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Things that WOW didn't invent

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
So, I'm noticing that there's an awful lot of threads that complain that something or another is too much like WOW.

The funny thing is that usually they cite mechanics that are actually stolen by WOW from other things, most often from P&P roleplaying games.

So, I'm going to start a big list of things that aren't actually created by wow.

Now I'm not saying whether or not any particular game actually plays like WOW or not. I'm also not saying whether a comparison to WOW is a good thing or not. Finally I'm not saying that you cannot compare a game to WOW.

But it is interesting to see where these features all came from, so add your own!

1. Permanent combat pets as class features. 3eD&D druids and rangers had this and I'm sure it was not the first.

2. Phased monster abilities, or "Sequential boss fights" have been around for a very long time indeed.

3. Perception, aggro radius et al. Again, 3e and possibly even 2e before it had rules for these. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the wargames that Braunstein evolved from had rules for perception.

4. Aggro - been around in the computer world for ages (most muds have a concrete set of rules for who monsters target in a group), and I'm dead-set sure I've seen an old PnP RPG with it, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. And that's just the more specific version, where the target of a monster is predictable and controllable. The concept of "monsters don't like PCs" is pretty much universal.

5. Treasure parcels. Need I say more?

6. Ability cooldowns. I'll start with vancian magic to bust that one, but there's a mass of other examples from computer, board and roleplaying games. Hell, some of them even refer to not firing a gun for a while to give it a chance to cool down!

7. Item sets. It was gauntlets of ogre power, belt of giant strength and the hammer of thunderbolts if I remember correctly...
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It's not so much that WoW invents things, it just synthesizes them into something vastly different than the sum of the parts might suggest.

My question is the reverse of the OP: is there anything that WoW actually DID invent, and if so has any other game (online or P+P) used it?

Lanefan
 


Saeviomagy

Adventurer
WoW may not have invented nerd-rage but it most certainly did popularise it :D
That is an interesting one: the current culture of running the numbers and declaring option X superior to option Y because it does 1% more damage is something that came hand-in-hand with the rise of WOW. I don't recall such fine resolution on 3e optimizations.
 

jdrakeh

Adventurer
That is an interesting one: the current culture of running the numbers and declaring option X superior to option Y because it does 1% more damage is something that came hand-in-hand with the rise of WOW. I don't recall such fine resolution on 3e optimizations.
No way. People were counting percentage points when playing Runequest and Rolemaster back in the late 1970s/early 1980s. ;)
 
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Jools

First Post
This is an interesting idea. When listing WOW things it would be nice if people could explain to us non WOWers what they actually are. I have no idea what "aggro" is for example.
 

Khairn

First Post
That is an interesting one: the current culture of running the numbers and declaring option X superior to option Y because it does 1% more damage is something that came hand-in-hand with the rise of WOW. I don't recall such fine resolution on 3e optimizations.
There was a high level of optimization in 3E, but it came about in later years. I agree that WoW and other PvP MMO's really crystallized the optimization mentality for many gamers. Squeezing out the last fraction of damage, AC or utility, no matter what the impact to the concept of the character appears to be more and more the "norm" these days.
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
I feel rage when someone looks at a 2e/3e style tiefling and says something to the effect of "They totally stole that design from the drenai in WoW!"
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
WoW didn't invent mechanically-minded gnomes. Those were prominent in the early Forgotten Realms.
 

Dragonbait

Explorer
The only one I can think of are Native American minotaurs.
That would be the Tauren, for those that know nothing of WoW.
 

JoeNotCharles

First Post
A lot of these things that people say are "just like WOW", I think, "You mean Diablo, right?" Item sets, animal companions and optimization guides (in the WOW form) I first encountered there.

But I'm sure a lot of those came about way earlier.
 

Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
Out of curiosity, what about "essence"? How far back does that idea go, in gaming history?

(By "essence", I mean "magickalness" that can be distilled from magic items, etc. Sorry, I don't recall the WoW term for it. And I know 4e uses the idea, as well, but again, I don't know the term offhand.)
 


Amphimir Míriel

First Post
Essence, Mana, etc...

Out of curiosity, what about "essence"? How far back does that idea go, in gaming history?

(By "essence", I mean "magickalness" that can be distilled from magic items, etc. Sorry, I don't recall the WoW term for it. And I know 4e uses the idea, as well, but again, I don't know the term offhand.)
You mean like a liquid, measurable way to quantify magic or similar powers?

I am sure we can find some examples...


--

edit: I just remembered that I wanted to steal the whole "Orcs are shamanistic warriors" idea from WoW, but it turns out that, according to TVTropes, the concept wasn't invented by WoW either...
 
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Rechan

Adventurer
This is an interesting idea. When listing WOW things it would be nice if people could explain to us non WOWers what they actually are. I have no idea what "aggro" is for example.
"Aggro" is a term used to explain a mechanic that monsters in WoW use to determine who to attack next.

Every action in combat that a character does creates a degree of aggro. Everything from attacking a monster, to healing allies, to dealing lots of damage. The monster is programmed to attack the person with the highest degree of aggro. This means that if your priest just healed a lot of HP, his aggro could get bumped up higher than anyone else, thus the monster is now going to attack the priest.

Aggro is why Warriors are important. They have various powers that increase their aggro, so the monsters have to attack them instead.

And Now You Know.

(Be aware I don't play WoW, but where I frequent online the game is talked about so much, I understand its ins and outs)
 

Theroc

First Post
Funny thing. If I understand correctly, the lore of the Warcraft franchise arose when Games Workshop did not give Blizzard the license for Warhammer, and so Blizzard changed a bunch of things and turned it into a totally separate franchise.

If I'm mistaken, I'm willing to be corrected, but I did find it rather funny when people were saying things such as, "Mythic Entertainment totally stole from Blizzard's "Lich King" with their "Witch King", when, to my knowledge, the "Witch King" came long before Arthas.
 

Orius

Adventurer
"Aggro" is a term used to explain a mechanic that monsters in WoW use to determine who to attack next.

Every action in combat that a character does creates a degree of aggro. Everything from attacking a monster, to healing allies, to dealing lots of damage. The monster is programmed to attack the person with the highest degree of aggro. This means that if your priest just healed a lot of HP, his aggro could get bumped up higher than anyone else, thus the monster is now going to attack the priest.
And aggro routines are fairly common to MMOs from what I understand, WOW certainly didn't invent them. They probably came into being when western RPGs when real-time from turn-based and/or MUDs.

And really, any DM worth his salt knows how to "aggro" an enemy (I will not say mob here) according to PC actions.

If I'm mistaken, I'm willing to be corrected, but I did find it rather funny when people were saying things such as, "Mythic Entertainment totally stole from Blizzard's "Lich King" with their "Witch King", when, to my knowledge, the "Witch King" came long before Arthas.
Yup, it's right there way back in Tolkien's Middle-earth. ;)
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
There was a high level of optimization in 3E, but it came about in later years. I agree that WoW and other PvP MMO's really crystallized the optimization mentality for many gamers. Squeezing out the last fraction of damage, AC or utility, no matter what the impact to the concept of the character appears to be more and more the "norm" these days.
There was a high level of optimization in Champions, published in 1981. The supplement, Champions II (1982), even has a section telling players how to do it, called the 'Goodman School of Cost Effectiveness'. For example it recommends that the best value for Dex is 23, because you round up when it's divided by both 5 and 3.
 


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