Raph on WoW, WoW players on WoW

Solid read all around right here.

In basically all respects Raph is right, especially at the end with “World of Warcraft effectively made MMOs perfect, and in the process, it killed them.” It’s sad to imagine what the genre could have been had WoW not happened. Sure, budgets overall would have been smaller, but bigger budgets gave us SW:TOR, so it’s not like we would be losing anything of value with that. WAR probably would have been more like DAoC, LotRO might have been less by-the-numbers, and all those countless dev hours spent creating the endless WoW-clones that we got might have resulted in a least a few worthwhile titles. It’s not like WoW being successful prevent a ton of others to fail, and I’d rather they fail trying to do something different than just trying to be WoW.

That aside, I am infinity amused right now by WoW players saying how much fun the latest expansion is thanks to things like housing (garrisons), an ‘old school’ feel to the zones and dungeons, and having to actually travel across a zone rather than just fly from point A to point B. WoW got way too cute even for itself during the WotLK/Cata/MoP down years, and the stagnation and ultimate loss of almost 40% of the playerbase reflected that. If, and its a very big if, this latest expansion reverses things for WoW, it will at least be a small victory for the genre. Vanilla WoW certainly wasn’t as ‘MMO’ as UO, but at least back then it was something far closer than what WoW has been since WotLK. Baby steps are better than nothing at this point, right?


About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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8 Responses to Raph on WoW, WoW players on WoW

  1. Quinas says:

    Somewhat pertinent I think. Maybe we don’t talk enough about the relay effect of groups of gamers talking to one another, via social media, blogs, forums etc. I tend to think that’s what has resulted in WoW’s uptick. I certainly only bought WoD because my jaded WoW buddies spent a week with it and gave it a seal of approval.

    Similarly, I picked up Archeage because of your blog, Syncaine, and essentially stopped playing it when your blog posts turned sour on it. That’s not because I’m easily led, but because while I was in the mid-game, I saw what was happening in the end-game and it wasn’t something I could support. But it was the conversations of gamers that led me to both decisions.

  2. maljjin says:

    Excellent overview of the history and the situation indeed. It’s also a good way to explain the division between players who enjoy/enjoyed WoW and those can’t fathom it. I much prefer this type of explanations (different game for different gamers), than any mud throwing or trying to define the only type of game that should be.

  3. cirdanx says:

    The problem with WoD is that its all smoke and mirrors. Sure the game is up to 10m subs again, but thats uninteresting now, the real deal is if it can keep this players and that depends a lot on upcoming patches. I doubt it though.

    I have excessively played the new expansion since release and i have mixed feelings. The zones look nice, but nowhere gave me any “classic” feeling. In general its very easy to lvl, nothing is hard, dungeons are faceroll. Sure still better than in MoP, but that is not hard to beat.

    Sometimes the game seems harder, but thats because class balance is all over the place, its broken. You can easily roll thru zones and dungeons and top everything with a hunter, while at the same time, say a elemental shaman sucks balls and gets kicked out of groups because they lack any dmg.

    The art style is spot on and i have to say the soundtrack is really really great! Good job in the story ingame cinematics too, at the same time the story makes no sense and is complete bullshit. Bad writing is all over the place, example: killing of known and iconic characters just for the sake of it and or giving other new characters a “story”. This is especialy the case in the alliance quest line.

    Garrisons are a nice gimmick for sure. They look cool, but all i see is wasted potential, its nowhere near good housing. Infact after you build your stuff it playes more like a browser or app game, give a bunch of orders and missions to your followers and then check back in some hours to collect the stuff.

    And well flying, at the start of an expansion this is nothing new, but i imagine it coming back later, some areas seem to be build with flying in mind.

    Also the class overhaul left me with half of my classes being boring, i was never that bored while playing my arms warrior ever. A child would get bored with it after an hour.

    WoD isn´t bad. But it doesn´t deserve the praise and hype it gets from players in my opinion because it´s also not really good. With garrisons it plays even more like a single player game for me.

    Of course, thats just my opinion :)

    • SynCaine says:

      Interesting stuff all around.

      Perhaps a lot of the good vibes right now are due to how poor Cata and especially MoP were. Like everyone else, I’m curious to see if this spike will last, and if it doesn’t, how far things fall again.

      • invinciblegod says:

        What was bad about Cata? Didn’t it try to cater to the hardcore with hard dungeons, super hard raids, things to grind, and no epics unless you raid?

        • SynCaine says:

          Think it was the whole “we are removing content and replacing it with linear garbage” that slowed a lot of people down. Also pretty hard to go back to vanilla days when most of your vanilla players are gone and replaced with WotLK welfare recipients. Just a guess though.

    • maljjin says:

      Can’t you already managed your auctions in the web app ? I can’t remember, they can even have thrashed the project since last time I played. Interacting with garrisons thru a web app could be possible, maybe sooner than we think. By all means, if Neverwinter got a decent web app for crating and AHing, why not Wow ?

  4. Sofie Hansen says:

    WoW was my first non-sandbox MMO and it’s still the only non-sandbox MMO I’ve ever played for more than two months. I started when it released and it lost me during WOTLK. I did peak into cataclysm, but I never made it through the leveling part before I was out of the door again. The kung fu panda expansion went completely under my radar and I had honestly given up on MMO’s.

    The sandbox MMO’s lost me too over the years. Not because I stopped liking them, but because you can’t sit in enemy 0.0 on an important op when your baby needs you and empire space was never my thing.

    WoD has somehow managed to bring me back. I’m not sure how, but it’s a great nostalgic feeling and it’s a lot of fun. It’s not nostalgia in the way that it’s any thing like vanilla or tbc was, and that’s not what I would want either. Just like I can’t devote hours to eve I can’t devote hours to raiding – yet Blizzard has some how managed to build an expansion which feels nostalgic but caters to old fuckers with jobs and families.

    It’s not just me either. Almost every one of my MMO playing friends who quit the genre are back in WoD. The ones who didn’t quit are still playing eve-online though.

    We’ll see if it last or it’s just a nice holliday thing, but so far I’m having fun.

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