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May 23, 2005

Comments

1.

Well, 3 out of 4 are related: the people behind Guild Wars used to be at Blizzard, who make Warcraft which is heavily influenced by Warhammer.

Taken a bit further both Star Wars and Warhammer are both heavily influenced by Lord of the Rings. (Bingo!)

Anyway, here's hoping that the new Warhammer can share some of the success of the other *War* games, it certainly didn't have much luck last time round.

2.

Jim> Taken a bit further both Star Wars and Warhammer are both heavily influenced by Lord of the Rings.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. JRR missed a golden marketing opportunity when he failed to name it Warlord of the War-Rings.

Similarly:
War Trek
The Wartrix
Wartropolis

At least Tolstoy knew what he was doing.

3.

Why not just a MMORPG named "War!" ... it kinda sums things up nicely.

4.

"
War, huh! What is it good for?
Fees that get paid monthly!
(Say it again!)
"

Apparently..

=darwin

5.

Till these games are just about combat simolations what would you expect?

6.

EQ Expansion: Omens of War?
MMORPG Fan Site: Warcry?
World War II Online?
MMORPGs in Development:
Twilight War
Tatsumaki: Land at War
Undercover 2: Merc Wars

After all every MMORPG is softWARe

7.

Partly I think that there is just so much in our culture that revolves counting history around the wars that occured at the time. I believe this then permeates MMO*s because it is an easy story anchor to hand wave away all of the chaotic fights and battles going on (as that seems to be the only real gameplay system of mention, particularly for RPGs) into a semi-legitimate story.

I've heard people refer to LotR as War of the Ring(s) before. Even, Christopher Tolkien used the name in a couple of places, including as a book title in the 7 volume editions of LotR.

Here's something I find interesting about Guild Wars: the titular "Guild Wars" in the storyline is used to describe a particular one in the timeline's past, not the "contemporary" escalation of warfare. Something like how people contemporary with World War 2 would often still refer to what we now call World War 1 as "The World War".

8.

Just like guild names.
'Doom'
'Lords'
'Destruction'
'Death'
'Dark'
'Knight'
'Night'

for Example 'Death Lords of Doom' 'Dark Knight's of Destruction' 'Doom Destroyers of Death'... and so on :)

9.

I always thought "True Fantasy Live Online" was a terrible name. Like many Asian games, the title seemed like a series of random, vaguely cool words strung together. Glad it was cancelled.

At E3 I met with the makers of a French MMOG with the rather unfortunaet name of "Dofus". If they succeed in getting a US publisher, they probably want to rename the game, or every review will feature the word "doofus" in the headline or subheadline.

Bruce

10.

I wonder what would happen if they created a virtual world with "peace" where the default would be "war"? Guild Peace, Peacecraft, Star Peace Galaxies...

Would it attract players from the non-traditional demographic of young men? Or would it just be dead until the warriors arrived anyway, drawn by visions of easy pickings?

Richard

11.

Richard> I wonder what would happen if they created a virtual world with "peace"

I was wondering what an alternative title for ATITD would be: Bring peace to Egypt maybe or just Come hither hippies.

12.

WorldMaker > the titular "Guild Wars" in the storyline is used to describe a particular one in the timeline's past, not the "contemporary" escalation of warfare. Something like how people contemporary with World War 2 would often still refer to what we now call World War 1 as "The World War".

Yeh, as there was virtually no BBC last night I actually read through the whole 145 pages of the Guild Wars 'Books'. Including the painfully clunky 18 page ‘story’ that I guess is so that n00bs get some idea of what it’s really like being an MMO character.
Or something.
In fact.
What -was- that insult to fiction in aid of???

13.

Oddly enough Star Peace actually exists. Although it changed it's name at one point that didn't seem to help it's subscriber numbers. Perhaps they should have tried adding 'War' somewhere?

14.

Christopher Lloyd > Oddly enough Star Peace actually exists. Although it changed it's name at one point that didn't seem to help it's subscriber numbers. Perhaps they should have tried adding 'War' somewhere?

Of course: “War Peace”
I knew we would get to double-speak soon or later.

15.

Actually,,,
‘Peace Wars’ could be a game of foreign policy through the centuries.

16.

I wonder what would happen if they created a virtual world with "peace" where the default would be "war"?

Imperator has the Pax Romana concept.

17.

If I saw a AAA game titled "Peacecraft" I would have no doubt that the name was meant ironically.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia....

18.

Ren> What -was- that insult to fiction in aid of???

Poorly written? Yes. Insightful? Perhaps. There is actually more of the fiction on the Guild Wars web page if you feel like trying.

Honestly, I have to give them kudos for at least trying to build a unique and interesting mythos without any real genius of a writer on the payroll. The real test will be if, given the oppurtunity, a good writer could create something excellent within the framework of their mythos. From what I've got from the materials, there is a lot of possibility there, so I think its just a matter of getting a good writer involved.

19.

I recently passed a poster advertising a car racing event, where the promoters had come to the same *war* marketing strategy, and called the thing "Race Wars". Unfortunately that sounds more like racism than like racing, so I guess the strategy doesn't always work.

*war* in MMORPG titles is often the desperate attempt to make something which is just solo or squad-based combat to appear to be part of a greater purpose, a war, usually of good against evil.

20.

Tobold> *war* in MMORPG titles is often the desperate attempt to make something which is just solo or squad-based combat to appear to be part of a greater purpose, a war, usually of good against evil.

Now that's a point worth quoting.

These games promise the excitement of being part of an epic struggle. Then you discover that the rules limit you to groups of six or eight, that you may only be allowed to combine these groups (if at all) to kill some individual monster, and that there is absolutely zero functionality for strategic gameplay -- no reliance on logistics, no way to obtain or use SIGINT or HUMINT, no need for planning. In short, there's no access to the complexity of war.

At best, what you get is backstory. You're told that you're part of some larger force, often with some kind of moral component, but the rules don't give you any way to experience (virtually!) the confusion and terror and exhaustion of being one pawn among many on a bloody field. Some of the current lot of WWI, WWII, or Vietnam FPS games try to recreate the chaos of being one person in a large assaulting force, but that visceral experience (to my knowledge) hasn't been translated to any MMORPG as yet.

To be fair, there may be good reasons why it's hard for MMORPGs to deliver "war":

* preventing abuses of power by small groups is hard enough
* FPS games can put a player on rails; MMOGs are more open-ended
* how do you let players have a chance of winning a war in a persistent world?
* corollary: if there's no chance of winning, why play?
* strategic-level gameplay may be of interest to too few people to be worth implementing

These things said, however, it's still the case that putting "War!" in the title of your MMORPG means you're making a promise on which you have no means or even intention of delivering. And there's just something not right about that.

--Flatfingers

21.

The "war" factor in a title does seem important. It reminds me of the 70's mantra for board wargames, where products needed at least one of the three N's (NATO, Nukes and/or Nazis).

More title possibilities:

WarQuest Iridium
(because WarQuest and most normal sequel titles are already in use)

EverWar
(insures your product appears right after EverQuest)

Massive Warplay
(what happens when you combine massive, war and roleplay)

Warkings of the Ring
(make sure there are plenty of Tolkien rip-offs, er, hommages, in this one)

World of War
(with the right timing, might get a little extra marketing bounce from the latest War of the Worlds remake)

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