The state of Wow's design

WotLK!It’s been roughly six months since the last expansion came out, so I thought it would be a good time to give my thoughts about how the game has evolved and where it is today.

Short disclaimer: this is, as usual, a very long article that I’m pretty sure a lot of people won’t have the time to read. I’m ok with it; my short little fun blurbs have a much better home on my twitter page, and I aim my blog articles at some slightly more in depth analysis. My aim here isn’t to just state what I like or dislike, but rather to take a longer look at the hows and whys of the choices that were made, and try to understand the philosophy of this type of game design. I would recommend this article to any Wow fan, but also any MMO enthusiast who doesn’t have the time to get to level 80 in Wow and explore the intricacies of Blizzard’s designs.
So anyway, if you have a little bit of time to waste I hope you enjoy it and it brings something to your day! 🙂

Ok, here we go:


May 18th, 2009 | 16 Comments

Is Bioware the next Blizzard?

A few weeks ago, Bioware and Lucasart “revealed” to the world their next big project: a Star Wars based MMO called Star Wars – The Old Republic. Or SWTOR, for short (good luck on pronouncing that one).

Many companies have claimed to be building Wow killers in the past four years. And most have failed, some miserably. Even if some of them seem to remain healthy, I never thought any of them would actually succeed in rivaling Warcraft. And here is the reason why : they came from companies that made MMOs.
People get into patterns, accept rules and thought processes. The problems that plagued MMOs before Wow came along were numerous: tedious gameplay, penalty for failure, limited solo experience, and of course lack of polish. All these have been well documented and mostly adressed in the games that came out after Wow did. But that’s not enough to change the way people actually do things. You can’t tack a solution  on an already plagued process. To really make something new, you have to start with a blank slate, and none of these company could really do that, no matter how much they claimed they would. They came with their own experience, which was ultimately detrimental to the product. Sure; there were a few good ideas along the way, and some great ones even. But none of them really broke away from the “MMO model” they had inherited.


November 27th, 2008 | 9 Comments