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  1. #101
    I wouldn't call it "devaluing" so much as "critically evaluating the pros and cons." In fact, Dev's often value WoW too much (hence all the "WoW clones" that have popped up in the past 4+ years). If you think World of Warcraft's prime was anytime after Burning Crusade you are sadly mistaken and not looking at the big picture. I was never a supporter of the Arena system or a fan of the addition of Resilience. In fact, that is why I stopped PvPing for the majority of the Burning Crusade expansion (well, that and the god-awful class and team imbalances in Arena) despite grinding out Rank 12 under the original system Pre-2.0. Arena was the only way to get the best PvP gear; why should I be forced into Arena, where in some cases entire classes were barely viable in any sort of team composition, to get the gear I want when there were 4 Battlegrounds that still remained in the game. Furthermore, Resilience (Valor in Rift) ruined PvP by reducing it to a competition of "who can take the most time off of real life to get ahead of the curve, and then faceroll to victory because other players do a significantly less damage to me than I do to them."

    While I have always agreed that players who put in significantly more time than other players should see rewards at an appropriately quicker pace, letting those rewards severely affect game balancing at any level of play should have been completely unacceptable. I'm going to get so much flak for this next sentence but here it goes anyway. PvP at the end of Vanilla WoW was the most balanced it has ever and will ever be. Bomb = dropped. It is sad but true, because while it was very easy to kill someone in a matter of seconds, every class could do it equally well, and do it equally well in both the Rank 14 gear (best PvP gear) or in the Naxx 40 gear (best PvE gear). Hunters had Scatter/Trap --> Aimed Shot, Warriors had Mortal Strike + Sword Spec ---> Hamstring spam. Mages had POM Pyro, Warlocks had a seemingly unbreakable combination of Fear and Death Coil chains while DoTs and Shadowbolts dropped you dead. I could go on, but I think the point has been made.

    PvE gear granted you better stats (more hit and damage stats) but it lacked in granting you HP, which honestly made all the difference in most fights. As unbalanced as it seems, it was a flip of a coin as to who crit more abilities, and if those critical hits were on the right abilities. Using recent 40 man raid gear gave you the extra damage to overcome the disadvantage of you having comparably little health to someone in PvP gear. Using the Rank 14 gear granted you slightly more critical hit and a very sizable boost to your HP pool to overcome the disadvantage of doing less damage per attack/spell than those using the Naxx/AQ40 raid gear. So, it truly was a flip a coin, but last I checked a coin flip is still a 50/50 (even/fair) chance. I quit World of Warcraft completely after Wrath of the Lich King so my comments on Cataclysm are limited in PvP regards, but I remember seeing a thread that asked everyone's opinion on the top 5 or so overpowered abilities in Arena. Everybody's #1 was Smoke Bomb, and then the other 4 we primarily the same Rogue and Mage abilities if memory serves right. Giving so much powerful utility to so few classes is undeniably one of the most idiotic things that the game has ever done. When the outcome of an encounter is decided before the match has even begun, be it gear or class, it fails to maintain any "pros" and as such should be devalued or at minimum listed as a "con".

    Furthermore, the quality of content has been unstable at best, there were 3 fights in all of Wrath of the Lich King that in my opinion were even remotely near the level of half the bosses in Naxx 40 and Sunwell Plateau. Yogg-Saron 0 Light, Trial of the Grand Crusader Anub'Arak, and Heroic Lich King. Sure, other bosses were interesting and had some redeeming qualities, but these were the only ones that seemed to retain the quality of the earlier raids. When the player interaction in an MMO has been degraded to a point where you hit a button and get automatically put into a severely toned down and nerfed raid encounter that is 100% doable by pounding your head on the keyboard, what is the purpose of it remaining an MMO? There is none, not when everyone has the mentality of "Hey I pay for and log on the game, where's my reward?" So this too, is a one of those "cons" and general devalued which a new developer would not try to imitate. After all, why bother making an MMO if it's basically a glorified single player game; right, because you could not get away with charging $15 a month for a single player game, and since it is 100% about turning profits now, why bother keeping quality of content and frequency of player-player interaction anything above the bare minimum of general acceptability. And I do say general acceptability because it is not acceptable by anyone that is sensible and looking in from the outside.


    So, what were the main points a reader should have gotten out of this essay? Lets summarize:
    • it is not so much devaluing WoW as it is critically thinking and evaluating the pros and cons on the larger scope of things
    • gamers love the "eSport", but when the eSport is turned into a gear grind and comp/counter-comp, where having X amount of gear allows even mediocre players with Y team composition to ride those 2 factors to victory lane, it is not competitive; at least not as a "sport" is typically defined
    • when the mentality and difficulty of the game shifts from that of needing community and player interaction to be successful, to being about oneself and doing activities in the game with minimal social interaction while still being able to remain successful in said game, it is no longer an MMO, but a glorified single player game
    • when the game is governed solely by the question "How much money can I make/sucker people into paying off this idea," its way of doing things no longer has merit; that is not to say some things are not good or even great ideas, but it should first and foremost be about delivering the best experience possible


    So what did the Guild Wars 2 devs do when they were critically evaluating other MMOs pros and cons?

    They said, "Well, eSport gaming seems to be popular, so lets give them 5v5 objective based PvP; but, we don't believe gear should matter because it is no longer a battle of strategy and skill, but a battle of who nerds out in their mother's basement longer"

    They said, "Leveling the most hated process in MMOs, because it is immensely stagnant, uninteresting, and involves doing the same archetype of quests, and it is required to reach max level before end-game can start. Lets take out the quest hubs, add NPCs that actively try to take over outposts or camps and make local dynamic events out of them, and let exploration of the world around you be as beneficial and rewarding as grinding NPC kills.

    They said, "A lot of games have bland, non-intuitive UIs and and give players a lot of skills early on and that hurts the ease of access for new gamers to the genre. Lets allow a little customization, but lets make it so intuitive, simple to understand, and intelligently designed that you won't want to change a lot, if anything. Furthermore, lets not make the game about quantity of the skills, but the quality of the skill based on the situation; by gradually introducing new skills, weapons swapping, and utility/elite skills, it should ease the pain of trying to grasp everything at once right off the bat."

    They said, "A lot of old-school gamers seemed to like world PvP, but most games fail to implement it well, if at all. It turns into either a gank fest during questing, or kill trading to complete dailies in the dedicated zones. Lets dedicated large worlds to solely this purpose, but make it resemble an ever changing war scenario. Supply lines that allow for fortress and tower upgrades, siege equipment for strategic anti-army, and siege attacks on fortified positions, and that add a different dynamic promoting both small and large group PvP, with the possibility of some epic sized faction battles that constantly vie for control of a neutral world.


    They took a lot of the things that themselves and other people liked about a lot of different MMOs and said, "Lets take these pros, and make them 'pro-er'" The stuff that people didn't like, or they themselves thought were unacceptable, they either changed them to model their views, or left them out entirely during design. So no, I don't think Devs "devalue" WoW at all, in fact most idolize it and over-value it and see a WoW clone as the only way to make a successful (successful meaning raking in piles upon piles of money) is to give the people what they already know and (somehow) still love, more WoW. When in truth, if you make a badass game to begin with, it doesn't matter what game(s) it does or doesn't copy, word will spread and people will try it, and that's all you can do with an up-and-coming MMO, is draw people to it, and make sure the stuff that is there makes them stay.

    Innovation will be what forces companies to stop developing and releasing the same old pile of shit with a new cover to disguise it. And it is the only way the genre will move forward as a whole. I'm just glad a company finally had the balls to go do it, and it looks like it will pay off greatly. Good show ArenaNet, good show.

  2. #102
    Stood in the Fire mjolnir1122's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papaj View Post
    I wouldn't call it "devaluing" so much as "critically evaluating the pros and cons." In fact, Dev's often value WoW too much (hence all the "WoW clones" that have popped up in the past 4+ years). If you think World of Warcraft's prime was anytime after Burning Crusade you are sadly mistaken and not looking at the big picture. I was never a supporter of the Arena system or a fan of the addition of Resilience. In fact, that is why I stopped PvPing for the majority of the Burning Crusade expansion (well, that and the god-awful class and team imbalances in Arena) despite grinding out Rank 12 under the original system Pre-2.0. Arena was the only way to get the best PvP gear; why should I be forced into Arena, where in some cases entire classes were barely viable in any sort of team composition, to get the gear I want when there were 4 Battlegrounds that still remained in the game. Furthermore, Resilience (Valor in Rift) ruined PvP by reducing it to a competition of "who can take the most time off of real life to get ahead of the curve, and then faceroll to victory because other players do a significantly less damage to me than I do to them."

    While I have always agreed that players who put in significantly more time than other players should see rewards at an appropriately quicker pace, letting those rewards severely affect game balancing at any level of play should have been completely unacceptable. I'm going to get so much flak for this next sentence but here it goes anyway. PvP at the end of Vanilla WoW was the most balanced it has ever and will ever be. Bomb = dropped. It is sad but true, because while it was very easy to kill someone in a matter of seconds, every class could do it equally well, and do it equally well in both the Rank 14 gear (best PvP gear) or in the Naxx 40 gear (best PvE gear). Hunters had Scatter/Trap --> Aimed Shot, Warriors had Mortal Strike + Sword Spec ---> Hamstring spam. Mages had POM Pyro, Warlocks had a seemingly unbreakable combination of Fear and Death Coil chains while DoTs and Shadowbolts dropped you dead. I could go on, but I think the point has been made.

    PvE gear granted you better stats (more hit and damage stats) but it lacked in granting you HP, which honestly made all the difference in most fights. As unbalanced as it seems, it was a flip of a coin as to who crit more abilities, and if those critical hits were on the right abilities. Using recent 40 man raid gear gave you the extra damage to overcome the disadvantage of you having comparably little health to someone in PvP gear. Using the Rank 14 gear granted you slightly more critical hit and a very sizable boost to your HP pool to overcome the disadvantage of doing less damage per attack/spell than those using the Naxx/AQ40 raid gear. So, it truly was a flip a coin, but last I checked a coin flip is still a 50/50 (even/fair) chance. I quit World of Warcraft completely after Wrath of the Lich King so my comments on Cataclysm are limited in PvP regards, but I remember seeing a thread that asked everyone's opinion on the top 5 or so overpowered abilities in Arena. Everybody's #1 was Smoke Bomb, and then the other 4 we primarily the same Rogue and Mage abilities if memory serves right. Giving so much powerful utility to so few classes is undeniably one of the most idiotic things that the game has ever done. When the outcome of an encounter is decided before the match has even begun, be it gear or class, it fails to maintain any "pros" and as such should be devalued or at minimum listed as a "con".

    Furthermore, the quality of content has been unstable at best, there were 3 fights in all of Wrath of the Lich King that in my opinion were even remotely near the level of half the bosses in Naxx 40 and Sunwell Plateau. Yogg-Saron 0 Light, Trial of the Grand Crusader Anub'Arak, and Heroic Lich King. Sure, other bosses were interesting and had some redeeming qualities, but these were the only ones that seemed to retain the quality of the earlier raids. When the player interaction in an MMO has been degraded to a point where you hit a button and get automatically put into a severely toned down and nerfed raid encounter that is 100% doable by pounding your head on the keyboard, what is the purpose of it remaining an MMO? There is none, not when everyone has the mentality of "Hey I pay for and log on the game, where's my reward?" So this too, is a one of those "cons" and general devalued which a new developer would not try to imitate. After all, why bother making an MMO if it's basically a glorified single player game; right, because you could not get away with charging $15 a month for a single player game, and since it is 100% about turning profits now, why bother keeping quality of content and frequency of player-player interaction anything above the bare minimum of general acceptability. And I do say general acceptability because it is not acceptable by anyone that is sensible and looking in from the outside.
    While I do agree with you on certain things, and I'm not certain if this is your stance or not, but you come off very much like one of those elitist hardcore players.

    Yes, TBC was absolutely the golden years of WoW. I was not playing myself at that point, but would spend hours watching my friends (I had to try very hard to not let myself get dragged into something so addictive, although it ended up happening anyway.), so yes, I was there in spirit. Now back then everything was at the very least 10 times harder than it was today. No dungeon finder, crazy difficulty, DKP, and hours, upon weeks, upon months spent trying to advance just a tiny bit.

    To you, this may seem like the good ol' days. But the biggest issue here is that players who couldn't dedicate 3-5 nights out of the week couldn't accomplish a damn thing. If you wanted to progress, you needed to be dedicated beyond all belief. Even if your leg had just got blown off, you didn't want to lose your raid spot. The hospital could wait. This means that any players who want to actually sit and enjoy the other facets of the game, or want to be able to experience end game content just once, couldn't.

    Making the game easier has had it's consequences (trolls, anti-social behavior in groups, etc.), the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages. First off, it's a game. Why should ANYBODY be penalized in a game due to the time constraints? I do admit, those who put in more time and effort should be rewarded much higher than they are now, and they should NOT be looked at on the same level as those who put minimal effort or time in. However, again, that doesn't mean that more casual players should be barred from doing everything except questing.

    Another thing I noticed in your post is that you focus mainly on PvP. You spent 3 large paragraphs focused almost exclusively on PvP. How can you judge a game in it's entirety on basically only 2 facets of the game, PvP and raiding? There is FAR more to WoW than just those 2 things. In fact, the PvP Elitists and Elitist Raiders are some of the most negative aspects in the game. Majority of them (and I'm not directing this at you before I go any further) just sit around in Stormwind or Orgimmar all day bitching about how boring the game is while they spam trade for raids or queue up for their RBGs. Maybe those players should actually leave the confines of major cities and do something else like collecting mounts or pets, going back and revisiting old zones, leveling alts, actually reading the quest text, or one of the other various things that you can do in-game. It's the same thing for those who were bitching about patch 4.3 sucking 2 weeks after launch because they cleared LFR or 8/8 Normal. How can they judge an entire game if they themselves only experience 5-10% of the actual in-game content? That's like going to see a movie and saying the entire movie sucked after sitting through 1 trailer.

    Overall, I'm just sick and tired of hearing about them good ol' days. We all pay the same subscription every single month. If I work full time and you live in your parent's basement with no job, why shouldn't I be able to experience the same content as you just because I can't afford to dedicate my life to a game?

    Now as to your other comments about the overvaluing of wow, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Enough is enough. I play MMO's for several reasons, the main reasons being storyline, genre, features of the game, and how much enjoyable content I can get from it. I do play WoW, and I love it. However, I don't want to play another MMO that is just a carbon copy of WoW with some tweaks here and there. For example, Rift actually has an amazing storyline and a very unique art style to it. However, when playing it, all it feels like is a moderately tweaked WoW by devs who were trying way too hard (with the planar attunment and talents and such.). It's very much all over the place, with quests taking you literally back and forth across entire zones, so much so that you spend more time running back and forth than anything else. The rifts themselves and other world events are a breathe of fresh air, and the rate at which they put out good, hearty content is astounding. But aside from those few things, every thing else is the same old, same old.

    Then you have MMO's like Conan. The game, and it's systems are worlds apart from WoW. However, the game has been, and is STILL broken. It seems like Funcom put so much effort into creating this amazing game, but then once it was finished left it alone. Had they fixed what they needed to fix and marketed to a larger audience, the game could have been extremely successful. Sadly, it's now F2P.

    The only MMO in recent memory that stand out in my mind as an original, well polished MMO is Lord of the Rings Online. First off, they based the game off the books, not the movie, which although the movies were amazing, they really capture the essence of the Lord of the Rings world. Secondly, the gameplay is spectacular. In order to gain "talents", you have to accomplish certain deeds. Nothing is handed to you in that game. You literally have to work hard for your money, as money is nowhere near as plentiful as in WoW. Overall, the game itself is a beautiful MMO with a huge map, amazing features, and even though it's not exactly and original story, it's an original game.

    As for Arenanet, good for them. WoW is a great game in and of itself, but it's time to break the cycle and let WoW be WoW, and let new MMO's be new MMO's. NCsoft, who owns Arenanet, has quite a few good MMO's under their belt as well such as City of Heroes and Aion. I personally won't be playing GW2, but I'm glad that there is finally a new MMO that is walking to it's own tune.


    Anyways, enough ranting for me. If I offended you in any way, I apologize, as it was not my intent.

  3. #103
    In its current state WoW has two things ... solid 5 mans and solid raids. Rest of its content targeted at solo play is subpar to these days single player games. And for the leader on MMO market that seems a bit low. Noting more nothing less. It functions as a facebook of MMO games.

    My part in this story has been decided. And I will play it well.

  4. #104
    First off, I very much dislike the word "elitist." It has a negative connotation attached to it which I implies that I look down upon everyone as inferior and unintelligent beings, and that is simply not true. I only look down on those who truly are deserving of the title of "dumb as a rock." People don't call scientists "elitist" for talking about their theories and using cold, hard, facts to prove naysayers wrong, so why do that here? Anyway, enough of my pompous narcissism.

    Maybe I'm off my rocker for saying this, but 12 hours a week is not that much time. (3 nights, 4 hours a night, or 4 nights 3 hours a night) and in fact, that was a small amount of time. My guild progressed, albeit not as fast as guilds like SK-Gaming or Vodka thru Sunwell Plateau just fine. We got M'uru after only his 1st set of nerfs (he got nerfed again, then ye olde 3.0 nerf of christ) and Had Kil'Jaeden into Phase 5 before 3.0 came out, and would have killed him had half our raiders not been going to Blizzcon and refused to raid those nights. Progression was more about how you used your time than how much time you put into it. More time typically meant faster progression, but reasonable progression was also achievable by less-hardcore guilds if they had good heads on their raider's shoulders.

    I will not disagree that everybody should be able to experience the content in the game that is made available because in all honesty they should be allowed to (I will admit, the old-school attunement system to some of the raid dungeons was not done well, but it really showed you who wanted to be there experiencing it), but I also cannot agree that they should be able to successfully complete all the content (this is what Looking For Raid has turned the game into). If they wish to experience it, sure, I was fine with that when I still played. But they should not be handed everything in the game because they can only play 10 hours a week. The game wasn't too difficult 6 years ago, and it sure as hell is not any more difficult now.

    I used to teach scrub hunters how to gear, what spec they should use, and what dps rotation to do in < 1 hour at least 1-2 times a week back in WotLK. Guess what happened a day later after they had a chance to play around with and get used to it, instant substantial increase to their dps. They went from doing 3k less dps than what they should have been doing for their gear level, to doing 1k less dps than what they should have been doing for their gear level. These guys weren't astrophysicists either, most of them were in high school, and high schoolers in those days and in these were/are dumb as a sack of potatoes. I was in their shoes at one point too. Being bad at a game, especially one as easy as WoW, should never result in being rewarded, especially not with end game raiding gear like it is currently.

    I played Rift for a year and a half (if you include the beta) and Trion did an amazingly job for original lore. Hell, they even did a good job with the raids after Greenscale's Blight and River of Souls (and by good, I mean Naxx 40/Sunwell level good). I have never seen a publisher push out content like they did, but I won't lie, I picked this up immediately after I quit WoW right at the release of Cataclysm. It was something new, even if it was 80% the same shit, it felt new, refreshing, and had a few things WoW didn't so I stuck with it. If it wasn't for Guild Wars 2, my guild would be getting back together for the new Storm Legion expansion when it comes out, but alas, that will not happen so I fret no more.

    I must disagree with you about your comment regarding their being more to WoW than raiding and PvP. I honestly can't count mount and mini-pet collecting as a major content aspect of the game, or even a minor one for that matter. Those were things for masochists to do in their free time because the only other things to do were to raid or to PvP. The problem with revisiting old zones and reading quest text is that they offered nothing. Being level 80 and revisiting a zone served no purpose as there was nothing to do in those zones except farm raid mats. They had no dynamic events, they weren't constantly changing, and they offered no beneficial rewards to you or your friends you were probably helping power level. Thus, you have a bunch of people with nothing better to do sitting in major cities talking smack in Trade or General chat, and using the game as a glorified instant messaging system until raid time/queue pops.

    Perhaps the reason for all of that lack of content I "didn't see" is because my total playtime over the 5.5 years I played averaged out to about 7 hours of playtime a day, yes, I effectively spent almost 30% of my life during those 5.5 years sitting on WoW. By the end of WotLK, I had a Hunter in full ICC 25 heroic gear w/ both heroic Lich King 25 weapons, a DK with full ICC 25 heroic tanking gear, full ICC 25 normal dps gear w/ heroic off-set items and half a Shadowmourne, and a Priest and Warlock with 4pc ICC 25 normal tier gear and ICC weapons. So I did plenty of "leveling" alts. If memory serves correctly I had a 9 month span where I was raiding at least 40 hours a week. And that was all done while maintaining a 4.0 average in a Nuclear Engineering program. Feel free to scream "elitist" now, because I will sincerely apologize for being way too good at a game I could teach a chimpanzee to play effectively.

    I can't accurately comment on LotRO or Conan because I have no experience with those (an elitist would've commented anyway, but I know when I'm beat) but I've heard stories about how a lot of games were promising until the devs just stopped doing things. Although I will comment that FunCom has a terrible track record as far as games go. It is unfortunate you and so many others will pass up on GW2, I have no doubts in my mind that it will last a long, long time, but even should it not, I would bet my left nut that it will be on the minds of any developer seeking to make an MMO over the next 5-10 years.

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