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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

Speculating on Blizzards next MMORPG.

Posted by Teala Tuesday July 28 2009 at 2:53PM
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I've been thinking, if I were Blizzard I would create something totally opposite of what I currently have. What does that mean or imply? Well right now they have a game that is considered a thempark game in WoW and is fantasy based. So what do you do that is the opposite? You create a sandbox game(the likes of which has never been seen) and make it a sci-fi based game. Yeah! Woop, woop, ...::does her happy dance:: woop, woop...

Seriously. Blizzard came in and showed all the other companies how to make an MMORPG, one way, the theme park way and succeeded. What do they do to top themselves and all the other companies who have or are working on an MMORPG right now. You beat them in the other aspect of online virtual game worlds by taking the best of all those other sandbox games and make the ultimate sandbox game with a sci-fi theme.

So how does Blizzard do this? We know Blizzard has said that this time around that they are going for a totally new IP, one of their own making. They have all ready done the fantasy theme and they need to go in a direction that is still fairly open...so I'm guessing they're shooting for the sci-fi crowd. There is but maybe a half-dozen sci-fi based MMORPG's on the market and in the works and most of those are centered around players just flying space ships. This is great for them. They can come in and fill a void that needs filled. God knows we're swimming in elves and dwarfs. How about some exotic aliens for a change?

Then they'd look at all the different MMORPG's that are sandbox based games like old Star Wars Galaxies and Ultimate Online and all the others and then make a sandbox game that makes all other sandbox games look like child's play. They basically create a game filled with all the things good in a sandbox game and tell the players - "Here's the playgrounds new sandbox, and in it you'll find some really cool buckets, sand shovels, and all the things you'd expect to find in a sandbox and more!"

More?

Yeah...like we've included some prefab stuff to help you get going. There are these cool places that are pre-built, however, what you do with them is your business. Like see this planet. It needs players to make it work. Here are some cool things so that you can make it work. There's also some cool areas on this planet you might like to explore. Then look over here at this world, awesome isn't it. It has it's own little thing going on, but it still needs players to make it work as well and oh look, over there is a planet close by and the inhabitants don't get along with anyone from that world so be careful - they have been raising an army of their own and Intergalactic War looks imminent .

So what I am thinking, maybe Blizzard will create this awesome sci-fi sandbox/theme park game that will once again redefine how we look at MMORPG's. They give us the ultimate sandbox in a sci-fi setting laced with bits of theme park game play.  They took and looked at how MMORPG's were made after games like Diablo and Ultimate Online and saw that they could do it even better.   The one thing that has yet to be done better is a good sandbox game.   We've had all of maybe three or four really good sandbox games, like UO, SWG pre-NGE, EvE and Vanguard. 

The market is just ripe for the making of a great sandbox based MMORPG right now.   People are getting tired of elves and orcs and wizards.   The market is saturated with WoW wannabe's and is only going to get worse.   So this makes me think Blizzard will do what others are not doing and go the sandbox route.

Go ahead and tell me that wouldn't just make you want to do a happy dance of your own.
 

Open Letter To Blizzard - just a few suggestions to make World of Warcraft better. :)

Posted by Teala Friday July 24 2009 at 10:45AM
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Dear McGyver's of game design that is also known as Blizzard,

This is long and sorta windy, but I think some of my suggestions are worth making note of, if not all of them - yeah...I'm just that good at coming up with ideals for games.  ::innocent grin::  But that is neither here not there...just please, oh please read my letter and then think about it.  Think about the cool things I am suggesting.   There are some cool things here!  Just keep reading. 

World of Warcraft is an awesome MMORPG for what it is. Is it the best? No. Is it perfect? No. But for the most part the game is the game that set the new standard for MMORPG's. However, I think there is some things that Blizzard could have done to make the game even better. Are you reading this Blizzard dudes and dudettes? If not you should be - all the way to the end. Full of cool ideals. Really. You'll thank me in the end if you add this stuff...seriously...but - OK...later we'll discuss that later. In the mean time, please read on. 

One of the things I really hate about WoW is that we're stuck in a rut when it comes to being unique in how our characters look. My Blood Elf huntress looks like many other Blood Elf huntress's. That is one thing that kinda really just grinds my gears. There's my character standing on a street in Dalaran and wouldn't you know it I see three other "me's" amongst the 40 odd other players that are milling around doing whatever. I really wish we had more hair styles, more armor choices and for all that is good in the land of MMORPG's - please Blizzard give us some dyes for our armor! OMG would I love to be able to dye my characters armor to a color of my choice so my huntress doesn't look like 30% of all the other level 80 huntresses. Just giving us dyes would go a long way in allowing us to be a little unique in looks.

Another thing. This is one that actually gets me ticked in most MMORPG's I play. Why, oh why, when I find a weapon that makes my character feel like I want to play her more, do I have to give up that really cool looking sword or bow because she out leveled it and have to upgrade to a weapon that I find really fugly and unappealing? Just once I would love to be able to play an MMORPG and not have to constantly upgrade my weapon as I level because it only does X amount of damage. Here is an ideal. How about you let me keep my weapon and as I level so does my weapon I found and really like! Yeah. How can you make this happen? Just allow us to visit a weapon smith and have it upgraded. I do not care if it cost X amount of gold or requires me to go on some maniacal killing spree to kill Alliance members(I'll do this anyway - 'spits toward Stormwind' Alliance Elderberry smelling humans) to get a stone of special sharpening or maybe go on a quest to get a gem that can be socket-ed into the pommel to make it better. Just let me keep my weapon of choice! I have found some weapons in World of Warcraft that I liked the looks of but can my character keep it and use it through the game. No! I can keep it in my bank vault and pull it out and use it to do low level quest, but that's about it. As far as I am concerned this is something all MMORPG's get wrong. Maybe that is why I like Mount and Blades weapon system best. My character in Mount and Blade found a really awesome scimitar and hasn't used any other weapon since. Why? No need to. My skills with the weapon make it better as I use it. So the weapon can be used by my character until I retire her - which is very cool. Finding that perfect weapon that just clicks with your character is part of making our characters unique. Would Conan be Conan without his Sword of Crom? Would Elric be Elric without Stormbringer? Well how do you expect my character to be more than just herself without her weapon of choice - the one weapon that makes her slayer of all things Alliance! She needs he Scimitar of Alliance Slaying! " For the Horde! " See you could allow us to name our swords even - now that would be so really cool. I know of a couple of games that allowed you to do this. Name your weapon that is. So how about it Blizzard? My ideal would just rock! You know it would. So come on and do it!

Speaking of weapons, why is it that in every MMORPG I have played I cannot pick up and inspect all the cool weapons and armor and what not scattered all over the floors or hanging on the walls of the dungeons we crawl through...hmmm? Now tell me if this wouldn't be awesome. It would be awesome if some of those weapons and armor can actually be random treasure finds in dungeons. Those swords, spears, axes, and bows and myriad of other pieces laying around a dungeon could be more than just mere eye candy. What if you allowed our characters to find a nice piece of loot just laying around a dungeon from time to time. It has always been a real pet peeve of mine that in all those dungeons and ruins we see all this awesome weaponry just laying around collecting dust and you mean to tell me that there is not one good piece in there somewhere? Not even one? Conan fell into a tomb out in the middle of nowhere and found an awesome sword just resting there against the throne of a long dead - somebody.   Why is it to much to ask for our characters to be able to do the same? Make it random and make the stats random as well. This will not only get more people wishing to do instances and dungeons, but OMG it'll bring the unknown back into the game and have players dreaming of finding a nice weapon, a shield or maybe a piece of armor that they just happen to stumble across, not unlike Conan the Barbarian.   He gave me this ideal you know.   After recently watching it for the millionth time and then playing some WoW.  I put the two together and thought...yeah...this really sucks.  He can just stumble into a hole in the ground and find this awesome sword and we on the other hand have to kill these really powerful - always huge - monster or giant thingy to get the good stuff.  That is just not fair.   Surprise us now and then - OK.   Have something glow blue as our character inspects the area with her magic cursor of pointing to indicate that, "Hey!  Look at this...you found something cool just laying on the floor!"

OK, another thing that really chaps my lips - from talking so much about MMORPG's and that is, in many MMORPG's NPC's can fight from horseback and mounts - even flying ones. They do in World of Warcraft, why can our characters not do the same?! We can in the whatever arena their in Northrend - you know the tournament place. So why not allow us to do it everywhere? Put it some rules and what not I do not care. Say there is a percentage of a chance that we can get knocked off. Doesn't matter, just make it happen! Imagine flying on your War Hippogryph and you see a swine smelling Alliance member flying on their 'whatever yucky mount they fly' and you attack them - in mid-air! ::sings:: "Yesssssssss..." would that be like so very, very cool! Flying down toward your enemy in a dive(yes this needs added, too, Blizzard - you know - a screaming dive, your mounts wings swept back, picking up speed - woohoo!) your war lance - ( "Oh yes! We need these, too! - ::huge grin::) lowered and aiming right for the enemy. Then with a huge thunderous crash of metal against metal, mount against mount, the feathers flying as they hit each other the fight is on! If I am lucky I sent the poor bastage to his death - falling from 1000 ft. If I am not, then we go at it - in flight - a fight to the death! Now this would be so really cool! Please of please Blizzard...please give us mounted combat. On land and in the air. You do this and I will love you long time!

Oh and about our mounts. Give our mounts attacks as well. Like kicking, or bashing with the front hooves, or racking with their claws, and oooo...lightning from their eyes! No joking around here. I know this is possible because I've seen NPC mounts that can do this. So why can our mounts not do this? In Wyrmrest in the Dragonsblight area there are mounts that shoot lightning from their eyes - yes they do I've seen them. Oh yes...so please, oh please(I beg alot I know...but I have no shame and do not mind doing it for the masses - really) give us this stuff, too. Why should NPC's have all the fun?

We need houses, or apartments or something. Something where we can add cool furniture and stuffs! Think Sims, but in a World of Warcraft kind of way. We could display trophies of war, unique quest items we've gotten on our travels or the heads of Alliance enemies - well this would be nice you know. I do not care if you have to instance them. It would just be cool. I know people will hate this ideal. But I like it. ;p

Read how it can be done below when I discuss Guild Halls.

Guild Halls? Anyone for Guild Halls? Why do we not have guild halls in World of Warcraft yet? I know the arguments and they just do not cut it. World of Warcraft needs Guild Halls and Blizzard needs to make this happen. How can they do this? Through the use of instances. Why do this? So guilds can have a place to meet for raids and to store guild related stuffs. Sorta like a the guild bank, only better and bigger. It can also be a place for guilds to display "future" guild achievements, like banners, tabards and the like. This way when you invite a potential guild member to be a visitor they can see just how active the guild is by the tabards and banners that they may see hanging from the rafters or on the walls of their guild halls.

So here is what you do. In each of the main cities there can be a building or structure with a door and this door is actually a portal to be used by members of guilds. Simply entering the portal sends the players character to their guilds hall. The guild halls could be an instance made up of a few rooms or it can be an actual place on a piece of land or maybe an island with a couple of structures on it - one being a guild hall. There could be choices to styles in how the guild hall is structured and looks. For instance you could choose a Nordic looking theme, or something based on Tauren architecture, or maybe you prefer the Undead style. Then give us tools to move objects around in them to decorate the halls(this would also work for player houses) like in the game Sims. You have the means to do this and the art resources to create something like this and guilds will love you even more. Why this is not all ready in the game has always made me wonder - isn't it time we have them?

Blizzard you created a cool world when you created Diablo and what did that world have that made it awesome? Randomly generated dungeons to crawl around in. Yeah. So what about doing something like that in World of Warcraft. Mix it up. Figure out a way to do this and then scatter them across the land and people can find the entrance just by happenstance. Go one better and have the randomly generated dungeons scale to the level of the players involved.  Now this...this would be so very cool. I know you can do this. So make it happen. This would make World of Warcraft even better!

Inn's and Taverns are they just merely a waste of resources and space in game? I am beginning to think so. Some of the most wonderful looking places to be found in the game are the taverns and Inn's. The problem is few players actually use them. I go into them all the time hoping to see other players hanging out in them, but to no avail...nobody uses them. So here is what you do. Give us a reason to use them. Put some mini games in them. Whether it be chess, checkers, darts, card games, roulette, or a game of bash the mole! Just put something in them to get people to come into the Inn's. Maybe give us a unique buff for spending time in an Inn. I know there is an exp bonus all ready in place, but just being in a city gives us that so why bother going to an Inn? Please, please, please Blizzard think about this. It would be so cool to someday be playing and travel to say Orgrimmar and hear music coming from a tavern and then to walk in and see it full of players mingling and just having fun - together - in a tavern!

New race of water based elves. Ride dolphins or seahorses or maybe even sharks. Oh yes, I would so love to see a water based race of elves. What if the High Elves(aka High Born or Quel'dorei) of Kalimdor who were exiled split up and some went to the sea. Now they return in the form of a great race of elves that come from the sea? Of course they would most definitely be Horde because they Night Elves and the High Born do not get along at all. So this would be awesome addition to the game. Here is one thing that would make playing this race unique. After spending so long underwater and with the use of magics, the new race of High Born can breath underwater naturally like others breath air. For a now Sea Elf to venture onto land they must make use of potions or magic as air breathers must to travel in the water. Now this I could get into. I playable race of elves that come from the sea...tell me that wouldn't be so very cool. Blizzard can do this.

Also...oh yes there is another one of these >>> "Also", add  some fluffy roleplaying stuff like for instance. Fortune telling sorta stuff. All for fun, but imagine my character wishes to be say a wondering kinda gypsy fortune teller. Allow her to learn the skills(through quest of course) to obtain the title of Fortune Teller. During these quest she can obtain the tools necessary to perform such things as telling fortunes like crystal balls, tarot cards and the like and depending on the race the various means of telling a fortune would be different. Like trolls would use Voodoo and make use of throwing the bones. LOL! We could quest for a gypsy wagon pulled by a mount from which we can practice our craft. Having your fortune read can give players a buff say of there spirit or maybe their wisdom. Or it might have a negative effect. (Well the trolls do say, "Stay away from the Voodoo, man." Just do something cool and make it fun and make it so people will make use of them. There are all kinds of cool fluffy roleplaying skills you can allow our characters to learn and to become other than just Fortune Tellers as well. Like Minstrels who can travel the lands and play music for people and because you listened to the minstrel you get a buff of some kind - if you drop a little coinage into his coffer. :) See where I am going with this. See the possibilities. Do you not feel the magic coming from my words off this screen as you read this? LOL! Well you should because this is just another thing you can add to the game to make it so very awesome and players will love you for it - I know I would - really - please.

One last thing.  There is this really cool ideal I have been messing around with in my head for some time.    Every now and then in the game we go on a quest and every so often we are accompanied by the quest giver - sorta like a henchman of a sorts.   This got me to thinking.   I do this a lot you know - thinking that is.   Just because I am a blonde does not mean I cannot think from time to time - because I do.   Anyway, the ideal is this.  What if we can hire one, just one henchman to be like a travel companion on our journeys through the World of Warcraft.   Now before I get skewered by the players that will hate this ideal I'll just spit it out.   I would really get a kick out of having a Tauren henchman as a travel and adventuring companion.   Think of it like this.  Han Solo had Chewbacca, Batman had Robin, Robin Hood had Little John...well I need a cool arse companion as well!

How can you do this?  Make it possible through a quest.   This quest gives us a new skill - leadership or something like that.  By having this skill we're allowed  to hire "a" meaning one,  henchman.   Now the henchman will of course fight for us when the need arises - similar to a pet.   However there are rules one must follow in order to have this henchman and what it can and cannot do and what you can and cannot do with them.   You cannot for instance send a henchman blindly into a building to take aggro and to sacrifice themselves so you can rush in and take the treasure and leave.   Nope.  Henchman do not commit suicide.   No instead a henchman will only attack if you have initiated the first strike.   Then they will join you...if and only if you have kept them well rewarded for fighting by your side.   In other words.  This companion does not work for scraps.   They will get part of your loot.    A cut of action.  A piece of the pie.  

Your henchman will level with you, similar to a hunters pet.  They will have all the skills of that class they are.  You cannot have a henchman that is the same class or race as you.  You can purchase them armor and weapons using their own money they have on them and you can even send them money, armor, weapons and items but you cannot take from them - ever.   You cannot use henchman while grouped with others - at all.   You cannot use henchman in PvP fights or battles at all.   If you do not regularly pay your henchman they will leave you.   Then you'll have to go take the quest to get a new one all over again.   If you do loose a henchman it will become harder to get a new one because your leadership rep will take a hit.  The more henchmen you loose, the harder it will be to obtain one.   Loose to many and no henchman will ever join you - ever.   If you get your henchman killed to may times doing stupid stuff...they will leave you.   Why stay by your side if all you do is get them killed.    So they will leave you.   This will of course have an adverse effect on your leadership skill and well you know what that means because I have all ready gone over it.

Give henchman issues.  Sure there are pros to having henchman, but think of the cons as well.  Yep.  Henchman may sound really cool, but some maybe a little troublesome.  Some might be narcoleptic and fall asleep right in the middle of combat.   Some might be ninja looters and loot that really nice piece of armor right out from beneath your grubby little hand before you can get it.  Some might be clumsy and bump into you while you're trying to get that spell off interrupting you.  Some might even run in terror if they feel the battle you are about to fight might get them killed.   Evil I know...but that is the cost of having a henchman.   With a little thought this ideal could be tweaked here and there and it would make for a nice addition to the game.   

So there you go Blizzard. Here are some ideals to make World of Warcraft even better. Feel free to use any and all my suggestions free of charge and you don't even have to give me credit for coming up with them. No really I insist that you just keep this between the two of us and I'll not say a word. I promise. I really do not care. At all. I just wish to see them in the game. That is all I need. So make this stuff happen. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!  (again I have no shame and will beg if need be if only it will help you add this stuff to the game).

Sincerely,

An MMORPG addict, errrmmm player, who dreams of playing an MMORPG with really cool stuff in it.  Like sharks with laser beams that shoot from their eyes(hint, hint).

A loving fan who really doesn't like World of Warcraft all that much, really, though she plays it all the freaking time!

Kristi  ^_^

There will never be another game that kills World of Warcraft.

Posted by Teala Monday July 13 2009 at 7:50AM
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Wow Kristi, the title of your thread is laughable at best.  How can you say such a thing?   Simple.   Because it is true.  It is true so long as game designers miss the very things that made World of Warcraft a success and fail to follow suit.   Before you start flaming me and tossing insult bombs my way, please "read" why I think the way I do.   Then if what I have said still makes you wish to flog me with a flaming cat-o-nine tails and then laugh as you toss salt onto my wounds - have at it.   I can take it. 

OK, so why will no new premium AAA pay to play game ever kill World of Warcraft.   Well to begin with, you have to look at the one thing that made World of Warcraft such a success to begin with.   Blizzard knew their player base.  They knew their target audience.    They went so far as to even ask players what they would like to see in their game and then to top it off they didn't even have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) like so many other games.   Blizzard was really open and honest about their game.   No hush, hush or we're not saying, or we cannot discuss that right now.   Nope.   Blizzard developers and designers said this is what the game is and this is what you're getting and if we cannot do a particular thing this time we'll try to get it in at a later date.    That in itself was awesome and no game company to this date has been so open about their game,   

Then lets look at the game.  It was designed to be played on computers that your average house hold might have.  You didn't need a super computer to run the thing.   If you're computer was nothing more than a monitor attached to a hand-held calculator from a gumball machine, you might find in your local super market , WoW could probably run on it.   World of Warcraft was programmed by the McGyver's of the game design world.   They managed to create a game that was huge in scope and yet easily accessible by the masses.    Anyone and everyone could play World of Warcraft on their computer.  

Advertising.  Blizzard got this right and continues to get it right.   They advertise their game and they do it like no other company does.  They target their audience with great graphical theatrics type posters and cardboard cut-outs.   Go into any legitimate game store and you see what I am talking about.   You can't help but gaze at the colorful box covers or the beautiful unique artwork you'll see on their display stands.   Like a fancy plumed peacock looking for some loving Blizzard's colorful advertisement screams - "Look at me!" - and people do.  Then they buy it - because it looks so very colorful and wonderful - in a Disneyesque sorta way.   Blizzard's art department knows their stuff.  They know how to make people sit up and take notice and their advertising people make use of this.   It works - because World of Warcraft is constantly in the top of games sold across the world.

The game is simple to learn.   You do not have to be a rocket scientist to play World of Warcraft when you first get into the game.   Again this comes into the realm of accessibility.   Blizzard took a lot of the steep learning curve that generally comes with a game of this genre and smoothed it out.   Then once the person gets a feel for the game the learning curve goes up a notch.   Then another and then another.   World of Warcraft is what most games should aim for - easy to learn but hard to master.   There are many ways to build a character and then to play that character once you get to the end game.    It takes some serious number crunching and knowing how to spec out your toon to get the most out of them and it is not for the faint of heart.   I say this because once you figure out what it is you'll need to do in order to optimize your character to get the most out of them - you, like me want to just scream.   OMG I have to do what and go where to get that?  It's going to take how many people to do it?  Are you kidding me?   Nope.    Once you get to that level of play in World of Warcraft you are definitely crunching the numbers and learning to master the game.

Let's look at another aspect that many people over look.   The game is filled with fun and funny stuff.    The people at Blizzard have a wonderful sense of humor.   Their game is laced with Easter eggs and satire the likes of which have never been seen - except maybe in your favorite episode of Family Guy, the Simpson's or South Park.   Seriously...you have to admit, those things help take the edge off and they seem to do it when you least expect it.    This is good.   It lightens the mood and reminds you, the player, this is game - enjoy it - do not take it to seriously.   LOL!  You know subliminal messaging is alive and well and Blizzard does it so very well.   Remember "Stay away from the Voodoo man."  LOL!  OMG you have to love it.

Polish and more polish and when you are done with that polishing - let's polish it some more!  Face it.  Blizzard gave gamers the kind of game we like.   A game almost devoid of bugs and polished like no other game that came before it.    The game in this respect has not been matched since.   Oh sure there have been other games that were pretty much bugless when launched like City of Hero's, but City of Hero's was not as big and did not have the same kind of seamless world nor the depth of game play World of Warcraft had when it launched.   What Blizzard did was set a new standard for how games should be when they are launched and no game company since WoW's release has even remotely come close to how polished and bug free World of Warcraft was at launch.    If more companies put as much effort into the little things as well as the big things in their game and made sure they worked as well - there would be more games with subscription numbers as high as World of Warcrafts.  Unfortunately though to many of these game companies do not seem to realize this one very important aspect to a successful game.    So get to polishing - woops!  You missed a spot!  "Where?"   There silly developer - right there!  ::points::  Hopeless I tell you - just hopeless.  When are the other companies ever going to learn.  ::shakes her head::

Know your audience!  Know your market!  Know your product!  Blizzard knew this.  They knew it well before WoW Online was even a thought in a designers mind .  Remember these are the same guys that delivered such games as Starcraft and Diablo to the gaming masses.  Let's take Diablo.   Diablo was one of the most played games online even before Ultimate Online was out people were playing Diablo.   Diablo had upwards of 4 million people playing it at one time.   Think about it.  That was back in 1996!   Even then Blizzard was doing something right.   They gave players what they wanted and they learned how to do it.   Is it any wonder why World of Warcraft is such a success?  Seriously.  Think about it.    Blizzard cut their teeth many years ago when they designed and launched Diablo.   They knew they had a goldmine - even back then.   Foreshadowing of things to come?  Possibly.  But one thing is for certain, that experience Blizzard garnered from Diablo was incredibly valuable to them when it came to creating World of Warcraft and it shows.   Sorry people, but Blizzard was way ahead of their game when they launched World of Warcraft and they can thank Diablo for that.  Diablo showed them the way and Blizzard took it and ran with it.

They took the knowledge Diablo gave them, and the knowledge of other online games like Ultime Online, EverQuest and such and then made World of Warcraft.   They knew what they wanted in their game and then set about doing it.  They took this from EQ and that from UO and that from DAoC and oh yea that from AC2 and this from Diablo and then made them part of their game and did it better.   They didn't try to re-invent the wheel - Blizzard created it!   What the others had done before in MMORPG's was "try to invent a well running wheel".  One that didn't wobble or creak or go thump, thump, thump when it was running because it wasn't round enough.  They all just managed to get by with their thump, thump thumps and wobbly, creaking wheel.   No Blizzard took that wheel and made it round, and then they added a rubber tire to it, and then they took that tire and galvanized the rubber and they added treads and in the end Blizzard gave us the wheel we were all looking for.   They could do this because Blizzard really did invent the wheel long ago...and back then they called it Diablo.

These key things are why World of Warcraft was and remains such a success.   Until other companies follow suit and use plays out of Blizzards play book - there will never be another game that is as successful as World of Warcraft and there will never be another game that kills it.   Sorry.

Addendum:  Do not think I am advocating game designers to make nothing but cookie cutter games like World of Warcraft because I am not.  What I am doing is pointing out the key ingredients as to why World of Warcraft is such a success.   That is all.   If game makers like Funcom and SOE ever expect to get the kind of subscription numbers Blizzard sees with their games then they need to really just follow the simple steps Blizzard took to make WoW.   It didn't take rocket science to figure out what made WoW such a success.   It just took common sense and that seems to be one thing that many game companies and publishers lack.

 Another Addendum:  This article is about a pay 2 play subscription game and its impact on other premium p2p games and how they do in the North American and European Market.   Sorry I was not more clear about this.  I  did not realize that so many people that visit this website are from anywhere but the US/Canada and Europe.   Forgive me for making that mistake.  Thank you in advance.

 

 

EvE - last of the great sandbox games - yet still new.

Posted by Teala Friday July 10 2009 at 8:30AM
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Back in May of 2003, when EvE first came to life I gave it a shot, played for two months then dumped it.   Another game came along and stole my heart and my play time and it seemed to fit more in line with my style of gaming.   That game of course was Star Wars Galaxies...the promise of freedom to be what we wished to be in game came with it and that is what I was looking for in a game.   The choices were so many and I was hooked.   I never looked back at EvE again - though it was sci-fi and right in-line with my taste for sandbox game play, Star Wars Galaxies gave me worlds to explore, and soon we had space as well, and with the micro-management of city building, crafting and running businesses - SWG was my game - the mother of all sandbox games and I loved it.   Then in late 2006 their came an announcement that SWG was going to be changing.   In November those changes went live and that day I canceled my account - my gaming heart was crushed.   In one fell blow the Gods of gaming had destroyed the one game that truly gave me the virtual world I had been looking for and took it away.

Pic of my character in EvE Online.So I wandered the digital verse of gaming once again looking for a game that would appease my hunger for a game that gave me as much freedom as my once beloved Star Wars Galaxies had done.  As the years went by and new games came and went I grew desperate.   I knew somewhere out there, there had to be a game that would  once again be "my game" - "my heroine" - "the game that would steal my heart."

I routinely visited various gaming related websites hoping to hear news of up and coming games or to learn that an old game was adding something that might bring me back to playing it - but nothing.   I was regressing backwards...I started playing single-player games again.    I was soon craving that need to be a part of something bigger, to be involved in an online game again a part of a gaming community - something a single-player game cannot give a player.   I am a gamer - my main hobby is playing games and MMORPG's are my drug of choice.  

So as I once again began my quest for an online game to fulfill my gaming needs I kept seeing the game EvE advertised on various blogs and game related websites.   I told myself, you can't go back, you would be at a huge disadvantage because their are gamers that played EvE from day one and are still playing it and there is no way you can compete with them.   Then I learned that CCP had made some changes to the game.   New people could come to the game of EvE and not have to worry about getting gate-camped 24/7 and that security measures had been put into place to ensure that new players could get a foothold in the game so they wouldn't feel as if their was little hope of ever getting anywhere in a game filled with veteran players.

My curiosity got the better of me and I started reading up more and more on the game.  I all ready knew the game had a huge online community, but I never knew just how huge and how fervent of a community it had until I really started digging deeper into it.   I also learned that the game had become much more complicated and challenging due to all the updates and expansions that game has gotten over the years.  This really started to look like something I could get into.

So I took a chance.   I clicked on one of  CCP's ad's for the 15 day free trial(I no longer had my old game of EvE - having given it to one of my brothers long ago) and proceeded to download it.   Once I had it downloaded I clicked on the install EvE and in very short order I was creating my first character.   Having read up on the game I knew somewhat what I was doing and soon had my first character and was ready to proceed on my new EvE gaming experience. 

That first day I had to push myself away from my gaming rig because I was hooked.   Since that day I have played EvE every day and look forward to playing it the way I use to be with Star Wars Galaxies.   Because in EvE I am free once again to create a character that is unique.    There is no cookie cutter classes in EvE.   There is no road signs pointing you in specific direction or anyone forcing you to go anywhere you do not wish to go because that is how the game was designed.    I am free to choose my characters destiny and to make her as I see her and to take her on journeys of my own making.   EvE gives me, the player, the game world in which I am free once again to choose my own path and to see how far I can take my character in this virtual universe.   It has the game tools in place for my character to do this - it is truly a sandbox game and it maybe the last of the sandbox games - yet still new because true sandbox games never grow old - they just keep getting better with time.

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