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  1. #1

    Why Guild Wars 2 Has the Potential to Re-Shape the MMORPG Market.

    Let me preface this with the following: Do not let this thread devolve into bickering and moaning over which game is better, WoW or GW2. I often referenced WoW in this thread in order to provide a basis for comparison between the games at their release.

    Was doing some thinking earlier today, specifically about the evolution of MMORPGs over the years and how and why a certain game can kick another to the curb. Why does 'x' game break ground and 'y' game doesn't?

    So I began to think and look at the evolution of games over the past decade or so. I think most of us can agree that WoW, when it was released in 2004, re-shaped the MMORPG market. Everquest was the 'big-dog' that came before it, and while WoW didn't 'kill' Everquest (I hate that term), it stole subscription numbers, and slowly became the go to MMORPG.

    But why? What did Blizzard do to make such a popular game?

    What it comes down to is player-friendly innovation and evolution. In order to attract more players, and attract players who will not leave, you must have a distinctive quality about your product. Everquest, while very fun, often became more grind'ish, particularly as you reached higher levels. Quests become somewhat obsolete, and in order to progress later in the game groups were needed. WoW on the other hand, allowed a player to play through the majority of the game solo, and ultimately they improved the user experience. They made things moew fun, but managed to make a difficult and challenging game that rewarded the player.

    Again, the idea is evolution, not the reinvention of the wheel. WoW renovated the questing system, they streamlined things more, and put more of emphasis on player progression via questing. They tweaked what existed and took a risk. The results? A relatively successful beta period, and a game that prior to release receiver a lot of hype.

    Does this sound familiar?

    Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet aren't making a fundamentally different game. At heart it's still a MMORPG, but they're evolving the system, and tweaking what exists, with the ultimate goal of... yep, you guessed it... IMPROVING THE USER EXPERIENCE.

    That's the key right there.

    People often reference SWTOR and RIFT as examples of why, given the current stranglehold that WoW has over the market, no new game can succeed. Well of course no game that is more-or-less alike to what exists will succeed. People will eventually go back to what they know and are comfortable with. In order to steal players from another game and KEEP them, you must give them a reason to stay -- something that distinguishes yourself from the others. That's what GW2 is doing. They are, as I said before, attempting to create a game that is more enjoyable and ultimately provides a better user experience than what currently exists.

    Now I'm not saying that GW2 will kill WoW. I hate the term 'kill' when discussing video games, and I don't think that the process of crowning a new gaming king undergoes such a process. Games slowly lose players and eventually become obsolete, but they don't drop off the face of the Earth. But do I think that GW2 could turn the tables? Absolutely.

    Blizzard took a risk in 2004. They had a successful beta period and their game received much hype. At launch the game did enough to live up to expectations and word-of-mouth spread around. WoW steadily grew and gave people a reason to come back and continue playing.

    ArenaNet is taking a risk in a week. They had a successful beta period and their game has received much hype.

    IF... and I reiterate, IF...

    If ArenaNet handles the launch process well (patch bugs ASAP, fine tune servers, provide updates, etc), then I have every reason to believe that GW2 could have an impact on the MMORPG market that WoW had upon its release. As laid out above, I feel like the recipe is there.

    WoW did it in '04. Can GW2 do it in '12?

    ...we'll just have to wait and see.
    Last edited by dreighver; 2012-08-19 at 04:12 AM.

  2. #2
    the mmo genre is becoming tired and this point. the majority of people who are currently playing an MMO don't want to jump ship and re-invest all of their time into a brand new game. unless GW2 goes above and beyond all current games on the market it will flop just as all others have.

  3. #3
    You should post this on reddit, where people will be able to read it. This will most likely be locked.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/
    Last edited by Larynx; 2012-08-19 at 04:14 AM.
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  4. #4
    Immortal KrazyK923's Avatar
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    Not going to happen.

    GW2 is still like WoW, regardless of what its tireless defenders keep arguing.

    The games that reshape ANY market are far different from predecessors.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK923 View Post
    Not going to happen.

    GW2 is still like WoW, regardless of what its tireless defenders keep arguing.

    The games that reshape ANY market are far different from predecessors.
    So, how is it like WoW again?
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK923 View Post
    Not going to happen.

    GW2 is still like WoW, regardless of what its tireless defenders keep arguing.

    The games that reshape ANY market are far different from predecessors.
    Hate to say it, but WoW shares a lot of similarities with EQ, especially when WoW first came out.

  7. #7
    Immortal KrazyK923's Avatar
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    Hate to say it, but WoW shares a lot of similarities with EQ, especially when WoW first came out.
    Who said it didn't? Problem is that EQ did not achieve anywhere near the popularity that WoW did and the market wasn't absolutely saturated with MMOs.

  8. #8
    Moderator aiko-chan's Avatar
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    It has potential to be a great game, but reshape the market? I doubt it.

  9. #9
    I am Murloc! Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larynx View Post
    So, how is it like WoW again?
    Any hot key MMO is going to placed in the "Wow clone" category.

    You can tell WoW changed the MMO for good when players started complaining about the amount of time they sink, into a time sink.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK923 View Post
    GW2 is still like WoW, regardless of what its tireless defenders keep arguing.
    Having played both, I can certainly say that it's different enough to stand out as a different experience, and several ideas it implements will eventually become standards in the genre... namely, player level scaling for older content, and level / gear normalization for PvP.
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  11. #11
    I hope so, I've recently finally been talked into trying it by guildies.

    But the distinctive quality you speak of however in my eyes is no ultimate goal, which IMO is not a good thing. No ultimate goal meaning basically no endgame (I'll say no raiding as to not offend hardcore fans).

    I just don't see myself playing too long if I get to max level due to that reason alone, I've read all the other threads explaining the myriad of things to do at max level, which was basically 'the same things you did while leveling, with very minor differences'.

    Again, I hope they do something incredibly groundbreaking, if for no other reason to get blizzard and other mmo makers to think more.
    But on the other hand, I wouldn't be shocked if after a month they announced they were introducing raids.

    All my opinion obviously.
    Apply blizzards model to any other subscription service,you'd be outraged:
    Netflix adds no new movies for a year, you click a new movie, there's a $5 fee.
    You're in an accident, click your onstar button, but there's an addition $20 fee for them to help.
    You turn on your tv only to find all you get are the infomercial channels. Every other show is pay per view.
    See how dumb that model is?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by aikoyamamato View Post
    It has potential to be a great game, but reshape the market? I doubt it.
    Just the potential fact that a game that changed a significant amount of 'standard' mechanics is able to become successful will make developers rethink depending on borrowing quite as many mechanics from WoW, which is a step in the right direction.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Irony View Post
    Any hot key MMO is going to placed in the "Wow clone" category.
    By people who never played anything that existed prior to WoW.
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  14. #14
    Immortal KrazyK923's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melodramocracy View Post
    By people who never played anything that existed prior to WoW.
    Your point is irrelevant. WoW or EQ, same underlying mechanics. Same with GW2. Just because they add a few extra features doesn't mean, "ZOMG WOW REVOLUTION IN THE GAME MARKET!"
    Last edited by KrazyK923; 2012-08-19 at 04:24 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK923 View Post
    Who said it didn't? Problem is that EQ did not achieve anywhere near the popularity that WoW did and the market wasn't absolutely saturated with MMOs.
    What I'm getting at is that WoW definitely reshaped the market, but game-wise did a lot of what other MMOs at the time were doing.

    You made the claim:

    The games that reshape ANY market are far different from predecessors.
    And that's not always true.

    Just because they add a few extra features doesn't mean, "ZOMG WOW REVOLUTION IN THE GAME MARKET!"
    Funny enough, that happens pretty often in the market of other game genres.
    Last edited by Willias; 2012-08-19 at 04:27 AM.

  16. #16
    I am Murloc! Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melodramocracy View Post
    By people who never played anything that existed prior to WoW.
    And the people who had infact played an MMO before Wow are very limited at this day. The AO, EQ and Ultima players are seemingly rare due to MMORPG not being a mainstream genre back before 2004.
    Last edited by Irony; 2012-08-19 at 04:26 AM.

    You can tell WoW changed the MMO for good when players started complaining about the amount of time they sink, into a time sink.

  17. #17
    Stood in the Fire Huckfealing's Avatar
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    Here is the thing, Its not Gw2 vs Wow its the 'Gaming Trend of Tomorrow' vs Wow. And the big reason behind that is SUBSCRIPTIONS.

    A year or so ago if you said F2P people would automatically assume "its a bad game" But since that time It has become the opposite, With the global economy slugging along, people want more upfront "Bang for your Buck" rather than just give x amount and hope something comes out.

    But there are other reasons why Gw2 could be a step up. That's right, I'm not saying it's going to be ground breaking, but I believe its the next phase of the "MMO Evolution" DaoC and EQ where the first, then WoW, and I would dare say Gw2 will be the next.

    And I have broke it down to 3 Main reasons (your mileage may vary)

    1. Subscription (Or lack there of) Leading into Micro-transactions (More bang for your Buck)
    2. Removal (For the most part) of the Holy Trinity (meaning Tank/Dps/Healer)
    3. Reactive combat (Dodging, and having to use tool's at your disposal to avoid death rather than Plant you feet and outlast/outperform)

    There are many more, but I think those are the main 3.

  18. #18
    Immortal KrazyK923's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willias
    What I'm getting at is that WoW definitely reshaped the market, but game-wise did a lot of what other MMOs at the time were doing.

    You made the claim:

    And that's not always true.
    WoW was unique because the MMORPG market was so incredibly small and tight-knit. Blizzard had the foresight (or luck, whatever) to make the game similar to EQ but then make it much, much more accessible than EQ ever was. That was their giant change to the market. There's not much more you can do to that MMORPG market's accessibility than what has already happened, thus the next revolution in the market is going to have to make a mechanically very different game.

    I also find it odd that the post above me argues that micro transactions give more "bang for your buck."
    Last edited by KrazyK923; 2012-08-19 at 04:30 AM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK923 View Post
    The games that reshape ANY market are far different from predecessors.
    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK923 View Post
    Your point is irrelevant. WoW or EQ, same underlying mechanics. Same with GW2. Just because they add a few extra features doesn't mean, "ZOMG WOW REVOLUTION IN THE GAME MARKET!"
    Huuuuuum.

    Anyway. You misunderstand just what the differences are that make a game more successful. Wow was about streamlining and accessibility. GW2 changes a lot of things, but it also increases accessibility in a similar scope that wow did over EQ.
    Last edited by Squirrelbanes; 2012-08-19 at 04:30 AM.

  20. #20
    Immortal KrazyK923's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbanes
    Huuuuuu......

    Anyway. You misunderstand just what the differences are that make a game more successful. Wow was about streamlining and accessibility. GW2 changes a lot of things, but it also increases accessibility in a similar scope that wow did over EQ.
    I understand them perfectly fine, if you even bothered to read my last post. Like I've said, probably at least 3 times in this thread now, a few changes to the game is not immense mechanical changes, something I feel has to be done to make the game actually revolutionize the market because WoW has already increased the accessibility to it. Nothing I have seen shows that GW2 is increasing the accessibility in the MMORPG genre. Im going to bed, though. Just wanted to say that although I hope GW2 does well, and I will most likely be buying it, I hate it when fans get like the OP and start talking about games revolutionizing the market. Happened with WarHammer, happened with Rift, happened with SWTOR. The pattern is obvious.
    Last edited by KrazyK923; 2012-08-19 at 04:33 AM.

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