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The Lameness of Warcraft

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the snort dept.

354

Slate is running an article lamenting the fact that, despite World of Warcraft's popularity, it is a deeply flawed game. Author Chris Dahlen makes the statement that Blizzard's MMOG should take its cues from single-player RPGs by offering further customization, morality based choices, and dynamic events. From the article: "Blizzard has written new storylines before. Last winter, it challenged players to team up and fuel a worldwide war effort. As a payoff, it unlocked new territory. This was a good example of letting the users drive a story, but Warcraft needs more of them. New wars should break out, cities should rise and fall, and all hell should break loose at least once a month--and the players should be the ones to make it happen. After all, in a world that never changes, you can never make your mark." I want to be snarky and point out that this guy obviously has no idea how these games are designed, but I think he pretty much nails what every MMOG player really wants out of a game. Now, if only it were feasible within the bounds of money, time, and talent.

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354 comments

Where's the PS3 connection? (-1, Troll)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876904)

Given the editor, how long until we find that Blizzard is porting WoW to the PS3?

It's that bad... (3, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876922)

Warcraft 2 was probably the last best game in the series and the greatest game Blizzard ever made.

Re:It's that bad... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877116)

I know a horde of Starcraft fans who'd disagree.

Re:It's that bad... (5, Funny)

ZaMoose (24734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877206)

I know an Alliance of Starcraft fans who would object to being called a Horde.

*grin*

Re:It's that bad... (1)

dieth (951868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878290)

Where's Starcraft 3... Starcraft: Ghost... Hell I'll even take "World Of Starcraft" But really, SC:Ghost shouldn't have been scraped, it should have been rebuilt as a Multiplayer FPS Keep the storyline of Ghost for single player. Allow full playability of all other characters types.

Re:It's that bad... (2, Insightful)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877422)

There's nothing special about taking an RTS and making it better. Ubisoft did it with Conquest: Frontier Wars and now Relic has done it with Company of Heroes. Nobody claims that those were the best games those companies ever made because that's RELATIVELY easy. The real trick is making an entire world and an engine that DISTILLS an RPG down to what it's about, item finding.
D2 is much better technically, creatively, and for the genre (turns out that's what most people like) IMO.

Re:It's that bad... (4, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877458)

The real trick is making an entire world and an engine that DISTILLS an RPG down to what it's about, item finding.

I *must* remember to draw my DM's attention to this next time we play...

You've never had a good DM, have you? (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878126)

Item finding isn't even one of the major categories of play in an RPG. There are three types of players: Dice Rollers, Problem Solvers, and Role Players. A good DM knows his players and can juggle the desires of everyone in a group. When someone looks bored, the DM can throw in a challenge suited to that player.

Dice Rollers are numbers wranglers who want a good game of chance. The most common sub-species is the Hack-n-Slasher, but that's just because most rule sets lend themselves to that kind of dice rolling. In games that have skill rolls, you'll find these guys rolling for damn near every feat up to and including getting up in the morning. "An 18?!? I spring from my bed and land in my shoes in one smooth motion! Hurrah!"

Problem Solvers like puzzles and planning. These are the guys who calculate exactly how many miles your party will average per day trekking across the Great Arid Waste and know exactly how much food and water to pack. When the party stumbles across a series of levers and switches in the dungeon, these are the guys to call. "Gruntmore the Dwarf pulls the red lever, goes through the blue door, pushes the star shaped switch, coems back out, pushes the green lever to a 45 degree angle disabling the secret blade trap and we all go merrily on our way!"

Role Players like to have long, drawn out in-character conversations with every shopkeeper and passing peasant they encounter. Whereas Dice Rollers will do whatever it takes to win, and Problem Solvers playing stupid characters will still come up with genius plans, these guys are apt to do utterly stupid things if they think that's what their character would do. They also tend to talk about their characters in the first person. "I leap from behind the tree and run screaming at the horde of orcs- What? Yes, I know the plan was to sneak up on them, but I'm overconfident with anger management issues. But you should really say that in character..."

But perhaps I missed your point, were you saying RPGs are about item finding or RTSs are? In any case, I think the real trick to either is actually basing it on a good simulation of some sort, but having story telling hooks that can effect the sim in the scripting interface, and have those hooks have flexible triggers and random details so that the same basic plotline can be activated from many different starting points using characters and locations tailored to the individual players. But I understand how hard it would be to scale a system like that up to WoW levels.

The real problem with WoW is that it isn't an RPG and it isn't for people who traditionally like RPGs so the players who would bring real quality to the game are driven away by all the Azkiker4921s and l33tWariers in the game.

Re:You've never had a good DM, have you? (1)

yaphadam097 (670358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878296)

I was always what you call a "role player." I suppose that is why I feel that what the computer gaming world calls RPGs bears so little resemblance to what I think of as an RPG. There have been games where the characters and the story they told took central stage, but for the most part computer RPGs do seem to be about gaining levels and gathering items. I've always preferred "adventure" games and FPS games because I feel more "in character" playing them.

Re:It's that bad... (5, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877512)

WoW is a very, very rich game, but like most MMORPGs it requires a lot of time and effort (and some cooperation with others) to see that.

If you're looking for a good marathon 2-night game, you're correct. If you're looking for potentially years of quality game-play while interacting with others, then WoW is the game for you, IMHO.

I say this, having played EverQuest for about four years, and having been impressed with much of the world and the story, but ultimately cheated by a company that wanted to milk the game without adding to its depth or richness. In many ways the depth of story and complexity of gameplay in WoW out-strip even early EQ, and they have fixed much of what made EQ painful (tradeskills, quests that weren't worth doing, etc.)

Heck, it's even beautiful, which EQ never really was for some reason (ignoring the progress that graphics have made, I almost never found the sense of art to be satisfying in EQ). When I fly into Orgimmar and see the red rooves and watchfires, it's truly imposing, which none of the EQ cities were (though the dragon city in Velios came close).

Fun story: yesterday I ran into a quest for the first time that involved nothing more than leaping off a tall mesa, presumably to my death. It was kind of cheesy, but really fun as a one-off quest. They seem to be much more playful with quests/missions than any game I've played.

Re:It's that bad... (4, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877698)

WoW is not years of quality gaming. After the few months of leveling to max (which was fun and interesting to me), you just grind the same places over and over again. It's like reading the same storyline every time you log in. It becomes a competition with a group of other people for items. The only thing enjoyable is spending time with the friends you make. End game is very shallow. You can get involved in just about any MMO community and have years of the same level of quality game play.

Re:It's that bad... (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877876)

I still play it, and enjoy it. Warcraft II was one of the best of the crop of early RTS games I think. It was the first RTS game that made sea based warfare enjoyable and tactically useful. I think the sea based warfare wasn't equalled until Total Annihalation, and never bettered. Oddly even Warcraft III didn't better it, or so I feel, it just looked nicer.

I am annoyed that I can't play it multi-player any more though, the modem/null modem/ipx-spx connection methods don't exactly work on my network these days.

Oh wait, the topic is WoW. I played it, found it tedious and repetitive, and gave up. It would need to be radically changed for me to like it. How I'm not exactly sure, since I haven't spent any time thinking on the issue.

Sounds like a good idea (1, Insightful)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876948)

Not that I don't like WoW or anything, but I haven't seen anything in it worth paying every month for, in addition to the game itself. Until there *are* such dynamic events, I'll stick with games that are free once I buy them the first time... If ideas like this were implemented, though, there's a good chance I'd be willing to shell out.

People don't always want what they say. (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877774)

I don't think Dahlen has any idea how "grinds" are created. They aren't part of the designs of the game: they are emergent phenomena that occur when players seek to isolate the most efficient method of achieving a goal, and then repeat that method.

By their very nature as rule-constituted software systems, games will tend to instrumental play. There is already one exception: Second Life, which is already available. My question is: why hasn't the world flocked there? Could it be that, despite protests to the contrary, we like a well-defined achievement path, and enjoy finding efficient methods for progressing on them? Could the grind be part of the pleasure, even if it doesn't "feel" like it is?

Re:People don't always want what they say. (2, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877918)

Being from another generation, the one for whom the zx spectrum was an awesomely powerful computer (no really), 'grind' has an entirely different meaning. I can't get used to it just meaning 'boring the crap out of myself by doing something over and over again till my head explodes just to get a level up'.

What does it mean to me? Well that would be using naughty words, and I'm not nearly drunk enough.

More Content (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876970)

One thing that all MMO games need is self-generating content regardless of whether that content is procedural or combinatorial; procedural is where content is created through an algorithm, combinatorial is where you have content that is split into a bunch of independant sections where the final product is a combination of all of the sections. This is so important because it would free up resources to produce more "crafted" experiences.

Top MMOGS of teh future (2, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876982)

Asheron's Call did it right with motes. Collect 2 and it forms a bigger one. Do this for elemental immunity %. 2^100 is a lot of motes to find. Sure you can find ones in higher #s but its a collect game that will never stop.

Castles that rule housings. You have to conquer the castle to get it, then people who farm the land and run crafthouses pay tithes to you. Any band of adventurers can try and steal your Castle off you, but your offline guildmates show up and defend it.

Real time combat like Mortal Kombat or Tekken. It'd be like Zelda Ocariana of time MMOG. You would have to do all sorts of sword play or aiming bows like a FPS.

Those are just 3 of my big ideas.

I already did #3, but I'm making it multiplayer over the next couple months. I got some bugs with directdraw not working, but it doesn't stop the 3d action combat.

Re:Top MMOGS of teh future (3, Informative)

L7_ (645377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877118)

Some counterpoints:

1/ Consumables based on collected items exist in every game. This is not new, and WoW does this quite well. [OT: I thought AC motes were used for the weapons? Its been awhile...]

2/ See Shadowbane [shadowbane.com] . See 5am raids, see 'zerg [wikipedia.org] '. See server wide alliances. L2 also had something like this castle thing, I haven't heard much about it, so there is no comment on it. DAoC was the first to implement something like this with thier Artifacts: 3 static world objects that grant 1 of 3 realms various bonuses.

3/ Uhh, lag. Also, see "dialup users". Positioning doesnt work when the server and client have to sync up for positioning and time sensitive distance checks.

--

Re:Top MMOGS of teh future (1)

YamadaJiro (596154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877420)

On point 3: Lag is always a problem, but games like Phantasy Star Universe show that you can include some level of real-time interaction. Of course, you can't have enormous battles because of the lag issue, but you CAN have "I push a button, my avatar swings his sword" as well as "I can dodge arrows if I move fast enough". Enough people have broadband to create a sustainable market, although losing dial-up members always hurts.

Re:Top MMOGS of teh future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877292)

Good luck sending complex fighting engine data of 1000 people to each other.

Re:Top MMOGS of teh future (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878148)

I've heard Ragnarok Online does #2 to great success (I don't play it but have several friends who do. I might get sucked in after graduating :P )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnarok_Online [wikipedia.org]

"War of Emperium (abbreviated WoE), a battle between several guilds for castles in town, which give them access to dungeons and treasures that are not accessible to people who are not in the residing guild."

sheer genius (5, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876986)

You're a rat, and the game keeps sending you to look for bigger pellets.

People never tire of making that analogy, do they? But it's probably about the most worthless analogy you could make. Reducing an activity to stimulus/response may seem clever, but the trouble is that it works for pretty much every human behavior imaginable. And it certainly works for every leisure activity.

The problem is that games are supposed to be fun. You're going to have to work really hard to come up with an alternative criteria. And since fun is pretty subjective, there's really not much room for criticism.

Art, literature, poetry, drama and film all have associate bodies of academic criticism and pop-derivatives. So there's a semi-objective framework from which you can criticize these works even if they are popular. Everyone rushes out to see "Titanic", but it still had some really, really lame dialog.

Unless you're going to make a similar attack on gaming (e.g. lame dialog, bad graphics, etc.) it's really hard to make any criticism that doesn't reduce to petulant whining. There simple is no cohesive theory of gaming criticism (outside of technical elements), and so before you start slinging criticisms you need to build the framework. I don't see that happening in this article.

So basically, it's just whining.

-stormin

Re:sheer genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877108)

What?

All Games Are Lame (5, Insightful)

DJ_Adequate (699393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877144)

Indeed. How lame is chess--all you do is move the same pieces the same way over and over again. Obviously the game would be better if there were more options. If people didn't find the game fun, they probably wouldn't play it. While there are things it could have done better, it's hard to think of WOW as a failure. And there is no guarantee that a more complicated game, like the author desires, would actually attract a bigger audience. In fact, I would argue it would do less. If you make it more possible for people to "Leave Their Mark" you are, in the process, going to create a lot of users who fail to make their mark and are frustrated.

Re:sheer genius (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877340)

People never tire of making that analogy, do they?

Actually, I don't like that analogy... Personally I like to call WoW and EQ the games they are...

"Kill things over and over again so you can kill bigger things over and over again."

That is the problem I have with WoW, EQ, and various other Diki mud derivatives. Its solely focused on killing AI Mobs.

Ultima Online was more fun even though it was dated until they removed player interaction (Player killing and thieving). Sure many of you can't stand PvP, but in truth static quests, bad scripting, and poor AI will never beat playing against a human mind.

Even if you took the PVP away from UO, it still had crafting, housing, and plenty of non-combat activities that WoW and EQ lacks.

And the fact you only had to spend 3 months to generate a character with casual play rather than 6 months of hard core grinding.

Re:sheer genius (4, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877904)

Old pet peeve: compare games to the old rat-and-the-pill analogy

New pet peeve: my style of game play is better than yours

I suppose I shouldn't be to harsh. This is just a public message board, not a peer-reviewed academic journal. But it's still annoying when people try to pass off personal preference as some kind of objective value statement. in this case you say "Sure many of you can't stand PvP, but in truth static quests, bad scripting, and poor AI will never beat playing against a human mind".

Aside the question-begging (does non-PvP have to involve bad scripting?) what I found truly obnoxious is the false idea that you can either play against an AI, or against a human. Believe it or not, some people don't see that question purely as picking your opponent, but they turn your dichotomy on its head and ask "who can I play with ?"

I get that you like PvP. And I'm not going to try and tell you that you shouldn't. But your myopically conflict-oriented viewpoint isn't the only one out there, you know. A lot of people like WoW because they enjoy cooperation. I love to shoot my buddies with a rocket launcher in the original Halo, but I also got intense satisfaction out of playing cooperatively with them against hordes of AI. Now you could play team vs. team, but A - some people don't enjoy "killing" each other, especially in an RPG where you actually do some type of damage to the person you "kill" and B - it's (so far) impossible to wrap massive PvP into a story line with any kind of script.

So in the end, you're no better off than the original article. You're trying to pass off personal preference as objective criticism.

-stormin

Re:sheer genius (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878138)

Reducing an activity to stimulus/response may seem clever, but the trouble is that it works for pretty much every human behavior imaginable. And it certainly works for every leisure activity.

I think the implied meaning is that MMORPGs are already reduced to basic stimulus/response, like masturbation. You just keep doing the same thing to get the same result. In other activities -- chess, scrabble, skiing, basketball -- you usually try to increase your actual skills, instead of just having a sign pop up saying "ok, you've played long enough, now you're more skilled!"

Re:sheer genius (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878196)

I think people dismiss the skinner box criticism because its all too real. As someone who hurt his grades in college over Muds its hard to deny that there isnt an addictive element here. Its really all about the levels, equipment, stature, and gold. The social aspect also stops the lonliness you would get if you were just, say, shooting hoops all alone.

You don't need a large body of academic knowledge to fess up to the skinner-box model of gaming. Its real.

Yes Yes (5, Funny)

uglysad (867575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877012)

...Blizzard got it all wrong that is why nobody is playing it. Blizzard, Listen up! If you want people to play this little game you devised, you better start listening to random internet guy or else it will never take off.
You have been warned

Re:Yes Yes (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878164)

Top-40 is popular and profitable but that doesnt mean that its any good.

The author makes some excellent points but theyre not exactly new. People have been asking for more dynamic content and world changes since the early days of mudding.

Personally, I dont think most players would want things to get too dynamic. The game is driven by predicatable and published actions to gain levels. I doubt many players will take too kindly to "You town has been invaded and destroyed. Here is a new map that isnt on thottbot. Half your stuff burned and they stole all your gold." There would be lawsuits. I'm sure some people would absolutely love that but they probably dont exist in numbers to keep up a mainstream game like warcraft running.

Blizzard has made a very nice skinner box and people inside skinner boxes tend to stay.

Re:Yes Yes (5, Interesting)

hlomas (1010351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878170)

I heard McDonalds has the greatest food in the world too, just look at how much they serve.

Re:Yes Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878186)

You pretty much nailed it.

I think the guy has interesting ideas that could work for various shoot-em-ups or slashers.

However, I very much enjoy exploring WoW character capabilities as I build up the occassional new role, enjoying the game from an entirely different experience. Quests are fun and, sometimes, challenging to complete. Overall, I like it. It's an adventure role playing game. Granted, additional customization and more content/terroritories will help keep WoW alive longer.

Re:Yes Yes (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878302)

WoW is good at what it does. The author suggests a wide range of changes without considering how they will fit into the game. You can't just toss in random features. For instance, why bother with moral dilemmas in the game? Nobody cares, players will just pick the option that gives them the best loot. There's no point in adding such roleplaying features if you won't go all the way. What about player-owned land? Where will players own it? There's no room, unless you use instances (maybe an apartment complex in Stormwind, the front door is the instance portal), in which case it would probably be pointless anyway, since the most likely reason you'd want to have a home would be to show it off to everyone.

Gee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877028)

Tell us something we don't know.

Let's cry about it... (4, Insightful)

FreeRadicalX (899322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877034)

So basically, he's saying that WoW is a deeply flawed game because it's not absolutely perfect? Can anyone think of a game that features all of the aspects he claims WoW lacks, plus the ones it already has? While we're at it, does anybody have the waaaaambulance on speed dail? Let's face it, WoW is the best MMO out there right now. It's also *arguably* the best ever. If you can manage to complain about it, at the risk of being labeled a troll I'm gonna assume you're a wanker.

Re:Let's cry about it... (3, Insightful)

AP2k (991160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877234)

Anarchy Online. Deep customization and events that do change the environment on the outcome of player response. The only thing that it lacks is elves and updated graphics. Then again, WoW graphics really arent all that great anyway.

Re:Let's cry about it... (1)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877826)

I played AO for like a month. Did they ever get around to actually adding some graphics to that game? Last time I played every spell looked EXACTLY the same.

Re:Let's cry about it... (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878172)

EVE-Online
Have been playing it since early this year, never looked back to any other graphical MMOG.
I still casually play some browser/text-mainly not-so-massively multiplayer online games, but that's about it.

Re:Let's cry about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877606)

It's a fantastic game, and I won't pretend otherwise. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, being able to actually make changes in the world like he suggests does sound fun as hell

Re:Let's cry about it... (1)

miu (626917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877916)

I don't know about "deeply flawed", but I will call it an incredible implementation of a bad idea. WoW has sales numbers that are hard to argue with, but a lot of players want a lot more from an MMO and are already bored silly of WoW. I was a serious addict myself, did all the raids, got all my epics, played 40 or more hours a week, and haven't bothered to log in for 3 months. From what I see I'm not alone in hitting a point at which the game seems to just run out of steam.

Contrast that with SWG, a terrible implementation of an incredible idea. SoE shipped a seriously buggy game with no content, and the little content they added was laughably bad, but they still had to practically drive their customers away by treating them like crap, lying to them, and ultimately destroying everything good in the game. If they had actually tried to make a good game they could easily have had a WoW level of success.

I would love to have seen a good company that cared about its products make a game like SWG, user cities, deep crafting, a customizable character system, vehicles, user owned bases, visual customization, and so on. WoW really is gorgeous to look at, with a lot of care and fun put into it, but for all the fun we had doing the lovingly detailed quests as you level up is eventually killed by Yet Another Raid Dungeon and Gear Tier. You can advance your character, but you can never really change your character in any way that is meaningful to the player.

Re:Let's cry about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878292)

like SWG, user cities, deep crafting, a customizable character system, vehicles, user owned bases, visual customization, and so on

Have you looked into EVE Online? I found the player killing aspect of it too annoying but it does have most of the aspects you mention in some form or another (except I'm not sure what you mean by visual customization)

Money? (4, Insightful)

AetherGoth (707621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877036)

Seeing as how the entire Vivendi company's profits rose by 190% mainly on the "higher margin of the World of Warcraft business," I think Blizzard's standard response about money being a problem in the creation of dynamic events rings a little hollow.

Re:Money? (2)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877418)

except notice it was vivendi's profits and not blizzard's. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to find out that Vivendi's keeping the lion's share of that and just letting blizzard use enough to trickle content out.

Other MMO's have/might get it right (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877038)

One example (fta):

Players never face moral quandaries and never get to choose between an upstanding act and an evil one.

Everquest allowed you to do this on a daily basis. EQ2 as well. Vanguard (will be released Q1 2007) will have this element as well.

And on storytelling ... yeah. There is no overarching story to WoW. Or at least not a long, drawn-out historical one. Like EQ or EQ2. Not sure about Vanguard. EQ had tomes and books found in libraries, spawn points and dropped off of mobs that painted a clear picture of the historical timeline and the relevance of various events. And there **were** one-time events that occured in-line with the history of the world (for example, the waking of the Sleeper).

And Vanguard is doing away with static spawns. It should be a good thing ...

Re:Other MMO's have/might get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878068)

And on storytelling ... yeah. There is no overarching story to WoW. Or at least not a long, drawn-out historical one. Like EQ or EQ2. Not sure about Vanguard. EQ had tomes and books found in libraries, spawn points and dropped off of mobs that painted a clear picture of the historical timeline and the relevance of various events.


Yeah, I suggest you do some reading, friend. There are novels apon novels of history and backstory for Warcraft.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Category:Lore [wowwiki.com]

Enough of the generalizations. (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877058)

No, sorry to burst your bubble, but not every game, by far, wants a world which is torn asunder monthly.

Warcraft succeeds because blizzard realizes something the pundits don't, people still play games for fun.

Logging into an unknown situation isn't what most gamers want, if so many other games would have done well that haven't. For the most part players cannot be trusted, especially those who want anarchy and the like. Oh yeah they will repackage it as something other than anarchy but that is all they really want. Fun at someone else's expense drives that other off.

His ideas for character customization are fine, many would like that. Housing can wait, if ever. The game doesn't need it. As for the morals section, most players still wouldn't care. They will do the task presented. While it might be interesting to have the choice to cheat a NPC what real point is there? A lot of his ideas are best suited to PvP aspects of the game.

For the most part he seems to be lamenting that WOW does not have features he found interesting in another game. It goes without saying that that other game obviously is lacking in the rest of the department that he'd rather play WOW - just with some things added. WOW is a very good game. That people want to add features to it only proves that point. Unpopular games rarely get lauded and have recommendations placed to them as much as WOW does.

Look at it this way, there are games that do offer what he wants, and some are coming that will also. Will they succeed? Well it really comes down to one important factor : Is it fun? WOW still passes that test more than any other game for a majority of MMORPG players.

For everyone claim of WOW being lame I just have to ask, with population numbers like it has what does that make the other games?

Re:Enough of the generalizations. (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878228)

For everyone claim of WOW being lame I just have to ask, with population numbers like it has what does that make the other games?
For everyone's claim of McDonalds being lame I just have to ask, with population numbers like it has what does that make the other restaurants?
(Having never played WoW, I know next to nothing about it. I just hate that argument.)

Bicycle Repair Man! Thank goodness you're here! (4, Insightful)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877070)

The reason I never really got into MMORPGs, despite trying several including WOW was that you're living in a world where every real person is a hero. It reminded me of nothing so much as that Monty Python sketch where there's a world full of supermen. An offline RPG, on the other hand, lets you be the only hero or at least one of a small band of heroes, the fate of the world in your hands. Online, you're not really making any difference at all. No matter how many orcs you slay there'll always be more and more.

Snarky, obvious! (0, Offtopic)

Dogun (7502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877090)

I want to be snarky and point out this editor obvious has no grasp of grammar.

Tough to say (3, Insightful)

static0verdrive (776495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877106)

The problem with this type of dynamic world alteration is that newer characters are subject to the mercy or malice of the majority of the top-level characters. While this may not seem like huge deal, it would suck really bad if you could no longer get your whatever-thingamajig because punks destroyed the place to get it. Also, on most servers, there is a huge imbalance between the number of alliance characters vs. horde characters, so the world (in most cases) would tip toward the alliance's favor time and time again.

EVE Online (1)

colganc (581174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877124)

EVE Online is almost entirely player driven. The story CCP (the company that makes the game) has is influenced by players. Epic wars and stories unfold all the time and it is all player built. WoW just isn't built with a structure to let this type of thing happen.

Re:EVE Online (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877488)

That's all true, but despite all of that, the galaxy in EVE is overall pretty static. I've been playing for about 8 months, and for the most part, the balance of power between all of the big alliances has been consistent. I've read up on a little bit of the history of the in-game politics, and while large alliances have risen and fallen, it hardly is a constant occurrence.

To be fair, as of late things have gotten more interesting. Two of the larger alliances are at war with each other, and there's a new superpower that's quickly making progress.

EVE is an excellent game either way. I rather enjoy it.

Re:EVE Online (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877686)

Well... I started about 8 months ago, too, and in that time, a large alliance (Huzzah) was involved in a war and ultimately collapsed, leaving a hole there. The current war between BoB and ASCN is kinda lame though... it seems mostly about who can post the most on the boards about the other side using exploits and messing with the other team's Ventrillo.

Re:EVE Online (1)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877846)

I played from beta to about 2004 and things were a little more exciting then, I think maybe more players have hurt the game as it gets harder to topple an alliance. It used to be large groups would build war machines in secret then take out empires on the weekends.

What happens if you die? (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877156)

There are a lot of WoW stories. I have a hole in my understanding: what happens if you die in the game?

Re:What happens if you die? (3, Informative)

Gerad (86818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877570)

I hope you're not just trolling and are genuinely curious, so here goes:

When you are killed by a monster, all of your equipped items lose 10% of their maximum durability. If you've ever played Diablo 2, the system is similar - item repairs are rarely going to be hugely prohibitive, but they add up, and aren't something you want to do needlessly. If killed by a player, you lose no durability.

You then have the option of waiting to be resurrected by another player, or releasing your spirit from your body Releasing doesn't keep someone from resurrecting you, but it will prevent you from getting credit for any monsters killed by your group between the time you release and the time you come back to your body. This is relevant for things like quests, and making sure you can loot an item off a boss.

If you are raised by another player, you come back to life with an amount of health and mana based on the spell or effect used to raise you. If you release, you respawn as a ghost at the closest graveyard. There's usually at least one graveyard in each zone, and it generally won't take more than 5 minutes to get back to your body. As a ghost, you can't interact with the world around you, but you don't have to worry about being attacked by wandering monsters. You can either run back to your body and get raised with 50% health and mana, or speak with an NPC called a Spirit Healer. There's a Spirit Healer at each graveyard where you respawn, and it can return you to life, but will cause all of your equipment to suffer an additional 25% durability loss, as well as giving you a debuff that reduces your stats by 75% (I think) for the next 10 minutes (one minute less for every level under 20 that you are).

There's a couple of minor exceptions, but that's the basic system. As a mostly casual player, I think the system is pretty good because it discourages carelessness that could lead to dying, but doesn't impose excessively harsh penalties for a little bit of bad luck, or the stupidity of your teammates.

Re:What happens if you die? (1)

KmN (725025) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877600)

Basically nothing. Your equipment's durability drops 10% (it costs money to repair), and you have to walk from the graveyard where you respawn as a ghost back to your corpse. Alternatively, you can take a 25% durability hit and 10 minutes of resurrection sickness (all stats drop 75%), but you don't have to walk to your corpse.

Re:What happens if you die? (1)

antis0c (133550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877864)

If killed by a mob, you lose 10% durability and are transported to the nearest Graveyard where you have two options. Option 1. Talk to the Spirit at the Graveyard to be ressurected at the cost of taking 25% more durability loss, and a temporary debuff. Or Option 2, walk as a ghost, to your corpse and resurrect yourself without the aforementioned penalities. If killed by an enemy player, you don't take the initial 10% durability. If killed while in a battleground, the graveyards in battlegrounds have spirits that automatically ressurect people every 30 seconds, so as to keep the action going.

He is describing Shadowbane (1)

capedgirardeau (531367) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877192)

Shadowbane has a good number of the ideas he presents.

Shadowbane has cities and empires that rise and fall, server wars, people driven politics. No safe areas, you are always in danger of being killed, that really makes guilds, nations, alliances, territory claims really matter.

When I tried WoW, all I could do was laugh.

Shadowbane is an amazing game because the players make things matter, not the programmers.

I don't play anymore because after 18 months it had taken over my real life, but it was the best 18 months of gaming I have ever had and I have been playing MMORPGS since my BBS and MUD days.

Re:He is describing Shadowbane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877498)

sb.exe!

Re:He is describing Shadowbane (1)

protest_boy (305632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877970)

Yes, Shadowbane had so much going for it. Unfortunately it was the worst implemented game ever. Constant server crashes, and lag that made any decent sized battles unplayable.

It really is a shame. The first game developer that makes another Shadowbane but without constant crashes and software issues will rake in tons of cash.

Re:He is describing Shadowbane (1)

JtDL (762711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878166)

Assuming you roll on a PvP server, the only safe areas are the starting zones. Once you get to around level 20, there is nowhere to quest that doesn't flag you for PvP. I flag at level one, of course. represent.

Re:He is describing Shadowbane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878452)

And now, it's apparently free [ubi.com] !

come back in about 15 years. (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877200)

Give me some money, a team, time, and good hardware and ill see what I can do.





Yes, I know I'm delusional, I'm gonna be a cube rat in the end but I can always dream.

not too difficult? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877210)

"This was a good example of letting the users drive a story, but Warcraft needs more of them. New wars should break out, cities should rise and fall, and all hell should break loose at least once a month--and the players should be the ones to make it happen.

I want to be snarky and point out that this guy obvious has no idea how these games are designed, but I think he pretty much nails what very MMOG player really wants out of a game. Now, if only it were feasible within the bounds of money, time, and talent.
"

Isn't this basically starcraft or the original warcraft, albeit perhaps with sturdier buildings?

I think the trick is to have avatars manage resources, like a king, mayor or general. Avatars would capture territory, harvest resources, defend territory, build cities and armies, and go forth and conquer some more. You wouldn't directly control armies through mouse-click micromanagement, but rather they would simply follow orders. (A neat feature would be where you could capture enemy buildings instead of having to destroy others and only build your own.)

All of the back story elements that are difficult and expensive to develop would naturally arise as players form alliances, use each other, backstab, double-cross, and try every technique from the dirty playbook of human history to gain more power and wealth.

Motivation??? (3, Insightful)

tprime (673835) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877216)

What is the motivation for this kind of change??? In other words, why should Blizzard care? They are making money hand over fist with the current model, why change? Yes, some people are getting tired and leaving, but it seems like they are being replaced with new people just as fast. http://www.tomandemily.com/ [tomandemily.com]

Attention Seeking/Copy Grabbing for circulation (2, Insightful)

Synonymous Bosch (957964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877266)

Congratulations, you've just been successfully manipulated.

If there's anything thought provoking about this article, it's made me wonder how WoW stacks up in profitability versus OFFLINE RPGS.

How much money did Neverwinter Nights make?

It's almost unthinkable that an online RPG could reach that critical mass, it seems like only yesterday I was outraged when I bought Ultima Online and learned it had a monthly fee.

Does anyone have that kind of information on hand?

Re:Attention Seeking/Copy Grabbing for circulation (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878084)

How much money did Neverwinter Nights make?

Interesting example. I played through the original campaign once. Shadows of Undrentide twice. Hordes of the Underdark three times (once with each of the previous three characters).

But you buy NWN for the engine, not the campaign. So I'm playing a computer, but it's running player-written content. I've spent a whole more time in Shadowlords, Dreamcatcher and Demon than in all of the original modules... Is that so much worse than spending all my time in a game with other players, but running uninspired 'kill 500 rats'-style quests?

Translate, please. (1, Insightful)

deepb (981634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877330)

but I think he pretty much nails what very MMOG player really wants out of a game.
"what very MMOG player"? What the very fuck does that mean?

Zonk, it takes about six seconds to re-read the portion of the article you were responsible for writing. Maybe you could spend that extra time to at least give the illusion that you aren't typing with an Xbox360 controller in your other hand all the time..?

Re:Translate, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877638)

"what very MMOG player"? What the very fuck does that mean?

Um... maybe 'every' instead of 'very'? It's really not that hard. I appreciate the point you're trying to make, but you're really reaching on this one...

Re:Translate, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878412)

it only takes 6 seconds to re-read it.. yes, this is true. but you actually took time to try to think of something witty to say, type it all out and then laugh because you thought it was funny. maybe you should have taken an extra 6 seconds to realize that you are a dumbass for crying so much over a missing E. remember, remove head from ass BEFORE posting.

Personally, (2, Funny)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877346)

Personally, I would like to have seen a massive zombie invasion this last Halloween, but the author does have a legit point... This game sucks (Even when playing my 60 Priest) when all your quests are the same old repetitive killing/traveling/grinding/farming.

This is why I'm quitting the game after 16 months of playing.

God, You're Dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877396)

"I want to be snarky and point out that this guy obvious has no idea how these games are designed, but I think he pretty much nails what very MMOG player really wants out of a game. Now, if only it were feasible within the bounds of money, time, and talent."

You mean, like EVE somehow manages to do?

Right now, there's a rather large empire falling in the south. Fraps at eleven.

flawed... (1)

ssand (702570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877428)

The thing with World of Warcraft is it does infact actually have a large amount of static content. There is plenty of quests to drive a storyline, but unfortunately most of this content is ignored by people who speed through these quests to get to the next best level.

The war effort that the player was talking about wasn't that "Storyline driven" At all. The result of the event was predetermined, and it was just a matter of time until it was unlocked. It was hardly the "teaming up" to conquer a huge task as he describes it.

Creating a game with towns that rise and fall, with invasions of all sorts would be to the extent of two things. Either a player inputted game where the players create the cities and what not, or massive, constant changing content by the developers. The first one is not the style of world of warcraft at all. If a player wants that, they may as well go to a game "like A tail of two deserts" (or whatever the game is called). The Second option would be on par to creating expansion packs that change existing content instead of adding it, which doesn't make alot of sense. For those who wish to "Change the world" There are plenty of options in the game, such as controlled territories, or guilds that set up their own raids, either in instances or towns.

Part of what I have seen in MMORPGs is it is difficult to have a world that is ever changing, because people start and stop the game at different periods of time. Having a kingdom go from prosperity to ruin may sound like a good idea, but in doing so, you must create new content for both before, during, and after, with some of the content in each portion being erased.

Some ideas that we see in RPGS would be nice, but unrealistic in an MMORPG.

Let's take Freeport (2, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877466)

In EQ1 I was disappointed that the war of Evil vs Good races never went anywhere. The backstory told of an attack on Freeport by the Evil races. I wanted to be able to take Freeport, get a group of PCs and enough strength to take out the Freeport guards and other NPCs.

Was never going to happen.

DAoC had the territory system and that was good, though organising 100s of people to do a raid was always a bit random.

Dynamic systems are a tricky business though. Keeping the balance right is an obvious challenge.

Eventually it will work out, all the MMO people know it. It's just a matter of time.

Nice troll. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877524)

Funny how the most controversial articles aren't even submitted by anybody.. Zonk is seeking them out. You'll notice that Zonk only seeks out articles with a minority opinion, resulting in lots of hostile comments. Weird how that works, huh?

I'm waiting for the day that Zonk starts posting GNAA "press releases". Hmm.. GNAA: please put out a press release indicating that the PS3 is somehow inferior to the Wii and/or Xbox360! Trolls trolling the troll!

New Player (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877564)

I actually just started playing last night after an unsucessful attempt to evade my friend's bombardment of WoW propoganda. I have to agree. The best part of the game for me so far is learning the build-making strat and seeing all the old stuff from the RTS games. I'm an old school Everquest raid fanatic that couldn't put the mouse down, but this game does little tog et me really excited. And yes, I just got done reasoning (with a sleep-deprived brain, mind you) that the game is reminiscent of single player, offline RPG's in much of it's approach.

Rinse, Repeat, Repeat... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877586)

Last winter, it challenged players to team up and fuel a worldwide war effort.
Aside from the massive battles at the very end of that "story", the teaming up and preparation amounted to nothing more than hunting monsters for relatively common materials and scouring the countryside for herbs and ores that can be extracted with the game's pretty simple trade-skills. It was basically a reputation grind of titanic proportions, not what this guy claims that every gamer wants.

Personally, I'd want a faster base movement rate if I was to return to WoW. Even with a mount, moving long distance is a gruelingly slow and intensely boring proposition.

Morality and choices would change WoW (1)

borkus (179118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877748)

One limitation is that you choose your faction at the moment you create your character, not through the quests that you choose. It's interesting to imagine how the game would be different if someone could choose to join the Defias or Bloodsail Buccaneers or the Venture Company by accepting certain quests. Sure, some quests let you gain reputation with certain factions, but the game doesn't really force you to choose one side or another through your actions.

I started playing WoW with a friend who's a policeman. When we got to the mid-twenties, we were gathering quests in Darkshire when he sent me a tell - "This guy just offered me money to make a hit on a guy in jail." Now, it's just a regular quest in the game, but from a real-life ethics perspective - especially for a guy whose day job revolves around the judicial process - a vigilante killing for hire is serious stuff. What if players could choose to kill the guy or escort him out after subduing him?

But yeah, we did end up killing all those dudes in the stockades.

Re:Morality and choices would change WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878272)

"It's interesting to imagine how the game would be different if someone could choose to join the Defias or Bloodsail Buccaneers"

You can... Declare war with booty bay, and go and kill loads of goblins. Your rep with the pirates will go up. Eventually you can purchase a pirate hat amongst other things..

Take Queues from Eve-Online (1)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877784)

Almost every event in that game is player organized. And when it's not, the GMs come in and play characters and create events that shape the content and the game. Nations rise and fall in Eve, because it's all player driven. Ask Eve players why they think the concept is better. Especially ask the people who still play after like 4-5 years.

Yeah and *whine*... (1)

nixmega (972206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877796)

You should be able to jump into the world via virtual reality *whine*, and then you should be able to smell a dwarf and touch a night elf's booby's, BECAUSE I SAID SO *whine*. Everything this dude describes is beyond the capabilities of the developer to put into the game. So shut up and enjoy what they serve you *LOL*.

He's right. For a certain type of player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877820)

I believe he is dead on but only for a certain, and possibly, the majority fo the player base.

Instances, BGs and the emphasis on PVE content generates the lameness. However, there
is nothing to bring the casual and majority of paying customers for a completely player
driven world has this world would, more than likely, be brutal and completely unforgiving
to "nubs".

The closest thing I have seen and participated in of player generated content is on the
Hamorush (sorry spelling?) server. In this realm, the Horde guild is making an
attempt to bring open world PVP action back to the game. An alliance guild has been
created in response and, some may argue, actual War into Warcraft. Towns may not actually
fall but it does make the Hillsbrad unquestable.

Re:He's right. For a certain type of player (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877870)

the problem with world pvp on that scale is makes it completely impossible to play the damn game. you'll end up with one side completely dominating the entire world which will suck and cause one side to leave. yes his idea's SOUND cool but in practise they will SUCK.

I dunno. (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877896)

I actually like the game the way it is, for the most part; I don't necessarily want world-altering events, because if I miss them, I never get to see them. I'd rather have events that are just there for everyone to do, despite the suspension of disbelief issues. (Those stupid kids in redridge are obviously throwing that necklace back in the lake the moment you hand it in.)

Already Done (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877950)

This has been done in a game called "Shadowbane", years ago. It's actually still around for free (game and network) from what I've heard.

It was built on the idea of "Guild Warfare", where guilds and townships would defend their territory from others with largescale, epic battles.

It worked great when it was happening but you quickly saw it was a fringe thing. People didn't like risking their things they played so long to aquire.

In the end, most people are care bears and just want to chat and farm while wasting away their lives.

Most people in these games don't fit the traditional model of gamers. In fact, many of the players in these games are pathetic and are easily killed by skilled game players who've put in a fraction of the time.

Re:Already Done (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878260)

I thought Shadowbane died because it was buggy. At least that's what every other post mentioning Shadowbane said.

no moral quandaries?!? (2, Funny)

kendoka (473386) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877998)

'Players never face moral quandaries and never get to choose between an upstanding act and an evil one.'

Obviously this person has never been ninja'ed out of loot, had a priest suddenly drop out mid-instance, or had a gold-farmer train him. =P

Time to play something else... (1)

FlukeMeister (20692) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878034)

I want to be snarky and point out that Zonk obviously has no idea how other games are designed, but I think he pretty much nails why games publishers make bad decisions about what they publish. Those looking to play something other than a massively single-player game such as WoW might want to look at games such as Eve Online [eve-online.com] .

Wow is about raiding/PVP. This guy is a retard. (4, Insightful)

oompaNerd (456766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878062)

Clearly this guy has barely played world of warcraft at all and doesn't understand what keeps people playing once they hit the level cap.

1. 90% of the people who play this game don't give a rats ass about the story and when presented with a quest, skip the text and just try to finish it as fast as possible as the means to level up or get an item that they need.

2. The real appeal of the game is the challenging raid encounters and the social environment that has evolved around beating said encounters. People end up in every social guilds that all work together to defeat very difficult content. It's like the same reason people play team sports, there is no story around the sport that makes it interesting, it's the strategy, the socializing, the working together that makes people keep playing team sports. Also, imagine a team sport where once you have mastered one level of the sport you are presented with new and even more difficult challenges. If your "team" is good enough and cohesive enough, there is even the thrill of being able to spend months working on encounters and being the first group of people in the world to beat them. This teamplay/challenge comes into play in both PVE and PVP aspects of the game. This is what bridges the gap between the FPS/RTS type players and the RPG type players out there (being able to fullfil a class based roll in a highly strategy scenario and evolve your class/gear over time).

He clearly has misconceptions about WoW and would like to play a game that involves more role playing gayness and less strategy/teamwork/progression.

I don't want an f'n house. I want to be challenged 100% of the time.

A way to shake up WoW periodically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878216)

Maybe once in a while there should be a player who has the power to kill any other player and admins too.
Then everyone would have to fight that player together and become heroes.

"You can just...stand outside in the sun throwing a ball around, or you can sit in front of your computer and do something that matters!"

Lack of customization is a plus (2, Informative)

jasmak (1007287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878270)

Yes it would be pretty cool if you could make your character look different from all the other male Trolls running around, but keeping it just a few simple bodies that are only wearing different things is how the game stays so fast. If everyone looks completely different, every time you run through a city, your computer would have to load the graphic(and therefore need to be given the specs) for every character in the city instead of just which outline they chose and what the character is wearing. This would increase lag a ton and make it much harder for the game to run at fast speeds.

Article autor has it very wrong. Explanation: (5, Interesting)

Archimonde (668883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878300)

I've read the whole article and even though there are a few good points I must point to the obvious bullshit.

Last winter, it challenged players to team up and fuel a worldwide war effort. As a payoff, it unlocked new territory. This was a good example of letting the users drive a story, but Warcraft needs more of them.


Not only I beg to differ, but furthermore, I cannot find words to express my disgust with that event. Let me explain.

Ok, Blizzard announced that in next content patch there will be some huge event, which everyone can take part which will unlock some new content. Content patch arrived, and for each server both factions (alliance and horde) needed to chinese-farm *ridiculous* amounts of materials (which drop from monster, can be gathered etc). Then, when all the materials were gathered, the Guy-with-the-key can open the gates of the new content ("Ahn'Qiraj"), which everyone should enjoy. Well, that one can sound kinda fun, but lets see some facts first.

Amount of materials were too much for like 98% of servers (look at the sheer number of materials here: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wareffort/wareffort .html?113 [worldofwarcraft.com] , so blizzard after a few weeks of those majority of servers "slacking", filled those materials by "themselves". Horde faction actually had to gather less materials then Alliance (probably because of many servers have greater Alliance population then Horde), so on the servers where alliance population was about the same as horde, it just didn't work out. Furthermore, blizzard obviously calculated that pretty much all of the server population would help the "war effort" by gathering stuff. Problem is, it didn't. People couldn't care less for two new dungeons (aka instances) which are only available to like 5% of the server population. So players didn't farm those materials much. So it all fell behind.

At the same time with those huge farming effort, there was a quest line which could effectively be only taken by one(!) person in the whole server. Only that guy could initiate the boss fights, pick rewards, see quest text etc. But that guy needed help from his guild (best guild on the server) and other guilds in defeating some bosses. On some boss fights there was such a big slowdowns that server(s) couldn't handle it and crashed repeatedly. At the end of that ridiculously long quest line (for just that one guy), he got [Scepter of the Shifting Sands] by which he could open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj and ultimately unlock the new content (assuming that war effort - materials gathering was done). So what happened on our server (Ragnaros, EU)? Our server was average in gathering materials so after a month or more, they gathered them "for us". But there was a problem with the guy who needed to open the gates. Some major guilds (me included) helped him and his guild defeat some bosses and make that Scepter. When he finished the scepter somewhere in the middle of the night, he didn't came online for days, telling on the realm servers that whole realm population didn't "deserve" the gates to be opened, that he will not do it, generally flexing his e-peen. The guy single handedly held whole realm as a fools. Some seven days later guy opened the doors after some ass licking by his guild mates on forums. And this was not the one and only incident, there were a lot of them on other servers.

So to conclude, the event was total fiasco because of server crashes, non-existent story for 99.999% of players, e-peen flexing moron with the key, nolife kids telling others that they should farm materials more so they (nolifers) can go into the new instance, mind-puzzling number of materials to farm for *all* of the population etc.

We'll, that was my take on that glorious event.

PS Sorry for the grammar

And this is news to us? (1)

mjhacker (922395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878320)

Slate is running article lamenting the fact that, despite World of Warcraft's popularity, it is a deeply flawed game.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the game is deeply flawed... but there are certainly better MMORPGs out there. Why, then, is this game doing so well? I think it has to do with a few things - timing, name recognition, and balance. WoW came out and was relatively unchallenged... The only other major MMO at the time (that I can think of, I'm sure there were others) was Final Fantasy XI, which was suffering a bit from Real-Money Trade and people getting tired of the amount of grinding required to actually get anywhere. Grinding has been slightly alleviated [allakhazam.com] , but it doesn't matter, because WoW has developed a huge playerbase and its growth doesn't seem to be slowing down. So while I might feel that FFXI is a superior game, my claim doesn't matter too much when you look at the number of subscribers - FFXI's highest was roughly around 650,000 (it has now retreated back down to around 500,000), where WoW is 7.5 million and still growing.

Another thing that WoW has going for it is its name. WarCraft is disputably one of the most praised RTS series ever. I know when I heard about World of Warcraft, I was psyched, because I loved the previous WarCraft games.

WoW seems to have found that sweet spot where it's easy enough for casual gamers to keep playing, but it has enough content to keep hardcore players addicted. And the formula works - with my work and my classes keeping me busy,leaving only a few hours here and there to play, WoW doesn't leave me completely and utterly frustrated like FFXI does.

So what if WoW is flawed? Apparently 7.5 million people don't mind it too much.
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