Sunday, May 25, 2008

New, but not much different

Imagine Blizzard released a new World of Warcraft, which was completely separate from the old one. The new WoW would have new continents and zones, new quests, new classes, new talents, but the gameplay wouldn't be much changed. There would still be tanks classes, healer classes, dps classes, combat would still be by pressing hotkeys, and the graphics engine would be still the same, just with new artwork everywhere. As new WoW would be a completely separate game from old WoW, you couldn't bring your old characters, you'd have to start anew a level 1 with everyone else. But of course if your guild or friends decided to play new WoW as well, you could reform your old guild in the new game. Would you play new WoW?

Maybe that question isn't quite as hypothetical as it sounds. Several readers remarked on watching the Warhammer gameplay videos that both graphics and gameplay looked remarkably similar to World of Warcraft. So what if WAR is the new WoW, just with a bit more PvP than the old WoW, but otherwise not much different? And frankly, Age of Conan, while graphically looking different and having a faster combat system, still has the same gameplay as WoW: Talk to quest NPC, kill the 10 foozles he wants dead, come back, get xp and item reward, level up, get new spells and talents.

And there is nothing wrong with the new games being not much different to World of Warcraft. Most people like WoW, or at least liked it when they played it for several thousand hours. If they are burned out now, it isn't necessarily the basic gameplay they can't stand any more. It might very well be that they just have seen all the zones of WoW, done most of the quests, played most of the classes, and simply consumed the content of WoW faster than Blizzard can add new content. And if you just want "more WoW", and can't wait for the next expansion, then playing a similar game might just be the thing for you.

So here is the big question: if you are currently feeling a bit burned out from World of Warcraft, is it the basic gameplay you have seen too much of, or the specific WoW content? Would you play a game which is new, but not much different?

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