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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

SOE - Why They Will Never Be Top Dog Again

Posted by Teala Sunday November 11 2007 at 3:28AM
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So...want to know why SOE will never be the powerhouse producer of MMORPG's ever again?  Simple.  They never were to begin with.   Back when Verant announced the creation of EverQuest the online gaming community had one game they were infutuated with at the time - and that was Ultima Online.   Ultima Online was a 2D top down online virtual world.   Verant on the other hand was about to release a 3D over the shoulder virtual world where players could enteract with their virtual environment like never before.   Verant needed a publisher...and in steps Sony Online Entertainment. and the game EverQuest was born.

Now when EQ went live it was the only 3D MMORPG on the market.   There was no other choice for gamers at the time of EQ's launch.   Asheron's Call from Microsoft wouldn't be launched for another 8 months.   So SOE quickly gobbled up the online gaming market and EQ was a huge success from the very start.   Again this is simply because SOE was first with a 3D virtual world that players could run around in slaying orcs, spiders, and draqgons.   Even after Microsoft's Asheron's Call was released and offered another choice, many gamers decided to stick with EQ because they all ready were established in the world of Norrath.

A couple of years pass, EQ grows to about 400k subscribers simply because there is no other MMO on the market like it.  Dark Age of Camelot comes along.   It is semi-successful and even takes some of EQ's subscribers away.  Now we have not 1, not 2, but 3 choices in the 3D MMORPG market.  EQ, AC and DAoC.   SOE cdoesn't have to comply with the wishes of their player base...what other games is there to play?  So SOE thinks hey...its OK to do what we wish...we have no serious competition.

Things are starting to change.

More and more MMO's are launched and each one eats a little more into EQ's hold on the players of MMO's.   EverQuest is still huge in the North American market.  However in Korea, there is Lineage by NCSoft that claims to have 2 million subscribers.   People can't even imagine a game with that many subscribers and debates about the real numbers pop up on various gaming websites all over the internet.

Now during this period from about 2002 to 2005, lots of MMO's get launched and most crash and burn and EQ is still Big King Rat errr...dog on the block of the MMO world in North America...until...

...well two things happened, one in late 2004 and one in late2005 that would forever change how the online gaming community would see SOE for presumably years to come.   One...a game company named Blizzard launched what was to be the most successful MMORPG ever created to date.   Do I even have to write the name of that game...I suppose I better for people who may have never heard of it before(how I do not know!)...that game was World of Warcraft or simply known as WoW by its fans.    WoW not only changed the number of people who played MMORPG's, but it literally changed the very way these games would be made and marketed.  The very core of MMO game play was redefined by Blizzards game and it would have a serious impact on almost every game that existed before and those soon to follow.

SOE saw the numbers, other game companies saw the numbers and were astounded by the sheer popularity of the game WoW.  Blizzard announced 4 million subsribers were playing WoW.   How could this be and how could Blizzard do it?   To be honest...Blizzard had a ready made fan following with their Battlenet crazy fans who grew up playing Blizzards computer games like Diablo, Diablo 2, StrarCraft and the World of Warcraft games.   Blizzard merely tapped into their own ready made pool of fans.  It had really nothing to do with WoW in general.  It had everything to do with the fact that Blizzard knew what their fans wanted and expected from them and Blizzard delivered it.  Blizzard gave them a vivid. colorful world based on the Warcraft series to play in.   They then polished and worked with their fans who beta tested it pretty thoroughly to make sure that the game they released to the general public was actually fun to play and ran as smooth as possible on even the lowliest of computers.   Then to top that off Blizzard did something no other game company ahd ever done before or scince - they had no NDA(non-disclosure agreement) and this by itself showed the confidence Blizzard had in their game.  Again, Blizzard knew their fans, it listened to their fans and it delivered to their fans the game their fans wished to play.    Blizzard did their homework in other words and they actually worked with their fans to help make their game a huge success.

Back to SOE.   SOE had launched two other games since EQ, boith which were considered somewhat successful.  Star Wars Galaxies which at one time had upwards of 250k subscribers and Planetside which peaked at around 150k.  Bother these games came out long before WoW, 2 years in fact before WoW.   SOE before WoW was still big dog on the block claiming to have a million players playing their games.   Then came WoW.

As I stated, SOE saw the numbers, took a step back and thought..."How can this be?"  "Is WoW really that fun to play?  What did Blizzard do different then we have done in the past and why didn't we ever see those numbers for our games like EQ and what the hell happened to Star Wars Galaxies?!  It should have brought in 10 times that amount! Star Wars is one of the most popular and well known IP ever created!  Why didn't it work?"

As stated...Blizzard knew their market, they knew their fans and they delivered what their fans wanted.  SOE didn't get it then and they don't get it now.   It isn't the fact that WoW is a better game...it is that Blizzard had way more fans then SOE ever did!  It really is just that.  Blizzard tapped into their own fan base!  They didn't need to steal EQ's players, or Dark Age of Camelots Players or Asheron's Call players or anyone else's player base for that matter.   All those 4 million subscribers that Blizzard claims to have playing WoW...most are totally new to MMORPG's because EQ still has decent subsriber numbers, EQ 2 has decent subscriber numbres, so does DAoC and many other online games like Guild Wars and such.   So WoW didn't draw from existing players, WoW pretty much brought 4 million new players into the MMORPG market.  SOE doesn't get it.

Because SOE fails to get it and thinks WoW must be the answer.  What did SOE's higher ups decide to do?  They decided to shake up their own games and the rewrites started.  Remember  I said two things occured in late2004 and then late 2005 that would forever change how gamers saw SOE.  One the game WoW and two what SOE did to the game SWG and it's loyal player base.   First SOE decided that WoW's formula for success must have been the basic core of the game itself.   WoW isn't exactly all that complicated to play and SOE decided that their games were to complicated and well that must be why their games were failing to draw in the numbers.  So SOE starts copying the basic WoW design.  First game title to be hit with massive rewrites and redesigns is Star Wars Galaxies.   Without telling their fans of their intention SOE and Lucas Arts decide that SWG needs to be more like WoW.   The secretly start rewriting what is to be called the New Game Experience.   All the while they are telling their fans they are working on making the existing game better and they even release a new expansion called the Trials of Obi Wan.   This seemed like SOE was still working on the game the fans of SWG grew to love.  It was a huge sandbox style game that was unlike any otehr game out there.

SWG had player ran cities, an extensive crafting system far beyond what was offered in other games, mounts(creatures as well as speeders), FPS(first person shooter twitch) space craft combat(a first for any MMORPG), great character customization, skilled based character development, player ran economy,  it was Star Wars to a point...maybe not just like Star Wars the movies...but it enabled its players to feel as though they were apart of the Star Wars Universe and those players were addicted to it.   Why did the game fail to garner larger numbers?  SOE refused to listen to their players for the most part.   Unlike Blizzard that knew their player base and knew what their players wanted because they listened to them and took their suggestions and opinions to heart...SOE does not.    SOE to this day still refuses to listen to their players especially when their players passionately beg them not to do something to the game that will change the very core of how it is palyed and that is exactly what SOE did in late 2005.

The unleashed what become known to the gaming community at large as the biggest gaming blunder and debacle that had ever been seen.  The unleashed the redesign of the game Star Wars Galaxies and it was called the New Game Experience - NGE for short.

Players of SWG learned this was going to be unleased just two weeks, two weeks, before it was to go live.  That also meant that the exapansion(Trials of Obi Wan) people had pre-ordered was basically incompatable with the new version of Star Wars.   Remember players thought all was well with the game of SWG s it was and that it was cool.  The NGE had not yet been announced - yet.  The people running SOE basically thumbed their noses at their loyal player base of SWG and said you can either like it or leave it, we know better then you and this will get more people to play our game.  SOE had decided to WoW'ify their game.   Totally rewriting the core of the game from the ground up, destroying the very sandbox that made SWG such a great game.   Instead of listening to their players who were loyal to them and their game SOE refused to listen and the mess that was the NGE was released, with a now non-working expansion made for SWG before the NGE - bugs and all.

If SOE had listened to their player base from the get go instead of trying to turn SWG into some psuedo version of WoW - SWG would still have a decent size player base upwards of 300k or more players.   As it stands now it has less then 50K according to people in the know.

This was the turning point for SOE and their games in my opinion.  This one little act by SOE and Lucas Arts hurt SOE's chances to be the online game company it should be.   SOE's reputation for thumbing their noses at their player base was all ready in the toilet with some of the things that took place with EQ, EQ2 and Planetside - but the release of the NGE upon the SWG players put them over the top of being listed as one of the worse online game companies next to Turbine and Artifact Entertainment.   After the NGE there was a huge migration from SOE's SWG and other games - like EQ2.    

People could no longer trust SOE.  SOE showed little or no respect for their player base, unlike Blizzard, and this has forver since been their bane.   Will SOE ever gain back the confidence and trust of online gamers in general?

Highly unlikely.

Because once again SOE's true colors are showing with their latest producers letter on their recently acquired title Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.   When SOE acquired the game from Sigil, rumors spread like wild fire that SOE was going to pull another NGE on the game because Vanguard didn't pull in the numbers SOE was hoping for.   Those rumors were quickly squashed by the head of SOE John Smedley who told gamers that Vanguard would not undergo any real changes and that they would stick to the initial vision that was Vanguard and that they ahd learned their lesson from what had occured with SWG and the NGE and they'd never do that again...until...well until again must be after Vanguard because it seems that they are still up to their same old tricks - again.

See buried between the lines of the recent prodcures letter is tall tell signs of SOE's true intent for the game Vanguard and with SOE's recent acknowledgement that they did secretly make changes to one of Vanguards most popular classes - the ranger(which brings back memories of the class rewrites of the SWG/NGE) - and the other little things being said by the current producer and developers and the fact that they have basically mocked their fans in a recent podcast and are not really listening to their fans despite them saying they are(but they are going to change the game anyways) smells of an NGE is indeed in the works for Vanguard.   Only SOE is trying to do it a little bit at a time.  That way they think they can minimize the damage of unleashing it all at once as they did for SWG.   Phew...now was that a run on sentence or what?  :)

What am I trying to say with all this?   Simple...SOE might have been the big dog on the block in 1999, but it is 2007 and their days of being the leader in the MMO market have come and gone.   SOE will never be the game company Blizzard is until it realizes one thing - its your fans stupid!   They play your games!  Know your fans.   SOE thinks they know their fans but  they don't and they refuse to get to know them and try to become more trustworthy of them, they, SOE, plays some kind of twisted game of  "we really know what is best for the game and well our players...our players have lost touch with what an MMORPG is so we'll humor our player base, tell them we're listening all the while we'll do exsactly the oppisite and our players can either like it or leave". 

....and this is why SOE will continue to slide down hill into the abyss of  mediocrity and bad MMO's for ever more.   Am I saying SOE should be totally doing everthing their fans ask of them?  No...but when your fans threaten to leave a game in mass numbers or cause a huge ruckus on your own official game related boards or game fans websites errupt with bad reviews or commentaries regarding SOE's total disregard for their fans and their games(I mean come on there is a thread dedicated to players that hate SOE on this very website), that means one thing...SOE refuses to learn form its mistakes and its the same old same old for them and this means they'll continue to drie players away instead of drawing them in and keeping them.  SOE reputation is about as low as a game companies rep can get and it doesn't look like it will get any better with their current plans totally disregard the wishes of the fans of the game Vangaurd.

What needs to happen if SOE is ever to regain their reputation and start drawing people to play their games and trusting them again.   SOE needs a change at the top, the bottom and the middle.   They need a new mission goal and new management to go along with it - plan and simple.   The current people in charge of SOE are the reason why the company is in the mess it is in with its players and until new poeple are put in place that understand its all about the players(your customers!) who play your games SOE will never be top dog again.

methulah writes:

Interesting analysis. Some of your facts as to the history of the genre are a bit false, but that's okay. anyway, interesting analysis. I personally see Sony's future as a publisher, more than a developer.

Sun Nov 11 2007 4:02AM Report
Teala writes:

My history is false?   Please correct me then.  So I can fix it.   Thanks.

Sun Nov 11 2007 4:07AM Report
zazz writes:

Print it out & send it to the SoE VG team, cause theyt doing it all over again....Wall of text but i appreciated all of it,well wrote and covers my thoughts on these games & SoE perfectly.

Sun Nov 11 2007 4:09AM Report
funnylumpy writes:

lots of crap from a WoW fan as usual. It's your right to not like EQ series and SOE in general but please try at least to be more objective. As for the top place it's gained it for good quality and even if EQ series doesn't have the highest amount of players it's still a very good game.

As for blizzard is not a golden dog as you try to make them. It's ofcourse your opinion and yes blizzard makes decent games but don't put others down because you had bad experience with it lots of other people didn't.

If you take numbers in account all western online games would be crushed utterly because asian online games have tens of millions more players than any of the western similar ones.

The top asian game has more than 200 million players... ofcourse in counterary to the western counterpart it's free to play it will happen with all western games too as time passes.

The companies need to earn money in other ways than robbing players directly for the game. :)

Sun Nov 11 2007 5:20AM Report
camobarge writes:

Comming from a current SOE subscriber I can say you nailed it in this write up.  I have been with SOE from the start of EQ, then did EQ2, SWG, and now Vanguard (though it was SOE at first).  I have seen them pull this all the time.  Now I will say that early years at EQ was good, they did listen to us, but now they do not care what we think.  They know what is good for us, we are not allowed to think what is fun.

I never totaly understood why WoW was such a success, now I see, I have played it and found it rather dull to my play style, so I keep looking.  Now if Blizzzard would make a harder, more challenging game I think they would have me, or any other company for that matter.

This producers letter along with the way that the Dev's feel about the current players (or lack there of) has me thinking its time to cut my ties with SOE once again.

Sad because Vanguard had so much going for it.

Sun Nov 11 2007 5:32AM Report
Morgyn_Blues writes:

Agreed... And one of things someone mentioned about MMO facts was before EQ there was the Meridian 59 that started in 94-95 I think. There was also a subscription based chat program called Worlds Chat (which is still around) from then too. I also know that there was a Battletech/Solaris style MMO in '97 as well.

Sun Nov 11 2007 5:58AM Report
Invidious writes:

Analysis? This is 95% common knowledge. EQ was big when it was the only choice, then WoW changed the genre and SOE tried to follow suit and the SWG change was a disaster. Any new information for us?

As far as VG, I'm always kinda amazed that people think the "vision" of this game was changed by SOE. It was changed by Sigil who scrapped entire systems only 1.5 years before launch. You see, Sigil got caught by WoW too. In went maps, quest indicators, NPC locater, increased experience rates (yes, really) and out went the super long travel times and the old, complicated combat system.

Sun Nov 11 2007 6:38AM Report
Ironman2000 writes:

LOL you remember in EQ II when Curt Schilling did that special promotion and he was kinda EQ II's golden boy?  Well he just did an interview with Thottbot.com in which he stated that while he considers himself a hardcore player, hes switched over to world of warcraft, tried to play EQ II again and just hated how unfriendly it is compared to WoW.  He said he wanted to just have "Fun" and not have to work at it.  Thats the real difference between the games, you have to "Work" to be good at EQ, SWG and EQ II and you can just have "FUN" playing World of Warcraft and get good at it while you're having fun.  As for me, I started with EQ, went to EQ II, did Star Wars Galaxies and got tired of SoE turning our worlds upside.  I went to WoW and have had nothing but "FUN" myself ever since.  I went back during the "Please come back and try us again" EQ II fest that ended in November.  It was just so horrible to come back, while I enjoyed the characters, the difficulty and unfriendly nature of the game just made me drop it again.  Seriously, anyone that says they don't like WoW have really never given it a fair try.  Most of the people I know that claim to be "Hardcore"  and say they don't like WoW are just more "Hardheaded" then anything.  People don't like to admit they have wasted so much time in a game that really doesn't give back to them.  Well I think the Blog here is pretty much on target, though I thought EQ II came out shortly after WoW launched, but i'm not sure of the exact dates?

Sun Nov 11 2007 7:48AM Report
rampone writes:

Good read specially for someone not familar with SOE, though im a new subscriber and appreciate this article. Blizzard if you notice when applying for a job one of the requirements is "absolute passion for making and playing games" this is probably a big reason for their success and makes you wonder if SOE or companies with related problems are to 'business' minded. Its apparent there is probs over at SOE wether its the game itself or the running of the biz. How often do you see complaints for Blizzard? not often and if at all petty nuisances. The thing is Warcraft series has always been pretty popular even when the Diablo series was at its peak, would say they were quite equal possibly WC having an edge here and there.

So we had Diablo series craze and thrive while WC fans were happy with updates here and there but were starved for something different i even remember arguing with WC players in the D2 days which was better. Besides the ghost failure Blizz was ready to indroduce something and it was WOW instantly attracting the WC fanbase which has been large for a while so the popularity of WOW does not come as a surprise and brining over ex-SC ex-Diablo players because Blizzard makes quality games, possibly the best imo.  So now Blizz and the community is probably realizing WOW is comming to its end soon what do they do? announce SC2, brilliant. Now for someone patiently waiting for a new Diablo game thats great news as well as for the old SC-Vet. Whats next a Diablo MMORPG that blows away everything? its almost as if Blizz runs on a cycle for the games and series giving each fanbase a bite when they need something, though id argue they have milked WOW too long and have deprived the Diablo fans boo hoo :P SC2 is comming.

Blizz is in a really good position here and its like a standoff in the mmorpg world who is going to announce what and when since its getting more and more competitive, who makes the first move at least with the top gun companies as the author explains. I guess people now look towards Blizz as the standard setters for mmorpg which is good and bad who wants WOW clones popping out all over the place? not me man and off topic the video for VG with the dude on the dragon or pulling up his horse just reeked of that. Dungeon Seige 2 looks better then WOW imo imagine implementing content etc on a massive scale to a game like that, which is why im starting to play EQ2 untill another company can shake the mmorpg ground with something - WOW clones are not going to cut it and one can even say WOW is a clone of EQ thus EQ making the foundation for mmorpg games.

All in all Blizzard is the best company ive bought and played games for, EA (cough) would rank second and im looking forward to starting the 'journey' haha with SOE the bottom line is its what your customers want and not what the 'designer' thinks is good or appeals to him some are maybe to proud to give it up or commited on having their 'trademark' and theirs only in the game. Blizzard does not seem to have this problem though :P and ive never touched any WC product so what to do, what to do the mmorpg is almost at a standstill these days with little jolts of excitement but nottin to get fan bases goin nuts, Diablo 3 Now. Hope to see you all in EQ2 for time being haha. 

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:17AM Report
epf1 writes:

Well said!

/tiphat

 

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:53AM Report
TheChronic writes:

very nice review Teala, thanks a lot for your time writing it all down...

funny is, I wrote something similar to that 2 weeks after the NGE hit, "reasons of why SOE released the NGE, because of wow subscription numbers and so on..."

and now, 2 years later someone writes it all down in a well understanding form... thanks a lot for that, greatly appreciated

I hope people keep talking about what SOE did, so it will never be forgotten...

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:58AM Report
Xavier_78 writes:

Hi,

Just a quick note, if I'm not mistaken Merdian 59 was also a 3D game and was released before EQ1.

Sun Nov 11 2007 9:19AM Report
matraque writes:

Good post.  But it sounded like a HUGE SOE rant to me.  Did you lost something because of them?  They ruined one of you gameplay session?  You lost your jedi?

I've been with SOE since EQ1 beta and I'm fully aware of all the shady moves.  Hell, it's a compagny and they are in to make a buck.  What are you going to expect.

Blizzard is as shady btw... Releasing expension with nothing new... new land mass and more levels.  No other MMO will have what WOW has.. not even another Blizzard MMO.

SOE are publishing more then anything now....

Sun Nov 11 2007 10:16AM Report
fireice27 writes:

  Awesome Teala, Chronic, I remember your article too, I replied to it back then with a rant about the Nine Iconic Professions for SWG.  I used to be an SOE Fanboy.  About two weeks after the Nine Iconic professions patch was released for SWG, I left the game, hoping it would someday change again for the better.  It hasn't.  I also took part in the "Please come try us again" sales scam  LOL.  Long story short, Last week, I finally pulled the plug on my station pass.  I used to like Planetside, EQ, and the others.  SOE, has a knack for changing their titles for the worse.  Yes I played WoW, and while it was fun, I became bored with the simplicity after a few months, then just as I was ready to leave Azoroth, a friend would start playing, so I would hang out and party up with them for a while.  WoW is a beautiful game, and it is nice to be able to sit down and play a game with out worrying about long term goals.  WoW allows casual players to complete with power gamers, that's another reason why WoW exploded.  Currently my kids are playing WoW.  Me, I am still looking.  Currently I'm trying EVE, I betaed Tabula rasa, it is ok, but it is too easy to play, a nice relaxing game.  Does anyone remember Earth and Beyond, Anyone know of a game like that besides EVE, and no Vendetta Online is not like it.   VO is good, but it still needs a few years before I'll come back. 

Anyway, I grew up watching the STAR WARS saga,  (episodes 4,5,6) and was happy with what SOE and Lucas had done with SWG, until the NGE came about.  I hung out in game for a while waiting to see what was gonna happen, and did not like it.  Then they changed Planet Side too (UGH).  EQ2 to me was a big disappointment, it was not what was promised,  sure it is a beautiful game, but, those who have played it, or are, know what I am talking about.  Anyway, I tend to shy away from SOE games now, even though I am still  looking for a MMPOLRPG to play and spend my happy hours doing so.  If I don't find one soon, I guess it is back to the elder scrolls series and Diablo II.

Sun Nov 11 2007 10:55AM Report
Anofalye writes:

Simplifications aren't the solution.

 

Brad and his vision was the main problem for me, now that he is gone, nothing magically happens.

 

Removing doesn't adds.  SoE has all they need to become top dog.  I think they have quite many subs even if I left and many players left, it is just becoming a smaller % margin of the market.

 

Appealing to the masses require some thinking.  Some thinking that most devs don't want to consider.

 

Guitar Hero is a simple game.  Tetris is a simple game.  Pac Man was a simple game.  SWG pre-CU, WoW and CoX are simple games for MMOs.  The solution is obviously simple, but peoples well payed, they tend to want to put more then what the folks want, and by giving more you may ruins it all (raiding in my case should never have been part of any MMO).  Keep it simple, and maybe, maybe, you will get a tremendous success.  Make it too complicated (NGE), and check existing markets dwindles.  Peoples are simple (not stupid), they like it simple.  Leveling up is simple.

Sun Nov 11 2007 10:56AM Report
Black_Elvis writes:

I can't help but be reminded of the "Big 3" American automobile manufacturers when I read about SOE.

For decades GM, Ford, and Chrysler made the cars they wanted to make and the American public basicly had to buy whatever was availible to them.

Now you have the Japanese making SERIOUS in-roads to the American automobile industry.  Toyota is currently #2 now in the U.S. which was unthinkable a mere 10-15 years ago.

Why?

Because, unlike the "Big 3," Japanese automoblie makers LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMER BASE AND MAKE CARS ACCORDINGLY!!!!

Sun Nov 11 2007 11:43AM Report
Teala writes:

I am sorry for the numerous typos, and poor grammar.  ::sighs:: I am no writer and never claimed to be one - I just have things that need said and so I do my best.  Sorry if I killed some of your brain cells, I apologize for having totured them before they died as well.   Anyone that reads my stuff knows I am no english major....not even a minor...in fact I think I am the worse user of the english language ever.   Does it matter...no....why...because you all seemed to understand it enough to make you want to reply.   ^_^

As for the timeline...fine Meridian 59 was around back then, so was 4th Coming, Lineage, Sierra's the Realm...sure there were lots of games...but the big two that most people knew about were UO and later EQ.  'nuff said.   :p

Sun Nov 11 2007 12:01PM Report
Teala writes:

Black_Elvis gets it!  Thank you!  By the way I drive a Honda.   :p

Sun Nov 11 2007 12:02PM Report
Teala writes:

Oh and for those that think I am some sort of huge fan of WoW.  I am no fan of WoW.  I think WoW is a fun game for the people that enjoy playing it.  I did not find it fun.   In fact I wrote a review regarding it just after it was released and I still stand by what I said back then - today.

Here is a link.

http://vnboards.ign.com/mmorpg_player_reviews/b22600/79664609/p1/?110

Sun Nov 11 2007 12:05PM Report
Kordesh writes:

See, I've actually been playing since the early days of UO, was around and played when EQ, AC, DAoC were all released, and this "historical account" is quite a bit skewed. Once I got to the paragraph where you start going off about how WoW was some gift brought to a blizzard employee in a divine dream to make the world a better place for mankind, yeah, I just stopped reading.

Sun Nov 11 2007 1:10PM Report
sairusco writes:

I agree on most of the article and it was fun reading it. (I have no disagreements on any of the content just doubts, the accusation towards soe is pretty harsh... but maybe deserved.

Sun Nov 11 2007 1:31PM Report
shadesomens writes:

i think one of the big things ppl dont take into account with the population difference between eq 1 and WoW is back when i first started playing  EQ1 i was one of the only ppl i even knew that had a computer.  Now everyones 90 year old grandma has a computer and knows how to use the net. So for me the numbers card means very little.

what i do think one of the big differences between SoE and Blizz happens to be is that SoE is a huge Corporation that deals in a bunch of everything. They throw man power and money at everything and expect a hit. Blizz you have to be a gamer and have a passion for the industry to work there. i personally no longer play either of these games but am waiting for the next great game to come along.

The problem i am seeing now though is neither SoE Blizz or 90 pct of the other companies out there are listening to the fans. They want tried and true same ole same ole. Companies are afraid of true and drastic innovations.

Sun Nov 11 2007 3:47PM Report
knowom writes:

Your post disregards the fact that EQ was the best PVE mmo at the time and even by todays standards is better in certain aspects compared to WoW. The posted  also neglected to think about  consumer growths impact on WoW's success. Internet and tech have have probably doubled, tripled, quadrupled, or even more in the time spawn from EQ's introduction on the game market to WoW's. Just look at the game industry as a whole it wasn't until just a few years ago that the movie industry brought in more money annually than the gaming industry, but now the game industry puts the movie industry to shame on the amount of profits being made just look at halo 3.

Sun Nov 11 2007 4:26PM Report
Alboin writes:

wasn't NGE New Game Enchancement, not Experience?

Sun Nov 11 2007 4:47PM Report
Buccaneer writes:

I 100% agree with Shadeesomens and Knowom.

Everyone always compares sub numbers between EQ1 and WoW, but people always forget PC's were a rare and expensive item in people's homes. When I first started playing EQ, i was the only one of my friends who had a PC, everyone else was playing on there Playstations. Broadband was only on the Horizon, and if you could receive it in your area, another expensive luxury.  Most people were using a 56k modem, which would hog the telephone line whilst playing, none of the quick, easy, direct access of today's broadband generation (lol just remembered some of the fights me and the wife would have, with me hogging the telephone line).

When WoW was released PC's were cheap and in most homes. Broadband and the internet had blossomed into what we see today. 

I'm sure Blizzard saw how huge the Sims was, the quick to get into, easy to play, could play on any old system and fun (Never played the Sims, but must be fun for the crazy amount of people who brought the games and the 1000's of expansion packs). Blizzard struck gold with subs due to PC sales blooming, a large loyal fan base, a game that is fun, casual friendly (not talking about end game), addictive to most that played it and the business sense to make sure it can be played on any old system.  Before any one accuses me of being a WoW fanboy, only played it for a few months before I got bored of it.

The PC game companies need to wake up, single player and MMO. You may have made a great game, but if people haven't got the tech to play it, your still going to have lousy sales if your market is only 10% of PC (high end rigs) users.  The Sims and WoW show's eye candy is not the most important, but gameplay and fun is.

Sorry went abit of topic :)

 

Sun Nov 11 2007 6:27PM Report
Eumdazen writes:

Well, you seem to have a definite opinion on SOE. However, I fail to see where exactly Blizzard went right where SOE went wrong. I have played EQ1, EQ2, VG, WOW and all that fun stuff, but here is the breakdown of how it went.

EQ1 = 5 years of constant play with a few (months) off and on afterwards.

EQ2 = 1 1/2 year of playing.

VG = a good solid 5 months.

WOW = I didn't even get through my free month from the retail box.

 

I am sad to say, wow is the worst piece of crayon box colored characters i have ever seen. I will however grant prestige where it is do, WOW has 4 million subscribers....whoopdeedoo! Have you ever played WOW, they are all a bunch of potty-mouthed babies! And it is easy to see why, they are playing a game that Barney could master! SOE made no mistake with their game. EQ was the best MMORPG that ever emerged from the gaming industry.

 

As for me, If I am going to read a paper like the one that you wrote I make sure I am high first. When you present facts for or against anything....DO NOT ADD YOUR OWN WORTHLESS OPINION IN ON IT! And use spell check, when you are trying to make such a big point with what appears to be such an "opinion-based" argument you need to make sure to take the time * I know how lazy you WOW players are that you want everything done for you...* and put the (y) at the end of the word the(y)!!! OMG, *There is some online lingo for ya!*   If I have to sit here and listen to more WOW players bitch about stupid shit I might as well go play that god forsaken game!

Sun Nov 11 2007 7:34PM Report
mackdawg19 writes:

This almost makes me wonder why a game company like ID software hasn't tried to deliver a game. It's the first company that comes to my mind that has a huge player base besides Blizzard. Even though they were for the most part fps games, i think they could develop something nice. John Carmack is a god of coding engines, just look at the quality of the doom engine. They also basically helped Valve become the company they are now.

Sun Nov 11 2007 7:40PM Report
teamgene writes:

Yes, but can you tell us how you really feel?

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:04PM Report
_Shadowmage writes:

JOhns wife is making games for mobile phones.

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:07PM Report
phluux writes:

Nice rant, but as far as the PvE game is concerned, at their peaks, EQ trounces WoW.

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:21PM Report
phluux writes:

Oops, forgot something. You might as well add the community in that as well... the only other MMO community that could rival EverQuest's would be DAOC.

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:23PM Report
Teala writes:

Do any of you read what I wrote?  LOL!  Did I once mention I am a fan of WoW?  I guess people only read what they wish to read.   ::sighs::  Lots of you seem to think I am some kind of WoW fan.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  So let me once again point you to one of my earlier WoW reviewss since some of you are blind!  LOL!

http://vnboards.ign.com/mmorpg_player_reviews/b22600/79664609/p1/?110

Sun Nov 11 2007 8:52PM Report
Bakgrind writes:

Obviously they don't Teala ;o)

Sun Nov 11 2007 9:56PM Report
Bakgrind writes:

Now back to topic. Reguardless of the availability of technology be it 56k modems to today's cable modems from the pc's of that day to the pc of this day,  the points from this article are pretty much dead on in reguards to SOE and it's customers.

Sun Nov 11 2007 10:03PM Report
Mordiazi writes:

I despise WoW also. I can't play it for more than a week... But I'm not upset about that, people like different things. What I am upset about is how SoE took SWG from the great game it was and destroyed it.

With all of that said, the only game I've liked so far is DAoC and I'm looking forward to WAR and Age of Conan. I don't know if both will be good but I really hope that at least one of them is.

 

Sun Nov 11 2007 10:29PM Report
toddrocks writes:

You forgot Anarchy online which has been a competitor since 2001.

Also Asherons call kicked alot of ass.  Was a very good game, to bad it died pretty fast.

Mon Nov 12 2007 12:07AM Report
toddrocks writes:

I would also like to say to all of you dinosaurs who are looking for a "hardcore" challenge.  Time sink does not equal hardcore or challenging. The larger market is looking for a quick gaming fix that can fit into their schedule.  The developers see this, like any company they're looking to tap into this.  This isn't going to change and is only going to get more extreme as time goes on.  I suggest you get used to it.
Profit above everything else.

Mon Nov 12 2007 12:14AM Report
UnSub writes:

This would have been a better rant if you'd ignored factual accuracy, Teala. Things like saying EQ was the first 3D MMO (it wasn't) or that WoW launched in 2005 (when Nov. 23 2004 was the official launch) eat away at your credibility.

Also, it's overly simplistic to say that SOE "doesn't get" their fans while Blizzard does. I've read a lot of complaints about how WoW has abandoned some player groups in pursuit of others (e.g. non-raiders losing out to raiders, Horde losing out to Alliance, etc). Blizzard did manage to drag in a lot of fresh players to MMOs by (at the least) polishing up EQ-style mechanics and launching it worldwide, but they did a lot more than just 'get' their players to achieve their sucess.

Vangard is a poor example since it was almost DOA at launch. It launched with 90k subs in February and by August it had about 34k subs. SOE has two choices: mess with it to try to make it live or trash it entirely.

SOE has made a heap of mistakes and gotten trashed for it. But it's not all because they were EEE-vil or enjoy screwing the player base around. As for their future MMOs, The Agency looks interesting.

Mon Nov 12 2007 1:34AM Report
Arcken writes:

The genre is dead, and while you can try to blame it on SOE, the spirit of MMO gaming died when WoW became popular.  Gone is the underground community of close knit players from eq1. Gone is the stimulation for both intellect and imagination. RIP mmos, you are a dying breed done in by constant disappointment to your fans, and shame on you for putting money before art. That ALWAYS ruins the mix.

Mon Nov 12 2007 4:08AM Report
ryotian writes:

nice read here heh I liked the explanation you gave at the very top lol

Mon Nov 12 2007 4:56AM Report
free2play writes:

Another reminder that SWG is dead and SOE won't be bringing it back. I gave up hating on SOE but SWG will always be my fave. The one I bought, way back when.

Mon Nov 12 2007 6:24AM Report
rafaelrehn writes:

Tl;dr use a spellcheck

Mon Nov 12 2007 6:45AM Report
Nadia writes:

it does read like a SOE rant - SOE did take DAOC seriously.

EQ1 used to show population of servers at server select.  Before DAOC launched - SOE started hiding those numbers.

as for WoW,

WoW crushed all existing games and did both good and bad things for MMOs

WoW dumbed down MMOs

WoW brought many many new players to MMO games.

Mon Nov 12 2007 7:25AM Report
NatoriousNyd writes:

I love the people who randomly generate EQ - 989 Studios ->Verant->SOE timelines.

A little education for you - since you didn't spend the 5 minutes to do any research.

From wikipedia:

"

Sony Online Entertainment and Verant's history can be seen as starting with Sony Interactive Studios America (SISA), an internal game development studio of Sony that formed around 1995. In 1996, John Smedley (known to the gaming community as "Smed") was put in charge of SISA's development of an online computer role-playing game, or MMORPG that would evolve into EverQuest. Smed hired programmers Brad McQuaid and Steve Clover who had come to Smedley's attention through their work on the singleplayer RPG Warwizard.

In April 1998, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) was formed by merging parts of Sony Online Ventures with Sony Pictures Entertainment'. Within a matter of months after this change, Sony Interactive Studios America was renamed 989 Studios.

Towards the end of 1998, 989 Studios shifted its strategy to making PlayStation console games only. The company's computer game/online development branch spun off, initially calling itself RedEye Interactive and then soon after Verant Interactive."

 

In summary Verant was 989 who was SISA who was Sony from day one.  Sony's always been in control folks.  EQ's success was 25% gameplay and 75% being in the right place at the right time market wise.

As someone who grew up in text based muds and moved onto the graphical side starting with UO and EQ (where I ultimately spent 5 of my gaming years at the hardcore level) it really was a matter of good timing on EQ's part.  Of course, that is not to detract from EQ's gameplay.  It was, and I continue to argue to this day, is, one of the best PVE systems we've seen yet. 

All that being said, SOE screws games up more than they turn them around (EQ2).  And largely your points of not understanding their playerbase in most of their titles is true.  Blizzard does a much better job of listening to their customer base - and sure - they don't listen to everything, and they do their share of WTF jack moves - but largely they listen.

Mon Nov 12 2007 8:32AM Report
Sonicspeed writes:

I would like to thank to SoE for 2 reasons : Thanks to you guys I quit playing SWG . Thanks to you guys I start playing EVE .

 

ps: Thank god EVE still untouched by the WoW effect.

Mon Nov 12 2007 10:31AM Report
orgasmic writes:

I started off in Muds 2, including the one EQ was designed after.  I feel you left out a few valid points.

1.  Blizzard is not the same Blizzard we all know and love.  The people who made Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft are gone.  They left because Blizzard wanted to only focus on WoW.  Blizzard has run WoW into the ground by catering to the money and majority.  Listening to the most vocal part of your fanbase(whiners) does not make for a better mmo.

2. EQ was a far more better and solid game than AC(which was nothing at release) and Daoc(which was great for pvp only, the pve was atrocious for a very long time after release) and SWG.  SWG was fun until the jedi phase, but there wasn't much too it save trying every profession.  I could argue all day that EQ was and is a far more solid, complex, challenging, and better social mmo than WoW.  Sony simply ran EQ right into the ground after Brad and others left.  I know a lot of people who gauge players skill level by the simple fact that WoW is the only mmo they have ever played. 

In summary,  Blizzard is just as bad at managing an mmo once their main talents leaves.  They are going to do the same leeching on a grander scale than Sony.  In the end it shows us that small groups of talented people make great mmo's then big corporations come in and eat them.  Age of Conan and WAR(two of the most promising) will just be taken over by their parent companies once they are successful.

Mon Nov 12 2007 11:14AM Report
Mistick writes:

I really like this post very nuch Teala. I have to agree though about SOEs past, present, and future. I too played many SOE games, and was a tester for the NGE. Like so many of the testers we kept telling them, don't lauch this. The GCW wasn't working as intended, they where taking away creature handling, and there was so many problems with movement issuses a lot of players would hit cancel when it released. SOE snobbed us off and continued anyways, and as mentioned the rest is history.

SOEs majory issue is even if they have a good game, or the making of one they do not market that product as well as the competition. SOEs rep however is ruined, because of poor choices has corrupted any chances it ever had to be considered a threat by any of the new games being released. Heck if SOE slaps any product with its logo it is avoided by a majority of its past subscribers, or anyone who ever heard of SOE.

SOE if ever to be respected by the gaming community will most likly need new heads in the corporate office, and come from this with a new lease on life, because as is SOE is on life support. My prediction within two to five years SOE is bought out by another company, unless they come serious and restructure it's higher ups, and market products better.

Mysticraven

Mon Nov 12 2007 11:21AM Report
Eridanix writes:

I played UO. I went to SWG when it was launched and really... fell in love with that game. SOE ruined it, stubbornly.

WoW is naturally unplayable for me. I know is the holy mana of MMOs but from my playing mmo's upbringing this is only cheap trash with a pink lace of naive fantasy.

Teala offers a synthesis of what happened, and i liked the article. Yes, they are going to ruin Vanguard too. Because they are so intelligent that can decide for us what fits to us their playerbase.... uh, sounds crazy, doesnt it? but its like this... Sadly.

I will fly to WAR whenever it comes up. I'm a SW fan, but so as a Warhammer fan. I dont trust SOE anymore. I will let them die alone with their illuminated wisdom.

 

 

Mon Nov 12 2007 11:40AM Report
BlackWatch writes:

I agree with most of the article/post.  I think most of what you said was fairly common knowledge (in a round about way).  Some of the dates and granular information may be off a bit, but overall it was pretty straightforward. 

SOE did teach me tol 'never' say 'never' about anything in the MMORPG realm again.  

- I 'never' thought so many unthinkable and wrong things could be done to a game. 

- I 'never' thought SOE would stick to their guns and avoid taking proper 'corrective' actions to fix their game.

- I 'never' thought I would hate anything with a SW label on it (other than Jar-Jar, the 'Anni' nickname, and those made for TV specials they did). 

- I 'never' thought a company could be so full of itself (or deaf) that it could possibly fail to hear all of the customers and their needs. 

SWG killed my inner-child.  SOE authorized the hit.

...

SOE made me stop playing SWG.

SOE got me to give WoW a 2nd try (it wasn't 'love at first sight).

SOE makes MMO players happy to play games that aren't owned by SOE.  That's what they do.  Other companies can make 2nd or 3rd tier quality products, but because SOE products are as bad as they are... those other products will sell.  (my opinion)

 

Mon Nov 12 2007 12:01PM Report
Abbie writes:

The SOE angst is almost laughable. I have recent;y retired (again) from EQ2 and remember guildies crying about SOE while still playing their game(s).

EQ was great I played that game for many years. Very few games (I played UO for a long time as well as other MMORPGS) keep me interested for 3-5 years.

SOE has done great things in EQ2 - I'm just bored with it - I don't honestly believe that a company (wishing to make money) willingly disregards their fan base.

WoW (I have played it) has people screaming left and right about how Blizz never listens to it's player base, blah-blah...as well

People claiming that SOE ruined their love of something because they disliked a game is sad indeed - yes you BlackWatch.

This SOE hate fest is irrational, at best.

Mon Nov 12 2007 12:35PM Report
ZizzoVG writes:

/agree with Teela

Due to lack of raid content I canceled my account on the 4th, couple of days ago I listened to the podcast and now my account is pretty much perma-canceled thanks to the comments of the two hosts.

If anyone else feels insulted after listening to that podcast here is a link for feedback.
http://forums.station.sony.com/station/posts/list.m?start=0&topic_id=11500007256&#11500066602

But back to the blog topic.  EQ was a blast, and in all honesty I was hoping Vanguard would bring the same joy as EQ did.  While it wasn't 100% it did a lot better then any other MMO I've tried.  There are VG players that want a copy of WoW *cough* shade *cough* and VG players that want to relive the enjoyment of actually spending time and working on their achievements.  If their already is a game for the first type, why can't we, the gamers that stick around through this year of ups and down, have a game?

Mon Nov 12 2007 9:51PM Report
ZizzoVG writes:

In case my link ^ wont work for ya.    http://tinyurl.com/2mrb6l

Mon Nov 12 2007 9:53PM Report
Flungmuk writes:

Good read. I think a few more posters should have actualy read the post before replying, but oh well. :)

I've played EQ1, EQ2, SWG, LoTR, Horizons, VG, AO, CoH, WoW, TR and loads of open betas...So, its safe to say I've tried a few.

I think will all the diferent types of mmo's its easy to forget that many are niche games.

Not a scifi fan, then AO, SWG and TR probably wont be your thing no matter how well the game is. Want to solo easy, see end game quickly and have easy crafting...For gods sake, dont play EQ1. :)

I do agree that Blizzard listens over all better than SOE does, and they seem to have patching a bit better too. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but has WoW ever had a patch that made any 1 class utterly useless? Then take days to fix? So they have that in their favor. Only reason I mention that, is I remember a patch in EQ1 ages ago that broke bard songs...As in we couldnt play songs period. It was if I remember, a few days to fix.

Its IMO that its the niche of the game that will keep any fanbase, that and to some degree friends. Most of mine are playing WoW, but I'm one of the "its just too easy" types. So I went back to EQ1, and I'm loving it. Do I love SOE...Nope. Trust them...Nope.

But its the niche that gets me. EQ1, EQ2 and even SWG. I dont like the NGE either, but that was well over a year after I left, so personaly, I just treat it like a new mmo.

With more and more mmo's comming out, there will be a game for every niche, so I think the days of any 1 company having a huge chunk of the pie are numbered. Personaly I'm looking forward to AoC. :)

But thats enough rambeling, time for more coffee.

Tue Nov 13 2007 12:29PM Report
Mathos writes:

Spot on wow,Id get the ban all over again and post that in hte $oe boards but hey there can only be one ban, ROFL

and i dont like wow also....

Methulah if your smeds e-mail to your seif please.

Tue Nov 13 2007 6:12PM Report
eugam writes:

Nice read Teala.

I think the problem with SOE is the same problem Blizz, Turbine and a lot other game companies have. The all have their heads in a box called "Industry". It is no longer the guy coding in a garage. No longer the try to reach the stars with something new as a mmo.

Today everyone is building on an IP. Lotro, AoC, KOTOR, SWG or warhammer. There are no longer sandboxes with a unique world. There are big companies, with job and career oportunities.. all that jazz. Gaming lost his innocence long a go. WoW was just the peak of this. Holy crap... ordering pizza from an NPC was the top peak of decadence. It wont be like D2 on a 14.4 modem anymore.

Maybe, just maybe we will see sort of renaissance in a few years.

On the other hand SoE seems to check terrain with something like a skillbased game like "The Agency". It might be a trivial and childish game. Still they seem to try what happens if you go skillbased. To end my blahblah i pick a sentence from LotR: There is always hope :P

Wed Nov 14 2007 7:08AM Report
Goparu writes:

Just will never play a SOE game ever again. Is as simply as that,

There are gaming companies that are out there to make games, and there are gaming companies that are out there to make money.

Thu Nov 15 2007 6:17AM Report
Mark701 writes:

Good article. I think you summarized pretty well why SOE acted like they did/do. However, you didn't mention (at least directly) what drove Sony to act like they did, namely money. Obviously every gaming is concerned with making money.  However, SOE is a prime example of what happens when you allow accountants and marketers to take control of the games direction away from the designers. I strongly suspect that's what happened, and continues to happen at SOE. In SWG the designers deployed a unique game concept that caught on with Star Wars fans. However, when the accountants saw that WOW was making more money they took control of the game away from the designers in an attempt to make a WoWish like game. They failed miserably because, as you said, they didn't know the player base.

This is what happens when big corporations enter any arena. First they look around and determine what's sucessful, then they try to copy it. It's one reason why so many new MMO all seem alike. Their view is, 'why gamble with new concepts when the old ones are tried and true and guaranteed to make $$'. In short they dumb the market down. The "smart" ones start with a dumbed down design, the foolish ones like SOE, get greedy and destroy a sucessful design in an attempt to make more money. 

Sun Mar 23 2008 9:36AM Report
TheSalad writes:

It's good. A good article. I don't know much about SoE, all I know is that I can't give them the time after Vanguard. And I liked reading what your views on why WoW is popular. And It's an interesting thought. But I wasn't into warcraft's campaign to much. Something in WoW appealed to me more than any other mmo at the time. Maybe it was it's simplicity, maybe something in the game story. But it was quick, easy, and fun. It has all the same ideas EQ had, and the basis of kill, quest, level, just like any mmo. Something's hidden in the idea of this though, why is it so much fun? I really can't put a direct finger on it, but maybe you have the right idea. That the fans are the players.

Mon Mar 24 2008 7:13PM Report
vajuras writes:

I forgot to stop by awhile back and say how much  enjoyed this writeup hope to see more from you. I thought it was spot on

Mon Mar 24 2008 10:00PM Report
Trimethicon writes:

$OE isn't interested in making good games, their interest lies in making a game that will allow them to sell their ancillary  products.  A total overhaul of their philosophy needs to take place to put them back into my good graces.  John Smedley went from a game developer with good intentions to a corporate puppet. 

1. Who remembers /pizza?

2. How many splash screens did/does EQ2 have?  And how many does WoW have?  For $OE its not about allowing the user to get to the login screen its about plastering corporate logos in your face when all you want to do is login.

3. For extra money you can unlock additional character slots, in the beginning I believe it was 5 chars per account?  In WoW you can make 5+ on every server at no additional charge. Last I checked WoW had over 100+ servers. 

4. EQ2 Players - $OE wants to charge you to look at your character while offline via a web browser, WoW has the Armory which is free.

5. $OE goes from saying that RMT is bad, banned then decides that there is money to be made and opens an RMT service on a selected service and takes a cut of the action. 

I want to go back to the old days; where it was games for gamers made by gamers.  Not what we have today; corporate puppets watching their stock options.

 

Tue Mar 25 2008 10:13AM Report
Trimethicon writes:

Oh, and I also wanted to add; I still think EQ1 was the best MMOG I've ever played.   It was my first and to this day I've yet to have that "wow" factor of seeing my first Sand Giant or seeing Specters slaughtering people on the beaches of the Oasis of Marr.   Or that first trip to Befallen that gave me dreams of wandering aimlessly thru the dungeon unable to get out. 

Blizzard simply improved upon that original concept.   They didn't do anything revolutionary, they just made it fun.

A telling example of EQ2 and the development of the title was summed up when a former employee said that a fear of any developer of an MMOG is that the team will play the game when they should be working.  He said they never had that problem with EQ2 and that folks would head  home not to be seen again till the next day. 

Tue Mar 25 2008 10:44AM Report
Wizardry writes:

I think there is something the author here misses .Sure you can say SOE was a success because the were the first,but the real reason was that they were first to take a chance.The mmorpg player base just wasn't there as the majority of homeowners still didn't have high bandwidth.There is also the factor that most other big companies had no confidence in themselves and only jumped onto the SOE bandwagon.

The bigger truth is that blizzard was the one who stepped in at the perfect opportune time as most EQ players were tired of there game and wanted something new and UO was becoming even more outdated.Blizzard also had a huge following through there free online gaming portal[forget what it was called].

The fact as the author has stated is in the books now that so many companies have jumped on the bandwagon.Many many failures,wich shows that it takes a giant such as SOE to get the job done.FFXI was staggering and saved by SOE and there playstation,MANY other games were saved by SOE and there playstation platform.Dragon quest is a HUGE success.

Vanguard was a great EFFORT by former SOE employees,but it still shows it takes the giant to get it done.You take any other mmorpg that is having any success and they are all mediocre efforts that don't push any uniquness or PC's onto the user,instead they are followers of SOE's success.

IMO SOE has a very good chance of being the only company to make the next big leap,however i am banking on another great company[SQUARE ENIX] to make the next big game.

Fri Jun 27 2008 3:15PM Report
Scorpella writes:

  What makes WoW such a Huge Fan Based Game?  Simple .... That is the answer. World of Warcraft is Simple to Play.  Anyone from age 8 to 80 can play it.  My best freind taught his son and daughter to play WoW.  Game his son an Arcane Mage and built macro's for him to usem bound those to 4 keys and his son would be dealing Top DPS in most raids at 8 yrs old.  Anyone can play WoW, but skilled players build gaming machines are wish to explore bigger and better things. So they play other games like RIFT that demands a good quality gaming system. 

 

  As for SOE well I was first drawn into the MMO gaming world with Asheron's Call, but I was working for Fry's Electronics at the time and one of my frequent customers turned my onto EverQuest and I was hooked.  This game required you to read what NPC's would say then respond using key words to get the quests.  Then you had to go out and do them.  No grinding in the world was as good as the experience you recieved by doing quests.  2 things happened: One you had the think and type and still manage to do combat.  No VOIP services like Ventrilo back then, the second you felt like you earned the reward for completing the quest.

  So you want to tell us that EverQuest and SOE will never again  be the powerfhouse it used to be? What about EQNext?  From everything we have seen and heard this game is largely based on Fan Input.  I am a Beta Tester, first and foremost. I enjoy playing new games, to find the next big dog as you put it. I have Life Time Subscriptions to a number of games like LOTRO which i started during Beta.  EverQuest will always be my favorite MMO, because it was the first game that had it all.  Reputation (Good and Bad), Racial Benefits and Penalties, Class Restrictions, Quests mightier than grinding Experience Points and the MMO atomsphere we all crave. EverQuest felt like I was playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons on a Global Level.  That is where the original fan based started was the Pencil and Paper, Dice Rollers looking to expand their gaming experience.   Will SOE ever be what is was before Blizzard simplied MMO's? Who knows, but the do manage to put out games that last forver.  Everquest is now 14 yrs old and still has a membership base big enough to still have expansions. So it is not as big as WoW which as a mentioned before is based on Simplicity.  So what, it seems obvious to me that EverQuest requires too many brain cells for the OP to play.  That is OK we all can't be scholars & gamers.

Sat Oct 12 2013 9:03PM Report

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