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MMO's and the need for Change

When will developers realise we are bored of orcs, elves, and being let down by crap products?

Author: Radox

Why MMO's are failing

Posted by Radox Saturday September 20 2008 at 7:40AM
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There are alot of bad reviews for warhammer since its release. I think another case of unfinished, not very well considered. From what i can see is they tried to make it alot like WoW, but when you do that if you dont make it at least AS GOOD, then it will be labelled as insuperior from the outset and from all reports it isn't AS GOOD. Because they developed it so close to wow, people are comparing apples to apples, and of course its going to fail as a new release vs. a 3yr mature product.


If they had developed something different it wouldnt be such an easy comparison and may have got away with it for a while (ala AOC). The challeng is out there for developers to dare to be different, well I think the Warhammer mob fell into the trap of daring to be the same but didnt match what they were trying to immitate.


Its another example of why these wankers should be looking at different genres. If its true they spent 8 yrs developing a WoW clone in Warhammer, then the whole project has been a waste of 8yrs and they've just buried themselves in 2 days. Totally wasted effort and of course the consumer now has to wait another 8 yrs for this developer to learn from their mistakes before we see another product. The sad thing is after all the money and time they have invested in this product they will not give up on it until they have zero player base at which point it will be put on the pile of failed MMOs because they not only dared to be the same but even with a production blueprint of WoW out there, they couldnt even match it.


How many failed MMOs will it take before developers realise the only chance they have is to try another genre??


How many millions of dollars will it take, before they realise the fantasy MMO market is tied up with a product that many are tired of, but nobody can match??


I stopped playing WoW after 3.5yrs, i'm not a blizzard fanbois, i'm simply a gamer that wants a quality product to play that doesnt have orcs and elves and is immersive, persistent, and makes me want to play 12+hrs per day like WoW did way back when. Many are bored of WoW, and with the new expansion coming out its going to be the same stuff over and over. To their credit, blizzard are milking it for every inch, but the reality is we are bored and many still play WoW because there is nothing better out there.


Give us something different FFS, and take your time. Dont compete with WoW, push into a genre as a pioneer MMO but it has to be QUALITY on a GOOD ENGINE. (crytek, scimitar, unreal3).


There are enough examples out there of good ideas gone wrong. Surely developers have some awareness of their own industry to figure where other companies went wrong and where they can learn from those mistakes. The biggest failures have been AOC and now i suppose Warhammer - the common denominator is they both tried to take on WoW in the fantasy genre, and with epic marketing they raised everyones expectations to hysterical levels and then let everyone down in their delivery. Not so good for their reputation either. Gamers have long memories. Look at SOE's rep with regard to SWG for an example.


Ok so whats on the horizon thats got me mildly excited? Rumours of KOTR 3 MMO for one. The Agency (to fill in time, great idea but marketed to kids given the cartoon engine), Huxley (maybe).


In my research of facts for this blog, i found this blog from a fellow gamer with the same opinion - worth reading and probably better written than mine. The message is out there - a billion dollars later they might take notice.

NotArkard writes:

I think someone spent too much time reading reviews and not trying the game.

Sat Sep 20 2008 7:58AM Report
Logansan writes: Yep, the only thing WAR has simlair to WOW is the fantasy theme, and even there it's still farily different. Don't belive half the things you see in reviews (be they good or bad). Sat Sep 20 2008 8:21AM Report
samuraislyr writes:

WoW and WAR are different yet the same in really only one area. The PVE. PVE in WAR so far is very very boring and typical. Nothing new there except maybe a few quests....PQ's are sort of interesting the first time...but really are just sort of a rep grind in disquise. Quests like shooting from a cannon or ballista are neat but considering the mobs you are aiming for don't move, it's rather easy and just a waste of time as you wait for reloads.

The PVP is awesome, some of the best and easy PVP to get into to. Way better than WoW's. Still I agree. I haven't seen any bad reviews, haven't seen any reviews period yet but I do expect some baddish ones and some good ones.

I don't think WAR will get bad reviews because it tried to be WOW and failed. I think it wil lget bad reviews because WOW is old, everyone is tired of WOW. No one wants to play WOW again. I know I don't. I want something new.

Sat Sep 20 2008 8:44AM Report
Drisdane writes:

I'm not sure if they tried to BE WoW, but it sure as hell felt like I was playing one big condensed version of a WoW BG while I was in WAR.

Sat Sep 20 2008 11:06AM Report
Myrdek writes:

I doubt War will fail... it is possible because the Wow expansion is coming very soon but still unlikely. You have to admire Blizzards marketing skills to put that announcement right Before the launch of Warhammer :)      That must have been a serious blow

I do agree that War isn't ready for mass consumption yet, only for the "true fans", but from what I've seen of Mythic they do know what to prioritize. I really hope they get at least 500k subs for a while so they can make this game into what it could be

Sat Sep 20 2008 11:08AM Report
rollan writes:

i dont like the fact there subz cost the same as wowz... so i dont get to play the game for another week or two while i save up ...

Sat Sep 20 2008 12:05PM Report
sunlion69 writes:

War allows for RvR to be more approachable to a larger audience. I think the PvE aspect is pretty poor. Whether or not the PvE is typical I can't compare it to WoW as I have had very limited exposure to in watched somebody play a few minutes. If WoW PvE is like that I can't understand how anyone could play it more than an hour.

The thing that is good about the War game is RvR/PvP. That is what it is about. If that is your thing, it is something new.

I too am hoping for a shift in genre from the high fantasy settings...or in the case of AoC low fantasy. I was however your saying that AoC was different than your very basic PvE MMO and saying that War is just the same. AoC was no different to me. War is RvR...PvE in War, however, seems to be an afterthought for the masochists who like the feeling of their brain shrinking.

Sat Sep 20 2008 12:52PM Report
ZeppelinJ0 writes:

Only reason I wound up not subscribing is because I was in beta for 5 months and it really did feel like I was playing World of Warcraft all over again.


Could be the fact that I was Witch Hunter and they kept mislabelling "Accusations" as "Combo Points" in the action description but still for the most part they definitely were playing on the fact that people were getting worn out on WoW and hoping to find something different.

Sat Sep 20 2008 1:06PM Report
linadragon writes:

i think the overall problem is that WoW was a well rounded product pvp was decent pve was decent etc..... WaR PVP / RVR is good but then they fall lakcluster on the PVE which is ok to a degree but at the same time limits your demographic signifigantly if that is the boring thing because not everyone likes pvp or rvr....  Then again your dealing with EA / Mythic here and their online experience hasnt been grand... 

Time will tell with WaR.... WoW had a rocky start to but we'll see... Im a fan of the tabletop game but im not a big PVP / RVR nut so WaR may not be grand for me... People assume the fantasy Genre is a WoW rip off.... D&D and Warhammer did Fantasy long before WoW ever came about.... the entire Warcraft world is rudamenterally based off of Warhammers lore/ fantasy lore in the fist place (blizzard tried to aquire that IP from them but we wont go into that.)

Both are solid games i'd say but WAR may not be balanced enough in terms of overall gameplay value. PVP/RVR can get boring if that is all there is to do...

Sat Sep 20 2008 1:35PM Report
Mercscythe writes:

I have to agree with the Radox.  I'm tired of the fantasy setting.  People tired of WoW aren't going to go to WAR simply because it is far too similar.  I want a MMO set in a sci-fi setting with sandbox like qualities.  Something similar to SWG pre-CU/NGE or even an MMO set in a post nuclear holocaust similar to the Fallout series.  The problem seems to be that his isn't part of the WoW formula, so no development team is going for it.

Hell, my brother and I have been talking about an MMO set in the late 1800s in the wild west as we both think that could be a pretty neat setting.  Very unlikely that anyone is going to try that anytime soon, though, unless Disney comes out with a Wild West Pirates of the Caribbean.  Maybe after 5-7 years developers will get out of the WoW formula mindset and start innovating again.

Sat Sep 20 2008 2:24PM Report
Radox writes:

You see Myrdek, this is the sort of thinking from both sides of the fence that is killing MMO's.

"I really hope they get at least 500k subs for a while so they can make this game into what it could be"

They push out unfinished and under-tested games to grab some quick cash while they figure out what to patch first. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it and i am sure i am not alone.

I dont expect games to be perfect, but I expect them to be pretty close.  There is no other industry on earth that you would pay for a product and have it not work, or not live up to your expectations then sitback and wait for them to fix it at their own pace, with their own list of priorities and still with no guarantee they'll fix anything at all. Yet in gaming we do - we bend over and take it deep and fast. Devs know this, so they are willing to release their products before they are cleaned up.

AoC was the best example - they created the first 20 levels near perfect so they would get good reviews, then the rest of the game was absolute shite and imbalanced.  Their memory leaks were worldclass - and to have memory leaks in a product that has been load tested and beta tested (apparently to death), is a real jawdropper for me. Amatuer hour programming at its best.

Seriously how many games have you guys played after release and shook your heads at some of the in-your-face bugs that should have been addressed during beta? But not just bugs either - class/faction imbalances, game mechanics, rvr/pve/pvp systems.

Look once again at AoC. They had 3gb of patches ready for download before the release CD hit the shelves. People installed the game and sat their for inordinate amounts of time downloading patches through an inferior interface that disconnected you randomly and no option of external downloads. I mean these guys had some MAJOR fixes already worked out during the distribution phase of their released product. They KNEW it wasnt finished, 3gb of patches before people could buy the game is criminal. Who are they kidding?

When they do the post mortem, do they all rock back in their boardroom chairs and ask  "Gee guys, where did we go wrong?" 

Are they retarded, or are gamers too tolerant? I'd suggest both.





Sat Sep 20 2008 2:45PM Report
UncertaintyP writes:

It's hard to try the game with no free trial, the only option is reviews.

Sat Sep 20 2008 3:22PM Report
Anofalye writes:

The angry answers of some peoples to your comments is quite interesting in themselves.  You "attack" their beloved, so they counter.


Can't be any more simple than that.  On a website which is, in theory, supposed to be dedicated on MMOs, this attitude is kinda un-constructive.


I don't like WAR for completely different reasons, and we could start arguing, but I guess it would be lost on the crowd here.  For example, you ask for difference (non-fantasy), while me, I would want more of it, but refined to better fit my tastes...

Sat Sep 20 2008 3:24PM Report
Tokken writes:

I think your point is RIGHT ON,  I am so sick of the same thing in MMO's.  Can't someone create a game that is more innovative?  I was expecting alot more from WAR but it is the same old thing.  It's a fresh game but the content and innovation is the same as other mmo's.  I have played mmo's for over 10 years and now I am going to the single player games b/c there is nothing exciting or new in MMO's.

Sat Sep 20 2008 4:11PM Report
Balkin31 writes:

Sadly it's true so called modern day MMO's are not so modern and truely not so fun. Some have great Graphics while others have great gameplay but NONE have both. (please don't mention Darkfall)

MMO's have become a boring past time and I look forward to more single player games in the future.

Yes I suffer from MMO burnout thats true but I still think MMO's have a long way to go to get back to the glory days!




Sat Sep 20 2008 6:16PM Report
Myrdek writes:

Radox, I agree with what you said to my post. I did not buy the game and I won't pay for an unfinished product either. Since we vote with our money then I voted to release finished products :)

Sat Sep 20 2008 7:09PM Report
Radox writes:

Yeh cool man, you sparked me off on another bug bear i have about the industry, thats all lol :)

Sat Sep 20 2008 7:18PM Report
cosimusta writes:

I'm sick of the genre arguement.

Stargate Worlds


Anarchy Online

Eve Online

Tabula Rasa

Matrix Online


Saga of Ryzom

The Agency

Pirates of the Burning Sea

Just to name a few....

The majority of MMOs out there are fantasy, I know, but do you see(foresee) any of the above titles solving the MMO-stagnation problem?

Eve online is one of the more successful of those titles.  It's Sci-Fi, but the game play is very different and fairly unique.  I could take WoW and put it in a sci-fi setting and call it World of Starcraft, and it's going to play like WoW a hell of a lot more than like Eve.


Innovative features is the problem, not genre.

Sat Sep 20 2008 8:41PM Report
ZeppelinJ0 writes:

 Sadly what's going to happen is publishers aren't willing to put their money in to a game unless it gets subscription numbers, and the game with the most subscription numbers is WoW and to get those kind of numbers you have to play of their successes which boils down to making a clone for the most part.

Mythic made DAoC, best game I've ever played, they were an independent developer at the time that truly cared about gameplay.

Now it's EAMythic, and even Marc Jacobs is constantly comparing his game to WoW even in interviews.  I'm really looking forward to Jumpgate Evolution.

EVE was awesome for awhile and I really hope somebody makes a play for that style of game and maybe ups the action factor up a bit :)

Sat Sep 20 2008 11:10PM Report
Tron420 writes:

cosimusta has a great point there. Some of those games on the list are a lot of fun. the OP should try TR.

ZeppelinJO has a good point too with the whole publisher thing. I am going to expand on that.

A lot of gamers fail to understand the business side of things. MMOs require a HUGE amount of capitol to release. Not only do you need the actual game, you need the network and support staff to go along with it. With the massive development times the developer has to make a call to release to get funds rolling in order to maintain fiscal solvency.

Another thing that some gamers fail to realize is that these new games ARE innovative. Innovating doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. You take a current idea that works and put a new twist on it. Thats what Blizzard did. They took a bunch of concepts that worked really well in other games (ie waypoints from Diablo, raids from EQ, etc.) and put them together to form a money making machine. They didn't do anything earth shattering, they just innovated.

WAR is innovative with level progression via RVR, PQs and other features.

AOC is innovative with their combat system and other stuff (sorry blond moment here)

Its just a matter of time until one of these companies comes up with an innovative idea that works REALLY well. One of the underlying issues is that it is hard to test an idea out on an ecosystem that has a critical mass of 2000 concurrent players.

To address the comment about releasing an unfinished MMO: 1) when was an MMO ever released "finished." Its impossible to accurately anticipate every little technical issue that will come up when you toss 50000 players at a game/network; 2) when is an MMO ever "finished"?

a comment about MMOs in general: MMO enthusiasts should feel obligated to buy a copy of the big name MMOs. The more MMOs that fail to recover the money invested, the less appealing the MMO market will look to other developers. MMO Developers truly want to make a game that everyone will love. It’s not like they set out to suck. If you can buy an MMO and get a couple months of game play out of it, then you probably got your $50 worth. If MMO gamers don’t fork out the cash, companies won’t be compelled to make the e-crack that gamers crave.


Sat Sep 20 2008 11:56PM Report
Dreign writes:

Darkfall. Get over the fantasy setting, that's not the issue.

Sun Sep 21 2008 1:02AM Report
JonC88 writes:

From my perspective, MMORPG's are less about settings than they are about immersive play.  Immersive play is created from graphics, story arcs that draw the players in, an intuitive or modifiable interface of controls, ability to level your toon to suit your play style and a mix of questing and crafting to keep play unboring.

It goes without saying that the game should be polished and "finished" to a certain extent before it rolls out from Beta.  As a player, I do not want to see the server, that my toons are on, go down for maintenance.  The less frequently that happens, the better.  Also, grinding should be downplayed.  Granted a game is monthly fees but when grinding is too evident, it ruins the fun of the game.  People pay fees to play fun games not to play time sinks.

I think what is called for is to make a MMORPG that is unique from the rest.  Where that unique-ness takes place need not be the setting but can be something else.

Sun Sep 21 2008 6:57AM Report
SteamRanger writes:

I bought a Collector's version because I love the Warhammer IP, not because the game is particularly good or I approve of what Mythic has put together. The truth told, there's little chance I'll suscribe past the initial 30 days. EA Games unfortunately took Mark Jacobs at his word that he knew what he was doing. What he produced was pretty much a revised version of Dark Age of Camelot with a different cover and considerably less player options.

The rabid supporters, many of whose loyalty was bought with a Closed Beta key (everyone wants to be elite!), will start disappearing before the month is out. The luster soon wears off when you have to start paying.

Sun Sep 21 2008 8:19AM Report
Sylar3 writes:

 The PvP is not "revolutionary" it was in DOAC so even the PVP is copying from someone. 

I totally agree with the blog, though i see some MMOS coming out that might be a little bit different. Might ot sell as well as WoW or WAR but at least its giving new ideas.

Jumpgate Evolution is one, and maybe Star Trek Online. 

But as long as people "buy" the WoW games then nothing will change, the developers won't make these revolutionary MMOs because they know they might flop. o what do they do?

Yeah they make a WoW clone which they know will sell a bit. 




Sun Sep 21 2008 12:47PM Report
Bigtim writes:

What is wrong with MMORPG and why do they fail??

I am not an mmorpg fanboi. I played Eve long after release and would have stuck with it but their servers are in the UK. I am not and the gameplay is highly ping dependant. So even on high speed a  total fail for a 'global' game. If I was in the UK I might still because the economy was really nice.

Wow served me for a few years. I am into graphics and art and the production design is second to none. Their consistancy in a stylised world maintained immersion and the game almost always felt like a quality product. Add to this a good trading system (unlike AOC!) and the game could fool most players for a LOOONG time. Of course Blizzard are whores, and their 'expansions'  only added slightly less content to the game than was made redundant. Wow only confirmed to me that players are for the most part idiot consumers.

So what could be improved from a player perspective?

How about fun, real pick up and play fun from level 1. Not just for twinked players and newbies. But anyone. I bet if they made a Mario online it wouldn't take 60, 70 or 80 levels of monotonous grinding killing near stationary creatures arbitrarily placed for quest-convenience (see AOC - groan...) to start having a blast!

Remove this grinding, this do-the-boring-bollocks-for-more-green-bar-action short cut. It's a crutch for poor game design to create artificial goals like rep and faction. They make the bar visible because if you couldn't see the *carrot* you would get disheartened and say TO HELL WITH THIS. Then just addigng more rep/faction and making the old ones redundant. This isn't progressign it's repetition.

Make PVP fun and worth playing for it's ownsake. I don't play COD4 to grind my little bar up and get a different gun. It's a bonus. No one played CS for their little rep bar to get them a pair of epic gloves of the ultimate gheyness....



Cos really who/what else is going to do it...?

Sun Sep 21 2008 8:12PM Report
Lexin writes:

I agree i am tired of all these Devs trying to put out the same exact game and it is really getting to the point that MMO's will just stop comming out due to this fact. The only MMO i have played and enjoyed throughout the time i played was FFXI.

I played WoW for about 3-4 years now and now i wish i had never gotten pressured into playing it by my brother i had a blast when i played FFXI and WoW was fun up untill they decided to changed the entire game i loved with Burning Crusades. So as of a few weeks ago i quit WoW and right now considering going back to playing FFXI.

Sun Sep 21 2008 9:58PM Report
Mercscythe writes:

Setting is important, though.  It is the first thing that catches many peoples' eye.  Many people have certain preferences, such as fantasy or sci-fi.  Gameplay and mechanics are a huge deciding factor but it is the setting that usually determines immersion.  The real problem now is the games using the fantasy setting and WoW like play.  I don't mean quests or the UI, but the linear nature and "hand holding" many games are using.  I think what MMOs are lacking today is depth, true depth. 

What is also key to the current stagnation is the lack of doing anything extremely different, which goes in part with what I said earlier.  Everyone has stopped trying to do things different mechanically and are just sticking to a mold.  AoC conceptually was sound and in a way, innovative, but its exectution was horrid.  The MMO genre use to be a market of innovation in gaming.  Now games like COD4 are more innovative in their respective genres than current MMOs.  Taking things in the past and adding them to your game is not innovative, nor is polishing past features.  Creating new mechanics and features is what is innovative.  Strapping some chrome to the wheel looks nice, but it is neither innovative or significant to the wheels function.

Thu Sep 25 2008 2:23PM Report writes:
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