Former Blizzard dev: World of Warcraft killed the MMO genre

Old-school MMO players from before the days of World of Warcraft remember how the genre used to be. Games like the original EverQuest or Ultima...

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Old-school MMO players from before the days of World of Warcraft remember how the genre used to be. Games like the original EverQuest or Ultima Online took forever to go up a single level. Players would wander looking for quest givers without exclamation marks over the heads, and could struggle just as mightily when looking for the place to turn them in. But in the end, a level felt like an accomplishment, a completed quest was a job well done.

Then came the dreaded word: Accessibility. Where did the MMO go wrong?

"We labored over the user interface for [World of Warcraft], going through many iterations, to find one that would be easy and intuitive for players new to the genre," said former Blizzard dev Mark Kern in a blog post on MMORPG.com. He now works with developer Red 5 creating Firefall. "We created a massive number of quests to lead the player through the world, making sure that they never had to think about what to do next."

He said the plan worked, and people came into the game by the millions, making World of Warcraft the most popular MMO ever. Then came quest trackers, more XP, and leveling so fast that gear you got earlier in the day was obsolete by the time you logged off.

"But at what cost? Sometimes I look at WoW and think "what have we done?" Kern said. "I think I know. I think we killed a genre. ... It's not the end game that we should be worried about, it's the journey. An MMO should be savored, a lifetime of experiences contained within a single, beautifully crafted world. The moment to moment gameplay should be its own reward. You should feel like you could live your whole life there,"

Of course, Kern's current title will look to carve its niche in the MMO space, so it is logical for him to find flaws with the competition. But he is speaking to what many fans of the old-school MMO scene--and even vanilla WoW--have lamented for some time, that there is no challenge any more.

World of Warcraft may very well be feeling the effects of stagnation, as the subscriber base is down to its lowest point in years, although still the 800-pound gorilla with more than 8.3 million subscribers. Blizzard has promised for frequent updates to keep the user base more "engaged."

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 1, 2013 2:30 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Former Blizzard dev: World of Warcraft killed the MMO genre.

    Old-school MMO players from before the days of World of Warcraft remember how the genre used to be. Games like the original EverQuest or Ultima...

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 2:33 PM

      Meridian 59 rocked my world back in the day™

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        July 1, 2013 3:40 PM

        Dude! Do you have any elderberries to sell? Meet me at the Tos tavern. I'll trade you a longsword or two. Do you want to go farm some trolls in the mountains? I need to work on my Faren school, it's slow as hell and I need those elderberries for my ToF! And, what was it, purple mushrooms and orc teeth for the dispel illusion so you could get to the island for the really good shit? Like the green armor (forget its name) that would explode if you got destroyed?

        I still remember the "secret path" to get to the Faren temple and I bet if I jumped into the world I could make my way between the towns but I don't really remember where the other temples resided. I could probably find most of the guild halls though.

        I also noticed, just the other week, that the Near Death Studios who tried to bring it back has gone down, but someone else picked it up and has just put up two servers that's free!

        http://meridian59.com/

        I'm so tempted to dive in, but I know how terrible it is going to be. :p But I just love their description of their two servers:
        There are two servers available: 101 is very active and filled with expert players who love to fight. 102 is less populated, but the players are friendlier and more likely to help out new players.

        Ahh, good ol' 101.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 2:41 PM

      i'd love an old-school MMO. god just give me 2000 era asheron's call darktide

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      July 1, 2013 2:42 PM

      Everquest was basically mindless killing for 60 levels. No maps, very few actual quests worth doing, and a really shitty death penalty. Is wow perfect? No. But it's a lot better than the old way.

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        July 1, 2013 9:40 PM

        The social element of Everquest made it very rewarding though. Once it got easier to solo and people were grouping up less except at the elite raiding levels, it got less fun I think.

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          July 2, 2013 6:52 AM

          I know a few people who were playing EQ back then. Calling grinding the same few mobs over and over for hours "fun" is a stretch at best, regardless of whether it was with a group or not.

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      July 1, 2013 2:42 PM

      "Killed the genre" is a bit dramatic. They changed it yes, but by doing so they brought in truckloads of new players. It's not Blizzard's fault that other MMO's made it a huge pain in the ass even to complete a single quest. They made it easier so you could actually play the game and not play Spreadsheet Online. Some folks still do that in the upper raiding tier, and that's fine, but normal folks aren't interested in that at all.

      I'm looking forward to seeing what Titan is all about. Yes, I know it'll be a while longer now, but Blizzard seems to be the one of the very few that can execute something in the MMO world that isn't utter shit. GW 2 I've heard was good or even great but haven't played myself so I can't comment. Bioware tried and that didn't turn out well. They, like other companies, have a few hundred thousand or maybe a million there, but not much more, and gameplay isn't as smooth or interesting.

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        July 1, 2013 2:51 PM

        Actually the leveling in SW:ToR is far superior to WoW. The game was really close to being great but made the same mistakes as so many others and a) released too early and b) listened to the wrong feedback in regards to their more complicated systems. ToR's major issue was that there was no end-game whatsoever and the leveling process ended up being far faster than Bioware was expecting.

        To me GW2 was actually slightly less than Star Wars. It got very repetitive very fast and after the first 30 levels or so there was basically no progression beyond changing zones.

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          July 1, 2013 3:56 PM

          GW2 offered far better exploration than SW did. In fact I'd argue SW didn't have any exploration at all.

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            July 1, 2013 5:00 PM

            I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion or why you think it's relevant.

            SW:ToR had exploration; some of the planets were so huge it was quite intimidating - hell to compete in endgame (lol) you were basically required to find certain items by exploring the world and finding hidden areas. It just wasn't one single world which had the effect of making it feel smaller.

            GW2 had better exploration and even rewarded the player for it but if you just followed the quest line as normal you still hit it all just like all the other MMO's. It may have been slightly better but it wasn't near enough to really add to the leveling experience.

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              July 1, 2013 9:26 PM

              GW2 has side areas (jumping puzzles/mini dungeons) in every single area that you'll never run across doing quests.

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              July 2, 2013 5:11 AM

              so wrong it hurts, SWTOR zones were fucking tiny. The few big ones like tatooine, were linear and sparsely populated. GW2 has mostly larger zones than swtor AND has a crapload of optional explorable tasks to complete and achievements.

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              July 2, 2013 5:37 PM

              The point I didn't articulate very well is that you're way under representing GW2, and over stating SW. In fact I'm certain that if it wasn't a Bioware game carrying the SW licensed no one would be looking at it.

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          July 1, 2013 4:06 PM

          I'm still hanging onto my 1/3 rule. At around level 20, or around 1/3 through a new MMO, it's like the devs just stop caring. It happened with soooo many promising games. Yeah leveling in TOR was better, but not much else was, and again after about level 10 or 15 or whenever it was you finished your main class quest line, it felt like the same thing.

          WoW on the other hand, you hit 20 or so and holy shit, an npc would tell you where to go. When you got there, TONS of quests were available and were easy to do. Loads of people wanted to do quests and get into dungeons. You got new skills almost every level and at 40 you could get a mount (back in vanilla, not really fair to compare new MMO's to WoW now). Crafting really ramped up and gave you at least semi-useful stuff. The AH could you make you rich quick if you had a gathering profession. I remember when a Black Lotus was basically a free level 40 mount for herbalists. Yeah, it had flaws and bugs, but it rocked the shit out of anything else at the time, and frankly still does, if not as badly.

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          July 1, 2013 5:34 PM

          GW2 would have been great if every 20/40 levels you could unlock a new tier of weapons.

          Not necessarily better, but just brings different skills to the player to use while leveling. It would have made the game a LOT more enjoyable to the end.

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        July 1, 2013 4:09 PM

        But in journalism "killed the genre" turns what would be a benign interview into a headline!

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          July 1, 2013 4:13 PM

          Well, he was just quoting what the guy said. I was directing my comment more toward the dev, not Keef.

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            July 2, 2013 6:30 AM

            I didn't mean to imply ill will toward the author, it's just the nature of the beast.

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      July 1, 2013 2:43 PM

      I agree with a lot of what he says. Hell a great many of his points mirror things that I (and others) have been saying here for ages. A constant focus on being more and more casual friendly has ruined WoW and maybe even the rest of the genre.

      "It’s not the end game that we should be worried about, its the journey."
      This is probably the only part I take issue with. I don't think it can be one or the other and if forced to choose one I would always choose end-game because that is where I am likely to spend most of my time in an MMO.

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      July 1, 2013 2:45 PM

      It's not their fault that every other MMO wanted to do a generic copy of WoW. This is like how everyone used to blame Myst for the death of adventure games.

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      July 1, 2013 2:50 PM

      It's not the end game that we should be worried about, it's the journey. An MMO should be savored, a lifetime of experiences contained within a single, beautifully crafted world.

      That's a difference of opinion and creates a completely different game. Certainly I am WoW-biased but I find endgame encounters to be entirely more fun than leveling up a character. Nearly all of my "lifetime of experiences" in WoW are from the endgame: killing a hard boss, funny conversations that happened in battlegrounds, even the drama and breakups that plagued my Vanilla days.

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        July 1, 2013 2:52 PM

        leveling up in an mmo basically makes me want to kill myself now

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          July 1, 2013 2:56 PM

          Defiance has a unique take on the progression. It took me quite awhile to really grasp how it works but now that i know I really like it (for that type of game) and it makes "leveling" a more arbitrary concept and progression is less of a goal and more of a result of just playing. It's certainly far more casual than the traditional system but a subscriptionless game it works exceptionally well.

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      July 1, 2013 2:52 PM

      Two issues:
      Every MMO that follows the WoW formula is a trivial exercise, dominated by rote and convention, trading off the joy of the journey for a series of meaningless tasks. And when we race to the end, we expect some kind of miracle end-game that will keep us playing. It never does.

      It’s not the end game that we should be worried about, its the journey. An MMO should be savored, a lifetime of experiences contained within a single, beautifully crafted world.


      This guy's POV is everything wrong with the newer MMOs. The end game should be the singular focus of the game systems design. Every competitor that lacks a well-balanced raiding system has failed into F2P space because it could not keep enough players invested. Some of them didn't even bother with raids at release and watched their players bleed out as they consumed content.

      What keeps the ~ 8 million people paying to play WoW is the excellent raid balance, complexity and design. If you fail to provide that, you will fail.

      The 2nd issue is that people are still focused on copying the classic EQ MMO formula, and that is just not the market anymore. It's like competing with CoD in FPS space, you'll never win because the players who want that game are already playing exactly what they want. If you're a developer who wants to get into MMO space, you need to open your horizons and look at what games like League of Legends, EVE, and Star Citizen are doing. They appeal to an entirely different market. Don't try to copy the leader, because they're always larger than you.

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        July 1, 2013 2:55 PM

        imo the leveling process should be like 6 hours tops and then you're into raids and getting gear. leveling is so awful. fuck that guy

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          July 1, 2013 2:59 PM

          really, who am i kidding. i wouldn't stick it out for 6 hours. it should just immediately place you in a starter raid with bots where you learn your skills and your role and loot your first set of gear

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          July 1, 2013 2:59 PM

          This is one of the reasons I'm rooting for the SCitizens guys to deliver on their idea. I like item-based leveling over skill-based leveling.

          Working your way slowly up to reach the point where you start being useful to the wider world just does not work anymore for a paid subscription. People don't like the grind, and they already have top-end WoW characters available. I fully understand where you're coming from.

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            July 1, 2013 3:01 PM

            yeah i like the attempt to do something fundamentally different, without the grinding of typical MMOs (even WoW, which is often claimed to have minimal or no grind). lots of MMOs claim to be super different but then you get in, and it's the same shit. once you start talking about quests and experience points and levels... uggggggh i can't go through that again.

            Aion 4.0 came out the other day and i rolled a new character and i literally made it through a single quest before giving up. i just can't do it. can't take that shit

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          July 1, 2013 4:52 PM

          alternatively/in addition, however long it does take needs some sort of fast path for successive characters. I'm not leveling one of each Diablo 3 class to 60, even if I am interesting enough to want to play each class at max level.

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            July 1, 2013 5:01 PM

            You can get a softcore D3 character to 60 in 3 or 4 hours quite easily.

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              July 1, 2013 6:18 PM

              Other than grouping up with higher leveled people and just running behind them how would this work?

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                July 1, 2013 6:19 PM

                Buy gear at every level and steamroll at the highest MP level.

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                July 1, 2013 6:41 PM

                To do it in 3 hours you would need to do some powerleveling with a level 60.

                I personally got a character to 60 playing purely solo on mp10 in I think it was 60 hours played just questing; could easily have shaved a full hour off if I had been more efficient and grinded high density areas instead of doing quests.

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              July 1, 2013 6:28 PM

              this is like the argument against respec'ing in D3 because getting to level 80+ in D2 "only took a few hours" in a completely unsupported and pain in the ass way. No average player is getting a new character to 60 in a few hours.

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                July 1, 2013 6:42 PM

                With even a small amount of gold you can fund a new toon easily.

                So you just play mp10 and buy gear ever 5 or so levels (mostly you just buy weapons with -level requirements and a socket then throw a massive red gem into them).

                Then at level 43 - 45 you can buy Level Requirement -17 gear and literally be wearing Inferno gear to finish leveling. It's not that hard man and the average player that has a semi-progressed 60 COULD do it if they took the time to learn HOW to do it.

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                  July 1, 2013 8:48 PM

                  so we're acknowledging that there's a dumb and annoying process and then saying it's ok because there's a dumb and annoying workaround that you could, with some effort, figure out how to do so you'd only need to waste 4 hours (times the number of classes you're interested in) of your time grinding instead of way more. I know you have no problem grinding boring shit over and over again but that doesn't play with a lot of people.

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                    July 1, 2013 10:39 PM

                    What is your point?

                    You want them to just hand you a free max level alt?

                    They have methods built into the game (various set pieces, hellfire rings, MP, -level req) that vastly speeds up subsequent leveling attempts all ready. If leveling a character at a rate that is nearly exponentially faster than the normal rate is too much for you then I suggest that you just play a different game because obviously you don't enjoy this one.

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          July 1, 2013 5:00 PM

          I think that's only if you see leveling as something to "get through", rather than a potentially rich experience on its own. Granted, that isn't always the case in WoW or in other MMO's, but the same can be said of the failings of a lot of "end-game" content as well. But I think your mindset and how you approach things is a major factor here.

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            July 1, 2013 7:16 PM

            i see it as 1,000,000 fetch, kill, and escort quests, which is exactly what it is in basically every MMO including WoW. you've always been the "lemme just putz around here doing nothing for an hour and look at the scenery" guy but i like my games to actually be fun

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              July 1, 2013 7:17 PM

              (and my tastes have changed a LOT since i played WoW. i had no problem with this stuff before. i just can't stomach traditional MMO fare any more.)

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              July 1, 2013 9:46 PM

              I really enjoyed leveling in WoW when they introduced the dungeon finder. I spent more than half my time in instances, which I see as the most enjoyable part of the game, and the other doing quests here and there. I even enjoyed it more than the end-game because it was fairly stress-free and didn't take a large time investment: I could queue up and jump right into 5-man instances.

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                July 1, 2013 10:40 PM

                yeah the dungeon finder was huge for me. eventually it was the whole game for me after i stopped raiding. loved it. just having some fun doing heroic 5-mans, killing shit, not being too worried, and wrapping it up in half an hour

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            July 1, 2013 7:20 PM

            i will agree that it doesn't *have* to be this way though. if leveling were actually fun then obviously i'd be fine with it. that's almost tautological. but in every MMO i've ever tried, leveling is a pain

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        July 1, 2013 3:05 PM

        to be fair, endgame isn't even keeping wow folks around anymore.

        but yeah what you have to do is find a different gameplay model.

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        July 1, 2013 3:51 PM

        Every competitor has failed not solely because they lack a good endgame but also because the journey to the endgame wasn't good enough. The goal is to both create a great world you want to live in and a good endgame. Not everyone loves the raiding.

      • Ebu legacy 10 years
        reply
        July 1, 2013 4:06 PM

        For me, the "end game" is far and away the least important part of a game, and the part I'm least likely to ever see.

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          July 1, 2013 4:10 PM

          Exactly, especially if you solo (as I do)

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          July 1, 2013 5:06 PM

          Therein lies the problem. You have one group who are 100% in the "The game doesn't even start until mid-game camp" and then people in the "I will never play end-game" camp. There is no way to please them all without dumbing down everything to the lowest common denominator which WoW has been working towards with each successive patch and expansion since its launch.

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            July 1, 2013 5:26 PM

            Why would you have to dumb things down to make a good start, mid, or end?

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              July 1, 2013 5:29 PM

              I think it's because making the journey to the level cap engaging enough for the "I wanna hang out here" crowd means it's too long & tedious for the "I wanna get to the end" crowd. Conversely, if you make the journey to the level cap nice & brief to satisfy the "I wanna get to the end crowd", then you create an experience that's hardly worth engaging in for the "I wanna hang out here" crowd.

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                July 1, 2013 6:16 PM

                Making something long or short isn't the same as dumbing it down. And there's no reason why you can't have lots of things to do in the mid-game but at the same time make much of it optional if you just want to play the endgame.

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                July 1, 2013 6:31 PM

                The problem isn't that they're long or short, it's that they're both filled with shitty gameplay, absurd amounts of repetition, and tons of annoying bullshit (waiting to find groups and organize a raid, rerunning instances over and over, etc). There's a reason singleplayer games don't use MMO style gameplay systems... given the choice, there're a lot more fun ways to play than what most MMOs offer.

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        July 1, 2013 4:21 PM

        My problem is virtually every MMO went with an endgame when it isn't needed. For example UO originally didn't have one since you could never have every skill or be amazing at everything. You would do dungeons but maybe you were a shopkeeper or something.

        Not every game needs an endgame in that way.

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        July 1, 2013 4:23 PM

        SW:TOR had a fantastic pre-endgame world. The idea of incorporating well developed stories with voice acting was very effective and what kept me pushing along until i ran out of interesting concept in the early level 40's region.
        The key point here is that i never felt like i was having to level/grind my character so i could enjoy end game content.. the 'journey' was an enjoyable experience in itself.

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          July 1, 2013 5:03 PM

          Someone should play the secret world!

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          July 1, 2013 7:24 PM

          Since you mentioned it: I've been replaying KOTOR 2 for the 50th time, and I've been thinking about giving TOR a shot, if for no other reason than to see how the story pans out. I generally hate MMO's and do not care about playing with other people. Is it worth it to play solo? Is it worth it to actually subscribe for the duration of that play time, or is it perfectly fine just playing the free version?

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          July 2, 2013 1:27 AM

          I agree that it was far more interesting to level. I disliked that you were ALWAYS on some super important quest and there was little to no room to go out of bounds.

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        July 1, 2013 4:47 PM

        From an ideological standpoint, I agree with him 100%, and that's how I always played WoW. From a commercial perspective, I think the easier sell is an endgame you can get to quickly with a bunch of continual support/content once you get there.

        • Ebu legacy 10 years
          reply
          July 1, 2013 5:42 PM

          But that makes it not the endgame.

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            July 1, 2013 5:55 PM

            I think that fits the definition of what most people consider to be an "endgame" when it comes to MMOs, but I'll grant you that the term can be a little fuzzy.

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        July 1, 2013 5:04 PM

        Everytime I played WoW I stopped shortly after achieving max level. So I respectfully disagree.

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          July 1, 2013 5:32 PM

          That's the point though, '~ 8 million people paying to play WoW' care about the end game. You're not paying, so you don't matter to them.

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            July 1, 2013 6:27 PM

            I think you are over emphasizing that every single one of those ~8 million think like you. The reality is probably closer to 40% of just the US/EU region, and of those 40% even less play just for raids. The rest of the 40% are playing for social reasons more than their enjoyment of repeating raid content. Saying that, those 40% still total more than what most MMO's ever reach at their most popular point in time.

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              July 1, 2013 6:34 PM

              Yeah, pretty sure Blizzard has stated that a small percentage of players actually stepped foot into Raids before they added LFR, one of the reasons they added it was to get more people seeing the content. A lot of people play to do all the fluff stuff, collect mounts, farm old raids for cosmetic gear, pet battles, leveling alts, pvp etc. One of the reasons WoW has been a and maintained success is it has a little something for everyone.

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        July 1, 2013 5:45 PM

        Uh, that's a *terrible* idea.. the moment I hit max level in every MMO I've played its basically "I beat the game". Why would I want to play 1000000+ hours of the exact same thing over and over and over again? THAT sounds like a nightmare, I guess if you like mindless repetition and teenage texting shenanigans thats fine for kids - but I just play a week or two until I hit level 60 (or insert max level here) and then move on to the next MMO. Last one I played was Neverwinter - I beat the game on a pretty fun 3-day weekend. Will go back? Probably not... (yes I played all the dungeons, but once is enough, I don't want to fight the same boss AGAIN, and before you mention the Foundry stuff.. which I admit is a pretty amazing new innovative feature for an MMO, I already did all of the high-voted ones.. nothing much else to do). I still miss MUDs tho... you could play for a year or two and still not get max level.. even if there were only 30 levels on the MUD. Damn those were the days... hahah why not just start off everyone with Tier 9 equipment at level 1000 with one dungeon and one boss, probably make all those WoWers wet dreams come true.

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          July 1, 2013 6:24 PM

          As I said to SqueegyTBS, if you're the kind who reaches the end game and ends, you're not the kind of person these game want.

          The reason WoW still has 8 million paying subs is that it has a great end-game, and if developers want that kind of loyalty, they need to put the mechanisms (game systems) and work into balancing that End Game.

          Most devs will never achieve that, so it is better to look at alternative income models to find their way, or better yet, more innovative design, like EVE.

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        July 2, 2013 1:21 AM

        Part 1

        Hope I’m not too late to the party.

        I would alternatively argue that you're both wrong, and right.

        Yes, endgame clearly matters. You obviously don't want a game that ends when you finish leveling. When the whole object of the game you're playing for 20, 30, 40 hours is to progress your character to make him/her stronger, you are going to want to feel the awesomeness when there's no stronger you can get. This is what raiding is for. You, me, and that guy over there put a lot of time in this game to become stupendous badasses. As a result, we are the only ones suited to take on that giant dragon that’s fucking everyone else up. Let’s do it.

        This guy's POV is everything wrong with the newer MMOs. Every competitor that lacks a well-balanced raiding system has failed into F2P space because it could not keep enough players invested.
        This statement is backwards to me. How long did it take you to level your first character to 60 back in vanilla? I know some people did it in record time, but most people's first "play through" took them multiple months. What's more: that is what hooked players into the system. Was it a grind? Didn’t I just go around picking up feathers and killing kobolds for candles? Who cares? I had fun doing it. People even recognized at the time that you were doing random tasks of little to middling significance. It simply didn’t matter because it was fun.

        It forced you to explore. By not telling you exactly where to go, you had to run around looking for your guy. On your way, you might find a treasure chest, or some tower in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of guys, or a Silver Rare mob, or a poor flagged alternative-faction sod in the middle of a group of mobs he’s trying to kill, or you may even see someone with their own horse if you’re lucky. You didn’t have to think about what you were doing, but you had to pay attention to it. It made you read quests to figure out where the fuck to go.

        Also, dungeons were spread throughout the leveling process. You didn’t have to do them if you didn’t want to, but you fucking wanted to. Zones built them up by having quest chains for them. That was how you got all the coolest and best stuff. They had really neat encounters.

        All of this combined got the player immersed. “Immersion” is something of a keyword in large, expansive games now, but that is why people cared and what kept them invested.

        But then what about the end game? Like I said, I do believe end game is important also, but lets use vanilla WoW as an example again. When WoW was released, it had one (two) real raid(s). There were a few things that made it interesting to people:
        First, you had to get yourself attuned. I know the second or third time you did this, it was annoying because you had to do BRD (eugh), but the first time it was fucking awesome. You work your way through BRD, which at the time wasn’t hard as much as it was grueling and unforgiving. Then you finally get your piece of the core and you’re able to go. If you were like me, and I know you were, you immediately formed a raid of the group you were in to get your shard and hopped into MC just to see what it was like. Then you shit your pants when you walked too far forward and encountered giant molten rock dudes.
        Second, it wasn’t easy. You struggled with every single boss because they were all unique. I won’t belabor the point.
        Next, you didn’t experience the whole thing in one or two weeks so it kept you coming back for months. Because of this the one real raid kept people sated for at least half a year before BWL came out, and even then that shit was too hard so you had to keep going to MC.
        Last, you were able to get truly “elite” things. There was a legendary you had .001% chance to get. There was a set tailored specifically for you. There was that one fucking item you could never get but always wanted (http://www.wowwiki.com/Azuresong_Mageblade).

        And while I keep dismissing Onyxia, it actually kept the same feel as MC. It was just a 15 minute experience.

        I'd say current WoW is as now close as you can get to what electroly suggested below (sarcastically or not, I can't really tell). The process is so streamlined, you can get through whole zones in amazingly little time and with amazingly little thought and effort, and raids are mindless affairs that don’t matter at all. As a result, people don’t care about … well … anything when they get to max level, and raiding is just another part of the grind without any

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 1:21 AM

        Part 2

        significance.

        A few questions to illustrate my point:
        What was your favorite zone in WoW? Why?
        Okay, now what was your favorite zone in GW2? SW:TOR? Rift? Any other game?
        Did you ever raid the XRoads?
        Do you have a favorite dungeon in Wow? What about another MMO?
        Did you ever get into Hyjal before they put it in? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F-SAcqXf0I)
        Did you ever get to Old Ironforge? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syxzinHMzPM)
        Did you spend forever trying to figure out how to get to the airport? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvUyDD0rnsE)

        All simply to show that the memorable parts weren’t just raids.

        TL;DR

        Leveling set the theme of vanilla, and wasn’t just a means to an end.
        The theme was then continued in the raids.
        That theming got the player immersed.
        This is no longer the case.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 1:30 AM

          Jesus I got a little carried away. First post of mine to ever be split into two parts.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 3:19 PM

      It's on its way back with all these survival themed games that things like Minecraft and Day Z have inspired and the fact that Kickstarter is now allowing all kinds of crazy shit to get made.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 3:30 PM

      Yeah, they killed the MMO by making it fun and enjoyable for 12 million players.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 3:37 PM

        Pretty much. They didn't kill the genre, they just showed that there was a larger audience for something a bit simpler and less punishing.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 3:47 PM

      They killed the genre by exploding its popularity. I think I understand.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 3:55 PM

      WoW didn't kill the genre, if anything flops like AOC, WAR and SWTOR and the players that flocked to them looking for the next big thing harmed the genre more than anything WoW ever did.

      The players are also to blame, no one has patience with MMO's even though they are never feature complete at launch and always need 6 months to a year to find there stride. WoW was the same way it had its own host of issues at launch but players were more forgiving back then because they didn't have as many options to compare it too.

      Most of the MMO's that have launched and had huge launch numbers only to crash and burn turned into much better games 6 months past release but in this market you have to impress in the first 2-3 months or you are dead.

      And there is no reason a developer couldn't develop a niche oldschool sandbox type MMO and be successful, the reason recent ones have failed is because they were bad games, not sure how that is WoW's fault.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 4:13 PM

        IAWTP. royal fuckups trying to be alternatives soured people moreso than WoW did.

        if this guy is recalling the "old days" there were PLENTY of opportunities to relive that thriving nostalgia... he's better off analyzing how the competitors to WoW failed miserably than just taking the easy way out

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 10:01 PM

        The players are to blame for not buying into a 6 month subscription waiting for a game to become feature complete after launch? When you observe the same thing happening time and time again, that is the fault of the developer/publisher.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 3:55 PM

      I don't even need to read the article because the title itself is spot on.

      All the unoriginal developers in the game making factories copying dumb shit from wow 10 years later really grinds my gears as well.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 4:07 PM

      WoW is a direct extension of the Everquest model of MMO. But yes, if MMOs were still like Ultima Online, I would play MMOs.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 4:14 PM

        I agree, I don't know why more studios take the approach EVE does and cater to a niche. Don't make you're game graphically mind blowing but have systems that aren't available in other MMO's and I would think you could attract a few 100,000 players to make the game profitable.

        • reply
          July 1, 2013 4:38 PM

          Why attract 12,000,000 when you can attract 100,000?

          • reply
            July 1, 2013 4:58 PM

            EVE has been running for over 10 years now. Aside from WoW, what other MMOs have had that kind of sustained success? The money CCP makes from EVE is peanuts compared to the money Blizzard makes off of WoW, but it's obvious better than cloning WoW and going from launch to free-to-play in a couple of months.

            • reply
              July 1, 2013 5:05 PM

              It also helps that EVE is scifi instead of fantasy like most of the WoW clones out there.

            • reply
              July 1, 2013 7:08 PM

              Lots of them, apparently.
              http://mmodata.blogspot.com/

              • reply
                July 1, 2013 8:16 PM

                Those charts appear to show a handful of games that have been as successful for as long as EVE, and WoW clones aren't among those successes. Thanks for the evidence.

          • reply
            July 1, 2013 8:09 PM

            no one will ever attract 12 million

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 4:20 PM

      I agree with him 100%.. Before WoW, it was a question of IF you could get to max level. Now in MMOs, everyone feels like the game doesn't begin until you've already been there for a couple weeks and gotten some gear to start raiding.

      For comparison:
      When Mists of Pandaria came out, there were fresh level 90 monks within 48 hours.
      In DAoC's first expansion, the necromancer was considered the perfect solo class because experienced players could get one to 50 in ~175-200 hours played.

      The journey is now a weekend instead of a real investment.

      I miss death meaning something. I miss knowing that someone who got to the highest level really earned it and knew what they were doing. I miss seeing tons of awesome stuff on the way to the endgame instead of having everything good held back for the endgame.

      Between the success of WoW and way that every pseudo-oldschool game released since WoW has been doa, I have to agree that they did kill the genre. Or at least killed what could have been a substantial segment of the genre. There are a lot of people who enjoyed the oldschool games because they were hardcore, not in spite of it. It looks like we're stuck playing on emulated servers of old MMOs because that part of the genre totally died with WoW.

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        July 1, 2013 4:54 PM

        I dont think WoW killed the genre, i think the problem is that publishers think anything less than a million subscribers is a 'failure' and not worth the risk/investment. In otherwords publisher greed has killed the genre.

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          July 1, 2013 5:08 PM

          Kinda like what Call of Duty 4 did to FPS games? Raised the bar so nearly-unreachably high, that greedy publishers tried to hit the same benchmark (sometimes egregiously trying to carbon-copy the formula), and failed miserably. The worst offenders were Homefront (which killed off Kaos Studios, and was among one of the major factors that drove THQ into bankruptcy), and the two modern-military Medal of Honor games (which re-killed the Medal of Honor franchise, and resulted in the closure of Danger Close... or looked at another way, the rebadging of it into EA DICE LA).

          The biggest problem with a runaway success in the games industry is to have it attract the attention of all the business types, who will chase that fad, to the artform's detriment. Independent developers are a growing control against that urge, but there are still some subgenres that are too expensive for an indie developer to produce (I still think a great FPS game can be made with less than $1 million, but most publishers want realistic settings, Hollywood writers, high-dollar voice actors, cinematic cutscene animations, etc... which isn't necessary to make a great game).

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 4:58 PM

        there are dozens of mmos that are total grind fests if you want. why exactly you'd want to play them i have no idea.

        • reply
          July 1, 2013 6:54 PM

          There is a difference between a straight grind and a long, interesting leveling process.

          Give me lore and story that is cohesive. (Blizzard threw cohesiveness out the window in WotLK.)
          Give me a bunch of interesting classes and let me make choices that allow my playstyle to evolve in meaningful ways over the course of the levels. Bigger damage numbers are good, but if that's all I get, it's very dull.
          Let me feel like leveling matters. Make it difficult. Make death result in a substantial loss. Send me back to lower-level areas to fight sometimes so I really feel my progress. ("These guys were owning me 15 levels ago, now they can barely hurt me. Awesome!")
          Let players change the world. Yeah, it's difficult, but it's awesome. I don't want instanced trickery, I want to see real change like opening the AQ gates back in the day. Huge faction-wide events, make it so success on one side hinders the other.

          • reply
            July 1, 2013 10:14 PM

            The stronger faction getting even stronger and impeding the opposing side didn't work very well in Aion, just throwing that out there.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 5:08 PM

        I didn't like the Asheron's Call method of making you leave your 3 most expensive items on the corpse, but at least it made the hair on your arm stand up when you were going back!

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          July 1, 2013 5:49 PM

          At least in the early days of the game, everyone just padded their inventory with expensive robes as insurance. It didn't always work but it was that kind of thing that made the game awesome in some ways, people found ways to improve the game, and the devs didn't try to stop them for it really. In fact much of the economy was driven by things the devs did because the players wanted it.

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          July 1, 2013 5:49 PM

          dude it fucking ruled for PvP. i kill you? them my duckets now. or you'd have to have your buddies run someone off and guard your corpse.

          i seriously don't even get the point of PvP in games without this mechanic.

          • reply
            July 1, 2013 5:52 PM

            Yeah I have never played an MMO with such hardcore PvP. It made total sense from a design perspective, but players are just such wussies now they cry to GMs way too much for nonsense.

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            July 2, 2013 1:47 AM

            Better mechanics for the part that matters, controlling your character.

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          July 1, 2013 9:07 PM

          Have you tried Wizardry Online. You get two roles when you die. Fail both and it's perma-death. Stuff in you inventory can influence the roll up to 100%.

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        July 1, 2013 5:53 PM

        I think the best way to think about it is like TV shows... great shows have very few followers/watchers and many end prematurely. Where as "the masses" watch terrible reality shows and whathaveyou and those last for years (even decades it seems) with much, much higher ratings. Judge Judy > Dexter? Cheaters > Arrested Development? WoW > other MMOs? etc. etc. What is it that makes something great? The popularity? That's all WoWers ever seem to point towards "well WoW has 238 billion players, its obviously better than anything else and your stupid game only has <insert low # of players>".

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          July 2, 2013 5:27 AM

          No way. That analogy would make sense if WoW was not the best out there, but right now it is. it's the most polished, has the smoothest and probably most balanced combat, has the most quality of life features, easily has the best end game. The only places it is lacking are in graphics and storyline.

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        July 1, 2013 6:02 PM

        They didn't kill the genre at all. They found the method to obtain the most money which unfortunately resulted in "me too" mmorpgs. I believe within the next ten years we will see a trend back to more game play oriented mmo's, not ones built around maximum financial returns, aka common denominator game play.

        I'd bet bank today that many developers wanted to focus on game play but publishers forced them into "It has to be more like WoW"!

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        July 1, 2013 6:06 PM

        Biggest difference I think is how EQ almost *required* group play. If you wanted to advance, you had to make groups and hang out. At the time it kind of annoyed me but looking back, it really added to the community feeling. You started to know names, know who was good, who was bad, what groups and what areas were good to level at. Much of this feeling of danger and cooperation is missing in games now days.

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          July 1, 2013 6:18 PM

          That's how I felt in vanilla WoW. Having a dungeon finder, and emphasising loot, kills a lot of the social interaction.

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        July 1, 2013 10:20 PM

        In FFXI, it took hundreds of hours to get to max level and there were TONS of people who didn't know what they were doing and it was 99% forced group leveling with death penalties and de-leveling. It's nice to believe that getting to max level in old school MMOs was some Darwinistic trial that proves the superiority of people attaining it, but that's just not the case. Anyone with enough persistence and time will reach the cap.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 5:18 PM

      I miss you Asherons Call "pours one out"

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 5:46 PM

        Me too! And believe me I lost a lot of great gear from dying in that game, most people can't handle that kind of loss anymore in games, but damnit if that game wasn't awesome.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 6:34 PM

      Pretty much. Two things kill new MMOs deader than dead:

      1. No endgame content. Why this hasn't been realized yet is utterly beyond me. "Battlegrounds" pvp maps is not enough; your subscribers will hit the level cap, finish the quest/story line, and then very promptly get bored. And quit.

      2. Trivial leveling to cap. The last MMO I played was Neverwinter and I hit max level in about four days, playing pretty casually.

      There are odd standouts however, like WAR (in which hugely gross and unapologetic class imbalance was the culprit, and which continues even to this day) and the laughingstock that was Horizons (outright credit card fraud).

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 6:42 PM

        And now the cynical PC elitist asshole:

        WoW is to MMO as candyland is to board games. And now it's the fucking standard.

        • reply
          July 1, 2013 6:49 PM

          Well you also have EVE Online which is like a PhD to a High school degree.

          Kind of like comparing Civilization games to EU/Victoria/HoI/CK games.

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            July 1, 2013 8:31 PM

            True, and I enjoyed the little bit of EVE that I played, but I feel like it's late in the game for me to get back into it. i'm hoping a new MMO comes along that gets things right. ESO? EQ Next? We will see.

            I miss my troll shaman.

            • reply
              July 1, 2013 8:54 PM

              This is why I look forward to Star Citizen mostly. Their MMO model is not the same as WoW's.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 10:25 PM

        I would think that they realize #1, but publishers get impatient and want a ROI, especially since MMOs take so long to develop and usually fall behind schedule by years, only to release with a lot of features missing anyways.

        I think TOR has to be the poster child for this. It was a pretty decent game for something newly launched, but when you sit back and ponder that they had a $200 million budget you have to question if that was money well spent.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 6:48 PM

      UO is and always will be the king mmo. Everything else is pussy care bear compared. Could you imagine if todays gamers played uo? Omg there would be millions of crybabies.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 7:12 PM

        It would be so amazing. RIP Bob Villa of the Great Lakes server. Best murderer with exploding boxes.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
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          July 1, 2013 9:48 PM

          I was pretty good with em around Britain bank, I place but people would blame the guy I was standing by. It's also where I got my Ghost purple color, purple potions. I thought of it as my little clue I was the one doing the trapped chests. And yep on Great Lakes. Oh for awhile ya could trap chest in people's houses, I'd do that too.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
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          July 2, 2013 5:42 AM

          I hung out with Ballyhoo was in Fellowship (FS) and Dracul with him/her. On GL, I still play, but not as much as I used to.

      • Ziz legacy 10 years
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        July 2, 2013 5:18 AM

        They added tram cause of people getting poked.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 7:02 PM

      instanced dungeons were the worst thing to happen to MMORPGS

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 7:36 PM

        nah, taking away the ability to kill anyone you want to was worse than instanced dungeons because at least if you took away instanced dungeons i could kill the guy thats nonstop farming a mob i would need to kill. without the ability to kill that annoying fuck you would just sit there and watch as he tags your mob and laughs at you. we need a new game that allows anyone to be killed by anyone, a game of thrones styled game but it wouldnt need to only be set in that time period, just a game that nobody is safe in would be interesting today.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 7:15 PM

      WoW killed the genre, because WoW did it, polished the turd that was the mmo genre, and now we are sick of it.

      we ALL played WoW, we all "beat" WoW. and guess what? MMOs arent doing anything NEW.

      hence why nothing else has gotten any more attention in the last 8 years.

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 8:29 PM

      It killed the genre in the sense that really no other game came close to the quality of experience that WoW offered. But that's okay, because Blizzard is fucking WoW up as fast as they can, giving new entrants a chance!

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 9:12 PM

      Monthly subscriptions killed wow. If they halved the subscription cost they most likely would see a resurgence of players.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 10:28 PM

        And they'd have to more than double the playerbase to make the same amount of profit.

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 10:52 PM

        You're smoking that nasty shit aren't you?

      • reply
        July 1, 2013 11:54 PM

        lol

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 1:09 AM

        I know boatloads of ex-wow-players and I don't think a single one of them quit because of the fees, or hasn't returned because of the fees. Sure enough, maybe they'd visit the game every now and then if it was free, but lowering the subscription to half of what it is now would have little effect imho. Most people really don't give a shit about a few euros a month if it gives them access to a game they enjoy, and those who do, they'll be annoyed at the 6 eur / month as well.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 1:11 AM

        I'm not sure you can call a game with ~8 million subscribers "dead".

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 5:37 AM

        Yes, Blizzard is broke because they're rich from monthly fees. BACK INTO YOUR HOLE!

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
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      July 1, 2013 9:44 PM

      Yep WoW sucks. Ultima Online is still better.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 8:15 AM

        Ultima Online before they totally pussified it was the best... nothing like having to hire humans to escort you to go mining so you don't get ass raped

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 4:06 PM

          Yep. They hit a really awesome middle ground at some point with the bounty version

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 9:55 PM

      I remember WOW starting out as an incredibly difficult MMO. UBRS and Scholomance were nigh impossible. It was great, and also incredibly frustrating.

      I still enjoyed what it ended up as, though I have not tried the panda expansion.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 12:01 AM

        Up until the first version of Naxxramas it was great, then they started their slide into mediocrity catering to the lowest common demoninator.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 1:52 AM

          The first version of Naxx was very difficult.

          • reply
            July 2, 2013 5:32 AM

            Yeah there was nothing easy about that aside from maybe the very first boss, but getting the gear to be able to fight him was crazy. Wasn't it like less than 1% of the player base even beat Naxx before TBC was released?

            • reply
              July 2, 2013 7:34 AM

              Yes, though to be honest the biggest challenges in Naxx-40 were logistical. Running around the continents to get world buffs for Loatheb, then swapping in 8 tanks for Four Horsemen, then bringing in 8 priests for Sapphiron -- that stuff wasn't a skill check, it was a test of your guild's reserve manpower and willingness to tolerate time sinks.

              The hardest raid encounters in WoW nowadays are far more demanding in terms of individual responsibility and on-the-fly coordination.

              • reply
                July 2, 2013 8:07 AM

                Agreed. I loved Vanilla as much as the next guy, but a lot of what made it "hard" was merely broken and outdated mechanics. Like you mentioned: class stacking, getting world buffs, farming potions and flasks and food that took hours instead of just visiting the auction house like one does now.

              • reply
                July 2, 2013 9:44 AM

                8 tanks with 4 piece set bonus I think

    • reply
      July 1, 2013 9:59 PM

      WoW is the only MMO I've ever played. I stopped at level 25 or so (yeah didn't even have a mount), so my experience and opinion varies greatly with most here in the thread.

      I stopped because it was eating up too much time and my friends all leveled without me. I wanted a slow RPG where I progressed as fast or slow as I wanted, but all my friends wanted to keep unlocking the next level, the next mount, the next surprise. Playing alone was just kinda pointless.

      But I think WoW is fantastic. When I first logged on, and the intro cinematic flew over the town and was full of real players instead of NPCs, it fucking blew my mind. Still does now that I think back.

      The problem people are having sounds like it's from overplaying. You already finished the game, so there is nothing else to do. So quit playing and play something else?

    • reply
      July 2, 2013 12:38 AM

      This guy makes a very compelling case for that argument:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvK8fua6O64

    • reply
      July 2, 2013 12:47 AM

      More like killed the cancer that were old MMOs

    • reply
      July 2, 2013 1:07 AM

      From my POV, the dude is not completely full of it. I used to be a complete MMO nut, and I was that for a long, long time. I started with MUDs before UO, moved to UO while it was in Beta, and since then have really gone through every MMO that matters. The list is stupid long, and I've enjoyed many of them for months or even years.

      After WoW, however, nothing has kept me around for more than a while. Mostly the problem, at least for me, is the fact that none of the games that have followed WoW have done anything new. I don't think the problem is that WoW made things too casual and that people won't settle for something less casual anymore - it's just that there hasn't been anything that has presented something truly new in the genre, and has done it with quality and a sufficient mass of content. Why would anyone switch from WoW to a game that is essentially a clone with less content, especially when their circle of friends was still playing WoW? Why publishers thought this would be the way things work is a complete mystery to me.

      I've now not logged on into a MMORPG for over a year, if not counting a couple of random visits to GW2. I've lost hope that anyone but Blizzard is capable of putting enough resources into a new MMORPG to really compete. TES Online looks... well, just weak. I hope it's a lot better than the marketing and media coverage so far has implied.

      As things stand my money is on Camelot Unchained. They're tackling only the PvP bit, which makes limited resources much less of a problem. Hopefully they'll capture some of the magic that made DAoC the PvP dream that it was. If anyone comes out with a MMO with PvE content that actually can compete with WoW both in terms of content quantity and quality, and that anyone isn't Blizzard, I'll be really, really surprised.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 1:12 AM

        I'm sure there have been plenty of innovations since WoW launched. The thing is that they eventually add them to WoW. Hell, they even added Pokémon to Pandaria.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 1:44 AM

          Not enough innovations. Every single big budget MMORPG to come out since WoW has practically screamed "we have no significant ideas of our own and our investors are too afraid of trying out anything except the mimicking the game that makes a shit-ton of money." That is the very problem that has kept me from playing them for more than a few weeks / couple of months, and I've really tried about every one that matters.

          • reply
            July 2, 2013 3:24 AM

            I really think Rift brought in a lot of great things that Blizzard hasn't added to WoW yet.

            • reply
              July 2, 2013 3:30 AM

              Rift had some nice stuff in it, the well used public quests as a prime example, but it was also one of the games that MOST screamed to me "I've played this already!"

              The gameplay, the art style, the whole experience, was just like WoW with a different set of paint and a few new features that didn't really alter the actual game experience that much. At least not for me.

              When I say I need something new, I don't mean new kinds of quests or quest related mechanics in a world that is just like WoW, with gameplay mechanics just like WoW. I'm looking for an MMORPG that really does stuff differently, and I've yet to see anything but mediocre attempts at this.

              • reply
                July 2, 2013 5:18 AM

                except rift copied public quests from warhammer. And whilst rift made them dynamic, they also made them super boring and repetitive. The public quests in warhammer were pretty amazing and huge especially the lvl 30-40 zone ones.

                • reply
                  July 2, 2013 6:44 AM

                  I'm thinking less of PQ and more of stuff like Instant Adventure, their f2p store also doubling as a normal merchant you can access anywhere, each class having a ton of build options (and with the next set of new souls, access to every role on every class), and Planar Attunement, which kept endgame from getting too boring as you can still level and gain stuff even if you don't raid.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 1:54 AM

        I'm so intruiged by Titan, the pressure and challenge to follow up such a success, while innovating so it isn't stale, must be immense.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 2:00 AM

          Yeah... But with the recently announced restart of the development, I'm not holding my breath just yet. If someone had told me 8 years ago that in 2013 you'll still years off from a proper competitor to WoW, I would have laughed. Tough market to say the least.

    • reply
      July 2, 2013 6:28 AM

      I agree but not for the reasons the former blizz dev mentions; WoW killed all other mmos and the possibility of other mmos because they pretty much took the entire (western) mmo audience and turned them into fanboys who wouldnt accept anything else

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 8:17 AM

        my position as well. no mmo can gain traction any more unless you're in korea

    • reply
      July 2, 2013 7:35 AM

      Oh yeah i remember how MMOs were before WoW. terrible.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 8:09 AM

        I had fun in Anarchy online.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 10:18 AM

          rk1 or 2 ? what was your name =)

        • reply
          July 3, 2013 4:38 AM

          I had too, especially in the Notum Wars expansion times. I quit after Alien Invasion, played for maybe 7 years or something? Good times.

          RK1 here, played in the guilds Evolution, Notum Force... some more but can't remember their names. :)

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
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          July 4, 2013 6:08 AM

          Hanging out at The Hole in The Wall.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
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          July 4, 2013 6:09 AM

          Omni-Tech is your friend!

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 8:17 AM

        Yep, I think people are looking through rose colored glasses at EQ. It was pretty mindlessly grindy. DAoC was pretty good though IIRC. I certainly wasn't a huge player but it was fun for a bit. WoW just raised the bar so dang high no one can touch it, seemingly even to this day.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 8:20 AM

          yeah, i forgot about DAoC... first MMO i actually had fun with.

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 8:20 AM

          EQ did something that a lot of MMO's never grasped.. it developed a community that worked well together from the very early levels. I still keep in contact with some of my old EQ buddies and play games with them to this day!

        • reply
          July 2, 2013 9:07 AM

          Not only was DAoC really good. But Camelot Unchained (the successor) looks to break the mold again. Mark Jacobs knows how to make a good MMO.

          • reply
            July 2, 2013 10:09 AM

            DAoC was amazing and I was glad to participate in many aspects of that game. Mark Jacobs did well with Mythic Entertainment as well. Too bad EA screwed up what he had going with Warhammer Online. Now that was the most fun I had in any MMO.

        • reply
          July 3, 2013 10:29 AM

          Likewise, people look trough rose colored glasses at WoW - not remembering how it was in vanilla on release day. It was nowhere like it is now. Of course it's polished, they've been working on it for ages.

          I do agree that the bar has been raised though it has nothing to do with how WoW was when it was released. The reason it got so successful initially was partly because of the brand.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
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          July 4, 2013 6:11 AM

          UO was the best for me. EQ was sorta fun for awhile but yeah gave up on it. DAoC was the on I got bored with the fastest, cause I was hanging out with people who I used to play with in UO and they was constantly grinding levels so they could PVP. I'd go with em but end up hating myself for it. I was afraid to get up to get a pop etc cause once I was afk, I'd get left behind.

      • reply
        July 2, 2013 8:39 AM

        Earth and Beyond was pretty good.

    • reply
      July 3, 2013 3:51 AM

      I remember back when final fantasy 11 was relatively new, a much different dynamic then it is now,
      teamwork, hard earned levels and gear, when a party of 7 people really meshed well together it
      was like a ballet, on the other hand it took forever to find 7 people who could pull it off,
      static teams were common and that was a blast as well, the main problem it ran into
      was that after it initial popularity ebbed it was becoming more and more difficult to find
      parties in the lower levels and it was also hard to find folks who wanted to go back and
      deal with the hours on end of work to level another job up, so it was watered down to
      encourage new folks to join and what not, it was really a compromise that had to be
      made, if you want number that keep an mmo going for a long time it has to be accessible,
      if you want accomplishment it has to be challenging, the age old game problem, if its
      too hard its no fun if its too easy its no fun lol

      • reply
        July 3, 2013 1:11 PM

        Parties were 6 people, dude.

        And the game lasted the way it was for 5 years in the West without being accessible.

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
      reply
      July 3, 2013 6:13 AM

      There was this one MMO that never came out. But they planned on having you start out as cave men, then as the game went on the world advanced and we had better weapons etc. I was kinda wanting to see that but it never even got into beta far as I know.

    • reply
      July 3, 2013 8:43 AM

      He sounds like an elitist snob. If you loved to spend in front of the screen for hours on end mindlessly killing the same crap over and over again just to progress, hey more power to you.

      I played EQ back in the day and it was basically work just to sit in one corner of Guk killing frogs all day long. Don't even bring up leveling another class just to try it out and see what it was like. I'm glad WoW killed that type of leveling system. You don't learn anything from doing that for hours on end. You get a feeling of accomplishment for a whole of 2 sec after the ding and then dread seeing that your xp bar is empty again.

    • reply
      July 5, 2013 8:58 PM

      I think he's "mostly" right. I would also add that the complete saturation of voice communication technology has also left it's mark to the determent of the MMO genre.

      Any of you play Dark Age of Camelot? Before the devs screwed it up with poor expansions and re-created frontiers?

      Like this article said, quests and leveling were an immense undertaking. That is true. Someone hitting max level was worthy of faction wide congrats.

      But also, it had a REAL immersion factor that no MMO since has held a candle to. You really felt like you were existing in a different world to a degree... not just sitting in the real world playing a game with a bunch of other people sitting at their computers.

      A huge part of that immersion factor was that voice chat was almost unused at that time. It was all in-game typing. Masses of people could and would lightly roll play. It was just a natural part of the game.

      But once everyone fired up Teamspeak and Ventrilo, about the time WoW was released, the illusion was broken. We were suddenly all too aware that we are just a bunch of guys and a few chicks sitting around playing a computer game.

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