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World of Warcraft: WoW Clone Syndrome

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

AJ Glasser tackles the popular idea of "WoW clone" MMORPGs, and examines the impact and validity of that idea on a pair of high-profile games.

In a recent article from 1up.com, EVE Online CEO Hilmar Petursson asked why so many Massively Multi-player Online Games copy World of Warcraft - as if developers do it on purpose.

"...World of Warcraft is the perfect implementation of this [genre]," says Petursson, referring specifically to fantasy MMORPGs. "It's been done. Do something else."

Petursson's game, EVE Online, has the luxury of being unique among MMOs; it's science fiction and it is entirely dependent on social interactions in gameplay, EVE Online has catered to a specific (and loyal) niche of MMO gamers that generally has no cause to compare it to WoW. Other games, particularly ones in the fantasy genre, don't fare so well. The stigma of WoW clone syndrome can cripple an MMO in the early release days, driving away players who either, 1) Don't want to see the same old thing or 2) are completely loyal to WoW on grounds that it's the best of the best.

Take, for example, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Whatever you feel about the game, Vanguard brings originality to the fantasy MMO genre with gameplay features like Diplomacy and a robust crafting system that caters to the unique skill sets of the crafter. The game is also designed to be a follow-up to the original EverQuest (as opposed to EverQuest II) and therefore specifically, and by definition, not copying WoW. Even so, Vanguard was dubbed a WoW clone - and a lousy one, at that.

Read the whole article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • DrenethDreneth Southeastern, MAPosts: 697Member

    I am so sick of people referring to MMO's as "WoW clones".  WoW is based on Warcraft, and if anything borrows concepts from other games to cross the Warcraft series into the MMO scene.  The only thing that could be considered a WoW clone, would be if someone were to develop an MMO version of Command & Conquer, and even that wouldn't really be a clone.

    There are no WoW clones.

    - - - -
    Support Independent Game Developers

  • hbosmanhbosman ZwollePosts: 107Member

    It has nothing to do with clones, and everything with the changed communities on the Internet.

    Every released game suffers from the "When game X is released this game is going to die" comments. Some games even get bashed before they even released a beta.

    Blizzard has increased the MMO market and with it the ammount of people with an opinion. Problem is, players keep on bashing games they never played or quit playing. Just look at this site or Silky Venom, 95% is about bashing (which is really sad). And THATS the problem not the 'wow clone' syndrome!

  • trajantrajan Newport, NCPosts: 18Member

    Warhammer online, Age of conan, Pirates of the burning sea are all going to stink.

     

    The next gen MMO is Darkfall Online.  Get a peek at it. 

     

    Warning though, it is not for the faint of heart, or people you like shiny things.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Will any game ever equal the rampant pking fun of the good ole' dreadlord days of UO 98?

  • DKShadowDKShadow Viby JPosts: 116Member
    People who call all new games "wow clones" are retarded. They arent more clones of WoW, than WoW is a clone of all games before it. People need to get that into their heads and shut up already.
  • Numa999Numa999 LondonPosts: 62Member
    How the hell can POTBS be "WoW in a boat". That is the most idiotic comment I've ever read on these boards, and that took some doing. It blows my mind seriously. Thats like calling EvE a WoW clone lol.
  • NevarionNevarion HamburgPosts: 274Member
    Originally posted by DKShadow

    People who call all new games "wow clones" are retarded. They arent more clones of WoW, than WoW is a clone of all games before it. People need to get that into their heads and shut up already.
    So very true. A stupid discussion or even to only think about such matters.
  • JonMichaelJonMichael Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 796Member
    Originally posted by hbosman


    It has nothing to do with clones, and everything with the changed communities on the Internet.
    Every released game suffers from the "When game X is released this game is going to die" comments. Some games even get bashed before they even released a beta.
    Blizzard has increased the MMO market and with it the ammount of people with an opinion. Problem is, players keep on bashing games they never played or quit playing. Just look at this site or Silky Venom, 95% is about bashing (which is really sad). And THATS the problem not the 'wow clone' syndrome!

    QFT!

    Exactly!  It's not the "WoW clone" problem... it's the people in the community who bash any game they don't like.. regardless if they play it or not.  The excuse is always the same... "WoW clone".  Even when the game doesn't even remotely resemble WoW, it's still compared to it.

    The community is the problem.. not the genre.

     

    _________________________________
    JonMichael

    Currently: AION, an MMO Beta under NDA
    Played: WAR, LOTRO, Hellgate: London, CoX, GW, SotNW, DAOC, EQ2, SWG, WoW, AO, Horizons, Second Life, There, TSO
    Beta'd: There, Second Life, EQ2, DAOC:LotM, LOTRO, Tabula Rasa, Gods and Heroes, Hellgate: London, Requiem:Bloodymare, AoC, WAR, DDO, Fallen Earth

  • kuyzatkuyzat the moonPosts: 5Member
    I must disagree with your article.



    First, if a game becomes a WoW because it has elves, dwarves and orcs then if you would grab EVE and replace every ship with a character and every space region with hills and deserts you could call it a WoW clone and nothing could be further from the truth. EVE would still be EVE if it was fantasy. It's the "sandbox" mechanics that make it special.



    Secondly, tabula (a shooter!), pirates, conan and others like spellborn are all games that apparently will aim to make skill (as in combat twitch/tactical skill) much more central to the gameplay (in some cases through PvP or RvR) and if in the end they have quests and character leveling that still wont make them feel anything like WoW but potentially much more like action games. Planetside for example has character leveling but it had nothing to do with WoW.
  • kinikukiniku South Jordan, UTPosts: 53Member
    Originally posted by Stradden


    AJ Glassner tackles the popular idea of "WoW clone" MMORPGs, and examines the impact and validity of that idea on a pair of high-profile games.

    In a recent article from 1up.com, EVE Online CEO Hilmar Petursson asked why so many Massively Multi-player Online Games copy World of Warcraft - as if developers do it on purpose.
    "...World of Warcraft is the perfect implementation of this [genre]," says Petursson, referring specifically to fantasy MMORPGs. "It's been done. Do something else."

    This is nothing more than the usual Eve Online eliitist speak.  Nice try Mr Petursson but to take the highest subscriber fantasy MMO and smugly say all the rest are WoW clones because you offer a space game is a self serving joke.  I'm sure you'd love to raise your arm of victory beside Blizzard by saying there's only two games of real choice out there WoW and yours but sorry my friend, your game will never even compare to WoW's shadow.  But nice try at trying to bask in some of WoW's glory though.

    Signed, a very happy EQ2 player.  And proud that  both games are from the good ole U.S.A!  :)

     

  • RehmesRehmes miami, FLPosts: 600Member
    Originally posted by trajan


    Warhammer online, Age of conan, Pirates of the burning sea are all going to stink.
     
    The next gen MMO is Darkfall Online.  Get a peek at it. 
     
    Warning though, it is not for the faint of heart, or people you like shiny things.
    You are entitled to your opinion ofc, but you have no real proof to back up those statements as none of the games you mentioned have released yet.
  • montinmontin IpswichPosts: 218Member
    If a game clones WoW is beside the point. The simple fact is WoW has a lot of players. Which in turn means a lot of subscriptions and hence lots of money for the company. Therefore another company in the business of making a mmorpg will look at WoW and try to in some respect clone it with the intention of also making lots of money. Love or hate WoW the one thing it has done for mmorpg is help destroy innovation. Why try and create something new and different? Why not simply clone WoW with the expectation of having lots of players, like WoW does. Forget what gamers want. This business is about making money!
  • The_HoundThe_Hound miami, FLPosts: 5Member

    People who complain about games being called wow-clones are themselves wow-clones.

    thats clone-on-clone action, its not for family viewing...

  • adfoamadfoam King, NCPosts: 68Member
    Some people in the World of Warcraft community  put WoW and Blizzard on this god like pedestal, that if another game whether it is fantasy or whatever, is a “WoW Clone.”  I have nothing against WoW, I love the interface, how simple to figure out things.  But if I went to the forums General or the realm I play on.  I could guarantee I  would not brought the game at all.



    So really a better article would had been, “[INSERT GAME NAME] Communities”  
  • RomseRomse Montreal, QCPosts: 198Member
    Elves, Dwarves and Orcs aren't the property of Blizzard. They are common enough in fantasy themes to be a theme unto themselves.



    The cartoony look of WoW is closer to be signature to them however... they did borrow heavilly on the Warhammer franchise...



    The gameplay for WoW is just typical of MMOs that came before it...









    I think that people that go around calling other games "WoW in space" or "WoW on boats" or whatever simply haven't played many MMOs. Simplistic statements are a reflection of simplistic views and minds.
  • slippyCslippyC Oxford, MSPosts: 396Member
    When people say a "WoW clone", it pretty much just means same general game play style.  I know that you all can't think that they mean it is a copy of it.  Where it be combat or quests or whatever.  Most of the games do follow the same type game play.



    The only reason WoW is used as the game, is because it is the most popular or widely played(at least by people in the US).  WoW is just a clone itself, which someone already said.  WoW is pretty much just EQ 1 with better combat and more casual friendly.  I usually use EQ as a reference, because it was the first, first person 3d based MMOG. 



    It will always be this way, just WoW happens to be the most popular right now.  Some day it might be "Tarred and Feathered Clone", if that were ever to become a game.



    BTW, no you can't steal my game name fools!!!

    image

  • GarfunkelGarfunkel MiddlesbroughPosts: 224Member
    It's an interesting read but overall not a very informed article.

     

    You know, there is more to the fantasy MMO genre than World of Warcraft. They struck it big with a winning formula but to say 'the fantasy genre has been done now so move on' is total crap.

     

    Also, LOTR is a clone of WoW? Possibly in numerous ways but certainly not in it's class system. WoW did not invent the 'wizard' class.

    And Warhammer Online a WoW clone? Get it right. Warhammer has been around using that graphical style for over 25 years. WoW owes it's very existence to the Warhammer Universe.

    _________________________________________
    You can walk the walk but can you talk the talk?

  • Aison2Aison2 MarburgPosts: 624Member
    pff i think its justified to call it wow clones couse the game has everything a standard mmorpg has

    take any mmorpg compare it to wow and  atleast 70% are the same  30% go to grahpics some details in combat mechanics

    and other details that keep the games from being assaulted in court



    i think, its reasonable to blame most mmorpgs to be wow clones couse of the major lack of

    diversity

    look at the fps gerne -noone is bitching about hal life clones and why?

    its basically always the same runnning arround killing whatever and solving

    by the way some smaller puzzle and still noone speaks about half life clones

    fps have a lot more settings and graphic styles  than we have in mmos

    (mmorpgs ~ 80% fantasy whith  orcs,elves & dwars  ...very exciting)

    same is found regarding storys

    good chunk of mmos have not even something that could be called a story

    Pi*1337/100 = 42

  • ThedrizzleThedrizzle Palm Coast, FLPosts: 322Member

    I'm guessing on November 23, 2004 the MMORPG market started and all games before that date never existed.

    And to the guy that said WAR, AOC and POTBS are going to sink and DF will be the next big thing... LAWL  I can't laugh hard enough.

    Oh hell!! I can't see, the vapor in my eyes are blinding me!

  • zensaberzensaber Port City, NBPosts: 800Member
    I think people are forgetting that,just like it said it in the article, WoW is just a EQ clone. So technically all new mmos that are said to be WoW clones are really EQ clones but are called WoW clones because the majority of the new gamers brought in with WoW are fucking retarded or just don't know their history very well.
  • DownMonkeyDownMonkey Oh you know, that place., CAPosts: 159Member
    I'm getting so sick of hearing this "WoW Clone" rubbish, like Blizzard have a original bone in their bodies. Blizzard do ONE thing well, they make polished products. THAT'S it. Lore, gameplay, they rip off.

    Comments like "given that all the pre-release stuff we've seen looks a lot like the graphical style of WoW" in reference to WAR are getting annoying. Warcraft is a massive Warhammer off and they owe all of their style to Games Workshop, and despite this being said over and over again we still see comments like the one above. What do you want Warhammer to look like? Pacman?

    Games Workshop, a company that took Tolkien lore (and some others) and made something very unique and their own. Blizzard, a company that took Games Workshop lore and ripped off Dune 3 game play and it's really not changed much since.

    As good as it was for me up to level 40, I really do think WoW has killed MMORPGs, in more ways than one.

    image

  • NovaKayneNovaKayne Houston, TXPosts: 743Member

    WOW is just the latest iteration of where the current version of MMO's were going.  From UO to EQ the next flip would be a more streamlined version of the 2 games.  What WOW does good is bring the masses to the MMO world.

    Unfortunately in doing so it dumb's down the game into a spponfed romp through the virtual countryside.

    While this is appealing to the masses it runs rather boring to most veterans of the MMO worlds.

    The biggest complaint about making things harder and having to solve puzzles and such is the spoiler sites that inevitably pop up once a game is in production.  While there are those who complain about this and make it seem that this is a bad thing.  It is still something that you have to go out and search for and do research on.  IMO spoiler sites are just an optional thing to the game. 

    I feel that the whole make it easier and they will come will only go so far.  Once the initial oo and aaaa is overwith you are left with a watered down game that has no personality and a community that only does spot groups to keep from having to fight over camps. 

    At least with the spoiler sites you have the option of not using them and playing a game that is more challenging.  As opposed to a game that is just on rails.

    Say hello, To the things you've left behind. They are more a part of your life now that you can't touch them.

  • MacroPlanetMacroPlanet Posts: 1,068Member Uncommon
    AJ Glassner just wants attention.  Shut up about WoW clone.  If we are going to put it that way, then every game is a clone of Mario and D&D...and those are also clones of real life, because you can jump in Mario like RL. 
  • VengerVenger York, PAPosts: 1,318Member
    Originally posted by trajan


    Warhammer online, Age of conan, Pirates of the burning sea are all going to stink.
     
    The next gen MMO is Darkfall Online.  Get a peek at it. 
     
    Warning though, it is not for the faint of heart, or people you like shiny things.
    Yeah if it EVER gets released.  If it ever does get release it will already be out dated.
  • LemacsLemacs Houston, TXPosts: 121Member
    J Glassner



    Warhammer Online - There is a huge fan base and a lot of anticipation; but given that all the pre-release

    stuff we've seen looks a lot like the graphical style of WoW

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Have you even looked at any Videos or Screen Shoots? How can you say the graphical styles is like WOW,

    because they are in the same genre? Because that is what other people have said? Ork of Warhammer does

    not look like WOW Orcs.  WAR Goblins don't look like WOW goblins. Here is a link that shows the graphical style

    is completely different, seems that people need to get it right it the same genre but 2 different styles completely.

    warhammerinfo.com/hatemail03-30-2007.shtml

    UO-EQ1-SWG-DAOC-WOW-EQ2-WAR-GW2-RIFT

  • Aison2Aison2 MarburgPosts: 624Member
    Originally posted by zensaber

    I think people are forgetting that,just like it said it in the article, WoW is just a EQ clone. So technically all new mmos that are said to be WoW clones are really EQ clones but are called WoW clones because the majority of the new gamers brought in with WoW are fucking retarded or just don't know their history very well.
    eq clone would be inacurate imo

    couse wow brought some changes that other people took over



    saying a game is a wow clone is the same as saying the game follows the current mmorpg standard

    thats why i think it makes more sense to call them wow clones than EQ clones or UO clones

    Pi*1337/100 = 42

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