The Secret of WoW

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT
 

dochmbi:
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?

An epidemic that targets gen y?

EDIT: Yeah, I know most gens play it, but not in the numbers of y.

http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/7638/thisiswhywowsucksms3.png

I played for a long time. I am an anti-raider. This is because back when the best thing going was MC, dicking around for hours at a time with 40 people who had purple fever, wasn't fun. Being forced to spec to go on raids - wasn't fun. I don't play a game to listen to whingy children (or grown men/women for that matter) who've never held a job bitch over vent about wiping repeatedly.

For a long time, even during the latter stages of BC, raiding and raiders just reeked of elitism to me. And now with the achievement system, Guilds can judge someone before even speaking with them.

Yeah I know, friends have told me raids are easier now, blah blah blah.

I was in it for the fun, not for stroking my ego at a bank/mailbox with my shiny dragon mount or whatever and spitting on others.

And a game that rewards raiders more easily than pvpers is biased imo, although if you're reading this and salivating with barely controlled rage I imagine you can disagree with me 'til the end of time. Or even WoW.

There's no secret to WoW - Blizzard just did their research. They studied or employed people who understood the minutae of addiction, in all it's varied forms, and applied those lessons as best as possible without going so far as to be blatently obvious.

Interesting... I'm beginning to wonder if I should try WoW now before Blizzard get their new MMO out...I'm somewhat worried about addiction to it, but I think I can avoid that.

I love the term "WoW killer"
Why would we want something so beautiful to die? :[

All those are minor (yet still important), the first big bang that made WoW so popular with real gamers is...

http://syncaine.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/storms-tourist-and-failure-the-mmo-market/

The conditions were prefect for Blizzard, Everquest was far to dated and Everquest 2 completely failed, as well as fans from FPS and WC3 going to WoW.

Anoctris:
http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/7638/thisiswhywowsucksms3.png

I played for a long time. I am an anti-raider. This is because back when the best thing going was MC, dicking around for hours at a time with 40 people who had purple fever, wasn't fun. Being forced to spec to go on raids - wasn't fun. I don't play a game to listen to whingy children (or grown men/women for that matter) who've never held a job bitch over vent about wiping repeatedly.

For a long time, even during the latter stages of BC, raiding and raiders just reeked of elitism to me. And now with the achievement system, Guilds can judge someone before even speaking with them.

Yeah I know, friends have told me raids are easier now, blah blah blah.

I was in it for the fun, not for stroking my ego at a bank/mailbox with my shiny dragon mount or whatever and spitting on others.

And a game that rewards raiders more easily than pvpers is biased imo, although if you're reading this and salivating with barely controlled rage I imagine you can disagree with me 'til the end of time. Or even WoW.

There's no secret to WoW - Blizzard just did their research. They studied or employed people who understood the minutae of addiction, in all it's varied forms, and applied those lessons as best as possible without going so far as to be blatently obvious.

That picture is the biggest load of BS ever.

Firstly, Tigole left Everquest and hated it because of all the bugs.

Not only that, but he started working on WoW so he could make a MMORPG more accessible to more gamers, not to make the game harder.

If you knew ANYTHING about everquest you'd know that it was much more grindy and long then even vanilla WoW was.

So the simple fact that you know nothing about raiding just proves that you have no right to cry about how bad it is.

That's not to say Tigole isn't a hardcore raider, of course he is, probably one reason why he's working on Blizzard's new game, but to say he tried to make it harder then Everquest is just ignorant and moronic.

And the racism in that picture is just pathetic, the country of my background protected Jews at the risk of their own lives, so how dare you put a picture you little Nazi. My relatives didn't risk their lives so morons like you can post pictures like that.

Either way, WoW = PVE game, Raiders were the best in PVP in vanilla because it was PVP in a PVE game, PVP was there so you could use the tools you got in PVE.

Again, if Blizzard really wanted to suck hours out, why have they turned casual? Your argument makes ZERO sense considering the ACTUAL facts. Just piss off racist.

There is no secret to WoW. Other developers are simply full of fail and cannot duplicate anything without trying to "spice" it up and failing the whole way.

The secret to killing WoW is to provide the two things they provide but better; Camaraderie and a Sense of accomplishment. It's nothing more than that.

Nobody has created a game that has provided better so as to draw away WoW's membership.

If you look at any succesful MMO today you will find them providing these two attributes and keeping their subscribers. Can't provide it? You lose.

clearly , you have not played this game lately... because if you have youd know you have alot of the facts wrong...
One that particularly stands out is the Rogues vs hunters comment. if you had played wow once any time in the past 4-5 months, you would know that hunters are no longer a "point click" class.. to be honest they NEVER were, and come to think of it... no class in the game is "point click", unless of course youre talking about the baddies... in that case... carry on.

Anoctris:

I played for a long time. I am an anti-raider. This is because back when the best thing going was MC, dicking around for hours at a time with 40 people who had purple fever, wasn't fun. Being forced to spec to go on raids - wasn't fun.

yeah.. but don't pve specced players almost certainly have to re spec to have any chance at winning pvp? (atleast to get on a reasonable arena team) Also bg'ging against twinks and twink whining ain't fun either

Anoctris:

And a game that rewards raiders more easily than pvpers is biased imo, although if you're reading this and salivating with barely controlled rage I imagine you can disagree with me 'til the end of time. Or even WoW.

it is of course you're opinion but think about this a moment unless you make a game that rewards both path's equally there will always be some imo whiner that will think it's biased/unfiar

All of the things you listed are things that people have done with MMO's since WoW was released and none of them have been a WoW killer.

You're not going to make a WoW killer anytime soon. WoW is a freak occurrence that won't happen again for a long, long time. The only time a game will have more players than WoW is when WoW is played out like EQ is now.

ravensshade:
yeah.. but don't pve specced players almost certainly have to re spec to have any chance at winning pvp? (atleast to get on a reasonable arena team) Also bg'ging against twinks and twink whining ain't fun either

it is of course you're opinion but think about this a moment unless you make a game that rewards both path's equally there will always be some imo whiner that will think it's biased/unfiar

Warhammer did all of this. It's just too similar to WoWs combat (which is actually DAOC's combat...) for people to really stay attached.

I liked the article. Although some may say it's just an article on how to emulate WoW (which it is) it is hard to argue that the formula is a bad one though.

Credge:

ravensshade:
yeah.. but don't pve specced players almost certainly have to re spec to have any chance at winning pvp? (atleast to get on a reasonable arena team) Also bg'ging against twinks and twink whining ain't fun either

it is of course you're opinion but think about this a moment unless you make a game that rewards both path's equally there will always be some imo whiner that will think it's biased/unfiar

Warhammer did all of this. It's just too similar to WoWs combat (which is actually DAOC's combat...) for people to really stay attached.

Ironic really. If the MMO don't copy enough of WoW, the MMO fails for lacking features; if they copy too much of WoW, there's no really point switching over.

MrPop:
I liked the article. Although some may say it's just an article on how to emulate WoW (which it is) it is hard to argue that the formula is a bad one though.

Define bad and I could probably argue with it. If by bad, you mean that it isn't successful then sure, you'd be right. If by bad you mean that it's boring and has killed the genre while focusing all of its players in one spot, then I could easily argue for that.

Doug:
Ironic really. If the MMO don't copy enough of WoW, the MMO fails for lacking features; if they copy too much of WoW, there's no really point switching over.

Verily. The entire MMO genre is pretty ruined at the moment. You've got one game that every other MMO is trying to copy. When it comes out, people complain about it being too much like it. Then, you get the rare game that is really, really good but is so different in the genre that people crap themselves over it and it doesn't get played that much.

The entire situation is poor.

The key to a great MMO to compete with WoW is going to be a) not set in a fantasy world and b) already based on a deep, interesting story line. Also, to kill WoW you're going to have to make your MMO significantly different, giving people the option to do things they could never do in WoW. IMHO, a Mass Effect MMO could kick some major ass. But WoW is far from dead, and it is much more likely that the MMO to "kill" WoW is going to be WoW2 or Starcraft MMO.

No, to everyone who says this article is how to make a WoW clone, it isn't. Rather, it lists the minimum fundamentals required for a MMO to possibly be as successful, but people are correct in pointing out this won't gaurantee success. Indeed, you will need to do certain things better than WoW to even get a subscriber base of 1 million--but you AT LEAST have do to these points as well as or nearly as well as WoW or you've just made a boring MMO. Having played mainly WoW but a couple other MMOs too, it becomes painfully clear where WoW surpasses its competition and these points encapsulate them pretty well.

This should be required reading for future MMO developers. I hope you get a consultants fee.

A nice article, but all you do is saying what's good about WoW. You don't come up with anything which could have done better, and why. So, why exactly should people go to this new MMORPG, when they are used to basically the same game?

Oh, and I raged about your 'hunters are American Idol watchers'-sentence. 2 years of hardcore PVE and Arena, and you call me a casual bastard who doesn't need any skill to play his class correctly? ;_;

I don't get it. Is this article about why WoW is good, or about how to make a better WoW? It works fine as the former. But it doesn't say anything about how to "kill WoW".

And as others have already said, WoW is a freak occurrence. Its really sad that the games industry is so conservative that WoW's success has turned a genre that could be so broad as "MMO" into a bunch of loose role-playing games based on activating the correct skills and leveling up your character and gear.

The best thing a new MMO developer can do is pretend that WoW was never made.

Credge:

Verily. The entire MMO genre is pretty ruined at the moment. You've got one game that every other MMO is trying to copy. When it comes out, people complain about it being too much like it. Then, you get the rare game that is really, really good but is so different in the genre that people crap themselves over it and it doesn't get played that much.

The entire situation is poor.

This is the truth. MMORPG as a gaming genre is in the shitter atm.

Wingmna:
That picture is the biggest load of BS ever.
...
And the racism in that picture is just pathetic, the country of my background protected Jews at the risk of their own lives, so how dare you put a picture you little Nazi. My relatives didn't risk their lives so morons like you can post pictures like that.
...
Just piss off racist.

I think your post proves the calibre of most raiders, Elitest assholes with delusions of grandeur, with little maturity or life experience who make snap judgements about a person's character with little or no actual, valuable knowledge.

And I like the way you slander me as a racist and a Nazi, because I linked a picture (not drawn by me) that has some anti-Semitism in it. I like the way you use the Anti anti-Semitism position in an attempt to derail a perfectly legitimate observation about the practice of Elitism by raiders.

You should try and become a politician mate, you're full of shit and don't know what you're talking about.

ravensshade:

Anoctris:

I played for a long time. I am an anti-raider. This is because back when the best thing going was MC, dicking around for hours at a time with 40 people who had purple fever, wasn't fun. Being forced to spec to go on raids - wasn't fun.

yeah.. but don't pve specced players almost certainly have to re spec to have any chance at winning pvp? (atleast to get on a reasonable arena team) Also bg'ging against twinks and twink whining ain't fun either

Anoctris:

And a game that rewards raiders more easily than pvpers is biased imo, although if you're reading this and salivating with barely controlled rage I imagine you can disagree with me 'til the end of time. Or even WoW.

it is of course you're opinion but think about this a moment unless you make a game that rewards both path's equally there will always be some imo whiner that will think it's biased/unfiar

I agree with you on all points pretty much.

I'm not sure that any MMO could appease both groups (PVE/PVP), and I think that's where War:Online's reach exceeded it's grasp. Then again, like the Xbox 360, from what I could play of that game it felt rushed or unpolished.

Lord Shamus was a hunter, like myself. I'm so happy. /dance

I can see the light in both arguments for/against WoW killing; But, where are the solid "FACTS"... I personally play A LOT of different MMOs; But, the facts are what stick out(and make Shamus correct):

Ability to play on the low-end systems

Simplistic interface

Pre-existing Fan base

Screw all the nit-pick crap; its the bigger picture that nailed Blizzard to the MMO world. I don't see a MMO coming up to compete anytime soon... Which blows...

Yeah right "balenced", they do alot of stuped "Nerf's", I don't even play my huntard anymore because it got nerfed to hell a couple of patches ago.

fliptrocity:
clearly , you have not played this game lately... because if you have youd know you have alot of the facts wrong...
One that particularly stands out is the Rogues vs hunters comment. if you had played wow once any time in the past 4-5 months, you would know that hunters are no longer a "point click" class.. to be honest they NEVER were, and come to think of it... no class in the game is "point click", unless of course youre talking about the baddies... in that case... carry on.

But they CAN be! Go BM, put pet on agressive, sit down and have a cup of tea.

On a more serious note, I agree with you. At least I know I can't just sit back and "watch American Idol" while playing my hunter.

Simply make a game that doesn't revolve around combat. That's why EVE after all these years is still growing. It does this successfully. Don't copy WoW, make something different.

Its sad that there are few places in the MMO world for non-consensual pvpers, and articles like this just reinforce it for the future.

I played a rogue through to level 70 and tried my hand at several other classes. I also tried dozens of other MMOs when I got tired of WoW. Seems I just don't like MMOs that much. But there were parts I did like, and Shamus nailed all of them.

I've seen lots of other MMOs best WoW on a few of these features: City of Heroes and Villians had amazing character and play-style customization; Lord of the Rings had both great graphics and a strong crafting system; Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer both had great combat systems; Warhammer's RvR and scenarios were fun, exciting, and rewarding.

Unfortunately, as Shamus said, they all focused on a few things and screwed up on the others. Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings had terrible social interactions -- it was difficult to find people, make groups, and stay in contact with friends. Warhammer's PvE was generally lack-luster, as was its storyline: it was basically just an MMO version of Counterstrike. Warhammer's player customization also left a lot to be desired; they said it was because everybody was supposed to be part of the same army, but I call it a cop-out -- users want customization, canon be damned. It also had the fastest mob repopulation rate I've ever seen, to the point where I regularly died from the same boss that I just finished killing because it respawned before I could leave the room. City of Heroes supposedly had a good storyline, but I never saw it, and the worlds seemed sparsely populated and repetitive. Age of Conan... well, I don't know that it did anything right.

I would actually still play WoW, but there were a few things they could have done better that new games could take advantage of:

1. Faster progression. Most of what people who don't like MMOs complain about is the slow grind to get anywhere, and I agree that they have a point. The first 10-20 levels give you levels, items, and new skills every few hours, but at higher levels it can be days or weeks before anything new and useful is gained. There's only so long you can beat on the same monsters before it gets boring; new stories, areas, monsters, items, and skills need to come often enough to keep things fresh and new, even if that means the player goes through the game's content faster.

2. More emphasis on skill and teamwork than grind and gear. Many people say that WoW doesn't start until the level cap and they're right. Until then, every encounter can be soloed, every monster can be beat with minimal thought, and it's only a matter of grinding long enough until the next level comes. But in the end game, raids demand much more of the player; groups of 5, 10, or 25 people need to work together, plan strategies, balance abilities, and otherwise work hard to make it through an instance. They are also much more rewarding, giving players items that make a difference to their abilities, often unlocking the ability to take on bigger and more difficult instances. This is what makes a game a game: challenge and reward. This shouldn't be left until the end game; this should happen all the way along.

3. Better crafting and customization. WoW allows players to have a lot of control over how their character plays through skill customization, enchanting, gem socketing, glyphs, and a host of other facilities, but where they fall down is in crafting. Most things that can be crafted aren't worth crafting by the time you acquire the ability to do so, and the ones that are useful are only useful to the player to make once. A craft is a creative art, where a person makes something better than usual through their own care and creation. If everybody can make the same stuff you can, it's not a craft, it's a commodity, and to maintain balance, it has to be valued as such, which is what happened in WoW. They managed to fix that somewhat in Wrath of the Lich King, where a player can only have a few of the best recipes, resulting in everybody having a specialty or two that few others have.

For one, crafted items should be worth crafting. They should either be useful to the person crafting it, or should be worth enough to another player that they will pay enough to make it worth it to the crafter. Crafted items should also be more flexible: let the player choose colors, designs, and attributes. There are lots of ways to keep this balanced; for example, give each potential crafted item a point value based on the power of the attributes the crafter wants it to have, then base the material cost, time to craft, and likelihood of success on that point value and the crafter's skill. By allowing the crafter to come up with the combinations, you allow them to make the item they want without having to make hundreds of recipes that are all very similar, and you allow them to express their creativity, which is every craftsman's pride.

Discovery is also fun. A lot of people like to experiment, and crafts based on chemistry, biology, and magic lend themselves nicely to this. Let people try combining random ingredients to see what happens. Sure, somebody will eventually make a website listing all the combinations, but most players never see those sites anyway, just like most players don't read the spoilers to find out the storyline.

4. Better communication. WoW is one of the better ones for this, but it took them a long time to get it even half-ways right. If you are using text chat, it needs to be clearly visible, with enough lines to maintain the context of the conversation, especially when things get heated. It needs to be clear who is speaking, including separating guilds, private messages, game messages, and global chatter. Filtering is also important. Ignore lists are essential and shouldn't be limited in their size.

Better yet, through it all away and use voice chat. For groups working together, nothing is more immediate and personal than voice and it frees the user's hands to play the game. In games without built-in voice chat (all but WoW, which only picked it up within the last couple of years), the best groups will make their own voice chat with programs like Ventrilo and TeamSpeak, but it's inconvenient to be switching between programs. You know your users want it, so build it in, and make it seamless, automatic, and expected.

There are probably other things they could use, but these are the ones that strike me as the most important. If I could find an MMO with the quality of World of Warcraft, but with these improvements, I wouldn't care what theme it was or what company developed it; I would be helplessly lost in the game.

Wow also has a fanbase willing to troll all other MMO's before they come out, in an attempt to convince everyone to hate everything that isn't WOW so they can keep their characters running and community alive.

Something else I have seen that WOW doesn't have is a 2003-2006 Runescape free market economy. In that game you could get whatever you wanted whenever you wanted because entire game worlds had their population caps reached with people solely buying and selling. Course it was a bitch to actually get into a market world but when you did, that epic loot with a one in a million drop chance could be bought off a street corner in five minutes.
That all changed in 2007 when Jagex shut down the economy to stop real world trading.

TL;DR: A free market where you can buy whatever you want without any grind would be needed for a WOW killer.

Hmmm slightly disappointing article. Yes, these are the reasons why wow is a success. One point is missed, is that blizzard has never released a bad game, which meant that WoW was at critical mass very quickly.

What would have been more enlightening instead of just looking at wow as it is, to look how it came to be like this. The development process. I think one of the most crucial things is that blizzard employees as well as the board members, play wow for fun and talk about it for fun.

I don't think any gaming company will be able to follow EVERY single guideline that makes WoW great. Because, you see, Warcraft had 3 RTS games based around it before the MMO, and it has a good handful of novels to compliment its lore. You don't get that very often.

Star Wars? Maybe. WoW players may take a break to test out the upcoming MMO but eventually the addiciton to WoW will overthrow it, most of the reasons already stated in this article.

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.

You clearly didnt play pre-patch 1.9 and post patch 1.9, right up until TBC.

Paladins were a shit-tastic class until the end of TBC started coming into sight. What they are now is essentially an opposite to that. Besdies, a mage, decent rogue, or lock can own any paladin.

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

No, that's how you create a literal clone.

WoW has its genre locked-down. You need someone with buckets of money and ideas that none of us has in order to get into the subscription-based market.

WoW, the Nintendo DS, the Playstation 2. There are certain things that are designed to print money for a company. These take a near-unlimited cheque-book, a unique idea, and (believe it or not) a level of business sense well above the norm.

Couple of important points that were touched upon in this thread, first that Warcraft is a well-liked property which gave Blizzard a great head start in installing a user base at a time when MMOs were at a lull, and second that its PvE, from questing for levels to raiding, is of very high caliber, head and shoulders above anything else we've seen in the genre.

To challenge WoW a developer needs to similarly have a very likable (or at least liked and well-established) IP and a excellent PvE metagame. A big part of the reason for the game's success is that it allowed long-time fans of the series to experience the series' history directly, and it's been done in a very accessible, fun way. At this point, though, the MMO market has expanded probably about as far as it will go, so any successful offering will be taking subscribers from Blizzard. As such, the logical strategy is to have strong offerings where WoW is weakest, and there's two big areas to capitalize on.

First is a separation of PvP and PvE, and furthermore, PvP from the ground up. The biggest problem with PvE in WoW is the PvP metagame and the collateral damage caused by the constant balancing dance that Blizzard has been going through in an effort to do the impossible by balancing ten classes for what is now an eSport. The exponential complexity this adds to the game generates a huge waste of manpower on the development side. Even worse is that PvP as we see it now in WoW was tacked on after development, and the limitations of the core game are glaringly obvious. The last great PvE offering, EverQuest, did not have this holding it back and should another title come along with that magic, it could potentially strip away a lot of the core raiders. Only just very recently has Blizzard even implemented a system that doesn't penalize players for trying both aspects of the game (and even then, there's still much dual-speccing doesn't address).

While improved PvE is something that may only target the raiding community, something that affects nearly every player in WoW is professions. The profession system has been on auto-pilot since classic beta, and it also has been a victim of the battle between PvP and PvE. For the most part, value has been taken away from professions more than has been added due to this. Also, some profession specializations have been all but forgotten, and there's been a distinct lack of variety in the craftables in most professions for quite some time now. Blizzard hasn't been handling this aspect of the game well, and this is probably where it has the most disconnect with its community. A look at the Blizzard representative's post in this thread on the forums is very telling of how bad things have become.

If the next big game can meet the minimum requirements, capitalize on Warcraft's failings, and its developer can keep a good relationship with its community and avoid drowning themselves by keeping things simple, I'd say the chances of such a game snowballing into a successful offering are good.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here