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General: MMOWTF - It's the End of the World

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

In his MMOWTF column this week, Dan Fortier takes a look back at the year 2007 and some of the news stories that dominated MMO headlines.

Actually I lied...it’s only the end of the year. You can call shenanigans on my little hyperbole there if you like. Now that I’m fat with the Christmas ham and spoiled by the awesome presents, I can get back to work making enemies in my weekly column. Let’s all take a moment or two and share the fond and horrible memories of the year that was 2007.

It seems like the year just started, but as it comes to a close and I look back at the stories that made me laugh and cringe, there really is quite a lot that happened. The year started off with the release of the Burning Crusade that had been delayed from its original release date. This obviously didn’t hurt the sales figures at all as it broke several records on its first day tally of 2.4 million copies sold worldwide. Staggering as that number is, it pales in comparison to the first bid by William Shatner’s agent when he was approached about doing a WoW commercial. (“But....I’ve...never even.....played an online game.....before!”)

Over the course of the year Blizzard made headlines again several times when they sued a RMT company called Peons4Hire over spam tells being used to advertise their gold-selling and power-leveling services. We all know Blizzard hates those farmers, but its interesting that they chose not to sue them over RMT directly but another TOS/EULA violation instead. Perhaps their high priced lawyers found some kind of legal ground to stand on finally. They followed this up later in the year by announcing a merger with Activision and dropped the word about another MMO in the works in the coming years. That’s all for your yearly WoWWTF, We now return you to your regularly scheduled Year End review.

Read it all here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • slannmageslannmage penisPosts: 540Member

    I like the Trade Mark next to "The vision" lol.

  • Dwarfman420Dwarfman420 Kazoo, MIPosts: 207Member

    "Sony Online took the reins of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes this year bringing an end to the Sigil led development cycle. Unfortunately the Vision™ was obscured with a blindfold and a cigar and ultimately shot dead by the firing squad of an unfinished launch."

    I lol'd.

    After that they took this vision and put it on lifesupport... after a few amputations... just to continue the suffering. Vanguard,  Neo, and Chewy are now all roommates.

  • SuvrocSuvroc Toronto, ONPosts: 2,383Member

    "In related news, CEO of SOE, John Smedley offered an apology for the NGE while stating that to change back to the old system would be just as unfair. Although the people burning for their sins in Hell were thanking him for the change of weather, I doubt it did little to appease those unhappy with change in the first place. All that toxic sludge might go under the bridge if the rumors of a new Star Wars franchise emerge...Here’s to hoping for a light at the end of that tunnel."

     

    When change comes way by means of a lobotomy then I'm sure people are going to be unhappy. I for one think change is good when it's positive. Maybe we need a change in writer of this column, as that sounds positive to me.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    If you are going to talk about this past  year, you seem to have missed the only major MMO that was released successfully this year, Lord of the Rings Online.

    While I am not a subscriber, it was launched probably as smoothly as any MMO ever.  While not everyone's cup of tea it is still a very significant MMO in the genre today and it was a mistake to ignore it.

    I think you should also have addressed the bombardment of the industry with all the free to play asian MMO's.  Also a very significant factor.

  • Deathstrike2Deathstrike2 Wellston, OHPosts: 1,801Member

    Originally posted by Dwarfman420


    "Sony Online took the reins of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes this year bringing an end to the Sigil led development cycle. Unfortunately the Vision™ was obscured with a blindfold and a cigar and ultimately shot dead by the firing squad of an unfinished launch."
    I lol'd.
    After that they took this vision and put it on lifesupport... after a few amputations... just to continue the suffering. Vanguard,  Neo, and Chewy are now all roommates.
    Vanguard is actually pretty fun at the moment.  I'm not saying it's the best thing since sliced bread, but it certainly is not as bad as it is made out to be.  At any rate, I'm enjoying it.  If there's something else out right now that is better in terms of gameplay, I can't find it.

     

  • Originally posted by Suvroc


    "In related news, CEO of SOE, John Smedley offered an apology for the NGE while stating that to change back to the old system would be just as unfair. Although the people burning for their sins in Hell were thanking him for the change of weather, I doubt it did little to appease those unhappy with change in the first place. All that toxic sludge might go under the bridge if the rumors of a new Star Wars franchise emerge...Here’s to hoping for a light at the end of that tunnel."
     
    When change comes way by means of a lobotomy then I'm sure people are going to be unhappy. I for one think change is good when it's positive. Maybe we need a change in writer of this column, as that sounds positive to me.

    The best change John Smedley could offer to SOE or to the MMO industry is to exit both.

    They could easily do classic servers without "unfairly" taking the NGE away from the 25 people who would still play it the day after they opened.  There isn't a rational argument against Pre-NGE servers because it's the fairest option. 

    Of course the real reasons why they don't are twofold:

    1. Smed and company would be embarassed because ANY opening of classic servers WILL result in a de facto rollback because the NGE servers will empty.  Completely.  They simply won't risk that.

    2. The (current) SWG Dev team isn't capable of maintaining an online version of rock-paper-scissors much less a complex skills based MMO.

     

  •  

    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    If you are going to talk about this past  year, you seem to have missed the only major MMO that was released successfully this year, Lord of the Rings Online.
    While I am not a subscriber, it was launched probably as smoothly as any MMO ever.  While not everyone's cup of tea it is still a very significant MMO in the genre today and it was a mistake to ignore it.
    I think you should also have addressed the bombardment of the industry with all the free to play asian MMO's.  Also a very significant factor.





    LOTRO is most signicant not for the fact that it's a success (by pre-WoW standards), but in that  it is proof that the "let's clone WoW and get  millions of subscribers" concept that has the whole MMO industry on a death spiral right now is invalid.

     

    Sure, LOTRO is a decent game, but it's WoW with a Tolkien skin.  Well done and polished WoW clone+HUGELY popular IP= 300-400K subs.  THAT is what is scaring everyone else who are working on their pet WoW clone project that isn't based on such a popular IP...

    The other two notable WoW clones in development are WAR and AOC.  One wonders if part of the reason for their delay is that the publishers have been smart enough to recognize this and are making their games less so, because if both those games fail, the idea that WoW clone=World Domination is deader than the Charleston.

    2008 is going to be a very interesting year.  And I seem to be alone in predicting that it is going to be a VERY bloody year for the industry as startups like PE die at an accelerating rate, and that even longime players (like SOE) may not even survive.  The VC money is drying up now that the rose bloom is off the WoW clone.

    2008 is going to be very much like the 2001 "Dot Bomb" for this industry.

    There simply are too many games that are out or in development that are TOO similar chasing too few potential customers. 

  • AlienovrlordAlienovrlord San Antonio, TXPosts: 1,525Member

    Very good review of the past year in MMORPGs and the various noteworthy events.   It's easy to lose track of some of the stories (like the Dark and Light fiasco) but this was a nice summary.

    Although I do agree with other posters that Lord of the Rings should have gotten some mention particularly when Turbine's CEO got fired, seemingly for claiming overly high subscription numbers. 

    I particularly enjoyed the comment:

    "Stray Bullet, makers of Shadowbane, announced a fresh new MMO was being developed early in 2007 only to go strangely quiet the rest of the year. Perhaps they are too busy finishing up their classes on “Designing Ubar MMOs that take Forever” with Flavien Brebion, World Fusion and the Darkfall team."

    LOL 

    2008 will be an interesing year.   It could be quite bloody but then revolutions usually are

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed San Jose, CAPosts: 591Member

    i think 2008 will be the year of WAR and possibly AoC and not much else.  The cesspool of asian turd games will continue to swirl and stink and pollute the genre.  Several small games will roll over and die. 

    All in all methinks 2008 will = 2007.   

    Maybe console mmoging will take off in '08?

  •  

    Originally posted by Flummoxed


    i think 2008 will be the year of WAR and possibly AoC and not much else.  The cesspool of asian turd games will continue to swirl and stink and pollute the genre.  Several small games will roll over and die. 
    All in all methinks 2008 will = 2007.   
    Maybe console mmoging will take off in '08?

     

    I think it will be interesting indeed if WAR and AOC fail to get 250K subscribers each.  WoW is going to have to start declining soon, next year will be it's 4th anniversary.  The question is, where do WoW players go when they get tired of WoW?  Or if WoW doesn't decline any in 2008, which existing games does WAR and AOC leech subs from?

    DAOC for certain for WAR.  Is 2008 the year that EQ+EQ2 combined fall well below 250K combined?

    Also, will SOE roll out any of their 3 "save the company" new games in 2008, and how will they do?

    We certainly don't hear much about their games in development anymore. 

    2008 is indeed going to be 2007 all over again, but with a lot more PE and Sigil type failures.  I think more MMOS will go OUT of development than INTO development in the next year.

     

     

     

  • SvayvtiSvayvti Portland, ORPosts: 160Member

    Originally posted by salvaje






    LOTRO is most signicant not for the fact that it's a success (by pre-WoW standards), but in that  it is proof that the "let's clone WoW and get  millions of subscribers" concept that has the whole MMO industry on a death spiral right now is invalid.
     
    Sure, LOTRO is a decent game, but it's WoW with a Tolkien skin.  Well done and polished WoW clone+HUGELY popular IP= 300-400K subs.  THAT is what is scaring everyone else who are working on their pet WoW clone project that isn't based on such a popular IP...
    The other two notable WoW clones in development are WAR and AOC. 

    WOW, kiddies.

    There is nothing in LotRO that is a clone of WoW. Yes, they share a lot of elements in common, but you will find all of those elements in prior existing MMOs that WoW cloned. There is a general misconception by the Noob generation of gamers created by WoW that WoW was somehow innovative.

    There was nothing new or trendsetting set by WoW, except a comment to quality and squashing bugs that prior developers (i.e. SOE) didn't have. Blizzard proved it was better to polish your game and make everything work that just pump out more buggy code. WoW didn't deliver revolutionary features, but delivered what it advertised unlike the other games of the age.

    In that way LotRO is a clone in that unlike DDO and AC2 they delivered a polished game that delivered what it advertised.

    We can only hope that more developers start noticing this trend and catching on to produce quality work.

     

     

  • neschrianeschria Johnstown, PAPosts: 1,441Member

    ___

    "Stray Bullet, makers of Shadowbane, announced a fresh new MMO was being developed early in 2007 only to go strangely quiet the rest of the year. Perhaps they are too busy finishing up their classes on “Designing Ubar MMOs that take Forever” with Flavien Brebion, World Fusion and the Darkfall team."

    ___

     

    ... WOO!  ATRIARCH! World Fusion gets a mention!   (Ok, I am just being silly, but I can't help but love an underdog, and that's a mile-under-the-underdog.)

    ...
    This is where I draw the line: __________________.

  • CeylousCeylous anywhere, OHPosts: 134Member

    hopefully rockstar might do something similar to this with the grand theft auto series

     

    http://www.multitheftauto.com/

     

    GTAMMO :) would be freaking cool

     

    Ive played alot of MMO's

    FFXI, EQOA, PS, EVE, WoW and like 15 non-p2p games such as flyff etc.

     

    My favorite sci-fi genres are Star Wars and Star Trek. Well Star Wars sux and Star Trek Online is now vaporware. I dont really see anything in the horizon sci-fi wise. Tabla Rasa isnt really a FPS game in the truest sence. (its not even like Planetside at all) I could go on and on whining. (sorry if this is sounding like a cheese n' wine post) Hopefully after doing more research multitheftauto might be something decent to play.... be nice if GTA was indeed some form of an mmo.

     

    Trying to look for the future of MMO's.... its sooooooooooooooooo bleak...... if Huxley, War, Aion, and AoC end up sucking its going to be reaaaaaly hard for me to hang up on the whole MMO genre and go back to Halo3 or something. Which sux cuz I REALLY like playing with lots and lots of other people at once in a multiplayer type game but I REALLY hate repetative playstyles. Oh well....... sorry for the whining this is just my very own..... MMOWTF.

     

    image
    Is there an MMO that out there that isn't affected by Xao Ping Wang and their money grubbing macro bots?
    image
    http://wow.stratics.com/content/features/editorials/mf/
    Just say no to ingame money/mob farming.... the site says it all

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member

    Originally posted by Ceylous


    hopefully rockstar might do something similar to this with the grand theft auto series
     
    http://www.multitheftauto.com/

    Considering it's Rockstars game, illegally reverse engineered ( hope the guy don't plan on taking "donations" for servers ), I'd say they probably could if they wanted to.

     

     

    As for the review, I found not one damn thing to disagree with. Another nice  wrap-up, Dan.

  • SoldarithSoldarith West Chester, PAPosts: 184Member

    I predict that WoW's next content update (version 2.4) will release at around the same time as AoC/WAR are set to release (late Q1/early Q2) - This will be a good strategy to keep their customers preoccupied while other new titles are floating around.

     

    I am sure other games are in the pipe for 2008, however, AoC and WAR have pretty much dominated the airwaves for MMO coverage - I wonder what sleepers are laying in wait for 2008?

     

    And while I do agree that LOTRO does have a great number of features that are similar to WoW, I would not classify it as a "wow clone". Honestly, I would classify it as a "current generation" MMO. MMOs evolve, taking lessons learned from previous titles and building ontop of that - WoW is simply a well polished incarnation of all the lessons learned from previous MMO titles (especially EverQuest). Therefore, I don't believe that AoC or WAR are "wow clones" either. These games are just current generation MMOs: Map system? In-game mail? Housing? Integrated PVP system? Customization of character abilities? Persistent seamless world? Instance usage? Integrated crafting system? Trade/auction house? Reputation/faction system? Dice roll combat? Quest system? Level-based progression? All of these things, and more, pretty much spell "current generation" of MMOs. Now, if these titles move WAY beyond this list (with new and innovative ideas), then they would be classified as "next generation" MMOs.

  • sh4dowst4lkrsh4dowst4lkr MelbournePosts: 208Member

     

    Originally posted by salvaje


     
    Originally posted by Suvroc


    "In related news, CEO of SOE, John Smedley offered an apology for the NGE while stating that to change back to the old system would be just as unfair. Although the people burning for their sins in Hell were thanking him for the change of weather, I doubt it did little to appease those unhappy with change in the first place. All that toxic sludge might go under the bridge if the rumors of a new Star Wars franchise emerge...Here’s to hoping for a light at the end of that tunnel."
     
    When change comes way by means of a lobotomy then I'm sure people are going to be unhappy. I for one think change is good when it's positive. Maybe we need a change in writer of this column, as that sounds positive to me.

     

    The best change John Smedley could offer to SOE or to the MMO industry is to exit both.

    They could easily do classic servers without "unfairly" taking the NGE away from the 25 people who would still play it the day after they opened.  There isn't a rational argument against Pre-NGE servers because it's the fairest option. 

    Of course the real reasons why they don't are twofold:

    1. Smed and company would be embarassed because ANY opening of classic servers WILL result in a de facto rollback because the NGE servers will empty.  Completely.  They simply won't risk that.

    2. The (current) SWG Dev team isn't capable of maintaining an online version of rock-paper-scissors much less a complex skills based MMO.

     

     

    LOL, true.

     

  • JoltmarJoltmar Buckhannon, WVPosts: 8Member
    Originally posted by salvaje


     
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    If you are going to talk about this past  year, you seem to have missed the only major MMO that was released successfully this year, Lord of the Rings Online.
    While I am not a subscriber, it was launched probably as smoothly as any MMO ever.  While not everyone's cup of tea it is still a very significant MMO in the genre today and it was a mistake to ignore it.
    I think you should also have addressed the bombardment of the industry with all the free to play asian MMO's.  Also a very significant factor.





    LOTRO is most signicant not for the fact that it's a success (by pre-WoW standards), but in that  it is proof that the "let's clone WoW and get  millions of subscribers" concept that has the whole MMO industry on a death spiral right now is invalid.

     

    Sure, LOTRO is a decent game, but it's WoW with a Tolkien skin.  Well done and polished WoW clone+HUGELY popular IP= 300-400K subs.  THAT is what is scaring everyone else who are working on their pet WoW clone project that isn't based on such a popular IP...

    The other two notable WoW clones in development are WAR and AOC.  One wonders if part of the reason for their delay is that the publishers have been smart enough to recognize this and are making their games less so, because if both those games fail, the idea that WoW clone=World Domination is deader than the Charleston.

    2008 is going to be a very interesting year.  And I seem to be alone in predicting that it is going to be a VERY bloody year for the industry as startups like PE die at an accelerating rate, and that even longime players (like SOE) may not even survive.  The VC money is drying up now that the rose bloom is off the WoW clone.

    2008 is going to be very much like the 2001 "Dot Bomb" for this industry.

    There simply are too many games that are out or in development that are TOO similar chasing too few potential customers. 

     

     

     

     


    Lol I'm sorry what? War a copy of WoW how? .. What? When? Where? But dah .. boss it has orks (yes its spelt orks folks) elfs, dwarfs and humans! It must be a clone! Taken from the wiki Games workshop (the brains behind the actual Warhammer concept)  Been around since 1975 and doing  stuff wiff orks and all that for awhile... Now we got that lets try wow here The game was released on November 23, 2004 Hm.. I see that ones dead.
    .. I could go on about other points.. but I just like that one up there cause thats the one I see alot anymore. Only thing I really COULD see without to much digging and trying to nitpick every little damn thing .. THAT you could even consider a CLONE of wow is the master path thing. Though then again EVERY game has some kind of tree skill thing going on .. So ya. Please next time save yourself a post and not be stupid saying War is a clone of wow thats like me saying WoW ripped the battlegrounds idea from DAoC and I'll never be stupid enough to point fingers like that.
     



     

     

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member
    Originally posted by Joltmar

    Originally posted by salvaje


     
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    If you are going to talk about this past  year, you seem to have missed the only major MMO that was released successfully this year, Lord of the Rings Online.
    While I am not a subscriber, it was launched probably as smoothly as any MMO ever.  While not everyone's cup of tea it is still a very significant MMO in the genre today and it was a mistake to ignore it.
    I think you should also have addressed the bombardment of the industry with all the free to play asian MMO's.  Also a very significant factor.





    LOTRO is most signicant not for the fact that it's a success (by pre-WoW standards), but in that  it is proof that the "let's clone WoW and get  millions of subscribers" concept that has the whole MMO industry on a death spiral right now is invalid.

     

    Sure, LOTRO is a decent game, but it's WoW with a Tolkien skin.  Well done and polished WoW clone+HUGELY popular IP= 300-400K subs.  THAT is what is scaring everyone else who are working on their pet WoW clone project that isn't based on such a popular IP...

    The other two notable WoW clones in development are WAR and AOC.  One wonders if part of the reason for their delay is that the publishers have been smart enough to recognize this and are making their games less so, because if both those games fail, the idea that WoW clone=World Domination is deader than the Charleston.

    2008 is going to be a very interesting year.  And I seem to be alone in predicting that it is going to be a VERY bloody year for the industry as startups like PE die at an accelerating rate, and that even longime players (like SOE) may not even survive.  The VC money is drying up now that the rose bloom is off the WoW clone.

    2008 is going to be very much like the 2001 "Dot Bomb" for this industry.

    There simply are too many games that are out or in development that are TOO similar chasing too few potential customers. 

     

     

     

     


    Lol I'm sorry what? War a copy of WoW how? .. What? When? Where? But dah .. boss it has orks (yes its spelt orks folks) elfs, dwarfs and humans! It must be a clone! Taken from the wiki Games workshop (the brains behind the actual Warhammer concept)  Been around since 1975 and doing  stuff wiff orks and all that for awhile... Now we got that lets try wow here The game was released on November 23, 2004 Hm.. I see that ones dead.
    .. I could go on about other points.. but I just like that one up there cause thats the one I see alot anymore. Only thing I really COULD see without to much digging and trying to nitpick every little damn thing .. THAT you could even consider a CLONE of wow is the master path thing. Though then again EVERY game has some kind of tree skill thing going on .. So ya. Please next time save yourself a post and not be stupid saying War is a clone of wow thats like me saying WoW ripped the battlegrounds idea from DAoC and I'll never be stupid enough to point fingers like that.
     



     

     

    And there'd be no Warcraft if there were no Warhammer to steal from in the first place.

  • BackwardsDagBackwardsDag Denver, COPosts: 44Member

     "Eve Online’s most recent expansion had a hidden surprise for those who wanted to upgrade to the new Trinity graphics: A free deletion of their boot.ini file! I thought we saw the end of retail programs that acted like viruses when they declared Windows 98 obsolete."

     

    Well, I am one to throw away reviews like an otter shedding water from his coat, but that one statement, made me realize one great truth.

    We as MMorpg'ers, carry a great responsibility. We provide the reviews and insights, thast decide whether a person will go into a game. I have been around MMO's for years, and I have never joined a game without reading a few reviews at MMORPG. I know I just joined our tight little communtiy here actively, but thats after two years of silently reading here... (actually more like 3-4 years.)

    To carry on...

    Play as many as you can... I personally do not know why, I just know this stuff will be as importent as all the other when the time comes. Play with your heart, choose the games that are fit for you, and welcome the insight you get from every game. Tell us what you think, good or bad, and stand up for what you think should happen. This is not only a big corp experiment, it is a giant human experiment, and we are part of it daily.

    We will notice and report games taking such action, and we will not stand for tons of bullshite. We will expect our games to have meaningful content, and not just blissfully take our stances. We will notice the mechanics and the where-with-all do enact our decisions, and in noticing, do so. In essence, we will play the games given us to the best of our ability, and when we have played them, give them a review both honest and good in its intent.

    Hundreds maybe thousands make a decision on what we decide. Stay true, stay MMORPG.

     

     

  • todeswulftodeswulf Dallas, TXPosts: 715Member

    Yeah I wasa bit confused why LOTRO wasn't even mentioned......guess  the kickbacks are flowing from Blizzard these days.

    And the more WoW kiddies open their yaps on this website the more I'm convinced the average IQ for anyone that plays WoW is 84.

  • ProdudeProdude RiverCountry, NEPosts: 353Member

    Originally posted by todeswulf


    Yeah I wasa bit confused why LOTRO wasn't even mentioned......guess  the kickbacks are flowing from Blizzard these days.
    And the more WoW kiddies open their yaps on this website the more I'm convinced the average IQ for anyone that plays WoW is 84.
    Such a positive perspective to start the New Year....
  • surfpenguinsurfpenguin Madison, WIPosts: 1Member

    Originally posted by Svayvti There was nothing new or trendsetting set by WoW, except a comment to quality and squashing bugs that prior developers (i.e. SOE) didn't have. Blizzard proved it was better to polish your game and make everything work that just pump out more buggy code. WoW didn't deliver revolutionary features, but delivered what it advertised unlike the other games of the age.
     

    Preach it brother! In putting out WoW, Blizzard once again did what Blizzard does best: Take a concept developed by someone else, hone it to almost laser-sharp perfection, support the living bejesus out of it. The ugly truth of the matter is however that if you've ever played another MMO before you find out fast that WoW is the MMO equivalent of eating a cheeseburger prepared by a gourmet chef: It's well-prepared and tastes great, but it's also nothing that hasn't hit your plate before...

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