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Reader Comments (58)

Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:16AM (Unverified) said

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Yes. Wow simply got released at the perfect time, when MMO gaming was growing insanely fast. Many, if not most MMO players have never experienced an AAA sandbox, a good economy, persistent player housing, crafting that matters, massive customization, etc..etc...etc.

Posted: Jan 4th 2012 10:22AM wahahabuh said

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@(Unverified) holding people's hands and spoon-feeding them is basically both the main pro and con of WoW. It helped MMOs become more popular, but at the same time it made gamers more whiny when things don't go their way. In the older days if people fail, they try harder, now they just ask for a nerf/buff in the forums
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 10:44AM SnarlingWolf said

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They got around 250k and there were 3 of them all fighting for number 1 at the time. It was simply a time when MMOs were still very "uncool", it wasn't that those MMOs were that much worse than WoW.

WoW had the timing and hit a more casual crowd to bring in people who previously were afraid of MMOs, that's all.

As for the article, yes, MMOs were far better back then. Original UO was a blast. AC was even more of a blast and the experience has never been replicated. Original SWG was fun too. The last MMO that I felt was good was DAoC. Since then everything has been epic mediocrity and nothing more.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 12:38PM (Unverified) said

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If you had to use every ability you had in FFXI to kill one mob, either you were fighting the wrong mobs, you were geared inproperly, or you had one ability (since you said you played for only ten minutes, I'm assuming you didn't even get to your first party yet). Either way, that's the beauty of those old style games. It may not hold your hand, but when you figure something out, the sense of accomplishment you get is a feeling that a lot of these newer game don't give you. Every time I gained a level in FFXI, it was something to be proud of, something I had fought for and earned. Now, it's another check in the box....
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 1:00PM dndhatcher said

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@(Unverified) "most MMO players have never experienced an AAA sandbox, a good economy, persistent player housing, crafting that matters, massive customization, etc.."

No one has because such a game does not exist. At least not in a game with fun combat and/or good storyline. Good gameplay (combat mechanics) and story are far more desireable than sandbox, economy, crafting and customization.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:12PM Sorithal said

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Tbh, WoW serves as a good gateway MMO.

I played Ragnarok Online, Runescape (the OLD Runescape), and FFXI before WoW, and... none of those games really were able to get me too into them. There was too much mindless grinding, not much true sense of direction, and for an MMO newbie like me, I ended up getting myself killed a lot. In those games? Death had a very punishing consequence and overall those games just weren't fun for me in the end.

Yes, WoW holds your hand and it's overall easy to hit the level cap. It's also probably easier than in some other less casual MMOs where it's not too hard to "learn your class" when it comes to optimally performing in PvE/PvP.

Still, WoW was successful because of that. And from that many other MMOs spawned that have somewhat steep learning curves, but you get to learn it gradually at a pace and you don't suddenly lose a level or lose all of your equipment for screwing up and dying once.

Not everyone wants to pay money to get their ass kicked repeatedly until they finally figure out how to play a game properly.

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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:20AM Ocho said

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Lets look at McDonalds. They do burgers, and they hit the spot when your crave it, they're extremely popular, and visited by billions of people. But does that make them the best? Nope. The best burgers I've had come from those small places that experiment by putting better ingredients and more care into their burgers.

Same goes for MMOs. Being the biggest does NOT make you the best, and this "fast food" style of MMOs has long been played out. However, those small, sometimes been around forever MMOs... they may not be the biggest, but the experience is a lot better.

Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:57AM Tizmah said

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@(Unverified) To experience Mcdonalds, you still have to pay each time you eat there. I fail to see how this example doesn't work. Yes you can chose not to eat there, and you can chose not to sub.

The emphasis still applies that what is popular is not everyones cup of tea.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 9:00AM Stanimir said

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@(Unverified) It isnt a direct comparison, but merely pointing out that popularity does not necessarily equate effective game design. Simply because it isnt exactly the same doesn't make it a faulty comparison. Comparisons by nature do not compare identical things. They compare thigns that share qualities - which is true in this case. McDonalds is popular and bad. Kind of like WoW.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 9:07AM KvanCetre said

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@Ocho
Yet I feel all the other burger places are selling bland, tasteless burgers and, never go back. Maybe its because Mcdonalds has a playplace.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 9:24AM Ocho said

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@(Unverified) There's a reason why the analogy is so prevalent. Its because its apt. When I first started playing MMOs, I played WoW until I realized it was essentially... well... bad (imo, of course). When you look at a game and it has pirates, zombies, flying carpets, motorcycles, dragons, swords, guns, blah, blah, blah... it has Everything! There isn't any genre of fantasy WoW doesn't touch. I was done with it. It felt too kiddee. It was trying to be everything, and to those that demand a little more from their games, it was failing. Although Pandaren have been in the WoW lore since WC3's expansion, they're too late. Throwing kung fu, pandas, and pokemon into above list... why not rocketships and time travel and... wait... those are there, too... Overall, WoW is trying to be everything, and those of us who are tired of it just want something that is more specialized, more focused.

So yes, not in subs, but in the way that they try to hit every single bit of the market... WoW is like McDonalds and WalMart and other companies that do the same. They're huge for a reason, but being "the best" isn't one of them.

And back to the point, it was Because those older games experimented and focused the way they did... thats what made them good.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 9:34AM DarkWalker said

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"""WoW is FAR from the cheapest mmo."""

Depends on where you live. WoW 's sub costs me roughly $8 per month - and this to play in the US region :)

Given that about every other MMO, including the hybrid F2P/Subscription ones, charge a $10-$15 sub, for me WoW actually is the cheapest sub MMO available.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 10:00AM (Unverified) said

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"You don't subscribe to McDonalds every month, they don't offer you new content as part of your sub every month."

They do offer the McRib everynow and then, that's like new content. Which is also similar to wow, since they're releasing old content as new.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 10:33AM Floop the Squirrel said

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Seriously? Is that how you understand the WoW - McD analogy? In sub vs non-sub?

I'm not even going to try to reason with you...

@Ocho - You're right... just because WoW is the biggest, it doesn't mean it's the best MMO out there.

Saying WoW is the best in quality of content because it's the most popular, is kinda like saying that Justin Bieber or some other MTV muppet is one of the most talented people...
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 10:41AM Ocho said

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Oh no I do understand where you are coming from. The biggest places, like McD and WalMart, are also the cheapest and you are saying that because of its sub that WoW is an expensive MMO. I get that.

However, thats relative. F2P games are far from free (if you play them the same way you do a sub game). It's been argued a hundred times over here on Massively that F2P games will cost More than a standard sub game. And if they don't have a sub option, and its all cash shop, for a player that plays many hours a week, thats very true. Those more frugal with their money and time usually don't spend as much on a F2P game, but the way most of these comments sections go whenever F2P is mentioned, the best "value" and cheapest of MMOs are still the ones with subs.

And as @DarkWalker said above... there are instances where WoW IS the cheapest option. (this is a prediction of mine... I don't believe Mists of Pandaria will do well at all, and to try to get their subs back up, WoW will not go F2P, but it will drop its monthly sub price to somewhere around $12 or $13).

But overall... I do agree to disagree. :)

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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 12:27PM Joaquin Crowe said

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@(Unverified) You get what you pay for. Walmart is the go-to for cheap China crap. McD's is the go-to for overmanufactured and processed food analogs.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:28AM Tizmah said

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Well, I sure can say I felt more apart of the world with older MMOs like Ultima Online and such. Newer MMOs always focus combat now. So sick of this emphasis because there is so much more to explore. They've become very linear in progression. The only class types are "fighting" classes.

So, I liked older MMO philosophies where they knew it wasn't just about combat. Be a map charter, Be a pirate, be a tailor, farm, herd sheep, etc. Not just warrior, mage, rogue, cleric.

Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:28AM Nepentheia said

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By experimentation? Perhaps more by not removing all (RPG) aspects of consequences--faction, religion, attacking an NPC, dying, etc.

Nowadays the concept of consequences no longer exists in MMOs, and these MMOs altogether loses the sense of challenge and accomplishment that exists in older MMOs.

Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:29AM Celtar said

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I'd actually go so far as to say that graphical based multi-player online rpgs still haven't equaled the game mechanics, flexibility, immersion or role-play of the pre-graphical based online rpgs.

Dragonrealms (Or even Gemstone III) by Simutronics (the same people who designed and sold the Hero Engine to Bioware for SWTOR) is still a much better game but lacks graphics which sell new players.

Posted: Jan 4th 2012 8:30AM (Unverified) said

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Well WoW has a great framework that shouldn't be ignored, doesn't mean it should be used. Would you say Saints Row isn't experimental because it uses Grand Theft Auto framework. Maybe some MMOs use too much of WoW in them.

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