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May 8th, 2008, 16:22
Oli Welsh editorial on MMOs as part of the MMO week.
Age of Conan and WAR are both fantasy RPGs. They're very far from being copycats; each comes loaded with its fair share of innovations, grand designs and unique selling points, Conan with its more down-to-earth setting and dynamic combat, WAR with its clever structure for interracial warfare on a massive scale. Neither should they be accused of jumping on WoW's thematic bandwagon; that game, after all, is merely a perfection of the dominant paradigm in MMO gaming going back to the Ultima days, and a reflection of the genre's roots in pen-and-paper roleplaying.
But the fact remains that they're both going to be perceived as extremely similar to WoW by the mass-market. Many in the industry are decrying this, saying that MMOs must broaden their appeal if they're to survive WoW's reign and capitalise on it. The trouble is, experience doesn't bear them out. Looking at last year's pair of MMO contenders, Turbine's polished fantasy stalwart Lord of the Rings Online has performed respectably, while NCsoft's much more innovative science fiction game, Tabula Rasa, is locked in a desperate struggle to retain its audience, never mind grow it.
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May 8th, 2008, 16:22
Arggg not Oli Welsh again…

Honestly, this is again such a superficial blabla, I wish he would just shut up and crawl back under his rock. Tabula Rasa didn't fail because it's too innovative, but because it's crap.

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May 8th, 2008, 16:29
I … at least see the point that the RPG genre is dominated by fantasy-themed games.

Almost no Sci-Fi-themed games. (Apart from Mass Effect, yes.)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 8th, 2008, 16:44
Innovation is a good thing if it's an improvement but the old adage goes, if it aint broke, don't fix it. Changing something merely for the sake of change and as a selling point doesn't work if it isn't a genuine improvement on an existing system.

With regards to Tabula Rasa, I really liked the game but it had no long term value for me, primarily due to the lack of any need to group. And what few groups you did get were so aweful that you had no desire to group again, which didn't matter because you didn't need a group to do anything.

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May 8th, 2008, 17:21
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I … at least see the point that the RPG genre is dominated by fantasy-themed games.

Almost no Sci-Fi-themed games. (Apart from Mass Effect, yes.)
Ya, but do we really need Oli Welsh to tell us things that we know already? This really is so yesterdays news.

I absolutely don't share the nowadays common opinion (there also was an article recently where some SOE guys said something similar) that you should not be too innovative because players will reject it. It's such a lame excuse why your game failed. For many gamers WoW was their very first MMO and it was 100% pure innovation for them, and they still kept on playing it.
It's more like Caliga says, don't just change something just for innovation's sake. I'm pretty sure that you could make a game that is very different from WoW and which could become a major success on the mmo market - people simply haven't found the right formular yet. Taking into account the pretty long development cycles of mmos, this isn't very surprising.

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May 8th, 2008, 17:33
A bit off topic, but anyone play Eve Online? I always wanted to play a Privateer Online and it seems like it is essentially that.

My problem with any of these MMO's is that it always seems that to really get the full experience of the game (IE access all the items and areas) you have to join guilds and such, and I just don't have the time for that.

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May 8th, 2008, 17:53
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
Ya, but do we really need Oli Welsh to tell us things that we know already? This really is so yesterdays news.
I don't know him, but I acknowledge his article as kind of an reminder.

Things tend to get forgotten pretty fast within the industry.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 8th, 2008, 17:59
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
A bit off topic, but anyone play Eve Online?
I would say this is directly on topic. EVE Online has a world market share of 1.5%, which puts it in position 7 of all MMOs. And it has a slowly rising subscription base, which makes it the only successful sci-fi MMO at the moment.
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May 8th, 2008, 19:46
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I don't know him, but I acknowledge his article as kind of an reminder.

Things tend to get forgotten pretty fast within the industry.
Well, he's the idiot from Eurogamer who gave WoW a 10/10 in his (in)famous re-review of the game.

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May 8th, 2008, 22:50
Oh, THAT one …

I admit that that is … weird at least …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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