You know what I'm talking about. That phrase that people spew because they think it makes them sound like they are "good at the internet". It has gotten to the point where people think everything is a WoW clone. Tuna salad sandwich? Wow clone. Offline story driven shooter? Wow clone. Well, I feel its time for a little leson. WoW clone really means quest driven MMORPG and there is a reason that this is the way the industry is. Actually there is 2 reasons and they are both pretty good.
The gaming demographic has changed. The average age of gamers is older then it was before. The generation of gamers that grew up playing games like EQ and UO aren't kids any more. They have jobs. They have families. However, they still want to game. The problem is that its hard to play a MMO when you may only have an hour to log on and play. The old formula just wouldn't anymore. Log on, spend 30-60 mins looking for a group. Then spend 20 mins getting to the hunting spot. Then spend 30 mins finding a replacement when someone has to drop. Then spend 20 mins waiting for them to get there. When you only have an hour to play you need to be able togo online and feel like you accomplished something.
Secondly, this is also the reason that harsh death penalties have fallen out of favor. When a player only has a limited time to play a death penalty where they loose 4 hours worth of progress isn't going to work. Or, having to make a 20 min run back to your corpse.
The old formula kinda...sucked. I mean seriously. Basicly what MMO's consisted of was putting together a party, going to a spot and pulling mobs for hours on end. Was that really exciting? Not to mention party dynamics. Remember sitting around for hours on end because every group need that ONE class and you couldn't find one? Was that really fun?
So seriously folks, get off the "omFG wOw clone LOLZ" bandwagon. Quest based MMO's are here to stay. Get used to it