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Reader Comments (142)

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 11:55AM Titan1 said

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/facepalm

Another case of WoW envy

WoW is like the John Holmes of MMOs and others just can't resist trying to "measure up".

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:03PM (Unverified) said

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I was already pretty reluctant to try TOR when they showed off the demo and made a point of the tank/heal/DPS delineations. This? Well, this certainly doesn't help. BioWare's had every chance to interest me in this game and convince me it's new and interesting, and they've pretty thoroughly squandered them.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:04PM Tragity said

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I do not know about you all but WOW (IMO) is the worst game on the Market My 6 year old plays wow Its purely a child's game(an easy mode bore fest at that) and if TOR is going to be like WOW then I have a new hatred for Bioware and anyone that has any control over this game. Just because 10 million children play a game does not mean that's what us adults want I have been waiting many years now for a REAL replacement for Ever Quest but i guess us adults that like a challenge can go F*** ourselves (maybe Eq next will bring back some difficulty) one can only hope...

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:12PM Elikal said

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DRAMA!

...
Somehow I fail to see the surprise or the catastrophe here. Does that REALLY surprise... or unsettle you? Odd.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:17PM sleepr said

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@Elikal The only drama is on peoples minds who haven't got their hands in the game.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:17PM Tom in VA said

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I have been playing Mass Effect 2 lately and am really impressed (again) by what Bioware brings to the gaming table that other MMOs do not offer: incredibly rich characterization, world-building, and voice acting.

If, as I suspect, Zeschuk is suggesting here that copying basic ingredients that work from a game such as WoW and then folding in novel ingredients of your own make for effective and successful MMO construction, then I think he is absolutely right.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:31PM sleepr said

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@Tom in VA Finally, there are still people in this forum that stop to think! You sir have my applause.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:17PM Aganazer said

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Its ironic that many of us already have Rift pre-ordered, but claim we won't be playing SWTOR because its a WoW clone.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:22PM cforciea said

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Does this actually surprise anybody from the company that has been putting out refinements of the same game since Baldur's Gate?

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:29PM sleepr said

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@cforciea You can call it whatever you want. The major fact here is bioware is one of the best game developers on the market. And the same can be said from blizzard... guess that their systems work after all.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:58PM cforciea said

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@sleepr

I'm not sure that I'd agree with the the word "best" unless, at least in the case of Blizzard (I am not sure off-hand how Bioware's finances stack up) it is used in the sense of "most financially successful." Any other definition is too charged and subjective. In the financial sense, though, I agree. Their system has them rolling in piles of money, so there is obviously a market there for what they are doing.

My point wasn't necessarily that Bioware is going to make a bad game, though. It is that their modus operandi for a very long time has been to keep the core of their games the same and innovate incrementally. I'd expect the exact same thing of them when they jump into another field; the game will likely take the core features of their other games and add to them the core features of what they consider to be the standard in MMOs, which given subscriber base means copying from WoW. If you have enjoyed WoW or previous Bioware games, this is good news, but anybody expecting them to redefine the genre is delusional.

The only thing I take issue with at all from his statement is that it is somehow a poor decision to aim at a niche other than the widest player base possible. Guild Wars was a success by any standard, and I am sure that it broke many rules that he would consider it "dumb" to break. It certainly doesn't have the revenue of World of Warcraft (and TOR might even blow away their profit margins), but there is room in the industry these days to carve out a niche that doesn't cater explicitly to the whims of the player base of the genre's biggest contender, and it doesn't reflect negatively on the developer's intelligence to aim to have a different set of players from what Bioware is going after.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:16PM sleepr said

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@cforciea The only two systems bioware always put in their games is the morality system and the companions. They are always in every bioware game!

And no, they are not copying WoW. The quest system is different, the combat is improved in several ways... even if it's similar to the standard MMO which is very intuitive. They have ships that have functions like player housing. The crafting system is completely differently, the companions are far more complex then WoW pet's and the morality system change the way your character progresses.

Sorry but that just doesn't sound like WoW to me... at all. Regarding the player base they are aiming at... if you had read other article from vg247, which is from the same panel that massively reports here. You will notice that Doctor Greg says "we're not trying to compete, we want to create our own space and we will let the audience tell us if we can have it". With SWTOR bioware is aiming at bioware fans and mostly star wars fans, and other people from other games including WoW are going to play it also.

Also let me say to you, that you are underestimating the full VO and cutscenes in the game. When the time comes we will either it will change the way people play and see MMO's or not.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 12:35PM MMOaddict said

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I love how many people knee jerk reaction to this. As if WoW isn't a good game whether you like it or not. Call of Duty is a great and popular game but not EVERYONE likes it, yet it is the basis other FPS game will copy at's it's basic level because it's smart. Same goes for the best game in any genre.

I sure hope EVERY MMORPG to come out in the future, sandboxes included to be modeled after WoW. And that means, not the content but the accessability, polish and pure FUN that WoW brought to the table and that helped build this genre to the heights we now stand. Innovation itself will come in the form of new content and game mechanics while being built on a solid WoW like foundation.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:12PM cforciea said

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@MMOaddict

I think you do not know what the word "innovation" means if you think the only place it is going to come from is a "solid WoW like foundation." For instance, I think that Black Prophecy and Jumpgate Evolution are going to be somewhat innovative, but somehow doubt they have a lot in common with World of Warcraft.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:35PM Randomessa said

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@MMOaddict

Many people are reacting to, and will continue to react to, the assertion that the most popular game is the best game by default. Most successful doesn't even equal best (though it really depends on what you mean best "AT").

What is a bit odd, IMO, is rather the surprise that BioWare is trying to make the most *successful* game on the market (perhaps second only to WoW), by appealing to what WoW players like.

SW:TOR is not a modest title by any means, and they have to make that money back somehow. It was never aiming to be a niche game.

My ideal game would try to model itself after GW, not WoW, and there was a time in SW:TOR's development that I thought it was heading in that direction, with its instance-based storytelling. It seems, instead, to be making a strong push at a lot of other stuff I hate about MMOs, so it's not for me. Oh well.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 5:29PM Beltyra said

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@cforciea
I think you seem to interpret taking things from WoW means it will have Orcs and magic. Not development that took every aspect of their game and analyzed "Is this fun" and/or "WHY did we make this change?". Too many games change things because "WoW did it that way" and youre left with inconvenient, unintuitive, piles of poo games.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 11:31PM cforciea said

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@Beltyra
I'm not talking about orcs and magic. I am talking about have a dogfighting spaceship battle MMO and how no matter how hard you want to believe otherwise, there will be innovation there that has absolutely nothing with examining what things WoW did right or wrong. And that was just the first example that came to mind; there will be dozens of games over the next decade that are massively multiplayer, successful, and have basically none of WoW as a basis and we'll all be the better for it.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:01PM Valdamar said

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>> "Every MMO that comes out, I play and look at it. And if they break any of the WoW rules, in my book that's pretty dumb," Zeschuk said.

It doesn't shock me that this is the case. It does shock me that Zeschuk was dumb enough to actually say it out loud in front of a microphone.

He's potentially setting SWTOR up for a really bad fall here He must be really confident that SWTOR can rip away most of WoW's current (or former) audience, because with that comment he's basically telling every potential SWTOR subscriber that dislikes WoW "We don't want your business! There's no place for you here! If you don't like WoW you won't like SWTOR!"

He should have worded that sentiment in a far less inflammatory way and clarified what "WoW rules" he meant. Even those who strongly dislike WoW know that WoW did certain things very well: UI responsiveness/feedback, character movement responsiveness, user-friendliness, client being able to run well on a wide range of systems, variety of gameplay within a class (e.g. EQ2 had far more classes, but they were all blander and generally there was only one way to play each class), art-style that hasn't dated too badly (even though it's a bit too child-friendly for my liking), etc. etc. (And for the record I don't dislike WoW - I enjoyed WoW for 6 months, but found it as shallow as a puddle, so I didn't stick with it and have no major desire to go back while I have other MMORPGs I want to play).

But there are certain things that WoW did horribly - 75+% of added content focused on raiding when less than 10% of subscribers partake in that gameplay (it was under 5% in BC era, not sure now - in EQ1 it was under 1% and they still focused on raiders for adding content, so WoW just repeated its own touchstone's mistake), lack of mentoring system to allow players of different levels to play together, lack of added content in patches (considering how much money Blizzard could throw at this, it's scandalous they add less content in subscription-paid patches than games like CoH and EQ2), meaningless rapid-fire quests (quest gameplay was generally well-designed, quest writing was sometimes ok, but they just flood you with too many small chores that have no meat or longevity to them, so questing just feels like ticking items off a list), very basic crafting, in-zone content being too linear, etc. etc.

Just because WoW is the market leader by a long way doesn't mean it implemented everything perfectly. Zeschuk hopefully knows that, despite his comment making it sound like he doesn't.

For most of the past couple of decades the best-selling cars in the UK have been Fords - Ford is the market leader - but that doesn't mean Ford makes the perfect car - certainly not the perfect car for everyone - there's a lot of compromises that go into making a car, just like there are a lot of compromises that go into making an MMO. Just because Ford sells a lot of cars doesn't mean lots of people wouldn't prefer to have a Toyota, or a BMW, or an Aston Martin :p - and you'd probably find more people willing to say that BMWs or Aston Martins were great cars than Fords. It's the same with MMOs - there are better and different ways to do things than WoW has done, either to get a bigger audience or go for a different audience that could be just as lucrative. Sure, take some of the better features from WoW (like Rift: Planes of Telara has done) - that's sensible - but to say that breaking any of WoW's "rules" is dumb is, imho, pretty dumb itself.

Like Ford, WoW's popularity has snowballed over time - WoW is popular and remains market leader now BECAUSE WoW is popular and the market leader now - popularity attracts more people and maintains popularity - people play WoW because their friends play it, people don't leave because their friends stay. If Zeschuk is going for WoW's audience in a big way then that's what he is fighting against. It's a pretty big gamble and they should watch Rift: Planes of Telara's launch very closely, because they are taking a very similar path - if Rift:PoT fails to get a big audience then I suspect Zeschuk is going to have at least a month's worth of sleepless nights until SWTOR's launch - in fact if Rift:PoT has a bad launch I wouldn't be surprised to see SWTOR getting pushed back by a few months :p

Posted: Feb 12th 2011 10:37AM Valdamar said

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@jslim419

umad?

(Sorry, just channeling the WoW forums to make you feel at home)

What, precisely, makes you think I'm an "anti-WoW/anti-Blizzard guy?"

Is it the fact I didn't worship WoW with every word of my comment? No wait, I bet it was the fact I said I enjoyed WoW for 6 months but then got bored of it? No, no, wait, was it the fact I praised all of WoW's user-friendliness, attacked a flaw in EQ2, but then said I didn't like WoW's art style? Come on, you can tell me, what precisely was it that I said which riled up your inner fanboy so much?

I'm not anti-WoW - of course I'm not pro-WoW either - I try to be objective about it, even when my subjectivity tries to run riot.

I'm certainly not anti-Blizzard either as I think Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 are two of the finest games ever made.

And I try my best not to stray into fanboy or troll territory, because lets face it the Internet has far too many of both, and they're just a bit predictable, dull and not at all interesting.

So maybe you should have actually read and tried to understand what I had written before calling me a douche, eh?

It's people like you who make the WoW community so absolutely horrid and will likely do the same for SWTOR with your irritating, narrow-minded, confrontational, ignorant abuse.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:03PM Epiny said

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My favorite part about TOR is that everyone pretends that it's the same people who made Mass Effect and Dragon Age. It's a differen't team they put together for this MMO.

What about the games that did copy WoW's features? Why did they fail? Oh that's right because they did it piss poorly. Bioware reps can say all they want but until I see a demo at a major show for everyone to try out this game is still on my "probably gonna suck" list.

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