||Warhammer won't rival WoW
Readers had a lot to say about Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello's prediction that Warhammer Online won't be a WoW-killer. As reader Mia opines in a rather lengthy comment, "The Mythic folk are saying exactly what they should say. After all, if they went around saying they'll take over the market, everyone would just laugh.But for those of us who are long-term MMO gamers -- I'm talking mid-90s when I started -- it's just a business cycle. If WAR doesn't kill WoW, then something else will; it's inevitable. I do think WAR will severely drain a few groups away from WoW.
"First, the PvP crowd. Not the few Arena junkies out there (and you are few, more people do it because they "have to" than because they have a deep and abiding love for Arena), but the old-school, meet-me-in-an-eight-hour-AV people. I ground out my Field Marshal back when it meant something, when you had to have a team of friends and queue WSG/AB several hours a night in order to make your ranks. It was by far the best time I EVER had playing an MMO. Better than raiding, which I also did plenty of both pre-and post-BC. RvR and WAR's guild system will draw these people like flies to honey, because WoW really is not a very good PvP game.
"Second, the burnouts. There's a not-insignificant crowd that simply got tired of WoW. You might not be tired of it, but many are and have quit or will quit. Some are playing AoC and some are playing LOTRO and some are taking the summer off. A few are still trying to recruit those constant raid slot needs and somehow Band-Aid the guild through BT and Sunwell. But there are a ton of burnouts in these various stages who are ripe for the picking. I personally don't see AoC as keeping the WoW crowd for a long time; I personally find the zoning and sectioned-off feeling of the world kind of offputting. My account there won't last the summer.
"And third, there are people who just love the Warhammer 'verse. Seriously love it. I mean, it gave birth to Warcraft, if you know your history. I fall into this category too. I've kinda been turned off by how Blizzard put the bulk of the storyline into raid instances so hard most players never see them. (Even though I was in guilds that did get to go, 95+ percent of players don't see 'the end.')
"EverQuest was great. It had a huge and persistent world, and memories of running across Kith at night still make me twitch. But it also sucked. WoW looked at what made customers unhappy with EQ and fixed many of those issues, and thus drew down a bunch of EQ's players -- still, though, WoW only has about 2 mil players in North America. But Blizzard has cleverly launched themselves in overseas Asian markets, which massively bumps up their sub rates.
"WoW is great. It's a huge and persistent world and I have fond memories of things I've done there. But it also sucks, and some company (maybe Mythic, maybe somebody else) will come along and make a game that improves upon the issues at hand (class balance, itemization, grinding, graphics quality, whatever) and steal away a bunch of their people.
"What cracks me up and amazes me a little is that Blizzard honestly doesn't seem to think that it's possible anyone can succeed them. Pride goeth before the fall. Someday, somebody will -- whether it's Mythic or somebody else, somebody will."
||Upcoming universal spellpower changes
The opinions continued rolling over the upcoming change to a universal spellpower gearing system. "I'm surprised that no one has caught on that this is an Arena-motivated change, meant to eventually result in equally-rated gear to attend to the 'gear gap' issue in the Arena," notes Jagoex.
"Step one: Start combining multiple stats into one stat. This is where we are now.
"Step two: Remove class requirements and class-based set bonuses from gear, including Arena gear. The latter is the original intent.
"Step three: Disable racial abilities in the Arena. Believe me, this has been on a table a few times already. It is only a matter of time.
"Step four: Rename the Horde to 'Terrorists,' and the Alliance to 'Counter-Terrorists.' Okay, so this isn't true, but you see where I am going with this.
"Kalgan is looking to standardize everything for the sake of the Arena e-sport. This is only the beginning. Every player should be pissed. More than a few Blizzard devs already are ..."
||The eternal struggle between good and evil
Reader Karl has an intriguing theory about the real root of the Horde vs. Alliance conflict: "The bottom line, when it comes to Alliance vs. Horde, is that it's not really about racism, or demonic bloodlust, or which side is 'morally correct'; at this point, their conflict is about territory and influence. Both sides have committed atrocities, and neither side is evil, or right, because they're actually fairly nuanced groups, and the war between the two sides is as historically precedented as can be.
"Every society rises by taking land from the society that lived there first; the humans and high elves stole land from the trolls, while the orcs are encroaching on night elf territory. It's not 'your side sucks,' it's the clash of civilizations, and it's a story as ancient as civilization itself. The Horde and the Alliance are going to keep bashing heads, and each side's going to try to one-up the other, until one side (or, likely, both) declines and falls, like Rome against Carthage, or the Gurubashi against themselves. Societies rise and bump against each other; and just as tectonic plates crashing together causes earthquakes, so does this cause war."
||More tank talk
Readers roared their approval of blogger Allison Robert's on-hit Tank Talk installment (technically posted last week, but before many comments had rolled in for [1.Local]). Notes Hurode: "Wow, I'm not sure if I've ever read a post on this website that was both so informative and so hilarious. This is better-quality stuff than most dedicated humor articles here, and is a good tanking piece to boot.
"Seriously, well done."
||Know Your Lore: Thrall
Objecting to comments from other readers that orcs seem too close to humans in their approach and characteristics, Rithik muses, "I dunno. That's the whole reason I decided to play as Horde. Thrall completely goes against the Orc archetypes that are commonplace in the fantasy genre and even the portrayal from WC1 and WC2.
"While I wouldn't think Thrall is perfect. He's actually portrayed as wise and even caring of his people, as opposed to how Blackhand and Doomhammer were portrayed, and I think it's because of who he is that draws people in, roleplayer or not. After all, if it wasn't set up to the backdrop of a society trying to free itself from demonic taint and attempt to live in peace, hardly anyone would want to play the relative bad guys instead of allowing moral ambiguity."
||The camaraderie of fishers
Regular commenter Badger shares a story of cross-faction (non?)-cooperation, as readers discuss the special camaraderie among fishers: "I love stuff like that too. You stumble onto a member of the 'opposing' faction, and help them out, and then they return the favor, or vice versa. Proof that there is still real honor out there.
"In fact, this one time, I was in the Shimmering Flats of the Thousand Needles region, killing basilisks for a quest, when I stumbled onto this Tauren who was completely surrounded by like four or five of the damn things. My best guess is that a pull had gone horribly wrong. I did what I could to pull them off of him, and he had time to heal himself, jump back into the fray, and finish off the one or two that were left. We'd both taken damage, and I bet it was a really invigorating experience for him to have come back from being that close to death - especially with the help of another player! We /cheered at each other, in high spirits.
"Then he stunned me and cut me down in cold blood, farted on my corpse, laughed, and ran away to Tanaris.
"... What? Did you think that would have a happy ending?"
||Crafts to keep you in Stitches
Readers gave it up for Shelbi Roach's latest entry in our World of Warcrafts crafts column. Candina@WH raves, "A tote bag full of win! I saw the picture and said: "STITCHES!" before I LOLed myself half out of my chair.
"Truly, you are very gifted and have a great sense of humor."
||Do team colors influence outcome?
The repartee was fast and furious on a post discussing whether team colors have an influence on game outcomes. "My character wears green because it goes with his Orcish complexion," observes DaddyBurrito.
"I wear blue... I'm undead... I calm my guild," countered Drago Dracini.
But Angelus had the final word: "... In the end, it's all trumped by the fact that hostile enemies (Horde and Alliance) have a big glowing red banner over their friggin' heads. It's a big red, huge, in-your-face, can't-hide-it-for-crap red banner with your long-ass name on it and your long-ass title."
So there. Until next week!