Friday, 18 September 2009

WoW vs (other)

One talked about MMORPG coming very soon is AION.

I spent some time last night researching this, not because I’m about to jump ship, but because I have found that games such as Age of Conan and Warhammer Online (both great games!) have offered me a really enjoyable short-break akin to picking up an X-Box game and playing it for a month.

Inevitably the WoW comparisons overtake discussions about new MMORPG releases. This could be constructive if it were a point-by-point comparison as to how game-play issues were addressed in different or similar ways. You know, things that really matter.

However more often what we get is comments like:

‘WoW gets pwned’

‘WoW sucks’

If you dislike World of Warcraft – fine. But if you really believe that WoW sucks, then you need to add a bit more substance to your argument. Because as a solution to the challenge of creating an interactive virtual fantasy world, WoW clearly doesn’t suck.

First off we need to define the contested territory. Beautiful graphics may be a big consideration for some. But your personal preference to look like an emo in Aion rather than a cartoon character in WoW is only going to get you so far. If you just like eating cake and have no literally no idea what ingredients actually make a good cake then keep your mouth shut.

Core issues, i.e. things that contribute to the quality of the gaming experience are more to do with actual play issues that are; economic and social, that consider player reward and playtime longevity, environment immersion, learning-curve, variety and choice.

Second, on both sides of the fence, enough about what is a WoW-Clone or who stole ideas from Everquest. Unless your tipple of choice is 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons, then it’s a moot point.

WoW has been embellished continually since its release. It has a lot of content and designers are responsive to the needs of the community, continually increasing the functions available to its subscribers. For this reason alone it will be extremely difficult to challenge by any new offering at point of release.

This isn’t to prove that’s it’s the best MMORPG possible, or even available already. I simply ask debaters to weigh up the ingredients that actually matter when exploring relative merits. I have to wonder if people who genuinely think that WoW is a poor offering will recognise a better one when it comes along… or know why it is better!

1 comment:

  1. Fey: " If you just like eating cake and have no literally no idea what ingredients actually make a good cake then keep your mouth shut."

    I want to have my cake and eat it!

    Aion does look incredibly pretty though. Personally more excited about Star Trek Online (though won;t be released for Mac (boo!) and Final Fantasy 13 (summer 2010) and 14 (the next FFMMO)