The Secret of WoW

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The Secret of WoW

Here's a sure-fire recipe for creating a WoW-killer.

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Is the secret to feed WoW players double bacon cheezeburgers until they die from lack of excersize and cholesterol?

Shamus, you forgot Mailboxes. Mailboxes to dance on.

Sorry, but I don't think "Customization" equals "run build XXX or get YYY skills on your bar or you won't get to a raid group".

Great read, unfortunately I think the soonest WoW killer will be Blizzard's next MMO.

CantFaketheFunk:
Shamus, you forgot Mailboxes. Mailboxes to dance on.

Indeed, I think any MMO with the commands /dance001 - /dance999 will have a good chance of becoming a WoW killer.

And the semi-naked female characters.

Summed up the main features rather well. It's the balance and the mix of all these that add up to the overall quality, though it'll need enough strength in them to make the cut too.

Game designs can be really rather complex, mmo's especially because you need to hold the players interest in the long term and not just for 20 hours after they buy it.

StarStruckStrumpets:

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Great read, unfortunately I think the soonest WoW killer will be Blizzard's next MMO.

CantFaketheFunk:
Shamus, you forgot Mailboxes. Mailboxes to dance on.

Indeed, I think any MMO with the commands /dance001 - /dance999 will have a good chance of becoming a WoW killer.

Quite right, quite right...we all love to dance.

...A DDR MMO will be the next wow killer :o

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Great read, unfortunately I think the soonest WoW killer will be Blizzard's next MMO.

CantFaketheFunk:
Shamus, you forgot Mailboxes. Mailboxes to dance on.

Indeed, I think any MMO with the commands /dance001 - /dance999 will have a good chance of becoming a WoW killer.

Quite right, quite right...we all love to dance.

CantFaketheFunk:
Shamus, you forgot Mailboxes. Mailboxes to dance on.

Mailboxes to dance on naked. You can't forget that.

Abedeus:
Sorry, but I don't think "Customization" equals "run build XXX or get YYY skills on your bar or you won't get to a raid group".

There will always be min-max builds. But, say, in my current raid guild, we have Druids of all three specs - Feral, Balance, Resto - filling raid roles, and even within them, specced to do things. My Resto build is for raid healing, one of my guildies' is focused on main tank healing, etc. It's nowhere near as cut and dry as it was back in Classic where it was "Ok, Druids go Resto to innervate the Priests who are all Holy."

good general points. I think the bug one is particularly important. 6-7years ago you could get away with releasing ur game with bugs, because the competition wasnt there. Now it is, & if your game isnt playable, you wont get the benefit of the doubt anymore.

Most important, to me at least, is that when considering who your subscribers will be, its not a recipe for longterm success to say "existing WoW players." MMOs require alot of investment in time, energy, & money. People can spend years developing their characters; & hedging your games profitability on convincing a large number of people to permanently migrate from one MMO to another is not smart.

Indeed, creating the "next WoW" itself is a poor basis to build an MMO on. If people want to play WoW, they'll play WoW. A successful MMO needs to offer what makes an MMO good (which you listed), but when given the choice between WoW & WoWclone, most will go with WoW.

With all due respect and acknowledging that you've laid out exactly what WoW does right and what makes it fun, your article sounds more like a strategy for failure rather than success. Someone who comes into Blizzard's territory with a plan to make a game that is "just like WoW, but better" is going to be fighting a losing battle from day 1, because Blizzard's head start is going to be too much. Consumers looking at the WoW vs. this hypothetical RPG are going to notice that WoW has a larger player base, more content, and is priced to move.

Of course, what I'm saying is that you've actually described how to make a WoW killer, but the foundation of the strategy, attempting to take Blizzard's subscriber base, is unstable and likely to collapse into a big money sink.

Forgot a piggy bank bigger than Blizzards.

All good points, but that still didnt keep me from getting bored with it.

When it comes down to it I would rather just pay out a one time fee for a different game each time than a continual fee for a game that does not change(or changes very little) over years and years.

But MMOs are obviously not my style so take that opinion with an ocean's full of salt.

shamus... only level 40? and a hunter?

oh well, you apparently have better things to do.

You made a decent list of the things that WoW does right, but you missed a big one (probably because you reached level 40), but Raiding is a huge part of why WoW works. When they do something right, it clicks, and is wonderful. The feeling of accomplishment in first completing a raid is unlike anything in the world of gaming. It used to be a luxury thing, getting into a raid group, back in the early days of WoW, but it's a common thing at high level play these days to get into a raid. Raiding is an accessible, and still challenging gameplay device that is pivotal to WoW's success.

Also, Wow's complete embrace of the Achievement system has lead to another layer of "things to do". Sure, you could always kill Booty Bay goblins to get your red pirate's hat... but now, you get an achievement, and the title Bloodsail Admiral. More people might consider doing that for the title, and the achievement points, then those who thought before that making the goblins hate your guts wasn't worth a red pirate hat. Add achievements to raids, and World First achievements, and you have yourself an addictive spiral of success and Win.

Like someone above said though, if a game were to try to do everything that WoW does, but better, they will ultimately fail. It's best for them to try something new, take some queues from WoW, but try to innovate. They'll probably fail at that too, and in the end, if it's good, WoW will steal it, but you might find enough success to make it worth your while.

Another thing to do is go an entirely different route - changing the setting of a WoW clone can entirely change the game, and make success a possibility. Having it based in the real world, or in a futuristic setting, or something even crazier will work better then another fantasy roleplaying game - you can't beat WoW at the MMO race with a fantasy RPG. Not right now.

How about not having the same enemies you see at level 1 you see at level 70 just a different color?

I love your articles, as well as your website.
Keep them coming.
BTW. Please try to update the stories of your previous DnD sessions in your website, I really liked the ones I found but never got to read newer ones, and certainly nothing after 4e got here.

You'll never crush WoW in terms of popularity even if you do destroy it in general terms of gameplay and balance (for the latter not exactly difficult just don't have Paladin-esque "I pwn all" classes for idiots). People will just go with the devil they know.

Covhunter:
You'll never crush WoW in terms of popularity even if you do destroy it in general terms of gameplay and balance (for the latter not exactly difficult just don't have Paladin-esque "I pwn all" classes for idiots). People will just go with the devil they know.

The makers of Ultima Online beg to differ.

Covhunter:
You'll never crush WoW in terms of popularity even if you do destroy it in general terms of gameplay and balance (for the latter not exactly difficult just don't have Paladin-esque "I pwn all" classes for idiots). People will just go with the devil they know.

WoW is, on the whole, relatively well balanced given the number of class/specs. Yes, there are imbalances, but compared to other MMOs? It's actually fairly even.

Quote:
Now, mostly these posts are from basic internet-level malcontents and trolls, or people who can't grasp the idea of different people having different personal tastes. But I want to take the question seriously for a minute, partly so that you can just drop a link to this article the next time one of those threads appears.

Roger, Wilco. I hereby dub this article... Sir Trollflak: Bane of Unnecessary Hatred.

I think letting people do what the game lets them will attract more people. Knowing that you won't get banned unless you are actually hacking, as opposed to just knowing what the game lets you do, will attract more people, but that's just me.

The first thing I have to note is that 10 million players is wrong. It is 12 million. Secondly, half of them are asia subscribers who do not pay 15$ a month, they pay per hour. The North American region and EU are the ones who pay by subscription.

Huh? Basically, all your tips on "How to beat WoW?" was become more like WoW. Better yet, be WoW. That wasn't really clever. In every point you make in this little article, you cite how WoW does that particular thing best, and that new imaginery MMO should do the same. Making an MMO just like WoW will defeat the purpose...

I think We need to take a brake from the MMO scene a little. Every single MMO tried to innovate the shit out of the market and the concept, and they all failed misearbly, except WoW, of course, and the falling crap brought down the ones that had a chance, like RF Online.

Yea, maybe I'm jealous and bitter about RF Online going out and WoW still going strong, but I'm not really an MMO player myself. I don't like paying to have a second job.

I was sold as soon as you got to Exploration, Gathering, and Crafting.

As someone who has organized personal expeditions into areas higher than my level to prospect for the mithril and moonstones I need to build my latest rifle, I daresay that's the trifecta of my attachment to the game.

Playbahnosh:
Huh? Basically, all your tips on "How to beat WoW?" was become more like WoW. Better yet, be WoW. That wasn't really clever. In every point you make in this little article, you cite how WoW does that particular thing best, and that new imaginery MMO should do the same. Making an MMO just like WoW will defeat the purpose...

The point was that to beat WoW, you have to do what it does, not the same, but better.

I think immersion definitely counts for something. WoW nailed creating the game world. The previous warcraft games gave great backstory, and they did all of that justice by creating a game world that looks good, if not realistic. I think thats where a lot of other games go wrong. They try to look realistic and full-fantasy, but can't really achieve that for practicality's sake, and it all looks cruddy. And when you consider the number of people, roleplayers or not, who somehow or another become involved in the actual story of the game, its a testament to how many people truly enjoy the game.

I think that no game will ever actually beat WoW at its own game, and devs should instead focus on creating new types of MMOs. I personally want to see a new Planetside-like MMOFPS, and I hope it doesn't solely from SOE.

How long do you think people will keep playing WoW? 10 years? 15 years? 20 years? 30 years? Can you imagine a scenario which would kill the cash cow that is WoW?

Cpt_Oblivious:

CantFaketheFunk:
Shamus, you forgot Mailboxes. Mailboxes to dance on.

Mailboxes to dance on naked. You can't forget that.

Female toons especially. Though male ones can play this up for laughs, from time to time.

At least someone understands how WoW works.

Even with all of those good things, I would say WoW is too simple and easy for me. EvE Online on the other hand is probably one of the most challenging MMOs I've ever played. I could spend hours just figuring out new ship designs, and strategies for killing other people.

*golf clap*

I even put the page on my favorites list. :3

TikiShades:
*golf clap*

I even put the page on my favorites list. :3

Oh good. Now I don't feel like the odd one out.

That was a fantastic article.

Any attempts to make a Wow-killer are doomed to fail. To capture the audience your mmo has to be like wow, too different and people won't switch over, but if you make it too similar people will just keep playing wow.

MMO devs need to look more at Eve (and I guess Lotro) when designing a mmo. Niche markets, focus on making certain aspects really really good, ie player freedom for Eve and story for Lotro.

Shamus Young:
People dismiss MMO games as "grinding" or a "leveling treadmill," but the really successful games are more like a health club with a broad selection of exercise machines than a single treadmill. Yes, there is a lot of repetition, but you can jump from one (repetitious) activity to another to keep things interesting.

I love that quote, Shamus, may I put it on my website?

But I want to take the question seriously for a minute, partly so that you can just drop a link to this article the next time one of those threads appears

I liked this clever bit of an article writer's version of breaking the fourth wall.

Anyway, the reason WoW is so popular is simply this: Blizzard is (despite what you might read from trolls or pissy players who's classes just got nerfed) a phenomenal development company. They know what they're doing, and they release very well-made games. Combine this with a genre that's fairly addicting in and of itself, and it's no question why WoW is so popular.

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