oddly enough.

Another comment about what I discussed here, here and also on Ubiquitous blogs.

Pretty much everyone is noticing how both Mythic and SOE are pillaging World of Warcraft of many design ideas and features. This brings to the obvious. The interesting debate is located on another cesspit:

Foozle #1:
Yeah, and WoW stole mythical characters from fables and mythology. OMG call the police!

Foozle #2:
Geez guys, Mythic realizes their quest system is not at all up to par with the competition. They are responding to the competition, exactly what many of you wanted. Emulation happens all over the gaming industry, stop trying to make it look like Mythic is the only one who does it (you are achieving this implicitly through sensationalism).

What did you guys say when WoW announced battlegrounds back in Beta?

Foozle #3:
The sad thing is that there is a HUGE source of great ideas… There has been TONS of requests over the years that have fallen on deaf ears… Remember that fake 1.74 post??? the one where the guy just looked in this forum and picked up all the stuff that has been asked for in the past few months/years??? He posted a fake notes page and almost everybody was sayin’ it would be the best patch ever.

(side note: Mythic also implemented the flight paths, opposed to the horse routes, shortly after Blizzard announced them. The game wasn’t even out at that time but it’s just another stuff to add to the pile. SOE did the same not long ago, adding gryphons to EQ2. And wasn’t “New Frontiers” also ‘borrowing’ savagely from Planetside? I believe that this dig site has no bottom…)

Again this underlines two main points. The first is that blaming Mythic is absolutely deserved because, again, all those stuff they are happily implementing now were suggested too many times way before World of Warcraft. What is unacceptable is that they need to be closely menaced and loose their subscribers before something good happens to the game, making it move, even slightly. So no interest in what you do if you don’t have someone behind setting you on fire?

Maybe here it’s just me out of this reality, because I’d work for something I want to *do*, no matter of the money I could earn as a consequence. The money should be a possibility to a desire or a need that should exist before, not just after because “you have to”. These games should be developed because of a ‘creative drive’ and improve and evolve when you have more and better tools to finally realize what before was just a distant desire.

Maybe I got lost when the word changed from ‘art’ to ‘industry’.

The competition is a good thing? No, it’s about a company that lost its spark of vitality. The mmorpg panorama in general is dead boring and flat, the only lessons learnt are those so obvious even for the stones.

The other point is that if someone needs to be pointed as ‘thief’ Blizzard may be as well the very first candidate. Isn’t World of Warcraft the apotheosis of derivative, unrisky design? After all wasn’t Matt Firor, producer of DAoC, to point at World of Warcraft as “a complete lack of risk”?

And in fact the random Foozle #4 is Raph Koster, directly with a comment here on my site:

You keep citing these sorts of things as if WoW created them…

In several of the cases you mention here and in the previous article, they already existed in one game or another. I’d say that yes, competition makes people look for things that they can take, but let’s also realize that in many cases (most, actually), these are innovations that have been around for a while.

Nothing new, right? So let me make an easy remark but which points the difference between what SOE and Mythic do compared to what Blizzard did with World of Warcraft:

The difference is that Blizzard improved what they ripped. While other companies are just creating bleached, misplaced copies.

Everyone ‘copies’ in this world. There’s nothing really new around, nor the possibility to create it from the void. But it’s the work you do on what you take that means something.

An artist may use the same type of colors and know the same techniques to paint. A writer may respect or even play with all the rules that build a genre but at the end it’s the personality, the subjective point of view, the last touch to transform a blatant copy into something that can offer a real value.

Now there’s something related? I guess so, whatever I write seems to be connected with everything else. So I got this quote too:

(about the passion for this genre)
Don’t worry, it wears off eventually and you quit.

Some of us actually made a career out of it, oddly enough.

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