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BioWare: World of Warcraft Set MMO Standards

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February 10, 2011 7:07:39 PM

What about the standards that EQ set that WoW followed?
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February 10, 2011 7:11:13 PM

He is a moron. Stop with the WoW Clones. Why would someone play a game like WoW if they could just play WoW. If everyone just copied the top dog there wouldnt be much in the way of innovation. Give people something different and it will succeed. The more I read about SWOTOR the less I want to play. They had a great IP but then throw it down the toilet as another WoW clone.
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February 10, 2011 7:12:11 PM

This is hardly surprising or news. In short: WoW was the first wildly-successful MMO to make it out there, hence it's the one everyone wants to try to clone. One must remember that game development is a business, and all businesses want to be successful. In earlier times it was Everquest that was the "standard setter," and before then, Ultima Online. And later, once WoW's gone the way of its predecessors, whatever is top dog THEN will be the one all others will be held up to.

This applies to ALL genres in gaming, not just MMOs: the FPS we compare others to is whatever is most popular, so we've seen shifts from referring to FPSes as "Doom-clone" in the mid-90s, to then comparing games to Quake, then Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, Halo, and most recently Call of Duty.

However, I'm not quite sure if The Old Republic will actually be truly competing with WoW: in some ways WoW's already hit its peak: that happened around two years ago, when it FIRST hit 12 million subscribers. (I notice that the Google ad right now mentions this number) Since then it's drifted downward, but has lifted back up to 12 million thanks to Cataclysm's release. A look over the history of popular MMOs show they start with a strong growth slope, followed by a peak, with some "leveling off," followed by a more gradual decline, at 1/3rd to 2/3rd of the rate they climbed. Hence, as WoW originally grew at around 3 million a year, (going from 0-12 million in about four years) it's going to start declining at around 1-2 million users a year.

TOR won't be instantly a "big player," at least if Bioware is to succeed: all MMOs that saw an initial hyper-growth period with a fraction of a million subscribers in the first month all peaked more or less instantly, which meant folding within a year. (remember, an MMO's peak comes almost always around 20-30% of its lifespan, so a peak at 1 month means a 3-5-month life) Assuming that TOR is to grow into the multi-millions range, it's going to do it gradually, taking years. If it follows WoW's pattern, even if it DOESN'T peak as high, it won't be until late 2015, by which WoW will have dropped to around 4.5 million users. (I predict WoW to shut their doors entirely between 2018-2020)

So perhaps, trying to model after WoW to make the "next big thing" might NOT be a good idea, since if it IS the next big thing, WoW won't be really around in the same commanding position. However, I'll admit the other side of the coin: a game has to START with success... And right now, we're in the year 2011, where WoW has been king for about 6 years now, ever since it bumped off Lineage. It'll be interesting to see what the future landscape of MMOs looks like in a few years from now.
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February 10, 2011 7:12:16 PM

EQ is weak compared to WoW
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February 10, 2011 7:13:30 PM

Yeah, but there are plenty of things that can be done better.
1. The auction house. Please, for the love of God, enable proxy bidding like ebay.
2. The subscription scheme. Don't charge for expansions (updates to the game.) It divides the community and makes people angry when they're already paying $15/mo. Please don't retort they're a business and they're in it to make money. There is plenty of money to be made w/o charging for expansions.
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February 10, 2011 7:15:43 PM

I think World of Starcraft will be the sci-fi thing (not Star Wars).
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February 10, 2011 7:20:20 PM

I wish wow would be free to play :D .
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February 10, 2011 7:27:52 PM

Stop "Dumbing Down" the MMO genre please. I understand the balancing act that occurs to increase the player base but, by now surely it must be obvious to developers that new DLC once a year will not keep subscribers. If the gameplay is not engaging, the content does not matter. I suspect the game won't even be close to my expectations upon release. I hope I am wrong.
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February 10, 2011 7:27:55 PM

I believe Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot were the ones that set the standards...WoW was just a reincarnation of these games that was wildy successful and remains so.
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February 10, 2011 7:34:39 PM

played swtor at PAX, exactly the same thing as WOW with laz0rs instead of fireballs....sad excuse for a game.
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February 10, 2011 7:35:39 PM

When will people learn that you won't make a great MMO simply by copying what is popular *now*? Differentiation is what is required. Otherwise, you'll just have a niche game that is basically WoW in a SW skin. Why would anyone leave WoW for a copy?
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February 10, 2011 7:36:09 PM

When will people learn that you won't make a great MMO simply by copying what is popular *now*? Differentiation is what is required. Otherwise, you'll just have a niche game that is basically WoW in a SW skin. Why would anyone leave WoW for a copy?
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February 10, 2011 7:36:24 PM

"I don't know that it serves the genre very well when MMOs come out and have all sorts of problems and players leave in frustration." Anyone heard of Star Wars:Galaxies?

I love how they are coming out with a new Star Wars MMO but are doing everything in their power to not mention Star Wars:Galaxies. There was a Star Wars MMO and it got screwed up. Lets hope BioWare doesn't make the same mistakes as Star Wars:Galaxies.
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February 10, 2011 7:38:17 PM

Sorry about the double post. Honestly, I hate his remarks regarding how detailed the crafting system of the game will be. It may not be about the "Shop Keeper" experience, but if that's what I like to do, and it's what that *other* SW game did best, than maybe you shouldn't be so pig headed about it.
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February 10, 2011 7:40:38 PM

Rodain"I don't know that it serves the genre very well when MMOs come out and have all sorts of problems and players leave in frustration." Anyone heard of Star Wars:Galaxies?I love how they are coming out with a new Star Wars MMO but are doing everything in their power to not mention Star Wars:Galaxies. There was a Star Wars MMO and it got screwed up. Lets hope BioWare doesn't make the same mistakes as Star Wars:Galaxies.


Rogain, did you ever play SWG? I did, and the game rocked until CURB, then they tried to fix that gunshot wound by basically setting everything on fire with NGE. The game was great for several years, it didn't have "All sorts of problems" until after it was messed with by a meddlesome publisher.
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February 10, 2011 7:43:41 PM

knightmikeThere is plenty of money to be made w/o charging for expansions.

Or to put it better, they're far more appealing business models. Some things may LOOK profitable in the short-term, but I would agree that perhaps charging a full game's price for an expansion to a subscription MMO may actually cost them subscriptions in the long run.

There's also TONS of other things that could be done as improvement. For one, all of the arguments AGAINST a housing system in WoW all demonstrate the arguers' utter lack of understanding. I'd point to UO's housing system, first implemented in the original game, (and given a massive improvement in 2001) as an example of a system done well that should be kept in many other games.

skit75Stop "Dumbing Down" the MMO genre please. I understand the balancing act that occurs to increase the player base but, by now surely it must be obvious to developers that new DLC once a year will not keep subscribers. If the gameplay is not engaging, the content does not matter. I suspect the game won't even be close to my expectations upon release. I hope I am wrong.

I'd note that in the case of WoW's expansions, as I already said, The game has begun its death spiral. Granted, it probably won't be un-seated from its throne (frozen or not) for a couple years, and certainly won't be DEAD for perhaps almost a decade, but it's already stopped growing, and started dying. Expansions and updates are merely targeted attempts to slow down and delay the inevitable, to milk the last they can.

As far as the gameplay goes... Everquest had shown that Ultima Online had entirely overdone it: you DON'T need an exhaustive and open gameplay scheme with endless variety. You can just have a massive grindfest with tons of repetitive filler content and still rake in the dough, because the game almost becomes an unconscious "occupy the hands" thing while what they're REALLY focusing on is chatting over Ventrilo or TeamSpeak.

I have my doubts, sadly, that we'll see any shift from this trend here. It's the strategy du jour for gaming: milk the cash cow all you can, and forget making something solid that will be remembered fondly after its peak money-making days are over.

dark_knight33The game was great for several years, it didn't have "All sorts of problems" until after it was messed with by a meddlesome publisher.

In all honesty, my opinion was that it was flawed from the start, possibly in the same way SWTOR might be. SWG was the largest MMO let-down I'd ever experienced... (since then I've always been cautiously pessimistic at best) I was hoping for, in short, one of three things. (in order of preference:

1. Star Wars: Jedi Knight done as an MMO.
2. Knights of the Old Republic done as an MMO.
3. PlanetSide with a Star Wars skin slapped on.

I'd thought that #3 would've been the most plausible, since Sony had been developing PlanetSide around the same time. Instead what do I get? Basically Everquest with a Star Wars skin slapped on it. Talk about botching it!
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February 10, 2011 8:06:42 PM

And that says it right there. SW:TOR will suck.
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February 10, 2011 8:10:07 PM

It's one thing to say that you didn't like SWG either pre or post CURB/NGE, because by the time NGE rolled around, it really was a different game at that point (many liked it post NGE that didn't before). It's entirely another to say that it was a let-down just because it wasn't what *you* expected it to be altogether. That doesn't mean it was filled with problems, and even though I despise the severe and drastic changes made to game, I don't think it was filled with problems even post-NGE. The game was still fun, but is not what was (or even close) when the player base bought the game. It still worked as a game, but SOE had to learn the hard way you can't just ignore your audience and expect them to keep sending money every month. FFS, they should have learned something from Revolutionary war. Any company/Gov't/Entity that thinks they will keep taking resources from somebody, then continually ignore them has a rude awakening due to them.
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February 10, 2011 8:22:59 PM

I want to play World of Duke Nukem complete with catholic school girl NPCs
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February 10, 2011 8:29:11 PM

Anyone who played UO in 1997 knows how much better WoW is in comparison. There are tons of MMO's out there that are different, but how many have even a million subs? If people vote with their dollars, it's clear that WoW is better for most people. Will WoW be top dog forever? Of course not, but it will be for a while yet it seems. I think some people confuse being bored with a game once played to death and the game actually sucking.
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February 10, 2011 8:43:23 PM

WoW is great, but Blizard is on rinse and repeat...I've been in the game since nearly at launch, but Cata jsut didn't do it for me anymore...I NEED more than jsut more dungeons and raids, but there are millions who still love it, and that's great for them...I will see what Bioware brings with SWTOR, but it's not looking like that game is launch soon (as in the next 3 months) since they haven't even announced the beta as yet. I'm in Rift's beta, and it's the first game to actually do a decent job of cloning WoW, imho. They are probably going to gain a little success...maybe 600-700K long term subs, which is what most game have to shoot for.
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February 10, 2011 8:47:44 PM

I Played SWG early on and it was very flawed. That isnt to say i didnt love the game, I really did. I dont play mmo games because they dont measure up to SWG.
It had the best implementation I ever seen and content lacking in almost all modern games. Player housing/cities/economy, non-combat classes, 32 classes, skill based leveling and a wide variety of templates.
It's 3 main flaws were huge flaws however. It was buggy(with many regressions), lagged and classes were unbalanced(and some were broken since launch and never fixed). Instead of fixing these issues, they instead focused on rebuilding the combat engine twice.
SWG is as i see it the best and worst mmo ever made.
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February 10, 2011 9:18:16 PM

Lol, I like that idea. But then we'd have a problem, who would flash the camera for a wad of 100's?

hoofheartedI want to play World of Duke Nukem complete with catholic school girl NPCs



Personally, I had a little interest in SWTOR up until I started to realize what they just confirmed: SWTOR is a WoW clone that uses the force instead of Magicka.

I don't like WoW, or it's crop of cloned Western MMO's. I'll stick with Eastern MMO's, like Aion, FFXIV, and up coming Tera.

In fact if any MMO has my full attention atm, it's Tera, not SWTOR. Tera looks to be amazing, sadly it likely won't win many awards here in the west, as it's not even mentioned hardly compared to Rift, and SWTOR, and most are used to the easily give stuff away style of WoW.

But for me and fans of Eastern styles, it will likely be MMO of the year.
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February 10, 2011 9:27:57 PM

Well screw that, seems every single MMO game after WoW that tries to be a WoW clone failed, in exception of Lord of the Rings Online which happens to be free2play now. I too was a big fan of SWG before late 2005 but I no longer play it thanks to Smedley's crappy decisions.

I think I lost some interest in TOR now with this statement from Zeschuk.
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February 10, 2011 9:36:37 PM

Personally, I had a little interest in SWTOR up until I started to realize what they just confirmed: SWTOR is a WoW clone that uses the force instead of Magicka.


How exactly did the above article even remotely state its SWTOR is a wow clone? All it did was state true fact that WoW set some sort of standard/brought the MMO genre to an even more popular level then EQ etc did before it.

MMOs, hell most genres follow some sort of rules that 95% of the games in that genre follows. like FPS for example you mouse over a target click and it falls over dead...repeat...a million times, they are still fun for the most part. that's no difference then WoW copying every MMO before it by adding quests etc. what they did different was bring the popularly to a new high and then build upon solid building blocks of the MMO genre. Then they got lucky that every other next gen MMO tried to just cash in on the genre by releasing a subpar or just badly made/thought up MMO.(at least if they were going for a massively popular MMO, they failed.)

I played wow hardcore for many years was in a high ranking progressing guild, i had fun while doing it, but during wrath i lost interest. I've been beta testing RIFT and really like it they combined the best things of WoW and WAR then built on some things.

Ive been following SWTOR for a long time now and can say it wont be anything like the WoW clones that have come out. Will they share some things in common? sure, but i truly don't think people will come out saying its a WoW clone after release.
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February 10, 2011 10:19:15 PM

First if the Bioware guy thinks trying to mimic a game thats been n the market as long as WoW has is the best idea is joking. First there are plenty WoW clones and why play tghe clone when you can play the real tyhing like someone else said. Most importantly the mmorpg ios developing fast now like a youth on growth hormone tablets.

The rules of the market when UO and EQ and even WoW became trendsetters do not apply and besically thats because of WoW. In its baby and toddler days mmorpgs were uber geek and much less impressive than they are now. I dont know how many were about but Im pretty sure they were far from being the most popular games especially during the early to quite recent console years.

Whne Ultima set the standard the competition andthe market was minimal in comparison to now. Now its cool toplay MMOs, casual players abound, the players of UO are now so much older and introducing their own kids to the games. The market is booming and technology is sprinting.

If anyone wants to beat WoW now they need a new groundbreaker not a clone. Not just a change of fantasy setting but new gameplay. Im sure Star Wars was supposed to bring new gameplay but if its a WoW clone count me out completely.

Guild Wars 2 is coming after avery long time in development taking an already succcessful original game and enhancing it into a mould breaking beast of a game. Lets just see what between that and KoToR make the biggest splash and evens the MMO market up considerably between itself and WoW. If KoToR is just a scifi WoW clone Im betting on Guild Wars 2.
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February 10, 2011 10:42:14 PM

I think bioware just means there are items that are proven to work and not work, so why not learn from the mistakes of WoW and make a great game
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February 10, 2011 11:50:06 PM

I've played Wow for 5 years or more and still log on here and there but i think Age of Conan was one of my favorite mmo's despite the global trash talk. I know during release AOC was bugged but now it's pretty damn good and plus you can chop peoples heads and arms off. The melee combat system for AOC was also the best out of any mmo out today. nothing compares to AOC combat system.
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February 11, 2011 12:46:34 AM

Because I define the key elements that made WoW so good to be mostly how easy it is to do anything, and how little it requires of you when doing it. WoW and it's clones also tend to lack real high resolution characters and worlds in order to try and appeal to the most people and their systems. They also all lack any real sort of sex appeal.

And for me those are things that Eastern MMO's do well, and those are things I love. I want a game that takes time to do things, even though I don't have a lot of time available. Fighting a tough Boss doesn't take 10-20mins, it may take upwards of an hour requiring changes in tactics as the bosses HP drops below certain levels. FFXI did that well, where I spent 6yrs from launch.

I want a game that punishes for lacking skill as much as it rewards for mastering a given fight or personal skill... Like avoiding aggro from sight and sound detecting monsters just by your compass, makes you work hard for what you learn and how you do things, makes the rewards even richer because their well earned, and to the latter, keeps your party alive, together, and less frustrated getting to a target or specific area behind deadly flocks of mobs.

World are also usually much more sharper. NPC/PC's are much higher detail and look much sexier. Worlds are usually larger per zone and a lot more detailed in texture resolutions. And characters often allow much more customization not only of the characters looks, but of armour, weapons, or even their colour, much like Aion does.

I see the term "wow clone" to be lacking the above, as it's designed to try and appeal to the most players, and that means they had to cut back a lot in given areas, usually the above imo. Or failing that, they just don't find it a important feature.


I'm not saying SWTOR sucks, or WoW sucks, I'm saying why I don't like WoW or it's clones (usually western designed MMO's), and what the term means to me.

Everyone has their opinion, and that's mine. I'll stick with my Eastern designed MMO's, and you can play whatever you enjoy.


Proxy711
Personally, I had a little interest in SWTOR up until I started to realize what they just confirmed: SWTOR is a WoW clone that uses the force instead of Magicka.
How exactly did the above article even remotely state its SWTOR is a wow clone?

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February 11, 2011 3:06:08 AM

I have no intention of playing this. Just to add my own personal belief though, I found small private servers in WoW much funner than the retail. My favorite MMO was a small indi called 'Second Hand Lands', were if you wanted you could talk to the lead dev (owned and coded) whenever he cam on for his daily server checkup.
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February 11, 2011 3:55:03 AM

I have to say those are the longest posts of any single article I have seen to date on Toms.. but... even if everyone here hates wow, there are some 10million people to disagree with you. When it comes down to money, the businesses could care less about all you nerdy folk (I'm not excluding myself here) that want a harder game etc. etc. They want to make money, and when it comes down to it wow did that - better than any other mmo or game in history.
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February 11, 2011 4:40:06 AM

"Star Wars: The Old Republic is expected to launch in Q2 2011."

It has been delayed til fall. Author needs to stay up to current evens, especially when they are posted on this very site.
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February 11, 2011 10:31:39 AM

notthekingOr to put it better, they're far more appealing business models. Some things may LOOK profitable in the short-term, but I would agree that perhaps charging a full game's price for an expansion to a subscription MMO may actually cost them subscriptions in the long run.There's also TONS of other things that could be done as improvement. For one, all of the arguments AGAINST a housing system in WoW all demonstrate the arguers' utter lack of understanding. I'd point to UO's housing system, first implemented in the original game, (and given a massive improvement in 2001) as an example of a system done well that should be kept in many other games.I'd note that in the case of WoW's expansions, as I already said, The game has begun its death spiral. Granted, it probably won't be un-seated from its throne (frozen or not) for a couple years, and certainly won't be DEAD for perhaps almost a decade, but it's already stopped growing, and started dying. Expansions and updates are merely targeted attempts to slow down and delay the inevitable, to milk the last they can.As far as the gameplay goes... Everquest had shown that Ultima Online had entirely overdone it: you DON'T need an exhaustive and open gameplay scheme with endless variety. You can just have a massive grindfest with tons of repetitive filler content and still rake in the dough, because the game almost becomes an unconscious "occupy the hands" thing while what they're REALLY focusing on is chatting over Ventrilo or TeamSpeak.I have my doubts, sadly, that we'll see any shift from this trend here. It's the strategy du jour for gaming: milk the cash cow all you can, and forget making something solid that will be remembered fondly after its peak money-making days are over.In all honesty, my opinion was that it was flawed from the start, possibly in the same way SWTOR might be. SWG was the largest MMO let-down I'd ever experienced... (since then I've always been cautiously pessimistic at best) I was hoping for, in short, one of three things. (in order of preference:1. Star Wars: Jedi Knight done as an MMO.2. Knights of the Old Republic done as an MMO.3. PlanetSide with a Star Wars skin slapped on.I'd thought that #3 would've been the most plausible, since Sony had been developing PlanetSide around the same time. Instead what do I get? Basically Everquest with a Star Wars skin slapped on it. Talk about botching it!


Exactly what "Death Spiral" are you referring to? If Blizzard adheres to the "Warcraft lore" that they spent so much time developing....WoW will only be receiving 1-2 more expansions before Blizzard stops developing new content for it. Blizzard has even said that they are looking at the possibility of WoW moving towards a "free-to-play" or "micro-transaction" model later. Most already know that once Blizzard announces the release of the final expansion...subscriptions will start to diminish....even Blizzard has admitted such and is working on a new MMORPG to eventually replace WoW.
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February 11, 2011 12:35:02 PM

geminireaperHe is a moron. Stop with the WoW Clones. Why would someone play a game like WoW if they could just play WoW. If everyone just copied the top dog there wouldnt be much in the way of innovation. Give people something different and it will succeed. The more I read about SWOTOR the less I want to play. They had a great IP but then throw it down the toilet as another WoW clone.


Exactly; further more "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." Rehehealy now? How come every WoW clone out there isn't pulling those WoW numbers? Oh ya, thats right, they aren't original or bring anything new or interesting to the table, just another knock off that does sell but not nearly as well as the developers thought it would (WAR being a big example, possibly AION too). Although I haven't played well over a year EVE online totally annihilates his little "WoW is the rule, not the exception" logic. Of course there aren't many games like it since they do in fact show fear of leaving the WoW formula...Enter Guild Wars 2...no, it won't have 12 million players, but I guarntee it'll be a whole lot more fun and different. Heck, It'll be better than this WoWized let's milk the Star Wars IP again spinoff. Last, and certainly not least, Argumentum ad Populum Zeschuk, look it up.
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February 11, 2011 1:41:47 PM

Why must all MMOs be WoW clones by default? *confused*

Anyway, Guild Wars sold over 6 million copies. Damned fine figures. If the sequel is hyped anywhere near as much as I think it is, it could very well eclipse the original in terms of sales, and still not require a killer spec to play.

If Lineage II hadn't been full of pricks and cheats and been so difficult to level up legitimately, I may still be playing it... I moved to Aion to do something different and I still find enjoyment in it (when I get time to play, that is). I didn't feel the need to move to WoW at all.
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February 11, 2011 2:45:17 PM

dwaveWhat about the standards that EQ set that WoW followed?


Exactly.
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February 11, 2011 2:58:49 PM

There's two things here that I'm seeing that made WoW as successful as it is.

Rig Specs: Especially for Vanilla, BC and the beginning of Wrath - you did NOT need a $1k+ rig to play. Sure you'd have to turn the settings down, but even NOW I can play WoW on my 256mb ATI Mobile Radeon HD 3470 equipped (3+year old) laptop. I wouldn't Raid on it, but I can do dailies, Rep, even Tol B, and level alts just fine. I have my big new desktop rig to Raid on in the evenings. The one thing that they HAVE done is made it so if you DO have a better rig you can REALLY turn up the quality. And for those that think it looks 'cartoonish'...it's a FANTASY GAME!!

I think one thing that hurt AoC and WH Online especially were that some of the people that COULD play WoW, couldn't play those games because they computer wasn't up to par - AND they didn't have the $$$ to upgrade.

The other main thing is what really got me when I tried LotR, AoC, WH etc. was the "smallness" of the world. Now some would say that the actual "world" is "bigger" is xyz game over WoW - but even in Vanilla - you could create a Night Elf and run WITHOUT one loading screen all the way to Gaz and Southern Tanaris (Sure you might die - but you get my point). You could run from Booty Bay all the way to Strat WITHOUT one loading screen. That's the "vastness" that a lot of people were expecting from these other games (by the maps and stuff released) and what did they get? A Zone-in in the FIRST starting area (level 5 AoC). A Zone-in to just go inside a building (LotR).

Now WH Online came close - but you still had to Zone when you went to the next level of lands. And what killed AoC was that absolute immersion of the first 20 levels, and then it was so much of a letdown when you didn't get the special talk, cut scenes after that. WoW has the exact same quest text, windows and style at level 85 as it did at level 1.

Those other games "could" have been awesome with what they had to work with on the backgrounds and vastness of the storylines and immersion. But those other games limited what they did put into the game and left a lot of people wanting.

It's not the "interface" cloning and "WoW with guns and lazorz instead of Fireballs and Shadow Bolts" - it's taking the Star Wars VAST resources that are out there (some books stores have entire ROWS dedicated to SW) - and getting "enough" of it into the game to appeal and hook a vast majority of different people who like enough different things about it to not only get them to start playing, but to keep them playing.
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February 11, 2011 3:18:14 PM

I have high hopes for this game. Bioware definitely knows what they're doing. I'm glad that they look to learn from other games strengths and weaknesses.
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February 11, 2011 4:31:03 PM

I have high hopes too. I know an MMO is not the same genre of games like KOTOR or Dragon Age or Mass Effect, but those are great games and Bioware has developed all those great games, why SW:TOR would be different? I mean in terms of quality.

I played WOW for 4 years, it was a very fun experience, I also played Galaxies for about a year, at the beginning was fun and the best part was the Jump to lightspeed expansion, feels a lot like the old X-Wing or Tie Fighter games, shame they change all the combat system.
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February 11, 2011 6:01:45 PM

To people asking how exactly the article states Old Republic is gonna be a WoW near clone, please re-read this: "It is a touchstone," Zeschuk told the audience. "It has established standards, it's established how you play an MMO. 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. If you have established standards, WoW established them."

Use your brain. If the devs think it is stupid to deviate from the WoW route, then they will most likely copy most of the things from WoW. So well, count me out also. MMO mechanics are so boring. I'll stay with Kotor. Bioware, Blizzard, same shit. Were good in their times, now sucks. Anyway, they didn't do that MANY of great games, just an handful.
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February 11, 2011 6:08:07 PM

bildo123Exactly; further more "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." Rehehealy now? How come every WoW clone out there isn't pulling those WoW numbers? Oh ya, thats right, they aren't original or bring anything new or interesting to the table, just another knock off that does sell but not nearly as well as the developers thought it would (WAR being a big example, possibly AION too). Although I haven't played well over a year EVE online totally annihilates his little "WoW is the rule, not the exception" logic. Of course there aren't many games like it since they do in fact show fear of leaving the WoW formula...Enter Guild Wars 2...no, it won't have 12 million players, but I guarntee it'll be a whole lot more fun and different. Heck, It'll be better than this WoWized let's milk the Star Wars IP again spinoff. Last, and certainly not least, Argumentum ad Populum Zeschuk, look it up.


Yep, but just look at the comments here. People aren't even intelligent enough to read between the lines as you do. THAT's the majority, that's where the sales are. They want re-ashed turds? Let's give them re-ashed turds.
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February 11, 2011 8:42:59 PM

Part of the problem here is that people justify their claims of "WoW being the best" purely on its subscription count: that's not a good way of measuring things, otherwise Wii Sports is obviously the world's best game, ever. I mean, some crow a lot about "12 million players!", but that's peanuts compared to WS's whopping 76 million. Obviously, this isn't a very good metric.

Rather, I'd suggest that actual profit margin, for one, could be better: all MMOs tend to rake in money hand-over-fist, (as the subscription formula brings in tons of profits for little expenditure) but some games get LOTS of advertising. How many MMOs did Mr. T advertise for ASIDE from WoW, after all? And how many companies have the clout on the PC that Blizzard has?

dark_knight33The game was still fun, but is not what was (or even close) when the player base bought the game. It still worked as a game, but SOE had to learn the hard way you can't just ignore your audience and expect them to keep sending money every month. FFS, they should have learned something from Revolutionary war. Any company/Gov't/Entity that thinks they will keep taking resources from somebody, then continually ignore them has a rude awakening due to them.

That "failing to listen" was basically what they did on the initial release of SWG: everyone was asking for the #1 I listed there. Heck, they'd been asking for it since even before SWG was announced.

As for continuing to take money... They all know that they can get away with it if they somehow keep people placated/distracted. And hey, for a business, if it eventually falls out from beneath them, they've got their golden parachute! In the world of MMOs, that means that they've made their billion dollars in profit, so why should they care? They just build another cookie-cutter MMO and start the cycle over again.

XZaaprycaAnyone who played UO in 1997 knows how much better WoW is in comparison. There are tons of MMO's out there that are different, but how many have even a million subs?

This line of yours screams that you've never touched the game, and instead just looked up the release date on Wikipedia. Even post-Cataclysm, one can see the phenomenal difference and how vastly above and beyond UO was in terms of content, gameplay, etc.

The reason it didn't hit as huge a base is because of a few factors:

The first was that it was the outright pioneer of its field: it wasn't an established genre, so there wasn't any prior exposure to it that it could take from. (similarly, exposure was weak, otherwise Everquest would've hit 12 million too; instead it became a stepping-stone so WoW could make that)

The second was from the first: EA wasn't willing to commit a large amount of resources advertising the game: WoW has had more money spent on marketting than any single game, barring potentially the Halo franchise. Outlandish, expensive ads like the night elf Mr. T get millions of people talking about the game, which can convince many to pay for it.

Lastly, and partly as a side-effect of its age, the game was 2D. Graphics DO matter, at least when it's the difference between 2D and 3D: while outright ancient by today's standards, World of Warcraft's graphics are above basic 3D, and enough to more or less pass as "sufficient." (and further expansions starting with WotLK) have built this up a bit.

The above kept the game from being as phenomenal a success, even though it HAS been successful; all the resources were spent in developing an incredibly balanced, well-rounded game. It only peaked at a mere quarter-million subscribers, but at the time it was massive, and plenty enough to make a huge profit. (even though Origin only charged $10/month, not $15) Even today, its decline has been very gradual (owing partly to its growth being similarly long-winded) and it still appears to maintain 40% of its peak subscribers, (100k) a whopping 13.5 years after its release. What percentage of its former subscribers will WoW keep through 2018?

sykozisExactly what "Death Spiral" are you referring to?

Basically, it was a more eye-catching way of describing what you more or less just repeated, since it seems people had ignored it the very first time I posted it at the very top of the comments. Subscription numbers are already on the decline: this started not long after it first hit 12 million. It's only back up at 12 million (from 11.5) because of the release of Cataclysm. As people go through and finish the new content, the number will resume/continue declining; we'll soon see the predicted 1-2 million/year drop, with perhaps a similar 500k "bump" for each expansion release.

davewolfgangThere's two things here that I'm seeing that made WoW as successful as it is. Rig Specs: Especially for Vanilla, BC and the beginning of Wrath - you did NOT need a $1k+ rig to play.

I would note that this is actually pretty typical for MMOs: it's just that SOME try to go higher-budget with them.

The zone-free game world does really help, though. It's annoying enough in a single-player RPG, (think Oblivion) but in an MMO is generally unacceptable. A number of other MMOs have zone-free worlds as well, though. Anarchy Online comes to mind, but it failed to become big for its own reasons. (namely its very, very un-polished code)

As for being a fantasy game... That alone DOES NOT excuse cartoony appearances: some people like 'em, and a lot don't. Just take a look at the mixed reception for Windwaker and the other Legend of Zelda spin-offs that went with cel-shaded graphics. (like Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) Sometimes (a lot of the time) people want a realistic-looking fantasy. That's why most fantasy titles, including offline ones that rival WoW's sales figures, go with more realistic appearances. This also includes a few MMOs that achieved a certainly respectable fraction of its userbase, such as Aion and Lineage.
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