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Reader Comments (129)

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 1:03PM Lucidus said

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wow 2.0? some systems aren't even copying current wow, but vanilla wow...

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 2:07PM (Unverified) said

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@Lucidus Vanilla WoW was in a number of aspects actually a better game than current WoW.

That being said, I don't recall the Companion system, SWTOR Crew Skills crafting system nor the typically BW-style of VO/cinematic mission quest system being a part of vanilla WoW or current WoW.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 2:22PM Lucidus said

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@(Unverified) I'm talking more about some very basic design choices that, since EQ1 and vanilla WoW, have better solutions on how to mitigate anti-social behavior. Not the lipstick on the pig.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 2:26PM DarthCzop said

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@Lucidus

I believe, based on the context, that Justin is referring to SWTOR as WoW 2.0.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:08PM jslim419 said

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@Lucidus

mitigate anti-social behavior as in forcing people into playing one way in order to advance their character?

there is nothing anti-social about being a guild of 5 or six friends. just because they are not out rubbing elbows with every single player on the server does not mean they are anti-social.

neither does it mean someone is anti-social if they only have under 10 hours a week to play the game. should they be locked out of advancement forever because they do not have 40+ hours a week to play the game at the level of a social super champion such as you?

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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:32PM Skyydragonn said

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@Lucidus
yes ebfore WoW became a casual game that required very little actualy player input other than to spam a couple amcros and listen to the "hey stupid get out of the fire" sound. It makes me laugh to this day how many people fled once concepts like mana management, agro, DPS overflow and such were finally brought back to relevance in WoW. Heaven forbid you had to think a little to get your rewards.
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Posted: Oct 15th 2011 11:07PM (Unverified) said

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@Lucidus Vanilla WoW was WoW at its peak. It's the game state that many (myself included) wish the game was still in. However, at some point Blizzard just stopped caring.

The last patch in Vanilla was 1.12 which means Vanilla had more major paches than BC, Wrath AND Cats combined. That's sad.

At some point Blizzard just stopped following their own lore, thus ticking off the "lore nerds".

Blizzard stopped caring about pvp balance, so now everyone has epic pvp gear and winning battlegrounds is less important than farming honor points.

Remember when very rare (epic) gear was actually very rare? Now it seems they issue you a suit of epics as soon as you hit the level cap.
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Posted: Oct 16th 2011 9:46AM Bhima said

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@(Unverified)
You have some VERY large rose colored glasses there. I remember Vanilla WoW as the best time I had in WoW, but objectively, it was NOT a better game.

PVP: Wait 1-2 hours just to get into WSG. If you wanted to be really competitive, you HAD to run a plate train (Paladin healers with Warriors and a druid). Balance was WORSE at 60 because you could LITERALLY be one-shot by a quick Stormstrike or a Warrior that had the WF totem buff or a rogue stun-lock. If you wanted competitive gear, you had to play the game literally NON-STOP with the old pvp system. Add to that today's ability to dual-spec that really helps increase a players options.
You seem to, and many WoW players do, associate WoW being good with less people having epic items. The problem with this is then the game is focusing on gear and NOT the quality of the players/gameplay. It completely shuts out a huge portion of potential players especially in PvP and I'll be damned if a game company today wants to try and make fun, competitive PVP have such a huge ARBITRARY barrier to entry like gear.

PVE: Yeah, it was fun chatting with everyone in the guild while you wait at least 1 hour just to get a group of 40 together. Then you all had to find a way to get attuned for the raid which just put up yet ANOTHER arbitrary barrier to entry. The time requirement was just too much for people that even only have the responsibility of a job let alone school, spouse, kids. Making the formation of a raid and getting everyone attuned should not be where the challenge is... the challenge should be in the content itself.

So no, I absolutely believe if NONE of us had ever played WoW, and it came out with 2 versions: Cataclysm or Vanilla at the same time the VAST majority would choose Cataclysm because it is a clearly superior video game. The difference is that WoW was new in Vanilla and it is now a very stale 7 year old game.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 1:06PM Pylades said

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I was really skeptical when I read the first paragraph, but you're completely right. I'll be extremely impressed if Bioware can avoid these traps.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 9:37PM Daverator said

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@Pylades

I was in same boat. Hopefully they manage to avoid these problems. Although 4 seems a little off to me.
"I've already seen you get passive-aggressive with those who teased you, misstated a fact, had legitimate concerns, or just plain didn't like the game."

Umm 3 out of those 4 options are all things that the developer should be able to complain about.

Tease- Making fun of something with no relevance.

Misstated a fact - Spreading inaccurate information can tank a game, if bob expects This+that and gets This he will think this game has shortchanged or lied to him.

Just plain didn't like - If the game as a whole is completely uninteresting to a person, then the person is a lost cause. Attempting to completely change a game for the sake of making everyone like it is bad. See:SWG:NGE or Asheron's Call 2. I felt the need to spell out AC2 because the game was so short lived I doubt many will even remember it.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 1:19PM real65rcncom said

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"I want to be up front about one thing first: World of Warcraft was, to me, a truly great game. It was. No matter how easy and trendy it is to take swings at the popular kid, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I had a few really terrific years in Azeroth. So as I go on to criticize aspects of the World of Warcraft phenomenon, I don't want to give you the impression that I'm filled with nothing but loathing for my time spent there."
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I think that this is why the soapbox fails today.

The author expressly remembers how great vanilla WoW was for him, even though it wasn't perfect at all. It had MANY, MANY problems and wasn't anything revolutionary. In fact, many neckbeards at the time called it a "boring kids game" yet he played on because for him he found it fun.

Fast foward about eight years later and the only thing that has changed is that there are now twice as many neckbeards in gaming today (who were chinbeards back in vanilla WoW). So twice as many jaded players who expected the genre to increase exponentially throughout the years and are crushed since it hasnt.

Now you have a game in TOR that basically looks to repeat the SIMPLE (I had to cap that in case the point was missed) act of trying to make a game fun and engaging. Most mmos these days are not trying to do that and you can tell just by reading what their execs or devs say.

They talk about "innovation", "genre changing", "new tech", and a bunch of other things that never get realized or tried to get put in and kill the games due to the complexity of trying to make it work. Devs stupidly keep trying to make games for JADED vets and don't realize it's like trying to satisfy a crackhead's first high; you never can.

Bioware is going for that 'fat middle' just like WoW did. The casual gamer who needs to solo and have SOME group play, but mainly activities that will keep them busy from day to day with lots of options and replayability. That is what WoW was and all that TOR is. They dont claim it's something genre setting. All the vet arguments are hogwash because it's just not the game THEY want.


Problem is, they don't realize that if this game is just like WoW but different in scope from a story standpoint with just as many things to do, people will buy and stay. Complex games today mean the GAMEPLAY, not the content. Newfangled games give you plenty of complexity (Rift souls etc) but light on actual things to do in the game.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 1:43PM Lenn said

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@real65rcncom "I think that this is why the soapbox fails today.

The author expressly remembers how great vanilla WoW was for him, even though it wasn't perfect at all. It had MANY, MANY problems and wasn't anything revolutionary. In fact, many neckbeards at the time called it a "boring kids game" yet he played on because for him he found it fun."

How can a Soapbox fail? It's all about the opinion of the author. You seem to have missed the part where he clearly said that "to him" WoW was a great game. I don't recall reading anything about it having or not having many problems. A flawed game can still be fun to play.

To be honest, I'm in the same boat as Mr Syp: I played WoW for 5 years and I only quit because it had become stale to me and because I felt Blizzard started to make more and more horrible decisions that showed a complete and utter lack of understanding of what their playerbase wanted. But at its core, WoW really is a great game. It managed to suck me back in for each expansion even though I felt I had done all there was to do for me. I finally quit for good before Cataclysm came out.

BioWare really needs to open up a lot more. They're so insanely tight-lipped about almost everything, and it usually takes an epic shitstorm on the forums (justified or not) to finally have someone come out of the shadows to post some kind of clarification.

And they really, really, really should cut that Twitter crap out. Not everyone wants to follow someone on Twitter 24/7 just in case they might say something interesting about the game. BioWare, you have a website, you have a forum, you have a mailing list; use those damn things. Don't make us go to some 3rd party application to get the latest news.

Forum mods are good, though. I'll give them that. A little too good, sometimes. I once received an infraction for telling someone who'd been a little rude to me to "take a chill pill". I appealed and got the decision reversed, with an apology. Nice, but it could have been avoided if the mods hadn't been so damn trigger-happy. The forums resemble those of WoW already. I'd hate to think what could happen once the game is truly out. Hopefully, the game is good enough to keep everyone away from those forums for a long time.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 1:49PM Mikkhail said

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@real65rcncom +1
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 2:09PM Mikx said

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@real65rcncom . "Devs stupidly keep trying"

Thats not true at all, what devs are doing is trying to clone WOW, which is what TOR does. Only recently are we actually getting out from under WoW's shadow.

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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 2:20PM Space Cobra said

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@Lenn

"BioWare really needs to open up a lot more. They're so insanely tight-lipped about almost everything, and it usually takes an epic shitstorm on the forums (justified or not) to finally have someone come out of the shadows to post some kind of clarification."

While I could blame EA, I think Bioware also has some history of this: I sorta feel it is a multi-reason thing. Part "We don't want to spoil the story for you" and Part "We want to surprise you" and probably part NDA/Coding sorta thing.

The thing is, there is a real danger I am seeing that they will keep tight-lipped because it is easy to fall into this "blanket of security" and not give enough info/ammo so players can tear it apart or grow expectations out of it. Granted, they are covering themselves, but one could be honest about it. And so far, IMHO, when I see a studio do this, they keep doing this. Players complain about lack of shared info and rage. There is a balancing act PR can do, but I am not seeing it.

In other words, I think the tight-lipped behavior will continue. It shouldn't and I hope it will end after launch, but other studios have fallen into that "trap" and few crawl out of it.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 3:46PM real65rcncom said

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@Lenn How can a Soapbox fail? It's all about the opinion of the author. You seem to have missed the part where he clearly said that "to him" WoW was a great game.
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I didn't mean fail as in bad writing or bad opinion. I take the soapbox columns to be written in the "devil's advocate" spirit and I actually like most of what he says in the vein.

That said, he and you both are not realizing that you've both played those games as noobs. You had never seen anything like that before it. The industry back then was trying to move beyond simplistic and unto more complex. This is evidenced by the ever increasing about of rigs needed to perform new tasks required (mass open world encounters, etc).

Bioware is going back to the old school theory of fun/lore/story first.. or at least that is their stated goal. You do not see any mmos saying this today at all because they are simply mostly talking about complex game mechanics and schemes that never pan out as advertised, because vets keep demanding that.

TOR will run on a less complex computer relative to the industry now just like WoW was when it was released. Compare ToRs comp specs with FFXIV, Rift, AoC and whatever else thats new and you'll see what I'm talking about. Those games are not made for everyone, but everyone who can afford those specs. TOR is inclusive right from the start which shows the direction they are taking; mass appeal.

This is why vets of other games don't like it. It's not "modern" enough. It didn't leapfrog advances made since WoW but takes the same path as far as audience base. These other games claiming to be after that crowd have been dishonest. Look at Trion. They claim they are making a game for everyone but the endgame is nothing but raiding and dungeons and there is no middle game with housing, minigames, fishing, companions, or anything other than "achievements" and shiny hunting. It's not even close to being casual market friendly.

I don't think TOR will do anything greater than WoW because that's not the intent, but it's the first game since WoW than actually is serious about making the same type of mass appeal game instead of "pretending" they aren't which these others do.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 3:59PM Utakata said

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@real65rcncom

Just off the side...

...Vanilla and up to including Wrath where great...No! They where more than great, they where excellent! With each expansion, Blizz seemed to be buidling on the foundation of the other, as they should. Only in Cataclysm, WoW went horribley off the rails and into a raid or die festival. With mediocure leveling content, unrewarding 5 mans, token dailies, raids that hardcores need only apply, anal retentive to the ridiculous decision making in a hubris...I could go on. It's not that this has not happened before in WoW's tenure...but it seems that Cataclysm is a collection of the very worst of this. Thus I agree: Vanilla, along with the other expansions, where far superior than what WoW is today. And this is what I truely miss about that game. Even with Vanilla.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:11PM jslim419 said

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@real65rcncom

dont' know why this was down voted. it is pretty much spot on. neckbeards ruin everything.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:15PM Lenn said

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@real65rcncom I agree with you. I just objected to your apparent disregard of the fact that Justin was voicing his opinion.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:22PM Utakata said

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@jslim419

So which WoW developer has a neckbeard?
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