World of Warcraft a failure?

The most obvious thing to add is customization. The MySpace generation
expects a personalized experience, yet Warcraft’s avatars come in only
a few stock models.

True – when you’re walking around populated zones, you notice that a lot of players look alike. Your only avenues for customization are the armor you wear and, maybe, your pet. This reinforces the “I want new shiny loot” aspect of the game.

Warcraft also limits your choices when it comes to gameplay. The
citizens of Warcraft are like migrant workers—they get their marching
orders, and they follow them to the letter.

There are only so many variations to the quests NPCs give you. At least for me, its been enough because your usually exploring differnt zones. If they’d improve the crafting aspect, and maybe make it so that you don’t just get experience from killing monsters, the game would open up more.

The most glaring problem with World of Warcraft, though, is the larger
storyline. Lots of video game developers are wrestling with how to
shape players’ choices without penning them in. Warcraft’s developers don’t care about that.

The hard core Role players want to have a much bigger impact on the game world. I suspect this is really hard because Blizzard has to maintain game balance across player types and levels. To have a bigger impact on the world could also require so much of a time commitment that the casual player will be left out. But, Blizzard could develop events that pit the two player factions, the Horde and Alliance, against each other in ways that affect the game world beyond the Battle Grounds. How this could be done, I’m not exactly sure.

Finally, I hope you made it this far, but in the comments to slashdot there was a link to Wurm Online, a multi-lpatform MMORPG that has both free and paid account. The unique aspect to the game is its community-building possiblities, see quote below. Anyone want to give it a try?

The base of this
community is a village, which is an area that players purchase and that
has game-controlled guards that protect
structures, creatures and items within. Villages form kingdoms,
and kingdoms fight each other out on wild servers. Combined with the
religion system this makes for a large scale epic scenario with real heroes
and myths.