Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 18, 2008
 
If it changes the way you play, it's innovation

I've read various reports of what people did during their headstart days of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. And I'm sure there will be many more reports like that when WAR launches the release version today. And one thing I noticed with myself, and you can also see in posts by, for example, JoBildo, is that people group more and PvP more in WAR than in other games.

Imagine you would start a new character in World of Warcraft today, and leveled him up to level 9. What activities do you think that character would have done from level 1 to 9? I think he would have spent most of his times doing regular quests. He might have started a tradeskill at level 5, but he certainly wouldn't have done any PvP (unless he was ganked on a PvP server). And it is unlikely that he would have joined any group.

My WAR character at level 9 has done regular quests, and learned tradeskills. But he also joined more than 10 groups (not counting scenario groups, and I have the achievement to prove that), for public quests and for RvR. I also reached renown rank (PvP level) 8, having done scenarios repeatedly, a RvR public quest completed three times, and having visited all three open world tier 1 RvR zones, once even in a huge warband (raid group). And I didn't group and PvP to deliberately change my behavior. I did it because it was the natural thing to do.

Groups are so obviously better for public quests and RvR that you need to be completely alergic to other people to want to avoid them. There is no "it took us half an hour to set up this pickup group, and then one guy did something stupid and wiped us, at which point half of the group left" in WAR. Instead you get situation where you and the other players around you are already doing the same thing, be it a public quest or taking an RvR objective, and grouping up is simply better than every one doing the same thing in parallel. I even grouped sometimes for normal quests, as in WAR there isn't the same problem as in WoW that if you are more people you need to kill more foozles to get 10 foozle ears for everyone; every mob killed counts as one kill or one item drop for every one in the group. And the group xp bonus is large enough to earn more xp per time in a group than solo, unlike WoW's.

Doing RvR comes naturally as well. You stumble upon some quest NPC asking you to do a scenario relatively early. You try, and you notice that regardless of your level and gear, you'll be able to do *something* useful in a scenario. Yes, a level 1 will just be boosted to level 8, have only his initial 3 spells or abilities, and no gear, so he'll be crushed in a one-on-one duel against a level 11 in full renown gear. But there are few duels in a scenario. Your level 1 spell will be boosted to level 8 and be perfectly able to damage that level 11, who'll might not immediately notice you if you fire ranged spells from behind. If you are a healer (my main is a Shaman on the Euro servers), you can help your side significantly by healing. And you are exactly as valuable for capturing a flag as anyone else. And while doing all this you will gain both regular PvE experience points, and PvP renown points. Renown ranks (PvP levels) will give you stat bonuses at the renown trainer, which are useful for both PvP and PvE. And the renown gear merchant will sell you good equipment, easily financed by all the coin you get in RvR from every kill.

There has been a lot of discussion of whether WAR is innovative or just a WoW clone. But the people argueing that its just a clone do so based on screenshots and feature lists, which is about as useful as a movie review based on screenshots and a plot summary. The question is not whether WAR looks like WoW and has classes, levels, and quests like WoW. The question is whether WAR plays like WoW. And it does not. I'm not saying WAR is better than WoW, I'm sure I'm going to miss fixed-group dungeons and raids at some point. But I'm absolutely insisting on WAR playing differently for the average user. At no point do you think "oh, I'm just doing the same stuff as in WoW here". In WAR you have more different activities, all of them viable paths for advancement, during the leveling stage. While in WoW the bulk of the choices is concentrated at the level cap. Yes, that means that at some point in the future I'll write a post about how there isn't enough to do in WAR at the level cap. But right now, leveling up is a hell of a lot more fun than in WoW. And that *is* innovative, player behavior is not something that is easily changed. If you can get people who mainly soloed and never liked PvP to do lots of groups and RvR, you have done something new to the genre. It will take some time for everyone to realize this, but WAR changes what a MMORPG is; playing more together and against each other than playing alone, who would have thunk that?
Comments:
Jeee! Get over it Tobold.

So grouping slightly newish, bigwoot.

Wait till everyone has reached the level ceiling before claiming that this is some kinda holy grail of gaming!

It isn't... WoW is stale and old, WAR isn't a real and serious viable alternative for REAL change.

WAR is not going to be remembered as an innovative game.
 
Did Star Wars innovate? No, not really. Almost nothing there that was truly original. Lots of things that were nearly cliches of cinema and pulp fiction, save perhaps for the visual design.

Did it recombine those elements into something that was incredibly compelling and moved science fiction forward as a genre? You bet.
 
Wait till everyone has reached the level ceiling before claiming that this is some kinda holy grail of gaming!

First of all, looking at games ONLY at the level cap is completely invalid. A lot of people don't powerlevel, and spend far more time leveling alts than at the cap.

Second, holy grail and innovative is hardly the same. WAR has issues, many of which I blogged about, and it will never pass WoW in subscription numbers. If any game is the holy grail, it is WoW, because lots of companies would like those $1 billion revenue, $500 million profits. I never claimed WAR is the holy grail, but it doesn't have to be the holy grail to be innovative.

And nobody has been able to define "real change" yet. How do you completely change the gameplay of WoW without producing a game which still is a MMORPG?
 
And nobody has been able to define "real change" yet. How do you completely change the gameplay of WoW without producing a game which still is a MMORPG?
IMHO, the theme park and sandbox styles are sufficiently different from each other to be classified as "real change". Maybe WAR will be less theme park-style than WoW, but it is not something like UO or EvE. Granted, UO is somewhat venerable and maybe there is market demand for a modern sandbox fantasy game. But those who wanted WAR to be that game will be disappointed. WAR just refines the theme park style into a more PvP-oriented direction, and that refining is probably enough to make it a successful game. But not a genre-redefining game.
 
A couple small caveats, Tobold: first, it's not fair to compare what a level 9 would have done in a game with a level cap of 40 compared to a game with a level cap of 70, soon to be 80. I'm sure in the time spent leveling to level 9 in WAR, a similarly new player in WoW could level to perhaps 20.

Also, a level 9 will not be ganked on a PvP server in WOW as they are in protected zones until at least 20.
 
@Zode You are right in a sense comparing WoW's lvl 9 to WAR's lvl 9 isn't totally fair. But its not a huge difference; it takes around 6 or 7 hours to get to rank 9 in WAR, where as it takes roughly 3 hours to do the same in WoW, so its not a great difference thats roughly 4 hours difference maybe a bit more.
The record time to getting to level 10 in WoW is just over 2 hours as I last recall, and I'm sure getting to rank 9 will lower greatly as people run more and more alts so your argument isn't that great.
 
I think the problem comes in when most of you comments stem from the typical MMO of "get to max level then the real game starts". WAR has put in elements only found in "end game" at early levels. PQ's and hidden bosses give you the chance to "raid" at an early level. Jumping in and out of groups easily solves much of the "LFG - Need tank/healer/dps" nonsense. Sure, its no holy grail, its no revolution in the industry, but it does change things up a bit. There's innovation in certain areas, others are par for course. I will agree with what the WAR folks have stated in the past, they have removed alot of the "suck" from the game.

But in the end, play what you find fun, hell play everything if you got the time.
 
To be fair, when I started WoW on day one I grouped a LOT.

Like WAR, there were a LOT of people doing the same quests. It made sense to group up. I probably joined a group every playing session.

Of course a new WoW player, today, would not be able to group anywhere near as much simply because it's a more mature game and there aren't that many new players running around.
 
And nobody has been able to define "real change" yet. How do you completely change the gameplay of WoW without producing a game which still is a MMORPG?

With ease!!!

I'm sorry but your blogging has gone down hill... Innovation would be something like this:

Bliz head dev wakes up and says with all this money we are making... we are gonna create a new department!

The department of dynamic events, lore and story telling.

A small but arty and creative department get to write and deploy quest chains that last a week and maybe could be threaded together... like chapters.

They can only be done once and are binned forever when the next weeks quests come out.

They use existing world content as their stage.

Call it dailies but with a story behind it. I would also create a class based series too. So folk can learn their class and feel more attached to the story.

Innovation would be Blizzard employing a core group of 10 imaginative people to write up weekly quests that are unique to make their world deeper and less flat!

Heck how much fun that have been.. a weekly set of quests leading you up to the WotLK.
 
Is this really 2008 or are we in 1998 right now? Grouping getting hailed at as entry level game? Been there, done that. Almost decade ago. Back then though it was mocked at a bad habit, to force people into groups early and it only took 10 more years and 11 million players getting sick and tired of soloing, to change it back. I love it.

Regarding endgame. Everything has to progress. If you label WAR's entry level content "endgamish" in the classical sense, then i would like to see how they want to progress it later on. We either get a total lackluster or the best thing since sliced bread.
 
I have to slightly disagree with you here.
On my latest WoW alt, I grouped with other players on a casual basis quite a few times in Elwynn Forest, even if only for a few minutes.
If there are other players around, it is very easy to group in WoW, but that choice is down to the players to make; loss of xp compared to soloing or taking longer to collect items may be reasons why people prefer to solo, but if social interaction is your aim, there is no reason why you can't group in WOW outside of instances.
 
I think the comments here highlights what Tobold already wrote - "But the people argueing that its just a clone do so based on screenshots and feature lists, which is about as useful as a movie review based on screenshots and a plot summary. The question is not whether WAR looks like WoW and has classes, levels, and quests like WoW. The question is whether WAR plays like WoW." No matter how well you describe it Tobold, it is hard to know for sure how different it feels without trying. And so it is no surprise that you get comments in which people don't understand why you would think grouping is something new.

From a scientific standpoint I very much agree with your understanding of innovation. Innovation is more than a high-tech change - if the end result is that people use the thing differently, then you've managed some sort of innovation. It doesn't have to be a revolution to be innovative, evolution can serve just fine many times.
 
As an afterthought: Saying something is innovative does not mean that it is amazingly creative, Nobel Prize winning-type smart. It just means that someone has managed to make something work differently (as Tobold states so well in the title). Innovative does not even have to mean it's objectively better, except from the POV that variety is good.
 
Ohh Tobold. Forget these haters. WAR does make grouping and PvP fun and it is a really a great game.
Everyone else ragging on you and the game must have been grounded from the computer on launch day.
 
Amen Tobold.


/bow
 
Bliz head dev wakes up and says with all this money we are making... we are gonna create a new department! The department of dynamic events, lore and story telling. A small but arty and creative department get to write and deploy quest chains that last a week and maybe could be threaded together... like chapters. They can only be done once and are binned forever when the next weeks quests come out.

What is innovative about that? The holiday events of WoW and LotRO do exactly that, only that they are repeated every year. And Asheron's Call used such events years ago.

The problem with quests that can only be done in one specific week is that then everybody tries to do them at once, causing problems with server stability and overcrowding. Gates of AQ opening event didn't exactly go well. And then it's a lot of effort for relatively little outcome.
 
It's not simple to define innovation in MMO's. We've seen so many things in MMO's already that it's all about how developers combine different features together. Maybe war public quests and chicken mechanics are something new, i'm not sure i've seen that before.
Let's simplify to see what's war all about. You have group A(order realms) and group B(destruction realms). You give A and B the same PvE objective(kill the king). They have to fight each other to complete their task. Picture this in wow.
The moment i joined a warband and conquer a keep i understood what rvr really means(it's not about pvp).
My guess is that you might call competitive PvE an innovation. This is the only signifficant change in the way i play.
 
Is this really 2008 or are we in 1998 right now? Grouping getting hailed at as entry level game? Been there, done that. Almost decade ago. Back then though it was mocked at a bad habit, to force people into groups early and it only took 10 more years and 11 million players getting sick and tired of soloing, to change it back. I love it.

Of course, "back then" it was mocked because it was forced grouping. Group, or you can't play. EQ sucked if you tried to solo, for most classes. With WAR, what they have managed to do is actually remove all the stigma and most of the penalty from grouping, while also still retaining solo play. In EQ you HAD to group. In WAR you WANT to group. Its a subtle, yet extremely important change.
 
I don't feel Warhammer will be inovative to the industry or maintain being a sucsessfull MMO, here is why.

If you look at Warhammer currently, the unique draws are public quests, RvR, open grouping. Warhammer doesn't really have anything else that in innovative.

Public quests seem great now, but they will fail once servers are older and there aren't as many people in the area to paticipate in the public quest. PQ's are impossible to solo. PQ's really aren't a lot of fun either, maybe they get more in depth later in the game?

RvR. RvR is a buzz term for PvP with different races. Am I missing something? Mythic has hyped the term RvR since I first heard of Warhammer. I originally though it ment that different servers(called realms) would be able to fight each other. I see no difference between between RvR and horde vs. alliance. This isn't innovative, but a lot of people seem to think so.

Open grouping I see as being a mild addition into how groups are formed. Rather then having a pre-established group inviting a new player, that new player will just pop himself into the group. So this makes things easier and less awkward then how WoW's "invite me pls" grouping works. Still this is a very minor addition.

After playing Warhammer for the past couple of days I'm just rather disappointed with it. The graphics don't resemble the screen shots. The graphics aren't even close to 2008. Also my frame rate sucks. (60 fps in wow constant, 30 fps AoC constant). The combat is super clunky. My spells go off before my cast bar is finished. I get spell bars with instant cast spells. I could go on and on. With no more big MMO's on the horizon I really feel let down and almost think nothing will ever bring back the epic feeling of my first experience through Azeroth.
 
It is certainly more profoundly innovative then lets say AoC's 'revolutionary' melee combo system...:D

I like WAR alot sofar. As jason said, you want to group and guess what it is effortless too!

Also the major difference with other mmos i played (starting with UO), at least as i perceive it while playing WAR, is that from the moment your character is created, you can do "the fun stuff". The MMO trademark, the innate need to level seems to be missing entirely. This game is fun from moment 1, instead of only from level x "when the game REALLY starts". A very good thing imho.

The major weakness in the WAR structure is realm population. My realm now has very large queues, but once in, wait time for scenarios and such is brief. With its heavy emphasis on interaction be it cooperation or fighting, the WAR world looses a lot when realms get empty.
 
When WoW was just released, one of the percieved strengths was that things were not introduced all at once. That allowed people who never had played MMORPGs before to start playing and thus increase the overall size of the MMORPG market.

Currently, we have a lot more people who have a general knowledge of "industry-standard" game mechanics and UI than back in 2004, so introducing all at once might not be an impediment for WAR. But it would be interesting to watch someone who has never played MMORPGs before to try WAR.
 
WoW takes things from other games and gives it polish and they are called geniuses. WAR takes things from other games and gives them polish and they are called cloners.

Didn't the internet get tired of this discussion six months ago after having it ongoing for 1 year?
 
The problem for a lot of readers here is that no MMO is going to be truely innovative, if you are looking for a fantasy-based game where you do quests, gain levels, fight monsters, and get more powerful. The concept is already old.

The innovative part is changing how you play. As Tobold has already said, War invites you to group up early and often, whether for Public Quests, or for RvR scenarios. You aren't forced to, but you are definitely encouraged. And unlike WoW, if you are part of the quest/scenario, you are helping everyone else, even if you aren't grouped with anyone. There is a common goal. Hence, whenever I get to a PQ area, I immediately start inviting fellow players, or asking for an invite if there is already a group.

This is a change from WoW, where its every group/person for themselves. Anyone ever been to Winterspring and needed to get 2 Pristine Yeti Horns? Even seeing another player farming the same mobs is disheartening. In Warhammer, you get to a Public Quest, or any quest for that matter, and now the quest will be easier if you group...without any negative consequences.

That is just one way that War is "innovative". Innovative being a change in how a MMO is played. Joining a group in WoW isn't always the best bet. In War, it always is. That's change. Read the title of this thread.

If you are going to quibble about the fact that you are still doing quests and leveling up, than as long as you are playing a MMO, you will never actually see "innovation". You will need to play another genre of game to get the total change in gamestyle you are looking for.
 
Essentially, open grouping brings to WAR what the RaF brings to WoW, its beneficial to be in a group.

WoW never encouraged grouping due to the experience penalties for doing so, and the penalties for helping someone of lower level. What needed to be done was to actually give people an incentive to group and they would, raid groups could easily be formed in elwynn if you could do quests in them and there were raid type objectives. Simple fact is that grouping in an MMO is bad in terms of future development because the starting zones will be empty with little reason to go there, same as WoW. If you want to make mandatory group quests then you need an incentive and you need a way to let higher players help, and be rewarded for helping lower levels.
 
Hey look an ANON poster with a lame quippy response to lead all this off, go figure.

I guess ANON doesn't read your articles Tobold. Or at least get your point.

Well said.
 
I think Zode's point is a valid comment on "what will WAR lowbie zones be like in 3 years?"

However, let's look back 2-3 years when we started playing WoW, and think about what we did those first 10 levels? Even when the lowbie zones were totally crowded, did we group much? What did we do?
 
The problem with quests that can only be done in one specific week is that then everybody tries to do them at once, causing problems with server stability and overcrowding. Gates of AQ opening event didn't exactly go well. And then it's a lot of effort for relatively little outcome.

You see that's why you see innovation in glorified grouping and can't see past what I have said.

Having a daily/weekly changing environment would be tens times more innovative and not hard to do... the more you champion rubbish like this... the less real innovation we get.

I've played WoW and WAR now... I not fussed by either. Your almost daily blogging on this subject would make most people think its even important. It clearly isn't.

WAR hasn't been innovative, and WoW hasn't for an awful long time.

So you make the quests available in 10 locations, you stagger level requirements, make some rogue quests available on a Monday and warriors on a Thursday...

Do the daily quests crash the servers? No they don't! Having a weekly changing series of quests is hardly the opening of the gates of AQ.

Your short sightedness and lack of imagination only serves to demonstrate why you think open grouping is something worth pining on about day after day.
 
Dear goodness, Tobold. Sometimes I'm glad all the comments I get on my blog in gold spam.

Anyway, I finally got into the headstart yesterday (Yay, me.) and I can see exactly what you're talking about. While I still enjoy the soloing and always will, this one day of play has seen me broaden the range of activities that I'll try from the PQs to the RVR. Making me enjoy things I don't enjoy in WoW has to be an innovation.
 
the guy who plants corn his whole life all of a sudden plants soybeans...(lets see, you can plant it later, and harvest it earlier). that's not innovation.

the seed company that makes roundup ready corn and soybean seed...that changed the farmer's entire life. that's innovation.

you say "holy cow, i grouped at lvl 1 instead of 20, that's brilliant!"

uh, no.
 
While the removal of requiring everyone in the group to loot 10 items each is a good thing, each person in the group still needs to click on chests/barrels/bonfires in order to get completion credit for a quest. Quests that combine the 2 are now 50% less of a PITA.
 
If your worried your going to miss fixed group instances (wow style) head to the capital city.

In Aldorf you can head into the sewers. There are a number of small group instances where you enter, kill some trash, kill a boss and get loot. The first one we did we were all around level 14.
 
I guess its hard to see the innovation if your WoW-butthurt.

The best parts of warhammer ive notice is despite it being another MMOrpg, its fresh and exciting for me. No expansion to WoW will bring that back, nor draw my friends to giving a crack at it. This game on the other hand, appeals to my inner gamer in more ways that I thought it would.

Purposely I avoided the OB and most of the idiotic and fanatical previews of this game. The game can talk for itself once its out and playable to the public. As tobold mentioned, a book or movie review is only soo credible and useful since it intends to offer a perspective that might not match the content.

One thing I do see as innovative for warhammer in particular is that I dont feel I need to play it for 1 year straight to get into it. This is a change in comparison to MANY mmos out there currently. There is stuff to do that is entertaining, fun and geared for meaningful brawls against non-npc players. Im not sure why this hasnt picked up on MMO's sooner, (excpet maybe the "longterm" subscription effects) but games that get to the point sooner can actually be better. One of my fav games, Diablo 2, had simple grouping options and endgame still had many ways to "beat" the game (ie collecting gear, maxing out special builds ((metagaming)), or pvp scenarios (trapsin fights, zealdin fights, melee fights, w/e floats your boat). Warhammer can be the same thing, since lvl 40 is not exactly a daunting task and the point of the game isnt necesarrily the treadmill of mobs and quests, but rather the community experience and the metagaming (seeing the factions, environments, getting the gear, doing the scenarios). Quests and Mobs are frankly 2ndary content, that is there for sake of being a MMOrpg.

~ten
 
This posts pretty much hits the nail on the head, and is why WAR fans get pretty frustrated by the WoW clone talk. All the superficial stuff is similar, but the meat of the game is the open RVR, and that flows way way different than WoW leveling. The game is much more social at lower levels.

Have to agree with the poster upthread who burned out on PQs, though. Too long for resets. Too much PUG idiocy as far as tanks and healers. Overloaded or barren but nothing in between. I find myself just solo quest grinding in between scenario pops, and maybe I'll do some PQ runs with my guild sometimes. Wish Order would show up more in Open RVR on our server. The pop balance is supposed to be pretty decent and the scenario queues aren't bad, but we're still just camping them at their guards 90% of the time.
 
Im curious how a bad PQ plays out.

You said PuG idiocy, but isnt that the point of bringing in more help?
How does having more people killing the same quests mobs for you hinder the experience? Failing the PQ, sure its not moving forward (quest/rewardwise) but it was designed that way. What if the content were nearly unbeatable, and you could say you tried and fail as a game experience (google unbeatable FF11 bosses) The group didnt work because of a healer/tank you say? sure, thats a battlescar or a dent on your shield that helps you the next time. 1-40 isnt supposed to be all win all the time, and with the server R v R balance you can even choose wisely the difficulty level based on your preference.

Ya im a glass half full person. @_@

~Ten
 
I think some of the comments here are valid, and some of them are apples and oranges.

As noted before, WoW has been going on for years. Of course in lowbie land very few groups are going. Most people either solo or have their guild run them through stuff.

In a new game, those old structures are gone. Unless the whole guild has transferred over...which many have, but many haven't.

A closer comparison would be : in 2 years time, will people still be able to find others to do PQ without going to guild? Will ganking be happening by bored maxed out characters against undergeared newbies?

Warhammer has an advantage in that the playing field is level. No old MMO can claim that. Eve Online, LOTRO, WoW, EQ are all established. The people who have been there from the beginning are of course going to be more advanced than a day 1 newb.

In this sense, claiming that this "innovation" will continue beyond inception is something time will need to tell. Min/Maxers will soon be out in force telling people to do these quests, but not these for the best rewards, or to bypass this quest line as too long and not rewarding enough. Etc. Etc.

Heck, I've even gotten gold-seller tells in War already! It won't be long before the honeymoon is over.

It's still a very solid game, but give it a year and see :)
 
@anonymous,
Your short sightedness and lack of imagination only serves to demonstrate why you think open grouping is something worth pining on about day after day.

I could say exactly the same thing about your belief that having quests only available for a couple of days EVER would be innovative and problem free. It would be a design nightmare, a customer service nightmare, and a gameplay stability nightmare. It would either be the gates of AQ every week, or it would be ignored or only used by a tiny portion of the playerbase, and thus a waste of resources.

Armchair game design doesn't work, and coming up with an untested idea doesn't make you an innovative genius. Sorry.
 
W/E you guys can argue all day long, but the fact is that this is the first MMO where I have had genuine fun while leveling.

That is innovative. Or if its not, I don't care, cause I'm having fun.

My biggest problem with WAR is that there are too many people trying to play!
 
Imagine you would start a new character in World of Warcraft today, and leveled him up to level 9

That should read "Imagine you are a new Player in World of Warcraft, and levelled him to level 9". Big, big difference.

A friend of mine has just started playing World of Warcraft for the first time.

Upon first starting a character, his immediate question was - "where are all these players?"

Having then discovered them, he asked if he could join them in killing things and doing quests, and got into his first group at level 3. One of those players took my friend under his wing and explained a lot about his class, about the game, about gearing up, about.. well everything really.

He's now a level 36, and still grouping with that first player. And he still has plenty of questions about the game:

- Why should I PvP?
- Why do I have to travel to capital cities to learn how to use weapons?
- What is a trade skill?

But for all that, he is having amazingly pure fun just running around and exploring. He fell off a cliff in the troll newbie zone, swam around the coast, got on a boat and ended up being attacked by a gorilla in Stranglethorn Vale. His response? "Wow, this place is HUGE!"

The reason why people don't group at low levels in WoW is because they know the fastest way to level is to play solo. Plus they've done the quests before. A new player has no such luxury. For them, its much more fun to group, because, well, that is what the game is supposed to be about.
 
What I have learned from Warhammer so far:

(1) There is a difference between "new" and "good" - people mistakenly seem to think the first equals the second

(2) It's easy to get all excited about how "social" a game is when there's 2,857 of you starting out, and you're guaranteed to find a group that all want to do the same thing for the same length of time - try it again when there are three of you in an area

(3) It's easy to overlook sub-par graphics and game mechanics when you're staring at new scenery

(4) Anyone who denigrates solo play in an MMORPG probably is not employed - only those people for whom free time really means something probably "get" the value of solo play in the vicinity of other solo players

(5) Lipstick can be applied to MMORPG's as well
 
Though I agree that what WAR is doing is certainly different, it's not all that "new" or "innovative." Just different. If this is the new standard for MMO's, I for one will be very unhappy, as I found my time in WAR to be almost as anti-social as in WoW, Open grouping and PQ's are fun, but hardly require communication.

I can't speak from an RvR point of view, because it doesn't interest me, but from a strict PvE point of view. It snoozed me.

WAR may be fun for you now, but you can't say that the first time you levelled 1-60 in WoW wasn't amazing.
 
Innotive or not, I am FAR FAR FAR more willing to join an open group in WAR (Questing/PQ/RvR) than joining a PUG in WoW (or any other previous MMO for that matter).

Given that WAR is an MMO, it has changed the way I play simply because I now go looking for open groups and am dissapointed if there isn't a viable one available.

WAR is a great game. I'm loving it. And I chuckle at people who dis it simply because it isn't WoW (and by proxy dis Tobold for saying positive things about it :P ).

Cya on the battlefield Tobold! :)
 
Well, i cant agree with you more Tobold, But one thing that stood out to me about Warhammer and what i feel is truly innovative about it is WAR has truly engaged MMO bloggers like you and Keen to a whole new level.

No other MMO, even WoW has come of age so nicely with the blogging community, to the extent of even you guys creating guilds like CoW and Happy Fun Guyz.

That to me, is INNOVATION through engaging the mature gaming communty, instead of raging fanbois in some general forums.
 
It seems like a pretty incremental change in playstyle to me, at least so far.

The actual mechanics of combat pretty much identical to WoW, and I can see how people would be left with the impression it is a WoW clone.

My experience with the open quests has been pretty mixed so far. Pulling a random group of people and trying to complete an objective is bound to have mixed results, because it is going to be dependent on the ability of the people to do their jobs. If no one knows what to do, you are going to fail.

The PvP games I have played so far are basically Arathi Basin. Playing Order, I seem to lose all the time, and I play Alliance in WoW...

I think the changes are interesting, I am having fun playing the gamer, and I think there is potential there. Overall though, the feel is not that different than WoW.
 
What I read here is a complete nonsense :

You are comparing the lvl 1 to lvl 9 gameplay of a 3 years old game to a just released game.

On the first days of WoW, I was certainly not playing alone.
 
Ah, but as people have said many times:

You can't compare WAR at launch to launch WoW: you have to compare launch WAR to the current WoW. That was generally used to attack WARs polish, but the comparison quite often reflects badly on WoW.

So yeah, so what? The games are what the games are. WAR will have a more active lowbie area for a few years, maybe much longer if they don't cut off the newbie spigot as Blizz seems to have done with many servers.
 
People who don't like solo play are unemployed? WTF?

I'm fully employed, and I got to tell you solo play in an MMO is lame as hell. I don't get the unemployed thing-- do unemployed people like people more? Or do you mean that employed people need a space to be away from other people because of simmering misanthropy? If so, seek therapy.

Single player MMO content is always and forever the suck. Any competent single player game would be more fun to play than an MMO as a single player. If you need alone time, boot up GTA 4 and try to see how long you can shoot cops before they catch you. Much more cathartic than farming primal manas.
 
"Any competent single player game would be more fun to play than an MMO as a single player..."

No, no - you don't get it. Single player games and MMORPG's are apples and oranges. My point was that people for whom free time is scarce like to have control over how they spend that free time - they want to do what they want when they want, and not on someone else's terms (or timeframe). The single player comparison is irrelevant - those types of games are not MMORPG's, and are not a comparable experience.

Is your real life constantly in groups? No, you go about your business sometimes in a group, but much of the time not. Why is this concept so alien to people who lambaste solo play in MMORPG's?
 
I am so with the above poster...

Solo play if fine and the bread and butter of MMORPGs.

Grouping is done when you need it...

I'll do most things in my life alone and go get a beer with mates when I want too.

Again, I like to log on and do what I want when I want to and not have to rely on 13 years old and crappy groups to do it.
 
But you don't HAVE to group in WAR. This talk about solo vs. group play is all wrong. In WAR, it is often like soloing while grouped. The benefit of grouping without the forced formality.


If you do it, it is because it is effortless and fun, and makes your play session nice and smooth. You don't even have to talk to the people when you join. You just get in, do your thing, and then go your seperate ways. You can talk if you want, make friends if you want, or take it easy and just do your thing. Treat the other players like NPCs if you like. It's not a formal kind of grouping, which is all the difference in the world. Its truly casual grouping.

Its hard to explain unless you have played it.

Tobold has got it right.
 
Tobold hasn't got it right.

What you say is true... but isn't the point really is it!

The point is do you champion a game and declare it innovative and ground breaking based on open grouping alone?

I wouldn't.
 
Innovative? Yes. Ground-breaking? No.
 
Ground breaking and innovative. This has turned into a semantics discussion.

The oxford dictionary says of Innovation:

• noun 1 the action or process of innovating. 2 a new method, idea, product, etc.

It says of Ground Breaking:

• adjective innovative; pioneering.


Warhammer's grouping is indeed a new method. That has been covered well enough in this and other posts. Therefore it is innovative.

If, instead of innovation you are looking for strict and total creation. Something new, made from scratch... well, only God can do that. "There is nothing new under the sun."

If you are looking for something that redefines the genre, well that is a bit of a misnomer, as redefining is simply a jump to a different genre or a hybrid of existing genres. Hellgate London did that.

I think folks need to stop and try and envision what it is they are searching for. The "that's not innovation but I'll know it when I see it" approach is not really conducive to any kind of productive discussion. If WAR had the same grouping system as WoW but changed the name for it, you would have a strong argument, but as it stands, if you don't have a taste for the idea and its implementation, or you simply are not excited about it, that does not make it less innovative.
 
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