Originally Posted by Khatib
Too bad they sold out to EA
Lessens my hopes of the new Star Wars MMO being innovative and playable instead of just another pander-to-the-masses wow-esque setup. Who knows though... maybe their devs will be able to stand up to the pressure of the suits trying to make them conform to every focus test EA runs.
I hate this kind of catch-all, sweeping statement post.
How was WoW not innovative in the first place?
It took the MMORPG scene, which consisted primarily of tedious grindfests, and made it easily accessible to anyone who's interested. You can log in, play for only half an hour, and log off feeling you actually did some progress. Quests give some actual rewards, not a mushroom stamp to the face and a NPC giving you two coppers at level 60.
On the other hand, it took end game experience, which previously consisted primarily of pumping out mod rods, complete heal rotations and often zerg rushes, and made it all into complex, involved fights with interesting strategy. Its solid instancing system removed the EQ element of uberguilds cockblocking content from people who don't feel like being online 12 hours a day.
For those who like to invest time to have some recognition in the game, there's also plenty of available, but optional grinds for special rewards. The epic mount, back in the beginning of the game, is one. The fact that they later made it easier for people to get these mounts is not dumbing down the game, it's keeping it evolving. Each time they made something easier to obtain, they added a new objective which was as hard to obtain. Epic mounts replaced by PvP mounts. High Warlord/Grand Marshal status replaced by Arena rankings.
Truth of the matter is, WoW was and still is very innovative in that it has a bit of everything for every kind of gamer. That's not "pandering to the masses", that's damn good design. And it's just not about Blizzard's fame either, or the game's growth would've died out after the first few months, once all the brand fans tried it out and quit. No, it had something to base itself on to propel subscriptions to millions.
Before you think about saying it, I certainly am not a fangirl. As a matter of fact, I quit the game some months ago. I played since release, experienced the casual content, the end-game content, being the first Gnome with an Elekk, rolling a dozen alts and once I figured I had gotten everything I could out of the game, I quit, and that's that. It doesn't make me think any less of the fun I had while I did play.
BioWare did not "sell out" and their MMOG is not henceforth doomed to fail.
No matter how you cut it, EA is wildly successful. Their sports franchises might not be wildly innovative, but honestly, what do you expect? They can't go and change the rules of the sports games they're making. The best they can do is make a release with an up to date roster, changed rules, learn from their previous games' flaws gameplay wise and try to make it a bit prettier each time.
Guess what, it's working. EA games are the pinnacle of casual gaming, and the foremost reason that so many of their games might seem subpar is that they invest in so many different studios that you have to expect some of them to be misses. But a lot of their published games are very good. I'm thinking of The Sims 2, Battlefield 1942/2, Black & White, Dungeon Keeper 2, Command & Conquer 3, just to name a few. Crysis, which is so eagerly touted and awaited, was also made by a studio in cooperation with EA, and believe me, Crytek took their sweet time pushing out their game & engine.
By buying so many little studios, it's expected for them to have some misses. But they still get quite a few good ones. And they want some good ones in the MMOG field, which is why they got their hands on Mythic for a big name Fantasy MMOG, and now BioWare for a sci-fi MMOG along with more single player RPGs.
EA has nothing
when it comes to RPGs/MMORPGs, and it'd be extremely arrogant or ill-willed to assume they don't know it very well themselves. To take a forceful hand in companies that are already well-established in that field would be tantamount to financial suicide, and no matter what conspiracy theorists might say, no corporation is going to make an investment just to ruin it themselves. Especially one that comes with a $860 million price tag.
In short, don't make sweeping statements based entirely on one subset of a publisher's games, it's just incredibly irritating and uninformed.