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News & Features Discussion  » [Editorial] World of Warcraft: WoW Clone - You Say That Like It's a Bad Thing

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159 posts found
  Talemire

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/01/06
Posts: 758

Jesus is Lord.

1/06/14 11:38:56 AM#41

Solid article, Suzie, but I have to disagree with you about WoW's end game, and here's why:

Since the game is so gear-dependent, once you hit max level, there's really not much you can do efficiently (High-end raids, arenas, RBGs, etc.) until you get geared for it. Now, while it's not super hard to get the first set of PvP gear, what counts is the second set, which has a weekly cap to it - that cap becomes very low after the first week of CQ grinding, causing PvP to have a lack of meaning especially since there's no actual territory control in game nor PvP ranks for general PvP. RBG PvP ranks just straight up don't count... It was a stupid idea and niches PvP big time especially on PvP servers.

There are two things that kill raid gear progression: 1) The weekly lockout timers, and 2) The inability to queue solo for the specific raids you need. For my first point, by the time you're wanting to do certain raids to get the specific pieces of gear you want, it feels like you are paying a monthly fee for 4 raid runs at a, maybe, 10% chance for the boss you're wanting to kill to drop the loot you need. Now, I'm not complaining about the low drop rate here, I'm complaining about the inability to be a part of that process of chance. Once a week is ridiculous, and it gets you nowhere fast, especially if more than one person in your raid want that item. Why not just let people raid whenever they darn well want to and however often they darn well please? That leads me to my 2nd point. Why is all the organization necessary? Not only do you have one shot a week, but you've gotta get every person with every specific role together in order to accomplish it. Games these days are become way too guild dependent, where everyone must be on at the same time or else you can't raid that day. What ever happened to the old days when pugging end-game hardcore content was fun (and dare I say even more challenging, not knowing if you're able to finish with given pug or not). Kind of takes a lot of the "rewarding" feeling out of it, no? 

So, in conclusion, end-game in WoW is way more of a chore than it is fun due to the requirements and restrictions currently present in-game that limits players to ways in which they want to achieve their goals.

All that, and I still haven't even begun to talk here about the lack of some sort of alternate advancement system for those who don't like making tons of alts and wish to fine tune and augument their character's stats and abilities to reward for character longevity. Thanks for reading!

------------------------------
MMORPGs are great to look forward to after a hard day of work, but heaven is the ultimate reward for those who live Christ-like.

  bcbully

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7328

1/06/14 11:52:59 AM#42
I dont think most reasonable people are mad at WoW, they are mad at the warhammers, rifts, lotors, swtors, the wildstars. Reskinned clones 10 years later with 30 million $$$ ad programs bought on sites like this, with the sole purpose of telling people our game is not a reskinned clone. This is what pisses me off anyways.
 

When I eat chocolate chip pie it just doesn't feel like chocolate chip cookies. The texture, the consistency, it's just not the same and this is disappointing.

  TashaG

Novice Member

Joined: 9/03/06
Posts: 27

1/06/14 12:08:54 PM#43

I see everyone talk about innovation that new MMOs need to be different from wow. That the "Themepark is tired". How do you suggest that they make something different? Every Sandbox MMO has the population of next to nothing or has totally failed. Also if you make things TOO different you lose the Switchers who are bored with WoW and want something new to do.

The biggest problem with the Other MMO's is that they copied some specific part of WoW and changed something to make their game a bit different. What they all seemed to miss was the different ways people DO play Wow. In WoW I can do quest hubs etc, but I can also wander around and explore stuff. Sometimes while exploring I find a hidden quest hub. That rewards me for exploring. In SWTOR the game is so linear, everytime I play an alt I am always playing though the same set of quests. There's zero exploration as the game is set up to force you though their questlines. It gets really tired. The stories are fun the first time you go through them, but start to get annoying on the third or fourth repetition. In WoW I can level my alts though 3 different areas per faction. That's been true since Vanilla. Most of the expansion areas give 2 branches per faction to level though. Heck you can even mix and match to mix stuff up.

I think that the people putting out MMO's just don't see the whole picture of wow. They also don't listen to playtesters who say things the dev team doesn't want to hear. Too many MMO's are released before they are ready. Game Companies really need to learn. MMO's have one chance to capture audience. Once that window has closed in the first 2 months, if you game isn't truly fun. You will lose the majority back to Wow or to the next "big game".

  jdizzle2k13

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/06/13
Posts: 191

Don't worry about the past. Look at how to shape your future.

1/06/14 12:09:35 PM#44
Originally posted by Talemire

Solid article, Suzie, but I have to disagree with you about WoW's end game, and here's why:

Since the game is so gear-dependent, once you hit max level, there's really not much you can do efficiently (High-end raids, arenas, RBGs, etc.) until you get geared for it. Now, while it's not super hard to get the first set of PvP gear, what counts is the second set, which has a weekly cap to it - that cap becomes very low after the first week of CQ grinding, causing PvP to have a lack of meaning especially since there's no actual territory control in game nor PvP ranks for general PvP. RBG PvP ranks just straight up don't count... It was a stupid idea and niches PvP big time especially on PvP servers.

There are two things that kill raid gear progression: 1) The weekly lockout timers, and 2) The inability to queue solo for the specific raids you need. For my first point, by the time you're wanting to do certain raids to get the specific pieces of gear you want, it feels like you are paying a monthly fee for 4 raid runs at a, maybe, 10% chance for the boss you're wanting to kill to drop the loot you need. Now, I'm not complaining about the low drop rate here, I'm complaining about the inability to be a part of that process of chance. Once a week is ridiculous, and it gets you nowhere fast, especially if more than one person in your raid want that item. Why not just let people raid whenever they darn well want to and however often they darn well please? That leads me to my 2nd point. Why is all the organization necessary? Not only do you have one shot a week, but you've gotta get every person with every specific role together in order to accomplish it. Games these days are become way too guild dependent, where everyone must be on at the same time or else you can't raid that day. What ever happened to the old days when pugging end-game hardcore content was fun (and dare I say even more challenging, not knowing if you're able to finish with given pug or not). Kind of takes a lot of the "rewarding" feeling out of it, no? 

So, in conclusion, end-game in WoW is way more of a chore than it is fun due to the requirements and restrictions currently present in-game that limits players to ways in which they want to achieve their goals.

All that, and I still haven't even begun to talk here about the lack of some sort of alternate advancement system for those who don't like making tons of alts and wish to fine tune and augument their character's stats and abilities to reward for character longevity. Thanks for reading!

This pretty much articulates why I can't stay with WoW for an extended period of time.  My guild was never really a big raiding/pvp guild, just a social guild, so we didn't really have the people to do raids and get the top tier gear.  Maybe we could get the arena gear, but that's about it, and it requires weekly dedication to getting your points capped out.

I actually like a game that doesn't have a real gear grind or traditional endgame, because it means I can do what I feel is fun when I want to and be able to get the best gear with the playstyle I choose.  Some people may not like it because they want to be better than everyone else, but if you want to be better than everyone else simply because of your gear, then play a gear grind game.



  flguy147

Novice Member

Joined: 1/15/09
Posts: 380

1/06/14 12:27:03 PM#45

Its almost impossible to have a MMO with out similar features as other MMOs such as WOW.  Can you make a football game without having first downs and passing?  Hard to make a FPS without guns and running through a map shooting people.  If you change it too much it will not be a MMO anymore.  When i played AOC if felt nothing at all similar to WOW.  To me it was completely different eventhough it had a lot of the same features.  Dungeons actually felt like dungeons in the game for example.  

Even Skyrim has a ton of the same exact features as MMOs but everybody holds up so high.  When you do the main storylines of guilds and the main storyline you have to go do this quest before you do the next.  You have side quests too just like MMOs.  Crafting isnt anything new in Skyrim vs other MMOs.  The quests you basically go kill mobs or collect an item most of the time just like any MMO.  The thing Skyrim does is make it fun on how they implement.  

  adam_nox

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2072

1/06/14 12:28:36 PM#46

Anything that's a clone is bad, even if what you are cloning is good.  WoW destroyed the mmo genre.  Not vanilla WoW, that revitalized it, and had they not brought in raidordie hacks to direct the game, or newbordie hacks to direct it post 2008'ish, and if they had just let it go after 5 years so other mmo's could flourish, and maybe give us titan, things would have been different.

 

But instead they eliminated real world pvp, turned pvp into battleground bs, the game was dominated by raiding or arena bs, just bs after bs.  I can't even sound intelligent when I talk about it because of how stupid it all was and how it's just not even worth my time trying to pretty up my language.  It's just so stupid.  And game after game tried to copy them but just failed, over and over.   Until we get to 2014.  Nearly 10 years after it's release and the mmo genre is a wasteland of non-mmos, because even the definition of the term has been completely corrupted in it's wake by names like guild wars and neverwinter.

 

Ten years down the drain.  It's a gd crime.

  UtukuMoon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/03/11
Posts: 1109

1/06/14 12:29:21 PM#47

"Yet I think that, at least for now, we can think of what Blizzard has done for nine years as something akin to a giant jigsaw puzzle: Each piece represents a feature in what we have come to know and expect in an MMO. Quests, raids, dungeons, PvP, and social aspects have all been fused together over the last decade to create the world’s most successful MMO"

 

 

 

Ermm EQ had raiding as end-game and dungeon plus the game had PVP.

On top of that EQ2 came out before WOW and really was the first to do the type of questing you saw in WOW.

Don't get me wrong, their can be no doubt that WOW is the most successful P2P mmo to date where numbers are concerned.

I was in beta which had no NDA, i came from EQ so i know a fare bit of how Blizzard made WOW. Blizzards main inspiration was EQ even to the point of hiring people from top EQ raiding guilds.

 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ymgFyzbDo

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

1/06/14 12:29:43 PM#48

I appreciate the author's optimistic viewpoint on the subject of "Wow Clones", but I see things a little differently.

 

To preface my critisizim of the "WOW Model", and subsequent clones, I just want to say that Blizzard is a world class game development / publisher house.  And despite all of the critisizm they've received over their handeling of WOW over the last half of game's life, I think most people that have played the game (especially the ones that played in the beginning) will admit that the game experience was stellar....atleast for the first few years playing.

 

However, one of the problems with the approach to MMO gaming that Blizzard took with WOW is that the content becomes repetative & predictable.  As the author points out, there is only so much you can do, in terms of innovation, so despite all the gimmicks & "innovation" added to WOW over the year, it all ends up being the same dog & pony show.

 

That is one of the inherant flaws of the developer driven approach to content creation.

 

Where the "WOW Clone" comes in as a jab at new, simarly developed "themepark" MMOs is that the overall game experience ends up being about the same as what you can get in WOW.  After you've been playing this kind of MMO experience for 5+ years, a kill 10 boars quest or a gear / level treadmill are still the same...regardless if you have wings, lightsabers, or dynamically created groups.

 

To the point of Blizzard not really doing anything new, I have to disagree as well.  What Blizzard found about games like UO & EQ was that one of the gaming industry's most lucrative pricing model was being wasted on one of gamings most niche audiences.  It's no secret that old traditional MMOs had a HUGE learning curve, was in a very hard knocks kind of environment, and required lots of time to be competitive. 

 

Blizzard then set out to find out what all of the pain points were for all the folks that tried UO & EQ (barriers to entry), and take those away, so that they could maximize the earning potential of a box sale + monthly fee subscription pricing model. (UO had up to 200k subs & EQ had up to 1 million.....imagine if you could get 10+ million paying $15 a month)

 

They created a totally new product, in a totally new unexplored space in MMO gaming....and enjoyed all the business benefits of being first to this new market.

 

(Check out a marketing theory called Red Seas / Blue Oceans. )

 

Cirque Du Soleil did this.  Theatre & traditional stage performance art was for the niche upper class & have tons of competition (Red Seas), and traditional circus operations were a money pit, with all of the animal handling costs.  They removed the animal portion of a circus, and put the acrobatics on stage...creating a whole new product, with little to no competion...and have had tremendous success by taking parts of two different mature products and making something completely new (and more efficient).

 

That said, WOW was first to market with this new MMO product (casual gear driven linear themepark MMO), and enjoyed all the first to market benefits therein.  Had Rift been released in 2004, instead of WOW....Rift would be the game with 10+ million subs strong.  They reason Rift doesn't have those numbers is because they came into this new market late, and (essentially) provide the same game experience you can get in WOW....where most already have established characters, assets, and a network of friends & achievements.

 

What your seeing now is a gap in the MMO market (with most AAA publishers going full "WOW Clone"), and lots of indie developers are trying to put together something in that space (open world / sandbox MMO).

 

TLDR:  WOW is infact a COMPLETELY different game than UO or EQ was, and draw a very different userbase.

The use of the word WOW Clone is meant to describe the gear progression based, linear themepark model, where developers drive content creation, not the players.

This model is failing because of fatigue that has set in, from many putting in 5+ years in a very similar gaming experience called World of Warcraft.  Games like Rift, SW:TOR, Warhammer, Aion, etc. suffer because of the fatigue carried over from those 5+ year WOW vets that are trying out their game.

  iridescence

Elite Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 1362

1/06/14 12:30:17 PM#49

WoW clone is a bad thing because people who like WoW already have a huge time investment in it and people who don't like WoW obviously don't want to play a clone of it. So the notion that WoW players will give up all their progress/friends/guildmates in WoW to come over and do the same thing in your game for years or that people who hate WoW will like your WoW clone because you changed up one or two things is stupid. I can't believe it has taken the industry this long with so many failed games and some, like the Wildstar devs, apparently still don't realize this simple truth.

 

  Purutzil

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2888

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

1/06/14 12:31:27 PM#50

Not bad article. The term WoW Clone bothers me since, obviously its a system/format that blizzard didn't even begin. It has barely any elements that are unique only to their game, yet people preach things as being a 'clone'.  To me, a clone is something that bluntly takes ALL elements of a game from its art style, its gameplay, and even its lore to mimic the other game in every possible way.

 

In the end, lets look at GW2 which got a lot more credit then it should. Gw2 actually did NOT change much at all. Its main deal is rather then changing the formula, it disguises it as other elements. Quests are more static 'events' that are quite predictable to take part in. Combat is essencially the old tab target system just with a rather slippery dodge deal, over-all weakening its combat in attempts to make it feel 'different and half assing the change. Its only real changes being "No trinity" and "Lack of end game" for the most part flopped, though I don't think its all bad. Its attempting to do new thing, which is something most MMos try to do to spice thing up. Sure the trinity deal was a horrible mess, but the lack of end game could possibly keep some players happy, so long as they focus on giving lots of content to keep them busy/distracted.

 

With the "Wow clone" thrown about so haphazardly, it always bothers me. If you have that feeling about every Mmo, then a vast majority games of any genre you best be calling  say "Doom Clone" for FPS or "Devil May Cry" clone for action games like God of War.  Call that RPG you played a "Dungeons and Dragons" Clone while you are at it. Genre games WILL be similiar, they exist because they are enjoyable and work. Its best to look at things more broadly then claiming anything that uses a similiar format as a clone.

 
Now if you excuse me, I need to head out in my Ford Clone car so I can stop at my Clone Burger fast food resteraunt before I go out to the clone bar with my friends tonight.
  Lahuzer

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/07/09
Posts: 683

Sit on my face and tell me that you love me...

1/06/14 12:34:55 PM#51
I thought it was funny when some1 said the Perpetuum only were a "EVE"-clone. As that would be a bad thing. How can that ever be bad? There is alot of WoW-clones out there, but barely no "EVE"-clones. Now Perpetuum sure was inspired by EVE, but recently with the terraforming of islands, and peeps controlling their mechs in the game, compared to EVE on no control of their ships etc, it has grown to it's own unique game now. There will always be clones out there of different games. As long as they make their own version of the original, and puts a twist to it. I think it can never be a bad thing.
  UtukuMoon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/03/11
Posts: 1109

1/06/14 12:38:59 PM#52
Originally posted by RajCaj

 (UO had up to 200k subs & EQ had up to 1 million.....imagine if you could get 10+ million paying $15 a month)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EQ was the leading mmo before WOW but it never had up to a million subs, the game peaked at around 500k which was a vast number in those days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ymgFyzbDo

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

1/06/14 12:49:49 PM#53
Originally posted by Purutzil

Not bad article. The term WoW Clone bothers me since, obviously its a system/format that blizzard didn't even begin. It has barely any elements that are unique only to their game, yet people preach things as being a 'clone'.  To me, a clone is something that bluntly takes ALL elements of a game from its art style, its gameplay, and even its lore to mimic the other game in every possible way.

 IMO, Blizard DID create something new.  How else do you go from EQ topping out at 1 million subs, to WOW getting 8+ million right out the gate?  Their IP did help them, but for the most part, they intentionally removed parts of MMO gaming that turned many of the folks that tried n' dumped UO & EQ.  I remember seeing an interview from one of the Blizzard guys that worked on WOW where he said their express intent was to go out and remove the time sinks, remove the harsh pentalties, make things more user friendly....remove all of those "barriers to entry".

In addition, they took much of the content creation out of the hands of the players, and put it on the shoulders of the developers.  UO endgame was MOSTLY player driven, and while EQ was more similar to what ended up being WOW, it wasn't nearly as "streamlined" as what Blizzard put out.

In the end, lets look at GW2 which got a lot more credit then it should. Gw2 actually did NOT change much at all. Its main deal is rather then changing the formula, it disguises it as other elements. Quests are more static 'events' that are quite predictable to take part in. Combat is essencially the old tab target system just with a rather slippery dodge deal, over-all weakening its combat in attempts to make it feel 'different and half assing the change. Its only real changes being "No trinity" and "Lack of end game" for the most part flopped, though I don't think its all bad. Its attempting to do new thing, which is something most MMos try to do to spice thing up. Sure the trinity deal was a horrible mess, but the lack of end game could possibly keep some players happy, so long as they focus on giving lots of content to keep them busy/distracted.

 Just how GW2 put a half ass'd gimmick in to differentiate themselves from WOW, yet leverage all the similarities to appeal to the same crowd, Aion did the same with wings, SW:TOR did the same with the Starwars IP, and the same with Rift and their dynamic open world raids.

Most folks playing these games for the first time have been playing WOW for several years, and they quickly see that they are running the same kill / delivery quest, and on the same gear grind they left in WOW....but they have to start all over again, and ultimately end up going back because they are more established there.

With the "Wow clone" thrown about so haphazardly, it always bothers me. If you have that feeling about every Mmo, then a vast majority games of any genre you best be calling  say "Doom Clone" for FPS or "Devil May Cry" clone for action games like God of War.  Call that RPG you played a "Dungeons and Dragons" Clone while you are at it. Genre games WILL be similiar, they exist because they are enjoyable and work. Its best to look at things more broadly then claiming anything that uses a similiar format as a clone.

Fair point, but for those reasons I explained above, I think WOW is infact a different game than Ultima Online, and even Everquest.  They are similar in very fundamental ways, but in terms of player roles, economy creation, content creation, itemization, PVP, & team play.....they are all VERY different.

 
Now if you excuse me, I need to head out in my Ford Clone car so I can stop at my Clone Burger fast food resteraunt before I go out to the clone bar with my friends tonight.
 

 

  Yalexy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 1039

1/06/14 12:55:03 PM#54

WoW picked all the good stuff that was known back then, improved it and added some new ideas. That's what made it a success... it improved things!

Since then alot of games tried to do the same but none really managed the improving-part, and that's why none of these is as big of a success as the developers or the anticipants hoped for.

Trying too do something totally new is basically impossible, as all things have allready been there in soome way or the other, so the task is to take a working system, tweak and improve it. Wildstar will tell if this works out.

For WoW itself... it managed to wreck itself by constantly dumbing it down more and more. They should've stopped changing the systems with BC.

  drakolas

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/08
Posts: 32

1/06/14 1:27:32 PM#55
The problem with making a WoW clone is that it's very unlikely they will do WoW better than Blizzard. There is a certain fluidity to WoW combat that most MMOs have failed to match and usually the content doesn't meet the same standards either.
  bbethel

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/04/05
Posts: 180

1/06/14 1:29:53 PM#56
My Problem with a game that is a WoW clone is that I left WoW because I did not want to play that game any more. Then a new game comes out and its just like or very similar to WoW. Why do I want to play a game that is just like the game I quit?
  lordoffiling

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/16/07
Posts: 28

1/06/14 1:33:57 PM#57

When people say "WoW clone" they are usually talking about one of three things:

 

1. Blocky, low-res, cartoony models for both characters and game objects

 

2. Push-button combat that includes a gazillion powers on multiple tray rows

 

3. NPCs that dispense "Go here, kill 10, come back, claim reward" type quests by the truckload

 

A true WoW clone has the trifecta. Games like Allods Online are true WoW clones. Most other games people call WoW clones only have two of the three. [mod edit]

 

WoW's blowout success and domination of the market has caused the genre to be set back almost a decade from where it ought to be. All of the game development taking place has been a variation on one of two themes: "Let's do what WoW is doing, except (insert thing)" or "Let's do what WoW is doing, only better." No one is saying "Screw WoW, let's do our own thing." Creativity and vision, remember those? It's impossible to have with the millstone of WoW's success hanging around the neck of the developers. Until they can get free of that millstone, no one is going to get off the bottom of the ocean.

 
  flguy147

Novice Member

Joined: 1/15/09
Posts: 380

1/06/14 1:35:49 PM#58
People do it all the time.  Why does Madden every single year for many many years keep selling.   Because people like it, you do the same thing in the Madden game the year before and the year before but its a billion dollar franchise.  Its because people enjoy it, if i enjoy something i dont want it to change too much.
  User Deleted
1/06/14 1:55:10 PM#59

Another thing to consider is that Blizzard accidentally created the greatest form of vendor lock-in that video games have ever seen.  New people joined WoW because that's what their friends were playing.  Old people didn't leave WoW because they didn't want to leave their friends.  WoW is more like Facebook in that even though people complain about it sometimes, you can't easily switch to another social network unless most of your contacts do as well.

The fact that games today can't even find a large audience even when it's offered for "free" should tell you just how bad the industry is doing for all but a few players.

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11568

1/06/14 2:04:24 PM#60
Originally posted by RajCaj

 IMO, Blizard DID create something new.  How else do you go from EQ topping out at 1 million subs, to WOW getting 8+ million right out the gate?  Their IP did help them, but for the most part, they intentionally removed parts of MMO gaming that turned many of the folks that tried n' dumped UO & EQ.  I remember seeing an interview from one of the Blizzard guys that worked on WOW where he said their express intent was to go out and remove the time sinks, remove the harsh pentalties, make things more user friendly....remove all of those "barriers to entry".

WOW didnt have 8 million out of the gate but it did grow to that

in leaps and bounds that were unprecented in mmos

 

first day WOW sales  (link fixed)
https://web.archive.org/web/20060216205501/http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/world-of-warcraft/569888p1.html

April 2005, WOW claimed 1.5 mill
http://www.gamershell.com/companies/blizzard_entertainment/219363.html

http://news.softpedia.com/news/World-of-Warcraft-1-5-million-subscribers-1549.shtml


June 2005, 2 million
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=5696#.UJEWi4aM-yo

July 2005, WOW claimed 1.5 mill  in Asia contrast to 2mill US/EU

Blizzard's China Success Spawns 3.5 Million WoW Userbase July 21, 2005

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=5989

 

there are many reasons for success for WOW

among them is Blizzard, as a game company, already had millions of fans

2002 article:  Of Orcs and millionaires

http://money.cnn.com/2002/07/17/commentary/game_over/column_gaming/index.htm

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