The WoW hate: Why 2009 is not 2005.

Taken from a comment on TAGN, #16:

@Syn: So was WoW the debbil when you were spending all waking hours of your life raiding MC (ca. 2005-06) or are these merely the rantings of the repentant sinner who has since found salvation?

The credibility gap for me is that its hard to believe a game (and company) that once earned so much of your time now deserves the amount of time you spend tearing it apart– particularly the gameplay and features that have since been added of which you are admittedly completely ignorant. Such opinions are utterly devoid of weight for want of any direct experience.

What on earth would you do if WoW suddenly ceased to be? The silence coming from your blog would be deafening. Give it a rest once in a while. Seriously. It completely taints your otherwise interesting, insightful and generally well-written posts and comments.

The above is a good synopsis of a few comments here whenever WoW is mentioned, and I believe it deserves some explanation. For starters, while back in college I did play WoW far more than I play any MMO today, WoW was not my only game at that time, and certainly not my first MMO.  Nor was it exactly hard to find that time for it in college, as anyone who has been to college knows its the most expensive four year vacation of your life, and the amount of free time you have is mind numbing. And let’s not kid ourselves, 2005 WoW is not 2009 WoW by a long shot, and as I’ve repeated quite often, the changes Blizzard has done since 2005 have not exactly thrilled me.

In addition to WoW overall just being far easier or ‘dumbed down’ now than in 2005, it’s also far more solo-hero based, and what little Warcraft lore and spirit it had has been replaced with space goats. Not only are welfare epics not a big deal anymore, but the very definition of epic has indeed been shattered, as today anyone with a skull to bang on a keyboard is decked out in ‘epics’. In 2005 MC itself was a challenge. In 2009 running MC without fire resist gear passes for a ‘hard mode’ challenge, rewarding you with a pink pony for you to link in chat for the world to see. Basically, it’s a very, very different game, and from my viewpoint an inferior game.

Now if WoW had 50k subs today, I would not care to mention it, like I don’t mention the 100s of other MMOs making changes that have 10k users and close to zero influence on the genre. But with 11 million solo-heroes running around, and games like WAR being influenced by WoW to including far too much pointless PvE content to satisfy some bean counter who stumbled into a design meeting, it’s going to get mentioned. Notice back when WAR had 750k+ subs WoW got queue-anywhere battlegrounds, and the (then) open-world PvP (RvR) Wintergrasp was being hyped to kingdom come, plus some Bliz exec was talking about how Horde vs Alliance was really the ‘core’ of what WoW was all about? And just now Bliz finally caught up and included xp from PvP. How much is WAR influencing WoW today, with it being down to 200k or whatever subs? Right or wrong, when you are the top dog you guide the market, and as long as Blizzard continues to trumpet solo-heroes over the MM in MMO, I’ll write about it. Phasing is just one more step back for the genre, and with Cataclysm coming, I’m sure Blizzard has a few more steps planned.

And this is the MMO genre we are talking about, and MMOs over time evolve and change. I loved UO in 1997, but today UO is a soulless excuse for a WoW clone, and even on a ‘classic’ server it’s simply not the same game. Does that mean I can’t mention how great UO was back in the day, because in 2009 it’s different? That I enjoyed 2005 WoW does not mean I’d enjoy 2009 WoW, or that the design I supported in 2005 is the same design in 2009.

If I had a blog back in 2004, I would have written how I believe instancing ruins the feel of an MMO, and how WoW’s (then) limited reliance on them is a crutch rather than a feature. Funny enough, at a job interview for Turbine I said exactly that when interviewing for a spot on the LotRO design team, not knowing that the soon-to-be released DDO was one long string of instances. I did not get the job, DDO is now F2P. Yet in 2009, when compared to something like phasing, instancing looks like a BOOST to the MM from MMO. Things change. I still love the fact that DarkFall is one big world without a single instance, and because of that design I get that ‘worldy’ feel from it I’ve not really felt since UO. The point is everyone has a preference for their games, and MMOs likely more so than any other genre. As someone who started in 1997 with the first major MMORPG, one that happened to be a sandbox and not a themepark, I have my preference, and since WoW is today’s biggest influencer in my favorite genre, Blizzard doing either best to remove the MM from MMO is something that is going to draw my criticism.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Darkfall Online, DDO, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, MMO design, Rant, Ultima Online, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to The WoW hate: Why 2009 is not 2005.

  1. theJexster says:

    My WOW hate stems from them having little to no drive to enhance the genre and take risks. Instead they play it safe and offer the same experience, with good marketing, and the mases come running. It’s shallow gameplay and overeasy system makes it’s player base look simple, and encourages other companies to do the same, why wouldn’t they, it sells for WOW right?

    If people would demand more from Blizz, which is a phenomenal company, WOW and the genre would be farther along. Instead they demand less, and easier, and make it easy for Blizz to feed them the goo they slurp up with a smile. It’s not Blizz’s, fault that the majority of humans prefer things to be uber easy and revolve around them, but sadly they oblige rather than risk challenging the player base.

    Lucky for us this does not last forever. Eventually all people get bored of the same old crap being rehashed and thrown at them and leave. Look at the TV and music industry for examples. The difference is the new game they flock to would be much better had Blizz shown that making something special and being risky contributed to it’s success. Instead they see that making something easy and simple = money, and they jump on it. Look at TOR for example. They are promoting the hell out of it having story, and the masses are buying it! I hate to be the one to mention it to them, not that they will listen, but EVERY mmo made to date has had Story, oh but Jexs, not Bioware epic story! LOL! This one even has voice over so the lazy masses no longer have to read, it was probably exhausting them anyway.

    I often wonder, where would the MMO industry be if SWG launched clean instead of bug riddled. I have a feeling the entire industry would be full of interesting, uber deep sandboxes rather than mind numbing, hand holding theme parks.

    Make a Game, make it easy, spend more on marketing than gameplay, convince player base the rehashed crap your game has is being done in a new and exciting way, give rehashed crap a name like “4 Pillars” to make it sound better, make money. LOL. The good games don’t need Pillars, they can stand on there own. They don’t need gimmics like voice over and huge marketing teams, they let a good product speak for itself. If these MMOs are so good, why are they spending record amounts on marketing to convince me it’s worth my time?

  2. Graktar says:

    I’m not sure why you liking WoW in 2005 has anything to do with you hating WoW in 2009. Humans quite obviously don’t have to love everything for ever, or we’d never have break-ups or divorces, never buy new cars, never change jobs . . . never change. Just because you liked WoW in 2005 doesn’t mean you have to like it forever, but that’s a concept frothing fanboys seem to have trouble with. WoW is not the be-all and end-all of gaming, and people can (and will) tire of the endless grind and carrot-on-a-stick gameplay.

    This change in opinion does not indicate a lack of credibility, any more than thinking the hot girlfriend you used to love is now a psychotic bitch (but dude, she’s totally hot, why are you breaking up!?). Things change . . . but WoW doesn’t. It expands, but it doesn’t change. The same mindless grind for gear you engaged in in 2005 exists today, you’re just 20 levels higher than you used to be (soon to be 25, yay).

    Some people love WoW and will love it forever. Some people hate WoW and always have. Some people loved WoW but now hate it, and that’s a perfectly normal human behavior.

    • syncaine says:

      You kinda missed my point though, WoW IS different now. If WoW in 2009 was 2005 WoW but with JUST more stuff using the same formula, I’d like it a hell of a lot more, and perhaps would still be playing casually with my old guild.

      To further the ex-gf analogy, it’s like dating someone for a few years, and in that time the hot chick with a cool personality gained 200 pounds and became a lazy, annoying baby that won’t leave you alone. Not only do you have zero interest in her now, but you wish she would go away and stop messing with what you have moved on to.

  3. Derrick says:

    Ahhh, I’ve got to chime in here.

    Your TOR example? Pointing out voiceover as a flaw, so the “lazy masses” don’t have to read? That’s petty, and honestly a rather pathetic attack. There are plenty of things you could make legit complaints about, but voice over? Seriously? Why not complain that modern (re: anything past silent films) are for the lazy masses, so they don’t need to read?

    TOR’s whole point *is* the story. Every MMO may have stories, but not all of them have GOOD stories. Most MMO plots are extremely thin background text that noone really pays any attention to, even if they are in it for the story. TOR is unique in offering the first truly story-based MMO.

    TOR in particular won’t be for everyone, though I bet it’ll be wildly successful. I personally am estactic to play though a KotOR/ME style game with friends. It’s a totally different game from something like Darkfall – also an awesome design, btw – but this doesn’t make it bad, just different.

    Now, whether story is important or not is a totally different question. In an MMO that’s all about “endgame” I’d argue it’s largely a waste of time. However, I have a strong suspicion that TOR is going to be about the game itself, not the endgame. I suspect the game at level cap will likely be rather lackluster (though who knows?) because content creation takes longer than consumption, and it’s a content-based game. This isn’t good or bad, it just is. It’s like comparing (incidentally, other bioware releases) Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic – highly story based games – with games like Crysis, or DMC. The later *have* stories, but they really have virtually no impact on gameplay. The former, however, focus on the story. They deliver great gameplay, but the game really sells on the story itself. Very different animals.

    Just because a game is story and content based doesn’t mean it must be mind numbing or hand holding. I’ll note that Warcraft in particular is a good example where a game has a story, but said story is pretty much entirely irrelevant. So, you’re left with a fairly empty hand-holding theme park.

    What’s important, though, is to break out of the silly All-MMO’s-Are-Like-This mold, which insists that the game is all about the endgame and should carry on with an individual character indefinitely. While that IS a valid design, and suits a sandbox style game better, it’s not the only good, valid design. Designers need to make this decision early on, and design around it though, not try to change it later.

    I think the worst thing to happen to the MMO industry – much worse than the complaints of WoW dominance – are how people are falling into a mold of “this is how MMO’s should be”. It’s discouraging innovation, the exploration of new concepts and ideas. WoW certainly contributes to this given it’s playerbase, but even people looking for something utterly unlike WoW fall into the same rut.

    • syncaine says:

      “TOR is unique in offering the first truly story-based MMO.”

      No, the hype is trying to convince you that TOR is going to have a story the average WoW fan is going to stop and notice. Whether they pull it off or not is unknown. What we DO know is that unless the story is player driven, like the stories in EVE, no MMO has had a story worth stopping the XP grind to notice, and hence TOR has somewhat of an uphill battle ahead of it.

  4. Saylah says:

    I loved original WOW. I don’t hate WOW but I do at times “hate” Blizzard. They of all companies can afford to take risks. If they can’t step outside the box on WOW, with the money rolling in then no one can! They have such a dedicated, rabid and loyal fan-base that even missteps would be forgiven once corrected. They could have done more. They SHOULD have done more. The amount of asset and content re-use for a game generating that sort of revenue, is criminal. But its their dime and they spend it as they choose.

    Would I try another Blizzard MMO? Absolutely. Am I sick of hearing about WOW? Yes. Do I feel like they’ve influenced ever other game I’ve attempted to play? Yes – some of it for the better and some of it not. There’s some saying about how we are all slaves to the relationship we had with our parents… either you want to be like them or work not to be like them at all, when in either solution you are being driven by that relationship. That’s where the genre is with WOW – like or purposefully not like it (not always successful deviation) but regardless still strangled by that relationship that is what Blizzard did with WOW.

    • Damage Inc says:

      Actually missteps have been forgiven in WoW. WoW had probably the single worst launch of any MMO I’ve played. No I didn’t play Anarchy Online but yes I did play Shadowbane at release. WoW’s server issues were not only there from launch but they lasted almost the entire first year.

      I wholeheartedly agree with Syn, WoW has taken pretty much all of the MM and RPG out of MMORPG. Thanks to WoW, games are becoming so linear it’s insane. I’m so tired of being led around by the nose by people need to be doing quests/tasks. Please give me more games like UO, AC and EQ where you actually had CHOICES.

  5. xJayeDuBXx says:

    Dang, all these super long responces and all I have to say is well said!

  6. Gadfly says:

    Oh dear.

    Sad to say you’ve all missed the point of the original comment and went straight for the red herring/meat. It wasn’t a comment about WoW. So goes life in the 140 character world.

    Let’s recap:

    “…particularly the gameplay and features that have since been added of which you are admittedly completely ignorant. Such opinions are utterly devoid of weight for want of any direct experience.”

    Wisdom is borne of knowledge and knowledge of experience. All else is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    You write too well to be hobbled by the oppression of ignorance let alone give it voice.

    Really, it all starts sounding like the birther bits or the tea party tripe. It just doesn’t matter what your/any opinion is, or whether anyone agrees or disagrees. Its what its based on. That WoW happens to be a wide target just doesn’t justify the ends. You’ve made the same criticism of those who open up the haterade for Darkfall and haven’t experienced it. That smacks a bit of hypocrisy.

    Without some basis of experience, both the vitriol and the otherwise trenchant analysis is not the least bit persuasive. Credible opinions (even those one disagrees with) are based on knowledge of the topic at hand.

    A brief example lest we get lost in the weeds: I’m not a WoW-lore afficionado by any means, and I don’t particularly disagree with your space goats criticism, but I’d dare say that Lich King, being entirely focused on the corruption of Arthas Menethil with multiple quest lines chasing that story would represent a pretty significant return to what many would regard as core canonical WoW-Lore. Something you’d know and I’m sure have some decent in-depth comments upon had you experienced it. Without that, it all rings hollow. That makes your space goat criticism just sound silly when talking about WotLK.

    A positive example: Uni sushi (sea urchin) is regarded as a delicacy. I love sushi, am not particularly squeemish and generally willing to try any food item at least once.

    I can say, I don’t particularly care for Uni. In my opinion it has a hideous texture matched only by its exceedlingly briny and near-gag inducing fishyness.

    Perhaps I’ve only had poor quality Uni, but nonetheless, I have a fairly strong opinion about Uni. In my view, Uni is hardcore in the sushi world and best left on the boat, or better yet, in the ocean. That said, a California roll is simply too casual for me unless its the only thing available at a baseball game. A delicious snack perhaps, but its sushi on easy mode.

    By contrast, I have no such opinion about bull testicles. The idea seems repulsive to me and I’m not likely to seek them out, but honestly, I have no idea what they taste like. I might like them, I might not. Nonetheless, my opinion on bull testicles in a gourmand capacity is sorely wanting for lack of experience and utterly devoid of credibility. An experience I’m not over eager to obtain, I might add.

    Note this has nothing to do with the red herring of “WoW has changed since 2005”. Or any of the love/hate, hardcore/casual, pimp/nerf discussion points for that matter. Its not that its changed. It has. That’s not the point. The point is, you don’t know HOW its changed except from what you read on blogs or in patch notes or perhaps by looking over someone else’s shoulder while they play.

    I assume that’s not the case with you and Darkfall, and though it doesn’t really grab me, your posts on it have great weight because you play it. Your opinions on DF seem credible even if they are different than those of others. Credible enough to almost convince a doubter like me to go see for myself.

    But lets face it, all the latter-day WoW comments start sounding like Ed Zitron at some point. At least Ed logged in.

    • syncaine says:

      You do realize I’ve played WoW since 2005 right? I’ve personally experience the wonder of daily quests, rep grind, welfare epics, failed overworld PvP attempts, ezmode raiding, expansions with a title character no one has seen (how’s raiding the Lich King going?), and yes, the 2004 graphics engine (ooh but look, a new texture!). Now, I’ve only read and seen phasing in action, but are you trying to tell me you need to play DarkFall to understand what happens when you die in full loot PvP? I don’t have any personal achievements on my account, but are you trying to say I need to experience gaining something meaningless to know what it’s like, especially considering I’ve played WAR with the ToK?

      Please, you can’t discount everything because I’ve not bothered to spend $40 to see how much further away from an MMO WoW has gotten since I last played it. It’s a weak defense, one that only gets pulled out when nothing else remains. Feel free to bring up counter-points to how space goats or horde paladins fit into WC lore, or why raiding with one hand is better than Nax40 for a raider, but don’t hide behind the fact that since I’ve never loaded up WotLK myself, I don’t have a clue about it, especially it’s high level ‘features’. You don’t see me commenting about specific quest details now, do you?

      • Gadfly says:

        I can and do discount everything you (or anyone else for that matter) say because you haven’t experienced the game to give your sweeping generalizations any real weight. That makes them just rants.

        I understand what full loot PvP is and generally how its implemented in DF, but yes, I’d like to actually experience it in order to see how it actually works in the game context. Until then, I’ve no real opinion on whether its done well or not. But then again, that supports my point that I’d like to form an informed opinion on whether its the debbil or a thrilling defining feature of the game.

        Maybe you _should_ go chasing some meaningless achievements to know what its like in WoW. Its similar but different from the way similar features are implemented in LotRO and WAR. Those differences matter.

        In the abstract, who cares? Its how it plays that matters.

        Getting millions of isk blown out from underneath you after you’ve worked for weeks to buy and fit a ship sure doesn’t sound like much fun on paper (nor does xp debt/loss, permadeath, etc.) but its an exhilarating and defining feature of Eve. Its something best experienced first hand and depending on your playstyle it could be an ever present probability or a dim possibility. How that plays in the context of the entire game experience is highly relevant in my opinion.

        I can read a feature list or description of EQ, EQ2, UO, Eve, WoW, LotRO, DF, WH, SWG, TR, AoC, RoM, W101 etc. and be hard pressed to find significant differences among them but even the ones with very similar features play, perform and feel radically different from each other.

        Several of the above have fantastic implementations of questionable features, some have dubious implementations of great features and some have mediocre implementations of mediocre features yet the experience one takes away from each can be radically different.

        I’m sure Ed played quite a few MMOs in his day, why is his “review” of DF so utterly discredited and without any real weight? What about Bartle’s comments about Warhammer?

        I’m not hiding behind the fact you haven’t played the expansion (a point I’m not entirely sure makes sense or supports your argument, but that’s another matter). I fail to see how you pound a confession of ignorance into a shield of credibility or a sword of insight.

        I do see you ranting frequently and persistently about a game you no longer play and of which you no longer have any direct experience. I don’t see you commenting about specific quest details for obvious reasons which is really my point– don’t moderate your opinions– they’re good for discussion, bolster your own credibility.

        As I said in the original comment, that sort of blind criticism ultimately taints the quality of your other posts. And it has nothing to do with WoW.

      • Hirvox says:

        Gadfly: You haven’t experienced the game, so STFU!
        Syncaine: Have too!
        Gadfly: Have not!

        Predicting the rest of the “discussion” is left as an exercise to the reader.

  7. I agree with your post. As a matter of fact, a lot of what you wrote applies to me as a “blog reader” — I am still interested in WoW news because of the enormity of WoW as an MMO, not because I play/enjoy WoW. (In fact, I do neither of those things :P)

    On another topic, the popularity that WoW brought to the MMO genre has vastly affected everyone’s play experience in the intervening 5 years. For example, I played WoW from launch until June 2005 — I ended up at about level 52. Even though I didn’t hit the cap, I was playing every day (woo college!), ending up with a lot of /played (see: weeks). I had a lot of fun, but didn’t feel the pressure to min/max and/or endgame and/or raid. By the time I came back (January 2006, iirc), the game had already changed. People weren’t doing quests or running instances for the fun of it — it had to be on the approved leveling guide! For the most part, everyone had latched onto the “solo to the top” idea that permeates MMOs these days. What a game killer.

    (Yes, I played ping-pong with my WoW sub for awhile, even playing on private servers for awhile. In the end, friends/community > design flaws. Horray for the MM in MMO!)

  8. Wilhelm2451 says:

    You are determined to get on that list of incoming traffic list next year, aren’t you?

    • syncaine says:

      Just doing my Wilhelm daily, grinding TAGN rep to earn my “traffic” achievement. Sure it’s meaningless and will require at times pointless or tedious stuff, but look, achievement points!

  9. Jemre says:

    I like how this post originates from Sync trolling someone else’s blog post. Because let’s face it, when TAGN talked about an interesting point of phasing, you came in and pointed out how DF was supposedly much better.

    Grats, seems pretty trollish doesn’t it?

    TAGN also made another much more interesting comment than the one you’re replying to:

    “@Syncaine – It is tough to take anything you say about Blizzard as a serious argument because you don’t play the game, haven’t for years now, and you have a long standing policy of saying that anything Blizzard does is bad, copied, or copied badly. You have a credibility issue.

    So the message “Syncaine doesn’t like phasing” looks like just another round of “Syncaine must spread WoW hate.” I mean, that isn’t a huge mental leap. It is like Rush Limbaugh saying something negative about the president. Big surprise! Favorable comments about WoW from you are about as rare as hen’s teeth, and when they do show up, they are generally of the “damning via faint praise” variety.

    So a game that admittedly caters to a solo questing demographic added in a feature so that once in a while a quest actually changes what you see in the world. One of the long standing complaints about MMOs is that you can do your “Kill Ten Foozles” quest, turn it in, and nothing changes.

    But according to you we must rally around and hate Blizzard yet again because they are promoting solo play! Despite the evidence that this is what a lot of people want, and involves a game you don’t even play, it is wrong. They are betraying massive online gaming! Force grouping! Solo play should be an afterthought if included at all!

    Hey, here’s an idea! Why don’t you just get over it? I mean, we all play games we don’t like. But we don’t all brood over it for years afterward. I barely mention most games I don’t like.

    There are MMO gaming blogs out there that never mention WoW. Ever.

    I know, shocking!

    Just put “I Hate WoW” in the banner so that everybody is clear on your position, then write about something else. You can be Syncaine, that guy who hates WoW, but who doesn’t need to let it color his every gaming opinion.”

    It’s pretty damn boring to read a tirade of wow-hate simply because the game isn’t catering to your IDEA of a good game.

    as TAGN says, just put “I HATE WOW” in your blog title, and talk about something more interesting.

    • notageek says:

      Did you even bother to read the blog post you’re commenting?

      Yeah, I know, Jeff Kaplan would say that it was way too long for a typical wow player to understand, so it’s quite apparent that you didn’t.

      • Jemre says:

        did you even bother to read the link syncaine posted up top? my comment and Syn’s post here both stem directly from that blog post and the replies to it.

        Yeah, i know, most DF players would be too focused on forumfall to understand, so it’s quite apparent you didn’t.

      • notageek says:

        So you replied on the wrong forum then. That happens quite easily when you’re having a temper tantrum, so I can forgive you.

        I don’t play DF myself, but I can see that my wow comment hit the mark with you.

  10. Ponder says:

    Let’s not forget the big picture here.

    MMOs are kids games, and you will grow out of them. You will have more interest in job/family/vacations.
    Games may remain as a hobby/recreation. However, you will always remain nostalgic over your golden gaming days.

    • Slurms says:

      I’m on the cusp of turning 30,….these are my golden gaming days.

      I enjoy playing now more than I ever did when i was a kid. I have a family/job etc, but just because I put 1-3 hours in a night to play rather than 4 or 5, doesnt take away from my enjoyment. If anything, the absence makes the heart grow fonder.

      also,….if it’s a hobby/recreation for me as an adult…..wtf is it when I was a kid? a career?

  11. Hirvox says:

    MMOs are kids games, and you will grow out of them. You will have more interest in job/family/vacations.
    That’s a curious thing to say, because many MMOs require a credit card to pay for the subscription, and to get one, one has to be an adult. But then again, if you consider even adult students kids you might have a point there. Nick Yee has done extensive work on the demographics of players, and for example the average age for an Everquest player was 25.7 years. Further analysis even shows that females in particular tend to be older, well within the age range where they already have stable jobs and families.

  12. theJexster says:

    Claiming an opinion is not valid due to lack of first hand account is silly. I have not been assaulted, but from the evidence and first hand accounts I have read I am able to form an opinion that being assaulted is in fact a horrible experience. The same can be said for politics and games. Yes experiencing it gives you a different perspective, but with enough research on most topics a person can form an opinion on it. And really, really some of you act like WOW has evolved so much since 05, really.

    TOR featuring the 4th Pillar of God, STORY. LOL, every mmo has one, yes this one might have a slightly better one but trying to promote that your the first MMO to have a real one then spamming every media snippet about it is sad. Its also sad that in this world if you tell someone BS long enough it becomes fact to the masses, look at the reasons for the Iraq War.

    Voice over is a lot of work but it’s a gimmic, and it will slow down production of new content. From a personal POV I hate cheesy voice overs and generally skip them after the first couple.

    Based of off the facts I have read devs stating, TOR will be easy, soloable unless you want your friends to “help” with your story, and set to make your character seem like they are highly important to the universe and it’s war. Easy and soloable don’t sound like a fun MMORPG to me, thats my opinion. I’m sure they will get a big WOW following, and thats what they are marketing to.

    • Kristine says:

      You can read up on a lot of things and in such become knowledgeable about something without experiencing it yourself.

      But, just like that is an advantage when you want to look at “what the majority of a group thinks” or what the “trends in the discussion leans towards” – if you want to talk about player experience and what generates good player experiences based on what you enjoy of course personal experience needs to be at the base of such a discussion.
      This is after all about what this blog writer enjoys, not what the majority, minority or any other group of the MMO base enjoys.

  13. Bonedead says:

    My opinion of phasing is a pretty positive one. I don’t play with people because they’re not doing the same thing as me, I’ve got my plans and they don’t involve more people than just me (unless you include alts). So that worldly feeling isn’t really necessary. I felt it in DF, yeah, but that game was fuckin scary man. (On a side note, have you played Roma Victor?)

    I didn’t know that phasing was phasing until I read that post. At first when I noticed it (for the first time rather recently), it blew my effin mind. Here I was doing quests in some ravaged land with dickhead monsters all over the place and then one certain quest cuts to a scripted scene, I’m getting excited, this hasn’t happened to me in a game in a long time. Now we’re in a big fuckin battle, I’m helping out the quest givers, we beat the dickhead monster army back, and the npc talks some more. Next thing I know I’m back where I was before the quest and the whole land is different, because we kicked those dickhead monsters’ asses. This happened more than once too, which just made the whole experience (of 70-80) better.

    The reason I’m not directly butting heads with you is pretty much because most of the things you’re complaining about are gay. I don’t get together with 10 people and slay dragons, I’m sorry, I don’t need to do that to get pleasure out of my game. I just gotta pwn some newbs, I’m simple like that. So your easymode raiding/trying to earn achievements/welfare epics arguments don’t even bother me. Sure I have some welfare epics, but shit, I got to play at my pace without relying on dickhead other people, and now I’ve got some pieces of a starter pvp set. But it’s not near the best pvp gear, and if I want to upgrade, I have to deal with dickheads I don’t care about. If anything I’m a part of the problem lol, because I think forcing me to group is fuckin gay. (don’t get me started on heirloom items and how retardedly long it takes to get enough currency for one as a solo player)

    What I don’t get is that big bad pvp bawls Syncaine is/was a big ol pve raiding carebear. I say is because everytime you look at WoW, you see what you used to do, which was gaydog raiding amirite? Har har. I’d assume that you’re much more hairy chested than that nowadays. And what is this lore crap? I thought only RPers cared about that shit. You’re not an RPer too now are you?

    Look at this shit: http://www.wowarmory.com/character-achievements.xml?r=Anetheron&cn=Owndead
    Check out the PvP achievements. Now I’ll be honest and say that I try to get these, but look at them, they’re not bad. Plus, when you get one of them, everyone in the BG is notified and then thinks you’re a total badass (depending on the achievement). Sounds good to me!

    All I’m really trying to say is that maybe you should take a stab at getting to 80. Not that it will be hard, but just try it out. You may be surprised how pleasing instant gratification can be.

    • Gellor says:

      WOW Bonedead , you are a reason enough not to sub to WOW. That was the the most self absorbed crap i have ever read .

      • Bonedead says:

        I’ve probably played whatever game you like the most too, so, might not want to sub to any game because I’ll get ya!

        (and if people still can’t tell, most of what I say is in jest, I always forget my sarcasm tags)

    • syncaine says:

      You have an achievement for emoting /hug on someone, but yea, not gay at all.

      That aside, why you play MMOs and why I play them is very different. You seem to love being a solo-hero in a world that hands out reward for winning, losing, or even doing nothing. That does less than nothing for me. That you are impressed by single player tech you pay $15 a month for (phasing) is good for you, but if I’m looking for just my actions to change MY game, I’ll load up NWN2 and play a game that does what I’m looking for 100x better than what WoW offers, without paying $15 a month and without server/login issues.

      I pay my $15 to play in a virtual world, with and against thousands of other like-minded players. I’ve been doing that since 97, and it’s worked out well so far.

  14. Syp says:

    “I did not get the job, DDO is now F2P.”

    Not to get off topic, but what is the implication here? That if they hired you, they wouldn’t have gone F2P? That F2P is a bad thing? That instancing caused F2Pness? Or is this just two completely separate sentences who happen to be visiting each other over tea?

    • syncaine says:

      That going full-bore instancing for DDO was a mistake, one that not even the D&D license and the skilled guys at Turbine could fix, and hence DDO is now in the minor leagues of MMO land (F2P). Turbine at the time was convinced that instancing was the wave of the future for the MMO genre, and bet it all on that with DDO. More so than the forced-grouping aspect, the world-less feel and lack of worldly progression in DDO is what (imo of course) drove away most people and what kept the game with 50k or fewer subs until it was kicked to F2P land. The graphics, sound, combat, story, character options, etc in DDO have always been above-average, and if they took all that and applied it to a world like vanilla WoW, who knows how many subs they would have today. But if anyone from Turbine is really being honest, they will admit taking DDO in the direction they did was a colossal mistake.

      Had they hired me DDO would be the same game, because I would have worked on LotRO. LotRO might have ended up full loot perma-death and would have 20m subs right now, but yea, they did not hire me :)

  15. Jaggins says:

    I think of Wow as a simplistic introduction to the genre. Minds searching for a deeper experience will move on to games like EVE or Darkfall.

    • Saylah says:

      You mean people that want PVP might move on to those games. WOW in it’s purest form is a fantasy MMO so moving on from there to DF or EVE wouldn’t be the common line of progression by any means.

      • syncaine says:

        DF is fantasy too. I think the more accurate statement would be people looking for more MM from the MMO genre might move on from WoW, or those who enjoy a bit of challenge in their accomplishments. Solo-heroes and 140char attention spans fit right into WoW.

        And while 1-79 WoW is indeed a decent intro to what the genre is mostly about today, clearly having however many WoW players trying MMO games has not exactly been great for the genre (tourists and “why is this not like WoW” forum trolls), considering the average MMO today has just as many subs today as back in the pre-WoW days.

    • Kristine says:

      WoW might work excellently for new players, but its not necessarily a trainer game.
      Some might move to other games, some stays. WoW offers a look at a large range of MMO features, and is currently the leading one in terms of Group PvE.

      If what you are after is f.ex 1 vs 1 PvP scenarios, clearly WoW doesnt have much to offer. But that doesn’t make it a game where noobs become real gamers.

  16. Saylah says:

    I know it’s fantasy but you can’t seriously believe that anyone wanting more fantasy MMO challenge or not, moves from WOW to DF, which is a very PVP focused game. Warhammer perhaps but DF? That’s a bit of a stretch.

    Hmm, don’t know if I can agree. Even if the average MMO subscription hasn’t climbed higher since WOW introduced so many ppl to MMO gaming, there are more of them with those types of 150k to 200K numbers so, it probably has widened the player base in general. Not sure that can offset the rut it’s gotten the genre into though.

    • Hirvox says:

      I know it’s fantasy but you can’t seriously believe that anyone wanting more fantasy MMO challenge or not, moves from WOW to DF, which is a very PVP focused game. Warhammer perhaps but DF? That’s a bit of a stretch.

      I admit that it’s a huge leap, but it does occasionally happen. For example, I moved from WoW to Eve. It mostly depends on how disillusioned one is with WoW. If one expects (as they should by now) a theme park experience, then the WoW -> WAR shift is more likely.

      If WAR had been released a year or two earlier, then I would have probably switched to it as well. I started playing WoW right after the honor system was introduced, but before battlegrounds and RP-PVP servers. I loved Tarren Mill vs Southshore, and had quite a bit of fun in AV and Stranglethorn Vale as well. But then World PvP died and AV got nerfed, and there were no middle ground alternatives like WAR available. So I switched to PvE, had my share of fun and eventually got disillusioned enough to start playing Eve simultaneously while raiding in WoW. If DF had been released at it’s current state before WAR, I would have made that switch.

  17. Anne says:

    Nice flame bait topic, gratz on the hits you’re going to get!

  18. Ep says:

    Honestly i detest wow. I was about since beta and went back for every expansion and did a bit of raiding in each. Its made a big impact on my multigame guild at the expense of many much better games so at my expense too :P
    I got WoTK just before DF opened up on the NA servers just for something to do as War was dying off.

    I had heard very bad things about the phasing. Then actually playing a phasing questline was very entertaining. I lasted a month in wow and the only thing positive i left with was that phasing was actually quite good and not the rubbish id heard about. The rest of the game has “cash cow” oozing from every hole though :)

  19. King Diamond says:

    Ahh 2004/2005 WoW. What a glorious time that was. PvP everywhere (on PVP Servers). People actually knew/hated/liked the enemies they were fighting against. No battlegroups crap. Guilds had wars. Speaking each other’s language. Strat/Scholo/BRS were HARD. People racing to level. Epic mounts were EPIC, Epics were EPICS. Blue sets were amazing gear. Sigh.

    WoW is now evil, like Everquest was to hardcore UO players. The game is simple, stupid, boring, and bland with bland copy and pasted over it.

    I can’t believe i’m already nostalgic about the game only after a few years. I can’t believe it’s changed so much. It’s one more game to add to my list of UO, Neocron 1 & 2, and DAoC coma inducing nostalgia flashbacks. Thank goodness DF is enjoyable.

  20. xJayeDuBXx says:

    Wow, Sync you sure know how to stir up a hornets nest.

  21. Saylah says:

    Is it really baiting if it starts intelligent discourse? I’ve found most of the comments good discussion points.

    • syncaine says:

      It’s anti-WoW, so it must be bad! Grab the rope and torches!

    • Matt says:

      Is this your idea of intelligent discourse? Really?

      • syncaine says:

        Feel free to link to your example.

      • Saylah says:

        Yes. Have you read all of the comments?? Some have expressed what they liked better about original WOW and ways in which the game in general as impacted other games they’ve played. Whats not intelligent about that?

        What you’ve done is actually baiting. You haven’t provided a response to what you disagree with, just a general declaration that this whole thread is a bait and all responses therefore must be unintelligent.

  22. I don’t think WoW is actually all that bad in terms of instancing. Yes, I loathe the dungeon instances it uses (where are my beloved open dungeons?!) but at least the main world is a single one and not broken up into loads of zoned instances with low population limits like many other MMOs. WoW at least to me feels like a proper MMO. Games like WAR and AoC didn’t.

  23. Twan says:

    Found this post late but a good read thank u !

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