The WoW Expectation

As you know, I have been jumping around from MMO to MMO for the past month or so trying to keep myself busy and entertained, but as of now, I still haven’t found anything that captured me the way WoW did pre-70. I am of course excluding Asheron’s Call from this statement as I had a lot less real-life obligations and things to keep busy with out of the game, so for that reason I was much more immersed in Asheron’s Call than WoW or any other game, and probably any other game in the future. Anyways, getting back to my point, I believe that the main reason (not only) reason for this is the fact that WoW’s incredibly unparalleled polish makes me want every aspect of an MMO be flawless in its execution. Even if I find something new and revolutionary or just interesting in a new game I try, if there are flaws with it, then I have trouble getting really excited about it or delving into it for hours at a time and loving every minute of it. My brother used a great analogy of HD TV. WoW is like watching Office Space in HD, as opposed to the Matrix on a standard television. Office Space isn’t really known for looking or sounding really cool, but if its in HD, it will look really nice. Matrix would look amazing in HD, it even looks really good on a normal TV, but if it were in HD, it would blow Office Space out of the water. Hopefully you understood that, but I’ll follow it up by saying this; While WoW didn’t push the boundaries or take any serious risks with the initial creation of WoW, it worked for them simply because everything was implemented so well that no one had any problems with what they did do. This is both a bane and a boon for the rest of the MMO industry. It is good because it raised the expectation of games in terms of polish. Players have grown to expect it, especially if WoW is their first and only MMO. If they jump into Vanguard and their character gets bugged and loses xp, or doesn’t recieve an expensive item they just purchased, chances are that is the last they are going to play the game, even if Vanguard has lost of new features and a much larger, realistic world. This goes for everything from the newbie experience, to questing, to raiding, to exploring, and so on. Even though I understand this, it doesn’t mean that I can overlook certain flaws in other games, realizing that Blizzard is THE exception that is the definition of polish in MMO’s. I still find myself comparing it to WoW, which ends up being the bane. Perhaps Blizzard simply has far more manpower and money than the rest of the companies, and they can afford to spend an extra six months prepping a game for launch, or fixing a quest that doesn’t give the proper reward, unlike some other companies. Maybe these are the things that we just need to learn to live with and lower our expectations to pre-World of Warcraft.

-Kanthalos

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