A few weeks ago an article popped up on 1Up from someone who had actually spent time playing The Old Republic (as opposed to jacking off over screenshots and well edited PR videos) where he attacked the game for not advancing much from World of Warcraft in 2004. The result to this article was epic, with TOR devotees attacking the writer and basically accused him of killing their dog before it was ever born. People screamed at the top of their lungs (well, keyboards) that the game would never be just a WoW clone and games like RIFT are (which isn’t by the way).
Well, this week the DICE Summit is going on in Las Vegas, and BioWare’s Greg Zeschuk admitted that World of Warcraft was the “touchstone” for The Old Republic:
“It is a touchstone. It has established standards, it’s established how you play an MMO. Every MMO that comes out, I play and look at it. And if they break any of the WoW rules, in my book that’s pretty dumb”
He’s completely and totally wrong, which is why The Old Republic will fail spectacularly. If you’re making a new MMO, you need to build on what WoW did but then break the rules that no longer work. One of the reasons why DCUO found such great success is because they broke the combat rules and put in pure action combat. The reason why so many people are living RIFT is because Trion built on what WoW did, and then broke the rules when it came to grouping, leveling, and character class customization.
Sticking to what WoW did won’t help TOR. People will load up the game and find WoW with just Star Wars graphics and then go back to their level 85s that they have six years invested in. Adding fully voiced quests won’t help the game either, it didn’t help EverQuest II back in 2004 and that’s something BioWare should have learned from before beginning to hype their game into the stratosphere. And the voice overs are the only thing people are able to bring up in an attempt to defend TOR, which is pretty sad.
You can read more of what he said over at GamesIndustry.biz including reaction quotes from Blizzard.