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Reader Comments (104)

Posted: May 24th 2011 3:26PM (Unverified) said

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This sums up my thoughts whenever I see the "rose-colored glasses" argument perfectly.

Pure win, Jef. Now if only the industry would take note, six years later than they should have.

Posted: May 24th 2011 5:31PM SnarlingWolf said

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@(Unverified)

I think it is simpler than a whole article.

Back in the early days MMOs were complex (plenty of math involved in getting your characters optimized) and, let's be honest, they were made for nerds. Don't worry, I've been playing them since The Realm and on into UO, EQ, AC etc. so I am including myself.

WoW realized that if you simplify the game then you can draw in a larger audience and therefore a bigger paycheck. This can be seen in all forms of entertainment, for example movies. Your run of the mill Hollywood blockbuster that didn't do a single original thing and require no intelligence to understand makes a lot more money then a wholly original movie that makes you think.

When you cater to the lowest common denominator you make far more money but you make a far less enjoyable product and you almost never innovate.

It is that simple.


Everyone wants a piece of that WoW pie so everyone continues to make lowest common denominator MMOs. The problem is there are too many of them for the size of the market.

The real future is to have a company take that 50-100 million they would invest in one MMO to try and get 12 million people and instead invest it in 10 MMOs that target niche audiences and try to get 300-500k players per game. The second is actually far less risky and there are plenty of different types of people out there for it to work and each audience will be far happier with a game that caters to their style then to be forced to play the crap that doesn't. The problem is execs don't think in the 10 small products combine to form good profits. They only think in the "We need a blockbuster" mindset and they all keep failing at achieving it.
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Posted: May 24th 2011 5:38PM (Unverified) said

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@SnarlingWolf

I have said the same thing many times. Make it dumb, and they will come.

The OG's (Original Geeks) out there appreciate this fact, the young bloods would rather not have to think too much.

Well said SW.
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Posted: May 24th 2011 8:53PM sandwiches said

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@(Unverified)

So, the article can be summarized as "My opinion is objective fact. Here's one arbitrarily stacked example that proves it."

If anything, I'll point to people to this article when they think that rose-colored glasses don't exist, as yours is the very definition of the phrase.
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Posted: May 24th 2011 9:09PM Jef Reahard said

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@sandwiches

Are you sure you have a handle on the differences between opinion and objective fact?

Here's an opinion: RIFT is awesome.

And an objective fact: AoC's gameplay options are fewer than EQII's.
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Posted: May 25th 2011 2:22AM DataShade said

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@(Unverified)
The industry is supposed to take note of ... what, exactly? The industry's multiple, competing studios are all supposed to design (separately, and at great expense) a full, complex world for a statistically small group of players with very high expectations who spend a lot of time whining when things don't go their way? Hey, you're right- that sounds like the road to riches!
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Posted: May 25th 2011 2:29AM DataShade said

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@Jef Reahard
More != better.
I'm not a huge fan of either EQ2 or AoC, but at least for AoC I never canceled a subscription because I was tired of spending more time stuck in the gameplay modes I hated than the ones I wanted, tired of making virtual sandwiches instead of playing the game I was paying actual money for.
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Posted: May 25th 2011 7:04AM (Unverified) said

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@SnarlingWolf : "Everyone wants a piece of that WoW pie so everyone continues to make lowest common denominator MMOs" .. and they keep failing to get a piece of the pie, because they never noticed that WoW is targetted at BOTH the lowest common denominator AND the most hard-core of no-lifers.

Until profit-hungry developers figure that out, it'll just be more boom and bust, sell a million boxes and three months later close 90% of your servers.
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Posted: May 24th 2011 3:32PM WeeMadAggie said

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As a cranky old reactionary gamer I salute this post. Also my first 'kiss' was WoW so I'm all out of rosy glasses. I tried EQ2 a year or so after WoW came out. Great game, some cumbersome parts but that's not always a bad thing. Loved the housing and crafting.

Posted: May 24th 2011 3:33PM (Unverified) said

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Whenn the Great White Whale of MMOs finally comes, all others shall fall.

The Wow Killer cometh.....

(someday)

Posted: May 24th 2011 3:34PM Callagan said

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That list is so stacked in EQ2's favor. You're really going to put festivals on there? Chronomagic?

Also, if you think an older game was better, why aren't you playing that older game? Every game you mentioned in paragraph 4 is still around and kicking. Hell, most of them have stayed pretty true to their original form (I'm sure someone will emulate pre-cu... eventually).

Posted: May 24th 2011 3:45PM Jef Reahard said

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@Callagan

Sure, why shouldn't I put chronomagic or festivals on there? Players get a lot of mileage out of those systems (or events I guess, in the case of the latter.

As for the list being stacked, well of course it is. That's the entire point of the article. The thing is, I didn't stack it. The developers of the respective games did.
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Posted: May 25th 2011 7:11AM Decanus said

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@Callagan
soon as a fully emulated Pr-cu server is up i will be all over that.
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Posted: May 27th 2011 5:35PM Zulsoknia said

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Posted: May 24th 2011 3:42PM Oskari said

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I would love for a new game to focus on non-combat relating leveling. Why does every character have to be a soldier of some sort? Why can't I level as a scholar, explorer, or politician? If a game comes around and offers a WoW or Rift level of polish, yet lets me decide whether to kill or not, I would be an early adopter for sure. What what I've experienced, a lot of older games tried to do just that, but eventually found it was far easier to have the player kill everything in sight.

Posted: May 24th 2011 3:54PM Callagan said

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@Oskari
The majority of the MMO community either want to smash faces, or craft stuff for other people, so developers cater to these groups. It's also easier for a developer with a lot more precedent with combat and crafting mechanics than diplomacy or exploration.
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Posted: May 24th 2011 3:58PM MrFinesse326 said

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@Oskari
I agree to an extent...but if you're a wizard/mage/sorcerer is it really that fun to roleplay research/reading in a great library for 20 hours to level your character up so THEN you can go deal massive amounts of damage via magical fire?! I think that a game that provides mini-games or quests with meaning will provide you what you're looking for (coughguildwars2cough)
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Posted: May 24th 2011 3:59PM Oskari said

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@Callagan

One could argue that is just the community making the best out of the tools they were given. Combat has a place in any MMO, but I would just like to see other avenues of growth.
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Posted: May 24th 2011 4:02PM Oskari said

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@MrFinesse326

I am thinking more like mixing in old school Must style puzzles to solve for a schloar type character. RIFT has done this a little, but the puzzles are mostly hidden (which is a different sort of entertainment)
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Posted: May 24th 2011 4:08PM Callagan said

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@Oskari

Problem with that is that most puzzles are easily beaten by a wiki article after they've been out a week or so. Plus, you can only do a puzzle once.
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