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12-07-2011 @ 5:12PM
I don't think Sarah was implying that wow/blizzard was stifling innovation. I think she means that a lack of competition from other MMO's has been what has been stifling the genre. What this means is that blizz has not had the push it's needed to really improve upon wow, as many (legitimate non-trolling) people feel that cataclysm has been a step back compared to wrath.There have been many contenders (pretenders?) to the wow MMO throne, however all of them have ended up being nothing more than cupcake opponents that Wow completely steamrolled.One of the things that is impossible to predict about MMO's is the PvE endgame. That is where wow has shined the most, and why they are so successful. You can beta test things and do low level dungeons and pvp all you want. In the end, you need to have your players progressing in a meaningful fashion at level cap. This is where Rift was an absolute bomb - the endgame was a korean-level grind, completely filled with horrific buggy encounters and an almost complete lack of class balance. 1-49.9 in Rift is pretty darn fun, some grindy leveling but not too bad, but once you hit 50, you've got a few hundred hours of grind in before you can be any kinds of effective, let alone min/maxed.This is why we need to hold our horses on SWTOR. No one has been even close to wow when it comes to the quality of end-game PvE content. A large percentage of the TOR playerbase will be level capped within 3 months, so months 3-6 will be most telling in terms of their long-term success. If you start seeing people talk about guilds getting famous for world first raid kills, with lots of youtube hits and twitch tv viewers, there is a good chance TOR will be able to compete. If it falls flat (ala Rift), you'll see a massive migration from TOR back to WoW.
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