A View From the Road: World Without Warcraft

 Pages PREV 1 2 3
 

Mordwyl:

Kuliani:
snip

Ideas are all well and good; it's the intention that affects what a game will be like. Ultimately to truly "kill" World of Warcraft the proper mindset shouldn't be "I want to make more money Blizzard does" but rather "I want to make a better game than Blizzard have". Of the three franchises I've mentioned, has any one of them remained or even increased its subscriber base since their release? The last news I've heard was of WAR's abysmal support and improper balancing, losing more than half of its staff in the process. Hell, I quit the game before a month passed just because it felt like a blatant bootleg Korean copy of the giant MMO.

Product innovation entails taking an already existing product and making it better. Blizzard did this magnificently and considering it took them five years for the original development it certainly shows. That of course was ten years ago and technologies are drastically improved, so wouldn't a similar time become the norm in order to make an equally good or better game? Sometimes you'd have to wonder if the creators of these failed attempts really do consider such things in mind instead of picking a good franchise from the IP lottery and rehash a WoW in <franchise>'s clothing.

Well, a couple points of note: MMOs do not normally gain users as a constant line post-release. It shoots up for about the first month, then begins it's decline in subscriber numbers. There are many things that can influence this crucial line, like expansions, patches, support, creativity, marketing, etc, but unless it redefines a part of the genre, it will continue the downward path into oblivion.

Ignoring pure numbers, there are several example of games breaking through the mold that have escaped this death-line. WoW is the obvious example as it's popularity is unrivaled in NA. But also are the less noticed, like Second Life and Wizard101. Second Life is arguably an MMORPG, but it's virtual world created by the users is what makes it stand out as something unique and thus it broke free of the death-line. Wizard101 grabbed the very young demographic with it's familial values and protection while still proving to be fun. It succeeded in creating an entry-level MMO game for the very young that is addictive and completely protective of the children that play (it's also free, so parents don't have to shell out cash if the child hardly plays). It also broke from the death-line.

I do agree that product innovation comes from making an existing product better. But, when it comes to entire genres, improving on a single product may not be the route to success. I would argue that WoW did not improve on the master MMO at the time (EQ), but rather made it work for a completely different set of people: people that wanted to play online, but didn't want the complexity or devotion needed for EQ or similar MMOs. Casual gamers were the target, and they gobbled them up like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos with only one hippo.

Kuliani:

Mordwyl:

Kuliani:
snip

snip

Well, a couple points of note: MMOs do not normally gain users as a constant line post-release. It shoots up for about the first month, then begins it's decline in subscriber numbers. There are many things that can influence this crucial line, like expansions, patches, support, creativity, marketing, etc, but unless it redefines a part of the genre, it will continue the downward path into oblivion.

Ignoring pure numbers, there are several example of games breaking through the mold that have escaped this death-line. WoW is the obvious example as it's popularity is unrivaled in NA. But also are the less noticed, like Second Life and Wizard101. Second Life is arguably an MMORPG, but it's virtual world created by the users is what makes it stand out as something unique and thus it broke free of the death-line. Wizard101 grabbed the very young demographic with it's familial values and protection while still proving to be fun. It succeeded in creating an entry-level MMO game for the very young that is addictive and completely protective of the children that play (it's also free, so parents don't have to shell out cash if the child hardly plays). It also broke from the death-line.

I do agree that product innovation comes from making an existing product better. But, when it comes to entire genres, improving on a single product may not be the route to success. I would argue that WoW did not improve on the master MMO at the time (EQ), but rather made it work for a completely different set of people: people that wanted to play online, but didn't want the complexity or devotion needed for EQ or similar MMOs. Casual gamers were the target, and they gobbled them up like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos with only one hippo.

Let's not forget Runescape, which started off as a guy's hobby game project and turned into the biggest and most played free online game. Eight years since its creation and the game now enjoys a healthy two million subscriber mark; that of course excluding the free players. One wouldn't think much from a Java MMO though its creator and eventual staff put a lot of heart into it, making in-game updates as early as a week apart as well as taking into consideration what the players say. The other main factor that helped it jump in popularity was accessibility, albeit in a different manner: players are not rooted to a single server and being a browser game it can be played almost anywhere.

soundoflights:
It would be a world where all my buddies that used to be great at shooters would still be great a shooters. WoW is the great Noobifier it doesn't matter how good you are as soon as you play it your never the same gamer again. It's the blight of PC gaming and while I commend it for taking so many noobs out of competitive play I loath it for destroying so many gamers that actually had potential.

Sorry, but I still hand people their asses after I'm done with them when I play Halo or Gears online. I've been playing WoW for a couple years now and am damn good at it too.

Generalizations make you look stupid. Don't use them.

If World of Warcraft didn't exist eh? We wouldn't have such major dedication to the game.

Like how people would do if people have a unfortunate passing: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/03/16/if-you-die-who-will-tell-your-wow-guild-friends

Of course, World of Warcraft gamers are often the target of saying "Game addiction?"

WoW was pretty much inevitable. CoH did everything WoW did, and more, and first.It was only a matter of time before someone did the same thing with a popular license, the only stumbling block would have been if they tried to use cutting edge graphics rather than a stylised art form. If they had then pretty soon we'd be wondering what life would be like if XMMO hadn't happened.

A world without WOW would look the same as it does today. I'm always amazed at how much credit people heap on Blizzard for WOW. WOW, didn't do anything different from what other MMOs had been doing up to its release. It just took a lot of the good elements and made them better, if Blizzard hadn't of done it, another MMO company would of put the pieces together and done it then.

Of course now, WOW is a shell of what it once was, it's changed for the worse but that's an entirely different discussion.

"they buy them, play them, and go back to Warcraft." Story of my life...

A much better place.

CantFakeTheFunk:
John Funk is Tieria <Timeless Order>, a Level 80 Night Elf Druid (Feral) on Sisters of Elune.

That better be a Cat or I will be forced to cut you. :)

I would be unaffected for the most part,I would have lost out on some humour and parodies. For the the most part though no skin off my back.

I'm a month late to this party but I find it weird that it took three pages of comments for Tharticus to mention the elephant in the room.

Game Addiction

Without WoW every discussion on that particular topic probably never would have happened. Can you imagine it? All those newspaper articles that were full of non-sense? Gone. Jack Thompson? Probably still had a normal career instead of the hatred of a couple million gamers around the globe. The few Starcraft and Counter-Strike guys that died at their keyboards would be freak incidents instead of being cited as indicators for a greater problem.

On the other hand that's the price of success. WoW did bring the masses to pc gaming. And among those masses are people who can't seem to handle themselves properly.

Without WoW gaming wouldn't have become what the TV, Hippies and Rock music have been before. That thing the young people do that the older generation doesn't understand and/or absolutely hates.

That's tough...

On one hand the world would have as you mentioned starcraft 2, diablo 3, and possibly KotOR 3. Many WoW addicts would have lives where they would continue to live in ambivalent states of misery and some of those are friends of mine who might actually go outside once more and face the harsh, bitter world that awaits them.

I'm not sure yet, if Blizzard's commitment to success was due to their ability to work well under financial pressure and with WoW they slack because of their financial success and it shows in SC 2 and Diablo 3, I will scream.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3

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