It’s Fashionable To Hate World Of Warcraft

Aion has a pretty lively General Chat channel on my server and one of the topics that seems to crop up on a regular occasion is World of Warcraft. Usually it’s initiated by someone saying something like “Aion is way better than WoW”, “go back and play WoW”, “WoW is for care bears” or the witty “WoW sucks”. Suffice to say it’s enough to cause a storm in the chat channel as the few people who actually seem to like Warcraft try stick up for it against vast, insurmountable odds. It seems like everyone’s a WoW hater these days. I guess it’s no surprise considering how WoW has so few subscribers compared to the other MMORPGs out there. Oh wait.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to sit in an Ivory Tower condemning everyone who speaks out against World of Warcraft. Not at all. In fact, I’ve had my fair share of pot shots against Blizzard and WoW for years and certainly used to harbor resentment against it for being unoriginal and “dumbing” down the genre. Still, I recognise that it’s a good game, well crafted and well thought out and I do find it enjoyable to play. The thing I just find strange though is that it seems to be popular right now to slate WoW just for the sake of it. It’s like Blizzard is the new SoE.

SoE used to get a lot of slack (maybe they still do) by gamers for almost everything and every time I tried a new MMO, people used to rant about them. I even recall people cursing SoE for developing Vanguard and making it rubbish and used to take great glee in informing them that SoE had nothing to do with the creation of VG and in fact stepped in to save it from oblivion. Today Blizzard is SoE and hating Warcraft is the new fashion – some might even call it an old fashion but all I can tell is that it seems to be growing. Tim Gunn eat your heart out (and if you get that reference please resist the urge to send me emails telling me how gay I am).

All of this is very ironic considering that the people who rubbish WoW in Aion are likely the ones who either have or presently do contribute to it’s player base and I can’t help but wonder if they’re doing it just because everyone else is. No doubt the WoW haters will flock back to the motherland of Azeroth once Cataclysm releases as if their relationship had never been sullied.

So there you have it. If you want to hate WoW, hate WoW, just don’t do it because it’s fashionable :)

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  1. Gremrod says:

    Yeah I noticed the hate talk in Aion towards WoW.

    But I have saw it AoC and Warhammer. I have also seen the fare share of people saying whatever new game sucks WoW is better and then tons of chat flies across the screen telling those people to go back to WoW then this is not WoW.

    This type of chat fills the general chat channels of all new games for the first month or so….

  2. Jason says:

    Many people will always hate on where they were in favor of where they are. Personally, I’ve never been a WoW hater… but I am fairly outspoken in how WoW doesn’t excite me anymore. Its not that its bad, its just that I’m not interested. The old “Its not you, its me” line…

    • Gordon says:

      I’ve spoken out against WoW too but never hated it just for the sake for it. In fact, as much as people condemn it for dumbing down the genre, it’s no doubt inspired a lot of investors to pony up some serious cash for new MMOs.

  3. LaminatedSmore says:

    ‘This isn’t WoW’ seems to be used to counter every time somebody complains about something in Aion. For example, no addon support. Okay, so Quest Helper and DBM makes WoW fairly trivial, but something simple like a dps meter? Does that really make your game more ‘hardcore’ becase it lacks a feature? Doesn’t this make it easy for rubbish people to play undedected, and gives the really good dps no recognition?

    Threat meter, okay, maybe I can understand. It makes it easier to watch your threat. But is that totally a bad thing? I mean, threat is easy in WoW because tanks have maybe 25% + more than the dps, unless they’re at 7k+. But it’s not easy because you there is a threat meter. Aggro in Aion can still be hard, even with an addon to help you monitor it. Without an aggro meter, surely you’re just relying on guesswork and either getting killed/not doing as much dps as you could.

    I dunno, maybe I am sheltered by my WoW life :P Is it like this in other MMOs?

  4. Scarybooster says:

    I had to turn the chat off in Aion because I was sick of WoW talk. I wanted people to talk about Aion so I logged into WoW.

  5. Tesh says:

    My team can beat *your* team. So there, pthbthbthb, neener, neener. Boys rule, girls drool!

    Or whatever.

    I’m not really a fan of some of the game design of WoW, but I do like exploring the WoW world. They still have some of the best art direction out there. See, Blizzard and I, we have a complex relationship.

  6. Longasc says:

    I think Aion might do the WoW community a service by sucking up some merciless and hateful Gladiators!

  7. Jeff G. says:

    Norrath is the world of Everquest. I think you meant Azeroth.

  8. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees this. This is part of the reason I really can’t stand Syncaine’s blog, because he’s endemic of the type of “WoW cheated on me with my wife and I will never forgive it” butthurt that goes on and on and on every time I go to another game. “Oh I hate WoW, WoW players, wah.”

    Get over it. They’re games and entertainment, not religions. Mac vs PC flamefest look like polite arguments next to this ill-placed and juvenile “game loyalty.”

  9. I think there are three major, and often inter-related, explanations for people ragging on WoW:

    1. Backlash. WoW has been on top for a while, and it’s easy to hate the person on the top. See the “hatred” a sports team gets when they win a championship a few years in a row.

    2. Boosterism. As Tesh points out above, people want to support their “team”. This is related to the first point I made, but it’s more because people are protective of their new home. People also want to fit in with the crowd, and it’s likely many people in a new game are going to have some hard feelings about a previous popular game. This is most noticeable when someone complains in public chat about a new game not having a feature WoW has, so all the true supporters ostracize the person. Note that WoW players get this way, too; expect a tearful “Leave WoW alone!” video appearing at soon! ;)

    3. Counteracting possible buyer’s regret. Nobody wants to believe they backed the loser. Leaving your old game and buying into a new game requires a bit of faith, so people are going to keep repeating, “This game doesn’t suck.” and “Those other games do suck.” to counter-act any possible pangs of buyer’s remorse. This is similar to boosterism, but tends to be more about convincing yourself than trying to convince others. Saying something on chat channel is likely to get others to agree with you since many people in the new game have left the old game anyway.

    In the end, trying to work against this is pretty much like trying to beat back the sea. People want validation and to belong in a group, and this is behavior that will allow them to get what they want.

  10. [...] the moment we’ll have to put up with the simplistic comparisons. We Fly Spitfires  notes how the General Chat in Aion is dominated by WoW/Aion comparisons: “Aion has a pretty [...]

  11. Borror0 says:

    That’s not all, Gordon. On most MMO forums, WoW is a pejorative term: “Don’t make us another WoW clone.”

    A couple of weeks ago, DDO implemented a poorly executed change to their combat system. They changed a couple of things for the better, but they also played with attack rates and set the new attack rates too low. A common complaint on the forums was that it made the game more like WoW. The complaint makes absolutely no sense when you know anything about WoW and DDO, but that didn’t stop people.

    That’s just one example. You’ll see that line of reasoning once in a while if any official forums.

  12. Mallika says:

    The Tim Gunn reference made me laugh. I love Project Runway — it’s like a guilty pleasure for me — and Tim is one of the reasons why.

  13. Mallika says:

    PS “Make it work!”

  14. Rosehip says:

    The problem for me is I don’t really like WoW, but my partner played and loved it – it was his first MMO but not mine. Anytime I made a reference to another MMO I was playing such as ‘hang on I’ll make coffee once I get to the Crossroads’, I would receive a reply such as ‘that’s stolen from WoW’, or ‘I made a warlock in EQ2′, he says ‘I thought you didn’t like pet classes – its not a warlock if it doesn’t have a pet!!!’

    My partner became a ‘WoW Kiddie’ and now he finds it difficult to adjust to regular MMO’s… and this is what I see in the chat channels in Aion. He plays Eve now.

  15. SmakenDahed says:

    It’s denial.

    Most (notice I said “most”) WoW haters aren’t really haters, they’re just jumping into the closet and slamming the door shut hoping that if they deny it hard enough it will be true.

    I saw much the same in most other games since WoW was released.

    If you’re really moving on you’re more likely to think about the good things and realize that you have moved on rather than poo poo something you really used to like.

    Take EQ1 for example. If you played it do you have hate for the time spent or do you have a lot of fond memories? Personally, I have a ton of fond memories but I know I’m not going back to play it. I’ve moved on. No denial.

  16. What I love is the WoW haters that hang around posting on WoW fan sites such as or mmo champ, etc. They love taking a post or change and say things like “HA SEE WOW SUCKS THATS WHY I DON’T PLAY ANYMORE!”

    They don’t play anymore yet they still follow a fan site?

    I do remember in my day’s of Guild Wars that there was a lot of WoW hate. That was what? Almost 3 years ago?

  17. Comis says:

    The exact same General Chat discussion populates Warhammer.

    WoW is like the super hot ex-girlfriend. The relationship is over, there’s no going back, but you just can’t stop thinking about her. And every new relationship is just full of you trying to convince yourself that it’s better than what you had with the previous.

    I’m sure if life had a General Chat it’d be full of ex-girlfriend hate.

  18. Hating WoW is like the geek version of fringe politics. People do it to seem anti-establishment and that their indie games or niche games are better because their souls weren’t taken by a megacorporation. Well, sitting in a coffee spot spouting off about the evils of an ethnic cleansing no one else has ever heard of or complaining about WoW gets you the same reaction: rolled eyes and a “good grief, you too?”

    I reactivated my WoW account the other day to play my Priest a little in some BGs since they’re worthwhile to do sub-80 now. I am still burned out, but it’s fun here and there.

  19. [...] It was pretty uneventful, but not for lack of trying.  On Friday night I logged on to find none of my guild buddies on.  I went ahead and proceeded to solo as many quests as I could and work on leveling my gathering skills.  Eventually a guild mate did show up and we knocked out a couple of group quests before I called it a night at just shy of level 16.  One thing I noticed on my server (Yustiel for the interested ) was that general chat was chock FULL of people bashing World of Warcraft while extolling the virtues of Aion.  I wanted to write about it, but Gordon of We Fly Spitfires beat me to the punch. [...]

  20. Stabs says:

    Occasionally it’s just the easiest put-down.

    If I see someone whining about something stupid “go back to WoW” will put them down far more effectively than anything intelligent I say.

    I do generally resist the temptation to say it though but I can certainly see why people coming into DDO and whining about it not being solo-friendly get this. It’s obviously a group-centric game and is one of the last bastions of group-centric gameplay that isn’t a pvp blob game.

    • Gordon says:

      I think as much as people shouldn’t hate WoW just for the sake of it, I can understand why it’s got a bad rep. A lot of WoW players aren’t accustomed to other MMORPGs and then I can see how they complain about another game lacking a feature or being too “hard” or not being solo-friendly. That kind of moan just gives WoW a bad name though.

  21. Gareth says:

    I dislike WoW, could even call it hate WoW, but for none of the reasons above, for example, someone talked about say EQ1 and how they moved on from it and had only fond memories.

    Well imagine if SOE had taken EQ1, dumbed it down in ways unimaginable so that it suits now a totally different audience, changed PVP from a fun casual activity to something you have to grind away at to be able to compete because now you need special pvp only gear so Blizzard could chase their E$port dollars.

    Then they made tanking so easy you could do it with one button because the threat was ridiculously high, released a yawn worthy expansion where you could even solo the 5 man quests while you were levelling up. Make all 12 dungeons in the game snooze fests from start to finish that we could complete on heroic bypassing the normal modes (this contributed a lot to burnout).

    Then for the final rip re-released a raid from earlier in EQ1, same graphics, same mobs, just a higher level as the only major raid to run for the first 6 months of that expansion, Uldar was good, but it came too late in the day to save my enthusiasm here.

    The final nail in the coffin would be then to reset the gear levels 1/2 way through that expansion thus making the best route to gear up to endlessly spam the same easy dungeons, even the thought of doing this convinced me it was time to call it day.

    Now would you have fond memories?

    Sure I was a little burnt out in WoW, sure I had some good times in it (ironically I met up in real life with some of the guild members for a day out just a few days before), but I always wanted to walk away from it when I’ve had my fill.

    And its for the social reasons therefore that I dislike Blizzard, WoW isn’t a computer game, its an MMO which means its got a social component, normal games change, a console sequel can be bad, but so what.

    But with an MMO there are networks of friends, playing fast and loose with the whole game just because they stop making what I realised was a watered down copy of EQ1, but instead now want to cater to the level of facebook games playing crowd is a great way to get hated as a company.

    NGE anyone? Its happened before, for this reason I think Blizzard have been slow with their changes, but they’ve still broken up a good thing, that’s my reason to hate them.

    What’s yours?

    • Gordon says:

      Very elegant and interesting response :) I can understand that people get upset when the game they know and love changes but I try to take it in my stride and consider these things part of the natural progression. If a MMORPG turns into something I don’t like, I go find one that’s better.

      • Gareth says:

        Too true, and I must admit I was in one of those more passionate moods when I wrote the comment :)

        But if I don’t care about something its dead to me I guess, and I did/do genuinely feel cheesed off about the way that game changed (more so that friends keep trying to get me into it again!).

        As a bit of a completionist I like the idea of leaving an MMO at the end of an expansion when the next one doesn’t appeal, sort of happened with Guildwars I guess there I don’t harbour any bad feelings for NCSoft as a company in the way they handled that game and it leaves me tempted to try out their newer offerings.

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