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What made WoW successful are the following:
- They already possessed a strong following because of the Warcraft franchise.
- They took the EQ model and tweaked it to make the game easier.
- Advertising, advertising, advertising. TV commercials, advertisements in magazines, celebrity endorsements, you name it, they did it to get word out about their game.
Unfortunately, thats all they've really done for the game. Without expansions and a constant injection of new content and items, there is no reason to keep playing after you've maxed out a character, except to go back and do it all again with another class. However, even then, a player is essentially just doing the same thing over again, just with different character abilities. Its the same quests, the same areas, the same instances, the same raids. Its like re-reading the same book over and over again. It gets boring and repetitive. Today, people just play for the expansions.
Thats what happens when a game has to hand its players something to do. Its like when you feed a wild animal; they get used to it and eventually forget out to fend for themselves. Thats one of the things that made UO so appealing. Players had to make their own quests and things to do. Origin gave the players the building blocks to come up with whatever they could think up.
As for the social appeal, there are countless chatrooms, forums, and social websites people can use to meet and talk with others, and better yet, they are free. No monthly subscription fee. Not to mention when most people are playing WoW, they are on another messenger service chatting with other people who are not on WoW.
What is keeping WoW at the top of the MMO food chain is the fact that people are so used to it. Sure, games like Rift, SWTOR, LoTRO come out and people give them a try. However, when they log on, all they see is WoW, just with different classes, different landscapes, but they have to start over again. So, they play the new game till they hit max level, then go back to WoW. Why? Because they've already got a level 85, max tier gear and over 100k in gold and epic mounts, etc etc etc, character they can go back to. Why rebuild on a new game thats the same as the one you just left when you can just go back the game you are already established on?
When you reall step back and look at WoW, you see it for what it is: Boring, stale, repetitive chatroom where foul mouthed kids clog up the general chat with disgusting vulgarity, where elietest power gamers hoard all the best stuff and rip on other people for not having the same stuff and where stat and meter junkies kick you out of an instance group because, according to their DPS meter, youre not dealing 23478982479845723908572 damage a second and your gear score isnt as uber as theirs.
People play it because its all their is and its all they really know. And the only companies with the balls to try something new are small, no name indie companies barely have enough money to buy gas and drive to the office every day, let alone develop a proper game.
So, until one of their serious competitors stops trying to copy them and tries something new, WoW has no threats from any other MMO out there, and they know it too. Thats why you see such a decline in GM and customer service, in game content and just general management of the game. Blizzard has become lazy and complacent and no one has the brains to knock them off of their golden mountain and back down to earth.
Originally posted by slickbizzle Originally posted by DJJazzy WoW had a story?
Yeah, the lore behind killing 10 rats was amazing.
They were eating the grain.
I tried the game for some 40 lvls. I didn't like it, and cancelled on the first month.
However, I read the books later on and I loved them. WoW may not be the game for me, but the lore is actually good and imaginative. I dare to suggest you read some of the Warcraft novels. I bet you ll get a surprise.
So, yes good lore was also a reason for the success.
Originally posted by ShakyMo Isn't Titan some sort of halo mmo?
I hope so.
I am waiting for a sci-fi MMO done right for a while. STO/TOR is fun, but they never have the polish of WOW.
PLEASE? SKYROCKET A SMALL COMPANY? Without the big ass name Blizzard it would have be almost impossible to make WOW as big as it is today.
Originally posted by BadSpock Originally posted by Starpower 10. WoWs popularity spread much like 'facebook' did
I think this is a better point than most people realize...
Before Facebook, there was MySpace, which was all EMO and HIPSTER You could call it "niche." Just like all MMORPG's before WoW.
After Facebook, many have tried, including huge companies (like Google and Google+) and failed and do you know why?
It's not Facebook.
After WoW, many have tried, including huge companies with huge IPs (Warhammer, Conan, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek...) and all haven't even come close to touching WoW and do you know why?
It's not WoW.
Scary... isn't it?
That's why no single mmorpg will be such hegemon over the market as WoW was (is?) never again. Well at least not in foresable future.
As WoW will fade it's playerbase will slowly scatter over various mmo and non-mmo games.
Of course there will be big fishes and small ones on the market just imho no huge rift between 1 st place and everything else.
Originally posted by gordiflu Originally posted by slickbizzle Originally posted by DJJazzy WoW had a story?
I have read the novels. How else can you explain the fact that I knew about 10 rats eating the grain?
This has been said. Many times. By many people - including myself on more than one occassion. Problem is that developers aren't the ones holding the purse strings. Only way they can get money from publishers is to pitch them something that is proven to make money or that is pitched extremely well.
Many times an original game idea will be pitched well, but the end product doesn't turn out well either because the project wasn't funded well enough, or because the project was so new that nobody had any idea how to proceed.
Blizzard does whatever they want because they are always making money off of WoW. A lot of other developers and publishers want that same kind of set up, but they don't have any idea how to do it. Mainly because WoW happened to come along at the perfect time. Blizzard had no idea what was going on and they were completely surprised at how well it did.
TL:DR (for my post and the OP)
Nobody, including Blizzard, has any idea how or why WoW is so successful. The game came along at the right time and they've had a great turn-around on content and patches. The major factor was introduction. The next 'WoW' is going to be a game that has a more action-based combat system and interface. Probably something that has an intuitive, free-form, easy to use class system. In reality there isn't probably going to be another WoW...ever.
WoW was popular for one reason and one reason only:
Diablo 2 (& LoD) was the absolute bomb.
Then they decided this:
Which do we make an MMO out of, StarCraft or WarCraft?
WarCraft had WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more background to use for mobs and stories.
StarCraft "Ghost" was in "production".
They chose WarCraft and added WASD and the ability to zoom in and out with your mouse wheel and pgdn/up and made EVERYTHING massively 3d with a great color scheme to fit all areas. People who were getting tired of item sellers on Diablo moved to WoW. Then WoW follied.
I never once saw a commercial for World of Warcraft untl it had been out for a few years - all the while playing it.
"What's up with this? I try to be a nice guy, all I ask for in return's help. When my plans work and ur crying, I'll be laffin!"
Originally posted by MorbidCurio Blizzard does whatever they want because they are always making money off of WoW. A lot of other developers and publishers want that same kind of set up, but they don't have any idea how to do it. Mainly because WoW happened to come along at the perfect time. Blizzard had no idea what was going on and they were completely surprised at how well it did.
Dont forget that they are already ultra successful with warcraft, starcraft (a NATIONAL e-sport no less), and Diablo.
So when they started to make WOW, they can afford all the polish.
Originally posted by fenistil Originally posted by BadSpock Originally posted by Starpower 10. WoWs popularity spread much like 'facebook' did
I think its just the opposite.
Other games have failed to come close to touching WoW because they ARE wow. Or rather, cheap knockoffs, and as I've said a billion times, "WoW is already good at being WoW".
A WoW clone will never exceed WoW, just as no EQ clone ever exceeded EQ. WoW did something different, and it trumped EQ. Someone will have to do something vastly different to trump WoW. So far that hasn't happened. Or at least it hasn't come from any developer with the financial muscle to market it well.