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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Ezra

I never understood this -killer stuff. I've never seen a developer use the term. It exists solely with some gamers and game jouranlists, and it's not exactly uncommon. I've heard games like Resistance called "Halo-killer", but have never seen game journalists systematically judge games in a genre by how apt they are at killing the top game in the genre like we see with MMOs.

It isn't exactly rare in game genres that some juggernaut like Call of Duty and Final Fantasy sells millions while most of the rest manage to unimpressively sell hundreds of thousands and merely keep the companies behind them afloat, players happy and staff paid.

I also don't get why WoW subscription decline is somehow a statement again subscriptions as a business model. The biggest reason WoW is losing subscribers is probably that its nearing 10 years old, and despite expansions, its an old game.

Free to play, subscription based, microtransactions or any mix of the three are all fine. There's too many first-generation subscription MMOs still running to call the subscription-business model failed. Most of the games labelled "free to play" are only so to a point, and then require subscriptions.

All of that stuff aside. Everquest Next is the only upcoming MMO that seems to be abandoning the devleopment model of implementing WoW, then making minor interesting changes. Like you, I'm always wary of hype and tech demos, but if things pan out as pitch, it'll be the first total evolution of MMos since...EverQuest 1.

Elder Scrolls Online seems to me too like Skyrim in MMO form first, a WoW implementation second. There's way too much it's lacking from WoW to deem it any sort of a WoW clone. There's no raiding, there's instanced dungeons but there's also public dungeons, PvP is centered around open world RvR a-la Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online.

Unlike upcoming MMOs like WildStar, which WoW guilds can essentially be dragged and dropped into, Elder Scrolls Online seems more drag and drop for Elder Scrolls players than WoW players.

Arcadia Codesmith

I've always felt that the slow pace of innovation in the MMO arena was not due to revenue models or the dominance of WOW. It was the simple fact that production budgets were so astronomical that there was too much at stake to do anything really risky.

What we're seeing are well-established studios with deep pockets being willing to take on more experimental ventures. It's not just WOW in decline, it's the MMORPG genre as a whole, and it's because they've been playing it too safe. The second-tier developers who've been quietly sacking away cash from steady but unspectacular titles are now positioned to change that.

They've already been testing pieces here and there with ideas like Cryptic's Foundry system and SOE's Player Studio. Even the matriarch of all modern MMO's, Ultima Online, is serving as a testbed for developers and concepts.

I expect nothing less than a renaissance... because it certainly beats a slow fade into obscurity.

Voodoo Radek

I have been a fan of TES since Morrowind, so i am not a really long time fan, but still have expended some hours on this awesome fantasy world, and gotten trapped by its lore.

When i watch teasers, footages and demos about this new TES online, i feel i want to be able explore all Tamriel scenarios on there, they look so awesome... but i am not too exited about the gameplay itself. To me, they haven't succeed in getting that i-dont-know-what, lets call it freedom in all sense of the word, that offline TES gives you. It feel like another MMO. To tell you the true i am more exited about the evolving skyrim online mod.

Pussycat Catnap

WoW is fading because WoW is old...

But also because of competition getting more viable.

Both are the nature of that market.

Consider a partial counter in Second Life. SL should be in even worse state than it is given its age - but the second part of the equation, good competition, is not there. None of the competition has been able or willing to meet some of the most basic demands users have in SL. They all focus on things SL has been unable to do without looking at what users of it actually do with it (in other words, as clueless as LLs is, their competitors are even worse).

WoW has gotten by for many years by having competitors who were like SLs competitors: no clue about what gamers wanted, just their own lists of "cool stuff" with no real market research...

I think ESO is going to be a dud... because its moving from one medium to another and refusing to adopt some of the basic demands of the new medium. It will upset single player offline gamers over the sacrifices it makes to get online, but it won't commit to the demands of a multi-user online presence enough to be what 'virtual worlders / MMO players' demand: a communal experience.

The other one is too unknown to make any predictions. Potential in what they announced - but it could go in any direction from here.

WoW will continue to fade - especially as many view it as a game that is now on the other side of the shark... what with the pandas...
(while furries seems to love gaming, other gamers seem to hate furries with an irrational passion: sometimes being around furries feels like a Log Cabin Republicans convention, a bunch of people who love something that hates them.)


I'm not so sure other games taking bolder risks is because WoW is fading... or because they see that every past game that tried to mimic WoW has failed...

Why would a consumer after all, want a fake Rolex if it wasn't cheaper? Either get a real Rolex, or decide you want a Swatch.

WoW's competitors have just finally figured out that they need to stop turning out fake Rolexes and invent a Swatch watch...

jasohall

In response to Ezra: the whole "killer" concept is from the fact that in the beginning World of Warcraft was an everquest killer. Blizzard solicited and received the help from many high level everquest players of the day who helped ensure that wow was better than everquest in every way possible from character mechanics to game play, etc. People were sick of dealing with SOE and the way they didn't care for their players. I think most would agree, it succeeded. I played everquest and wow since beta and have been waiting for a new champion mmorpg to emerge.

What really makes mmorpgs unique that most of the pointless copies and supposed wow killers seem to miss is the most important element: the system of gains and losses. The first time I died in everquest at high level it was absolutely terrifying. I worked so hard for everything I earned that the thought of watching it all go away behind the other side of the fear portal made me about have a panic attack. In wow I kept paying for my account long after quitting the game (and I still do) because of all the time and effort I put into my account and I don't want to lose it. Few other games since have made me feel like that.

Everquest Next shows great promise that I hope isn't ruined by SOE's shady tactics that ruined everquest for them in the first place. I signed up for the beta and plan on trying it out. Fingers crossed.

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