You can't bash WoW for it's graphics. As much as I hate that game keeping its visuals six years behind the curve is extremely beneficial to Blizzard as a company.
Keeping graphics level to a minimum frees up Blizzards development resources for other work such as content (which they sorely need what with their patch every 6 months, expansion pack every 2 and a half years development time).
**** poor excuse in my honest opinion and you will see why when you burn through the content in the new WoW expasion in less then 3 months and go, wow, are you kidding me? 2 and a half years development for that? People will be multi-linking thier new class characters to thier other friends accounts and chewing through XP like no tomorrow. You will see a bunch of the new classes/races at cap level in 3 weeks, if not less.
Everquest 1 and 2 used to release expasions annually and game updates every month, still do to this day I believe. Those were expasions, keeping people active for the best part of 6-8 months, even the hardest of players. Game Updates on a monthly basis were free and while small and only lasted a few weeks, thats what people wanted, constant progression. Everquest 1 has like 14 expasions now and has only been out for 11 years, almost 12.
Lineage 2, expasion annually and all expasions free
Aion, Expasion annually and all expasions free
Blizzard is well known for dragging the horse when it comes to releasing expasions.
It also opens their player base to the casuals who don't want to upgrade their PC every 2-10 years.
Can you even run WoW with a 10 year old computer? You probably can. Thats a perfect example with the above info on how bad they milk the cow.
Finally it gives them a light stranglehold over the market because players jumping from WoW to a modern MMO will find their experience unbearable without upgrading their PC. A lot of the original technical complaints surrounding FFXIV were by those who clearly did not understand the kind of PC it takes to run this game and as such they were having a miserable experience.
**** on their graphics all you want, Blizzard is a marketing genius and they made the right (money wise) choice.
Edited, Nov 15th 2010 7:22pm by Wloire
This is the sole reason for the way they run thier buisness, period.
The right choice money wise, debatable and I can't be bothered rehashing 6 years worth of arguments so I will just say that Blizzard killed the MMMO industry. Now, everyone wants a peice of the preverbial WoW pie and MMORPG's have become nothing more then a hopping stone with the majority jumping from one game to another and games being released to fast at an accelrated pace that causes people to jump left, right and center in a struggle for players to get to end game asap.
Do Blizzard make good RTS games? Yep.
Do Blizzard make good RPG's? Yep.
Do Blizzard make good Online RPG's? Yep.
Do Blizzard make good MMORPG's? .......no comment.