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WOW clones are not WOW clones

LittleBootLittleBoot roystonPosts: 326Member

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?   

Comments

  • MibletMiblet BognerPosts: 333Member

    I think WoW was your first MMO, as evidenced by your list being found in prior MMOs too.

     

    WoW clone is merely a lazy way of banding games together in the same category which play almost identically.  Each game is still unique in some fashion however they all 'feel' the same to many.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Miblet

     

    WoW clone is merely a lazy way of banding games together in the same category which play almost identically.  Each game is still unique in some fashion however they all 'feel' the same to many.

    With emphasis on the lazy part, I agree.

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,260Member Uncommon
    You are right OP.

    when I think of wow clone I think fetch/kill quest, dungeons and bad crafting. Interesting I think of cataclysm wow, today's wow. I couldn't be talking about classic or bc. Where me and a friend, as night elves set out on an adventure to travel to ironforge. Where I traveled across the world to a cave in thousand needles to get my felhunter with only the quest txt as my guide.

    No mmorpg has cloned Azeroth. They've cloned systems, but for some reason cannot clone the world. Hmm
  • LittleBootLittleBoot roystonPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by bcbully
    You are right OP.

    when I think of wow clone I think fetch/kill quest, dungeons and bad crafting. Interesting I think of cataclysm wow, today's wow. I couldn't be talking about classic or bc. Where me and a friend, as night elves set out on an adventure to travel to ironforge. Where I traveled across the world to a cave in thousand needles to get my felhunter with only the quest txt as my guide.

    No mmorpg has cloned Azeroth. They've cloned systems, but for some reason cannot clone the world. Hmm

    Thanks, this is the sort of response I was hoping for.  WOW has become a dirty word, but for me there were a lot of happy memories back in 2005- and the game mechanics were no small part of that.  

  • peteski123peteski123 arundelPosts: 444Member Common
    I agree about this probably being your first mmo as WOW openly admitted taking from other great games when it was made. IE..  Everquest.  so WOW is a clone, doesn't matter how popular it is other games made WOW. just a note
  • GuyClinchGuyClinch Sunnyvale, CAPosts: 485Member

    WoW was likely the best video game in the world back in TBC, IMHO. Nothing really came close to that at the time. But these tab target/holy trinity/exclamation point quest getting games are all inspired by WoW and thus feel like bad versions of WoW. None of them are very good though.

    I think the new games are more of a combination of action/shooter style combat and take alot from games like GW2 and Borderlands - so that will be the new thing.. of the future. So worry not..

  • LittleBootLittleBoot roystonPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by peteski123
    I agree about this probably being your first mmo as WOW openly admitted taking from other great games when it was made. IE..  Everquest.  so WOW is a clone, doesn't matter how popular it is other games made WOW. just a note

    I said that WOW did this upfront,  but people do not say EQ or UO clone do they?  They say WOW clone which is the entire point if this thread.... 

  • peteski123peteski123 arundelPosts: 444Member Common
    Originally posted by LittleBoot
    Originally posted by peteski123
    I agree about this probably being your first mmo as WOW openly admitted taking from other great games when it was made. IE..  Everquest.  so WOW is a clone, doesn't matter how popular it is other games made WOW. just a note

    I said that WOW did this upfront,  but people do not say EQ or UO clone do they?  They say WOW clone which is the entire point if this thread.... 

    Sorry I missed that part, where did you say this here??

     

  • LittleBootLittleBoot roystonPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by peteski123
    Originally posted by LittleBoot
    Originally posted by peteski123
    I agree about this probably being your first mmo as WOW openly admitted taking from other great games when it was made. IE..  Everquest.  so WOW is a clone, doesn't matter how popular it is other games made WOW. just a note

    I said that WOW did this upfront,  but people do not say EQ or UO clone do they?  They say WOW clone which is the entire point if this thread.... 

    Sorry I missed that part, where did you say this here??

     

    WOW vanilla/ TBC did gather and streamline a lot of features from earlier mmos; however it also incorporated the following: - 

  • peteski123peteski123 arundelPosts: 444Member Common

    ok my mistake you did add that. However all new mmo's still add something new, My point still standing .

    People love this WOW clone topic especially people who started with WOW, are you one of them?

  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,034Member Uncommon

    I don't consider "WoW clone" an insult, just a descriptive term meaning that the game's design is based at least 80% on that of WoW.  Not specifically vanilla WoW.  Perfect World, for example, has used its expansions to emulate parts of WoW's expansions - their Mer race homeland, for example, is clearly inspired by the Drenai starting area in WoW.  Describing Perfect World as "a WoW clone with a Chinese fantasy flavor, except f2p" is an efficient and accurate way to communicate to people that Perfect World have very similar mechanics and play to WoW; if someone wants "more WoW but with different quests and areas", Perfect World might be a great choice for them.


    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused sandpark MMO, so PM me if you are starting one.
  • LittleBootLittleBoot roystonPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by peteski123

    ok my mistake you did add that. However all new mmo's still add something new, My point still standing .

    People love this WOW clone topic especially people who started with WOW, are you one of them?

    This is the entire point of the thread, and I didn't 'add' that I wrote it as part of the thread.  Are you being purposefully antagonistic? 

  • peteski123peteski123 arundelPosts: 444Member Common

    No it's not intentionally at you sorry, just sick of the continued discussion about the topic WOW clone. It never ends. If people let each game rate itself then we could move on. All tech comes from previous tech this we know. it's not enlightening when people have to make new topics about the same thing. No matter if they think they are defending it, it's still old.

     

    Carry on, I'll go wack myself

     

  • gwei1984gwei1984 GrazPosts: 373Member Uncommon

    A point where i actually was very disappointed, was the streamlining of dungeons with release of TBC. Before then, you had great architectures like Blackrock Depths, Maraudon, Stratholme, Scholomance... Vast overwhelming dungeon-complexes which really felt like epic dungeons and in which you could easily get lost.

    But then began the time of the one-way dungeons. And since then no big AAA MMO dared to go away from this system.

    Maybe put up some direction signs:    Here >>> "To the fu..ing Loot Chest!"

     

    I want my dungeons back! *sadface*

    Hodor!

  • LittleBootLittleBoot roystonPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by peteski123

    No it's not intentionally at you sorry, just sick of the continued discussion about the topic WOW clone. It never ends. If people let each game rate itself then we could move on. All tech comes from previous tech this we know. it's not enlightening when people have to make new topics about the same thing. No matter if they think they are defending it, it's still old.

     

    Carry on, I'll go wack myself

     

    Have fun 'wacking' yourself. 

  • MibletMiblet BognerPosts: 333Member
    Originally posted by LittleBoot
    Originally posted by peteski123
    I agree about this probably being your first mmo as WOW openly admitted taking from other great games when it was made. IE..  Everquest.  so WOW is a clone, doesn't matter how popular it is other games made WOW. just a note

    I said that WOW did this upfront,  but people do not say EQ or UO clone do they?  They say WOW clone which is the entire point if this thread.... 

    Actually almost every time this type of thread comes up someone points out WoW was an EQ clone.

    The term WoW clone is used rather than EQ clone due to the size of the WoW playerbase, the game itself (until phasing) introduced nothing new to the genre and in many cases had less than those before (though it did so with far more polish and ease of use for those with little time or social inclinations).  Even EQ itself wasn't entirely original however the first generation of 3D MMOs broke far more newer ground in their first few years than we have seen in the last decade.

    Many people still believe WoW was the first of it's type and was the birthplace of many of the systems in place today.

     

    However the phrasing of the OP alludes that WoW did something not done before by adding such aspects when they were (often) all included in some form in prior games.

    '...however it also incorporated the following: -'

    Don't get me wrong WoW is / was a great game, you don't get numbers that high for being awful despite what many on this site and others would argue, but groundbreaking is not a word I would use with Blizzard's products in general.  Polished, fun yes.

    You are also making the assumption that the game's popularity itself had no other factors beyond the game that influenced the sudden burst in online gaming prevalence.  The spread and availability of high speed internet, the cost and ease of PC gaming, changing attitudes to gaming in general all had large impacts too.  As many have said WoW was a phenomenon that we may not see again for quite some time, if ever, due to a perfect culmination of events coinciding with a great game.

  • SirPKsAlotSirPKsAlot bagong silangPosts: 224Member
    WoW / EQ are clones of text-based MUDs. Every MMORPG is just multiplayer Zork.

    image
    Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

  • zwei2zwei2 SingaporePosts: 361Member
    Unless an mmo allows the user to enter the game to play as themselves, any new MMOs are just clones of old MMOs, WOW or no.

    The possibility of the universe collapsing into a singularity is higher than the birth of a perfect MMORPG.

  • HelleriHelleri Felton, CAPosts: 927Member Uncommon

    It's like "Thanks Obama"...Your going to see it weather it is deserved or not. Because, it's that big.

     

    Where it comes to "WoW-Clone" specifically. I tend to think it is derogative or dismissive when I see it. But, if I see "WoW-esc" And, especially if it's put as "looks WoW-esc" or "plays WoW-esc". It doesn't seem so quite as much. Where "WoW-Clone" might express that the game is being viewed as directly based of WoW, "WoW-esc" seems to me to be saying that the game doesn't ignore WoW or it's winning factors. And, tries to emulate parts of that while still striving to do it's own thing. Also, when you relate one aspect of a game as WoW-esc, like it's graphical fidelity and visual aesthetics along side common themes. Or just it's combat, or just the crafting. Then all it is doing, is giving a simple example that a lot of people should be able to understand. It is still a little lazy, because rather then actually describing things your relying on something being common knowledge that may not be for half the people reading.

    image

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Helleri

    It's like "Thanks Obama"...Your going to see it weather it is deserved or not. Because, it's that big.

     

    Where it comes to "WoW-Clone" specifically. I tend to think it is derogative or dismissive when I see it. But, if I see "WoW-esc" And, especially if it's put as "looks WoW-esc" or "plays WoW-esc". It doesn't seem so quite as much. Where "WoW-Clone" might express that the game is being viewed as directly based of WoW, "WoW-esc" seems to me to be saying that the game doesn't ignore WoW or it's winning factors. And, tries to emulate parts of that while still striving to do it's own thing. Also, when you relate one aspect of a game as WoW-esc, like it's graphical fidelity and visual aesthetics along side common themes. Or just it's combat, or just the crafting. Then all it is doing, is giving a simple example that a lot of people should be able to understand. It is still a little lazy, because rather then actually describing things your relying on something being common knowledge that may not be for half the people reading.

    I agree. There are clones, such as Perpetuum (clone of Eve Online), but when people use the term WoW clone, it is usually either derogative or dismissive. It is a brand name for "the games I don't like". The games themselves don't need to have any resemblance to WoW.

    But there's nothing wrong describing a game through an example of which you both are familiar with. It is only lazy if you simply say "WoW-esque", but don't explain the differences.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,966Member Uncommon

    I gave up using the term WOW-clone because of the negative connotation it gives people, but still feel that most modern MMOs can really all be grouped into a category I call standard theme park MMO. (won't even use the term MMORPG anymore, these just aren't worlds in most cases)

    They all share a high percentage of features, frequently copying the same UI that WOW standardized, and frequently discard many game mechanics that some former titles employed, almost universally.

    My first MMORPGs included L1, L2, Shadowbane and DAOC. Based on that I thought that all MMORPG's were designed so that at end game (and frequently before) territory control, PVP, and sieging of some sort.

    WOW came as a real surprise to me (being I never played EQ1) in it's design, and I won't say it was terrible, played it for 1.75 years, but came to realize that a raid centric, gear grind was not the sort of end game I was looking for.

    Unfortunately over the years, most AAA titles (and many smaller ones)  have followed the WOW design path, hence the term WOW clone comes to mind.  Some games I played literally felt like I was playing the same game, and I quickly lost interest.

    Meanwhile, little progression has occurred along the designs that I favored, and while I never played them, I understand UO, AC1, SWG and some others had their own unique flair that players would have loved seem evolve and be expanded on, but for financial reasons this largely hasn't happened.

    As others have posted, for many even WOW is a former shell of what made it fun back in the Vanilla days, I did come back for a month when Cata launched and could not believe how different it was, and how it made the game even more unenjoyable for me.

    So at the end of the day when someone uses the term WOW clone, while they may be disparaging the game, I do get a pretty good idea of the sort of game play mechanics the new game employs and know to steer clear.  It certainly won't be designed much like a game I would prefer to play.

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • HelleriHelleri Felton, CAPosts: 927Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Helleri

    It's like "Thanks Obama"...Your going to see it weather it is deserved or not. Because, it's that big.

     

    Where it comes to "WoW-Clone" specifically. I tend to think it is derogative or dismissive when I see it. But, if I see "WoW-esc" And, especially if it's put as "looks WoW-esc" or "plays WoW-esc". It doesn't seem so quite as much. Where "WoW-Clone" might express that the game is being viewed as directly based of WoW, "WoW-esc" seems to me to be saying that the game doesn't ignore WoW or it's winning factors. And, tries to emulate parts of that while still striving to do it's own thing. Also, when you relate one aspect of a game as WoW-esc, like it's graphical fidelity and visual aesthetics along side common themes. Or just it's combat, or just the crafting. Then all it is doing, is giving a simple example that a lot of people should be able to understand. It is still a little lazy, because rather then actually describing things your relying on something being common knowledge that may not be for half the people reading.

    I agree. There are clones, such as Perpetuum (clone of Eve Online), but when people use the term WoW clone, it is usually either derogative or dismissive. It is a brand name for "the games I don't like". The games themselves don't need to have any resemblance to WoW.

    But there's nothing wrong describing a game through an example of which you both are familiar with. It is only lazy if you simply say "WoW-esque", but don't explain the differences.

    omfg...it's esque? Damn, how many years have I been saying esc? *sigh* I blame google for not correcting it previous to this (blaming google is easy these days).

    image

  • JJ82JJ82 Chicago, ILPosts: 1,175Member Common
    Originally posted by LittleBoot

    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).  First level 60 was just under 3 days after release. Now compare that to say....EQ1 which took around 2 months or, Asherson Call 1 which took around 4 months. Games are WoW clones because of how WoW made it so damn easy.
    • A sense of being thrown into a world and finding your way. That is perspective, someone could have felt that about Atlantica Online which had a generic world.
    • An open world. A partly open world. Most zones had barriers of some form and the world was split in two. This also has nothing to do with a game being a WoW clone or not as its not a WoW innovation.
    • Multiple levelling paths. Correct but has nothing to do with WoW clone or not as its not a WoW innovation.
    • A need to earn/ save money for what would now be considered 'givens' (skills/ mounts etc) Has nothing to do with a game being a WoW clone or not, it is not a WoW innovation.
    • A sense of achievement through hard graft particularly with regard to tradeskills etc. Not a WoW innovation.
    • Limited fast travel. In Asherons Call you had to go to a place FIRST and cast a spell to tie yourself to that place, and you could only do that to two locations, thus WoW had a TON of fast travel.
    • Limited fast grouping options. Most games before WoW had NO 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. And this again is not a WoW innovation and has nothing to do with the point you are trying to make.
    • The luck of being many people's first mmo experience. Which means what when it comes to a game being a clone or not?!?
    • Exploration including relatively obscure quests/ vendors etc. Are you going to eventually bring a point that points to games coming out after WoW not taking from the game?
    • spontaneous open world pvp Not a WoW innovation and thus another pointless thing to list.
    • I am sure there are many more...that have nothing to do with what you are attempting to prove.

    You started out good, then kinda got lost.

    WoW took most of its ideas from previous games and put it all together, creating WoW and slowly adding some new ideas. Games after WoW took WoW and added next to nothing....thus making them WoW clones, because before WoW, the genre was filled with many games that were vastly different from each other.

    "People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

    They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
    http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

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