW a game any more? Would it even be interactive? No, what Gazillion plans to create seems to be something akin to a superhero-themed Facebook. I know that pressing
buttons is hard for some people, but really. Playing WoW is no more complicated than using a web browser, and now somebody is trying to make an *easier* game? I think that this is doomed to fail because it's not going to appeal at all to actual gamers.

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