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Riot Remarks

My heated opinions on the MMO industry and its past, present, and future.

Author: Riot55

World of Warcraft - the Death of the MMO Genre

Posted by Riot55 Sunday November 9 2008 at 6:04PM
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The MMO genre has steadily suffered from less and less freedom since the forefathers and pioneers of popular mainstream online RPGs like Ultima Online and Everquest. While there were others before UO and EQ, nothing brought MMOs to popular mainstream attention like Richard Garriot's masterpiece Ultima Online and the myriad of controversial news stories about addiction in Everquest. This was the golden age of online gaming, where developers were unafraid to try new things and built mature worlds where anything was possible.

Ultima Online, even more than 10 years after its release, still stands as one of the most limitless online experiences available; the world truly feels like a living place where every corner of the world can be interacted with. Players can mine at any mountain side, chop down any tree, build a house anywhere in the world. We could make careers out of crafting, interior decorating, storytelling... the world supported every playstyle and made it viable and exciting. To this day, my fondest gaming memories involve venturing out into the wilderness in Ultima Online, exploring the world and encountering monsters - which were much rarer than in any current MMO. Coming across a troll in the forest came with a sense of exhilaration and turned each fight into something exciting - not a continuous grind as today's MMOs revolve around and depend on to artificially lengthen the content and play time.  Every adventure then filled us with a sense of purpose, a fresh twist of events, and a feeling of danger that kept every day full of unique content and meaningful interactions between players.

Along the same lines, Ultima Online's death penalty (and Everquest's for that matter) was harsh but truly the best way to go. Sure, it was frustrating to lose your armor and everything you were carrying, but the fact that armor and weapons were not something you had to spend 90 hours in a raid to even have a chance to get allowed for a truly player-driven economy to be established.  Crafters actually had a purpose, supplying armor and weapons to players with endless demand. This again allowed all types of players to play the game however they wanted, and helped to build a sense of community that is seldom seen today.  Not since Star Wars Galaxies has such a player-driven economy really existed.

The PVP system in UO was also always exhilarating mainly driven by the full-loot system. Player Killers, or PKs, would have free reign along the countrysides, making every encounter and journey fill you with a legitimate adrenaline rush. Because you could be killed or stolen from anywhere and by anyone, this forced players to be accountable for their actions and not act like a brat as many new, younger players in current MMO communities are notorious for. The community as a result policed themselves and forced maturity across the board.  It also made for great guild vs. guild clashes, where there were true grudges between players and the battles held a great weight and impact on the world itself unlike current Battlegrounds and casual, meaningless PVP.

So what does this have to do with World of Warcraft and the death of MMOs?  And why should you listen to a nostalgic UO player?  Because World of Warcraft has been the leading culprit in dumbing down the genre to make it easy enough, linear enough, and casual enough for the new player to enjoy and for the mainstream audience who has never heard of an MMO before to hop in and enjoy. Now, this isn't necessarily bad. This is definitely elitism in its finest, and there is no reason why everybody shouldn't be able to enjoy MMOs be it a newb or a veteran. But the soaring popularity of World of Warcraft has pigeonholed the entire industry into creating clones in order to be successful.  To most of its players, World of Warcraft is their first experience with an MMO; they know nothing else before it and don't understand the glitchiness and lack of expansive content  that come standard with MMO launches. Truly, most of them weren't even around to witness World of Warcraft's incredibly rocky launch full of server failures and class imbalances. Thus, if a new MMO doesn't captivate these players and incredibly impress them within the first 20 minutes, comparisons are instantly drawn to World of Warcraft, and any new game is written off as either "not as good as WoW" or trying to copy something about WoW. World of Warcraft is nothing groundbreaking in itself however; it simply took what was popular about prior MMOs like Everquest and made it easier, dangling more carrots in front of its players face to hasten the addiction for leveling and getting gear.  World of Warcraft came along at just the right time, when online gaming, broadband internet, and cheaper computers were becoming more available, creating the perfect storm of sorts.  Now, any competing MMO without millions of dollars and years of development simply has no chance.  WoW's players immediately compare their game that has been out and accumulating content for over 4 years against games that have not even been out for a month. There is simply no chance for comparison, and WoW crushes competition not because it is the better game, but because it has had the most time and money for polish and fan following.

The point of this giant rant is a sad reflection on how games like Ultima Online, even 10 years ago, provided infinite amounts more freedom and chance for unique gameplay whereas games like World of Warcraft have compressed the possibilities of varying playstyles and made only raiding for hours on end or grinding the same Battleground over and over the only avenue for progression. Crafting for example is no longer a dedicated profession full of meaning, but an empty side quest without much meaning in the community or economy that everyone is capable of-assuming they are willing to click the "create" button enough thousands of times.

PVP and PVE has lost the rush of excitement and danger; now every encounter becomes the same, predictable down to a science. There is no meaning or true connections between players aside from progressing in a raid dungeon, and the only way to better your character eventually becomes reliant on grinding for hours in a raid every night. Gone is the freedom to play the game however you want, perhaps without ever fighting a monster and succeeding as a carpenter or thief. Gone is the accountability to be a good person, the choice to be a murderer, and the consequences that come with every action. The current state of the MMO industry is making everything easy, "carebear," and a meaningless grind with an infinite treadmill of gear-upgrading every few months where your hundreds of hours become null and void the second a weapon with 2 more Strength than your current one is patched in.

The sad part is nothing can compete and overtake World of Warcraft without adhering to these new standards of the industry that Blizzard has set with its popularity.  Everything that made MMOs great has been diluted, and I fear for the future of the genre that continues to shift towards resorting to clones of an already watered down game.  Ultima Online died as it began to cater to its "casual," "carebear" audience, and now, struggling to keep up with games like World of Warcraft, is virtually unrecognizable from its original form.  World of Warcraft has created a monopoly and an industry that is now impossible to compete in, and unfortunately will eventually collapse in on itself whenever people are able to lure themselves away from the game, as in the end, World of Warcraft is the only thing that will be able to kill itself.


-Scott "Riot" Underwood

maritpra writes:

LOL, another WOW hater, nice try. Everyone got your own choice, no one force you to play wow.

Sun Nov 09 2008 6:32PM Report
Vistaakah writes:

When wow was released the best feature i liked was the Auction House. The playstyle of WOW compared to previous MMO's was really easy mode and unchallenging if you asked me. Your premise is correct in that companies like Mythic Entertainment and there recent release of WAR made a failed attempt to lure a percentage of WOW players into there new game.

What they found was a sub par PVE game compared to anythign on the market and a PVP game that is touted as WoW 2.0 and it suits it. The problem in games is much like the housing market failure. Have now, pay later. What i mean but that is nobody wants to earn anything they must have it all amd must have it all now!.

I was also sitting here reflecting on when i started MMOing way back and yes age range a bell. The average age of players in my guilds in DAOC were above 25 years of age and higher. I was in my late 30's now 46. Now its a bunch of 12 year kids on up playing on Mom and Dads credit card account.  Can you blame the parents. 15 dollars a month is a cheap leash to keep kids away from society behind a PC screen.

MMO's are not as immersive or as fun as they once were. The social aspect of MMO's in general are gone. I mean first two weeks of WAR release nobody spoke, asked questions at all. WoW hit the MMO market a long time after MMO's were concieved. It was unlike any other game. TV commercials and what not.

I don't hate WOW in fact i played it off and on for a couple years. They took PVP in the wrong direction and thats why i won't play WOW again unless they could implement a siege based PVP system as good or better then DAOC has.

Blizzard made a game that was brainless , didnt require alot of thought, was simple ot learn and didnt take alot of time to do anything in. They hit paydirt because this game is what people new to MMO's were looking for at the time. Blizzard didnt set the bar as the game was cloned off many that came before it. What it did do is lower the bar for us expecting much more of a MMO game as the progression of MMO's occur.

Sun Nov 09 2008 6:46PM Report
ArcheusCross writes:

I agree. Very good post. I have come to this conclusion as well wince WAR looked like it copied many things from wow.

Sun Nov 09 2008 6:47PM Report
zymurgeist writes:

WoW ruined the Genre by giving players a game they would play? Rubbish. The games still exist people just don't play them. Hell they didn't play them back then either.

Sun Nov 09 2008 6:53PM Report
Riot55 writes:

Maritpra, I'm assuming you didn't even read what I wrote or just are not thinking at all about it.  WoW in itself is pretty solid... because it has years of polish and millions of dollars behind it.  Of course you're going to think it's the best game out.  I used to play WoW as most everyone has, and I agree people should have choices. 

 

That's the whole point behind my post though....  The "choice" of other games is slowly disappearing as WoW becomes a monopoly and any competitors that come out are crushed under WoW's money.  Vistaakah hit the nail on the head with that last paragraph... WoW has ushered in a new standard of brainlessness and repetition that continues the treadmill every patch.  Players will continue to play a linear game in hopes to get a sword with +2 more strength that comes along every few months in patches.

Sun Nov 09 2008 6:53PM Report
talismen351 writes:

Totally agree with the OP. Nice write-up! I myself am a casual gamer, but the way WoW has dumbed down the genre has made me loose hope in the future games. Every new game that comes out seems to dumb things down a little futher. Or make the games more 'single player.'

UO had more options than any game to date IMO. PvP,PvE, crafting that mattered, fishing, treasure hunting. I loved the auction nights even. Found UO to be one of the most social games I played.

@ zymrgeist : If ppl didn't play the MMOs back then, you wouldn't have your WoW of now. Sure the numbers were smaller. But that was back in the day a basic PC was costing ya $1500, n most ppl were still on dial-up. The MMO genre was just starting.

Sun Nov 09 2008 7:13PM Report
pileopoop writes:

QQ

Sun Nov 09 2008 7:20PM Report
Timacek writes:

I agree, nice reading, people have no freedom in this times, games like UO and SWG was free and i blame WOW for ruining SWG sandbox gameplay (nge patch), cuz that was the ultimate picture of WOW developers envy that ruined one great game.

Sandbox is underground now, but i think that times are getting better, i think many developers realized. look at some of the developing titles like fallen earth, darkfall, earthrise. All freedom sandbox concept.

 

Sun Nov 09 2008 7:24PM Report
Kordesh writes:

 I cannot bump this enough. It's horrifically sad that we've already had the forumla for awesome MMOs to begin with, and now having completely lost that, we have to fight tooth and nail to get back to where we already were. For what little WoW did for the genre, it is completely eclipsed by the damage it did in devolving it.

Sun Nov 09 2008 7:26PM Report
stabbing writes:

A single game can't kill an entire MMO genre. It's WOW and games that immitate it, including UO (in later stages) and WOW's latest competitors, AoC and WAR. AoC was all grind, and WAR has meaningless PVE, crafting, economy, and just about everything non-PVP.  They all deserve to fail.

Sun Nov 09 2008 7:44PM Report
MyPreciousss writes:

Very good article and I agree with most of the points except that we shouldn't be that pessimistic about WoW's influence for the future because more and more people are getting consoles/pcs and connecting to the internet and enjoying mmorpgs, and this huge audience will want different things and won't stick all to the WoW model, so there's place for experiments and different types of mmorpgs which will find their own followers and be profitable.

Sun Nov 09 2008 8:25PM Report
caemsg writes:

there are plenty of games out there with what you want all you have to do is look

i have hated those liner bicuit cutter grind games since i first started playing games but i looked and 5 min later i found a game that was fun had no grind and was diffrent to all the others

people expect the big publishing houses to give them their diffrent MMO but its theindy developers who dont have the resources to directly compete so must come up with the new stuff

 

so if you want a diffrent game look trough the games list on this site and you will be plesently suprised if you break the mould and play a diffrent game mopeing about big games changeing is not the way if thats all you do you deserve to be a slave to the cash hunting dev

Sun Nov 09 2008 8:50PM Report
Starbear writes:

I will say this... its not WoWs fault. Yes WoW is a game that gets repetative, old and bland to the mature gamer, but remember its popular, balanced and works!

With that said its unfair in my mind to claim that WoW is the root of the MMO industries problems when in fact its other developers trying to make games that copy WoW. As with anything massively sucsessful such as WoW people are bound to copy it in an attempt to gain some of that sucess. Thats how the market works, and for the last three or four years people have been doing this regularly and sadly what has kept it going is people paying for and playing these clones.

I will say this it seems that devs have finaly given up the copy cat formula (though time will tell). Cryptic studios has always made games that stand out as origonal, now that team is creating a spiritual sequel to its CoX game, as well as what could be a very origonal game, Star Trek Online. Bioware has also joined the battle now creationg a new Star Wars MMO, hopefuly they stick to their guns and make The Old Republic truely origonal.
 

In all honestly though WoW is not a new thing and if you look back at the origonal EQ the games play nearly the same (in regards to basic mechanics). With that said many games out there arn't copying WoW but rather are copying the "old" formula of traditional MMOs, just as many Pen and Paper games copied D&D. What hopefuly happens is the evolution in MMOs in general... perhaps a whole new type of online game which could be defined as "MMOWorld" in which players attempt to have an online life in a fantasy or sci-fi world, MMOs which arn't "games" but "simulators". The point is WoW is a copy of an already established style, it just does it well and takes all the flak because of it.

Sun Nov 09 2008 9:10PM Report
Maxxaureate writes:

Kudos to the OP. And how true that is.. the only thing to kill WoW is WoW itself. When WoW is the only MMO left and the community is begging for something else.. you can only say we told you so. In truth..the mmorpg genre is slowly dying and nothing can stop it.

Sun Nov 09 2008 9:22PM Report
Vanpry writes:

"this forced players to be accountable for their actions and not act like a brat like many in current MMOs communities are"

Some parts I agree with you some not so much but this one made me laugh.  Lack of accountablity and/or any kind of real punishment is what leads to lack of freedom.  Without fear and lets be real omfg my name is red QQ the freedom gets abused.

Sun Nov 09 2008 9:39PM Report
Riot55 writes:

Vanpry, I think it goes both ways though.  The red's have to be accountable for their decision to become a murderer just as everyone else had to understand the risk of walking out in the countryside alone.  What I meant by being accountable is if you continue to harass, annoy, and make fun of people in the game you could be killed for your actions and have consequence for being a jerk in general.  In games now, people are free to abuse the chats and in general be jerks without fear of any consequence and that ruins communities. 

Sun Nov 09 2008 9:47PM Report
micle writes:

its a great game for people to play if there board but poeple do take the game to far it not like its a real world people have to reaize this. Im not saying that its not a great game and if anyone here is they should get lost but its not healthy to play it all the time

 

Mon Nov 10 2008 12:13AM Report
ownage201 writes:

This post dosn't deserve a comment from me or anyone less. I'v never, I repeat, NEVER seen a game come out and not have any bugs or glitches. You can't expect people to create a almost absolutely perfect game the first time round, expesionaly blizzard, who only did stratagy games before. and as for the death of the MMO gerne, you need to get a grip. I WoW is "as bad" as you say it is, then people are going to make other games to beat it. The technology behind MMO's is getting better. but i guess times change, and you will have nothing because you are to afraid to move on.

Mon Nov 10 2008 12:34AM Report
daai writes:

Riot,

I wanted to take the time to comment and thank you for this post.  I also would like to appologize, however, for the people you're going to have to deal with, and have already so far.  It's unfortunate to have comments that clearly imply the poster/reader did not grasp the concept or direction of your original post.  [Perhaps this is the immature auidience of the new MMO generation]

As for me, I have been an MMO player since around 2003 when I first started to explore Everquest.  I was young at the time -- and would have to have had included myself in the "new MMO generation" I described above -- but I did my best to embrace and adapt to this new style of game.  I was introduce to EQ by an older friend and quickly joined the MMO life.  Within the next couple of years (2004-2005)  EQ2 and WoW were released.  To be entirely honest I had a moderate amount of dissapointment when it came to these guys.  I enjoyed very much the smoother gameplay and enhanced graphics (being something that was important to me, growing up in the era in which these were key developing aspects of any game), doing away with the choppy movements and horrid animations.  But the sense of the true accomplishment had faded since my initial experience in EQ.  I felt as though the technicality was missing, and proved to become a less interactive and less inteligent style of gameplay. 

Now, I'm currently in a phase where I have been constantly on/off multiple different MMO's.  Switching back between WoW and EQ2 for the most part.  And there is still this piece of me that is longing for something more rewarding, and I've been pained that this longing is yet to be satisfied.  I've restricted my accounts in hopes of finding something that would quench my thirst, (part of my exploration of this site) and am slowly beginning to believe that this genre really is dying. 

If it were up to me, I would have voted that WoW should have never been introduced as an MMO.  Warcraft should have never stepped outside of the RTS genre.  Although I can understand Blizzard's thought process, I do believe they could have done just as well creating a new game.  However, it is possible that even with this new game, the same end result would have occured.  All in all -- being a Diablo 2 addict -- I would submit that Blizzards fanbase is a magnet for "this new generation of players."  In particular a huge branch from the original D2 player base.

All in all I hope that this genre regains it's glory, and there continue to be people -- like you and I, and several others that have commented -- that recognize these importances and voice their opinion.  In this day and age, our voice is all we have, and our audience is surely limited.

 

Keep up the good work,

Daai / Drew

Mon Nov 10 2008 1:34AM Report
Rasputin writes:

I wouldn't worry quite as much.

What is happening right now, is that WoW is proving that nothing can beat WoW on WoW's home turf. AoC and WAR has just tried and failed miserably (hopefully this will be a warning to others not to go the same route, and force them to explore new roads).

Come success of Darkfall (beta just about to start), and you may see a situation, where the Sandbox makes a huge comeback.

EVE started the setting free of the genre, with some luck Darkfall can complete it.

Mon Nov 10 2008 1:57AM Report
Lexin writes:

I agree with the OP and there is something that will bring down WoW and that is WoW itself. They are going to release the wrong patch or just keep dishing out expansions every year and people will get tired of it and quit. The first Expansion IMO killed the game it changed all the main stuff about the game PvP, and PvE. Yes i did play WoW and i wish i never did because it was a waste of time and money i don't want to play a game that will change its main content every 1-2 years.

Rasputin as far as i know Darkfall is not free to my understanding you have to buy it and there is a monthly fee that is what i read somewhere.

Mon Nov 10 2008 3:28AM Report
Mixxathon writes:

Great article and a few enlightened comments too! Of course there will always be those who brands anything negative about WoW as "hate", but for those the world is purely black & white and should be disregarded.

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that WoW destroyed the MMORPG by dumbing down the gameplay, but this was done, I suspect, most consciously. It would not take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that the average gamer who is willing to put countless hours into something that is instantly gratifying, is not one who's actually got 'a life', and by default is not someone with either a carreer in progress or one who actively is seeking good grades by studying hard to overcome obstacles. What WoW designers needed was to find a way to let the gamer think they were actually doing something great to be awarded that supercool +x sword, while in reality the player was not that challenged in the first place. That little scheme would be easy to spot standing on the outside looking in, but per default noone who was not interested in the game in the first place would not be so inclined, and those who were playing it would not take a step back since, well, they are the ones this game was designed for, and as such a person would not be the least interested in that fact.

Am I making any sense? Do I sense boiling wrath from the countless WoW-gamers out there, who I actually called 'dumbed-downed gamers' ? Unfortunately, I think i do, and that would follow the gameplan, since WoW-gamers would be those who would be easily offended due to not being able / unwilling to take a step back and look in from the outside. I.E. I am fighting a loosing battle and am trying to preach to the converted :)

What I really wanted to say was this, I am sorry that the majority of the MMO players are of the kind that are inclined to be attracted by WoW and it's clones. Otherwise we would have seriously challenging and fantastically well developed onlinegames today. UO was indeed a step in the right direction, and had it not been for WoW.... Just try to picture UO with f.x. the graphics and production values of LOTRO, and additional several years of creative thinking to expand on the world and it's workings. Now, THAT would be a GAME!

Mon Nov 10 2008 3:37AM Report
morrin writes:

Great piece Riot. I played WoW for about a year. It is a mind numbing game.

Mon Nov 10 2008 3:51AM Report
Balaczar writes:

WoW is just the latest "800 pound gorilla". Everquest had the title for a while and now WoW has it. Until something better comes along that will keep our attention, thats where we will be. I played EQ from beta til WoW and I play WoW waiting for something better to come along. Yes WoW is mindless and repetitive, but as someone said in a prior point, it works. 

Mon Nov 10 2008 4:14AM Report
craynlon writes:

good article but i think people forget that wow made the genre visible in the first place

im absolutely no fan of wow, never played it (i played lineage2) but i have to defend wow here. the 10mil+ people that wow brought into the market are wow gamers.
bevore wow the average western mmo had like 100-200 subscription and you find find a lot of good games (eve, ddo, l2, darkfall, tcos...) that do not follow the wow pattern that are in this subscription range.

people coming from eq or uo should play these games instead of  wow or the wow clones and just ignore the mainstream just as many people stay away from soap operas on tv or boybands in musik. wow established some kind of pop culture mainstream to mmos but i believe the genre will evolve in many different ways so everyone will find a game for himselve if he looks a bit harder and can live with the fact that he isnt one of 11mil that listens to the same tune.

Mon Nov 10 2008 5:13AM Report
lath456 writes:

WoW dumbed down the gameplay?  Like Karazhan bosses that would wipe raids because someone moved 2 inches when they shouldn't have?  Ever try playing these games without an elitest bunch of pricks and hang out with people who just like playing the game because you get to interact with other people?  Guess not.

I don't like dancing around bosses like a machine to get loot.  It's not fun, it's my least favorite part of all MMOs.  I play these games because I enjoy the people, not because the game is a challenge.  They could make everything silly easy and I'd probably play MORE because people wouldn't get frustrated after getting killed by a boss 15 times.   Hmm... Game, Frustration... not synonymous.

I suppose that's one thing I like least about my fellow Americans, they think everything is a competition, they get "work" and "game" confused.  It's the really loud 1% who seem to push developers for ridiculous goals.  All they have to do is make a game FUN with an environment that encourages player interaction.

Mon Nov 10 2008 5:18AM Report
Zayne3145 writes:

WoW is not and doesn not pretend to be an RPG. I love it for what it is.

Mon Nov 10 2008 5:31AM Report
qombi writes:

Great post. I agree World of Warcraft had a lot of bad along with the good. World of Warcraft did a lot right but took away too much freedom of the  players along the way.

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:15AM Report
MyPreciousss writes:

@Zayne3145

"WoW is not and doesn not pretend to be an RPG."

Actually, it does, it goes by the genre title on their website and has even dedicated RPG servers where unfortunately the majority of uneducated players don't even know what RPG is and GMs aren't enforcing the special RPG rules for these servers. It's very on topic with the OP i guess, how Bliz and WoW are mocking the complex genre disrespecting labels and such basic elements.

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:27AM Report
Arcken writes:

Good post, two things you didnt bring up however:

1) Rise of the 1-max level solo player, which is the bane of grouping, thus the bane of the MMO.

2) Instant gratification : You dont have any pride, or that bond that you used to have with your old EQ, or UO toon that took you lots of time to get to where you wanted it to be. Everythings so easy now because of WoW, that I cant remember the toons I even played in MMOs. Wheres as my first EQ paladin, Id put a new screenshot of him on my desktop everytime I level'd, in fact still have the old screenies of my paladin from level 1 to level 50. Games arent sticking together in order to survive a harsh world anymore. Its about feeding adhd players with as much reward for as little work as possible.

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:34AM Report
vasilcho writes:

funny how all the WOW newbs (yes newbs, in the full meaning of the word) fail to understand so well put and explainatory post. just proves once more the things we're saying 

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:46AM Report
craynlon writes:

another interesting point is the absense of a wow killer

if the masses demanded a free for all pvp/loot, perma death, hard to lvl up, totally open world mmo a few million more people would play eve, eq2 or just stick to uo

Mon Nov 10 2008 7:29AM Report
ianicus writes:

haha, yeah wow killed the MMO genre....I dont think so....whats happened is all the folks that played UO, EQ, and the other frontier MMO's grew up, alot stopped playing, etc. THAN the console generation got to an age where they had thier own Credit Cards. They knew about these online games, but most were too obscure or overley complicated to get into, along comes wow, in an easy to get into casual game, that can be made hardcore if you want it to be. WoW is not perfect by and stretch, but it is so well put together its hard to deny it. There are so many games that just feel exponentialy more cumbersome to play next to WoW, once you play wow for a while its hard to go to something else.

Mon Nov 10 2008 8:28AM Report
Thekandy writes:

Actually Zayne and MyPreciouss WoW does pretend to be, and is, an rpg, it has character development, levels, storylines (Albeit very loose and shallow ones) stats, most of the stuff that defines rpgs.
That's not to say it's a great one of it's kind, but it fits the label by the definition
(Also, if i may be a bit pedantic, there is a difference between an rpg and roleplay)

Mon Nov 10 2008 8:29AM Report
Remianen writes:

This made me laugh:

"I suppose that's one thing I like least about my fellow Americans, they think everything is a competition, they get "work" and "game" confused. It's the really loud 1% who seem to push developers for ridiculous goals. All they have to do is make a game FUN with an environment that encourages player interaction."

Probably why the world and its economy and trade all revolve around the hypercompetitive AMERICAN market. We don't take 3 months of vacation every year (as some countries in Europe do). Everything is a competition, which is why we're the center of the world. You can't excel by sitting on your ass.

More on topic, I agree with Riot to a point. Personally, I'm a capitalist. I believe that excellence is always rewarded eventually. Want an example? How 'bout EVE Online? The game has grown organically and consistently, even after the launches of SWG, CoH, WoW, and EQ2. Its audience is drawn to it from other games. That's how it should be. This isn't television, you don't need a complete overhaul of games every year. A game can exist and thrive on a very small number of subscriptions (again, see EVE). Hell, even Istaria (formerly known as Horizons), which has been handed around like a newspaper on a crowded subway train, is still in existence and looking to grow.

WoW is not the devil, it's not the Antichrist of the MMO. WoW is more savior than pariah since it drew SO many new people to a genre that at one time was the very definition of 'niche'. Those players new to MMOs need to go through the same progression us old-timers did (and I consider myself an old-timer having played as far back as Gemstone to The Realm to NWN on AOL to Meridian59 to UO to EQ1 and beyond). New games bring new ideas and new mechanics to the genre. Honestly, who placed such a heavy emphasis on character customization prior to City of Heroes? That game proved that customization was important to a good number of players and could essentially be the most appealling feature.

One thing Arcken said that kinda resonates with me:

"1) Rise of the 1-max level solo player, which is the bane of grouping, thus the bane of the MMO."

That player exists largely due to overreaching by developers. When you have a relatively large world but 20 servers each with 15 players on it (hyperbole but bear with me), grouping opportunities can be limited. Many of these games benefit most from critical mass. With the spread of instancing, overcrowding isn't as much an issue as it was years ago. But too many developers want to stroke their e-peens by launching with way too many servers (hello WAR) without the population to make those servers "work". That solo player is probably someone with fairly limited playtime who doesn't want to spend much of it standing around doing nothing, trying to get something going. You want a robust grouping scene? Then tell developers that. No one's going to go along with an EQ forced grouping model in today's world because no one (or, I should say, very few people) is willing to place themselves and their time at the mercy of other people, having to put up with others' personal issues (whether social/personality based or real life (i.e. afks) or anything else). People demand the ability to progress at their own pace without needing other players, every step of the way, to do it. Remember the Warrior in EQ back in 99/00? How 'bout the cleric? Since then, we've gotten fighters and priests and rogues with supreme solo ability. There's a reason for that.

Riot, I enjoyed reading your post. I don't agree with everything (I remember being a newbie and being ganked repeatedly and mercilessly in UO...with no consequences for my attackers that I could see). craynlon, I don't agree that WoW made the genre visible. That was EverQuest's doing (how many 'UO Widows' support groups existed? Now, how many stories on 20/20 or Dateline NBC or Primetime Live or CNN have been done about 'Evercrack'?). What WoW did was make the game accessible to a large swath of the gaming populace. Not nearly the same thing. If anything, WoW can only be credited with popularizing things that existed prior to its existence. RMT is another example (started in UO, became more widespread in EQ, blew the hell up when WoW came along).

I don't blame people who label posts like this as 'hate'. They have no experience and thus, no perspective. It's like those people who scream 'hate' when you criticize Windows or any other Microsoft product (especially those people married to IE when Firefox is clearly the better product). All they know is one thing (in this case, WoW) and they're so impassioned by it, they'll allow no one to besmirch its image. Eventually (hopefully), they'll come to be able to judge each game on its own merit rather than comparing it (usually unfairly) to other, more polished, older, more developed titles.

Mon Nov 10 2008 8:36AM Report
Sovrath writes:

I think Zymurgeist is correct.

First off, UO is still there. For anyone who wants to go back, you can.

Secondly, WoW was not as horrid at launch as many of the recent games have been. Yes there were long lines to get on and server issues but the level of polish that I saw from that time (I've maintained a WoW character since day 1) was extremely good. Add it so that it was more of a game and less of a life (yeah, yeah, I know, gamers have turned it into an obsession and raid every night yet hate it) and you get more casual players.

Remove WoW from the scene and it's current casual playerbase will not go rushing to other games. WoW is perfectly created so that people with families and lives can log on for a bit, have some fun and log off. They don't whine about gear or raids or anything of that nature because they play to have fun. Just because a casual player's idea of fun doesn't match someone who yearns for more of a hardcore experience doesn't mean that it's invalid.

In any case, the old games are still around. EQ, UO, AC. Grab your friends and anyone else who yearns for that type of experience and have at it. Oh sure, it might be a bit different because of the games' evolution but it will be more of what people are looking for than current games.

Mon Nov 10 2008 8:50AM Report
Venger writes:

“Arcken

Rise of the 1-max level solo player, which is the bane of grouping, thus the bane of the MMO.”

What utter bullshit. UO could be soloed from beginning to end if you were a smart/skilled enough player. Death was a common accuracy but it could easily be done with some common sense and planning. Sure you couldn’t melee a dragon but that is of course not being a smart player. You had to know when and where you could hunt to avoid pks or have an escape plan, or never keep more on you then you were willing to loose. You were never forced to do anything.

What made UO great which NO other game has ever matched is the power was in the character build not the gear you farmed in forced group content. The game was about the journey from beginning to 7x gm not race to the end game, forced groups and raids POS that we currently have.
 

Mon Nov 10 2008 9:00AM Report
Ozmodan writes:

You doom and gloom people really crack me up.  Sure Wow is dominent in this market at present..  Someone will come along with a much better game and unseat them, it always happens.

Be patient and I think you will be surprised.  The next great game is out there, maybe only a gleam in someone's eye, but it is there and you will be playing it in the future and someone else will be whining about it because it does not fit their idea of a perfect MMO.

Mon Nov 10 2008 9:30AM Report
Riot55 writes:

Wow!  Thank you all very much for taking the time to write some very very well thought out responses.  Very interesting to read.  I don't think I have time or the memory to respond to a lot of the comments, but I read all of them. 

 

Yes, unfortunately, a lot of the WoW players seem to miss my point and respond angrily about me "just bashing WoW."  Obviously, WoW did a lot of things right, but in the process killed off real danger and excitement, consequence, and the sandbox feeling. 

 

Someone above posted about getting ganked in UO by reds without consequence to the reds.  While this seems true, the more they killed and made a name for themselves, the more blues and honorable guilds would go hunt them.  I remember getting killed and going to Vesper bank and asking for help and getting groups together of "PK hunters" where we would go back and exact our revenge.  It was the freedom to forge our own destiny and the risk for both parties that kept things exciting.  

 

I have high hopes for Darkfall and Mortal Online (another game where the developers seem to be modeling it after UO), but, like the point of my blog, I fear that they will be forced out of business by unreasonable expectations and subconsciously scrutinized by all of us that have come to expect flashy graphics and smooth animations and all the goodies from the WoW generation.  Obviously we SHOULD hold developers to a standard and expect good games, but the whole MMO landscape is not kind to developers, and unless they have millions of dollars like Blizzard (which, clearly the devs behind 8-year in the making Darkfall don't), they are putting themselves in a very risky position.

Mon Nov 10 2008 9:31AM Report
Riot55 writes:

One more thing, some people have been saying "nothing is stopping developers from making sandbox games" or "if WoW is so bad why doesn't someone just make something different and beat it?"  Well, because the publishers these days expect WoW-like successes and millions of players.  They will not fund games that can't promise them hundreds of thousands of subscriptions, and thus will not take chances with independent developers, or developers that are straying away from the now "proven" path WoW has blazed.  Thus, we see companies of games like Darkfall struggling for years and years to produce a game that probably won't get the attention it deserves, and companies without big backings like EA fail.  Look at Vanguard, Microsoft expected it to be a WoW-slayer and when it failed to attract enough attention due to a rocky launch and performance issues, the big parent companies immediately withdrew funding and it was rushed and died.  What I'm trying to get at is the new MMO landscape is one, like WoW itself, that cannot take risks and must stick to the same path and attract the same audiences, or else the games won't get any funding and then have even LESS chance to succeed.

Mon Nov 10 2008 9:41AM Report
Venger writes:

"Someone above posted about getting ganked in UO by reds without consequence to the reds. While this seems true, the more they killed and made a name for themselves, the more blues and honorable guilds would go hunt them. I remember getting killed and going to Vesper bank and asking for help and getting groups together of "PK hunters" where we would go back and exact our revenge. It was the freedom to forge our own destiny and the risk for both parties that kept things exciting."

The problem with UOs design is the red could log on kill random people, take all their spoils back to a house, log off and have a blue character go to town to sell everything.  UO system was so simple a child could work around it.  Also you weren't born a red, you maxed out as a blue then got bored and went red.  So there was no trials getting to max as a red.  There was also nothing to help antis.  You didn't hear about a red anywhere until they have already killed someone and could/should of already moved onto another location.

Mon Nov 10 2008 10:13AM Report
Venger writes:

If you want a FFA system to work.  There must be constant fear for BOTH sides and real punishment.  The pked were always fearful of getting pked and loosing everything on there body.  The pker had little fear of death since they chose the battles and carried minimum supplies so no fear of lose.

Very one sided.

Mon Nov 10 2008 10:16AM Report
Iapi writes:

" *

You doom and gloom people really crack me up. Sure Wow is dominent in this market at present.. Someone will come along with a much better game and unseat them, it always happens."

- that's the problem. Every major developer wants to unseat WoW . Thus every new release with any financial backing is designed to appeal to WoW's base of easily amused carrot-chasers who want linear, well-defined grinding paths towards "rewards" that are designed to be everyone's ultimate goal.

Games like pre-NGE SWG were interesting because 30 people could be playing the game and they could all have vastly different goals. This was largely attributed to its crafting system, but it goes way deeper. It had entire professions whose function was unrelated to combat which were fun to play. And the differing goals often required community interaction and a live economy- which is vastly different from forced grouping and cookie-cutter uber loot.

The "ultimate carrot" of becoming a jedi was part of the driving force of this world, but the beauty is that you didn't need to chase this carrot. Like the California Gold Rush, entire communities thrived on providing the carrot-chasers with the gear and services they needed for THEIR goal, and this was made so much fun with the amazing merchant and crafting systems.

RIP, sandbox play.
 

Mon Nov 10 2008 10:17AM Report
Garkan writes:

EVE online has all the freedom and consequences you list here, it has an almost totally player driven economy and crafting is a fundamental aspect of the game play as the majority of the in game items have to be produced by the players.

PvP can have serious consequences, at best you can lose some assets and player run alliances can lose years of work if things go badly, and "market" PvP is full of cutthroat dealers and traders who battle for economic supremacy. Yes it can get boring sometimes but is every minute of your life action packed and entertaining?

Mon Nov 10 2008 10:31AM Report
markoraos writes:

I agree with lots of stuff in the article except the death penalties bit. WoW sucks but definitely not because of the lack of death penalties. You know what real death penalties were? Those old 8-bit platforms where when you died you had to start the whole game again.. not the level, the whole effing game - you started from the beginning.

No thanks to death penalties. Games should always be win-win. The only question should be by how much you win. If a game gives you pain and discomfort in any way than it is a bad game. Its very simple - games are played for pleasure - no pleasure no $$. Why should I pay good money to feel discomfort? Imo a good game will give you satisfaction even if you loose - loosing a chess game can be a rewarding experience if you play it against a friend or a master for example.

 

Mon Nov 10 2008 10:57AM Report
Rasputin writes:

WoW has locked down the EQ-clone line of games.

Any new developer must innovate to enter the business.

Mon Nov 10 2008 11:09AM Report
Antarious writes:

WoW wasn't the start of this.. Everquest was.  When UO came out it was "successful" until EQ came out.  UO lost many of its subscribers (not due to the skill based system but this would be a large debate) and EQ far surpassed it in subscriber numbers.  From that point on the EQ style of game development became the "clone".

Very few games have broken away from the "eq style" and those that have were seen as failures by the developers or those who funded them.

WoW is just a culmination of taking the original EQ style of development and making it mainstream.  This is NOT a good or bad thing on its own.

The issue is the cost of game development and the fact any company wants to make a profit.  So yes WoW has now become the standard development companies look for just as EQ was once.  Simply due to the size of the player base and the amount of profit it makes.

If UO or (as an example) Pre-CU SWG had been huge hits.. having more subscribers than a level, class, raid and uber loot game.  Then you would have seen at least some shift in the type of game development.  So far this hasn't been the case so we are stuck with the mainstream cloning of the first "successful" (mainstream) MMO.

*note* Yes there were at least two other MMO's before UO and EQ but neither was as successful.  There was another but i doubt many here have ever heard of it and I don't think it ever made it out of beta.

Mon Nov 10 2008 11:19AM Report
Iapi writes:

Those are good points, but the fact is that a game doesn't need to have millions of subscribers to be successful. If you have just 100,000 people paying 15.00 a month FOR FIVE YEARS, that's 90 million dollars in revenue. SOE had 2-3 times that many loyal subscribers. If they hadn't tried to turn SWG into Star-WoW, no doubt they would still have a good portion of that loyal fan base, today.

Mon Nov 10 2008 11:51AM Report
warped666 writes:

Questing for months to complete the epic sword quest for your toon ... was fun, and felt good when you actually completed it.  eq was great.  you could, say, as an ogre, turn your faction around to actually be welcomed in human cities, the factions meant more and you could do more because of it.  swg was great when it first came out too, till they killed it with the introduction of the jedi. i've never seen an economy crash so hard... 

 i've been searching for a new game since... wow was fun, im still a subscriber, mostly for lack of anything else to play, but i'm constantly looking for that new game that will bring back some of the old standards where questing is rewarding, pvp is fun, and well yeah... lets get back out of easy mode and mindless repetition

Mon Nov 10 2008 11:53AM Report
AlienShirt writes:

I agree. I've stated it many times before World of Warcraft was both the best and worst thing to happen to the MMORPG genre.

Mon Nov 10 2008 12:25PM Report
Koolaider writes:

We're all screwed. If The Old Republic doesn't find me well (which I doubt), I will be done with MMOs for good.

Mon Nov 10 2008 12:47PM Report
Gravarg writes:

I've played at least 20 different mmorpgs, and all different kinds of games.  The OP has a good sense of what MMOs used to be and what they are now days.  It is true that WoW made MMOs alot more user friendly and less frustrating.  In doing so, WoW also made it more accessible to a wider audience.  The fact remains that any game that follows the older MMOs guideline of making a game 'hard' or adding a frustrating death element will ultimately never reach the masses like WoW has.  This is due to only players of older MMOs will play it.  Thus you have the industry of MMOs 'copying' (I use the term loosely) WoW's success.  After all the Game Industry is a bussiness after all, and unfortunately many think that makes profits trump all.  I do miss the old guidelines set by EQ and UO.  Where you didn't have to spend a week to get a single item. Even though items were easy to gather and took rather little time.  The items you had gathered could easily be taken away in a matter of seconds.  This revolving system of ownership, instead of the 'soulbound' lamness idea, was rather interactive, fun, and most of all realistic.  You may be able to PK for someone's +10 Sword, but then after ressurecting and crying in town about it, you had 100 people hunting you down to return the sword to the rightful owner.  This is what made games like UO so great, a sense of community.  Now in MMOs, other than mindless guild drama, noone ever talks to each other.  If you calculated how many posts are put into a LFG or Trade channel instead of a General chat channel, the LFG/Trade would easily be 100:1.  The community in MMOs has drastically died, save for a few games.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though WoW has brought the MMO genre to the masses, those masses won't follow to the older (more fun imho) guidelines, thus new MMOs will follow the WoW guidelines of 'dumbing it down' in order to maximize thier bottomline.

Mon Nov 10 2008 12:59PM Report
Fr0z1nDuDe writes:

WoW didn't ruin mmo... before WoW came out what was the world population of mmo players? I'm sure it was less and if you can prove me wrong then do it... and after wow came out mmo games were more popular than ever... and that is ruining mmo? getting more people into mmo games is bad for mmo? before wow most people didn't even know what the hell a mmo is... why? because it sucked... not because it was AMAZING... yea that would make a lot of sense!

Also wow is not gonna going to kill mmo... wow has gave mmo a REBIRTH... what does that mean? it means in time... wow will go from what it was when it was just released... to... what ultima online is like when it was at its peak... everything you said ultima online has and wow doesn't... wow will have it eventually... like i said mmo has been REBORN... wow is starting out from scratch and all it can be is be improved... blizz is already adding in pvp with siege weapons... eventually it will have guild and player housing... professions are much more useful now than it used to be... like i said again... mmo is a baby once more... and all it can do is grow... and don't blame blizz if other companies can't keep up... maybe they just aren't working hard enough or aren't talent enough... or maybe they are just too stubborn...

Mon Nov 10 2008 1:00PM Report
aleos writes:

Well i couldnt agree more with everything you said. especialy on the dangling of carrots.

Mon Nov 10 2008 1:14PM Report
rvjones10 writes:

Great Post, I'm at the end of my rope in the MMO genre. WOW is obvious and has become a cliche in the MMO industry. And its success is driving other developers with dollar signs in their eyes to replicate. Now all thats left is for the mindless console games to come out with eyecandy and no substance mmo's to drive in the final stake.

Mon Nov 10 2008 1:15PM Report
Trashcantoy writes:

WoW set the mmorpg genre on the market, WoW set the standard and WoW expanded the mmo market by a great deal

u just dont like the gameplay of WoW and therefore amusingly calls it the death of mmos while its the one who brought so many to the mmo genre

sandboxes aint dead at all, DF (if it ever releases) together with EarthRise and a few more are coming your way...

Mon Nov 10 2008 2:35PM Report
Riot55 writes:

3on1, I thought I've made it pretty obvious it's not just that "I don't like WoW's gameplay."  You say that sandboxes aren't dead, but I challenge you to name more than one or two that are successful.  EVE is doing okay, but is clearly not a huge mainstream success.  Darkfall PROMISES great things, but 8 years and an independent developer has caused problems and it may not succeed in today's high-expectation market.  I sincerely hope for Darkfall's success, but I fear that people will dismiss it based on graphics or being too "difficult/hardcore;" it may accumulate a faithful core subscriber base of 100,000 people but I hardly think it's fair to say sandboxes haven't been killed off and that sandboxes are alive and well.

Mon Nov 10 2008 2:46PM Report
dcostello writes:

    You're a rather persuasive in your analysis in the declining freedom of mmorpgs.  I believe that the last free games was Star Wars Galaxies as well.  I was just wondering, if you could name the top subjects that were crucial to you... what would they be? (just in case someone were planning to make an mmorpg, which would capture what you're looking for)...?

Mon Nov 10 2008 3:35PM Report
Riot55 writes:

Dcostello, I really love being able to interact with the world... I think player housing and real estate is awesome, being able to mine/cut down trees/etc. wherever you want in the world is important to couple with player housing, as it can create awesome real estate markets.  I also love the importance of crafting, and I think that is intrinsically tied in with the interactivity of the world and the player-run economy.

 

I also love PVP, so an exciting system that provides real risk vs. reward is important.  Also, the stats/skills system from UO was amazing in its versatitlity.  Nowadays, everyone has levels and the same skill trees, everyone feels like a clone.  I like being able to choose from a wide set of skills and personalize my character how I see fit.  Character customiztion in general is key, strengthening the bond between player and avatar really.

Mon Nov 10 2008 3:56PM Report
Pandrax writes:

I stopped reading as soon as I saw this "The MMO genre has steadily become less and less free since the forefathers and pioneers of popular mainstream online RPGs like Ultima Online and Everquest. While there were others before UO and EQ, nothing brought MMOs to popularity and mainstream attention like Richard Garriot's masterpiece Ultima Online"

Sorry but I've been around since MUDS and MMO's were invisible to everyone except the more hardcore PC gamers. The amount of people who knew about Online gaming 10 years ago compared to 2005-2006 is quite impressive and a true testament to the amount of people WoW has brought in.

Mon Nov 10 2008 4:35PM Report
Riot55 writes:

Sure online gaming was only for hardcore gamers in the past, but I don't know how well you can say that UO and EQ didn't bring MMOs to the mainstream.  Even if the mainstream wasn't 10 million players, they were the games that brought the games to hundreds of thousands of subscribers and ushered in lots of news and media attention.  Sure, WoW took it further, but UO and EQ made the genre public.  I'm not arguing against WoW bringing in tons and tons of people and popularizing the genre.... I'm agreeing with you there, but I'm trying to say that most of these people are ruining the industry themselves.

Mon Nov 10 2008 4:43PM Report
daai writes:

Continuing to follow this post is proving to be quite enjoyable.  I must say you did well, in the interest of sparking a debatable topic.  I continue to stand where I was in my original post, agreeing very much so.  However, continuing to read the replies has granted me more insight to oposing arguments that I would also support.  All in all, I believe AlienShirt's:

"I agree. I've stated it many times before World of Warcraft was both the best and worst thing to happen to the MMORPG genre."

was the best put compliance to the topic.

 

Other honorable mentions go to:

~Gravarg - "After all the Game Industry is a bussiness after all, and unfortunately many think that makes profits trump all."  ...Sad but true.

~warped666 - "Questing for months to complete the epic sword quest for your toon ... was fun, and felt good when you actually completed it." ... "the old standards where questing is rewarding, pvp is fun, and well yeah... lets get back out of easy mode and mindless repetition"

~Iapi - Many contributions but your simple logistics are by far the best! 15.0x5(12) = 90mil.  Yea that's a lot.

~Sovrath - "Remove WoW from the scene and it's current casual playerbase will not go rushing to other games. WoW is perfectly created so that people with families and lives can log on for a bit, have some fun and log off. They don't whine about gear or raids or anything of that nature because they play to have fun. Just because a casual player's idea of fun doesn't match someone who yearns for more of a hardcore experience doesn't mean that it's invalid."

~Remainen - Solid overall, everything anyone would need to hear.

~Ianicus - /agreed

~lath456 - ""WoW dumbed down the gameplay? Like Karazhan bosses that would wipe raids because someone moved 2 inches when they shouldn't have? Ever try playing these games without an elitest bunch of pricks and hang out with people who just like playing the game because you get to interact with other people? Guess not.

I don't like dancing around bosses like a machine to get loot. It's not fun, it's my least favorite part of all MMOs. I play these games because I enjoy the people, not because the game is a challenge."

~Balaczar - "WoW is just the latest "800 pound gorilla". Everquest had the title for a while and now WoW has it. Until something better comes along that will keep our attention, thats where we will be. I played EQ from beta til WoW and I play WoW waiting for something better to come along. Yes WoW is mindless and repetitive, but as someone said in a prior point, it works. "

~Mixxathon - "Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that WoW destroyed the MMORPG by dumbing down the gameplay, but this was done, I suspect, most consciously. It would not take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that the average gamer who is willing to put countless hours into something that is instantly gratifying, is not one who's actually got 'a life', and by default is not someone with either a carreer in progress or one who actively is seeking good grades by studying hard to overcome obstacles. What WoW designers needed was to find a way to let the gamer think they were actually doing something great to be awarded that supercool +x sword, while in reality the player was not that challenged in the first place. That little scheme would be easy to spot standing on the outside looking in, but per default noone who was not interested in the game in the first place would not be so inclined, and those who were playing it would not take a step back since, well, they are the ones this game was designed for, and as such a person would not be the least interested in that fact."

 

As for anyone who is unlisted, and know you made a good post, it's either because I already agreed with you in my first post, or I'm just too tired and overlooked it.  Or it's not actually a good post and you just think it was ;p.

I enjoy reading these, and it continues to reward me personally, because of my desperate search for a new game.  Although, I do believe the search is slowly reaching it's end, because the genre is gradually evolving into something new.  Perhaps the progressive evolution of the MMO will at some point in along the chain, spark a new game that would find it's way till me.  'Till then, keep up the goodness.

 

Daai / Drew

 

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:07PM Report
dcostello writes:

 Riot, I know what you're feeling and trust me, a game you are looking for IS COMING...  You just have to wait.   I can't give specifics, but it is coming.  If you want to help you can give me an email at devinsk8s79@hotmail.com   I can give you a tid-bit of information on the game, and then if you're interested you can help out.

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:11PM Report
slask777 writes:

Wow, talk about opening pandoras box. Grats Riot55, you hit the proverbial nail straight on the head with this one :D

Anyway, WoW not the end of the mmorpg genre. All WoW did was open it up for alot more people. In my opinion the mmorpg genre is more alive nowadays than it's ever been, opening up for alot of new mmo's to be made that was impossible to do pre-wow.

Mon Nov 10 2008 6:32PM Report
JK-Kanosi writes:

This blog is a few years too late. This has been discovered and discussed in depth a few years ago. I agree with others that this blog is too doom and gloom. The games you listed are still out there, so go play them. What's important is being happy. If playing a certain game makes you happy, play it. It shouldn't matter what other people are playing. If people refuse to play new releases, it's because they aren't as good as the competition.

Mon Nov 10 2008 7:21PM Report
dcostello writes:

 sorry riot, my email is devinsk8s1124@hotmail.com just in case you tried the other one...my bad

Mon Nov 10 2008 7:30PM Report
imbant writes:

wow thats a lot of comments.  Um im just going to bite my tounge and maybe spew some random Darkfall Propaganda.....

Good read (blog and comments)

Mon Nov 10 2008 7:46PM Report
craynlon writes:

 another interesting thing i that atm you cant really name any western mmo with 2mil+ subscription besides wow

neither the companies that did things differently (eve,darkfall) nor the companies that tried to emulate/improve on wow (aoc/war) come even close to its success.

wow seems to be like google, even if theres a 100 good and divers mmos on the market it will be the most visible for some time to come.

Mon Nov 10 2008 9:58PM Report
Litchfield writes:

Most comments on a blog ever...

*insert Darkfall*

Tue Nov 11 2008 1:24AM Report
metalhead980 writes:

WoW didn't ruin anything you people did. There are a ton of quality niche games on the market that you guys won't play, all you do is bitch about WoW and games similar to it.

You want freedom? play Eve, Ryzom or UO. Hell AC1 and EQ are still around if you want hardcore games and L2 has a nice Death penalty. Why not play these?

MMOs are designed to be played for 5-10 years just play some of the older games and be quiet.

 

Tue Nov 11 2008 2:48AM Report
Neosai writes:

Being new doesn't mean it will work, trying out new thing is fine, but trying it out by spending millions of dollars is a huge gamble.  People that never spend millions of dollars once in their life really shouldn't have a say. (Including me)

New ideas need to have some sort of basis behind it, step by step heading toward change.  In rare occasions someone managed to jog for a little bit and that is what we call revolutionary change.

Tue Nov 11 2008 2:50AM Report
BarakIII writes:

Good post, even if I can't entirely agree with you. mmo's by nature are difficult to make, sure the rewards of even having a couple hundred thousand subscriptions are high, but the risks are even higher.  Far more mmo's have failed than have succeeded.

You keep mentiong UO and EQ and mention the lack of much of anything in that line since, but honestly what do you expect? How many mmo's similar to WoW have been successful? Not many. Successful MMO's are going to be rare by their very nature. Even if their had never been a WoW you might not have had anything like UO or EQ. I would imagine that a good game of the type you would like may come around maybe two or three times a decade simply because of the cost and risk involved in making an mmo.

In the meantime their are small successes out there. People have mentioned Eve a few times already and that seems to fall in line with what you're interested in...unless you simply don't like the sci-fi genre.

I'm sure if both you and the world lasts more than a few more years then something you will like will come along.

Tue Nov 11 2008 4:25AM Report
Stylar writes:

Great post! I agree with just about everything you said! I started back in Meridian59 and it is still one of my favorite experiences especially for the PVP aspect which sounds to me is like what you described in UO. I never played UO but wish I had now, hearing you describe it sounds like everything I have looked for since all in one game instead of scattered through several.

I have Stylar on 95% of all MMORPG's released since the release of EQ1 I played WoW and liked it but it did not have holding power of me, too cartoony and no sense of accomplishment but endless grinding, I dont mind the grinding a slong as it leads to something. Currently a Life account holder on LOTRO which I like very much, they need to make improvements and is WoW clonish in many ways but if they improve housing PVP I think it could be a great game in the now and in the future I was surpised to not see one comment about it from anyone.

Thanks again for your post, it made me think and brought back good memories of games past.

 

 

Tue Nov 11 2008 7:43AM Report
Deewe writes:

Nice post even I have kind of mixed feeling towards WoW.

I left SWG to WoW when it launched, played it for 4 months, left then came back a bit for BC left again.

Blizzard will always have my thanks for imposing a new standard to the MMO industry: polished games. Yes WoW wasn't perfect at launch but it was so far away from any other MMO.

I like realistic graphics but once again I appreciate Blizzard for bringing vibrant colors in MMO. Also I didn't find fun quests before it, like beating lazy peons, in others MMO.

If you look back at EQ for some mobs you had to farm spots for days and the fight could last a looooong time. FUN? I don't think so. At least in WoW status of the instances are locked.

Now what I don't like in WoW is the great GRIND for gold, for items, for reputation, for PvP experience. Add levels, BOP and lack of character customization on top of that and that game goes from fun to pain.

I just hate Blizzard more than I thanks them (for the polish) because all the games copy them and lastly their RAID loot distribution is lame.

I just wish we get a UO2, or a SWG2 game. Only theses games could bring a new era to the MMO world.

Wed Nov 12 2008 9:11AM Report
rjp14 writes:

Loved your post and I hear what your saying because I feel the same way about the mmos.

Thu Nov 13 2008 12:39PM Report
Velexia writes:

I think that games like EVE Online and DD Online help to break the molding that WoW has created for MMORPGs.  Honestly, I think the genre needs to be divided into sub-genres.  WoW can dominate one of those, and the rest of  us can develop in peace.

Sat Mar 28 2009 9:18PM Report

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