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January 27th, 2007, 01:00
Originally Posted by chamr View Post
Surely you didn't mean to use the word "never".

I'm not claiming Blizzard was the first to come up with action-RPG's and RTS's. I'm asserting they were (prior to WoW) innovative in those genres. As you indicate in your post, "innovative" and "the first" are not necessarily the same thing.

Also, it's a bit of false analogy to devalue the pervasive "Diablo-clone" term in gaming literature just because a few hacks are using "WoW-clone" these days at the height of WoW mania. Check back in 9 or 10 years and see if every single MMORPG is referred to as a "WoW-clone" like every single action-RPG is referred to as a "Diablo-clone" today.

Diablo can trace a good deal of it's lasting success to Blizzard's innovations in the context of the genre. For instance, were they the first to come up with on-line multi-play? Of course not. But the way they implemented that feature and the fact they did it in an action-RPG was truly innovative. Battle.net was, arguably, the biggest factor in the franchise’s unprecedented longevity. So in this case, I would argue that success certainly was an indication of innovation.
Indeed, my mistake… what I meant was that success is not necessary a sign of innovation. And I didn't mean to devalue the term Diablo-clone (if that is possible) - I just wanted to express that such terms are rather an indicator that a game was very succesful than an indicator that it was very innovative. I mean, just take the WoW-example. You can say about the game what you want, but in a way WoW hit the mmo scene like a truck. I'm sure it will leave a lasting impression. People are using the term WoW-clone already, and almost noone talkes about Ultima Online anymore, although UO was certainly a major step in the course of mmorpg history. Such terms come and go and mean almost nothing. Might well be, that in the case of Diablo success was an indication of innovation… it's hard to tell for me. I never was a big fan of Diablo, although I played the first part.
True innovation, I think, is hard to find nowadays. You know, it is an accepted fact in literature that innovation in literature is almost non-existing. Writers nowadays get most of their ideas from other literature (and the rest from other media) - there is hardly an idea that they create themselves.
Admittedly literature is a bit older than computer games, but for me parallels are obvious. Most of the basic genres were created in the pre-pc area. Companies later on developped and mixed them as technical possibilities grew. But is that innovation? Guess that greatly depends on point of view.
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