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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

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 316

1/07/14 3:52:10 AM#121

World of Warcraft has been great for the genre of MMO's, but at the same time is has stagnated the innovation of them.

Its casual appeal has opened up the MMO to the casual gamer, made them easy to play and understand. Yet other companies see their success and try to cash in on it by copying the game style with just different names and textures instead of using the World of Warcraft models and textures.

Strip all recent MMO's down to the bare bones and they all look the same.

Quests to level up a class.

Talent trees.

Quest hubs in areas where players of your level play.

TAB targeting

Auction Houses


Instanced dungeons

No modern MMO that has been released has even tried to break away from this formula until recent years. The first one to break this was The Secret World with their skill system and the way they populated their world with missions. Gone were the kill XX amount and return missions now we had riddles and puzzle missions to complete. I really enjoyed this game and urge anyone yet to play to try it. Somethings within it are still like WoW because its just the way things work on the PC, but the new ideas Funcom had are great.

Then you have Eve Online its a complete opposite of WoW and it fills that niche in the market that WoW just can not do. CCP do a brilliant job with the game and the community.

So for the past decade the mmo game has sat in a mire of stagnation with each and every release looking and feeling the same as WoW. This is not Blizzards fault though, its the developers who are after that piece of pie that Blizzard has.

Moving onto 2014 and the MMO's to be released. We are now seeing a shift in design away from WoW, with SWTOR being the biggest failure in MMO's to date because of the stale game play they employed from WoW. Yes SWTOR is just WoW in space.

We see games like TESO , Repopulation, Nether, Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen starting to enter the arena of the MMO. All trying to break away from the WoW formula to some extent they feel and look fresh.

TESO takes ideas from Funcoms TSW with the skill system which I think is great and places it in their world of The Elder Scrolls. With the RvR from DAoC something the mmo genre has not seen since DAoC went live. This in its self will fill a huge hole left in the MMO market.

Repopulation has taken the crafting system from SWG and the skills system from UO and placed it in their own world. I am looking forward to seeing more from these people and hope their game does well because something like this is sorely needed in the genre.

Nether if you like your survival horror first person shooter take a look at this. I am rubbish at FPS games so I wont play it but looking from the outside I like the idea behind it and sets the atmosphere well.

Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen two games from two of the biggest power houses in yesterdays gaming era. David Braden and Chris Roberts. Both from Kick Starter like Repopulation and both space sims with a organic economy and FPS space flight. Something the PC gamer has been without since Freelancer because companies like EA have said that the space sim is dead and that PC gaming is dead. For information Star Citizen broke the $36 million mark over christmas.

I look forward to CCP's development on World of Darkness and will keep a eye on it as I am a fan of the world they are putting it in. CCP is not afraid of innovation when it comes to games and will try new things in them. This is the one that will shake the very foundations of the MMO genre when it is released.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/17/13
Posts: 13

1/07/14 4:54:22 AM#122
Originally posted by Gazimoff

Here's a question: Do you get involved in a new game world or universe because of the creatures, lore and game world? Or are you more interested in new mechanics, game systems and clever approaches?

It's the same argument with tabletop RPGs. [...]

I really like this concept, but do I understand it correctly, thinking that WoW[-clone]-fans would fit in the first group? It seems that way to me, because then it would explain the difference between PvE-gamers, who would be all about immersion, personal character development and maybe community, and the fans of games like Dark Ages of Camelot, Warhammer Online, those awaiting Camelot Unchained, or, as in my case, Champions of Regnum, who focus on sieging successfully, tactical play and community. [Feel free to include GW2 to this. I won't, because sh*t.] [I stated community twice, because I wanted to summarise their purposes for playing as precisely as possible, and this is simply a big part for any group of MMORPG-players - although not for every indivual player. :§]


Now, if I have understood correctly, which category you would put the WoW-target-/fangroup in, that would still not suffice to describe who understands "WoW-clone" as a compliment, and who does not.


There are players who have come very annoyed with the fighting-systems of MMOs based on hotbar-skills, or tab-targetting. Some people can not enjoy a game that does not base economy singularly on players. Others only feel "immersed" into their world, if they do not play from rthe view of first person. Neither of these desires is a direct part of one's preferrence for immersion, or game mechanics.


I have to conclude that while I liked your description, the category of "Lore/Immersion-Player vs Tactical Player" only works aside from many other systems that players care for, and you can not really judge by it, what the term "WoW-clone" means to someone. However, by the same line of arguments, I find it quite proven that amount of people who do not [any longer, maybe?] wish to play games that follow the principles of WoW: With all the PvP-players, plus anyone who is simply put off by old mechanics, or lack of player-based content, there has to be a great potential in anything that manages to unite those who oppose WoW.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5693

1/07/14 4:58:38 AM#123

The problem is that they are not WoW clones, if they were they would have the quality of WoW. Instead we have MMOs mostly built on the cheap that use the same game design as WoW.

So there are two issues, firstly we have nearly all MMOs made only one way and secondly they are poorly made.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/02/10
Posts: 428

1/07/14 6:15:54 AM#124
Originally posted by Nadia
Originally posted by ZombieKen

Just ask fans if their game is a WoW-clone.  Many times the answer is a resounding no, even if the features of the game are very similar to WoW.  It doesn't sound like a compliment to me.


common trash talk i hear in other games is  "go back to WOW"

I did go back to WOW and I am enjoying the heck out of Timeless Isle.

Timeless Isle is, to me, one of the reasons that Blizzard does end game best. Epics drop everywhere. I have almost all my 7 level 90 toons in epic gear. Yet, these epics are still 40-70 points below raider gear. That is the genius of Blizzard. You give the welfare epics to please the masses but the best gear is found in the high level pvp and hardest dungeons.  WOWclone critics point to welfare epics as a bad thing yet I believe it is one of the reasons that WOW lives on. I quit SWTOR after I started playing the Timeless Isle. Yup, I am definitely a WOW baby.


WOWclone is intended as an insult but I have played lots of games since WOW and keep returning. Nearly every AAA MMO released since WOW has some form of innovation yet the WOWclone critics don't care. If there is even a whiff of something WOW they trash the game. Even the Secret World, which I consider the most non-WOW MMO released in the last few years gets short shift from these critics.

All the WOWclone critics have done for me is to make me look twice at any games that they disparage. This is one of the reasons that I am really interested in Wildstar. A WOW clone? Cool, let me check it out.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 588

1/07/14 7:43:11 AM#125

Only other MMO I have played that I would consider a WoW clone is Allods online.  Why?  Well...yeah.


I liked WoW, over it now though.  Would I play new games similar to it?  Sure, new lore, new worlds, characters, people, excitement, adventures! 

Originally posted by Arskaaa
"when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/08/11
Posts: 92

1/07/14 7:55:17 AM#126

"WoW clone" is indeed an insult, because MMO gamers are tired of playing the same stale MMO for the past 10 or so years. There is a reason WoW isn't as highly rated on this website, this is a website for people who you know, actually enjoy MMOs. WoW is a MMO that tends to do nothing innovate or changing for the genre, yet it is THE game that shapes all other games.

I don't know if I speak for anyone else here, but frankly it's time WoW lost its crown and we got a new more worthy King.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/11
Posts: 322

1/07/14 8:01:17 AM#127

Imagine the genre without WoW's success. When I played FFXI for the first time I was literally blown away and knew the future of gaming was MMORPG's. Then I started playing more and more MMORPG's I quickly realized FFXI was one of a kind. 

If I see people riding mounts through clusters of enemies that follow for 5 seconds and turn back I can't play that particular game, it tells me too much. Seems everything except FFXI was like this. 

WoW made mediocrity acceptable and expected in the MMORPG genre and now it's the standard.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 1403

1/07/14 9:00:20 AM#128

I dont hate WoW for what it is

I hate WoW for what it has become, its practically  like that "Free Realms"  mmo now

"It has potential"
-Second most used phrase on existence
"It sucks"
-Most used phrase on existence


Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/13
Posts: 12

1/07/14 9:15:04 AM#129

Yea and WoW has yet to update there outdated graphics and i did play wow but than it got boring for me so i decided to play other and better mmos and who cares if some mmos look like wow (if yall think its becuase some mmos use the same type of graphics) but i do know that wow is crap 



Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/15/09
Posts: 2160

1/07/14 9:33:07 AM#130
Originally posted by jbombard
Originally posted by Holophonist
Originally posted by Consensus

I haven't played very much UO or WoW, but in my small experience the two are nothing alike really. I can't see how WoW could have built on ideas in UO.

Sure "WoW clone" is a compliment if you like WoW, or judge games purely on their success, but personally I do neither. And its not so much an insult as a description of a genre of mmorpg's. Since a huge proportion of mmorpg's have near identicle gameplay to WoW, such a term is useful to those who did not enjoy WoW.

The term mmorpg has become a dirty word that some developers avoid to escape wrong assumptions being made about their games. to the vast majority who don't play many mmo's the term mmorpg literally means "WoW with different graphics".

Yes very much this. Calling a game a wow clone very concisely sums up how the game is going to be played. In general it's going to have quest hubs, instanced dungeons, level-based zones, gear grinds, etc. Sure each game will have some inconsequential unique mechanic that they throw in so they have something to talk about in interviews, but the features I listed are what is going to dictate how you're playing that game.


As for the term being an insult: some people do, others don't. If people use it as an insult, it's because they don't like wow or at least don't like the games that are trying to ride on wow's coat tails. I'm not really sure what the problem is or where the confusion is coming from. Is being called a wow clone an insult? Not if you like wow enough to play a game that is extremely similar but probably with a different skin/graphics and almost definitely less content.

The thing is while WoW has tons of stuff in it, when you look at it from the amount of play time offered WoW doesn't offer that much more than anyone else.  All of the old content has been sped up so fast that it won't keep you busy very long, and old content is done once you blow past it.  So add up time played until you hit max with any new game and they aren't that far apart, and the new game actually may even have more.   With the free 90 it will offer even less play time.  


As far as calling game WoW clones goes, most of the things people associate with WoW aren't WoW inventions.  They took the formula and made it accessible but they didn't add anything really new except maybe quest hubs, and I am not entirely sure WoW was the first game to have them.  But I suppose even though WoW wasn't the first they are the biggest so the mistake is understandable.  

It really doesn't matter that WoW wasn't the first to have many of these features. The point is it popularized them and streamlined them. The point of calling something a WoW clone is  to concisely summarize what you're getting into. WoW is by far the most popular game with all of these features; it may be the first game with all of these features; and WoW is the reason these "WoW clones" exist. They're copying WoW, not whatever game(s) WoW may be copying.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/11/12
Posts: 44

1/07/14 9:46:11 AM#131

"Pet collections, mount collections, achievements, farms, gear acquisition, raiding at higher difficulties, exploration…"


Out of all of those, I am only interested in gear acquisition and raiding (not necessarily older content made harder, either).  Exploration is a minor interest. 


The main reason why I will not go back to WoW is that there is TOO MUCH stuff thrown in there to see what sticks.  If I wanted to play Pokemon I would play Pokemon, not Pokemon WoW.  I also enjoy both aspects of MMOs: leveling and endgame.  WoW makes leveling a joke.  So all of that plus the dumbing down of content to get more casual players makes WoW very unappealing to me.


Wildstar all the way!


Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 8060

Logic be damned!

1/07/14 10:06:08 AM#132

People are only tired of WoW clones because no attempt has really lived up to the original.

Still a reason WoW holds more subs in the West than many other MMO combined, in an era of F2P and B2P.


I've played them all, Rift, AoC, WAR, GW2, TR, EQ2, LotR, ToR, TSW, FFXIV... and I've played the major sandboxes like EvE, FFXI, SWG, etc.

I started in this genre with UO, and I HATED EQ - thought it was an awful, awful game compared to the glory that was UO.


Still, to this day, believe fully that WoW continues to be strong and hold my interest (with breaks here and there of course) after all of these years due to the fact that it is still one hell of a game, and truly unique in this now crowded genre of imitators.

WoW has changed a LOT over the last 9+ years, and continues to lead the genre. That is amazing.


I've probably been lurking for way, way too long.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/05
Posts: 270

This too shall pass...

1/07/14 10:14:28 AM#133

I spent 3 years in UO and 3 years in EQ. Nothing I've played since has spiked my interest for long.

During those adventures it was more about the journey than the so called 'endgame' until Verant plugged in something for bored players at max level. That was copied by Blizzard and the rest is history.

I believe that from that point onward massive profits became the only reason for a mmo so you copied the wow formula, plugged in endless carrots for the gamers to chase and games that required little except to follow the 'paint by the numbers' progression system that leads to that promised land of 'endgame'. All today's gamers require is a status-filled environment, the masses, and a framework they know so well that brings to the table all the conventions they need to feel at home.

Once the masses move on everyone must follow so they can continue their performance of ego in front of a crowd. No longer do we have a game world we can get lost in and adventure in.

I don't believe mmo's are dead though but more to be just slumbering until the day the profit mongers move on and game lovers start creating again. It's love for a product that should come first and not a business plan first with only one goal: mega-profits.


UO,EQ (best mmo's). Been in lotro for almost 7 years mostly in pvp as a lovable spider: Mummy


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5675

1/07/14 10:15:43 AM#134
Originally posted by MrG8
It is a bad thing... because when I feel a game is a wow-clone I feel like "Bah, why dont game-developers try to come up with something new?

Why did Microsoft put the Start Button back in Windows?

Just because developers do something new, doesn't mean it's better.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 169

1/07/14 10:46:35 AM#135

1.  Yes, Blizzard did some things right.  WoW, for a period of time, set the gold standard for hotbar MMOs.  However, the launch was subpar and the game really wasn't consistently playable for the first 6 months.  I had to reroll because my original server was shutdown for 5 days and unstable for the next two months in '04.  Too often, Blizzard gets a free pass for that.

2. The game went from moderately challenging to /faceroll.  Now, this was good business and Blizzard makes good business decisions (More players = more $$).  However, grinding content to get gear became a time = accomplishment game design.  That's on par with farmville, which is not good.  BC was moderately challenging despite the buggy end game content.  WotLK was great for story telling, but the content was far too easy and it's gotten worse over time.


Did Blizzard originally progress the genre?  Sure.  Did the game evolve into a cash cow and promote the worst game design in the market?  Also true. 

As a society, we accept the lowest common denominator (lcd) in order to be inclusive of everyone.  Generally, that means the lcd continues to get lower over time.  I just wish that instead, we would challenge people to get better and raise them up instead.   Over time, WoW promoted the worst people in our society and that's why I look back on the game with fondness and disapointment.


If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/17/12
Posts: 3

1/07/14 2:50:27 PM#136

Good article.

I love WoW if for nothing else it polarizes so much of the gaming community, making people addicted and overflowing with praise or incredulous and filled with venom.


WoW has been a boon to online gaming.  People need resources to create games, the biggest resource is MONEY.  WoW / Blizzard has proven that there is an appetite for a continuous and sustained universe for people to socialize, game, compete, craft and just sink time and have fun.


People will pay for this, year after year.   This says to other companies "Make something fun, involving and dedicated to progressive development and people will come and play".


It's your right...your obligation to vote up or down with you money but all this "If I built a game it would be SOOO much better than WoW...WoW ruined MMO's,,,etc..etc..." is just so much Monday morning quarterbacking it falls on the side of absurd.


Good on you WOW and Blizzard....I wait for your next project....and to other companies that hope to extend the MMO market with other flavors and play styles...Im rooting for you and lots of people have money to spend if you make it fun.


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 519

1/07/14 7:10:19 PM#137
Originally posted by HurricanePip

1.  Yes, Blizzard did some things right.  WoW, for a period of time, set the gold standard for hotbar MMOs.  However, the launch was subpar and the game really wasn't consistently playable for the first 6 months.  I had to reroll because my original server was shutdown for 5 days and unstable for the next two months in '04.  Too often, Blizzard gets a free pass for that.

2. The game went from moderately challenging to /faceroll.  Now, this was good business and Blizzard makes good business decisions (More players = more $$).  However, grinding content to get gear became a time = accomplishment game design.  That's on par with farmville, which is not good.  BC was moderately challenging despite the buggy end game content.  WotLK was great for story telling, but the content was far too easy and it's gotten worse over time.


Did Blizzard originally progress the genre?  Sure.  Did the game evolve into a cash cow and promote the worst game design in the market?  Also true. 

As a society, we accept the lowest common denominator (lcd) in order to be inclusive of everyone.  Generally, that means the lcd continues to get lower over time.  I just wish that instead, we would challenge people to get better and raise them up instead.   Over time, WoW promoted the worst people in our society and that's why I look back on the game with fondness and disapointment.


I agree with most of that except for 1.

I started playing about a month after launch, so I can't speak about the first month but I never had a problem on any of the servers I played on (around 5 I think).  Granted I am sure some people did, but people always do after launch, I am just not sure it was a huge issue.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/12/06
Posts: 197

1/07/14 7:21:39 PM#138
To me WOW has served its time, I enjoyed playing it for many years Burning Crusade was a good xpansion, Wrath of the Lich King was a good xpansion. Then Cataclysm not so good then I quit. After sometime I consider to see if they had improved the game with the new xpansion, I should have listen to others who posted about Mist of Pandaria, I regret that I even bought it to this day and I do know that I will never return. WOW Clones?? where  are they I see no similarities with other MMO's and trust I have played a lot of them. by the way EQ will be 15 in March! Looking forward to EQ Next.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/15/11
Posts: 76

1/07/14 8:26:26 PM#139

WoW isn't even a "clone" of itself anymore. It's an entirely different game than it was when it originally released.


The "End Game" is the most atrocious concept to ever come out of the gaming industry. There should be no reason for an "end game," there should just be a "game." One of the great things about MMOs is that they are developed to be played for extended periods of time, and continued expansion and development is built right in to the monetization systems and game design. There is no reason for an MMO to "end" and there is no reason for an "end game." Once developers can grasp that concept and just develop games, maybe the MMO genre can have a little life injected back in to it.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/13
Posts: 183

1/07/14 8:34:56 PM#140

There are only two survivors in business - leaders and fast followers. Making a WoW clone would hardly be a fast follower after 8 years.


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