Thursday, July 10, 2008

Perfect Analogy

Sometimes, an analogy fits a point of view perfectly.

Age of Conan is to "The Fantastic Four" as Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is to "The Dark Knight".

Thanks Satarious!


  1. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Warhammer is, like AoC, just another game most people play for awhile before they go back to WoW. Just like AoC, some will stay... but I am amused by everyone always pointing to the games they have as dull, boring and bug-ridden, but this upcoming game that is not released will be the shining toilet of gold we all wait for.

    Anticipation is pretty powerful. Once the new Batman movie is out, then everyone will see it and then nobody will care about it ever again, just like the first one. These days, MMOs have become the same sort of transitory pleasures that movies have become.

  2. Well there is one huge difference here Tipa:

    Conan sucked and WAR does not.

    There is enough content in WAR to put it on par with fully released MMO's that are out already and still struggling to deal with early releases.

    WAR will provide a home to hard core MMO players, whereas Conan never really had a selling point besides Console combat and boobies.

    I dont get excited too often and bandwagon on MMO's, but after being in the WAR beta I am ready.

  3. Tipa, I am supposed to be the angry and downtrodden one around here!

    After following AoC for a while, a lot of the players did not come from WoW. They played WoW, didn't find what they wanted, and went back into waiting. AoC isn't delivering for most of them, so they are back in the queue.

    Granted, I have a fairly odd and limited circle of acquaintances in regards to MMO play, but they are quickly showing me that WAR is a game that will grab a lot of long-time bystanders ALONG WITH a healthy portion of bored WoW players. Some of those WoW players will play WAR, give up a month later, and return to WoW, but I think there will be a significant portion that realize the full-featured reality of WAR compared to the feature-lacking WoW.

  4. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Heartless, I dearly hope you're right about WAR, but my own hopes are tempered by the realization that a cerain segment of the community will not be happy with WAR regardless of how good it is, and that segment will be the loudest... much like it is for AoC, which is a better game than you think. Yeah, I dropped AoC along with a bunch of other people, but that doesn't mean it was lousy, just that we didn't find what we were looking for there.

    AoC is pretty clearly, I think, going to settle down some from the huge buzz around the launch as the new smell wears off. I think it has a long life ahead of it, and in any case I think it's going to be a successful game. Funcom hasn't impressed me with the fixes they've ut in sor far, but it's early enough that I think they will find their way and the thing will settle into a comfortable 250-500K. Not medium-reshaping numbers but healthy ones.

    I've been reading and listening to some things recently that have me fairly upbeat about WAR, despite having been unimpressed with where it was about a year ago. It's considerably more impressive-looking now, and if all of the important promised features launch with the game, are as cool as they sound today and actually work right, it could certainly be a big hit.

  5. Problem for WAR a year ago was lack of information and a spur of beta leaks from players that played a new beta wave for ten minutes and found out that OMFG it was an actual beta... not just a free look at the finished game. The whole PvP flagging debate and such followed not to long after, which put WAR fans in a down mood. Since then, the beta testers have been giving rave reviews :)

    Preliminary, community-spawned census numbers indicate that AoC is in a pretty deep slide, comparable to the on Vanguard experienced. I have no doubt a small cadre of fans will firm up AoC's numbers, but like I've said before: AoC's best moment was launch. Its server merges and patches for the downhill climb of AoC.

    And the AoC quasi-disaster should give every WAR fan hope. If an incomplete, but flash-in-the-pants game like AoC can draw 700,000 buyers, Mythic could put shit in a box and sell a million probably.

    Anyways, I have undaunted faith in Mythic, with only slight fears of the EA mingling. I could be setting up for complete failure, but I honestly don't have my expectations set that high. I never do. I never will.

    WAR will be a solid, fun, full-featured, and community-built gaming experience.

  6. Anonymous2:24 PM

    I dunno if people quit AoC because of bugs. My gut feeling is that people left AoC because it was close enough to WoW that they just felt they might as well play the real thing. And that's my FEELING, not based on WAR's quality or completeness, that that will happen to WAR as well. That people will just say, well, this is like WoW except for all the things that are different, and anyway WotLK is coming out and I don't want to be left behind.

    Because AoC is a game. WAR is a game. WoW is a pop culture phenomenon. It's like you go to the store and it's NAME BRAND here, knock off brand over there. You buy the name brand.

    It has NOTHING to do with quality. When people say they play WoW, everyone is playing WoW, they can just have long conversations about the game. Play a game that is NOT WOW, and people go, oh, that's nice. And then talk to you about their WoW adventures.

    WAR could be the world's most perfect game ever. But it's not WoW, so it is an off-brand, and who cares about off-brands? Who the heck wants NEW COKE when you can still buy COKE?

  7. Age of Conan has had around 700k accounts made since it released. A decent amount of people have left after the first month probably around 40%. I think the xfire user charts are showing about that size of a decrease for the game.

    The game has bad UI design and bugs though I had worst problems in Tabula Rasa. The main beef everyone has with the game is that it tried to market itself as being heavy PvP based, but didn't have any PvP systems in place at all. I'm still enjoying the PvE dungeons in the game, but most people were looking forward to the other parts of the game that were advertised.

    Also you can't say a game doesn't suck until it actually comes out. Unless you're a beta tester and are just that impressed with the initial state of the game. I think Warhammer is going to be a good game, but I'm reserving judgement until I actually play it. While I know the PvP will probably be well designed, there's a reason DAOC was never as popular as EverQuest.

  8. Wow... so if WoW offered a blank screen, people would still play WoW cuz it's... you know, WoW? That's some solid argument you got there.
    Still, i'm pretty sure a lot of people will stick to WoW cuz of it's carebearness nature, and their utter fear of fighting something they can't predict or wowwiki. Which in the long and short run, will only enrich WAR's population. Free of kids and hardcore raiders, the game can only flourish.

  9. Tipa I think your analogy is fine, but every once and a while a Mountain Dew comes down the line. Its a soda like Pepsi, but it sure isn't Pepsi.

    Players and developers who think the King will always reign, always fall the hardest.

    I'm never going to call WAR a WoW killer, as it does not have that broad appeal that WoW has bulldozed into. However, I think WAR is going to be the game that a lot of players finally feel comfortable in enough to sever the WoW tie.

  10. Anonymous8:44 PM

    Giving up WoW for WAR is like giving up cigars for cigarettes. You're still smoking. Look, I'd be saying the same thing if SOE came out with EQ3, Now Even More Like EQ Than Ever Before! Let me put it clearly -- I will never play another game where you grind levels to 50, 70, 80, whatever, and then start raiding. I did it with EQ, WoW, and EQ2, and now I am immune.

    You know how annoying people are when they first give up smoking? Well, I am that annoying person. And I'm gonna call a WoW clone a WoW clone where I see them, and I won't be playing them. When I play a game, I would like to have the possibility of doing something I have not done before.

  11. I am in the same boat as Tipa. The MMO grind is proving to be a bore. I log into EQ2 once in a while after I had left AoC...
    I put in more hours on the simple but very well designed Guild Wars.

    No underlying meta game that needs major overhauls, just some balancing tricks
    No crafting

    A simple hop in and hop out game.
    A leveling curve that does not become a job.

    And if anything, if I want another game, I will start to stray away from MMO's.
    FPS's look cool, Devil May Cry is fun, Witcher has been excellent.

    I love the MMO concepts, but no one knows how to really do it. All except for Blizzard..
    AoC almost had it. But, they focused on the wrong crowd.
    They had quick leveling, unique classes, something besides "Hit 1 and watch" combat.
    Yet, the PvP which was not ready got in the way, and now the metagame is failing.
    The underlying "Story driven" "Questing" PvE system that was worth a crap and moved at a great pace? GONE!

    All thanks to a PvP core that was not done.

    WAR also will be a grind no matter how much the devs chant "It will not"

    WAR will change at the last minute, and then the screaming will begin.
    The only difference? No forums for them to bitch about it.

  12. Openedge and Tipa,

    Any game with achiever-based gameplay is going to fit the "grind" definition you've both set.

    Even in the interview Tipa links to on West Karana explains that the market is largely based on achievement gameplay.

    The arguement is whether the King of achiever gameplay, WoW, can be replaced. I truly believe WAR will replace WoW for many players, and will rightfully be the first game to do so.

    WoW removed a TON of grind and repetitiveness from the genre, but still fell into the same end game problems.

    WAR is going to remove some more grind and is really shaping up to offer a complete experience that incorporates all the game mechanics, instead of separating the game.

    WoW is a great game, but I am quite sick of the attitude that other games can't compete in the market. AoC, PotBS, all tried to tack on a WoW game to some other idea. WAR is offering the entire WoW experience, with the same level of polish, as a base to a MUCH more feature-full game.

    No one can argue that Blizzard does anything more than the bare minimum of what people want. Maybe that is the right move, because it allows them to continually do it right. I've argued before that WoW is the end all of the achiever games, the penultimate.

    However, I personally believe Blizzard has made enough mistakes and has left the door open for a game, from an experienced developer, to take a significant portion of players.


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