Why I don’t want a WoW killer

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Role Playing Games, Star Wars The Old Republic, Video Games
Tags: , , , ,

Anyone who is into MMORPG’s or video games in general should know about Star Wars the Old Republic, by Bioware. Many people have said that Bioware’s latest game will be a. WoW killer. While this is great from Bioware’s perspective, I sincerely hope that SWTOR doesn’t kill WoW.

Now, this may seem like a strange opinion, but here me out. In my opinion, WoW was best in its first iteration, before any of the expansions came out. Vanilla WoW was one of my best gaming experiences ever, and i’m sure this is true for many others. However, over the years the game play has gotten stale (even as the player base grew). So what happened?

Well, I attribute the above to WoW’s success. More accurately, as WoW got more popular it got worse. To further explain, each subsequent expansion (and even each subsequent patch) overall degraded the game play. Things that were once challenging had ceased to become a challenge, but rather a repetitive grind to chase the proverbial carrot on a stick, and new content was of similar, or the same caliber. This is of course because as WoW’s audience grew, Blizzard decided to continue making the game easier to play. At a certain point, Blizzard had to pick between the novice players, who wanted some sort of instant gratification or else they would quit, and the hard core players. Unfortunately, as far as numbers go, the novice members were Blizzards bread and butter, and the rest is history.

Think about it. WoW’s unprecedented success come from the fact that WoW is very easy for a casual or new player to get into. The term welfare epics, which has been thrown around the WoW community, comes to mind as an example of this. This dumbing down of the game to appeal to casuals and noobs is exactly what I don’t want to happen to SWTOR. I’m not saying that SWTOR shouldn’t Be easy for noobs or casuals to get into, but they shouldn’t make the game essentially give out gear for free, or dumb down end game fights. Wow used to be like a teens novel. Easy to read but had some depth and provided rewards for those willing to read through all the way. Now it’s like a children’s picture book, providing cheap and easy gratification without the need to read more than a few words.

Besides being dumbed down, I also don’t want to see world PVP become nonexistent like it became in WoW. Unfortunately, world PVP started its slow death once battlegrounds were implemented. The same kind of players who want instant gratification, rather than a greater reward after longer time spent, are the ones who made battlegrounds so popular, and as a result world PVP became non existent. Unfortunately Blizzard did nothing to make world PVP worthwhile until it was much too late. Now, I am not saying Battlegrounds are bad. In fact Battlegrounds were a whole lot of fun, and are a great way to get some quick PVP in, especially during non peak hours when world PVP is low. However, what I hope Bioware will do that Blizzard did not until too late is add incentive for both styles of play. And I don’t mean the same incentive (IE both grant you honor) because battleground like PVP will always win out in a race to grind honor.

Now you may be thinking, just because SWTOR is a WoW killer doesn’t mean that Bioware will have to dumb down their game, or appeal solely to casual players. However, if you think about it, they kind of will. In order to attract the WoW players, who are so used to the instant gratification, Bioware will have to either provide a game so compelling, that the WoW players completely forget about the WoW style of MMO, or play WoW’s game (which as evident by recently released MMORPG’s like Rift, you can’t beat WoW at the WoW game). Now, whether or not the game is compelling enough to kill WoW is another story, and if it becomes a WoW killer in that sense, I will be ok with that. However, given that the game has yet to be released, only time will tell. My only hope is, regardless of how compelling WoW fans find SWTOR, I hope SWTOR stays SWTOR.

Comments
  1. Auntie Dee says:

    I just looked at the first article something about being a WoW killer and I have to ask who is the audience? If it is solely high tech people the I’m certainly not the one to evaluate this article. But if your desire is to reach a broader audience than the first thing you must do is to assume that your audience is clueless. One of greatest pet peeves about technical writers as they always begin an explanation at step 3. For people like me you have to start the instruction with first put the plug in the socket and go from there. I don’t know what WoW stands for. I don’t know what swotr means. I think the RPGS in MMORPGS stands for role playing games but I’m clueless about the rest. 

    Also in general when you write a critique you must offer a reason for your opinions. In other words you can’t simply say that as “WoW got more popular it got worse.” you can say “As WoW increased it’s popularity subsequent iterations of the game lowered the bar. Unfortunately, while a less challenging format makes it easier to expand participation among novice and casual players, who might give up on the game quickly if they aren’t instantly rewarded with success, it makes the game boring to diehard gamers. It becomes a matter of short term expansion of market share versus a loyal fan base anticipating innovations.” that’s me taking a stab at what I think you’re getting at. You have to explain acronyms the first time you use them and stay away from industry jargon i.e. noobs. Of course if the only people that will be reading these articles have the same level of knowledge as you than all but giving specific reasons for your opinions is a moot point. 

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