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  1. #1

    What is all this talk of innovation in sequels?

    I don't get it. I'm desperately trying to, but I don't.

    Everywhere I see threads talking about how Blizzard can't be innovative, every expansion, sequel, etc is just more of the same. I don't get this.

    SC1 was a great RTS, with a good story. SC2 was a great RTS, with a good story. They threw in a bunch of new things, new units, upgrade features, and kept some old neat things, like missions where the objectives changed based on your decision. But it was still StarCraft, and still an RTS. Are people saying it shouldn't have been?

    Same with Diablo. Diablo 3 comes out, and there's all this talk of how it doesn't innovate. It's still a top-down, hack-n-slashy dungeon-crawler designed around getting loot. Which is EXACTLY what I would have expected the CONTINUATION of a series of top-down hack-n-slashy dungeon-crawlers designed around getting loot to be.

    I'm trying to think of a game that had a sequel that was wholly innovative. The Mario games, which differ greatly in how each of them work, are definitely innovative, however, they are not a series. Each game is pretty much independent of any previous game. So that doesn't count. Same with Zelda.

    I'm thinking of other games that actually had true SEQUELS that were innovative, that didn't just add new things without changing everything drastically. And I'm coming up dry.

    I don't know, when I play a sequel, I expect it to play more or less like the original, but with old issues addressed, and some new stuff added in. Is that bad? Someone help me out here, and help me think of a sequel to a game that was truly innovative.
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  2. #2
    Over 9000! Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    Their business model is the most innovative in gaming IMO

  3. #3
    Meaning what, exactly? Come on, people, I expected more of a discussion than this.
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  4. #4
    Over 9000! Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    Meaning online only is actually really smart and forward thinking for Blizzard in a business sense. As a consumer I hate it but from a business stand point it makes total sense. They've taken Control from the user and placed it squarely in their hands.

  5. #5
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    As long as you never claim their partner company to be innovative, I'll agree with your post.

    (lol Activision being innovative with all their garbage CoD sequels)

    PS: Bomberman series.

    ---------- Post added 2012-05-21 at 01:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Atrahasis View Post
    Meaning online only is actually really smart and forward thinking for Blizzard in a business sense. As a consumer I hate it but from a business stand point it makes total sense. They've taken Control from the user and placed it squarely in their hands.
    I wouldn't call it smart from a business sense, as they ARE losing consumers/customers over it; I have at least 5 friends who didn't buy it because their internet isn't good enough. It's smart from a "no cheating/hacking/Blizz having control" kind of sense, but definitely not a business/financial one.

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon9870 View Post
    As long as you never claim their partner company to be innovative, I'll agree with your post.

    (lol Activision being innovative with all their garbage CoD sequels)

    PS: Bomberman series.

    ---------- Post added 2012-05-21 at 01:21 PM ----------



    I wouldn't call it smart from a business sense, as they ARE losing consumers/customers over it; I have at least 5 friends who didn't buy it because their internet isn't good enough. It's smart from a "no cheating/hacking/Blizz having control" kind of sense, but definitely not a business/financial one.
    Is Bomberman really a series, though? I'll admit, I loved Bomberman, and I did like how they changed their games over time. But is it a series, in the sense that it tells a continuing story? I haven't played many of the later ones (god, how many are there now?).
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon9870 View Post
    I wouldn't call it smart from a business sense, as they ARE losing consumers/customers over it; I have at least 5 friends who didn't buy it because their internet isn't good enough. It's smart from a "no cheating/hacking/Blizz having control" kind of sense, but definitely not a business/financial one.
    It's actually VERY smart from a business standpoint. They now have constant access to all the metrics that they want to pull from the game. They know EVERYTHING you do at all times and can use these metrics to help direct the continued development of the game as well as future games. They will know what the most popular activities are, how long people play for, likely causes of people quitting ect. That's HUGELY important. Far more important than some hipster gamers (myself included) that don't want to buy it because of always on DRM. Those of us abstaining from buying it because of that are FAR outweighed by both the additional sales they have from their WoW popularity as well as the HUGE value of the metrics they are pulling now.

  8. #8
    Damnit all, this thread was derailed by the second post in. *sigh*

    Screw it, I'm going to work. :P
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  9. #9
    Starcraft when it first came out was very innovative, in fact revolutionized RTS's. Diablo did the same with Action RPG clickfests. Their sequels had very little innovation because they were IMO catering to their already rabid online fanbase's of those games who more or less wanted the same games. And no, just some unit upgrades, and prettier graphics is NOT innovative, it leans more towards expansion type of more of the same but with more options. It just seems that Blizzards games for a long time now(not counting WoW or Titan) have been very more of the same than something new and innovative. Its been way too long imo since they did create something new like they did initially with those titles, especially considering how slowly they put out games and how much time they spent on those sequels.

    And lets not kid ourselves, every one of those sequels could have been more interesting if they did add completely new game mechanics or some added depth to them that might be a new trend for the genre, but its almost like their rabid fanbase forces these parameters on them to be so alike the previous incarnations, they don't deviate nearly as much as they should, because they cater to a fault to that same base. Its also so based on them being 'competitive' games they cop out on that being how each gameplay session has variation through RL opponents.

    Either way, i just think its lame making sequels that are so identical to the originals. When it feels like you're playing the same exact game from 10+ years ago i don't really call that improvement or something worth 7+ years in the making to play. that time spent would've been much better creating something new to give people another initial Starcraft, Diablo, etc. type of experience. I mean when i finished SC2 or even Diablo3 now, i'll walk away from both of these much more bored and probably will find their way off my harddrive. where as the original Starcraft and Diablo had been on my harddrive a good 4-5 years after their releases.

    just so beat down with the same game, that they cater too much to their hardcore base that only wants SC1/Diablo over and over again w/ updated graphics, where they're losing the mass market appeal they once had. At least with me, i'm fed up with their sequels that feel exactly like their predecessors to a fault.
    Last edited by Spurmwhale; 2012-05-21 at 05:41 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusherO0 View Post
    It's actually VERY smart from a business standpoint. They now have constant access to all the metrics that they want to pull from the game. They know EVERYTHING you do at all times and can use these metrics to help direct the continued development of the game as well as future games. They will know what the most popular activities are, how long people play for, likely causes of people quitting ect. That's HUGELY important. Far more important than some hipster gamers (myself included) that don't want to buy it because of always on DRM. Those of us abstaining from buying it because of that are FAR outweighed by both the additional sales they have from their WoW popularity as well as the HUGE value of the metrics they are pulling now.
    Control. All about control. It hampers piracy of the game, it helps promote that the RMAH will be a constant revenue stream for them and (I cannot stress this enough) it reinforces the games core strength. Playing with you friends in a seamless fashion. It honestly feels like facebook at times and I don't use that as a pejorative. Some nights I'll have parties of the most random people who have never met each other but all stop by to say what's up. Yea the Online only was a smart business decision. It takes what was ostensibly a single player nerd fest and adds social networking to the mix. I absolutely despise it as a consumer and a long time gamer but I see why they did it.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Spurmwhale View Post
    Starcraft when it first came out was very innovative, in fact revolutionized RTS's. Diablo did the same with Action RPG clickfests. Their sequels had very little innovation because they were IMO catering to their already rabid online fanbase's of those games who more or less wanted the same games. And no, just some unit upgrades, and prettier graphics is NOT innovative, it leans more towards expansion type of more of the same but with more options. It just seems that Blizzards games for a long time now(not counting WoW or Titan) have been very more of the same than something new and innovative. Its been way too long imo since they did create something new like they did initially with those titles, especially considering how slowly they put out games and how much time they spent on those sequels.

    And lets not kid ourselves, every one of those sequels could have been more interesting if they did add completely new game mechanics or some added depth to them that might be a new trend for the genre, but its almost like their rabid fanbase forces these parameters on them to be so alike the previous incarnations, they don't deviate nearly as much as they should, because they cater to a fault to that same base. Its also so based on them being 'competitive' games they cop out on that being how each gameplay session has variation through RL opponents.

    Either way, i just think its lame making sequels that are so identical to the originals. When it feels like you're playing the same exact game from 10+ years ago i don't really call that improvement or something worth 7+ years in the making to play. that time spent would've been much better creating something new to give people another initial Starcraft, Diablo, etc. type of experience.
    Right, exactly, you've made my point. When these games first come out, they are very innovative! But when you continue a series in the same genre, continuing the story, why do people yell so much about the lack of innovation? It's a SEQUEL. I fully expect a sequel to play more or less the same as the original. If I wanted true innovation, I would just pick up another entirely different IP.

    My question is WHY people cry so much about the lack of innovation of a SEQUEL.
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  12. #12
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    Its always been my philosophy that if a game is reliant on the hype of its previous game, it's going to be a large disappointment unless developers make it as "new" of a game as possible (of course there are some exceptions). For the most part, the most successful and critically-acclaimed series have been as such because they've changed things for the better in every new release, excepting of course those that have developed a rather large mainstream following.

    Lack of innovation in a sequel can be a bad thing sometimes, because people don't generally want to play the exact same thing again.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TheWerebison View Post
    Right, exactly, you've made my point. When these games first come out, they are very innovative! But when you continue a series in the same genre, continuing the story, why do people yell so much about the lack of innovation? It's a SEQUEL. I fully expect a sequel to play more or less the same as the original. If I wanted true innovation, I would just pick up another entirely different IP.

    My question is WHY people cry so much about the lack of innovation of a SEQUEL.
    because a sequel can be more innovative than what Blizzards given, which borderline come across as expansions. Take for instance Mass Effect, it changed radically in their sequels to become more action shooter oriented, where as the first felt very RPG slower/blocky. even Assasin's Creeds games have significantly improved on each sequel. Starcraft and Diablo feel a lot more like the original games reskinned than any of those other games i mentioned feel of gameplay differences.

    I just don't want to play the same exact game i played however many years ago, where i swear it feels that way with Blizzards last 2 sequels(SC2/D3), which at this point i see as a let down. and like i said i've come to realize i won't be purchasing anymore of them because of that.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Spurmwhale View Post
    because a sequel can be more innovative than what Blizzards given, which borderline come across as expansions. Take for instance Mass Effect, it changed radically in their sequels to become more action shooter oriented, where as the first felt very RPG slower/blocky. even Assasin's Creeds games have significantly improved on each sequel. Starcraft and Diablo feel a lot more like the original games reskinned than any of those other games i mentioned feel of gameplay differences.

    I just don't want to play the same exact game i played however many years ago, where i swear it feels that way with Blizzards last 2 sequels(SC2/D3), which at this point i see as a let down. and like i said i've come to realize i won't be purchasing anymore of them because of that.
    Hrm, I guess I can see that.

    I dunno, I guess I'm one of those crazy people that actually likes D3, and SC2. More of the same, with a new story, voice acting, characters, skill system, crafting is good for me, I'm loving it so far. Ah well, to each his own, I guess.

    Now I wanna try Mass Effect, too.
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  15. #15
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    Fun thing though, there is little difference (hardly any) between SC1-SC2 and D2-D3... However there is A LOT of difference between WC2 and WC3.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venziir View Post
    Fun thing though, there is little difference (hardly any) between SC1-SC2 and D2-D3... However there is A LOT of difference between WC2 and WC3.
    The important thing to note is that as time goes on they've become less and less innovative. I still feel for instance that sc2 had way more innovations for Blizzard then d3 did when compared to their respective predecessors. It's arguing about margins really but I think if you do a comparison of both series and they predecessors you can make that judgement.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atrahasis View Post
    The important thing to note is that as time goes on they've become less and less innovative. I still feel for instance that sc2 had way more innovations for Blizzard then d3 did when compared to their respective predecessors. It's arguing about margins really but I think if you do a comparison of both series and they predecessors you can make that judgement.
    Probably... I guess. Not quite sure where you see the inovative in SC2 but... Fair nuff.

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  18. #18
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    They have a very successful model across their company.

    Starcraft 2: Single Payment, with Expansion Model. "Spike" income at Expansion launches.

    Diablo 3: Single Payment, with Expansion Model. Gradual & Spike income with Expansion launches & Real Money Auction House.

    World of Warcraft: Single Payment, with Expansion Model. Strong gradual income with Expansion launches, Subscription Fee & Character Services.

    Over-all, they've got a strong amount of gradual income and spike income.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Spurmwhale View Post
    ..

    ...Take for instance Mass Effect, it changed radically in their sequels to become more action shooter oriented, where as the first felt very RPG slower/blocky...
    And there are people who didn't like that. DA2 was much different from DA:O... and a lot of people don't like that. The thing is that you set certain expectations when you say "This is the Nth in the series..." Fans of the series want to dip back into the world of that series and come with some expectations. They don't want something entirely new - if they did, they'd play something else. The new Bond film is out later this year - I would be pissed if it was romantic comedy about Bond and Moneypenny remodeling a flat in London. In a series of books, one doesn't expect a fantasy series to all of a sudden have a volume of spy novel antics.

    If people are whining (If??) about D3 being too familiar well... it's DIABLO. #3. If they don't want to play a Diablo game it's pretty stupid to pick up a game with that title.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venziir View Post
    Probably... I guess. Not quite sure where you see the inovative in SC2 but... Fair nuff.
    It depends what you count as innovation I guess. I think the single player campaign was pretty innovative from a story telling stand point. I loved going through the ship and picking upgrades for units. I felt it really brought the game forward into 2011. Sadly that same spark was missing from d3.

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