WAR is NOT WoW repackaged

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That is all.

Okay, I’ll be a little more verbose. When I read something like this I get really bothered by the misinformation.

Quote that I’m referring to:

“WAR strikes me as WoW mechanics wrapped in different lore plus a couple of new features. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Clearly Blizzard got a lot right with WoW, but it doesn’t do much for those of us looking for that “new” experience again.”

Saying that WAR is just WoW’s mechanics packaged with a new lore and a couple more features isn’t something that can even be considered subjective. It’s a completely incorrect statement. It’s not an opinion like “the game looks boring” or “the graphics look like WoW’s” – those things I can accept as open to interpretation or personal tastes and while I can disagree with them I can’t refute them.

But let’s be realistic for half a second and take off our blinders and bury our biases. It would be like me trying to say that WoW is just EQ with a new lore. Yes, they’re both based on the same model so there will be intrinsic similarities but anyone who has played both these games knows that they are night and day different. Let’s put our blinders partially back and for a second and acknowledge that the two games (WAR and WoW) look slightly similar on the exterior. Okay, we can be superficial and point out that both use stylized graphics and use a slightly similar art style and color pallet. Now let’s take those blinders off again and look at how the games are designed. That’s right, we’re going to look at some of the general mechanics.

WAR is designed entirely around the concept of Realm vs. Realm.
WoW is designed entirely around PvE progression.

WAR allows you to level by PvP or PvE.
WoW’s leveling is done solely through PvE.

WAR is (at least trying) to take emphasis off of gear.
WoW is designed entirely around gear determining the strength of your character.

WAR is being designed to incorporate 5+ years of content expansion.
WoW was not designed this way thus it suffers severely from trivializing content when new content is added.

These are just a few of the vast differences in design that are traced right back to the mechanics of the game. I can’t go into more detail because of the NDA but these differences can be found throughout the very basics of combat and character stats. People need to stop looking at new mmorpgs, not just WAR, and saying things like, “Ohhh it has hotkeys you can press. Yep, It’s a WoW Clone!”. I wish that were entirely tongue-in-cheek but sadly it’s not.

These two games are entirely different, and in both cases new, MMORPG experiences. Perhaps Dan O’Halloran (author of the article on Massively linked above) didn’t mean to imply what he did but that goes to prove my last point. If you’re going to say something like that then you need to clarify precisely what you mean or else your comments are going to be torn to shreds, discounted and taken with a grain of salt (although given that Dan O’Halloran is from WoW Insider the writing is on the wall).

Hopefully Mythic wasn’t having an off day and offering up previews of WotLK at Comic-Con. Anyways, that’s my rant for the day.

  • Sorry Keen, I’ve tried to argue with the bomb throwers that can’t do anything but read badly worded headlines about WAR. A new approach is needed, so stay tuned.

    Anyways, it is obvious the measuring stick being used to measure WAR is not the same one that gets used for WoW. For example: Mythic announces the cut from six cities to two. The bomb throwers go “yep, makes sense. “. Even though the two city approach is not only a better design, but has opened the doors to more and better content to be developed for the game.

    Blizzard announces that Death Knights are being reworked in the WotLK beta. The bomb throwers applaud their effort as making the game better.

    You can not argue with hypocritical hooligans.

  • I think people just don’t have a common language yet for describing the similarities they see between the two games and resort to hyperbole going both ways. So the communication hasn’t sifted itself out well yet between the people who aren’t ignorant and see things either way. We all know though that Blizzard copied Games Workshop like Spaceballs copied George Lucas. Oooo, I said it! Snap!

  • I think I should open by saying that I do agree with your overall point. I left WoW about 8 months ago because of many reasons, like RealLife®, content burnout, and some relationship problems in and outside the game, and even with some friends daily asking me to come back, I don’t have the slight desire to do so.

    Reading (and listening; I’m a regular of your podcast) about WAR has finally re-lightened my desire to play MMOs. The features that make it unique are exactly the ones I found missing from other experiences, and now I believe I’m again ready to lose outdoor life and real friends in the name of King and Country (or something on those lines) 🙂

    However, should you decide to beat that dead horse (it really has been beaten by many, and many times in the past), I think that more care should be taken on choosing your arguments. Even if many of the opposing statements are merely based on opinions, you must agree that of your four statements, only the first two are based on actual official well-known features of the game.

    The last two, while publicly known from official channels are, as of right now, only intended from Mythic, but not certain. Maybe you have a different feel from being on the closed beta, but until everybody puts their hands on the game, nobody really knows if gear matters as little or much as the developers want.

    And as for the last argument… Mythic can claim as much as they want that their expansion for the next 5 years won’t hurt launch content, but I won’t be sure of that until their first expansion come out. Comparing history against unforeseen (but brightly looking) future seems hardly fair to me. We must all remember that until a few weeks ago, WAR was going to have 6 capital cities incredibly more complex that the ones on WoW, but now it’s only two. Future can always change.

    Finally: when people say “WAR looks like WoW”, you should have in mind that if you get a WoW player that never heard of WAR, show him a screenshot of The Inevitable City and tell him “that’s is from a new dungeon of WotLK”, I don’t believe you will get any raised eyebrows.

    The art style is very similar on both games, and I don’t believe that’s even a coincidence. WoW’s success can be attributed to both being and looking very friendly, and it would only be a smart move of Mythic to acknowledge and follow that trend. I’m all for it.

    Sorry for the lengthy reply. I hate when I decide to write a quick answer and end writing more than the original article. I do that a lot.

    Keep up with the great work. I might not post that often, but I’m always reading. Great food for the mind, that’s what I say.


  • The ironic part is, when those same people who make dumb comparisons actually start playing WAR, they will become like us, and get pissed off when they see same dumb comparison. It’s all part of the Awesome Nerd Circle of Life – people start out noobs, and then they learn, and scoff at noobs with us.

    One of us! One of us!


  • Many commentators don’t seem to realize what a big deal RvR as your end game (as opposed to raiding) really is. Add to that the ability to level purely by doing PvP in level gated battle grounds, and you have a very different beast from the gankfests you get when PvP is tacked on to a PvE game.

    I blame it on DAoC having been off of most player’s radars for too long.

  • @RogueModron: See, that makes sense except for when the people making the comments (like the author of the article of massively) supposedly have 8+ years of mmorpg experience… it’s one of those dumbfounding moments where you really can’t come to terms with the fact that they claim to have played anything more than WoW.

    @Yeebo: Except that if DAOC were off their radar this should appear to be even MORE different than the average. If someone had been all hardcore into DAOC they could at least claim it was DAOC 2.0. (I do see what you’re saying though and I agree)

  • “It would be like me trying to say that WoW is just EQ with a new lore. ”

    Um, it is. Different skin, same monotonous gameplay with some bells and whistles. Same as AoC, same as WAR, same as EQ2.

  • Cuppycake, how nice to see your ignorant opinion here. 2002 called, they want their free web games back.

    Sorry, I do not want to poke too hard, but don’t pretend EQ holds any water to the accomplishments that WoW has achieved. EQ, as well documented, was an enigma of monopoly during its time. The very ideas behind Everquest failed when brought into a competitive market. WoW used some of those same ideas, but completely revamped them into an actual working game that people actually love to play instead of feel obligated to play.

  • My WAR fanboy response is that the game is getting slamed by WoW fanboys to keep/attract people to their game. We do similar things.

    My regular guy response is that people like to troll.

  • Back @Keen: I hear you man, but don’t the guys at Massively kinda strike you as really being noobs regardless of how much experience they say they have? They tend to write cursory reviews that convey little real interest in the games they cover. The Massively article above is much less a review than a soapboxing moanfest about YET ANOTHER FANTASY MMO BO-RING BIG SIGH. Further, the previous Massively WAR articles had all kinds of wrong info; they don’t even seem to care enough about their material to get their facts straight.

    Their whole attitude tells me that they like journalism but they don’t love games. Meh, maybe I’m an idealist but I think it would be better journalism to actually love gaming. Maybe that’s why I prefer to read Keen and Graev’s blog. 🙂

  • I got into the war beta… I gotta say, the graphics remind me FAR more of LOTR than they do of WOW, and the mechanics for casters and rvr are soooo different when it comes right down to actual combat.

    I have been playing MMO’s since THE REALM, which was older than EQ, I hate how this article bothers to say hes playing “MMO’s for 9 years” when his article smacks of… well just read it, not a SINGLE comment on that article even comes close to agreeing with him in any way.

  • I will mention, wow does do some things better, and the fundamentals are similar, but the implementation is whats different, as well as the mechanics.

    If you dont like wow’s style of gameplay, you probably wont like warhammers, or most any other MMO for that matter, I find the style of gameplay relaxing and enjoyable, plus generally I get my moneys worth as compared to most single player games.

  • It’s nice to see a collection of intelligent gamers, with the exception of cuppycake at least. I’ve played virtually every mmo out there, WAR is a hybrid of everything I’ve loved from all of them, with vast more features & mechanics that are exactly what has been lacking from other games. WoW clone? come on… anyone with half a brain, and maybe even cuppycake could see the differences are vast, visually maybe not so much, but no self respecting RPG’er plays for graphics anyway, so it’s moot.

  • That’s it Keen, you got a point! ^^

    “Ohhh it has hotkeys you can press. Yep, It’s a WoW Clone!”.

    Yeah, you are tottaly right, it’s like Crysis is a Wolf3D clone just because you have a gun and you can shoot with it. 🙂

    So, four words like a thousand, WAR is not WoW! 😀

  • @gigean, I didnt play BC because I didn’t like the whole intergalactic-warrior-in-space design. It flat out sucked in my eyes. Wotlk on the other hand looks like it will be pretty, and if you’re gonna base a game on grinding, better make it pretty grinding.

    And on the subject of similarities, I agree with DivinoAG. Doesn’t really matter. A good game is like a good movie, or a good book, and if its good, its good! WAR could have me fighting a lavagod that drops a hammer for all I care. And if they did, and it was fun, I would have had fun, not sadness.

    Point is, doesnt matter what we know now, can’t say until we play it. RvR sounds great, but so did AoC, its how it plays that matters, and that is a totaly individual thing

  • The entire discussion of WAR vs WoW is getting really tiresome imo. At the beginning I was defending WAR like crazy, now I’m starting to just don’t give a f**k. Let the WoW fanboiz preach about their holy grail, just nod and in your mind know that you won’t sink to their level by answering to such short sighted unweighted comments.

    I did actually enjoy WoW, it was a great game for a long long period of time for me. I wouldn’t be without being a ex-WoW player tbh. And any grown up with enough IQ to both open a door and shut it should be able to see that WoW did things that where great, I just don’t fancy those things anymore. WAR will be great for some, it will be sheit for others, its a fact and the same holds true for WoW.

    In the end its a game, made to entertain people, play whatever game you feel is most entertaining and accept the fact that others might be looking for something else and thus enjoy another game more. It’s not like either you or them are correct.

    (sidenote: I too find it really annoying when someone as public as a writer on big MMO sites like Massively throw such stupid and short sighted remarks around, but in the end they are just humans as well, and I read it, shake my head and move on to reading something I like and trust instead, like https://www.keenandgraev.com 🙂

  • “Age of Conan is not World of Warcraft. Some people might say ‘ooh maybe its not trying to be’, but those people are going to Hell for lying”

    I think the same holds true here.

  • Saying WAR is just like WoW is like arguing that Lord of the Rings books are the same as the Narnia books. Any person that has half a brain and has read any of them will be quick to call you an idiot.

  • All level based MMO’s inevitably are more or less similar, since they all use the same basic gameplay mechanics: push a button, kill a mob, gain a level, repeat. These are not specifically WOW mechanics though, so in that respect Dan’s statement is incorrect. On a more abstract level he is right of course, see above.

    Now since a certain game using these simple mechanics is making wagonloads of money year upon year it’s actually pretty good business sense to create a same-ish game and try to get a piece of that pie. Also there is *nothing* wrong in resembling the industry market leader (although the fanboys of both products scream differently).

    Of course you change the wrapping a bit and introduce some features that a) are really new in the niche (this is pretty risky; see melee combo system AoC) b) are based on improvements of existing features in other games with which players are unhappy (the way to go). Im not in the beta so this is speculation: most of WARs “new features” are in category B. Nothing wrong with that too.

    All in all i dont think Dan’s remarks about the same-ish-ness are far of the mark. And if you want to attack his point of view you should really be using arguments based on fact, in stead of speculation (based on corporate hype).

  • WAR is just like WoW. PQ = rep grind. nothing like grinding the same PQ over and over so you can get elite and get your rep gear. Get Renow rank 5+ and you can buy PvP gear just lik WoW.and the XP you get for PvPing is shit next you will tell me that warrior priests are underpowered


  • So Coca Cola and Pepsi is essentially the same… right?
    They are both Cola, they are very similar, whats it down to then? Taste, no matter the label on the box you need to enjoy the taste of what you’re drinking or else you ain’t gonna pay for it!
    So since Coca Cola was first of the two on the market with a “cola soda” then Pepsi is just a copycat? Well maybe it is, but there for sure was room in the market for both, and both are going strong after years.
    What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t really matter if WAR (Pepsi) is very similar to WoW (Coke) as its pretty evident that both will have their share of fans, and in the end the only victory for any of the two games will be down to the individual what game wins their attention most.

    Noone has stated that WAR will be revolutionizing, its based on many of the concepts of both WoW and other older games. Will it be different? Yes it will, as was WoW different to EQ etc etc.

  • PedoGrizzly: Either you haven’t played the game, and thus is full of shit making a statement about something you actually don’t know jack shit about, or you’re breaking the NDA.

  • Pedo: And I can see your lies from miles away.
    If you think I’m a fanboy then it clearly shows you haven’t read a word of my replies.

  • What is really sad is this guy is giving an “opinion”. And he has a right to that opinion..

    Look at what you guys are saying
    Saying WAR is just like WoW

    He did not state it as “fact” and everyone must abide by his “factoid”. He did not say “WAR is EXACTLY like WoW”.
    He said it “strikes me”, just like every video I see of WAR “strikes me” as WoW with slight variances.
    You guys have your opinion of what WAR is like, he has one, I have one…and we all could be right or wrong.

    But, that is what an opinion is. No facts here, just whiners worried about impressions of their game from the blogosphere.
    Everyone stop talking about my WAR like that…AHHH

    We are ALL guilty.

  • I still prefer WoW over WAR, WAR just seems to lackluster and hyped up to me.

    See you guys in WotLK! 🙂

  • @Danath: I played The Realm as well – great wasn’t it?

    @Openedge1: No, let me stop you right there. He did not give his opinion. His opinion, based on what he claims to have meant, would have been “WAR did not give me that new player experience”. What did he say though? He said WAR is WoW’s mechanics wrapped in a new lore and not a “new” experience. That’s just downright BS and not an opinion – it’s misinformation and entirely inaccurate as well as impossible to claim by anyone who has actually taken the time to learn about teh game. WAR will be a unique experience that mmorpg players have yet to experience – EVEN those who have played DAOC. WoW was the same way. I played several MMOs before WoW and it was a unique experience even though it without question took the best parts of many games and made them work together.

    It’s getting old trying to explain to people the tenets and architecture of mmorpgs when they were obviously born in Azeroth.

  • @Keen

    And let me stop you

    Keens words
    “He said WAR is WoW’s mechanics wrapped in a new lore and not a “new” experience”

    Dans ACTUAL words
    “WAR strikes me as WoW mechanics wrapped in different lore plus a couple of new features”

    Again you have taken the quote, turned it into a “factoid” to make it seem like an attack.
    Yet, you blatantly leave out the word….STRIKE.
    to affect (someone) deeply in a particular way

    Maybe YOU can explain how it is a new experience without attacking HIS post. But, you did not, and instead “STRUCK” out against him.

    Amazing how the word “Strike” changes the flow of conversation…

    Now, whether the Azeroth comment was about me or Dan, I am unsure due to the placement of that comment.
    If about me, I actually never preferred WoW, never played BC, stopped playing at level 45, and was bored out of my gourd.
    But, it is hard NOT to see similarities, as we all know WoW took their visual cues from WAR.
    So, maybe it “strikes” me as being along the lines of flattery to be compared to the most popular MMO in history.

    My “Opinion”

  • @Keen: I’m sorry, but I have to stick with Openedge1 here. No matter how wrong he might have been, the guy from Massively only stated his opinion, and yes, he has every right to do so. If he feels it’s the same gameplay embelished and repackaged, well… that’s his opinion.

    And even if he thinks that way, that does not mean he thinks that is a bad thing, as he said it isn’t. Hell, I think every WW2 game (like almost all Call of Duty and Medal of Honor games) has pretty much the same gameplay with one or two different elements. That did not stop me from playing them all to the end.

    What I think is that the minute you start getting pissed because of opinions contrary to your own, no matter how actually stupid they might be, is the minute you’re taking things a little too seriously.

    Like yourself, I think both games are very different on their basis, but I’m not one to fret if someone thinks otherwise. I haven’t seem the game running in front of me, so who knows, maybe he is right and I’m not.

  • Well said Keen. People are still going to keep doing this though, there’s not much that can be done about it. WoW fanboi-ism runs so deep in some people that they think ALL games are just like WoW (sadly that’s only partially tongue-in-cheek).

    I wouldn’t care what people say, except I don’t want to see WAR end up with too small a subscriber base to fund adequate further development. WAR /= WoW /= EQ. You can’t argue that WAR = WoW without also arguing WoW = EQ. And heck, EQ = MUD, and MUD = D&D, so WoW = D&D. Blatant ripoff artists. Geez.

  • @DivinoAG

    Agreed about the opinion. I have played the tabletop miniatures, WH40K, and even the PnP version of Warhammer…read the novels…
    So, I am quite interested to see what they have done.

    But, even though I am a fan of the setting, it sure does not hurt my feelings what he has said.
    Maybe I have thicker skin? Maybe I am happy with my game of choice, and no matter what is said, can take it?

    It is kinda like my multiple bannings from MMORPG.com due to stating my “opinion” on LOTRO being a boring mess.
    They sure did get their panties in a bunch because I think Turbine created drivel.
    But, it was my opinion, and opinions incite flames I guess…

    Flaming away in the safety of our blogs I guess just works better.

  • Well, what the hell are “WoW mechanics”? that there are orcs? (if you say ‘yes’ then I have a delicious irony cupcake for you)

    If the guy had said “WAR seems like DAOC mechanics wrapped in new graphics” i might have bought his argument…

    but WoW? Come on

  • @Openedge1

    I agree that everyone should have the freedom to express whatever they want in a public forum. Although, I must say that there are nice, neutral ways to do it and poor, argument causing ways to do it. Surely this distinction is clear without me giving examples.

    “Flaming away in the safety of our blogs I guess just works better.” …is a common response to someone using their opinion to attack someone else.

    @anyone else

    Getting back on subject, as I stated earlier, saying one thing is like another isn’t an insult. To approach something in that manner and assume that it is somehow an attack shows ones own ignorance.

    “WoW is like EQ because it has elves and buttons you can click. Hurr hurrr”

    That is pretty much what it boils down to. Sure, all MMO’s have spells, elves and fantasy things. The intelligent ones have pleasant, adjustable and expressive graphics that anyone can enjoy.

    They may even share the same game mechanics!!! OMG, SIMILAR MECHANICS! THE HORROR!

    So what? All FPS have guns. Big deal. There is nothing bad about this.

  • @Openedge: Read the comment section at Massively where you will find my summation of what Dan O’Hallora said (notice I didn’t use quotes when I summed it up) to be entirely accurate. He wasn’t giving his opinion. He was making observations that were either out of ignorance or intentionally false. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say his comments are from overall ignorance.

    Borrowing from Proximo’s example, it would be like me trying to tell you that all Coke and Pepsi are the same because they are both cola and drinking one is not a new experience from the other. The fact is that they are both incredibly different bringing a different taste and experience to those who drink them because of the parts that make up the whole. It would be outright stupidity to say you tasted Pepsi and thought it to be Coke’s flavor with a different label. People would question your ability to taste.

    I’m questioning the one track minds of those who are showing the inability to understand the architecture of mmorpgs.

  • Well he is mostly right about pve, except for PQs (which are a great feature btw)

    He is a typical carebear so cut him some slack. He will try to play get owned and quit or whine about some imbalance or other

  • @Keen

    Agreed about the Cola’s…to an extent.

    They may taste slightly different…
    But we REALLY know this



    Coca Cola
    carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid, natural flavors

    Ingredients = mechanics.

  • And we really know that WAR plays entirely different than WoW. (Those of us who have played it – when the game releases more will know this)

    Continueing with the Pepsi vs. Coke explanation, I found this:

    There is actually a clear and easily explained formulation difference between these two beverages. In the industry this is known as “diamonds” and “spheres”.

    Diamonds refers to the sugar content, spheres to the carbonation (that’s the little bubbles for the vocabulary challenged). Coke is high spheres low diamonds, Pepsi is high diamonds low spheres. Relatively speaking of course! The actual differences are quite small.

    It’s clear that this explanation fails to really hold up under my true argument that WAR has mechanics that WoW lacks and vice versa. But it illustrates one point beautifully: Games/Beverages can have the same ingredients/mechanics and still end up tasting/playing and providing an experience that is entirely different and unique.

    To make this example truly perfect I wish that Coke and Pepsi would list their “natural flavors” – alas they are a closely guarded trade secret.

  • For the record, no one said I didn’t LIKE WoW or EQ2’s gameplay. I have subscriptions to both games and I still play.

    What I’m saying is that adding things like group quests (which aren’t new with WAR btw), achievements, lower raid caps, realm vs realm, more classes, etc. etc. doesn’t make the gameplay feel that much different. More things to do, sure – but deep down inside it’s the same game that EQ was + some more shiny. I say this with an utmost love for MMOs and I still enjoy playing every one.

    It’s like JRPGs (my fave genre of games). They’re all the same and everyone who loves them will admit it. Doesn’t mean we don’t love them to death and won’t play every single one coming in the future. It’s time we realize that MMOs are following the same model as JRPGs. Add the limit system for combat and the combat changes a bit, but it’s still a good ol’ JRPG.

    Exp and quest for your levels, gain new skills as you level, walk around a gigantic seamless (or zoned) world, join a guild, kill NPC’s and/or players, group up with friends or solo, raid with 25+ people on big scary monsters that give you even better rewards, and so on. That’s MMO gameplay. That’s UO, EQ, AO, EQ2, WoW, AoC, WAR, etc. When I say the games are the same, that’s what *I* am talking about. I’m not talking about graphics. I’m not talking about the setting or the environment. I’m not talking about the technical architecture behind the game. All I’m saying – is that if you are someone who does NOT like any of the above mechanics, you’re not going to like WAR. You probably won’t like KOTORO, you probably won’t like DC Universe Online. You probably wouldn’t like to go back and play EQ again. If you’re wanting to play that gameplay again, in a different world, with some new shiny bells and whistles – then play WAR.

    All my argument states is that it’s easy to compare the games with each other. It’s easy to compare all MMOs with each other. No one is doing anything unique enough to break the mold completely, and I’m fine with that. You can’t argue that people can’t make comparisons though. Using arguments like the following aren’t going to be taken seriously because neither are yet proven by WAR:

    “WAR is (at least trying) to take emphasis off of gear.
    WoW is designed entirely around gear determining the strength of your character.

    WAR is being designed to incorporate 5+ years of content expansion.
    WoW was not designed this way thus it suffers severely from trivializing content when new content is added.”

    We’ll see how well WAR manages to do either of these.

  • And yes, I loved The Realm Keen… damn those Lab runs for a Wrath or Executioner!

    Anyways, PQ’s as a rep grind, laughable if youve done it, I dont know if your in the beta as well Keen, but Im not sure if I can say anything cause of the NDA, but anyone in the beta understands that while theres “rep”, GRIND doesnt come into it one bit.

  • @Cuppycake: No one is saying that the elements which make a mmorpg a mmorpg are not present though or that WAR is breaking away from them. I think everyone here can acknowledge in full agreement that there are properties all mmorpgs following a certain model will inherit and WAR is not any different.


    Where the disagreement comes in is whether or not WAR can take these mechanics, introduce a few of their own, a couple features, and create an experience that is “new”. Dan O’Halloran of Massively.com/WoW Insider claimed that WAR is WoW’s mechanics wrapped in a different lore. It’s simply not the case. That oversimplifies and fails to acknowledge the differences these games have in scope and elementary gameplay — BROUGHT ON by the differing mechanics.

    @Danath: MMm Wrath. And yes, I totally agree with you on the PQs.

  • “Dan O’Halloran of Massively.com/WoW Insider claimed that WAR is WoW’s mechanics wrapped in a different lore. It’s simply not the case.”

    I’m curious to know how much time he spent with WAR. I played the game for one hour, and I have to say, I agree with him. I have no doubt that if I were to spend more time with the game I would probably end up agreeing with you – but if Dan were someone who played the game for an hour at a demo booth like myself, I understand how he came to that conclusion.

  • You’re more than likely absolutely correct. Playing for a few minutes here and there or seeing something shown in a preview at a loud and busy convention like Comic-Con is not the best platform from which to base a statement bearing such weight.

    I’m starting to wonder exactly what it was that Mythic showed this guy. What we were shown at E3 in the matter of an hour alone clearly defined WAR as different. Add onto that my past experiences with WAR, and all that I’ve come to know and understand from being so closely involved with the community, and it just compounds my confusion when I see comments that contradict what I know to be true.

    This is pretty much why I feel I have to beat this dead horse. I feel like I’m duty bound to say “Uh, no that’s not correct” when a site like Massively misinforms people. People should know that WAR plays differently than WoW (and even LOTRO and AoC etc) to the point that they are entirely different mmorpg experiences.

  • @Cuppycake
    For all we know, the game probably does not begin until level 40 (lol…the normal argument now for all MMO’s and people commenting on it’s playability)
    So, the “mechanics” are probably like WoW (which is like EQ, etc, etc.) until 40…THEN it all changes.

    Lets even take the argument of Cola in a different direction.

    Lets say MMO’s are like Cigarettes (a more apt consideration due to their addictive qualities).
    As a one time smoker for 20+ years, I NEVER could tell the difference. I always thought it was stupid to have brand quality. Plus you were destroying your taste buds anyways, and then at that point all COLA tasted the same as your palate is ruined.
    Yet people go on and on about the differences in cigarettes and taste and had their brand loyalty.

    Do you see where this is headed? You have your brand loyalty and can “taste” the difference (based on how much time again?), but Dan has already been burned out (based on his master list of games he has played, I can see why), and does not see a “taste” difference..

    Here is the twist

    Does it really matter? MMO’s are like cigarettes. We will still be addicted anyways!
    Yea Smoking MMO’s!

  • On the other side of the coin, I’m glad that WAR is “WoW mechanics wrapped in different lore plus a couple of new features”. (Trust me, I know it’s not true.)

    But if it was… listen, I’d be glad. Why? Because I loved WoW. I played the heck out of it from beta until just a few months ago. What made me quit is the direction they were taking the game in.

    I’m READY for something that’s like WoW, but different. I like the familiar feeling. I don’t think I’m alone, and I think that Mythic knows this all too well. And is even banking on it, I might say.

    Oh, and anyone who says the UO and EQ are the same seriously needs to stop pretending to know what they are talking about and take a step into reality. UO was a world simulation. EQ turned the industry into a level/loot grind. I wish Mr. McQuaid a bag of hell because of it.

  • @Cedia
    “Oh, and anyone who says the UO and EQ are the same seriously needs to stop pretending to know what they are talking about and take a step into reality. UO was a world simulation. EQ turned the industry into a level/loot grind. I wish Mr. McQuaid a bag of hell because of it.”

    I’ll retract my inclusion of UO in my statement. My brain was just rattling off MMOs and I realize that wasn’t a proper example for my point. =)

  • There’s this one HUGE factor that will effect the perception of a game the first time a person see it, and thats what they WANT to see, what they are LOOKING for.

    I must admit that the first couple of times I took a look at WAR I too felt it looked a lot like WoW. At that time (little over a year ago) I was heavily into playing WoW and still enjoying it. I looked at WAR and my thought where something along the lines of “looks ok, but it has nothing I want that WoW doesn’t”.
    Well time went by and I read more about WAR while at the same time I grew more and more bored with WoW (not really understanding that myself tbh, as I still played it compulsively for hours and hours day in and day out). What happened then was that I started looking into WAR for things they did DIFFERENT than WoW, and thats when the game really started to grow on me.

    So basically if you look at WAR with your mind set on “I want more of WoW” or “gah I hope its not another WoW” then chances are that thats exactly what you’ll see, instead of looking at it with a fresh mind and a Keen eye (see what i did there? :P) to learn about how this game can offer a different experience.

  • @OpenEdge1: As a has been smoked, and never loyal to one spesific brand, I must say that ciggarettes tastes a helluva lot different in my mouth!

    /offtopicish =)

  • Man my last post was SO incredibly poor english I can’t find words to explain it… /hide
    Different brands does taste different to me, that’s what I was trying to say ><

  • @cuppycake

    on JRPGs . . .

    I’d say that FFVI is by far may favorite of the FF series. The things that stand out about it in my mind are the ways in which it differs from the others, rather than how it’s similar. Hell I get a little put off when they screw with things too much. FFXI wasn’t a FF at all as far as I’m concerned, and I never made it all the way through FFXII.

    In any case, if someone made a statement along the lines of “I’ve played FFVI, it was called FFV” I’d assume either that they know so little of the series that their opinion is of little value, or that they are using hyperbole in an attempt to be provocative. Either way, likely not someone worth discussing the merits of the various FF games with.

    You say that you enjoy EQ II and WoW just fine, and that you dig the basic mechanics of DIKU MUD style MMOs. Yet on the other hand you critcize WAR for being too similar to WoW, EQ, EQ II. Which is a bit odd because “design PCA” would likely show those three games being clustered more closely than any of them are with WAR.

    Admitedly, games like UO and Puzzle Pirates would be an order of magnitude further out from the “EQ cluster” than WAR and DAoC (in multivariate design space). However, I don’t play UO or Puzzle Pirates and have little interest in them.

    To loop my analogy back around, I liked FFIV-FFX the best. I’d like another in that style.

  • I don’t like Pepsi. I don’t like Coke.
    I like pie.

    I don’t like PvP.
    Which means I’m not going to like RvR.
    Which means I’m (probably) not going to like War.

    But I’ll still play War. At least for a while.
    Why? Each game is different. Maybe this mixture of features will do it for me and I will play for the next 4 years like I did with EQ2. Then again maybe after two weeks I will use the dvd as a coaster like I am doing with AoC.

    I’ll read the blogs and “news sites” and listen to what they are saying. But ultimately I’m the one playing it and I’ll decide if I like it or not.

  • What I really fail to see is why is it so bad for WAR to be called “A Better WoW”. That game got 10M+ subscribers by being well polished and very fun, even if flawed on many aspects.

    If you can take the same formula, the very same one Blizz improved on to make WoW, the one being improved step-by-step since the times of the first MUDs, create/get a new universe to set the game on, and give gamers familiar but reinvented mechanics… is that really a problem?

    That’s my only problem with this whole discussion: what exactly makes this *opinion* so offensive?

  • The similarities amongst most persistent online RPGs are striking. Level based progression, hotbar ability based combat, power modified by equipment and statistics, etc etc ad nauseam. WoW wasn’t the first, but it does happen to be the most successful, and thus to the casual observer it is a legitimate basis for comparison. To somebody who has only a passing knowledge of the genre, saying that WAR is “like WoW” is completely valid and generally accurate.

    Of course, to people who actually play these games, WAR itself doesn’t appear to be any more “the same” than the rest of the pack. Its degree of sameness is pretty consistent with what I’ve come to expect from the market – it’s different, just like all the other kids.

    There’s nothing fundamentally *wrong* with this sort of game (at least not for people who enjoy Diku-style play), but to pretend that they’re all unique snowflakes is preposterous.* The differences matter, but to an impartial observer they’re wholly dwarfed by the sameness.

    * Except for EVE and some other minor players

  • @Openage1

    The game does not begin at 40, its pretty consistent on delivering so far.

    people arent calling it a BETTER WoW, they are calling it “its wow with a new package”, which it very much isnt… you can call it the same, only because of the base mechanics which have been around since the first MMO’s were around.

    I really hope its not the same formula as wow, I play wow like a chat room with pretty graphics nowadays and collect random armor to dress up in, because theres simply nothing to do other than level. Blizz did alot of things right with wow… but they didnt reinvent any mechanics… what they did was streamline and simplify the gameplay. Im not saying “CASUALS LOL”, but its what makes the game easy to get into and easy to have fun in… unfortunately it suffers from an extreme lack of diversity and lack of content, less noticable at low levels… MUCH more noticable at higher levels (where all horde/alliance zones begin to overlap), with TBC being the culmination of extreme lazyness in design.

    Well designed, easy to play, but not much to do, and horribly broken pvp. I still plan to play wow… even when war comes out (im gonna play both), because they did alot of things right with pve. I just hope they get off their pretentious Esport kick and get back to putting in some new content instead of “balancing” arenas. Wow’s content is fun the first time… or possibly two times around, but “the endgame” is grindtastic (recently all my characters ive been doing EVERYTHING in Azeroth because I find it so much more engaging… resulting in me reaching outlands at levels as high as 64-66).

  • I should clarify as I used design wrong, the game itself is well designed, the leveling areas and instances get extremely repetitive compared to old world design which allowed alot of freedom. TBC however just tossed you a few instances, and were simply too lazy to develop new ones at 70, and introduced “Heroic” mode.

  • @Danath: ok, so not a “Better WoW”, but “The Same as WoW, but Different”. I understand that, and naturally I don’t subscribe to that point of view, or I wouldn’t be so interested as I am on WAR (I definitely would not have pre-chosen my first class as I already have).

    My point was that I don’t know why this opinion might be offensive, why can it hurt someones feelings or something like that. I have friends that think that The Dark Knight was a “meh” movie, and while I think it is without a doubt on my all-time top 10, that does not make me hate them or call their opinions misinformed.

    This is a very subjective matter: maybe Mr. O’Hallora is looking for different things than we are on a game, and the things that matter for him are not that different from WoW to WAR.

    Notice that even after saying those few sentences he’s being judged upon here, he did not fail to highlight the features that make WAR unique. He knows they are there, they are just not enough to make it unique *for him*. And that’s perfectly ok. He has no contractual obligation to see eye-to-eye with everybody else.

    The same can be said to people who are going to say that WAR is just a worthless pile of dump. If the game doesn’t do it for them, let them play whatever they want. And don’t worry if those opinions could hurt the game sales. In the end, the only thing that will really matter is the game’s quality.

  • Opinions are great, but for when someone on a site like massively makes this opinion when he played the game for about 30 minutes is grossly minsinformed, and thats why it makes people mad, cause some people read it and go “HA I knew it!” thinking that whatever they think about the game is justified because it was said on a popular site, thus promoting the faboy “WAR SUX” vs the fanboy “YOU SUX” cycle.

    Some people wont like war, thats fine, its uninformed opinions that annoy people in general, doesnt matter about what. There’s fanboyism, and simply poorly presented, that massively article is poorly presented.

  • @Danath: come on, lets be honest for a second. Do you really believe that it matters for fanboys on either side of the fence what does a guy from Massively, or Keen and Graev, or Tobold, or whoever says about WAR or WoW?

    You cannot argument that this is because of how fanboys will react; they are called fanboys precisely because their opinions are always extreme and inflexible. Every small negative point about the opposition is a great victory, and negative points about their objects of devotion are small details.

    For those who are not fanboys, people that just want to play good games, it just doesn’t matter. If one guy says a bad thing about the game, it is one guy’s opinion. And we all know that so far, even with the “omg that’s impossibly awful” news about removed content, which in the end were not so bad, opinions are more than favorable about WAR, be it from bloggers, be it from dedicated sites, be it from traditional media (best PC game of E3 according to G4, anyone?).

    I, from everything seen and heard, know that at the very least this game will be a lot of fun. Maybe it will last more than WoW, maybe not; maybe it will eventually get more subscribers, maybe not.

    But I don’t think all this gossip matters anymore. WAR is a train that can no longer be stopped. I’ll be there playing it when it releases, and if in the end I decide I don’t like it, I’ll cancel my subscription. I don’t care if it’s better or worse than WoW or AoC or LotR. That only matters for the game’s publishers.

  • And just to reopen that can (sorry, really bad pun). I think the metaphor about Coca-Cola and Pepsi is perfect for this subject.

    Some people can’t stand Coke, some can’t stand Pepsi. I think they just taste about the same with slightly differences, so I just drink whichever is available. It’s simply a matter of personal taste, there is no better or worse.

    So if someone claims the only good one is one or the other, I couldn’t care less. I will drink (or play) the one I want at that moment.

  • (FYI: I am not in WAR Beta)

    While all MMORPGs undeniably have base elements (UI elements, skill bars, class archetypes, etc) in common, THE EXPERIENCE OF PLAYING MMORPG’S CAN BE VASTLY DIFFERENT.

    Take, for example, 2 basic differences between WoW and LOTRO
    A. with WoW, there are huge barriers to switching to a different spec. You have to re-gear and re-spec. With LOTRO, the stats on gear are generally not class-specific and it’s dirt cheap to re-spec
    B. with WoW it’s an endless treadmill to get gear, and every 3-6 months your gear is made outdated by design. With LOTRO, you can acquire crit-crafted gear, and it will last you a long time

    Anyway, with that simple example out of the way, here are some undeniably unique things about WAR

    1. you can level up via PVP

    The majority of games on the market require you to level up via PVE to max level (e.g. AoC, LOTRO, WoW).

    I detest leveling via PVE because it takes the intelligence of a monkey to do. It isn’t challenging. It’s extremely repetitive.

    Let me stop right there and point out: in every game I’ve played, what I enjoyed the most was the PVP, even if the game wasn’t built around PVP. Why? Player opponents > AI opponents.

    Being able to level up in WAR via PVP means starting from level 1, I’ll get to do that which I most enjoy doing: fighting other players. It’s challenging, it’s entertaining, and it’s fun.

    2. the WAR capital cities are not static; they change based on RVR, which means the game world is influenced by what the players do

    With most MMORPGs, the cities don’t change. The AH is always in the same place. The same NPCs are around. Every quarter or so a holiday event with silly content is released. Or an xpac or update with some storyline that is fixed. But the cities don’t change based on what the *players* are doing.

    What happens in WoW battlegrounds and arenas has zero effect on the in-game world. Nada. Zip. Same with LOTRO and the Moors.

    3. the PVP system in WAR accounts for level differences (at least in the PVP level brackets) in the RVR brackets, so that, say, a level 2 character can fight a level 8 and not feel like a pygmy assaulting a giant.

    I can’t speak for AoC, but that is massively different from WoW and LOTRO. It’s the reason why there are so many twink characters in WoW. Twinking is built on the premise of overgearing a max-level character in given bracket to be able to have an advantage over other players.

    4. the classes are designed with PVP in mind, from the ground up.

    I am hoping/expecting this will make a huge difference in terms of balance and gameplay.

    5. the mechanics of WAR’s support classes may break the current widespread stereotype of healbotting.

    While some folks really enjoy healing, a very common complaint across games is that healing boils down to Whack-a-Mole. I.e. not challenging, not dynamic


    I don’t see how any analytical person can look at what Mythic is doing with WAR and write it off as just another WoW clone.

    Those simple 5 examples I gave above will make a massive experiential difference. At least for me.

  • so, why not just get it over with and rename the site KEEN AND GRAEVS WARHAMMER FELLATIO SPOT?

    it’s kinda sad, but not really.

  • @ Taugrim: well put, well said, well written!

    @ umm: Because its their blog where they get to vent their opinions on any game, if you don’t like what you read go find some other site to read, cos this is not about being 100% objective, its about sharing their opinions with others and thats exactly what they are doing.

  • Focusing strictly on the look of the user interface (hot bars, button spells and attacks, life bars, mini map) is not a good way to judge the quality or potential experience of a game.

    That’s like saying “Oh, when I sat in that new BMW it felt like a rip-off of my Honda Civic – you know, it had a round steering wheel, shifter, speedometer, fuel gauge, etc.”.

    After years of playing WoW and dabbling in other games like City of Heroes, Age of Conan, and others, I feel that WoW really set a new standard for a slick, easy to use, and feature rich user interface. Something I’m glad WAR is emulating.

    As for the game experience, I will reserve judgment until I see more for myself.


  • Feature rich UI in WoW? Try LOTRO! Tbh WoW’s UI really lacks when compared to a multitude of other games (GW and LOTRO being two that come into my mind right now).

  • Saying WAR looks like WoW is like saying a Ford looks like a Nissan. It’s technically true, they both have wheels and doors and get you form one place to another. But it’s meaningless because:
    a) Cars pretty much have to share certain features in common, or they wouldn’t be cars.
    b) Nissan wasn’t the first car company (in fact, Ford came first).

  • Ugh I just noticed that someone else made a car/game analogy before me. Oh well, mine’s a little different 🙂

  • @Proximo
    See, you had to go mention LOTRO, and ruin the conversation.
    Rich UI? You are forced to resize using pixellized settings, meaning no 1 to 1 resize of the UI (which causes stretching and blurring)
    You can resize a ton of fonts, yet many fonts are still stuck in “Teeny” mode.
    For the longest time the AH would not sort items properly.

    The icons are so fugly..

    Oh, I could go on.

    WoW at least allowed me to do a ton of tricks and make changes to so many various utilities, that yes …THAT equals a rich UI.
    GW I will agree with, as the resize and place wherever you wish works quite well, but is also missing some data I would like to see.

    I am more geeked about using the WAR UI if anything, as THAT is the way a UI should be.
    The video I saw of the UI resize, movement, etc…awesome.

    OMG…I want to play WAR for it’s UI…lol

  • All that I could think about when reading all of this is the SLoM strip involving the beer bottle. I would link it but the SLoM site seems to be down.

  • Man – is this ever a collection of wow-haters, and “other-MMO” apologists!

    What this blog simply DOESN’T GET is that most of the masses playing WoW will actually look at WAR and think: “Ok, it’s similar to WoW, but more PvP in the world.”

    The list you provided of so-called major differences are not actually all that major to an unbiased reader. RvR is the only differentiator – the rest read like attempted WoW v2.0 features.

    Many casual players will try it out – but it better be immediately obvious about how different the game is. Else, just like LOTRO, everyone sticks with WoW.

  • I have no problem with people not liking WAR, or even liking WoW better. Heck, if someone wanna rule out playing WAR for being a “WoW copycat with some bells and whistles” after spending something like 5 mins watching some screenshots or videos on Youtube, thats ALL FINE with me, their loss.

    But I do expect people who are making such heavy statements about a game to actually have done more research on the game than the said 5 mins. And if they did I think they won’t be making such comments afterall cos then they can see the difference clearly.

    Seeing videos on Youtube or playing a unfinished client for an hour at a gamesconvention =|= making a indepth review of the game.


  • @umm:

    People like you can try to label Keen as a WAR fanboy.

    Keen’s been very clear that for months that he’s had high hopes re: WAR.

    Has has also, IMO, been objective about good news and bad news. E.g. Keen wrote a pretty harsh article when the cuts were announced back on July 11th. He wasn’t pulling any punches.

    From what I’ve seen, there are 2 populations of people who try to discredit WAR:

    1. people playing WoW.

    Look, if you’re happy playing WoW good for you.

    As far as WoW is concerned, I’ve been there, done that. I’ll never, ever play that game again.

    I played for 18 months, incl starting and leading a large TBC raiding guild. I quit cold turkey when I realized how stupid it was to spend ridiculous numbers of hours to grind for gear that would be outdated when the next patch was released.

    If you enjoy grindfests (endless gear treadmill, PVE-based leveling, reputation), WoW is the perfect game for you.

    2. People playing AoC

    I haven’t played either AoC or WAR. But just by reading the history of what those companies have done: their approach to the player base and market is vastly different.

    I *wanted* AoC to be good, so I’d have another viable MMORPG option. Funcom just way under-delivered.

    I’m a software developer, and I look at Funcom’s over-hyping / under-delivering to be a horrible way to operate, from the customer’s perspective.

  • yeah, I got a buddy I’ve been playing games with for years, and he won’t even give War the time of day, WoTLK has sucked him in, and he just goes “crappy wow clone” despite all the evidence I put in front of him… subliminal mind control waves in the wow UI ?

  • Looking forward to seeing what your flavor of the month game will be after Warhammer is released and you get bored of it.

  • I have tied to review some of the major differences in WAR, and plan a little write up on my blog this weekend…
    People need to really look at this game in a whole other light, as the WoW comparisons are really getting out of hand.

    What we need to do is look at it in depth, and compare features based on what is available. Screens, Videos, FAQ’s, and even some leakage information (if it seems..well, legitimate).

    As this is the only thing people have to go on, it needs to be taken in the context of “This is the information, and does any other game do this? And is it creative and new or a rehash)


  • They need to life the NDA on WAR beta and let players, like me, who are on the fence read about (and see video and screenshots) from beta players. If its so great .. lift the NDA and prove it to me.

  • Theres a good reason for the closed beta still, once they release an open beta I bet they will drop the NDA, but till then they are still ironing out bugs and such.

    Im sure once they do Keen will express most of the same sentiments I would, if I werent too lazy to write any kind of blog.

  • There needs to be some sort of aggregate website that will:

    1. Inform the ignorant about the all the differences.
    2. Give helpful tips to people trying to explain the differences to the ignorant.

  • Yeah, WotLK is just becoming too appealing to switch.

    And what can I say, I love Blizzard!

    But best wishes to you going to play WAR, hope you find what you’re looking for!

  • I just stumbled upon a rather old podcast interview that TenTonHammer did with Josh Dreshner. A truly great podcast and the interview shed a bucketload of light upon the subject of “copying” other MMOs during development.
    Its about half way through or close to the end (not sure) where he talks about making Evolutionary changes vs Revolutionary changes. Josh really sound like a guy who knows TONS about making a successful MMO tbh!

    Here ya go: http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/14079

  • WAR simply must be great. Why?

    Keen’s in Beta and he didn’t closed his blog about warhammer. He is even more fierce in defending in it.

    There MUST be something about it ! 😀

    Or he is a masochist 😉

  • WoW changed the gaming industry forever and EVERY new MMO will be compared to it. It’s that simple. You can QQ all you want, but that’s how it is.

    WoW is THE game to beat. It has the largest audience for a reason – it’s that good. No one thing can suit everyone, so there are people dissing it (like many of you here), but it doesn’t change the fact WAR will be compared to WoW over and over again until it is released.

    I, personally, love WoW. And I don’t like it for PvE – despite what everyone says, PvE isn’t at the core here; FUN is. I’m playing only for PvP. WoW has the best PvP mechanics I have ever seen in an online rpg game. The responsiveness, the balance, the class diversity, the animations – its all top notch. I enjoy my rogue whenever I PvP, hell I even enjoy it when losing AV (because I know I’ll take some hordies with me before I go down).

    I seriously don’t know why people whine about WoW’s PvP. After the addition of arenas, it is no longer imbalanced, it is no longer a gruesome grindfest. It actually requires skill. I love it.

    At the same time, I have great expectations about WAR. However, whereas I enjoy the idea of epic fights, sieges and town captures, I feel Mythic will fail at the elementary level of 1v1 PvP. 40 v 40 zergs will be fun – I’ve no doubt about it. But I have a strong feeling WAR’s 1v1 will be a fail. No CC, obvious class imbalances (tank kiting anyone?)… Note that I am not a beta tester and am judging this based on movies and opinions of others. If they succeed at balancing low number PvP, I will surely try out WAR.

  • […] quotes like “this better be good”. If they wanna avoid being compared to WoW, as the WAR fanboys don’t stop repeating on their fansites, maybe they should start by being […]