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All Posts by aesperus

All Posts by aesperus

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4753 posts found
Originally posted by YashaX

The new WoW expansion caught my eye because it looks like it has an emphasis on exploration, pvp, and the garrison system sounds neat. However, I started looking at some reviews and I noticed that it was getting really high scores, then I recalled that every expansion seemed to get high scores. For example ign gives cata a 9, mists an 8.7, and WoD a 9.

 **snip for length**

Its all very strange. What do you think? What's with the seemingly skewed reviews? Why is WoW seemingly forgiven everything that other mmos are hammered for? What's with the plethora of non-critical reviews in general (not just for WoW, lately I have read several reviews that just don't seem to apply any critical thought)?

First, I will say that (for what it does) WoW does a good job. It is a very 'safe' game, that doesn't try and innovate, but rather refines / polishes that which has already been proven popular.

As for a lack of critical reviews, it's not just games. We live in the age of the amateur reviewer. With very few exceptions you will find that most reviews are done by amateurs / hobbyists / journalists who just want a job. This is all fine and good, but to have a proper critique, you need a thorough understanding of the medium you are critiquing.

For games, that means a solid understanding of game design, game mechanics, if not also game art and storytelling. Most reviews have limited knowledge of all of these. They are simply written by people who play and enjoy games, and like to talk about them. Or, in the worst cases, written by people who barely understand games at all. That said, there are exceptions to this, but they are very much the exception to the rule. And very much the minority.

Most game reviews are written for consumers. And that is exactly what most 'gamers' actually are. Most people who play games don't give a crap about whether a game is good or not. They don't care about interesting game mechanics, or clever implementations. They want something that is familiar, comfortable, and makes them feel good. And WoW does all 3 of those things exceptionally well.

- It's less a conspiracy and more just human nature. The more you learn about market trends, games sales, etc. The more you realize just how predictable most people are when it comes to these things. Blizzard / Activision knows this extremely well, and their entire business model is based around it.

Another thread where we attempt to re-define a term which already has an established meaning?

Role Player has a definition. A very simple google search can give that to you. What people choose to believe the term is on an individual basis is all fine and good, but it doesn't change the fact that it already has an accepted meaning.

Originally posted by kabirgph
So me and my friends are trying to decide on another good MMORPG to play, and decided that although free ones would be nice, the pay to play ones might have better quality (with the exception of the pay to win ones) I ve heard that ESO is very average and not worthy, but it seems like the creators put time into exploration and stuff and I think it might be pretty fun. GW2 had a lot of hype around it years ago when it was about to be launched, but I was never able to get it so I don t know how it is. I especially want to know whether the community is dead or alive (or near-dead) in these games, the economy, and the content. Thank you so much guys!

GW2 is probably the safer bet. ESO has more robust graphics, and more traditional gameplay, but the population is very much in flux. Last I played ESO (a month and a half ago) the PvP population was severely shrunk (only a handful of pvp servers, and only one was really used). The early lvling of ESO is surprisingly well done (before veteran ranks), but they really kinda blew it w/ the endgame. The pvp was really amazing for a while, but between the population issues and problems w/ the combat it became really unsatisfying. (ESO's combat only uses energy for skill management, which means the strongest skills tend to just get spammed, and there is very little flow to the actual combat in that game). Zenimax is working pretty hard to improve the game, and it shows, but it's still very much a gamble as to whether or not that will be enough to save the game in the long term.

GW2 on the other hand is a fairly unique MMO. It has many similarities to otehr games, but how it plays is much different. if you are looking for a more traditional MMO (i.e. similar to WoW, but a different game), you will NOT enjoy GW2. The game kinda requires players to play it with an open mind, and a sense of discovery. Rather than a list of expectations to cross examine with other games. The reason for this is the game is very much a 'sandpark' type of game. It leaves it up to each individual player how they wish to play through the game. You can experience all the hardest content (outside of fractals) relatively easily. So if all you care about is acquiring the best gear, the game will feel very lackluster.

This is because the gameplay does not revolve around obtaining the best loot (which is actually very easy to do). It revolves around exploration, achievement hunting, character customization, and trying to acquire cool cosmetic items (item skins / dyes you can apply to your characters to make them look cooler). The combat is also very skill-based (which means being smart about which skills you choose, and how you use them is essential to winning), which results in a fairly active pvp community in game. The game's been around for a few years now, and the population is still surprisingly healthy. They may not have WoW's numbers (some 7-10 million or w/e), but there are a lot more people playing than most other MMOs on the market currently.

Originally posted by Hariken

I thought this was something good to share.

He does indeed make some good points, and on the whole I agree with him.

However, while he has identified the problems (basically pointing the finger at all of us, youtubers, and the rest of the gaming industry), he didn't really accurately talk about the solutions. Or even what solved the first gaming crisis.

What saved video games back in the 1980s was actually the birth of Nintendo. A previously undervalued company who snuck it's console (the NES) into the american market by disguising that it was a gaming console.

Us stopping our habits of buying crap games is only part of the solution. And ironically enough will actually expedite the coming of a gaming crash. The second part of that equation is supporting good games, and the developers trying to make them. We aren't really doing that either.

The problem though, is if a crash does come, who would be able to pick up the pieces? I dont think it would completely destroy the gaming industry, but it would severely change it as we know it.

Originally posted by Lobotomist
Originally posted by MMOExposed

How long does it usually take on avg for an Indie dev to make a decent MMO?

I know AAA developers on avg take 5 years to make a MMO, but what about indies?



There is not a single MMO released by an indie dev. (Although many have tried)

And I mean MMO of relevant scope. Few web games or small "sandbox" projects.

Closest thing to Indie MMO was Darkfall , but even that was well funded studio. And it took them a lot lot of time.

This ^

In order to have an average you need to have multiple successful outcomes. So far we don't have any.

Furthermore the criteria of 'decent' MMO is extremely vague. There are a lot of aspects of the average MMO we take for granted that won't exist without proper funding. The few indie devs we've seen attempt an MMO have failed miserably, but it's only a matter of time until one is successful.

That said, If I had to make an estimate, I'd say a modest MMO (limited-no quests, feature list that isn't overly complicated, limited voice acting / art assets) could be done in 5-7yrs by an indie dev. However, whether or not that qualifies as 'decent' is another matter.

Originally posted by Wizardry

I disagree that combat is simplistic in the tougher battles ,it is of fact anything but,SEVERAL runs were needed to figure them out.However on a whole combat is weak and the reason i lost interest.Well i also don't want to play another WOW game grinding gear progressions,that is a dumb reason to play any game.

Needing several runs to figure out a boss doesn't mean the combat is complex. It means they have decent boss mechanics. Though it does say something that today needing to do a boss fight more than once somehow means its difficult.

Yep, the combat in FFXIV is undoubtedly it's weakest quality (pvp included). Inspite of that I still had fun w/ the game for a while, but the OP is right. It's too simple.

It's not just about not having the renkai system from FFXI. (Which I loved btw, but it didn't work. Because people became too lazy to deal w/ it and just started doing TP burn groups instead).

But also the actual mechanics of the combat are incredibly simplistic. You don't really have to worry much about resistances, because the abilities are too simplified for that to work. Instead you have very vanilla 'buff X' type of damage modifiers, and defense modifiers. In fact the only real class synergy involves using these buffs (i.e. dragons buff pierc, which also buffs bard damage). But they are pretty much irrelevant outside of coil. Even then, you really only see such synergy w/ drg and ninja. And yet one of those aren't frequently chosen, because it's too difficult for most people to play them properly (drg).

- As for job dynamics, BLM seems like the simplest on the surface, but its one of the harder ones if you are trying to maximize your dps. It requires a lot of timing and mana management, which can be difficult while moving. Bard is easily the easiest class to play, with DRG or NIN being the hardest, followed by summoner / scholar (imho). Though I know some people will disagree w/ me on these, but this is just what I've found from playing through endgame content on everything but PLD (which I found too boring to get to 50).

Originally posted by Enbysra

A true horizontal MMORPG will have you begin at "end game"... as if you begin at say level 100 as an example, just, they will have no such numeric level shown. Skills would be found (guild wars 1 so far has this skills aspect in part), but not built up through vertical progression as GW1 also has.

 1) The whole concept of 'endgame' is a biproduct of vertical progression games. It's a term used to refer to the point in the game when you've acquired all your power and now need something to do.

Horizontal based games don't have that, because there isn't the same 'rush through the grind' so to speak. The gameplay is the gameplay and you either like it or you don't. Playing the game and acquiring new options is the whole appeal behind such a design.

Now, once you reach "last level" (level 20?), is there any more skill points to build up skills? If so, it is absolutely still vertical... if not, it was absolutely vertical even getting to that point. What is the progression if not? So far it seems like a good game for it's time like many games (and no, that is not knocking it), but I must wonder if one reason it is as active as it is (guestimating at least 25%+ population in GW1) is to gain GW2 bonuses.

 Regardless of your level, you have to buy, win (quest reward for example), or capture (skill capture signet) new skills. This can be done from quests, from trainers in various cities scattered around the world (some hidden, some not). Having the right skills drastically changes what type of build you're able to make. And thus how flexible your character will be at dealing with different encounters.

Such a system cannot be considered vertical, if you are to understand the meaning of the two terms. Literally the only vertical portion of gw1 is the intro lvls (lvl 1-20). Which are there as a tutorial. After you hit 20 there is a power plateau. You're character doesn't really get much / any stronger after that point. The entire rest of the game revolves around how well you play that character(s) and how smart you are with your builds. There are 1000+ skills in the game to obtain, so there is a ton of customization. lvls 1-20 make up roughly ~10% of the entire game. Possibly even less.

- As for the hall of monuments stuff (the gw2 bonus') most people who know about them have already done them. Most people still playing GW1 are those either unhappy w/ gw2, or just super big fans of the original (or are like yourself and heard about it but never tried).

The only "horizontal" games i have seen so far are fps, mario bros and sonic the hedgehog, et al. I am just not seeing GW1 in that "horizontal" progress category, even while dismissing the actual leveling part.

 Again, no offense, but I think you are confused as to the difference between horizontal and vertical progression. Most FPS games (with the exception of CS:GO) have been vertical progression for years now. They didn't use to be, but have become so as they've been adopting more and more MMO features.

With COD and Battlefield you now 'lvl-up' which gives you access to better and better weapons and perks. Max lvl players do have a power advantage over lower lvl players.

Perhaps if you are confused over the difference within games, ask yourself what most of the gameplay revolves around (lvls? or no?) If you are constantly gaining lvls on your character within a game, you are most likely playing on vertical progression. If the gameplay revolves primarily around gaining more options / tools / customization / flexibility / versatility on your character, you are most likely playing a game that has horiztonal progression.

So far, we are still at semantics.

Answering the rest of your post since my last response was starting to become a wall.

Originally posted by Bladestrom
Gw1 is vertical until you reach level 20 and get the high level gear. It takes a couple months tops to get there - there is 9 years of content. GW1 is well known and recognised as a horizontal progression game, players and dev alike.

It only takes a couple months if you are going through the game at a snail's pace.

Especially if you have access to any of the expansions, it can be done in a day / weekend (depending on if you're limited to prophecies or not).

Originally posted by Enbysra

Zelda = Vertical. I played the first and second and third Zelda's... they were vertical since the first game. Sure, it may have "find" more hps, and defense, and damage output... but nevertheless, it is vertical progression by way of finding items.

Guild Wars 1 is still vertical so far (that is even with dismissing the leveling aspect)... so you put points into skills to build them... same as skill building which again becomes semantics.

A true horizontal MMORPG will have you begin at "end game"... as if you begin at say level 100 as an example, just, they will have no such numeric level shown. Skills would be found (guild wars 1 so far has this skills aspect in part), but not built up through vertical progression as GW1 also has.

Now, once you reach "last level" (level 20?), is there any more skill points to build up skills? If so, it is absolutely still vertical... if not, it was absolutely vertical even getting to that point. What is the progression if not? So far it seems like a good game for it's time like many games (and no, that is not knocking it), but I must wonder if one reason it is as active as it is (guestimating at least 25%+ population in GW1) is to gain GW2 bonuses.

The only "horizontal" games i have seen so far are fps, mario bros and sonic the hedgehog, et al. I am just not seeing GW1 in that "horizontal" progress category, even while dismissing the actual leveling part.

So far, we are still at semantics.

I think you might be misunderstand what makes a game horizontal vs. vertical. Supermario bros isn't really either to be honest. It's a bad example. It would be like saying a golfing game is horizontal. The only real progression in both games is how many levels you beat. That's really it. If you want to use a platformer as an example of horizontal, a better example would be with any of the mega man games. This is because when talking about horizontal vs. vertical you are talking about character progression types, not game progression types. Mario has basically zero character progression, it's all story / lvl progression (in the sense of stages).

With megaman (similar to zelda) you are acquiring new tools to help you with different parts of the game. With megaman you acquire the abilities of the bosses you defeat, which can help when fighting the other bosses.

With zelda you acquire new tools, that can help with boss fights or unlock new areas.

Both games are horizontal because they don't have levels, and the focus is on acquiring more tools, rather than getting stronger. While it's true your health pool gets larger in both games, you're strength gain is somewhat limited. By contrast look at any of the final fantasy games. The differnce between a lvl 1 character and a lvl 99 char is astronomical. You don't just have more abilities, you get significantly more stats, larger health pools / more damage, and take significantly less damage from creatures of lower lvl.

In zelda / megaman you can still get destroyed by those early enemies if you aren't careful / aren't paying attention. It might take them more hits, but it's still very doable. In games like final fantasy you are basically invincible to lower lvl enemies once you've gained enough power.

- As for GW1, it's already been mentioned (in this post) that the only vertical progression in that game is basically in the tutorial / learning process of the game. The max lvl is 20 (which actually does take that long, but if you're finding it slow you can always ask for help). Once you hit lvl 20, there is still 90%+ of the game to do. And you will have but a small fraction of all the available skills in the game.

This is why GW1 is known to be 'horizontal' progression. The early parts may seem vertical, but they are limited, a tutorial. The entire rest of the game you go through by acquiring more tools, and by trying to use them effectively to defeat enemies.

*** I can't stress this enough, but the main difference between horizontal and vertical progression, is that with horizontal you are primarily acquiring tools (new abilties / ways to handle different situations). With vertical you are primarily acquiring power (you are getting significantly stronger, while not necessarily doing anything differently).

Originally posted by Enbysra
Originally posted by Bladestrom
GW1 is an example of an extremely long lasting community that had a game that was based on horizontal progression.

Thank you. I am downloading it right now. It is with a free trial, so I can see for myself. If Guild Wars 1 is in fact of "Horizontal" progression, then you are the first one to actually be able to name one game that is. The last person that I had this "Levels VS Levelless" debate with called me "mentally handicapped" and told me "Monster Hunter" was such proof. A little bit of research showed that claim to be false. Characters still had ranks and the quests themselves had levels... in which case, wrong answer. And if Guild Wars 1 is such a "Horizontal" progression MMORPG, then there is no need to explain it's long standing within the the industry. Although I have never played it or GW2, I have certainly seen and heard of it. Who knows, I might even like their version of a Necromancer 

The problem you'll find w/ the horizontal vs. vertical progression debate is that you have to go back pretty far in time to find an example for horiztonal progression (within the same genre) for most games. MMOs especially have been designed around a skinnerbox model for over a decade now. If you're unfamiliar w/ the term you can google it, but the short version is it's designed based off of a false sense of 'fun', based around a sense of accomplishment triggered & exploited through calculated (and ever decreasing) RNG / odds. The most common example being rare drops in loot tables.

Horizontal progression games don't need to do this, because there is no power scaling (vertical progression = you're character is gaining more and more power as you play the game. horizontal = even lvl of power amongst player, and outcome is largely determined by game knowledge and skill). However, because it matters less with horizontal progression games it also means that developers have to work smarter. If they're game isn't well designed people don't play it. However, a poorly designed vertical progression game will still attract players, because it exploits a primitive part of the human psyche.

- That said, just because there are few examples of MMOs with horiztonal progression does not mean it can't work. It's been shown in other genres that it can. You can also look at some of the earlier SRPGs and see examples of both working (zelda = horizontal, final fantasy = vertical). It just requires less lazy design work.

Originally posted by Hyanmen
Originally posted by Grakulen
I think Square Enix is actually terrified of doing a true HD remake of this for fear of messing it up.

You say fear; I say common sense.

If SE changes anything in the remake there will be a bloodbath. If SE doesn't change anything there will still be a bloodbath. In both scenarios there is only one party to blame: Square-Enix. It would sell like hot cakes, but the backlash would be unprecedented.

Unfortunately only SE seems to understand this simple truth.

FFVII remake should be added as the perfect example to the dictionary under "lose/lose situation".

This ^

This is something most devs seem to understand, and most gamers refuse to believe. While I would absolutely LOVE an HD remake of FF7 I also know the risks involved with doing so.

Artwork isn't generally as simple as just flipping a switch and going 'okay, now it's HD!'. You have to re-do a lot of the textures, the models, etc. And this means that the re-interpretation of such things will inevitabley be different than what each individual imagines in their minds. As a result you will have an unpredictable portion of the community that WILL backlash against the remake.

Maybe someone's favorite monster doesn't look good enough to them. Maybe they hate the way the new aeris looks. Because when you're changing characters made out of hexagonal cubes into things that actually look somewhat real, there are bound to be quite a few differences.

And as they say, the devil is in the details.

Originally posted by delete5230

As it stands, every mmo for the past 5 years are made for no community....yet they tell you to play togeather.  well that's nice when developers are all sitting next to each other in the SAME ROOM !....THEY HAVE THERE HEAD UP THERE BUTT :)

Here's the thing, though. This thread should be named 'how to bring back oldschool MMOs', not 'how to bring back community'.

OP, you're essentially making the same mistake as most gamers when it comes to this topic. You are equating the social aspect of gaming with a feature list, which is a mistake.

If you are truly interested in bringing back community, you really only need 2 things:

1) A fanbase willing to commit to a game and involve others within the same game. (communication, hosting events, etc.)

2) A developer willing to support such a community and put in the time and effort required to nurture one. (host / plug community members, reward community events, interact with your own community, etc.)

That's it.

If mechanics were actually a factor we wouldn't have the largest gaming communities spanned over highly diverse gameplay. Indeed most of the largest gaming communities are not revolved around MMOs. The only exception being with Blizzard. You have huge communities revolving around various MOBAs, Minecraft, TF2, CS:GO, etc. All very different games. All highly instanced (even Minecraft). You also have communities that form around non-game related things. (like music, tv, film, literature, food, etc. etc. etc.).

In short, it's the interaction between people that forms a community. It doesn't matter about the mechanics, or even the topic. All that matters is that they are all interested in the same thing and to bound around that unifying factor. Whether it be the same game, the same genre, the same medium, the same food, the same books, the same viewpoints, w/e.

Unfortunately OP, the type of quests you seem to want don't work for most gamers.

Most people need direction, want to be handheld, and don't want to think when it comes to questing in a video game. The proportion of players who actually do like to figure things out on their own, and put some real thought into their games, is depressingly small.

As such, most studios don't do more open questlines. Heck it's the sole reason GW2 has hearts in the game. They tried doing more open quests, and all their testers went 'but wait.. what do i do? there's no quests!'. I've heard WoW also attempted something similar in WoD, met with similar results.

It's a kind of downward spiral we've created ourselves, that keeps getting reinforced by newer and newer games. Most people can't handle an actual challenge anymore, and so most games have stopped offering one.

Originally posted by Zzad

Should Games Make Political Statements?

Uhmmmm are you saying that including homosexual characters or relationships in a game or history is a political Statement?
I strongly disagree with that. It´s not political...and it´s not an statement, it´s just a reflection of reality.
A political statement would be to deliberately NOT include homosexuals in a history because they think is not good.
In reality homosexuals have existed since EVER. It´s part of nature. Some claim that is not natural,but THAT IS their political or religious vision of what should be correct or not. Not the reality....not what naturaly exists.
So i am a bit confused with this topic.....
Should games stand up for freedom and human rights? That would be a better topic perhaps and the answer would be : YES.

Anything can be a political statement, if it has enough exposure. And homosexuality is very much one of those issues.

Without interjecting my own views on that topic, I will just say this. The decision to include homosexuals within a game in a humane fashion, is just as much of a statement as a decision not to include them. One way shows support (or at the very least acceptance) and the other does not. Those are two conflicting views on the matter.

However, that's not the discussion of this thread. The issue is not whether or not homosexuals are okay. It's whether or not a video game should have the right to express such opinions. My answer would be yes.

Food for thought: This argument also works both ways. If a game has the right to make a pro-statement (in this case on homosexuality), it would also mean that another game may have the right to have a more negative statement on the same issue. How many of us are willing to accept that? Even if we don't agree with the views of any given game.

This is one of my favorite RPGs in recent times.

If this is true (and they don't screw it up) I'm going to be ecstatic! I still think this is one of the most underrated IPs for fantasy RPGs in recent years. So many people have overlooked this game, even though it has some of the best combat I've played in an action RPG (move over Skyrim).

Good news indeed!

Originally posted by dwolfen66
I would like a list of these games today that are better virtual worlds please. The non first gen games I have tried, other then Vanguard have been pale cartoony playgrounds. To me a virtual world has at least some feel of reality to it. Games that are too easy, linear, and cartoony do not make a virtual world.

Better is subjective.

But there are virtual worlds today. Furthermore most of the MMOs of the past weren't actually virtual worlds either. They were a map w/ some monsters sprinkles around. You had games like UO, SWG, Helbreath, Runescape, etc. Some are still around, some aren't.

Today you also have stuff like Eve, Second Life, Perpetuum, Trove, etc. Whether or not they are 'better' really depends on your point of view on the matter. I.E. Do you consider games like Darkfall a virtual world? Or just a FFA sandbox? What is the difference between a virtual world and a sandbox. Etc.

It's easy to label something with a vague idea, and then state that nothing matches it. It's much harder to think about a practical list of criteria with real world examples and compare them to other real life examples.

- It's true that for a while the shift from pure sandboxes was shifted more towards the themepark, but that pendulum is now swinging back the other way. These things tend to happen in cycles. Usually every 20years or so.

Originally posted by eveque67

I personally reject it and avoid games that do it.  If the writers on the staff cant come up with stories or scenarios without injecting their personal spin on any political hot button, they should be let go and more creative minds let into the field.

I play games to remove myself from all the BS that comes with the real world.  When real life problems start infecting my away-time, I find some other place to go.  That includes comics and movies etc.  Im an equal-opportunity avoider. :)

I don't play games to be "educated".  I play for the fun.  There is entirely too much indoctrination in almost every aspect of society.  I will not consume it in my game time.

Name one good story that's been made without the writer's personal spin on it. Whether it's political or not really depends on how much exposure the issue has. All of the great stories of this world, even if not intended to be political, generally get shaped by the creator's personal viewpoints. That's just how they work.

The only way around that is to actually make something unoriginal, following some established formula, and ignoring your own personal viewpoints.

It depends entirely on the intent of the game.

If a game is being made to tell a story, or be expressed as a form of art, then absolutely. The best stories tend to involve contested topics & subject matter. They make us question the 'truths' we've been told all our lives. They raise awareness, just like so many films, writings, and music have done.

However, such topics can often be misused and trivialized by companies chasing a few extra bucks. I'm not okay with this, though it doesn't change the first amendment / people's right to express themselves. Whether it be through a video game or otherwise.

Originally posted by Spankster77
Originally posted by ButeoRegalis

Everyone assumes that since WoW still has millions of people if not playing at least paying that Blizz must have done something right, which of course was to harvest the popular parts of previous games and stitch them together into the homunculus that is WoW. They further assume Blizz is continuing to do the right thing though really, WoW is still doing the same thing, grabbing popular chunks from other games and is otherwise just riding on inertia and.., wait for it: nostalgia. People have their level 9,000 orange paladins that they worked on for a decade now, that they do not want to abandon, and maybe, just maybe this new expac will bring back the feeling everyone had during the first few months of vanilla WoW.

Games that do innovate may strike gold in one or two facets, though if the rest of the game doesn't hold up to it, they are still labelled as "WoW clones" by the hordes. Once the next release cycle for WoW rolls around, Blizz will incorporate the shiny new pieces they heard everyone likes, and henceforth it will be known that WoW did feature X first and last and always and everyone else is just a clone.

Why should companies invest in new ideas when this is not rewarded by the players? Why should Blizz stop phoning it in when people still throw money at them for it?

The point that you are missing is that once WoW decides to adopt a feature, they do it right.  For example housing, if you look at the Garrison feature it is huge and robust and game all within itself.  This is also one of the reasons that FFXIV is largely successful, they do what they do well.

The issue with most other games is they 1/2 ass features that they implement.  Look at the arena in AA or BGs in Wildstar, they are atrocious.  If you are going to create or add a feature it has to be implemented correctly or it drives people away. 

What you're overlooking is that the reason Blizzard is able to do this so well, is because they don't need to do the trial and error required to come up with an original idea.

Almost all of their efforts can go into polishing and implementation. They don't need to worry about whether or not something works, because it's already been done before.

It makes good business sense, but is a horrible model if you are looking for new ideas within a genre. It's one of the reasons why Blizzard is now dipping into other genres. They've cherry picked most of the good ideas within MMORPGs that they can put into their own game. The other areas that we've seen innovation have been in other forms of MMOs (shooters, sci-fi, sports, etc.).

Now they're dipping into the worlds of CCGs, shooters, and MOBAs, where there is a plethora of ideas to steal. And thanks to their loyal fanbase and established IPs, they can actually get away with doing so.

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