My hottest video game take is this: WoW ruined MMOs by setting a standard that everyone else followed. Early MMOs might have been clunky but they were varied.
It’s a tough mold to break and someone has to figure out how to do it and probably cant charge $15/month for it either.
@cambrian_era Guild Wars 2 is very non-WoW-like, and the former game director of GW2 now works at Amazon Games.
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(I haven't played WoW for a long time, so this might have changed since I quit)
WoW has a lot of player-hostile mechanics. The biggest example I can think of is tagging. In WoW, if one player attacks an open world boss, nobody else can get loot or experience from it. In GW2, every player rolls separately for loot and everyone gets rewarded for participating.
GW2 also doesn't have any pure healer or tank classes (although some builds are better than others at those tasks) so you don't end up with a character that's completely incapable of playing solo content if you pick anything other than damage dealer.
Rather than WoW's system where every damage over time or status ailment ability has its own specific debuff effect, GW2 has a standardized system of boons and conditions. Bleeding is always the same icon and always has the same animation. You don't need to keep track of twenty different icons that you may or may not have ever seen before - if you see on your bar or the associated particle effect, you know that attacking will cause you to take damage.
Combat in WoW is (to paraphrase Yahtzee) two people facing each other quoting numbers until the person who quoted the smaller numbers dies. Whereas in Guild Wars 2, combat is much more movement-oriented. Almost every spell in the game can be cast while moving, and a lot of boss fights require some form of movement (my favorite examples are in the Shattered Observatory fractal).
And then there's mounts. Some World of Warcraft players will tell you they collect mounts, but in reality, there are only two mounts in WoW: the one that flies and the one that doesn't.
Guild Wars 2 has a flying mount, but you have to actually flap, dive, and glide in order to get anywhere. It's not like WoW flying mounts that are basically just magic helicopters.
And that's just the griffon. There's also the raptor, the springer, the skimmer, the jackal, and the roller beetle. The closest way to emulate WoW mounts would be to get on the raptor and then remove your hands from the keyboard completely because WoW raptors can't leap.
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A lot of what you describe doesn’t seem to be fundamentally different outside of the no designated tanks or healers.
GW2 still felt to me like the same general type of game as WoW but just...tweaked.
@ben I mean sorta but then again GW2 is more like wow than GW1
@cambrian_era you should look into MUDs, they might be text based, but they've been alive since the 90s.
@Megamike64 Oh, I actually started on MUDs and Federation in the 90s.
@cambrian_era then you are probably older than me.
@Megamike64 Probably! I'm 38.
@cambrian_era yeah, you are.
@cambrian_era is runescape pre-wow?
@cambrian_era My MMO theory is that theme park & free form MMOs attract fundamentally different players, and also that in MMO, quantity is a quality. Basically, most people are going to be positive-feedback-loop attracted to already popular MMO, and if they hate WOW they go all the way to EVE, with some others picking up lonely scraps.
A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.