Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 26, 2008
New, but not much different

Imagine Blizzard released a new World of Warcraft, which was completely separate from the old one. The new WoW would have new continents and zones, new quests, new classes, new talents, but the gameplay wouldn't be much changed. There would still be tanks classes, healer classes, dps classes, combat would still be by pressing hotkeys, and the graphics engine would be still the same, just with new artwork everywhere. As new WoW would be a completely separate game from old WoW, you couldn't bring your old characters, you'd have to start anew a level 1 with everyone else. But of course if your guild or friends decided to play new WoW as well, you could reform your old guild in the new game. Would you play new WoW?

Maybe that question isn't quite as hypothetical as it sounds. Several readers remarked on watching the Warhammer gameplay videos that both graphics and gameplay looked remarkably similar to World of Warcraft. So what if WAR is the new WoW, just with a bit more PvP than the old WoW, but otherwise not much different? And frankly, Age of Conan, while graphically looking different and having a faster combat system, still has the same gameplay as WoW: Talk to quest NPC, kill the 10 foozles he wants dead, come back, get xp and item reward, level up, get new spells and talents.

And there is nothing wrong with the new games being not much different to World of Warcraft. Most people like WoW, or at least liked it when they played it for several thousand hours. If they are burned out now, it isn't necessarily the basic gameplay they can't stand any more. It might very well be that they just have seen all the zones of WoW, done most of the quests, played most of the classes, and simply consumed the content of WoW faster than Blizzard can add new content. And if you just want "more WoW", and can't wait for the next expansion, then playing a similar game might just be the thing for you.

So here is the big question: if you are currently feeling a bit burned out from World of Warcraft, is it the basic gameplay you have seen too much of, or the specific WoW content? Would you play a game which is new, but not much different?
If WAR is simply a re-branded WoW (and it appears to be so), I'm perfectly OK with that.
I'm expecting WAR to be a mixture of WoW and DaoC, and I'm quite happy with that.

Heck, loads of people will be happy with WotLK and that IS WoW but more of it.
Hahah, saw that one coming :-)

In my case it depends on a number of circumstances:

- difference in graphical style and quality (referring to AoC: looks refreshing after WoW)
- time passed since playing WoW (2.5 years since I quit; not sure if that’s long ago enough)
- level of innovation in the game. A more active combat mechanism, emotes, player housing, a certain amount of “meaningful” PvP (meaning some form of territorial conquest) all would make a “WoW-ish” game more palatable.
A total absence of innovation would quickly chase me away.

Since they were both named, I would say that AoC’s combat, graphics and PvP siege battles, being different from WoW, speak in its favour, for all the other “WoW-ish” elements. Warhammer’s graphics and apparent style of combat (and the fact the PvP campaigns are “reset” after victory, like a huge Alterac-valley style background) speak against it, but it might compensate for that with other elements (at least I hope so).

It’s all these elements together, though. WoW-style combat and graphics would be perfectly acceptable if there are enough innovations and improvements to the basic gameplay (in short: what you can do and the way in which the world reacts to your actions).
Would I try it? Yes. Would I keep playing it for a long time? Probably not. I'd come for the new stuff, but would leave once the novelty wore off and the familiarity took over.

I'm not the same customer who got his excited hands on WoW for the first time several years ago. I've changed. I've killed all the boars I could ever stomach to kill and more. I've ground the levles and gotten the epics. The old treadmill that supplied the rewards for my exploration of the game and character advancement efforts is nothing but a chore now. I've seen it all and done it all. A fresh new coat of paint or even a change of scenery won't get me excited again. I want different gameplay now.

And, please, for the love of God, Cthulhu, Whatever... no more killing boars, I beg you. Boars are the new crates. They stopped being interesting after the first 10 or so.
I've never played WoW. It's about the only major MMO I haven't tried. I never played (or in fact ever even heard of) any of the previous Warcraft titles, had no idea who Blizzard was, and was fully focused on the EQ2 beta when WoW was about to launch, so I totally missed it.

By the time it had happened I was playing EQ2, then Vanguard and currently I am playing LotRO. I don't plan on ever playing WoW - doesn;t seem much point at this stage.

I probably will play WAR though. I do know that game company (played DAOC at launch), I do know the IP (played the Warhammer RPG when it came out in the mid-80s) and I like the look of it.

So yes, a new WoW does appeal, although the old one didn't.
Both games are based on same IP so they must look similar. There are differences tho.

I'm in WAR beta and without breaking the NDA i can say that so far from what I've seen I think that we can see a butterfly effect here.
Small differences now can lead to big changes later.
Imagine if in WoW you recieve XP for DPS-ing PvP?
imagine if you recieve XP for PvP healing? For PvP tanking?
Imagine if your n00b area quest log is "Kill 10 Dwarfs".
Imagine if Horde and Alliance were true enemies...

The big question for me about WAR is the lack of death penalty which can lead to mindless zerg, casue there can't be conflict if you always "win" since you loose nothing. For a Realm vs Realm game having actual conflict is crucial. It's like playing football w/o counting the score. It's fun but it can't be like this forever cause soon or later it can become boring and meaningless like it is in WoW.
I have to say this penalty is not final, since the game is far from release, and Mythic said also that they are testing some other solutions so we'll see...

Please excuse my bad English.
The whole, kill ten rats and lvl up type of gameplay is starting to get very old. Especially when it´s so linear like in AOC. You´d think people would come up with something more imaginative by now ;).
I quit WoW and reactivated my Eve account last i guess at the moment while I'm still suffering from the aftermath of a WoW-Raiding-Burnout my answer would be no.
Well, this is an odd hypothetical discussion for different reasons. :)

If the game has PvP better interwoven into the game than WoW then definitely. There are other qualities both similar and dissimilar that I value too but that's summing it up pretty well.
Cough...cough... time for my obligatory "MMORPGS are history" post.

I really must start keeping track of these. They will make great evidence for my "I told you so" blog entry when the inevitable day finally comes.
Only yesterday did i experience a strange reaction: I logged on to Wow, selected my level 63 Paladin, and resumed questing in Zangarmarsh. Now this being my third high level character in Wow, I killed 2-3 ogers, then paused for a moment, told the guildies I'ld see them soon again, and logged off. And it didn't feel bad.... I had a nice movie evening with my girlfriend, and didn't miss Wow at all. To get to the point, I was plain simply fed up at that moment with killing x mobs, waiting for y items to drop, and killing mobs in a slightly different way than I did twice already before. I probably won't stop playing altogether, but just think a need some distance now.
If I now came across a sort of Wow 1.5 (no matter if it's DAoC or WAR), I'ld probably stay away until somthing really new and innovating came along, just as Wow did before for me(it was my first MMORPG)... I don't hate Wow, not at all, but apart from the "in-guild-playable" content, there's not much anymore keeping me to it, as it's all been said and done (and done) before. Just my 2 cents, anyway :-)
I’ve burnt out from WoW since April’07, played LotRO feel a little bit burnt out from it at the moment, too. So I started AoC…
It was both for me, when i left WoW. The gameplay was more of the same old item-based grind, the contend lacked innovation, the new graphical arts and concents were not enough for me to hold on. So I went to LotRO, which has a very similar gameplay to it, but some little innovative pearls like titles, feats, player-housing etc. But both the combat- and quest-system was very similar. In the end it was the beautiful crafted setting, the casual friendly content and the accessibility that grabbed me. But like I said, after nearly 1 ½ years of LotRO I feel MMO-fatigue again, especially now that I started AoC. AoC combat-system might be different, but its far from innovative. But this time it is definitely the gameplay, especially the dumbed down –level-to-80-as-fast-as-you-can boring questing (got, kill then foozles, X marks the spot !). Why questing/leveling at all, do it like GW…that’s the neckbreaker for me. Is the content worth it, to play once again through a quest-grind, only to reach once again the levelcap, so you can start meaningful(?) guild-pvp. At this point I doubt it. The graphics are new and shiny, but I’ve seen similar in Vanguard. So for me, it is not much different and I’m unfortunately already burnt out from AoC after a couple of days. But to be fair, it is the MMO-gameplay in general, I think.
So I hope that WAR will be doing some things in gameplay differently, eg. public questing is a step in the right direction I think…
I wouldn't quit wow for a "clone". I would however, for a mmorpg
- which would give me a way to become more specialised in what I do (e.g.: be able to craft items better than what drops)
- which would involve me socially much more (improved guild dynamics, player housing and purchasable vendors etc.)
- which would allow content creation or at least customisation (e.g.: I'd like to at least be able to alter how I look, if not create armor with custom stats)

Currently the thing I enjoy most in wow is the AH, because it it completely free-form (anyone can sell almost anything to anyone else at any price).

If I had to sum it up: I would really like a MMORPG whith stuff happening that wasn't had in mind by the designers. In wow, any such thing would be patched away and I hate it.
I really wish they would expand PVP in wow. All i do nowadays is a few bgs and 5s for arena.

I realize how little of the game i am experiencing, but its all i really find appealing now.

If pvp in wow doesn't expand soon i may just stop playing and look for something more accomodating.
@ ctilimpea

Please try LOTRO, it covers about 80% of your ideas / requests.

- which would give me a way to become more specialised in what I do (e.g.: be able to craft items better than what drops)

The crafting system is already quite good, you have normal trainer recipes, drop recipes, drop "one-time-recipes". In the next expansion you can actually have items that "grow" with your character.

- which would involve me socially much more (improved guild dynamics, player housing and purchasable vendors etc.)

Unfortunately no employed vendors in you house, but 3 different house sizes (small 2 room to huge guild house) with 4 different grafic sets (timber-and-stone human, hobbit house, dwarven stone house, elvish house). Interior can be designed in specific slots with different objects (trophies, furniture, etc.) as the exterior (statues, trees). Guild dynamics is a bit better supported than in WoW but could still use some more features.

- which would allow content creation or at least customisation (e.g.: I'd like to at least be able to alter how I look, if not create armor with custom stats)

You can dye your armor in LOTRO and change the hairstyle of your character. You can wear clothes that change the look but don't give you stats over your normal "stat-armor". Quote cool features here.

@topic: As I play WoW and LOTRO with great pleasure I would not change for "just another MMO" which I think WAR is. The uniqueness of WAR fades more and more in my view.
But what exactly are you burned out of? Some people suggested that they would play a game if it had some really minor changes: WoW with housing and armor dyes would still be WoW, and not play much different. AoC's combat is faster paced than WoWs, but you still press hotkeys to kill mobs solo, and in a group there is still one guy taunting the mobs to hit him, one guy healing, and one or more guys dealing damage. Questing, and leveling, and various forms of PvP, is that all you want?

Look at games like Ultima Online, or A Tale in the Desert, which are much different. No levels, no quests, more crafting related gameplay, no tanks and healers, ATITD doesn't even have combat. Would you prefer game companies created more of such radically different games, or do you want just want a new game to do quests in an level up from 1 to X by killing mobs in hotkey-based combat?
I think AoC is more like WoW than WAR will be.

AoC's is: questing/grinding, Battlegrounds, raids and Border Kingdoms. Sound familiar except for the last part? Too bad border kingdoms will be very exclusive... just like the end game raids in WoW currently.

WAR is more about RvR (and has half the levels as AoC and soon to be WoW). It may have elements of WoW and AoC, but the whole purpose seems to be different. That is what really separates it from the WoW/AoC to me.
For me, personally, I think I'm just generally burnt out on fantasy/dungeon crawling type MMORPG's. And like has been mentioned by some of the other posters, the whole "Kill 10 Rats" thing.

Instead, I've been playing Fantasy Wars (thanks Tobold!), SAGA, and Out of the Park Baseball. What's interesting is all 3 games entail building up a team of players that you manage against quests, etc. So that aspect of gaming hasn't burned me out. It's mostly when I'm grinding (in WoW, LotRO, etc) that I'm getting bored.

I'll eventually come back to some sort of MMORPG. Will likely eventually go buy AoC or WAR, but not this week.
But what exactly are you burned out of?

I'm sure you'll get many different answers to that, but I'll give you mine:

I'm burned out of grinding and leveling being so central to gameplay. They were bearable when I was fresh to the wonder of a massive and undiscovered online world, but now they are a chore. I don't like the levels separating me from playing with most other people online. I'm not patient enough to put up with achievements attained primarily through time /played anymore. I want much less of both now.

I'm burned out of "kill 10 X" quests, animals especially. Each time a game asks me to go and kill more boars brings me closer to the "cancel account" screen. I want more meaningful objectives.

I'm burned out of a game world that is inert: the world where nothing I do makes a lasting impact, where the only persistent changes are to my character. I'm tired of playing Groundhog Day Online, and I want a world more open to player action and story progression.

I definitely want to see more games that offer gameplay radically different to the current "formula". But I would enjoy a more "classic" design that addresses the points above and brings other elements to the fore as well.

If WAR truly manages to make world PvP the central and uniting point of the game then I'm interested. If it's just another WoW with a different flavored topping then I don't want to play it beyond a few weeks.
The whole, kill ten rats and lvl up type of gameplay is starting to get very old. Especially when it´s so linear like in AOC. You´d think people would come up with something more imaginative by now ;).

AoC seems to do enough small things differently that I'll be trying it out in a couple of months or so, but overall the quoted comment is what really does it for me. I don't want to create a character and enter a world to level and gear up, I'd prefer to create and plan out a character, get it "completed" and do lots of cool stuff with it. (Though my tendency is to create 10-12 characters or so to try them out.) This is why guild wars has kept my interest better than other games, I can get the characters leveled and geared quickly, and once they are leveled and geared, they have a lot more options for stuff to do.

In addition to leveling, it always surprises me that crafting is so recipe based. It seems someone would have thought up a system by now where, say, people could just pick their own ingredients, make something from it, and get an item with qualities based on those ingredients. And/Or perhaps people could decide the order of certain steps (mixing, heating, tempering, etc.), and those would effect the item, and/or perhaps crafting could use an attribute system, where people's attributes would effect the qualities of the items produced.
WoW's has, to some extent, poisoned the waters. It's set the bar for polish, which is good, but its phenomenal success has also entrenched some of the mistakes of earlier games. Things such as large raids, fixed classes chosen at character creation, loot based progression at the level cap, long leveling times with no way to bypass them, whack-a-mole healing, target/chaincast nuking... all things that are just plain bad, and are worming their way into pretty much every new project out there.

I find myself enjoying AoC, and I definitely like the IP, but the gameplay is at times painfully similar to WoW. I understand why this is the case, but I also can't help but find it disappointing.

I'm also doubtful that there will ever be a "WoW killer" or a "next big thing." People are doing and have done different sorts of MMOs, but WoW is such a juggernaut that anything too divergent is destined to become, at best, a niche player. The WoW playstyle dominates at the moment, and the big money games aren't going to take risks on diverging from it, which will doom them to mediocrity.
WAR like WoW only different? I think Tycho said it best:

Well OK maybe he went over the top just a bit.
In my humble opinion I think WoW's success brought us a new type of gamer: the non-gamer gamer.
The non-gamer gamer does not want challenges, he wants entertainment. Period. Hence the non-gamer gamer will change to anything different, but not so different that it would actually take some effort to master.
Entertainment, rather than challenge, is key and any game company that wants their games to be more than niche must conform to that.
i want old swg toon back.

you choose a look, that's it.

you have X amount of points to distribute, so you can be everything of nothing. 1 point spent into small guns then you could use guns and get better at it. and filling up boxes so to speak.
if you wanted to go to another route, like sword. drop guns and learn swords.
As a great lover of fantasy lore, I've found that the MMO style of play is very rich and interesting. I think AoC is extremely well done, and is a further refinement in that combat feels exciting, the story is rich and interesting and the world feels dark and ominous as it should. It is low fantasy, meaning you dont have crystal ships and ROFLCOPTERS flying everywhere. That's nice. I think a few bored people are busy posting in blogs like here, but the majority of people are stil VERY much having fun with the same "old" MMO formula, which is why AoC is selling copies like hotcakes. Only the bored complainers are here on the blogs...the rest of us are in the game! I predict WoLK and WAR will also be huge successes too.
This question is sort of like asking:

Would you play Sonic the Hedgehog 2 after playing Sonic 1?

Would you play Perfect Dark after playing Goldeneye 64?

Would you play Resident Evil 5 after playing Resident Evil 4?

Would you play Madden 08 after playing Madden 07?

Would you play Crack down after playing GTA San Andreas?

This question is pointless at this stage of videogame history when it has proven time and again people love established game mechanics.

There have been clones and sequals that failed miserably or underperformed, but usually people could site reasons for them sucking besides emulating game mechanics of prior games.

A better question to ask would be are the game mechanics of existing MMOs worth emulating?

Two discussions I think address this point fairly well.


This article gives off the impression that prior mechanics for MMOs aren't as great as developers thought.


This thread gives off the impression that developers have come across great mechanics but are too short sighted to recognize the good from the bad.
I am to the point where I wouldnt play WoW even if it was free online like diablo 2.

Age of Conan, id like to point out doesnt have tank/spank and generic healers as someone mentioned here. I play a Bear shaman on Tyranny and although I do "heal" there is much more to it as I melee and debuff and even tank hits. The class feels so much more hybrid that players describe of AoC.

Putting it in relation to WoW's char system its like playing a tauren shaman that is also a fury warrior and also roguelike crowd control. Its not pigeonholed into a healer, a tank, a dps imo.

The pvp wont really reflect in forums or blogs until more players massively participate. What pvp people are seeing as they lvl is like describing the mint leaf on a filet mignon plate of food.

mutantmagnet: The cutoff in the thread you linked to doesn't cover all of the thread url.
Sorry "different game play and different content" is too vague to make any meaningful comment on, in my opinion.

Some core gameplay mechnics can be and are quite similar in many of these games, before and after World of Warcraft. Gameplay experience can still be quite different between two such games.

For the specific case you were asking about - I have not played WoW for over 2 years, di dnot spend 1000s of hours in that game and do not consider myself burned out on that game.
I just do not feel an urge to play it, the setting, end-game gameplay and loot focus is just not interesting.

I have not bothered to keep track on details of Warhammer Online and I have no urge to find out more. When it gets released I might or might not try it, who knows.
WAR = Integrated PvP
WoW = Segregated PvP

Besides, WoW is a copy of the Warhammer franchise in many ways.
Yes. I would play it.
well, with that in mind, wow is really a gta without cars and with rpg mechanics instead of arcade

but the interface is the same, player in center and radar in the corner, is the same fucking interface
well, with that in mind, wow is really a gta without cars and with rpg mechanics instead of arcade

but the interface is the same, player in center and radar in the corner, is the same fucking interface

This seems true of most sorts of computer games where the player controls an in game character.

9In a sense, almost all computer games fall into one of two types: games where the player controls a character that does stuff (RPG's, shooters), and ones where the player is the controller of some system (strategy games, simcity type games)
I would not play another WoW from Blizzard. It would be too similar in the soul. WoW is a stupendous game, but it's almost too polished and too cold. It's Blizzard's trademark of quality. In this case, it's just getting too well-oiled.

I would much rather play a game that is a lot like WoW, but made by another company with another vision.

Given my history with the game, it's a weighty statement.
Wow...this is an interesting thread...(hehe)
New but not much different..
This explains LOTRO for me...
The mechanics were the EXACT same...they just painted a pretty picture over it..
1. Big walls of text for quests that really mean nothing but "Kill 10 boars"
2. Slowed down combat that you wait for a skill to refresh before using it?
3. Similar interface with no major adjustments to the way that previous MMO's have done it?
4. Elves, Dwarves, Orcs...

I is this so different than WoW, EQ, EQ2, etc,.,,

Now, take EQ2 which always seems to go against WoW but has failed in that respect..

1. Has a reason to be in a guild than just a singular chat channel.
2. Voice overs for certain quests to help you feel more involved
3.A crafting system that is more involved than hitting one button?
4. Had housing before LOTRO

Quite a few differences...yet no sales like WoW...why? What is it about EQ2 that it does not do as well? It is a great game, and different enough than WoW...yet...something ...just like LOTRO that does not work..

Now for AoC...quite a few changes
To name a few...
More involved questing...yes, you can make it the same "Kill 10 x" yet, intertwined in this is an involved story to make YOU more a part of their world...not many other games try this, and have the disembodied "Run an errand for me please..."
The combat...again...yes, people can make it a button masher...but, I keep stating it is because people are not studying it to learn how to control their fatalities or work on the best methods to take on multiple feel more powerful...especially if you are willing to go beyond hit these buttons in order...
More control of various options for your character from how fast you heal to stealth or perception...much more in depth than the "Get skill, attach to hotkey"
Move beyond the elves and dwarves and also bring in a visual sense of realism...

But, these are my feelings. I have grown tired of the stale mechanics so many MMO's share...all do the same thing...
And for now...AoC is different enough to let me enjoy having fun in their world...and be patient to see where Funcom takes this setting...
WAR does not do this for me...and feels like everything I have already played...based on videos, reading, etc....
Hopefully it is not...
Changing the base concepts of the MMO would be a pretty good thing too. There's absolutely no change whatsoever from WOW and every other game on the market from the last 10 years - Kill monsters, loot them, sell, gear up, fight bigger monsters with more players, loot them, sell, gear up, fight even bigger monsters with even more players, loot them, sell, gear up - and bring out new expansion. Rinse and repeat.

Boring, but satisfactory until something that's stated to be better (but is actually the same) comes along.

To me, the next generation of MMO needs a re-design.

Changing the base concepts of the MMO would be a pretty good thing too. There's absolutely no change whatsoever from WOW and every other game on the market from the last 10 years - Kill monsters, loot them, sell, gear up, fight bigger monsters with more players, loot them, sell, gear up, fight even bigger monsters with even more players, loot them, sell, gear up - and bring out new expansion. Rinse and repeat.

You just described the core game play of dungeons and dragons, which has been around for over 30 years.
I'm not sure the problem is the design of MMO's. I think the problem is the companies are trying to use the same model for development they did for single player games and then trying to milk the playerbase with cheap boring grinds and arena style PVP (in the case of wow) and as a result we are screaming the same boring old model is broken.

The model works fine when the game ends after you've exhausted the content. But when you try to turn it into an MMO the devs can't keep churning out fun content as fast as players churn through it.

Maybe when the devs finally get that gameplay and content trump graphics in this kind of game they'll do better.
I'm getting really tired of this argument. All current MMOs are essentially rebranding the gameplay Everquest made popular. WAR is no more like WoW than WoW was like EQ, and DAoC was like EQ, and . . . etc. Saying that having quests and skills and levels and classes makes the game too much like WoW is ludicrous, since those are the fundamental features of most modern MMOs.
Saying that having quests and skills and levels and classes makes the game too much like WoW is ludicrous, since those are the fundamental features of most modern MMOs.

But look at UO, ATITD, Puzzle Pirates! They prove that you can do a MMO without quests and levels and classes. Everquest and WoW made us think that quests and levels and classes are fundamental to a game even *being* a MMORPG, but in fact they are not.
You just described the core game play of dungeons and dragons, which has been around for over 30 years.

Even Dungeons & Dragons understand that there's a wide spectrum when it comes to gameplaying. Are you a "Kick in the door" player, which is the sort of game where you kill monsters, loot treasure and repeat - or are you into "Immersive storytelling" which is more about the imaginative aspects of roleplaying?

If D&D can see there is a wide range of gameplay available, why can't MMOs?

I would also like to see monthly content being released with story arcs. Having patches with static content is continuously boring (past the initial excitement of new content of course ;))

We have a persistant world now - please, let's do something with it that's dynamic.
Weren't the massive weapons and shoulderpads part of tabletop Warhammer long before?

Mr. Gamer made me think of something funny. Can you imagine a Cthulhu game where you are transported to a place with freakish monsters, and brought before their lord. As you are about to lose your sanity, the squid headed monstrosity turns to you (You think it turns, hard to tell) and you hear a voice in your head say "Go get me 10 boar hooves"
For me, the basic gameplay is fine. For me, the best part of these games is seeing a character grow more powerful through new skills (usually via leveling) and items. Second is a good imersive story.

Most single player games you get to play the hero and the NPCs make you feel it. You also get to feel like you're making a difference in the game world. I think most MMORPGs leave quite a bit to be desired in this regard. It hardly feels heroic when you save the farmer from the boars eating his pumpkins only to see them all respawn for the next person.

People have brought up this idea of more persistancy before. What if once you finished clearing Gnomeron, eliminating the plague that was infesting the Gnomes, then the Gnomes returned and rebuilt it so when you zone in again, it's a bustling city like Ironforge or Stormwind?

It does bring up the issue of what if you wanted to go back and redo it. You could move the boss loot to quest rewards to eliminate the issue where peole keep running a dungeon until they get the drops they want. Or have some kind of system that could send you back in time. Or just put in a way to optionally reset a zone.

Taking the Gnomeron idea farther, what if everytime you killed a mob, it stayed dead (for you)? If you saw another player, the mobs would just spawn when once they tagged them (and were grey to you anyway) If you grouped with them, you should probably see all the mobs he hasn't killed and you haven't. Or maybe just use whoever is the groupleader kind of like Diablo II. This might be tough to all handle server side. That being the case, 2 zone states (Infected Gnomer, Restored Gnomer) would still be a big step up. Once you kill VC, then Westfall turns into peaceful farmland, maybe opening up some shopkeepers with interesting items or new peacful quests or quests that send you to darkshire or other higher zones.

This should open up much more interesting story and design possibilities than the current paradigm of keeping MMORPG worlds more or less static.

Basically for me with MMORPGS it's the drugery of lackluster story and nothing really changing. I like the gameplay.

I'd love to see a MMORPG that had an overall story like single player RPGs have told from different angles for every class.

Someone will say why don't I just play a single player game then? Well, it is fun to play with other people and also you typically get higher production values, a larger world, more skills, and better balance.

Do you guys think this is workable? -- basically a personally persistant world.
am i the only one that would play wow as a single player game if i could? imagine an rpg where you could have a party of 40 different classes. pick your raid composition for MC, and then when you do battles they arent in real time maybe in a system similar to Kotor where you can pause the action.
I thought Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights were fantastic games, then I started playing WoW and it was life changing.

If I could play WoW as a single-player RPG where my actions actually changed the game world, yes, I'd be all over that. WoW would be amazing as an SP-RPG with a dynamic world.

To answer Tobold's original question...I actually played LOTRO for 2 weeks with a Trial Key and it was good, but WoW dragged me back. That said, it's not my 70 Main that keeps me coming back, and oddly enough as an Explorer you'd think I'd have seen everything there is to see in WoW after three years, but I've just jumped ship from Alliance to Horde and there's a whole new world to explore out there. As an Altaholic I love the "fast leveling" changes. I can take one Horde toon to 70 and know that there are still a lot of quests I can do on other Alts.
But look at UO, ATITD, Puzzle Pirates! They prove that you can do a MMO without quests and levels and classes. Everquest and WoW made us think that quests and levels and classes are fundamental to a game even *being* a MMORPG, but in fact they are not.

I really wish more companies would go back to UO, look at what Origin did right, and create an updated game based off it.

In my mind there are two major "archetypes" of MMOs: EQ-style games and UO-style games. Both were very, very successful MMORPGs, but for some reason the majority of game developers are fixated on the EQ archetype. Why is that?

The last major UO-style game was Starwars Galaxies...maybe Sony's butchering of the game has scared off companies from going down that path?
Great topic and responses, BTW. I do have one comment, though, to the folks who comment on the "Kill 10 Rats" thing....

One of the ways that WoW was innovative compared to other MMOs was that it gave you a reason for doing things. My primary MMO was DAoC before WoW came out, and there, you went to a camp and kill stuff. Why? Because it was yellow- or orange-conned, or because it dropped loot you wanted. There was little to no immersion in the game whatsoever.

I'm not saying that the WoW system of questing for 10 boars or rats or ogres or what-have-you couldn't be done better, but long ago, it was done a whole lot worse. I think the people who manage to figure out ways to get people into quests without, perhaps, people even knowing it - that's your next generation of MMO. If that's WoW2, so be it.
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