Posted on July 23, 2007,

World of Warcraft: The King of the Hill

world of warcraft

I hit level 70 months ago. I have multiple pieces of both versions of Arena gear. My Arena team is feared throughout my battle group. Why, oh why, am I so bored?

It’s not your fault Blizzard, I swear. You try so hard to keep things fresh, to keep us coming back for more. Sadly, there’s only so much you can do. It’s been 3 years since we all were shown how MMORPGs should be made. Immersive, incredibly detailed, polished with such flair we dared imagined possible. Sadly, it may be time to move on.

For those of you like me, (been playing since LAUNCH) you may feel the same way. Yet, even with our misgivings, we still are playing WoW. Why? Well, because there’s nothing else. It’s not for lack of trying by developers. The problem exists because World of Warcraft sets up such a high standard. Lord of the Rings and Vanguard are noble efforts, but they have so much catching up to do, and the lack of initial content scares away most potential “switchers”.

So what will it take to dethrone the biggest online gaming sensation of all-time? Well, something monumental. There are plenty of MMORPGs on the horizon, so let’s take a look at the ones coming out in the next few months that might have a chance. Off we go:

Warhammer Online

warhammer

The Spin: War is everywhere in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR), the new MMORPG from the creators of Dark Age of Camelot&reg. Based on Games Workshop’s popular Warhammer&reg fantasy war game, WAR features next generation Realm vs. Realm (RvR) game play that will immerse players in a world of perpetual conflict.

Does it have a chance?
If nothing else, we know it will be well funded. With the level of finances coming into WoW, that might be what it takes. EA is throwing massive amounts of funding at this game, and if anyone has the financial backing to compete with Blizzard, it’s EA.

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures

age of conan

The Spin: â$ËœAge of Conan: Hyborian Adventures’, winner of multiple E3 awards as the best game in its genre and one of the most anticipated PC games in development, is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) where a mix of a story-driven single-player experience and a brutal and intense massively multiplayer game brings forth the ultimate representation of the Age of Conan. Now you can enter the brutal domain of the world’s greatest fantasy hero.

Does it have a chance?
Funcom has a pretty good track record for this genre, with classics like Anarchy Online and The Longest Journey under their belts. Conan also remains very “action” oriented, giving up classic MMO mechanics to appeal to a broad audience. Plus, you can totally cut dude’s heads off.

Tabula Rasa

tabula rasa

The Spin: Combining fast-paced action with the immersion of a role-playing game, Tabula Rasa takes the player on an intergalactic adventure where the individual has an opportunity to significantly impact the pace of battle on a global scale.

Does it have a chance?
What basically amounts to “Planetside done right”, Tabula Rasa may be the first true FPS that makes its mark on the MMO scene. One of the most promising aspects of Tabula Rasa is being able to have gigantic battles with NPC allies for control of entire planets. This sort of thing has been tried before. It’s just a matter of time to see if NCsoft can pull this one off.

This list doesn’t include “instanced” MMOs like Hellgate: London. That’s not to say that “free to play” titles don’t have a shot as well. You never really know. I mean there are thousands of people who still play Everquest 1, so anything is possible. The holiday season cannot get here soon enough.

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20 Comments on World of Warcraft: The King of the Hill

Peter

On July 24, 2007 at 11:54 am

WoW has it’s moments but it’s nowhere near a great game, it’s awful really. Why do people play it? Because it’s easy is why, there’s no skills involved, only time spent. I do admit I played a couple of months, got to 60 and then I realize what a crappy game I was playing.

I for one can’t wait for Conan and Hellgate. But then again I just got a PS3 so the MMORPG scene is fading for me, fading quickly.

Nik

On July 24, 2007 at 10:14 pm

From the fact that you mentioned your arena gear but nothing else I can tell you why you’re bored; You don’t raid. I’m not saying PvP isn’t fun or good but raiding can keep you involved for a hell of a long time. When you’re bored with that THEN you go PvP more than casually and by the time that gets old they’ve added some new PvE content! :P

Nate S.

On July 25, 2007 at 2:00 am

What about EVE online? despite the skill system being extremely radical compared to other MMO big leaguers, i think it has a chance, it just needs more promotion, and a starting game thats a bit more fun

Angry Planetside Fanboy

On July 25, 2007 at 2:05 am

Planetside done right? I call bull! Tabula Rasa intends to include lock-on, which means that hits aren’t a matter of aiming, they’re a matter of whether or not the probability algorithm decides you’re dealing enough damage.

Planetside didn’t have levels, either. Or mobs to grind.

onilosmada

On July 25, 2007 at 2:38 am

Free to play MMo’s are becoming more and more attractive to gamers. Games like Flyff and Guild Wars are growing in popularity. Im glad to see these games compeating with the big subscription titles. It will be interesting to see where Free to play MMo’s place will lie in future years.

Jtc

On July 25, 2007 at 3:11 am

People need to realise how much there is to experience for the non-casual gamer, PvE-wise. Your average WoW Joe will hit level 70, do some pvp, a few 5-man instances and then claims he is bored with the game because he’s done it all, and moves on.

Hitting that level 70 is just the beginning of your adventure, now see if you have the social and gaming skills to actually join a good PvE guild.

Raiding will keep you occupied for weeks, months, hell even years in my case, and keep the game interesting. You will need to come up with ways of making cash to support your raiding habit. Find a good guild with people whom you enjoy playing the game with, and you’ll see that there really is more to the game than just PvP and hitting that level cap.

Soun

On July 25, 2007 at 4:51 am

I was high end PvE raider at 60, and it was fun up to a point.
After a while you get stuck with logging in every night doing nothing else, it gets boring. And you have to farm for it to and that is realy boring so I have to say it’s time spent + skill = good raiding. Only thing is I dont have that time to spend, I want to do other things than farm when not raiding and I dont want to raid every day. This is the problem with WOW you need to spend way to much time for it to be fun.

I would like a game where you can jump in when you want to and have time and not to be forced to play for long periods of time for it to be fun.

Urbanotter

On July 25, 2007 at 5:19 am

Most serious players I know switch back and forth between MMORPGs as updates and addons become available. I find this article very lacking in scope in that EQ2 isn’t at least mentioned here …

old warcrafter

On July 25, 2007 at 5:40 am

maybe it’s not the fact the game is getting boring…but the fact your growing out of the game?

Drew

On July 25, 2007 at 5:41 am

You know what will knock WOW out? If they make Elder Scrolls a MMORPG it would be the best game in the world. Imagine if you were playing oblivion, but with the ability to create guilds, go raiding, etc etc. That game would be the shizee

Wesker

On July 25, 2007 at 5:57 am

I am looking at a new MMORPG where you need skill it is called The Chronicles of Spellborn Check it out. I tryed to get in to the beta but i did not make it :sad: Anyway Link below!

http://www.tcos.com/

Mike

On July 25, 2007 at 6:13 am

If you get bored of WoW perhaps you should try Lineage 2. You probably won’t ever hit the level cap so you have to focus on other stuff to actually have fun – like interacting with even more of the other players and take a big part in the dynamic and often harsh politics. One goal could be to actually become king of not just a castle, but the entire region. Requires a lot of collaboration, social skill, leadership skills, drama and some temper :)

Aion is an upcoming unmentioned MMO that looks interesting, featuring fast combat tempo like L2 but supposedly less asian-style grind-feast. Huxley may also be something to keep on the radar if you enjoy action-MMOs.

Slinky317

On July 25, 2007 at 7:25 am

I’m sorry, but you need to do some research on Tabula Rasa. It’s NOT an FPS, but an MMORPG with FPS elements. There’s a big difference.

Denithor

On July 25, 2007 at 7:31 am

I think you gave LOTRO a bad rap there, I switched to LOTRO from WoW after becoming bored, because a rogue is pretty much useless end-game and I was tired of PVP, I pvp’ed plenty when I was 60. Granted it starts off with an instance, which is very different from WoW, but it lets you get to level 6 or so without having to fight with other players to get there. The instance is pretty easy and while the gameplay is similar, the fact that there is a storyline to back it up makes it much more interesting to me. Plus the fact that all the people that whine about graphics should have no problem, as long as they have a video card that can handle it.

Ron

On July 25, 2007 at 9:10 am

@urbanotter: You shouldn’t be surprised that EQ isn’t on the list, as it a previous generation MMO. This list is only titles that are nearing release.

Right now, unless something radical happens, nothing will knock WoW off its perch for a while. The fact is that Blizzard still provides a lot of experience for the casual player, and the hardcore player. As long as the experience is there, the gamers aren’t leaving unless something earth-shattering comes along, and none of these games are it.

@Denithor: LOTRO has a long way to go if it wants to mount any sort of serious challenge to WoW. Their current content is lacking, and they’re losing players because of it. Plus, those folks who tried out LOTRO because they were thinking of switching from Wow found that it was basically WoW in a different setting. Sure, there are differences, most notably the graphics and the deed system, but at the core it’s the same game. If you’re going to play the same game, why not play the one where you have all the loot?

Shawn Sines

On July 25, 2007 at 9:55 am

Ron: Well here comes my LOTRO bias I guess. I play both and I get a different sense from the two. WoW is great, fine and dandy – but for the casual or solo player you reach a plateau where you can’t go much further without help. While this is also to some extent true in LOTRO I would argue that the content is not lacking.. it just isn’t the same as WoW’s. I enjoy the LOTRO setting far more than WoW because I know the world so much better as a fan of the literary origins. I would argue it’s not losing players – in fact I have never seen any proof of anything but growth for either game.

At the core most MMORPGS are the same game. Personally I’m not in it for the “Phat Loot”. I want a rewarding, fun experience where I feel like my character makes a difference. Guild Wars is really good at that, as is LOTRO. In WoW I’m faceless Night Elf Druid #234357. I have no impact on the world, I have no sense of story. LOTRO does a good job at changing the world as a result of players actions for that character (since world changing events are hard to manage in an MMO unlike say a traditional RPG experience).

I adore the deed system. LOTRO is the first game that gave me a reason to enjoy grinding monsters – a process I detest in most MMO’s. Reward me for killing my 100th dread chicken.. aside from having it drop 2 copper pieces. This mechanic encourages players to do things that normally are droll and repetitive.. and it plays on the Pokemon aspect of all MMO’s – you want to get them all.

Spencer

On October 28, 2007 at 12:42 am

Im a big warcraft fan but i still gota admit, im at 50, and the game is already getin brin. I keep tellin myself the fun parts are comin but…..will they? :neutral:

James

On February 16, 2008 at 9:26 pm

I agree with this post. I’ve tried EQ2 and LOTRO since I deleted all my level 70′s and scratched up my WoW disks. EQ2 is a lonely experience. You see enough maxed out characters about, but you’re lucky if more than one person is playing the same zone at your level. LOTRO does lack interesting content, especially the last ten levels. It’s grouping system is flawed, and I’ve usually had to beg high level players to ‘run me thru’ and important instance.

With WoW, EQ, and LOTRO, one problem seems to be the lack of variety with attack key sequencing. We attack a bear in much the same manner as a demon, with almost the same keys. WoW tried to make it a little more interesting by making some mobs immune to certain types of attack (eg elementals), but personally I found that made me want to fight them less.

Raiding requires a substantial time commitment, and is almost guaranteed to cause problems with your RL work or family. Those characters who always seem to go AFK in the middle of an instance are probably battling their Mum’s IRL. While the thrill of a good raid is something to make you want more, the thrill has a use-by-date that clocks in after a week of raiding.

forestfire

On October 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm

:eek: :lol: :mad: :sad: :sad: :!: :?: :?: :wink: :cry: :twist :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :shock: :smile: :smile: :???: :???: :cool: :cool: :evil: :grin: :idea: :oops: :oops: :razz: :razz: :roll: :roll: ed: :evil: :neutral: :neutral: :mrgreen: :neutral: :neutral: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Clintoxion

On October 31, 2008 at 9:23 am

As far as WoW goes, its gonna be a LONG time.
the numbers do nothing but rise, and the game content just gets better and better.
Blizz just released the achievement system. It has been widely accepted as a very interesting new element of the game. it keeps you interested, because there is always something to do.
whether its exploring new territory for the “world explorer” title, or finding the rarest recipes to cook for the “chef” title. theres just an endless amount of activities.
Also, and this is my new favorite, with the release of Wrath of the Lich King, which is coming in a week or so, Blizz has integrated the new element of siege warfare and air combat in the pvp battlegrounds.
this is very exciting, i think buildings that can be destroyed during battle will be very cool.

so Blizz is doing a great job of keeping WOW players on their toes, and i doubt thats gonna change any time soon…