What buying Aion says about you

The MMO genre has many unique aspects that separate it from other gaming genres, with perhaps the ability of fans to shape future content being among the greatest. Everyone has at least some idea of their perfect game, and while no game will ever match 100% to that idea, the MMO genre at least gives you the opportunity to voice your requests and perhaps see actual results. If enough people request a feature, and that feature is technically feasible and won’t have major side impacts, a good dev team will listen and attempt to please their fans. From beta onward, fans have multiple channels (emails, forums, fansites, blogs) to submit feedback and take part in the future direction of a title.

And while there are indeed many avenues to take when trying to voice your opinion, one will always be superior to the rest: your money. When you initially purchase a box you are telling the company you think what they are selling is interesting enough to drop some cash on, and for each month you subscribe you are giving the dev team a vote of confidence. When you re-subscribe because of a new patch or expansion you are again saying you support this change/addition. And ultimately, when you unsubscribe, it’s the most direct and clear way of telling a company that what they are offering is no longer acceptable or of interest to you.

And with the above as a base: If you bought Aion, you are telling NCSoft and the genre as a whole “more of the same please”. Paying the $50-65 up front, and any months after, and you more or less give up your right to complain that the genre is boring, that no one is trying new things, and that too many games are just shallow time-sinks that apply a fresh coat of paint to the same themepark and rides.

If you are happy with what Aion and games very similar to it offer, no issue, enjoy. But if you log in and realize you are doing the same kill ten rats quests with fairy wings and pretty colors, grinding the pre-cap game to reach the complete 180 that is end-game, and that you wish it did not all feel/play so similar that you can guess what is around the next corner, you have only yourself to blame. At no point did Aion claim to be anything but the Asian interpretation of WoW. That, from day one, was exactly why it was created, to give the east a version of WoW but with some aspects tweaked to account for cultural differences. Once the game got ‘big enough’, it was, ironically, ported over to the west with some westernization thrown in. But again, and this really is the key here, at no point did Aion ever claim to offer more than a 2009 version of what is fundamentally WoW, and when you spent your money on it you are asking for exactly that.

One issue I see related to all this is with how the average fan approaches the genre with unreasonable expectations. We expect something as complex and unpredictable as an MMO to not only be completely new, but also work flawlessly on day one. Yet short of 10 year development cycles and crazy budget numbers, that’s just not going to be the case (and even with those it’s still not a guarantee that what gets created will be worthwhile, see Tabula Rasa). It should be clear that if you are refining an established formula, like WoW did with EQ1, and Aion has done with WoW, more time can be spent on polish. You go into it knowing what’s going to work at the core, rather than hoping your players react how you expect them to.

Take Ultima Online for example. Before the games release, the developers expected players to play a certain way, and so they created a living ecosystem that would react to player behavior. Kill too many sheep in the local area, and the wolves would get more aggressive in their search for food. Kill the wolves, and the local dragon would start attacking people to get his meal. It was a living world that reacts to the players, and a great system on paper. Once live, players killed all the sheep to grind for wool, killed the wolves to grind sword skill, and quit because they did not like getting killed by the dragon or because the sheep did not respawn fast enough. A month or so after release, the system was scrapped and replaced with the now very familiar static spawn system, with all the hours put into the previous system going poof. Had the devs been able to predict such player behavior, all that time spent designing the ecosystem could have instead been spent on polishing animations or network code.

Blizzard saw what worked in EQ1, saw the flaws, and designed WoW to be what EQ1 would be after years of player feedback. It’s much easier to fix flaws when you are working from the ground up, so while EQ1 devs did their best with what they had, Blizzard was free to make the changes needed at the root of the problem. They knew players liked PvE a certain way, they knew directing players worked, and they knew gear was a great motivator, all because they had seen it work for years in EQ1. As a result, very little of their dev time went into things like the UO ecosystem, things that would ultimately be scrapped, and that leaves a lot of time/resources to polish what you know already works, while also not launching with potentially broken system. (Which is not to say Blizzard would not have their own ecosystem-like mistakes: how many different PvP systems has WoW gone through?)

MMOs that try drastically new things, be they Tabula Rasa, EVE, DarkFall, or Fallen Earth, have many uphill battles compared to clone games. For starters, they are much riskier to fund and launch simply because you don’t know if your formula is even going to work, and hence usually don’t get as much money up front. No amount of polish would have saved a game like Fury because its very idea was just not very good (but you can’t be sure until you try. Why does Counter Strike work so well and not Fury?). And even if your core ideas are solid (EVE) you still might have to scrap sections of the game to make everything work, and all that takes away from polishing. Not to mention your fans will notice the systems that don’t function perfectly, and in what is now a highly competitive space, those mistakes could doom a game from the start. The ecosystem might not have worked in UO, but back then fans of MMOs could either play UO or not plan anything, and that’s clearly not the case today.

Finally it comes down to player preference. For me an MMO is indeed always a work in progress, both in the amount of content it has and also it’s very design. As players enter the world and interact with it in the way they do, the world (devs) reacts accordingly, and round and round we go. To me themeparks are flawed (in terms of what an MMO should offer) because due to their on-rails nature, the players all more or less follow the same path, doing the same things. Your options are so limited, your path so guided, that far less dev time is spent reacting to what the players are doing, and instead simple ‘more’ is added to the end. I’ll always trade some polish in for a new, fresh living world, even if it means I’ll die to an angry dragon from time to time.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Aion, beta, Darkfall Online, EVE Online, MMO design, Rant, Ultima Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to What buying Aion says about you

  1. Der_Nachbar says:

    UO had a simulated ecosystem with dynamic spawns in the beginning ? Thats just incredible ^^ Too bad i never played it back then.

  2. Scarybooster says:

    Aion was more like LotRO/WAR to me. I think it is a WoW clone only because WoW players are searching for a new game. Isn’t any new MMORPG set in a fantasy world going to be a WoW clone? Will we ever get over WoW? Will SWTOR just be a SWG clone? When do we stop comparing and start enjoying? Every MMO that comes out will be a clone of something and WoW is #1 so ofcourse, it will be compared first.

    I see your point and agree with most of it, but the MMO worlds will never be as new and as exciting as the first game you ever played. For me ever since EQ and DAoC, the mystery of MMOs has gone. I don’t ever get excite for PvP like the first time I entered a BG in DAoC. I don’t get as excited doing a quest like holding my lantern in the pure darkness of EQ before the patched that out. It’s all the same now no matter what the game.

    • syncaine says:

      SW:TOR will be a WoW clone, not a SWG (pre NGE) clone. It will be an on-rails quest-based themepark. The difference between WAR and WoW is that WAR allowed you to completely ignore the PvE, which is a rather huge difference.

      But you’re off on your second point. DarkFall for me is exactly giving me what UO did back in 1997, learning new things every day and progressively getting better at the game not because of levels or items, but because of my actions. I think Fallen Earth is doing that for many as well, and EVE has always been about discovery and branching out.

      • PTD says:

        Well, the PvE in WAR is so horrendous it’s a good thing you can skip it.

        Also, as far as Darkfall, I really think those really into PvP are in the minority in the MMO space, and I don’t see it changing. People who really, really want to challenge their skills don’t gravitate towards MMORPGs.

      • vekkth says:

        sorry to interrupt your conversation, so to speak :D
        but i completely disagree with that TOR is going to be like WoW game.
        absolutely. it will be more of KOTOR Online, the game where you are driven not by Markers in Theme Park, but the Story. this is absolutely different, the whole idea of the game will be different.
        i just replayed MASS EFFECT to refresh my feelings about Bioware games, and i think a lot of people who criticize SW ToR just dont understand how Bioware make their games.

        Theme Park =/= Story Driven.

  3. I stopped playing WoW long ago because raiding was impossible on my schedule. I just can’t do multi-hour blocks of time with a single entry point (raid start time) with kids and a job.

    WAR was better in that regard because it didn’t have that “single entry point”. You can join pretty much anything at any time. Sadly, the game at T4 just wasn’t fun.

    For me, Aion has similar schedule flexibility to WAR. The game is fun so far, but so was WAR in the early levels. We’ll see how it turns out at the higher levels.

  4. Jim says:

    I had no idea about the dynamic spawns that UO had. In so many ways UO was and still is one of the most complex mmos out there. The crafting system is just amazing.

    I would like a company to pursue this dynamic spawn thing again. Maybe not to the extremes of dragons spawning but it would be cool for the environment to change while playing.

    • Damage Inc says:

      Do you know why UO changed it from a dynamic spawn to more of a static spawn? Because people farmed the living hell out of trees and mobs. They farmed them so much that animals actually went extinct in UO.

      Dynanic spawns sound wonderful but in reality suck in an MMORPG.

      • Jim says:

        Well you can program them any way you want. The way that UO did them sucked. The idea of a changing world can be done with out it sucking.

      • Rob says:

        So don’t let mobs go extinct, make them migrate to areas less dangerous for them (less player-populated, more remote) instead. This encourages exploration, and might take away a little of the “on rails” feel while you’re at it.

      • Fortuente says:

        Rob, that is funny you mention that. IRL I spent a couple summers working at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

        Every year around the same time, the deer in the surrounding forest migrate into the park itself, because they have learned that the hunters will not follow them in there (highly illegal). So when hunting season starts, the deer population in that specific area shoots way up.

  5. Jim says:

    I have tried a few of the “Different” games out there and they just don’t stick for me. I think I am getting to the point in my life that I don’t want to spend time learning how to play the game. I just want to play. So I keep looking for a game that is similar enough that I can just play it and have fun.

    I believe that the games that just take small steps will be the ones that succeed and really advance the genre.

    I also see the players breaking up into groups as we get older. You have the raiders/PVErs , pvpers, and open worlders, and in these groups you have the casual and hardcore. These are very distinct groups and they dont play well together. You may be able to bring 2 of them together into a great game but getting all 3 will be difficult.

    I do not believe that we will see another WoW. I think smaller games will specialize in a certain niche and will roll with that. That does not mean that they will be small games but I do not believe that there will be another game to compare all games to. This genre is becoming to main stream and to complex.

  6. Bhagpuss says:

    The core point of your intriguing article is that it was player behavior and player reaction that led to the removal of complex environmental systems like the UO one.

    MMO history is pretty much an unending catalog of developers removing complex systems from their games and replacing them with simpler ones. It’s been evident to me for many years that games designers love complexity but players, although they frequently claim to love it, actually dislike it intensely.

    With the exception of the odd aberration like NGE, almost every simplification, no matter how vehemently opposed by a vocal minority, is very rapidly accepted by the playerbase as a whole. Each ramping down of complexity builds an expectation for future games and everything tends to flatten out.

    Niche games are the answer. Darkfall, Fallen Earth, Dawntide, Wizard101, Earth Eternal, LinkRealms, there are plenty of small development houses with non-standard ideas. Some are already successful, others will be, many will struggle.

    The trap all of them must avoid is reaching for a mass audience, or the whole slide away from complexity and individuality will begin for them again.

  7. grimjakk says:

    One thing Aion does and does well is provide a gorgeously rendered game world–both art and story.

    Yeah, sure… apart from a few mechanics like limited flight and AA weaving, the game is DIKU. But it’s a very well done DIKU. =)

  8. sid67 says:

    It’s time to stop comparing MMOs that are in different genres to each other.

    EvE is not WoW, nor do they bear any resemblance to each other in any way at all other than the fact they are both MMOs.

    It’s a bit like comparing FPS to RTS games. I mean think about it — take any two FPS games and they have more in common with each other than WoW and EvE.

    Take any two RTS games and they have more in common with each other than WoW and EvE.

    It’s time we stop making that comparison. Period.

    WoW, WAR, Aion, LoTRO — all part of the same genre. And there is nothing wrong with that. People who like those games can buy that game and get what they expect.

    I think the whole “sandbox” vs. “rails” is a bit better in terms of distinguishing the genres, but I don’t like it because it’s always used disparagingly. (Sandbox = Freedom, Rails = You’re a Puppet).

    • syncaine says:

      Serious Sam does not play a whole like like CoD or TF2, yet all are FPS.

      Majesty 2 does not play a whole lot like C&C or RoN, yet all are RTS.

      But that’s not the point. The point is someone picking up C&C and then turning around and saying no RTS game does anything new is a little hypocritical. If C&C-style RTS is what you are looking for, great. But if it’s not, DON’T BUY MORE C&C-STYLE GAMES!

  9. Ben says:

    Wow… I love your blog, but sometimes you just go out on a limb with a giant “slap me” sign on your forehead. You do it so often that I have to think you have some S&M tendencies!

    Anyway, Aion is NOT just a WOW clone. I wouldn’t argue that Aion is revolutionary, but I think it’s done a good job of offering an old-school grind/PvP experience more similar to DAOC than anything… maybe you should try playing the game more before you slam it? Given your hate of negative Darkfall reviews, I’d think that’s a fair expectation :P

    And … for the record, I don’t think Darkfall is revolutionary either. It’s a 3d rehash of UO (poorly done, at that). The last MMO to hit that market that could be called “truly” revolutionary, IMO, is EVE.

    Anyway, just my two cents.

  10. sid67 says:

    I’m just tired of all the WoW-Clone and EvE comparisons. When a game is successful enough and different enough (and both WoW and EvE are successful) sometimes they create new genres. Call it an evolutionary “fork” in the MMO genre.

    But — to the main point of your entry — I think there are two types of WoW burnouts.

    a) players burned out on the playstyle of WoW
    b) players who like the playstyle, but are burned out on the existing content.

    I think you would like to believe that (a) is true. The MMO developer community appears to believe that (b) is true — at least based on the number of titles that come out in the WoW genre.

    I think the reality is that you have a lot of players who are really (a) but claim to be (b).

    • syncaine says:

      Actually I believe most people are still looking for just ‘more WoW’, and that’s fine, enjoy. Virtual worlds are a niche genre, likely always will be.

      What bothers me is when those who are paying for ‘more WoW’ are also complaining that the only games we are seeing are ‘more WoW’. Of course we are going to see that when people continue to pay for it. If someone has been supporting EVE, and over the last 5 years all they have seen is one EQ1 clone after another, yea, they can bitch. Even people that went to WAR hoping for something different have a point, because all along Mythic claimed WAR was nothing like WoW. But with Aion, THE WHOLE POINT was to make it like WoW but for the east, and so anyone buying it knew EXACTLY what they were supporting.

  11. Damage Inc says:

    Sorry Syncaine but Darkfall is not a drastically NEW MMORPG. It’s a very bad attempted remake of UO Pre-Trammel and Asheron’s Call/Darktide. Interestingly, I feel both of these games far out classed Darkfall online.

    Now if someone could just combine the best aspects of UO and AC into a new MMORPG I’d be one happy gamer. Instead we get DFO, which is a weak comparison to them at best.

    • syncaine says:

      I don’t remember FPS-style combat in UO or the one PvP server on AC, but then again I only played both for years. I also don’t remember either being based around player-city control and seiging, since that game would be Shadowbane. Now if you had to answer “which previous MMOs is DF closest to”, then sure DF has a lot in common with both pre-tram UO, AC-DT, and SB compared to say WoW, but bad remake, no sorry.

      • Ben says:

        Doesn’t make DF any more revolutionary than a game like Aion, however. While it was the first real, viable *impact* PvP game in a few years, it didn’t make any dramatic steps forward in terms of gameplay, technology, etc.

        I guess my issue with your post is labeling Aion as “more WOW”. That’s too simplistic. You could easily argue that spending $$ on DF is just more “UO/EVE”, too.

      • syncaine says:

        I don’t think you quite understand what DF has done in terms of PvP combat mechanics and the emphasis it places on player skill over gear/stats in an MMO setting, but that’s not really the point of this post. If you believe Aion has done as much for the genre as DF, that’s your opinion.

        You are missing my point though, I do want more UO/EVE-like MMOs, hence I support DF and games like it. If I wanted more WoW-clones, I would be supporting Aion and it’s like. What I don’t like seeing is people who bitch about WoW-clones ruining the genre and complaining how no one does anything different, and then supporting yet another WoW-clone.

      • Jim says:

        I don’t think people want something as different from WoW as DF or Fallen Earth. I think they want something that takes the stuff they like from WoW and makes it better like WoW did to EQ.

        EQ and WoW are very similar but for most WoW is more fun. Why is this? On the surface they are basically the same game.

        I think that is why WoW clones continue to be supported people want some thing different but not real different.

        I also think if a AAA Publisher made a DF like game with the sweet graphics and all the polish that is Aion it would be a hit.

      • Damage Inc says:

        You are correct, UO and AC didn’t have FPS style shooting. I wouldn’t call bringing FPS style shooting a huge drastic change to the MMORPG market though. AC did have the ability to dodge arrows/magic though, something the MMORPG market has been lacking until DFO came out.

        The real key to the PvP game though is your next item. No UO and AC didn’t have PLAYER built city control but a good PvP game doesn’t need that. What UO and AC did have was even better IMO, they had territory control.

        Did you even play AC/Darktide during the AB and Teth wars? Did you ever fight to help your guild/alliance hold and control a BSD, OHN or LC? Control of the best cities to sell/buy in and control of the best leveling spots where what AC/Darktide was all about. Hell in UO, on the Siege Perilous shard, it was all about who controlled the best dungeons. Those who controlled them made the best $$.

        As I said before and stand by my statement, DFO is a decent FFA PvP game but pails in comparison to UO, AC or for that matter SB (who’s classes where probably the best of any MMORPG I’ve played for PvP.)

      • syncaine says:

        I’d consider player-skill being the dominant factor in PvP a huge change for the genre. While you could dodge in AC, character numbers/skills still prevailed over player skill. It was ‘better’ than most, but not as far as DF has taken it.

        I don’t know what you experienced in DF, but it’s all about territory control, player cities just help with that. If your clan owns the city closest to a good spawn, you more or less own that spawn as well. Sure the enemy can still attempt to farm it, but odds are they will donate more gear to you than get from the spawn. The big difference between DF and AC-DT is that AC-DT only had a few select high-end spots, and so everyone wanted them. DF just has more quality spots, so the competition is not as heavy for them. There is less contention, but there is also less of a chance Blood forms and controls the whole server for months at a time. Neither is perfect, but I’ll take DF over AC-DT any day in that regard, and I was both with and against Blood at times.

        DF is far from perfect, but already I would say it surpasses both UO and AC-DT from a pure PvP standpoint. UO had a lot more toys in it’s sandbox, and AC-DT also had some advantages over it overall, but I’m confident DF will ‘flesh out’ over time.

  12. Amen, Syn! I’ve been ranting about the exact same thing the past few weeks on my radio show. Well done, mate.

  13. Solidstate says:

    “To me themeparks are flawed (in terms of what an MMO should offer) because due to their on-rails nature, the players all more or less follow the same path, doing the same things.”

    That’s rich – at least in a themepark you have 20 different rides to choose from and a clear path of progression, with tons of replay value from trying out different classes/roles… in your PvP game you seem to have only the option to PvP, day-in, day-out, never advancing your character. Talk about boring…

  14. Daria says:

    I see your point, in a moment of weakness I bought Aion and then felt ashamed later. In 2 weeks time I had already begun to lose interest and will not be subscribing. However, I do not agree that Aion is just like WoW. In fact, I really enjoyed leveling in WoW. This is why I kept creating alts. I felt a real sense of connection to my race and the story. The world was open enough that I could explore it, and I didn’t feel a rush to get to max level. The crafting was not so grindy that I actually took time to level it too. It was only at the endgame that I started to have problems with WoW.

    In Aion the zones are too narrow, funneling you down a path with no way to explore or do your own thing. You don’t feel a connection to your race or the lore. And I hear after I get out of the 20’s it just becomes a grind because you run out of quests? No thanks. If Aion had been more like WoW in the leveling game I probably wouldn’t have quit.

  15. Thallian says:

    hmmm fascinating…

  16. Ben says:

    I just don’t understand the use of Aion in making your point about buying “clones”. Anyone who did more than 5 minutes of research into the game — before buying it — should have gotten a clear impression of a very grindy (aka, old school) game with heavy PvP / RvR emphasis in end-game.

    It’s not rocket science. The game has been out in Korea / Asia for nearly a year. Anyone who bought the game thinking it was anything but the above… QQ

    That being said — the game is VERY good if what you want is a heavy grind / heavy grouping / heavy PvP game. Which… a lot of people apparently wanted :)

  17. evizaer says:

    I bought Aion. I thought I’d give one last hurrah to the old style of MMORPGs. I went back to WoW a month before Aion came out to play with a friend on a lark and kind of enjoyed it. I thought Aion would be a prettier version of WoW with enough shininess and variety to keep me occupied for a month. I was wrong. What I thought I wouldn’t mind, I minded big-time. There’s a good reason why the genre of western MMOs has moved past the kind of gameplay Aion represents.

    I do enjoy theme-park-style MMO gaming if it’s done in a certain hyper-gamist way and has no pretenses at being a virtual world. DDO showed (and continues to show) me that there is some fun left in theme-park gaming.

    I gave Aion $50. I was trying to find a fun game to play and though I’d see if I could enjoy grinding like I did when it was relatively new. Does that make me a hypocrite? It mostly shows that I’m willing to keep my mind open–I’m willing to see what my antithesis has to offer and to understand why people love it. My reasoning isn’t so weak that I feel the need to isolate myself from a game that may be fun.

  18. Zorcuria says:

    Srry guys but you a probably going to troll or criticise what im saying but here goes:

    Aion, Its a good game at heart and they are on the right track but what ever happened to the good old business ways and ethics.

    NCsoft fail to communicate properly with their customers and no matter what excuse you come up with there is no denying that they are lacking in this department. Business success relies on a healthy company. A healthy company cares about their customers and products and thus must efficiently communicate properly. Its easy and cheap to do this so there really is no excuse. I hardly see any reply from any NCsoft reps on these forums and IMO some of the fixes have been pretty slack.

    I pay money for a product and both the seller and the buyer have an agreement that the product will perform adequately and satisfactory (there are even laws that enforce this). Now there is a much grey area for aion about what is consider satisfactory due to the complex nature of it, but seriously cant they act like the good old days and say “here loyal customers helping to better our product and enduring with our issues, have a free month” would it really hurt? how good would you feel as a customer being acknowledged like that. And with all the start up money with the initial launch it IS a possibility financially.

    Its the little things that count like customer recognition and communication that makes a difference. So what if they are not perfect its a competitive industry i understand take your time and do it right but just conduct your business right and shows us that you care and are trying your best to deliver the good product you promised us.

    Now i have hear ppl say if u dont like it dont play it. There is a flaws in this, i have paid a considerable start up cost for the game compared to the ongoing sub thus there is some expectation and i feel i deserve to be compensated.

    I have also heard “no one cares if u unsub” who ever says that can sit the F down cos they have know idea how markets and power of numbers works. It like voteing ppl say oh my vote doesent count but if u think about it for maybe lets say half a second and your not a monkey or another lesser species you would figure out that maybe there are many other ppl that feel the same way and that one unsub is really quite a lot more. Many ppl go silent about how they feel and dont use these forums.

    I LOVE AION. do i like the company and how they are going about their business? well i think they can do much better than that, if not a free months at least a discount or just SOMETHING to show us we mean more than money to you.

  19. Coppertopper says:

    Syncain you are the worst kind of journalist. You post ‘i hate WoW’ or ‘i hate aion’ threads to just to get a reaction. Might as well be submitting to the National Enquirerer or TMZ. You have no basis for either criticism or praise of Aion, since your only exposure is other blog posts or heresay. Instead you support a grindfest of another kind – skills and resource gathering – in a game that has as a feature ‘blood walls’ and the ability to train by keeping a key depressed by a book while afk. How much skill does it take to macro grind so you can then gank someone who is at 1/2 health after killing a mob? There are so many other bloggers with actual game dev experience or playtime cred that can speak intelligently and knowledgably about Aion, maybe you should stick to what you know instead of speculating on a game you have ZERO hands on time with.

    • evizaer says:

      Syn is not a journalist. He’s a pundit at best. It’s clear he likes to stir up a storm–it seems to be simply how he presents himself on the internet. It can lead to a lot of bull, but it can also lead to more interesting discussions than the the kind that Keen and Tobold generate (usually it’s most “I agree so much! You’re right!” because their opinions tend to be too vague to be meaningful, uninformed, or quite inoffensive).

  20. Hierax says:

    Thank you for your blog. I love reading your thoughts on the MMO market and of course, I enjoy reading about your DF experience.

    I’m still looking for a MMO that brings back the old UO times where you might just go for a little ride and find yourself in a totally unexpected PVP situation.

    DF seems to be the closest thing. But I think it is too guild centric. Everything has to be achieved within the guild and the PVP seems to be always guild vs guild.

  21. Coppertopper says:

    hmmmm interesting. Apparently I was an angry drunk last nite.

    My sober response is: Subscription numbers after the first 6 months speak louder then how many boxes were sold. WAR and AoC sold a million boxes and both billed themselves as ‘not your average mmo’. And more then anything I’d say Aions numbers scream ‘I will no longer pay to beta test an mmo’, which was what AoC and WAR offered it’s customers for $50.

    • syncaine says:

      Sounds like an anger issue, might want to get that checked out.

      As for beta and Aion, considering the game has been out for over a year, don’t you think the end-game (fortresses) should work by now? Having X% of all those involved crashing out repeatedly sounds like an issue to me. Plus we can’t speak about what Aion sales say just yet, lets wait that 6 months.

      • coppertopper says:

        Nope – just a drunken interpretation of your first two paragraphs =)

        End game isn’t broke as it works flawlessly for 80% of the player base, and all but 3-4 of us in the guild.

  22. Anne says:

    I think your main point is mostly correct and I agree. I don’t agree that Aion is or isn’t a bad game because I really don’t know. But I do agree that games like Aion is just more of the same and this shouldn’t be encouraged.

    WoW’s new expansion and TOR is the same, gone are the days of AQ when whole communities actually had an active effect on how fast your got the AQ event and now game-changing events happen whether you like it or not whether you are the only person on the server or not.

    MMORPG’s most unique aspects are not being taken advantage of, all the same linear BS over again and again. Would love to have a game in which the community on each server decides which content they want to see. One simple example, most people on a server are , certain events are based on that statistic, etc. This of course is like the UO example you gave and would need perfection, but if it was done well, it would be more then amazing.

  23. Crito says:

    You still have to face the fact that people like WoW and so it’s features will influence most games that come out, if not all of them.

    Even Sandbox games will learn from WoW and use some of it’s innovations.

    There’s nothing wrong about liking these styles of game. It’s like telling someone what to read. Sorry, not everyone likes the same things, but you are right to say that we should support the types of games that we like and not the games we don’t enjoy.

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  25. Rer says:

    I really don’t think its fair to say Aion is a “WoW-Clone” because it contains some of the same aspects. I’d say it is much more of a fusion of WoW and WAR. In the end though, you are entitled to your opinion just as much as I am.

  26. Dblade says:

    Kind of an interesting response in a comment to the third part of raph’s UO explanation Brian linked to, by D-one.

    “4. Eventually someone is going to invent an MMOG that replaces TV shows and will steal a prime time slot. That person will not be Raph.

    5. It won’t be Raph because he’s not interested in mass market appeal even though his idea will die and wither without that appeal. He has a vision and he won’t settle and eventually Henry Ford will come along and take his basic idea and that is how it goes.”

    I think that goes along with your point. Aion wants to be a mass-market MMO, so they adapt core features to it if needed while retaining their original vision. Darkfall adapts nothing, and is true to its artistic vision, but it’s never going to see even niche success, because of it. That’s more of the problem.

    The reverse is also true, a lot of games adapt without retaining anything, and thats where we get WOW clones that do the kill ten rats quest without adding one single thing unique on their own.

    It’s not enough to have innovation or be innovative, you also have to position yourself to be a success while keeping your original vision. Aion does this, even if the vision seems watered down and generic to you.

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  29. Anon says:

    tl;dr
    WoW isn’t the god of MMO’s. srsly, this game isn’t WoW.nor does it claim or try to be the next spamfest MMO. It’s a real MMO with some actual depth.

    Not everyone likes playing cartoony PvE grindfest games, and for those who do, WoW is that way –>

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