Former Dev: WoW Has Killed the MMO Genre

 Pages PREV 1 2 3
 

Did they ramp up the leveling process from 1 to 90?

Yes they did.

Is this a bad thing? I don't really think so. I had a friend join the game for the first time a few months ago. That's 5 expansions worth of content to get though and everyone he knew was already at the max level. Meaning that he had to "power level" to get himself to a point where he could play with us...which was pretty much the whole reason he started playing.

Since then, he's also rolled an alternate character with whom he's playing through the game story and enjoying at his own pace. The idea that the path from X to Y is too fast only really counts if your audience can't take advantage of the slower pace as well...which of course they can.

Now I will admit that their sloppy handling of the in game time line makes that experience a little less enjoyable but when it's all said and done that's not a deal breaker.

As for not wanting to play another WoW Clone...well yeah I'll agree with that. I already play WoW I'm not going to pump another $15.00 a month into another MMO that's just the same experience (Star Wars: The Old Republic...you know what you did.) That's why I still play The Secret World and why I'm really looking forward to Wildstar.

WWmelb:

And there were a number of chains like this, that were amazing. Especially things like the class specific epic quests... Benediction, the hunter chain, doomguard, paladin mount... all amazingly awesome (and fucking hard) quests...

I remember getting my paladin mount in Burning Crusade. Even though it was easier than in vanilla, there was this sense of adventure to it. Running across the world (Literally because you didn't get a mount until level 40) gathering all of these materials and killing bosses. Finally entering scholomance and fighting for your life before riding off into the sunset on a charger with your 4 other friends. THAT is great MMO gameplay. And it's been reduced to *Run to Trainer, pay 40 gold, hit I and wait for you queue to pop for a dungeon*

Every time I hear the argument that people don't want to play another WoW clone, but developers don't want to deviate from its winning formula... I say look at EVE Online.

Then I say 'Try harder. CCP did.'

*sings* I 100% agree and I've been saying it for ages

WoW hasn't killed the genre really. It's just a fucking annoying bad habit these days that all the entertainment is solely based around what was popular before and so becomes a soulless copy with no lasting appeal. That's the real problem plaguing all the industry's these days. I can't even go to the fucking movies anymore without doing some research to make sure the writing isn't aimed at giggling children.

Also, I would like to see an MMO that doesn't allow you to trade equipment to another character. Just one, so every character goes through a challenging time.

He has a point. I remember back in vanilla I'd spend a week or so running a dungeon for a piece of loot, while levelling up. And back then dungeon groups actually had to talk to each other and classes weren't homogenised for convenience of finding a raid group.

The dungeon finder, class homogenisation, and easier levelling really did tear the soul out of the game. I only play WoW for the arenas now. Those are still great fun at least.

I agree with the Firefall dev to some extent.

Coreless:
I don't think WoW killed the genre, the players did. The genre gave the "ME ME ME, NOW NOW NOW" generation exactly what they wanted and now they seeing the fruits of their labor.

I wouldn't say I'd blame the customers too much, it's natural to want things to be more convenient. It just wasn't possible for most people to see what the path to convenience would cost them in the end.

Wanting to level alts faster is a nice wish, but after time it's turned leveling into a race. All those 30% decreases in leveling XP every expansion make it harder and harder to actually stay around long enough to savor a zone before rapidly outleveling it.

Wanting to find groups easier has led to LFG, which was nice at first, but after time has etched away at the community spirit of the game.

I care more for the journey, but I always thought the reason WoW went to focusing on Endgame rather than the journey was a combination of the massive playerbase reaching the top and the fact that games in general have become much easier.

If somebody were to play a game on the PC or console in 2010 only to go onto WoW Vanilla (I know it ended in 2007), going from taking on entire armies to getting mauled to death by two wolves would be a little depressing for a new player.

But hey at least he's not saying "My MMO will kill WoW".

I don't think that the fix is making the endgame harder to reach.

But rather, making the level itself less important. Levels are just one tool in the RPG shed. A good one, but abused in MMORPGs. Making the journey more important can be made better by also making the journey more entertaining.

And by not only making level less important, but in many ways, gear. In fact in many ways I don't think that gear should be tied to level. I think that any level should be able to use any gear. If anything should be done to prevent higher level gear form being used at lower levels, it should be that higher level characters get exponential stat bonuses on gear. Locking gear to a level is completely illogical.

It makes sense from a gameplay standpoint, but not from a lore standpoint. And there are better ways of preventing overpower caps. Like, again, higher level characters using the same gear more effectively and getting level bonuses. No other RPG genre has level caps on what level can wear what gear.

Back on the subject of levels, I think that not only do levels need to become less important. But I think that a clear and defined "endgame" needs to disappear entirely. A lot of people decry the "sphere grid" system in Final Fantasy games. But MMORPGs are one of the few genres of game that I think something like a sphere grid would be a huge benefit.

A true endgame really would be impossible to reach, if, instead of having a endgame levelcap of something like 50 or 75, have thousands of little nodes to fill that were more important than your level. And make not so clearly defined transitions in the game. When you're at a certain point in the game, you know it. And I feel like that's a flaw, takes away mystery and desire to explore and discover.

Dude clearly hasn't paid attention to WoW in the last couple years. They've pushed their development capabilities throughout the expansions and they spend a ridiculous amount of time and resources on the questing experience. All while continuing to push the end game. TOR already tried emphasizing the leveling experience and it learned the hard lesson that you better have a decent end game to back it up or you're fucked.

I'm guessing this guy didn't play Guild Wars 2. They sort of did the opposite. Great fun leveling and exploring as you go, and then no real end game to speak of. As much as I sometimes hated WoW making me run the same dungeons over and over for that 0.1% more crit rating ring, at least that gave you some sort of sad sad goal to play for.
GW2 stats are all the same, and I already have the set looks I like best.

Personally I liked WoW's setup better, though I am quite bored of it now. It did keep me coming back for many years though, as leveling never did.

skywolfblue:
I agree with the Firefall dev to some extent.

Coreless:
I don't think WoW killed the genre, the players did. The genre gave the "ME ME ME, NOW NOW NOW" generation exactly what they wanted and now they seeing the fruits of their labor.

I wouldn't say I'd blame the customers too much, it's natural to want things to be more convenient. It just wasn't possible for most people to see what the path to convenience would cost them in the end.

Wanting to level alts faster is a nice wish, but after time it's turned leveling into a race. All those 30% decreases in leveling XP every expansion make it harder and harder to actually stay around long enough to savor a zone before rapidly outleveling it.

Wanting to find groups easier has led to LFG, which was nice at first, but after time has etched away at the community spirit of the game.

The players knew exactly what it would cost them, they complained night and day about content being too hard, taking too long and end game too exclusive. Guess what Blizzard did? They listened to them and we got everything that came with the WotLK expansion. Faster leveling, Looking for Group finder, welfare epics, achievements and an accessible endgame that was no where as challenging as Burning Crusade.

Do you think that stuff just appeared in a vacuum? People whined and complained for changes and Blizzard gave them exactly what they wanted so they only have themselves to blame.

I hope that Firefall does well. I really do.

But this is just a binch of PR bullocks. WoW killing MMOs by encouraging racing to the end-game? This is a bunch of... horse droppings.

WoW never EVER encouraged you to race past content. It allowed you to do so if you had the skill, equipment and knowledge. The "Race for the End-game" came from the players. Not at any point in my entire time with WoW did the game encourage me to race through the content. That pressure came entirely from other players: "Get to max level and get into raiding." That was the mantra from the people who wanted that server 1st kill. The game itself has only grown more and more insistent that you experience the story and get the background, by making it easier and easier to get that background information.
In Vanilla WoW almost ALL information came in the form of quest-text. As time has gone on and blizzards experience has grown we have come to a place where the story is told through many other means: cut-scenes, events, NPC's talking to you, on screen pop-ups, weird quests with altered rules and more. The game is streamlined certainly but the streamlining has only made it easier to experience the world around you (with the possible exception of the quest tracker).

Ultimately this is just a cheap shot made by a dev to make his NEW IMPROVED game seem better.

WoW did exactly what the players wanted it to do. Many things were clear-cut, and other things were gradually adapted from player behaviour.

The problem didn't lie so much in the things they developed in direct response to standard player requests, like customization options and new content (most of which was actually pretty good), but instead in their reactive development from observing player behaviour.

Such as...
Players rushed through the levelling in order to get to play their new characters with their friends who were max level, so blizzard made levelling faster.

Players made mods to simplify boss encounters, and blizzard adjusted the game to compensate... and when they compensated so much that the encounters were (allegedly) too hard to run without the mods, they implemented them into the game as well. Ultimately, all the bosses are now detailed in a codex, easily reachable from within the game, all in the name of 'accessibility'.

Players complained a lot about the right kind of loot not dropping, and they 'burned out' from running the same instances over and over again. In response, Blizzard made loot drops more frequent, more high quality, and easier to get to.

What did it all result in?

Players rushing to reach the endgame so they could fight easy bosses and get their shiny purples quickly.

The endgame gear became the ONLY reason for playing, and so it has remained for quite some time.
Don't get me wrong, the gear was always a factor, but I refuse to believe it was all about nothing but gear back in the day. I certainly didn't feel that way then... but I do now.

So... basically, I think this former dev has a point. Maybe not that WoW was inherently bad to begin with, but its growth was uncontrolled, its evolution too reactive to player behaviour and thus has indeed caused damage to the MMO genre.
You might argue that we got what we wanted, and I'd agree with you... but with a small adjustment.

We got what we THOUGHT we wanted.

Thinking back on my 8 years with the game, I still only remember the first incarnation of the game fondly. Before the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, was released. Everything I liked about it after that point is almost solely guild things, because the game had turned into a chore. A 'second job'. An activity I did to stay competetive in the endgame to enable me to have fun with the guild. I just can't help but wish it would've been so more than that.

Captcha: Dream big
heh...

New Troll:
And that is exactly why I quit WoW. I worked my ass of to be the best, only for an expansion to come out and make me obsolete. Way too much work for very little reward.

If you were actually "the best," no amount of new content could take that away from you. Server first boss kill achievements never go away. Incredibly rare one-time-only mounts never go away.

If by "the best" you mean "I had good gear for one tier of raid content," then no, you weren't actually the best, sorry to break it to you. Caring about gear becoming outdated by new expansions makes me assume you're in the latter category. If you were good and in a good guild, gear would come to you every expansion as you progressed. The true challenge is learning your class fully and completely, and performing flawlessly for every raid fight so your guild could get quick boss kills. After that, gearing up is fucking easy. It happens automatically.

I stopped playing during WOTLK, I had done Lich King 10 and was routinely solo farming Molten Core. Me and Ragnaros were on even terms.

I had played for years. WOW players tend to lose sight of what is this "fun" thing we're talking about, as in there is more like being busy together after chores than playing. You know what opened my eyes? I got a hold of Mario Galaxy 2 and it suddenly sparked in me the realization that videogaming was supposed to be like that.

Yarrow:
I think a mmo that focuses on the 'journey' and not the endgame would suffer at the hands of those WoW trained players who somehow manage to rapidly burn through the all the contend in a week then bitch of forums about it. I seriously don't understand how people are able to get though content so fast unless they ignore all lore and the experience of the game.

Now I've played Guild Wars 2, but I feel it's still missing something.

Maybe make it difficult for those players to "beat" the game without engaging with the game world properly. If you don't pay attention, you're gonna die quick. Maybe not so much forcing players to engage with the lore, it feels so arduous to be forced along a quest line to be honest. I'd rather a world where every player is more or less free to do what they want. The exploration and interaction with the world needs to be its own gratification. Maybe the NPCs would be smart, follow a routine, you can interact with them in some way and the game world reacts in turn. Killing non-essential NPCs? Oh yes. And then players get a reward for hunting down the human perpetrator. I also think that maybe there's a lot more room for player agency, without the zero-sum game of EVE online PVP. Want to become a merchant, by all means do so and contribute to the economy. Or perhaps you want to be a farmer, miner, craftsman, or hunter. You can purchase your own property and use it how you want. Want to become a manufacturer, then do so. Have a flexible currency with price changes, loans, and so on. Food might get more expensive one week, but as people produce more the prices will go down. Make the pvp optional but rewarding.

It doesn't appeal to everyone, of course. A lot of people just want grinding action. Let them stay in WoW.

Bleh. Well WoW did, in my opinion, some damage to the mmorpg genre. Not because of the reasons listed above, those are Bullshit.
WoW was too successful. It brought in a big pile of money and everyone wanted a piece of that.
And so everyone copied stuff from WoW. In "my" mmo, i found myself going into leveled instances, team instances and eventually we got PvP places called "Battlestations" which popped out of nowhere.

Then came the "puzzle" instances in which you need to do this and that, otherwise enemies aren't bothered too much when you shoot them in the Face.

Eventually i was playing a flimsy shadow of wow. Got everything important there and when you got all the items in one expansion you're waiting for the next one to make much of your stuff useless.
Nothing new to do otherwise, not only in my game, but in every game because everyone was stealing stuff from WoW.

I'll be blunt: Not a single "oldschool MMO" I tried was ever about some silly-ass journey; it was about two things:
1) GRIND
2) Griefing

Even when WoW was brand-new, the then-niche MMO market was already rotting from within and becoming increasingly exclusionary. WoW, for all of its sins, tried its damnest to cut away at the principle problems with MMOs; doing so netted them one of the most profitable and popular games ever made.

Whether WoW "killed" MMOs or not; I'm not one who can judge without bias.
(I hate MMOs. I've never had a good long-term experience within an MMO.)

New Troll:

wetfart:
So ... is he telling me not to buy his game? Okay. I don't think reverse psychology is going to work that well as a marketing technique though.

No, he says the MMO genre is stagnant but his MMO is hoping to bring life back into the adventure.

And that is exactly why I quit WoW. I worked my ass of to be the best, only for an expansion to come out and make me obsolete. Way too much work for very little reward.

And he's also saying that you should buy his non-WOW clone MMO because it isn't a WOW clone.

skywolfblue:
I agree with the Firefall dev to some extent.

Coreless:
I don't think WoW killed the genre, the players did. The genre gave the "ME ME ME, NOW NOW NOW" generation exactly what they wanted and now they seeing the fruits of their labor.

I wouldn't say I'd blame the customers too much, it's natural to want things to be more convenient. It just wasn't possible for most people to see what the path to convenience would cost them in the end.

Wanting to level alts faster is a nice wish, but after time it's turned leveling into a race. All those 30% decreases in leveling XP every expansion make it harder and harder to actually stay around long enough to savor a zone before rapidly outleveling it.

Wanting to find groups easier has led to LFG, which was nice at first, but after time has etched away at the community spirit of the game.

I think you're plain wrong.
Before XP was decreased you would often find that you had to grind out mobs to get to new zones.
Group finders were added due to empty servers and elitist idiots preventing people from assembling groups.

Star Wars The Old Republic was too afraid to be too different from WoW and look what happened to it.

Also, when the current level cap is *90* you just want it to be over. And to be blunt, most of the quests in WoW are very bland, boring, and uncreative. The story is minimal and feels ultimately pointless this far in. And with the over simplification of the current expansions changes to player skills and talents, there is nothing to look forward to for the next level. You don't get another talent point to spend. There is just 3 specs per class, with like 6 talent milestones with 3 options each, one of which you can select per tier. And most of them are boring and don't add much flavor.

I think MOST of what is holding WoW together at this point is habbit, lack of alternatives, and the friendships people have developed with other people in the game.

And my biggest problem with Blizzard aside from the over simplification of class talent system, is they respond SO FUCKING SLOW to problems. They release new content SO FUCKING SLOW leaving you to get burnt out on what currently exists. And then said content is often more of the same. MORE DAILY QUESTS YAY. More villains we never heard of until they were tossed in to the latest patch, so we have no idea of their story or point. They fix bugs SO FUCKING SLOW. They add in sorely needed features SO FUCKING SLOW.

And when they do add new content, it has so many dumb choices it's infuriating. Like the recent release, for example, requires a average item level so high that the pathetic rewards for doing the freaking content is largely unneeded. It would have been smart to make the new stuff available to lower geared level 90 players SO THERE IS A REASON TO DO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. By the time you can get the crap from the rep vendors, you don't need it.

I could complain all day but there are my top issues. I get the feeling they funnel off WoW revenue too heavily to other projects/payroll of the head honchos, instead of back into the game that is earning it for them.

Fucking. Retarded.

He's basically crying about being unable to clone WoW's success with his own product, ripoff or not.

Fucking stop it already. CLONES are killing genres, NOT the originals.

Somewhat related is the fact that what's killing WoW in turn is actually the in-game achievement and gearscore whores. Two biggest reasons I permanently ragequit WoW like 2 years ago.

shadowmagus:

Yarrow:
I think a mmo that focuses on the 'journey' and not the endgame would suffer at the hands of those WoW trained players who somehow manage to rapidly burn through the all the contend in a week then bitch of forums about it. I seriously don't understand how people are able to get though content so fast unless they ignore all lore and the experience of the game.

As a regular MMO player, I can tell you that this is exactly what they do. They have it so ingrained in them that they HAVE to get to endgame and they HAVE to get that awesome gear that they blow through the main quest as fast as possible, going so far as to get a friend or guild to run them through on their first character. It completely kills the idea of what an MMO is supposed to be about, but this normally brings in the "I paid my money, so I can play how I want" crowd, never realizing they are missing the point of the whole thing.

Playing the FFXIV Beta on PS3 this weekend and yes, you are correct.

There were many people asking about the location of (and using) an NPC that ups your level automatically to 15 somehow. I didn't use it myself (and just hit level 15 through natural gameplay). In the starting city (for my character type {Miqo'te Pugilist} anyhow) sometimes you just see messages like this:

Player X has reached level 8
Player X has reached level 9
Player X has reached level 10
Player X has reached level 11
Player X has reached level 12
Player X has reached level 13
Player X has reached level 14
Player X has reached level 15

Which basically means they've just skipped hours of content for the sake of the endgame - made worse cause this is a beta in which character data will be wiped soon. Sad.

On another note: this also smells of the crybabies who want an easy mode for Dark Souls - so they can, you know, access all the content with ease...

a couple of posters have made comments that only highlight they have no clue who Mark Kern is or what Firefall is tbh...

Firefall is nothing like WoW and Kern ? Kern was THE LEAD DEVELOPER ON WoW and is clearly very much not "an idiot" as one poster ignorantly called him.

I smell a rat all over this interview.

What's so wrong with making a (sub-)genre accessible to more than guys living in their parent's basement?

I recently climbed aboard the WoW ship after beating Oblivion again, not wanting to pick up Skyrim again (I'm not allowed to call it by my name on here I don't think), and finally coming to terms with the fact that Perfect World is never going to make a PWI client for the Mac and I have to say, it's exactly what I expected. I'm leveling about as quick as I would in PWI and I know at some point, it's going to turn into grinding, but that's what happens in all MMO's at some point.

Really, all I see in this interview is someone complaining that a 14 year old can pick up WoW and be just as good as the 40 year old in their parent's basement who has dedicated his life to it. And to be honest, that's nothing to complain about. If anything, that's how video games grow and become better.

Kern says that this leads to fatigue from both players and developers, which is causing the genre to stagnate. Players don't want to play another "WoW clone" but developers are afraid of deviating from the formula that WoW has ironically made players interested in the MMO genre in the first place.

Also see every genre since 2007 and why the games I'm the most excited by are all crowd sourced independently developed games like 7 Days to Die and Star Citizen.

saintdane05:
Yeah! How DARE people try to get into and enjoy a game! How DARE THEY!

Sarcasm or not, it is a marketing issue. Games are a lot like movies in that fans tend to enjoy familiarity. That's why Hollywood clings to iconic IP and why "leveling" is in everything now, even racing games.

Farmville never got popular for being an awesome game, it created addicts who got hooked on a simple reward system. Click water can, click soil, watch your reward sprout up. MMOs are, under the hood, designed to produce the same feelings and keep players rewarded and happy. There is literally established theory in creating addiction and developers understand it.

Personally I agree with the write-up, only I can't lay the blame at WoW's feet. Developers may need to emulate in order to keep players interested, but there's no excuse not to evolve. Guild Wars 2 had one of the most inspiring and perfect opportunities to do this, yet ArenaNet took so much of what made the last game unique and brilliant yet deviated, borrowed too much from the standard MMO. It's still great, but could have redefined the genre.

For me personally, the OP is spot on.

I think part of the problem with MMOs is the community that has grown around the genre. When I played EQ1, everything felt so novel largely because people hadn't yet grasped the optimum play styles, groupings, and social structures for defeating all of the content. Now, everything is just spreadsheet. You read your gear and raid strats online, implement them through repetition, download mods to handle bosses, macro everything you possibly can...

And the devs have played right into it, too. Want to conquer a dungeon? Press a button to instantly queue. Want to travel somewhere? Walk through a portal. Want to find a quest objective? Check your map. Everything is handed to the player on a silver platter. There's no sense of world anymore because you teleport everywhere and instant queue everything. The quests are meaningless, trite, and legion. The challenge is nonexistent.

But more than anything, it's the competitive aspects of the genre that have turned me away. I'd love to explore a huge fantasy world with a handful of my friends, but you can't do that without running into people who play 24/7, shred all the content, and pretty much control the server. I'm not at all jealous of these people. I just wish I didn't have to play with them. I'd like a game that moves at my pace. That's why I play SP mostly these days.

 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