Sorry, my second post in as many hours, but restless.
I was thinking about this for a while. The common insult thrown about is that every game post about 2006 is a wow clone.
I think this is fundamentally incorrect.
A few caveates first. I am taking the prime of WOW as being vanilla through TBC. Admittedly subscribers/ sales peaked in 2010 but at this time they opened the Chinese market which skewed the figures. You can also only sell an expanssion on the back of the reputation of earlier content. So if you are willing to accept the above (I am sure I will hear heartfelt diatribes from many who are not) then I will continue: -
WOW vanilla/ TBC did gather and streamline a lot of features from earlier mmos; however it also incorporated the following: -
- A relatively steep levelling curve (certainly by today's standards).
- A sense of being thrown into a world and finding your way.
- An open world.
- Multiple levelling paths.
- A need to earn/ save money for what would now be considered 'givens' (skills/ mounts etc)
- A sense of achievement through hard graft particularly with regard to tradeskills etc.
- Limited fast travel.
- Limited fast grouping options.
- A very social experience in that you were required to group with people for a number of quests/ dungeons, and that servers felt like small places with many familiar faces.
- The luck of being many people's first mmo experience.
- Exploration including relatively obscure quests/ vendors etc.
- spontaneous open world pvp
- I am sure there are many more...
I would contend that none of the so-called wow-clones have actually endeavoured to replicate the features that made vanilla / TBC WOW popular. They have refined them, tweaked them, removed them, renamed them, but never has a game truly learnt from WOW's early success,
Perhaps a few games need to look at WOW's success with fresh eyes and try to replicate some of the features that people enjoyed?
What do you think?