A View From the Road: World Without Warcraft

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A View From the Road: World Without Warcraft

What if World of Warcraft had never been made?

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I really wouldn't have been fazed. Although I understand how important it is on an MMO level, it isn't like the level of Mario 64 or DOOM, which shook up the whole gaming scene. The only way it innovated was to get everything right that had been done with mixed success before. It didn't really add much new. I've never played it at length myself.

Warhammer online would be more succesful, and therefore the world is better :P

I'd have had to find something else to have filled the last five years of my life and I would've missed out on meeting quite a few people, and dare I say, friends?

I'd be so much more antisocial, and I'm hardly the belle of the ball as it is.
Wait, that's not what I meant!

... oh, you mean the gaming landscape in general?

FOR THE HORDE

OT: Since WoW got me into pc gaming in general without it I would probably be playing MW2 now with some American twelve year olds. I would have missed out on so much.

Kellerb:
Warhammer online would be more succesful, and therefore the world is better :P

I think WAR's flopping had less to do with WoW (though WotLK didn't *help*) and more to do with WAR being a kind of mediocre game.

On the other hand, you could argue that WAR has more subscribers in a world with WoW than it would in a world without, since more people were introduced to MMORPGs and might have gone on to give it a try.

It would be a grand world with MMO games with communities worth wasting my time away in. The genre wouldnt be dominated by mouth breathing mendicants begging for everything to be handed to them win or lose. Innovation has become a thing of the past in MMO designers, every one of them hoping to get a piece of the WOW pie. Designers post WOW are afraid to try anything else.

MMOs have degenerated into SPORPGs. Of course theres other people in these worlds, but heaven forbids they have an impact on my gameplay. Oh shit now if have to depend on another person to finish a quest, they run and cry to forums shouting bloody murder.

tehroc:
It would be a grand world with MMO games with communities worth wasting my time away in. The genre wouldnt be dominated by mouth breathing mendicants begging for everything to be handed to them win or lose. Innovation has become a thing of the past in MMO designers, every one of them hoping to get a piece of the WOW pie. Designers post WOW are afraid to try anything else.

MMOs have degenerated into SPORPGs. Of course theres other people in these worlds, but heaven forbids they have an impact on my gameplay. Oh shit now if have to depend on another person to finish a quest, they run and cry to forums shouting bloody murder.

I think you're exaggerating just a tiny little bit. There are certainly unsoloable quests in WotLK, and last I checked I still need a minimum of 9 others to tackle any of the endgame content.

But needing to sit around for an hour spamming LFG to just go out and level isn't fun. Sure, it works when you can get a group, but when you can't it's just frustrating. Eliminating that requirement is probably the best thing WoW ever did.

It give some credit to your statement, I have got a few people playing WoW who have 1.) Never played an MMO, and/or 2.) (As is the case with my GF.) never played a PC game beyond Flash games on FB.

So yeah, WoW has introduced many non gamers into the fold.

The fact that this article is written by someone who got to level 80 discredits everything in it.

If WoW was never developed... IDK, I've been playing WoW too long [4 years]. I do agree that Warcraft player are willing to buy new games and then just go back to raiding or w/e they were doing in WoW. I even stopped playing WoW about 4 months to play Warhammer Online but the developers messed that game up. Not World of Warcraft. I even have the collector's edition of WAR.

WoW was the game that finally got me away from Guild Wars too. LoL If it didn't exist, I wouldn't play so many MMO [RPG or not] games.

If World of Warcraft was never made, my delusions of grandeur wouldn't be what they are today. Plus I'd still be spending most of my time on my X-Box 360.

In a World without World of Warcraft we also might not have money grubbing game companies looking at Subscription models for everything.

besides cold,joyless ? id say we had more people developing quality games rather then mmo's all year long...

the US probably wouldn't be in a economic downfall right now...

If WoW hadn't been developed though, there wouldn't have been the move away from EQ2/EQ, and CoX etc. would have had more subscribers.

The one point about thousands of stories that would have been lost is met by the thousands of stories that were lost from groups splitting.

So...the real difference between a world with WoW and a world without WoW, is just...WoW.

Nothing more, nothing less - on average.

Now, if we're talking about a world without EQ or Ultima.... Or Warhammer (which WoW almost photocopies from at times)... Or Dungeons and Dragons... Or Chainmail...

WoW may have stitched together the massive multiplayer game, but it's a Frankenstein's monster from a lot of corpses (and some that are still twitching).

CantFaketheFunk:

But needing to sit around for an hour spamming LFG to just go out and level isn't fun. Sure, it works when you can get a group, but when you can't it's just frustrating. Eliminating that requirement is probably the best thing WoW ever did.

What were you playing before WoW? In EQ, EQ2, CoX, Guild Wars the only time I sat calling LFG was with my cleric, and that never lasted longer than 5 minutes. Most characters could easily solo as long as you knew where. And I'd much rather have to sit facing a wall with a Continual Chain Heal going than be screamed at for "MORE DOTS!".

The_root_of_all_evil:
If WoW hadn't been developed though, there wouldn't have been the move away from EQ2/EQ, and CoX etc. would have had more subscribers.

The one point about thousands of stories that would have been lost is met by the thousands of stories that were lost from groups splitting.

So...the real difference between a world with WoW and a world without WoW, is just...WoW.

Nothing more, nothing less - on average.

Er, I think you're missing the part where tens of millions of people started playing MMOs that would have never touched the genre otherwise. So no, it's a significant net gain.

And I'd much rather have to sit facing a wall with a Continual Chain Heal going than be screamed at for "MORE DOTS!".

Well, that's your problem then :P

And whether or not your own personal experience (as a healer, no less) supports this, making a game where you have to rely on finding a group to do the simplest things like advance is simply not fun, and it relies on having a thriving server population in the first place. God, if WoW needed a party to level up, you'd be screwed in the 30s-60s.

Well, assuming that a few married couples first met on WoW, some people may never have been born. Creepy thought.

CantFaketheFunk:

Er, I think you're missing the part where tens of millions of people started playing MMOs that would have never touched the genre otherwise. So no, it's a significant net gain.

I'm not sure if that is due to WoW though, or just due to the money being put into it. Even from a WoW fan like yourself, WoW doesn't really do anything levels better than games that came before it. Counter Strike brought millions to the FPS genre, but is that a significant gain?

making a game where you have to rely on finding a group to do the simplest things like advance is simply not fun, and it relies on having a thriving server population in the first place. God, if WoW needed a party to level up, you'd be screwed in the 30s-60s.

But that's what I said? I've never run into a game yet where that does happen, and I've played a lot of MMOs. It's perfectly easy to level straight to 50 in CoX solo, but more fun in a group. It's "just" possible as a EQ Cleric, but Clerics get groups easily anyway.

What WoW seemed to do is make groups=work, and that wasn't fun. At all.

Oh my god, such a beautiful world it would have been... We'd be playing Starcraft 2's third installment by now, along with Diablo 3.

And now I know where to find you, Funk.

Get ready for the shanking of a lifetime.

Yay CantFakeTheFunk is on the same raid level as me. We both don't have the TogC achievments.

Now I'm special and I know on what realm you play so prepare for some spam.

Really nice article (like always actually) though I'd like to know one thing: What keeps you playing? The community? Your Guild? The raids?

Edit: And I'd like to see a screen of your UI.

The_root_of_all_evil:

I'm not sure if that is due to WoW though, or just due to the money being put into it. Even from a WoW fan like yourself, WoW doesn't really do anything levels better than games that came before it. Counter Strike brought millions to the FPS genre, but is that a significant gain?

Uh... yes, it is due to WoW. And I would disagree - other games may beat WoW in individual aspects, but WoW maintains a pretty high quality throughout, it's tremendously accessible, newb-friendly and not demanding from a technological perspective.

I don't think Counter-Strike got nearly as many people playing to play FPSes who weren't already playing FPSes as WoW introduced to MMORPGs. FPSes were already popular, but WoW blew out all expectations by an order of magnitude.

It would be like if MW2 were expected to sell 10 million copies and then suddenly sold 100 million copies.

But that's what I said? I've never run into a game yet where that does happen, and I've played a lot of MMOs. It's perfectly easy to level straight to 50 in CoX solo, but more fun in a group. It's "just" possible as a EQ Cleric, but Clerics get groups easily anyway.

What WoW seemed to do is make groups=work, and that wasn't fun. At all.

Groups are work? Huh? I've always enjoyed playing in a group in WoW, but have always appreciated the fact that it was a completely optional thing. My friend has horror stories from FFXI just because he had the poor sense to roll a Dragoon. :P

Sisters of Elune? I play on the same server as John Funk, however he's Alliance so hopefully I've killed his ass a few times when playing at Wintergrasp or in a BG. Bastard.

Ultrajoe:
And now I know where to find you, Funk.

Get ready for the shanking of a lifetime.

I'm sorry, what was that? I couldn't hear you over the sound of my Shadowmeld -> Swift Flight Form.

Vlane:
Yay CantFakeTheFunk is on the same raid level as me. We both don't have the TogC achievments.

Now I'm special and I know on what realm you play so prepare for some spam.

Really nice article (like always actually) though I'd like to know one thing: What keeps you playing? The community? Your Guild? The raids?

Edit: And I'd like to see a screen of your UI.

A little of all of that, actually. I like my guild, I like doing PvE content. And my UI isn't anything special - I got used to using an unmodded interface during the BC beta, and while I've got mods for my Feral stuff and to help me heal when I'm Resto, it's the standard framework.

The_root_of_all_evil:

CantFaketheFunk:

Er, I think you're missing the part where tens of millions of people started playing MMOs that would have never touched the genre otherwise. So no, it's a significant net gain.

I'm not sure if that is due to WoW though, or just due to the money being put into it. Even from a WoW fan like yourself, WoW doesn't really do anything levels better than games that came before it. Counter Strike brought millions to the FPS genre, but is that a significant gain?

Even in a world where it is just due to the money being put into it, I would still say it had a significant change on the landscape of who PC gamers are. It is quite possible that what I see is not characteristic of the WoW community as a whole, but I have met quite a few people that have never played a PC game of any kind before it. It seems to have done quite well at creating an environment that is enjoyable for a different audience then previous games (especially MMOs but even games in general). Of course, the ability to create hype about this type of game was also important as just creating a non-traditional-gamer friendly environment wouldn't be enough to cause them to find it.

If World of Warcraft was never made I guess I wouldn't be considered a nerd.

I got my Welp in the mail too, he's pretty awesome...

CantFaketheFunk:

Groups are work? Huh? I've always enjoyed playing in a group in WoW, but have always appreciated the fact that it was a completely optional thing. My friend has horror stories from FFXI just because he had the poor sense to roll a Dragoon. :P

Oh god, I'd tried to forget FF. Solo play on that was bad enough for me never to want to be in a group.

As for views of WoW, you do project a view of it that simply doesn't mesh with the view I had. Whether that's different viewpoints or not I don't know, but many of the other games have seemed far more "real" than WoW did. WoW just seemed to be, like Mafiawar, built around the players rather than the world. Perhaps that's why it's so popular as it requires less belief, but high quality throughout? I have to disagree. Sorry.

They might have made Warcraft 4 instead and saved me the grevious feling of betrayal.

The_root_of_all_evil:

CantFaketheFunk:

Groups are work? Huh? I've always enjoyed playing in a group in WoW, but have always appreciated the fact that it was a completely optional thing. My friend has horror stories from FFXI just because he had the poor sense to roll a Dragoon. :P

Oh god, I'd tried to forget FF. Solo play on that was bad enough for me never to want to be in a group.

As for views of WoW, you do project a view of it that simply doesn't mesh with the view I had. Whether that's different viewpoints or not I don't know, but many of the other games have seemed far more "real" than WoW did. WoW just seemed to be, like Mafiawar, built around the players rather than the world. Perhaps that's why it's so popular as it requires less belief, but high quality throughout? I have to disagree. Sorry.

What you're getting at is the difference between making an MMOG with the intent of making a virtual world, and making an MMOG with the intent of making a game. WoW is certainly the latter, and I recognize that it's not to some peoples' tastes.

But it is far and away the highest-quality MMOG I have ever played. Maybe it's just the ridiculous polish on everything, but there's a core there that caters to pretty much everything I've ever wanted in a game (well, almost everything. I'd kill for player housing and cosmetic outfits like LotRO) without being needlessly obtuse.

Contun:
If World of Warcraft was never made I guess I wouldn't be considered a nerd.

I got my Welp in the mail too, he's pretty awesome...

But he still has to learn the deep breath (that animation is very cute by the way). I prefer my Kel'thuzad pet though.

CantFaketheFunk:

What you're getting at is the difference between making an MMOG with the intent of making a virtual world, and making an MMOG with the intent of making a game. WoW is certainly the latter, and I recognize that it's not to some peoples' tastes.

I think that it's the polish that puts me off the most. I quite like the "rough around the edges" feel, and it carries the feel of mass-marketing where all is the same, in the same way that the McDonalds in Glasgow looks like the McDonalds in Texas. It's comforting for some but it makes my skin crawl.

But it is far and away the highest-quality MMOG I have ever played. Maybe it's just the ridiculous polish on everything, but there's a core there that caters to pretty much everything I've ever wanted in a game (well, almost everything. I'd kill for player housing and cosmetic outfits like LotRO) without being needlessly obtuse.

I think ( too much usually) that's where my real niggle lies - and carries over into Star Wars: Galaxies - you just aren't LORD DOOM MCSTABBY OF MOUNT NIGHT, you're Mr. Doom McStabby of 28b Goblin Street, and you've been that way since you joined.

But, if everyone on leaving Mount Night to live on Goblin Street, Mount Night's gonna get closed for ever, even if it's got player housing and cosmetics up to its elbows.
(As well as LotRo's NPC play, Warhammer's Artillery and all the other things that other games do so well.)

Final Fantasy was still godawful though.

I sometimes wonder if WoW had changed anything ... if the absence of WoW would have been anything more than the absence of WoW, with the rest of the gaming world chuggin along as always.

For the financial success that WoW is, I am constantly perplexed at how game designers fail to emulate it.

Blizzard has shown us the success and profitability of:
1. Performance over graphics.
2. Good art design over pushing polys and textures.
2. Gameplay first.
3. Gameplay offerings to suit a multiplicity of gaming tastes, i.e. casual AND hardcore in the SAME GAME, and many tastes in between.
4. Tight, intuitive, and highly customizable controls.
5. Highly customizable user interfaces.

You can expect many of these features in any Blizzard game. WoW has them all. On top of that, WoW has excellent animations. Yet few games from any other company has more than a handful of these and clearly suffer in comparison.

The world would be a much better place. Eve online would get more players. Nuff said

gamefreakbsp:
The world would be a much better place. Eve online would get more players. Nuff said

I'm not sure that it would. EVE is a bit of an anomaly in the MMOG space, as a game that's steadily grown on word of mouth since its inception with a very unique style of play. I don't think it would be much bigger without WoW at all, since I'm not sure how much the two game styles overlap.

Yes, a world that encourages less people to live their lives in front of a computer screen is clearly a horrible place.

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