Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pumpkins and Word Vomit.. the usual

Hey Gang!

So I've been going back and listening to some of the old Twistednether blogcasts. I wanted to listen to some of the older interviews and see what changes and topics were hot over a year ago. It's truly a flash back for people who've been playing the game for some time. Not sure if you are like me, but I like to try and answer some of the questions that are asked during the podcast.

It really got me thinking about a few things.

One question that the Twisted nether folks always ask is, "What is your favorite part of the game?" Most people usually answer with one or two separate aspects (pvp, twinking, AH, leveling, Raiding, etc.) I understand that not everyone likes everything about the World of Warcraft but my "favorite" parts of the game sure do fluctuate. One week, I only want to do Raiding with my friends. Everything else seems boring to me. Another week, I'll feel the urge to make some gold so I hit up the AH. Each week, hell, each day could bring something new & exciting for me to enjoy.

I've enjoyed the leveling grind which is why I roll alts. I've experimented with twinking a shaman and it is really fun, even though I completely suck at it. I've had the urge to just do something on my own away from others so I do something in outlands that I didn't get a chance to see before.

I never have a chance to be bored in this game.

Even when I'm unable to play WoW, I still have a chance to learn about it and join in with the community of people who share my passion for the game (even from work shhhhh). What other game has such a thing?

So here's the thing, today, we have this game that has endless side tasks and immersive lore to keep any ADD human being busy for years (which is an incredible Feat of Strength on its own I might add). When did it start to be like this?

I still know many people who played from Alpha testing but I still can't fathom how this game evolved. I've been playing since May of '08 and I feel that the game is almost nothing like it used to be. What kept those Alpha & Beta players here for so long? Has Blizzard just been so perfect with adding new content and sprouting the community in such a way that it's impossible not to love it?

I doubt it really. Blizzard is fallible like every other game maker but sometimes things just seem to work out for them. I believe that it's both Talent & Luck that allowed this game to flourish into what it is today.

Now, let’s talking about "Wow Killers." Every time a decently advertised MMO hits the market, everyone speaks of how it's going to bring WoW to its knees.

Every time this new and "improved" MMO starts off, people leave WoW to try out the new features and see if it fulfills all of their dreams that Blizzard "blatantly" ignored for so long. They roll a new toon and have high hopes. A few months pass by and the majority of people start to drop off complaining that it isn't everything they wished for and quit the game. Most of the time, come back to WoW or they even find that neither of the games intrigue them anymore quitting all together.

Why do these new games fail in comparison to WoW? Is WoW just that much better? Is there nothing that could take over the monster that is Blizzard?

Obviously, this is highly discussed topic that many have pondered for centuries. Even Scholars have debated over who would be the next WoW killer.

My understanding is that it won’t be a new MMO that will kill WoW, it will be Blizzard and WoW itself that does it. Commit suicide I guess. I hope it's Samurai Style because that's pretty cool.

Why? Because of people like me of course. People who change their mind about thirty million times on what they actually enjoy doing in the game. If you started off playing a game for the pvp aspect of it, and the pvp was really good in your game, you would be happy to stay. What if you decide that you want to try something new? Well, you're sorta screwed if that's all that's offered. WoW has been able to implement so many different paths for players like me to keep us interested even when new things aren't really coming out fast enough. Did WoW start off like this? No. It did have crafting, it did have leveling, pvp, end-game raiding, etc. but they didn't have the stuff that we know now. Blizzard was given time to bloom without much interruption.

Here's an analogy that I feel best describes what we're seeing now:

Imagine an empty garden. Let’s say this garden is the gaming market for MMOs. Blizzard came in, tilled the land, fertilized it, and planted a pumpkin seed. The seed was largely undisturbed with the occasional seed planted and forgotten. This seed grew into a very large pumpkin over the past 5 years. It has dominated the patch and over shadowed anything that was new & needed sun. People would observe the patch and see the cute little saplings next to the huge mature pumpkin and unfairly compare them.

What these games suffer from is that they are new. They have few options for people like me who enjoy dipping our feet into fresh waters. When Blizzard launched its new MMO, there was nothing on the market that could even remotely compete with it. If you liked MMOs, you had one option. Today, you have a multitude of options, Warhammer Online, Eve, Aion, the super villain one can't remember the name..., and some random others that you can enjoy.

Where this all started from was me being really unhappy with Aion as of late. I'm just not feeling the urge to log in. There is no draw for me there but why? It's a good game and really reminds me of my very first MMO, Final Fantasy XI. I love anime and I love Asian art and culture. Aion is such a beautiful and intriguing game. I even believe that the PvP aspect is hands down better than it is in WoW. The Abyss is like a large populated Wintergrasp where there are quests to do and NPCs to kill but a random group of Elyos could gank your ass so quick it would make your head spin. They've balanced classes around pvp not pve like WoW. Each class has abilities to dominate others or escape if it gets heated. Players skill is rewarded rather than leet purps (gear does help a bunch though).

Then it hit me like a sack of potatoes, THE COMMUNITY! *facepalm* That's what WoW has that no new game could EVER have. We have blogs who blog about information and blogs who blog about blogs. WoW resources are what make this game so awesome! We have a massive group of people in all walks of life that share our passions for this game like nothing before. Yeah Blizzard could nerf your class to all hell but you'll keep coming back because of the people!

Wow... this post was a whole lotta word vomit.

Note: So, after I posted this, Fulguralis emailed me and pointed out that BBB has discussed this EXACT SAME TOPIC *facepalm* Apparently great minds think a like :) His is a really great read and I suggest if this topic is of any interest to you, head over there and check it out.

<3 Fuu


  1. What's my favorite thing in game?

    "I never have a chance to be bored in this game."

    Nailed it, right there. There is rarely a day goes by that I don't have something I want to do.

    Though I avoid PvP.

    It's funny, hearing "WoW Killer" bandied about every now and then. Back when BLizz announced WoW, I remember thinking (and probably reading, but I'm too lazy to find it), "everybody's getting ont he me-too wagon and trying to out-EQ EQ." I wonder who it'll be, next decade?

  2. @ Grimmtooth

    I actually dont want an MMO to kill WoW personally but I do want an MMO to compete with them. This will cause blizzard to keep up with the times and not slack because of their strong Foothold.

    I don't believe that they are actually doing this but they often do take "ideas" from other MMOs and implement them ingame.

    Still waiting for player housing though ;)

  3. That's the same thing for me with Aion. There are a lot of things I love about it, and most of the things I dislike are aspects that I feel just need time to be repaired or improved. And the biggest one is lack of a real community. I mean, it's still new to English speaking audiences, so of course that's going to be a huge contributing factor. But it's hard to even get inspired to start a blog about Aion when the community is still so small.

    I think it will improve with time. I'm going to go tweet at some Aion employees now...