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WoW - The Game That Seized the Globe

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-do-all-my-stock-trading-in-gold dept.

287

The New York Times reports on the global appeal of World of Warcraft. An unmitigated success world-wide, the article examines why the title's U.S. roots haven't stopped it from succeeding abroad. From the article: "Perhaps more than pop music or Hollywood blockbusters, even the top video games traditionally have been limited in their appeal to the specific regional culture that produced them. For example the well-known series Grand Theft Auto, with its scenes of glamorized urban American violence, has been tremendously popular in the United States but has largely failed to resonate in Asia and in many parts of Europe. Meanwhile many Japanese games, with their distinctively cutesy anime visual style, often fall flat in North America. One of the main reasons Western software companies of all kinds have had difficulty in Asia is that piracy is still rampant across the region. Games like World of Warcraft circumvent that problem by giving the software away free and then charging for the game service, either hourly or monthly." Keep in mind that distribution and access rates are different in Asia than they are here in the states. The majority of WoW players pay an hourly fee, and didn't have to buy the box.

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Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045070)

Once you hit 60... What's the point... Honestly.

Scholo Scholo Strat Strat LBRS Scholo Strat UBRS Strat LBRS Strat Scholo Scholo Strat UBRS BRD Strat Scholo BRD (MC Attunement) Scholo Strat AQ20 MC BWL ZG MC MC BWL ZG AQ40 Scholo (maybe)

Repeat ad infinitum. It got boring for me after about the 15th Scholo run.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045104)

Get quest to find 15 grue spleens
Find grues
Kill 15 grues and loot 15 grue spleens
Return
Repeat 20 times
Ding
Repeat 59 more times

You act like repetition is a new thing with the level 60 game. And I still play WoW.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045134)

Nah, I know it's true in just about every MMORPG. That still doesn't change that it got boring for me after the first few instance runs. I'll probably play again in a few months after it's regained some freshness for me, but for now it just doesn't seem worth my time.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (3, Insightful)

Kagura (843695) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045262)

Sometimes I like to think that if they had WoW back then, that WW2 never would have happened.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045330)

I just started on WoW (lvl 15) - please tell me the quests are going to get more varied? I'm not expecting epic storylines with pages of exposition for every quest, but something beyond Trogg hunting would be nice.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Webz (210489) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045389)

No, the quests don't get more varied. That's why the jab is that there are only three (or so) types of quests. It's literally true.

Find. Loot. Kill. Report back.

There's only so many things you can do to make a quest interesting or different, in terms of the mechanics. Sometimes you have to interact with a doodad or just explore a location...

The only difference in quests ends up being the storyline, which Warcraft is full of. Some people tend to forget that. Sure, kill 10 troggs, but troggs are people too. With wants and needs...

It's what you make of it. Try partying with others or role playing to help emerse yourself in the experience.

The mechanics aren't the problem. (1)

Rowan_u (859287) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045572)

There's only so many things you can do to make a quest interesting or different, in terms of the mechanics.

I disagree with you here. There are plenty of things you can do with mechanics even with AI in RPGs being as primitive as it is. I'll mention a one of many possible examples. In one of the first Fighters Guild Quests for Oblivion you are sent next door to "take care of" a rat problem. Turns out that you are defending the rats, not killing them. You learn from the owner of the house that someone or something is killing her pet rats, you don't learn the who or the why. After a bit more chatting up the locals, you end up staking out a hole in the back of the house trying to determine the real source of the problem. The point is that even a quest with this much complexity is still done with dialog trees and map markers. The problem isn't with the game mechanics; it's with the design mentality of WOW.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (3, Informative)

Jartan (219704) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045680)

"No, the quests don't get more varied. That's why the jab is that there are only three (or so) types of quests. It's literally true."

Oh please that is a flat out lie.

Rescue a knight from a dungeon. Then you walk through the alliance capital with said knight while every soldier you see salutes him. Several cutscenes happen. A certain political figure is revealed to be something very bad and a huge fight ensues after which you are charged to seek out said very bad person and kill them.

There are lots of examples like this. The quests in WoW are very varied. The problem is you finish them and WoW's end game doesn't really even have anymore quests it's just raid dungeon running over and over.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045421)

While there are many such hunting quests, there are multilayered, lengthy series of quests that have enjoyable (scripted) payoffs. I find them neat, at least.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

huguley (87575) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045441)


Wait till you have to do the onyxia key quest. You will be wishing
for the go kill x number of troggs quest. Then when you get to
kill Onyxia and find out it takes a half hour and you can only do it
every 3 days you wonder...

But I still play and have several level 60s on 2 accounts. Once you
get sick of UBRS it is either PUGs or join a better organized guild.

Angels Wrath on Alleria ftw!

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Wornstrom (920197) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045599)

yeah that Ony chain was a pain in the ass. I find it fun still with 39 days /played on my main over the past year. We took a pretty bad hit when several of our key well-geared people decided to /gquit and start their own guild, but part of the fun was rebuilding our team and getting back up to full MC clears in ~4 hours. Hopefully soon we'll be back in BWL

Powerlamers of Alleria / Horde WUT!

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045483)

There are some varied solo quests: beating lazy peons, stealing pumkins, kodo herding, using a mechanical yeti to scare a goblins friends, beating money out of deadbeats, etc. There are actually a fair number of intersting scripted events in the dungeons too, but you can only do those so many times before they are old hat - also people tend to do those at too high a level and just power right through them.

Really there is only so far the quest mechanic can be taken and retain mass appeal. Pretty much every raid encounter has started hard - really hard, and then been toned way down in difficulty.

If you are looking for epic and involved quests then single player games and muds are really your only options.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

huguley (87575) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046248)


Don't forget about saving sharpbeak!!! His parents seemed so happy to see him. Except when the
quest was bugged and his corpse just layed there like a boneless chicken.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045145)

That's when the fun starts... 20/40 man raids are the fun part...

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

blinder (153117) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045450)

unless of course you are on a server filled with little twerps who are more interested in scooping, ninja'ing and generally acting like total idiots simply because they can. why on earth would you ever want to team up with 40 of them at a time?

meh, no thanks.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045674)

let me guess... you play alliance side?

there are plenty of mainly adult guilds horde side, at least on my server. I immediately leave the Looking for Group and guild recruitment channels... cuts down on a lot of the annoyances. What annoys me is the 'panhandlers' in the game who make a mini game out of begging for money. They tell you it's for a sword or something and they only need a little bit, you feel charitable and give it to them, only to get whispered "suker" afterwards. LRN2SPELNUBS

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045743)

"That's when the fun starts... 20/40 man raids are the fun part..."

Yes because I want to be in voice chat with 40 guys who I probably don't even like while listening to some power tripping guild leader try to micromanage everyone for 6 hours every night.

Your statement vaguely reminds me of college days where several friends would attempt to insist to me that going to a party and getting drunk off my ass followed by puking and waking up with a huge hangover was "the fun part".

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045896)

Your statement vaguely reminds me of college days where several friends would attempt to insist to me that going to a party and getting drunk off my ass followed by puking and waking up with a huge hangover was "the fun part".


It is the fun part for everyone but you! If you puke and/or wake up with a hang-over, you've done it wrong and need more practice.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (2, Insightful)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045912)

If you have a power tripping guild leader and you don't like the 39 other people you're there with, maybe that's a sign to find a new guild, hmm? There are good ones out there where people have a great time, eveb occasionally meet up in real life to have drinks and hang out. They're just harder to find because they don't have the huge burnout rate that crappy guilds do, thus they don't need to advertise so blatently.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045364)

Once you hit 60... What's the point... Honestly.
It got boring for me after about the 15th Scholo run.


Well, you gotta remember that they're shooting for a different audience than exists in Everquest. Blizzard, to make as much as possible, has to keep WoW developed so as to appeal to as large an audience as possible. This particularly includes the more youthful, instant-gratification-oriented typed. They want to hit 60 and kill lots of stuff easier.

Everquest on the other hand is about to release its 12th expansion and, even without being anywhere near the mythical "end-game", is constantly housing 24, 54, and 72-person raids. I will doubt that WoW will ever develop to the point that Everquest has simply because it must keep all rewards attainable by the majority of the audience within a relatively short amount of time.

Thus, you grind to 60, get some nice gear... then... make some alts. Try out another class and wait for the next expansion. Do some raids where available. Get into a more mature guild (not necessarily in language, but in tactics and goals).

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (5, Insightful)

Necroman (61604) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045682)

You are trivializing the idea of the game. Anything can be trivialized to the point where it seems pointless.

Videos in general:
It's an environment that I can interact with using my computer. There are normally tasks that I have to complete, and once it's all over, I haven't accomplished anything in Real Life.

Computers in general:
I used input devices (ie: keyboard and mouse) to interact with a program someone else wrote.

Life:
Wake up every day, eat, work, sleep, and repeat. Looking at life without taking in account the details of what goes on; it is a fairly trivial process.

Just because you didn't enjoy the type of entertainment that the game was providing doesn't mean it is pointless. Video games are a form of entertainment to help us relax and enjoy ourselves. If you don't enjoy, or stopped enjoying, a video game, you can replace it with another. Or you can go read a book, or rob a bank... something that entertains you.

Re:Instance whoring at level 60 (4, Insightful)

EnderGT (916132) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046067)

I wish I had mod points to give you. This is a fantastic answer to the people who whine about not liking WoW, and who wonder why we like playing it so much.

Personally, I don't do many quests these days. If I do any, they are usually related to the instance that I'm at the appropriate level to run. I spend my time running that instance, usually with people I've played with before but sometimes in PUGs. We try out different tactics, mix up the group makeup (e.g. try it without a main healer, try it with 3 mages, etc) to challenge ourselves. I also enjoy trying out the different combinations of race and class, exploring the different abilities and play styles.

Sure the hunting/gathering quests can be boring, but there's so much more to do - the game is so much more than the quests.

Deleting the character (1)

topgan1 (725611) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046042)

I was consumed by WoW at 60lvl. I was in a guild that were doing BWL/MC/AQ and willing to go to Naxxramas at the time i quited WoW. Here is a video that I made of me deleting my tier 2 priest. It was the only way of me stopping WoW for good! I wasnot willing to sell him as I couldn't thought a noob walking around with my priest at Ironforge :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSjyQwMEIAc [youtube.com]

WoW fits both markets (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045072)

MMO's are huge in Asia. Games like Lineage have been hitting huge numbers (not WoW numbers, but not far off) for awhile now.

Warcraft and Blizzard are 2 of the biggest names in gaming in the US.

The combination hits a sweet spot for both markets.

p.s. when is someone going to make a Grand Theft Auto MMORPG!!!

Re:WoW fits both markets (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045132)

p.s. when is someone going to make a Grand Theft Auto MMORPG!!!
Multi Theft Auto [mtavc.com]

Re:WoW fits both markets (2, Informative)

Durrill (908003) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045376)

p.s. when is someone going to make a Grand Theft Auto MMORPG!!!

http://www.webzengames.com/Game/APB/default.asp [webzengames.com] APB is under development.
Reading up on this, it seems that you can either play a criminal or the law. So its along the lines of a combined GTA/True Crimes MMO. Its not out yet, but i might actually give it a try when it does.

What Oh What is WOW? (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045084)

Never played the game. So much for a game that seized the globe.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (1)

Desolator144 (999643) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045149)

everyone I talked to in my IT classes at my college said something to the effect "it's okay" or "it's not that great of a game." I think the only reason it's popular is because it combines Warcraft fans that will play anything Warcraft with MMORPG gamers. That's a lot of people but it doesn't make it a great game. I don't think it has anything to do with the price because Silkroad Online is pretty similar in many ways but completely free and there's only like 10,000 or so people playing that.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (1)

Usekh (557680) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045154)

And of course you are the only determiner of a games sucess? 6.5 million active subscribers...

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045164)

Last I heard, WoW has six million active subscribers. I've never played it either, but that's still lots of people. 6 million people is about 2% of the American population. I know that there's plenty of players outside of the USA, but when you look at it that way it really puts it into perspective.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (2, Informative)

Webz (210489) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045349)

To see its perspective compared to other MMOs, check out this chart:

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1_files/Subscription s_8846_image001.gif [mmogchart.com]

It pretty much beats every other popular MMO out there combined. That's impressive.

Also, considering the expansion coming out, I'm sure that will attract either new players or players who quit before and then want to see what the Burning Crusade is about (new content, new characters, new spells, bug fixes, enhancements, etc).

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (4, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045594)

McDonalds gets a lot of customers. Windows has a lot of users. Lots of people went to watch War of the Worlds.

Popularity is about marketing and dumbing down, not quality.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (3, Insightful)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046259)

Retention is a function of quality. Exposure is a function of marketing. If I'm exposed to a quality product, I'm more likely to become their asset. If World of Warcraft weren't a) fun, b) distracting, c) amusing, I wouldn't be playing it still after over two years.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045715)

I think "plenty of players outside of the USA" is an understatement in this context. Both Europe and USA have a bit over 1 million subscribers, the rest are in Asia.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (3, Funny)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045166)

Soap has also siezed the globe. The fact you don't use it, doesn't affect that statement.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045404)

Not everyone wants to see "Snakes On A Plane", young grasshoper.

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045255)

Well, golly, aren't you just a special, little snowflake...

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (1)

terrahertz (911030) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045259)

That comment is so insightful it needs a forum of its own [trollville.org] .

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045312)

lol, who the hell is rating this troll Insightful?

Re:What Oh What is WOW? (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045524)

Just because you haven't played it doesn't mean that it hasn't taken a very large portion of the market that is MMORPG players, or that it hasn't expanded that market, or that it hasn't greatly influenced game design since. I'm pretty sure you can find a few people in the US that think that they'd be better off as a british colony. That doesn't make the american revolution any less valid.

Sad to see this a success. (4, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045119)

While I congratulate the developers for creating a game that keeps money pouring in at a rate to make the oil companies proud; I am sad to see subscription based games survive.

Everquest (afaik) started the trend and now with WOW pullings in Millions of $ each month, I know that it won't go away. I watch my friends throw money at all these games, one in particular had active accounts in: City of Heroes, WOW, and Everquest all at the same time! He let me try his account (in an attempt to get me hooked) and while the game and MMORPG aspect was fun, I dind't think it was worth the monthly fees.

So now, I stick to classics and Mame. I will never pay a monthly fee for a game.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045170)

I'll have to disagree with you; while having to pay money every month, rather than at the onset of the game, may be t3h 3vi1 to you, games requiring servers need those servers paid for. And although I do think the prices demanded are rather high ($5/mo or lower seems to be more in line), I'm hoping eventually all the games themselves will be distributed for free, much like EVE Online is now.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045371)

Servers are cheeap.. ack.. so cheap.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (5, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045231)

I am sad to see subscription based games survive. Everquest (afaik) started the trend...

You missed the early nineties, when people payed by the hour, and in some cases by the minute, to play games like Legends of Kesmai. People ran up bills, some as high as hundreds and even thousands of dollars per month.

$15/month is a steal compared to that.

Even more, your average (non-MMO) gamer probably buys one boxed game a month, at least -- which runs about $50, these days.

Again, $15/month is a steal.

There are very few services out there that give you "All you can eat" for $15. And most of these games feature regular content updates -- so you're getting a little more than just the privalege of playing, for your money.

Running an MMO costs money. Constantly producing more content does too.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045322)

Ah yes, the era of the ,"Oh no, I was on long distance when I was playing online?"

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045414)

Ah yes, the era of the ,"Oh no, I was on long distance when I was playing online?"

Nope. Islands of Kesmai, for example, charged up to $12/hr, in addition to compuserve's access fee. That doesn't include any long distance, either.

100 hours of gaming in a month (not at all uncommon for today's "hardcore MMOers") would cost you about $2,000, if you include compuserve's hourly fee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_of_Kesmai#Pri ce_to_Play [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sad to see this a success. (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045281)

The only way a game like this can exist is through monthly rates. If they just sold the game for an initial price, the game would not be able to afford the massive amount of hardware, bandwidth, customer support, etc. Additionally, you are getting new content added every few months. You have to pay the developers. Subscription based games will never go away. It's fine if you don't want to spend the 15 a month...but...it isn't very expensive. Considering the game pretty much consumes your free time...it actually saves a typical gamer money since they don't need to buy any other games. People spend 100s a month for cable/internet. You certainly get more bang for your buck in WoW then you would going to a movie theater.

Disclaimer: I quit WoW and couldn't be happier about it.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (4, Insightful)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045332)

"I will never pay a monthly fee for a game."

Enjoy your no gaming future gramps...

On the plus side I pay way less for game subscriptions than i do for the cable tv that i used to subscribe to, the weekly movies I used to go to...

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

Bhasin_N (838449) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045661)

... The life I used to have. (coudnt resist adding that )

Re:Sad to see this a success. (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045800)

Enjoy your no gaming future gramps...
So far I haven't paid any additionnal fees to play Metroid Prime: Hunters, Animal Crossing: Wild World or Tetris DS online...

And given all the press releases and statements by Nintendo officials, I don't expect to pay monthly fees for the Wii either (aside from some MMORPG, if any).

Enjoy your fees-infested gaming world with Microsoft and Sony.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

BruiserBob (769626) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046372)

So far I haven't paid any additionnal fees to play Metroid Prime: Hunters, Animal Crossing: Wild World or Tetris DS online..."

I think the point of some people is the statment: "So far I have paid additionnal fees for WoW and played nothing else."

The point being that while you've bought all those games at $50 or so a pop, these folks(myself included) have only purchased one. Three extra games at $50 a pop is $150...that's 10 months of Wow subscriptions. Starting to see the point?

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045375)

Gaming in general has a monthly fee, unless you stick to replaying games you already own. I've just started on WoW, so I don't know how it's going to affect my buying habits, but I generally buy around 2 games a month. That's four months' WoW subscription.

It is cheap (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045424)

Instead of going to a movie once a month, play a MMO. Or, instead of going out to eat once or twice, play a MMO. A music CD will cost you about the same...

$15 doesn't buy much nowadays in the entertainment world, a whole months worth of entertainment for $15 is a deal! (And if you play Everquest 1 year is $100! Less than $10 a month.)

Re:It is cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045754)

The problem is not how much money they cost, but how much TIME you need to play them. Going out eating or for a movie may be more expensive in the short term but these are activities that don't take over your life like a MMO can.
At the beginning MMO's are fun but after a while they become something more like a full time job. At some point you have to realize that free time is better spent on other activities that don't lead to this kind of extremely addicting and self-perpetuating behavior.

Re:It is cheap (3, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045832)

this is the key to it all I live in NYC, the movie prices are ABOVE $10 now, then factor in about $4 for my metrocard, the price of eating out (or god forbid buying movie theater priced stuff, though I have SERIOUSLY missed the buttery buttery joy that is movie theater popcorn), etc etc etc. And look, there is a month of WoW! I ussed to be dead against monthly fees, and then I graduated from HS and started working regularly and realized that $10-15 is NOT much. At one of my old jobs I had a coworker who was still in HS, he sat there anr just couldln't get the concept of paying a monthly fee. One day I decided to point out that the shakes he was so fond of, and drank atleast 3 a week, cost about $5 a pop (Hagendaz), and were contributing to him being over weight. He, being the easily impressionable type, instantly stoped drinking his shakes and picked up WoW and got horribly addicted :P /pro-monthly-fee OTOH, any one that tells you "well, they need the $$ to keep the servers running/pay for BWidth/pay for updates" is a sucker and/or a fanboy. it does NOT take $15*subscribers/month to keep those tihngs rolling, the $$ is there because it is a GREAT way to make proffit.

Happy to see this a success. (2, Interesting)

Grimwiz (28623) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045459)

As a parent, and generally suspicious net-user, I am glad that there is a fee and associated paper trail back to a real breathing human. That way, if legal recourse is required then it is available. I have noticed that games that allow anonymous entities are often full of cheaters, griefers and I believe they are more of a danger to vulnerable people (e.g. children). Anonymous means of expressions may be required for a democratic society but they can stay in their relevent forums.

On a gaming front I'm glad that the servers stay running, new content is added and that there are support staff available to fix problems - all of which require money.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (2, Interesting)

Jartan (219704) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045605)

"I will never pay a monthly fee for a game."

You make that sound like some sort of stand you are taking against evil. You also act like people who pay these subscriptions are making some sort of mistake.

What if they stop charging a monthly fee and start charging $150 up front flat fee? Is that going to somehow make it better for you even though numerically it's probably more?

I've got a lot of bad things to say about WoW but so far it's the only MMO to every actually deliver fifteen bucks worth of content every month.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (2, Interesting)

astanley218 (302943) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045640)

FWIW, Ultima Online was the first major game in the genre. I have played MMORPG's since UO, although I never had overlapping accounts. I have a full-time job, a wife, a house, and 2 children. Needless to say my entertainment time and my money are very valuable to me as I don't have much "extra" of either of them. IMHO, games like UO or WoW cannot be compared with games like San Andreas or Madden '07 for various reasons. Some of the major ones off the top of my head would have to be:

- Blizzard spent 5 full years developing the game before launch (ROI on this must be overwhelming to consider for Bliz).
- Blizzard admins currently maintain 174 "realms" around the globe (Very expensive leased lines, hardware maintenance, secured facilities, etc.)
- WoW requires constant attention from paid employees (ie: game masters who are constantly investigating hacked accounts, assisting players, banning farmers, responding to abuse/complaints, etc).

This new game model absolutely requires some type of recurring income. It is obviously not viable to take $50 (less the distribution costs) one time from a customer and then allow that customer to play for the next 4 years without recovering any of the above costs. In my opinion the $15 monthly cost (3 packs of cigarettes?, 2 fast food meals?, 1 date at the movies?) is very easy to justify considering the infrastructure in place, and the entertainment value of the game. I don't know about the rest of Slashdot, but I have never been able to enjoy a single $50 game for more than a month or two. By that time I've either beaten it (seen all the content), or am frustrated/bored with it. At which point I would be back at the store laying down another $50 for the next few months entertainment. MMORPGS are in constant development, new content simply "appears" in the game via routine patches. Expansion packs and other major changes sometimes cost a little extra, but I still see this model as far superior to single purchase (ie: Madden) video games.

Re:Sad to see this a success. (1)

Jack Sombra (948340) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046153)

The genre to which WoW belongs, subcription, internet based, graphical, massive multiplayer , persistant world game was not started by EverQuest (March 99), nor by Ultima Online (Sept 97) but rather by Meridian 59 at the end of 1996.

To the poster above who refuses to play subcription based games, best get ready to quit gaming, many of the gaming companies were looking at the model before WoW, now that they have seen how much the buisness is worth they have all gone into overdrive to start developing their own subcription based service (imo the next big leap will be doing one that works well with consoles as well as pc's), many people are predicting that sooner rather than later all games will be subcription based, even non MMO's, not only because the profits can be greater, but because by keeping a lot of the game content on servers they totally eliminate pirateing and in the long term the studios will also be able to cut out the middle man, the distributers

Re:Sad to see this a success. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16046291)

But the problem with subscription-based games is that you must keep paying for months even if you are not playing it or playing very little. And you gotta keep paying or else they delete your char which is what, 1Kbyte worth of data stored away in some disk sector. Usage-based pricing would be much fairer and also lower pointless and/or compulsive play.

Not so sad (2, Informative)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045714)

I wonder why you are so sad to see this model survive. 6 millions users cant be wrong. MMORPG are doing something right to survive for so long. The fact that it does not appeal to you is one thing but you should at least respect the fact that 6 millions other gamers actually like the game. Here... let me list a couple of things you will not get from a mame....

Social activities
-----------------
- Get online with your friends and go kill mobs as a gang (PvE).
- Make a party of player and wage war on another party (PvP).
- Dress your male character with a robe while getting drunk on the beach ... ok that's rather unorthodox but you *can* do it if/when you ever feel inclined to that sort of endeavour.

Updates
-------
- Interact with the developers to have your game customized to your need. Tell them what you like and what you dont. They'll do everything they can to improve the game.
- They'll also add content, quest, weapons, armors on a fairly regular basis.
- Events! They can decide that on december 25th, the grinch is gonna come and kick everyone's ass in a WoW-kinda way.

But of course, you know that already, you've read it yourself just as much as people trying to convince you have told you. So again.... that type of interactivity may or may not appeal to you, but you have to admit it offers a gameplay widely different than that of a mame or snes game for instance.

Sure there's a fee but i don't think its overly priced. Based on a monthly fee of 15$ I can honestly say that I spend 3 times the price of that on a single date with my girlfriend, I spend 5 times that price on a monthly basis to go to the movies or buy CDs, I spend more than 100 times that price for a week in the south and yet ... all of those do not offer me an entertainment as sustained as being able to log with my friend after a long day of work and just have fun with them.

The fee required can also be justified to buy the thousands of top-of-the-line servers required to support all the players, pay the developers and of course, lets not be blind, make a profit.

But all in all, I believe that MMOs do offer a value, a style, that offline games cannot offer.

When you say that your friends "throw money at all these games" I say they found a style of gaming that suits them. As long as everyone finds they own style, then all is good right ?

Slashdot finally learning to cash in... (5, Funny)

Claws Of Doom (721684) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045129)

...on the millions of U.S. WoW players unleashed on the internet when WoW is down for maintenance. gg Blizz *cough* Zonk.

Link & Thoughts (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045130)

Sorry for the karma whoring but here's an RSS link to the site that doesn't require registration [nytimes.com] and the no-ads no pictures version [nytimes.com] .

Pretend you're a news feed or printer and you too can read stories without inhibiting log-ins or advertisements!

Now, for my two cents, I like WoW. But I loved Star Wars Galaxies pre-CU. I had two accounts in that game. It had this special kind of social aspect to it where people were dependent on even the most mundane professions. On top of that, you could level by dancing in a cantina all day, simply chatting with people. The fighting classes had to come in to relieve fatigue and wounds. It was a great system that, in my opinion, could have been more popular than WoW.

In WoW, fighting is the only thing that gains prestige. All the best weapons are looted, there is no dependence on non-fighting classes nor is there such a thing. I think that if anything is going to surpass WoW at this point, it has to be something that so far out there that it's not even well defined yet.

One thing is sure, it needs to accomodate both fighting classes and socializing classes and keep them equally important.

Re:Link & Thoughts (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045265)

One thing is sure, it needs to accomodate both fighting classes and socializing classes and keep them equally important.

. . . and not "improve" that feature out of it once they do have it :)
Unfortunately, I was one of the people to try Galaxies out after the improvements. Unfortunately aswell, I was one of the people who wanted to make my living mining resources and building cool stuff (I wanted to Pimp your TIE, like xzibit). Unfortunately the trader classes were so nerfed I couldn't survive outside for Mos Eisley, not even with the help of my jedi friend.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that nerfing the people who don't want a mindless shooting game isn't the most productive move to make.

Re:Link & Thoughts (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045796)

owned by html tags. . .

Re:Link & Thoughts (1)

ultrajazz (516720) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045569)

Actually, there are plenty of quests on WoW that you don't require any battling to complete. But, I do agree with your post. Maybe I'll check out Galaxies.

Nah, Don't Bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045642)

But, I do agree with your post. Maybe I'll check out Galaxies.
Please, don't bother. They made changes that destroyed what was to love in that game. Maybe try the free month of A Tale in the Desert or look forward to an obscure one [slashdot.org] that satisfies you?

eldavojohn

Gaming as a service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045219)

And this in spite of laggy servers, buggy software, frequent outages... At least we are getting a feeling for what the next great game will look - and work - like.

Error in article text (0, Redundant)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045261)

Games like World of Warcraft circumvent that problem by giving the software away free and then charging for the game service, either hourly or monthly."

Unless my memory failed me, I do remember paying 49.99$ for WoW. There is no free software given away.

Re:Error in article text (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045274)

Unless my memory failed me, I do remember paying 49.99$ for WoW. There is no free software given away.

Maybe he was referring to Asia! Where it may very well be given away for free... or at least very cheap...

But yeah.. I wan't my initial $50 back!

Re:Error in article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045353)

"Keep in mind that distribution and access rates are different in Asia than they are here in the states. The majority of WoW players pay an hourly fee, and didn't have to buy the box."

GG.

Re:Error in article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045451)

that's the difference between Asia and America

Re:Error in article text (1)

meccaneko (844665) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045501)

yeah I really dont get this idea of getting a free trial, downloading the client at 1.2Gb(?), then if you decide "hell yeah this is for me", Blizzard makes you go out a buy a box with a disc and a manual in it to continue playing? I just wanted to add a subscription to my trial and keep going.

EA have the right idea for a change, when Special Forces came out for BF2, you could just pay for and download the expansion pack...

------------
  There is no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold, so he turned the sun up.

Re:Error in article text (3, Informative)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045803)

You are not chinese.

WoW has different pricing model in some parts of Asia.

Another WoW article 'stubbed' on the front page? (2, Insightful)

Gropo (445879) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045264)

Oh, it must be Tuesday Morning [google.com] .

Free software? (1)

Krokus (88121) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045306)

Games like World of Warcraft circumvent that problem by giving the software away free and then charging for the game service, either hourly or monthly.


They don't give the software away for free (like they should). They make you buy it just like any other game. When the expansion comes out, they'll make everyone buy that, too.

Re:Free software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045521)

from summary:

Keep in mind that distribution and access rates are different in Asia than they are here in the states. The majority of WoW players pay an hourly fee, and didn't have to buy the box.

Current adoption? (2, Interesting)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045338)

Yeah, we all know WoW is a huge hit, but I'm curious...now that there is a very significant portion of their player base who is level 60...and many players have become disallusioned with the grind that is on par with EQ, does anybody have any numbers regarding their current new subscriber rate?

The reason I ask is that when WoW first took off, they had a large number of new players constantly joining the game...but I have a hunch that they are starting to approach their plateau as the game matures and new games come out. Yes, the expansion will help, but its primary customers will be existing players, not new ones.

Anybody have any figures as to what games new players are flocking towards these days?

Re:Current adoption? (1)

b1ad3runn3r (896115) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045540)

Happens a lot that players who reach level cap often hold the accounts open, even if they don't want to play very often or are bored, because of the "But I worked so hard on him..." mentality. You may not see as much of a sharp decline as you would when a new game (Vanguard) came out and all those 60s who were irked with the quick-leveling and boring post-60 game AND those who havent canceled their accounts yet find something new...

Re:Current adoption? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045830)

I'm interested in how many NEW players are currently signing up for the game. Not players who are leaving accounts open, since I realize that yes, plenty of players just keep their accounts sitting around. That is why it is important to measure the influx of new customers otherwise its like when AOL counted all their old customers in their total subscriber base number.

Re:Current adoption? (1)

KazerSoza (727306) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046144)

I have my 60 and do not like the raid / rep grind. So .. I start alts .. lots of them. Find a class / prof that is fun and start to play that alt. Got it narrowed down to my main 60 (Mage) and two alts (Warlock and Shammy). I promised myself NOT to try to hit level 70 too fast when the xpat comes out. I want to enjoy the game more.

Software given away for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16045408)

I want my $40 back!

Re:Software given away for free? (1)

thepacketmaster (574632) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045719)

My thoughts exactly. I was just recently considering a second account to assist in alliance-horde item transfers, and to help with some reputation grinding. Rather than allowing me just make a second subscription, I was appall to find out that I was expected to pay another $40 to get an activation key. There are no discounts because it is a second account. The scary thing is, if WoW is so successful in its current setup, imagine how much more success it would have if you could just download the software for free (as the article suggests). It makes you wonder what Blizzard's marketing department is thinking, when they're making millions a month, does the initial $40 really add that much to the bottom line (keeping in mind that they don't get all $40 either, some would go to distributors and retailers)?

Re:Software given away for free? (2, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045876)

Looking at the first few weeks of open play, it's obvious why they charged $50 a box. They had more players than they knew what to do with, and almost all of them were in starting areas and early instances. Remember performance back then?

If they didn't have a high bar to entry, then the game would be flooded with new players. The signup rate would be huge, but the renew rate would be minimal. This would be a nasty hit to the server load, without the corresponding revenue gains.

Re:Software given away for free? (1)

weave (48069) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046073)

If I recall correctly, the game box fee also included two months of access. So it's more like $10, which is about the cost of the CD, box, and distribution I'd say.

The Game that Seized My Time (4, Insightful)

Webz (210489) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045444)

I just recently quit wow... I mean, I didn't full on cancel my account or delete my character, so it's still there should I ever wish to go back... But I did uninstall and plan on keeping away from it, at least for a while.

You know what did me in though? /played

Thanks to the glory that is mathematics, I found out that on average, I played for three hours a day. Worst part about averages, I don't even play on the weekdays that much (which means very VERY loaded weekends).

What a waste. Three hours of my life. Every single day! I could be learning how to juggle or searching for a significant other or reading a book or hacking! Something!

If you're like me... On the verge of quitting... And trying to look for that extra push... Look at /played. Find out for yourself what large, large portion of your life you're throwing away at this game.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great game, and I loved playing it. But it's a lot. Moderation, please.

PS - I just bought Civ 4 (crack for crystal, I know). I don't get it.

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045915)

I honestly hope you didn't uninstall without first canceling your account payments.

Just think of what you could do with $15 a month...

P.S. I have never seen an MMO delete inactive charecters, I think you would be safe.

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (2, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046369)

WoW has a policy not to delete inactive characters. If you want to resume paying them money, they want to make it as easy as possible.

Final Fantasy XI deletes inactive characters after 3 months. It's the only MMORPG I know of that doesn't want to try and regain customers who left, but it's an MMORPG and it deletes inactive characters. But it's an exception.

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (1)

briggsb (217215) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045936)

I did the same exact thing. The time played was just too much, and I reached a point where I had to say enough is enough. I took two characters to level 60 in a relatively short amount of time. And was working on my third and fourth when reality set in. I don't know if the expansion will bring me back though. Here's a way for all you addicts to celebrate hitting level 60 though [bbspot.com] .

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045996)

What a waste. Three hours of my life. Every single day! I could be learning how to juggle or searching for a significant other or reading a book or hacking! Something!

I quit, and found an SO. After all the intense fling stuff, she went back to doing what she used to do with her free time -- role playing (in the colaborative fiction sense, not the MMO sense).

I found myself spending a lot of time with her at home during which her attention was directed at her laptop.

So, with nothing better to do, I bought myself a laptop and started playing MMOs again :p

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (4, Insightful)

mmdog (34909) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046124)

I recently canceled my WoW account although my /played realy wasn't the influence that did it, it was the people. When I quit EQ it was really the same thing.

The problem with WoW and EQ for me was the people I found myself hanging around with in game. Once you reach max level and get into the 'end game' making progress takes longer and longer at each step. Eventually you find yourself in a position where the only people really progressing in the game are basically no-life losers whose lives revolve around the game. I quit after an MC raid when people were comparing /played times.

So, maybe I'm wrong about /played not ending things for me, but it wasn't mine it was the people I was hanging around with. I have ONE level 60 char who I shared with my cousin while I leveled up and between us we had just over half the amount of time on our character as the next closest person on the raid. I also happen to know that most of those people have multiple level 60 characters as their alternate characters are on the guild roster. I had always felt like a bit of an oddball in my guild, never really grasping why people would get so worked up over every little thing - well I guess when it's all you do then playing WoW becomes very important.

I don't have a problem with people playing WoW all day if that's their thing, anymore than I have a problem with people watching television all day. In fact, I think if you are going to sit on your ass that much you are probably better off playing just about any computer game instead of watching TV. I don't hang around people who watch TV all day either though.

I'd love it if I could keep playing the game, but the problem with all MMORPGS is this: most of the people with the who achieve the greatest end game accomplishments are the ones who do the least with their real lives. I don't hang around a bunch of do nothing no life losers in the real world and I don't want to do it online.

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (1)

Chuu (307073) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046125)

Or . . . you could be playing WoW!

Seriously, entertainment is entertainment. The grouping of it into "Good" and "Bad" categories is pointless.

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (3, Informative)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046204)

Save yourself the money and stop payment, at least; your account and characters are never deleted. I cancelled payment for about a year then went back, picked up right where I left off for a couple months.

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (3, Interesting)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046304)

I had the exact same thing happen to me. I actually probably didn't log as many hours as you (maybe a month in the course of a year of playing) but I went through periods of very intense playing followed by breaks. I just came off of a very intense period (where I was playing every raid that was scheduled for every night, AQ40, BWL, MC, AQ20, ZG...) Since I was a healer they always needed one so I felt needed. The game lost all the fun it used to have after a few weeks of this; my family was pissed that I wasn't talking to anyone else in the evening, that I wasn't doing anything at night to help around... and eventually I just said, sod it, and didn't log in. I followed my guilds raid status for a while. A week after I left they had a replacement for me. So at least I don't feel guilty for leaving.

I think the social aspect of World of Warcraft is what keeps so many people playing. They are so used to the people there that they can't imagine what it's like without them.

IMHO, real life is a hell of a lot better. YMMV.

(BTW: 30 days today of no WoW :) )

Re:The Game that Seized My Time (1)

Glamdr1Ng (641971) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046374)

I decided to quit for good and made a nice $750.

It really has taken siezed the world (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 8 years ago | (#16045694)

WoW really has seized not only the MMO world, but the gaming world. The fact that WoW is still in the news almost 2 full years since going gold is the biggest feat. For a game that is 2 years old with a _pending_ expansion to still get as much press and hype is truly remarkable.

Also, to look at it from a different angle. When Blizzard can mask the disastrous news of Ghost pretty much having the plug pulled with piles of good news about WoW numbers, that is also a feat. Ghost was a huge project for Blizzard and would have hailed their return to console games. It not being released is huge as it was in production for several years. They even acquired a company because of Ghost!

Though the game suffered from some obstacles that Blizzard has not had to deal with it was still a major blow. The success of Halo made them change directions, pushing back times. Those times then landed in the middle of the next gen battle, which made developing for either systems hard at the time. Also, they are determined to get Battle.net into the console multiplayer world which has surely ruffled some feathers around the console world.

Got off topic a little, but still it goes to the point tha when the overwhelming good news can all but cover up the bad news of Ghost being canned-- That is big statement to the might WoW carries in the gaming world.

Re:It really has taken siezed the world (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16046355)

Not really. EverQuest was still in the news several years (IE, more than two) after release.

You have to understand that MMOG != the gaming industry as usual.

Halo 1 (as a random example) is not in the news, because it's a dead game. People still play it, sure - but it's dead. It's in the bargain bin. The developers have moved on to bigger and better things. Halo 2 is out, Halo 3 is coming out, whatever.

MMOGs, on the other hand, last for years - and can theoretically last for decades, really. It's just a matter of player interest, developers not being asshats (See SWG - changing game mechanics into a completely different game is a good and almost the only way to abort an MMOG), et cetera. Thus it comes as no real surprise that these 'old' games continue to be topical news subjects.

Ghost's failure being masked by WoW's numbers isn't much of a feat, either. The raw numbers of WoW are a feat, mind you - something not seen outside of the Korean/Asian MMOG markets. But the idea that Blizzard is saying, "Who cares about Ghost - LOOK! LOOK AT THE PROFIT!" should come as no surprise. Mankind will always trumpet their triumphs and hide their failures. :P

The thing is about this game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16046315)

It's the same as all the others... do a little bit of fighting and a lot of wandering around gathering.

Not only is it boring, but it's ironic... people that would whine about working an hour overtime to actually do something useful are playing a game that is inherently wasting time about collecting items in a game...

And it's a really a spectacularly mediocre game that costs a lot of money to play.

Enough about this already.

NY Times Journalists Don't Get it (1)

Cheefachi (970662) | more than 8 years ago | (#16046367)

Did anyone see the picture of a screen showing what they claimed to be WOW? It was Starcraft! Hmm, I wonder if anyone in that office has even played WOW... They probably did a stock photo search for Blizzard and got that picture and probably thought Blizzard didn't exist before WOW came out so ofcourse the picture has got to be of WOW. Clueless journalists...
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