Follow Up Thought…

Now I am going to venture into the completely unanswerable just because it amuses me.

Modest system requirements are always listed as one of the more important factors in the success of WoW.  It is something that, at a gut level, I agree with.  It seems logical.  It seems like a good, solid hypothesis.  It is too bad you cannot actually test it.  But you can think about it.

Suppose back in the Fall of 2004 both World of WarCraft and EverQuest II came out exactly as they did, but with the minimum system requirements for the games exchanged.  WoW still looks the same, but you need a better machine to get in and play.  EQ2 still looks the same, but now that lowest graphics settings, the “cannot see anybody’s face” mode now runs on a lot lower system, with similar adjustments along the different settings.

Does this change the market at all?

Is WoW still number 1 in Europe and North America?

If so, by how much of a margin?

Does this kill WoW in Asia?

Does this make people more patient with EQ2 for six months while SOE works out the game dynamics?

Does the huge difference between lowest and highest graphics still hurt EQ2?

Does the considerably smaller difference in settings quality mitigate the raised system requirements for WoW?

I’m not looking to change the past, I just like to explore “what if” scenarios in my spare time.

5 thoughts on “Follow Up Thought…

  1. darrenl

    Simple answer…no, they do not get the number that they have now. The average personal computer in 2004 could not run EQ2, and therefore, by extension would not be able to run WoW. It would not be number 1 in Asia, North America or Europe. I would venture a guess that their numbers would be aroun 300-500K at the most.

    However, if the gameplay were the same, WoW might have been a killer app in which everyone upgrades to meet the specs. In that case, they may get the numbers, but it would be at a slower rate.

    Technology will always effect the barrier to entry…especially for games.


  2. Seritaph

    WoW will not loose market share over graphics, it’s player base will dwindle out of boredom and the repetitive nature of it. It’s that way with all their games unfortunately. They are an amazing development team, but sooner or later everyone gets tired of “killing Diablo” again…and again…and again.


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    You would think they would get tired… I know I did eventually… yet look at the Xfire stats here:

    On the top 20 games every month is Diablo II. Somebody sure enjoys it.

    Blizzard is on the list three times, for WoW, WC3, and D2. I am surprised to see EVE Online there… but people who play that play for long hours in my own, limited experience.

    Granted, Xfire users is a strange, self-selecting demographic. For example, the intersection between EQ2 players and Xfire seems to be small, since it does not make the list, but EVE and SWG do. StarCraft seems like another odd omission from the list… Xfire is not popular in Korea I guess.

    Still, if you look at “Top Ten Other” category, you’ll see Solitaire on the list… though that might just be those EVE Online players during their mining missions looking for something to do.


  4. ogrebears

    I don’t think wow would have as many people as they do today. The hardcore plays would stay, but a lot of new people to mmo’s who have average system wouldn’t have got the game as there system couldn’t have handled it.

    For EQ2 it might add a few people, but eq2 in 2004, really sucked.. if they had the quailty they had today back then and the system requirements that wow had, i think eq2 might of borke the 1 million mark, i don’t think it would of gone as high as wow though.


  5. Oakstout

    I think where there is a will there is a way. Do you think that all those people that play Starcraft in Korea aren’t going to upgrade their machines when Starcraft 2 with its new and improved 3d engine somes out?

    I think a majority of people were tired of SoE and its stable of games and wanted to try something else. WoW just happened to be something new. A bunch of people jumped over to CoH when it came out, because it was something new. It just couldn’t keep the people from what I understood because it lacked depth and the game play was repetitive.

    If people really want to play something they will find a way to upgrade. Look at all the people that bought 3690 Xbox machines and PS3’s when they hit the stores. I don’t have 500.00 just sitting around but if I really wanted one of those systems, I would be selling Plasma in a minute. lol


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