You know everyone's going to compare it to WoW because, for all intents and purposes WoW is the biggest, most successful MMO Ever.
WoW has set the standard for any new developing mmorpg. I was there with the Aion launch and the wow fanboy comments in channels. At the time I hated wow and thought I quit for good, but let's face it, they are correct in how a game should be enjoyed.
There seems to be this fallacy that "Makes the most money" = "The best", or that "Has the most customers" = "The best". This is not directly true.
"Best" is a highly subjective term, and you can't accurately attribute such a broad, sweeping, subjective term based solely on something that has nothing to do with the actual product itself.
If you picked up ANY MMORPG, any one at all, and played it for a while, knowing only what you see and who you meet on your one server, you can try to guess how many people play the game, but:
1) How are you supposed to guess how many people are playing in total without knowing about how many servers there are, and:
2) Regardless of how many people are on your server, how do the ones who are not on your server, that you will never play with, impact your gameplay directly?
Remember that statistically speaking, Walmart is the highest grossing retailer and McDonalds is the highest grossing fast food chain. They have the most customers and they make the most money. Are people who claim that WoW is the "best MMORPG in the world" prepared to make the statements that "McDonalds makes the best food in the world" and that "Walmart is the best place to shop in the world"? I doubt it.
The main thing WoW has going for it, in fact, the primary thing that fuels the WoW hype machine, is popularity and ease of access. That's -it-. It's easy to pick up, easy to play, and a lot of people play it.
This alone, for many people, is reason enough to at least give the game a try. Look at the TV commercials you see for WoW, and notice that nearly all of them share a common thread: They have very little to do with the actual game and very much to do with "This popular actor/ress plays WoW". And it's effective advertising.
Look at this guy:
Now back at me. Now back at that guy. Now back at me.
Do you know what his name is? Probably not. (Isaiah Mustafa, incidentally) But you know what he sells. Old Spice. Look at this commercial.
Now back at me.
What does that commercial tell you about the ACTUAL PRODUCT? Very little. It's a scented body wash, and it's made by Old Spice. Where can you buy this? What scents does it come in? Do they sell other products too? It doesn't matter. It's 95% marketing, 5% product.
Now I'm not saying Old Spice is a bad product. I'm also not saying WoW is a bad product. It's easy to attract people with a ****** product and great marketing, but a ****** product won't KEEP customers, so WoW must have something going for it.
The point I'm getting at is, while you may feel WoW is a good product, or even a great one, you cannot declare it to be "the best" because different people enjoy different things. I tried WoW. Liked it for a while, and then came Wrath of the Lich King and that made me enjoy the game less and less until I quit.
The point is this: If you're going to argue that a game is the best, you are saying that all other games are inferior in every way, and therefore everyone should play this game and only this game. There are many other games out there which appeal to different types of players than WoW does. Games such as TOR, EVE, FFXI, RO, DDO... There are a number of games out there.
The biggest problem is that an -educated- consumer would try several games, compare them to each other, and decide what game they enjoyed most.
An UNEDUCATED consumer would assume that "Most popular" = "Best" and therefore use the most popular thing to judge all other things by.
Do these same people complain whenever other restaurants don't sell a happy meal? After all, McDonalds has happy meals, and they're the most popular, so every food place should have a happy meal. Whenever you walk into ANY eatery, you should complain that it needs to be more like McDonalds. It needs a yellow and red sign and it needs Big Macs and it needs a playplace because McDonalds has those and McDonalds is the best.
Do these same people complain whenever other stores don't have greeters at the door? After all, Walmart has greeters, and they're the most popular, so every retailer should have greeters. Whenever you walk into any retailer, you should complain that it needs to be more like Walmart. It needs workers in blue vests and "Rollback" signs and the ability to buy online and pick it up in the store.
This whole line of logic is faulty. Something that is popular and easy to use is not necessarily a BAD thing, but it not inherently "the best" either. Many people may simply prefer to eat at McDonalds and shop at Walmart, but there are still many others who would prefer Burger King or even Taco Bell. There are many others who would prefer Target or even Torrid.
Now sometimes the most popular product has some ideas that -are- worth stealing. Plenty of places thought a smaller meal for kids with a bonus was great. Plenty of places thought that in-store pickup was a spectacular idea.
Still, let other products exist on their own merits, stop trying to constantly compare every other product on the market to "the most popular one". Fact is, some people just don't like Walmart. Some people just don't like McDonalds. Some people just don't like WoW. If everyone tries to copy the biggest thing out there, the only place to eat will be Mcdonalds and McDonalds clones, every retailer will be Walmart or a Walmart clone, and every game will be WoW or a WoW clone.
Don't they try to teach you this in High School as part of that whole self-esteem boosting schtick? Stop trying to be like the popular kids and just be yourself. Stop comparing things to "what's popular" and enjoy something for what it is. Go rent a movie you've never heard of and stop complaining it lacks the production values of to summer blockbuster films. Go watch a little league game and stop complaining that they aren't as good as professional players.
Again, you don't ride a gokart and complain that driving a car is better; you don't go to a bowling alley and complain that Wii Sports is better...
Try something new and different, and stop trying to make everything be like something else. Who knows, you might actually enjoy something different.