WOW isn’t what it started out to be and it has evolved into what you can call a powerhouse in its respective genre. Some people think its because its easy to play and its that same accessibility that gives it such a good taste on the pallet of the masses. Some would argue that WOW is all about polish and its that same polish that makes it such a success. They say that Blizzard took the “best” elements of the MMORPG genre and perfected them to make what is a well balanced game that suit’s the tastes of a wide audience. While I find both these arguments valid (to a degree) its not really how I see WOW’s success.
To me, the breakaway fame WOW has achieved comes from the fact that Blizzard was able to make a game both casual and hardcore. Its this very idea of putting both hardcore players and casual players in a world together where they can both essentially get their cookies. This isn’t the first time a MMO developer has tried doing this but arguable none have done it with as much success tied to it. But really it brings up the point of why even try to cater to everyone’s needs when it seems so much better to simply to make a game specifically for one type of gamer. Well, here is the thing, hardcore players need casual players and vice a versa. What’s the point of spending countless hours raiding if you don’t have people who don’t have countless hours to play drooling over all the “Phat Lewts” you have. In the same regard what’s the point in being a casual gamer and not having some kind of higher standard to judge your progress on. You could say though “Hey, fast3ddy, people play games for the fun of it, not for loot or ego, its for the experience and immersion.” To those who say that I say “you’re dumb.” But seriously, whether hardcore or casual MMOs are about ego more then anything else, when you log in to play unless your RPing, in which case may god have mercy on your soul, your playing to feel proud of your characters, proud of their accomplishments, and nothing shows pride in your creation more then being better then other people. Better armor, better weapons, better mounts, sure in WOW all your doing is essentially raiding to get gear so that you can raid to get more gear and then in turn raid to get more gear, but this is what it takes to have people look up to your character and say “wow, those swords look awesome and they are hard to get too… I wish he could impregnate me.”