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WoW - The Game That Seized the Globe 287

Posted by Zonk
from the i-do-all-my-stock-trading-in-gold dept.
The New York Times reports on the global appeal of World of Warcraft. An unmitigated success world-wide, the article examines why the title's U.S. roots haven't stopped it from succeeding abroad. From the article: "Perhaps more than pop music or Hollywood blockbusters, even the top video games traditionally have been limited in their appeal to the specific regional culture that produced them. For example the well-known series Grand Theft Auto, with its scenes of glamorized urban American violence, has been tremendously popular in the United States but has largely failed to resonate in Asia and in many parts of Europe. Meanwhile many Japanese games, with their distinctively cutesy anime visual style, often fall flat in North America. One of the main reasons Western software companies of all kinds have had difficulty in Asia is that piracy is still rampant across the region. Games like World of Warcraft circumvent that problem by giving the software away free and then charging for the game service, either hourly or monthly." Keep in mind that distribution and access rates are different in Asia than they are here in the states. The majority of WoW players pay an hourly fee, and didn't have to buy the box.
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WoW - The Game That Seized the Globe

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  • MMO's are huge in Asia. Games like Lineage have been hitting huge numbers (not WoW numbers, but not far off) for awhile now.

    Warcraft and Blizzard are 2 of the biggest names in gaming in the US.

    The combination hits a sweet spot for both markets.

    p.s. when is someone going to make a Grand Theft Auto MMORPG!!!
  • by creimer (824291)
    Never played the game. So much for a game that seized the globe.
    • by 77Punker (673758)
      Last I heard, WoW has six million active subscribers. I've never played it either, but that's still lots of people. 6 million people is about 2% of the American population. I know that there's plenty of players outside of the USA, but when you look at it that way it really puts it into perspective.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Webz (210489)
        To see its perspective compared to other MMOs, check out this chart:

        http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1_files/Subscription s_8846_image001.gif [mmogchart.com]

        It pretty much beats every other popular MMO out there combined. That's impressive.

        Also, considering the expansion coming out, I'm sure that will attract either new players or players who quit before and then want to see what the Burning Crusade is about (new content, new characters, new spells, bug fixes, enhancements, etc).
      • by drsquare (530038) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:46AM (#16045594)
        McDonalds gets a lot of customers. Windows has a lot of users. Lots of people went to watch War of the Worlds.

        Popularity is about marketing and dumbing down, not quality.
        • by HaloZero (610207) <protodeka@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @01:01PM (#16046259) Homepage
          Retention is a function of quality. Exposure is a function of marketing. If I'm exposed to a quality product, I'm more likely to become their asset. If World of Warcraft weren't a) fun, b) distracting, c) amusing, I wouldn't be playing it still after over two years.
          • by drsquare (530038)
            People like it because it's easy and dumbed down. You can play it whilst half asleep just by banging your head on the keyboard. It'll soon be forgotten like Everquest was as there is no depth do the gameplay, just point and drool.
            • by HaloZero (610207)
              You're right, it is easy. It's much easier than my job, classes, and dealing with the rigors (the downside portion) of a relationship.

              This is coming from someone who historically works way too hard, and just got out of a very dissatisfying relationship. YMMV.
        • Popularity is about marketing and dumbing down, not quality.

          Yes - because we all know there is no such thing as a sleeper hit like Ico. Not ever.

    • by Jack9 (11421) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:01AM (#16045166)
      Soap has also siezed the globe. The fact you don't use it, doesn't affect that statement.
    • Just because you haven't played it doesn't mean that it hasn't taken a very large portion of the market that is MMORPG players, or that it hasn't expanded that market, or that it hasn't greatly influenced game design since. I'm pretty sure you can find a few people in the US that think that they'd be better off as a british colony. That doesn't make the american revolution any less valid.
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @10:56AM (#16045119)
    While I congratulate the developers for creating a game that keeps money pouring in at a rate to make the oil companies proud; I am sad to see subscription based games survive.

    Everquest (afaik) started the trend and now with WOW pullings in Millions of $ each month, I know that it won't go away. I watch my friends throw money at all these games, one in particular had active accounts in: City of Heroes, WOW, and Everquest all at the same time! He let me try his account (in an attempt to get me hooked) and while the game and MMORPG aspect was fun, I dind't think it was worth the monthly fees.

    So now, I stick to classics and Mame. I will never pay a monthly fee for a game.
    • by TheSHAD0W (258774)
      I'll have to disagree with you; while having to pay money every month, rather than at the onset of the game, may be t3h 3vi1 to you, games requiring servers need those servers paid for. And although I do think the prices demanded are rather high ($5/mo or lower seems to be more in line), I'm hoping eventually all the games themselves will be distributed for free, much like EVE Online is now.
      • by grazzy (56382)
        Servers are cheeap.. ack.. so cheap.
    • by merreborn (853723) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:07AM (#16045231) Journal
      I am sad to see subscription based games survive. Everquest (afaik) started the trend...

      You missed the early nineties, when people payed by the hour, and in some cases by the minute, to play games like Legends of Kesmai. People ran up bills, some as high as hundreds and even thousands of dollars per month.

      $15/month is a steal compared to that.

      Even more, your average (non-MMO) gamer probably buys one boxed game a month, at least -- which runs about $50, these days.

      Again, $15/month is a steal.

      There are very few services out there that give you "All you can eat" for $15. And most of these games feature regular content updates -- so you're getting a little more than just the privalege of playing, for your money.

      Running an MMO costs money. Constantly producing more content does too.
      • by CrazyJim1 (809850)
        Ah yes, the era of the ,"Oh no, I was on long distance when I was playing online?"
        • by merreborn (853723)
          Ah yes, the era of the ,"Oh no, I was on long distance when I was playing online?"

          Nope. Islands of Kesmai, for example, charged up to $12/hr, in addition to compuserve's access fee. That doesn't include any long distance, either.

          100 hours of gaming in a month (not at all uncommon for today's "hardcore MMOers") would cost you about $2,000, if you include compuserve's hourly fee.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_of_Kesmai#Pri ce_to_Play [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brkello (642429)
      The only way a game like this can exist is through monthly rates. If they just sold the game for an initial price, the game would not be able to afford the massive amount of hardware, bandwidth, customer support, etc. Additionally, you are getting new content added every few months. You have to pay the developers. Subscription based games will never go away. It's fine if you don't want to spend the 15 a month...but...it isn't very expensive. Considering the game pretty much consumes your free time...i
      • "The only way a game like this can exist is through monthly rates. If they just sold the game for an initial price, the game would not be able to afford the massive amount of hardware, bandwidth, customer support, etc."

        Guild Wars: MMORPG, initial cost of game same as non-MMORPG games, no monthly fee, release frequent updates, release expensions, appears popular. I assume you aren't familiar with it.

    • by crabpeople (720852) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:20AM (#16045332) Journal
      "I will never pay a monthly fee for a game."

      Enjoy your no gaming future gramps...

      On the plus side I pay way less for game subscriptions than i do for the cable tv that i used to subscribe to, the weekly movies I used to go to...

      • by manno (848709)
        I can see where you're coming from, and I understand that a lot of people here agree with your mentality. I think some people, myself included, don't get the same enjoyment out of these games that other people here do. I see MMORPG's as time spent away from dating, friends, and family. I'd much rather catch a game with the guys, spend $25-$100 on a good date, or $200 to fly home to see my family, than play an MMORPG free for a year. Does that make me right? Obviously not, but for me paying $15/month to play
    • by BenjyD (316700)
      Gaming in general has a monthly fee, unless you stick to replaying games you already own. I've just started on WoW, so I don't know how it's going to affect my buying habits, but I generally buy around 2 games a month. That's four months' WoW subscription.
    • It is cheap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:29AM (#16045424) Journal
      Instead of going to a movie once a month, play a MMO. Or, instead of going out to eat once or twice, play a MMO. A music CD will cost you about the same...

      $15 doesn't buy much nowadays in the entertainment world, a whole months worth of entertainment for $15 is a deal! (And if you play Everquest 1 year is $100! Less than $10 a month.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thansal (999464)
        this is the key to it all I live in NYC, the movie prices are ABOVE $10 now, then factor in about $4 for my metrocard, the price of eating out (or god forbid buying movie theater priced stuff, though I have SERIOUSLY missed the buttery buttery joy that is movie theater popcorn), etc etc etc. And look, there is a month of WoW! I ussed to be dead against monthly fees, and then I graduated from HS and started working regularly and realized that $10-15 is NOT much. At one of my old jobs I had a coworker who
    • As a parent, and generally suspicious net-user, I am glad that there is a fee and associated paper trail back to a real breathing human. That way, if legal recourse is required then it is available. I have noticed that games that allow anonymous entities are often full of cheaters, griefers and I believe they are more of a danger to vulnerable people (e.g. children). Anonymous means of expressions may be required for a democratic society but they can stay in their relevent forums.

      On a gaming front I'm glad
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jartan (219704)
      "I will never pay a monthly fee for a game."

      You make that sound like some sort of stand you are taking against evil. You also act like people who pay these subscriptions are making some sort of mistake.

      What if they stop charging a monthly fee and start charging $150 up front flat fee? Is that going to somehow make it better for you even though numerically it's probably more?

      I've got a lot of bad things to say about WoW but so far it's the only MMO to every actually deliver fifteen bucks worth of content e
      • by B5_geek (638928)
        I am not a demographic that these companies can target. The last game that I bought was Moo3. (yes I am still scarred from that) Before that: UT2004 (just to support the Linux playability.) and NeverWinterNights before that.

        So in 13 years I have bought 3 games. I am not taking a stand against evil, just a business practice that I do not agree with. My entertainment budget is happily at the $50/month internet access.

        Movies? no
        Eating out? not much
        TV? free over-the-air RF is fine for me.

        What is/was wrong
        • What is/was wrong with Charging $50 for a game and let the community host their own servers?
          Most members of the community don't have funds for a high end server cluster to run the game. Can we use your data center for free?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by astanley218 (302943)
      FWIW, Ultima Online was the first major game in the genre. I have played MMORPG's since UO, although I never had overlapping accounts. I have a full-time job, a wife, a house, and 2 children. Needless to say my entertainment time and my money are very valuable to me as I don't have much "extra" of either of them. IMHO, games like UO or WoW cannot be compared with games like San Andreas or Madden '07 for various reasons. Some of the major ones off the top of my head would have to be:

      - Blizzard spent 5
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by asylumx (881307)
        I decided to reply here because the parent has a great point of view. UO was the first "Big Dog" MMO pay-to-play game. Games like Diablo were a bit of a pioneer even for the MMOs since they got people online with somewhat persistant characters. UO was great, full featured, worked (well) on DIAL-UP and was a bargain at 9.95/mo. They opened the door. EQ made MMOs a household idea... they put it in 3D for roughly the same price (9.89/mo) and this is what POPULARIZED the genre. There have been lots of ot
    • Not so sad (Score:3, Informative)

      I wonder why you are so sad to see this model survive. 6 millions users cant be wrong. MMORPG are doing something right to survive for so long. The fact that it does not appeal to you is one thing but you should at least respect the fact that 6 millions other gamers actually like the game. Here... let me list a couple of things you will not get from a mame....

      Social activities
      -----------------
      - Get online with your friends and go kill mobs as a gang (PvE).
      - Make a party of player and wage war on another par
    • by Databass (254179)
      $15 a month is about $.50 cents a day. That's like putting two quarters in and then playing for hours. By that reasoning, coin-op arcade machines are the real rip-off by comparison. Put two quarters in those and play for one or two minutes? Movies in theaters, even rental movies, buying books from Amazon and then reading them, going to an amusement park, drinking in a bar, going to a strip joint... almost no other form of entertainment you can pay for is as cheap as subscription-based MMOs. Even buying a ga
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snuf23 (182335)
      "So now, I stick to classics and Mame. I will never pay a monthly fee for a game."

      Keep in mind those MAME games you are playing used to cost $.25 a play. No matter whether you lost the game in 30 seconds or could keep it going for an hour. The $15 someone spends on WoW a month is equivalent to 60 quarter drops in an arcade machine. Back in the '80s I would definately spend upwards of $10 during a single night at the arcade.
      I love MAME too but in general unless you have a stack of arcade boards lying around
  • by Claws Of Doom (721684) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @10:57AM (#16045129)
    ...on the millions of U.S. WoW players unleashed on the internet when WoW is down for maintenance. gg Blizz *cough* Zonk.
  • Link & Thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <<eldavojohn> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @10:57AM (#16045130) Journal
    Sorry for the karma whoring but here's an RSS link to the site that doesn't require registration [nytimes.com] and the no-ads no pictures version [nytimes.com].

    Pretend you're a news feed or printer and you too can read stories without inhibiting log-ins or advertisements!

    Now, for my two cents, I like WoW. But I loved Star Wars Galaxies pre-CU. I had two accounts in that game. It had this special kind of social aspect to it where people were dependent on even the most mundane professions. On top of that, you could level by dancing in a cantina all day, simply chatting with people. The fighting classes had to come in to relieve fatigue and wounds. It was a great system that, in my opinion, could have been more popular than WoW.

    In WoW, fighting is the only thing that gains prestige. All the best weapons are looted, there is no dependence on non-fighting classes nor is there such a thing. I think that if anything is going to surpass WoW at this point, it has to be something that so far out there that it's not even well defined yet.

    One thing is sure, it needs to accomodate both fighting classes and socializing classes and keep them equally important.
    • One thing is sure, it needs to accomodate both fighting classes and socializing classes and keep them equally important.

      . . . and not "improve" that feature out of it once they do have it :)
      Unfortunately, I was one of the people to try Galaxies out after the improvements. Unfortunately aswell, I was one of the people who wanted to make my living mining resources and building cool stuff (I wanted to Pimp your TIE, like xzibit). Unfortunately the trader classes were so nerfed I couldn't survive outside for

  • by Gropo (445879) <groopo&yahoo,com> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:12AM (#16045264) Homepage Journal
    Oh, it must be Tuesday Morning [google.com].
  • Current adoption? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:21AM (#16045338) Homepage
    Yeah, we all know WoW is a huge hit, but I'm curious...now that there is a very significant portion of their player base who is level 60...and many players have become disallusioned with the grind that is on par with EQ, does anybody have any numbers regarding their current new subscriber rate?

    The reason I ask is that when WoW first took off, they had a large number of new players constantly joining the game...but I have a hunch that they are starting to approach their plateau as the game matures and new games come out. Yes, the expansion will help, but its primary customers will be existing players, not new ones.

    Anybody have any figures as to what games new players are flocking towards these days?

  • by Webz (210489) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:32AM (#16045444)
    I just recently quit wow... I mean, I didn't full on cancel my account or delete my character, so it's still there should I ever wish to go back... But I did uninstall and plan on keeping away from it, at least for a while.

    You know what did me in though? /played

    Thanks to the glory that is mathematics, I found out that on average, I played for three hours a day. Worst part about averages, I don't even play on the weekdays that much (which means very VERY loaded weekends).

    What a waste. Three hours of my life. Every single day! I could be learning how to juggle or searching for a significant other or reading a book or hacking! Something!

    If you're like me... On the verge of quitting... And trying to look for that extra push... Look at /played. Find out for yourself what large, large portion of your life you're throwing away at this game.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a great game, and I loved playing it. But it's a lot. Moderation, please.

    PS - I just bought Civ 4 (crack for crystal, I know). I don't get it.
    • by GundamFan (848341)
      I honestly hope you didn't uninstall without first canceling your account payments.

      Just think of what you could do with $15 a month...

      P.S. I have never seen an MMO delete inactive charecters, I think you would be safe.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by _xeno_ (155264)

        WoW has a policy not to delete inactive characters. If you want to resume paying them money, they want to make it as easy as possible.

        Final Fantasy XI deletes inactive characters after 3 months. It's the only MMORPG I know of that doesn't want to try and regain customers who left, but it's an MMORPG and it deletes inactive characters. But it's an exception.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by GundamFan (848341)
          You learn something new every day I guess...

          I learned I have even less reason to try playing Final Fantasy XI today.
    • by briggsb (217215)
      I did the same exact thing. The time played was just too much, and I reached a point where I had to say enough is enough. I took two characters to level 60 in a relatively short amount of time. And was working on my third and fourth when reality set in. I don't know if the expansion will bring me back though. Here's a way for all you addicts to celebrate hitting level 60 though [bbspot.com].
    • by merreborn (853723)
      What a waste. Three hours of my life. Every single day! I could be learning how to juggle or searching for a significant other or reading a book or hacking! Something!

      I quit, and found an SO. After all the intense fling stuff, she went back to doing what she used to do with her free time -- role playing (in the colaborative fiction sense, not the MMO sense).

      I found myself spending a lot of time with her at home during which her attention was directed at her laptop.

      So, with nothing better to do, I bought my
    • by mmdog (34909) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @12:45PM (#16046124)
      I recently canceled my WoW account although my /played realy wasn't the influence that did it, it was the people. When I quit EQ it was really the same thing.

      The problem with WoW and EQ for me was the people I found myself hanging around with in game. Once you reach max level and get into the 'end game' making progress takes longer and longer at each step. Eventually you find yourself in a position where the only people really progressing in the game are basically no-life losers whose lives revolve around the game. I quit after an MC raid when people were comparing /played times.

      So, maybe I'm wrong about /played not ending things for me, but it wasn't mine it was the people I was hanging around with. I have ONE level 60 char who I shared with my cousin while I leveled up and between us we had just over half the amount of time on our character as the next closest person on the raid. I also happen to know that most of those people have multiple level 60 characters as their alternate characters are on the guild roster. I had always felt like a bit of an oddball in my guild, never really grasping why people would get so worked up over every little thing - well I guess when it's all you do then playing WoW becomes very important.

      I don't have a problem with people playing WoW all day if that's their thing, anymore than I have a problem with people watching television all day. In fact, I think if you are going to sit on your ass that much you are probably better off playing just about any computer game instead of watching TV. I don't hang around people who watch TV all day either though.

      I'd love it if I could keep playing the game, but the problem with all MMORPGS is this: most of the people with the who achieve the greatest end game accomplishments are the ones who do the least with their real lives. I don't hang around a bunch of do nothing no life losers in the real world and I don't want to do it online.
    • by Chuu (307073)
      Or . . . you could be playing WoW!

      Seriously, entertainment is entertainment. The grouping of it into "Good" and "Bad" categories is pointless.
    • by MaineCoon (12585) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @12:55PM (#16046204) Homepage
      Save yourself the money and stop payment, at least; your account and characters are never deleted. I cancelled payment for about a year then went back, picked up right where I left off for a couple months.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Azureflare (645778)
      I had the exact same thing happen to me. I actually probably didn't log as many hours as you (maybe a month in the course of a year of playing) but I went through periods of very intense playing followed by breaks. I just came off of a very intense period (where I was playing every raid that was scheduled for every night, AQ40, BWL, MC, AQ20, ZG...) Since I was a healer they always needed one so I felt needed. The game lost all the fun it used to have after a few weeks of this; my family was pissed that
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Gervaze (710196)
      It's especially horrifying if you take into consideration the monetary impact. I played from 11/04 til 07/06. So you've got $49.95 for the game and $284.05 in fees. But what really did it for me was the realization that if I had been doing productive work during my /played time, I could have held a full-time job. When I quit playing, I had approx. 2880 hours /played; spread over my 19 months playing, I was playing on average 38 hours a week. If you consider even a minimum wage job, that's still $19,440 tha
    • I've just started playing Wow in since last April -- so I'm a late bloomer. Of course, I have the benefit of most of the game balance and most eggregious broken parts fixed by the time i joined.

      I play an average of 8-10hrs a week, not alot but not chicken feed. I'm in my mid-50s now. The big question is what happens at the end of the game for me -- raiding? unlikely. Rep grind? Boring. at this point i think I'll focus on tier 0 and .5 items.

      The big problem with MMORPG is that they have no 'end game' co
  • Wrong. (Score:2, Informative)

    by rash (83406)
    Grand Theft Auto was not produced in the USA, it was produced in Scotland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto_(ser ies) [wikipedia.org]
    Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a computer and video game series created and primarily developed by Scottish developer Rockstar North
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @01:27PM (#16046424) Journal
    Headline: WoW still dominates MMORPG market. Nothing else to write about. Game journalists thinking of getting real jobs.
    • by smbarbour (893880)
      Oddly enough, if you go to MMORPG.COM's game list [mmorpg.com] and sort it by ranking in descending order, you will find that World of Warcraft is ranked 13th! (The real kick in the face though is that Space Cowboy Online, which is a completely free MMO and has been out of beta for about 3 months, is ranked 11th.)

      Of course, there is always the argument of the number of subscribers. But I'll use a quote from a movie to refute that: "People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they
  • There exists, somewhere, a list of every current WoW subscriber. This list is also known as the "People not to hire because they'll sit and browse WoW forums all day at work." list.
  • WoW saves me money! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @03:32PM (#16047343)
    To all those complaining about subscription fees in gaming - I hear ya. In the good old days, I swore I'd never pay for a game - I just downloaded them all from IRC. Then they got "good enough" that I started paying for the ones I felt were worth it - and swore that I'd never pay subscription fees. Then WoW came along and I tried it - now I'm paying subscription fees and swearing I'll never buy into episodic content...wonder what game will finally make me decide episodic content is worth it.

    Anyway, here's something to consider. I save money because I play WoW - no joke. WoW is so fun and engaging and has new things for me to experience every time I sit down and play it...to such a degree, that I really don't play other games. I canceled my GameFly subscription, I don't buy games anymore - haven't bought a console in ages. I spend less money on games per year with my subscription to WoW than I did without it. I'll get to a point with WoW where I'm tired with it, and want to go back to my other games - but for right now, a subscription-based game is a money-saver for this gamer.
  • Wow.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CFBMoo1 (157453) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @03:50PM (#16047494) Homepage
    Its adicting... way more so then most other MMO's I think for it's simplicity. The expansion is coming around the corner. They're addressing a lot of issue players have had with the game as it currently is. One of the biggest things is shortening the number of people needed for end game content. Originally to do anything signifigant beyond hitting 60 you had to get 40 people together. Now that number will be down to 25. Also with the level cap going to 70 existing 40 man content will be 20-25 manable.

    Some of it's biggest problems:

    * Lag.. it's a huge problem though they're working on it slowly.

    * PvP. The honor system is setup such that some people actually go 6-8 hours or more a day, 7 days a week to make rank. This can get very unhealthy. They're addressing that with the expansion by removing the existing honor system and making it more people friendly.

    * PvP survivability. Right now a decked out character can pretty much kill a person so quick that healing isn't an option. You basicly have level 60 characters running around with gear that should be for people 60+. Highest I think is around level 90 gear that only requires 60. One side of the coin says anyone can get it if they put the time in, other side is not everyone has the time. Either way it's easy for pick up groups to get totally steamrolled. Some are calling for normaling damage more so things arn't as whacked out as can be. The other thing is its neat to one shot someone but after a while that can get boring and you want something more challenging.

    * Healers.. right now there's a signifigant lack of healers or high healer rotation. Thats most likely typical with any MMO. Who wants to stare at peoples health bars and fill them all day, every day? Very few. They need to set the end game class gear so for healers so it's not just good at the PvE but also PvP. Yeah you got huge healing bonuses but if your not damaging someone it's kinda prolonging the inevitable. A lot of people say, "Oh great, another heal set to grind for. Whoopie." and burn out.

    * Epic gear isn't so epic anymore. Its to the point where gear thats suposed to be rare is actually everywhere practiclly. Take a walk through each factions heavly populated cities and you'd have a hard time not seeing druids that look like moose or deer with their suits. Warriors that look like pin cushions or axe heads. Still to some extent that can be a good thing in that more people get to see end game content to some degree.

    * Customization.. you can't dye or paint your armor. It's as it always will be till you get a new piece. You also can't change your hair style or color. There are a lot of choices but your looking at static ones mostly.

    * Twinking, botting, gold farming, it's all in there.

    Some of it's biggest benefits...

    * $15/month unlimited access gets you on any server with like 8 character slots per server. Server types range from PvP, PvE, RP, and RP-PVP.

    * Little things. You don't just have epic dragons to slay, you have a wandering faire that travels between two factions cities. Fishing contests in neutral towns, some other factions hold festivals like the Lunar Festival from the druids common faction. These events have some nifty quests and rewards that are neat outside of the regular grind.

    * RP... yes AAARRRPEEEE! There seems to be a very health RP community on the RP servers. You definatly have your share of arse-hats, catgirl and vampire wannabe's but it's there. Some people actually post some great stories and content about their characters. Why bother when you have PnP D&D, etc? Why not? You actually get to meet more people outside of your neck of the woods and get to hear some great stories and you don't have to give up the PnP D&D, etc.

    * Cow people.. tell me it's not cool to be a cow, especially a cow with a big gun. You get to be part of the secret cow level. It's a playable race inspite of them telling you there is no cow level. ;)

    There's a lot of other pro's and co

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.

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