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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Mar 8th 2011 4:59PM Xilmar said

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@IceStorm203

i know. i just think that saying something like that deserves more than "i understand your point, but i chose to disagree to a certain degree; let me present my point of view again".

i do not wish to sound wise or experienced. i am fairly experienced and do not need anyone's approval to know it..and how wise i am or not, that should come out of my point and idea, not so much how i start a reply.

anyway, the whole idea of my comment was to get those who read it to use the internet and discover these great games. i honestly hoped that in trying to prove me wrong or whatever, he'll do a little research and find cool stuff that aren't or are different than in GW or whatever other game, like:
awesome class designs, pet based combat, strange and interesting professions (like a taxi driver-ish, infiltrator or asset robber, pet breeder, 80+% assassin), hardcore death penalties, KS friendly zones, randomized mazes & monster locations, all player controlled cities, keep attacks or sieges for ownership, rare mod hunter, explorer of uncharted areas, the list goes on and on.

and everything i mentioned above is from games that aren't featured on massively...some really cool things, some even well implemented. all out there, one google away. and gamers tend to be lazy bastards (like myself) and not search for something unless it's a bit personal...
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 2:33PM Lenn said

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"Comparing that to RIFT where you run for few hundred meters and it takes forever just to get to next questhub. Thats just cheap and old trick to hide how small the maps are."

It adds to immersion. It makes the levelling experience more of an adventure. It also ensures that all the hard work that went into world-building won't go unnoticed.

Posted: Mar 8th 2011 3:51PM kgptzac said

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@Lenn

that hardly works in practice. players don't like to be forced to"enjoy" a part of game which they normaly wouldn't enjoy.
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 4:21PM Lenn said

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@kgptzac The rewards are there, as long as you allow yourself to enjoy it. Take LotRO, a prime example of pain-in-the-ass travelling (even though Turbine's done much to ease people's suffering in that department). I've been playing it for over three years now, and I still come across things I had never seen before, simply because of the travelling they make you do. The world-builders at Turbine did an amazing job, and I think it's only right that players get to see all that they did.

WoW certainly has those out-of-the-way gems to discover as well, but if you just rush, rush, rush from one quest hub to the next, you won't get to see them. I just think that's a shame.
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 5:06PM kgptzac said

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@Lenn

wrong logic. it is only an award if you find enjoyable, not other way around. you stated a situation where you turn out to like the art or whatnot. an mmo is a big system where it is impractical to assume each paying subscribe enjoys every little piece of it. traversing the game world provides the opportunity to enjoy the artwork, but it gets boring after over 20 times of looking at the same scenery, and this is when traveling becomes a chore rather than anything else.
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 5:27PM Deadalon said

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@Lenn

What immersion ? Slowing down the movement of characters does not add Immersion. If you want ppl to notice something then make it stand out. If you want ppl to stop playing a t lvl 20 then gratz on RIFT. Its horrible cause the world feels absolutly totally and utterly dead. Its WAR all over again.. and since its the same engine .. .no wonder.

RIFT is just a horrible boring game to play. The immersion compared to WOW is absolutly and utterly big fat zero. And big part of it is that you feel your back 4-5 years beeing forced to move extra slow. War had faster movement - AOC has ALOT faster movement. But then... both these game actually got like decent number of ppl playing at release... where RIFT is struggling cause everyone can see its offering less than those game did at launch. And is certainly only gonna get worse.

But hey... you can buy the two headed turtle if you for 10 extra dollars if you think the Devs didn't do it on purpose....
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 9:09PM exe973 said

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@Deadalon

Rift is struggling? You just proved you have no idea of that which you speak. At this moment half the servers are full, the rest are mostly at high volume and a few are at medium.

I don't see that as struggling. Yeah it's early and it doesn't mean the numbers will subscribe, But it's also too early for you to make such a statement.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2011 11:44AM LizardSF said

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In both cases, WoW simply eliminated one step -- the step of looking up information on a web site, like Alakhazam. Back when I played EQ1 (Around 2002 or so), I would run Alakhazam on my laptop while I played on my PC. Who had a quest in the city? Look it up. Was this item any good? Look it up.

Now, if you're saying "Get rid of static quest NPCs" or "Don't have 'scaled' magic items, all items are created equal (though perhaps of different utility for different people)", then, that's indeed different from WoW. (And every other DikuMUD clone). But if you have "Fred the NPC will want you to collect 5 weasel spleens", and Fred is always standing there, then NOT putting a shiny punctuation mark over his head just causes players to waste time looking it up on a fan site. Likewise, if the Sword Of Bloody Evisceration does quadruple damage and appears one time in a hundred on a monster, while the Sword Of Mild Discomfort does barely better than normal damage and appears forty times in a hundred on the same monster, you can either color code the damn things, or have the players clog chat with "I just found the Sword of Mild Discomfort... is it any good?" (and then go look it up on a fan site). (Again, if you don't have a loot based game or you don't have different tiers of loot in the same general category, then this is different... but if you do have variable loot, it WILL be categorized, and if you don't do it for the players, you're just adding an unnecessary step for them.)

(I may be wrong, but I *think* marked quest NPCs first appeared in Star Wars Galaxies, well before WoW came out.)
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 4:27PM socialenemy2007 said

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WoW is EQ-lite. They took out the persistent world, instanced all the content, and trivialized the rewards. It's now become one solo anonymous grind to 85, to gear up with anti-social troglodytes using a random LFD. The social aspects of an mmo are not present at all in WoW. Why do people insist on playing an MMO like a single player game?

I see it in Rift still. You show up to kill a quest mob and there's two people standing there waiting their turn. FORM A GROUP for christ sake. You'll get the quest done faster, and might even make a new friend!

/rant off
Think it might be time to reactivate my EQ1 account and go on the flippy server :P

Posted: Mar 8th 2011 6:24PM Sinystrad said

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WoW is an amazing game. I played for 5 years, I started in beta. I have never gotten so much value for my dollar from any form of entertainment. I played WoW so many hours I am embarrassed. I played it all. I led large raids in every expansion except the newest one. I participated in BGs and Arena’s at a high level. I was a guild leader. The only reason I am no longer playing is because it became too much. I did it for too long. My desire to experience new things exceeded my desire to tackle all the new content. Since then, I have experienced other games(LOTRO, DDO, EQ2X ) and loved them playing them at a much lower level of involvement. I know what the endgame cycle is so I CHOOSE to experience the game slowly and to see everything. For me it is better.

Some of these games are older and have years worth of content to entertain me, who cares if they share similarities with WoW if I have fun?. I get the slightest bit bored I move to something else and continue my fun. I can’t believe the way people humiliate themselves on game forums spewing pure hate at developers and anyone who disagrees that the latest change has not RUINED THE GAME, BEEN A SLAP IN THE FACE or A KICK IN THE NUTS….Good grief man how can you be having fun still?… Go do something else… you are addicted or a masochist, it isn’t healthy. I wish whenever a developer read that stuff they could press a button and Ray Lewis would show up at the poster’s door and promptly slap them, then kick them square in the jewels to obtain some perspective.

WoW would be better without a flying mount, that’s a problem? Are you mad? Just do not get one then experience WoW without a flying mount. There is PLENTY of content you can do without one and you can generally get a summons to a raid or dungeon if you need one. I cannot believe people complain about things completely in their control. You can play WoW and not race to the cap. There are plenty of enjoyable things to do. I did them for 5 years, it was time to see someone else’s vision and I choose to appreciate the difference. Sure I could play these other games just like I played WoW and feel they all copy off one another. I CHOOSE to embrace what makes them different and enjoy myself. Or go ahead, believe WoW ruined every MMO and most MMO players…How’s that line of thinking working out for ya? Me… I am enjoying myself over here…I think the developers are imaginative and produce great work. For those devs who might read this. Thank you, you sure have entertained me over the years and I expect it to continue.

Posted: Mar 8th 2011 8:06PM Deadalon said

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@Sinystrad

This reminds me ... I was leveling Cata when a lvl 83 character in deepholm asked in chat if it was possible to get a flying mount before 85.

so.. yes ... if you want to "explore" then your welcome to simply skip buying mounts and leg it all over the place. If that makes you more of an explorere :D
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Posted: Mar 8th 2011 10:52PM Dblade said

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Not many RPGS directly copied FF 7 on the PS one. Legend of Dragoon was really the only one I can think of. There was a golden age of JRPGS back then, with developers not afraid to take chances. Xenogears, Star Ocean, Grandia, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Wild Arms, Lunar, Thousand Arms, and Legend of Legaia gave the genre their own unique spin on it. I think it wasn't till the PS2 era that stagnation set in.

I think it's just a failure of nerve. Developers aren't willing to take chances any more.

Posted: Mar 8th 2011 11:43PM SgtBaker1234556 said

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@Dblade

Different might be cool, but it's never popular.
Ask any kid in high-school ;-)

That's why we see slow evolution instead of radical revolution.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2011 3:10AM santiagodraco said

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I should have known what this story would be about when I saw the author.

Why are these new blog writers so blind and do such a poor job of researching the material they write about? I mean really, do they actually think WoW was like the first MMO or something?

WoW is EQ 1 with less of a death penalty, lighter graphics and better art along with usability improvements. The ENTIRE formula was stolen by Blizzard to make WoW. Stolen from EQ, DAOC, AOC and others. GET A CLUE and when you write do your research.

The best MMO on the market right now is RIFT. It's a clone of everything as well but it's done it better than Blizzard did. It's taken all the good stuff and given it to us in a nice package along with a lot of innovations and improvements. Oh, but maybe we shouldn't play it because it wasn't a clone made by Blizzard?

Posted: Mar 9th 2011 4:00AM Thiocyanide said

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@santiagodraco

Nobody's said WoW was the first RPG. All that was said is that many of its design elements have been copy/pasted into many other games.

As far as Everquestian design goes, that was really only true of early Vanilla. Late Vanilla and TBC onwards were the points at which raid design was no longer variations on the tank and spank for every encounter and PvP took off in a unique direction.

To say the entire formula was stolen from those games would be equating every 3D platformer to stealing Super Mario 64's work.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2011 10:24AM (Unverified) said

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A great post -- very insightful!

Posted: Mar 9th 2011 10:43AM Chiren said

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Great great article, and I agree with a lot of the sentiments, especially that of how MMO's are becoming homogenized in design. I had a lot of fun with WoW during the TBC era, but just haven't been able to play it for more than 3 weeks each expansion release.

I feel its why I keep coming back to FFXI, despite all of its awkward thorny suppository parts.

Posted: Mar 9th 2011 11:00AM Space Cobra said

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*IF* word-of-mouth spreads, I think we will be seeing more independent studios creating more unique games.

I am slowly seeing a situation more and more like it was in some of the early days of gaming repeating here. The waves of copies, then the die down, then the repeat process.

While many will stick to "the basics" and that is not a bad thing, there is a slow growth of discontentment out there. It is getting right for the "cool kids" who are curious to go and find a new game and, as usual, others will be shown or find out and follow.

Minecraft is one example of this. Hopefully, more small studios will come in and be proven successful (already a few small studios have collapsed trying to either do something different or do something the same for various reasons).

It's always going to be a risky, dangerous world. Even in the real world, it takes one man (or studio) to just shuck expectations and go their own way. Of course, like the gold rush pointed out in the article, this leads to more failures than successes, but that's Life. The good thing about it, you will always have someone(s) trying, even if you don't hear anything.

You just gotta look. Most of the unique stuff will not come up to you. This is true of all new trends. You just got to be curious and enjoy.

Really, I could argue about how hard it is for many people to go past their own comfort zones and try something new and radical; complaining is easy, praise is hard. But the "cool kids" always push the envelope and try/do/play the razor's edge of new ideas, even if they ultimately miss or they are "not polished enough".

It's like music. You want to go to a comfortable concert hall with comfy seating and hear music you are comfortable with? Or watch such a movie? Or do you want to try something new, even though it is in a rat-infested bar with rather shady folks around that you may (or may not) like?

Even among critics (and I admit, even me, at times), it is easier to play it "safe". It is hard to put in effort and push past one's comfort zone to try something new and find out they like it.

Posted: Mar 11th 2011 1:48AM Eon13 said

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Personally, I think it's highly amusing that a vast majority of the argument here isn't about the article, really, but more about how "walking is bad".

I think WoW is doing so well because it's doing a very good job of pandering to the 'console gamer'. This has very little to do with bare-bones design and more to do with the game's math. WoW players are for the most part (and I think I can safely say this, having dealt with WoW players since release up until about two weeks ago) instant-gratification gamers. The big baw right now is the fact that the timers to get into battlegrounds are broken, forcing people to run up to 40 minutes (gasp) to get into battlegrounds. I remember when it took you all day to get into a group for something (a la the original EverQuest). They've made leveling take no time, travel a rather insignificant nuisance, and rebuilt the world so there's no long treks to hub cities out in the middle of nowhere. You'll hit 85 in a flash and sit in Orgrimmar for the rest of your days, now WASD keys needed.

RIFT -- the game I personally switched to -- is getting a lot of baw in comments simply because it makes you walk. Supposedly interacting with your game world is a thing that deserves to have languished "5 years" in the past. In design terms, this is known as immersion, having to walk through the world you live in. This, to most 'console gamers' (excluding the sorts who like RPGs and Interactive Dramas, I suppose), is boring because most just want to get to the killing stuff. Reading is for losers, role playing, God forbid, is for nerds, and remembering more about the zone you were just in than the tops of the trees is for old fogies.

I think the steps backwards games like RIFT (and non-MMOs like Elder Scrolls) are taking are far more important than the supposed steps forward we're being told WoW is preventing.

Perhaps the decline of the MMO market as we know it doesn't lie in what we've not yet developed, but rather in developments we've already forgotten?

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