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Casual Games Quickly Transforming the MMO Market

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the wrath-of-the-carebears dept.

Businesses 238

An anonymous reader writes "Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick disclosed that their forthcoming, unnamed MMOG will have 'a little more broad appeal' than its market-leading MMO World of Warcraft. This is adding to speculation that the game might be free to play, since such games now take more in digital revenue than any other genre. In his GDC Austin keynote today, Sony Online Entertainment president Jon Smedley said, 'As a company, we knew we had to evolve ... to expand [our] audience ... and to get a much wider female audience.' The article notes that SOE hasn't abandoned hardcore MMOs, but his talk focused on Free Realms, SOE's free-to-play MMO that has grown to 5 million users in 5 months. Marketed to kids, 51% of Free Realms gamers are under 13, with around 75% under 18, who pose a challenge to attract and retain. Since they only play for about 20 minutes per session and aren't focused on the mechanics of the game, SOE can get away with changes that are unfair to some players, as shown by a recent, oddly-handled item nerf in Free Realms."

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first fucking post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451351)

fuck yeah

Re:first fucking post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451457)

gimme a jigger, nigger!

cotton niggers, sand niggers, rice niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451775)

kill all niggers

WoW was ruined (3, Interesting)

acehole (174372) | about 5 years ago | (#29451439)

I used to play wow. I used to love it. I raided with my guild, did all the fun stuff. Got the rewards from putting the effort in and loved each moment of it. Then Blizzard started listening to the vocal minority crowd, the ones who wanted the rewards with no time put in. The ones who wanted to get the "Sword of OMGWTFBBQ" to kill boars in the forest and nothing more, they wanted to be shiny and wanted it now with no effort. That's when the game started to go down hill. When I first started raiding it would take weeks of running an instance before even getting close to finishing it but now... its hellokitty island adventure with a different skin. The biggest complaint I hear about people who quit now is "I'm sick of seeing everyone decked out in Epic gear." You know you've done wrong when even the 'casual' (and I use that term loosely) player base complains about it.

The casual player is a misnomer, there are people who identify themselves as this and refuse to raid but want the rewards yet they spend a lot more playing the game than most 'hardcore' raiders. Blizzard ruined the game about half way through BC and turned it basically into a game where you login and get teleported to your mail box (because walking is too much effort) to collect your epics.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451489)

Are you honestly that bitter about people doing "less work" to get "unearned" items as shiny as yours in an online game? Really?

Re:WoW was ruined (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451527)

Not to mention that what he's leaving out is that he's had the shiny items for 6 months, and the people doing "less work" for them are only getting them now... as they release even shinier items for those people who actually want to put the effort into raiding to get.

So the real complaint is that in order for him to continue to be "better" than everyone else, he has to continue to raid to stay ahead of other people, since now it's fairly simple for anyone to catch up to the point he's already at.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#29451691)

So the real complaint is that in order for him to continue to be "better" than everyone else, he has to continue to raid to stay ahead of other people, since now it's fairly simple for anyone to catch up to the point he's already at.

Well, that's an inherent property of the level cap. After you reach it, there is no real distinction between you who have been there for a year, and me, who just got there. Nothing to prevent me from getting the same stuff you have without going through the same long process you have.

On the other hand, it's in Blizzard's enlightened self-interest to make sure the newcomers can almost catch up to the veterans. It keeps both groups going.

Re:WoW was ruined (5, Insightful)

johan_from_cape_town (1142715) | about 5 years ago | (#29451515)

I somewhat understand your problem. But you see my problem - I have a full time job and a life. I also want to play WoW. So should I just always suck - never able to actually complete an instance? I don't think so. Maybe Blizzard should create "I don't have a job and my parents pay my way realms" (for people like you) and "I can only spend a couple of hours a week on a computer game" servers for people like me.

Re:WoW was ruined (0, Troll)

acehole (174372) | about 5 years ago | (#29451549)

I had a full time job at the time (I still do yet with another company), a family that I spent time with and study at the same time. Yet I found the time to do what I like. Some watch TV others collect stamps, some play wow and others whine about time management.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#29451975)

The question is who sets the schedule. Some jobs like being a clerk or sales assistant require you to be present from X to Y, other jobs may be "code this in three days, if you do it 3PM or 3AM I don't care". Same with WoW, if you just show up and leave whenever you want then fine, if you have to be on raid schedule from X to Y it's pretty limiting. If you got two schedules already, I can understand there's little time for a family. At least for that family to feel important.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#29452795)

With all due respect, this is the case for ANY organized activity. If you join a bowling league with your friends and you guys bowl on Wednesdays from 7 to 10 then that's time you set aside. If you join a band with some friends and you guys practice Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8, and that's time you have set aside. If you have a weekly poker game on Saturday evenings then that's time you set aside.

Sticking one or two nights a week, even specific times, aside to take part in your hobby is nothing new. Guys with families have been doing it for ages now, and if you think sticking "on a computer!" behind the activity changes that then you're as naive as most modern patent clerks. It is completely possible to hold down a job, actually raid in WoW (not the hardcore 6 nights a week raiding, but there are plenty of groups out there that raid twice a week for 2 hours), and have a family that you're not neglecting.

Re:WoW was ruined (3, Insightful)

amplt1337 (707922) | about 5 years ago | (#29452967)

The difference is your bowling league doesn't have twenty-five people, with the whole night a bust if two of them don't show up. Or a hard limit that only ten people can be in it, and if you have three other friends who want to come along, they're shut out in the cold.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29451573)

Completely agree.

My biggest issue is:

- Without the gear, you cannot raid.
- Without raiding, you cannot get the gear.

How am I supposed to enjoy end-game content when I can't get into a group because my DPS is around 1k too low for these "elite" groups? I constantly see raids occurring with calls for "3000+dps" which is just unachievable without raid / heroic gear, and you can't get that without a significant time commitment that is just unachievable if you have any physical social interaction in evenings / weekends at all.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Insightful)

Arkham79 (219828) | about 5 years ago | (#29451885)

So, I've heard this before, and used to be in the same boat. It's not true anymore - you can gear up to decent raid levels without going to raids now, especially with the recent instance additions. It'll take longer than if you were raiding the whole time, but it's not that difficult. You do have to run Heroic 5 man instances though - no way around that.

With the changes they have made to the instances though they are much, much easier to run these days than they used to be in BC. Do the daily heroic each day (30-50 minutes) and you will quickly get enough badges and rewards to be running in one of the entry level raids, keep it up and you can get well beyond the 3000 DPS you mentioned. It takes some patience if you don't have hours to devote to running instances, but one instance each day you can log in should be your first priority if gearing up is what you want to do.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29451923)

Battleground epics.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | about 5 years ago | (#29452001)

I found your post somewhat insightful upon first reading, though I didn't necessarily agree with all of it. But as I re-read it, something started to bother me.

How am I supposed to enjoy end-game content [. . .] that is just unachievable if you have any physical social interaction in evenings / weekends at all.

If you don't have the time to run many heroics or raids to get your gear up, why do you expect to have time to run the end-game content? It's certainly not going to be any shorter. If you DO have time to do it, just not as much as the hardcore types, you can still experience it; it's just going to take longer.

For those who literally don't have the time to get to any piece of content while there are still players interested in doing it, I don't think the solution is to dumb the content down*, at least not while such content is still the highest tier of content available. I think those players are just out of luck. If that ruins their enjoyment of the game, well, there are a lot of games out there. They should find one that is less grindy so having less time for the game isn't as big of a penalty.

For what it's worth, I don't get as worked up about "ZOMG they hand out epics!" as others do. I measure my enjoyment of the game by, well, my enjoyment of the game. I just want to make forward progress, and that's independent of whether or not you or $HARDCORE_GAMER_X has made more or less progress than me.

* I do sort of like the 10 normal/10 hard mode/25 normal/25 hard mode distinctions. It seems like a relatively good compromise.

Re:WoW was ruined (2, Interesting)

plastbox (1577037) | about 5 years ago | (#29452349)

Firstly, I play WoW mostly for the pvp. I can do it alone or with a few friends, no need to get big, complimentary groups together.

Second, grinding honor is about as simple as it gets. Time-consuming, yes. Hard, no. It's like kids sports, just participating gets you a prize (honor, badge/mark). Though, since it isn't hard you don't get the best items in the game. With a bit of patience, anyone can get Hateful Gladiator set with Furious Gladiator no-set pieces. At this point, your gear is good enough that you can play Arena and get rating, thus advancing to Furious set + Relentless no-set, at which point nothing (but a bit of experience playing pvp) is stopping you from being at a rating high enough to get all the best pvp pieces in the game.

No need to do boring instances, raids and dungeons. Just go at it and whoop Alliance ass, and upgrade gear as you can afford ^^

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

_14k4 (5085) | about 5 years ago | (#29452493)

What I'd like is a game I can devote 20/60 minutes to and not really have to worry and think too hard about. I am a programmer, and spend all day in front of the pc. Lately, when I'm not in front of the pc I'm taking up things like working on my home, carpentry, etc. But when that game itch comes back, I can't find something that's a) free (I'm poor), b) mmo / social interaction, c) fun.

Well, I should say I can't find something graphical. I've been playing a lot of Materia Magica (a mud) lately...

Re:WoW was ruined (3, Interesting)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 5 years ago | (#29452693)

Have you tried Game! [] ? It meets your criteria and in fact, having a limited number of turns per day is built right in as a method of leveling the playing field.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | about 5 years ago | (#29451683)

To turn this into a theme...

I used to play World of Warcraft back when Stratholme was considered an impossible instance. Then suddenly guilds started figuring out this "raiding thing" and all of a sudden, some dumbass healer could get better items than me, because he had 39 other people to pick up his slack. That's when the game started going downhill. I quit and everyone else I knew started quitting and the biggest complaint I heard back then was "I'm sick of seeing some dumbass decked out in epic gear because he can farm gold all day and raid all night." I think the game was ruined sometime halfway through it's first year.

"Casual" is not a misnomer. Anyone who wants to play whenever they feel like it is "casual." Anyone who adheres to a schedule where they get penalized for tardiness is working a 2nd (or 1st) job.

tl;dr "Remember when WoW was good?" "WoW was never good."

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452827)

You can run some instances (even heroics) in 30-60 minutes and most under 90 minutes (without trying hard)
ToC, VH, etc. are easy to find a group for, even a pick up group (PUG)

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452951)

It's called "Guild Wars".

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 5 years ago | (#29451521)

Disclaimer: I played WoW for 3 years but quit before the WotK expansion.

It's not about the time put in, it's about the time commitment raiding requires. They tried to solve this with 10 man raids which could be done with pickup groups (which at times can be equally as painful). Just because someone can devote 2-5 hours a day playing a game doesn't equate to them being able to commit the same 4 hours a night to raid with their guild plus the hours mindlessly collecting reagents, potions, and repair money they'll need to get through the raiding.

But then there was the other aspect of raiding, the repetitiveness. Every week you have the same raids, with the same fights, that have to be executed (orchestrated) in the *same* fashion. I do know with the BC they focused on spreading good loot on quest chains that were varied and at the end of which you were guaranteed *some* reward and smaller raids.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Splab (574204) | about 5 years ago | (#29451611)

What killed DDO for me was when they introduced WoW style raiding. Everyone wanted the epic crafted stuff you could only get from the new big raid, that meant everyone where running the same stupid raid over and over - yeah it was fun once or twice, but playing the same stupid "maps" over and over again just took away any fun of the game.

Re:WoW was ruined (2, Funny)

webax (1034218) | about 5 years ago | (#29451591)

You should be playing FF, SE has not let anything stand in the way of endless grinding reaping exclusive rewards.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

lbbros (900904) | about 5 years ago | (#29451897)

Except that FFXIV will be different (although - luckily - not WoW like). FFXI hasn't changed a lot in the past 2 years because SE is basically keeping the game on life support, with very little development (despite a new "expansion").

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452497)

They did change the credit card requirements... I put my account on hold for 3 or 4 months and now I can't log back in!

Dumbass SE!

Re:WoW was ruined (5, Insightful)

pHus10n (1443071) | about 5 years ago | (#29451599)

Why does it matter if someone else gets an epic-quality item? Does it somehow strip you of your earned rewards? And why is it so wrong if a 12 year old kid wants to do *exactly that* and take his Sword of OMG to the forest and kill boars? If he's enjoying it, why do you care? How does it affect *you*?

You complain that it no longer takes weeks of running an instance to clear it. So I'm guessing that (prior to you quitting) you've cleared all the hard modes available to you in the first week? .... yup, I didn't think you did. There's no lack of challenge in the game if you want it. Many of the instances are tuned for casual play, so that nearly anyone who's interested can make reasonable progress, even if they don't fully understand the calculus involved in tank itemization (for example). On the other hand, hard modes and the new Heroic 10/25 versions of Coliseum allow those seeking extreme difficulty can have it --- and are rewarded for their efforts. As a matter of fact, at the time of this posting, there is exactly one (1) guild who has completed the "Earth, Wind, and Fire" achievement. It's *tough*, and ready for anyone who wants to meet the challenge.

Don't think I'm attacking you directly --- I'm not. I'm just tired of seeing this exact same argument passed around by forum trolls, who conveniently can't back it up with an Armory link.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

acehole (174372) | about 5 years ago | (#29451679)

When I first started playing there were no 'heroic' mode instances. You had players who didnt want to raid, sure they got the blue gear. That was more than enough to do the content that they needed/wanted to do. It would be pointless even attempting to provide a armory link my characters havent been on in over 2 1/2 years. I attempted to find something else in the game that I could get enjoyment out of so I turned to multiboxing. I had 5 accounts and ran instances on my own yet even that wasnt enough to stem the frustration of seeing people geared up to the hilt but couldnt do or understand the simplest of things. They handed the purple gear out like candy and diluted its original worth.

Epic once meant what it described, eventually it became common.

Re:WoW was ruined (2, Insightful)

dbet (1607261) | about 5 years ago | (#29452261)

"Epic" never meant anything. You're romanticizing a false indicator of personal triumph.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452359)

Epic once meant what it described, eventually it became common.

It's pixels on the screen. Get over yourself.

Re:WoW was ruined (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452907)

so is your comment

you dont belong on internet, unplug now

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

daid303 (843777) | about 5 years ago | (#29451731)

It affects you in PvP.

You spend months getting very powerful, and then suddenly people get just as powerful in only a few days. While you ruled PvP situations, and it took parties of 5 to kill you, now all of a sudden it only takes 1 or 2 people to kill you. This can ruin your fun if you PvP a lot.

I used to play this low profile MMORPG. With only a handful of players (about 100 at the top times), and gear was very important. I was one of longest players around and thus had collected a lot of very powerful gear. I could solo wipe 7 man parties in PvP. Which was no fun for them. And then... came the nerfs, some of my strongest items became almost worthless. A few hardcore players left over that nerf, but I stayed. And the game became more fun, I was no longer unstoppable. And the newer players stood a chance, making for better battles. Sure, lots of my hard work was gone. But in the end that worked out fine, as there was more fun.

The people that complain about these kinds of nerfs are the people that leave after a nerf. And... you are better off without them, those kinds of hardcore players tend to ruin the game for many others.

I'm playing WoW for 4 months now. I really like it, I see people rush to lvl80, but I'm still only lvl70. I don't care, I have fun while playing.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29451883)

You spend months getting very powerful, and then suddenly people get just as powerful in only a few days. While you ruled PvP situations, and it took parties of 5 to kill you, now all of a sudden it only takes 1 or 2 people to kill you. This can ruin your fun if you PvP a lot

Then you're playing the wrong game.

This isn't Die Hard. You are not invincible. One on one fights should be close, and one person should not be allowed to dominate. How do you think the 3 people you deck feel who have come over thinking they have as fair a chance as anyone else at getting somewhere? More to the point, what the hell does it matter if you win or not? You already have the elite gear, be it PvP or raid. You don't need the Marks to get the purples.

Sweet jesus, play the game for enjoyment. Find another "Benchmark for Awesome"; It's obvious that gear isn't it any more.

That's what achievements are for. Play PvP for a fun battle, which you could win or lose. Surely charging in, knowing you'll win, is only fun for a short time.

Re:WoW was ruined (5, Interesting)

jaraxle (1707) | about 5 years ago | (#29452329)

It affects you in PvP.

You spend months getting very powerful, and then suddenly people get just as powerful in only a few days. While you ruled PvP situations, and it took parties of 5 to kill you, now all of a sudden it only takes 1 or 2 people to kill you. This can ruin your fun if you PvP a lot.

Then maybe you're not as good at PvP as you think you are and were just relying on gear the entire time.

In a PvP MMO, the "equation" should really be Numbers > Skill > Gear. Basically, a large number of enemy players should be able to take you down when you're alone, a much better skilled player in similar (or slightly worse) gear should be able to take you down 1 on 1, and when you have two equally skilled players the one with the better gear should come out on top.

Sadly, WoW fubared this right up from the beginning and gear trumped everything so that even the worst players imaginable could dominate in PvP simply because they were capable of raiding the top end content and anyone solely interested in PvP were left by the wayside. The Honor System attempted to fix that, but ended up being an even worse grind than any raiding ever was, so you were still better off tackling PvE content in order to PvP (unless you really had nothing else to do than PvP all day every day for weeks on end, or share your account). I quit WoW around Arena Season 4 because I was getting sick of lesser skilled players able to just crush me and some close friends just because their top end epics were far better than our mix of blues and "welfare" epics (just for the record, during the Honor Grind, I was able to get the blue Warrior set and was able to 1v1 almost anyone who wasn't decked out in 100% BWL gear).

Quite frankly, if you find that now suddenly people can get epic gear who previously were unable to and they're trouncing you in PvP I say "Good". You never deserved to be king of the heap, requiring "parties of 5 to kill you" because you relied on gear and now that the field is evened out a bit and skill is more a determining factor, your ego has taken a hit. Call me bitter, call me a troll, but I know a lot of people would agree.


Re:WoW was ruined (2, Interesting)

Fozzyuw (950608) | about 5 years ago | (#29452373)

It affects you in PvP.

No it doesn't because anyone who PvP's tells you it's about "Skill". Getting people in reasonably the same gear simply flattens out that variable, making skill more important.

Re:WoW was ruined (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 5 years ago | (#29452697)

In WoW that's not so much the case; gear is vitally important. It's the difference between 1000 dps/15,000 hps and 4000 dps/30,000 hps.

That's actually one of the things I like least about WoW: weenies like the OP who have zero life can become little demi-deities.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452743)

Guild Wars

lvl20 cap, 1-19 is basically a tutorial.
special pvp gear almost as powerful as the most powerfull items in the game.

Suddenly skill and organization is what that matters, and intelligent people who play 20 minutes a day can beat the crap out of hardcore gamers.

Re:WoW was ruined (2, Insightful)

Rhaban (987410) | about 5 years ago | (#29451839)

Maybe Blizzard should just re-think item classification.

Today we have 5 item classes, 2 of which are useless:
- grey, useless
- white, useless
- green, used while leveling, or if you just dinged 80 last week.
- blue, most people who do not raid/hero have some of this. considered as 'basic' items
- purple, everything from entry-level-80 gear (reputation items, heroic instances) to the most hardcore-level gear you can find in raids
- orange, for some special vhl items only owned by a handful of people

A lot of people complain about how everybody has epic (purple gear). why not lower the classification of low-end purple and make it blue, while keeping the same stats? Similarly some blue items could become green.

If necessary, they could even make a new class between blue and purple, or between purple and orange. A character with gear from ulduar-25 hard mode would be differenciable instantly from a character with naxx-25 gear, who would be differenciable from a character with 5-man heroics / reputation gear without having to actually know each item or even look at the ilvl.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29451911)

Why not keep everything how it is, and stop caring about how much purple everyone wears?

I've been in instances with L80 full-purple DPS spec shamans who did lower dps than me, a 79 full-blue DK. By your reckoning, that shouldn't happen. But it does.

Your shiny-shiny does not make you a good player. Purple items are no longer a measure of achievement.

Those italics are intentional.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Rhaban (987410) | about 5 years ago | (#29452117)

I really don't care about what a character wears. I don't play wow very much, having done maybe 3 or 4 wotlk instances, and wear several green items.

I think these changes would make sense for the people who complain all the time about how purple gear is too easy to obtain. Because you can't tell 12 million persons "Why don't you stop caring about how much purple everyone wears?" and expect them to do so.

Re:WoW was ruined (3, Insightful)

jaraxle (1707) | about 5 years ago | (#29452415)

This is why I believe the item rarity system should never have been used to begin with. [] If item quality was based on comparing just the stats and benefits with no other measure (ie. name colour, level requirement) then I highly doubt so many people would have their panties in a knot over "casuals" getting similar quality gear.


Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Rhaban (987410) | about 5 years ago | (#29452429)


Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Jorth (1074589) | about 5 years ago | (#29452785)

JFYI: The item classification Rare, Epic etc, actually affects the items stat weights and "Budget" an ilevel 100 blue, is generally weaker than an ilvl 100 epic. I can't explain any better than that because its all maths I've never delved into. Obviously they could change this, but simply re-colouring things at this stage wouldn't work without changing item budget mechanics. They should however, do it on the push to 85 later next year.

Re:WoW was ruined (2, Informative)

Av8rjoker (1212804) | about 5 years ago | (#29451927)

I think that the the person who you replied to has a different type of mindset; one which is not too uncommon. If they had to work so hard for something, then it should not be handed so easily to those who don't put in nearly amount of effort. What was once difficult becomes easy for the newcomers due to the changes in the game. It basically boils down to a matter of pride.

The only thing I can compare this to is the Marine Corps. I was punched, kicked, tackled, thrown, slammed on a table repeatedly, forced to drink water until everyone in the platoon puked, etc... not to mention the mental abuse. I've never been punched in the face until I joined the Marine Corps. BTW, I joined in 2002 (I don't care if you believe or not, that shit still happens).

It would upset me if someone is handed that Eagle, Globe, and Anchor for doing anything less.

It is a much more... less PC... way of thinking. It has more to do with pride, and "I had to go through this bullshit in order to acquire whatever, so you should have to do the same.... blah blah blah."

I'm not saying that you are wrong, I'm just trying to point out a possible explanation to why people might get upset when someone who does far less work achieves something much easier than the work that they put into it. I'm sure many people could relate to this in many different situations. (I don't play WoW btw).

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452065)

taking the marine corp that seriously makes perfect sense. taking an online video game that seriously makes you a pathetic excuse for a human being.

Re:WoW was ruined (3, Insightful)

Av8rjoker (1212804) | about 5 years ago | (#29452087)

You are very much missing the point. People take pride in the smallest of things. It is all relative. I only used the Marines as an example.

Re:WoW was ruined (5, Interesting)

Narpak (961733) | about 5 years ago | (#29452035)

Why does it matter if someone else gets an epic-quality item? Does it somehow strip you of your earned rewards? And why is it so wrong if a 12 year old kid wants to do *exactly that* and take his Sword of OMG to the forest and kill boars? If he's enjoying it, why do you care? How does it affect *you*?

I agree. It would seem that for some waxing their epeen is way more important than actually co-operating with others and having a well run raid. For me getting a raid done fast, with no wipes, unnecessary deaths; while talking trash on vent was always the most enjoyable part. Gear was simply a means to an end; not the end itself. And pretty much without exception the people I talk to agree.

Now personally, as well as two close friends of mine, have been playing wow since the summer of 2005. After about six months of playing the game we started raiding MC, and later on BWL/AQ, then Kara, TK, Black Temple, and etc. Now myself dropped out of raiding after farming Black Temple (stopped playing all together until WOTLK arrived), since returning to the game I haven't really done anything but some 10 man and a few 25 man pugs in this new expansion; mostly I just stick to doing heroics and PvP. However everyone I talk to personally, both my two real life friends who have kept up the hardcore raiding, and those of my in-game friends that have dropped off and returned after prolonged hiatuses agree that the current state of the game is better and more enjoyable. This sentiment is mirrored, with very few exceptions, through the entire guild that I used to raid with. Raiding is more fun, gearing alts for raiding or PvP is less of a chore, the new instances are way better designed, daily quests makes acquiring coinage for repairs/consumables/enchants/gems less of a chore; basically the game feels, for those I have been talking to, more like an actual game. There are less people going emo (which seemed to have happened quite a lot more back when we were raiding 40 man instances and getting the gear you needed for the next step took ages and ages of repeated smacking your head against the wall until you were so full of piss and vinegar people went batshit for no apparent reason.

Obviously the changes to the game leaves some people longing for the good old glory days when men were men and everything was much better; but for the most part my personal experiences indicate a higher enjoyment level, more laughs, with most of the heated debate circling around just how much cooler Chuck Norris is than your mum.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452215)

Spluh! WoW is a social game; humans are social animals; social standing is determined relatively, not absolutely.

Re:WoW was ruined (4, Funny)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | about 5 years ago | (#29452391)

> Why does it matter if someone else gets an epic-quality item?

Because you can't entrust the Sword of a Thousand Truths to a noob.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452643)

Nah, he's just bitter that the 12 year old has a sword of omg and thus is able to defend themselves from the first wave of people who have the sword of omg that want to make themselves feel better by killing people who are killing boars in the forest.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452753)

If he's enjoying it, why do you care? How does it affect *you*?

You've just bought a house. Suddenly, the government starts subsidising house purchases, along anyone to buy one for just a few thousand dollars. Do you care? After all, you've already got your house. Why would it matter if other people had theirs too?

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

ComaVN (325750) | about 5 years ago | (#29453027)

The money required for subsidising the houses comes out of taxes. Paid by, among others, me. This affects me.

The epics are not paid for by me.

Re:WoW was ruined (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 years ago | (#29451725)

its hellokitty island adventure with a different skin

Pure marketing. It'll never reach the degree of complexity and required skill you could have in HK:IA.

I'm talking about before the Breach brought the dark avatars and the kawaru fell upon the land, of course.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451743)

This is quite funny - the "omg epics are easy" crowd is a very small and very vocal minority crowd, and even here it likes to label everyone else "vocal minority" instead.

Reality is, vanilla WoW was easy. You could literally AFK your entire molten core raid and eventually get decked in epics. It took no skill, no dedication - it just took time. This is the complaint they have. It takes too little time to get baseline epics with which you could start raiding, which means that lazy people who get kicked out of raids for being clueless and not doing their job hit the ceiling and stop improving their gear - while those "easy epics noobs" who do know how to play keep on raiding and get much, much better gear them them, and fast.

In WoW at the moment, gear is tiered into item levels. Basic pre-raid and 10 man naxx raid epic gear is item level 200. The current "normal mode" tier drops item level 245 gear which is far, far better. The difference is so great that damage dealing class in item level 245 would most likely do about twice the damage output of damage dealing class in item lvl245.

So gear differential isn't the problem at all for anyone who actually understands the system. It's very much still there. The main problem with most of these people seems to be complete and utter lack of skill required to raid nowadays - they seem to look back to "afk time" of molten core raiding with so much nostalgia...

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451859)

One word: market force. The vast majority of the 12 million or so WoW players are not end-game raiders. That was clearly shown when end game content of Burning Crusade was seen by a tiny minority of players - all that development time sunk to a few dedicated hardcore raiders.

All progression-based games have this issue - people will come to the top and run out of things to do - so endgame needs to be engaging and rewarding. At the same time a company needs to play to its base - the 11.5 million or so who are not experiencing this content. You can argue the way Blizzard has done that ("welfare epics") but you cant argue that the issue exists.

The announcement of more casual games shows that the market is changing and companies understanding it and catering for it. This will mean, new games will be multi-platform, interact with Facebook etc and may have little to do with the "sword and sorcery" games that we grew up with. Personally, that is just good business from Sony and Blizzard and all the others. But it also means that hardcore players may have to find their own niche and possibly switch games. Hence the success of EvE Online - clearly a game designed from scratch for the more dedicated players.

In other words, we see in this market what all markets see when they move from early adopters to mass market. Differentiation of the companies and their product offering and more creativity in the process. Sure you have the cry babies who will lament any change but that is normal, expected and transient, the market will absorb them elsewhere.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Exitar (809068) | about 5 years ago | (#29452075)

Are you sure that aren't you the vocal minority crowd that believes that raids should be for few elected players?
You probably was one of the few players wearing epics in vanilla, but if you fail in real life I don't see why the false sense of importance you get from raiding must remove the fun millions of people have playing the game for what it is, a game.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | about 5 years ago | (#29452083)

As much as I'd like to mod you down I'd rather respond.

Why do you feel you are entitled to have more fun in the game than someone who pays the same amount as you every month?

It now requires uber gear to do ANYTHING fun in the game and if blizzard prevents casual players from accessing half the game because they don't treat it like a second job they will lose a ton of subscribers.
If you really need to wave your epeen around you have achievements. Hate to break it to you but who do you think blizzard cares more about, one person who is upset he can no longer solo 5 people in pvp and wants to quit or the 5 people who are getting soloed and want to quit? Guess which group makes them more money.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#29452637)

Having it be much easier to get the gear later on means that the time the player spent WORKING is now worth LESS.

I would argue that playing a game that basically amounts to a telecommuting job is a sign of OCD, but what do I know? I won't play MMORPGs for the most part because they want you to pay for the client and pay again for the service. That's bullshit. Maybe Puzzle Pirates doesn't have the awesome complexity of WoW, but I can just hop on and play for a while for free and then hop off.

Re:WoW was ruined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452879)

Having played WoW and (still) Puzzle Pirates, I would say that the games have equal complexity, just of different kinds.

I seriously doubt organizing a blockade is any less difficult that organizing a 40 man.

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

cyxxon (773198) | about 5 years ago | (#29452097)

I am with you on this one, and I was in the group of people that did not even down Illidan in TBC before 3.0 (and never even set foot into SWP), and never went into AQ or Naxx in vanilla either. Still I liked the endgame more back then. Sure, there are some niceties now, such as tier tokens, and yeah, to an extend badge gear as well, but the removal of attunements and the tuning of the raids to be cleared by casuals with additional hard modes just isn't the same.

Trying to down a boss for weeks and then getting epics for it is something completely different than clearing the boss in week one or two, and then proceeding to down the same boss, but slightly harder (yes, I have done lots of hard modes in Ulduar, but not all). You already did the boss, and know the encounter, and after a time signups go down since people say "yeah, we downed that boss, no point wiping on him for epeen-ness", next week maybe". TotC doesn't feel like a raid at all, because yeah, trash is important. Trash respawn timing in SSC was bad, yeah, but I still fondly remember many trash groups from TK, or BT. Trash pulls in Ulduar? Mostly boring, even if you have to sometimes tank two mobs out of LOS or so. No challenge makes it dull. Artificial challenge (by enabling hardmodes) turns of too many raiders to make it much harder to keep on bringing together quality groups for raiding. Epics don't make it better. The rewards from heroics are fine for every content but raiding, and if you don't cnsider yourself a raider, then why do you need Ulduar-quality gear? You don't.

So please, bring back some short attunement quests (short is fine, doesn't have to be 30+ steps), make raids progressively harder without having to resort to hardmodes. There is enough for casuals, hell, there was enough for them / us in TBC already, really. I was never as bored in TBC as I am now in Wrath, even though officially I should have much more to do right now...

Re:WoW was ruined (1)

jaraxle (1707) | about 5 years ago | (#29452375)

I said it from the start, and I still believe it... Blizzard, and any other company that implemented similar, made a big mistake in classifying gear in a tier system, namely their grey white green blue purple orange system (EQ2 has similar with treasured legendary fabled mythical).

Would there be such a big uproar from raiding players if gear didn't have this classification? What if every piece of gear was all the same colour and the only way to determine what was better was to look at the actual stats on it and compare to what you were already wearing? As it was when I left WoW (around Arena Season 4) you could find any number of people wearing crappy gear just because the name of the item was purple, despite the fact that if they did a bit of looking around on websites they could find at least one piece of gear that was better for that slot but the name was blue instead. People are blinded by purple so to speak.

While I understand it makes it a bit easier for players to identify possible upgrades and also possibly allow easier classification for developers to determine what gear should drop from where with a tiering system, how much of this problem would go away without it? EverQuest 1 had no tiering system for gear (not sure if they do now, haven't played in years) or item colours to determine rarity, and you could find people raiding top end content still wearing gear obtained from mid-level content just because there was no item level or colour to compare. You looked at the stats and benefits of the item, and if what you had was better than what dropped, you didn't bother getting that new item even if what you had was something you looted 30 levels ago.


outside world pvp battlegrounds (1)

Stroot (223139) | about 5 years ago | (#29451509)

True, they dumbed the game down too much. But what also killed the fun for pvp in WoW is the battlegrounds and arenas. Because of this there's hardly any pvp in the outside world anymore. Every pvper is just mindlessly grinding Alterac Valley for gear. Warhammer Online promised a lot of outside RvR but unfortunately copied the battlegrounds too. Really looking forward to playing Aion, no battlegrounds, just a lot of outside pvp everywhere.

Re:outside world pvp battlegrounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451563)

Because outside PvP doesn't work. Battlegrounds are there for a reason, a game 10 vs 10 is reasonable fair. A fight in the open with 60 vs 40 (WAR!) or 2 vs 1 (PvP in open PvP games), is only fun for the winners, the loser has no incentive to stay around. But in a battleground you have objectives to complete and teamwork can make a difference (since it's equal numbers).

Re:outside world pvp battlegrounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451583)

Aion HAS got battlegrounds, sorry to burst bubble : )

Re:outside world pvp battlegrounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451585)

Try Eve Online, PvP is pretty much everywhere. And you get meaningful losses, making the whole experience more fun.

Re:outside world pvp battlegrounds (1)

Rhaban (987410) | about 5 years ago | (#29451701)

Outside pvp is fun in a pvp-only oriented game.

Wow is and has always been a pve-oriented game, with some pvp thrown in for people who really want it.

Wider Female Audience (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29451617)

'As a company, we knew we had to evolve ... to expand [our] audience ... and to get a much wider female audience.'

OMG! Ponies MMO!

Re:Wider Female Audience (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 years ago | (#29451977)

'As a company, we knew we had to evolve ... to expand [our] audience ... and to get a much wider female audience.'

OMG! Ponies MMO!

Nonono, it's "wider female, audience" not "wider, female audience".

So, OMG! Full blown shire horses! XMMO.

Re:Wider Female Audience (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29452505)

So, OMG! Full blown shire horses! XMMO.

The appropriate term is "Hipponies!"

Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (3, Insightful)

milosoftware (654147) | about 5 years ago | (#29451635)

I don't know about the rest of you, but i always make a point of lying through my teeth when it comes to online subscriptions to anything - especially a game. When asked, I'm a 12 year old redhaired girl living in Namibia.

Now back to their stats. How do they know 50% is 13 years or younger? Right. They ask for your birthdate. And then assume that you click the truth...

Re:Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#29451995)

Surprisingly, many people tell the truth. I myself used to write crap like that, but I found I was really just being an asshat. These days I write something real for the demographics, I won't tell you my birth date but you'll get the age right. Not my address but the country. Basically close enough to be statistically useful, but not accurate enough to bother me.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (3, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 5 years ago | (#29452039)

Kids go the other way, though. Because of the US COPPA legislation my wife's website doesn't allow under-13s. What you find is that kids want to pretend to be older than they are, sign up as 15, 16, 17 or 18 year olds because they think it is cool (and they can get to stuff that they shouldn't).

Either that or kids don't have the imagination to lie like that, and most people can't be arsed either.

I end up the other way and just going "I'm over 18, so why do you need to know my DoB?" and proceed to just hit "end" on their day/month/year picker and end up somewhere in the region of 113 having been born on New Year's Eve!

Re:Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452615)

I don't believe I've ever come across a birthday verification that allowed you to select 1896 as your birth year.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 5 years ago | (#29452459)

Usually, I'm about 100 years old on those web pages, in order to get rid of age restrictions.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29452523)

Did you ever find yourself being offered services being tailored for Namibian 13 year old girls?


Your IP address shows which locality you're in, never mind which country. The rest they can guess from your interest in specific features, or by stealing data from cookies from associated websites.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and my birthdate (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#29452757)

And to think I sent you all that anti-Malaria medicine for nothing.

Casual players vs. unmanaged development (2, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 5 years ago | (#29451667)

I disagree that casual players are the reason that a game change was posted without notifying anyone. That sounds a lot more like unmanaged development processes. How hard could it be to have some area where you say things that all the players can read, let's call it an "official website", where you post messages like "FYI, we changed the shoe items"? Do they really think people will buy the "our customer base doesn't care" argument? I'm more inclined to think that even if none of the customers would care, certainly the development team cares that they made the change, and they'd want to tell people about it. Presumably it either fixes a bug, adds a feature, or something. If the change really was purposeless, then why make the change at all? What's worse, can you imagine a development environment where the process driving these changes was so ad-hoc that you didn't have a way to communicate the changes to the users? From some older coding positions I held, sadly I *can* imagine that.

Re:Casual players vs. unmanaged development (2, Informative)

ZekoMal (1404259) | about 5 years ago | (#29452195)

It's more common than you think.

In most "free" MMOs, the process is roughly similar: release something, screw something up, patch it and screw people over. I'll list an example from Goonzu (they call it Luminary sometimes). There was a glitch where if you claimed a hunting ground for your guild, your guild would gain roughly 30-40 levels. So, some guilds went from level 30-70 overnight. They patched it swiftly but did nothing to undo the guild level ups. So there was a huge gap between the 20 or so guilds that did it, and the hundreds that couldn't. And that's just one example: glitches, bugs, hacks, cheats...just spend about a week on any MMO and you'll see it. Another example: Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine recently had an FC (Fortune Card) snafu where they forgot to code in the rare item you could get from it. To fix it, they changed it into a raffle: the more rl cash you spent on the FC's, the more rare items you would get. This didn't count prior purchases, though, so anyone who spent money trying to get it before the patch was shit out of luck.

Just some examples; I'm sure I could find more. And somehow, MMO free-to-players are fine with the constant bludgeoning they get...

Re:Casual players vs. unmanaged development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452239)

The reason for not posting game changes is cost. It is a free game. It costs to turn programmer documentation into user docs. By not posting changes they eliminate a lot of expenses by not generating the announcement, posting it, and dealing with the increased noise volume attendant upon full discussion and understanding of the changes to the game.

Pizza and promises (2, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | about 5 years ago | (#29451695)

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick disclosed that their forthcoming, unnamed MMOG will have 'a little more broad appeal' than its market-leading MMO World of Warcraft.

Seriously? Love it or hate it, the one thing WoW has is a broad appeal. I know loads of people who play WoW who, apart from Wow, only play casual games. In fact, amongst the people I know who play WoW, over half of them are (typically) casual gamers. Hardly any of them would touch Crysis, or even Arkham Asylum, and know what the hell to do with it.

Hell, WoW has broader appeal than a casual game, because Casual and Hardcore gamers both play it! You want to expand on that? The only thing I can think of with broader appeal than that, is Pizza. Actual bread, cheese, tomato, to your door in 30 minutes or less. Are activision branching out, or going nuts?

Re:Pizza and promises (1)

Narpak (961733) | about 5 years ago | (#29452053)

You want to expand on that? The only thing I can think of with broader appeal than that, is Pizza.

Good idea. Make it so that in their new game after ten hours of playing they buy you a pizza delivered to your door (or dormitory); now that would broaden their appeal I reckon.

Re:Pizza and promises (2, Interesting)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 years ago | (#29452313)

You want to expand on that? The only thing I can think of with broader appeal than that, is Pizza. Actual bread, cheese, tomato, to your door in 30 minutes or less.

Everquest II did that. [] WoW countered with Chinese [] , but that turned out to be an April Fool's prank. The EQII /pizza command, however, was real, but I believe it's been discontinued.

Re:Pizza and promises (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#29452893)

It's kind of scary to even contemplate something with more broad appeal than WoW. It's sort of like a drug dealer announcing that Crack wasn't addictive enough, so he's working on a new "Super Crack."

Re:Pizza and promises (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 5 years ago | (#29452937)

The only thing hard core about Crysis is ... was the hardware requirements.

!surprise (3, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | about 5 years ago | (#29451711)

c.f The effect that the wii has enabled on the casual games market.

Re:!surprise (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | about 5 years ago | (#29452995)

c.f The effect that the wii has enabled on the casual games market.

I've never played WoW simply because I don't have the time, however if I did, I'd be kind of annoyed if they watered down the gameplay because Nintendo came out with a new system. Some games are meant to be complex.

Broad appeal (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#29451761)

Broad appeal ... that means they're marketing it to women?

Re:Broad appeal (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29452041)

Either that or they've licensed some porn for the in-game billboards.

Fatties rejoice! (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 5 years ago | (#29452133)

The ultimate expression of casual gamer.

on a side note, in World of Warcraft you can play Bejeweled... a time waster inside of another time waster!

Another casual mmo (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | about 5 years ago | (#29451783)

DDO is doing something similar to this semi free to play and it seems to be working out quite well for them.

a perfect place to meet creepy men! (2, Funny)

slinks (1627039) | about 5 years ago | (#29452141)

" 51% of Free Realms gamers are under 13, with around 75% under 18 " The other 25% is creepy men! sound to me like they do have a broad appeal!

Give the 13 year olds free realms... (1)

ILuvSP (625676) | about 5 years ago | (#29452213)

While I agree that free realms do have broader appeal, why does that have to be the all we get? I pay to play WoW because to me it is worth it...or used to be anyway. The game has all honesty a joke. I have been playing since the day it came out. Sure, make games that are free to play so that you can draw in the 13 year olds. But that shouldn't stop game developers from making games, that are subscription based that do have the separation that a lot of more mature players want.

You F4il I7. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452451)

Hobbyist dileetante one common goal - superior to slow, of a solid dose

Good (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#29452527)

The balls to nerf and annoy the cry baby players is important to making a sustainable MMO (from a playability point of view, not from a profitability point of view).

At some point you will screw up and introduce an item or power or combination that is simply too powerful. You need to fix it if you want to not have every character be exactly the same and have whatever that thing is. Nerfing it is orders of magnitude better than powering up everything else since if you power everything else up you'll get something wrong again and some other thing will be overpowered.

But the idiot players don't like nerfing (even though it has the same effect as powering up everything else), so almost all the MMOs end up stuck in an endless cycle of increasing the power level - it's like a Dragon Ball Z series...

Re:Good (1)

Rhaban (987410) | about 5 years ago | (#29452701)

Just wait for the Dragon Ball MMO []

Cat got my tongue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452711)

Dont tell me "early" WoW "was better" some time ago.
Its almost the same game for those who "have no life" and \ or for those [b]who know so little about true gaming ... [/b]
Playing WoW is not actually playing, its working for some variables in Blizzard's DB.


ohhh nooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29452955)

"we've lost 100% of our 18 year old players from last year !!!"

"they're 19, you dumbass !"

Not quite easy as it sounds... (1)

Nesa2 (1142511) | about 5 years ago | (#29453043)

This totally makes sense. See unexploited market, then focus on exploiting it.... I don't thinks so....

Ten years ago only "geeks" like myself used to have a PC and know how to use it and play MUDs online. Since then the market has changed - more and more people have at least one computer in their house and Internet. Where games used to be for a few dedicated hardcore games before, they have since changed to cater to all (or at least try to cater to all).

I've also been a huge WoW fan in the past and seen it grow from game catering to hardcore gamers to catering 13 year olds. Don't get me wrong, there is still content to hold a hook in for some of the hard core gamers, but with every patch and expansion pack it's less and less. As more and more games become so generic to try and hook larger demographic, new games will start to come out that will focus and specialize on hardcore gamers, casual gamers, kids... etc. Games with broad appeal will die, as a game that does not cater to and individual audience will not hold anyone's interest. Sometimes by trying to satisfy everyone, you don't satisfy anyone... MMOs market is still in it's infant stage...

Games, like movies are made for niche market - specific audience, and Blizzard is just greedy. How many people would watch a movie that contains all of following: porn, sci-fi, fantasy, comedy, drama, thriller, action, gore.... I'd rather watch one good comedy, or one good action movie than any movie containing all aspects of the genres.

Blizzard will fail if they don't start making individual audiences happy with their games. In ten years or less WoW will turn into a MMO Whack o Weasel.
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