Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why WoW is a bad game, reason #6

Lack of original ideas
“One quirk – I won’t say problem – about the Horde, is that they are not attractive, and their lands tend to be harsh. So we wanted to give players a more appealing, beautiful race that also fits thematically with the Horde.”
-Jeffrey Kaplan, World of Warcraft lead designer,
Computer Gaming World, December 2005

The above statement from Jeff K himself (Tigole), was about why Blizzard choosed Night Elves for horde, he didn't mention that it would save them lots of slack. Practically it's a slightly re-modeled Night Elf with a color change, and that means that they don't need to rework all the armors in the game to fit the "new" race. Blood Elves is the "new" race for the horde...

"I've voiced this a couple of times, but I think it bares repeating.

In almost every interview, faq, etc., Blizzard has mentioned the gameplay with be easy to jump into and be geared torward drawing in new players, which is fantastic idea. My main fear is that in doing this, they will go overboard and make the gameplay too simplistic, turning it into a hack, slash, find good items, heal, repeat, game like Diablo 2. I love Diablo 2, but it's an item finding game (or at least that's what it's turned into) and that's not what WoW should be. WoW should have more soul, more background. It should be not about who has the best armor and weapons, but about exploring the World of Warcraft and meeting the people inside of it.

So I implore you, please give WoW the soul and creativity it deserves. Make it more than the sum of its parts. That's what it needs to make it truly great."
-BlackDraco, September 01 2002

The story of World of Warcraft is a continuation on the Warcraft series, which it also should be, but it's still not very original. The whole fantasy concept of the game with Night Elves, Dwarfs, Orcs, Gnomes (Hobbits), Dragons and mostly every other creature in WoW is inspired by the standard Tolkien kind of fantasy. The gameplay is very similiar to Diablo II, with its repetitive hack & slash ideas, and the single goal of striving for better items.

The few ideas that are actually somewhat original is mostly exploited to the extent that it doesn't feel new and fresh at all, but used and boring instead.

Most of the "new" features such as battlegrounds, honour and "world events" was either inspired by or a direct visiualization of ideas from Guardians of Azeroth forum members. Sure it's nice to listen to the community, but to do it 3 years late and call it new, is not. Pyaray, who were one of the forum members, has been employeed by Blizzard. A interesting note is that his name was once on the top of the reserved names list.

"Arena- This will be much bigger than a Duel. Players enter a "zone" that has been specially marked as a battlefield. Only a certain amount of people are allowed to enter a battlefield. You enter the battlefield, choose one of two sides and just start fighting. If you die you DO NOT suffer any consequences, you are just removed from the battle. Once a battle has begun no one else can join until one team has won. To win, one of the following things has to happen: one team, kills all members of the opposing force, one army surrenders, or all the players of one team just leave the battlefield. There will be number of battlefields throughout the world. A guild/faction may reserve a battlefield by contacting a GM."

A few topics from Guardians of Azeroth forums:
Reputation (September 01 2002)
Unique Mobs (September 27 2002)
Spawn and Loot Rules (September 29 2002)
Chat System (September 30 2002)
Gurubashi Arena and Duels (October 07 2002)
Item Creation (November 04 2002)
World Events (November 08 2002)
Class Specific Items (November 16 2002)

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