Why do you think you will succeed where Warhammer Online has failed?


Pathfinder Online

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I think this is a good question to ask. What lesson can you draw from the failure of other Medieval themed MMO?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Quote:
the failure of other Medieval themed MMO?

It isn't even superficially similar to WAR, other than being a fantasy MMO that somehow involves PVP.


A Man In Black wrote:
Quote:
the failure of other Medieval themed MMO?
It isn't even superficially similar to WAR, other than being a fantasy MMO that somehow involves PVP.

I do see some similarities between the two games:

- Both are medevial themed
- Both involve a PVP content
- Both enjoy a well developped background
- Both enjoy a strong PnP fan base

I would really like to know what the developper intend to do differently. What lesson have they drawn from Warhammer Online relatively disappointing performance? Actually, do they even consider it to be a disappointment?

Goblinworks Founder

What comparison does Warhammer Online have with Pathfinder Online?

While I can't argue that Warhammer did eventually fail, I would not call the game a failure. In fact it was one of the most enjoyable MMO's I have played. It was it's community that failed it, or rather it was the WoW community that failed it when they realized that it wasn't wow 2.0 and slandered the game into extinction.

I played Warhammer from closed beta on 2007 until I got an invite to alpha test Rift in October 2010. If my clan hadn't left warhammer for rift I would have continued playing to be honest. Rift in all it's PvE glory could never compare to the RvR lakes, zone flips and keep taking of warhammer online.

TabulaRasa wrote:

I do see some similarities between the two games:
- Both are medevial themed
- Both involve a PVP content
- Both enjoy a well developped background
- Both enjoy a strong PnP fan base

I would really like to know what the developper intend to do differently. What lesson have they drawn from Warhammer Online relatively disappointing performance? Actually, do they even consider it to be a disappointment?

I see the same similarities between EvE Online and Star Wars TOR.

- they are both sci-fi
- they both have PvP Content
- Both enjoy a well developed background

One is theme park and one is sandbox... can you see how massive the difference is? I can.

Sovereign Court

A Man In Black wrote:
Quote:
the failure of other Medieval themed MMO?
It isn't even superficially similar to WAR, other than being a fantasy MMO that somehow involves PVP.

It's a fair question. Aside from WoW.. what other fantasy MMO has counted as being a success?

Everquest? Probably, but that was pre-WoW. EQ2? Pu-leeze.
Dark Age of Camelot?
Conan?
Dungeons n Dragons Online?
Asheron's Call?

WAR is just one more of the long line of pretenders.. it's a fair question to ask what is intended to let Pathfinder succeed where so many others have either failed, or simply succeeded only for a short period of time. (fair question, if Pathfinder Online is only supposed to have a lifespan of a few years)


Fair question

Goblinworks Founder

deusvult wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
Quote:
the failure of other Medieval themed MMO?
It isn't even superficially similar to WAR, other than being a fantasy MMO that somehow involves PVP.

It's a fair question. Aside from WoW.. what other fantasy MMO has counted as being a success?

Everquest? Probably, but that was pre-WoW. EQ2? Pu-leeze.
Dark Age of Camelot?
Conan?
Dungeons n Dragons Online?
Asheron's Call?

WAR is just one more of the long line of pretenders.. it's a fair question to ask what is intended to let Pathfinder succeed where so many others have either failed, or simply succeeded only for a short period of time. (fair question, if Pathfinder Online is only supposed to have a lifespan of a few years)

Uh... Asheron's Call, Everquest and Ultima Online were the big three when I was growing up.

Dark Age of Camelot is still considered the best theme park PvP MMO to have ever existed because of it's tri-faction frontiers.

The problem is that every kid these days seems to think taht if an MMO doesn't make 10 million subscriptions then it's a failure. This is wrong in so many ways it's not funny. Yes WOW is a big success, but in the same way that Disney was a dominating success in the animated cartoon industry. Disney had better marketing, there were still other cartoons produced by Hanna Barbara and Warner bros.

Silver Crusade

Warhammer Online was an atrocious mess of a game. I feel ripped off for buying the collector's edition box. The book inside the box was the best part of the experience. The game itself was hopeless.

Best lesson to learn from it: in no way, shape or form should Pathfinder Online use Warhammer Online as a model MMO. Lord of the Rings Online is not bad and I would not call it a failure. Its far better than Dungeon & Dragons Online ever was and at any stage.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

TabulaRasa wrote:
I would really like to know what the developper intend to do differently. What lesson have they drawn from Warhammer Online relatively disappointing performance? Actually, do they even consider it to be a disappointment?

WAR is very similar to WOW. They have said, "We don't want to make a game that is anything like WOW."

There you go.

Now, there is the niggling problem that they've expressed a desire to make a game similar to Darkfall...

Goblinworks Founder

Darkfall really felt like a cross between The Elder Scrolls and Star Wars galaxies pre-CU to me.

Speaking of Star Wars, I really should be making the most of my beta for the old republic.... except it's really just another boring themepark MMO with a bit of Mass Effect thrown in. I'm bored of it after 6 days.

Sovereign Court

Elth wrote:


The problem is that every kid these days seems to think taht if an MMO doesn't make 10 million subscriptions then it's a failure. This is wrong in so many ways it's not funny. Yes WOW is a big success, but in the same way that Disney was a dominating success in the animated cartoon industry. Disney had better marketing, there were still other cartoons produced by Hanna Barbara and Warner bros.

Well, if I want a good, well made game I don't turn to MMOs in the first place. That's what 'real' RPGs are for.. the pencil, paper & tabletop kind.

MMOs are all about the quick, short-attention-span instant fun. IE, they ARE for kids.

Regardless, it's very, very interesting to hear whether they claim Pathfinder MMO intends to be the next DAoC or the next WoW.

Goblinworks Founder

deusvult wrote:

Well, if I want a good, well made game I don't turn to MMOs in the first place. That's what 'real' RPGs are for.. the pencil, paper & tabletop kind.

Why are you here then if you don't like MMO's?


How is Pathfinder Online different from World of Warcraft or any other fantasy MMO?

Most fantasy MMOs, including World of Warcraft, are "theme park" games. In theme parks, you're expected to work your way through a lot of scripted content until you reach the end, and then you play end-game content while you wait for the developers to release more theme park content so you can continue to advance your character.

The other end of the MMO spectrum is the "sandbox" game. In sandboxes, you're given a lot of tools and opportunities to create persistency in the world, then turned loose to explore, develop, find adventure, and dominate the world as you wish. You and the other players generate the primary content of the game by struggling with each other for resources, honor and territory. There is no "end game" and no level cap.

Pathfinder Online is a sandbox game with theme park elements. You'll be able to create your own place in the world of Golarion, complete with complex social and economic systems. You'll form ad-hoc or permanent groups ranging in size from small parties to large settlements and even huge nations, and interact with others in your world in a realistic, unscripted fashion. You'll also be able to participate in scripted adventures, though, with the outcome of those adventures helping to determine the shape of your world.

....I don't think they plan on claiming "Next" anything.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

It also very much depends on how you define "success". WoW was (and is) an anomaly, a fluke of fate, and a cultural phenomenon in one. The chance is pretty big that it will stay the only MMO that ever had upwards of 10 million subscribers worldwide.

An MMO doesn't need to have that many subscribers to be successful, though. Admittedly, WAR was (and is) full of good ideas, but the game is just mechanically broken at points (example: I'm playing WAR every Tuesday evening with a group of RL friends, mostly just to explore, chat, and have fun. We focus primarily on what PvE there is in the game. The amount of invisible damaging spell effects, weirdly balanced boss mobs and instances, and the fact that even starter RvR (=PvP) gear is SO much better than the drops from the PvE instances makes for a sometimes frustrating game experience).

I can only hope that whatever game launches, at whatever date, will launch as smooth as, say, RIFT, which just felt done and finished at launch. And a model that's financially viable with 50k - 100k players, and builds out from that, would be a good idea. Primarily so you can define "success" in the amount of fun players have, as well as the fact that the game can financially sustain itself, NOT in the amount of players/servers it has.

Goblin Squad Member

It's rare to find a game where 1v1 PvP gameplay is very interesting. Large groups battling over real territory on the other hand...

Goblin Squad Member

Mark Kalmes wrote:

It's rare to find a game where 1v1 PvP gameplay is very interesting. Large groups battling over real territory on the other hand...

Sorry for taking this off topic...and I 100% agree, but I argue that 1v1 PvP could be made more interesting. Especially to those watching. It is much more likely that someone would use fancy flourishes and acrobatics and even cool "fatalities" in a 1 on 1 fight where you think you know where your opponent is, than in massive combat. Really fancy combat for dueling might be kinda cool and might lead to more one on one combat among "heroes" in massive combat. Of course, I think even in duel mode, the characters should still be attackable by others outside the duel.

I could imagine Greek like heroic duels in the midst of massive warfare...while the warriors of both sides stop to cheer (think Troy).

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Mark Kalmes wrote:

It's rare to find a game where 1v1 PvP gameplay is very interesting. Large groups battling over real territory on the other hand...

...is interesting if you're not one of the 90% of players who participate chiefly as spearcarriers and mainly have to be bribed to participate, as in EVE?

Those fights are just as boring at the 100v100 scale, they're just imbued with a sense of narrative. However, people tend to get disillusioned quickly once they realize that their role in the game is to serve as footsoldiers in someone else's narrative if the game itself isn't entertaining for them. I don't necessarily see that role as a bad thing in and of itself, I just don't see it as an excuse for combat being as boring as it is in, say, EVE.

Also, I should know better by now.

Goblin Squad Member

Apart from the already stated fact that WHO and PFO have not much in common I feel that as an early Beta tester of WHO and a great fan of Warhammer and a great fan of DAoC (which many would say should have been the predecessor of WHO) I think I must clear something up here:

Warhammer itself was not a bad game at its core, it was badly managed!

So if you ask how to avoid WHOs failures the answer is easy: don't let total d**kheads be in charge. I think Paizo has this base covered.

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:
Warhammer itself was not a bad game at its core, it was badly managed!

The interface was a bit of a mess, and lacked a lot of polish (hint: it's easy to dismiss, but polish is really really important). And then there was GOA.

GOA basically destroyed the entire EU player base by themselves. Though Mythic helped by refusing to acknowledge the problem. "We believe GOA is doing a fantastic job" should not be the company line when players are rage-quitting in droves.


deusvult wrote:
Elth wrote:


The problem is that every kid these days seems to think taht if an MMO doesn't make 10 million subscriptions then it's a failure. This is wrong in so many ways it's not funny. Yes WOW is a big success, but in the same way that Disney was a dominating success in the animated cartoon industry. Disney had better marketing, there were still other cartoons produced by Hanna Barbara and Warner bros.

Well, if I want a good, well made game I don't turn to MMOs in the first place. That's what 'real' RPGs are for.. the pencil, paper & tabletop kind.

MMOs are all about the quick, short-attention-span instant fun. IE, they ARE for kids.

Regardless, it's very, very interesting to hear whether they claim Pathfinder MMO intends to be the next DAoC or the next WoW.

One one hand there is a certain truth to what you say. BUT, on the other hand, that is not the complete truth. I played City of Heroes for over Five years. I would still be playing it if I had not gotten remarried and busier with RL stuff. Not all of us that play MMO's are kids who have a short attention span. OTOH, there are plenty of people who want their short fix. ~shrugs~ Only time will tell.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts and the replies to them. Do not stalk or harass others.

Goblin Squad Member

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TabulaRasa wrote:
I think this is a good question to ask. What lesson can you draw from the failure of other Medieval themed MMO?

Don't make Theme Park Fantasy MMOs unless you're happy with a huge initial spike followed by a big drop in players.

Warhammer Online (and Age of Conan, and Rift) are all theme park games. They have PvP, but PvP does not make a game a sandbox. The hallmark of sandbox games is persistence.

The more persistent impact your players have on the world the more like a sandbox it becomes. The fantasy theme parks limit persistence to character development and some limited crafting and house decorating.

Really, comparing sandbox games and theme park games is like comparing baseball and football. The similarities are far less important than the differences.

Goblin Squad Member

I rather enjoyed WAR, because of how it seemed to coerce you into RvR play. You didn't have to. There was plenty of PvE content to level off of. But if you wanted to rock the PvE content, do some RvR for a few hours and get the great gear. I used to hate PvP, as in my experience it was usually just some griefer stalking low level people becasue they could. In Warhammer, I not only learned to enjoy it, but to get really good at it, even though I played a squig herder.
I would have never even given it a shot, had it not had clearly defined borders and areas to do so in, or goals to accomplish while doing so.
I stopped liking WAR when I got to 40, and the PvE stopped.
I know this is not a sandbox type of experience, but damn it was fun.
If PFO can make PvP that fun and be sandbox like Elder Scrolls, I'm definately going to buy and play it.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, that was one of the greatest (and most overlooked) archievements of Warhammer:

PvP was fun and balanced from level 1 to Level 39.

Play PvP in WoW below max level and see what I mean, the balance there is awful.

Goblin Squad Member

Not to mention the lore.
If you played Empire/Chaos, or elves you didnt see the same kind of humor and lore as you did if you played a dwarf or a greenskin.
Gobbos were my favorite!

Contributor

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deusvult wrote:
MMOs are all about the quick, short-attention-span instant fun. IE, they ARE for kids.

You are insulting people who like a different playstyle than you. That's not-classy behavior.

The Exchange Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Don't make Theme Park Fantasy MMOs unless you're happy with a huge initial spike followed by a big drop in players.

Warhammer Online (and Age of Conan, and Rift) are all theme park games. They have PvP, but PvP does not make a game a sandbox. The hallmark of sandbox games is persistence.

While this is off-topic... what made the Theme-Park game of WoW such a smashing success then? Do you believe it was because of the large mass of content, the PvP in it, the faction dynamic?

Goblin Squad Member

The level of support the game gets is pretty amazing for a game that old. You make enough core game changes and add enough new content, it's almost like a new game every 2 years.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Alizor wrote:
While this is off-topic... what made the Theme-Park game of WoW such a smashing success then? Do you believe it was because of the large mass of content, the PvP in it, the faction dynamic?

As far as anyone on the outside can tell, WOW is constantly booming and busting as it dumps in new content, bringing in new people and reattracting old people who come back to check out the new shinies. People slowly drift away as they glut themselves on the content... until the next big pack of content!

Goblin Squad Member

Alizor wrote:


While this is off-topic... what made the Theme-Park game of WoW such a smashing success then? Do you believe it was because of the large mass of content, the PvP in it, the faction dynamic?

WoW was perfectly timed.

It was released just as broadband reached a critical mass of homes as did good 3D graphics cards. There was a huge audience of folks who had played EverQuest, loved the concept, hated the execution, and wanted what Blizzard was selling: A rich MMO themepark with great useability and far, far less downtime & boredom than the previous games in the space had required.

After it aggregated all the people EverQuest had brought to the market in the West it then made a great move by marketing itself directly to the Asian audience in Korea and Japan. Blizzard already had a big foothold in Korea - they built massive equity with StarCraft. The WoW release in Asia was not done like the release in the West - they made Asian themed packaging and ensured high-quality Japanese and Korean localization from day one.

That made WoW a "phenomenon" and broke through to the mass audience.

But the big breakthrough was coming up with something to do at the end-game which created player lock-in: the Guild Raid. Sure, there was something like this in EverQuest but it didn't become the social-network driven workhorse that WoW Guild Raids became.

At the end of WoW's Themepark is - another Themepark. But the only way to experience it is to become a part of a Raiding Guild. Those guilds created a network externality that transcended the game itself. Now many people play WoW out of a sense of shared community responsibility - they need to show up and raid so that the other people in the Guild can get the phat loot everyone needs so ... they can do the next level of the Theme Park.

It seems, from observation, that this will only work once. None of the other Theme Park games have been able to capture this Guild Raiding play pattern, or keep enough Guild Raid content coming to keep those Guilds solidly committed to their games.

Guild Raids REQUIRE that participants do them many, many times. So there's a real risk that unless you're SURE your Guild will be committed to helping you get the whole set of Phat Loot, you are taking a big time-sink risk by doing Guild Raids at the outset. That creates a huge barrier to entry that no other game has managed to overcome.

Goblinworks Founder

Ryan Dancey wrote:


WoW was perfectly timed.

It was released just as broadband reached a critical mass of homes as did good 3D graphics cards. There was a huge audience of folks who had played EverQuest, loved the concept, hated the execution, and wanted what Blizzard was selling: A rich MMO themepark with great useability and far, far less downtime & boredom than the previous games in the space had required.

In addition to all of this, World of Warcraft had a well known ip from the previous three titles. I played World of Warcraft because I loved the RTS games, I stopped playing it when they began to pimp that lore out with rocket ships, motorbikes, hotrods and space goats. It went progressively down hill from the first expansion.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Ryan Dancey wrote:
But the big breakthrough was coming up with something to do at the end-game which created player lock-in: the Guild Raid. Sure, there was something like this in EverQuest but it didn't become the social-network driven workhorse that WoW Guild Raids became.

I bet I see half of your pitch for PFO here. So, what the hell. What untapped vein of opportunity is PFO striking, and how will it separate itself from the previous games in the same space? And what will the lock-in for PFO be that turns it into a breakthrough?


Elth wrote:
In addition to all of this, World of Warcraft had a well known ip from the previous three titles. I played World of Warcraft because I loved the RTS games, I stopped playing it when they began to pimp that lore out with rocket ships, motorbikes, hotrods and space goats. It went progressively down hill from the first expansion.

For me I felt it went downhill in Wrath. Before Wrath, there was a clear divide between dedicated players and casual players:

Personally it didn't have to do anything to do with the lore. WoW turned into a "Everyone gets a trophy" game. Casual players were given high level gear for substantially less time and effort. Most started to overestimate their own skill level, and quit when they couldn't hack it in Heroic 25-Mans. "I'm a good player! Look at all these purples I have! Heroic Mode is impossible!" Due to the instant gratification and easy rewards, the post-Wrath WoW player did not play in an environment that rewarded learning or, at the very least, just a little investment in time learning a fight. Soon they'd get bored and unsubscribe once they hit a wall where they had to put in some actual time and effort.

At the other end hardcore raiders were miffed about the fact that the gear they spent doing countless attempts on learning Heroic boss fights was only marginally better than what bad casual players could get. "Why do I have to spend hours and dozens of attempts perfecting my rotation and movement during a boss fight when those guys doing Normal get stuff almost as good as mine by just being able to breathe and press 3 buttons?"

I'm not even saying I'm right, that's just how I feel. Ugh, sorry I don't know why but I just had to rant about that.

P.S. Ryan: Don't always listen to the players! Sometimes we don't even know what we're getting into when we ask for something in an MMO. In fact, you can't even listen to what I'm saying RIGHT NOW! DOOOM!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Urlithani wrote:
For me I felt it went downhill in Wrath. Before Wrath, there was a clear divide between dedicated players and casual players:

Man, I thought people left all the complaining about Wrath babies on the WOW boards. I guess not. Complaining that they weren't dedicated enough to it, demanding hardcore games for hardcore players such as yourself... well, that gives us Horizons. Horizons was not very good.


A Man In Black wrote:
Man, I thought people left all the complaining about Wrath babies on the WOW boards. I guess not. Complaining that they weren't dedicated enough to it, demanding hardcore games for hardcore players such as yourself... well, that gives us Horizons. Horizons was not very good.

Where did I say I'm a hardcore player? I'm a casual player. I leveled alts to explore the zones, experience the different stories, and leveling tradeskills.

The point of my post was that you can't please everyone. I felt like Blizzard tried a middle of the road approach, and it failed to satisfy enough of both hardcore and casual players. There are many, many players that are better and more skilled than me, and I'm perfectly content with that. As a casual player, I was happy getting most things easy, and having to put at least some effort to get something good that I really wanted.

I'd also like to highlight a few words I've used:

Personally
I'm not even saying I'm right, that's just how I feel.


FLYFF has done well for itself (please note this is not a claim that it is somehow perfect or better than anything else, only that it has done well and is not failing).

Personally I would question the whole 'medieval themed' part of the OP's post myself. If anything pathfinder has shown a strong early renaissance theme with magic.


So where is LotRo in all this - its model sems to be reasonably successful.

Goblin Squad Member

A Man In Black wrote:
What untapped vein of opportunity is PFO striking, and how will it separate itself from the previous games in the same space? And what will the lock-in for PFO be that turns it into a breakthrough?

My guess:

When a new classic fantasy "big" MMO releases (be it Warhammer, Conan, Aion, Rifts) the inital sales are often very good but drop off real fast.

This is because players experienced with MMOs are tired of their old MMO (which is mostly WoW) and seek "something new". But after a few months they realize that this new game isn't any better, or even any different from their old game (WoW) and incidentally WoW releases a new expansion and *blam* their're back.

New players that want to get into the big MMO thing are usually sucked in by others (if you want to get far in MMOs you can not play alone) and thus are lifted up and carried by the currents that float towards WoW from other games.

But what if a game would be so different and good that it would manage to break this current of streaming from and back to WoW in a huge circle?

I think PFO could be such a game by being a good and well rounded sandbox - something that currently doesn't exist for classic fantasy.

This is the reason I think why PFO may succeed but only one of the reasons why Warhammer failed.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

MicMan wrote:

But what if a game would be so different and good that it would manage to break this current of streaming from and back to WoW in a huge circle?

I think PFO could be such a game by being a good and well rounded sandbox - something that currently doesn't exist for classic fantasy.

Such well-rounded sandboxes exist. They just all have less than 20K subs at this point; many were dead on arrival. "How will it separate itself from the previous games in the same space?" is an extremely important part of the question.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, I imagine marketing being a big part of this.

Goblin Squad Member

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A Man In Black wrote:


Such well-rounded sandboxes exist.

I don't believe that to be true. I have played a lot of them (at least the ones that are still playable) and for the most part I found one of three things:

They are either

1: Hardcore PvP games where the real "game" is just PvP combat. These games will not succeed because FPS games are a better play experience for this kind of style and it's almost impossible to become successful unless you were an early adopter or have friends willing to help you power level and gear up via metagaming.

2: Life Simulators where the emphasis is on "living" in a "realistic" world. Instead of being a place where there is an emphasis on being a hero, the emphasis is on being a farmer, or a woodsman, or some other lifestyle choice while your character develops skills via repetition and tedium until they can kill a wolf or two, and dare to go into the wilderness beyond the range of the firelight. These games do not succeed because most people want to be heroes to begin with, not "work up" to it by leading a mundane life in a simulated world first.

3: Games that have no effective marketing. "Word of mouth" is not effective marketing. You have to understand who your target audience is and how to communicate with them effectively to engage their interest and induce them to try your game. "Great games do not sell themselves."

Pathfinder Online is going to be fun from the first day you log in. It is going to have deep complex systems but there will be a clear path for being a hero immediately. We're not going to ask you to chop wood for 3 days of realtime to get enough "Axe" skill to kill a wolf. Likewise, we're not going to trap you in a murder simulator where unless you're an early adopter, play with leet buds, and have phat loot you just die every time you log in.

And it's going to be effectively marketed.

There are as many lessons to be learned from the failed sandboxes as there are from the successful theme parks.

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