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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Taking Down the Giant

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13481

 
OP  9/16/12 9:50:34 PM#1

One of the things that inevitably happens when any new MMO is released is an endless round of comparisons to "that game", you know, The Giant (which shall remain nameless). Our own Pokket has a few thoughts to share about that particular subject so keep reading! Add your thoughts to the mix in the comments.

A lot of new MMORPGs that get announced are automatically compared to the giant that rules this genre, World of Warcraft. Naturally, up until release of any said game, it is constantly analyzed, tested, and reviewed in the shadow of the Giant. It seems that every vlog, video or text review, and even in the comments and threads of content related to any new game that there are constant comparisons and contrasts between that game and the Giant.

Read more of Hillary Nicole's Pokket Says: Taking Down The Giant.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  tawess

Elite Member

Joined: 3/24/05
Posts: 1997

9/17/12 8:05:20 AM#2

But in this lies the problem, how to do it... It does sort of fall in to the same waters as Hollywood, why make a movie in the style of a Hollywood movie... Because it is a proven concept and this a lot less risky. Ofc the market for movies is infinitly larger but still "art film" and "ethinc" film get a lot less representation.

 

And it does not help that most break away companies either does not deliver at all or deliver but is so far under the general idea of quality and polish that they are borderline unplayable. Cryptic did a good job with City of Heroes and ofc CCP with EvE but then again these were produced at  a time when the themepark market was just a small part of a very small niche. Others have tried to break away but sort of set them self up due to hype... Warhammer and SWToR comes to mind. Neither a bad game but they were so over-hyped that they could not even remotly deliver, it is also interesting that both these comes from well established companies.

 

Then we have the problem with nostalgia, against this nothing can compete (see vanilla WoW and the SWG Vet crowd) and it colors peoples view at new games.

 

It is a intersting problem and if anyone manages to crack it be sure to contact your favourite game company first and ask for a job, for you might just be hailed as the new saviour. =)

Tomas Soapbox

This have been a good conversation

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 512

9/17/12 8:19:58 AM#3

Based on the premise that a totally different game would probably be a niche game, developper would then have a much lower budget to work with. Most of the time it result in bland games, without good financing you cannot put as much time or work on the game. You could have the best ideas, if you lack the talented people to make it come true, your game will never take off.

UO and EQ were better games than WoW for me, I played both for years because everything was new. When I got in new games after that it never was the same, and nothing kept me playing for more than a couple months. There is only so much you can change, you cannot redesign the core idea of a mmorpg or any type of game for that matter. 

I have lost all hope to get those feeling I had 15 years ago, now I just enjoy games while it last and go to the next one when I am tired of it. It is a bit sad but I learned a long time ago that higher expectation leads to higher disapointement.

 

  JerYnkFan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/06
Posts: 338

9/17/12 8:35:17 AM#4

What these companies need to realize is that will not be another "giant"  like there has never been another Michael Jordan, Beatles, Wayne Gretzky, Star Wars, etc.  Once they and more importantly their investors get this through their thick skulls maybe then we can move forward and actually come out with something innovative.

The other thing that needs to happen is as you stated that stop trashing every game that comes out as it's either a WOW clone (so it sucks) or it's not WOW (so it sucks).

 
  User Deleted
9/17/12 8:39:39 AM#5
Only Blizz can undo WoW with this being said basicly no MMO to date because of the standards the trinity and every thing else that is featured in WoW that being if it was first introduced in other MMO's or not all those features like LFG ect is just that copied. For a company to take down the giant they would have to come up with a MMO so fantastic that I amazes everyone. I just dont see any future MMO's doing just that.
  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

9/17/12 8:50:47 AM#6

The problem (in this case) is not that no-one can bring down the giant.

The problem is that those on MMORPG.com simply refuse to recognise the game(s?) that have.

 

Facebook games such as Farmville exceeded WoW numbers years ago.  And, dear Pokket, they did so by "coming up with a new game for people to play".

 

Now, before I get howls from the gallery about how browser games 'don't count' I suggest you check the games list here.

MMORPG.com rules even allow games like Farmville to be added (See my thread from several years ago "Farmville vs MMORPG.com)

Travian was listed and it is a considerably worse game than Farmville.

Zynga might also be an "evil" dev... who here cannot name a few others?

 

Case closed.

 

Edit: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/247530/page/1 Correction - it was "Farm Town" at the time.

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  crazynanny

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/03/10
Posts: 175

9/17/12 8:54:08 AM#7

"You aren't going to beat the Giant by trying to be the Giant."

 

Seems pretty obvious huh? Except gaming community is basically one big  spoiled brat. Which basically boils down to your game being crap becaus it is/it isn't like(pick one) Giant. Two recent big titles come to mind. Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2:

 

D3 was trying to carter more to power players(thankfully they are fixing that somewhat), making gear and math the god of the game. Enrage timers, mob resetting to full health, gearchecks - that's usual MMO player bread and butter. And the backlash was huge. People were annoyed about many things, but core problem was that they couldn't just have fun in the game the way they liked. The felt forced into AH/RMAH because it was all about gear, without which mobs resetted(forcing you to skip), repair costs stacked and sometimes you just couldn't progress. So people are tired with playing Giant. But are they really?

 

Guild Wars 2, a game with no end game. No special gear(gearscore anyone?) there, that makes fresh lvl 80 feel like lvl 10 n00b. No raids and guilds that fast turn into 2nd job. No pwning in PvP due to uber gear. No trinity and forcing you into certain roles, with all blaming and immature crap that comes out of that. Even dynamic events are trying to cut the mold from old - go to npc with "?" mark. So a gamers dream come true, something different, yet familiar enough? Heh you wish. People already rage that there's no end game, no uber gear(I mean after all those 250 dungeon runs in farm mode WTF!), no pwning n00bs in PvP and bascially nothing to do at 80, which you hit in a week. At least they can't make "I cancel sub!!!11!!!" posts.

 

Anyways I think  that  there are three major groups now. People who love giant gameplay and they will play similar games - WoW, LOTRO, RIft. SWTOR. People who are tired with it and they will pick different style - GW2, EvE, Archage and similar titles. And finally the third group - people who are tired and burned out whit Giant gameplay yet can't enjoy anything else, those will hate the game for being same or being different - aka haters aka vocal minority.

 

  JerYnkFan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/06
Posts: 338

9/17/12 8:55:00 AM#8
Originally posted by Gyrus

The problem (in this case) is not that no-one can bring down the giant.

The problem is that those on MMORPG.com simply refuse to recognise the game(s?) that have.

 

Facebook games such as Farmville exceeded WoW numbers years ago.  And, dear Pokket, they did so by "coming up with a new game for people to play".

 

Now, before I get howls from the gallery about how browser games 'don't count' I suggest you check the games list here.

MMORPG.com rules even allow games like Farmville to be added (See my thread from several years ago "Farmville vs MMORPG.com)

Travian was listed and it is a considerably worse game than Farmville.

Zynga might also be an "evil" dev... who here cannot name a few others?

 

Case closed.

I think the arguement is not in terms of numbers of people playing/subscribers, but the amount of $ that it brings in.

 
  truthhurts

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/14/12
Posts: 75

9/17/12 8:56:15 AM#9

People just need to stop worrying about the Giant.  It wont be toppled by any other game, and will probably be number 1 in subs for at least another 5+ years, its that far ahead.   NA/EU games should be more focused on maintaining 400-500k subs, that is a smash hit by past MMO standards.

 

And here is the key, one simple philosophy that only GW2 has gotten right in a long time:

Never make the game you think others want to play.  Make the game YOU would want to play.

  User Deleted
9/17/12 8:56:49 AM#10
I have said this in other words before. The other games have to decide ahead of time... This is what I want to be, then decide what is realistic, present yourself for what you are. Know what you are and what you can be.
Wow looks pretty grim right now with somewhat of a silly expansion soon to drop, that's only to grab some people that normally would not have played. I bet there is a shift come the next expansion after mists.

swtor did it wrong and should have humbled themselves with thier presentation, they should have not proclaimed to be the next giant before release.

GW2 did it right - they made no claim and quite frankly they are not even aiming at that title they just said here we are.... Here is what we have, we hope you enjoy. They know what they are and what they aren't - just makes life a lot easier
  Gyrus

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

9/17/12 9:14:00 AM#11
Originally posted by JerYnkFan
Originally posted by Gyrus

....

The problem is that those on MMORPG.com simply refuse to recognise the game(s?) that have.

 

Facebook games such as Farmville exceeded WoW numbers years ago.  And, dear Pokket, they did so by "coming up with a new game for people to play".

 

Now, before I get howls from the gallery about how browser games 'don't count' I suggest you check the games list here.

...

Case closed.

I think the arguement is not in terms of numbers of people playing/subscribers, but the amount of $ that it brings in.

 

Like I say, people don't want to recognise these games.

Zynga does pretty well for itself IIRC? 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/31/facebook-zynga-14-percent-revenues/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-20/facebook-revenue-will-reach-4-27-billion-emarketer-says-1-.html

So... lets see... 14% x $4,270,000,000 = $597,800,000 per annum?

 

Oh and it was this thread http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/247530/page/1

 

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  Reas43

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/27/11
Posts: 308

9/17/12 9:16:51 AM#12
GW2 made no claims?!? Hah!
  User Deleted
9/17/12 9:34:10 AM#13
They didn't anoint themselves like swtor
  tawess

Elite Member

Joined: 3/24/05
Posts: 1997

9/17/12 9:42:41 AM#14
No i actually have to agree, Anet held a pretty low profile... At least if you look at how games like Warhammer and Rift were marketed.

Tomas Soapbox

This have been a good conversation

  User Deleted
9/17/12 9:59:48 AM#15

Considering that people leave WoW everyday, proves that the game itself is not what keeps them playing.  Oddly enough, the number one reason why people go back to WoW is because they think their friends are still there playing.  That's it.  If they knew without a shadow of a doubt that their friends weren't there, they'd likely never go back.  

They go back... and discover, hey, so and so is still here (he only logs on 1/10th the amount of time he used to), so they are happy... until they realize that they don't actually play the game but pop in to chat maybe for a minute then log back off.

Expansion releases or major content releases are sure to bring a lot of old players back, just to see if their friends come back... but within a month or two they all start slipping away like butter and the game is again "Not what it used to be" so they all start looking for something else to play.

What WoW has is this sense of "home"... people are going back to their old home to see if their friends are there.  That's it.  They could care less about the game as a whole, so long as there friends are there, they are happy.  If these same friends decided to vegitate in a different game, doesn't matter what game it is, they'd all flock there whenever they were looking to chat with friends.

Remove any means to communicate in WoW and you will quickly discover that the only thing keeping it alive is that sense of friendship that was created a long time ago.  It's not really there anymore, but for some reason we think that if we go back home, it will magically reappear.

Players are like homing pigeons... programmed to return to the nest.  They game doesn't call them back, their friends do.  Want to topple the behemoth?  Find a new nest, and flock there.  Problem is, most people are too comfortable there.  Little effort.  Literally little changes.  They have an army of max leveled toons.  Enough gold to buy a small third world country.  And can crit a rat for 23,456,788K.

  JerYnkFan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/06
Posts: 338

9/17/12 10:16:55 AM#16
Originally posted by Gyrus
Originally posted by JerYnkFan
Originally posted by Gyrus

....

The problem is that those on MMORPG.com simply refuse to recognise the game(s?) that have.

 

Facebook games such as Farmville exceeded WoW numbers years ago.  And, dear Pokket, they did so by "coming up with a new game for people to play".

 

Now, before I get howls from the gallery about how browser games 'don't count' I suggest you check the games list here.

...

Case closed.

I think the arguement is not in terms of numbers of people playing/subscribers, but the amount of $ that it brings in.

 

Like I say, people don't want to recognise these games.

Zynga does pretty well for itself IIRC? 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/31/facebook-zynga-14-percent-revenues/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-20/facebook-revenue-will-reach-4-27-billion-emarketer-says-1-.html

So... lets see... 14% x $4,270,000,000 = $597,800,000 per annum?

 

Oh and it was this thread http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/247530/page/1

 

Gyrus - I see your point, but I don't think that when someone like Anet or Bioware starts making a MMO that they are thinking "Hey how can we get more subs that Farmville."  IMO they are shooting for the WOW crowd, but I do see the point you are trying to make.

  logan400k

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/09
Posts: 68

9/17/12 10:31:02 AM#17

I do not think the problem is as simple as inventing a new kind of game. I think it ignores a few social factors and trends in gaming. This is just stuff to keep in mind:

With the down economy people are looking at money as a large factor and it is, no doubt. However, games are like drugs and people will find ways to pay their subscritption fee this month even if it means eating ramen. (I happen to love ramen noodles but is neither here nor there).

Time is the big crunch right now. Years before MMOs started there was a trend in the pen n paper RPG world (the dark ages when you had to roll the dice yourself) and I have seen the same thing over the last few years in my MMO play. No one wants to grind; give us multiple ways to max level. If max level is not fulfilling, move to the next game or back to WoW to wait for the next game. Long gone are the days where people would commit three years of their lives to a pen n paper gamer. Going are the days of committing to raids five nights a week (or more). There are some interesting social dynamics playing into this. Browser games are easier to pick up and put down. Zynga games can be addictive and take up a bunch of time, but that is time you are not playing WoW... unless you are like my former gf and I in which case would play both.

There are also more women playing and that has to have an effect on the overall audiences' desires with regard to the games they play.  Exactly how I am now sure, don't have any statistics in front of me. They are also creeping into the design side now.

Some games are already blurring the line between single player and MMO and I suspect this trend will likely continue. 

So I think WoW can be said to have one stage 2 of the MMO era. I think we can say that without any kind of grousing or grumbling. I liked Runequest's system better, but D&D became the go-to game for pen n paper. In many ways it still is. I am not sure you could have ever measured your own success in terms of beating D&D or WoW, but instead what percentage of those players also play your game. I agree with Pokket in that you cannot start out with the mind set that you are going to beat the Giant. IMO you have to take a unique concept, marry it with trends and tech, and produce a game that is going to CREATE expectations as opposed to trying to meet already existing expectations.

Themepark vs Sandbox or browser vs full screen or subscription vs freemium are the arguments of the present, not analysis of the future.

Just My 2 Lunars

  MMOwanderer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 417

9/17/12 10:39:30 AM#18
Originally posted by tawess
No i actually have to agree, Anet held a pretty low profile... At least if you look at how games like Warhammer and Rift were marketed.

I'm sorry, but there did you miss all teh articles and videos about "revolution", "change", "we'll beat WOW this time", etc?

All AAA mmorpgs that come out have insane marketing claiming their game is the "great one". The worst was probably TOR, but GW2 was on par with the others.

On topic, WOW isn't just sucessfull but a true icone of gaming. I'm not talking about the quality, but how many people know about it. You say wow and normal, non gamer people know it "Oh it's that popular video game".

It's  a "giant" "titan" "king" or whatever you want to call for how popular it is. And it did so by complete luck. Blizzard never once expected this to happen. It's like Minecraft or DayZ. The devs never planned for the games to grow like they did. There'll probably never be another giant because it was a fluke. It may happen, but i find it unlikely.

Companies need to make a good game, aim low and they'll probably see profite, which is what matters. Just look at Rift and GW2. Also, making a game that's different from WOW helps. Again, look at GW2.

  Reas43

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/27/11
Posts: 308

9/17/12 11:38:49 AM#19

Low profile? no claims?

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So, what was the point of the celebrated "Manifesto?"

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What happened to that "Reponsible developers put out content for free" quote a week ago? (Not getting too arroganr now are we?)

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what about this interview with Forbes?

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"We were number two to World of Warcraft with Guild Wars, now we want to beat them. We’ll be satisfied when the Guild Wars 2 is the most successful MMO. I think we have something unique here and players are going to see it and understand why dynamic events are a way better content model than people have experienced before in online worlds. Word-of-mouth will get people to understand that we really are doing something new and different. The sky’s the limit once this game is out. Online worlds have a networking effect. People will bring friends to Guild Wars 2"

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Low profile? What are they putting on the cool aid nowadays?

 
  Reas43

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/27/11
Posts: 308

9/17/12 11:49:18 AM#20
If anything that Forbes quote formalizes internal knowledge of the viral strategy they used to market their game and curb competition
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