Timing is everything.
Today Raph has a post showing a 3-part “History of MMOs” video. (well worth watching btw, especially for those who started playing post-2004)
In the video, the narrator credits WoW being more linear and accessible as a major source of its success.
The more linear/accessible your game, the easier it is to create a better-than-the-player bot for it.
The… oh, mild connection between ‘dumb as bots’ gameplay and ‘mass market’ is hopefully not lost here.
This of course is not entirely negative. WoW is/was, after all, a great ‘intro to MMOs’ game for many. Whether that same crowd takes the next step into ‘real’ MMOs is up for debate. Certainly a title like SW:TOR is not helping people take that next step, but on the other hand SW tanking BECAUSE it’s an entry-level title in a market of vets (I use that term very loosely) will do some good. If we take one step further, buy into the hype, and assuming GW2 is indeed an MMO that fixes all previous MMO woes while not being a ‘dumb as bots’ title, and it’s successful, then we (MMO players) all win going forward.
Or you continue to laugh/cry at the genre while FiS.