Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Following People Are Wrong

I hate mis-information. Funny to say that, because I'm responsible for my fair share of it. However, I am fairly willing to correct myself. The following people are wrong and need to correct themselves.

NOTE: None of the following have deleted any comments.

1. Someone at DungeonRun.
2. Cameron at Random Battle.
3. Earnest Cavalli, the guy who originally drug out the dead horse, over at Wired's Game|Life blog.

I don't really want to put a lot of energy into this post, but I need to outline a bit of my argument here. First of all, it has been proven, beyond-a-doubt, where the Warcraft universe originated. Mr. Cavalli even states so in his article:
"Of course, I realize the Warcraft universe is functionally lifted wholesale from the Warhammer universe..."
Point numero uno, Warhammer's look was here first, not Warcraft's. Therefore, Warhammer Online has every right in the world to look the way it does without a copycat tag being applied.

Next point on the docket: the game-play in the video sucks and looks staged. Well, that is correct, as stated by Paul Barnett in the video!

Lastly, the proposal that someone could mistake this video for World of Warcraft. We've covered the "similar looks" debate in the first point. I'll bend a little bit here, as WAR is shaping up to play and feel a lot like WoW. However, that is a bit misleading and I'll explain it a bit here.

WoW does a lot of things right. Not just in terms of MMOs, but in the terms of just being a game. I will not play games that do not follow the benchmarks set by WoW. If that means WAR feels and plays a lot like WoW, then so be it, but that is what games (not just MMOs) need to do in today's PC gaming market. However, don't for a second call that a "clone". The whole clone debate is something fairly restricted to the elite MMO circles out there and is a dead horse beyond worth beating.

To reiterate the points presented here. The Warhammer look came first and was liberally used in the creation of the Warcraft universe. The game play in the WAR video is staged and is not representative of the way players will eventually play. Finally, WoW is a great game and other games should LEARN from the aspects that WoW has perfected.

I know, I'm not being nice. Go here for a nicer version of what I'm trying to say.


  1. Anonymous12:47 PM

    World of Warcraft sucks. It's completely destroyed the standards for MMOs. I hope both games die in a fire.

    Freakin' kiddy BS.

  2. Heartless, your comment wasn't deleted on DungeonRun.com, it was held for approval by ASKIMET spam blocker in wordpress due to the link pasted into the comment.

    Any criticism being levied at Warhammer over that video is well deserved for the content being utter crap.

    I could care less who had what look or style first. I don't need a excuse for why the video was bad, the combat being staged and looking awful (And no, that's not a compliment towards WoW either).

    The MMO community needs to see WHY Warhammer is different and better than WoW. Just HOW will it turn the established norms upside down with meaningful PvP?

    Like it or not, WoW is the benchmark, and honestly I don't think it's really that high of one as far as PvP gameplay goes.

    Mythic/EA have a LOT of work to do, and trickling out media like that video is just doing them a disservice.

  3. Anonymous12:55 PM

    I can appreciate that you disagree with what might have been a knee-jerk blog post, but come on man-- don't sling mud unless it's justified. I've NEVER deleted a comment because someone disagreed with me, or even because they've outright insulted me.

    If the other sites are doing that, fine, slam them for it, but don't make it sound like I am too.

    I have thicker skin than that.

    Also, I DO think the gameplay an movement are heavily reminiscent of WoW. I'm not making a judgement call, just an observation. I know Warhammer came first. I know Warcraft drew a lot of material from it. I understand.

    My issue with the video was that it doesn't show gameplay. It shows a FRAPS video of staged combat. You're right. He says that. I still don't see how I'm "wrong and need to correct myself."

    And I certainly don't delete comments. Grumble grumble.

  4. 1... 2... 3... correction issued. No one deleted comments. See, I foreshadowed that in my first sentence.

    Again, the video is well described by the people in it. If you want to sit here and bash it at least admit that you got exactly what they said they were giving you. Don't sit back and try and tell everyone the video was something it wasn't.

    I'm not slinging mud, just stating that a comment appeared and disappeared, akin to a deletion.

  5. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Fine. The video was exactly what they said it was.

    Which is still... lame. Because it shows us very little about the game. Like I said, it's puffery.

    I'm not really that excited about Warhammer anyway, though, so my opinion should be shelved and ignored if you are.

  6. Still, that IS THE POINT OF THE VIDEO! It was released in the newsletter for fans, not as a general marketing video.

  7. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Well, you had best get used to the flesh being flayed to the very bones of that dead horse Heartless.

    You, I, and that circle of elite MMO players may know about the tabletop game that pre-dated WoW by a couple decades, but the mass market, the majority of the WoW market, neither knows nor cares.

    So get your heavy weather gear set, to change metaphors, because there will be a huge storm of "it's just a WoW clone" comments coming.

  8. Anonymous1:29 PM

    At least we're sort of objective and fairly polite. Wilhelm is right. Wait till the WoW general forums start discussing it.

    Won't that be fun? :D

  9. Actually the WoW forums have already gone over the topic, several times. That is not my concern though.

    My problem is with the people that know better and still try to pass WAR off as copying WoW. I could care less about some nooblet that needs to be redirected to a FAQ.

  10. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Gah! It's irrelevant whether the concepts have been copied from WoW-- that's not even debatable! Everyone knows (or should know) that WAR came first.

    But the mechanics of the MMORPG HAVE been influenced by WoW! It would be stupid not to. They had their IP first, but they made their MMOG second, so it's a fair comparison.

    If you want to say that people shouldn't complain about WAR ripping off WoW's plot and characters... fine, good, that makes sense. You'd be stupid to argue that (and wrong).

    But saying that the game "feels" like WoW from a mechanical, movement, combat, or quest perspective is a perfectly valid observation! Of course they're going to borrow from a successful MMOG. Their online game is being made second.

    Even if the plot is granddaddy WAR's creation, they're stealing just as much back in MMO mechanics if any of those other things look or feel like WoW. Which is really secondhand theft from older games, but lets not get into that.

  11. Anonymous2:31 PM

    "It was released in the newsletter for fans, not as a general marketing video."

    Those newsletters for fans ARE for marketing purposes. Plain and simple.

  12. Damn it Cameron, why do we always end up trying to say the same thing.

    Yes, it is marketing, but it is targeted marketing, with an explanation included, to a group of people that have an above average interest in the game.

    That is not my definition of general marketing. General marketing videos are what we see at CES, E3, etc.

  13. Targetted marketing? More like lazy marketing.

    Is this level of effort on their part really acceptable, what service did it do for the fans or community to see that ill-advised clip?

    I AM their target market as a PvP gamer that's been looking for a new MMO.

    In fact I recently resubbed to WoW after having quit 11 months ago, just for the opportunity to PvP with friends who came back to the game as well.

  14. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Which MMO would you say has the best overall animation on the market, in terms of fluid and expressive movement that fits well with an over the top fantasy art style? Well that would be WoW.

    Which MMO currently on the market has the most fast paced and responsive turn based combat. Well, hey what do you know? That would also be WoW.

    Ergo, if you are making a modern MMO (especially one with a very similar aesthetic to WoW), you would be a complete fucking dumbass not to copy the animation and combat style of WoW.

    Does that make the game a WoW clone? Well, if you are such a newber that you think that you can get a good feel for the entire game design based on a few minute long promotional video, then yes..yes it does.

    I have to agree with the Heartless, the MMO bloggers cited know better. That video is one of dozens they have released, yet for some bizzare reason everyone is ripping this particular video a new asshole. And for what....??! For having combat that looks staged in a video of staged combat!!! Are you out of your damn minds?

    And bitching because the animation and combat are fluid and polished like WoW..WTF is that?!? It's like bitching about a sports car because it handles like a Porsche.

    WAR is innovating in the areas where innovation is needed: quest design, PvP, and end game. As far as the basic mechanics of how you run around and kill stuff, they aren't fucking up what isn't broken. More power to them.

    Case in point: I don't see anyone giving LoTRO mad props for having clunky amateurish animations and stilted combat just because it doesn't resemble WoW.

  15. Scott, this video is NO different from the videos we have received for the past year and a half via the newsletter.

  16. Anonymous5:00 PM

    PS: In case your wondering, not in in WAR beta, not in any way affiliated with the Mythic or playing DAoC. Actually a since-open-beta LoTRO lifer and quite happy with it (despite the clunky animations).

    I think it's the whole WoW ripping off Warhammer and then WAR getting called a WAR clone thing. It makes my blood boil.

    Plus the WAR (and LoTRO for that matter) getting called a WoW clones for actually having casual friendly designs. Are all future turn/ class based MMOs that don't punish you for having the temerity to install them now going to be WoW clones?

    Apologies if the tone of my post was a little over the top.

  17. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Whoa, you nerds need to chill the hell out.

  18. Anonymous5:09 PM

    I was going to write a long, involved, academic response, but then I realized that I simply don't care what you guys think.


  19. Anonymous5:58 PM

    Actually, it's not just Heartless and one anyonymous lunatic:


  20. It's OK Earnest, everyone can read your post and observe where you contradict yourself.

    No, I don't have anything more intelligent than that to say. Hell, I even spelled intelligent correctly.

  21. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Seriously, who gives a flying f**k about people that think WAR may be a copycat? They're just showing their bias/ignorance by stating that.

    WAR tabletop/PnP came first, WoW lifted a lot from both WAR and many others.

    The point is, if people were that worried about playing something that's "copycat", WoW wouldn't have any where near the numbers it has as it's the copycat king.

    The important thing for WAR is wholly and solely whether it's fun to play or not.

  22. C'mon I played tabletop warhammer fantasy, and 40K even blood bowl back in 1985 when it had a styrofoam board and I never remember warhammer fantasy artwork being as childish as wow. I watch that video and it looks like it is shot outside Ironforge. I played this game at GenCon 2007 and it is and looks like a freaking wow clone. Warhammer artwork never looks like that people. Give me a break fanboys...

  23. Anonymous10:29 PM

    I honestly have to ask all of you who say the gameplay and movement look like WOW if you have ever played ANY other MMORPG than WOW?

    I'm serious. ALL damn MMORPG's combat and movement look the same when you get down to it.

    You're just seeing it now because the art style looks like WOW. Slap WOW art style on EQ2 and you all will be saying it looks like WOW.

  24. Gah! It's irrelevant whether the concepts have been copied from WoW-- that's not even debatable! Everyone knows (or should know) that WAR came first.

    I completely agree. We could go all the way back to tolken and complain that they both stole ideas from him. There's really not much room for new and innovative fanatasy . No matter h ow you reskin it it'll always have the same basic elements in differing amounts.

  25. Anonymous12:23 AM

    while i dont agree with heartless's other post, i have to agree with him on this one.

    ppl with agenda tend to bend the truth a bit to support their view. dont put too much energy on that video. too much bias imho

  26. Anonymous3:17 PM

    I thought this was a great blog post. Anyway, there are a few things that always perplex me when anyone starts to compare [insert MMO title] vs. WoW. The graphics: WoW's graphics are underwhelming at best. I understand alot of people like the WoW stylization but to me they look like Nintendo 64 graphics at best. The gameplay: Just about every gameplay feature in WoW has seen the light of day in another MMO prior to WoW.

    WoW does a phenomenal job of bringing everything together visually and all of it's gameplay features work very well - nothing groundbreaking though.


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