Mikhalia the Picky wrote:
You're basing your facts off one hugely successful game (WoW) and assuming that the only element that that mattered in terms of bringing in more players/$$$ is solo vs party play. A couple things you should consider - a) WoW is the only one that has achieved commercial success at that level. Plenty of other games have tried & well, failed! b) You assume that the differentiator for wow was it's solo appeal only. Now, I only played WoW for a short time, but there were I'm sure other aspects people liked about, i.e. better UI, instanced dungeons, etc.
There is a very good point here, and that is that for as successful as WoW is, no game that has every tried to copy WoW has been even half as successful. Nearly every game that copies is is lucky to see 5% of the amount of subscribers WoW has.
Whether you like WoW or not, the point needs to be made that it's all about the total package and the presentation that keeps people play it. The soloing, the partying, the PvP, the PvE, the quests, the raiding, the advertising, the marketing... Everything that goes into the game collectively makes the game as a whole commercially and financially successful. You can't just pick one aspect of the game and say "This reason, and only this reason, is the reason the game is so popular" because it's not as simple as that.
And for all the companies who are trying to beat WoW at their own game (no pun intended) by copying the game, they all fall short because you can't make a game that is more WoW than WoW.
Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't take any features from WoW. There are some features like instanced dungeons and the Dungeon Finder tool that are popular aspects of the game. There are features like mailboxes and an action house that are common components of many successful games, including FFXI.
You can't just summarily state that the presence or absence of soloing or grouping in FFXIV will make or break it, because whether you're alone or with friends, nothing to do is still nothing to do.
The "solo or group" question can be debated at length, but the decision made will not be the sole thing that makes or breaks FFXIV. No matter which direction they go, there are bound to be players who are unhappy with it, but the game needs to be a lot more than just "a solo game" or "a group game" before it can hope to appeal to people. Whether you're alone or with other people, if you aren't having fun and you don't see a point in what you're doing, it really won't matter who you're with.
If you where knocking on Rift! I agree, i been trying the beta for the past 2 day's, and for a company that claims their world is not Azeroth, it sure feels like Azeroth <.<
I haven't played Rift, so I don't know, but I do know that between quitting FFXI/WoW and starting FFXIV, I went through a lot of MMOGs like Allods, Shaiya, etc, and nearly every one makes it obvious that they're trying as hard as they can to look and feel EXACTLY like WoW.
Besides FFXI/FFXIV and games that were older than WoW like EQ and RO and EVE, it seems like the only MMORPG I could find that didn't look and feel like I was playing WoW all over again was DDO. (I logically assume LotRO is much the same but have not played it)
I'm not saying that people need to avoid trying to be anything like WoW, in fact, I'd say that that was the main reason that FFXIV flopped on release: They wasted so much time and effort trying to make FFXIV as "not FFXI" as they could that they overlooked the things that made FFXI popular. Rather than build on something that already worked, they tried to be different for the sake of being different.
There's nothing wrong with adopting features from other games in an effort to build a successful game of your own, but you cannot expect to beat your competition if all you're offering is a less polished version of what your competitor already offers.
At least to Rift's credit, they try to implement new ideas (e.g. Rifts) that WoW doesn't have. But again, I don't play the game so I don't know how "WoW-like" it is or isn't.
In the end, SE needs to take a good long look at what makes games like FFXI, WoW, SWG, EVE popular and also look at what aspects of them are unpopular and to be avoided. Out of that, they need to build FFXIV into a game that is not a clone of FFXI nor WoW nor any other game, but a game that adopts the successful aspects of other games, improves upon them, reduces or eliminates the negative aspects, and ultimately make the game into a product that people not only WANT to play, but most important of all a product that gives people a reason to pick it over something else.
FFXIV needs that "thing" that makes people say "_____ is a good game, but I like FFXIV better because _____".
It's not a success until it's players, be they 100k, 1 mil, or 100 mil, are saying that about it.