Putting Wow In Something Other Than WoW

By John Walker on August 20th, 2007 at 3:41 pm.

GCDC (the catchy abbreviation for the even more catchy Games Convention Developers’ Conference) is under way, as people get their chatter on in preparation for Leipzig’s Games Convention proper later this week. GI.biz report on a debate discussing the future of the MMO, called Life After World of Warcraft.

Despite their recognising that WoW’s success is in a large part because Blizzard didn’t spend their entire development pretending they’d found a new way to approach one aspect of the genre, but did everything really bloody well, they then go on to announce that this was just a fluke. Of course, the only right way to make an MMO is to waste your budget on a new way to, say, level up or fire a weapon, which you’ll ditch during beta because everyone will point out it sucks.

Attempting to credit Blizzard’s phenomenon to their having had an established franchise (try telling Dungeons & Dragons Online that, you twit), Westmoreland (a lovely place for a holiday this time of year) declared, “I think it’s an anomaly, and you can’t just focus on that because you’ll get yourself into trouble.” Or indeed, you might accidentally make an MMO more than seventeen people want to play.

MMOs come and go at a ridiculous rate because each and every one of them thinks it can be better than WoW, by being a derivative, stripped down version of WoW that focuses on one aspect at the cost of all others. (Meanwhile, I plan to be better than Vladimir Kramnik at chess by only learning how to move bishops, and not bothering with the other pieces). So it’s good to know that everyone at the meeting agreed this was definitely the way to go, rather than that expensive and pesky route of being better than Blizzard at making MMOs.

I declare: sigh.

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6 Comments »

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  1. Kieron Gillen says:

    Walker – let me get this straight. Are you arguing that everyone should just make as good a World of Warcraft clone as possible?

    KG

  2. DuBBle says:

    I think the starting zone for MMO developers should lie in asking themselves, ‘How can our game be non-derivative of WoW whilst also avoiding WoW’s failings and building upon its successes?’. I also think that people who know WoW so intimately that they hate it would make an excellent new MMO.

    Also, that’s not what John was saying at all, chuckles.

  3. John Walker says:

    Yes Kieron, that’s what I was arguing. The most unsophisticated and impossibly stupid thing possible – that’s me!

  4. UOStock.com says:

    If you look at the upcoming WarHammer release that people have hailed as the “WoW Killer”, you’d notice that it’s actually quite like World of Warcraft — but improved. They basically did what World of Warcraft did to the MMO genre, and did it to WoW.

    An improved PvP system, less forced gameplay and grinding, and a better community interface should make WarHammer the best game running in a year or two. Nothing earth shattering, but better systems and gameplay — what more can we ask for.

  5. Morberis says:

    Sometimes going back and reading the comments in this old articles can be hilarious – see the Warhammer comment above.

  6. RainFall says:

    Morberis: Warhammer actually did alot of things way better than Classic WoW. The problem was that wotlk was better than Warhammer. Warhammer made pvp a grind but less of a grind than WoW. But it was still a grind so it pissed pvpers off. Also the fact that every class had a ridiculous knockback was the stupidest idea a developer could ever have. Knockbacks are not fun or balanced in any game, ever. I just have never seen an instance where i said “Wow knockbacks are cool”