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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » A Major reason why WoW is still King of the Hill

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  UnleadedRev

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/10
Posts: 317

 
OP  6/20/14 9:53:50 AM#1

As you all know, I have a love/hate relationship towards WoW.

However, I have played almost every MMORPG released since 1998, and was playing WoW at initial release.

After all these years, I can tell you that the major reason WoW is still the King of the Hill is due to the following.

Because WoW came out way before all of the existing MMOs except EQ1, many many players over the years have developed characters and in some cases several characters all the way from level 1 to level 90. There is a huge time investment. Thus, even though players like myself, who really wish a ground breaking MMO would come out, all the new MMO's always are in some way shape or form a WoW clone to one degree or another.

This causes several things to happen:

1) Long time WoW players experience nothing new or different in a significant way to cause them to give up WoW for the new MMORPG. Although, these WoW players usually do not renew their subscription with WoW while playing the new MMO, most veteran WoW players do not usually renew at more than a month to 3 months anyway, as there is just not enough for a well versed level 90 to do except run the same raids over and over again grinding for gear, same for PvP. Despite that, they see the new MMO as nothing different. Thus, the new MMO is abandoned after a month or 2 as same old same old and no reason to abandon or play your level 90 WoW toons less.

2) The subscription for WoW becomes a plus for Blizzard....for not only is there a time investment, but a money investment for WoW players. For WoW Players are loathe to abandon the WoW investment of time and money for any MMO that does not blow them away. In teh end, the new MMO makes money off initial release, a month or 2 of sub time, and if F2P maybe some cash shop purchase profit, but in the end its not much. Also, the fact that if you decide to play WoW along with another MMO, that WoW sub hangs over your head...and if you do not play WoW enough during the same time you are trying out other MMOs, you kind of...feel guilty? Your money spent and not being used?

3) The power of the WoW clone defeats all new MMO's to some degree. I call this the "Fonzie Factor"...Back in the mid 1970's a sitcom came out that broke the sitcom genre, it was called "Happy Days" and was loosely based on a great movie that had come out previously called 'American Graffiti". Well, there was a character named 'Fonzie" that started out as a cameo character and not a main character, i.e. did not appear in every episode. The combination of his flair andthe fact that he was not in every episode created fans to eagerly anticipate his next appearence. Unfortunately, as with everything on network TV, the producers recognizing Fonzies popularity made him a regular character, then increased the number of time he would appear in each episode, then increased the amount of time he was in each episode, then making entire episodes revolve around him, and eventually, the whole series revolved around him. By then, fans were "Fonzie Saturated" and the series failed. THIS, is what developers and producers of MMOs do every single time they release a new MMO...they clone WoW over and over again, to the point where we are WoW saturated...just like Fonzie. The BEST example of this is "Wild Star".....as despite even to myself as being new and unique...its still the same old same old WoW formula.

In conclusion, there really is no reason for the large WoW player base to leave WoW 100% for another MMO, or moreover even share WoW time with another MMO. As long as game studios continue to base their MMO designs on WoW to some degree or another, they just dig their own holes. Where is the imagination? Where is the creativity or ingenuity?

I can easily see in some cases where great Devs come up with non WoW clones, only to have some high mucky mucky poo poo their ideas because "WoW is the mose successful MMO, they obviously are doing whats right, therefore we must do the same, and of course do it better, which will make players come to our game and make us king of the hill"....

NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

Please Devs and Prods...stop the madness!

 

Fear the Alien, the Psyker, the Heretic, the moronic Steam Moderator.

  pit101

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/21/09
Posts: 68

Um.

6/20/14 10:08:09 AM#2

There's ultimately one answer to all of this: timing.

 

WoW was released at the PERFECT time. A time where MMOs were most definitely not the most populated gaming genre, but it was steadily gaining traction. WoW really helped catapult MMOs into the mainstream. This causes most peoples perception of an MMO to be like WoW: trinity grouping, dungeons n raids, pvp, an endgame, leveling, talent trees, etc..

The point I'm getting across is WoW has all the principles of what an MMO should be, in that theres a community of players that interact with each other while playing the games content. As a result, any MMO that comes trying to be a traditional MMO (by this I mean games like Guild Wars 2, Rift, EQ1/2, etc) looks like a WoW clone, and it is really unfair because they are simply making a traditional mmo experience...but because WoW skyrocketed the mmo genre, everything will be compared to it. It's the same way with other aspects of entertainment, like music. A band may not actually be that great (Beatles, yes hate me) but because they hit the market at the right time with the right material, it can be extremely successful and become a "trend setter".

Just my theory. WoW didn't do anything spectacular (yes its a good game, but its just as good as many other games out there), they just had fantastic business strategy.

  Quesa

Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1265

6/20/14 10:14:07 AM#3

WoW's engine and combat fluidity is still top notch comparatively to any MMO released in the last decade.  You hit an action, you guarantee that the animation will fire off immediately and the animation team did a fantastic job with animation duration timing as well.  WoW, if not the first, really solidified the developer community with allowing UI addons and created a sub-market for open source developers.

You can't say that Blizzard "didn't do anything spectacular" because that would be a wholly disingenuous statement.

  Mors.Magne

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/07
Posts: 1432

6/20/14 10:15:37 AM#4

Generally speaking, I agree with everything the OP says. However, the time investment isn't everything...

 

I've played Eve Online since 2004 and I've probably spent about £2,000 on the franchise - if you include Eve Online subscriptions, fanfest expenses, and payments for DUST. Nevertheless, I have recently unsubscribed from Eve Online because CCP have walked away from their original vision for Eve Online and there are other upcoming games that will fill that demand much better.

 

So I think WoW has been fortunate in that they have not had any serious competition up until now. I predict that Oculus Rift could change all that with time, but we'll have to wait until publishing houses have the courage to try something new! 

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 7481

6/20/14 10:23:03 AM#5

Eh....

1) You say that people leave other games because it is same ole, same ole but you are also implying they go back to same ole, same ole WoW... That does not compute.

2) I would like to see some retention data...otherwise your assumptions is water based.

3) Yet, WoW is losing a lot of subs every year...and suprisingly the WoW clones are doing well. Again, your assumptions do not compute.


It is never good to make assumptions without reality check. Inductive reasoning is false reasoning.

  Quesa

Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1265

6/20/14 10:23:23 AM#6
Originally posted by Mors.Magne

So I think WoW has been fortunate in that they have not had any serious competition up until now. I predict that Oculus Rift could change all that with time, but we'll have to wait until publishing houses have the courage to try something new! 

Just to expand on this with my own feelings, it always feels as though there are 2-3 monoliths in every 'generation™' of gaming. Currently, when you look at MMORPGs, you immediately think of WoW or GW series as those monoliths of this generation.  When you look at MMOFPSs you immediately think of the CoD of BF series FPS games.  Additionally, when you look at MMOGs you come up with LoL, DotA or WoT.

Previous 'generations' of those might be games like Asherons Call, Doom/Wolfenstien and the like.  I kind of think we are coming to the end of this generation's games and technologies like ORift will push us into that next generation where new monoliths of the gaming industries will make their mark and probably have threads like this discussing such things.

In 5 years, we might all be lol'ing at some new space sime saying how its, "just another WC clone".  It's just the way business and the business cycle is.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19483

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

6/20/14 10:25:40 AM#7

Well, outside of disagreeing with one comment OP made, "Because WoW came out way before all of the existing MMOs except EQ1", (just not true, many MMOs out today pre-date WOW) but won't quibble since the rest of the points are quite relevant and well taken.

It's hard to leave WOW, especially when the playing experience of the next game offers so little difference, and usually not up to the same level of quality or player base size.

One reason I'm enjoying ArcheAge now is not because of its standard fare quests, run of the mill as always, but for the other elements the game provides that really are quite difference from standard theme park games, at least when put together in the way they are.

In fact, I'd probably enjoy AA even more if it had  greater  deviation from the theme park norm, because I'm looking for something different.

Failing to find that, I frequently return to EVE because it's a old friend, consistent, different, and harsh, something I prefer in my gaming.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
"People can do with their money what they want. But... that doesn't make it smart" - COORS
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  GolbezTheLion

Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 250

6/20/14 10:36:31 AM#8
Originally posted by Mors.Magne

So I think WoW has been fortunate in that they have not had any serious competition up until now.

WoW still doesn't have any serious competition, let's be real here.

 

 

  Ludwik

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/14
Posts: 254

6/20/14 10:46:12 AM#9

I still, to this day, believe that WoW is the best MMO on the market.

 

Many of today's modern MMOs have these great features but they all have huge flaws as well. WoW has no major flaws.

 

When I sit down to play WoW I feel like I am getting a 'B+' level experience from start to finish.  There's never a moment in WoW where this disappointment overcomes you.

 

Meanwhile games like Guild Wars 2 and TESO seem to be bi-polar. There's really nothing that compares to an awesome 50v50 battle in GW2 that comes down to the last few players and everyone is desperately trying to stay alive while simultaneously finishing off their opponents. Those peaks are great, but there's also moments when your sitting in a tower massively outnumbered by your enemy who's pelting you with ACs and tearing down the doors you've spent the last 6 hours building up with no resistance because your server wasn't blessed enough to get Asian players.

 

For some people those moments of great jubilation may be worth the moments of extreme frustration but to me their not. I would rather have a consistently good experience when I sit down to play and WoW (and to a lesser degree, Rift) are the only MMOs I've played that can deliver on that premise all the time.

  Apraxis

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

6/20/14 10:49:43 AM#10

I do agree with most of your points. But those point are just valid for WoW player/fans, and in most cases for clones of WoW.. though almost all AAA MMOs after WoW are in that category(using the term "clone" loosely).

But there is still a lot of potential MMO players either never played WoW any lengthy time, or played MMOs up to now not at all.. and for those your arguements don't hold.. but as the history has shown, that non of the following game was attrative enough to collect all of those non WoW MMO players, or aquire enough non MMO players to be of any relevance.

Because after all.. WoW was not that successful because of the MMO players of that time, it was successful of all the Warcraft, Diablo players starting with WoW their first MMO and other newcomer to the MMO market. No other MMO did something like that up to now, although Bioware(with SWTOR) and Bethesda/Zenimax(with ESO) tried it, but ultimately failed to draw in enough newcomer to be in any way relevant.(though the story from ESO isn't told up to now.. but it don't look like it).

  Apraxis

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

6/20/14 10:59:04 AM#11
Originally posted by Ludwik

I still, to this day, believe that WoW is the best MMO on the market.

Many of today's modern MMOs have these great features but they all have huge flaws as well. WoW has no major flaws.

When I sit down to play WoW I feel like I am getting a 'B+' level experience from start to finish.  There's never a moment in WoW where this disappointment overcomes you.

Well.. that is really highly subjective.. it is for sure the most successful MMO on the market. And i would argue that it is the most polished(best movement/controlling, less bugs, for your average computer, newcomer friendly), but by far not the MMO with the best gameplay or feature set.. though again, that is subjective. 

Features/gameplay is rather one dimensional after all:

- Quest/Hubs with 0815 Quest Design

- Dungeon Instances/Raiding

- PvP Arena/Battleground

- basic crafting

- character abilities(tactical varity of abilities, and class varity of uniqueness) is anything than phenomenal. Solid is the best to charactize it.

That is not really a lot to do, nor that much different what others offered or offer. On the other side not a lot of MMOs do offer more.

At least for me personally it was not appealing enough to play it longer than a few month(7 to be precise).. and never tried it again. On the other side i was looking for a different gameplay experience anyway. (coming from UO/DAoC/SB)

  CrazKanuk

Elite Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 1586

6/20/14 11:04:03 AM#12
Originally posted by pit101

There's ultimately one answer to all of this: timing.

Sure, being "first in" is always a good thing, especially when a genre explodes. While it's advantageous, though, it's not everything. By this same measure, Everquest should still have millions of subscribers (which they don't). 

 

I think there are a couple other contributing factors. One is polish. End-to-end, WoW just oozes polish. Secondly, things are just fun. Let's be honest, grinding in MMOs is pretty much the norm. MMOs are time sinks. The big difference is that most games make you feel like you're being punished. WoW strikes a great balance between grind and progression. I will generally play a game through, but it's very difficult to get me to stick around. Other times, I might not even make it past level 20. It just seems like the user experience isn't there. As soon as I feel like I'm going off to work instead of playing a game, I'm out! I think that this is amplified for F2P games. At the first sign of something being horrid, you can just toss in the towel and say "screw it!" 

 

So two extremely subjective things! Great! Anyone wanting to put some sort of metric on polish and user experience is more than welcome. 

Crazkanuk

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Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
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  sevitoth

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/04
Posts: 373

6/20/14 11:19:20 AM#13

WOW wasn't even close to being one of the first MMOs. There were plenty of MMOs out when it released in late 2004. Here is a list of major MMOs that were around when it released, and this isn't even the entire list, just the most popular ones. Almost all of these MMOs are still around to this day.

1996 – Meridian 59

1997 – Ultima Online

1998 – Lineage

1999 – Everquest, Asheron’s Call

2001 -  Runescape, DAOC, Anarchy Online

2002 – Final Fantasy XI, Asheron’s Call 2

2003 – Shadowbane, Eve Online, SWG, Lineage 2, Horizons

2004 – Everquest 2, City of Heroes

Currently Playing: SWGEMU

Previously Played: UO, DAOC, Shadowbane, AC2, SWG, Horizons, COX, WOW, EQ2, LOTRO, AOC, WAR, Vanguard, Rift, SWTOR

  Hariken

Elite Member

Joined: 7/15/13
Posts: 648

6/20/14 11:20:55 AM#14
Originally posted by GolbezTheLion
Originally posted by Mors.Magne

So I think WoW has been fortunate in that they have not had any serious competition up until now.

WoW still doesn't have any serious competition, let's be real here.

 

 

I agree 

Every mmo to come out post Wow is just chasing the money. I don't think the genre is going to change anytime soon. If you want to find a different mmo you need to play one that came out before Wow did period.  GW2 was probably the last mmo to try to be a little different. It not having a sub. is what makes it still popular and Wow players have a sub.free second mmo they can play when they need a break from Wow. I think that is the reason those 2 game are on top. If GW2 had a sub.it would be different.

  turinmacleod

Staff Writer

Joined: 10/24/12
Posts: 111

6/20/14 11:28:49 AM#15

An interesting aside: I have been away from WoW for about two years now, after playing it since early beta. Recently I got an invite to the WoD  beta, so I re-installed WoW and created a level 90 Paladin to check out this new content.

 

I logged out after ten minutes, I couldn't get past how slow and dull the combat seemed, after playing some of the newer more action-y games. 

 

I guess my time with WoW is well and truly done.

 

T

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20515

6/20/14 12:24:00 PM#16
Originally posted by turinmacleod

 

I logged out after ten minutes, I couldn't get past how slow and dull the combat seemed, after playing some of the newer more action-y games. 

Yeh ... I still play Marvel Heroes (because it has ARPG type combat) and STO (because space ship combat is different), but for fantasy games?

No MMO has combat anywhere close to as much fun as D3 for me. So why bother?

  DrunkWolf

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/07/09
Posts: 1119

6/21/14 8:29:26 PM#17

WoW is king of the hill as far as subs for a few reasons.

 it was most peoples first MMO and people allways have a soft spot for their first MMO so they allways return from time to time or never leave.

plus its such a dumbed down game any idiot can think he is a hero saving the world one kill quest at a time, not to mention it runs on computers that are 20 years old so pretty much anybody can play the game.

 

  Foobarx

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/16/14
Posts: 459

6/21/14 8:33:08 PM#18
Well since I no longer play WoW, I could care less where it stacks in the heap.  A game not played is a game not played.
  Saur0n

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 92

6/21/14 8:39:10 PM#19
Originally posted by sevitoth

WOW wasn't even close to being one of the first MMOs. There were plenty of MMOs out when it released in late 2004. Here is a list of major MMOs that were around when it released, and this isn't even the entire list, just the most popular ones. Almost all of these MMOs are still around to this day.

1996 – Meridian 59

1997 – Ultima Online

1998 – Lineage

1999 – Everquest, Asheron’s Call

2001 -  Runescape, DAOC, Anarchy Online

2002 – Final Fantasy XI, Asheron’s Call 2

2003 – Shadowbane, Eve Online, SWG, Lineage 2, Horizons

2004 – Everquest 2, City of Heroes

Thank you.  The reason why wow is king of the hill is because there are millions of ignorant blizztard fanboys on this planet who have no idea what they are talking about...

  fivoroth

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 2967

6/22/14 4:04:23 AM#20
Originally posted by Apraxis
Originally posted by Ludwik

I still, to this day, believe that WoW is the best MMO on the market.

Many of today's modern MMOs have these great features but they all have huge flaws as well. WoW has no major flaws.

When I sit down to play WoW I feel like I am getting a 'B+' level experience from start to finish.  There's never a moment in WoW where this disappointment overcomes you.

Well.. that is really highly subjective.. it is for sure the most successful MMO on the market. And i would argue that it is the most polished(best movement/controlling, less bugs, for your average computer, newcomer friendly), but by far not the MMO with the best gameplay or feature set.. though again, that is subjective. 

Features/gameplay is rather one dimensional after all:

- Quest/Hubs with 0815 Quest Design

- Dungeon Instances/Raiding

- PvP Arena/Battleground

- basic crafting

- character abilities(tactical varity of abilities, and class varity of uniqueness) is anything than phenomenal. Solid is the best to charactize it.

That is not really a lot to do, nor that much different what others offered or offer. On the other side not a lot of MMOs do offer more.

At least for me personally it was not appealing enough to play it longer than a few month(7 to be precise).. and never tried it again. On the other side i was looking for a different gameplay experience anyway. (coming from UO/DAoC/SB)

Not much different from what other MMOs offered. Excuse me but WOW was the first MMO to use what you refer to as quest hubs with tons of quests and quest based levelling/ THis is a FACT. Please don't give previous MMO as examples as they all had like a 100 quests tops  and focused on mob farming.

When WoW came out, it's quest design was praised super highly because it was a breadth of fresh air in a sea of boring korean style grindfests aka EQ style. Grinding mobs for ages while your brain goes into meltdown wasn't overly exciting.

Anyways it's all those MMOs after WoW that they copied every single thing WoW redesigned from other MMOs especially quest based levelling.

I am pretty sure there are too many EQ people who are just biased because EQ was there first MMO and they prefer mob grinding. Yet they can't see that they are acting in the exact same was as fanboys whose first MMO was WoW. They just can't let go of the stuff they found in their first MMO.

Originally posted by sevitoth

WOW wasn't even close to being one of the first MMOs. There were plenty of MMOs out when it released in late 2004. Here is a list of major MMOs that were around when it released, and this isn't even the entire list, just the most popular ones. Almost all of these MMOs are still around to this day.

1996 – Meridian 59

1997 – Ultima Online

1998 – Lineage

1999 – Everquest, Asheron’s Call

2001 -  Runescape, DAOC, Anarchy Online

2002 – Final Fantasy XI, Asheron’s Call 2

2003 – Shadowbane, Eve Online, SWG, Lineage 2, Horizons

2004 – Everquest 2, City of Heroes

City of Heroes was shut down. OOh, snap!

 

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

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