Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Inspired by Yeebo's post on MMO innovation and WoW and a wonderfully predictive article from Lost Garden from 2005. This is also a continuation of the discussion from yesterday's post. (Once again commenting on others' posts. When am I going to feel inspired enough to finish my own stories?)
Interesting that Blizzard and even the Warcraft RTS are mentioned in the Lost Garden article. Of course, he was right, Blizzard is about taking an established genre, looking at complaints about gameplay, and making better or more responsive games. I don't know why people complain so much about the game mechanics of WoW. They aren't perfect, but they are polished and encourage a huge number of people to play.

As far as who is the Nintendo of MMOs? Hard to say, because despite variations in story content, MMOs are a single genre themselves, as opposed to a platform/brand like Nintendo. I certainly would not say Farmville, it is an innovation in casual play, but has its roots in the RTS genre, not RPGs.

I am not sure how innovative I personally need a new game to be. I have said it before, story drives my games. Obviously gameplay needs to be enjoyable but that is highly subjective. Maybe I should say "Lore" instead of "Story." I like the feel of a real persistent world with a history.  But even I am finicky, I dismissed LOTRO as being too similar to WoW, in an "uncanny valley" sort of way. Even now, I struggle to like AoC, but I thoroughly enjoy STO. I am looking forward to SWTOR and even GW2 is intriguing.

The funny thing is that "hardcore" in the Lost Garden article seems to be different than how self-described hardcore gamers would identify themselves, since they are the ones complaining loudest about how "dumbed down" WOW has become, and in comparison to EQ, for example. So what do hardcore MMO players play, exactly, in the sense of Halo, Call of Duty, and GTA, what have you? Is it EVE? Or Warhammer? Maybe Guild Wars? Because if they're still playing WotLK, all the while bitching about WoW is dumb and too easy, I may have to smack somebody.

On a side note, apparently Google has decided to mess with Blogger's picture uploader. Very annoying. Hah! I may have just answered my own question about my tolerance for innovation.


  1. interesting couple posts, and I have to admit, due to my heavy focus on gw2 I kept thinking of it when you brought up each point.

    Like with forced grouping. Depending on how you look at it, they're either forcing you to group or never forcing you to group. Every mob in gw2 is open to every other person so if you are killing something and someone else just comes by and helps out, you both get rewards and xp, all without having to group.

    Or take death penalty. There isn't any really. The worst you will have to suffer is defeat, and perhaps a penalty on length of time it takes to revive you. Their 'downed' system is kind of innovative for an MMO.

    I'm not saying they're the nintendo, sometimes I get the feeling the things they're changing aren't going to end up being all that different at all, but, they might be the mmo nintendo.

  2. One thing I think they were very innovative with was the free-to-play concept of the original GuildWars. IIRC, Arenanet wanted players to come and go as they pleased with the expansions. I had associates insist this was the best business model, from the players' perspective. I never played, so I don't really know. WoW is subscription-based, of course and it did lead me, for a long time, to a "lifestyle" of playing only one MMO.

  3. i remember very early on that even after it released people could not believe, would not believe that the business model existed, let alone was already doing very well. People insisted that eventually there would be a subscription. It was even criticized by one somewhat well known blog that it could never be sustained years after it had been sustaining itself.

    innovative? as far as mmo's go it was down right revolutionary.